World War I Honor Roll

Edward H. Dorsey

Corporal, U.S. Army

Company E
350th Field Artillery

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: February 27, 1918
Buried at: Mount Peace Cemetery
                  White Horse Pike & Mouldy Road
                  Lawnside NJ

CORPORAL EDWARD H. DORSEY was born on March 16, 1891 in Burlington NJ to Benjamin H. and Jane Dorsey. Besides Edward Dorsey the family had a daughter, Ethel, born in 1888. The family remained in Burlington through 1900, when they lived at 29 High Street. Benjamin Dorsey started out in business as a huckster, his occupation in 1890, and worked his way up into the  ownership of a restaurant by 1900. By the time of the 1910 Census  Benjamin Dorsey had moved his family and business to Camden NJ. He then owned and operated the saloon at 773 Central Avenue in the Centerville section of Camden NJ. During the 1910s the elder Dorsey sold the saloon and moved around the corner to 760 Van Hook Street, where he operated a grocery. 773 Central Avenue was known from the 1930s on as Bruten's Cafe.

It appears that Edward Dorsey registered for the draft in June of 1917 as "Edgar Dorsey". The address he gave of 1701 South 8th Street is the same corner property that 760 Van Hook Street represents. He gave his birth date as March 16, 1891 in Burlington NJ, and stated that he helped support his mother and sister, all these being consistent with what is known. "Edgar Dorsey" was working as porter at Broadway and Kaighn Avenue in Camden. No "Edgar Dorsey" appears in the 1920 Census in Camden. The 1920 Census stated that Jane and Ethel Dorsey were living apart from Benjamin and had moved to 907 Central Avenue, which gives further credence to the Edward-as-Edgar theory.

Edward Dorsey was drafted in November of 1917, and was sent to Camp Dix. He was assigned to Company E, 350th Field Artillery. He died at Camp Dix of the Spanish influenza and pneumonia. While the book History of Camden County in the Great War states that Edward Dorsey died in October of 1918, his tombstone indicates that he passed on February 17, 1918 at Camp Dix. As the 350th Field Artillery was overseas in October of 1918, one must conclude that the book is in error.

Edward Dorsey was buried at Mount Peace Cemetery in what was then Center Township NJ. Center Township was split up a few years later into several boroughs, one of them being Lawnside, within whose borders the cemetery is presently located.

In 1920, Benjamin Dorsey, by then a widower, was still living at the Van Hook Street address, and remained there running his grocery through April of 1930. He later moved to 911 South 9th Street. Benjamin Dorsey died on December 17, 1937 at the age of 60 and was laid to rest near his son. There were, and still are in 2002, many Dorsey relations in the immediate area. Fred Menoken was operating the Menoken Oil service at that address in the late 1940s and early 1950s, before most of the land between South 7th and South 9th Streets from Van Hook Street to Ferry Avenue was taken to build the Roosevelt Manor public housing project. 

World War I Draft Card

Final Resting Place of Corporal Dorsey - April 24, 2004