Sincere Thanks to Dan McConnell's
grand-daughter, Bonnie Errickson,
Dan McConnell's son, Daniel J. McConnell, was estranged from his family from about the 1970s until his passing at a veterans hospital in New York in 2005. If anyone has information as to the life and times of Daniel J. McConnell, PLEASE contact this writer by e-mail, so it can be forwarded to his niece and nephew. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
McConnell's Neighborhood 1901-1913
1926 Aerial Photograph
McConnell lived at 125 Main Street.
June 6, 2004
June 6, 2004
Philadelphia Inquirer - April 1, 1917
Athletic Association - Camden City Basketball League
War I Draft Registration Cards
for Daniel & Harry McConnell
|Click on Image to Enlarge|
|Click on Image to Enlarge|
CAMDEN COUNTY IN THE GREAT WAR
City Farm Gardens
weapon to defeat the enemy was the establishment of City Farm Gardens in
the country. They were urged by the Government and not only provided food
for city residents, but abolished unsightly vacant lots. Mayor
Ellis named the first City Gardens Committee on April 19, 1917, as
follows: E. G. C. Bleakly, Judge
Frank T. Lloyd, Zed H. Copp, William Derham, L.
E. Farnham, B. M. Hedrick, David Jester, O. B. Kern, M.
F. Middleton, Dr. H. L. Rose, Asa L. Roberts, W.
D. Sayrs, Jr., Charles A.
Wolverton, Earl T. Jackson, H. R. Kuehner, Herbert N. Moffett and
Hubert H. Pfeil. At the initial meeting of the above date B. M. Hedrick
was elected chairman; Zed H. Copp secretary and M.
F. Middleton treasurer. Brandin W. Wright, a farming expert, was
employed as general superintendent on May 3, 1917. At a meeting on May 18,
1918, the names of Frank Sheridan and Daniel
P. McConnell were added to the publicity committee in the place
In his annual report to City Council on January 1, 1918, Mayor Ellis urged the appointment of a committee by City Council on City Gardens and Councilman Frederick Von Neida was named as chairman. This committee with a committee of representative citizens met in the City Hall in February, 19 18, to organize for the ensuing summer. The members of the Councilmanic committee were: Frederick Von Neida, Frank S. Van Hart, William J. Kelly and John J. Robinson.
The committee planned an exposition of farm garden products for the fall of 1918, but this plan was frustrated by the Spanish influenza epidemic.
war gardens became victory gardens in the year 1919 when the committee met
on January 29, 1919. Meyers Baker
was elected secretary and William
D. Sayrs, Jr., treasurer. At the meeting on March 25 committees were
appointed for the Victory War Gardens
|Events at the Church of the Immaculate Conception - March 17, 1920|
Story by Mr. Daniel P. McConnell, of the Camden Post Telegram,
for Wednesday, March 18, 1920
Camden last night gave a splendid welcome to the Very Rev. Dean William J.
Citizens of other faiths, judges, doctors, lawyers and those in more humble stations of life, rubbed elbows in the vast audience that packed to capacity the Catholic Lyceum. All were present for a common purpose- to honor the new prelate, who comes to Camden with a splendid reputation as a Christian gentleman, patriot and ambassador of the Catholic Church.
At the reception in the Lyceum, former Judge William T. Boyle presided. He in turn introduced Rev. Francis J. McCallion, who was acting pastor of the parish. Father McCallion was given a wonderful reception after Judge Boyle extolled his oratorical and executive ability. In a splendid speech Father McCallion paid a glowing tribute to Dean Fitzgerald, the subject of the evening's testimonial.
James F. Lennon was the principal speaker for the occasion. Already famed for his ability as an orator, Mr. Lennon probably gave his best talk last night. It was a tribute to the new Dean and the members of the Catholic clergy and Sisters of Mercy.
his remarks Mr. Lennon told of the duties of a priest, of his mission
and his value to the community. To the good sisters a glowing tribute
was also paid by the speaker. Mr. Lennon also lauded the public school
system and explained the principles of the parochial school. His
reference to the 312 Immaculate Conception
members who fought in the war for Democracy evoked a storm of applause. To the late and
lamented Monsignor Mulligan Mr. Lennon offered a deserved tribute. In the course of his address the
Turning to Dean Fitzgerald Mr. Lennon extended to him a warm welcome after which he presented the pastor with a large basket of beautiful flowers, a gift of the ladies of the parish.
Mayor Charles H. Ellis was warmly received and in a splendid talk the city's chief executive turned over the keys of the city. The Mayor's talk was punctuated with witty remarks concerning the "suburb of Philadelphia".
The Mayor said that the great day had arrived when religious strife was no more and creeds were united for one common cause.
With much feeling Dean Fitzgerald told of his appreciation of the great honor. He was visibly affected by the testimonial, but modestly stated that he considered it not only a reception to him, but to the members of the Catholic clergy.
Dean Fitzgerald assured all that he was glad to come to Camden and he asked the hearty co-operation of his parishioners. He turned and gazed over the members of the reception committee seated on the stage and told how happy he was that men like former Senator Baird, County Clerk Patterson, Mayor Ellis and other big men of the city and county were present to do him honor.
After the reception in the Lyceum Dean Fitzgerald adjourned to the parlor of the Lyceum where he met members of the parish and other friends. He stood under a canopy of flowers and colored electric lights.
The guard of honor was
comprised of fifty-fourth degree Knights of Columbus.
Unable to be present, because of previous engagements, Rev. Leon K. Willman, pastor of the Broadway M. E. Church, and Rev. Edwin F. Hann, of First M. E. Church, sent letters of regret in which they wished the new pastor success in his new fields of labor.
Success of last night's eventful
occasion can be attributed to Rev. Francis J.
This morning the church reception was held with a solemn high mass, which was sung by Dean Fitzgerald. Father Whelan was deacon, Father Hennig, sub-deacon, and Father Shay, master of ceremonies. Father McCallion delivered a splendid sermon for the occasion and the singing of the altar boys was very fine. William H. Lorigan presided at the organ.
Children of the parish this afternoon tendered a reception to the new pastor. The altar boys will present Dean Fitzgerald with an enlarged and framed likeness of himself.
Camden Courier-Post * June 18, 1922
Lions Club - Frank S. Norcross - Albert E. Burling - Jerome
Wayland P. Cramer - Edgar Myers - M.J. Lubanyik - Daniel P. McConnell
Dan McConnell in the Camden Courier-Post
|Dan McConnell - about 1920||Dan
& Betty Ann McConnell
Spring of 1926
Camden Courier-Post * January 24, 1928
Not 'Mike' is New WCAM Equipment
Camden's Municipal station, WCAM, has added a new piece of mechanism to the usual broadcasting apparatus. A megaphone has replaced the customary microphone.
Jim Howell, announcing from the Walt Whitman Hotel studio last night, said "I will now turn the Megaphone over to Bessie I. Bossert." Further on in the program he again turned the "megaphone" over to someone.
Dan McConnell still holds the championship at WCAM, however, for Howell's error didn't compare to the time, several weeks ago, when McConnell broadcast two rounds of a bout at Convention Hall before he gave the names of the fighters.
Camden Courier-Post * April 25, 1928
Baseball Played In Truck Costs $100, Ruins Diamond
South 4th Street - Broadway - Everett Street
Stations reserve right to change programs without notice
March 28, 1932
Dan McConnell's Courier-Post Columns and Articles
|January 5, 1938||
H. Bart McHugh, Camden Mummers, The Dooley Family vaudeville act from Camden, Radio announcer "Dream Daddy" Harry Erhart
|January 11, 1938|
|January 11, 1938|
|January 12, 1938||
Camden PTA Dress Contest, Mrs. Margaret Palese
|January 22, 1938|
|January 24, 1938|
|January 29, 1938|
|February 1, 1938|
|February 8, 1938||
Bill Wilson, Dan & Gertie Grimes,
|February 11, 1938|
|February 15, 1938|
|February 22, 1938|
|June 2, 1939|
|June 7, 1939||
The Camden Courthouse of 1904, the Temple Theater, Ralph W.E. Donges, Charles W. Austermuhl, David Baird Sr., David Baird Jr., Robert Schroeder Sr., William H. Pratt, Chief Jimmy Long, Bob Turner's Oyster House
|June 30, 1939||
|October 2, 1939||
Henry W. Aitken, James O'Neill, Vaudeville, Tommy Gramigna
|October 6, 1939|
|October 10, 1939|
|October 13, 1939|
|October 17, 1939|
|October 20, 1939||
E. George Aaron, Early Automobiles, Boxers
|October 24, 1939|
|October 27, 1939||
Dr. Carroll H. Francis, Chester De Vonde, Francis X. Bushman,
|October 31, 1939|
|November 3, 1939|
|November 7, 1939|
|November 10, 1939|
|November 21, 1939|
|November 24, 1939|
|November 28, 1939|
|September 9, 1948||
Ann Pennington, Gloria Swanson
Betty Ann writes about her father, Dan McConnell - August 1965
My father was a small man....bent...limping....thin....so thin....with eyes and hair that bespoke a Spanish unknown in an Irish background. he spoke seldom but when he did you listened because he was a story teller... ... a deeply locked mind stored away little things and when they broke through they ran out in language, vocabulary, and written word that claimed education. My father never finished fourth grade, yet his life limited in years and scope edged on greatness. He spoke over early radio as a sports announcer, whistling between bouts to entertain the fans... I remember being brought downstairs to listen to Daddy over the radio. He wrote as a true newspaperman notes on an napkin, matchbook, envelope, etcetera. He never had a decent pencil or paper on him, but up from grimy pockets, with tobacco and bits of paper, came the slips of paper... tiny pencil and he scribbled. That scribbling produced stories and columns read by thousands. These words were never rewritten or corrected by anyone. His vocabulary was very strong, precise; his spelling outstanding, his writing style picturesque, romantic, ala Jim Bshop.
His wants, dreams, and desires were locked away for lack of money, education, and a demanding family from the time he was a boy, the working child. The shoemaker he worked for encouraged him to read, thus Charles Dickens was his real education. He always did his best in an untidy, quiet, loving way. At home a retiring, reading ,an... thin hands never still, he rolled bits of paper, pulled his left ear, typed two-finger columns, cooked a good meal, hunched by a radio a if it might try to run away. He moved quietly; limping in and out to check traffic, his tomato plants, always looking, observing; never doing--- he could only write, read, and speak when he wanted to.
He loved much, animals- cats and dogs would sit beside him in deep comfort then sleep, covered by good sweater or blankets on clean beds he put them on. He adored movies, entertainers, and vaudeville, all of "show biz". What a joy to see a movie or listen to a program with him. He always remembered when... he had known the greats, having been a press agent for the Keith Circuit during vaudeville days. We didn't have TV, we had Pop to fill in for us.
My memories are of Saturday afternoons and movies with Pop. How he hurried, plunging ahead on crooked legs into the darkened theater, and settling down as if to stay forever. Maybe we saw some terrible movies together, I don't know... they were always classics to me.
I remember for years there would be a knock on my bedroom door late in the evening and Pop would slip in a small bag of penny candy, each piece different. Even when I was out on my own, that bag of candy would appear as did an extra dollar on Sunday before he went to work.
Everyone knew him, walking on a city street with him, every other person would say "Hello Dan". He'd hurry on as if to catch a train, a quick hello thrown out to the unseen, There were always passes to circuses, National Conventions, movies, racetracks... he never used them.
He hated holidays- he worked them, nights usually... Fast drivers, we had no car.... Clothes- he looked like rocks were carried in all his pockets.... Drunks- he was a heavy drinker himself....Guests- he's miss his paper or radio programs... Visiting same reason- he'd disappear quite well.
He loved me. I know he did. I could tell- his hands on my head, his tears when I cried, he never criticized me. He slapped me once... just once... I had slapped him first. He brought me home my out of town newspapers and movies books. He's cook me the best steaks. I was his only wanted companion, ever. There was a silent bond between us...it made us happy to be in the same room together.... quiet but together.
This small giant had many faults and I know them too, but they were man made.... not God given, as he was. He was a man with a great brain and talent chained to a small life. With education and encouragement he could have "made it" but he never did....
He died of cancer of the mouth, uncomplaining, alone silent as always....
For my children I wish many things among them that each will have a little of my Pop in them.... read, write, and speak as he did.... He didn't make it... maybe you will... for him and me.
I dream of greatness for you of writing ability, of speaking quality, love of books, to see things others miss, love of show business, animals, but most of all to be able to share what you have with others..... in your own way -
| Dan McConnell
& Family through the Years
Click on Images to Enlarge
The Wedding Day of Dan McConnell & Alice Deegan
Below Left & Right: Dan Under and Alice on the Boardwalk, Atlantic City NJ - 1920s
Below Center: Dan & Betty Ann McConnell - Camden NJ - Spring of 1925
In the Backyard of 1125 Kenwood Avenue - Camden NJ - Late 1920s -
Daniel P, Betty Ann, and Daniel J. McConnell
|Below: Dan McConnell - Early 1930s|
Left: The McConnell Family at 404 Grove Street, Haddonfield NJ - 1949
Below Right: Dan & Betty Ann McConnell outside 404 Grove Street, Haddonfield NJ - 1930s
Left: 404 Grove Street, Haddonfield NJ - 1949
Below Right: Lieutenant Daniel J. McConnell, United States Army
|Click on Images to Enlarge|
Click on Images to Enlarge
|Click on Images to Enlarge|
Camden's First Auto
'Sped' at 20-Miles-an-Hour;
January 29, 1938
Click on Image to Enlarge
Dan McConnell's Scrapbook
a tube goes haywire in the present
day radio receiver it means
a little inconvenience and a small amount of cash.
in the days when the engineers turned
out its first one-tube set,
was a sad experience two days after the prized tube set with earphones
was hooked onto a crude antenna. The single tube slipped and
splintered into pieces. That was a personal radio tragedy. A new tube
cost exactly $6. For a couple of dollars more today you can buy a
midget receiver—and they talk about a recession.
was one of the pioneer broadcasting stations. It pounded through those
one-tubers with a bang. Getting our first DX we hopped to the
telephone and called Dr. Oscar N. Hinski, also a pioneer radio bug, to tell we got KDKA. And NOT repeating what "Doc” said.
It's been a long step forward from the days of the crystal sets with their "cat's whiskers" and programs on the mighty organ in the Wanamaker store with Joe Nassau in his resonant voice chirping: "This is Station W-O-O."
Great orchestras now entertain us, but Charley Kerr and his pioneer radio crew gave us many enjoyable moment with our first one-tube set.
J. Hartmann, our own city commissioner, is touchy about the subject of
radio. As a junior engineer he was present at the first KDKA broadcast
on Nov. 2, 1920, in Pittsburgh.
on Broadway.” There were blossoms on Camden's
Broadway not so many
years ago. Each Spring and Slimmer the trees bloomed forth in early
buds and there was always a poignant aroma such as only Nature could
of the older families of this then pastoral-like town were ornamented
with window flowerboxes. Geraniums and other perennial and seasonal
plants burst out in multicolored blooms right on old Broadway.
there were blossoms on Broadway way back there when folks didn't have
to dodge speeding car— nor push their way through sidewalks crowded
with shoppers. It was so serene when there were blossoms on our own
An advertisement reading “Bijou—Miss St.
Louis” of 1937 is
tinged with a life drama of past years.
old Bijou theatre In Philadelphia, it seems, is today a playhouse
where once great exponents of Thespia come back to lament of success
that is no more, and to receive a stipend that in their more opulent
days would have been spurned as cigarette money.
lovely Charlotte Nash, the once famed "Miss St. Louis" of
one of the earlier Atlantic City
Bijou— the house that spawned stage stars and now a haven for
one-time greats, whose dreams and hopes have been shattered.
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is... packing them in at New York's Radio City Music Hall . . . Scalpers have most of the tickets . . . Looks like Walt Disney drew a fortune for himself Aesop's Fables . . . The first animated cartoon pictures... were the spice of the old Keith vaudeville programs. Why not a radio "Hit Parade" series?… Of old time tunes… such as "Dardanella" or maybe "On the 5:15" or perhaps "Mary, You're a Little Bit Old-fashioned" and other songs we whistled back around 1915.
Ray, the songbird of Sonja Henie's latest film opus "Happy
Landing'" got her real start when she first sang with Phil Harris
and his orchestra . . . . in 1934. A radio highlight is the Hal
Grayson orchestra arrangement of "Scrapin' the Toast"… A
band that is Hollywood bound. Bands may come and go . . . but just one
more night at Harry Roselle’s dancing academy… Dancing to the
tunes played by Harry Reyno's Orchestra.
in the same business after more than 40-years. One of the merchant
princes of Camden.
when Sig convinced this then young reporter that an $8 derby hat was
perfect. The first time, wearing the Iron chapeau, when one of the
boys in the old Aquinas Club addressed us as “Chief." Putting
the derby on our tormentor's head and pulling it all the way down over
Those tall choker collars and flowing black artists bow ties he peddled back around 1912. Sam Herman made those nifty suits with pegleg trousers, you bought your shoes from the Kobus boys and Sig Schoenagle provided the duds for the dudes back in the early 1900's.
have changed but Sid is the same grand fellow who failed miserably in
making a fashion plate out of this spindle-legged
this writer anticipated, our yarn about an old and revered friend,
Oscar A. Eastlack, and his vintage Brush car, kicked
up a lot of arguments and discussions.
until some Camden citizens presents authentic and undisputed proof to
the contrary that's our story and we're sticking to it.
same story brings up another much-mooted question. The question is
whether readers of columns such as this desire reminiscences of the
good old days or the more ultramodern prattle and chatter about
present day persons and events.
the short time this pillar has been tolerated by the managing editor
and possibly read by some folks not once has our mail box contained a
letter from a local reader, who penned or typed a complimentary note
about something we wrote a la modernistic.
the other hand many folks have taken the time to give to this
scrivener a few kind words of appreciation. Missives of this kind are
appreciated with heartfelt gratitude.
gracious note from Mrs. Mary Dooley, mother of Rae Dooley and other
members of the stage famous Dooleys. This grand old lady is living in
reader who flatteringly compared the Scrap Book with the literari of
the very odd McIntyre signs herself as Minnie L. Keen.
our days of broadcasting sports events letters came from many parts of
the country, from Canada, and one from a little town near London,
majority of that radio mail came from women listeners. The same rule
applies to the Scrap Book mail box.
Dan McConnell's Scrapbook
some perhaps justified, has been directed toward the various alphabet
agencies of the New Deal administration. Forgetting our own rather
many grand old troupers who sipped champagne and puffed on expensive
cigars in the halcyon and opulent days of old Keith vaudeville, this
one branch of the administration has been a haven hope for now
financially anemic Thespians.
many years of affiliation with local theatres and counting many now
venerable troupers as friends and one time acquaintances this writer
never met nor ever knew of an
actor who might be placed in the category of "cheap skates”.
timers who unhesitatingly dug down in their jeans to help another
artist, a manager on even a stagehand find themselves forced to accept
the gratuities of the government— to keep body and soul together.
the old axiom of "easy come, easy go," is applicable to many
former stage favorites who are today on WPA rolls. Many who were more
frugal in their habits have been able to live on their earnings.
Others. just seemed to have passed along in life's human procession.
or more years ago the Brothers Byrne were top-notchers in their epic
and hilariously entertaining Vehicle,
production was a mutton comedy with nautical embellishments and it was
riotously funny throughout its entire four acts. They packed every
theatre played in the United States and Canada.
famous comedians and acrobats were the first to use trick stage
effects. Their smash scene was the interior, of a ship. Effects were
worked up showing the ship rolling in a storm.
climax came' when the ship turned end over end. Inside were the eight
brothers. Not only was this “business” great comedy, but it was
years ago the writer, on a daily visit to a local theater to fix up
newspaper copy walked into the office of the late Bill Wilson, then
house manager. Seated in a chair in the corner was a wan and emaciated
man of about 60 years. He smiled and uttered a feeble greeting.
few minutes later that man left with Wilson having one arm around his
shoulder. Our curiosity was
Wilson, a chap who had a heart as big as his great physique told the
story. The stranger who left was the last survivor of the Brothers
Byrne. Wilson gave him a few dollars as a stake.
once great actor in “Eight Bells” was going to the county hospital
at Lakeland. His disease was incurable.
and Gertie Grimes, veteran troupers in the sunset of their lives, are
still sweethearts after more than 50 years of married bliss.
work on the local WPA theatre circuit and are warmly received bv their
a little home down along the Black Horse Pike—and they are happy
with their memories.
Grimes was on the stage as minstrel before the famed team of Mclntyre
and Heath, the greatest of all blackface comedians, started in
of the better liked of character comedians in the bygone days were
those who had "tramp" acts. The greatest stage exponent of
hobo parts was the late Nat Willis. He would flip the ashes of his
ubiquitous cigar and emit a jocular laugh between gags. His was a
what has become of the cycling tramp—Joe Jackson. Jackson resorted
to pantomime to get his laughs. His bicycles were made in all shapes
and sizes and his falls were only matched for genuine comedy with the
“flops” that made Johnny and Gordon Dooley famous.
Joe Jackson is a WPA artist.
Leonard: Feeling a lump in the throat while day dreaming of the
greatest of all soft shoe dancers…… Remembering Eddie when he
danced and sang “Ida” and other lilting tunes. The Dolce
Sisters: Three charming little New England lassies… Who were the
first to sing in the rhythm of the Pickens Sisters, the Tell Sisters
and others of present day fame… More than 20 years ago the Dolce
Sisters were a Keith standard act. Billie Reeves: One of
topnotch straight men and later a producer in burlesque…. Reeves was
the man who discovered Charlie Chaplin and brought him to the States
… "A Night In a
London Musical Hall" was Chaplin's first American skit. Bert
Fitzgibbon: One of the highest salaried single acts in show
business . . . He called himself “The Daffydill"…. Now broken
in health and an invalid in his humble Long Island home. Marguerite
Clark: One of the sweethearts of the early silent motion picture
days …. A rival or Mary Pickford for film fame… Now a. happily
married little old lady
down in New Orleans . . . It was this once grand star who gave Smith
Bellew, the former orchestra leader, his start in motion pictures.
Willard, the Man Who Grows: A chap who was a sensation in this
country and Europe . . . He could make himself grow six inches in
height and extend his arms eight inches…. Now a doorman in a Hollywood motion picture theatre. Bill
Robinson: Still hoofing… He'll be 60 next May…. and just
awarded the medal for the best entertainer in 1937…. By a jury of
"'When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: 'I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn't like." - WILL ROGERS.
And where is a man who couldn't say he liked Will Rogers?
Gallaher to Be Named County Solicitor
Vincent J. Gallaher, of Collingswood, a Camden attorney and chairman of the Camden County Democratic Committee, will be elected county solicitor at tonight‘s regular meeting of the coalition-controlled Camden County Board of Freeholders.
This was learned through two unimpeachable sources yesterday. Gallaher informed close friends he would be chosen for the post.
Gallaher will be chosen despite claims of Walter S. Keown, present county solicitor, that he cannot he removed from the position. Reports last week that Keown had decided to resign without a fight to keep his job were declared by him to be false. He said yesterday he had no statement to offer.
Further it was learned that Keown was sworn in as county solicitor by Deputy County Clerk Truax on January 7. It was the first time he had even taken the oath of office.
Others Take Oath
Truax also admitted a number of other county officials were sworn in last month. No record of the other officials previously taking the oath of office is on file in the county clerk's office.
"As I understand the law the county solicitor does not have to take the oath of office," Truax said. "The act specifically sets forth that he shall be elected for a term of three years. Mr. Keown was elected county solicitor on January 1, 1937.
"An act does require the county physician must be sworn in by the county clerk or deputy clerk. Dr. Edward B. Rogers, who was elected county physician, neglected to take the oath.
It is understood that City Solicitor Firmin Michel recommended the appointment of Gallaher, who also is said to have the endorsement of Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, who successfully directed the coalition movement that wrested the control of the Board of Freeholders from the Republicans after an uninterrupted reign of 92 years.
Michel with Isadore H. Hermann and Edward V. Martino, all affiliated with the Camden city legal department, are said to have looked up the law and reached the unanimous conclusion that Keown can be ousted from his job and that Gallaher’s appointment will withstand all tests in the courts.
Other Jobs in Doubt
Other present Republican jobholders may also be routed out of office at tonight's meeting of the freeholders, it was indicated.
Apparently some who have held county jobs, many for long periods; anticipate the freeholders plan to replace them.
Among several known to have taken oaths of office during the last month are Mrs. Grace Anthony Riggins, superintendent of the county juvenile detention home; William B. Macdonald, county court stenographer ; George R. Braunwarth, custodian of the Court House-City Hall; his assistant, Thomas B. Dickinson, Jr.; Jacob Price, county supervisor of roads; Martin J. McNulty, county purchasing agent, and Dr. Lee J. Hammett, secretary-treasurer of the Camden County Welfare Board.
Ali members of the Camden County Park Commission have been sworn in. They include Leroy A. Goodwin, president; Dr. Frank O. Stem, treasurer; Horace L. Brewer, assistant treasurer; former Mayor Roy R. Stewart, William H. Dunn, of Collingswood; J. William Markeim, of Haddonfield and George Kleinheinz, of Camden.
Royden S. Matlack, assistant county treasurer and assistant auditor to the board of freeholders was sworn in on January 13, for both positions.
Truax did not attach any significance to the fact that the number of officials decided to take their oaths of office.
Following the appointment of Dr. David S. Rhone as county physician, Dr. Rogers did not legally oppose the naming of his successor.
Records of the county clerk's office show that Dr. Rhone was the first county physician to be sworn in and to sign the "book," as the official registry is called by attaches of the office.
3000 Face Loss Of Parkway Jobs In Board Threat
"Complete shut-down of all county parks projects and the dismissal of approximately 3000 WPA workers was threatened yesterday by the Camden County Park Commission.
A resolution was adopted advising the Board of Freeholders of such action unless the pending $350,000 parks bond issue is approved or the board, at its adjourned meeting next Wednesday night, provides emergency funds to carry on the parks program until March 9.
Failure of the freeholders to approve the bond issue at its meeting Wednesday night, when action on the bonds was deferred until March 9, precipitated a stormy meeting of the commission.
Yesterday's meeting originally was called to receive bids for equipment.
Markeim Threatens to Quit
For nearly an hour members of the commission commission debated what action could be taken to compel the freeholders to give financial relief and prevent the closing of all projects and the layoff of WPA workers.
J. William Markeim threatened to resign if the others did not demand a showdown. Markeim and Horace L. Brewer engaged in an argument after which the former repeated his threat to quit. LeRoy A. Goodwin, commission president, said he was "bitterly disappointed" because the freeholders failed to hold a public hearing and approve the bond issue of $350,000.
John H. Osier, Jr., chief engineer, submitted a report in which he declared the future of the parks projects is dubious because of lack of funds.
Mandamus Plan Defeated
The engineer pointed out that unless more money is allotted he would be forced to recommend to WPA officials the immediate lay-off of at least 2000 workers, and asserted a complete shutdown would force the dismissal of about 3000 workers. The monthly payroll loss, he said, would be about $210,000.
Brewer moved the commission solicitor, Henry M. Evans be empowered to institute mandamus proceedings to force action by the freeholders.
The motion was opposed by William H. Dunn, of Collingswood. Goodwin said the situation called for calm and deliberate judgment and he said nothing could be gained by mandamus proceedings.
"There is no use of the members of this commission sticking their necks out any more," Brewer said. "The people of Camden county twice voted for bond issues for parks. The freeholders promised the commission this money. If these men are laid off and thrown on relief the blame cannot be put on the park commissioners. The freeholders will have to take the rap, whether they like it or not."
Goodwin explained that out of the $150,000 appropriated to carry the projects to December 31 last approximately $21,000 has not been allocated. He warned that this sum could not possibly carry on the work more than two weeks.
Markeim Urges Layoff
"It is high time we took a stand," said Markeim. "We're a bunch of fools, if we don't force the issue. The Freeholders make promises and we believe them.
we don't have the money we cannot continue to keep the WPA workers
employed. Let us shut down every project and lay every worker off. It's
time for a showdown."
"That's the whole trouble," Markeim shouted. "We make surveys and we listen to promises but we don't ever do anything but wait and wait and wait.
"I don't intend to waste my time sitting in meetings of this commission when we can't get anywhere simply because the freeholders are playing politics with human misery and poor devils who can barely exist on WPA a pay.
"I tell you all that unless you take definite action right now I will quit as a member of this commission."
Goodwin asked Evans if the freeholders could legally move up consideration of th« bond issue from the March 9 date.
The solicitor said such a procedure would be illegal and would surely affect the credit standing of all park bonds. Goodwin said the parks projects could not be continued another month.
"Unless the freeholders give us financial relief in less than 10 days we must shut down every project and lay off virtually every WPA worker," Goodwin said.
Emergency Fund Sough
Goodwin suggested the freeholders may be induced to make an emergency appropriation to prevent the shut down of projects. Evans said he thought this could be done if the freeholders agreed,
must have the guts to demand a showdown," interrupted Brewer. "There is
no time to spare. We must take action right here and put this matter
right in the laps of the freeholders."
An adjourned meeting will be held Wednesday. No action was taken on a suggestion that members of the commission attend the freeholders session.
Verga Gets Crane Work
Eugene F. Verga, local contractor, was awarded the contract for the rental of a gasoline powered crane with pontoons, all equipment and with operators at a charge of $7 an hour for 300 working hours.
Other bidders were Emil E. Estoclas, of Philadelphia, whose bid was $7.60 an hour, and W. H. Todd, of Camden, with a bid of $8 an hour.
Bids were received for the purchase of two reconditioned caterpillar cranes with equipment.
The Locomotive Crane Company, of Philadelphia, offered a bid of $5491 and Estoclas gave a price of $2850.
Payment of $2800 to the Eastern Engineering Company tor two reconditioned cranes was approved. Payment of $9685 to Verga for a steam pile driving machine also was authorized.
Dan McConnell's Scrapbook
HALLOWED with memories the Catholic Lyceum is no longer the center of entertainment except for an occasional high school play.
years have passed since the famous Catholic Lyceum Dramatic Company
delighted sell-out audiences with presentations of famous stage plays
famed was the original Lyceum company with its cast of talented amateur
Thespians. Many splendid and well-acted plays were enacted on the Lyceum
recent passing of John Curtis, for many years electrician and stage
manger at the Lyceum, recalled memories of the less exciting days
of the 1900s.
Several members of the original company are mature men and women with families today. Others took their last curtain call with the passing of the years.
more exciting opening nights and preparations for a drama, a comedy or a
musical comedy. The old Lyceum is so strangely dark and no longer do the
Martin J. O'Brien who was a veteran undertaker, has passed on. "Marty" when a young man was a talented actor, who probably would have achieved fame had he chosen the profession of acting. He was a born comedian.
was John J. McFeeley, of reverent memory. There were others such as Ed
Rourke, Edward B. Hilland, Peter J. Boyle, Miss Mary Bourquin, Tom
Cahill, Dan Holland, Elizabeth Curtis, the Mises Marie and Margaret
Frazier, Agnes McLaughlin, and Lulu Tate.
lights of the old Lyceum are blacked out, but memories will always live.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
The axiom of like father, like son is particularly apt in the life of F. Lee Smith, new Democratic leader of Delaware Township.
is a political heritage handed down by his late father the beloved John
S. Smith, former Camden County detective and first boxing inspector, who
later was a freeholder in Atlantic County when he operated the
once-famous Malatesta Hotel.
his death the elder Smith was affectionately known as “Rye Beach”
many years, when this writer was the skipper of a 16-foot sailing skiff
that skimmed over the then non-polluted waters of the placid Delaware
River, the elder Smith operated a tavern in a section nicknamed “Rye
beverage bistro was the meeting place of all North Camden fight and
baseball fans and the walls were adorned with greats of the prize ring
and baseball diamonds of those pristine days. The place afterwards was a
John Smith opened a more ornate drinkery at Fourth and Federal Streets.
The sports celebrities and the faithful gathered there. It was a meeting
place for veteran newspapermen, who quaffed amber brew from long stems.
In those days officials in positions to enforce the law had no qualms about petty gambling. A popular game at Smith's tavern was played with an electric fan, the blades of which were numbered. The older newspaper boys passed the time away playing for the cost of the drinks.
on, F. Lee Smith.
Our genial and erudite friend, Mike Mok, of the New York Post, wrote a neat feature about the author of the prevailing song panic- "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen.”
reminded us of a one-time youthful vaudeville favorite and tune
producer, one Bobby Heath, who kicked away a fortune because necessity
could not wait for opportunity.
was not so many years ago when Heath peddled his “Pony Boy” for a
pittance. That musical tome swept the nation for a long time. It is
often heard on the ether waves.
The song was titled “Swinging in the Old Swing by the Garden Gate.” Its author was 12 years old. That is the ambitious songwriter penned the lyrics.
With mingled emotions he waited for the mailman who eventually brought the gladsome tidings. The song all set to music and the name of the young writer embellished on the front cover. Words and music by-
That experience cost this writer $15, the huge sum being raised by cobbling shoes and running errands.
The 50 copies of our “swing” song constituted the entire press run. Today we would say our first song flop was just one of those things.
Box: A long-awaited note from a loyal friend of radio broadcasting
days,,,,,Evelyn Silver…. Hoping, Mrs. S. the sun will soon shine
through those now dark clouds. Mrs. Carl A. Schafer: Heartfelt thanks
for one of the grandest letters a newspaperman could ever hope to
Dad, Oscar A.
Eastlack, was a friend through all the bright and dark years. Mr.
and Mrs. Frank J. Hartmann
Jr.: On your fifteenth wedding anniversary…This
humble scrivener offers greetings …. Frank took unto himself a lovely
valentine on St. Valentine's Day…. 15 years ago.
Oscar N. Hinski: Nice to know you remember one of your old boys of the
Dr. Oscar N. Hinski: Nice to know you remember one of your old boys of the Hinski drugstore.
YE OLD CAMDEN
claim to pepper pot fame is authentic. The late Catharine Harris was
known as the
"Pepper Pot Woman”. She alone
had the formula that gave the vintage soup such a delectable flavor.
Camden’s first brewery was opened by Gus Schwoeri at 705 Chestnut Street. Gus Jr. continues the business as a bottling establishment.
proposed reunion of the "old timers” in the Camden Real Estate
Board brings to mind that Meyers Baker was one of the organizers and
first secretary of the Board. Baker is still an active realtor and far
from being an old man. He once studied medicine at Jefferson Medical
|Camden Courier-Post * February 18, 1938|
As George put it, he feels he actually has lived all his life in the Seventh ward, although he now resides in the Thirteenth. He said he went to bed in the Seventh ward one night and woke up· in the Thirteenth.
George first entered employ of the county in 1892 as a clerk, in the Register of Deeds office. He was appointed clerk and auditor of the: freeholders in May, 1900. His salary with the five percent cut is $2332 a year.
"I have no desire to retire," George said as he puffed on his pipe in his office.
"It would be difficult for me to have a job doing nothing. My health is good and I feel I am good for many more years of active work."
Up until a year ago George made a practice of walking to and from his home at 1445 Kenwood Avenue and the old court house. Injuries received in a fall caused him to reduce his daily walking schedule. He shares his home with a married daughter. His wife died more than a year agohr
STROLLING along ye old King's Highway on the Sabbath and passing the Indian King, one of the staid historical landmarks of Haddonfield. Thoughts of the '"Father of our Country" and the historical lore about his stopping in the vintage mansion for overnight slumber, perhaps in one of those huge beds with fancy awnings over it.
The daughter pointing out the Revolutionary War mementos of our home town, one the jail house across the street near the municipal hall. Standing like sentinels, those old wooden hitching posts, when- oral Washington tied up his faithful steed.' Still another, the horse trough hollowed out of a huge tree, and which still remains.. Reverently passing the 'old Friends burial ground and peering over the low brick wall .to get a glimpse of the resting place of
Elizabeth Haddon, founder of the quaint old town. And the daughter telling this "amateur historian that folks don't exactly know where the body of Elizabeth Haddon is interred. Stopping to read the bronze plaque on which is inscribed the story of the lady famed in history. 'That burial ground' seems so peaceful with friendly willow and massive oak trees rearing skyward. Humming homeward the immortal poem of Joyce Kilmer, "Trees."
was right—only God can make
He made a million friends and never lost one. That was a tribute, paid by an New York newspaper columnist to O.O. McIntyre, the world's best known and highest paid column writer who now sleeps in his little home town of Gallipolis, Ohio.
few words bespoke a volume for the one time country boy whose
writings were avidly read by millions of newspaper readers.
this writer Odd McIntyre was an inspiration. To have him for a
friend must have been like owning a precious jewel.
wrote about people in all walks of life. And never wrote anything in
the way of castigation or unkindness about persons who considered it
a privilege and an honor to have their names appear in his
the spirit of Odd McIntyre walks with the great in journalism. One
writer said he would bet he would write a column in Heaven's Herald.
was not the privilege to know him, but we are hoping he meets up
with an old friend- -Jay House, another great writer and former
follow newspaperman in the
forgetting a friend since boyhood days as an embryo news gatherer—
the revered Charles Leo McKeone, of "Peppery Pot" fame.
In the days when this young scrivener wrote one of the pioneer columns,
"The Razzberry Chorus", it was "Old Mac" who
when meeting him on our Police Court beat would chuckle at something
we had written.
were days when we sported those tortoise shell spectacles and our
hirsutal adornment consisted of a wavy, pompadour.
Mac repeating our resemblance to Harold Lloyd, the screen
comic who was then earning possibly $100,000 a year and our pav
check was for all of $15
was a newspaperman- O. O. Mclntyre.
TO BE CONTRARY
Years and years ago- back around 1885—when your correspondent was not on this mundane sphere ye old town of Camden, old-timers tell us, was more of a village.
Reminders given up by the old folks disclosed the town boasted of a city directory. A perusal of one of the time-worn volumes revealed names of folks who are staunch Camdenites.
In the late 80's Camden had two opera houses and not one legitimate theatre. The opry houses were the Camden Opera House, 311 Market street, and the Camden Opera House, located on Mickle street near Fourth.
One of the first commercial colleges in the East was located at 608 Broadway. The late Charles M. Abrahamson was the owner and chief of the faculty. The Abrahamson School afterward was located for many years at Fourth and' Elm streets. Folks who liked to read books had to pay for the privilege before and during the early 90's.
The North Baptist Library, still at- Fourth and Linden streets, charged a membership, rate of $2 a year. The Camden Library, at 213 Federal Street, had a higher tariff of $3 per annum.
Blake and Fithian Simmons are the only living undertakers of those
who practiced their profession In the late 80's. Mr. Blake is active
and the latter retired many years ago.
it or not, Camden also had
its own Independence Hall. It stood
on Pine street above Fourth.
STRANGE OLD TOWN
Three streets in Camden named after famous poets. They follow each in order, and are Byron, Milton and Bums. Whitman Avenue was named in honor of Walt Whitman, the "Good Gray Poet," whose old home stands on Mickle street. North street is not north. It runs east and west. West street is not that way either. It runs north and south, if you please. You also should know there are no markets on Market street, but several on Federal. The U.S. Federal building is not on Federal Street but on Market.
Some of the finest pens are made one block from—Penn and Point streets.
Melbourne F. Middleton: Profuse thanks for the photographs of the Northeast School graduates of 1890… The picture is perfect, a is the one of the old Cooper mansion in Diamond Cottage…. Now the Delaware River bridge plaza.
H. Rettersori: Your letter is appreciated... .It brings hack
memories of many things I heard about, . .,. But I just wasn’t
around when some of the things and places mentioned were part of the
R. Denny: Your note was rather "stiff"…. Take the pun or
leave it…. The biggest funeral we ever saw ....The day they laid
J. Sewell to rest...,
And you wore a high hat, frock, coat. and a high collar. ...As the assistant
February 19, 1938
Roye - Loyal D. Odhner
|Camden Courier-Post * February 22, 1938|
Harry F. Ecky
William H. Lehman
Frank B. Hanna
George H. Walton
William Early King
Camden Courier-Post - February 23, 1938
Is Zat So!
NOW that Harold G. Hoffman has become "Brother Rat" to Heywood Broun, Jay Franklin, Charlie Humes, Dan McConnell, John Fitzgerald, By Jiminy and Yours Truly, it seems only clubby to warn our new fraternity brother of something that he is up against for sure.
Perhaps the former Governor felt he was using slick polities when he waited until the eleventh hour before he named David Baird, Jr., to the bridge commission. Perhaps Hoffman figured he would hand a kick in the 'slats to certain sources the former Governor disliked. Perhaps Hoffman figured it a keen piece of work for a slicker to toss the former U. S. Senator in Camden's lap and tell the county to like it or lump it.
I don't know the motive's that actuated our Brother Rat in this move. Nor am I aware of his idea in making the appointment.
In fact I'm not even critical of the nominee or of his nomination to the commission. I'm merely taking the former Governor into my confidence and telling him that the sorest folk in local G.O.P. circles over the appointment of B'rer Baird are the Baird adherents.
Seems far-fetched to make such a statement, but they have confessed that very fact to yours truly. Don't get the idea they are not as strongly behind the former U. S. Senator as ever they are. The thing that riles the Baird folk is that Hoffman tossed that bundle of woe and trouble on their doorstep about 24 hours before he, Hoffman, was through as Governor of New Jersey,
BLAMED HOFFMAN FOR PRESENT STRIFE
No indeed. These Bairdites tell me the party was getting along pretty well. The factions had been solidified behind Senator Clee during the latter's gubernatorial campaign. The Republicans controlled the legislative delegation from Camden county, the three assemblymen and state senator are allied with the G. O. P.
True, the Board of Freeholders was lost and the Baird faction was disappointed over that fact, as one might expect. Still the Baird allies had become reconciled to the loss of control of county affairs, were yielding to the inevitable. Olive branches were extended in several directions. Prominent Baird lieutenants were willing to listen to harmony with the Kobus wing of the party.
Came the appointment. Instantly the old wrangle broke out afresh. It might have occurred in any event but the peculiar circumstances under, which the appointment was made added to the complexity of the situation and the anguish of the factions. First there came a difference as to the meaning of the law which states that a Governor may appoint a commissioner, ad interim, until the legislature elects.
Whether the ad interim appointment continues until a commissioner is chosen by the legislature is a moot question. So involved is the present dispute, indeed, that I learn on good authority that T. Harry Rowland, New Jersey counsel to the bridge commission, will in all probability be asked at the next meeting of the commission to give an opinion as to the meaning of that law.
Rowland will be called upon to render his opinion as to whether David Baird Jr., sits legally on the bridge commission today, or whether his term of office as an ad interim appointee expired when the present state legislature came into life.
ROWLAND WILL HAVE TOUGH JOB
If this question is broached to Rowland he'll wind up behind the eight ball, too.
If he decides the appointment continues until the legislature elects a successor, that will fix Baird's appointment as certain on the commission until somebody is elected to the vacancy caused by the retirement of John B. Kates.
If Rowland determines the appointment terminated with the inauguration of the Governor and legislature, then comes a legal battle that may wind up in the Court of Errors and Appeals. In either event it's not so hot for Brother Rowland.
Meanwhile I hear by the firmly established Mackay grapevine that neither of the present candidates mentioned for bridge commissioner has sufficient votes to be elected. Both sides, I'm told, assert that when the proper time arrives they'll have the votes to elect their man.
Others who are impartial in the survey declare neither of the candidates has enough votes. Unless something gives, these seers contend, there will be a stalemate continue so long as the legislature wishes the present situation to exist.
I understand that the balance of power to determine the election of Baird or former Senator Albert S. Woodruff rests with Union county. Four members of the Assembly from that bailiwick, voting together, can hand the plum to either candidate.
Senator Charles E. Loizeaux, president of the upper branch and Herbert J. Pascoe, Speaker of the Assembly, both hail from Union county. The matter of having their assemblymen vote for Baird or Woodruff has been placed squarely before these two solons.
Loizeaux, it was told to me, tried to duck the issue with the old moth eaten excuse that he never interferes with "the Assembly matters." Whereupon a Woodruff ally called to Senator Loizeaux's attention a couple of occasions when he seemed to slip from such attitude.
When confronted with the charge that on several occasions Senator Loizeaux did not hesitate to stick his fingers into Assembly matters, the presiding officer shut up like a clam. Only to open his mouth anew to intimate that he might give the Woodruff cause a boost with the Union county delegation in the Assembly.
Under such circumstances, and, with a rift wide enough to drive a 10-ton truck created in the party ranks, no wonder exists as to the antipathy the pro-Baird folk feel toward Hoffman.
These same Baird allies provoke considerable comment when they assert that if Hoffman had kept his hands out of the pie, Governor Moore would have named Baird to the commission to spite certain sources of opposition to Moore that dwell in this part of the world.
Altogether Brother Rat Hal made no 10-strike in his selection. To be frank the pro-Baird chaps insist that he just "played hell all around" with his appointment under such conditions.
|Camden Courier-Post * February 26, 1938|
Baird Jr. - Frank
J. Hartmann Jr. - James V. Moran - Thomas N. McCarter Jr.
Herbert Harper - Joseph K. Costello - Loyal D. Odhner - Dan McConnell
|Camden Courier-Post * June 1, 1939|
Disbanded 25 Years Ago;
A reunion-dinner of members of the old Aquinas Club, disbanded nearly 25 years ago, will be held during the latter part of June, Pasquale Iarossi, committee chairman, announced.
Some of the charter members who have been reached and are expected to attend the reunion dinner are:
Deputy Fire Chief William Harring, Freeholder John Daly, Pat and Louis Iarossi, Edward Bihn, Frank Cavallo, Joseph German, William Easterbrook, Walter Stevens, Carl Glendening, Herbert Schaefer, Bert Morris, Phillip Gorman, Joseph Loeffler, Pete Walker, Joseph Wells, Joseph Jones, Benjamin Taylor.
William (Chick) Simon, James Daly, Frank Bott, Hartley Pike, William Sayres, William Floagus, Dan McConnell, Walter McEntee, Sam Molineaux, William McCormick, Samuel Harring, Dan Market, Gerald Garner, John Molineaux, William Kistner, Alex Urban, William Brandt, H. Hambach, Roy Breitenstein, John Plum, Charles Berry, George Demellion, and L. Harter.
Some folks may call it a mansion, while others have referred to it as a castle.
baronial like residence now is occupied by a son, Harry G. Taylor.
Dr. Taylor was a distinguished gentleman, who sported sideburns
and usually carried a cane. His father, Dr. Othniel Hart Taylor, was
himself a physician of high repute.
the Civil War,
Dr. H. Genet Taylor served with the Army of the North
and distinguished himself as a surgeon with the rank of major. After
the Rebellion he was appointed surgeon of the old Sixth Regiment, N.
J. National Guards.
late General William J.
Sewell, one-time U. S. Senator, and
Republican leader of New Jersey, and
Dr. Taylor were intimate
good doctor was identified with all worthwhile civic affairs in the
early days of Our Town. At Cooper Hospital there is a bronze plaque
which was erected in grateful appreciation of his many years of
service to that institution.
father and son, each a physician, contributed much to the medical
and surgical history of Camden in other days.
TOAST TO WALT WHITMAN
one year ago last Wednesday this reporter joined the galaxy of
literari and others who came to observe the 119th anniversary of
Bard Whitman's birth.
Bard Whitman's birth.
a pastoral setting on the old Stafford Farm at Laurel Springs we sat
under the sheltering shade of a friendly weeping willow tree where
the revered poet often sat on Summer days and penned his poetry and
we never have had any leanings toward things Whitmania, nevertheless
we sort of sensed that the spirit of the "The Poet of Democracy
was lurking there.
came the journey back to Camden
in a car driven by a young University
of Pennsylvania professor. The third person in the car was the late
Dr. Alexander Macalister, who was Whitman's personal physician and
who attended the poet in his last illness.
a cordial invitation from the good doctor, we cooled ourselves with
an ambrosian Planter's punch. The professor departed and we lingered
with Dr. Macalister to quaff a second punch and to talk over many
things. Rising to his full height, Dr. Macalister raised his glass
toward us. He said; "Mac, let's drink a toast to the memory of
Walt Whitman. This may be the last time we will be together on
Whitman's birthday." Somehow those words stuck in. our
Wednesday many of those who gathered at the Stafford farm
year were present. Dr. Macalister must have been there in spirit. At
least, we thought he was. We didn't miss the punch, but we
reverently miss the doctor.
year were present. Dr. Macalister must have been there in spirit. At
least, we thought he was. We didn't miss the punch, but we
reverently miss the doctor.
Visiting the Whitman Shrine
this scrivener was a lad in his teens we had a penchant to
kindly cashier in the place where we held a job as office boy once
cryptly asked: "Have you ever seen Philadelphia?"
Confessing at that time we had not visited Independence Hall or seen
the Liberty Bell.
brings to mind the cold, hard fact that like many other citizens our
visits to the Walt Whitman Home at 328 Mickle Street have been
almost nil. Twice we visited this literary shrine with City Clerk
Clay W. Reesman, when he was a city commissioner.
purpose of our visits was to place the priceless Whitman
manuscripts and other memoirs under the protection of a locked glass
case and to equip the place with not a single extinguisher in the
perhaps hundreds come from other cities, States and other countries
to pay homage to the memory of the "Good Gray Poet,"
thousands pass the little frame house and never give a thought to
enter through its humble front door.
only designating mark is a tarnished brass plate which adorns the
front of the Whitman Home. That
plate, the last time we tried to read it, was badly in need of
— The Police Court judge for Boys' Week in Collingswood… Was
Francis Law. Memoranda— To Commissioners Henry Magin
Dr. David S. Rhone… The names of your respective predecessors are
still on the front doors of the entrances to your departments. Actor- Charlie Wright, East
Camden electrical engineer, and Dorothy MacIlvain, Republican county
committee member from the Twelfth ward . . . Recently had a
tete-a-tete with Arthur Treacher, noted flicker actor at the Fox
Theatre in Philadelphia . . . The famed butler in the movies and
Charlie and Dorothy have been friends for several years… Treacher
and Charlie's brother, Harold, played in a musical comedy together. Radio—
David Ross, the poetry maestro, pulled a fast one last Saturday
night . . . When he let down his hair and recited the "Three
Little Fishes". Architecture—Wondering what the architects
for the new
City Hall had in mind… When they placed those frescoes denoting
owls over doors leading into the city commission chamber. Municipal
improvement— Agreeing with Gordon Mackay that a
few benches should be placed in Roosevelt Plaza . . . Howza about
$13,000,000 City Hall had in mind… When they placed those frescoes denoting owls over doors leading into the city commission chamber. Municipal improvement— Agreeing with Gordon Mackay that a few benches should be placed in Roosevelt Plaza . . . Howza about it, CommissionerMagin? Song and dance man—Ed Gorman, affable secretary to City Commissioner George Aaron… In his younger days a musical comedy hoofer … Ed is a clever impersonator of the late Bert Williams . . . That guy should have stuck to the stage… He would have gone places.
Orders Suits Against
By DAN McCONNELL
Camden relief clients suspected of "chiseling" will be sued in the county district court, William W. Logan, municipal relief director, announced last night.
Using a new legal procedure for the first time since inauguration of direct relief in New Jersey, Logan will seek to obtain judgments and assessed costs of prosecution for the purpose of attaching wages or income of defendants.
The legal division of the Department of Municipal Welfare for the last several months, Logan said, has processed 200 relief chiseling cases with several hundred additional in the state of processing. The amount involved, he added, will run into several thousand dollars.
Starting next week, approximately 25 cases each week will be handled by the department's legal division for action in the district court, the director said.
Bares 6-Month Study
"The City Welfare Department has been studying and processing relief chiseling cases for more than six months," said Logan. "In addition we have been conducting a review, of every case where clients are taken off and when they request that they be removed from relief rolls."
"In every case processed for court action the department has a record of every employer, the duration of employment and the amount of wages or salary now received and also received during the time relief was given."
"By taking court action to obtain judgments and costs of prosecution the department seeks to assure the investment of taxpayers, who directly contribute to the cost of giving and administering relief. By obtaining court costs in addition to judgments the-city will be reimbursed for moneys spent to prosecute the defendants."
Logan explained that all cases where relief clients, of their own volition, or otherwise, are taken from relief rolls are fully investigated as a precaution and a check-up on possible chiseling. In many instances those caught chiseling have been permitted to make installment payments on amounts owing the city, he explained.
This new method of civil court action in handling relief chiseling cases is more positive in protecting moneys expended by the state and the municipal government and is an additional security for the taxpayer, Logan asserted.
In 1934 Logan successfully prosecuted for the first time many cases of relief "chiselers" through action by the Grand Jury, the Common Pleas Court and the cooperation of the County prosecutor's office.office.
Frayed and yellowed with age, a copy of the Ulster (N.Y.) Gazette, loaned to this department by Henry W. Aitken, city sealer of weights and measures, contains several interesting items- one an account of the funeral of General George Washington.
The date on the newspaper is January 4, 1800. after reading this ancient four-page newspaper we came to the conclusion that the editors, Samuel Freer and Son, didn't consider the burial of the Immortal Washington, as front page news.
The news item appearing on page four is captioned "Washington Entombed." It is dated George Town, December 20. The first paragraph reads: "On Wednesday last, the mortal part of Washington the Great—the Father of his country and the Friend of man, was consigned to the tomb, with solemn honors and pomp".
Continuing the account read as follows:
"A multitude of persons assembled from many miles around at Mount Vernon, the choice abode and last residence of the illustrious chief. The great soul was gone. His mortal part was here Indeed; but ..ah! How affecting! How awful the Spectacle of such worth and greatness, thus, to mortal eyes, fallen!—Yes, fallen! fallen!"
An account on the entombment reads like this:
"When the procession had arrived at the bottom of the elevated lawn on the bank of the Potomac, where the family vault is placed, the cavalry halted, the infantry marched forwards to the Mount and formed their lines."
"'The Clergy, the Masonic Brothers and the citizens descended to the Vault, and the funeral service of the Church was performed. There general discharges by the infantry, the cavalry and 11 pieces of artillery, which lined the Potomac bank of, the Vault, paid the last tribute to the entombed Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States and to the departed-hero."
Not a line In the story about Washington being the first President of the United States. journalism.
Columnist Louis Sobel has spread the news that a unit of old-time vaudeville is being assembled for a nation-wide tour. That is good news for thousands of vaudeville fans.
Still more cheering was Jim O'Neill's comment in Checked and Double Checked that when the Towers Theatre is reopened vaudeville will be presented.
According to Sobel, the unit of one-time variety headliners will include Pat Rooney and Marion Bent, the original Avon Comedy Four, Yorke and King, incomparable delineators of "those old-fashioned tintypes; Gus Van, of the former grand duo of Van and Schenck; Basset and Bailey and Joe Jackson, tramp comic bicyclist.
We could add a few grand troupers for this unit, W.C. Fields in his original pool table sketch, Leon Errol and his trick leg, 'Belle Baker and her loved songs, Bill Robinson, the world's greatest hoofer, and Camden's own Ann Pennington. We'd give five bucks for a seat on the aisle to see such a show.
When this father was a boy most of us learned to swim in the now turbid Delaware river. Camden had its share of great young swimmers, but none ever became famous like Johnny Weissmuller.
The popular events were those distance swimming stunts between Chester PA and Race street pier, Philadelphia. Our facts may be in error, but it does seem that three young mermen who covered that distance were Paul "Pat" Magee, Jack Small, now an athletic director at Girard College, and Charlie Houser.
we also believe, swam from Chester to Riverton. He, too was the
Some more history about the original ferries that were operated between Camden and Philadelphla. It was the custom of owners of privately-operated ferry lines to keep an inn or tavern at each ferry terminus. Some of them were known as Reeves' Ferry, Poole's Ferry and Curtis' Ferry.
This assertion may be disputed. The first steam ferryboat operated on the Delaware was named Camden. The first captain was Captain Ziba Kellum.
RADIO— A musical breeze from Los Angeles. Orrin Tucker, his orchestra and the sweet warbling of Bonnie Baker.... Bonnie 'reminds us of an original favorite of the loudspeaker, Mildred Bailey. Our Song of the Week— "Address Unknown". Protest- Disagreeing with Phillip Glass... Charlie Kerr, and not Doc Dougherty, had the first Philadelphia orchestra.... tthat broadcast over the radio in the days of crystal sets and cat whiskers. Missing persons— Wondering what ever became of Artie Bittong.... Head man, at one of radio's original fun program, The Cheer-Up. Ideas- Tommy Gramigna has a swell idea... A Town Meeting forum to discuss Camden, its needs and problems. Best crack of the week- The Dyes committee can relax. Starting, this week the Yankees will take care of the Reds - by Jack Singer. Mystery- Now what happened to that "Investigation" of WCAM? News Item- Hitler organizes a bodyguard of 8000 Nazi troopers.... Hitler's an ol' fraidy cat. Traffic- Chief Padgett and his Haddonfield gendarmes have painted "Stop" warnings at that Grove Street and Maple Avenue death corner... So what. Recommended- The Gay Nineties radio show on CBS Sunday nights.
CITY COMMISSIONER E. GEORGE AARON leaned back in his office chair the other day and gasped when this reporter informed him that we saw fishermen catch luscious shad in the Delaware River.
When informed that the folks bought the same finny denizens of the deep from hucksters who hawked their catch through the streets of North Camden and sold them at 25 cents each. Mr. Aaron gasped again. Tom Daley, city engineer corroborated our statements and George was convinced.
In his efforts to make Our Town a better place to live in, Commissioner Aaron has decided to do something about helping to eliminate pollution of the historic Delaware. An engineer who sat in the conference gave us the gladsome news that if pollution was stopped the once proud shad would again spawn in the river.
Fondly do we recall the cry of the fish peddlers, "'fresh Delaware shad." Many of us of course also remember 'the midnight cry' of the old "Baltimore crab man" who once roamed through the city streets selling those delicious deviled crustaceans.
This dad remembers when he was a boy and most of the fellows belonged to a neighborhood club-— a crudely built shack that was located in the backyard of some humble home.
In retrospect we recall many wintery nights as the gang sat around a dilapidated but warming stove and told stories. Guess most parents figured the boys were safe from temptation so long as we had our clubs in the back yards.
That's why we're interested in the movement to help a grand bunch of fellows who are trying to fix up a former city-owned property at Fillmore and Jefferson streets. Sam Fulton, Dr. Lang and this reporter have promised members of the Lord Camden Boys' Club that we will help them.
This job calls for the members and the three sponsors to do some chiseling. M.A. Bruder & Sons paint dealers offered to give us all the paint needed to improve the now vacant property.
As long as we write success stories we might as well tell another one here.
This chap got himself hired as a part-time night relief clerk at Cooper Hospital. His real job was to operate the PBX telephone board. Soon the newspapermen learned to like this young fellow. He was studying for the ministry and was conducting gospel services over in Philadelphia's "Chinatown''.
Yes, he told us his life's ambition was to be a preacher and we admired him for his determination.
At the recent Methodist conference Rev. Stacy D. Myers was appointed pastor of Broadway M. E. Church. The former hospital telephone operator must be happy now that he has a big city church. Such appointments surely must come as a reward for doing a good job as a sky-pilot.
That appointment made this reporter happy, and we guess his big brother, genial Ed Myers, feels pretty good about it, too.
Welcome, Rev. Stacy D. Myers.
Overseer of Poor
The city fathers appointed Bill Logan, city welfare director to the long vacant post of overseer of the poor. That stirred up some memories.
In our delvings into the history of Our Town we found that caring for the poor was a problem that confronted the city officials many years ago.
The late James E. Hewitt, former under-sheriff and councilman, was overseer of the poor. Still another was David Rankins who, too, is deceased. Rankins at one time was minister to Haiti. He quit that job because of the intense heat and homesickness.
Ed Jeffries, one time local undertaker, whose funeral parlor was located on Kaighn avenue near Broadway also held the overseer job. Bill Logan is the one man who knows the needs and cares of unfortunate folks. He gives his job that human touch.
In the days when Weiser Logan, and that what we kids called him, attended old Cooper school he had plenty on the ball and stood at the head of the class. Bill Logan still stands at the head of the class. In our opinion he's Camden's Number 1 citizen and humanitarian.
ANOTHER star in the theatrical firmament ceased to shine when the beloved Fay Templeton passed on. Younger folks of today probably never heard of her, but many of the older lovers of the theatre never will forget her splendid performances in several of the George M. Cohan musical shows.
That grand little guy Cohan never wrote a prettier song than his "Mary Is A Grand Old Name". Only Fay Templeton could sing it in the manner that Cohan liked. What a grand show, Cohan's "Forty-five Minutes From Broadway". It was in this vehicle that Victor Moore really got his start.
Fay Templeton, what a grand trouper she was.
In Our Corner
A salute—To Jim Downing, Camden wrestling promoter, for his generosity in offering to donate all the profits from Monday night's Convention Hall wrestling show to Elk's Crippled Children's Fund campaign. Signs—That Haddon Avenue poster board advertising Fire Prevention Week reads "Remove That Fire Hazzard" Such spelling. Happy Birthday- To our Betty Ann, Just 14 years old. History- We've learned that back in 17776 the Pennsylvania. Council of Safety required that every person before being permitted to use the Delaware River ferries with firearms had to have special permit from the council. What ever happened to the South Jersey Safety Council? Aside to Herb Harper- Our thanks,,,, for returning Salesman George Rader to the Number 4 Camden-Haddonfield bus line. We all missed him.
High Speed Line
To Philadelphia via the subway bridge high speed Line Sunday afternoon. Straggling passengers occupying seats in our car. Thinking that this line is one that goes nowhere quickly.
From under Fifth street come the trains as they reach the side of the majestic Delaware river bridge. Over a section of North Camden we knew so well as a boy. Houses with broken hearts. Yes, houses with nobody in them.
Devastation that came after too much prosperity. Once proud structures now vandalized. Scenes from high in the air that tug at your heart. So this once was North Camden.
The broken building, that once was the grocery of the Carson brothers, Third and Birch streets. Most of the rich folks who lived on Linden, Penn and Cooper streets bought their viands from the Carson boys, one of whom was a member of the Board of Education.
Passing within the shadows of the one-time home of Dr. William Bates, now a famed Philadelphia surgeon. Bill Bates, the plucky lad who worked as a freight train brakeman to pay his way through Jefferson Medical College.
Where Frog Row once stood, with its small four-room houses and the one exterior water hydrant which was the source of water supply for the hapless tenants. Now a vacant lot. Nearby was Winfield Clark's blacksmith shop, where we earned many pennies turning the hand-propelled furnace bellows.
The wreck and debris of a once prosperous business.... The Stockham lumber yard and saw mill on the water front. That's where we kids had heaps of fun jumping the floating logs. A ferry slip floating lazily in the water. A reminder of the old Vine and Shackamaxon street ferries that are no more.
Just thinkin' a dreamin'.
Half and Half
Missing persons - Wondering whatever became of Harold West, one-time vest pocket sized musical comedy and vaudeville actor .
This Camden thespian once starred in a nifty musical show called Buster Brown... Just 25 years ago this week. West was playing in that production at the Orpheum Theatre in Philadelphia. Anniversary— Myrt and Marge last week celebrated their ninth year in radio.
Songswriter— Peter De Rose has another sure hit in his new song opus "Lilacs in The Rain" .... Such a grand pair, Peter De Rose and his lovely wife, May Singhi Breen, who have been ear-pleasing for so many years.
The movies-—Put "Hollywood Cavalcade on your must-see list. It's a grand show. So tragic is the plight of Buster Keaton, who has a nice part in this film directed by Irving Cummings, who recently observed 30 years in the motion picture business. Seems like only last week since we saw old Joe Keaton tossing the then younger Buster around the Broadway Theatre stage. The Four Keatons were a standard Keith act for many years.
Baseball- Listening to that eerie Sunday afternoon radio show, "The Shadow".... After getting an earful of that atrocious tenth inning of the New York Yankee- Cincinnati Reds baseball burlesque.... The title of "The Shadow"... was "Murder At The Ball Park".
Odds And Ends- Postmaster Emma Hyland has been designated an honorary admiral of the American Air Lines fleet . . . Sam Brest, the A.A.A. office headman, was the first to be so named. Justice- On the glass front of the door of the room where that jury decided the fate of that minister-murder defendant is this inscription . . . "Central Committee'. Radio — There should be a law against those too frequent, annoying and distasteful commercial plugs for advertisers.... The world's series broadcasts were overloaded with advertising plugs. Ggrr! Ken Martin, who is conducting those Sunday KYW auditions should take a hint.... That Barbara Hayes gal on Sunday's program is worth signing up on a contract.... Swell voice and poise.
Once Over, Please
Some folks grow mellow and affable with the passing of the years. Others just remain the same swell people.
On our list of swell fellows is the always genial Conrad Hoer, veteran knight of the shears and razor. Some of our present streamlined barber shops are called tonsorial parlors.
Our friend Con Hoer prefers to be known as a barber. Yes, he's scraped the beards of many prominent Camden citizens in the more than 50 years he has worked at his trade.
In Our Corner
A reminder of the first World War. Harry Leonard, Republican candidate for coroner, always valued his right of franchise. Taken prisoner by German troops while fighting in France, Harry continued to vote in every election while overseas. He mailed his ballot.
Jiminy, who conducts that always interesting column, Checked and Double Checked, hinted he would like this scrivener to chronicle some events for the amusement page. Stuff about the halcyon days of the old Temple, Towers and Broadway theatres.
Anything for a pal, Jiminy. But what will the readers of the amusement page think? Nevertheless we accept the challenge.
THEATRES: In a previous tome, we offered to comply with Jiminy's request to type a few articles about the history of the old Temple, Broadway, and Towers theatres. To do this means some digging back in the saga of the stage in Our Town.' Just thinkin' that the folks might like us to start off with something about the old Temple Theatre and the once famous Temple Players who presented many fine dramatic stock company productions at the historic Market street, playhouse. Thinking there are a lot of folks who would like a revival of the history of the stock company headed by those two grand troupers, Chester De Vonde and Grace Van Auker. Francis X. Bushman, one time matinee idol and a Robert Taylor of the early silent motion pictures played character parts. Bushman was a superb character actor. When De Vonde and Miss Van Auker quit the company following a row, Bushman was elevated to leading man.
POLLUTION: Don't be misled— the title does not refer to this article or the column. Our recent reference to City Commissioner E. George Aaron and his efforts to aid in eliminating pollution of the Delaware river brought a note from Helen Moran Warren, counselor-at-law, and a grand friend of ours. Mrs. Moran enclosed a clipping of a column from the Brooklyn Eagle. The article was an interview with her daddy, Eugene F. Moran, of Brooklyn, N. Y., who is referred to in the article as "No. 1 harbor expert of the United States". Pop Moran is owner and operator of a large fleet of seagoing tugs in New York. In the interview Mr. Moran told the columnist, Mr. Heffernan, that shad are beginning to run again in the North River after an absence of several years. Maybe they are fugitives from the Delaware.
FERRIES- History of Camden and South Jersey Ferries covers the period prior to 1680. Early historians have recorded that Indians conveyed travelers across the Delaware between Cooper's Point and Shackamaxon (now known as Kensington, Philadelphia). It was not until 1687 that residents of what is now Gloucester county petitioned the courts for a ferry to Philadelphia. So far as we can learn from the records a ferry license was issued in 1688 to William Royden. The route was between Cooper and Newton creeks. The license fixed the fares at no more than six pence per head for each person and six pence a head for swine, calves and sheep. The tariff for man and horse was twelve pence. In l776 no person over the age of l4 years was permitted to ride on any New Jersey ferries without a proper pass from the place from which they left. By state law supervision of ferries was placed in control of the local boards of chosen freeholders. Wondering if the freeholders in those days knew anything about coalition. We have more material on the history of the ferries. It may be that some folks would like to read more of this stuff.. What's say?
MAIL BOX: Good old mail box, How neglected you are. Our city hall and court house chores are at times multiple and that is why we often have to neglect some of the letters received. A reader writes to remind us of our mention last Summer of old "California Row". Said reader declares that the houses were built and knocked down for shipment to California during the "gold rush". Continuing, the letter reads that the builders found it would be too expensive to ship the structures to California and they were erected near Eleventh and Federal streets. The lady who sent the letter in also told us that when she was a little girl her father took her on strolls about the city and told her of the history of "California Row". That little girl's father told her a true story. All that is left of that ancient row of houses is the memory of them. But memories are so priceless. don't you think?
REPUBLICANS: Many of the faithful of the G. O. P. gathered last Tuesday night at an enthusiastic meeting of the Republican County Committee, held at 312 Cooper street. Perhaps only a few present realized that the historic old mansion was a cradle of early Republicanism. As a young newspaperman we recall and actually covered many party shindigs at 312 Cooper street, then headquarters of the rather exclusive Camden Republican Club. Of course, the interior of the place has changed but we did notice that the old ceiling moulding is still intact. We thought thought we saw political ghosts last Tuesday night. Perhaps we were just thinkin'. Remembering a few of those who often frequented that club. Former U. S. Senator David Baird Sr., who ruled a political dynasty more than 30 years, was respected by those old Republicans. Others who gathered at the ancient Republican headquarters were Irving Buckle, former freeholder; Willard Morgan, leading member of the Camden bar; likeable Joe Burt, custodian of the old Court House; the effervescent Eddie Chew, Billy Brown, former under-sheriff and county and city clerk and many others. All have passed on, but 312 Cooper street still remains as a meeting place for Republicans.
IN OUR CORNER: A salute— To William C. Lamon, of 2813 Cramer street... This lad, we Just learned, suffered a fractured bone in his right foot during the Home-Built Racer Derby, but went on to win third place in the Class B event. Actor—A note from Tom Siddons, one-time vaudeville trouper, who is doing all right as a Gloucester City businessman... The Siddons Brothers played the Keith circuit for many years. True Story— Out In our home bailiwick of Haddonfield four youngsters were canvassing homes asking for "cold pieces." One lady of the house reminded the lads that it was not Halloween. One youngster spoke up and remarked that if President Roosevelt could chance the date of Thanksgiving, they could change the date for HalIoween.
Those of us who have tolled through the years with him affectionately call Frank Sheridan, dean o£ the local newspapermen, '"Squire". A -burning 'ambition was realized by Sheridan when he was elected president of the Pyne Poynt Athletic Association. For more than 25 years "Squire" has a been affiliated with the North Camden association.
For more than a quarter of a century Sheridan has been a Tenth ward justice of the peace, a a position which has filled with dignity and honesty. The authentic history of the World War was recorded for posterity by Frank Sheridan, newspaperman and author. His tome, "Camden County in The Great War" is his war monument.
Through the years this reporter has treasured the friendship of Frank Sheridan. One Monday back in 1911 we met Frank at No. 6 firehouse. That was our first job of reporting for the old Camden Daily Courier, although as a schoolboy we contributed news bits to Billy Wells' Pyne Poynt column. The Pyne Poynt Athletic Association should have its most successful year with Frank Sheridan as it's president.
An anniversary was recently observed by Neil Deighan, owner of the popular Pennsauken township night spot, the Old Mill Inn. Congratulations are in order from one good friend to another.
Often we recall those exciting days when Deighan wan a husky guard on the old Camden basketball team in the Eastern League. Well do we recall the night when Neil replaced the veteran Bill Herron in a Camden-Trenton game. Opposed to one of the surest shots in the game, Jimmy Kane, Trenton's flashy forward, the maturing young Deighan blanked his opponent.
A catcher for the I.ouisville Cardinals when that team was managed by Joe McCarthy, now skipper of the world champion Yankees. Neil finished his baseball career with Lou Schaub's Camden team.
A CHANCE meeting and a tete-a-tete with this old friend who for so long has been an integral part of Camden Lodge of Elks. Good old Tom Boston.
Guess Tom never had another job that he relished as much being waiter and handy man around the Elks' club. Like Topsy, Tom Boston just teemed to grow up with the Elks. Always genial and friendly, he has known all the important men and so-called big shots of Our Town for at least 30 years.
The two of us talking about treasured memories of the Elks club when it was advantageously located at Broadway and Federal street. Recalling that hilarious night when a fake raid was staged by the police on a bowling match in which Mike Jubanyik, local contractor and Byron "Pink" Cobb were rival captains.
Tom bursting into laughter as we told how the old horse-drawn police patrol was backed up to the place and the "culprits' were hauled to the city hoosegow next to the old City Hall.
And as Tom Boston lamented: "Dey were the good old days, Mr. Dan; yes, Sir, dey were the good old days." Thought we saw tears in Tom's eyes. That lump came up in our throat. Nice seein' you again, Tom Boston.
THERE was a name often seen in the lobbies of vaudeville theatres all over the country. Last Sunday Vaughn Comfort auditioned on the Metropolitan Auditions program broadcast over a nation-wide radio network. The artist we heard was the son of the original Vaughn Comfort, who was billed as "The American Tenor." What a great team, Vaughn Comfort with Jimmy Jones, his piano accompanist.
Young Vaughan has a fine voice, he's good looking and he has the poise. Never could figure why he didn't go further—even to Hollywood. Every singer reaches the pinnacle of success when he is signed at the "Met". We hope Vaughan Comfort realizes his un-selfish and coveted ambition.
So glad to hear that Ethan Wescott, the lawyerman and former county prosecutor, is prospering as a Burlington county gentleman farmer and dairy owner. From law to milk is quite a step, but friends tell us that "Eth" likes his new vocation.
Camden county never had a more humane prosecutor than Ethan Wescott. He was kind to a fault. This reporter knew his illustrious father, former State Attorney General. John W. Wescott, who twice nominated Woodrow Wilson for the presidency.
HALF AND HALF
Any of us can remember some years back when a dude was a fellow who sported a gold tooth and smoked Sweet Caporal cigarettes.... Other days when most of our brother Elks wore an Elks' tooth attached to a watch chain.
Belated happy birthday greetings to Dorothy MacIlvain, Bill Logan's capable and popular secretary... Our song of the week— A nifty musical ditty called 'The Last Two Weeks In July"... Look alikes- "'Max" Maxwell, the WIBG radio sales manager, and Jack Holt of the movies. Just thinkin'- It would be a magnificent gesture if Temple University had been named after the memory of the great man who founded that citadel of of education, Dr. Russell H. Conwell ... Radio- Bill Slater of the Mutual network, gets our vote as the best of the football broadcasters.....The guy's just natural. Recommended— The "I Want a Divorce" radio show over WJZ. Last Sunday's play, we think, was one of the best acted and produced we ever heard... Suggestion- Perhaps Camden's own Ray Dooley could be induced to make at least a one-night appearance on that first variety program- for the reopening of the Towers Theatre. Then maybe we should mind our own business.
* When this was printed in the Morning Courier and Evening Post newspapers, Ehan Wescott's name was misspelled as "Ephraim"
Those First Autos
Now that the modern automobile is something like 40 years we began to reflect in an effort to recall the names of some of the cars of the cars of the vintage of 1900 and later years.
The Ford, Buick, and Cadillac were among the pioneer gas buggies. We recall those ancient cars of the past, at least a few of them. Recalling the Haynes, the Cleveland, Brush, Mercer, Stevens-Duryea, the Davis and not forgetting the Stanley Steamer. Must get Ed Myers to give us the names of the others.
At a recent meeting of the South Jersey Port Commission, former State Senator Collins B. Allen told us a story about the early "red devils" and gas chariots.
Mr. Alien, who is treasurer of the port commission, related that in 1906 State Senator William Plummer, Jr., of Salem county, introduced a bill which prohibited automobiles using any State and county owned roads or highways. The bill set forth that the automobiles were a menace to the lives and safety of the citizens of the sovereign State of New Jersey.
It seems that several thousand irate citizens stormed the State House in Trenton and demanded the bill be withdrawn. Allen said the wildly demonstrative citizens derisively jeered and hooted another Senator who made the bold declaration that before many years those opposing the bill would be riding in cars of their own. The bill died in committee.
Alien also recalled that in 1916 the then State Senator Walter E. Edge proposed a one mill State tax to raise $30,000,000 for new highways. Edge at that time said such an amount would pay for highway construction for the next 25 years, Collins said.
Man About Town
City Commissioner E. George Aaron observed his 37th birthday anniversary today.
Unknown to George, this amateur historian again dug into the archives and we found that Aaron is the youngest man ever elected as a city commissioner in Our Town. We might also say that for a gentleman of such tender age E. George Aaron, citizen, lawyer, and city commissioner has made good use of his maturing years. We snooped into his record.
Consistency is one of his many assets. The guy was born in Mizpah, Atlantic county. When he joined the Masons, Aaron signed up with Mizpah lodge. Admitted to the bar in 1926 Attorney Aaron didn't have his shingle out a week when he got his first case—defending a Bridgeton man who was indicted for murder. The young attorney had the indictment not prossed.
On this natal day anniversary Commissioner Aaron will look back reflectively to the days when as boy he milked the cows and worked so on his father's farm. Unable to enlist in the Army during the World War when he was a stripling of 15 years he went to Springfield, Mass., where he helped to make rifles for the U.S. Army. Three of his brothers fought overseas.
In turn he worked as an ambulance driver, Insurance salesman and theatre manager. Aaron studied law at nights, at Temple Law School.
Proud of the religious faith of his forefathers, Commissioner Aaron is president of Beth El Synagogue and he usually is found heading up campaigns to help men, women and children of all creeds and faiths. His newest jobs are as chairman of the local assistance board and the Camden County Chapter of the Association for Infantile Paralysis, Inc.
Happy birthday, Commissioner Aaron!
Admitting that our former love of the good old game of fistiana is waning we, nevertheless, often recall our atrocious radio broadcasts of fights from Convention Hall a few years ago.
Coming across an article on the nicknames of many of the former heavyweight champions we thought they would be worth repeating here. Just as if anybody cared.
John L. Sullivan was known as the "Boston Strong Boy." Gentleman James J. Corbett was referred to as "Pompadour Jim" while early sports writers tagged Bob Fitzsimmons with the monicker of "Ruby Robert." Jim Jefferies was known as the "Boilermaker".
Although he was a giant of a man. Jack Johnson drew the incongruous monicker of "Lil' Arthur". Our first meeting with was at the old Broadway Theatre when he came to town in a musical revue. Jack was playing "blackjack" with a Sepian partner in his basement dressing room. What a pair of hands that fellow had. "Glad to meet you, big boy," was Johnson's greeting.
Most of the present day fight fans are acquainted with the nicknames of heavyweight champions of recent years. Jim Braddock had the fancy nickname of the "Cinderella Man" while Primo Camera was tagged as the "Ambling Alp."
Half and Half
Paul Whiteman, the young Denver fiddler who came to New York to seek fame and fortune, did right well by himself. Paul is observing his twentieth year as an orchestra leader . . . Tommy Dorsey, Mildred Bailey, Bing Crosby and Marion Downey are only a few of the stars who started with Whiteman. The newspapers dismissed the death of Ford Sterling, old Keystone film comic with a couple paragraphs of type . . . Sterling made millions roar in the silent films.... Such is fame. Former City Commissioner Fred von Nieda has attended every convention of the Atlantic Deeper Waterways Association since 1907.... That'» something of a record. Our Song of The Week- "Put That Down in Writing".... But we think it's time they stopped mooing over those moon songs. Bobby Heath must gnash his teeth when he hears those bands swing his "Pony Boy" song which he wrote years ago Congratulations— to Alex Crothers on his election as president of the American Association of Port Authorities...... There's a guy who knows all the answers about ports and shipping.
BROADWAY, main stem of Our Town; has undergone many changes in the transition of time. The Open House Bargain Days campaign, which attracted thousands of shoppers to our mind, was a repetition of special events, sponsored in years past when the Camden Business Improvement Association and the Board of Trade were active organizations.
Wondering what good old Bill Story, many years president of the Alpha Club, and Charlie Curry, who was secretary of the Board of Trade, would say if .they could see the present Broadway with its modern lighting and multiplicity of neon signs and electric bulbs.
An event promoted for many years by the B.I.A. and the Board of Trade was the annual Halloween parade. Folks came from miles around Camden to watch the goblins and witches strut their stuff on the town's main street.
Our now more streamlined Chamber of Commerce, which was given that needed shot in the arm when Larry Ellis was drafted as president, should give some thought to reviving the Halloween parade.
How well do we recall when the Chamber of Commerce was organized some years ago. William A. Searle was sent to Camden to do the job. He did such a good job the local businessmen elected him secretary at a salary of something like $6000 a year.
Bill Searle, now one of the first citizens of Haddonfield, is still the same aggressive and dynamic personality despite added years and a few more gray hairs. For a time Bill was the reporter's boss when he took over» the job as publisher of the old Camden Post-Telegram. No man ever had a better boss.
Recalling that some of the smart alecks of Our Town nicknamed the B.I.A. "business is awful".
428 Market Street
The above address is not important to many folks but many of our present attorneys and others who have passed on delved into the mysteries of Blackstone within its ancient walls.
Circuit Court Judge Samuel M. Shay has maintained his private office in the same building for many years. John A. Penn has had his shingle there for a long time. Johnny, we are glad to hear, is improving after a spell of illness.
The late John H. Switzer, former judge of the police court and one-time city prosecutor, was another older tenant. City Solicitor Firmin Michel is a former tenant of old 428. Thomas P. Curley, of revered memory was another. For well onto 12 years this reporter made an almost daily visit to offices in old 428 Market Street.
Through all the years this building, once a mansion of one of Camden's pioneer families, has not changed in its appearance.
Tom Kenney, the town's progressive restaurateur, will soon be located in his modernized place of business at 531 Market street. This is a building that is haunted with memories.
Years ago the place was Dilmore's Hotel. Many of the stock company and traveling show actors and actresses stopped at the old hostelry. The Chamber of Commerce in later years had headquarters there. Neil Deighan changed over the place into a modern bistro following the demise of prohibition.
Half and Half
Nuptials— Dan Cupid was busy among the legal fraternity during this glorious month of October..... Those winged by the artful God of love were Ed Eichman, Sam Singer, Lawrence Finlayson and Tony Mitchell. John F. Rodgers treks to the altar today with Miss Marie Keegan. Radio- Betty Garde, the lass who plays the old lady roles in those radio playlets.... is the lovely daughter of the late Pierre Garde, who night editor of a Philadelphia newspaper. Press Agent- Myers Baker, the Realtor, wants to know if this onetime press agent intends to tell about the days of the melodramas presented at the Temple Theatre... Yes, we intend to write about 'Willie Live in Across the Pacific' and a lot of the other thrillers. Hope you're satisfied, Baker. Our Song of the Week— Nick Kenny's newest ballad, "Last Night."... Ferries— Just can't resist writing: about the old ferries... It is interesting to note that the Pennsylvania Railroad ferries some 20 years ago were considered one of the six busiest locations in the United States. Grunt of the Week- Thinking that nine o'clock Saturday closing ordinance regulating barber shop hours is the bunk. Just Thinkin'- The McCarthy-Bergen Sunday night radio show without the versatile Don Ameche is like breakfast toast without butter. City Hall- We've tried to recall the name of the young minister who once operated the dinky elevator in the old Haddon Avenue city hall. Suggestion- The local gendarmes should do something about the dangerous practice of truck drivers blocking sidewalks on Arch Street... Pedestrians are forced to walk into the street. Politics- Florence Baker, Republican State committeewoman, is a "gifted" lady. Her birthday anniversary is Christmas Day. Add similes- Be brief, like the WCAM news flashes. Football- Listening to the Sunday broadcast of the New York Giants-Chicago Bears football game... The sponsor and product was plugged 46 times... and we didn't listen to the whole show... Why don't they pass a law to curtail these epidemics of radio plugs?
THEATRES: That so-called feature bit we wrote for Jimmy O'Neill's theatre page last Saturday seems to have stirred up some comment. At least the mail box the last few days had something in it. An appreciated note from Dr. Carroll H. Francis, retired U.S. Navy medical officer, refreshened our memory. We recall that it was Dr. Francis whom this boy press agent called in the night that the operating room scene was ruined when Chester De Vonde the leading man was partly blinded when he was burned by acid, and not ether as we reported. Dr. Francis straightened that out by reminding us that the bottle, not the can, contained carbolic acid. De Vonde's eyes and face were burned. The good doctor telling us that he remained backstage during the entire performance of "The Great Medical Mystery" that night in order that he could treat the actor. Doc also telling us that he was never paid for his services. At that time Dr. Francis had his office at 100 North Fifth Street. Nice hearing from you, Doctor. We'd be very happy if you will loan this department that cabinet photograph of Francis X. Bushman, who in more prosperous days of the silent films was starred as "the handsomest actor in the movies."
MAYORS: It might be interesting to note here that the last seven mayors of our town are still living and all are in good health. Their services cover a period of 36 years. Here's some of the history attached to the city's chief executives. Former Postmaster Charles H. Ellis was elected mayor in 1903 and served something like 18 years. Frank S. Van Hart, many years president of City Council, was named acting mayor when Ellis was appointed postmaster. Then came Victor King, who twice was elected mayor and was the first commission government mayor. General Winfield Scott Price, retired, succeeded King and then followed former State Senator Roy R. Stewart. Former City Commissioner Fred von Nieda served for a short time and was replaced by our present genial and capable chief executive, George E. Brunner.
AUTOS: Our recent revival of old automobiles argument brought a most welcome letter from one fellow we know reads this balderdash, Dave Sullivan. Sullivan asks whether we recall the Copeland car. Listen, Dave. this reporter is not that old. According to Dave, L. D. Copeland, an engineer, used an old type Columbian bicycle and mounted a steam boiler and condensing engine on it. A side car also was attached. Dave says Copeland operated the "car" on Cooper Street during the years 1886-87-88. He also tells us that the same Mr. Copeland built a steam car for a firm of machinists in Smithville. Later Copeland began manufacturing the machines in the old Starr building on Front Street, near Cooper . Dave said he recalls that certain suburban municipalities attempted to legislate the early cars off county roads because they frightened horses. Perhaps that's where the old expression, "hold your horses," originated.
POLICEMEN: This reporter is grieved over the passing of an old friend, Sam Paul, a retired city policeman. Don't think we ever knew a cop we didn't like. Sam Paul was a policeman of the old school. For years he drove the old First district horse-drawn patrol. We also recall that the city's first auto patrol was a huge Knox car that packed plenty of power under its hood. The cops at first didn't like the idea of driving gasoline cars. One of the first crews to drive those early police cars included Dave Hunt, retired city detective, and the late Harry Orens. Many older residents recall two officers who piloted the old Cooper Hospital ambulance. They were were Billy Briant and the late Fred Schweizer. The fiery steed who drew the vehicle of mercy was a black beauty who answered to the name of "Coop Hatch." The equine was named after Cooper B. Hatch, a former mayor and sheriff. In those days patrol and ambulance drivers were distinguished by box-like caps. The regular cops wore those egg-shaped helmets, which we have written so much about.
PERSONALS: The passing of Dr. William Taylor has left many with saddened hearts. Bill Taylor, like his brothers, Tom and Bob, carved a niche in athletics, when Camden High School was located in what is now the Clara S. Burrough Junior High School. Elwood Geiges, now football coach at Frankford High School, is one of the topnotch football officials in the county. The Geiges brothers, too, made history in old Camden high athletic competition. George and Charlie Glendening must be listed among other famous brother athletes who attended the same school. Charlie Rogers, regarded by many as one of the greatest football players in the school's history, received All-American mention when he starred in football at the University of Pennsylvania. One of the finest athletes and grandest boys of them all, we always thought, was the late Paul "Chink" Taylor.
HALF AND HALF: Thanks to Norman Bonnet for identifying one of the ladies in that old picture of the original Temple Players... The lady was Evelyn Foster. Bill Logan, city welfare director, always uses green ink in his fountain pen and office. The hit show in Philadelphia just 25 years ago this week was "The Passing Show of 1914" which was on display at the Lyric Theatre. . .The cast included George Monroe, Marilyn Miller. Harry Fisher. June Elvidge and Bernard Grauville. A further perusal of a monthly report by City Treasurer Abner Sparks in 1865 shows that the city had a mortgage of $1620 on the first old court house. Edgar Myers, the veteran automobile salesman has loaned this department a book containing descriptions of more than 100 old-time automobiles. The book relates that Henry Ford manufactured an eight cylinder car as far back as 1916.
Few Old Cars
In the period of years covering the span between 1914 and 1920 there were 142 known and catalogued makes of automobiles. If we were running a quiz contest we might ask how many persons can offhand name all the known makes of present day cars.
Thanks to the generosity of Bill Dickinson, dean of local automotive mechanical experts and Edgar Myers, one time world's champion Ford salesman, this department was loaned a copy of the Branaham Automobile Reference Book, a volume copyrighted in 1920.
Eight and twelve cylinder cars were manufactured back in 1915 and 1919. The old reference book shows an illustration of an Austin car, which in 1919 was built with 12 cylinders.
Other eight cylinder gas buggies of that era were Chevrolet, Cadillac, Scripps-Booth, Mitchell and Overland. Oddly enough, the majority of motor trucks were equipped with four cylinder motors.
If you have a memory for names of the old cars, the majority of which are no longer in production, perhaps you will recall several others mentioned here.
The Dupont was built by the DuPont Manufacturing Company in Wilmington, Delaware. A streamlined looking chariot was the Dixie Flyer which, suh, was made in Louisville, Kentucky. Another nifty hack. equipped with a long hood was the Climber and it was manufactured in Little Rock, Arkanas. The Dudleybug was made in Menominee, Michigan.
Bet you never heard of the following cars: the Glide, Monitor, Moore, Monroe. National, Noma, Owen-Magnetic, Pan-American, Pan, Pennsy, Paterson, Piedmont, Pilot. Poster, Re Vere, Regal Roamer, Wasp, Singer, Standwood, Texan, Meteor, Metz, but when is this going to stop.
Just mentioning a few more including Jack Benny's Maxwell, the Lorraine,. Kline Kar, Kissell Kar, Jeffery, Hollier, Hackett, Halladay, Geronimo, Dort and Dorris.
Who started this argument about the old-time automobiles?
Old Auto Law
While we're chatting about those ancient gasoline hacks it may be related that a national motor vehicle act passed by Congress provided a stiff penalty for transporting a stolen motor vehicle from one state to another.
This law made it a felony to conceal, store, sell, or dispose of a stolen vehicle.
Violation of this statute was punishable by a fine not to exceed $5000, or by imprisonment of not more than five years, or both.
The act further provided that any person violating its provisions could he punished in any district in or through which such motor vehicle had been transported or removed by such offender.
A Success Story
Off to the movies for a second viewing of the gloriously enjoyable super- technicolor masterpiece of the screen, 'The Wizard of Oz." Just thinkin' it was only a few years ago that Bert Lahr, who played the cowardly lion, was kidding with the stagehands back stage at the Towers Theatre.
Recalling, too. that Bert was the first Simple Simon in J. C. Mack's girly show, "Mother Goose". Now Jess Mack is gone and Bert Lahr's going places. Once a wealthy man, Mack spent his last remaining years as a ward of Brooklyn lodge of Elks.
We thought Lahr really "stole" the show in "The Wizard of Oz." Our best girl of the movies. Judy Garland, was grand as Dorothy. A swell show, just like the old stage production in which Dave Montgomery and Fred Stone were the stars.
Must remember to thank Dr. C.H. Francis for that fine old photograph of Francis X. Bushman. We expect to use it in that second article about Bushman and the Temple Players on Saturday's theatre page. Reminded, too to send a note of appreciation to Charles E. Heinemann for his gracious letter about the same Frank Bushman.. .Just learned that John N. Hennessey, the Westmont fellow who was one of the heroes of the bombing of the U. S. gunboat Panay. recently was promoted to gunner's mate first class...It's a happy birthday for Sheriff Frank B. Luker. Best wishes, Sheriff.
Half and Half
News Item— Architect Thomas Stephens has prepared plans for a new store building for Thomas I. Gifford at the northeast corner of Federal and Third streets. It will be an elegant three-story structure and an ornament to the locality... From the Camden Daily Courier dated May 14, 1894. Ambition— To sneak up behind Red Barber, handcuff him, and jam a whole case of that breakfast food down his throat. That guy's exasperating on the radio. Success- Eldridge R. Johnson, inventor of the Victor talking machine, went West as a young man to seek his fortune... Then returned to Camden to find his own acre of diamonds in a tiny machine shop. Advertising— Another glimpse at that old Daily Courier disclosed a Gately & Hurley store advertisement., which featured bargain sales of refrigerators, gasoline stoves and baby carriages.... Jim and Harry Moran please note. An undertaker advertisement read in part, "Everything First- class at reasonable prices" Ferries— Bet you didn't know that operators of the early Delaware river ferries... Cut out night trips in 1835, because they couldn't make expenses. Real Estate— For rent, 458 Berkley Street, 8 rooms and store, $16 a month..... Ah, but that was in 1894. Theatres— We've also learned that one of the early troupes at the old Temple Theatre were "Mr. Learock and his stock company." Radio— Now that we are going back into early history we might find a few jokes for Milton Berle's "Stop Me If You've Heard This One" program.... Those hoary gags seem to win all the prizes.
NEWSPAPERMAN: Reverently our head bowed upon receiving word of the passing of an old friend and one-time boss, Wolcott Jackson Patterson, scion of one of Camden's first families, and one-time partner in the Patterson family newspaper ownership dynasty. We always liked "Wolk" or "Kid" Patterson, as he was affectionately called by newspaper peons who worked so long on the old Camden Post-Telegram. It was the same Wolcott Patterson who hired this then cub reporter. Never shall we forget the thrill that came when Patterson rather abruptly told this budding newspaperman that he could only pay a salary of $16 a week. The truth was our salary on the Camden Daily Courier at that time was just $11 a week. Imagine getting a pay increase of a whole five dollars. When sickness came and this reporter went to the hospital for repairs, it was this same considerate newspaperman who sat at our bedside with checkbook in hand, offering to pay the hospital bill and other expenses. You never forget such kindness. "Wolk" Patterson started in the business when folks were content to ride bicycles, attend stereoptican shows or take an occasional trolley car or train ride. He was one of the first men in Our Town to own an automobile. That was a happy family at the Post-Telegram when "The Kid" was business manager. Perhaps we can find time to write more about a beloved boss and fellow newspaperman. His life, good deeds and career merits a full column and more.
BASEBALL: Fans and friends paid their final respects to one of the truly great baseball payers who went from the sandlots of Our Town to the big leagues- Eggie Lennox. Like the late William "Kid" Gleason, who was a first lieutenant of the beloved Connie Mack, .veteran pilot of the Philadelphia Athletics, Lennox was a star in the days when they played rough and tumble baseball. Days when a player many times had to use his fists in addition to a bat and glove. Winfield Clark, veteran employee of the Camden County sheriff office, told this reporter that Lennox first showed promise of a future big league player when he played third base and pitched for the Camden Wheelmen team. That club, Clark added, had such well-known players as "Deak" Johnson, now a Camden policeman; the late Jobey Corbett, who was one of the first motion picture theatre owners in the city; Ralph Bakley, presently acting chief of police; Dave "Kidder" Borquin, who was a stellar basketball player with Camden Eastern league teams, and Harry Antrim, Charlie Flagg and "Rusty" Johnson, who was a cousin of "Deak" Johnson. Clark modestly admits that he was a utility infielder.
AUTOMOBILES: In that ancient automobile reference book loaned this department by Ed Myers and Bill Dickinson we found the names of additional cars that were built between 1914 and 1920. This conniving reporter discovered as company in Ravenna, Ohio made a specialty of building funeral hearses. 'They were called by the name of Riddle. The bodies were built of ornamentally carved wood. The Crow-Elkhart car was the only one we found listed that sported wire wheels. Two other cars built like sedans were Owen-Magnetic and Pierce-Arrow. The manufacturers located serial numbers in the darndest places. Some were on the dashboard, on axles, under seats and goodness knows where. The reference books contained legible half-tone cuts showing 110 different types of trucks built during the same period. Must have been a lot of competition among auto and truck builders in those less ominous days.
MERCHANTS: It is here noted that two brothers, who have pioneered as outstanding merchants in our town, have a combined business career and experience of 89 years. That record has been established by James V. and Harry Moran, executives of the W.L. Hurley Co. Certainly "J. V." and Harry are not living in the past, regardless of their memories and interest in the past. The great Camden Hurley store is headquarters of the chain of seven modern stores operated by this company. Wonder if the Moran brothers remember a chap by the name of William L. Hurley. He was a plumber and steam-fitter back in the Gay Nineties.
PERSONALS: Public Improvement- Thinking something should be done about construction of a shelter for bus patrons at the Seventh and Penn streets stop on the Camden bridge plaza.... . Dentists- We noticed an advertisement in that old Camden Daily Courier. Dr. A.E. Street advertised teeth extractions for 25 cents. With gas the price was 50 cents per molar. Orchestras— It would be like old times if Ollie Bundick, veteran drummer, and Sammy Adams, pianist, who played in the old Towers Theater Orchestra when the late Gus Borchard was the leader, were signed up for the new orchestra when the Broadway playhouse is reopened. Policemen— Marshall Thompson, one of Camden's finest, is a talented pianist. he never took a music lesson. Song of the Week- That brand new number called "Plaza, 358".... will reach the radio "Hit Parade" 'for long, we'll betya.
NEWS: Gloucester City—Fully 10,000 people visited Gloucester beach yesterday... By 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon the beach was crowded. Two arrests were made and they were for selling song books and key rings.... Merchantville Matters— A stereopticon exhibition will be givcn in the Presbyterian Church next Thursday night.... Collingswood Cullings— Mrs. Hatcher is having her iron fence painted on Collings Avenue.... Advertisement — TWELVES, the Stationer- 408-410 Market Street—Baseballs and bats, hoops, Croquet sets, Roller Skates" .... TEMPLE THEATRE— Mr. Learock and his Stock Company, in the Dramatic Version of Dickens Story of 'OLIVER TWIST'. From the Camden Daily Courier, May 14 1894.
The name Irving Buckle is inscribed on a bronze tablet in the Broadway entrance of the old court house. That same name is indelibly impressed in the memory and heart of those who knew and could call the "father" of that old building a friend
Many who cherish the memory of Freeholder Irving Buckle possibly would want to know his opinion relative to the election of a small board or the retention of the present 38 member Camden County Board of Freeholders. Such an opinion could be respected.
From the lips of the fine son of a truly great and unselfish citizen we obtained such an opinion. Irving Buckle, the son and insurance broker of Our Town told this newspaperman his father- always was in favor of a small board of freeholders.
There was no doubt in our mind as to just how to vote on that important issue. So when we cast our ballot today we'll be thinking of Freeholder Irving Buckle. Knowing he would want us to vote as he would- in favor of the small board.
When the old court house was built and the late freeholder Irving Buckle was chairman of the important building committee the furnishings of the building were plain.
There were no modem electric drinking stands, nor air conditioning. So, when the building was furnished, offices, courtrooms, and other rooms, were equipped with metal lined wooden water coolers. A tin bucket was located under the faucet to catch the waste water.
They built the courthouse in 1904. several of those outmoded water coolers are still in use and the buckets are still used. There is a cooler and a tin bucket in the Grand Jury anteroom, where folks often sit for hours. They drink out of a tin cup or tumblers.
A modern and decent drinking water outfit is in order as a Scrap Book public improvement.
This reporter often recalls the famous Camden baseball teams promoted by Lou Schaub, who was a rookie pitcher for the Phillies more than a quarter of a century ago. Thinking Schaub's best teams were those of 1926, 1927, and 1928.
This department searched the archives to find a Camden nine that was popular with the fans when this writer was an infant in swaddling clothes. perhaps there are members of the 1894 Camden club still among us.
This was the line-up of the team in that year: Matthews, cf; Dodd, ss; Foulkrod, 3b; Verga, 2b; Toy, 1b; Gray, lf; O'Hara, rf; Stack or Slack, c; Yeager, p. An umpire of that time was Howard Vallee.
Chatting about old times with Martin Schreiber, Public Service transportation executive and one-time superintendent of the Southern division in days when noisy trolley cars rolled over the main streets of Our Town.
Never tiring of Martin's delightful Kentucky dialect. A graduate of Center College from whence came the colorful "Praying Colonels" football teams, Schreiber is all that a Southern gentleman personifies. Those who work with Schreiber affectionately call him "Chief".
It was Martin Schreiber who planned and designed those comfortable and smooth riding All-Service trackless trolley busses. Yes, Martin, we remember those old-time Crosstown trolley cars with those wood burning stoves. We also recall it was the late Henry S. Scovel, former prosecutor and Assemblyman, who sponsored a bill in the legislature compelling traction companies to construct front and rear enclosed platforms on trolley cars.
Nice seeing you again, Chief.
During the days when this reporter as a stripling worked as an office and messenger boy we always were fascinated by those pawnshop windows along Market Street, Philadelphia. They seemed to bulge with pistols, watches, diamonds, and other trinkets.
Come to think of it we don't think there ever was a legitimate pawn shop in Our Town.
Another American institution that has disappeared in Camden is the employment agency.
Half' n Half
Newspapermen: Howard Truax, veteran deputy county clerk was a cub reporter on the old Camden Morning News. Some time we're going to write more about the days when newspapermen wrote their stories in long hand. Election Day: We hear so much about the doorbell pullers getting out the vote... They don't pull doorbells anymore, you dopes. Suggestion: They could name that oil and gas refining plant on Petty's Island... Silver City. Those massive silver-plated tanks gleaming when the sun shines on them... Courier, May 14, 1894. Happy Birthday: To Joe Wells, fellow member of the Fourth Estate who is (?) years old this election day.... William B. Wells, his daddy, will be another year older on Thanksgiving Day. ... Both members of the Courier-Post Newspaper family. Traffic: Possibly we should mind our own business... But we could suggest to Lieutenant Nate Pettit, head of the police traffic squad, that Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth at Arch street should be stop streets. Sympathy: To the loved ones of Police Lieutenant Anderson we extend heartfelt sympathy... Herb was a gentleman and a fine officer who was liked by every man in his department. So few of us could hope to be so esteemed and respected, newspapermen lost a real friend. News Event: A prize drawing will take place at Rustine Hall on June 9 under the auspices of the Union Republican Club. The following prizes will be awarded: a gasoline stove, hall rack, and a decorative des set- From the Camden Daily Courier, May 14, 1894.
WM. L. HURLEY
Our recent inquiry concerning William L. Hurley, who was a plumber and steam and gas fitter in the early 90's brought a response from our genial friend James V. Moran.
Obligingly "J.V." advises us that the same Mr. Hurley is still living on Haddon . Avenue opposite the Clara S. Burrough Junior High School. All of us who were privileged to know William L. Hurley, founder of the great Hurley chain of department stores, still revere his memory.
By coincidence Mr. Hurley, the plumber, was a sub-contractor for the plumbing job .on the first modern Gateley & Hurley store, now the site of the W. L. Hurley Company's big store at Broadway and Pine street. In other words, William L. Hurley did the plumbing work for William L. Hurley's first modern store, which occupied a site 33 x 90 feet.
Our thanks to Mr. Moran for a wealth of other information on the early history of Our Town. That will come in handy for a future column.
JUSTICE OF PEACE
Tenth ward Republican voters paid a fine compliment to a fellow peon of the press, Squire Frank Sheridan, when they elected him for his sixth five-year term as a justice of the peace. Sheridan has faithfully served 25 years as a squire. He was high man in his own ward.
That makes three minions of the law on the staff of the Courier-Post Newspapers. Squire Oliver J. Stetser also was re-elected last Tuesday. This reporter holds the justice of the peace portfolio in our home town of Haddonfield.
Wanna make something of it?
This department has been advised by Lewis A. Lee, chief clerk of the city health bureau, that Winfield Clark, aide to Frank B. Luker, was in error when he gave the names of several players on the old Camden Wheelmen baseball team.
Mr. Lee says those guys played on the Camden City team, Lew admitting that he covered first base for the Wheelmen. And he also told us that Acting Police Chief Ralph Bakley once aspired to be a professional pugilist, but he gave up that idea when another fighter gave him a fistic shellacking in a scrap at the old Globe A. C. in Philadelphia many years ago.
When we started to type this pillar of balderdash more than a year ago, we did so with a solemn promise not to inject politics into our efforts. This story is too good to keep uncovered.
Down in Gloucester last Tuesday the Democrats were so confident of electing three councilmen that they purchased a supply of red fire flares and other noise making gadgets to be used for a celebration. The Republicans won out but had no material to whoop things up.
Freeholder J. William Mullin, director of the board of freeholders generously turned over the flares to the victorious Republicans, who staged a political victory parade- at the expense of the town's Democrats.
That's politics in Gloucester.
As a young man, Eldridge R. Johnson, founder of the original Victor Talking Machine Company, made many experiments before he perfected a machine that could talk plainly.
Speaking of one of the early models brought to his little machine shop on Front between Market and Cooper streets, Mr. Johnson said: "The little instrument was badly6 designed. It sounded much like a partially educated parrot with a sore throat and a cold in the head".
It was that same little machine that gave Mr. Johnson the incentive and inspiration to carry on to fame and fortune.
Many stars of the silent motion picture paid tribute to the memory of Ford Sterling when his funeral was held last week in Hollywood. an organist played the once famous comedian's favorite song "Whispering."
When that ballad was popular the largest selling-phonograph record was "Dardanella". Both are lovely songs, but aren't most of the older ones? Ford Sterling and those Keystone Kops made early motion picture history on the old Triangle lot.
HALF 'N HALF
Radio: Mildred Bailey has been signed as top soloist for Benny Goodman's Band.... Ol' rockin' chair's got me. Mildred has always been our favorite swing thrush. Public Improvement: Thinking It's about time they took that 25-watt electric lamp out of the ceiling on the sixth floor of the new city hall.... It's soooo dark. Baseball: Bet a lot 'of you didn't know that Lem Horner, funeral director, was a star pitcher for the old Liberty Stars.... He still plays a a swell game of golf. Railroads: In our did-you-know department we might add that several years ago a Reading Railroad train made the run from Camden to Atlantic City .... in 38 minutes. Correction: That building at Eight and Market streets is not Moose Hall....'cause the Elks now occupy the place. County Jail: That's one place where they do serve a good cup of coffee.... not an inmate, just a visitor. The good old days: When your best girl was thrilled... By a Sunday afternoon trolley ride to Washington Park. Youngest Commissioner: Frank J. Hartmann, former city commissioner, claims that he and not commissioner E. George Aaron.... was the youngest man to be elected to that office in Camden... Go ahead and fight about it, you guys.
No columns appeared during the following week. At this time it is unknown as to weather the interruption was due to vacation, illness, or other family business. - PMC
DAVY CROCKETT, celebrated frontiersman, stopped in Camden while on his way from Boston to Washington. He was a member of Congress from Kentucky. Crockett was the guest of Isaiah Toy at the Ferry Hotel, at the foot of Federal Street. While attending a rifle shoot, Crockett was robbed of $160- by a pickpocket.
GENERAL WILLIAM ROBESON was the highest ranking officer in the Civil War from Our Town. During the World War the highest ranking officer was Admiral Henry B. Wilson, now retired. General Robeson entered as a private. He participated in 20 engagements. Admiral Wilson, an Annapolis graduate, commanded the American fleet in French waters.
THE ARMEWANEXES INDIANS once inhabited the original site of what was to become the City of Camden. Historians recorded that those injuns believed they were living on an island and named it Aquikanasra. All right, you pronounce it.
CAMDEN'S FIRST COAT OF ARMS contained the shield of Charles Pratt, Earl of Camden; a crowned cornet, denoting Camden as a seaport, two supporters, denoting education and industry, and a reproduction of the first locomotive operated over the Camden and Amboy Railroad.
RICHARD ESTERBROOK founded the first Esterbrook pen factory in Our Town in 1858. It was the first pen factory in the United States. An early business slogan of the factory was "The sun never sets on Esterbrook pens." That's a good point.
CAMDEN many years ago was one of the largest brick manufacturing centers in the world. At peak timed 30,000,000 bricks were produced yearly. These did not include those tossed around election time.
REILLY BARRATT, local preacher, politician, shoemaker, city treasurer, and oine0time assemblyman, first manufactured "Jersey sausage" in Camden. The manufacturing of sausages in those days was known as sausage weaving". This is not baloney.
JOHN FITCH was the first man to operate a steamboat on the Delaware River. That was in the year 1787. Fitch's steamboat made several trips between Philadelphia, Camden, Bordentown, and Trenton. That early ship traveled at the amazing speed of eight miles an hour. Fitch, after many disappointments, gave up the idea that boats could be operated by steam. A fellow named Fulton later cashed in on the idea.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS first were opened in out town in 1843. Male teachers were paid $600 and female teachers $400 a year. A tax of $1.25 a year was levied on each child attending grammar school and 75 cents for primary school pupils. This tax was later lifted when parents refused to send their children to school.
THOMAS SHARP was ye olde town's first school teacher. He came to this country with the Irish Friends and established the first school house near the Newton Meeting House. He was a surveyor and conveyancer and was said to be a man educated in astronomy and literature. Sharp made the original survey of what later was Camden.
DR. SAMUEL HARRIS was the town's original druggist. His first drugstore was located at 122 Cooper Street. Later he moved to the northeast corner of Second and Cooper streets. When this reporter was a North Camden urchin McLaughlin's drug store was the most swanky in the city. Ice cream sodas sold for a nickel, and they were good.
Justice of Peace
Just make a mistake, or leave some guy's name out of a pillar like this and the phone will ring or mail will arrive.
This reporter has erred and will continue to do so. Right here we would like to add that Frank Stetser, ace Gloucester county reporter, like his eminent daddy, Oliver J. Stetser, is a justice of the peace.
Also acknowledging a grunt from the business office. We neglected to mention that Hyman Weiss is also a judge of the small cause court. It already has been ,mentioned that our own Frank Sheridan has been a squire more than 25 years and has been reelected to his for another five-year term. Sheridan is just a youngster compared to Squire Oliver Stetser who recently was elected to his eight five-year hitch.
The gentleman who is believed to be the dean of all of the J.P.'s is Squire Frank Schneider, who many years ago conducted a photography studio on Kaighn Avenue in Our Town, has served more than 50 years. A salute to you, sir.
In those good old days of Washington Park and Gloucester beach, Squire Schneider was a formidable arm of the law. Justices of the peace in those days wielded potent judicial powers, including the legal right to marry folks.
Through all these years, Squire Schneider has had his sign outside his home in Gloucester, but business is not what it used to be, says Frank.
We are the law, Squires Schneider, Stetser, Sheridan, Stetser, Weiss, and McConnell.
Countless times this former press agent sat in a box at the original Towers Theatre and watched vaudeville artists tickle the ivories on the stage grand piano. Perhaps the piano had a certain fascination for me becasue as a lad we often had a desire to be a pianist.
When the Broadway playhouse went dark and the elements and neglect had turned the place into a shambles we often wondered what was done with that same piano.
Ed Sackett, former vaudeville trooper and now a prosperous business man, recently informed this department that the piano has a favorite spot on the living room of his Collingswood home. Ed bought the instrument for the proverbial song and had it put back into shape.
Both Ed and the writer tried to recall the many show folks who at some time played the same piano. There was Jimmy Jones, who was pianist for Vaughn Comfort, the "American Tenor. still another was Leo Beers, who did a piano-talking skit, with some fancy whistling included.
Not forgetting Camden's own Don Traveline and Jim McWilliams, who now is an established radio favorite with his "Uncle Jim's" quiz program. Other piano acts that played the Towers included Bert Howard and Leona Bland and Bert William and Hilda Wolfus.
Just wondering if Oliver Stetser, Roy Goodwin, and a few other residents of Gloucester City know ice cream was "invented" in that town. The stuff was called frozen cream and usually strawberries were served with it.
Peggy Shippen, society belle of Colonial Philadelphia first introduced cream and strawberries at parties she gave for the elite of Gloucester. The first inc cream factory was located on what is now the site of the Gloucester city water works.
If this information isn't kosher, you can blame Walt Batezel and Jim McNally, former Mayor of Gloucester City.
Third and Market
It seems that when Jacob Cooper, one of the founders of Our Town, assisted in planning the city in 1773 he decided to locate an open square at Third and Market Streets for construction of a market place similar to those in many towns in England.
Third and Market streets in Harrisburg PA is an intersection much like our own Market Street at Third. At least it was several years ago,
Half and Half
Old Towns: The City of Gloucester is something like 340 years old..... The town fathers recently passed the burg's first building code. Good Luck: That's what we wish Dick Reesman, son of City Clerk Clay Reesman.... Dick has joined the business staff of Jan Savitt's Orchestra. Cooper River: The Indians who settled in Camden.... Named the stream "Asortaches river". Politics: The first Republican club in the United States was organized in Camden..... It was so. History: When Benjamin Franklin left Boston to seek fame and fortune in Philadelphia.... He slept beside a log fire in ye old Pyne Point Park the night before he landed in the Quaker City. Know-your-town Department: Whitman Avenue originally was named... Lemon Street. Poetry: Ted Malone failed to mention in his Sunday broadcast from the old home of Walt Whitman.... That the poet's galvanized bathtub is under the old bed on the second floor.
Tom Daley, city engineer of Our Town, is the fifth man to hold that job since Camden was incorporated. Earl H. Saunders, who served in the post for 27 years, was the first engineer. Next came Jacob H. Yocum, who had the job only eight years. John S. Schultz was engineer for 112 years and was followed by Levi H. Farnham, who gave 33 years of his life to the city. Farnham Park is a monument to Farnham's memory. City Clerk Clay W. Reesman, when he was director of parks and public property, presented the resolution, changing the name form from Forest Hill to Farnham Park. A deserved honor to the memory of a great man, Levi Farnham.
Camden Fire Insurance Association will be 10 years on on January 12, 1941. The company was organized by pioneer Camden citizens who met in the old Cooper Ferry House at the foot of Federal Street. Originally it was called the Camden New Jersey Insurers Association, and in 1873 he present name was adopted. For 40 years the company has publicized as its trade mark the coat-of-arms of Charles Pratt, First Earl of Camden, and friend of American freedom, for whom Our Town is named. Eight towns in the original 13 colonies were named in honor of Charles Pratt.
Berkley Street was named after Lord Berkley, one of the original owners of New Jersey. Dogwoodtown, a section of ye olde Camden towne, was in the vicinity of Tenth and Federal Street. It seem dogwood trees grew in that neighborhood. What is now Pershing Street once was called German Street. Perhaps we erred when we said Whitman Street was originally called Lemon Street. Or did we? The first house of worship, First M.E. Church, was established in a house at the northeast corner of Fourth and Federal Streets.
Benjamin Cooper built the only remaining Cooper family mansion now in existence. The old house, erected in 1734 at Erie and Point Streets, is occupoied by the Mathis Yacht Building Compoany. It was occupied by General Abercrombie during the Revolutionary War. The mansion of the late Howard M. Cooper, a lineal descendant of the original Cooper family, stood at Seventh and Penn Streets on what is now part of the Camden bridge plaza.
Camden's first regular post office was located in a barroom. Isaac Toy was appointed postmaster by President Andrew Jackson in 1829. Toy's bistro, located near the foot of Federal Street, was called the Ferry House. A meeting place for the mails and males.
David Baird Sr., one-time U.S. Senator, founded his lumber business in 1872. Years ago it could be said that ships spars made at the old Baird yard sailed the seven seas. The business was established to supply large timber ships spars, pilings, and spruce timber for ship and boat builders.
Victor Herbert, our favorite composer, took part in a benefit concert to help the Red Cross of Our Town. The program was staged in the auditorium of the Victor Talking Machine Company on May 23, 1918. Herbert directed his own orchestra. The Victor Orchestra was directed by Joseph A. Pasternack, then music director of the Victor laboratories. Proceeds amounting to $1700 went to the Camden chapter of the Red Cross.
The Building and Loan Association idea originated in Scotland during the year 1815. The first associations were organized in the United States about 1840. The Camden Building and Loan Association was organized May 5, 1849. An old Scottish custom.
John James Audubon, distinguished ornithologist, once lived in Our Town. Early historical records disclose that Audubon's home was on Cooper Street near Friends Avenue. The Borough of Audubon was named in honor of this great man who loved nature and birds. Suppose Walt Batezel will give us the "bird" on this paragraph.
Camden Republicans, as we previously explained, organized the first G.O.P. club in the United States. That historic event occurred in May, 1854. This pioneer club was formed in the old Federal Street city hall. The first president was Joseph M. Cooper. Edward Dougherty was secretary and Dr. Sylvester Burdsall was named treasurer. The name of the organization was- The Jefferson Republican Club.
Charles H. Slemmer, a faithful contributor to this department, informs us that a shipyard was located on the lower end of Petty's Island more than 60 years ago. Several barges were built at this same shipyard, Slemmer states. The island, Slemmer adds, also was the location for many amateur boxing shows. He also tells us that a whale caught in the Delaware river was towed to the island and there left to the elements.
Camden's first police horse patrol was purchased in 1890...Giddap. Camden was once a city of 20,000 two-story homes.... The largest number of any city in the state. around the year 1912 there were 116 merchant tailors in this city... Well stitch my britches. Excuse it, please, if we tell you that the first telephone was installed in Our Town in August 1879. Camden had 14 supervised playgrounds ... in 1915. Not so many in 1939.
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Herbert E. Parker
|Article written noting the Silver Jubilee of Father J. Joseph McCallion's service in the priesthood, written around 1941-1942.|
By Mr. Daniel P. McConnell, Staff Writer Courier-Post Newspapers
Pilfering a few minutes of the newspapers's time before starting our chores covering the court house offices and courts on one morning some 25 years ago we were sipping a malted milk in Hinski's drugstore.
Gerald, the store's drug clerk and auxiliary soda jerker, confided that a new curate had been assigned to the venerable Church of the Immaculate Conception. That wasn't particularly hot news. We had seen several curates arrive and leave. Most of them stayed a year or two. Three years was a record.
This reporter was a parishioner of the Holy Name Church. However, as a youngster we went to Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception before our own parish was established by the revered Rev. Thomas J. Whelan.
It wasn't many weeks before the older fellows who frequented Hinski's drugstore were talking about this newly appointed curate at the Church of the Immaculate. He was a fine-looking young priest, they said. He was an orator. His sermons were masterpieces. they added.
So on one balmy Sunday morning this curious reporter learned that this brilliant young priest was to speak at the 10:30 a. m. Mass. To Mass at the Immaculate Conception parish we went. It was the holy season of Lent.
The sermon we heard that morning on the Crucifixion was the most moving, dramatic and finest we ever heard. Women, young and old, dabbed eyes with handkerchiefs. Strong men sobbed unashamed. This perhaps cocky reporter, who only a short time before witnessed his first execution at the New Jersey State prison, was moved to tears.
young priest and silver-voiced orator was the Rev. Francis J.
McCallion. We shortly made his acquaintance. Ours has been a lasting
friendship down through the years. Father McCallion set a record when
he stayed five years at the Church of the Immaculate
Conception, now the Cathedral of the beloved first bishop of the
Father McCallion's five-year assistant pastorship was saddened by the passing of the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Bernard J. Mulligan. The death of the beloved pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception was mourned by Catholics, Protestants and Jews alike.
This reporter was operating the telephone branch exchange at
Cooper Hospital when Father McCallion gave
the sad news that Dean Mulligan had gone to his heavenly reward.
The scholarly Rev. Dr. William J. FitzGerald was named to succeed Dean Mulligan.
Father McCallion's name as an orator was heralded throughout South Jersey and his services as a speaker on the history of New Jersey were much in demand. As a member of the Catholic Lecture Guild of America he was called to speak in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Baltimore and many other cities.
With all his speaking engagements and parish duties he found time to teach Greek in the newly-built Camden Catholic High School, which stands as a monument to the memory of Dean FitzGerald.
This ambitious and tireless young priest was made a member of the Camden Rotary Club, the first priest to receive such an honor in Camden.
The Camden Rotarians, unknown to Father McCallion, took up a private subscription to purchase an automobile which was presented to him with a fitting ceremony.
Father McCallion also took an active interest in the welfare and activities of students of Camden Catholic High School. He was chaplain of Camden Council, Knights of Columbus.
One Camden newspaper writer, commenting on Father McCallion's hobby wrote as follows:
Indoors, you'll find him in a nook,
Then came a dark, rainy day. The telephone in our cramped editor's office rang. Father McCallion has been transferred to Perth Amboy, we were told.
We didn't have a chance to snake hands and say farewell. Thousands of South Jersey citizens regretted his transfer.
When our beloved Bishop Eustace came to Camden Father McCallion was in his party. Hundreds of people crowded around the Cathedral rectory. As the one-time young curate tried to reach the rectory porch he was literally surrounded. An old lady kissed his hand. Others embraced him. His name was passed from person to person. He, too was being given a reception by former parishioners who had not forgotten him.
A Perth Amboy newspaper carried this editorial, which is herewith repeated in part:
"Perth Amboy loses a valued citizen and a faithful servant of the church by the departure of Rev. Francis J. McCallion, who leaves St. Mary's parish to assume charge of his own parish at Pleasantville .... Coming to this city from Camden nearly four years ago Father McCallion has made a host of friends among all classes, creeds and denominations .... His success in his new field of religious labor goes without saying. Perth Amboy offers congratulations and best wishes."
So we in Camden who can call you friend say, God bless you Father McCallion. We, too offer congratulations and best wishes on your silver Jubilee as a worker in the vineyard of Jesus Christ.
Probably from a
D.P. McConnell, Ex-Newsman
Daniel P. McConnell, of 404 Grove Street, Haddonfield, a newspaperman and public relations director for many years, died Thursday after a long illness. He was 63. Funeral services and burial was private.
Born in North Camden, Mr. McConnell started his newspaper career on the old Post-Telegram where he later became sports editor and newswriter. He was employed in this post to 1926.
He then accepted a post with Public Service Electric & Gas Co. in their Newark offices as a public relations man, leaving in 1936 to return to Camden for a post on The Morning Post where he remained until 1946. His next assignment was the Trentonian newspaper in the state capital which he left to take a post with the State Highway Authority. His last place of employment was with the Camden County Chamber of Commerce.
Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Alice I. McConnell and a son Daniel P. Jr., Haddonfield, and a daughter, Mrs. Thomas Hague of Teaneck.
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