DR. ULYSSES SIMPSON WIGGINS was born on a farm near Andersonville GA on November 7, 1895. He was a 1914 graduate of the Americus Institute in Georgia, and a 1918 graduate of Lincoln University. He was residing in Andersonville when he registered for the draft in 1917.
After serving as a Corporal in the United States Army in 1918 and 1919, he returned to college, and graduated form the University of Michigan Medical School in 1924. Dr. Wiggins interned at Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia in 1925.
In 1928 Dr. Wiggins came to Camden. He set up a general medical practice, and was affiliated with Cooper Hospital. He was a member of the Camden County and South Jersey Medical Societies, and the American Medical Association.
Dr. Wiggins and his wife, the former Alice L. Turner, made their home at 1025 South 4th Street.
Active nationally in the civil rights movement, Dr. Wiggins was on January 3, 1949 elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The focus of his work with the NAACP was to integrate public schools and public accommodations. The school system in Camden, which was partially segregated, i.e. only in the elementary school grades, where integrated after World War II, while Camden's public housing projects were integrated in the early 1950s.
Dr. Wiggins considered running for a spot on Camden's city commission as early as 1935. In 1954, Dr. Wiggins ran unsuccessfully for a seat on Camden’s City Commission, the first African-American candidate to campaign for that office. Although he was far from the first African-American to be involved politically in Camden, he was the first to have campaigned in a city-wide election.
Dr. Wiggins passed away in 1966. The park on Camden’s Waterfront, where the Pennsylvania Railroad ferry once stood, at the foot of Mickle and Federal Streets, is named in his memory, as is the Ulysses S. Wiggins Elementary School at 400 Mount Vernon Street.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 11, 1936|
THE EDITOR'S MAIL BAG
Bennett and Wiggins
It is certainly gratifying to note the appointment of Dr. U. S. Wiggins
on the advisory committee recently authorized by our city commissioners.
exemplified fair play in the naming of the doctor, in not forgetting the
colored citizens of our town. He also showed good judgment as Dr.
Wiggins is splendidly qualified to cope with problems that will confront
the new committee.
selection of a man of this type will, (or at least should) meet the
approval of all of Camden's colored citizens. Dr. Wiggins by hard work
has steadily forged to the front since coming North from the State of
Georgia. Feeling qualified, he placed himself before the electorate of
our city as an aspirant for the high office of city commissioner during
the last campaign, withdrawing for reasons which he clearly stated by
way of the press, radio and platform. It seems to me that he is
logically the man of our racial group to
have been named on this new committee.
us encourage Dr. Wiggins in every way possible as he functions, and not
raise the familiar old cry that "somebody born in Camden should
have been given the honor." Honor comes after hard work!
so as one citizen of Camden I congratulate Commissioner Bennett for not
forgetting the colored people and a host of women join with me in
congratulations for Dr. Wiggins and in wishing him success.
WILDA ROBINSON TOWNSEND,
|Camden Courier-Post - February 20, 1936|
FUND PLAN; APPROVE
W. OLIVER KINCANNON
under Chapter 77.
that with what security you can give by resolution or ordinance, but
Disregard Chapter 60.
a business rather than a political basis.
an active Interest In the management of Camden County as well as Camden
city, acting as a committee of inquiry on county management.
are some of the points of advice given to the City Commission yesterday,
at a special meeting of the Commission, by its Citizens' Advisory
trip-hammer style, James W.
Burnison, chairman of the advisory group, read a report that
followed with these recommendations:
politics and work as a unit.
expenses and stay within your budgets.
a complete and honest budget.
the taxpayers decide when an emergency exists that requires an addition
to the budget. Fight shy of gamblers' Interest rates.
default; it's too costly.
on a cash basis and stay there.
every taxpayer in the city realize and live up to his tax
about Camden city and county in a patriotic rather than a political
to Act Quickly
commission voted to take quick action by passing a motion introduced by
Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and finance.
motion empowers Bennett to call, as quickly as possible, a meeting of
the commission, representatives of its advisory committee, the finance
committee of the board of freeholders, representatives of the city's
bonding attorneys, Hawkins, Delafield and Longfellow, representatives of
Lehman Brothers and other bond houses to determine what arrangement can
be effected to solve the city's financial problems. Setting forth that
it is not our intent or desire to criticize the performances of past or
present city officers, " the report nevertheless, contained
frank condemnation of emergency deficiency appropriations for items that
are and were left off budgets.
also implied condemnation
of all the city budgets
since 1930 and pointed out: "That Camden City receipts
running behind expenditures approximately $1,000,000 a year since
yearly budgets do not at present, and did not in the past, in the opinion of your committee, give a frank
clear picture of anticipated income and expenditures.
job of contacting bondholders to
procure interest reductions, "your 'committee finds, has not been handled as frankly as
it deserves. We can find no evidence of a sincere effort to layout a program and attack this problem logically. No
more than 30 cents can be lopped off the tax' rate if the contacting
program were completely successful. The committee has failed to receive a requested report of efforts to contact
committee was convinced that it is futile to expect any large-scale
interest cuts from bondholders.
of Rate Cut
believes the majority of high interest-bearing bonds can be refunded at
substantially lower interest rates
if constructive action is taken immediately. The committee has been
informed that the state has refused to accept "reasonable
rates" on the city's bonds held by the State.
"the present difference of opinion on this subject among members of
our present city commission would in itself effectively block any real
work along this line, " and "We feel that real results along
this line require a united front on the part of our commission and the county freeholders." "Our
sinking fund, we are informed, is stuffed with our own frozen paper.
Such financing, in our estimation, kills the purpose of such
present plan of singling out a
few wards in our city and call
tax sales is neither fair to the delinquent taxpayers in these wards nor
is it fair to the taxpayers throughout the city."
concluding his reading of the summarized report, Burnison informed the
commissioners the committee has completed a detailed report of "40
to 42 pages of homework for you" and said that will be submitted
will contain detailed recommendations, including some errors in figures
and in judgment, but we ask that you disregard the errors and use the
good in it,"
when he mentioned
30 cents as the maximum figure to be lopped from the tax rate of the
city were completely successful in obtaining interest reductions, he
figured that would be the result if the city got 2% to 3 percent rates on all its bonds..
a large number of these bonds you can't hope to refund at lower interest
rates, as the rates already are low. You couldn't get under 4 or 4%
percent on your first refunding under Chapter 77 and almost all of the
bonds not immediately refundable are around those figures, " he
Bennett immediately opened up argument concerning what the committee
thinks will replace his favored refunding plan- Chapter 60 combined with
Objection to 60 Plan
seems to give the other fellow more advantages than us; that's our
objection to it,"
you have been assured from some source that we can avoid an increase in
the tax rate without adopting Chapter 60," Bennett said and
see no way of keeping down this year's budget without 60. Politics is
out in my argument, but I honestly believe 60 and 77 combined make the
only plan for us. Under the present plan the rate will go up this year.
Won't you tell us your source of assurance that it will not?"
did not answer the question immediately and Bennett said: "We would
have to pass resolutions committing us to procedure similar to that
under Chapter 60, wouldn't we?"
Burnison answered, "but not binding you to as close supervision.
You can't continue to exceed receipts and improve conditions
Bennett said, "give us the advantage of your sources assurance.”
Brothers (New York bankers who have handled many of the city's bonds in
the past and were interviewed last Friday by the advisory committee)
also said if we showed a sincere frank idea of economizing and staying
within our budget, the bondholders would accept our bonds without
necessity of recourse to Chapter 60.
said 60 'meant no more to the
bondholder than resolutions and ordinances, if you get together and go on record to
give security and then do it.
don't think the city commission should have any compunction in binding
itself not to exceed the budget. Then, if you find it is impossible for
you to operate on what you are taking in under the present tax rate,
call in a group of taxpayers say
200 of them-and explain the situation and raise the tax rate.
reasonable man or group will
see the necessity and logic of that. They will go along with you.
under Chapter 60 you put yourself under a rigorous unbending set of
Mrs. Kobus Urges Action
quit arguing and do it," Commissioner Mary
W. Kobus suggested, and
Mayor Frederick von Nieda asked: "If we take an average of the
income for the past three years would you not consider that average for
that point Bennett made his motion for power to call a special meeting
of the freeholders, commissioners, citizens' group, bond attorneys and
bond dealers, and it was passed unanimously after Commissioner George E.
Brunner seconded it.
reserve the right own discretion about dealers will be asked” Bennett
may be that Lehman Brothers are the only ones who will trust us,"
Burnison said. "They know the lines we are working along. They work
with other houses, and there may be other sources of credit we can
42 of the largest cities in New Jersey with 62 percent of all at the
ratables of the state are under Chapter 60 now," Bennett said.
percent could be wrong,"
Burnison answered and laughed, adding:
"In my opinion, those cities going under 60 haven't looked very far
what we have done," Bennett replied. "My department has done
that and that is why we are advocating 60.”
there are members on our committee
who know a good bit about that sort of thing and they say the city is justified in not going
under 60," Burnison said.
Legislature is going to pass a new budget law that will act just the
same as Chapter 60, though it will not be passed in time to effect this
year's budget," Bennett said.
Burnison, "I'd think the commission would prefer to adopt a
safe course voluntarily than to be forced into it."
have no assurance that those who will have charge of the city's affairs
for the next 15 or 18 years will follow the course we lay down for
them," Bennett said and added: "Past political experience
shows that they won't."
brought the argument to a close and
Burnison, questioned by a reporter,
are not unalterably opposed to Chapter 60. We oppose it, yes. We believe
under 77 a better job for us can be worked out."
City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord, with an aide, attended, and a stenographer from Commissioner Bennett's office took a complete report of the proceedings.
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