RALPH A. BAKLEY was born in New Jersey on January 10, 1881 to Clara and Ridgeway Bakley. He was the youngest of three sons, being born after Lewis and David Bakley. The family was living on York Street just before he was born. They had moved to 213 North 9th Street by 1887, and by 1890 to 582 Pine Street. When the Census was taken in 1900 the family lived at 583 South 6th Street. The elder Bakley then worked as a day laborer. Ralph Bakley grew up and remained in this neighborhood through at least 1929.

As a young man Ralph Bakley was well known locally as an athlete, excelling in baseball and basketball. In a column published in the Camden Courier Post, Dan McConnell wrote in November, 1939: 

"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.

Bakley was a stellar outfielder in his younger days. Mr. Lee informed us. We can say that Bakley has done a fine job as one of the better liked police executives of Our Town."

Ralph Bakley was married in 1903 to Caroline, also known as "Carrie". The 1906 City Directory lists Ralph Bakley at 641 Line Street, working as a metalworker. 1910 Census and 1914 Directory lists Ralph Bakley at the same address with his wife Carrie. No children by 1910. He was then a foreman. A court officer, W. Frank Garrison lived just two doors down, and may have, in time, helped Ralph Bakley secure his appointment to the police department. A daughter, Clara Bakley was born around 1912. On June 1, 1915 Ralph Bakley was appointed to the Camden Police force by Mayor Charles Ellis. In 1916 another child, Sarah Bakley, was born. 

When he registered for the draft in September of 1918, Ralph Bakley was living at 544 South 6th Street. By 1920 and through at least 1924 he and his family lived at 542 South 6th Street. Sadly it appears that Carrie Bakley died around 1926, leaving Ralph Bakley to take care of his two daughters. The 1927 and 1929 City Directories show that he had relocated to 602 Clinton Street. The 1930 Census shows that he, his daughters and his widowed mother were at that address. Ralph Bakley did in time, however remarry.

The 1920s were good professionally to Ralph Bakley. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1922 by then-Mayor Frank S. Van Hart, and at the end of the decade he was in line for a promotion to Lieutenant, which came through in January of 1930 from the office of Commissioner Dr. David S. Rhone

On July 1, 1939 Commissioner Mary Walsh Kobus promoted Ralph Bakley to the rank of Acting Captain. Unexpectedly, Chief of Police Arthur Colsey died in his sleep of a heart attack on September 15, 1939. He was buried at Arlington Cemetery in Pennsauken NJ on September 18, 1939. Captain Ralph Bakley was named Acting Chief of Police a few days later by Commissioner Mary Kobus, Camden's Director of Public Safety. A few months later, the New Jersey State Civil Service Commission called for a test for the Chief's position. Ralph Bakley scored third, with George Frost getting the top score. Chief Bakley continued to serve in the position of Acting Chief until March of 1942, when Chief Frost was confirmed in the position. Ralph Bakley retired  few days later.

Acting Chief Bakley had lived in the 1930s and 1940s with his second wife, Josie, on North 31st Street. Upon retirement he moved to Somers Point, New Jersey, where he died in December of 1945.

Camden Courier
February 20, 1917

Ralph Bakley
John Peace
Smith Forney
O. Glen Stackhouse
South 8th Street

World War I Draft Card

Camden Courier-Post
November 22, 1927


John Golden
William Dolan
Rox Saponare
Frank Truax
Anson Kelley
Ralph Bakley

John Potter
John Skolski
William Whaland
James Clay

Camden Courier-Post * September 30, 1929
Louis Schlam - Walter Smith - Ralph Bakley - Walter J. Staats - South 4th Street - Federal Street
Marlton Avenue - Kaighn Avenue - Max Levin - Garfield S. Pancoast - William Stettler - Harry Bach Cafe
Joseph Dugan - John DiLorenzo -George Palmer

Camden Courier-Post * January 25, 1930
John Potter - George Frost - Walter Welch - Charles Laib - Ralph Bakley - George Ward
Herbert Anderson -
Samuel Johnson - Harry Newton - Thomas Cunningham - David S. Rhone

Camden Courier-Post * January 25, 1930

Walter Welch

Ralph Bakley

Charles Laib

George Frost George Ward Clarence Thorn

Camden Courier-Post * April 9, 1930

Rhone Reported ready to Make Five Patrolmen Sergeant

Reports that five members of the Camden police department will be promoted to sergeants tomorrow were circulated, today after announcement that two sergeants had been appointed lieutenant.

Those who, according to rumors, will be elevated to sergeant are Nathan Petit, of the second police district, to be assigned to the traffic squad; Gus Koerner, detective bureau; Walter Rowand, first district; Frank Truax, Second district, and Edward Hahn, third district.

The two new lieutenants who took oath of office yesterday are Samuel Johnson and Thomas Cunningham. The former was a sergeant of police attached to the detective bureau and will continue in that department, while Cunningham, while a sergeant, was acting lieutenant in day command at the fourth district. He remains in that district, The appointments were announced yesterday by Commissioner David S. Rhone, director of public safety.

Both were immediately administered oaths of office by Dr. Rhone's secretary, Bayard M. Sullivan, at the director's office, Lieutenant Cunningham is already eligible for retirement, having served more than 20 years on the city police force.

The two appointments complete the seven lieutenancies created n by a city ordinance. Ten members of the police department passed civil service examinations for the post, which pays an annual salary of $2500. Each must serve one year as lieutenant before becoming eligible to take examination for captaincy.

The five previously appointed lieutenants are George Frost, now night commander of the fourth district; Walter Welch, third district; Charles Laib, a sub-commander of the traffic bureau under Captain Charles T. Humes, traffic Inspector; Ralph Bakley, second district; and George Ward, first district.

The other three candidates who passed the examination, Sergeants John Potter, Herbert Anderson and Harry I. Newton, did not receive lieutenancies, although Potter had the highest percentage in the tests.

Camden Courier-Post - May 5, 1930
Joseph G. Ward
Louis Street - Florence Street
Decatur Street - Mt. Ephraim Avenue
William G. Ritter - Peter English
Walter Wilkie - Ralph Bakley
Joseph Ward Sr. - E. Frank Pine
Clifford Del Rossi
- Theodore Guthrie
Melvin Cain - William F. McGrath
Sylvester "Wes" McGrath, City Detective
Urquhart Ward - Robert Ward
John Smith - Maurice Mensch
Victor King - Michael Mathews
James E. Tatem - Arthur Colsey


Camden Courier-Post * June 3, 1930
Catherine Christman - Joseph Conti - Nicholas Bartluci - John Fisher - Mary Reginelli - Marco Reginelli
Garfield S. Pancoast -  Clifford A. Baldwin
William "Big Bill" Wierman - Ralph Bakley
C. Leonard Brehm - Louis Schlam
Clarence Bunker - Clarence Arthur
Wilfred L. Dube - Andrew Zopesky

From Left: Howard Smith - James Paradise - Theodore Guthrie - Joseph Mardino - Walter Welch
Vernon Jones - Walter Smith 
Highland Avenue
South 33rd Street
North 34th Street

Camden Evening Courier - December 3, 1930

Ralph Bakley - Charles V. Dickinson - George Frost - Charles T. Humes
Lewis H. Stehr - George Ward - Walter Welch - Charles Laib - Clarence Thorn

Camden Evening Courier
December 11, 1930


Lewis H. Stehr  - Dr. David S. Rhone - Charles V. Dickinson
Donald Swissler -
Clarence Phifer - Arthur Colsey - Archie Reiss
George A. Ward - John Kowal  - John Skolski - Herbert Anderson
Thomas Cheeseman - Harry Kyler -  George Nowrey - Frank Truax
Ralph Bakley - Clifford A. Baldwin - Winfield S. Price
Clay W. Reesman - Clifford A. Flennard -  B.C. Schroeder
Camden Local No. 35, P.B.A. -
Cooper Hospital
Broadway - Royden Street

Camden Evening Courier
December 12, 1930

Lewis H. Stehr  - Dr. David S. Rhone - Charles V. Dickinson
Arthur Colsey
- Donald Swissler - Clarence Phifer
George A. Ward - John Kowal  - Archie Reiss - John Skolski
Herbert Anderson - Thomas Cheeseman - Harry Kyler
George Nowrey - Frank Truax - Ralph Bakley - John J. Breslin 
Cooper Hospital - Rev. Edward T. Weeks
Union Methodist Episcopal Church -   B.C. Schroeder
Broadway - Royden Street - Sixth Ward Republican Club

Camden Courier-Post * April 3, 1931


George Ward - Samuel Naylor - David S. Rhone - Howard Smith - Lewis H. Stehr Jr. - A. Lincoln James Clifford A. Baldwin - Charles A. Wolverton - Ethan P. Wescott - Charles Laib - Charles T. Humes
George Clayton - Ralph Bakley - Thomas Cunningham - William C. Horner - Charles Arini - Louis Del Duca

Camden Courier-Post - October 21, 1931

Local Police Heads Greeted at State Prison

Headed by Major Charles V. Dickinson, local police officials made a tour of Inspection yesterday of the state prison at Trenton. Photo shows Colonel George L. Selby, chief deputy warden at the prison, greeting Major Dickinson and his companions at the prison gates. Left to right, those in the photo are: Patrolman John Stevenson, Lieutenant Herbert Anderson, Captain Arthur Colsey, Major Dickinson, Lieutenant George Frost, Colonel Selby, Lieutenants George Ward, Ralph Bakley and Walter Welch. The police officials were the guests of Colonel Selby at luncheon before the tour.

Camden Courier-Post * June 6, 1932

Carrie Becker - North 33rd Street - Harry E. Renders - Charles Luers
North 2nd Street - George W. Rush - Farragut Avenue - Watson Street
Joseph Benson - Charles Benson - Edward Marshman - Morse Street
John Grogan - North 22nd Street - Charles Dudley - North 3rd Street
Ralph Bakley - Vernon Jones - Thomas Cheeseman - Marshall Thompson
George Thomas - Clinton Street - James Williams - South 2nd Street
John B. Simons - Samuel Aronow - Kaighn Avenue

Camden Courier-Post * June 6, 1932

Ralph Bakley - Joseph Tumulty - Roy R. Stewart - T. Harry Rowland
Charles V. Dickinson - Arthur Colsey - Clifford A. Baldwin - Samuel M. Shay
Austin H. Swackhammer - Manle J. Steyer - WIlliam Sharkey - Dr. C.N. Mason
Gustave Huseman - John Uboldi - Albert Cohen - James Jordan - Herman Romaine
Harold Nickturn - Howard C. Franklin - Arthur "Gyp" Del Duca
Charles Fanelli aka Charlie Mack - Harry Fleisher - John Cernivo
Thomas Gibbons - Walt Mills - Edward J. Walsh
Owen Sweeney - William Marshall - Conrad Bittner - Harry Underwood
Frank Truax - Walter Kennedy aka Walt West - Harry Willingmeyer
Fairview Street - Penn Street - Rand Street
Louis Ward - Dean Kessler - Pasquale Massi - Jacob Melzer - Frank Atwater
Louis Scott - Edward Brady - Carl Pisco - Joseph Pisco - Jim Jackson
Woodrow Jackson - Frank Mucci - W.H. Seckel - Davis Keese - Gustave Seletos
Roland Davic - William Bopergola - Tony Basile - Jospeh Gogenti - Frank Garafalo
Edward North - Joseph Carboni - Geoge Huber - George Walters

Camden Courier Post
June 7, 1932

Roy R. Stewart - Charles T. Humes
Herbert Anderson - George Ward
Ralph Bakley - Edward Hahn
John Garrity - George Jefferis
James Wilson - Edward Carroll
John Skolski - Stiles Whitaker

Camden Courier Post
June 7, 1932

Ralph Bakley
Samuel Aronow
Louis Bader 
Herman Weintraub
Anna Weintraub
Kaighn Avenue



Camden Courier-Post
June 7, 1932

Garfield S. Pancoast - East Camden
George Thomas - Clinton Street
Ralph Bakley - James Williams
John B. DiSimone - South 2nd Street
Carrie Becker - North 33rd Street
Edward Marshman - Morse Street



Camden Courier-Post * June 8, 1932

Ralph Bakley - Joseph Tumulty - John Tumulty - Charles Rubenstein
T. Harry Rowland - Charles V. Dickinson - Clifford A. Baldwin
Samuel M. Shay
- Austin H. Swackhamer - Frank Truax
A. Harry Moore - David Baird Jr. 

Camden Courier-Post
June 9, 1932

Garfield Pancoast
Dominick Ravieri
Thurman Street
George Burrell
Division Street
Ralph Bakley
West Jersey Hospital


Camden Courier-Post
June 9, 1932

Ralph Bakley - Thomas Cheesman
George A. Ward
North 2nd Street - Kaighn Avenue
Stevens Street

Joseph Connors - Max Aronson - Tony Miller - Leonard winner
The other names and addresses appear to have been fictitious

Camden Courier-Post * June 10, 1932

Ralph Bakley - Garfield S. PancoastJoseph Connors - Max Aronson - Tony Miller
North 2nd Street - Kaighn Avenue - Stevens Street

Camden Courier-Post
June 16, 1932

Liberty Street
Ralph Bakley
Samuel Katz
Garfield S. Pancoast

Camden Courier-Post - June 3, 1933

Visitor at Hearings Before, Pancoast Jailed for Failure to Pay Fine

The urge which prompted Albert Barlow, 37, of 755 Spruce Street, to visit police court yesterday as a spectator landed him in the county jail as a prisoner.

Sought for more than two years on charges of failing to pay installments of a $200 fine imposed when he was found guilty of a liquor law violation, Barlow a former city employee, was arrested by Clifford Schemely, county probation officer.

Schemely was notified that Barlow was in court by Lieutenant Ralph Bakley, of the second district, who saw him sitting in a front row of the court­room just before the hearings started.        

Bakley knew there was a warrant out for Barlow but he was not in possession of it at the time so the police official telephoned Schemeley from Police Judge Garfield Pancoast's office.

The probation officer hurried to the courtroom armed with a copy of the warrant, served it on him and led him from the courtroom just as Judge Pancoast entered the room to open the hearings.           

Schemeley said that Barlow was arrested in February, 1931, and was fined $200 by Common Pleas Judge Samuel M. Shay. He was ordered to pay the fine in installments, Schemeley said, but he disappeared on March 23 of the same year.

Barlow was placed in a cell at the county jail and will be arraigned before Judge Shay next week.

Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1933

One Goes to Jail in Default of Paying $50 Fine

Two excuses offered by two men for the presence of beer in their stores failed to impress Police Judge Pancoast yesterday. One storekeeper went to jail for 30 days in default of a $50 fine and the other storekeeper was fined $200.

Charles Yatzus, 43, of 1036 Central Avenue, went to jail because he was unable to explain how he was able to purchase beer and whiskey when he was on the verge of becoming a charge of the city emergency relief administration.

After Lieutenant Ralph Bakley had testified beer and whisky were found in his store, Yatzus said he was expecting friends from Wilmington and had purchased the liquor for use while they were at his house. Then he said he didn't have any money and was running a small store to keep from becoming an emergency relief charge.

Angelo Teto, 42, of 1024 South Third Street, insisted Earl Foy, 1016 South Sixth Street, came into his store to buy a bottle of root beer and not 3.2 beer. Foy, who said he was directed by Lieutenant Bakley to make a "buy" of beer at Teto's store, testified Teto told, his 11 year-old daughter to get a bottle of beer from the ice box. Before the deal could be completed, Foy said, Detective Vernon Jones entered the store.

Foy said Teto ordered his daughter to return the beer to the icebox, saying he recognized Jones. The beer, Teto said, was purchased for his own use. Teto insisted that Foy had asked for root beer and was to be served root beer. Judge Pancoast said he did not believe Teto's excuse and fined him $200.

Because he refused to follow the friendly advice of a policeman and "go home to sober up," Louis Schechtman, 48, of 2374 Broadway, is in the county jail today, beginning a 60-day sentence, in addition to pay­ing a $25 fine.

He faces another hearing tomorrow on charges of selling beer illegally.

Schechtman, according to Motorcycle Policeman George Jefferis, was creating a disturbance at Broadway and Fairview Street yesterday. He became abusive when told, to "go home and sober up," Jefferis said, so he went to jail. Judge Pancoast sentenced him to 60 days on the charge of being intoxicated.

Robert Powell, 430 Stevens Street, a taxicab driver, filed a charge of disorderly conduct against Schechtman, alleging Schechtman refused to pay a taxicab bill of $12.35. The disorderly charge brought a fine of $25.

Lieutenant Ralph Bakley alleged Schechtman had been violating the temporary beer law of New Jersey by selling beer without a license. Judge Pancoast said Schechtman will be taken into court tomorrow morning for a hearing on the beer charge.  

Camden Courier-Post - June 13, 1933


A Camden policeman was suspended indefinitely and relieved of his badge yesterday on a charge of drunkenness on duty. 

The patrolman is Alfred Trusty, colored, of 1858 South Ninth Street. He is attached to the Second police district. 

Chief of Police John W. Golden ordered the suspension after he had received telephone calls informing him there was "a drunken policeman raising cain downtown." 

Golden ordered Lieutenant Ralph Bakely, commander of the district, to investigate. Trusty was brought into the station house by Sergeant Mattison. He has been ordered to appear before Golden today.

Camden Courier-Post
Evening Courier - September 3, 1934

Detective William Feitz

Detective William Feitz

Detective William Feitz

Police Chief Arthur Colsey examining a bullet hole in the wall of the living room of 243 Sycamore Street. 

ABOVE LEFT: Police Chief Arthur Colsey and detectives leaving the house at 242 Sycamore Street, where Detective William T. Fietz was slain. The place, police said, was operated as a disorderly house by Mrs. Emma Heisler, 38, who is under arrest as a material witness. INSET: Detective William T. Feitz

Camden Courier-Post
Evening Courier - September 10, 1934

Police officials at the funeral service of Detective William Feitz
Left to right: 
Lt. Herbert Anderson,
Chief of Police Arthur Colsey,
Lt. Ralph Bakley
E. Howard Broome,
secretary to Mayor Roy R. Stewart,
Lt. George A. Ward

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Courier-Post
Evening Courier - September 10, 1934


Arthur Colsey - Ralph Bakley - William T. Feitz - Frank T. Lloyd - Samuel P. Orlando - Emma Heisler
George Ward - Michael Tenerelli aka Mickey Blair - Edward V. Martino - John Garrity
Walter S. Mattison - Edward Leonard - Richard Cornog - George Weber - Joseph Leonhardt
Leon Branch - Thomas Cheeseman - Frank Wilmot - John Houston - Vernon Jones

Camden Courier-Post
Evening Courier - September 11, 1934



Arthur Colsey - Ralph Bakley - William T. Feitz - Frank T. Lloyd - Samuel P. Orlando - Emma Heisler
George Ward - Michael Tenerelli aka Mickey Blair - John Garrity - J. Harry Switzer
Walter S. Mattison - Edward Leonard - Richard Cornog - George Weber - Joseph Leonhardt
Leon Branch - Thomas Cheeseman - Frank Wilmot - John Houston - Vernon Jones
John Potter - Walter Welch - Herbert Anderson

Camden Courier-Post
February 4, 1935

Roy R. Stewart
Walter Smith
John Trout
Newton Ash
George Clayton
Harold W. Bennett
John J. Robinson
Elisha A. Gravenor
Charles H. Ellis
David Kates
Ralph Bakley
Joseph Carpani
Louis Schlam



Calls for 100% Efficiency and Promises Square Deal for All in Talk to Commanders;
Stresses Fact Colsey is Chief

 “I want 100% efficient police department and not a political machine.”

 Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, new director of public safety, made that declaration yesterday afternoon at a joint police-press conference in her office at city hall before she was served with a writ restraining her from taking that office.

 Commissioner Kobus was the kindly mother talking to her “boys” for the most of the conference- but at times she became the stern parent-  with the birchrod in the cupboard- as she instructed the police heads to “divorce themselves from politics.”

 “For many years I have nursed in my heart a desire to see Camden with a 100% efficient police department”, the commissioner said. “Now that time is at hand.”

 “I have known all of you men for many years,” she told the assembled commanders, “and I don’t care what your respective political affiliations might be. You have a right to you opinions, but I want the police department to divorce itself from politics.

 . “You must know what is going on in your city and you must let me know. I must have 100 percent cooperation if I am to succeed in this new undertaking. 

“If you have any complaints, don’t go around and growl, undermining the department. Lay your cards on the table, I guarantee you a fair deal.

 “Chief Colsey is head of the police department and not in name only. You others in the rank you occupy are also commanders in fact and not in name. It is up to you.”

 The commissioner urged a closer co-operation between police and the press and concluded by saying she wanted her “family” to be honest-to-goodness policemen “because there is no room in the department for those who are not.”

 Attending the conference was Chief Arthur Colsey, Lieutenant Herbert Anderson, chief clerk of the bureau; Lieutenants George Frost, Ralph Bakley, Walter Welch, Samuel E. Johnson and George Ward.

Camden Courier-Post * March 17, 1937

John S. McTaggart - Arthur F. Foran - George E. Brunner - James V. Moran - Gene R. Mariano
Arthur Colsey - Ralph Bakley - Edward V. Martino - Harold W. Bennett - Horace R. Dixon
Mary Kobus - Edward Carroll - William D. Sayrs - John Garrity - Kathryn Cunningham - Harold Hoffman

Mary Kobus - Arthur Colsey - Ralph Bakley - Herbert Bott - Louis Shaw
John Skolski - George Frost Walter Welch - Nathan Pettit - Frank Evans
Gus Koerner - Edward Hahn - Harry Newton

Camden Courier-Post * December 13, 1939

George Clayton - Edward Middleton - William Dolan - John B. Stanton - George Frost - Edward Carroll
Walter S. Mattison - Albert Cornog - Ralph Bakley - John Garrity - Joseph Mardino
Herbert Bott
- Edward P. Leonard Sr.

In front of Convention Hall - About 1940

Late 1930s photo of Camden Police Department vehicles lined up on Argonne Street in front of Convention Hall.   

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click Here to Supersize Image

Photo courtesy of the Lillian Colsey Slomick family 


     Late 1930s photo of Camden Police Department vehicles lined up on Argonne Street in front of Convention Hall, along with police and officials from Camden's city government.   

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click Here to Supersize Image

Photo courtesy of the
Lillian Colsey Slomick family 

My Best Guess

From Left: Unknown Sergeant, Walter Welch, Henry Magin, Ralph Bakley
Arthur Colsey,
Mayor George Brunner,
Mary W. Kobus, David Rhone, Unknown civilian

Camden Courier-Post - January 8, 1940



Dr. Garnet Summerill - Cooper Street - Market Street.

Trenton Times * August 9, 1940
Click on Image to Enlarge


Mary Kobus - George Frost - Ralph Bakley - Walter Welch - George Ward - Arthur Colsey


Camden Courier-Post
March 15, 1941

John S. McTaggart
Betty Sullivan
Labor Temple
Convention Hall
Ralph Bakley
Edward Carroll
John Garrity

Harold G. Hoffman





Camden Courier-Post
March 7, 1942

Ralph Bakley
Daniel Smith


Camden Courier-Post * March 7, 1942

North 33rd Street - South 27th Street - Ralph Bakley - Daniel Smith - Engine Company 9
Charles H. Ellis - Arthur Colsey - George W. Frost - Mary Kobus - Dr. David S. Rhone - George Brunner

World War II Draft Card

Charles H. Ellis - Frank S. Van Hart - Dr. David S. Rhone - Mary Kobus - George Frost
North 27th Street - North 31st Street