FRANK FREDERICK L'ESPERANCE was born in Camden NJ on August 5, 1883 to Frederick T. L'Esperance and Mary Stout L'Esperance. His WWI draft card states his name as "Frederick Franklin L'Esperance", while his WWII draft card and fire department records have his name as Frank Frederick L'Esperance.
Frederick T. L'Esperance, was born around 1854 in Pennsylvania. He appears in the 1878-1879 City Directory at 606 North 5th Street with his widowed mother. The 1880 Census as living in Camden with widowed mother Elizabeth and a sister, Amelia, and working as a paperhanger. He married Mary Stout soon afterwards. The 1883-1884 City Directory shows the family at 510 North 3rd Street.
Frederick T. L'Esperance appears in the Camden City Directories in the years 1885 through 1914 and in the 1900 Census as living at 540 South 6th Street in Camden, and worked as a paperhanger and on occasion as a clerk. Mary L'Esperance worked as a music teacher and later was involved in a grocery business.
Frank L'Esperance married his wife Jennie around the turn of the century. In June of 1903 his first son LeRoy D. was born. Another son, Wendell B., was born in 1909.
The 1906 City Directory shows Frank L'Esperance working as a painter and living at 545 South 6th Street, across the street from his parents where were still living at 540 South 6th Street. His father was still working as a paperhanger, and his mother Mary was partners in a grocery at 600 Clinton Street with Charles Hollenbaugh. The business was called, appropriately enough, L'Esperance & Hollenbaugh.
Frank L'Esperance and family had moved to 738 Division Street by 1910. By 1918 they had moved to 541 Roberts Street. Frank L'Esperance joined the Camden Fire Department on June 6, 1918. He appears in the 1920 census as Frederick F. L'Esperance. He is then living at 541 Roberts Street. By April of 1930 he was renting a house at 606 Clinton Street in South Camden. Sadly by then he was a widower, Jennie L'Esperance having passed in 1929. Fire Department records from 1931 show him living at 632 Berkley Street. He remarried, and by 1947 was living at 604 Clinton Street. Frank L'Esperance served with the Engine Company Number 5 at 5th and Arch Streets and the Engine Company Number 3 before being assigned to the Engine Company Number 10 at Ninth Street and Morgan Boulevard in 1938, in the Fairview section of Camden NJ, where he served with Spencer Smith Sr..
Frank L'Esperance applied for his pension in July of 1950, a mandatory retirement at 65 law having been passed covering police and firemen. His last day on the fire department was August 31, 1950, when he retired along with Deputy Chief Clarence T. Madden Sr., Firemen John B. "Shorty" Prucella, and Fireman Spencer Smith Sr..
Frank L'Esperance passed away sometime between October of 1956 and October of 1959. He was survived by his second wife, Catherine, and his two sons, and grandchildren.
|Camden Courier-Post * June 5, 1940|
CHANGES ANNOUNCED IN FIRE DEPARTMENT
Truck Disbanded, Engine Company Created; 13 Men Transferred
Commissioner Mary W. Kobus yesterday announced a number of changes in the fire department, including the disbanding of Truck Company No. 4; creation of a new engine company. No. 10, and the transfer of 18 officers and men, 12 of them captains.
Most of the new captains have been serving as acting captains and promotion to full rank will involve no pay increases, inasmuch as the men signed waivers foregoing the raises.
Commissioner Kobus explained most of the changes were made to conform with regulations of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. The board, Mrs. Kobus explained, made a survey of the department and advised appointments of acting captains to full rank.
The commissioner also announced she had appointed Junior Captain Raymond Smith as director of the school for firemen at Engine Company No. 10, Ninth and Morgan streets. Smith, one of the youngest at the recently appointed junior captains, will succeed the late Battalion Chief Rollo Jones.
Senior Captain Leonard Megee was appointed acting battalion chief to succeed Jones. He will continue at the Fifth and Arch streets fire headquarters.
Junior Captain William Spencer, of headquarters company, was named relief captain.
Engine Company No. 10 will use
the headquarters of the old truck
To the new company Mrs. Kobus assigned Senior Captain Mortica Clark and Firemen Frank Burt, Frank Esperance and Clifford Lane.
Junior Captain Frank Oberman was transferred from Engine Company No. 10 to Engine Company No. 1, at fire headquarters.
Other assignments are as follows:
Junior Captain Robert Wonsetler, Engine Company No. 11, to Engine Company No. 2.
Fireman Harry Kleinfelder, Engine Company No. 6, to Engine Company No. 2
Junior Captain Edgar Ellender, Engine Company No. 2, to Engine Company No. 6.
Junior Captain Ralph Bingemann, Truck Company No. 2, to Engine Company No. 7.
Fireman David Humphries, Truck Company No. 3, to Engine Company No. 11.
Junior Captain Nelson Andrews, Engine Company No. 2, to Truck Company No. 1.
Fireman Albert Dukes, Jr., Truck Company No. 1, to Engine Company No. 2.
Junior Captain Winfield Levisuer, Truck Company No. 2, to Truck Company No. 3.
Junior Captain Edward McDowell retains assignment to Engine Company No. 3.
Junior Captain Maurice O’Brien assigned to Engine Company No. 10.
The changes were contained in notice to the Civil Service Commission, are effective as of June 1 and will appear on the June 15 payroll.
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