T. Yorke Smith

T. YORKE SMITH was born in New Jersey around 1873, He married his wife Harriet A. Smith at the age of 21.

In the years around the turn of century, T. Yorke Smith, then a banker, entered into a business partnership with David Baird Sr. Shortly after the beginning of development in Parkside, in 1902, T. Yorke Smith, started the Forest Hill Realty Company which took part in the development of that neighborhood. He put together the deals that provided the city of Camden the land that became Forest Hill Park and Camden High School in 1904. During the 1910s he was connected with the Broadway Trust bank.

At the time of the 1920 Census he was a corporate manager, renting an apartment with his wife at 532 Cooper Street.

As a friend of David Baird Sr., T. Yorke Smith was active in Republican politics in Camden. He was one of five City Commissioners, all Republicans, who were elected on May 10, and took the oath of office May 17, 1927. The other Commissioners were General Winfield S. Price, Mayor;  William D. Sayrs Jr., Dr. David S. Rhone and Clay W. Reesman

He served on the Centennial Anniversary Committee, appointed by the Camden City Commission on November 3, 1927 which published SPAN OF A CENTURY 1828-1928: 100 YEARS IN THE HISTORY OF CAMDEN AS A CITY, and oversaw celebratory events regarding Camden's 100th birthday. The committee was composed of Charles S. Boyer, Chairman; T. Yorke Smith, E.G.C. Bleakly, Mahlon F. Ivins Jr., Fred S. Caperoon and Frank S. Albright

T. Yorke Smith was appointed as member of the board of the South Jersey Port Commission in 1927. He would hold that post until is death 10 years later. 

At the time of the 1930 Census T. Yorke Smith lived with his wife Harriet, in a home they owned at 515 Cooper Street. He served on Camden's City Commission until 1931. 

T. Yorke Smith passed away on March 23, 1937.

South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

T. YORKE SMITH— A Man of versatile gifts and varied business interests is T. Yorke Smith, who at seventeen years of age was business and editorial manager of a live news sheet, and at eighteen was half-owner of a well known local publication. At the present time he is officially and executively identified with several utility and other corporations, and is secretary of four Building and Loan associations, and is successfully conducting a general real estate and insurance business.

Charles C. Smith, father of Mr. Smith, was born in Elmer, New Jersey, in 1848, and died in 1874. After completing a good practical education he learned telegraphy and was in the employ of the West Jersey Railroad, which is now a part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He married Ida A. Hall, who was born in 1854, in Salem, New Jersey, and is now living in Florida.

T. Yorke Smith, son of Charles C. and Ida A. (Hall) Smith, was born in Elmer, Salem County, New Jersey, July 30, 1873. He received his education in the public schools of his native town. When school days were over he learned the printer's trade in the office of the "Elmer Gazette," now known as the "Elmer Times," and at the age of seventeen years became business and editorial manager of the "Five Mile Beach Journal," of Wildwood, New Jersey. One year later, when he was eighteen years of age, he purchased a half interest in the "Glassboro Enterprise." His connection with both of these publications was highly successful.

Able, versatile, and energetic, he worked hard and saved his earnings, and by the time he was twenty-one years of age became identified with the late John J. Burleigh, who was interested in various utility corporations. Since that time Mr. Smith has continued his connection with utility corporations, serving as an official and executive manager of several. Early in his career he became interested in the real estate and insurance business, and for several years now has been conducting a large and growing enterprise in that field. He is a member of the board of directors of the Broadway Merchants Trust Company, of Camden, New Jersey; and is secretary of the Broadway Building and Loan Association; Economy Building and Loan Association; Excelsior Building and Loan Association and North Camden Building and Loan Association. Politically, he gives his support to the Republican party, but has never desired either the honors or the emoluments of public office. He is well known in fraternal circles, being a member of Camden Lodge, No. 15, Free and Accepted Masons; Siloam Chapter, No. 19, Royal Arch Masons; Van Hook Council, Royal and Select Masters, of Camden; St. John's Commandery, No. 4, Knights Templar, of Philadelphia; Excelsior Consistory, Supreme Princes of the Royal Secret, of Camden; Lu Lu Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Philadelphia; and Koran Grotto, Mystic Order Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, of Philadelphia. He is also active in club affairs and holds membership in the Kiwanis Club of Camden, Camden Club, Tavistock Club, Manufacturers^ Club of Philadelphia, and Lu Lu Temple Yacht Club of Atlantic City. He is also a member of the Camden Real Estate Board, and is a past-president and a member of the Board of Governors of the New Jersey League of Building and Loan associations. His religious affiliation is with the Methodist Church. Mr. Smith has traveled extensively in the United States, visited practically every State in the Union, and has also toured in South America, in the West Indies, the Bermudas, and a considerable portion of Continental Europe. He finds in traveling his chief recreation, and his tours always contribute to the success of his later business activities. 

On October 25, 1900, T. Yorke Smith married Harriet F. Albertson. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have no children.

Philadelphia inquirer
March 9, 1915

Cyrene Commandery No. 7, Knights Templar

Thomas Lee
Frank H. Chorpening

Elbridge B. McClong
Thomas S. Mason
Newton L. Swyler
Edward Mills
William P. Weiser - Frank C. Sayrs
Richard C. Aitken -
James J. Scott
A. Blair Frazee - Frank Shemeley
Walter C. Wescott
E.A. Daw - Harry M. Dease
T. Yorke Smith - Walter Culin
A.B. Fortiner - Morris S. Smoker

World War I Draft Card


January 28, 1928

Camden Courier-Post - February 15, 1928

Winfield S. Price -T. Yorke Smith - Harold W. Bennett

Camden Courier-Post - February 18, 1928
William Brown - Joshua C. Haines - James V. Moran - Clarence Munger
 Dorothy Jean O'Brien - Loyal Odhner - Dorothy Phillips - Celesta Powers
Marion Powers -
Winfield S. Price - Raphael Senseman - T. Yorke Smith
Robert D. Stecker - Rev. Thomas J. Whelan -
George Whyte - Charles Wise
Hurley Store - Munger & Long
Camden Safe Deposit & Trust Co. - First Camden National Bank 

Camden Courier-Post

September 22, 1928

T. Yorke Smith
F. Walter Toms
Rocco Palese

Camden Morning Post
November 21, 1930

North 4th Street
Market Street
Markley Place

John Stoer
Louis Katz
The Temple Bar - Jennie Gondolf
T. Yorke Smith & John Rand
The Temple Building
John H. Heaton
John Dick
Alice M. Wesley
Louis Berkowitz

Post Office & Federal Building

Camden Courier-Post - October 21, 1931

Former Bridge Official in Speech Asks Baird Seven Questions

Directing questions at David Baird, Republican candidate for governor, Samuel T. French, former president of the New Jersey Bridge and Tunnel Commission, last night attacked the sincerity of Baird's campaign speeches.

French addressed more than 200 voters at the headquarters, of the Woodrow Wilson Democratic Club, Atlantic and Louis Streets, in appealing for suffrage in the interest of A. Harry Moore, Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

"In a campaign speech at. Plainfield on October 17," French said, "Baird pledged himself to quick relief of the tax burden. In view of past events, I do not know what has come over Mr. Baird; I do not know what has changed his heart. He was a director of Public Service and the controlling power of the legislature when the legislature passed a bill, which relieved the Public Service of keeping the roadways and street surfaces in good condition between the rails on eighteen inches of either side. This resulted in a saving of millions of dollars to Public Service and put the bill in the hands of the taxpayers. Yet, Mr. Baird says conditions must be changed by a change of the taxation system. Is that the way to change taxation- by increasing it for the citizens and lowering it for the corporations?

Asks Seven Questions

"If Camden County is where Mr. Baird derived inspiration for his Plainfield speech, I ask him to publicly answer these questions:

"First, what was the idea of buying the ground upon a portion of which is erected the county court house and city hall, when the city owned a plot of land much better lo­cated on which it would have been unnecessary to destroy property, which was paying into the city treasury annually approximately $70,000 in taxes?

"Secondly, why was it necessary to buy that whole tract of land and destroy all the tax producing property when the city only had use for less than 25 percent of it?

"Thirdly, from whom did the city purchase a large portion of this tract? Why was it necessary to build a city hall at the particular time? What was the total cost of the city hall and court house annex? And, of utmost importance, why was the contract price paid in full on or about December 1, 1930, when the work was only about 80 percent completed?

"Fourth, did Senator Baird approve of all the acts of the City Commission and the Board of Freeholders in the city's and county's activities in the purchase of all the land and the erection of the building?

"Fifth, if Mr. Baird's answer is 'yes,' to that question, then I ask him why were former Mayor Price and Commissioner T. Yorke Smith, dropped from the Republican ticket in the municipal election? If Mr. Baird's answer is 'no,' then I ask him why were not the entire five commissioners dropped from the Republican ticket at the last municipal election, instead of making Price and Smith the goats?

“Sixth, I ask Mr. Baird if he offered objection to the selection of the site or the expenditures in connection with the enterprise?

"Seventh. I ask the Republican candidate for governor, believing as he says he does in his Plainfield speech that the spending orgy must stop: What would have been the saving to the taxpayers of Camden city and county if the new city hall had been erected at the Civic Centre instead of its present location?"

Praises Moore's Record.

French lauded the record of A. Harry Moore, the Democratic candidate for governor, and charged the Republican state administration with "wanton expenditure and gross extravagance of the first water."

"Property will be led to the point of confiscation if the Republicans are allowed to continue their orgy of spending." French concluded, "and the only remedy in election of Moore with a Democratic legislature to support him."

Thomas Madden also spoke at the meeting.  

Democratic rallies were also  held last night in three wards of the city and in Ashland.

C. Lawrence Gregorio, former assistant prosecutor, and David L. Visor spoke at the First Ward Democratic Club, 315 North Second Street;  Firmin Michel and Frank Connors at the Tenth Ward A. Harry Moore Club, 822 North Eighth Street; Albert Melnik, Gene Mariano and John Crean, at the Ninth Ward Democratic Club, 543 Washington Street, and Isaac Eason, former assistant attorney general of the United States at the A. Harry Moore Club of Ashland, Burnt Mill Road. 

Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1938

$25,000 Asked of Legislature as Port Commission Share of Gas Tax

Trenton, Feb. l.-The cargo movement through the Camden Marine Terminals increased from 221,668 tons in 1936 to 230,868 tons last year, the South Jersey Port Commission reported to the legislature last night. This increase, the report states, was despite a maritime strike and the business recession.

A total of 550 vessels of all types berthed last year at the terminals, which serve the South Jersey Port district comprising seven tidewater counties bordering on the Delaware River and bay.

The water-borne commerce of the district during 1936, according to a survey made by the commission, amounted to 6,428437 tons, valued at $108,591,938, an increase of more than 25 percent over the 1935 figures.

The commission asked the legislature for $25,000 as its share of the $250,000 allotment to the State Board of Commerce and Navigation from gas tax funds provided for, in a bill now before the legislature, the money to be used for dredging in the district.

A summary of other matters covered in the report follows:

New Warehouses

"New cargo warehouses built lat a cost exceeding $500,000 proved their earning capacity during the year.

"Five steamship' lines operate on regular schedule from the terminals carrying cargoes· to and from all Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coast ports and to Hawaii and the Far East. Foreign cargoes are handled largely by tramp steamers. The lumber movement from the Pacific coast and fertilizers for farms showed a considerable increase.

"In order that industries located on the Delaware river below Cam den may have free customs services, the same as their competitors on the Pennsylvania side of the river, the commission has made application to the Secretary of the Treasury for extension of the customs port limits of the Port of Philadelphia for a distance of 11 miles in New Jersey.

"At a recent hearing before the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, representatives of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware joined in urging that the Port of Philadelphia be provided with a channel 40 feet in depth to the sea. This was demanded for the national defense as well as to put the Delaware River ports on an equality as to channel depth with New York, Boston and Norfolk. The Port Commission believes the plea will be successful.

"Figures are given showing an increase in traffic across the Delaware River. The construction of two vehicular tunnels is planned by private interests.

Opposes Civilian Bill

The Commission is opposing the pending Federal regional authorities’ bills now before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House of Representatives and says the work of waterways improvement. 'Which has been under the direction of the army engineers for over a century, should not be turned over to civilian control The bills are termed an unwarranted and unnecessary invasion of the sovereign rights of New Jersey.’

"The Pettingill bill repealing the long-and short-haul clause of the Interstate Commerce Act is denounced as striking a severe blow at the water-carriers, marine terminals and longshoremen. The bill is now before the Senate.

"The Commission reports upon its intervention in rate cases before Federal and State regulatory bodies and is a party defendant in the Southern Governors' rate case.

"Working in close touch with the army engineers, the Commission has been active in procuring improvements in many South Jersey navigable streams. There is a shore line of over 200 miles in the Port District, ·135 miles being on tidewater of Delaware River and bay.

"Gloucester County holds first place among the Port District counties in water-borne tonnage chiefly on account of its large oil refineries. Camden County ranks second and Salem County third.

"The Commission paid off $50,000 of its 4-1/2% percent Marine. Terminal bonds in 1937. Its total outstanding bonded indebtedness is $2,180,000."

The members of the South Jersey Port Commission are A. C. Middleton, Chairman; Henry W. Peterson and W. C. Garlan, the latter a new member appointed as successor to T. Yorke Smith, who died March 23, 1937 after having served on the commission for ten years.