WILLIAM HECKENHORN was born on October 9, 1883 in Pennsylvania to Henry and Mary Dittmar Heckenhorn. His first cousin was William Penn Partenheimer Jr., longtime head of the YMCA in Camden. Henry Heckenhorn moved his family to Camden in the mid-1880s. By 1890 the family was living at 921 South 8th Street. Older brother George Heckenhorn worked briefly as a drive of the Camden Horse Railroad Company, and later as Camden's first electric trolley car driver before being hired by the coffee firm of William S. Scull & Company, for whom he would work for fifty years. Younger brother Louis would have a 46 year career with New Jersey Bell and was well known in Moorestown, where he had moved to. Besides George and Louis, William Heckenhorn had two older sisters, Kate and Sarah, and two younger brothers, Edward, Louis, and Howard. Sadly, youngest brother Howard was killed in a traffic accident as a young boy.

William Heckenhorn married his wife Mabel when he was 23. A son, Howard Heckenhorn, was born to the couple on August 23, 1909. When the 1900 Census was taken the William Heckenhorn family owned a home at 1044 Lawrence Street. He was working as a toolmaker at the Esterbrook pen factory. The William Heckenhorn family remained on Lawrence Street through 1910. His father and brothers had moved to the 700 block of Cherry Street by this time; brother George Heckenhorn would reside there as late as 1952, at 772 Cherry Street

In late 1911 or early 1912 William Heckenhorn went into business for himself, opening up a bicycle shop at 15 South 4th Street. He and his family made their home at this address as well. He became interest in motorcycles around this time. It is quite possible that he started selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles while still at this location. 

In 1915 William Heckenhorn opened a Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership at 1246 Haddon Avenue. As before, he made his home on premises. A youngster named Frank De Viney was fascinated by motorcycles as a boy, and spent much of his free time at William Heckenhorn's shop. Frank De Viney eventually was hired by William Heckenhorn. 

William Heckenhorn's motorcycle business was still open as late as February 1919, when he placed an advertisement in the banquet program of the Jefferson Athletic Association, a social and sports club from Camden's Eighth Ward.

By January of 1920 William and Mabel Heckenhorn had purchased the house at 1444 Belleview Avenue in Camden's Parkside section. The Census indicates that he was then working as a machinist at a pen manufacturing company, however he still was in the motorcycle business, as evidenced by the 1921 R.G. Dun Mercantile Agency Reference Book indicates that he still was in the bicycle and motorcycle business. 1923 William Heckenhorn was not the Harley-Davidson franchise holder, as in that year, Frank De Viney opened a Harley dealership of his own, the successor to William Heckenhorn's operation, at 1124-1126 Kaighn Avenue. De Viney would sell Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Camden into the 1930s. According to Camden City Directories, William Heckenhorn remained in the motorcycle business through 1926.

After leaving the motorcycle business William Heckenhorn worked as a superintendent for the New Era Concrete Company, according to the 1928 Camden City Directory. He then pursued a career in financial services. The 1920 Directory shows him working as a stockbroker. After the market crashed in 1929, William Heckenhorn  worked as a bank bookkeeper before returning to work as a stockbroker. When the next census was taken, in April of 1930, William Heckenhorn was working as a bookkeeper in a bank. Still at home was son Howard Heckenhorn, then 20. 

At the time the 1947 Camden City Directory was compiled, William Heckenhorn was still living at 1444 Belleview Avenue in Camden's Parkside section, a short walk from where his business had been. 1246 Haddon Avenue was then vacant. He is listed at that address as late as 1959, according to New Jersey Bell Telephone Directories available as of this writing. The 1959 Directory also indicates that he was working for an investment firm at 1530 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, which at that time was the heart of the city's financial district. He appears to have been employed in that capacity for some time, as he had applied for a Social Security card in Pennsylvania in 1951. His last firm in the stock brokerage business was Hemphill, Noyes, Hornblower, and Weeks.

A long-time resident of Camden's Parkside section, William Heckenhorn was an active member of the Rotary Club.

William Heckenhorn later moved to Woodbury Heights NJ, where he resided until his passing in September of 1964.

William Heckenhorn, astride a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
His wife Mabel is in the sidecar, holding his son Howard Heckenhorn
Photograph from early 1910s courtesy of Lee Ryan


Athletic Association
Banquet Program

February 2, 1919

Hemphill, Noyes & Co. One of Oldest Firms in New York City

Hemphill, Noyes &. Co., a New York brokerage house with a complete investment service, yesterday opened a Camden office under the co-management of John A. Bottomley and Charles H. Laird, Jr., both widely known in financial circles, with William Heckenhorn as representative.

"The company," said Bottomley, is one of the oldest firms in New York. They felt that with the upturn in business and the new deal, the time was ripe for opening an office in Camden, which has not had a brokerage house for some time." 

Hemphill, Noyes & Co. are members of the New York stock, curb and produce exchanges and have private wire connections in Albany, Allentown, Boston, Bridgeport, 
Buffalo, Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pottsvllle, Trenton, Washington, Wilmington and other cities. The new Camden office is 
located in the West Jersey Trust building. 

Bottomley formerly owned the Highland Worsted Mills, Ninth and State Streets, and for 13 years was president of the Memorial National Bank, West Collingswood. He also is a former president of the Camden County Bankers' Association. 

Laird, formerly president of the New Jersey State Bankers' Association, for 20 years was associated with the West Jersey Trust Company. Recently he was connected with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in Albany. 

Heckenhorn, was, until he came to Camden, with the Hemphlll, Noyes & Co. Philadelphia office. 

May 3, 1934

Thanks to Lee Ryan for his help in creating this page