John L. Westcott

John L Westcott - 1906

John Leighton Westcott, notable for his tenure as Mayor of Camden from 1892 to 1898, should not be mistaken for John W. Wescott, who served as a judge in Camden for many years starting in 1885.

Born on June 10, 1850, in Cumberland County, New Jersey, John L. Westcott relocated to Camden with his family when he was 14 years old. He embarked on a career in printing, learning the trade from his brother and working in that field until his election as Mayor of Camden in 1892, succeeding Jesse W. Pratt. His effective leadership earned him re-election in 1895, and he served a second term before concluding his mayoral tenure in 1898.

During his time as Mayor, significant developments unfolded in Camden. Under Westcott’s administration, the city acquired Cooper Park, situated at 2nd and Cooper Streets. This park later came to be known as Johnson Park.

On January 28, 1897, Mayor John L. Westcott was among the distinguished guests present at the inauguration of the Catholic Lyceum, an institution attached to the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Broadway and Market Street. The event saw the presence of notable figures such as New Jersey Governor John W. Griggs, former Attorney-General Samuel H. Grey; Camden City Solicitor J. Willard Morgan, Senator H. W. Johnson, Sheriff David Baird Sr., Assemblymen Louis Derousse and Scovel, Postmaster Harry B. Paul, former Judge Armstrong, Architect Henry S. Dagit, J. J. Burleigh, George A. Frey, and H. L. Bonsall. Over time, the Catholic Lyceum evolved into Camden Catholic High School.

John L. Westcott was married to Deborah Fortiner, who hailed from a prominent Camden family. The Westcott family resided at 315 Pearl Street in Camden during the 1880s and 1890s. However, their home was later demolished to make way for the construction of the Delaware River Bridge in the 1920s. Sadly, Deborah Westcott passed away in 1898, leaving behind three grown daughters named Mary, Helen, and Melvina “Millie” Westcott. In his later years, John Westcott lived at 221 North 3rd Street.

Tragically, John Leighton Westcott succumbed to appendicitis on January 12, 1906. His final resting place is Evergreen Cemetery, specifically in plot N127, commemorating his significant contributions to the city of Camden.


Related Photos


Related Articles

  • John L. Westcott

    John L. Westcott

    John Leighton Westcott, notable for his tenure as Mayor of Camden from 1892 to 1898, should not be mistaken for John W. Wescott, who served as a judge in Camden for many years starting in 1885. Born on June 10, 1850, in Cumberland County, New Jersey, John L. Westcott relocated to Camden with his family…

    Read More…

  • David Baird Sr.

    David Baird Sr.

    David Baird Sr. was one of Camden’s leading citizens for well over 50 years. Born in Ireland in on April 7th of 1839, he came to America in 1858 after the death of his father, and settled in Camden the following year. After working in a Philadelphia lumber yard for 13 years, he opened his…

    Read More…

  • First Ward Club Had a Jolly Time

    First Ward Club Had a Jolly Time

    Annual Election and Feast of Fun Held Last Night Camden Courier-Post – January 12, 1904 Hospitality was rampant at the First Ward Young Republican Club last night. The occasion was the annual meeting. Following the election of officers there was a delightful entertainment and a splendid feast, the honors being done by Captain William E.…

    Read More…

  • Death of John H. Dialogue

    Death of John H. Dialogue

    Camden Daily Courier – October 24, 1898 The Camden Shipbuilder Succumbs to Heart Disease Stretch of a Long and Busy Life Closely Allied With the Interests of the City John H. Dialogue the ship builder of worldwide renown, whose serious illness was first made known by the Courier last Tuesday, died yesterday afternoon at his…

    Read More…

  • Camden’s Tragedy Still A Mystery

    Camden’s Tragedy Still A Mystery

    Philadelphia Inquirer – October 14, 1897 Two Men Arrested in Stockton, But They Easily Prove an Alibi. Police Are Puzzled Officials Believe the House Was Entered By a Burglar. Mrs. Zane’s Will Found Her Son Questioned and the Police Start on a New Clue — Eli Shaw Reticent. Camden’s double murder mystery remains unsolved. The…

    Read More…


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.