South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

JOHN WILLIAM FLETCHER BLEAKLY—North Camden owes its development to John William Fletcher Bleakly, one time builder and real estate man in Camden and now an official of the Camden Board of Education. Mr. Bleakly is one of the most active citizens of the city and is a leading club member.

John William Fletcher Bleakly was born in Wellsville, Ohio, March 12, 1862, the son of William Bleakly, a native of Ireland, who came to this country and lived in Ohio, Philadelphia and later in Camden, and who on his return from California whither he had gone in the gold rush settled in Camden and went into the lime and building material business, remaining in it until he was killed in the Reading Railroad accident at Haddon Heights, and Elizabeth (Armstrong) Bleakly, also a native of Ireland. The boy was educated in the public schools of Philadelphia and in Pierce Business College, Philadelphia, wherein he remained six months.

In 1878, when the family moved to Camden, Mr. Bleakly joined his father in the lime and building material enterprise, which was known as the Cedar Valley Lime Company. When the elder Bleakly was killed, on September 7, 1898, his son took over the business, conducting it for several years, but eventually selling out in order to establish the firm of J. W. F. Bleakly Company, Incorporated, a building concern. As head of this company, Mr. Bleakly virtually developed all of North Camden beyond State Street. In 1902, he became secretary and business manager of the Board of Education, from which he resigned on February 1, 1924, at which time he returned to the real estate and insurance business with offices at 2600 Federal Street, Camden.

Mr. Bleakly is a Free and Accepted Mason, a Scottish Rite Mason and belongs to the Camden Chapter and the Crescent Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; he is also a member of the Camden Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Ninth Ward Republican Club, of which he is the organizer. He at one time affiliated with the Junior Order United American Mechanics.

Mr. Bleakly married Fannie (Bartine) Smith, a native of Philadelphia and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Wesley Bartine, in Philadelphia, March 16, 1886. They have four children.

The children are William Bleakly, born April 7, 1887, Fletcher Stanley Bleakly, born February 16, 1890. Ruth Marie Bleakly, born September 27, 1898. and Edwin Gilbert Bleakly, born November 17, 1900.

Mr. Bleakly has one sister and two brothers, who are Helen Marie Bleakly; E. G. C. Bleakly, a lawyer; and Howard Graham Bleakly, also a lawyer. The Bleakly family is affiliated with the Centenary Methodist Church of Camden.

Camden Post-Telegram * September 12, 1904

Richard W. Howell - Lewis E. Foy - Isaac Mickle - Philip J. Gray - John H. Jones
John W.F. Bleakly - Kaighn School

Harleigh Cemetery

Camden NJ