HENRY MAGIN was born in New Jersey around 1897. When America entered World War I, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on June 12, 1917, and qualified with the rifle as a sharpshooter. He served with the Marines in France, where he was wounded, apparently by German artillery. Private Magin was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps on July 14, 1919. He was bothered by pieces of shrapnel that could not be removed for the remainder of his life.

Upon returning to America, he married his pre-war sweetheart, Helen Elias of Philadelphia, in 1919. The couple was living in Philadelphia in January of 1920, when the census was taken. They lived with her parents in Philadelphia. Henry Magin was then working in a glass factory. A daughter, named Helen for her mother, was born not long after the census enumeration. Henry Magin was not content to make the glass factory his life's work, so he attended to furthering his education. In 1925 he graduated from Drexel University with a degree in civil engineering. He moved his family to Camden during the 1920s, and received his New Jersey license to practice municipal engineering early in 1930. 

At the time of the 1930 Census, Henry Magin, had found work as a municipal engineer, most likely in Camden, where he resided. He was living with his wife Helen and their daughter, then age 9, at 3054 Alabama Road in the Fairview section of the city.

Henry Magin was very active in veterans and fraternal organizations, and became well known in Camden during the 1930s. The Democrat party in Camden called on him to run for the post of City Commissioner in 1939, and he was elected to that position in the May election. He replaced Frank J. Hartmann Jr.. as the Director of Public Works. 

Henry Magin died quiet unexpectedly of a sudden heart attack on Friday, August 22, 1941, while inspecting conditions at the city incinerator on Federal Street. He had finished conferring with another public employee when he was stricken. James Carr, of the Highway Department, caught him as he fell.

Henry Magin was very popular figure in Camden, the Camden Times, a weekly newspaper of that era reported that "... services were conducted in the city commission chambers of the City Hall" and that "Fully 8,000 persons viewed the remains...as the body lay in state in the City Hall."

The 1947 Camden City Directory shows his wife Helen as still residing at the Alabama Road address.  

Marine Corps Rifle Sharpshooter Badge
Must score 210 out of 250 Possible

The Girl He Left Behind......
...and came back to marry!

Helen Elias
late 1910s
who became Mrs. Henry Magin
upon his return from the Marines
after serving in France
during World War I

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Henry Magin brought these home from France for Helen
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Honorable Discharge from the United States Marine Corps - 1921
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3054 Alabama Road, Camden NJ
The home of Henry and Helen Magin - 1920s-1941
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Camden Courier-Post - June 24, 1933

Camden County Organization and Families, 4000 Strong, Have Sports Program

Nearly 4000 war veterans and their families to attend the first annual picnic and rally of the Camden County American Legion today at Clementon Park.

Competition among bugle and drum corps will mark a street parade through Clementon a feature of the day's program. The American Legion Woman's Auxiliary of Camden County will participate along with the 40 and 8 and the 8 and 40. The latter group, comprised of women, also will compete in a bathing beauty contest.

The program will begin at 10.30 a. m., with swimming, boating and diving contests. Track events for veterans and children will be staged between 1 and 2.30 p. m. A base ball game, between American Legion junior teams from Fairview and Collingswood will follow. The street parade is timed for 5 p. m.

Army officers will preside as judges at the bugle and drum competition. Entries in ·this event are from various posts in South Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Fireworks will climax the day's events. Leaders directing arrangements for the day are Samuel Magill, vice commander of Camden County; Frank Ellis, also a vice commander; Harvey Gaunt, county chaplain, and Henry Magin.

Camden Courier-Post - February 9, 1938

Legion Auxiliaries Active in County

Members of the Fred W. Grigg Post and Auxiliary of the American Legion will hold a joint meeting in the post home, Merchantville, tomorrow night, when they will have as their guests the officers of the country post and auxiliary. 

Both the post and the auxiliary will have brief business sessions pre ceding, at 8.15, and the latter will make further plans for a card party and fashion show to be held ,in the Playhouse, Center and Chestnut streets, . Merchantville, on Wednesday, February 23. Following business, the evening will be given to an informal program followed by supper.

Bossert Units Meeting

Plans have been completed for the past officers dinner of the Dewey Bossert Post and Auxiliary, American Legion which will be held on Saturday in. the post home.

Mrs. Myrtle Randolph; president of the auxiliary, has announced the postponement of the group's public card party from February 25 to March 11.

8 and 40 Meets

Camden County 8 and 40 will hold a meeting at· Hoyle Butcher Post Home, Atlantic Avenue and Kings Highway, Haddon Heights, tonight.

Mrs. Henry Magin, Chapeau, will preside. Hostesses for the evening are Mrs. David Lange and Mrs. S. J. Magill, Sr., of Audubon.

Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1939

Temporary Laborers Dismissed, While Men Ousted by Hartmann Are Reinstated

Three dismissals, three promotions and four reinstatements and two new hirings were announced yesterday by City Commissioner Henry Magin, director of public works.

Dismissed were Eugeni Gatti, 208 Washington street; Julio Marcozzi, 321 Line Street, and George Pollard, 336 Stevens street, all temporary laborers at $4 a day. James Carr, 1409 Princess avenue, a laborer on asphalt repairs at $6 a day, is reclassified as general foreman of the department, effective today, at $2100 a year, subject to Civil Service promotional examination. John Dziekanski, 1414 Mt. Ephraim avenue, a laborer in the building bureau at $6 a day, is reclassified as architectural draftsman at $2100, also subject to examination. Oscar Moore, 543 Washington street, Ninth Ward freeholder, will receive $6 instead of $5 a day as a  temporary laborer.

Reinstated were Lawrence Abbott, 910 South Third Street, a brother of Frank Abbott, deputy to Mayor Brunner, as a temporary laborer at $5 a day; Anthony Carrier, 416 Benson Street, a temporary laborer at $4 a day; James Jackson, 1117 Lawrence street, and Otis Still, 261 North Eleventh street. All were discharged by Frank J. Hartmann, Magin's predecessor.

Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1939


Public Service was requested by the city yesterday to permit installation of permanent flag-holders on the company's light poles in the business district.

Commissioners E. George Aaron and Henry Magin, pointed out to Thomas H. McCarter, Jr., vice-president, and Rudolph Ayres, counsel for the corporation, that the city has had to award contracts for temporary holders to be installed for each holiday. With Flag Day next week and Fourth of July soon to come it was held the permanent installations would save considerable money to the city.

The commissioners also asked Public Service to paint all the light poles aluminum as an added means of beautifying the central business district. The Public Service representatives indicated the city's requests would be granted and promised to place them before the proper officials of the company.

Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1939

8th Ward Democratic Club Aide Replaces Scheuermann; Magin Hires 16

The hiring of Pete Samko, secretary of the Eighth Ward Democratic Club, as a $1380-a-year clerk in the health bureau, was announced yesterday by City Commissioner E. George Aaron. He replaces Frederick Scheurman, of 2969 Hartford road, former Fourteenth ward Republican committeeman.

Commissioner Henry Magin announced the hiring of 16 temporary laborers for the Water and Highway departments which come under his Department of Public Works to

The jobs, Magin said, are all replacements for persons who have been dismissed since he took office. He explained that 102 have been laid off during the period and 66, including yesterday's hiring, put on to replace them.

Three of the 16 will be assigned to the water bureau, Magin said, and the others to the highway department. Those hired for the former department and their salaries are: James McSparrin, 939 Elm street, $1690 annually; Oscar Banks, of 1704 Master Street, $5 a day, and Lawrence DiPilla, of 229 Mt. Vernon street, $4 a day. 

The others given jobs at $4 a day are: Frank Armstrong, of 2617 Cramer street; Thomas I. Cook, of 530 North Front street; Albert Costanzo, of 211 Beckett street; Roberto Dianigi, of 607 North Front street; Samuel Lectino, of 421 Stevens street; Joseph Lynskey, of 643 Grant street; William Porter, of 436 Berkley street and Thomas Richter, of 423 Pearl street, David Schwartz, of 812 South Sixth street; Fred Seither, of 3015 River avenue; Albert Thompson, of 421 North Front street; Guiseppe Trulli, of 550 South Fourth street, and Michael Wozniak, of 1446 South Tenth street. 

Hired, Replaced

Employment of two new laborers and reinstatement of two others was announced Wednesday by Commissioner Magin. Three employees who worked under former Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann were dismissed. The pay of all was $4 per day.

The new men are George Poole, of 276 Senate street, and William Weidman, 1041 North Thirty-fourth. Reinstated were James Jackson, 1117 Lawrence, and Otis Still, 261 North Eleventh. Those let out were Eugene Gatti, 208 Washington; Julio Marcozzi, 321 Line, and George Pollard, 336 Stevens.

Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1939

Magin and the Veterans

To the Editor:

At the first meeting of the Veterans' Political League since the commission election, 200 attended. The hall was packed and the league members well repaid for their attendance by the address of their league chairman, Commissioner Henry Magin. He implored them to refrain from jamming up the works by all trying to get jobs, stating the job will be given to those entitled to them. He said this will include Republicans, Democrats and voters, but that he was desirous of all veterans applying through a committee named by the chairman. This was voted on and carried.

Commissioner Magin also informed all present that a promise had been made prior to election, if successful, he would reinstate all employees who were fired by Hartmann. This he said has been done. He also told us that he had placed about 20 veterans to work and that he sponsored and saw to it that Comrade Bud Hartman was placed on the Housing Authority Board at Westfield Acres.

All comrades stood in silence to honor the boys who lost their lives on the U. S. S. Squalus. Commissioner Magin said he would try to give all the citizens of Camden a splendid four years and will keep every promise he made during the campaign. 

Addresses were made by Chairman Chuck Connors, Sergeant-at-Arms Tom Jackson, Edward Bearint, Comrades O'Brien, Harold and Hettinger. 

The next meeting will be held in the evening. Notices will be mailed to each comrade. Admittance by card or discharge papers.

305 Benson Street
Edward Bearint, Sergeant-at-Arms

Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1939


The Camden City Commission will be urged to convert South Seventh Street from Benson Street to Kaighn Avenue into a parking area by a delegation representing the Broadway Business Men's Association next week. The group will confer with Commissioner Henry Magin Tuesday at 2:30 PM in his office and request that he make a study of the plan and present it to other city commissioners.

The street has not been used as a thoroughfare since the former West Jersey & Seashore Railroad tore up the tracks on which it formerly operated its electric line.

Camden Courier-Post - September 2, 1940

Several Manhole Covers Are Loosened; Delair Pumping Station Barricaded

Except for minor isolated in: conveniences in a few sections, Camden city escaped storm damage yesterday.

In a low area at Thirty-fourth street and Westfield Avenue the basements of four homes were pumped free of water by fire apparatus, and several manhole covers loosened and thrown off by sewer waters backing up, were retrieved and fastened down in the area bounded by Second and Front streets near Market street. More than 40 employees of the Camden water department aided by 75 WPA workers labored throughout last night to barricade the Delair Pumping Station of the Camden. Water Works against the rising water of the Delaware Rriver.

Commissioner Henry Magin, director of public works, who directed the work, announced shortly after midnight the precautions were about completed. He declared the men had been working for hours filling bags with sand which were piled around the walls of the small brick structure housing the pumps.

"We are not worried much now," Magin announced, "since the work has just been completed and we believed the waters of the Dela­ware River can be kept back from the pumps. I understand Woodbury is in bad shape for water and we are making plans now to tie-up with the Gloucester pumping stations so water can be pumped into Woodbury if it is needed.

"This time we were prepared be­fore the floods happened. It will not like several years ago when thousands of dollars in damage were caused to the water system floods."

Magin said he had been on the scene all day directing the precautionary work and that Camden city itself only experienced several minor sewer line breaks which were repaired quickly. He said a fire department pumper would available from 1 a. m. on today while the Delaware River approached its crest at 1 a. m. in case of at any eventuality. .

Camden Courier-Post * July 22, 1941

Camden Courier-Post * July 25, 1941
Cooper Street - Henry Magin - John Dziekanski - Thomas M. Madden
Wildwood Avenue - John L. Morrissey - Harry Beach - David S. Rhone
East Camden - John J. Crean - Mickle Street - Channing Terrace
Broadway - Lester Terrace - Van Hook Street - Collings Road - Alabama Road
South 2nd Street - North 5th Street - South Ninth Street - Saunders Street
Everett Street - Hollingshead Fire

Camden Courier-Post * July 29, 1941


Camden Courier-Post
July 31, 1941

Harry W. Beach - St. John Street

Camden Courier-Post
August 22, 1941

City Commissioner Henry Magin fell dead at 11:20 AM today while making a tour of the city incinerator plant with other city officials. He stepped from a platform and called to James Carr, superintendent of streets, to "catch me". He slumped into Carr's arms. Carr and William F. Augustine, Courier-Post photographer, rushed him to Cooper Hospital, but physicians pronounced him dead. He had been ill of heart trouble for more than a year.

City Incinerator - July 7, 2006
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Camden Courier-Post - August 23, 1941

Frank A. Abbott

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to Enlarge





Camden Courier-Post - August 23, 1941

by Daniel P. McConnell





Camden Courier-Post - August 26, 1941

Henry Magin Laid to Rest By War Veteran Buddies

Funeral services for City Commissioner Henry Magin were held today with his colleagues in official and veterans circles participating.

Services were conducted in city commission chambers on the second floor of city hall, in charge of Rev. Dr. W.W. Ridgeway, rector of St. Wilfrid's Episcopal Church.

The casket was carried by war veteran associates of the public works director, who died from a heart attack Friday. A color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion preceded the casket, followed by the four remaining members of the city commission, Mayor George Brunner and commissioners E. George Aaron, Mrs. Mary W. Kobus and Dr. David S. Rhone.

A guard of honor lined both sides of' city hall steps, 22 policemen on one side and 22 firemen on the other, representing Magin's age, 44 years.

Hundreds of men and women waited outside the building to pay their respects as the solemn procession filed by. Mayor Brunner had declared this morning a holiday for city employees. The casket was borne by Thomas Jackson and Samuel Magill, both past Legion commanders; Leon McCarty, past commander of August Walter Chapter, Disabled American Veterans; Richard Jermyn, past commander of Post 1270, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Benjamin P. Thomas, past captain of Sparrow Ship No. 1269. V. F. W.; and William Miller, past State commander, D. A. V.  

Three trucks were required to carry the floral pieces from the scene of the services to the National Cemetery at Beverly, where burial took place.  

An estimated 8000 persons from all walks of life paid their respects to the late official by viewing the body as it lay in state in the commission chambers.

The throng of mourners of Camden city and county was the largest to converge on a public building since the funeral of Fire Chief Charles Worthington, who was killed while fighting a fire almost 20 years ago. His body was placed on public view in the rotunda of the old county courthouse.

File Past Bier  

A continuous progression of people filed past the flag draped bier for more than three and one-half hours. Scores of Republicans and hundreds of Democrats joined in the tribute.

Services were conducted by Camden lodges of Elks and Moose. Military rites were conducted by the Fairview Post, American Legion, of which Magin was a founder and past commander. The tribute was led by Mitchell Halin, post commander, and C. Richard Allen, past department commander. 

James W. Conner, chief clerk of the city water bureau and past State Commander of the V.F.W., conducted rites at the grave.  

Mayor Brunner and Commissioners Kobus, Aaron, and Rhone came early and remained throughout the hours of viewing. Mrs. Helen Magin, the widow, and daughter Helen, attired in deep mourning, arrived shortly after 7:00 PM.

Embraces Widow, Daughter  

Commissioner Kobus, who knelt in prayer before the bier, arose and went over to Mrs. Magin and her daughter. Mrs. Kobus embraced and kissed the widow and daughter of the late commissioner. They were in tears.  

Three firemen and three policemen maintained a vigil as a guard of honor. They were Patrolmen Jack Kaighn, George Weber, and William Deery and Firemen Arthur Batten, Warren Carter and William Reed.

American Legion and V. F. W. members in uniform alternated as members of the military guard of honor. A detail of 50 policemen was under command of Acting Lieutenant John Garrity. Fifty firemen, under supervision of Deputy Chief Walter Mertz, assisted the patrolmen in handling the crowd, which at times choked the stairways leading to the second floor.

Freeholders Arrive  

Albert H. Molt, director of the Board of Freeholders and Freeholders John J. Tull, Oscar Moore, Ventorino Francesconi, Stanley Ciechanowski, Earl Armstrong and Emil J. McCall arrived shortly after 7:00 PM. Moore and Tull wore American Legion overseas caps. Albert S. Marvel, clerk of the board, accompanied the freeholders.

Employees of the various bureaus in the department of public works, headed by Commissioner Magin, came in delegations with the highway bureau having 150, the largest number.  

Frank A. Abbott, acting director of the department, accompanied by James P. Carr, superintendent of Streets; led the highway bureau employees. Abbott is deputy director of revenue and finance and first assistant to Mayor Brunner. He was named by Brunner as acting director until the City Commission elects Mr. Magin's successor.

County Clerk Frank J. Suttill, City Clerk Clay W. Reesman, Fire Chief John H. Lennox and James A. Howell, chief of the city electrical bureau, attended, as did Albert Austermuhl, secretary of the board of education. Every city department sent a floral piece.

Outstanding Floral Tribute

Outstanding among the floral tributes was a six-toot broken circle of varied flowers, an offering from Mayor Brunner and Commissioners Kobus, Aaron, and Rhone.

A floral chair was sent by the Camden Police and Firemen’s Association. The word “Rest” was made up of flowers. The offering of the Veterans League of South Jersey, an organization formed by Commissioner Magin and of which he was the first president, was a large floral pillow.

The freeholders and county officials gave a large floral basket. Floral tributes came from the employees of the board of education, the RCA Manufacturing Company, the police and fire bureaus, Pyne Point Athletic Association, the Elks, Moose and several Democratic clubs.  

The floral tributes came in such numbers yesterday afternoon that Funeral Director Harry Leonard and his assistants could not find room for them in the commission chamber proper. They were banked on both sides, in the rear and over the casket.

Among prominent officials and citizens who came to pay their respects were Congressman Charles A. Wolverton and his son, Donnell, Assemblymen Joseph W. Cowgill and J. Frank Crawford, Sidney P. McCord, city comptroller, Thomas C. Schneider, president of Camden County Council No. 10, New Jersey Civil Service Association.

Others at Bier

Others were Sue Devinney, secretary to Mrs. Kobus; Fred S. Caperoon; Henry Aitken, city sealer of weights and measures, Horace R. Dixon, executive director of the Camden Housing Authority; George I. Shaw, vice president of the board of education.

Sgt. Ray Smith, chairman of the Elks Crippled Children Committee and commander of East Camden Post, V.F.W.; Albert Becker, commander of Camden County Post 126, Jewish War Veterans; Dr. Howard E. Primas and Wilbur F. Dobbins, members of the Camden Housing Authority; Postmaster Emma E. Hyland; Samuel E. Fulton, member of the Camden local assistance board.  

Also former Assemblyman Rocco Palese, former Freeholder Maurice Bart and wife, County Detective James Mulligan, Deputy City Clerk William D. Sayrs, Mary King, secretary to City Clerk Reesman, Charles W. Anderson and John W. Diehl Jr., former members of the housing authority, Walter P. Wolverton, chief clerk of the public works department; Thomas J. Kenney, Maurice Hertz, Isadore Hermann, chief of the city tax title bureau; S. Raymond Dobbs; acting chief of city property, John Oziekanski, building inspector, Harry Langebein, city assessor.

Oliver H. Bond, housing manager of Clement T. Branch Village; former Judge Joseph Varbalow, acting city counsel John J. Crean, assistant City Counsel Edward V. Martino, Paul Day, secretary of city board of assessors, former Assemblyman William T. Iszard, Harry Roye, district director of NYA; Victor J. Scharle and Martin Segal, Democratic and Republican registrars, respectively, of the Camden County permanent registration bureau.  

Mrs. Marian Garrity and Mrs. Mary F. Hendricks, vice chairman and secretary respectively, of the Republican City Committee; Dr. Ethan A. Lang and Dr. Richard P. Bowman, members of the board of education; Edward J. Borden, Carl Kisselman, Harry A. Kelleher, Samuel T. French Sr., former Freeholder Walter Budniak, Coroner Paul R. Rilatt, County Treasurer Edward J. Kelleher, William Shepp, of the city legal bureau, Marie Carr, stenographer, mayor's office; Samuel T. French Jr., member, board of education.

Also John C. Trainor, member of the Camden County Board of Elections; Antonio Mecca, funeral director; Alexander Feinberg, solicitor of the housing authority, former Freeholder John T. Hanson, Sterling Parker and Paul Reihman, member of the county park commission.  

James O’Brien, commander of the Camden Disabled American Veterans, was in charge of services by veterans at the cemetery. Former Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan, county vice-commander of the American Legion, directed last night memorial services and was in charge of the firing squad at the grave.  

Camden Courier-Post
August 27, 1941

Camden Times - August 29, 1941

Funeral services for City Commissioner Henry Magin were held Tuesday, with many officials and colleagues in veteran's and fraternal circles participating.

Commissioner Magin, who was 44, and head of the Public Works Department of Camden, died suddenly Friday, just as he had finished talking to an official. As he fell he was caught in the arms of James Carr, of the Highway Department.

Services were conducted in the city commission chambers of the City Hall, and were in the charge of Rev. Dr. W. W. Ridgeway, pastor of St. Wilfred's Episcopal Church, Westfield Avenue and Dudley Streets, East Camden.

Fully 8,000 persons viewed the remains Monday night as the body lay in state in the City Hall, and Mayor Brunner gave a half holiday to all city employees so they could attend the funeral service.

Magin was a veteran of the World War and was injured during action on the other side.

The casket was carried by war veteran associates of the public works director, who died from a heart attack Friday. A color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion preceded the casket, followed by the four remaining members of the city commission, Mayor George E. Brunner and Commissioners E. George Aaron, Mrs. Mary W. Kobus and David S. Rhone.

A guard of honor lined both sides of City Hall steps, 22 policemen on one side and 22 firemen on the other, representing Magin's age, 44 years.

Interment was made in the National Cemetery, at Beverly, N.J. Harry Leonard, 2750 Federal Street, had charge of the funeral..

Trenton Timest * February 27, 1942
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Mary Kobus - George Frost - Rocco Palese - David S. Rhone
Henry Magin - James J. Mulligan

This page was created with the help of Darlene Arendt, the granddaughter of Henry and Helen Magin