Dr. Edward Charles Pechin


DR. EDWARD CHARLES PECHIN was born in Philadelphia  at No. 2725 West Girard Avenue, September 13, 1879. After graduating from Jefferson Medical College in 1903 and serving his internship, he came to Camden and set up a practice at 301 Cooper Street, a six story building then called the Robeson House and later the Hotel Camden. At the time of the 1910 Census, he resided at 300 Penn Street.

A specialist in internal medicine and tuberculosis in particular, Dr. Pechin served as president of the board of managers of the Camden Municipal Hospital for Contagious Disease. He was the medical examiner for Camden's Draft Board No. 1 during the first World War.

Dr. Pechin passed away in 1925, survived by his wife, the former Anna Lawrence, and a daughter, Dorothy. 

South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

DR. EDWARD CHARLES PECHIN—The Pechin family, of French descent is one of the oldest in the United States, the first Pechin who came to America having settled in Philadelphia in 1754. Every member of this family has distinguished himself in some field of endeavor—one or two in foreign trade, some as soldiers, others as philanthropists and public men. The family is an eminent one of Pennsylvania and South Jersey and it is highly esteemed and respected. The late Dr. Edward C. Pechin, who was the last male descendant of the Pierre Pechin who came to the Thirteen Colonies in 1754, was known mostly as a doctor of brilliant career and, like his father, as a philanthropist. Dr. Pechin was pre-eminent in Camden County in the anti- tuberculosis campaigns, and he headed the Camden County Tuberculosis Hospital. He was famous in medical organizations and affairs and was ranked among the leading doctors of Camden County and Southern New Jersey. He was particularly noted as a specialist in internal diseases. 

Dr. Edward Charles Pechin was born in Philadelphia, in the family home at No. 2725 West Girard Avenue, September 13, 1879. His father was George Joseph Pechin, noted as a philanthropist and particularly for his vigorous services, given gratis, in behalf of the poor, and his mother, Ann Jane (McClay) Pechin.

(I) Pierre Pechin, the first of the family of whom we have definite information, was born in Lorraine, France, in 1706. He brought his family, consisting of his wife, three sons and two daughters, to Philadelphia, landing there on September 14, 1754. The mother of the five children had died during the voyage, which was made in the three-masted schooner, "Nancy," whose captain was John Ewing. Pierre Pechin was naturalized in Philadelphia, September 24, 1763, as a citizen of the British Empire, but four days after he had become a citizen of the newly-formed United States—his status having changed with the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, his death occurred on July 8, 1776.

(II) Christopher Pechin, son of Pierre Pechin, was naturalized in Philadelphia, April 11, 1763. He was a successful shipping merchant, and he carried on a sea trade that embraced sea-coast shipping between Philadelphia and southern ports and the West Indies. Christopher Pechin was born in 1737, and died October 26, 1779. His wife was Christina (Bright) Pechin.

(Ill) John Pechin, son of Christopher and Christina (Bright) Pechin, was born in Philadelphia, November 25, 1768. He married Ann Wallace, August 30, 1793.

(IV) William Pechin, son of John and Ann (Wallace) Pechin, was born May 6, 1794. He married (first) Elizabeth Adams, and they had two children. He married (second) Elizabeth Sophia Bewley, and they had eight children, of whom George Joseph Pechin, father of the late Edward Charles Pechin, was the fourth child.

(V) George Joseph Pechin, son of William and Elizabeth Sophia (Bewley) Pechin, married Ann Jane McClay, and they had nine children, of whom their son, Dr. Pechin, was the eighth. There was another son, George J. Pechin, a druggist, whose soubriquet was "the big doctor," Dr. Edward Charles Pechin being known as "the little doctor."

(VII) Edward Charles Pechin, son of George Joseph and Ann Jane (McClay) Pechin, began his education in Philadelphia. He first attended the Robert Morris Public School, and he was in high school at seventeen years of age, when his mother died. He left home and went to Camden, where he worked in his brother's drug store, located at Main and Second streets. In 1898 he entered the Jefferson Medical College, thus fulfilling a lifelong ambition, and in June, 1902, he was graduated from this institution with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He served his period of internship in the Jefferson Hospital of Philadelphia, and soon after completing this period came to Camden and began his practice, first opening offices at Third and Penn streets, and later at No. 301 Cooper Street, where he practiced until his death, February 17, 1925. After he had been in general practice for a few years, he went to Boston and took a post-graduate course in internal diseases, majoring in the study of the heart. When he returned to Camden he established himself as a specialist in internal diseases, later taking further post-graduate courses in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Trudeau School of Tuberculosis, Saranac Lake, New York, where he also studied tuberculosis with singular thoroughness—with such thoroughness, indeed, that it was not long before Camden physicians and the lay public recognized him as an outstanding exponent in the scientific field of the study and treatment of the disease and as a most zealous combatant against the disease. For many years he was on the staff of the Cooper Hospital of Camden, and he was also president of the board of managers of the Camden Tuberculosis Hospital.

Camden Tuberculosis Hospital

During the World War he was medical examiner for the Camden Draft Board No. 1, and from 1910 to 1915 he served as a medical man in the Naval Militia. Interesting to note is that when Dr. Pechin began his practice in 1903, he established himself in the Robeson House. This house is known today as the Hotel Camden. 

The Robeson House aka the Hotel Camden
as seen from North 2nd & Penn Street

Dr. Pechin was a member of the Camden City Medical Society, Camden County Medical Society; Philadelphia Medical Club; Camden Lodge, No. 293, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Camden Lodge, No. 15, Free and Accepted Masons; Camden Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; Crescent Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Camden. He also held memberships in the Camden Rotary Club, Camden Club and the Tavistock Country Club. He and his family attended the Episcopal Church.

Dr. Pechin married in Camden, October 14, 1903, Anna Morgan Lawrence, daughter of Barclay B. Lawrence, who was born in 1853, and died in 1916, and Lucy (Acton) Lawrence, who was born February 22, 1855, and who survives her husband. Mrs. Pechin and a daughter, Dorothy Morgan Pechin, born in Camden, January 7, 1906, survive Dr. Pechin. They reside at No. 301 Cooper Street. Both are well known in Camden society and they are extremely popular. Mrs. Pechin is active in social and philanthropic work.