Johnson Newlon Camden

Parkerburg Sentinel
April 25, 1908

J. N. Camden Died Today In Baltimore

Telegram Was Received Here At Noon

Announcing That His Death Occurred At 10 O'Clock

Mr. Camden Was One Of The Prominent Citizens Of The State

A Successful Business And Political Career.

A telegram was received here at noon today, by Sprigg D. Camden, conveying the sad news of the death of J. N. Camden, which occurred at 10 o'clock at the Bellevedere Hotel in Baltimore at 10 o'clock this morning.

The news spread rapidly, and was heard with deep regret by the whole community where Senator Camden had spent the greater portion of his successful career.

The telegrams received here Friday indicated that his condition was very grave, and from their tenor, as well as from letters that had been received, the relatives and friends judged that the end was near. In one of the letters it was stated that Senator Camden realized his condition several days ago, and discussed it with his family.

As stated in Friday's Sentinel, all the members of Mr. Camden's immediate family, Mrs. Camden, Mrs. B. D. Spillman and J. N. Camden, Jr., were at his bedside, as well as his brother, L. D. Camden, of Baltimore were at his bedside. The other brothers are Dr. T. B. Camden and John S. Camden, of this city, and E. D. Camden, of Sutton.

Johnson Newlon Camden was born in Lewis county on March 6, 1828. His long career has been a busy and successful one, and in early years he took front rank in the business and political affairs of the state. He was identified with large enterprises, extensively dealing in oil, coal and railroads, acquiring an estate estimated to be worth twenty-five millions of dollars. He spent the early years of his life in Braxton county, and, at the age of 14, he entered the office of the county clerk in Weston, and then attended an Academy at Clarksburg, then returned to Braxton county, where he served as deputy county clerk. At 18 he was appointed to West Point, but resigned after two years, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1851, and served as prosecuting attorney of Braxton and Nichalos [sic], where he surveyed and secured large tracts of land. In 1853 he went to Weston, and was in a bank there. In 1859, he came to Burning Springs in the infancy of the oil excitement, organized a company and began producing oil. He was exceedingly successful in this early venture and sold a portion of his interest for $100,000. Then in 1862 he was elected president of the First National Bank of this city, and in 1866 he and his partners sold their interests in the oil business for $410,000. Later, he became identified with the Standard Oil Company in the refining of oil, the Camden Consolidated Oil Company plant being one of the large industries of Parkersburg, the Baltimore Limited Oil Company and other oil companies, and he was connected with these enterprises until some years ago, when he sold some of his interests, although still a large stockholder.

He was idenified with the imporvement [sic] of the Little Kanawha river, took a prominent part in building the narrow gauge road between Clarksburg, Weston and Buckhannon, and was identified with Senator H. G. Davis in the construction of the West Virginia Central Railroad from Cumberland to Elkins. Then followed the building of the Wheeling, Parkersburg and Charleston Railroad, now the Ohio River Division of the Baltimore and Ohio. He was also largely instrumental in the construction of the Mongahela [sic] River Railroad from Fairmont to Clarksburg, and this was followed by the West Virginia and Pittsburg [sic], built through to Buckhannon.

Along these lines he took up and developed coal mines, and these he disposed of a few years ago for $3,000,000 cash, and $300,000 a year for fifty years.

He was nominated for Governor in 1867, but was defeated by a small majority. In 1880, he was elected U. S. Senator from West Virginia for a full term of six years, then filled the un-expired term of Senator Kenna. He retired from politics after his term expired, and devoted his attention to his business enterprises. Senator Camden was largely interested in the Union Trust building, and other large buildings of the city, and maintained his home here for years.

Senator Camden was married in 1858 to Miss Anna Thompson, daughter of Judge George W. Thompson, who still survives. His home life was pleasant and happy.

The Funeral.

The remains of Senator Camden will arrive in Parkersburg, accompanied by the family, on train No. 2, arriving at 12:35 Sunday. The funeral will occur Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock, but the full details have not yet been made.

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