Eavenson and Levering Company

The Eavenson & Levering plant at South 3rd & Jackson Streets, as viewed from the southwest.

Founded in 1902 by Alban Eavenson and J. Walter Levering in Philadelphia, the Eavenson & Levering plant scoured wool so it could be processed into yarn. The firm moved to Camden in 1906 and expanded so rapidly that it incorporated in 1916. At one time Eavenson & Levering processed 50,000,000 pounds of wool a year. A major employer, at one time the company had 500 production workers and 100 employed in other capacities.

Alban Eavenson was a son of Jones Eavenson, the founder of the J. Eavenson & Sons Company, which manufactured soap products. This company purchased Adolph Segal’s (of Segal Street fame) newly constructed but never used sugar refinery at Delaware Avenue and Penn Street. They adapted the refinery to produce soap products, and did business until 1959.

J. Walter Levering was the president of the company for many years. When he passed, he was succeeded in the business by his son, Frank D. Levering, who died in 1943. Grandson John Levering then served as chairman of the board. Another grandson, F. Weir Levering, was president of the Levering-Riebel Printing Company, which was located at 1845 Haddon Avenue in Camden.

With its large workforce, the Eavenson & Levering Company was one of Camden’s major employers. During World War II, many Eavenson & Levering employees served America. Some, like Albert W. Laurie, Joseph A. Scheurich, and Charles A. Brunk, made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

At one time Eavenson & Levering was the world’s largest wool scouring and carbonizing company, but by the fall of 1951 rising production costs caused the board of directors to reevaluate the company’s prospects. A decision was made to close the doors and sell off the assets, and the firm announced its closing on December 7, 1951.

The buildings were sold, and were operated as warehouses for many years. The Mack Warehouse Corporation operated the facility from 1953 into the late 1960s. By 1970 James Gallegher’s firms, James Gallegher Inc. trucking and Gallegher’s Warehouses Inc. owned the 301 Jackson Street site. The Gallegher company was there as late as 1977. The site was then acquired by Peter Del Grande, whose parents owned Nick and Sophie’s Cafe at 7th & Central Avenue in Camden’s Centerville section. When Peter Del Grande died in the mid-1980s, the site was tied up in the settlement of the estate for several years. A disastrous fire had destroyed much of the property, and the South Jersey Port Corporation razed everything else save building #70 (the stable), during the mid-1990s.

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