FERDINAD F. SELL was born around 1860 in New Jersey, one of six children born to German immigrant parents, Charles and Rosalie Sell. The Sell family resided at 435 Pine Street. Charles Sell was already living in Camden when the census was taken in 1860 worked as a machinist. At the time of the 1880 Census, Ferdinand F. Sell's occupation was listed as cigar maker, while sister Emma Sell worked in shoes. Younger brother J. Wesley Sell, then 15, was working as a bookbinder. Another sister, Anna, was then unemployed. 

During the following decade, Ferdinand Sell and his younger brother J. Wesley followed the cigar maker's trade, working for Frank Hartmann Sr. His father had passed away, in 1887, and Ferdinand F. Sell, by now a cobbler, had married Margaret Isard Harris, the daughter of a sparmaker, George J. Harris, and moved, first to a house at 933 Newton Avenue and then to Sherman Avenue in  Cramer Hill, then a part of Stockton Township. Brother J. Wesley Sell was still living at 435 Pine Street at the end of the decade, where he lived with his widowed mother, and the 1890-1891 Camden City Directory shows that he had changed his occupation to that of jeweler. Rosalie Sell passed away in 1898, and was buried next to her husband at Evergreen cemetery.

On December 4, 1890 Ferdinand Sell became the founding vice-president of the North Cramer Hill Citizens Fire Company. Frank Hartmann Sr. was elected president and chief. This organization soon renamed itself Citizens Fire Company No. 1.

Both Ferdinand and J. Wesley Sell is this period also became interested and active in politics, as  Republicans. J. Wesley Sell was elected Camden County Sheriff in 1899, and served a three year term, while Ferdinand Sell, joined the Camden police force at about the same time. Stockton Township became a part of Camden in this time, and his appointment may have coincided with the merger..

Around 1915 daughter Ella Sell, named after her maternal grandmother Ella Isard, married George A. Wonfor, prominent Camden photographer. He was a widower with two young children, his first wife, the former Alice M. Colsey, was the niece of fellow Camden police office Arthur Colsey.  

At the time of the 1920 Census he was living with his wife Margaret and father-in-law George Harris at 2721 Sherman Avenue in the Cramer Hill section of Camden. Ferdinand Sell retired in 1923, after 24 years of service, with the rank of sergeant. 

Margaret Sell died on February 15, 1927 at the age of 64. Ferdinand F. Sell later moved to the home of his daughter, Ella and son-in-law, George A. Wonfor. Mr. Sell passed away in October of 1936. After funeral services at the Roedel Funeral Home at 804 North 27th Street, a short walk from where he had lived most of his adult life, Ferdinand F. Sell was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Camden, survived by his daughter and brother.

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 13, 1903


David Loughead
Ferdinand F. Sell

J. Oscar Till Jr.

Ralph Haines
Allen Stewart
Howard C. Trueax
William Schregler
James Tatem
Thomas Reed
Cullis B. Errickson
Policeman Joseph Schmid





October 27, 1936