CHARLES SHIMER BOYER, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Alabama Shimer Boyer, is best remembered as first President of the Camden County Historical Society, and the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on the region's history. Born in Pennsylvania in 1869, his family came to Camden when he was three. At the time of the 1880 census they were living at 321 North 2nd Street, and by the late 1880s the Boyer family had moved to 528 Linden Street. His father, Benjamin F. Boyer, was a partner with George Shimer in Shimer & Boyer, manufacturers of woolen yarns, which later became the  the B. F. Boyer Company. George Shimer was the father of Alabama Shimer Boyer. The Shimers also lived on Linden Street, at 503 Linden.  

On April 27, 1904 Charles S. Boyer married Anna Derousse, daughter of former Assemblyman and Camden Postmaster Louis T. Derousse. By 1910 Charles S. Boyer and family were living at 525 Cooper Street, where there immediate neighbors included Judge Frank T. Lloyd at 527, Dr. Byron Fortiner at  517, Dr. Paul Markley at 515, and father and son Drs. William A. and Albert Davis at 511.

After a successful career upon taking over the the family business upon his father's passing, Charles S. Boyer devoted his time and energies to the study of the history of Camden County. He wrote many books and pamphlets, and was the first president of the Camden County Historical Society. His business and historical career are outlined in depth below, in a 1920s biography, and a new article written by a distant relation, Vincent Summers, for this web-page.

In November of 1927 Mayor Winfield S. Price appointed a committee to arrange for the observance in February 1928 of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the City of Camden. The committee was composed of Charles S. Boyer, Chairman; T. Yorke Smith, E.G.C. Bleakly, Mahlon F. Ivins Jr., Fred S. Caperoon and Frank S. Albright.

Charles S. Boyer later moved to Moorestown NJ. He passed away on November 10, 1936, and was buried at Harleigh Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers included many of Camden's leading citizens of the first third of the 20th century.

Charles S. Boyer's World
North 2nd Street
South of Linden Street

Postcard from about 1900
Photograph February 7, 2004

321 Linden Street, where Charles S. Boyer lived as a small boy, is at the far right. The gray twin home is 321-323 North 2nd Street.

Click on Images to Enlarge

Linden Street
West of 5th Street

As it appeared 1890s

This is what Charles S. Boyer would have seen if he looked to the right as he left his home.

Click on Images to Enlarge

Cooper Street

Looking East from 4th Street

Looking West from 6th Street

As it appeared 1890s-1900s

Click on Images to Enlarge


South Jersey - A History 1624-1924

CHARLES SHIMER BOYER was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, May 23, 1869, son of Benjamin Franklin and Alabama (Shimer) Boyer. On the paternal side, his great-grandfather, John Boyer, arrived in Philadelphia from the Palatinate in 1739, while on the maternal side he can claim American ancestry dating back to 1739. His ancestors all settled in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.

Coming to Camden, New Jersey, as a mere child of three, Charles S. Boyer spent the balance of his active life in New Jersey. His early studies were pursued at the Cooper School, Camden, and the Friends' Central School, Philadelphia, and his education continued at the University of Pennsylvania, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1890. 

In his early business career he was identified with the chemical industry and was the author of a number of articles on chemical subjects which appeared in the "Journal of the Franklin Institute," Philadelphia; the "American Chemical Journal", the "Textile Colorist" and the "Dyers' Trade Journal."

In 1894 he became identified with the worsted yarn business established by his father in 1872, and is today president of the company, which is one of the oldest in its line.

For a number of years Mr. Boyer took a very active part in the civic affairs of his home city and served as president of the Camden Board of Trade for several terms, during which time this organization took a leading part in settling three events of prime importance to the community. Through its efforts the pierhead line along the river front was materially advanced, the sale of the municipally-owned water plant to private interests was prevented and the idea of building a municipal electric lighting plant abandoned.

In later years his activities, aside from his business interests, have been largely connected with the history of Camden County and West Jersey. In this field, following the late Howard M. Cooper, Esq., he has become a recognized authority on local history and is frequently consulted on historical matters. His series of brochures, "Annals of Camden," of which he has privately published four numbers, are looked upon as standard sources of local history. He is also the author of a book on the "Waterways of New Jersey," in which the history and legal aspect of the State's ownership of lands under tide waters is fully set forth. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the New Jersey Historical Society, the Gloucester County (New Jersey) Historical Society, and the Friends' Historical Society of Philadelphia. As president of the Camden County Historical Society, he has, during the three years of his presidency, by the use of business methods, rejuvenated the society so that today it is heralded as one of the most active in the State. 

Fraternally Mr. Boyer is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and in clubdom a member of the University Club of Philadelphia, the Manufacturers' Club of Philadelphia, the Piqua Club of Piqua, Ohio; the Camden Club, Camden, New Jersey; the Riverton Country Club, of Riverton, New Jersey; and the Seaside Park Yacht Club, of Seaside Park, New Jersey. He is also a member of the Sons of the Revolution.

Charles Shimer Boyer married, April 27, 1904, Anne W. De Rousse, daughter of Louis T. and Anna (Fitzgerald) De Rousse, and they reside in Camden, New Jersey..


Charles Shimer Boyer

May 23, 1869 – November 10, 1936

 © Vincent E. Summers August 31, 2004

 Charles Shimer Boyer is probably best known as an author of books about many fascinating aspects of New Jersey’s early development.  By way of example, some of his titles are: 

Early Forges & Furnaces in New Jersey

Old Inns and Taverns in West Jersey

Annals of Camden No. 3- Old Ferries, Camden, New Jersey

Old Mills of Camden County

Rambles Through Old Highways and Byways of West Jersey
Indian Trials and Early Paths

History of the Press in Camden County, New Jersey

Revolutionary Activities In and Around Camden

The Origin and Meaning of Place Names in Camden County
John Kaighn & his Descendants 
To view this manuscript as a MS Word Document click HERE (3.5MB)- from 

As can be seen he was an historian.  This was his occupation and avocation.  He was the first President of the Camden County Historical Society, serving from 1921 to 1936.  We will discuss many other aspects of his life, but first, his background…

Charles “Charlie” Boyer was the son of Benjamin Franklin Boyer and Alabama F. Shimer, and was born in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.  At age three, his family moved to Camden, New Jersey, and there he attended Cooper School, then Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia, and from there to the University of Pennsylvania, from which institution he obtained his baccalaureate in chemistry.

He worked as a spinner in his father’s worsted yarn company, the B. F. Boyer Co.  Upon his father’s demise, he became the company president, thus assuring his fortune.  Charles had a brother, Benjamin Ralph Boyer, and at least one sister, Jane Boyer who married Dr. Paul Mecray.  Charles took for his wife the daughter of Louis Theodore DeRousse, namely Anna Wilson DeRousse.  We might allow a newspaper announcement to describe this event:

“Boyer-Derousse....Miss Anna Wilson Derousse and Charles Shimer Boyer were married at the home of the  bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Louis T. DeRousse, 326 North Sixth Street, last evening at 8 o'clock.  Only the immediate relatives of the family witnessed the ceremony, which was performed by Rev. Clarence A. Binder, pastor of Epiphany English Lutheran Church, and uncle of the groom, assisted by Rev William H. Fishburn, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. Miss Adele K. Stockham, a cousin of the bride, was the maid of honor, and Ralph Boyer, brother of the groom, best man.  The groom is a member of the yarn manufacturing firm of B.F. Boyer and Company.”

Charlie was an advocate of sail-boating, and had a home in Seaside Park.  In the later part of his life, he lived in a very large and spacious home at 201-205 Central Avenue in Moorestown, New Jersey.  Having visited that home when I was about six years of age, I recall its surroundings of large and numerous pine trees, and I recall visiting his wife, who we called ‘Cousin Nan.’  She was an elderly lady (Charles having died decades before) and was quite impressive to me as a child.  The porch was decorated in a fashion that brought to my young mind, the wilds of Africa, whether or not that was the intent.  The day was a hot one, the thermometer near the edge of the ‘woods’ reading an amazing 106 degrees – the hottest temperature I had ever known.  The mental imagery for me is indelibly implanted.

Charles was involved in quite a number of institutions.  To name some:

A former President of the Camden County Historical Society

A former President of the Sons of the American Revolution of New Jersey

A former President of the Camden Club

Charter member of the New Jersey Harbor Commission

Member of Trimble Lodge, No. 117 Free and Accepted Masons.

Member of the American Friends of Lafayette Society

Member of the Manufacturers Club of Philadelphia
Member of the New Jersey River and Harbors Commission
Member of the Pennsylvania Historical Society
Member of the Burlington County Historical Society
Member of the Gloucester County Historical Society
Member of the New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania
Member of the City History Society, Philadelphia
Member of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey

 Two New Jersey Mirror articles, pointing to Charles’ death as well as his last will and testament, inform us: 

New Jersey Mirror - November 18, 1936
Page 5, Column 6

Summary: Charles S. Boyer - Funeral services were held on Saturday for Charles S. Boyer, whose death on November 10th was recorded in the Mirror last week, at his late home at 205 East Central avenue, Moorestown. Rev. J. Shackleford Dauerty, pastor of Moorestown Presbyterian Church, officiated. Burial was in Harleigh cemetery, Camden. Honorary pallbearers included F. Morse Archer, Burleigh B. Draper, William T. Read, Walter Holloway, Samuel H. Richards, Nathan H. Ewan, Judge V. Claude Palmer, William H. Chew, Dr. Thomas D. Lee, Dr. A. Haines Lippincott, Ward D. Kerlin, William H. Blackwell, Herberton L. Williams, Newton K. Bugbee, Albert C. Middleton, Russell Fox, F. Wallis Armstrong, Ralph D. Baker, Charles K. Parry, Theodore Thompson, Herbert Heston, Justice Frank T. Lloyd, William F. Reeve, David Baird, Jr., James R. Barber, Dr. Collis E. Godfrey, John D. F. Morgan and George R. Pelouze. Masonic services were conducted at his home Friday night.


New Jersey Mirror - February 10, 1937
Page 1, Column 2

Will of Charles S. Boyer Is Admitted to Probate
Contains Number of Bequests to Charities in Camden County

The will of Charles S. Boyer, late of Moorestown, was admitted to probate by Surrogate George B. Bitting on Monday. It contains the following bequests: To his wife, Anna DeRousse, all moneys after payment of bequests, also all securities and book accounts due to testator; to the Camden County Historical Society, $3,000; to Ethel Kennedy, his secretary and also assistant secretary of the Camden County Historical Society, $1,000; his personal library, known as the Charles S. Boyer collection, together with historical papers, to the Camden County Historical Society; income accruing from real estate, consisting of house and lot at 201-205 Central avenue, Moorestown, and a summer home at Seaside Park, together with boats and automobiles, to his widow during her life. After the death of Mrs. Boyer the following bequests are made: To B. Ralph Boyer, brother, $10,000; Camden Home for Friendless Children, $3,000; Deacon's Fund of the First Presbyterian Church, Camden, $1,000; Cooper Hospital, Camden, $3,000; Camden County Historical Society, $5,000; to be known as the Charles S. Boyer and Anna DeRousse Fund, interest therefrom to be used for publication of historical articles. Mrs. Anna DeRousse Boyer, B. Ralph Boyer and William T. Read are named as executors and trustees. The trustees are authorized to sell real estate at any time if Mrs. Boyer needs more money for her maintenance. The will is dated July 14, 1936. Mr. Boyer died on November 10, 1936

Pomona Hall
Home of the
Camden County
Historical Society

Top: Postcard from around 1900

Below: Photograph from around 2000, note the Museum Wing at left rear, and the
Charles S. Boyer Building
at the far right


February 28, 1915

Charles S. Boyer
George M. Beringer
William J. Cooper
Charles M. Curry
John Dialogue Shipyard

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 23, 1918

W. Penn Corson
Charles G. Garrison
William H. Fish - George H. Garland
Alonzo Wood -
H.B. Hanford
Thomas Leeson -
Conrad G. Hoell
Albert Austermuhl - John Allen
R.A. Rockhill - Hugo Koehler
F. Ketterer - Smith S. Fogg
Reuben H. Gaskill -
W.B.M. Burrell
Charles S. Boyer - Ralph Williams
Charles H. Laird Jr.
Raymond L. Warren
Charles Brower
Thomas J. McLaren
B.H. Brace - Samuel Bakley
Irvine Deakyne - Lemuel D. Horner
F.W. Ayer - Walter S. Wolf
George S. Dallas - John T. Blandy
Samuel Withers
Franklin Hawksworth
John K. Bennett -  Frederick Lange
Ben Lawton - William A. Stewart
William D. Brown

Click on Image for Enlarged View

Camden Courier-Post * October 29, 1931

Professional and Business Leaders Back Camden Man for Governor

Forty-seven more prominent professional and business men yesterday joined the Baird-for-Governor Business Men's League and pledged themselves to work actively in interest of David Baird Jr., for governor, and add special impetus to his campaign.

The league was organized this week at an enthusiastic meeting of 18 outstanding Baird supporters in professional and business life at the Camden Club, 315 Cooper Street. The league membership is open only to business, professional and industrial leaders who are not holding public office and who are not politicians.

The latest enrollments among community leaders pledging themselves to devote themselves to the Baird cause are the following:

F. Morse Archer, president of the First Camden National Bank; Clinton. L. Bardo, president of the New York Shipbuilding Company and of the New Jersey Taxpayers' Association; George C. Baker, of the Baker­Flick Company; Watson Shallcross, president of the Camden County Chamber of Commerce; Howard J. Dudley, Broadway merchant; Thomas E. French, prominent attorney; J. David Stern, publisher of the Courier-Post newspapers and of the Philadelphia Record; Wellington K. Barto, of the West Jersey Trust Company; Dr. Joseph Roberts, Cooper Hospital; William Clement, of the Clement Coverall Paint Company; Robert Wright, of the Haddonfield National Bank; Arthur J. Podmore, of the Camden Pottery Company; Nathan Leopold, Haddonfield druggist; Dr. J. Edgar Howard, of Haddonfield.

Dr. Alfred N. Elwell, of this city; Edward Preisendanz, Clarence Peters, N. Franks, of. Franks & Sweeney; U. G. Peters, Ralph D. Baker, prominent real estate man; Archibald Dingo, George Bachman, Sr., and George Bachman, Jr., Dr. O. W. Saunders, Henry Cooperson, Leon Cooperson, Herman Z. Cutler. Charles Bauman, Harry Rose, George Austermuhl, Walter Gulick, Albert Voeglin, Howard Fearn, John A. Schlorer, Ernest L. Bartelt.

William S. Casselman, George M. Carr, J. Price Myers, Carl R. Evered, former president of the Camden County Real Estate Board; Francis B. Wallen, former president of the Camden County Chamber of Commerce; William H. Alff, Edmund J. Alff, Harry Pelouze, Walter Campbell, Dr. Thomas R. Bunting, Joseph F. Kobus and Henry E. Kobus.

Enrollments, it was announced, may be made through the following committee of the league:

Ludwig A. Kind, Thomas Gordon Coulter, Charles H. Laird, Walter J. Staats, Frank C. Middleton, Jr., Frank J. Hineline, William T. Read, Charles S. Boyer, W. W. Robinson, George R. Pelouze, Paul A. Kind, Dr. Paul A. Mecray, Jerome Hurley, Harry A. Moran, James V. Moran, William J. Strandwitz, former Judge Lewis Starr and Frank C. Norcross.

Thanks to Vincent Summers, whose help made this page possible