JOEY POWELL was another one of the fine crop of boxers that came out of Camden in the 1920s and 1930s. He remained active in boxing after he left the ring as a member of Camden's Veterans Boxing association Ring 6. His list of well-wishers for the banquet program of 1959, which honored Sgt. Ray Smith, is an interesting mix of boxing figures, policemen, politicians, journalists, and bar owners.
Camden Courier-Post - August 11, 1930
AND WILSON CLASH IN WINDUP HERE TONIGHT
BY STEVE O'KEEFE Sports Editor, Morning Post
Camden will welcome the return of King Biff, tonight. A five-bout bill, featuring Young Firpo, of Pennsgrove, in the main event, will be presented by the Camden City A. C. at the Convention Hall and in the view of Matchmaker Jim Toppi the huge civic shed should shake under the impact of punching by the 10 rival knucklers.
Firpo, now being groomed as one of the outstanding lightweights in this vicinity is hitting harder than ever before during his ring career but his eight-round clash with Tommy Wilson another stiff puncher, is regarded as a dangerous step. If the anticipated knockout wallop lands on the wrong chin tonight the stock of Firpo preferred is due to tumble into the depths and as a result the flow of bets that has followed the Pennsgrove youth throughout the Winter season in Philadelphia, seems to have been checked by a fear that Wilson will "cross up" the dope on the duel.
With this bout as the topnotcher, Camden fans feel assured of a pleasing finale tonight. This added to Matchmaker Toppi's emphatic prediction that the preliminary bill promises everything desired indicates an evening crammed with exciting entertainment.
Firpo Hits Hard in Drills
Firpo, a former caddie, became popular here several years ago when he first punched his way into the pugilistic picture but it was not until last Fall that he really became a polished performer. Tackling some of the "big game" in Philadelphia he fought courageously and with marked success. His latest triumph was at the expense of Johnny Sheppard, the Boston veteran, at the Philadelphia Arena. This followed a victory over Al Bryant, New York Negro, in a bout abbreviated by the solid smacks of the Pennsgrove pounder.
During his gym drills in Philadelphia Firpo has displayed amazingly well-timed pokes and appears even more aggressive than heretofore. He went through a pair of strenuous fourround workouts and his sparring partners gladly welcomed the sound of the quit signal.
Wilson breaks into the boxing game here by way of Millville where he has been slugging away at foes with reckless abandon. The Philadelphian toppled Lew Jackson, another Pennsgrove ringster, in two rounds recently and prior to that hit has way to a victory on points over Joey Powell, of Whitman Park. These two triumphs alone rate him high here but those who have watched him in action declare that his real worth can be determined best when pitted against a boring battler of the Firpo type.
There may be a few rounds of the usual "warming up" process before the fireworks begin but after that it will be a case of who connects with the sharpest sock, if he wins tonight, has sharpest sock. Firpo, if he wins tonight has a "shot" pending with Emory Cabana here two weeks hence. Matchmaker Toppi also has another bout in view, a return scrap between Roxie Allen and Alf Ros, the Algerian who beat the focal Italian at Newark several weeks ago.
The eight-round companion feature tonight will show. Joe Powelll in his return to a local ring against Danny Taub, of Philadelphia. Powell has hung up a creditable record during the past year but finds the Taub tussle tonight in the nature of a severe test for the Quaker City rap artist has won 22 battle's without a miss.
Nick Trajan, of Palmyra, meets '''Reds'' Foy, of Camden, in the third six-inning contest. Harry Little, former Middle Atlantic A. A. U. titleholder, is slated to mingle with Davey Taylor of Merchantville, in the second fuss while Stewart Guest tackles Teddy Baldwin, of Philadelphia, in the opener..
Camden Courier-Post - March 17, 1936
POWELL REARRESTED AS COUNTY
"Joey" Powell, former boxer who was arrested by city police in
connection with a South Camden holdup and subsequently released, was
rearrested by county detectives last night.
was taken into custody on orders of Prosecutor Samuel
who also ordered the arrest of a second suspect.
Camden police turned the case over to the prosecutor's
office after the arraignment of Walter Lewandowski, who was caught in a
police trap Friday night as he allegedly attempted to steal a $800
at the Eavenson
& Levering Company's
plant at Fourth Street and Ferry
He formerly was
Two Others Implicated
Lewandowski implicated Powell, 25,
46 Woodland Avenue, and Leonard Rogalski, 20, of 1219 South Tenth
Street, in a plot to steal the payroll, according to Police Chief Arthur
Powell thereupon was taken into custody and questioned,
then, according to Colsey, he was released temporarily, in his own recognizance,
pending further investigation. Rogalski was not arrested until County
Detectives James Wren and Casimir
Wojtkowiak took him in last night. The same detectives arrested
Powell. Both suspects were charged with attempted holdup and robbery and
committed to the county jail.
Lewandoski,24, of 924 Atlantic
Avenue, also in county jail, committed without bail by Police Judge Lewis
According to Chief Colsey, Lewandowski made a statement in
which he accused Powell of plotting the holdup and making him the “goat”.
"The holdup was Powell's idea” Colsey quoted Lewandowski as saying. "He got me in on
it, and Rogalski was supposed to take part, too. Rogalski got “cold
feet” though, and Powell sent me in while he was supposed to watch
"Instead he beat it because he
had tipped off the police that the place was going to be held up."
Released After Quiz
On the strength of Lewandowski's statement, patrolman Edward Suski was sent to arrest Powell. After questioning, however, the former pugilist was released.
"We found no evidence against
Powell," Colsey explained. "Lewandowski's story
looked like an attempt to get himself off easier.
"We turned the case over to the
prosecutor's office, as we always do after making an arrest that seems
to clear up the case."
When Lewandowski showed up, Carr and Koerner pointed revolvers at him. He fled down a stairway and Carr fell on him. The two grappled and the detective says the man pointed a .32 caliber pistol at him. Carr overpowered him with blow on the head with the butt of his revolver.
Camden Courier-Post - March 18, 1936
ORDERED TO FACE INQUIRY BY MRS. KOBUS
Detective Stanley Wirtz, suspended by Police Chief Arthur Colsey yesterday pending investigation into charges that he supplied the guns and an automobile for a holdup, has been ordered to appear today before Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, director of public safety.
Detective Chief Lawrence
yesterday charged that
had supplied the guns and automobile to be used in the holdup and then
inside the plant to capture the bandits.
No motive for the detective's action were revealed by Doran.
"I advised the commissioner," Justice Lloyd said, "to go cautiously with the investigation and gather the facts before taking any action. It is a common thing for officers to lay traps for men who are prone to commit crime, although they have no business to encourage crime. I think it is bad policy to suspend any policeman before the facts of the case have been heard."
Wirtz came after an
investigation was ordered into a statement made by Walter Lewandowski, 24 of
924 Atlantic Avenue, who was
captured when he attempted to hold up a clerk at the wool scouring
company, Ferry Avenue and
Jackson Street. Lewandoski claimed he had “been framed" and named
Joseph Powell, a police stoo1 pigeon, as the one who planned the holdup
and then informed
has been a police informer for
some time, according to Chief Colsey.
The latter said he had taken Powell into custody for questioning and had released
him in his own recognizance. Chief Colsey
admitted Powell had given police the tip resulting in Lewandowski’s
Lewandowski was nabbed, his gun was loaded with blank cartridges. This
gun, according to Chief Doran,
Wirtz to Powell, who in
turn gave it to Lewandowski. Another youth, Leonard Rogalski, 20, of
1219 South Tenth Street, was
supposed to take part in the ho1dup, but "got cold feet and ran
away” police were told by Lewandoski.
"Stanley Wirtz, Camden city detective, supplied the gun and the automobile used in the attempted holdup of the Eavenson & Levering Company payroll office Friday night. Statements were given us by three suspects all tally.
Lewandoski worked at the Eavenson
plant, but was laid off there February 28. On March 3 he had money
coming to him and he returned to the plant. Joseph Powell accompanied him. Powell talked to Lewandoski then of the payroll, and
suggested the holdup. Powell then got in touch with Stanley
Wirtz, and told him that Lewandoski was going to stick up the
payroll March 4.
on that night loaned Powell a car but someone got cold feet, and the
holdup was not attempted. The following week, on March 13, last Friday, Wirtz
took a car to Powell’s home and there turned over to him two guns and
the automobile. Wirtz
then had detectives posted at the scene to arrest the
bandits when they made the holdup attempt.
met Lewandowski and Rogalski and drove them to the plant. There Powell
turned over to his two companions the two guns that had been given him
Rogalski got cold feet and refused to go through with the holdup. Powell
then went into the plant with Lewandowski. After Lewandowski went in the
door, Powell ran from the building.
was outside the building. He did not catch Powell."
was doing police work. I was brought into this case on a tip that a
holdup was going to be staged and I had no knowledge of the guns or the car. I didn't know what it was all about
but merely was there to perform my duties as a policeman.
is 37 and lives at 1197 Thurman Street. He was one of the first of the
new policemen to be appointed to the department in 1924 after Civil
Service was put into effect following the adoption of Commission
government in 1924. He is a veteran of the World War and got a special rating
for that reason when he took the Civil Service examination. In 1931 Wirtz was appointed as an accident investigator in the detective bureau and has served in that capacity ever
since. He has a good reputation as a policeman and has never been in
four years ago
figured in an automobile accident that caused serious injury to one of
was not arrested until County Detectives James Wren and Casimir
Wojtkowiak took him in Monday night. The same detectives arrested
Powell. Both suspects were charged with attempted holdup and robbery and
committed to the county jail.
Lewandowski also is in county jail, committed without bail by police Judge Lewis Liberman Saturday.
Camden Courier-Post - March 19, 1936
TO HEAR FATE IN BANDIT QUIZ TODAY
Decision on any action to be taken
Wirtz, suspended Camden detective charged
with having furnished the guns and automobile for a holdup, will be made
today by Commissioner Mary W. Kobus and Police Chief Arthur
P. Orlando, however, said he would place the
case before the grand jury.
The charge involved the attempted holdup of the Eavenson & Levering Company payroll, in which one of the alleged bandits was captured at the scene last Friday night.
"No charges have been preferred against Wirtz,” Mrs. Kobus announced after the investigation.
"And I don't believe any charges will be made," Colsey commented, adding:
Wirtz was suspended Tuesday after County Detective Chief Lawrence T. Doran announced Wirtz had admitted supplying the pistols and car, allegedly used in the abortive attempt to obtain a $800 payroll at the wool-scouring plant.
William B. Macdonald, court stenographer, recorded the statements made by each man,
"All three made full statements
to us;" Colsey said and then declined to reveal
what the statements contained.
Denies Stories Clash
''No, I wouldn't say so."
Wirtz appeared briefly before the
commissioner and chief at the start of
probe, which was conducted in Mrs. Kobus'
office. He left the room after about two minutes and told reporters,
"I refused to make a statement. I made one yesterday and that is
"He said he had been In court all day and was nervous,” Mrs. Kobus said.
Asked for a statement at the
conclusion of the investigation, Mrs. Kobus said:
"No charges have been preferred
against Wirtz. This was not a hearing on any
charge. This was an investigation of reports which I read in the
newspapers. It is the duty of the police officials to investigate any
such report, and Wirtz and the other two detectives who
figured in the case were called in to make statements. 'This was not, a
trial and I do not care to make a statement now about what went
Doran said Wirtz, admitted dealing with Powell and giving Powell two
pistols and an automobile for use in the holdup. As a result Powell,
who had been arrested and released by city police, was rearrested by the
In addition, Leonard “Rags” Rogalski, 20, of 1219 South 10th Street, was arrested by the county detectives. They said Lewandowski told them Rogalski originally was intended to take part in the holdup but got "cold feet", and backed out at the last moment.
Powell, Lewandowski and Rogalski are
held in the county jail.
"I have nothing to do with the discipline of the police department. I will present the full facts of this holdup to the grand jury and, that body may take any action it desires."
Jury to Get Case
"I will give the grand jury the full facts. The members
will decide for themselves what action to follow."
This charge was no-billed, Doran said.
"He was listed as a mental case,"
said, "and was examined by the county physician and pronounced O.K."
Association Ring 6
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