WILLIAM ALOYSIUS "BILLY" DOLAN SR. was a member of the Camden Police department for 43 years. A relative, Robert "Bobby" Dolan, served for four decades as a police and fire dispatcher in Camden.
William A. Dolan was born in Pennsylvania of Irish-born parents, William and Mary Dolan, in October of 1871. The family was in Camden by 1882, at 611 Birch Street. Unfortunately, by this time the elder Dolan had died. Mary Dolan kept her family together, at 611 Birch Street from 1882 until at least 1885. In 1888 the family was at 609 Cedar Street. By 1890 they had crossed the street to 612 Cedar Street, where they remained through at least 1906.
William A. Dolan married his wife Ellen around 1893. He had gone to work as a young man, and by the age of 20 was working as a presser at the Camden Woolen Mills at North 9th and State Streets, later the site of the Highland Worsted Mills. There he learned to work as a weaver. After marrying and starting a family, he moved about North Camden in the 1890s. The 1894-1895 Directory shows him at 610 Cedar Street. The 1895 and 1896 City Directories shows them at 612 Vine Street, 1897 at 814 Pearl Street. By the time the Directory for 1898 was compiled the Dolans had moved to 801 Elm Street.
He was still working as a weaver before being appointed to the Camden Police Department in 1898. The family was then living at 801 Elm Street.
When the census was taken in 1900 the Dolans were living at 724 Elm Street, and were the parents of two children, William Jr. and Raymond John. A third child had died, two daughters, Catherine and Ellen would come later. The 1906 Camden City Directory shows him living at 720 Elm Street. By 1914 he had moved to 514 North 7th, where he remained the rest of his life.
After serving as a patrolman in the First Police District, William A. Dolan was named a sergeant in the same district in 1913. In 1926 he was transferred to the detective bureau where he remained until his retirement in 1941.
William A. Dolan passed away in September of 1956. He was survived by three of his children, Raymond, Catherine, and Ellen.
Philadelphia Inquirer - January 24, 1904
CAMDEN COURIER-POST - January 11, 1928
‘BABY BURGLARS’ ADMIT 6 ROBBERIES
Three “baby burglars” stood in police court today and admitted to Judge Bertman that during the past three months they had robbed six business houses in the city. They were committed to the House of Detention without bail for their appearance in Juvenile Court.
The boys are John Pukas, 668 Central Avenue; Bruno Brzozowski, 1747 Master Street, both 12 years old, and Frank Hotel, 1845 Broadway, 10 years old. They were arrested last Saturday morning as they were forcing their way into a rear window of the Hanover Shoe Company store, 1131 Broadway. They were captured by John Campbell, a private watchman.
When the boys were taken to police headquarters and questioned by City detectives Dolan and McGrath, they admitted their life of crime began three months ago. The said they sold a large amount of their loot which amounted to several thousand dollars.
In police court they admitted breaking into the jewelry store of Samuel Windthorp, 1029 Broadway, and stealing jewelry valued at $450; the Atlantic Cotton Company, 1041 Broadway, and taking several hundred pennies out of the cash register. When they broke into the store they entered through the only window that was not equipped with a burglar alarm.
They also admitted entering the Boston Shoe Shop, 1104 Broadway, and stealing 15 pairs of shoes and $58.75 in cash. Then they confessed to breaking into the Sugar Bowl, 453 Kaighn Avenue and the Dudley Furniture Company, Broadway and Sycamore Street. In the latter place the youngsters stole a box of cigars. They also said they entered the hardware store of J.R. Leaming, 1015 Broadway, and stealing a dollar’s worth of pennies out of the cash drawer.
“The trouble with you boys is that you have been petted and pampered too much by your parents,” Judge Bertman said. “You should be committed to some institution, and I’m going to hold you without bail and send you to the House of Detention.”
|Camden Courier-Post - September 5, 1956|
Solemn requiem Mass will be sung Saturday at 9:00 AM in the Church of the Holy Name of Camden for William A. Dolan Sr. 81, of 514 North 7th Street, a member of the Camden Police Department for 43 years. Friends will meet at 8:00 AM in the Frank J. Leonard Funeral Home at 1451 Broadway, where they may call Friday night. Burial will be at Harleigh Cemetery.
"Billy" Dolan was one of the few remaining Camden policeman who had ridden a bicycle on his first tour of duty. While serving as a city detective in 1934 he participated in capturing bandits who held up and robbed a Pennsgrove bank of $130,000.
He had never been ill except for a slight heart ailment prior to a testimonial dinner in honor of his 43 years of service on June 4, 1941 when 175 persons paid tribute to him and presented him, in absentia, with two traveling bags and two large baskets of flowers.. He was a member of the old Sewell Social Club.
Surviving are two daughters with whom he lived, the Misses Catherine and Ellen, and a son, Raymond J., a county employee. Another son, William, a veteran of World War I, died in 1954 at Lyons Veterans Hospital.
|Camden Courier-Post - September 8, 1956|
Solemn requiem Mass was sung today at the Church of the Holy Name of Camden for William A. Dolan Sr. a former member of the Camden Police Department for 43 years. Burial was in Calvary cemetery, Delaware Township.
More than 700 friends of "Billy" Dolan attended the viewing Friday night in the Frank J. Leonard Funeral Home, 1451 Broadway. Included in those who came to pay there respects to the former patrolman were members of the police department and friends h had known at City Hall.
Dolan became a patrolman in 1898, and retired as a city detective in 1941. His first assignment took him to the First Police District and he was named a sergeant in the same district in 1913.
In 1926 he was transferred to the detective bureau where he remained until his retirement.
Mr. Dolan, a widower, is survived by two daughters, the Misses Catherine and Ellen, with whom he lived at 514 North 7th Street, and a son, Raymond J., a county employee. Another son, William, a veteran of World War I, died in 1954 at Lyons Veterans Hospital.
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