after the late president, who had died the previous spring, William H.H.
Clark was born on November 19, 1841 to Samuel Clark and his wife, the
former Ann Bennis. He was the seventh of eleven children born to the
Clarks. William H.H. Clark had come to Camden by the time the 1860
Census was being enumerated. He was working as an express driver and
boarding with Isaac Whitecar and family in Camden's South Ward.
war broke out between the North and South, William H.H. Clark answered
his nation's call. He enlisted as a private in the 4th New Jersey
Infantry Militia Regiment (Also known as the Twentieth New Jersey
Infantry) on April 27,1861, and was subsequently assigned to Company G.
He served alongside his brother, Corporal James M. Lane. The Fourth
Regiment Militia was commanded by Colonel Matthew Miller, Jr.; his
officers were Lieutenant Colonel Simpson R. Stroud and Major Robert C.
Johnson. This regiment was mustered into the U. S. service at
Trenton, April 27, 1861, to serve for three months, and left the
state for Washington, D. C., on May 3, with 37 commissioned
officers and 743 non-commissioned officers and privates, a total of 777.
On the evening of May 5 it reached the capital, and on the 9th it was
ordered to go into camp at Meridian hill, where, within a few days
the entire brigade was encamped, and where, on the 12th, it was
honored by a visit from the president, who warmly complimented the
appearance of the troops. On the evening of May 23 it joined the
2nd and 3d regiments and about midnight took up the line of march
in silence for the bridge that spanned the Potomac. This bridge was
crossed at 2 o'clock on the morning of the 24th, the 2nd was posted
at Roach's spring, and the 3d and 4th about half a mile beyond on
the Alexandria road. On July 16, a guard was detailed from the 4th
for a section of the Orange & Alexandria railroad, which it was important
to hold; one company from the regiment guarded the Long bridge;
still another was on duty at Arlington mills; and the remainder of
the regiment, together with the 2nd, was ordered to proceed to
Alexandria. On July 24, the term of service having expired, the 4th
returned to New Jersey and was mustered out at Trenton, July 31, 1861.
The total strength of the regiment was 783, and it lost by
discharge 6, by promotion 2, by death 2 and by desertion 7,
mustered out, 766.
Barton Lane was among those mustered out on July 31, 1861 at
men who served with the Fourth New Jersey became members of the Camden
Fire Department after it was founded in 1869, including Benjamin
Kelly Brown, Henry F.
Surault, Edward Mead, William
M. Lane, William Gleason,
A. Zimmerman, Charles
G. Zimmerman, William
C. Lee, George B.
Chew, William W. Mines,
M. Brown, John
J. Brown, Benjamin
Connelly, and G.
Rudolph Tenner. Several other Fourth Infantry veterans played
significant roles in Camden in the ensuing years.
H.H. Clark returned to Camden, but not for long. He married his wife,
Sarah, around 1862. On August 31, 1864 William H.H. Clark enlisted in
the United States Navy. He served until July 6, 1865, then returned to
his wife in Camden, where he apparently became active as a volunteer
On September 2, 1869 City Council enacted a municipal
ordinance creating a paid fire department. It provided for the annual
appointment of five Fire Commissioners, one Chief Marshal (Chief of
and two Assistant Marshals. The City was also divided into two fire
districts. The boundary line ran east and west, starting at Bridge
Avenue and following the tracks of the Camden and Amboy Railroad to
the city limits. District 1 was south of this line and District 2 was
north. The commissioners also appointed the firemen who were
scheduled to work six 24 hour tours per week. William
Abels, from the
Weccacoe Hose Company No. 2 was appointed Chief Marshal with William
J. Mines, from the Independence Fire Company No. 3 as Assistant Marshal
for the 1st District, and William H. Shearman as the Assistant Marshal
for the 2nd District. Abels
had served with the volunteer fire
departments of Philadelphia, Mobile, Alabama and Camden for sixteen
years prior to his appointment as Chief of the paid force.
November 10, 1869 City Council purchased the Independence Firehouse,
the three-story brick building at 409 Pine
Street, for $4500. The
building was designated to serve as quarters for Engine Company 1
the 1st District. On October 29, 1869 City Council authorized
construction of a two-story brick building on the northwest corner of Fifth and
Streets as quarters for the 2nd District. On November
25th the Fire Commissioners signed a contract with M.N. Dubois in the
amount of $3100 to erect this structure. The 2nd District would share
these quarters with
Engine Company 2 and the Hook
& Ladder Company
and the facility would also serve as department headquarters
for the new paid force. The original contract remains part of the
Camden County Historical Society collection.
Engine Company 2 with 1869 Silsby Hose Cart. Photo Circa 1890. Note badges
upon derby hats worn by Fire Fighters.
Amoskeag second class, double pump, straight frame steam engines were
purchased at a cost of $4250 each. Two Silsby two wheel hose carts,
each of which carried 1000 feet of hose, were another $550 each and
the hook & ladder, built by Schanz and Brother of Philadelphia was
$900. Each engine company received a steam engine and hose cart.
Amoskeag serial #318 went to Engine Company 1, and serial #319 to
Engine Company 2. The Fire Commission also secured the services of the
Weccacoe and Independence steamers in case of fire prior to delivery
of the new apparatus. Alfred McCully of Camden made the harnesses for
the horses. Camden's Twoes & Jones made the overcoats for the new
firemen and a Mr. Morley, also of Camden, supplied the caps and belts
which were manufactured by the Migeod Company of Philadelphia. The new
members were also issued badges.
is the earliest known photo of fire headquarters on the northwest
corner of Fifth and
Streets. Originally built in 1869, the
building shows signs of wear some twenty years later. Note the
weathervane shaped like a fireman's speaking trumpet atop the tower.
Also, the fire alarm bell is pictured to the left of the telegraph
pole above the rooftop. The bell was removed from the building once
the fire alarm telegraph system was expanded and in good working
maker's plate once was attached to a harness made by A. McCully &
Sons, 22 Market Street, Camden, New Jersey. This firm provided the
first harnesses for the paid fire department in 1869.
worn by the marshals, engineers, stokers and engine drivers bore the
initial letter of their respective positions and their district
number. The tillerman and his driver used the number "3" to
accompany their initial letter. The extra men of the 1st District
were assigned badges 1-10; 2nd District badges were numbered 11-20 and
the extra men of the hook & ladder wore numbers 21-30.
the Fire Commission intended to begin operation of the paid department
on November 20, 1869, the companies did not actually enter service
until December 7th at 6 P.M. because the new apparatus and buildings
were not ready. The new apparatus was not tried (tested) until
new members of the paid force were:
first style of breast badge worn by members of the career department
in the City of Camden. 1869. (Courtesy of the C.C.H.S. Collection).
the Census was taken in 1870 William H.H. Clark was living in Camden's
South Ward with his wife Sarah and two children, Eliza (or Lydia), 3,
and Joseph, 1. He was working full-time for the Fire Department. William
H.H. Clark appears to have left the Fire Department when Chief William
Abels was replaced in 1871.
stated above, he was living at 811 Kaighn
Street in 1869. The 1878 City
Directory gives an address for William H.H. Clark of 825 Kaighn
which was renamed Dauphin Street a few years later. By 1879 he had
relocated to 431 Spruce
Street. The 1880 Census shows William H.H. Clark living at 406 Cherry
Street. There were three children at this time, Lydia, 14; Virginia
"Jeannie" 4; and Annie, 1. The Clarks moved 937 South
5th Street prior to the compilation of the 1882-1883 Directory. By
the end of 1885 they had moved to 411 Division
Street. William H.H. Clark was working as a teamster in
Philadelphia. The 1887-1888 and 1888-1889 Directory gives an address of
820 South 4th
Street. The 1890 Veterans Census and 1900 Federal Census shows the
Clarks had moved one last time, to 814 South
4th Street. The Census states that Sarah Clark had given birth to
seven children, three of whom were still living. Only Jeannie Clark was
living with her parents. On March 17, 1901 William H.H. Clark passed
H.H. Clark was a member of the Thomas
M.K. Lee Post No. 5 of the Grand Army of the Republic.