B. BRICE was born in August of 1869. Little is known of his
early life although he may have been related to Richard A.
Brice, a commission merchant who resided on Cooper Street in the
1890s, and William Brice, who was also in business in Camden in
the 1890s and 1900s. Robert Brice first appears in City
Directories in 1890, living at 57 York
Street, initially as a
carder, then as a laborer, and finally as a driver. A Robert
Brice is on record of marrying a Fannie Stretch in Camden on May
18, 1890, and is noted in October of 1890 as attending the
wedding of Addie Stretch and William Patton, with Fannie Stretch, although she attended
under her maiden name. This may or may not have been the Robert
Brice that this narrative is concerned with, as the wedding and
Stretch family were of
Camden, and Robert Brice was living in
North Camden. If this is the marriage in question
it did not last, although I have found no record regarding
Fannie Stretch Brice's death, while the scandal of divorce or
annulment would have interfered with events in Robert Brice's
life later in the 1890s. After a interlude of a couple of years, Robert Brice
reappeared in City
Directories in 1896, again living at 57 York
Robert Brice, however, was not one who was going to let grass
grow under his feet and he did involve himself in politics in
the First Ward, where he lived. He was an active member of the
First Ward Republican Club. Among his close associates were
Jacob Gnang, Harry Steer, Samuel Steer, John Opfer, Jacob H.
Leon, Albert Keyser, and Charles T. Tway. He would remain
involved with Republican politics throughout his life.
October 5, 1898 Robert B. Brice married Mary Baird Robinson. She
was the niece of businessman and political leader David Baird
Sr., was then Sheriff of Camden County. He was also the head of
the Republican Party in Camden County and would be appointed to
succeed Gen. William J. Sewell as U.S. Senator from New Jersey
upon Sewell's death in 1901. The Brice's lived at 611 North 9th
Street until 1903, and are recorded at 410 North 7th Street from
1906 through 1918. Shortly before the 1920 Census Mr. and Mrs.
Brice moved to 211 Elm
From 1902 to 1904 Robert B. Brice served as constable, a
position that came under the supervision of the County Sheriff. On June 13, 1910
Robert B. Brice and nine
other men were appointed to the Camden Fire Department. They
began serving on July 1, 1910. During his career with the
department, he served with Engine Company
4, Engine Company
and finally with Engine Company
2. He had been promoted to
engineer in 1915 while serving with Engine Company
driving to a state political rally in July of 1929, Robert B.
Brice was involved in a traffic accident that left him and four
other people, all related to the Baird family, injured.
B. Brice was still serving with the Camden Fire Department when
he died of a heart attack while visiting his brother-in-law,
city plumbing inspector Augustus Robinson, on July 28, 1930.
Well known and liked in Camden, Robert B. Brice's funeral was
attended by almost one thousand people, including forty members
of Camden Lodge 111,
Loyal Order of Moose, of which he had been a member. His
wife joined him in 1951.