ROBERT KAIGHN DRAPER was born in 1896, the son of James W. and Annie L. Draper. His father had come to Camden in the 1870s, where he lived with his mother and siblings. At the time of the 1880 Census, the family lived at 113 North 4th Street. James W. Draper lived and worked out of 228 Market Street in the years 1887 through 1889. By 1890 he had moved both his family and business to 536 Vine Street. By the late 1900s the Draper family resided at 436 Haddon Avenue, a few doors away from the Camden Manual Training & High School, which Robert K. Draper graduated from in 1914. After studying architecture at the University of Pennsylvania for two years, he left school to assist his father in the construction business. He was made partner in 1919, the business then being called James W. Draper & Son.

The James W. Draper & Son firm was responsible for building many fine homes and churches still in use in 2004, including the State Street Church, the Parkside Methodist, and Parkside Baptist, and the Woodruff building on Market Street. They also built the firehouse on Morgan Boulevard and on 27th Street in Cramer Hill. The Drapers also restored the original St. Joseph Church in East Camden, on Howell Street, after it had been badly damaged in an October 1915 fire. In Haddonfield the built a fine home for banker F. Morse Archer.

By 1930 Robert K. Draper had left the construction business. At the time of the census enumeration, he was working as an engineer at the RCA radio factory in Camden. He was then living at 29 Terrace Avenue in East Camden, with his wife Mildred, and daughters Marguerite and Gloria. 

Robert K. Draper appears to have passed away by the fall of 1936. Mildred Draper is listed in the New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory as living at 4622 Woodland Avenue in Pennsauken NJ.

South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

ROBERT KAIGHN DRAPER—In Colonial days four brothers sailed from France to settle in the colony across the Atlantic. Robert Kaighn Draper is a direct descendant of the brother who made his home in Virginia. His father, James W. Draper, was born in Delaware, in 1854, but moved with his family to Virginia. After the Civil War, he returned to Wilmington, Delaware, and learned the building and contracting business, finally going into business as a contractor in Camden, New Jersey, where his son, Robert Kaighn Draper, was born, on July 3, 1896. The mother, Annie Laurie (Spaulding) Draper is still living. 

Robert K. Draper graduated from the Camden High School in 1914, and for two years was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, taking the course in architecture, but owing to the illness of his father, he was obliged to leave the university and take charge of the business which his father was carrying alone, his partner, George Kaighn, having died in 1912. He worked for two years for his father, and then, in 1919, was made a partner, the firm becoming known as Draper & Son. The firm specializes in putting up fine residences, churches, and public buildings. Some of the buildings which stand as their monuments are the First Methodist and the First Baptist churches, of Haddonfield; the First Baptist Church, of Collingswood; the State Street Church, the Parkside Methodist, Parkside Baptist, and St. Joseph churches, of Camden; the North Cramer Hill and the Ninth and Morgan Street firehouses, of Camden; Police Headquarters Building, Camden; and the Home for the Aged and Infirm, Collingswood.

Mr. Draper's clubs are the Camden, Camden Shrine, and the Kiwanis. He is a member of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, where his name is found among the past presidents. He is a member of Ionic Lodge, No. 94, Free and Accepted Masons; of Siloam Chapter, Red Men of America; Van Hook Council, Royal and Select Masters; of Excelsior Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; Tall Cedars of Lebanon; and Crescent Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

Robert Kaighn Draper married, on October 25, 1917, Mildred Walz, of Camden. A daughter, Marguerite Walz Draper, was born to them on July 20, 1919. Mr. and Mrs. Draper are communicants of St. John's Episcopal Church.

330 & 328 Market Street 
 Camden NJ

Built by James W. Draper & Son Co.

Photograph Published July 5, 1926

Click on Image to Enlarge

330 & 328 Market Street - Camden NJ - April 19, 2003

On the left The LAW BUILDING, on the right, The A.S. WOODRUFF BUILDING.

State Street Methodist Church - May 2004

Two Buildings in Haddonfield NJ, built by Robert Kaighn Draper

The F. Morse Archer House
Haddonfield NJ

Built by James W. Draper & Son Co.

Click on Image to Enlarge