Marshall Charles Cameron 1888-1925


Charles was born February 28, 1850 in Augustine Cove, PEI to John S. Cameron and his wife, Jane Wadman.  He was one of six sons born to John and Jane.  The other sons were – Alexander, James, Robert Duncan, Benjamin Wadman and William Grosvenor Cameron.

As a youth, Charles drove the mail between Charlottetown and Malpeque for several years.

On June 15, 1872, at the age of 22, he joined the Charlottetown Police Department.  This was to become his lifetime career and he served a total of 53 years on the force, until his death in 1925.  In 1890, he was promoted from Sergeant to Chief of Police, replacing former Chief Passmore.  In those days, the Chief was known as “the Marshal”.

The Scott Act (Prohibition) had been declared in the early 1880s, and Marshal Cameron worked diligently to enforce the Act.  He was steadfast, loyal and dependable policeman as evidenced by a news item in The Guardian on August 12, 1919 that reads – “Marshal Cameron is at present taking a well-deserved vacation this week.  This is his first holiday period in forty-seven years.  Marshal Cameron is a deserving official who is worthy of every consideration and it is to be hoped that when he returns to duty, he will be feeling refreshed in mind and body.  In the meantime, Sergt Detective Bradley is acting Marshal.”

A surprise reception was held by the Mayor and City Councillors on June 15, 1922 in honor of his fiftieth anniversary on the police force.  Mayor Jenkins stated that Marshal Cameron had seen a great many changes during his half century of service on the police force --- a period of service almost unique in Canadian history.  During that long period of time, no one has ever pointed a finger or said a word against his reputation as an officer and a gentleman.  This itself speaks highly for the efficient manner in which he performed his duties.”  (ref – The Guardian, June 16, 1922).

Charles’ brother, Robert D. Cameron, also served for a period of time on the Charlottetown Police Force before moving to Brockton, Mass., USA.

Charles married Elizabeth Platts on March 21, 1872.  Elizabeth was also from Augustine Cove and was the daughter of William Platts and Mary Newsome.  Charles and Elizabeth were the parents of Frederick Johnston Cameron, Brenton Charles Cameron, Florence Jane Cameron, Augusta Eugene Cameron and William Platts Cameron.  Elizabeth died in Charlottetown on March 14, 1885 when their youngest child, William, was just one month old.

Three years later on April 11, 1888, Charles married Emma (known as Emily) VanIderstine, daughter of Peter VanIderstine and Eliza Davy of Charlottetown.  Children of Charles and Emily were  - Charles Herbert (known as Herb), Myrtle Edith and Robert Harold (known as Spooney) Cameron.

Charles died on February 15, 1925 at the age of 75.  He had been ill for a period of only three weeks.  The account of the funeral of Chief of Police Cameron was reported in The Evening Patriot of February 18, 1925 and refers to it as “one of the largest and most impressive funerals seen in this City for sometime.”

Compiled by Helen W. Cameron
Great-Grandaughter of Charles Cameron
February 1, 2003

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