PASQUALE 'PAT' IAROSSI was born June 12, 1889 in San Marco Benevento, Italy. His family came to Camden in 1899. His family settled at 518 Front Street in North Camden, where he began working as a barber around 1904. By the spring of 1910 his father had passed away, leaving the 20 year old Iarossi the head of a family that included his widowed mother, younger brothers Louis, 17, and Frank, 13, and his maternal grandparents Pietro and Anna Vadurro. His mother owned a barber shop, of which Pasquale Iarossi at a young age became the proprietor. He became a United States citizen in July of 1917, shortly after registering for the draft.

During these years he became a member of the Aquinas Club, a social club that many young Catholic men from North Camden belonged to. The Aquinas Club disbanded around 1915. Many of its members lived within two or three blocks of the Iarossi home, including Dan McConnell, Herbert Bott, John F. "Pop" Daly, Samuel D. Payne, and William Brandt.

Pasquale Iarossi moved with his mother Marie to 600 North 3rd Street in North Camden around 1924. He ran his barbershop out of this location, across the street from Mancine's Bar & Liquor Store, until at least the late 1940s. Barbering did well for Pasquale Iarossi, who was able in the late 1930s to take winter vacations in Florida.  

At the time of the 1930 Census, Pasquale Iarossi was making his home with his mother at 600 North 3rd Street. An old friend from the Aquinas Club days, Camden police officer Frank Cavallo, was renting a room there as well. Pasquale Iarossi married at some point after the census was taken.

In June of 1939 Pasqaule Iarossi organized a reunion of his old Aquinas Club friends, which was held at Kenney's Restaurant at 531 Market Street, opposite City Hall. 

The 1947 Camden City Directory shows Pasquale and Elsie Iarossi living still living at 600 North 3rd Street. He does not appear in the 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory, and it is likely that he had retired to Florida by this time. 

Pasquale Iarossi retired to Miami FL. He died in Dade County FL in November of 1965.

World War I Draft Registration Card
Click on Image to Enlarge

Excerpted from
Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938

Is Zat So?

Next we get a further advance back to normalcy when we bumped into Pat Iarossi. Pat is a barber but that doesn't deter him from basking in the sunshine at Miami and thanking his lucky stars that his family moved from San Marco in Italy to Camden years ago.

Pat is another excellent example of the melting-pot. His barber-shop is now located at 600 North Third Street, site having been Pat's for the past 14 years. Before that he had a shop on Front Street, where he barbered the native sons and daughters for 20 years.

 Make no mistake, Pat has carried the tradition of the America that benefited him so much into his own activities. The years of service of his four employees amount to 52. 

The oldest employee has been stropping the razors there for 18 years while the baby of the outfit, who is not so old either, has been employed by Pat for 10 years. Two others enjoy, terms of 14 and 12 years.

Pat’s greatest memories cluster about Ann Pennington, Camden's gift to the Follies and the stage, and the Dooleys, a theatrical family which also is a proud Camden possession. 

"I used to cut Ann Pennington’s hair when she was a child," Pat recalled. "And the Dooleys always made my shop their headquarters. Billy Dooley worked for me. The kids, six of them, trained in a patch we called the 'cow lot’. Rae and May were the two girls, while Johnny was the big shot of the boys.”

 “They used to turn cartwheels right out in the lot there and come into my shop to do a little vocal rehearsing. Ann Pennington was always dancing, you couldn't keep her feet still. I remember one day Ann, Johnny Dooley and a girl named Moore went over to Lubin's in Philadelphia, trying to break into the movies.

 “Lubin wouldn’t handle them and they all came crying into my shop.” Whereupon Pat produced a post card dated in 1911 showing Johnny Dooley starring in the old Bijou Theatre in Philadelphia.

So Pat has no envy of the thespians or of anybody else. Why should he- Miami is some place to spend the Winter.

Camden Courier-Post * June 1, 1939

Group Disbanded 25 Years Ago;
Old Members to Meet at Dinner

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.

With Iarossi, widely-known North Camden barber, as the active worker in plans for the reunion, nearly 40 of the old members have signified their intentions of attending.

The dinner reunion will be held at Tom Kenney's restaurant at 531 Market Street. Other members who expect to join in the reunion, are asked to communicate with Iarossi at Third and Elm Streets.

Some of the charter members who have been reached and are expected to attend the reunion dinner are: 

Tom Kenney, former Freeholder Samuel D. Payne, Police Sergeant Herbert Bott, William H. White, former secretary-treasurer of the Camden Housing  Authority Charles (Homo) Marion.

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.

The AQUINAS CLUB appears to have been a social club that existed in North Camden prior to World War I. My best guess is that it consisted mostly or entirely of young Catholic men from the Holy Name parish, although there also were a few older members. The club apparently disbanded around 1915.

In June of 1939 a reunion was organized by Pasquale 'Pat' Iarossi, who then was operating a barber shop at North 3rd and Elm Street in North Camden. Of those former members who announced their intentions to attend, there were many who had become prominent in business, politics, or public service in Camden. 

As more is learned about the club, it will be posted. If you, the reader have any knowledge to share, please e-mail me.

Phil Cohen


November 18, 1965