Dr. Charles

DR. CHARLES BLAINE HELM was born in Camden in 1884. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1906. 

After establishing a veterinary practice in Camden at 900 South 5th Street where he also lived for many years, Dr. Helm involved himself in a variety of pursuits. Active politically as a Republican from the Sixth Ward, Dr. Helm served as city veterinarian in the days prior to the acquisition of police cars. Considered for a spot on the Republican slate in the commissioners race of 1927, he was not on the ticket, but was named as the city purchasing agent for Camden, and served as such through the administrations of Mayor Winfield S. Price and Mayor Roy R. Stewart. William M. Dilmore served under him as Assistant Purchasing Agent. Dr. Helm then took a position with the federal government as a poultry inspector, and worked at the Campbell's Soup Plant from 1934 through 1949, when he was transferred to Salisbury MD.

Dr. Helm was most famous in the city of Camden for his involvement in professional basketball. He was manager and co-owner, with one-time Camden County Sheriff W. Penn Corson of the Camden franchise of the Eastern Basket Ball League from 1913 through 1925. The team, coached by William "Billy" Morgenweck was known as the Camden Alphas prior to World War I. The Alphas were the league champions in 1914-1915.

1917 was a year of turmoil in the world as the United States entered World War I. The New York State League and the Interstate Basket Ball League both suspended operations but the Eastern League began play in mid-November. On December 3 the league disbanded abruptly as two teams withdrew from the league without warning. An unsuccessful attempt was made to reorganize with a four team league and the league remained inactive until the 1919-20 season.

One of Camden's players during this abridged season was future Olympic rowing star, Jack Kelly. He later would become the father of Grace Kelly, movie star and Princess of Monaco.

After the abrupt season ending, Trenton and Camden agreed to play a best of seven series for the "Championship of New Jersey" with EBL President William J. Scheffer as referee. The first game was won by Camden 28-27 at Trenton on December 19, 1917. Two days later a second game was played at Camden and Trenton was the victor 47-19 but attendance was very poor. On December 14, 1917 the Dr. Helm called off the series due to the lack of fan interest.

Dr. Helm renamed the team Camden Crusaders after World War I. The Camden five were champions again in 1919-1920, winning both halves of the split-season with a combined 30 and 9 record. The team was renamed once again as the Camden Skeeters for the 1921-1922 season. They were were one of the league's better teams, until it disbanded in 1923. Dr. Helm fielded a team in the a new Eastern Basketball League in 1925 (note the new spelling of "Basketball"), but the team did not do well, and that marked the end of his involvement the professional game in Camden.

The Camden team was generally a winner in the league. Besides bringing players to Camden from out of town, Helm's team employed and/or developed many fine players from Camden, including Eddie Ferat, Sam Lennox, Roy Steele, Joe Hyde, Neil Deighan, and his brother Rich Deighan.

Dr. Helm died in Salisbury MD on December 5, 1951 of a heart condition. He was survived by his wife Mabel, two brothers, and a sister. His nephew, Dr. David Helm Jr. was Camden's health inspector at the time of Dr. Helm's passing.      

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 26, 1915

Dr. Charles Helm - Charles D. Empey - Clarence A. Turner

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 22, 1915
Dr. Charles B. Helm - Charles H. Ellis

Philadelphia Inquirer * December 9, 1917
Jimmy "Soup" Campbell - Roy Steele - Neil Deighan - Dr. Charles B. Helm
Jack Kelly - Chol Engle - Pete Kilpatrick - Willie Miller

World War I Draft Registration Cards
for Charles & David Helm
Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Crusaders
1919-1920 Eastern Basketball League Champs

Front row, left to right:  Jimmy “Soup” Campbell and Joe Hyde.
Second row, left to right:
Dr. Charles B. Helm, Neil Deighan, Roy Steele,
Eddie Dolin, Dave Kerr and Sheriff W. Penn Corson.
Back row, left to right: Bill Mitchell, trainer;
Sam Lennox,
Manager Bill Kennedy,
Richie Deighan and Timekeeper Jim Kane.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Courier-Post - January 9, 1928



February 21, 1928

Dr. Charles B. Helm
Victor King
Victor King Park aka Dudley Grange
George Bradbury
J.J. Breslin


April 6, 1928

Dr. Charles B. Helm
James Wilson
Haddon Avenue
Claude "Black Bill" Brooks
Linden Street
Mickle Street


Camden Courier-Post - December 6, 1951


Camden Courier-Post - December 7, 1951

Camden Courier-Post - July 26, 1955
in original full page format
in original full page format


1913-1914 Standings



  W L Pct.   GB
Jasper Jewels 23 17 .575   -
Camden Alphas 23 17 .575   -
Trenton Potters 23 17 .575   -
Reading Bears 22 18 .550   1
DeNeri 20 20 .500   3
Greystock Greys 9 31 .225   14

Playoff Results

EBL Finals
Jasper won round robin
23 Mar 14 at Trenton 30, Camden 24
25 Mar 14 at Camden 34, Trenton 22
26 Mar 14 at Jasper 42, Camden 18
27 Mar 14 at Trenton - Jasper 24, Trenton 20
28 Mar 14 at Camden 33, Jasper 24
30 Mar 14 at Jasper 29, Trenton 20

1914-1915 Standings



  W L Pct.   GB
Camden Alphas 25 15 .625   -
Reading Bears 25 15 .625   -
Trenton Potters 20 20 .500   -5
Greystock Greys 18 22 .450   7
DeNeri 17 23 .435   8
Jasper Jewels 15 25 .375   10

Playoff Results
EBL Finals
Reading 1, Camden 1
23 Mar 15 at Camden 45, Reading 35
24 Mar 15 at Reading 52, Camden 29
third game not played as teams 
couldn't agree on site

1919-1920 Standings
Playoff Results

First Half

No Playoffs
as Camden won both halves 

  W L Pct.   GB
Camden Crusaders 15 5 .750   -
Germantown G's 11 9 .550   4
DeNeri 10 10 .500   5
Trenton Potters 9 10 .474   6
Reading Bears 8 12 .400   7
North Philadelphia Phillies 6 13 .316   9

Second Half

  W L Pct.   GB
Camden Crusaders 15 4 .789   -
Reading Bears 10 8 .556   5
Trenton Potters 11 9 .550   4
Germantown G's 10 610 .500   5
DeNeri 7 11 .389   8
Bridgeport Blue Ribbons 4 15 .211   11