If there is anything to be grateful about the change in family dynamics in the 20th century, it is that father’s could hold their babies and play with their children. This is George Raymond Prince (1895-1939) holding either George Raymond Jr. (1921-2004) or Paul Everett Prince (1924-1991). I live the casual informality here but my heart breaks a little as this photo is included in an album my grandmother Kathryn Preston put together for my father about his family. Sadly, Barclay Gibbs Jones Sr. never got to hold Barclay Jr. this way.
George R. Prince, Philip H. Prince and Kathryn M. Prince were the children of George Cornell Prince. They make up the New Jersey branch of this early Bradford County, Pennsylvania family.
George R. Prince, Sr. lived in Camden and worked the family business at Prince Concrete. He married Clara about 1920 (would love more detail on this!) and they had five children: George R. Jr. (1921-2004), Alice Rae (1922-1922), Paul Everett (1924-1991), Joyce Eleanor (1926-2003) and David Roger (1924-2004).
Arthur Wells Jones is the subject of this week’s #52ancestors essay and one who benefited from the recent online publication of the Camden Courier-Post. With all sorts of news to work through I was able to find an obituary; unfortunately the obituary was filled with information which conflicted with what I had documented.
Arthur W. Jones was born on 10 Dec 1875 at Pemberton, New Jersey to Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Carroll Jones. He married Anna Mary “Annie” Wells on 3 July 1900. She was the daughter of Moses K. and Florence Lewis Wells. They lived at this time in Pemberton, but I am not sure when they moved to Camden. Arthur and Annie had one child, Barclay Gibbs Jones, born on 30 May 1901.
Although the obituary made it sound like a recent move, evidence in the 1910-1930 censuses show that the Jones family was in Camden as early as 1910. At that time he was a steam car engineer, possibly for the Pennsylvania/NJ Railroad. Their home is listed as 136 Dudley St., Camden. By 1915, the family has moved to 309 N. 40th St., and in this census Arthur is listed as a “portable engineer,” a job title which intrigued me. According to the International Steam Engineer of 1914, this is “one who operates a boiler or machine which directly furnishes or transmits power for any machine, appliance or apparatus used on or in connection with building operations, excavations or construction work, but does not include an operator of a drill.” A union newsletter gave a much more understandable description: “The steam or power shovel was first invented by William T. Otis in 1839, but it did not see extensive use until after the American Civil War, when it was developed as a railway workhorse. The men who operated the shovels were known as portable engineers, to distinguish them from the stationary engineers.” Pretty cool to think of Arthur Jones as playing the role of Mike Mulligan in my favorite children’s book Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel.
In 1920, Arthur appears to have been employed as an engineer in a shipyard and it is not clear whether this is still railroad work or not. By 1930, Arthur was retired from the steam shovel business and listed his employment as “salesman, tea and coffee.” Family stories line up with this as operating a milk delivery route with a side line in groceries.
Arthur died at Cooper Hospital on 26 February 1936 and is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Pemberton, NJ.
My essay this week in #52ancestors concerns my grandfather Barclay Gibbs Jones. I never met this man because he died before even my father was born. His legacy lives on, however, in both his name and his deep-set eyes. As I look through family photographs of the wedding trip taken by Barclay and Kathryn Prince Jones, I see aspects of my father, brother and nephews in the turn of his head, his smile and his eyes.
Barclay Gibbs Jones was born on 30 May 1901 to Arthur Wells and Anna Mary Wells Jones. He was their only child, which makes his early death all the more tragic. The family were active members of the Rosedale Baptist Church and Barclay appears often in the newspapers organizing young people’s events for the church, as well as other social gatherings. And young Kathryn Prince is present at most if not all of these parties. I do remember my father saying that my grandmother loved to go about socially and that as a youngster he was often dragged about as she did her visiting.
Barclay and Kathryn were married on 25 June 1924 at the home of George C. Prince (212 N. 38th Street, Rosedale. The newspaper articles describe in detail the quiet ceremony surrounded by snapdragons and carnations. The bride wore white Canton crepe with stockings and shoes to match. The honeymoon was in Niagara Falls, after which the bride and groom returned to 212 N. 38th St. while they waited for their own home on Scoville Ave. in Hillcrest to be finished. I don’t know if they ever even lived there, as Barclay died on Christmas eve.
I found among the family archives a little photo album that Kathryn Prince Jones made documenting their short life together. The wedding pictures appear to have been taken outside 212 N. 38th St. and, in particular show off some stunning concrete porch columns. I wonder if these are examples of the work Prince Concrete did, as I know they did a lot of porches and garages.
Wedding party: Minnie Prince is standing right behind Kathryn.
Barclay worked at Prince Concrete Co. and was apparently carrying cement blocks when he tripped over an oil can, the tip of which pierced his body. I remember my father once telling me that the injury developed into blood poisoning which was what caused his death. The final indignity of it all was to have his name so grossly misspelled in the paper that it took me ages to find it.
Barclay’s funeral took place in the same room he was married in seven months previously and he is buried under a simple marker at Bethel Memorial Park, Pennsauken.
Barclay playing a sousaphone, was this the one in our attic growing up?
In this #52Ancestors essay I am going to explore the life of a person I only remember dimly: Philip Hine Prince, the brother of my grandmother Kathryn Marie Prince Jones Preston. He died when I was about 9, but I have a very vague memory of being with my family at my grandparent’s house at 22 Euclid Ave. in Merchantville, New Jersey and being told that this slight, spare man was my great uncle. Not being well versed in genealogical terms, my young mind struggled to comprehend how someone so slight could be “great.”
Philip Hine Prince was born on December 3, 1896, to George Cornell and Minnie Arabella Hine Prince. While his older brother George Raymond Prince was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, Philip was the first child born in New Jersey after the family moved to New Jersey. My grandmother came along several years later in 1904.
Both Raymond and Philip have Census entries marked for World War I service but I have only been able to document Philip’s service. He joined up on 2 June 1918 at Fort Slocum, NY and was assigned as a private to Company B, 548th Engineers. Before shipping out to France, Philip was promoted to sergeant. The 548th was classed as an Engineer Service Battalion, and was attached to the 20th Engineers. The 548th arrived in Cherbourg just as the Armistice was consummated, and were utilized in the great drive to keep the A. E. F. warm during the ensuing winter. Most of their service was in the northern districts and the upper Loire basin.
With his brother Raymond, Philip joined the family business, Prince Concrete Co. On 3 February 1923, Philip married Gertrude Helen Williams (1893-1969), daughter of David C. and Martha Jane Reynolds Williams. They had two children:
Phyllis Martha Prince (1926-1985) married John Howard Walter Perkins
Janet Rae Prince (1928-) married George W. Johnson
Philip and Gertrude were active in the Baptist church, attending and serving in many capacities at Rosedale Baptist Church. I have quite a few memories of this church from summers spent with my grandparents Kathryn and Leonard Preston (Kay’s second husband.) This was the first church in my memory that had a full immersion baptismal pool and I remember staring at it in wonder. My grandfather carefully explained that it was not a swimming pool. I had not, at the age of ten, ever seen anyone baptized, either infant or adult, so I am sure I pestered him with questions.
Philip eventually rose to become vice president under his father at Prince Concrete. He also served on the Pennsauken school board for two terms between 1954 and 1956, and then as president in 1957.
Philip Prince died 31 October 1974 at West Jersey Hospital in Camden and is buried at Bethel Memorial Park.
I grew up hearing stories about George Cornell Prince. Unfortunately, I did not ask the right questions of the people who knew him and I am left with a life story with a few holes in it. Perhaps one of my cousins will read this #52ancestors essay and can help fill in the blanks.
George C. Prince was born on 23 Mar 1869 in Bradford County, Pennsylvania to George M. and Elizabeth Alma Buttles Prince. He was one of three children but one of two who lived to adulthood. George grew up near Potterville, a very small community in Orwell township.
On 9 July 1894, George married Minnie Arabella Hine. They were both residents of Bradford County at the time, and their first child, George Raymond Prince was born there on 28 April 1895. However, by the time their second child was born (Philip Hine Prince (3 Dec 1896-31 Oct 1974), the family was living in Camden, New Jersey.
They do not appear on a census until 1910, at which point they have three living children: George R., Philip H., and my grandmother Kathryn Marie (1903-1993). I learned through the New Jersey birth index that there was a fourth child, Edwin Everett Prince who was born 9 June 1898 but who died 24 Feb 1899.
So this is the first mystery: why did they pull up roots in Bradford County and move down to New Jersey? Philip is born there as are Edwin and Kathryn but the family does not appear in either the federal 1900 census or the 1905 New Jersey census. And yet, in a 1955 Camden Courier-Post article, George C. Prince is credited with forming the Prince Concrete Company in 1905.
This article provided clues to George Prince’s public service: he served on the Camden City Council as well as the School Board. Widening the search to include Philadelphia area newspapers found articles about his election as President of the Camden Baptist Church Extension Society as well as a member of the Bradford County Society of Philadelphia. One intriguing article talked about the role Prince Concrete played in the construction of the new Camden High School, which opened in 1926. My father Barclay Gibbs Jones attended that high school.
George Prince died on 20 December 1959 at the home of Kathryn and Leonard Preston (22 Euclid Ave.). His wife Minnie preceded him in death on 23 June 1931. They are buried in the Prince family plot in Bethel Memorial Park in Pennsauken, NJ. My grandparents Kathryn and Leonard still owned that property when I was a child and my cousin would terrify me with ghost stories about all the relatives who died in that home. I was too young, and too modern, to realize that being able to die at home surrounded by family was probably the best way to go.