Cobb Sr.

BYRON P. COBB was born in Maryland in 1874. By the early 1900s he had married Anna M. Capwell. A son Byron Jr. was born around 1905. By 1920 the family was living at 343 Royden Street in Camden NJ. Byron Cobb was already in the canvas business, and for many years conducted a trade in canvas awnings for homes and businesses on the northwest corner of 4th and Royden Streets. He advertised extensively, and was known as the "Sun Doctor". At some point between 1917 and 1922 he moved his shop to 313 West Street.

By the April 1930 census, Mr. and Mrs. Cobb were residing in a house they owned at 427 Benson Street.

After closing his own shop, Byron Cobb Sr. worked for another awning business in the 1930s. He passed away at home, 635 Pine Street, on January 19, 1938. He was buried at Arlington Cemetery in Pennsauken NJ. 

1923 Camden High School Purple & Gold Yearbook

Camden City Directory - 1913-1914

Camden City Directory - 1917

Camden City Directory - 1922

Camden Courier-Post - June 5, 1933

Kidnap Suspect


One of three South Camden youths who is accused of kidnapping and robbing Byron P. Cobb, the "Sun Doctor." Cobb told police he was slugged and robbed of $4700 early yesterday. 

Man, Robbed, Left in Road By Kidnappers
Byron P. Cobb Beaten by Autoists; Roll of $4700 Taken

Byron P. Cobb, 62, the "Sun Doctor," was kidnapped by three , men early yesterday, beaten and robbed of $4700 before, being tossed from moving automobile in Farnham Park.

Detectives found him in a sub­conscious condition laying in the middle of River Drive, after a motorist had heard his moans and notified police.

Three South Camden youths, arrested for a motor violation at about the time Cobb was found; later were identified by the awn­ing manufacturer as the ones who kidnapped and robbed him. They are Primo Fioravanti, 20, of 435 Division Street; Anthony Scanalvilli, 20, of 326 Division Street, and John Piliere, 19, of 1130 South 3rd Street.

All are being held on charges of kidnapping, atrocious assault and battery and highway robbery. They will be given a hearing today in police court. Later a charge of larceny of an automobile was placed against them.

Cobb, who for many years operated an awning manufacturing shop at Fifth and Royden Streets, told police he met the three who robbed him in a restaurant near Broadway and Kaighn Avenue. He said he bought them food and in return they offered to take him to his home in their automobile. 'This was shortly before 2 a.m.

He said two of the men were dressed in brown suits and the third wore a "greenish blue suit." All wore light hats.

As soon as he entered the machine, Cobb told Detectives George Zeitz and Leon Branch, who found him in the park, someone hit him over the head.

Two of the men then went through his clothing and took the $4700 from his pockets. He told police, that he drew the money from his bank yesterday and intended to pay off a mortgage on a property today.  

The men held Cobb, he told police, until they reached Farnham Park, where he was tossed out of the machine as the driver slowed up.

A few minutes after 2 a. m., William P. Tyler, of 1493 Greenwood Avenue, driving past the park, heard someone shout "murder" several times. He hurried to a telephone and called police headquarters .

Found In Roadway

Detectives Zeitz and Branch searched the section where Tyler had heard the shouts. Then they drove down through River Drive, where they discovered Cobb lying in the middle of the roadway.

The injured man was taken to Cooper Hospital where he was revived, and then to detective head quarters.

Meanwhile Motorcycle Patrolmen George Getley and Earl Stopfer stopped a car at Mt. Ephraim and Ferry Avenues, which had aroused their suspicions as it sped down Mt. Ephraim Avenue.

Piliere was driving the machine and could not produce either a registration card or driver's license. He said he had borrowed the car from a man he knew as "Pete.'"

The car was claimed yesterday by Pietro Tocco, 35, of 717 South Fourth Street. He told Zeitz and Branch the car had been stolen from in front of his home "sometime around 2 a. m." yesterday.

Piliere and his pals were taken to police headquarters where the former was booked on a motor-vehicle charge. When police found two pieces of rubber hose in the rear of the machine, all three were taken to detective headquarters.

There Cobb identified them as the three who had robbed him. He point­ed out Fioravanti, the only one 'with a previous police record, as the man who hit him' on the head.

Police held all three without bail for the hearing before Judge Pancoast.

At the Cobb home yesterday, Mrs. Byron P. Cobb said she knew nothing about the holdup. She said Cobb "appeared to have a headache when he got up," but failed to mention anything was wrong and left the house before her return from church.

All of the suspects deny the robbery, They said they took a friend to his home in Woodlynne and were en route to their homes in Camden. when arrested.

Piliere told Detectives Zeitz and Branch that he "borrowed the car from his uncle," whom he only knew as "Pete."  

Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1933

Beaten Awning Maker Says $47, Not $4700, Was Taken From Pocket

Three men accused of kidnapping, beating and robbing Byron P. Cobb, 62, of 427 Benson Street, yesterday were held without bail for the grand jury by Police Judge Pancoast after they pleaded not guilty.

They gave their names as Premo Fioravanti, 20, of 435 Division Street; Anthony Scanavelli, 20, of 326 Division Street, and John Piliere, 19, of 1130 South Third Street.

Piliere also was sentenced to 15 days in jail in default of $100 tine when he pleaded guilty to operating an automobile without driver's or owner's licenses.

Cobb, who for many years operated an awning business at Fifth and Royden streets and through it became nicknamed "The Sun Doctor," first told the police he had been robbed of $4700 but yesterday said the amount was only $47.

Cobb was found in a semi-conscious condition lying on River Drive in Farnham Park early Sunday. The suspects, arrested later for a traffic violation, were identified by Cobb at police headquarters, the police said. They are charged with assault and battery, robbery and forcing Cobb into their· machine.

According to Cobb, he was so badly dazed after the attack he could not think clearly. He said he thought he had the $4700, which he drew from a bank to pay a mortgage, but later found it at home. He said he had only about $47.

After the suspects pleaded not guilty through their attorney, C. Lawrence Gregorio, no testimony was taken, but Detective George Zeitz, offered a statement made by Cobb shortly after he was revived.

It read:

"I left home at 8 p. m. Saturday and made three stops before I went to a place at Broadway and Liberty Street. I left there about an hour later and met this man (Fioravanti) at Broadway and Kaighn Avenue. He is the man who asked me to get in the car and told me he would take me home.

"Shortly after that I was hit and I don't remember any more.

"When I left home at 8 o'clock I had three $500 bills, two $100 bills and three $1000 bills in my vest pocket, loose. When I fell, I heard someone say; 'Get the money,' and Primo and another boy with a panama hat got the money from me. I don't remember any more until I was found by the officers." .  

Camden Courier-Post

January 22, 1938