CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
773 Central Avenue
Southwest corner of South 8th and Central Avenue
The Bruten family was one of the many black families who were living in the Centerville section of Camden by the 1880s. A Nathan Bruten, a laborer, appears in the 1887-1888 and 1890-1891 Camden City Directories, as living on Miller Street, between Van Hook Street and Central Avenue.
Louis Bruten was born in New Jersey in 1876. He operated the Bruten Cafe at 773 Central Avenue as a bar after the repeal of Prohibition. This saloon had been owned and operated by Benjamin Dorsey during the 1900s and 1910s. Louis Bruten had acquired the property by the time of the 1930 Census, and sold tobacco and soft drinks (near beer) up until the time Prohibition was repealed. Single when the census was taken in April of 1930, Louis Bruten married sometime thereafter. He passed away in 1939, and was buried at Mount Peace Cemetery in Lawnside NJ. His widow Margaret was living in the next block at 813 Central avenue, and Clarence A. Valentine Jr. was running the bar, which was still called the Bruten Cafe.
The Bruten Cafe and Mrs. Bruten's home were both purchased and razed by the Housing Authority of the City of Camden in the early 1950s to make room for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Manor public housing project. Margaret Bruten died in 1954, and was buried near her husband.
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