Walter Smith

WALTER H. SMITH was appointed to the Camden Police Department on April 30, 1914. By 1925 he had been promoted to Detective, and was still serving in that capacity until going out on pension on February 15, 1935.

Walter Smith was born in Camden, New Jersey on June 6, 1879 to William Henry Smith and his wife the former Harriet C. Stewart. He was the ninth of eleven children, The Smiths had come to Camden, with their five living children, shortly after the April 1873 birth of daughter Sue. Three sons were born after the move to Camden, Howard M. Smith, Clarence S. Smith and Walter H. Smith. The 1880 Census shows the family at 726 Federal Street, with children William H. Jr., Virginia C., Augustus D., Sue G., Howard M., Clarence S., and Walter H. Smith. Two more sons came in the early 1880s, Crawford M. Smith and Roy A. Smith

William Henry Smith died in 1886. Known in Camden as "Policy Bill", William H. Smith had become notorious for running a "policy game"- an illegal lotttery- what in modern times is called the "number racket". His widow, Mrs. Harriet Smith, with five children at home under the age of 12, kept the family business going. She had a number of brushes with the law between 1886 and 1898, and at one time or another the Smith brothers and sister Sue did as well.

The Smith family was living at 14 South 8th Street by 1890. William H. Smith Jr., popularly best known as W. Harry Smith, was already working, and by 1890 second son Augustus D. Smith found work as a blacksmith. W. Harry Smith began involving himself in local politics in Camden's 9th Ward as a Republican, and over the years this served him and the Smith family well. 

By the summer of 1890 they had moved to 741 Carman Street. The 1894 Directory has the family at 758 Federal Street, the 1895 edition has them at 750 Federal Street.  After Harriet Smith and her sons were indicted on "policy" charges in 1898, she and her sons still living at home went to Philadelphia to avoid prosecution, living at 506 Hope Street. Walter Smith was still living with his mother and older brother when the 1900 Census was taken. By 1904 they had moved back to Camden.

Walter Smith' sister, Sue G. Wagner, was married to Harry J. Wagner Sr., who was politically active, had briefly served with the Camden Fire Department and was with the Water Department for much his working life. Possibly due to the influence of W. Harry Smith and Harry J. Wagner Sr and possibly due to the fact that the Camden Police Department's baseball team needed a pitcher, older brother Howard M. Smith was appointed to the Camden Police Department on March 20, 1906. He was a very active policeman from the beginning, and he was promoted to detective on January 1, 1918. Howard M. Smith served in this capacity until his retirement on January 1, 1933, much of the time spent being on loan to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office where he investigated and solved many homicide cases. Younger brother Roy A. Smith, was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in 1910 and served until 1933, before retiring on disability. 

Walter Smith married Elizabeth "Betty" Callahan around 1910. A son, Augustus Hamilton Smith was born on June 20, 1911. The Smiths lived at 423 North 8th Street from 1909 through 1914

Walter Smith, was appointed to the Camden Police Department on April 30, 1914. The 1915 City Directory shows a move to 936 Penn Street where they stayed until at least 1924, across the street from his brother Howard at 933 Penn Street. By 1927 the family had moved to 417 North 10th Street.

Walter Smith was promoted to Detective in 1925. He retired February 15, 1935. Walter and Betty Smith were still residing on North 10th Street in 1944, but both he and his wife are not listed in the 1947 City Directory. His son, Hamilton Smith, was listed, at 603 North 5th Street.

Walter Smith's nephew, the son of his sister Sue, Harry J. Wagner Jr., served as a member of the Camden Fire Department for 39 years and 8 months, reaching the rank of Acting Chief of Department.  Harry J. Wagner Jr.'s brother Roy Wagner owned and operated Roy's Tavern on Federal Street for many years, employing brothers Philip B. Wagner and George C. Wagner as bartenders. 

Nephews Belford Edwin "Bud" Smith and
Edward Baker Smith, the sons of  Crawford M. Smith, worked security at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard. Bud Smith died of a heart attack at work in 1969. Edwin rose to head of security at the shipyard, and later worked as an investigator with the Camden County Prosecutor's office. A grand-nephew, J. Kenneth Crane, grandson of his brother Howard Smith, became Chief of the Collingswood Police Department.

Camden Post
October 12, 1898

John L. Semple
Harriet Smith
Charles Gilbert
Wm. Harry Smith  - Crawford Smith
Clarence Smith - Howard Smith - Walter Smith
Andrew Collins - Theodore Laferta
Dyke O'Brien - Jonathan Cox
Robert Nichols - Robert Nevil
William Parker - George Dace
Sarah Brown - Lavinia Fussell

Camden Post-Telegram
December 12, 1908

S. Linokoski - Annie Nevlin
Albert Austermuhl - Harry Foulkes
William Fithian - Louis Munyan
Louis Leigh - Edward Holloway
Walter Smith -
Crawford Smith
Charles Adkins - Hollis Lightfoot
Morris Odell - George W. Kruck
William P. Walsh
Wilfred B. Wolcott
O. Glen Stackhouse


Philadelphia Inquirer
May 1, 1914

James Ware
Samuel Suders
Charles H. Ellis
Walter Smith
Harry Newton
Frederick Scharr
Sidney P. McCord

World War I Draft Card

Philadelphia Inquirer
July 26, 1921

John Brothers
David P. Kates
Walter Smith


Camden Post-Telegram *July 26, 1921
John Brothers - Charles T. Humes - Edward S. Hyde
David P. Kates - Walter Smith

Camden Courier * April 9, 1925
Text transcribed by Phillip Cohen

April 2003

Discovery of the body of a white baby several weeks old, human bones and other gruesome articles in a maze of dungeon-like caves and sub-cellars under 413 and 415 Liberty Street today have led the police to hold without bail "Doctor" H.H. Hyghcock, 71 year-old negro preacher, medicine man and undertaker.

The weird discoveries were made in the fantastically furnished "torture chambers" and "witch caves" under the houses. In addition statements made to Patrolman Charles Naylor and a Courier reporter by a seven-year-old daughter of the accused man, point to a possibility of a woman having been murdered in the place only last week.

"Weirdest Ever" Says Tempest

The labyrinth of underground passages and chambers discovered under the houses is declared by Deputy Director Tempest to be the "strangest and weirdest layout" he ever has visited in all his long career in police work.

Twisting and narrow underground passages and half-buried doors in almost inaccessible portions of the underground passages led to a belief that many more chambers remain for the police to enter in their underground exploration.

Deputy Tempest has ordered that a complete search be made of every corner of the cellars and sub-cellars and that if necessary the two houses above be torn down to make examination possible. The earth of all the cave floors is being dug up by the police in search of further clues.

Bone of Forearm is Found

The white baby's body was found shortly before 1:00 PM today, lying in a large glass jar in one of the sub-cellars. What is believed to be the bone of a child's forearm had been found in one of the passages a short time before. In another glass jar the police found what they report to be a human stomach.

To count the rooms, or divisions, of the many underground passages is impossible, because of the irregular arrangement, up and down and in all directions. Some of the policemen engaged in the exploring task have estimated there are more than 75 different compartments.

Second Arrest is Made

While the police were exploring the place shortly after noon a colored man walked into the Liberty Street entrance and started down the tunnel leading to the underground chamber as if he were well acquainted with the place.

Arrested and taken into police custody was Louis Reeves, 23 years, 1061 Ivins Street. he had been employed as a chauffer to drive the voodoo doctor's automobile, he said, and he had been accustomed to visiting "Doctor" Hyghcock daily and being given a bottle of soda water. That was the only purpose of his visit today, he declared, and he disclaimed any knowledge of the activities of Hyghcock.

The little daughter of the "proprietor" of the strange "place of horrors" made her hair-raising statements while being questioned in regard to her father's recent activities.

"Shot a Woman"- Took Her Away

"How many people has your father killed here?" she was asked.

"He never killed nobody until last week" she replied with childish frankness. "Then he shot a woman, and he took her away in her automobile at night."

In his cell at City Hall, Hyghcock maintains an air of mysterious silence. He is of an impressive personal appearance. although below medium height, he has a proud bearing, made more compelling by his white hair, mustache and imperial.

He has boasted to acquaintances that he is the father of 32 children.

Bootblacks tell of him giving 50 cent tips.

Hyghcock was arrested last night when he appealed to police, demanding a warrant for an unknown thief about whom he told a weird tale of threats to return and kill him. Hyghcock styles himself a clergyman, physician, an undertaker, a real estate operator, a clairvoyant, a palmist, and a fortune teller.

Hyghcock was held on $500 bail early today on the charge of obtaining money under false pretenses and in an equal amount on the charge of practicing medicine without a license when arraigned before Police Judge Cleary this morning.

He could not raise the money and was held in jail.

Then, when the other discovered were made, he was held without bail.

A visit to his place by the police led to the exploration of the intricate series of underground chambers. They were separated by swinging doors operated by mechanical springs. Some of the cave-like dungeons contained weird contraptions, like ancient machinery of torture, believed to have been used in connection with "cures," is to which patients of the voodoo man were terrified.

Patient Believes In Him 

Besides Hyghcock police arrested as material witnesses Mrs. Bipp Hyghcock, 43 years old, aid to be his wife, and Mrs. Lotte Ingram, also a negress, 43 years old, of 59 North Peach Street, Philadelphia.

Mrs. Ingram, who was found in the house at 413 Liberty Street, aid she was there to receive treatment for heart disease from Hyghcock. In a statement to Detective Hunt, Mrs. Ingram said she gave Hyghcock 25 as part payment for the cure of her disease, and that she had been visiting his house for several months. Upon questioning she revealed further that Hyghcock had given her herb medicines, adding that she had faith in his powers and believed she was being healed.

Hyghcock has no license to practice medicine, police say.

The revelation of the startling interior of the place and the practice of Hyghcock, at the Liberty Street houses, both of which were rented by him, was brought about when the "doctor" inquired for a magistrate to issue a warrant for a Philadelphia man who, he said, stole some automobile tools from him and threatened to return to slay him. Hyghcock made the first inquiry of Howard Westsell, 797 Mt. Vernon street, who was standing at Railroad and Kaighn Avenues t 6:00 o'clock last night. Westsell referred him to Howard Fisher, a negro policeman of the Second District, who approached the two.

Cops Take Him Home

Fisher, becoming suspicious, questioned Hyghcock, who became evasive and insisted that the officer could not aid him. Fisher placed him under arrest, summoned Policeman James McTaggert and William Prucella, of the Second District, who were in plain clothes at the time, and went to the Hyghcock house, where they were admitted.

In the house at 413 Liberty Street the policeman found Mrs. Ingram, Mrs. Hyghcock, and the latter's 7 year old daughter. The two women were sent to police headquarters for questioning.

The dingy front room of the house was heated with a glowing coal stove and dimly lighted with a flickering kerosene lamp, faintly disclosed several ancient and must articles of furniture, several dozen bottles of soda water inside a glass showcase most of whose sides were missing or broken, several mysterious looking grips, bed-clothing, bric-a-brac, and other odd articles scattered about, it suggested what might be found in the rudely constructed entrances to chambers beyond.

In the glow of their flashlights the officers made a hurried search of the premises.

Entering the kitchen the trio descended a narrow, winding cellar-way into a gloomy cellar

Tunnels Explored

McTaggart branched into one passageway, while Fisher and Prucella each chose a different path. After stumbling upon blind tunnels which ended in closets or in compartments from which there were no exits, the three officers joined into one party.

Stooping at times under low ceilings, squeezing between the sides of converging walls, jumping over pits covered with rotted trapdoors, and pushing through a seemingly endless series of doors rudely constructed of odd pieces of lumber, and each equipped with a powerful springs, the officers wormed their way through a tunnel extending 50 feet under the yard after leaving the cellar. It ended at a trapdoor in the floor of a ramshackle refuse littered woodshed in the rear of the yard.

As soon as they emerged they took Hyghcock, who had accompanied them through the tunnels, to police headquarters

Cops Go Look For More

Hyghcock, his wife, and Mrs. Ingram were placed under arrest. Captain Arthur Colsey assembled Sergeant Charles Smith and Policemen Prucella, McTaggart, Howard Fisher, Harry Kreher, William Bryant, Herbert Anderson, and John Bryant of headquarters for a needed investigation of the premises. On the way to the house the patrol picked up Officers Enoch Johnson, Charles Smith, and William Michalak.

With the arrival of the patrol a crowd gathered in front of the unkempt buildings. Bordering the gloomy houses on each side are modest, well-kept two and three story homes, inhabited by white families.

Guided by flashlights and lanterns, a long line of policemen laboriously wound through the circuitous underground passages,  scrutinizing every nook, and opening every container upon which they came.

Many Rooms Entered

At least seventy-fie rooms or compartments were entered and hurriedly examined. Contents of innumerable closets and holes in walls were left undisturbed for fear that they would litter the narrow passageway and block the progress of the searchers.

In one room was found a large cartwheel daubed with dabs of white paint on each spoke. the wheel was mounted on a short upright axis set into the ground, permitting its rotation. Above the wheel was suspended a stuffed bird. The legs could be made to twitch and the wings to flap by the manipulation of a set of strings attached to them and fastened to a stick in an adjoining den.

Beside these the room contained an old iron bed, an oil lamp. and an oil stove. Other dens were similarly furnished.

Wires and Bells and Things

Closets and alcoves revealed odd collections of preserves, trinkets, charms, and indescribable odds and ends. In one closet in the kitchen of 413 Liberty Street were discovered a complicated set of improvised signaling devices. Wires attached to sticks will ring bells and unlock doors and various rooms of the house. Each door was equipped with a spring and bolts, and contained bells of various shapes and sizes.

In the rear of 413 Liberty Street partitioned with odd boards, curtains, and rags was a chapel. This room, about 10 feet wide by 13 feet long, contained an old wheezy organ, an altar, and religious pictures. Two more organs helped furnish two other rooms.

In a bedroom by the third floor of 413 Liberty Street, evidently occupied by Hyghcock, the searchers found charms sewed up in bags, odd implements, and three high silk hats.

Mrs. Hyghcock said that she her husband and daughter had occupied the two houses for eight years. Hyghcock, she said, had been working on the tunnels and underground dens for four years, carrying out earth in small quantities and depositing it in the back yards. police doubt that all the sand extracted from the subterranean dens would have been dumped in the yard, and believe that Hyghcock must have carried it away under the cover of darkness.

The Police Knew Him

A year ago Hyghcock was arrested by District Detectives David Kates and Walter Smith on Mount Ephraim Avenue near Van Hook Street. At that time he was searching for a policeman to report a hold-up. Looking into the closed automobile, the detectives found in the tonneau a bed in which lay a young negress, a lighted lantern hung from the roof, and a kerosene lamp on the floor. After questioning at police headquarters Hyghcock so changed his first story of an alleged hold-up on Kaighn Avenue and Cooper River bridge that the police disbelieved his tale.

Captain Colsey will notify the fire department today to safeguard the buildings from fire hazards and also will call to the attention of the health department the unsanitary condition of the place.

In his seventeen years completed with the police department, Captain Colsey said he has never seen such a layout.

Camden Courier-Post
September 2, 1927
Segal Street - Walter Schinski
Joseph Carpani - Walter Smith - Bernard Bertman

Camden Courier-Post * January 2, 1928

Camden Courier-Post * January 3, 1928

Bernard Bertman - Philip McDonald - James Lightfoot
Samuel Naylor - Charles Stone -
Harry Kyler - Walter Smith
Patrick Coyle - Walter Magan - Howard Malan - George Schmidt 
Martin Dempsey - Morris Carrigan - Thomas Kirk
Market Street - Kimber Street - Carpenter Street - Cedar Street
Federal Street - Tulip Street - Pearl Street - Mt. Ephraim Avenue

Camden Courier-Post * February 4, 1928

But Yeggs Must Leave Gats at Home While Cops Practice
With Camden's new Desperado Eliminators

Wanted: Targets for Camden’s new desperado eliminators. Bandits, burglars, snipers and their ilk are requested by Chief of Police James E. Tatem to apply at police headquar­ters Monday morning at 10 o’clock, when a practice shooting party will be held.

Chief Tatem said today Camden’s bandit-chasing squad is “just rarin’ to go” with six new automatic rifles guaranteed to shoot full of holes the toughest bandit in less time than it takes to say “Aligoop.”

For the further enlightenment of the bandit fraternity, Chief Tatem announced detailed instructions on how to0 use the new carbines will be given this afternoon at 3 o’clock to bandit chasing police by Captain Arthur Colsey and Herman Engle, a representative of Stein Brothers, this city.

The rifles arrived at police headquarters yesterday afternoon. They will be distributed in each of the city’s three police districts in the campaign to rid the city of desperadoes.

The weapons can fire a magazine of 20 shots in a few seconds. They will be mounted in the three red bandit chasing coupes used by the district squad members. One of the coupes is now being used by Archie Reiss and Vernon Jones in South Camden, while two others are expected to be delivered within a few days, according to Chief of Police James E. Tatem. They will be assigned to Walter Smith and Joseph Carpani, First district detectives and Louis Schlam and Richard Donnelly in the East Camden district.

Swivel attachments make it possible to fire the guns from a fixed point in an automobile. Detached they may be fired from the shoulder. Besides firing a magazine of 20 shots without stopping, they can be adjusted to single fire, using .45 caliber cartridges.

Instruction in the adjustment and use of the weapons will be given today by a representative of the company that sold them- at $175 each— to the city.


February 16, 1928

Joseph Carpani
Walter Smith

Sycamore Street

Rose Street

Joseph Leconey
Joseph Romanowski

Camden Courier-Post * February 20, 1928


Because she wanted to get married and have a home of her own, 16 year-old Ida Underwood, of Johnstown PA, ran away from home.

Today she is waiting in the detention home at police headquarters for her father, who has told police he would come to Camden to take the girl home..

Ida and her "boy friend". Charles Morris, 23 years old and also from Johnstown, were arrested Saturday night by District Detectives Walter Smith and Joseph Carpani. The couple had stopped officers to ask directions to Atlantic City. The sleuths recognized Ida as a girl for whom they had been told to search.

After being questioned Morris was released. Ida, however, was held at police headquarters while her parents were notified.

She told Captain John Golden she had left home becasue she wanted to get married. She had been on her way to the shore with Morris, she said, to carry out her plans.  

Camden Courier-Post * February 21, 1928

Bernard Bertman - Joseph Carpani - John Kowal - Walter Smith
Anna May Frye - Louis Vennell - Federal Street - Stevens Street

Camden Evening Courier - September 18, 1928



David Hunt - Thomas Cheeseman - Walter Smith - Rox Saponare
John W. Golden
- Howard Pike Samuel Johnson - Lewis Stehr
William Beottcher - George Ward - Louis Shaw - Frank Malec
Lawrence T. Doran - Samuel P. OrlandoLouis Shectman - Mrs. Mary Brown
Polack Joe Deven
- Frank Smith - Walter Selby - Walter Wartmann
Charles Foulk - Mrs. Edward McGrath - Father John J. Henry

Joseph "Mose" Flannery"
  Joseph Moll - James Bonner -  William Bonner
James L. Hawkins - Walter Novak - Joseph Novak -
Garfield Del Duca
Eugene Murphy - Russell Sage - Patrick Driscoll - Joseph "Cuzzy" Scarduzio

Evening Courier

September 18, 1928

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 * 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 Courier-Post * November 29, 1930
Dorothy Austin - John Cullen - John Drexel - Gordon Feltz
Samuel Johnson* - Russell Kaighn - Dr. Charles Ley - Irma Marconi
Sylvester McGrath
- Alfred Shires - Walter Smith - Nathan Wine
Earl Wright - John Yovankin 
North 3rd Street - North 8th Street - Broadway - Friends Avenue
Lansdowne Avenue
- Louis Street- Penn Street - South Common Road

* Samuel Johnson was erroneously naed "Thompson" in the above article

Camden Courier-Post * December 1, 1930

North 4th Street - State Street - Walter Smith - Albert Shires - Jack Sloan - Front Street
North Camden - Erie Street

Camden Courier-Post * December 5, 1930

York Street - Garfield S. Pancoast - Walter Smith - Albert Shire
Frank DorisJohn Doris - Joey O'Connor - James Trainer

Camden Courier-Post * December 5, 1930

Vine Street - Admiral Wilson Boulevard - Walter Smith
Rohrer Chevrolet - Albert Shires - Jack Parkinson

Camden Evening Courier * December 13, 1930


Lawrence T. Doran - Charles V. Dickinson - Clifford A. Baldwin - Walter Mattison
Howard Smith - George A. Ward - Jeff Kay - Alfred Shires - Harry Kyler
Archie Riess -
Walter Smith - Harry Cattell - Earl Rider - Charles F. Smith
Charles H. Smith -
John Toal - John Taylor - Frank Carle - Oscar Thompson
Highland Worsted Mills
- North Camden - State Street 
Moore Street - Chestnut Street

Camden Courier-Post * August 22, 1931




Stephen Kirby - Roy R. Stewart - Eugene Lorenzo - Garfield S. Pancoast
North 5th Street - Walter Smith - Alfred Shire - Edwin Mills - Gus Koerner
Bernard Dempsey - Sydney Wilkins - Robert Sweeney - Betty Doyle
Helen Wright - Albert Malmsbury - Frank Smith - Joseph A. Kirby
John C. Gibson - Main Street - Pearl Street - Bailey Street 
Borton Street - York Street - Dayton Street
Marlton Avenue - Haddon Avenue - Newton Avenue
South 7th Street - Cedar Street

Camden Courier-Post
June 2, 1932

Arthur "Gyp" Del Duca
Austin H. Swackhammer
Josephine Comatis
Fairview Street
James Russell Carrow
Walter Smith - Harry Kyler
Dorothy Davis


Camden Courier-Post
June 6, 1932

Benson Street
Kerr's Chickery
Frank Schubert
Walter Smith
John Trout
Harry Kyler
Tony Prucella aka Tony Basile
Clinton Street
Joseph Girgenti
Benson Street
South 4th Street
Berkley Street
South 6th Street

Camden Courier-Post
June 15, 1932

Fillmore Street
Samuel M. Shay
George Rumble
Allen Dubowski
Joseph Carpani
Walter Smith
Garfield S. Pancoast


Camden Courier Post * November 3, 1932

Herbert Anderson - Robert Ashenfelter - Walter Smith - John Trout - South 6th Street - Harry Kyler
Humphrey Toomey - Frank McClernan

Camden Courier-Post
January 12, 1933

Allen's Court - Judson PlaceLinwood Street - Herbert Anderson - Walter Smith - John Trout

Camden Courier-Post * February 6, 1933


Abe Block had a burglar scare at 1 :30 a. m. Saturday in his tailor shop at 527 North Eighth Street. Block was passing the shop on his way home when he saw a light in the basement. He thought thieves were ransacking the place. He telephoned police and Detectives Walter Smith, Edwin Mills and John Trout sped to the shop.

Letting themselves in cautiously, they made their way to the cellar, and found that occupants of the second floor of the house were fixing the heater fire for the night.

Camden Courier-Post * February 10, 1933


Two brothers were arrested yesterday on charges of larceny of a suit of Charles Parker, colored, of 225 Stevens Street. The men held are Alfred Scott, 18, of 839 Bridge Avenue, and his brother, Norman, 20, of the Stevens Street address. Both are colored. The former admitted they had sold the suit. They were arrested after an investigation by Detectives Walter Smith and John Trout.

Camden Courier-Post * February 11, 1933

It's' Agin the Law' To Sell Rum Here Without a License

Somebody opened a "store" at 15 South Fourth Street yesterday, without the formality of first obtaining a “soft drink license’.

Lieutenant Herbert Anderson and District Detectives Walter Smith and John Trout were the first customers. They entered the place after reading that chicken dinners could be purchased for 20 cents. But, according to police, "they didn't find an  egg" in the place.

But what they did find was an improvised bar, a quantity of whisky and several cases of home brew. They dumped the liquor, they said, and told the proprietor to "close up until he got a license." They didn't bother with the name.

Camden Courier-Post * June 1, 1933


A man who was arrested twice in one day on charges of being intoxicated, and another who had to be taken home three times before getting a ride in the patrol wagon when he insisted upon disturbing neighbors, will spend the next 30 days in jail.

James Callahan, 53, who said he had no home, was arrested Tuesday by Patrolman Ray Carson. He was released several hours later and before the day was over Callahan was back in the "cooler." taken there the second time by Patrolman Walter Patton.

“Twice in one day is too many times to be arrested," Judge Pancoast said. "I'll bet you won't be arrested twice in the next 30 days, for you are going to be in the jailhouse."

Leo O'Brien, 30, of 213 Burns street, according to Detectives Walter Smith and John Trout, refused to stay put when taken home three times so they put him behind the bars Tuesday night to await a hearing. The detectives said they found him creating a disturbance near his home and each time they took him home he would reappear to make more noise.

"Where was this party where they served such awful liquor?" Judge Pancoast wanted to know. O'Brien couldn't remember. So Judge Pancoast said: "Well, perhaps you will be able to remember during the next 30 days while you are staying put in the county jail."

Camden Courier-Post * June 6, 1933


Samuel Thompson, 70, and his brother, Henry, 57, of 433 Riley Street, were arrested late last night when police raided their home and seized a 150-gallon still and a quantity of mash.

They were held for violation of the city disorderly house ordinance and will be arraigned in police court today. The raid was made by Lieutenant Herbert Anderson and Detectives Walter Smith, John Trout and Harry Kyler.

Camden Courier-Post * June 7, 1933


Mrs. Bessie A. Gaunt, of 4115 Westfield Avenue, yesterday appeared in police court and charged her husband, Emerson Gaunt, 32, of 840 Pearl Street, and Mrs. Nellie Olsen, 33, of 408 North Seventh Street, with misconduct.

The Gaunts have been estranged for some four years. Mrs. Gaunt told Police Judge Pancoast she had been keeping her husband under surveillance of late and on May 15, followed him to the Olsen home. Mrs. Gaunt said she parked her car near the house and saw her husband enter.

Detective John Trout and Walter Smith arrested both Gaunt and Mrs. Olsen in the latter's house at 8 p. m. on May 30.

Judge Pancoast held Gaunt and Mrs. Olsen in $500 bail each for the grand jury.

Camden Courier-Post * June 7, 1933

Police Judge Then Holds Two Camden Suspects With­out Bail

After refusing defense counsel's request that the city police bare their evidence, Police Judge Pancoast yesterday held two suspects without bail in the recent $11,790 Radio Condenser Company holdup and two other youths as material witnesses.

Frank M. Lario, attorney for the quartet, appeared in police court yesterday with William McDonald, court stenographer, and declared he wanted the police through witnesses on the stand, to reveal what evidence they have in the robbery.

But when Judge Pancoast asked Lario if he was willing to have the prisoners submit to cross examination by the court the attorney refused. Judge Pancoast thereupon declared that the formal complaints against the defendants were sufficient to establish a prima facie case, that no hearing was necessary and that the police therefore were not obliged to disclose any testimony.

Leroy Jenkins, 23, and, Joseph Putek, 23, who gave addresses at 1113 Mechanic Street and 1212 Lansdowne Avenue, respectively, were committed to the county jail without bail on charges of holdup and robbery. They pleaded not guilty.

Those held as material witnesses were Leon Grenkwicz, 18, of 1469 Louis Street, and Stanley Gieda, 19, of 1273 Whitman Avenue. Lario pointed out they were in jail when the holdup occurred but, Judge Pancoast said he would hold them for the prosecutor's office which would probably fix bail for them.

City Detective Benjamin Simon, who signed the complaints, stated prior to the hearing that he has obtained information from North Jersey which is vital to his investigation of the robbery. But he would not reveal its nature.

None of the money stolen by the bandits, who herded 11 persons in a vault after forcing one of them to open the safe containing the payroll, has been recovered by the police. 

Camden Courier-Post * June 19, 1933


Two men and a woman were arrested by police in a raid Saturday night on an alleged disorderly house at 610 South Second street. Freddy M. West, 34, and Mattie Watson, both of that address, were held in $500 bail each. West was charged with being the proprietor, and the Watson woman held as a material witness, along with Thomas R. Bunting, 62, of 560 Highland Boulevard, Gloucester. The raid was made by Lieutenant Herbert Anderson and Detectives Walter Smith, John Trout and Harry Kyler. The defendants will be arraigned in police court this morning. 

Camden Courier-Post * June 22, 1933

Cops Use New Device on Girl After Battle, But She Still Kicks

Bessie James, 16, colored, no home given, gave police plenty of trouble last night while they were arresting her for breaking parole. 

Bessie, who has been sought by Mrs. Mary Barton, state parole officer, for several weeks, was seen shortly before dark yesterday at Second and Benson streets by District Detectives Walter Smith and John Trout. The officers' grasped the girl by the arms and told her she was under arrest. 

Then she went into action. Before the surprised officers knew what it was all about they had been beaten, bitten and kicked by the irate girl who broke Trout's straw hat and Smith's glasses during the melee. The impromptu bout ended when one of the detectives put the, "iron claw" on their scrappy customer. 

But Bessie wasn't through yet­ not by nine or ten kicks, which she delivere4 to Patrolman Walter Patton enroute to the city jail in the patrol. 

She will be given a hearing this morning before Judge Pancoast on charges of assault and resisting an officer. 

Smith was treated at Cooper Hospital for bites on the hand, following the brawl. .

Camden Courier-Post * June 28, 1933

13 Still Operators Jailed By Pancoast
in Effort to Smash Huge Chain

Police Nab Men and Woman in Early Morning Raids

Camden police believed they had broken the first link in a chain sys tem of stills yesterday when Police Judge Pancoast sentenced 13 persons, several of them from Philadelphia, to 90 days each in the county jail None was able to pay a $200 fine.

 The prisoners were arrested in three raids by District Detectives John Trout, Walter Smith and Vernon Jones early yesterday. All the defendants are colored.

"I believe you're all implicated in this chain system," said Judge Pancoast in sentencing the first group. "I believe it is directed in Philadelphia and that the police have broken the first link.' I think your stills are scattered all through Camden."

 Smith and Trout arrested Martha Norman, 38, of 833 Jackson Street; Margaret Baner, 35, same address; Jessie Fife, 23, of 1120 Carpenter Street, and Jolie Brandy, 33, of 618 North Forty-sixth street, Philadelphia, in a raid at 432 Senate Street.

 The detectives testified they had been watching the place for some time. Trout, alone, saw Brandy drive up and take three bags of sugar inside. Trout left to get Smith and when they returned all four defendants were sitting in Brandy's automobile: The Norman woman, they said had a. one-gallon can of moonshine on her lap.             ,

 Inside the detectives stated, they found a 50-gallon still in operation and four barrels of mash. Brandy denied he was the operator and said the owner was a man, known only as "John."

 Ray Shedrick, 22, of 433 Senate Street, pleaded guilty to operating a 50-gallon still in his home. He said he sold his whisky where he could but refused to name his buyers. He also was arrested by Trout and Smith.

James Green, 32, of 749 Division Street, admitted operating a 25-gallon still at that address but, said it was for his own use only and that he sold none of it.

 Arrested with him were Marion Smith, 26, of 615 North Forty-fifth Street; Charles Marton, 34, of 2131 North Twenty-first Street; Felix Carroll, 31, of 2006 North Gratz Street; Gladys Little, 28, of 612 North Forty-sixth Street, and Beatrice Hill, 32, of 5733 Commerce Street, all Philadelphia.

 The alleged operators all were charged with violating the city speakeasy ordinance, which prohibits gathering of "disorderly persons." The others were charged with being material witnesses or frequenters.

Camden Courier-Post * August 15, 1933

Whisky and 65 Bottles Also Seized by Cops in Segal Street Speakeasy
Modest Moonshinery Found in 'Empty' House

James "Jimmy" Rodgers, 28, former boxer; fell into the hands of police again last night when they raided a speakeasy at 1000 Segal Street, allegedly operated by him.

One gallon of whisky and 65 pint bottles were confiscated by the raiders, who were led by District Detectives Walter Smith, Marshall Thompson and Harry Kyler.

Three others were arrested. One of them, James Greer, 35, of 332 North Second street, placed a charge of possession of stolen goods against Rodgers when police unearthed some articles stolen from Greer two months ago.

Others arrested were Thomas Spencer, 33, of the Segal Street address, and John D. Wood, 35, of 928 Kimber Street.

Rodgers has fallen afoul of the law on numerous occasions. He has been arrested several times for operating speakeasies. He was also arrested as a material witness in the "Shooey" Bonner murder two years ago.

He will be given a police court hearing today,

Detectives raided a vacant dwelling at 225 Chestnut Street last night and seized a "moonshine" plant consisting of two stills, 36 barrels of mash and oil and gas stove cookers.

The place had been under observation by Detective Vernon Jones for two weeks.

No one was inside when Jones and Patrolmen George Hemphill and John Houston entered. A 50 gallon still was on the second floor and a 35 gallon still on the first floor.

Camden Courier-Post * August 16, 1933

Former Boxer Jailed on Speakeasy Charge, Held on Stolen Goods Count

James "Jimmy" Rodgers, 28-year-old former boxer who on numerous occasions has run afoul of the law, was sentenced yesterday to serve 180 days in the county jail for operating a speakeasy at 1000 Segal Street.

In addition, he was held without bail by Police Judge Pancoast on a charge of possession of stolen goods. The goods were identified by their owner, James Greer, 35, of 332 North Second Street, who was in the speakeasy when police raided it Monday night.

Greer turned state's evidence against Rodgers in police court yesterday, and for a reward, received a suspended sentence.

District Detective Harry Kyler, Marshall Thompson and Walter Smith raided the speakeasy and confiscated 65 pints of whisky in bottles and a gallon of whisky in a jug. Kyler testified Rodgers was not there when the raiders entered the place but appeared later and was arrested.

3 Others Nabbed

Three others were arrested in the place. These were Greer, Thomas Spencer, 33, who gave the speakeasy as his home address, and John D. Wood, 35, of 928 Kimber street. Spencer has been arrested approximately 75 times, the police said.

The detectives, when searching the premises, found a suitcase filled with shoestrings, collar buttons and other merchandise. Greer identified the case and its contents as having been stolen from his car when it was parked on Segal Street near Front some time ago. He lodged the complaint of possession of stolen goods against Rodgers.

Rodgers was arraigned on three charges, including the stolen goods count. The other complaints were that he sold beer without a license and violated Section 422 of the city ordinances which prohibits disorderly persons to congregate on the premises.

Rodgers pleaded not guilty on all three charges, and told the court he had "nothing to say." He was fined $200 on each of the charges of violating Section 422, and selling without a license, and when he did not pay, he was sentenced to 90 days on each of the two counts. He was committed to the county jail without bail on Greer's complaint of possession of stolen goods.

Greer testified that he had purchased liquor in Rodgers' place several times, as late as last night. Greer's sentence was suspended.

Spencer Refuses to Talk 

Spencer refused to testify against Rodgers. He said he did not know l "what was going on there" and that he was there painting.

"You won't be painting there for 90 days," retorted the court in pronouncing sentence.

Wood, the other man arrested in the place, did not appear in court and forfeited $10 security he had posted after the raid.

Rodgers has been arrested several times for operating speakeasies. He was also arrested as a material witness two years ago in the murder of William "Shooey" Bonner."

Spencer was arrested so often when he resided in Gloucester that he became known as "Gloucester's Peck's Bad Boy," the police said. Since moving to Camden he has been arrested arrested nearly 50 times, police stated. 

The majority of his arrests have been on charges of drunkenness and disorderly conduct, but in 1925 and in 1926, he was arrested on a charge of larceny of automobile. Again in 1929 he was charged with non support, when he was ordered to pay his wife $10 weekly. Back In 1916 he was arrested on a charge of stealing a gold watch.

Camden Courier-Post
October 11, 1933

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Michael DiOrio
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Camden Courier-Post
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February 4, 1935

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World War II Draft Card



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