Title: Naval Fireman, 2nd Class, Civil War; police officer
Death Date: September 9, 1893
Plot Location: Section 121, Lot 79; GPS: 39.93416* N, 075.24069* W
The year James Proctor was born could have been 1835, 1838, or 1840, depending on the source. He was born in Ireland, as was his wife Charlotte, who married him in 1861 at 15th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
There are just two sources that show his service in the Civil War. One is Charlotte’s application for a widow’s pension in 1893, listing his rank as 2nd Class Fireman aboard the USS Unadilla. The other is a record of a contract to provide a military headstone and dated November 30, 1894. It also lists his rank, ship, and date of death, along with the contractor’s name, Vermont Marble Company, which happened to be located in Proctor, Vermont.
James and Charlotte had six boys and two girls with one infant death. After the war he worked as a driver or coachman until he joined the Philadelphia Police in 1877. When he was well into his mid-50s he suffered a heart attack while on duty. A group of men were causing a disturbance on Christian Street but they fled when he approached. He began a chase but sudden chest pains forced him to stop at a doctor’s office just down the street, and that’s where he died.
Lot 79 in Section 121 became a place of remembrance for both parents and all eight children. Originally bordered by a “coping wall,” shown above, only the entrance stone remains to mark the plot.
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