MAURICE F. O'BRIEN was born in Hammond, Indiana on March 20, 1901 to Michael and Anna O'Brien. His parents were natives of Newfoundland, Canada. The O'Brien's had come to America in the 1890s. Michael O'Brien worked as a rigger. The family lived in Pennsylvania in the 1890s, moved briefly to Indiana, most likely for Michael O'Brien to take a short-term job on a construction project, then came to New Jersey shortly after Maurice O'Brien was born. Maurice O'Brien was one of at least 10 children, coming after Mary and Patrick. He was followed by Catherine, Florence, Edward, Helen, Annie, Bradford, and Dorothy. By 1906 the O'Brien's had come to Camden, joining a relatively large community of Newfoundland natives in the city. Michael O'Brien found work at the Public Service gas plant in South Camden, first as a machinist, and by the end of the 1910s as a foreman. The 1910 Census shows the family at 908 South 8th Street. The O'Brien's were still at that address on 1914. They had moved to 1429 Bradley Avenue in Camden's Parkside district by the end of 1918.
The censuses taken in January of 1920 and in April of 1930 show that Maurice O'Brien was living with his parents and siblings at 1429 Bradley Avenue. Both state that he worked at the Public Service gas plant in South Camden alongside his brother Patrick, and their father.
On June 16, 1930 Maurice O'Brien was appointed to the Camden Fire Department. He served for six years with Ladder Company 4, quartered at the Morgan Street firehouse in Fairview. When Ladder Company 4 was disbanded for economic reasons, Maurice O'Brien was reassigned to Engine Company 10, at the same location. He was promoted to Junior captain of Engine 10 in 1940, and to captain of Engine 10 in February of 1943. On October 3, 1949 Maurice O'Brien was promoted to the post of Acting Fire Marshal for the City of Camden. He succeeded Bernard Gallagher, who had gone out on sick leave in August. Maurice O'Brien served as Fire Marshal until the end of 1962. He was reassigned in January of 1963 and retired with a disability pension effective November 1, 1963.
The 1947 Camden City Directory lists Maurice O'Brien at 2861 Kansas Road in the Fairview neighborhood. By 1956 he had moved to 22 Fairview Court. Last a resident of Cherry Hill, Maurice O'Brien passed away on December 12, 1990.
|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.
|Camden Courier-Post * April 15, 1950|
Morse - Stevens
Street - Louis Cohen - Ventorino
Edward Garrity - Dr. David S. Rhone - Dr. David D. Helm - Maurice O'Brien
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