Battle, James Iverson

Title

Battle, James Iverson

Description

Once a janitor, James Battle may be the only African American to advance from a position of service on Cooper Street to heading his own household.

Biographical Text

James I. Battle is the only known African American to move from a position of service to head his own household on Cooper Street. Born in Georgia in 1876, by the 1890s Battle had migrated north and settled in Camden. From 1896 until 1899, he worked as a live-in janitor for the Camden Republican Club at 312 Cooper Street. He left this job and the housing it provided in 1899, when he married another African American migrant from Georgia, Hattie Daniels. They made their home at 403 Friends Avenue for most of the first quarter of the twentieth century, but for four years (1909-1912), they returned to Cooper Street. City directories and the U.S. Census of 1910 find them at 63 Cooper Street, a three-story brick row house that they rented just east of Front Street. At that time, their house and two adjacent (61 and 65) belonged to the Victor Talking Machine Company, where James also worked as a steward. Their departure from the Cooper Street home in 1912 coincided with Victor's plans to build its new headquarters on the same site at Cooper and Front Streets. The Battles, who had no children, returned to 403 Friends Avenue until the 1920s, when they moved to Atlantic City.

Time period on Cooper Street

1896-99, 1909-12

Location(s) - Cooper Street

312 Cooper Street (1896, 1897, 1898, 1899)
63 Cooper Street (1909, 1910, 1911, 1912)

Location(s) - Other

Atlantic City: 131 Willow Avenue (1894)
Camden: 640 Cherry Street (1900)
Camden: 403 Friends ' Avenue (1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908; 1916, 1917, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1926)
Atlantic City: 704 Arctic Avenue (1926, 1927, 1929)

Occupation

Janitor for Camden Republican Club (1896-1899)
Steward / Waiter

Birth Date

October 3, 1876

Birthplace

Georgia

Death Date

Unknown

Associated Individuals

Hattie (Daniels) Battle, wife, married 1899 in Camden
John W. Battle, relationship unknown, co-worker at Camden Republican Club
Anna Daniels, mother-in-law

Sources

Camden City Directories (Ancestry.com)
U.S. Census (Ancestry.com)

Research by

Charlene Mires

Posted by

Charlene Mires

Collection

Citation

“Battle, James Iverson,” Learning From Cooper Street, accessed October 1, 2022, https://omeka.camden.rutgers.edu/items/show/35.

Output Formats