Abraham Kern

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Abraham Kern was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on May 17, 1881, and details about his early life remain elusive. Absent from the 1895 New Jersey State Census, Abraham Kern emerges in the 1898 City Directory as a resident of Camden, New Jersey. The directory notes him as a laborer dwelling at 223 Berkley Street. Subsequently, the 1900 Census places him in the employ of William D. Vanneman, a produce dealer at 566 Chestnut Street, with Abraham working as a wagon driver, a profession he would pursue until the mid-1910s.

Around 1902, Abraham Kern entered the bonds of matrimony. The 1910 Census finds him residing at 10 York Street in North Camden with his wife, Carrie May, and sons David A. and Charles J. Kern. Abraham’s occupation is listed as a driver for Frank Lee Dickinson & Company, a wholesale grocery firm located at York and Beach Streets.

In 1914, the Kern family relocated to 40 York Street in North Camden. Not long after the 1914 Camden City Directory was compiled, both Abraham Kern and his neighbor, Charles E. Watkin, secured positions with the Camden Fire Department. When Abraham registered for the draft on September 12, 1918, he was serving as a Camden firefighter and residing at 40 York Street.

The 1924 City Directory reflects a move to 298 Vine Street in North Camden for Abraham and Carrie May Kern, just a few doors away from Engine Company 4 at 320 Vine Street. The 1930 Census documents their continued residence at 298 Vine Street with their son Charles. Meanwhile, their older son, David, had married and established his household in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Throughout the Great Depression, Abraham Kern persevered as a firefighter with the Camden Fire Department. In January 1933, due to economic constraints, Engine Company 4, where Abraham likely served, was disbanded. Nevertheless, he was reassigned to another company and remained an integral part of the department until at least the spring of 1942, as evidenced by his draft registration. At that time, Abraham and Carrie May Kern were still residing at 298 Vine Street. Later, they moved to 227 Vine Street, where they spent the rest of their lives. Carrie May Kern passed away in 1956.

On February 20, 1961, Abraham Kern passed away at his Vine Street residence, finding his final resting place at Harleigh Cemetery.


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