JOSEPH H. DEACON founded a leather goods shop in Camden in 1896. His business outgrew three locations, two of them on Federal street, until he finally moved his operation to 228 Market Street, where it remained for many years. He was still residing at 6564 Cedar Avenue in Pennsauken NJ at the time of the 1930 Census.
Joseph Deacon in the early 1920s was active in the fund raising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper Street.
Joseph H. Deacon appears to have had passed away by 1947. His family remained at the Cedar Street address, and kept the business open on Market street through 1970. By 1977 the Deacon's business had left Camden. During the 1960s, the family opened a satellite store opened off Route 38 at 41 Coles Avenue in Cherry Hill NJ. Known as Deacon's Luggage, this business is still operating at that location in 2004, and is still operated by the Deacon family.
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232 & 228 Market Street
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South Jersey: A History 1624-1924
JOSEPH H. DEACON—Imagination has been denned as the creative or constructive power of the mind, and in this particular sense the founder of any large business concern is a man richly endowed with imagination. We are accustomed to couple that quality of mind with the arts—painting, poetry, music, literature, even science—but it has too impractical a sound in our ears to associate it with the characteristics of a business man. Yet without imagination how could one build from nothing a concern whose ramifications reach out from State to State, across the continent.
Joseph H. Deacon was born on a farm near Lumberton, New Jersey, on October 29, 1868. As a preparation for life, he studied in the Hainesport and Camden public schools, having special training for a business career of only one term in the Abrahamson's Business College. Then he got to work to learn everything else in the school of experience. His first position was with Strawbridge & Clothier in Philadelphia, where he remained for several years. When he left their employ, it was to go with Henry J. Rife, leather and shoe findings. Here he stayed for eight years, working his way up through stockroom and store, until he became a salesman for the firm.
In 1896, Mr. Deacon was ready to use his imagination, together with the definite knowledge he and gained, to establish himself in business, and he founded the Joseph H. Deacon Leather and Shoe Findings firm, of which he was sole owner. Twice his growing business forced him to move into larger quarters on Federal Street, before he took over two floors and the entire corner of the block where he is now established on the corner of Third and Market streets. He made his start with one assistant and two rooms. That assistant is still with him, a salesman now.
Mr. Deacon is a director of the Security Trust Company, and is a member of the Philadelphia Leather and Shoe Finders' Association, and of the National Leather and Shoe Finders' Association, located at St. Louis. He also belongs to the Rotary Club and the Camden Chamber of Commerce. He and his family are members of the Grace Episcopal Church, of Merchantville.
On July 10, 1912, in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Camden, Joseph H. Deacon married Ruth Anna Browning, of the old Browning family of Camden. Three sons have been born to them: Joseph Browning, born on July 12, 1913; Robert Hancock, born on March 3, 1915; and John Bailey, born on June 19, 1917.
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