JAMES READ was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on April 8, 1876 as an extra man, taking the place of Thomas Eastlack with Engine Company 2. James Read worked as laborer prior to his appointment to the Fire Department. James Read served for one year. He was replaced in April of 1877 by Howard H. Currie. He was reappointed to the Fire Department on April 5, 1882 as an extra man with the Hook & Ladder Company, replacing C. Barney Harvey. James Read served for two years, and was replaced by Frank Stitwell.

James Read was born in Ohio around 1837. His wife Emily was born in New Jersey, it is likely that they married around 1860. When the Census was taken in 1870 the Reads were living in Camden's Middle Ward. At that time there were three children, James D., 8; Henry, 6; and Walter F., 3 years of age. James Read worked as a bricklayer to support his family. By the spring of 1876 the family was living at 403 Taylor Avenue. This would be James Read's address for the rest of his days. When the Census was taken in 1880, son Henry Read had died. Another son, Frank F.  Read had been born.

James Read was still alive when the 1887-1888 Camden City Directory was compiled. By the following year he had died. The 1888-1889 Directory lists "Read, Emily widow of James" at 403 Taylor Avenue. She was still at that address in 1892, and still in Camden as late as 1900. 

Philadelphia Inquirer * April 7, 1882

G. Rudolph Tenner
James McCracken
Daniel Bromley - John S. Kelly
Michael McCaffery
James H. Brown
Thomas McKenna
James Shinn - Smith Moore
William Irelan
William Bassett
John Hill - James Read
Robert Miller - William Marsh
George Moffett - John J. Logan
Isaac M. Shreve - Samuel Welsh
Lewis Ferrell - Logan Bates
Isaac Collings - Harry Miles
John W. Elliott - William Turner
Charles Holl - John J. Hibbs
John Seybold - James H. McCann
Edward Swope - William Suders