The Rotary Club of Camden

The Camden Rotary Club was organized under very favorable auspices. Two prominent residents of Camden City, members of the Philadelphia Rotary Club, Mr. Frederick Himmelein, Jr., and his son-in-law, Mr. William G. Oaks, took the initiative by calling a meeting on December 3, 1912, in Mr. Himmelein's home. It was the 59th club chartered.

Twenty-five prominent citizens attended this first meeting. The group decided to apply for a charter from the National Office in Chicago, Illinois. At the second meeting, the Charter was received (the 59th Club of Rotary International) and ordered recorded in the proper State and County offices. Under the Charter, formal applications for membership were received from thirty-eight men, including those who were present at the first and second informal meetings. Ralph D. Baker was elected our first President. 

The following are some highlights of our first year: The first regular monthly dinner meeting was held on January 7, 1913, at the Hotel Ridgeway. At the April meeting our Club began to "rotate" by holding the monthly meetings at Howard Dudley's store. The first Club roster was prepared for the June meeting. Our first "Ladies Night" was held on November 11, 1913, with a dinner at Howard Dudley's store, after which the group attended the Broadway Theater. We closed our first year with a total membership of ninety-one. On August 4, 1914, the first edition of our present publication, "The Hub", was issued. Another milestone came in February 1917 when the Club decided to establish a Sinking Fund for emergency purposes. A board of Trustees was established to manage the investments. December 1, 1922, was the birthday of the Student Loan Fund started with donations from individual members and $500.00 from the club Treasury.


F. Stanley Bleakly Thomas S. Pancoast Edward Bennett
Enos B. Dellmuth V. M. Fulton Lewis Goerlick
A. F. J. Dorn Leslie S. Fithian Oscar N. Hinski
William E. Morgenweck Sig Schoenagle Dr. Lee E. Griscom
Frank J. Hartmann Sr. William Deputy Frank Twiner
Edward A. Preisendanz James J. Scott Dr. A. B. Dewees
Earl J. Jackson William J. Strandwitz George E. Boyer
Ralph D. Baker John H. Heaton William Cline
William G. Hodson Frank Peterson

William W. Morton

William J. Hussong Hubert H. Pfeil

Official Web-Page of the Rotary Club of Camden

Philadelphia Inquirer
April 28, 1915

Camden High School
Wright Avenue
Haddon Avenue

Camden Board of Trade
Camden Civic Club

Camden Business Men's
Improvement Association

Camden Rotary Club
Whitman Park Association
Stockton Wheelmen
Camden Women's Club
New Era Club

Click on Image for PDF File
of Complete Article

Camden Courier-Post * January 11, 1928

C. of C. Secretary Outlines Plan to Make Comprehensive Survey

 An industrial campaign for the purpose of inducing new business industries to locate in Camden will be part of the program of the Chamber of Commerce for this year, Loyal D. Odhner, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, told members of the Rotary Club at a luncheon today in the Hotel Walt Whitman.

Odhner’s outline of the chamber’s program, which included an industrial survey for the purpose of determining possibilities for new manufacturers and improving present business facilities, was approved by Francis B. Wallen, new president of the Chamber of Commerce, who attended the luncheon.

“During these last five tears, Camden has had little or no industrial growth. Manufacturers have either chosen other localities in preference to us or else they have not even thought of us. I prefer to believe the latter is the case. Our first step, them is to make our city more appealing to the industrial prospect. This cam be accomplished by an industrial campaign with the cooperation of all business forces.

“I am confident that before this years ends you will see the resources of this community mobilized into one of the greatest campaigns for new industries that has ever been waged in America.

“In conducting this campaign.” Said Odhner “we must not lose sight of the fact that port facilities will be a point of leading interest to the prospective manufacturer. The patronage which our present pier is receiving is only a small indication of the value to our city of adequate port facilities. The port improvement program must proceed with all haste.

Urged to Aid Movement

Odhner urged members of the Rotary Club to get behind a movement to organize a force to meet the financial problems that will accompany the advent of new industries.

“With our survey completed,” Odhner continued “our next step will be to determine the type of industries that can locate in Camden most profitably to themselves and to the community.

“Another important step will be to interest the people of our own city so They will report to us any new firms contemplating a change of location. Most cities which have conducted effective industrial expansion have secured their best leads from their own people.

Still another step is well advised selective advertising, confined to those mediums which actually receive the attention of business executives.”

Odhner said that as a preliminary step in the campaign it is the intention of President Wallen to ask all of Camden’s neighboring towns to join with her in this movement.

“Sometime in March,” he said, “it is hoped a meeting of all leaders of surrounding communities will be held for the purpose of forming a Greater Camden Chamber of Commerce.

Camden Courier-Post * January 25, 1928

Eight Camden Youths, Now Graduates, Are Repaying Loans

 Eight Camden boys last September were able to continue their studies in college and universities because, back in 1923, a Camden service club established a loan fund to aid worthy students.

Eight Camden boys, graduates of college, now are repaying various amounts of money advanced them from the College Loan Fund of the Camden Rotary Club. Five years ago, the club raised by subscription among its members a fund of $2,500. This has been augmented each year by appropriations from the club funds, and now the college loan fund amounts to nearly  $5,000. 

College and university students, both boys and girls, from Camden County, are eligible to borrow.

The fund is administered by a board of trustees, including Dr. George M. Beringer, chairman; Arthur E. Armitage, Treasurer; Charles H. Wagner, George Vollner, and Edward A. Mechling.

No Interest is charged until one year after graduation. It is the hope of the Rotary Club that loans will be re­paid “first obligation” during the “first year out.”

Of the sixteen students helped by the fund, four have gone to Syracuse University, two each to Gettysburg, Lehigh and Springfield and one each to George Washington University, University of Delaware, Rutgers, Swarthmore, Cornell and the Silver Bay School.

To add to this fund the Rotary Club will produce during the centennial celebration in Camden next month one of the most elaborate semi-professional shows ever staged in this region. This “Rotary Revue” will be staged at the New Walt Whitman Theatre, Forty-eighth Street and Westfield Avenue, February 27 and 28.

William M. Ogden, product of the dramatic school of Syracuse University and a protégé of Miss Lucy Dean Wilson, is in charge of the production. It will feature, among other acts, the Newton Coal Serenaders, who are well known from their frequent weekly radio broadcasts of the Newton Coal Radio Forum. Through the generosity of Charles A. Johnson, president of the George B. Newton Coal Company, Clarence Fuhrman, Camden musician, will be guest-conductor at both performances.

Camden Courier-Post

January 31, 1928

Camden Courier-Post - February 21, 1928

Joseph A. Varbalow - George M. Cohan - William Ogden
Walt Whitman Theater -
Westfield Avenue

Camden Courier-Post - February 23, 1928

Varbalow Behind Show, Praises Aims of Club,
Will Conduct

Camden Courier-Post

April 4, 1928

Hotel Walt Whitman

Howard J. Dudley
George A. Wonfor
Charles Wagner
John H. Booth
George Moore
Sam Riggins
Raymond Hance
Thomas W. Pinder
Edward Shelmardin

Camden Courier-Post
August 26, 1931

Hotel Walt Whitman - Francis B. Wallen

Camden Courier-Post
June 1, 1932

Hotel Walt Whitman


Camden Courier-Post - June 8, 1932

Camden Rotary Club - Joshua C. Haines - Warren Webster Jr. - Roy C. Adams
George C. Moore -
Volney Bennett Jr. - Elias Davis - Edward Mechling
Dr. Leon N. Neulen - Walter Levering - William T. Read - Paul H. Engle
James Clancy - Walter Widler -
Frederick C. Veiser - Charles Janney
Len Liszt (Leonardo List) - Samuel A. Riggins
Woodcrest Country Club - Supplee-Wills-Jones Company

Camden Courier-Post * June 21, 1933

Cannot Compete With Modern Bus Transportation, Rotarians Told

 Railroads have passed the peek of usefulness and practicability in their place has come the modern highway systems with motorized vehicles. It is vitally necessary to meet the needs and demands of the United States and other progressive nations that the new form of travel be given every opportunity to make good. 

So declared Judson C. Welliver, of Philadelphia, former newspaperman, author and publicist in speaking yesterday at the weekly meeting, of the Camden Rotary Club in Hotel Walt Whitman

"The new transportation has solved all the problems that the railroads have been unable to meet," Welliver declared. "It needs neither rails, low grades or easy curves. It goes wherever business requires it. 

"The railroad executives will say that the truck cannot handle heavy traffic. But they also complain that it is taking away their coal tonnage and handling half of the country's livestock. And yet its very adaptability, responsiveness, flexibility, are the reasons why the railroads oppose it. 

"The railroads make a virtue out of their own disabilities. They would have us believe that hardening arteries are the symptom of health. So they demand laws, to restrict motor carriers to particular routes and areas. They would deprive business of the very advantages inherent in highway operations. 

"They want the motor vehicle's rate fixed, and fixed so high that they can't take business from the railroads. 

"The railway age is being succeeded by the highway age. Will our country throttle and hamstring the new facility that everywhere else holds the key to the future? Our great area 
and long distances make transportation more important to us than to any other.

"A hundred years ago the railroad was given its chance. Indeed it was enormously subsidized with money and with land grants in area equal to Great Britain and the German 
Empire combined. 

"The highway has asked nothing of that sort. Today, its special taxes are $1,200,000,000 a year; railroad taxes are one-fourth of, that and the government is lending the money to pay them," added Williver..

Camden Courier-Post- June 28, 1933

Senator Tells Rotarians “Deals" at Legislature Were Disheartening

Political trading a the session of the Legislature by persons fired with personal ambitions was scored yesterday in a speech by State Senator Albert S. Woodruff before the Camden Rotary Club in the Hotel Walt Whitman.

"It is true," he said, "that there was a great deal of trading during the past session among persons ambitious and desirous of obtaining their own ends.

“This was very disheartening to those who go to the Legislature to work. However, much was, accomplished, more than in any year in my experience."

The senator then recounted the accomplishments of the lawmakers, telling of legislation suspending mandatory salaries and other expenditures for the municipalities; emergency acts before and during the bank holiday crisis, and the plan to aid financially stricken school districts through sale of $12,000,000 in Camden Bridge bonds.

Senator Woodruff mentioned no names when he charged "trading" among legislators.

During the session, Senate President Emerson L. Richards, of Atlantic, candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, was attacked on several occasions for alleged "deals" with Democrats. 

Former U. S. Senator David Baird, Jr., and Vice Chancellor Francis B. Davis, of Woodbury, attended the luncheon but neither spoke. William T. Read, former state senator and president of the club, presided.

Camden Courier-Post
May 2, 1934

Camden Rotary Club
Holy Name Roman Catholic Church
Rev. Thomas J. Whelan - Fred A. Vieser
J.W. Burnison - Dr. Leon N. Nuelen
George W.A. Kappel - George W. Griffiths
Christian E. Ebensperger - Samuel P. Riggins
George A. Moore - John H. Booth
Trevor B. Matthews - William Major
Hubert Scheer

Camden Courier-Post * February 19, 1936

Rev. Elwood A. Harrar Reviews Life of First President 

An address on the life of George Washington featured a luncheon meeting of the Camden Rotary Club at the Hotel Walt Whitman yesterday.

The speaker was Rev. Elwood A. Harrar, member of the club and pastor of the First Baptist Church of this city. 

Reverend Harrar, an authority on Washington, stressed the precepts of character of the first president which are not as well known as those exploits embraced in history books. 

The pastor spoke of Washington, the scientist; Washington, the farmer; Washington, the humanitarian and Washington, the reverent, respectful religious man alive to the will of God. 

"There were four foundation stones in George Washington's character," said the speaker. "These were humility, integrity, self-control and religion." 

Quoting many authorities, Reverend Harrar said: "Washington's word was his bond. Honesty was his principle. The good of the common man was his concern. Justice was his monitor. We are told that he had a fiery temper but that he held it in reserve. 

"Gracious toward all men, his was a quiet, modest dignity which at once demanded respect. 

"In religion, Washington was ever mindful of the will of God and the highest tributes that have been paid him have brought out his reverence, his interest and his humble submission to the God in whom he devoutly believed." 

Camden Courier-Post * February 2, 1938

Lou Young and Bob Hall Give Rotarians 'Football Lowdown'
Harry A. Kelleher Night Observed by Club at Campbell Soup Co. Plant;
Gridiron Motion Pictures Shown by Former Yale Star

"Harry A. Kelleher Night" was observed by more than 70 members of the Camden Rotary Club last night when they gathered in the auditorium of the Campbell Soup Company administration building, Second and Market streets.

The guest of the evening was Lou Young, former head football coach at the University of Pennsylvania, well-known in past years as a foot ball official in many of the big college gridiron games.

Young recounted many thrilling events and humorous incidents that have marked his years as a national football figure. He lauded Clint Frank, the 8ensational Yale back, field star, as one of the greatest player, 8ince the days of the famous "Red" Grange, of Illinois fame.

Bob Hall, who played football with Albie Booth at Old Eli displayed several reels of football motion pictures and described the plays as they were shown on the screen.

In his narration Hall, who announces all the Yale football games over the radio networks, declared Dartmouth and Pittsburgh should have the two best college football teams of this year.

A vaudeville show presented by Mr. and Mrs. George Reed, entertainers at Tom Kenney's Cafe, was enjoyed by the assembled Rotarians. The Campbell Company gave each Rotarian a box containing cans of the Amos 'n' Andy soup combinations.

Camden Courier-Post * February 10, 1938

Dictator Accused of Making War 'Be-All and End-All of Human Evolution'

Adolph Hitler and his "brown barbarians" were accused of aiming to make war the "be-all and end-all of human evolution" in an address by Walter Schoenstedt, native-born German, world traveler and author, before the Camden Rotary Club in Hotel Walt Whitman,

Introduced by Leon H. Rose, Camden lawyer, Schoenstedt told the club members at their weekly luncheon he would not speak against Germany, but would "point out the evils of a dictatorship under Hitler, who is not Germany."

After the meeting, Schoenstedt explained he came to this country a year ago to aid in preserving 'Ger­man culture and to warn this nation against Hitler, whom he described as a "destroyer of the ideals of great philosophers and teachers."

Since coming to the United States, he has aided in the organization of German-American Leagues for Culture, he said. There is such an organization in New York, another In Philadelphia, and he plans one in Camden.

Goethe, Heine Banished

"The aim of the great. German philosophers," said Schoenstedt, "was the happiness, of humanity, Today the foremost aim of the dictator is to make war the be-all and end-all of human evolution. Goethe and Heine have vanished from German school readers and the words of the new exponents of German culture have taken their place.

"The fight of the German rulers against thought and reason, against literature and science is not an accident. This hatred which we find in every speech concerning literature is expressed in the work of one of the leaders in the official German world of letters:

"'When I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver:

"In Germany they tell the young people there is no life witl10ut war. When young people in the grade schools or in high schools gather for their graduations, they see as they come into the auditorium huge posters on the walls bearing the slogan that is the spirit of German education today:

"'We are born to die for Germany."

Camden Courier-Post - February 15, 1938


George B. Thorn, superintendent of the Vineland State School, will speak at the noon meeting of the Camden Rotary Club in the Hotel Walt Whitman today. His subject will be, "Problems In Connection With the Feeble Minded."

Many members of Rotary are planning to attend the Rotary convention in San Francisco June 19 to June 24. Special trains and tours are being arranged. Charles Adamson, chairman of the committee, is making plans for the Camden Rotarians.

Camden Courier-Post - February 17, 1938

George B. Thorn, Vineland Tells Rotarians Here of Big Savings

A municipal light plant properly operated can be made to yield big savings and profits to taxpayers, it was declared by George B. Thorn, superintendent of the Vineland State School.

Thorn told members of the Camden Rotary Club in Hotel Walt Whitman the cost of furnishing fuel, light and power for the institution's population of 1492 was $35,000 last year as compared with $56,000 in 1922. The institution has its own light and power plant.

"Properly operated," said Thorn after the meeting, "a light plant for Camden or most any community would be a paying proposition. Of course politics must be eliminated to insure efficiency among employees. All employees of our plant are hired by me and must qualify for their jobs."

The sum of $35,000 for last year's plant operation, Thorn said, included 
payment of salaries, maintenance and all other Items of expense. Operating expenses were reduced, Thorn explained, when steam which formerly escaped, was utilized for heating purposes at the institution. Later a railroad siding was constructed into the plant facilitating delivery of fuel and cutting the cost of coal $1 a ton. Employees of the plant receive an average monthly salary of $50. and their "keep," Thorn said..

Camden Courier-Post
July 29, 1941

Camden Rotary Club
Hotel Walt Whitman

Camden Courier-Post - August 15, 1945


With peace restored, the world should now become one great community and all men should live as neighbors, Herman H. Hanson, of Dover, Delaware, governor of Rotary District 184, told members of Camden Rotary Club yesterday.

Hanson, state chemist of Delaware, spoke at the club's weekly luncheon in the Hotel Walt Whitman. He cited the aims of Rotary and defined the organization as "friendship in action." Everett Smalley presided.