Henry Braid Wilson Sr.

Henry Braid Wilson was born in Providence, RI in 1828.  In 1849, he moved to Gloucester City with his parents and worked as a clerk for the Gloucester Manufacturing Company until 1854. In the same year, he came to Camden and became an active organizer of the Republican Party in Camden County. During this same time, he opened a coal office and hardware store at Front and Kaighn Avenue. He made his home during 1870s and through at least the latter part of 1889 at 339 Mt. Vernon Street. By the time the 1890-1891 Camden City Directory was compiled, Henry B. Wilson Sr. and family had moved to 345 Mt. Vernon Street.

Younger brother George E. Wilson was also involved in the coal and ice business, and after serving with distinction in the Civil War, worked with Henry Braid Wilson. After the war, Henry Braid Wilson's interests turned to banking, insurance, and politics. George E. Wilson became president of the Wilson Coal and Ice Company and eventually expanded it to four locations, two in Camden and two in Atlantic City.

When Camden was divided into three wards; middle, north and south, Henry Braid Wilson represented the south ward in City Council for a number of years. During the term of President Rutherford B. Hayes, from 1877 to 1881, Henry Braid Wilson was postmaster of Camden City. He was also a member of the Board of Education and was a second term member of the Commission of Public Instruction, the precursor of the city Board of Education, at the time of his death.

Mr. Wilson was probably more prominent in business circles than in politics. He was one of the founders, and one-time vice-president of the Camden National Bank; president and director of the Camden Fire Insurance Association; had an active interest in church work and was a senior warden of St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church for nearly a half century. 

Early in his life, Mr. Wilson married Miss Mary Ann Wilson (no relation). They had four children: Henry B. Wilson Jr., Lizzie Wilson, James B. Wilson and Phillip Wilson.

Henry Braid Wilson died of blood poisoning on June 7, 1898 in his home at 345 Mt. Vernon Street. He was 70 years old.

The H.B. Wilson Elementary School, at South 9th and Florence Streets, was named in his honor, and when a new school was built adjacent to the old one in the 2000s, the name H.B. Wilson Elementary School was retained.

Henry Braid Wilson's son, Admiral Henry B. Wilson Jr., went on to fame as a naval officer. The Admiral Wilson Boulevard, leading from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to the Airport Circle in Pennsauken, is named in his honor, for his service as the commander of the American fleet in French waters by the First World War. Admiral Wilson convoyed troops and supplies to France during the war without the loss of a single life. 

Another son, Philip Wilson became president of the Central Trust Bank. He married Emma Foulon, whose father Charles Foulon and brother, also named Charles Foulon operated a bakery and ice cream parlor on Federal Street for many years.

Henry B. Wilson Sr. had another son, James, and three daughters, Elizabeth, Mary, and Jane. Elizabeth Wilson was married to prominent businessman Frank B. Hineline. Mary married a man named Evans and moved to Boston. Jane O. Wilson never married. She lived with her sister Elizabeth until passing away in Miami in January of 1928. James Wilson was then living in Atlantic City.

The New Republic
Camden, New Jersey
April 2, 1870

J. Kelley Brown - James H. Townsend
Samuel M. Gaul - William Wiatt - John Stevens
J. Harned Morris - Thomas A. Wilson
Christopher J. Mines Jr. - Henry S. Bender
A.J. Morris - James R. Kerns - Charles Wood
A.D. Nichols - Edward Cline - George G. Bundick Richard Perks -
H.B. Wilson - John Osler
John W. Campbell - Charles Parker Jr.
Anthony Kobus

Philadelphia Inquirer * February 2, 1883

Josiah Rawlings - John A. Furey - James Ayres - James Dudley
Claudius Bradshaw - James M. Cassady - John W. Donges
Josiah D. Rogers -
Henry B. Wilson Sr.  - Jonathan Burr
Edmund E. Reed -
Christopher J. Mines Sr. - William P. Tatem
Jesse E. Hueston - E.E. Reed Jr. - George W. Gilbert - William S. Scull
William W. Bozarth - John Burr - Charles Wilson - Rudolph W. Birdsell
John W. Wartman - Samuel Hibbs
St. John's Episcopal Church - Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church
Camden Fire Insurance Association

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 16, 1884

St. John's Episcopal Church - George E. Wilson
Dr. D.P. Pancoast
- John C. Garland - George W. Laughlin
Frank F. Michellon - John R. Grubb - Thomas B. Brooks -
Charles A. Herbst - John Hollowell - Lewis H. Bundick 
Charles H. English -
Henry B. Wilson - A.H. Williams

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 23, 1884

Henry B. Wilson - South Front Street - Kaighn Avenue
John Dobbins - Joseph Baymore
Hatch & Brother -
Hugh Hatch - Joseph Hatch
Joseph Baymore - John G. Webb - William R. Vasey
John Keifer - Charles Day - Mrs. Ella Anderson

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 21, 1885

Camden National Bank
H.B. Anthony
Dr. George W. Bailey
Irvin C. Beatty
Howard M. Cooper
John Cooper
James Davis
Herbert C. Felton
Philip H. Fowler
Zophar C. Howell
Zophar L. Howell
Rudolph W. Birdsall
William B. Mulford
Charles E. Thomas
Isaac C. Toone
Henry B. Wilson
Charles B. Coles
Isaac C. Martindale
Thomas Boyle
Kaighn Avenue
Locust Street

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 8, 1897

Wildey Hall - Henry B. WIlson
James B. Wilson - George F. Fields

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 2, 1898

John Campbell, Jr. - John Blowe
Henry B. Wilson Sr.  
J. Willard Morgan - Harry Wolfe
Christopher J. Mines Jr.
John L. Westcott - Isaac Doughten
R.H. Reeve - Thaddeus P. Varney

Click on Images for Complete Article


Cooper B. Hatch - Lewis H. Mohrman- Maurice Rogers Charles M. Baldwin
Jesse C. Bond -
Camden Republican Club

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 20, 1898
William H. Day - Mt. Vernon Street - Henry B. WIlson

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 25, 1898

Henry B. WIlson - St. John's Episcopal Church
Rev. G.R. Underhill - Arthur W. Williams - Samuel T. Bailey Samuel H. Grey - Herbert C. Felton - Elias Davis
John Leighton Westcott - Dr. Henry H. Davis
Frank L. Vinton -
Mt. Vernon Street

Evergreen Cemetery - Camden, New Jersey

H.B. Wilson Elementary School
9th & Florence Street, Camden NJ
August 28, 2003
Click on Image to Enlarge

H.B. Wilson Elementary School Official Website