John W.


JOHN W. SUTTON served at two different times with the Camden Fire Department. He operated and owned bars in Camden for almost 50 years.

John W. Sutton was born John W. Suthel around 1848 in Delaware to John and Welty Suthel. The family, which included older sister Martha and older brother James H. Suthel, had relocated to Camden, New Jersey by 1860. John Suthel supported his family working as a carpenter. 

James Suthel served in the Union's armed forces as James Sutton during the Civil War, according to the 1890 Veteran's Census. Unfortunately, details as to his service are not listed in the Census sheets, nor did he draw a Civil War pension which would also provide that information. What does seem clear is that he became involved as a volunteer firefighter in Camden during the 1860s. James Sutton was one of the original members of the Camden Fire Department, entering service on December 7, 1869 as an extra man with Engine Company 1

John W. Sutton was working as an moulder and living at 926 Howard Street in North Camden when he was appointed as tillerman with the Hook & Ladder Company on April 8, 1876, replacing Edward J. Dodamead. John W. Sutton served for one year, leaving when Dodamead was recalled to the Fire Department.

The 1878-1879 City Directory shows John W. Sutton, working as a laborer at 418 Mickle Street. By 1880 he had married, and was living with his wife Eunice at 416 South 2nd Street and working as an engineer. He was reappointed to the Fire Department in April of 1882 and served in the same capacity as before for two years. The 1884-1885 Camden City Directory shows him at 610 South 2nd Street, working as a boxmaker. He was still at that address the following year, then working as an engineer for Samuel P. Wright & Company. 

When the 1887-1889 City Directory was compiled John W. Sutton was living at and running a saloon and South 2nd Stree and Line Streets. By mid-1891 he had relocated to 451 South 3rd Street where he remained in business through 1898. During the years at 451 South 3rd Street, John Sutton's brother James Sutton worked for him as a bartender.

John W. Sutton is not listed in the 1899 Camden City Directory.

At some time during the 1880s or 1890s John W. Sutton's marriage ended. On August 24, 1899 he married Marcella "Stella" Gillen. The 1900 Census shows him living with his wife and four-month old daughter Cecelia at 604 Federal Street, and that he was back in business as a saloonkeeper. The 1906 City Directory has the Suttons at 602 Federal Street. Sadly, young Cecelia did not live out the decade, however, a son, John W. Sutton Jr., was born around 1902.

By 1910 John W. Sutton had acquired the bar at 28 Haddon Avenue. Possibly because he finally acquired ownership of real estate, he also reverted to his birthname of John Suthel on some documents. Known in later years as the Century Bar, John and Marcella "Stella" Suthel operated it through 1931, when H. Roy Steele took over management. The Suttons continued to live on premises. John W. Sutton, also known as John W. Suthel, died on January 30, 1936. He was buried at Harleigh Cemetery. Mrs. Sutton passed away in 1945.

Philadelphia Inquirer

April 5, 1870

James Sutton- Charles Hart
John Graham - Joseph Nece
Robert Pine - William Henry "Harry" McKeen
Engine Company 1
Engine Company 2

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Camden Courier
October 3, 1883

Engine Company 2

Camden Courier-Post February 1, 1936

Camden Aerie No. 65
Fraternal Order of Eagles


Camden Courier-Post June 4, 1945

Camden Aerie No. 65
Fraternal Order of Eagles