John Camlin

John Camlin, of 1526 Harlem Boulevard, died 1938 at age 78

Former head of the United States, Illinois and Rockford Chambers of Commerce

Owner of John H. Camlin Agency

Organized Rockford Home Telephone Company, which was sold to Illinois Bell in 1919

Founder and Head of Rockford Savings and Loan Association

Owner of Henwood Theater Company

He developed the Harlem Park and Riverside housing subdivisions, and Camlin and Hultberg subdivision, the Phoenix and Camlin buildings downtown

Camlin Avenue is named in his honor

The “Father of Camp Grant”, he worked in Washington to have the camp established in Rockford during World War I

He owned 114 mortgages on properties in Rockford, and had stock investments in 29 businesses in Rockford and elsewhere

Born July 15, 1860 in Gravesend, England

At age 16 took seafaring trips to Calcutta and Bombay, India, then studied at Christ College, Oxford

Immigrated to Rockford from England on September 1, 1883, and lived with his cousin, C. W. Burlingame

He worked as a clerk and then at an insurance office; within 7 years of arriving in Rockford he bought the agency and named it John H. Camlin Agency

He was married to Kittie B. Camlin, who died in 1934

His estate will be given in trust to seven relatives, including three nephews from Rockford: Harold Andrew Camlin, Fred Gardner Camlin, and Theodore Camlin; and nephew William John Camlin of Newark, Ohio. Three relatives from Dublin, Ireland were named as beneficiaries: his brother, Charles Camlin; his sister, Mrs. Millie Ludgate; and Mrs. Fanny Camlin, widow of another brother.

In 1938, his estate was valued as: $700,000 in real estate, $3oo,ooo in mortgages, $60,000 in bonds, $33,000 in cash, and $1.5 million in stock, for a total of $2.6 million

Funeral Services at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, with the Reverend George Wyndham Ridgway officiating

John Camlin Obituary, 1938
John Camlin Obituary, 1938


John Camlin estate, 1938
John Camlin estate, 1938

Source:  03/10/1938 Register Republic and 07/07/1938 Register Republic, both in Rockford Public Library’s “Rockfordiana” files, “Biography – Camlin”