FRANK P. MIDDLETON was the great-grandson of John and Sarah Middleton, and the grandson of Joseph Middleton, who married Anna, daughter of Levi and Elizabeth Ellis. To Joseph Middleton and his wife were born twelve children- eight sons and four daughters- of who but two survived. Bowman H., a native of Haddonfield NJ, was born on the 19th of July, 1814, and spent his life in the county of his birth. He early became proficient in the trade of a cabinetmaker, subsequently removed to Camden and acquired the business of Benjamin A. Hammell. Bowman Middleton carried in the trade of an undertaker until his death in 1866,  Though interested in public affairs, he did not aspire to office, his ambition being satisfied with the position of coroner, which he filled for some years. He married Elizabeth Venable, of Camden NJ, whose children are Frank P., Josiah V. Anna (Mrs. English), Charles K., and Emily.

Frank P. Middleton, the subject of this sketch, was born May 6, 1837 in Marlton (Evesham Town- ship) NJ, and at an early age moved to Camden with his parents. His educational advantages were such as the country afforded, supplemented by more thorough training in Camden, after which he began his active career as assistant to his father in the undertaking business. He continued thus employed until the death of the latter, when in connection with his brother, he managed the business on behalf of the estate. The brothers eventually parted ways business-wise, both remaining in Camden as undertakers. In 1869 Mr. Middleton established himself in Camden as an undertaker and speedily acquired an extended patronage. By 1883 he was located at 319 Market Street, where he remained as late as 1891.

Frank P. Middleton was, on the 14th of February, 1864, married to Mary, daughter of Anthony and Martha Williams, of Philadelphia. Their children were Lizzie, Laura, Mattie and Harry (twins), and Mary and Frank (twins). Only Mattie and Harry were alive as of November 1886.

Tragedy struck the Middleton family again on September 27, 1895, when brother Josiah V. Middleton, who also worked as an undertaker, committed suicide by hanging himself in his coffin shop. Stricken by paralysis two years previously, he was despondent over his illness. 

Mr. Middleton was a Republican in his political affiliations, but never allowed the allurement of the political arena to draw him from the routine of his legitimate business. He was a member of Chosen Friends Lodge No. 29,of Independent Order of Odd-Fellows; of Provident Lodge No. 4, of Ancient Order of United Workmen; and of Ionic Lodge, No. 12,of the Order of Sparta. Both Mr. and Mrs. Middleton were members of the North Baptist Church of Camden.

Frank Middleton was still living with his two surviving children at 319 Market Street when the Census was taken in 1900. He passed away shortly afterwards. His son, Harry B. Middleton, had been appointed to the Camden Fire Department at the end of 1899. He served briefly as a Camden firefighter, then went into the saloon business at 451 South 3rd Street. Sadly, in April of 1905, like his uncle Josiah, Harry B. Middleton took his own life.

From the
Camden Weekly Phenix and West Jersey Democrat Journal
May 22, 1858

This newspaper was found in a Time Capsule buried at 5th and Federal Streets in 1858.
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1883-1884 Camden City Directory Advertisement

Historical and Industrial Review of Camden, N.J. - 1890


PERHAPS there is no calling which requires more delicate tact and experience on the part of those practicing it than that of the undertaker. When our hearts are surcharged with sorrow over the decease of our loved and cherished ones, it is comforting to see the last sad rites performed with the rare good tact and judgment which always characterizes the funerals conducted by this well-known gentleman.

Mr. Middleton has had a life-long experience in his chosen art, having been associated with his late lamented father. About fourteen years ago the present place was secured. The portion devoted to business consists of two apartments, which are well stocked with all the equipments of his mournful office. Caskets, Burial Robes, Mourning Livery and, in fact, everything appertaining to his profession are shown in infinite variety—are here for the inspection of patrons ; in addition to which a specialty is made of manufacturing to order anything desired. Mr. Middleton is an adept in the art of embalming. An assistant is regularly employed and a dead wagon and handsomely appointed hearse is used.

Mr. Middleton is a native of Camden and is highly respected by our citizens. He has officiated at the obsequies of many of our leading citizens.

North Baptist Church

317 Linden Street

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