W. LAIRD was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about 1856 to
Granville Laird and his wife, the former Mary Eckel. By 1870 the
family, which included older siblings Ferdinand, Charles, and
Louisa had relocated to Newton Township, where Granville Laird
was in business as a tobacconist. By the late 1870s the family
home was at 1728 Fillmore Street. Granville Laird later went
into real estate at 1620 Broadway and served as a Justice of the
Peace in the 1870S and 1880s. Newton Township was annexed to
Camden in 1871.
1878 Camden City Directory lists William Laird at Fillmore
Street below Van Hook.
1880 Census shows William Laird living in an unnumbered house on
Van Hook Street with his wife, the former Mary V. Mears, and a
son, William J. Laird.
from 1883 through 1885 show William Laird at 418 Webster Street.
He had continued to work as a hat maker until his appointment to
the Camden Fire Department as Stoker of Engine Company 1.
the spring of 1884 William W. Laird was appointed to the Camden
Fire Department to serve as stoker with Engine
Company 1. Daniel A. Carter was then the Chief of the
Department. When Samuel S. Elfreth was elected Chief in 1885,
William Laird was kept on as stoker.
1886 the Camden Steam Fire Engine
Company Number 1 was located at 409
Pine Street in a three story 20 by 90 foot brick building (the
old Independence Fire Company No. 3 engine house). The company's
apparatus was an Amoskeag second class steamer (maker's plate
6318) drawn by two horses and one Silsby two wheel hose cart
drawn by a single horse. The company was equipped with 1000 feet
of good hose, axes, lamps, etc. The company roster included John
Stockton, Foreman; G. Rudolph
Tenner, Engineer; William
driver; William W.
Laird, stoker; Wilson Bromley and
Jacob F Nesson, hosemen. Call Men were William
Deith, Andrew Miller and
William Bogia. Bromley and Bogia would later suffer line of duty
1887-1888 City Directory shows William Laird, a laborer, at 611
South 7th Street. The 1888-1889 editions show William W. Laird
living at 717 Blaine Street, an working as the fireman in the
boiler room at Camden's City Hall. He was still living at 717
Blaine Street when the 1890-1891 edition was compiled. He was
then working for the Pennsylvania railroad as a conductor. The
1893-1894 Directory shows him at 428 South 2nd Street, and the
1895-1896 edition states that he lived at 729 Clinton Street and
was working as a car inspector for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
appears that William Laird moved to Philadelphia in the late
1890s. A daughter, Josephine Winifred Laird, was born in
Philadelphia late in 1898. Sadly, she died of gastroenteritis on
July 8, 1899. She was buried at Evergreen cemetery in Camden on
W. Laird passed away at some point prior to March of 1910. His
widow Mary lived in Philadelphia until her passing on March 10,