JOHN W. CHEESEMAN was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on October 9, 1872 as Tillerman with the Hook and Ladder Company. He resigned from this position on February 8, 1872. William Carter took over his post. 

John W. Cheeseman was born to John and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Cheeseman in New Jersey in 1846. His father was a charcoal dealer and John W. Cheeseman would follow in this profession. The 1850 Census shows the family in Camden's Middle Ward. Besides John, the family included siblings Rachel and Mary. The Cheesemans were still in the Middle Ward when the 1860 Census was enumerated. The Cheeseman family does not appear in the 1870 census, however, Fire Department records state that John W. Cheeseman worked selling charcoal and was residing at 529 South 5th Street during his time in service with the Fire Department.

The 1880 Census shows John W. Cheeseman living at 534 Henry Street, next door to hius widowed mother, who lived at 532 Henry. John Cheeseman had married, his wife Anna had born them no children to date, but 15 year-old Howard Snyder, who lived with them, may have been a child from a previous marriage or Anna's brother. John Cheeseman was still at 534 Henry Street in 1887, according to that year's city directory.

The 1888-1889 Directory shows John W. Cheeseman working as a driver and living at the  corner of South 8th and Walnut Streets. The 1890-1891 edition states that he was living at 430 Washington Street and working as a laborer. The 1892-1893 Directory lists an address of 435 West Street, and says that John W. Cheeseman worked as a pipefitter.

City Directories from 1892-1893 to 1895-1896 state that John W. Cheeseman lived at 512 West Street and was working as a driver for Harvey Flitcraft. John W. Cheeseman was living at 512 West Street in the 1897 Directory, but was working then as a laborer. As he does not appear in the 1898 or 1899 Directories, nor in the 1900 Census, it is likely that he had passed away.