General John A. Mather Camp, No. 39
United Spanish War Veterans

Similar in nature to veterans groups from the Civil War such as the Grand Army of the Republic, more commonly known as the G.A.R., the United Spanish War Veterans had posts, or as they referred to them, camps, all across the United States. 

The United Spanish War Veterans (USWV) was founded in 1904 out of the union of several independent Spanish-American War organizations, including the National Army and Navy Spanish-American War Veterans, the National Association of Spanish-American War Veterans, and the Service Men of the Spanish War. All military personnel who served during the Spanish-American War and had been honorably discharged or continued to serve were eligible to become members of the organization. In addition, non-military personnel who had served in the war were eligible to join.

The main objectives of the United Spanish War Veterans were "To unite fraternally members of the United States Military who served in the Spanish-American War. To honor the memory of the fallen comrades. To assist former comrades and their families (widows, orphans, etc.). To perpetuate the memory of the Spanish American War." The organization prohibited the promotion of financial aid by the organization of any person seeking public office. It also prohibited discrimination on the basis of religion.

One camp in the city of Camden was named after General John A. Mather, who had risen from the ranks in the New Jersey National Guard. He served as a Captain during the Spanish-American War, and was promoted to the rank of General shortly after the war. He commanded the 3rd Regiment, National Guard of New Jersey, from August 13, 1903 to February 25, 191. General Mather, much respected in Camden and throughout South Jersey, died suddenly on February 11, 1917.

The United Spanish War Veterans were still active in Camden as late as 1947. The National Auxiliary of the organization had its headquarters at 510 Benson Street at that time.

Camden Courier-Post January 11, 1928


Mayor Price was among the speakers last night at the annual installation of officers of General John A Mather Camp, No. 39, United Spanish War Veterans, held at 114th Regiment Armory, Haddon Avenue and Mickle Street. 

Other speakers were Colonel George L. Selby, in charge of the permanent registration bureau, Senator Clifford R. Powell, Burlington County, and Postmaster Charles H. Ellis

Mayor Price said plans will be made for the erection of an All-Wars Memorial building, similar to that in Atlantic City. 

Officers installed were: Robert Riley, commander; Harry Rose, senior vice commander; Harry Todd, junior vice commander; Edward Bearint, adjutant; John J. Doyle, quartermaster; John Buel, guard; Lenny B. Orr, chaplain; Edward Daves, instructor; Edward Phifer, color bearer; PO.C. McCormack and Frank Tomlin, trustees; John Pierce, sergeant major.

Camden Courier-Post
June 16, 1932





Camden Courier-Post - April 29, 1933


Charles A. Wolverton - William Amberg - Joseph Markley - Jermiah Bennett - William Miller - Daniel Rivkin
William Copeland - Leon McCarthy - George Foos - Harold Walters - Sterling Parker - Louis Frost
William Fryer - Frank Bain -
John A. Mather Camp, United Spanish War Veterans

Camden Courier-Post * June 4, 1933

Vets in Colorful Memorial Crowd Convention Hall
Military and Civic Organizations Parade in
and Join Services Addressed by Clergy and Congressman Wolverton

More than 2500 persons attended a joint veterans memorial observance in Convention Hall which followed a parade of veterans and civic organizations yesterday afternoon.

To the martial strains of bands and bugle corps, the participants marched from Fifth and Cooper to Seventh Street; south to Haddon avenue, then to Line Street and the Convention Hall.

The parade was headed by a squad of motorcycle police under Acting Sergeant William Taylor. They were followed by the band, headquarters, howitzer, medical and service companies of the 114th Infantry in command of Capt. Mahlon F. Ivins, Jr.

Then came the massed colors, National Guard, Naval Reserve, Disabled American Veterans, John J. Pershing Camp No.9, United War Veterans, Gen. John A. Mather Post No. 18, Spanish War Veterans with their fife and drum corps and the Clara E. Waller Auxiliary; Posts 518 and 980 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and their bugle corps; Mt. Ephraim Junior Legion, No. 150; and, bugle corps; Public Service American Legion Post and bugle corps; Westmont American Legion Post and bugle corps; 50 Pennsylvania Gold Star Mothers led by Mrs. Mary E. Hewson; Elks color guard and the Salvation Army and band.

G. A. R. Vets In Line

Three veterans of the G. A. R., in flag-draped automobiles, participated in the parade. They were John W. Coleman, 76, of 31 North Thirty-fifth street, who served with the 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry; William A. Morgan, 93, of Clementon, who was with the 104th Doylestown Infantry, and Leonard L. Roray, 89, of Glassboro, who served with Company H, Third New Jersey Cavalry.

Ceremonies at Convention Hall opened with advance of the colors to the stage and invocation by Rabbi Nachmann Arnoff.

Rev. Charles Bratten Du Bell, former chaplain of the 114th Infantry, delivered a memorial address, taking as his subject the career of General "Stonewall" Jackson.

Congressman Charles A. Wolverton after paying tribute to the G. A. R., Spanish American and World War veterans, promised that Congress would make provisions to support widows and orphans of veterans who need aid before adjournment this Summer.

Criticizes Veteran Cuts

He attacked any plan for balancing the national budget which does so at the expense of the veterans.

"There are two ways to balance the budget,'" he said. "One is to take the money from the veterans and federal employees. The other is to require wealth to help."

American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and United Spanish War Veterans memorial services and rituals also featured the program. Rev. Lewis A. Hayes, of Westmont, pronounced the benediction. C. Richard Allen, past county commander of the American Legion, was master of ceremonies.

The committee included Samuel Magill, Jr., chairman; Edward A. Stark, A. F. Klein, Joseph A. Kohler, Joseph Whyling, James J. Burke, Norval McHenry, Charles Buzine, William Amberg, James Milne, William P. Breen, William Miller, William Reinholdt; Edward J. Wintering, William Eisele, William Lloyd, Joseph F. Markley, Frank Ellis, D. J. Connors, Joseph Lounsberry and Charles M. Jefferies.

Camden Courier-Post - June 7, 1933


Members of Gen. John A. Mather Camp No. 39, United Spanish War Veterans, will give a benefit entertainment and dance at the Moose Auditorium, Eighth and Market Streets, Friday night. Proceeds will be devoted to relief work and camp advancement. 

Among the many numbers will be the advance of camp colors with color guards to the strains of the Star-Spangled Banner, by Roy Fox's Society Orchestra; a short address of welcome by Commander Joseph F. Markley, Warrington's Merry­makers and Mildred Jaus as mistress of ceremonies under the direction of Philip Warrington; memories of Georgia in songs, stories with banjo, also colored impersonations by Malcolm Shackleford; Warrington's Depression Busters; Ernest Krieger and Company and his singing blackboard with a grand finale ensemble. Dancing will follow and continue until midnight when the camp colors will be retired. 

While it was originally intended to hold this affair at the Convention Hall, the committee in charge later decided to hold it in the Moose Auditorium. e.

Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1933


A benefit entertainment and dance will be given tonight at the Moose Auditorium, Eighth and Market Streets, by the General John A. Mather Camp No. 39, United Spanish War Veterans, to aid in their relief work and camp advancements.

The program will open with the advance of the camp colors with color guard, to the strains of the Star Spangled Banner by Roy Fox's Society Orchestra. A short address of welcome will be given by Commander Joseph F. Markley. Dancing will follow the entertainment program. 

Camden Courier-Post - February 28, 1936

General John A. Mather Camp Auxiliary, No. 18, United Spanish War Veterans, will meet at 310 Broadway Tuesday night. Mrs. Philipina Smith, president, will preside. Department officers will be present. Plans are being made for .several events in the near future.

Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1938

Sons of Vets Head


Joseph Thanner, of Haddon Heights, has been elected president of the newly organized Charles M. Jeffries Camp, Sons of Spanish War Veterans, it was announced, by Charles F. Haus, 518 Rex Place, Camden, who was chairman of the organizing committee.

Other officers are Howard Parker, Sewell, senior vice president; Gerald Inglesby, Merchantville, junior vice president; Richard Van Istendal, Camden, secretary; Julius W. Lighthiser, Camden, treasurer; Henry Lighthiser, Camden, chaplain; Edward Jerome Phifer, Camden, guard; Theodore J. Lighthiser, Jr.; Camden, and Lawrence C. Sloan, Westville, color guards.

Mr. Jeffries, for whom the camp was named, died last month. He was a past commander of the Kreps Camp No. 24 and past president of the Camden County Council, United Spanish War Veterans, which organized the camp. He appointed the committee which effected the organization.


Who has been elected president of the newly organized Charles M. Jeffries Camp, Sons of Spanish Veterans.

July 29, 1941

General John A. Mather
Camp No. 39,
United Spanish War Veterans

Benjamin H. Young
Thomas Brooks
Theodore J. Lighthiser
William F. Smith
Frank P. Hudson

Camden Home
Friendless Children

Haddon Avenue


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Spanish-American War Centennial Website

The Sons of Spanish-American War Veterans