GEORGE WILSON ERNST was born of German parents in New Jersey around 1843. He went by his middle name. The 1870 Census shows him and his older brother Frederick engaged in a restaurant. He was still living in Philadelphia when he married Emma Wilkinson in Camden County NJ June 13, 1872.  The Ernst family was living at 118 North 2nd street in Philadelphia when the 1880 Census was taken. Wilson Ernst at that time owned a restaurant. He also was involved in construction, and had been active in Camden as early as 1874.

Wilson Ernst was active as a builder in Camden in the 1880s. He lived at 312 South 4th Street, and in the late 1880s and early 1890s had offices on Benson Street above 4th Street and at 521 Kaighn Avenue, and a mill at the head of North 2nd Street. 

In 1886 George Reeser Prowell wrote, in his History of Camden County New Jersey that "Wilson Ernst has been actively engaged since 1876 and about four hundred buildings, chiefly dwellings, attest to his enterprise." Prowell cited Ernst as one of the three most active builders in Camden at the time.   

Wilson Ernst developed Baring Street, a one block street that runs from Chestnut Street south to Kaighn Avenue between Broadway and South 6th Street in 1888. He was active in Camden as late as 1890.

Wilson Ernst passed away on November 25, 1907.

Camden Democrat * July 18, 1874

To the Honorable the City Council of the city of Camden,N. J.

WE, your petitioners, residents of the Fourth and Sixth wards of this city, and property 
owners therein, most respectfully petition your honorable body to construct a culvert for under-drainage, to commence at the termination of the Line street culvert, at the intersection of Line street and Broadway, and to extend outward to the intersection of Line and Sixth streets; thence northward to and to connect with the culvert at the Intersection of Sixth and Royden Streets in the said city. And your petitioners will over pray, &0. January, 1874. 

JOHANNA ROBERTS, 17 houses, 6th ward. 
J. E. ROBERTS, 19 houses, 4th ward. 
F.J. ROBERTS 22 houses, 4th Ward 
LAWRENCE KELLEY,  Sixth and Royden Streets, 4th ward. 
WM. HEYWOOD, Corner of Line and St. John Street, 4th ward. 
F. ERNST, 4th ward. 
PETER McGLYNN, 612 St. John Street, 4th ward. 
WM. J. KENNEDY, 607 Line Street 
S. B. HARRISON 4th ward. 
JACOB ROBERTS 614 Royden Street, 4th ward. 
M.E. HARDEN, 6th Ward 
REUBEN B. COLE, N. W. Corner of Reese & Division, 6th ward. 
ARTHUR STANLEY, 929 Newton Ave.
GEORGE HOLL, 706 South Fifth Street
SAMUEL W. THOMAN, 712 South Fifth Street, 6th ward. 
JOHN WELSH, 6tb ward. 
WM. HEYWOOD. 6th ward. 
F. ERNST 6th ward. 
GEORGE ROTH,  559 Royden Street, 4th ward. 
OWEN FARELY, 707 South Sixth Street, 6th ward. 
WILSON ERNST, 559 Line Street, 4th ward 
JOHN BOWYER 4th ward, 12 houses
GEORGE WALKER 818 Broadway, 6th ward
GEORGE W. FIELD 805 Broadway, 6th ward 
JOSEPH H. THOMPSON, 901 Broadway, 6th ward 


February 26, 1888
June 29, 1888

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 26, 1907


Baring Street
Looking South from Chestnut Street

Staff Sergeant Benjamin Kaplan
111 Baring Street
On Leave In Camden, about 1942

Baring Street
Looking South from Chestnut Street - May 14, 2004
Wilson Ernst built these homes in 1888

Baring Street
Looking North from Kaighn Avenue - March 14, 2004
Wilson Ernst built these homes in 1888
...click on images to enlarge...