Recording the history of Nellore

History, Places

The story behind Coles-Ackerman Memorial, CAM School, Nellore

After reading a touching story on CAM School here, I decided to do some digging into the history of this memorial and stumbled upon some interesting facts.

CAM High School was started in 1840 by the Free Church Mission of Scotland. The 16 acre campus was later taken over by the Telugu Baptist Mission in 1904.

The present school building was built in 2011 by Dr Jonathan Coles Ackerman in memory of his father Dr Abraham Coles and maternal uncle Warren Ackerman.

Dr Abraham Coles:

Abraham Coles was born 1813 in Scotch Plains, Union County, New Jersey, USA. He received his M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia in 1835 and began his practice in Newark, NJ. He married Caroline Elizabeth Ackerman in 1842. The marriage resulted in the birth of two children: Jonathan Ackerman Coles (1843-1926) and Emilie Smith Coles (1845-1919). His wife died just a few months after the birth of their daughter in 1845. He never remarried.

Dr. Coles traveled the world, often with his children. His son, J. Ackerman Coles, later joined him in medical profession and also became the editor of new editions of his father’s literary works. Dr. Coles died while traveling near Monterey, California in 1891.

Both his children lived long lives, though neither married, and so the line of Abraham Coles died with the passing of his son on December 26, 1926.


Warren Ackerman:

Warren Ackerman was born in 1827 at New Brunswick, Middlesex County, North Carolina, USA. He was the brother of Caroline Elizabeth Ackerman, wife of Dr Abraham Coles. Warren became involved in all types of profitable business ventures in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and those who knew him recalled him as a wise counselor and reliable friend.

Warren married Lydia Platt, wife of his deceased brother George Ackerman, while in his 40’s. He died at his home in Scotch Plains, NJ in 1893, after a short illness at the age of 66. Lydia Platt Ackerman, widow of both George and Warren Ackerman, died in 1907 in Scotch Plains, NJ at the age of 73.

Dr Jonathan Coles Ackerman

Jonathan Ackerman Coles was born in 1843 to prominent physician/surgeon and poet author, Dr. Abraham Coles and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth Ackerman. Jonathan was only 2 years old when his mother died just about 7 months after the birth of his sister, Emilie Smith Coles. The young man grew up traveling the world with his father. He chose medical profession in the footsteps of his father Abraham Coles.

Jonathan never married, and following the death of his father in 1891, continued his father’s philanthropy, contributing many classical works in bronze and marble to the educational and public buildings in Newark, New York, and elsewhere around the world. After his retirement, he devoted himself to travel and the collecting of interesting historical and artistic objects.

Dr. Jonathan Ackerman Coles died in 1926 at age 82. He was the last surviving member of this family. His sister Emilie died seven years earlier in 1919.


  1. G. Devi prasad

    I wept aloud after seeing the horrible condition of our Alma mater,CAM high school. I sntudiedin this lovely institution from 1956 to 1962 . My sweet memories goes from well furnished class rooms, play grounds, loving teachers, agricultural fields and horticultural gardens with water flowing in small canals. Hope no other school in Nellore town were as goo as CAM High school. The sports day, inter school teams played matches of foot ball,hockey, Basketball were worth mentioning. A few sacrificed their savings to build this lovely school and few sadistis for the sake of pittans for drinking cheap liquor had become puppets in the. Hands of satan to destroy this glorious institution. All these elements invited wrath of God and ruined themselves and their families. Now,, at least open their eyes and shed a drop of tear for our school. If any chance is given, I love to contribute my experience t o bring back the glory of my school. I invite like minded aluminai to come together and rebuid the school to its past glory. I provide my mail id.

  2. Well done in documenting the event. We are extremely painful on seeing vast sports ground, which produced best of sportsmen for country in football and hockey is now not part of school. When we studied 1971 to 75 doing our 6th to 10th the ground comprising 2 football, 2 hockey, 3 kabaddi arena was hosting all India school sports regularly. The 1975 ‘A’ section has gathered all their friends during this CARONA Lockdown and will be meeting soon at this venue by 2020 end. MOPURPRASAD
    Available at

  3. santosh kumar

    I was wondering why this CAM High School , Nellore stoped educating kids now in year 2020 . Why the building is not being used for the original purpose of educating the kids now in year 2020.

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