WILLIAM P. COTTER was born in 1877 in Pennsylvania. The 1920 Census shows him living at 1231 Van Hook Street and working as a stone cutter. He was married at the time. By 1930 William Cotter and his wife Linda owned a home at 1800 Mount Ephraim Avenue, the corner of Mount Ephraim Avenue and Dayton Street, opposite Evergreen Cemetery and near New Camden Cemetery. He now owned the granite monument business that had been founded in the 1860s by Michael Reilly. By 1936 he was no longer in Camden, and Frank S. Hinkle had located at 1800 Mount Ephraim Avenue. William P. Cotter was still alive, however, in 1951, when he served as pallbearer atthe funeral of his friend, Lewis A. Lee.

Active in local politics, William P. Cotter served on the Camden County Board of Freeholders from Camden's 13th Ward in 1930 and 1931. 

Camden Courier-Post - October 26, 1931

Three-cornered Fights In Freeholder Contest
Clementon and Delaware Township to Have Bitter Battles
6 Additional Offices Created by Law; Candidates Listed

Three-cornered battles in Clementon and Delaware township will mark freeholder contests at the November 3 election. Ballots will be casts for an entire new board of freeholders, with 38 to be elected.

Boroughs to have freeholders representation for the first time as a result of recent legislation are Clementon, Lindenwold, Oaklyn, Woodlynne, Mt. Ephraim and Runnemede.

Rivals in the three-cornered fight in Clementon are Theodore W. Gibbs, Republican Organization nominee; Frank C. Somers, running as a Republican Independent, and Herbert P. McAdams, the Democratic nominee.

The triangular race in Delaware township finds Frank N. Walton, Republican Organization; J. Watson Matlack, Republican Independent, and Augustus A. Cornet, Democrat, as the contestants.

Nine members of the present board of freeholders will not be on the ballot for re-election. All are Republicans. They are Benjamin W. Sykes, Eighth Ward; Joseph Tarpine, First Ward, Gloucester; Philip Stohlbergel, Audubon; Joseph H. Van Meter, Collingswood; William J. Dallas, Haddon Heights; James W. Davis, Clementon; Charles C. Durges, Haddon township; Theodore Schleinkofer, Waterford township, and William A. Robinson, Winslow ..

Joseph Bennie, Third Ward, Camden, is the only Democratic member on the present board. He is seeking a re-election and is opposed by Daniel Auletto, Republican nominee.

Candidates listed on the ballots in the various wards and municipalities follow:

Camden Wards

First Ward-Samuel D. Payne, R.; Thomas J. Kittel, D.

Second-William H. Heiser, R.; William Kunitz, D.

Third-Daniel Auletto, R.; Joseph Bennie, D.

Fourth-William L. Roberts, R.; Nicholas A. La Marra, D. 

Fifth-C. Leonard Brehm, R.; Leon Perozzi. D.

Sixth-Harry J. Burrichter, R.; A. W. Lazro, D.

Seventh-Mrs. Mary D. Guthridge, R.; Theodore Buczkowski, D.

Eighth-Walter Sekula, R.; George S. W. Spaide.

Ninth-Francis B. Bodine, R.; S. V. Waddy, D.

Tenth-Samuel J. Edwards, R.; Edward J. Fox, Sr., D.

Eleventh - Howard Firth, R.; Charles T. Johnston, D.

Twelfth-John T. Rodan, R.; Wilbert H. Joslin, D.

Thirteenth-William P. Cotter, R.; Frank E. Zimmerman, D.

Fourteenth-Charles H. Genther, R.; George E. Brunner, D.

Camden Courier-Post
June 11, 1932

Mt. Ephraim Avenue
Charles A. Wolverton

Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1933

Officials May Abolish Court House Custodian Post to Save Money

Although numerous candidates seek the job, including several freeholders, the post of custodian of the courthouse and the city hall-courthouse annex held by the late Edward Holloway may not be filled by the county for economical reasons.

Freeholder William P. Cotter, chairman of the county board's courthouse committee, revealed yesterday that Republican leaders and the freeholders had reached no deci­sion regarding the vacancy and "there may be no decision and it probably will remain vacant indefinitely."

Holloway, Ninth Ward Republican leader and G. O. P. county committeeman for several years, died last Friday from complications following an emergency operation for appendicitis. His post as custodian, which he held six years, carried an original salary of $3600 until this year when, with the general county cut of 30 percent, It dropped to' $2520.

"I see no reason at this time why the job should be filled, in view of the lack of money by the county," Cotter said. "I know no decision has been made by the leaders of the party or by the freeholders to fill the post, and it probably will remain vacant indefinitely.

"I feel that Thomas Dickinson, Jr., the assistant custodian, is well able to handle the various duties in view of the situation, with money scarce. He has been doing a good job and I feel that he deserves commendation and should assume the new responsibility without any new expense to the county."

Various freeholders and many politicians have been mentioned in courthouse and city hall gossip as being eager to land the post, if and when it is to be filled. 

Camden Courier-Post - June 14, 1933

Late Custodian's Aide at Courthouse is Freeholders Choice

The Board of Freeholders will appoint Thomas Dickinson Jr. as acting custodian of the courthouse and the city hall-courthouse annex at its meeting this afternoon. 

Mrs. Elizabeth C. Verga will be appointed to a new term of five years on the Board for the Supervision of Old Age Relief, of which she has been secretary-treasurer for one year. The post carries no salary. 

Dr. Leslie H. Ewing, director of the freeholders, revealed the pending appointments. In the case of the custodianship, his announcement came as rumors spread that one of the bigger politicians would be named to the job left vacant since the death of Edward Holloway, the incumbent, last month. 

"Dickinson, who was assistant to Holloway, will be named acting custodian to serve tor the balance of the year," Dr. Ewing said. "The freeholders will make the appointment tomorrow."

Prior to Dr. Ewing's announcement, rumors circulated at the city hall and courthouse mentioning postmaster Charles H. Ellis, City Commissioner Clay W. Reesman, Assembly- man F. Stanley Bleakly and former Sheriff Walter T. Gross among possibilities for the custodianship, which pays $2520 a year under the general county cut of 30 percent. 

Reports that the aforementioned were candidates for the job could not be confirmed, and in certain quarters they were considered without foundation, mainly because the pay would be smaller in most instances than what those mentioned all possible candidates are now receiving in their other posts.

Other possibilities mentioned include Robert Brennan, First Ward Republican county committeeman, and Freeholders William P. Cotter and C. Leonard Brehm. Brennan had been employed for some time at the city hall and courthouse in maintenance of the building. Dickinson also is reported to be a candidate for the custodianship. 

Acting custodian Dickinson will continue at the same salary he has been receiving as assistant, Dr. Ewing said. The director added that the freeholders may consider the custodianship vacancy again early next year, but whether the post will be filled is problematical because of the economic situation in the county.  

Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1938
Merger of Surrogate, Registrar and County Clerk Posts Advised by Burnison

James W. Burnison, chairman of the Joint Taxation Committee's executive committee, yesterday sent a letter to Dr. W. Carleton Harris, city-county financial adviser, making several recommendations in the hope of maintaining or even reducing the county tax rate.

Pointing out that if the county budget is adopted on first reading tonight only a 10 percent change can be made later in the tax levy, Burnison urged that the committee's suggestions be acted upon at once.

Among the recommendations were these:

1. Consolidation of the offices of county clerk, register of deeds and surrogate to prevent a $14,000 loss incurred by the first two named offices and even show a profit.

2. County should ask the city to bid on maintenance of both the city and county buildings, as Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann had stated the city could do so at a saving of at least $40,000.

3. A thorough survey of jobs and salaries. Two pay increases were cited and questioned by Burnison, as examples.

Burnison's letter, which also compliments Dr. Harris for discovering an unnecessary $45,000 road item in the budget, follows:

Too Late for Full Study

"We received a copy of the proposed 1938 budget for Camden County too late to make the study of it that is necessary for intelligent recommendations for savings prior to its introduction, after which time a change of only ten percent can be made in each item. We are therefore hastening to bring to your attention certain matters which we have previously taken up with the freeholders in former years that may offer the savings necessary for preventing an increase in the 1938 tax rate or making an actual decrease possible.

"We commend you for detecting the road item amounting to $45,000, which you brought to the public's attention this morning.

"Last year Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann of the City of Cam-den, made a statement that he could operate the City Hall and Courthouse at a tremendous saving over the $122,111 which the county is asking for 1938. In our opinion the cursory examination of the operating expenses of the Courthouse showed that material savings could be made. We know for instance that in the Courthouse operating expenses an allowance is made for an electrician at $1800, and an electrician's helper at $1500. On the other hand we notice that for all of the institutions at Lakeland there is only an allowance of $1620 for an electrician and $1500 for an electrician's helper.

Suggests City Make Bid

"This is but one of the many items that a more careful study of the 1938 budget would disclose in connection with courthouse operation.

"Why doesn't the county ask the city to make a bid for operating and maintaining the city hall and courthouse for 1938? From our understanding of Commissioner Hartmann's statement last year, the city would propose to do this at a saving of not less than $40,000 under the figure which the county is asking. This item alone would be nearly enough to prevent an increase in the county's tax rate, and combined with the $45,000 that you, have found in the highway fund, would make a decrease possible.

'The anticipated income from the county clerk's and register of deed's office totals $50,000. The appropriation for expenses totals $64,407, a loss of $14,407. We repeat our request made to Mr. Gerhard, chairman of the finance committee, that legislation be requested for the combination not only of these two offices, but also of the surrogate's office to permit economy in operation. We are confident that such 
combination of offices would prevent any further loss in the operating of the register of deed .and county clerk's offices, thus saving at least $14,000 a year and probably would make the combined offices show a profit. Pending such legislation we request a thorough review of the pay schedules of these offices, and of other county offices.

Comment on Pay Boosts

"We cite but two examples. The 1936 budget shows an Elizabeth P. Haines as having been restored from a $665 pay schedule to the regular pay schedule of $700. But the 1938 budget showed an E. P. Haines whom we presume is the same person as having received $1200 in 1937 and as listed for a salary of $1200 for 1938. At the same time, it does not disclose that she took office of any person who was dropped from the payroll, as the payroll budget is supposed to show. What accounted for 
her increase of $500 in salary?

"That this is not an isolated case is evident from a similar instance to be found in connection with The salary schedule of William P. Cotter, supervising bridge attendant. He is shown in the 1936 budget as being listed for a regular salary of $1500. But in the 1937 budget he was increased from $1287.50— not to $1500 but to $1800, and $1800 is again requested for him in the 1938 budget. And in addition thereto, 
$750 is now asked for vacation and sick relief that did not appear in any previous budget.

"Time does not permit us at this moment to go into further detail concerning the proposed 1938 budget. We are convinced from the items mentioned that savings can be found that not only will eliminate the proposed increase in tax rate, but will make another cut possible.".

Mount Ephraim

April 18, 2004

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