SAMUEL F. KESLER, whose nickname was "Rebel Sam" appears to have come to Camden in 1879 from Virginia to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a machinist. The 1880 Census and Camden city directories shows him living at 434 Berkley Street from 1880 through 1887, and at 234 Benson Street in 1890. He also appears in Camden city directories at 888 Penn Street beginning in 1894 and ending in 1898

According to the 1880 census, Samuel Kesler was born in Virginia in 1843. He married Emma Gamble around 1870, and a son, Laurence, was born in Virginia in 1872. A daughter, Lizzie, was born in New Jersey around February of 1880. The 1880 Census shows Samuel Kesler and his family living at 434 Berkley Street with his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Gamble, her sons Harry, Charles, and George, and her daughter Annie. 

Samuel Kesler was appointed to the Camden Fire Department to serve as a Engineer with Engine Company 1, replacing G. Rudolph Tenner. Samuel Kesler served with the Fire Department for one year, then was replaced when Tenner was reappointed.

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



Philadelphia Inquirer
June 6, 1887

Berkley Street
South 3rd Street
George Gamble
Theodore Johnson
Dr. E.R. Smiley

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Philadelphia Inquirer * June 9, 1887

Jesse Pratt - Dr. E.R. Smiley - Theodore Johnson - Samuel Kesler