WILLIAM J. KELLY was the son of Daniel and Emma Kelly. Daniel Kelly moved to the corner of Ferry Avenue and Van Buren Street in Camden in 1881, where he operated a saloon for many years. Daniel Kelly was still living there and operating the bar as late as 1910. He retired and sold the business to John Asbert at some point prior to 1919.

William J. Kelly stated a plumbing supply business in 1910. He soon  became a plumbing contractor, and by the mid-1920s was one of the leading plumbing contractors in the Camden area. He was a charter director of the South Camden Trust, and served as a councilman from the Eighth Ward prior to the 1923 charter change. he also served as Republican committeeman from the Eighth. 

William J. Kelly was active in the fund raising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper Street.

The 1920 Census shows that William Kelly was living at 675 Ferry Avenue, an address that had been in his family since 1881, and adjacent to the bar his father had operated for so many years. By 1927 William J. Kelly's had established his business at 575 Mickle Street. He and his wife had moves to 303 Third Avenue in Haddon Heights by this time. The business was still running as late as 1947, but the business does not appear in the 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory. William J. Kelly was still listed on Third Avenue in Haddon Heights in the 1959 Bell Directory.

1913 Camden City Directory Advertisement

South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

WILLIAM J. KELLY, son of Daniel Kelly, whose sketch precedes, was born in Lumberton, New Jersey, June 26, 1887. He received his education in the Camden public schools, and in 1910 began a small business in plumbers' supplies. From modest beginnings it has come to be one of the leading concerns in this line in Camden and the surrounding counties and has installed the plumbing and drainage system in most of the important buildings, such as: the Ottawa Tribe of Red Men, Camden Club, Haddon Press Building, New Jersey Conference Deaconesses' Home, and many others. Mr. Kelly also was instrumental in the organization of the South Camden Trust Company, of which he is one of the charter directors, and of the Bateson Specialty Company, a firm which is doing a very prosperous business in plumbing specialties. 

Mr. Kelly is actively interested in the affairs of the Republican party, and has held several offices. For five and a half successive years he was councilman in the Eighth Ward, and committeeman for three years for the same ward. He was also chairman of the Water Department Committee. He is a member of the Master Plumbers' Association, the Camden Club, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Loyal Order of Moose.

In 1909, at the Church of Our Saviour, Camden, William J. Kelly married Sarah MacFarland, daughter of Albert and Mary MacFarland. To their only child, who was born on June 27, 1910, they gave the name of Helen. Mr. Kelly and his family are members of the High Episcopal Church..

Camden Post-Telegram * February 25, 1918

MacAndrews & Forbes - William L. Miles - Engine Company 3 - F. Walter Toms - William Mills
William J. Kelly - Howard Marshall - Thomas Leeson - Charles H. Mills - Thomas Nicholas
Frank Chambers - William J. Rose - Daniel Smith -
Robert Whitley - William Miller - Russell Benson
Arthur Wingate - Roy De Haven - Jules Hubert - John T. Garrity - John A.S. Hunt - Harry Stone

Philadelphia Inquirer
October 21, 1918

Charles H. Ellis
William H. Ellis
Howard M. Cooper
Thomas French
Wilbur F. Rose
Dr. A. Haines Lippincott
Dr. E.A.Y. Schellenger
Herbert A. Munger
T. Gordon Coulter
George Kappell
Frederick A. Finkeldey
William C. Davis
Theodore T. Kausel
Allen Jarvis
Frank S. Van Hart
Frederick von Nieda
Joseph Forsyth
Dr. Charles P. Tuttle
Dr. H.F. Bushey
Elisha Gravenor
Charles Whaland
William J. Kelly
Clifford K. Deacon


City Farm Gardens

Another weapon to defeat the enemy was the establishment of City Farm Gardens in the country. They were urged by the Government and not only provided food for city residents, but abolished unsightly vacant lots. Mayor Ellis named the first City Gardens Committee on April 19, 1917, as follows: E. G. C. Bleakly, Judge Frank T. Lloyd, Zed H. Copp, William Derham, L. E. Farnham, B. M. Hedrick, David Jester, O. B. Kern, M. F. Middleton, Dr. H. L. Rose, Asa L. Roberts, W. D. Sayrs, Jr., Charles A. Wolverton, Earl T. Jackson, H. R. Kuehner, Herbert N. Moffett and Hubert H. Pfeil. At the initial meeting of the above date B. M. Hedrick was elected chairman; Zed H. Copp secretary and M. F. Middleton treasurer. Brandin W. Wright, a farming expert, was employed as general superintendent on May 3, 1917. At a meeting on May 18, 1918, the names of Frank Sheridan and Daniel P. McConnell were added to the publicity committee in the place of 
Messrs. Pfeil and Jackson. 

In his annual report to City Council on January 1, 1918, Mayor Ellis urged the appointment of a committee by City Council on City Gardens and Councilman Frederick Von Neida was named as chairman. This committee with a committee of representative citizens met in the City Hall in February, 19 18, to organize for the ensuing summer. The members of the Councilmanic committee were: Frederick Von Neida, Frank S. Van Hart, William J. Kelly and John J. Robinson.

The committee planned an exposition of farm garden products for the fall of 1918, but this plan was frustrated by the Spanish influenza epidemic. 

The war gardens became victory gardens in the year 1919 when the committee met on January 29, 1919. Meyers Baker was elected secretary and William D. Sayrs, Jr., treasurer. At the meeting on March 25 committees were appointed for the Victory War Gardens 
Exposition held in Third Regiment Armory from September 15 to 20. Benjamin Abrams was elected general manager and Frank Sheridan publicity agent.

Camden Courier-Post

March 12, 1930

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Camden Courier-Post

June 1, 1932

Camden Courier-Post - June 17, 1933


William J. Kelly, 575 Mickle Street, yesterday was declared low bidder for the plumbing and drainage work to be installed at the new city jail. His proposal of $3250 contained an alternate of $3050, contingent upon materials to be selected for the work. 

The only other bid disclosed by William M. Dilmore, city purchasing agent, was presented by H. J. Eichfeld, also of Camden. It was for $3091.

Camden Courier-Post

January 8, 1938