Bernhard F. Schroeder came to Camden in 1882. He soon set up an undertaking business at 19 South 4th Street. He was at 15 South 4th Street by 1906. Joined in business by his sons Robert Schroeder and Bernard C. Schroeder, he also was engaged in a freight business, the Potter Express Company, with local businessman H.B. Hanford. By 1914, besides the funeral business which had move to 338 Arch Street (southwest corner of North 4th and Arch Streets), the Schroeders also had stables in the rear of 408-410 Mickle Street, a warehouse at 326-328 Taylor Avenue, and a hall known appropriately enough as Schroeder's Hall, at 336 Arch Street.
Oldest son Robert Schroeder took the lead in running the business in the 1920s. He also was politically active, serving as Camden County's coroner in 1914 and in 1924. Sadly, Robert Schroeder suffered a fatal heart attack in 1925, not having reached his 36th birthday. Bernard C. Schroeder stepped forward, and in 1926 moved the business to the Labor Temple building at 538 Broadway. Bernhard F. Schroeder died the following year.
In 1936 Bernard C. Schroeder moved the business once again, to an elegant building at 715 Cooper Street that had been built in 1876 by banker John Cooper and occupied into the 1920s by his son, William J. Cooper. Bernard C. Schroeder added on to the house to make more room for funerals. The business carried on beyond his death in 1965 as his sons, Bernard K. and Kenneth Schroeder had followed him into the business. The Schroeder Funeral Home remained in Camden through the fall of 1969. The property was taken by the government to make way for a ramp onto I-676 from the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Bernard F. Schroeder, the great-grandson of founder Bernhard F. Schroeder, wrote about the building at 715 Cooper Street in December of 2008:
The original house at 715 Cooper Street was called "The Chimneys". If I remember correctly there were more than six chimneys. The Schroeder family added to the house to make more room for funerals. When the Schroeder's funeral home property was taken by the state for the new entrance ramp, my father, Bernard K Schroeder donated some of the old fireplaces to the Camden County Historical Society. I've found the receipt from the Camden County Historical Society for the four fire places (fronts, mantels and hearths) and where they were taken from.
picture above is from] a proof of an ad for the funeral home at 715
Cooper Street, showing the old house that was converted to the funeral
home. The bow window and sun
The inside of 715 Cooper Street always blew me away as a kid. 10 to 12 foot high ceilings, the carved plaster ceilings and the 12 foot wide hallways. I think that one of the fireplaces they took was the one in the front second floor
room on the west side, which was all marble.
1926 Camden Courier Advertisement
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