was not a good year for the Toy family. Both George L. Toy and
oldest daughter Mary passed away, leaving Georgianna Toy and her
three remaining children to make their way in the world. When the
census was taken in 1870 John Toy was working as an apprentice
bricklayer. He was working as a bookbinder by May of 1874. The
family was living at 707 South 4th Street when John W. Toy was appointed to the Camden Fire
Department in July of 1873, taking the place of Stephen L.
Thomas. John W. Toy served as an extra man with Engine Company 1 until April of
1876, when he was replaced by William
was re-appointed on April 8, 1877 and served until April 4,
1882, when he was replaced by William
Irelan. John Toy was
recalled to service two years later, and assigned to Engine
Company 1. In 1885, when Samuel S. Elfreth was re-elected Chief of
the Fire Department after being away from the department for three
years, John W. Toy was transferred to the Hook and Ladder
where he served as a ladderman. The 1890-1891 City Directory
states that John W. Toy was the tillerman for the Hook and Ladder
January 1895 the Camden Fire Department organized a new company,
Chemical Engine Company No. 1, stationed at Fire Headquarters at
North 5th Street and Arch
Street. John W. Toy was promoted to
Foreman, similar to today's Captain, and was placed in charge of
the new unit. George Cox was the Company's first driver, Wright
Cox and Charles Robinson were the first hose men assigned.
was reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer on October 27, 1895 that
John Toy had been ill, and that he had recovered and had returned
Toy was still the foreman of Chemical Engine Company No. 1 when
the 1898 Camden City Directory was compiled. By the time the 1899
edition was being assembled, he had left the Fire Department.
the Census was taken in 1900 John W. Toy was living with his
mother at 603 Pine
Street, the home of his sister Laura and her
husband James Alcott. Georgianna Toy died in Camden on September
1906 City Directory reveals that John W. Toy was then living at
1910 Census shows that John W. Toy was living at 438 West Street
with his sister Ida and her husband Charles Wescott.
Wesley Toy died in Camden on November 27, 1916 and was buried at
Evergreen Cemetery. He was survived by
his sisters, Mrs. Ida Wescott and Mrs. Laura Alcott, and a number
of nieces and nephews.
Toy was an active member of the Fourth Ward Republican Club, where
he associated with Charles
Elfreth, who had served with the Camden Fire Department and
was the brother of Chief of Department Samuel
is of interest that John Toy's father, George L. Toy, was a
prominent member of an organization known as the Brotherhood of
the Union. George Reeser Prowell wrote, in his History of
Camden County, New Jersey which was published in 1886 the
order was organized in Philadelphia, by George Lippard, in 1846.
The principles teach the paternity of God, the fraternity of man, that
every man has a right to a home and to the full fruits of his toil ; that monopoly in land should be prevented and the public domain given to landless settlers. It is patriotic in its aims, and
pledges its members to uphold the American Union and the dignity of labor. The present Supreme Washington is James E. Russell, of New Jersey, and the Grand Chief Washington of New Jersey is John M. Clayton, of Camden.
The divisions are Circles, Grand Circles and a Supreme Circle, with similar divisions of the Home Communion, the women's branch of the order. There are in Camden three Circles and two Home Communions.
Witherspoon Circle, No. 1, which meets in Wildey Hall, was instituted April 23, 1849, George Lippard officiating, these being the initiates:
George L. Toy, Joshua W. Roberts, Philip H. Mulford, Henry Belsterling, Edward N. Daugherty, Henry Copeland, Joseph L. Wright, William R. Maxwell, David Mills, Michael Seibenlist, Isaac Rawn and Ballenger Smith. These members of Witherspoon Circle have been Supreme
Washington : George L. Toy, Henry L. Bonsall, William J. Maguire and James E. Russell. The G. E. W.'s are Edward N. Daugherty,
Benjamin M. Braker, Henry Bradshaw, Earned Smith, Francis Warren, Isaac Warr and George W. Fenner. Exalted
Washingtons: Andrew R. Ackley, Josiah Bozarth, A. E. Atkinson, Charles
Deith, E. W. Jones, Albert V. Mills, Absalom Jordan, Benjamin Smith,
E.G. Hoefflich, George W. Fenner, Jr., Elisha C. Smith, William S. McCabe and George L. Swyler. The officers for 1886 are: E. W., George L. Swyler;
H. S. K., James E. Russell ; C. W., William O. Engler; H. R., Frank Warren ; C. J., William H. Harris ; H. T., Harry Bradshaw ; C. F., William McAllister; H.H.,
William B. Bergnell. The membership is one hundred and nineteen, with
seven hundred dollars in funds.
Welcome Circle, No. 3, which meets in Central Hall, was instituted December 31, 1869, by D. S. W. Archibald Cochran, who installed
these officers : E. W., Thomas Westphall ; H. S. K., W. Frank Gaul ; C. W.,
Benjamin H. Connelly ; H. T., John Reynolds ; C. J., Edward Furlong;
W. D., James G. Hyatt ; C. F., J. E. Atkinson; W. N., Edward
Andrews. G. E. W.'s: James G. Hyatt, J. Harry Stiles, Joseph Dufour, Samuel W.
Stivers, John McMichael and John H. Clayton. E. W.'s : Charles
Wrifford, George S. West, William B. Jobes, Samuel McMichael, Benjamin Toy, John
F. Harned, J. M. Adams, Samuel
Dodd, Jr., Thomas Adams, John Dentist, John Hart, George
Baghurst, Jr., George L. Knight and George A. Baghurst. The officers for 1886 are : E. W., George Wallison; H. S. K.,
George S. West; C. W., Samuel J. Cook ; H. R., John F. Harned ; C. J., Charles H. Beck; H. T., Joseph Dufour; H. K., Charles Christman. The membership is one
hundred and ninety-seven and the assets thirty-eight hundred dollars.