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.