DAVID HUMPHRIES was born on May 27, 1897 to David and Isabella Humphries in the town of Stockton, New Jersey, which in 1899, merged with the City of Camden. His father worked as a stationary engineer.
The family was, according to the 1890 City Directory, living on North 26th Street near Erie Street in Stockton. Stockton consisted of all the land in present-day Camden north of the Cooper River, that is, all of what today is known as Cramer Hill and East Camden. Erie Street was renamed Saunders Street not long after the merger to avoid confusion with Erie Street in North Camden.
David Humphries was the second oldest of the nine surviving children of the David and Isabella Humphries, the family having lost four prior to the 1900 Census. The surviving children were older sister Mary and younger siblings Isabella, Alma, Elwood, Jennie and Walter. Two other children were born in the early 1900s, Esther and Catherine. Sadly, the elder Humphries died not long after the 1906 Camden City Directory was compiled.
The 1900 Census shows the Humphries family living at 11 South 35th Street, next door to longtime Camden Fire Department member Benjamin Kellum. David Humphries worked as a foreman at a leather factory when the 1910 Census was compiled. He was still living at 11 South 35th Street as late as 1914.
When David Humphries registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 he had already married. he and wife Rhoda were then childless. David Humphries worked as a machinist at the Victor Talking Machine Company plant in Camden. The couple resided at 136 North 30th Street. He was called to service and saw action in France as a member of Battery C, 311th Field Artillery Regiment, 79th Infantry Division. His ran at discharge was Private First Class. He had returned to his wife and their home at 136 North 30th Street by January of 1920.
When the 1924 and 1929 City Directories were compiled, the family lived at 2925 High Street, and they were still at that address in April of 1930. A son, David W. Humphries, was born in May of 1925. During these years their neighbors included a brother fire fighter, Harry J. Allebach, who lived at 2931 High Street. The Humphries family was still at that address in 1931.
The family had moved to 56 South 28th Street when the 1940 Camden City Directory was compiled. When David Humphries registered for the draft in the spring of 1942, he and his family were still at 56 South 28th Street and he was still with the Fire Department. Shortly thereafter they moved again, to 14 Leonard Avenue. David Humphries appears to have left the Fire Department by 1943. He died on February 22, 1947. The Humphries' were still living at the Leonard Avenue address when the 1947 Directory was compiled, but apparently his son, David W. Humphries, moved to 208 North 35th Street shortly thereafter.
David Humphries' son, David W. Humphries was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on December 30, 1950. He reported for duty the following day to Ladder Company 3 at North 27th Street and Federal Street in East Camden. He was by this time married and was living at 208 North 35th Street.
Rhoda Humphries is listed at 3017 Mickle Street in the 1956 and 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directories. Se died in September 1,1964 and was buried next to her husband at Beverly National Cemetery. David W. Humphries, a career Camden fire fighter like his father, passed away on April 19, 1974.
David Humphries' younger brother, Elwood R. Humphries, was a Camden police officer from the late 1920s into early 1940s.
Camden Post-Telegram * December 30, 1920
|Hook & Ladder Company 3, Hose & Chemical Company 1 & Engine Company 9 - 1924|
Hook & Ladder Company 3: Captain Joseph B. Ayres, FF Dave Humphries, Al Dukes, John Mulligan, Bill Mountney, Bill Hopkins. Hose & Chemical Company 1: Captain Charles H. Robinson, FF William E "Pud" Jaeckel, George Townsend, Ken Naylor, Howard Gick. Engine Company 9: Captain John H. Vickers, FF Irv Lederman, Newton Ash, Joe Gentlesk, Al Palmer
|Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1938|
WONSETLER HAILED AS NEXT PRESIDENT OF STATE
Dinner Speakers Predict Camden Man Will Get Association Post
N. J. OFFICERS ATTEND
Robert Wonsetler, of the Camden Fire Department, was hailed as the next state president of the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association at the 41st anniversary dinner of Camden Local, No. 5, last night. It was held in Kenney's Cafe, with 150 members and their women folks attending.
The Camden man is now first vice president of the state association and state representative of the local. James Delaney, of Elizabeth, state president, and other state officers who were among the speakers predicted that when the local has its 42nd anniversary next year, it will have occasion to celebrate the election of Wonsetler as 1939 state president.
Other speakers were Mayor George E. Bruner, City Commissioners Mary W. Kobus and Frank J. Hartmann, Assemblyman Rocco Palese, Fire Chief John H. Lennox, Carlton W. Rowand, Bruce A. Wallace and Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan.
State officers attending, besides Delaney and Wonsetler, were Fred Bailey, Weehawken, second vice president; George Steele, Union City, recording secretary; Joseph Burke, Newark, financial secretary, and Jack Reed, Kearny, treasurer.
Surrogate Frank B. Hanna, who was toastmaster, referred to the three city commissioners present as "candidates for re-election without opposition."
Commissioner Kobus, head of the city fire department, was applauded when she announced wash-stands and showers are being installed in local firehouses and that windbreakers and new fire nets have been ordered.
"The firehouses in Camden are in better condition than ever before,"
Officers of the Camden Local are Chester Andrus, president; W. Samuel Mountney, vice president; Nelson Andrews, recording secretary; Harrison Pike, financial secretary; Henry Zook, treasurer; Ralph Bingemann, sergeant-at-arms; William H. Harrison, chaplain, and Wonsetler, state representative.
|Camden Courier-Post * June 5, 1940|
CHANGES ANNOUNCED IN FIRE DEPARTMENT
Truck Disbanded, Engine Company Created; 13 Men Transferred
Commissioner Mary W. Kobus yesterday announced a number of changes in the fire department, including the disbanding of Truck Company No. 4; creation of a new engine company. No. 10, and the transfer of 18 officers and men, 12 of them captains.
Most of the new captains have been serving as acting captains and promotion to full rank will involve no pay increases, inasmuch as the men signed waivers foregoing the raises.
Commissioner Kobus explained most of the changes were made to conform with regulations of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. The board, Mrs. Kobus explained, made a survey of the department and advised appointments of acting captains to full rank.
The commissioner also announced she had appointed Junior Captain Raymond Smith as director of the school for firemen at Engine Company No. 10, Ninth and Morgan streets. Smith, one of the youngest at the recently appointed junior captains, will succeed the late Battalion Chief Rollo Jones.
Junior Captain William Spencer, of headquarters company, was named relief captain.
Engine Company No. 10 will use
the headquarters of the old truck
Other assignments are as follows:
The changes were contained in notice to the Civil Service Commission, are effective as of June 1 and will appear on the June 15 payroll.
Company 9 & Ladder
Engine Company 9 & Ladder Company 3 - circa 1946
John Mulligan passed away on July 28, 1947
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