William Bogia

Photo taken 5-20-1871 in front of the Friendship Engine & Hose Company No.1 of Chambersburg, PA. The steam engine on the right has just arrived after being purchased from Millville, N.J. This apparatus was originally purchased by the Independence Fire Company No.3 of Camden in June 1864. It was a class two Amoskeag steamer bearing serial No. 92. Independence sold the apparatus to Millville in 1869.

William Bogia was born in Delaware, approximately 1846, to parents John F. and Josephine. He was one of at least ten children born into the Bogia family. During the 1850 Census, the Bogias resided in New Castle, Delaware. By the time of the 1860 Census, they had relocated to Dagsboro Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, where William’s father worked as a blacksmith. Living with William at this time were three other children: John, Anna, and Mary. His older brothers, John, Alphonso (Alfred), Ferdinand, and Benjamin, all served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

In the pursuit of his fortune, William Bogia made his way to Camden in the 1860s. As of the 1870 Census, he resided in Camden’s South Ward with his wife Martha and their two-year-old daughter, Lillie. William was employed as an iron moulder at that time. According to the 1878 Camden City Directory, he lived at 336 Division Street. The family relocated to 213 Pine Street by 1880, and they had expanded to include four children: Lillie, Ella, John, and Martha. From 1881 through 1885, City Directories listed their address as 915 South 4th Street.

In the 1887-1888 Camden City Directory, William Bogia’s occupation was noted as a laborer, and he lived at 813 South 2nd Street. Sometime in late 1887 or early 1888, the family moved to 255½ Pine Street.

William Bogia commenced his service with the Camden Fire Department as a call man in 1886. During this time, the Camden Steam Fire Engine Company Number 1 was based at 409 Pine Street, operating out of a three-story, 20 by 90-foot brick building (formerly the old Independence Fire Company No. 3 engine house). The company’s equipment included an Amoskeag second-class steamer (maker’s plate 6318) pulled by two horses and a Silsby two-wheel hose cart drawn by a single horse. They were also equipped with 1000 feet of hose, axes, lamps, and more. The company roster featured John Stockton as Foreman, George Rudolph Tenner as Engineer, William Deno as the driver, William W. Laird as the stoker, and Wilson Bromley and Jacob F. Nesson as hosemen. Call men included William Deith, Andrew Miller, and William Bogia. Notably, both Bromley and Bogia would later tragically lose their lives in the line of duty.

William Bogia transitioned to full-time employment with the Fire Department in June of 1890. By 1894, he resided at 257 Pine Street in South Camden, only a short walk from his assigned station, Engine Company Number 1 at 407-409 Pine Street, where he served as a hoseman.

Tragically, Fire Fighter Bogia fell ill after fighting a fire and subsequently passed away due to causes directly related to weather conditions or substances inhaled or ingested during his firefighting duties. After a brief return to work on October 1, 1894, he became seriously ill two weeks later, with a doubtful prognosis reported on October 16th. William Bogia ultimately succumbed to his illness on October 20, 1894, and was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery on Mount Ephraim Avenue in Camden.

Respected and well-liked by friends, neighbors, and his fellow firefighters, William Bogia’s funeral drew a significant turnout of mourners. He left behind his wife, Martha, and their children: Lillie, John, Catherine, and Josephine. Following his passing, Martha, John, and Catherine, also known as “Kate” Bogia, relocated to 559 Royden Street by 1904, and they were still residing there as of April 1930. Daughter Lillie Bogia initially married a man named Hitchcock and later wed Charles Stark in 1899. By 1910, they had settled in Atlantic City.


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    Tragically, Fire Fighter Bogia fell ill after fighting a fire and subsequently passed away due to causes directly related to his firefighting duties.

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