Crawford
Smith


 

CRAWFORD MILLER SMITH was born in Camden, New Jersey on December 24, 1880. to William Henry Smith and the former Harriet C. Stewart. The Smiths had wed around 1860, and gave their first child, William Henry Smith Jr., on March 20, 1862 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 1870 four more children had arrived, Carrie, Virginia, Augustus D., and Charles N.; sadly, Carrie had died before her fifth birthday. The family was still living in Philadelphia when the 1870 Census was taken. William Henry Smith was then working as a harbor policeman. In April of 1873 another daughter was born, Sue G. Smith. The family moved to Camden, New Jersey shortly after her arrival. The 1874 City Directory shows the family at 729 Carman Street in Camden. By 1877 the family was living at 726 Federal Street. Son Charles N. Smith died in 1877, another son, Howard M. Smith had been born in 1874 and by the end of 1877, Mrs. Smith had given birth again, to Clarence S. Smith. The Smith family was still residing at 726 Federal Street when the 1880 Census was enumerated in June of that year. Another son, Walter H. Smith, had recently been born. Two more sons would follow, Crawford Smith and Roy A. Smith. Howard, Walter, and Roy would all go on to public service in Camden. The 1882 City Directory shows that the family had moved to 14 South 8th Street.

Although the 1880 Census states that William Smith Sr. worked as a clerk, his really occupation was that of a "policy writer", that is to say, he was engaged is the illegal lottery business, popularly know in our time as "the numbers racket. Known in and about Camden as "Policy Bill", he was arrested a number of times during the 1880s and had been given a one-year prison sentence in early 1883, which was reduced in February to a $100 fine and a $1000 bond not to go back into the "policy" business... which he promptly did. The 1882 City Directory shows the Smith family at 14 South 8th Street and they stayed their until  1889. "Policy Bill" was arrested again during police raids in January and May of 1886.
 

On September 9, 1886 William Henry "Policy Bill" Smith Sr. died, leaving Harriet Smith to take care of nine children, five of them under the age of 15. One of the ways she kept the family going was by staying in the family business of "policy", and she would have a number of encounters with the law through the rest of the decade and the 1890s. Her house was raided in the first part of 1887, and she attempted suicide in June of that year. In November of 1889, the Smiths were living in the unit block of North 10th Street when there home was again raided.

William H. Smith Jr., popularly best known as W. Harry Smith, was already working, and by 1890 second son Augustus D. Smith found work as a blacksmith. W. Harry Smith began involving himself in local politics in Camden's 9th Ward as a Republican, and over the years this served him and the Smith family well. 

By August of 1890 Harriet Smith and family had moved to 741 Carman Street. Except for a brief interruption in the 1890s, the Smith family and their descendants would remain on this block into the 1960s. As best that can be determined as of this writing, Harriet Smith stayed out of trouble until 1895. The 1894 City Directory has Harriet Smith and her family at 758 Federal Street, the 1895 edition has them at 750 Federal Street. The Smiths lived at that address until at least 1899. Daughter Virginia had married William N. Ferrell in 1887 and lived for the most part in Gloucester County until her death in 1924. Daughter Sue had married John Warner Kinsey Jr. on November 26, 1892. They already had a daughter together, Ethel, born on March 21, 1892. The marriage ended in divorce, with Sue Smith Kinsey going back to live with her mother and brothers and retaining custody of her daughter.

In April of 1895 Harriet Smith was indicted by the grand jury in Camden. She was tried and on May 24 sentenced to a year in prison. Although claiming ill-health, she received no support from Camden's medical community nor the sentencing Judge. Her sentence was commuted on July 16, 1895 by the New Jersey State Board of Pardons, on the grounds that others who had been tried at the same time she was had escaped imprisonment, and to be honest, on the basis of her sex. Her son, Howard M. Smith, had married Helen Goldy Penn the day before. The young couple moved in with Helen's family at 822 Kimber Street.

Before the month of July 1895 was out, daughter Sue Smith Kinsey was due in front of a judge on "policy" charges. Both Harriet Smith and her daughter were arrested again is September of 1895, and indictments were brought. These charges and those made against others were quashed. Harriet and Sue were arrested again on February 10, 1896. Augustus Smith died in Camden on November 17. 1896 and was buried at Harleigh Cemetery. Sue Smith Kinsey married Harry J. Wagner Sr., on August 23, 1897. They set up house at 747 Carman StreetHarry J. Wagner Sr. was a friend and political ally of W. Harry Smith.

In October of 1898 the Harriet Smith and her sons were under indictment again, and appear to have all moved to Philadelphia to escape prosecution. In 1900 Census Harriet, and her unmarried sons were living at 506 Hope Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Smiths reappear in Camden City Directories in 1903. By this time Crawford Smith had married Lillian R. Storm. Their first child, also named Crawford Smith, was born in 1903. Four more would follow, Belford Edwin, Della, Elsie, and Edward Baker Smith. 

The 1904 City Directory shows that Mrs. Smith and her sons had returned to Camden. Living at 609 North 6th Street were Harriet Smith, sons Walter, Roy, Crawford, and Clarence, as Clarence's wife Mary and granddaughter Harriet F. Smith. Both Crawford Smith and his brother Clarence found work as ironworkers, i.e., steel construction workers employed by the Camden Iron Works. Sadly, Clarence S. Smith was killed when he fell from a 40 foot tall gas tank being erected in Moline, Illinois in 1907. Crawford Smith was still living at 609 North 6th when the 1907 Directory was compiled. He is not listed in the 1908 Directory, but was named in the 1909 edition at 829 Pearl Street. The following year Crawford M. Smith followed his sister Sue back to the 700 block of Carman Street, and with two brief exceptions stayed on that block for the rest of his life. He was living at 748 Carman Street in 1910 but had moved to 729 Carman Street by November of that year, then moved to 833 Carpenter Street by the summer of 1911. Crawford Smith is listed in Directories at 824 Carman Street in 1912, as there was no 800 block of Carman Street, this is an error, Carpenter Street is more likely correct. A February 1913 news article has him at 722 Carman Street. Directories state he lived at 738 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1913, 757 Carman Street in 1914, and at 745 Carman Street in 1915 and 1916. The 1917 City Directory shows Crawford Smith at 29 South 8th Street. By September of 1918 the Smiths were living at 736 Carman Street, where they stayed until 1929. The 1930 Census and 1931 City Directories indicate the Smiths were residing at 724 Carman Street. By 1933 Crawford and Lillian Smith had moved to 702 Carman Street, where they remained for the rest of their days.

Besides working as an iron worker, Crawford Smith also at times worked as a boilermaker and as a riveter, as guard for the Camden County park system, and as a foreman at the Campbell Soup factory. He also in the 1920s and early 1930s was heavily involved with the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, and in the 1930s got into serious trouble for his involvement in what had been the "family business", i.e., the numbers racket. 

Crawford Smith attracted the attention of local newspapers several times between his return to Camden in the early 1900s and his death in 1941 for reasons other than his activities with the Ku Klux Klan and organized crime. With his brother-in-law Harry J. Wagner Sr. he helped apprehend a mad who had assaulted his wife in 1908. He served on a jury late that year. In 1910 police arrested a man who had thrown a brick through Crawford Smith's window and was prepared throw more. In 1912 there was a small fire in the Smith home which required the Fire Department to extinguish. In 1913 marital issues brought him into court, although these were resolved as the Smiths never did part ways. In 1915, while working as a watchman over several vacant houses on Pennsylvania Avenue, Crawford Smith found an intoxicated squatter in one of the buildings. After being ordered to leave, the man assaulted Smith, who defended himself. The squatter died and Smith was initially charged with manslaughter, but the charges were dismissed. In 1925 he made the papers through an arrest of two juveniles at Forest Hill Park. This was followed a few years later by coverage of his Klan activities, which may have led to the loss of his job at Campbell Soup. On September 13, 1934 Crawford Smith was arrested by George Clayton of Camden Police Department on numbers charges. Crawford Smith and four other men were indicted, and after refusing to testify against Fred Klosterman and his brother Joseph Klosterman all were sent to state prison in January of 1935. Crawford Smith was given a two to three year prison sentence. Prison time was probably the safer option for Crawford Smith and the others, given the level of violence amongst organized crime figures in Camden and Philadelphia at the  time.

After being released from prison, Crawford Smith returned to his wife and home at 702 Carman Street. He passed away in 1941. Mrs. Smith continued to reside at that address until her death in 1949.

Crawford Smith's brother Howard M. Smith was appointed to the Camden Police Department on March 20, 1906. Walter Smith, was appointed to the Camden Police Department on April 30, 1914. Both brothers were promoted to Detective, and served into the 1930s. Howard M. Smith was lent out to the Camden County prosecutors office and handled many murder cases while with that agency. The youngest brother, Roy A. Smith, served as a member of the Camden Fire Department from 1910 to 1933, before retiring on disability. The oldest brother, William H. "Harry" Smith worked for many years as a bartender in Camden, and later in life as an inspector with Camden's Highway Department. e died in 1931. 

Of Crawford Smith's sisters, the oldest Virginia lived most of her life in Logan Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. As mentioned above, his other sister, Sue, had married Harry J. Wagner Sr., on August 23, 1897. The Wagner family was still living on Carman Street in the 1960s. There were four sons from this marriage. The oldest, Harry J. Wagner Jr., served as a member of the Camden Fire Department for 39 years and 8 months, reaching the rank of Acting Chief of Department. His nephew Roy A. Wagner owned Roy's Tavern on Federal Street and employed his brothers Phil Wagner and George C. Wagner as bartenders..

Crawford Smith's sons, Belford Edwin "Bud" Smith and Edward Baker Smith, worked in  security at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard. Bud Smith died of a heart attack at work in 1968. Edward rose to head of security at the shipyard, then worked for several years as an investigator with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, retiring in 1981. He passed away on August 29, 1994.

Camden Post
October 12, 1898

John L. Semple
Harriet Smith
Charles Gilbert
Wm. Harry Smith  - Crawford Smith
Clarence Smith - Howard Smith - Walter Smith
Andrew Collins - Theodore Laferta
Dyke O'Brien - Jonathan Cox
Robert Nichols - Robert Nevil
William Parker - George Dace
Sarah Brown - Lavinia Fussell


Camden Post
October 20, 1898

Harriet Smith
William "Policy Bill" Smith

Camden Post-Telegram * September 22, 1908
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Charles V.D. Joline
William M. "Cloudy Bill" Williams
Lizzie Williams
Pennsylvania Avenue
South 8th Street
Crawford Smith
Edward Hambrose
Harry Wagner Sr.

Camden Post-Telegram
December 12, 1908

S. Linokoski - Annie Nevlin
Albert Austermuhl - Harry Foulkes
William Fithian - Louis Munyan
Louis Leigh - Edward Holloway
Walter Smith -
Crawford Smith
Charles Adkins - Hollis Lightfoot
Morris Odell - George W. Kruck
William P. Walsh
Wilfred B. Wolcott
O. Glen Stackhouse

 

Camden Post-Telegram
November 30, 1910

Carman Street
Crawford Smith
Andy Smith
James Davis
Wright Cox
Market Street
Mrs. Imnel Grundy
Thomas J. Murphy

 

 

Camden Daily Courier
August 23, 1911

Carpenter Street

Camden Post-Telgram
July 9, 1912

Crawford Smith
Carpenter Street
David Clark

Camden Post-Telegram * February 5, 1913
Crawford Smith - O. Glen Stackhouse

Camden Daily Courier * February 5, 1913
Crawford Smith - O. Glen Stackhouse - William F. Kelly - David Rankins - Carman Street
Robert Williams - Friends Avenue - Fred Foy - South 4th Street

Camden Daily Courier * July 12, 1915
Crawford Smith - O. Glen Stackhouse - William Rumford - William T. Boyle - Carman Street
Dr. Frank Stem - William J. Kraft - Pennsylvania Avenue - John H. Gray - Mt. Ephraim Avenue

World War I Draft Card 
Crawford Smith - Camden Iron Works - Joseph A. Hurley - Carman Street - Line Street

Camden Post-Telegram
February 22, 1919

Crawford Smith
Carman Street
William Foster - Forrest Foster
Belford "Bud" Smith
Edward Smith
Della Smith
Robert Tomlinson
Bob Wagner
Samuel Shelton - Arthur Shelton
Charles Donnelly - May Swing
Walter Cox - Chester Cox
Samuel Cox

Camden Post-Telegram
June 26, 1925

Crawford Smith
South 10th Street
Forest Hill Park
Theodore Emerle
Leon Emerle
John T. Cleary


Camden Post-Telegram
October 26, 1925

Crawford Smith - Carman Street
Charles D. Phillips -
North 23rd Street
Edward T. Beach -
St. John Street
Elmer D. Snyder -
Mechanic Street
George P. Hood -
North 42nd Street
Alma C. McGhee -
Elm Street
Ralph E. Wood -
Clinton Street
Paul M. Brown -
Mt. Vernon Street

Camden Courier-Post
October 20, 1928

Crawford Smith
Y.M.C.A.

 

Camden Courier-Post
April 12, 1930

Crawford Smith
Convention Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camden Daily Courier * April 13, 1930
Wilbert E. Fite - Kaighn Avenue - Paul M. Winter - Eugene Tebbett

Camden Courier-Post
April 2, 1931

Crawford Smith
Howard M. Smith

Camden Courier-Post
December 14, 1933

Crawford Smith
Carman Street

Camden Courier-Post * September 14, 1934

...continued...
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Mickey Blair - William T. Feitz
Roy R. Stewart - Emma Heisler
George Ward - Arthur Colsey
Edward V. Martino - Samuel P. Orlando
Fred Klosterman - J. Harry Switzer
Joseph Klosterman - George Clayton
John Geronio -
Crawford Smith
Cooper Street -
Carman Street
Mollie Schwartz - Rosedale Avenue
John Potter - Howard B. Dyer
Glenn Brown -
Mt. Vernon Street
Walter Welch
...continued...
 

Camden Courier-Post * September 15, 1934

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Mickey Blair - William T. Feitz - Roy R. Stewart - Frank T. Lloyd - George Ward - Arthur Colsey
Edward V. Martino - Samuel P. Orlando - Fred Klosterman - Joseph Klosterman - J. Harry Switzer
Lawrence T. Doran - George Frost - Benjamin Simon
Vernon Jones - Stanley Wirtz
Nathan U. Katz - Kaighn Avenue -  George Clayton - John Geronio -
Crawford Smith
Cooper Street -
Carman Street

Camden Courier-Post * October 12, 1934

...continued...

Left: Thomas Cheeseman
Right: Vernon Jones

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Frank T. Lloyd - William T. Feitz
Emma Heisler - Roy R. Stewart
Glenn Brown - Michael Tocco
Thomas Cheeseman - Vernon Jones

George Weber - Frank Wilmot
Howard Fisher - Joseph Leonhardt
Frank F. Neutze - Arthur Colsey
Lawrence T. Doran - Samuel P. Orlando
Rand Street - Baring Street
Division Street - South 6th Street
Kaighn Avenue - Princess Avenue
Sycamore Street


George Weber - Frank Wilmot - Howard Fisher - Joseph Leonhardt
...continued... 
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 Frank Martz - Erie Street - Albert Young - North 2nd Street - Andrew Pointkowski - South 9th Street
Crawford Smith - Carman Street - Charles Simonin - Fairview Street - John Studinger - Federal Street Samuel Ford - John Geronio - Cooper Street - James Davis - Mt. Vernon Street - Oscar Conway
Mitchell Street - Mary Angelo - Pine Street - Thomas Kirk -
Carpenter Street - Samuel Karon
Mt. Ephraim Avenue - Walter Hart - Thurman Street - Frank Kulczynski - Orchard Street
Clarence Arthur - Clifford Del Rossi - Benjamin Simon - Leon Branch - Walter Smith - Howard M. Smith
Michael Tenerelli aka Mickey Blair - Anna Smallwood - Fred Klosterman - Joseph Klosterman
Lillian Vincent - Frank Tyson - Edmund Powell - William Kinsler - John Feitz - Walter Taylor - Joseph Rea
Harry Smith - John Lockwood - Edward Troutman - Thomas Moreland 

Camden Courier-Post * October 12, 1934

...continued...
...continued...
 Frank Martz - Erie Street - Albert Young
North 2nd Street
- Andrew Pointkowski
South 9th Street - Crawford Smith -
Carman Street Charles Simonin - Fairview Street - John Studinger
Federal Street
- Samuel Ford - John Geronio
Cooper Street - James Davis - Mt. Vernon Street Oscar Conway -
Mitchell Street - Mary Angelo
Pine Street
- Thomas Kirk - Carpenter Street
Samuel Karon -
Mt. Ephraim Avenue - Walter Hart Thurman Street - Frank Kulczynski - Orchard Street
Clarence Arthur - Clifford Del Rossi
Benjamin Simon - Leon Branch
Walter Smith -
Howard M. Smith
Michael Tenerelli aka
Mickey Blair
Anna Smallwood
- Frank F. Neutze
...continued...
Lillian Vincent - Frank Tyson - Edmund Powell - William Kinsler - John Feitz - Walter Taylor - Joseph Rea
William T. Feitz
- Emma Heisler - Harry Smith - John Lockwood - Edward Troutman - Thomas Moreland
Frank Drew - Martha Drew - Eugene Moslander - Gladys Moslander - Dr. Edward B. Rogers

Camden Courier-Post * January 4, 1935

...continued...
...continued...
...continued...
Fred Klosterman - Joseph Klosterman - Dominick Mozzare - Highland Avenue - Louis Schmidt
Paul Edwards - Elwood Humphreys - Horace Gunby -
South 10th Street - John Garrity - Earl Cunningham
Frank F. Neutze - Garfield S. Pancoast - Rocco Palese - Samuel P. Orlando - Joseph A. Varbalow
Andrew Pointkowski -  Frank Martz - Erie Street - South 9th Street - Crawford Smith - Carman Street
Charles Simonin -
Fairview Street - John Studinger - Federal Street - Samuel Ford
Frank Terionova -
Beckett Street - Mary Angelo - Pine Street - Thomas Kirk - Carpenter Street
Walter Hart -
Thurman Street

Camden Courier-Post
January 19, 1935

Frank Tyson
Crawford Smith -
Carman Street
Thomas Kirk -
Carpenter Street
Fred Klosterman - Joseph Klosterman
Frank F. Neutze
Joseph W. Cowgill

...continued...


Camden Courier-Post * January 21, 1935

...continued...

Crawford Smith - Carman Street - Thomas Kirk - Carpenter Street - Fred Klosterman - Joseph Klosterman
Joseph Woodridge - Andrew Pointkowski -  South 9th Street - Walter Hart -
Thurman Street 
Isaac W. Eason - Patrick H. Harding - Frank F. Neutze -
Samuel P. Orlando

Camden Courier-Post * January 22, 1935

...continued...

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Frank T. Lloyd - Isaac W. Eason - Patrick H. Harding - Frank F. Neutze - Samuel P. Orlando
Lawrence T. Doran - James J. Mulligan - James Wren - Joseph Bennie - Casimir Wojtkowiak
Elmer Mathis - Daisy Rourke - Ethel Michener -
Fred Klosterman - Joseph Klosterman
Crawford Smith -
Carman Street - Thomas Kirk - Carpenter Street - Joseph Woodridge
Andrew Pointkowski -  South 9th Street - Walter Hart -
Thurman Street
Arthur Colsey - Walter Smith - Howard Smith - Dr. Edward B. Rogers
Frank Kulczynski -
Orchard Street - Albert Young  - North 2nd Street


Camden Courier-Post * March 20, 1935


Fred Klosterman
Joseph Klosterman
Samuel P. Orlando
John Frenia
Mt. Ephraim Avenue
Young Republicans Seventh Ward Club
Pauline Frenia

Left: Joseph Klosterman
Right: Fred Klosterman


...continued...
Chester Topolski
Dayton Street
Albert Magee
John Szalanski
Chestnut Street
Crawford Smith
Carman Street
Thomas Kirk
Carpenter Street
Joseph Woodridge
Andrew Pointkowski
South 9th Street
Walter Hart
Thurman Street

...continued...
Chez La Joy
Mechanic Street
Leon Dabrowski
Carl Kisselman
...continued...
 
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Chester "Gassy" Szalanski - Lawrence T. Doran

Camden Courier-Post
June 17, 1941

Crawford Smith
Carman Street
Howard M. Smith
Walter Smith
Edward B. Smith
Crawford M. Smith Jr.
Belford E. Smith
Della Smith Durney Carroll
Elsie Smith David

Camden Courier-Post
May 24, 1949

Crawford Smith
Edward B. Smith
Crawford M. Smith Jr.
Belford E. Smith
Della Smith Durney Carroll
Elsie Smith David

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