JOSEPH OSCAR TILL SR. was born in Pennsylvania around 1847 to William and Catherine Till. The family appears in the 1860 Census in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. William Till then supported his family, which included daughters Anna, Eliza, and Catherine by working as a shipwright. 

Though still in his teens, Joseph Till went off to fight for the Union during the Civil War. He apparently had made his way to Kent County, Maryland where he enlisted as a Private in Company E of the 2nd Eastern Shore Maryland Infantry Regiment on January 14, 1862 for a term of three years.

The 2nd Eastern Shore Maryland Infantry Regiment was composed of eight companies. A, B, C, D and E were recruited in Kent County; F in the city of Baltimore; and G and H in Harford County. Its organization was commenced on October 2, 1861, and on December 28 it was completed and the regiment was mustered in for three years. From that time until the summer of 1863 it was on duty along the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia, in the city of Baltimore and on the lower Potomac. When Lee began his invasion of Pennsylvania the regiment, as part of Lockwood's brigade, was ordered to reinforce the Army of the Potomac. After the battle of Gettysburg it was assigned to duty on the upper Potomac in Maryland and West Virginia, and was a part of General Hunter's army in the expedition against Lynchburg. It remained in the department of West Virginia until January 23, 1865, when it was consolidated with the 1st Eastern Shore infantry, and then into the 11th Maryland Infantry Regiment. While in active service it marched 1,041 miles, was transported by rail 967 miles, and by water 915 miles. It was in the engagements at Falling Waters, Piedmont, Snicker's Ford, Winchester, Berryville and numerous minor skirmishes incident to the Shenandoah Valley and Lynchburg campaigns. Nine men were killed in battle and 63 died of wounds or disease. During his time in the Army, Joseph Till was promoted to Corporal. His three years' enlistment having expired, he mustered out of Company I, 11th Maryland Infantry Regiment on January 26, 1865. 

Joseph Till married in the early 1870s, and by 1880 there were two sons, William and Joseph Oscar Till Jr., who was better known simply as "Oscar Till". Joseph Till and his family were living at 872 Moyer Street in Philadelphia when the 1880 Census was enumerated. He was then working as a huckster. The 1881 Philadelphia City Directory shows him at the same address, running a cigar store. Four more sons were born to the Tills during the 1880s, Morris, Albert, Clarence, and finally on January 12, 1889 Nelson W. Till. Joseph Till was also active during his Philadelphia years as a volunteer fireman.

The Till family moved to New Jersey in the 1890s, and had located in the town of Stockton in the early 1890s. By 1896 the family was living at 912 Lois Avenue in the town of Stockton, in what is now the Cramer Hill section of Camden. The Tills would occupy this home through at least 1947.

Joseph Till involved himself in local affairs and soon had been appointed constable in Stockton. When Stockton was united with the City of Camden in 1899, Joseph Till secured an appointment to the Camden Fire Department. Politics being a full-contact sport in those times, Joseph Till got into a fight with two other men on Saturday night, November 1, 1903. The following day he suffered a fall, and was taken to Cooper Hospital where he died on November 13. An inquest was held and his death was ruled accidental, from injuries sustained in the fall. Joseph Till was buried at Arlington Cemetery in Pennsauken, New Jersey on November 17, 1903. He was survived by his wife and sons. Kate Till joined her husband on July 11, 1941.

Having worked for a time as a bridgetender at the Federal Street drawbridge over the Cooper River, on December 3, 1904 J. Oscar Till Jr., was appointed to the Camden Fire Department. By April of 1910 he had left the Fire Department and had taken a position with the Camden Police Department. Youngest son Nelson W. Till was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in the early 1920s and served into the early 1940s.

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 24, 1893

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 4, 1898

Martin Ambrose
Harry Acmner
Thomas Rival
Joseph Till

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 26, 1899
Right Click on Images to Download PDF of Article
Cooper B. Hatch - George W. Whyte - Edgar Boulton - John W. Vanhart - W. Scott Franklin
Robert Gick - Joseph Till - Edward Kelly - Christian Stark - Frank Powell - Lewis H. Sasse
Samuel Collins - William Madison - John F. Renner - Josiah Pedigree 

Philadelphia Inquirer

November 28, 1899

Cooper B. Hatch - George W. Whyte
Edgar Boulton - John W. Vanhart
W. Scott Franklin - Robert Gick - Joseph Till
Edward Kelly - Christian Stark
Samuel Collins - William Madison
John F. Renner - Josiah Pedigree
Charles Robinson - George B. Wade
Albert Jones - George Cox
Edward Weston - Samuel Peoples

Right Click on Images to Download PDF of Article




Philadelphia Inquirer
December 23, 1000

William Till
Joseph Till
J. Oscar Till Jr.
Charles Stevenson
Jefferson Street
William D. Hart

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 2, 1903

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 4, 1903

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 5, 1903

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 6, 1903

Edward Van Dyke Joline - Joseph Till - Frank Van Fossen

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 13, 1903

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 14, 1903

Frank T. Lloyd - Joseph Till

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 15, 1903

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 15, 1903
 Joseph Till - Dr. William S. Jones - Dr. A. Haines Lippincott - William Guenther - Charles Mitchelson

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 17, 1903

Philadelphia Inquirer
November 19, 1903

Joseph Till
 Dr. A. Haines Lippincott

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 20, 1903

Joseph Till - Frank Powell