JOSEPH PETER KLOSTERMAN was born in New Jersey on November 8, 1898, the son of Frederick and Catherine Klostermann. His father was a cigar maker. By the time of the 1910 census and through at least 1929, the family lived at 1148 Kaighn Avenue. At some point prior to 1917 he stopped using the second "n" in his surname. He was working at New York Shipbuilding Corporation when he registered for the draft. Both he and his brother ostensibly worked as plumbers during the 1920s, according to the City Directories. Joseph Klosterman married around 1920. The couple lived at 1148 Kaighn Avenue through 1929.
Tragedy struck in late December of 1929 when his father, Fred Klosterman Sr., who had been running a bar called the Campus Inn in West Berlin, New Jersey was discovered to have committed suicide.
Along with his brother Fred Klosterman, Joe Klosterman became heavily involved in the illegal lottery, or "numbers" racket, in Whitman Park and South Camden in the 1930s and 1940s. The Klosterman brothers were very active in Camden in the early 1930s.
The 1930 Census shows Joe Klosterman had separated from his wife Annie. He was living at 1251 Mechanic Street, which was a bar operating on a "soft drink" license as the country was still enduring Prohibition. According to the census the premises was being rented and the bar operated by John Frenia. Joe Klosterman ostensibly was a helper at the bar.
Joe Klosterman was fined in December of 1931 on a disorderly persons charge. He arrested in June of 1933 and subsequently fined $200 by Judge Garfield Pancoast for running a numbers bank on Mt. Ephraim Avenue. Also in June of 1933 both he and his brother were convicted on numbers charges, but appealed and the city dropped the charges the following spring. In the wake of a police crackdown on gang activity that occurred in the aftermath of the 1934 murder of Detective William Feitz of the Camden Police Department, the Klosterman brothers were sentenced to three-to-five-year prison terms by Judge Frank F. Neutze in the spring of 1935. Fred and Joe Klosterman were released in on July 9th of 1936. Joe Klosterman left Camden by 1947 and was living in Sewell, New Jersey when once agin he was arrested on numbers charges in 1959.
Joseph Klosterman was last a resident of Pitman, New Jersey. He died in October of 1968.
|Camden Courier-Post - January 31, 1928|
VICTIM SEEKS $135,000 DAMAGES
Damages aggregating $135,000 are asked of a prominent Philadelphia sportsman in suits being heard by Judge Donges and a jury in Camden Circuit Court today.
plaintiffs, who are represented by attorney Albert S.
Charles Klopp, 1152 Sycamore
Street, brother of Henry Klopp, who died as a
result of an accident last spring; Miss Helen Groczyk, 1079 Van Hook
Street, who was injured in the same crash, and her father Josef Groczyk.
Klopp asks $50,000 for compensation for his brother’s death; Miss
Groczyk seeks $75,000 for her injuries and her father wants $10,000 for
medical expenses incurred by his daughter’s hurt.
suits were brought against William Poultney Smith, of Cynwyd PA, and are a
result of an accident early on the morning of May 11, 1927 on Black Horse
Pike at Bellmawr.
to Miss Groczyk, who went on the witness stand yesterday afternoon, she
went for an automobile ride with Henry Klopp, Joseph
Klosterman, and Mrs.
Esther Rieder. They had been to Chews Landing and were returning to
Camden, she said, when she became ill in the smoke-filled sedan. She left
the car, aided by Klopp, and was standing directly behind when another
machine, driven by Smith, crashed into them, crushing them against their
car. The plaintiffs contend that Smith had been playing golf at Pine
Valley, had afterwards been drinking, and was in a stupor while driving
his machine, thus causing the accident. Klopp was taken to the Went Jersey
Homeopathic Hospital, where a leg was amputated, and where he died seven
The girl, who is now 18 years old, had both legs broken and suffered other injuries. She appeared in court with a brace on her right leg and limped to the stand. She testified that their car was fully lighted when they stopped on the road.
defense will contend that the Klopp car had no lights, and will deny all
responsibility for the tragedy.
was a World War veteran, his brother testified and had been the only
support for his mother, Mrs. Julia Klopp, his brother and a sister, Ida..
|Camden Courier-Post - June 14, 1933|
|FLORIST SHOP RAID TRAPS NUMBERS
Police Believe Hunt for Racket Headquarters Ended; 4 Are Arrested
A three-month search for "number's" headquarters in Camden was believed ended today when
The others arrested in the raid gave their names as Charles Selanski, 23, of 1286 Sheridan Street; Leon Babrowski, 22, of 1209 Lansdowne Avenue, and Frank Gromacki, 27, of 1411 Mt. Ephraim Avenue. Several "pickup men," who have been arrested while carrying money and numbers slips, according to Shaw, were linked with the ring. The principals, however, had managed to escape detection.
The flower shop, Shaw said, is operated by Joseph Haleski, and was used as a "blind" for the lottery racket.
Klosterman was released last night in $1000 bail for a hearing today on a charge of operating a numbers lottery. The others were all released in $100 cash security as material witnesses..
Camden Courier-Post - June 21, 1933
Mysterious Piece of Paper' Enlivens Numbers Trial Here
A mysterious piece of paper yesterday precipitated a verbal battle between Assistant Prosecutor William C. Gotshalk and Defense Attorney Walter S. Keown upon opening of the trial of Joseph and Fred Klosterman on charges of number writing. They were placed on trial before Judge Samuel M. Shay and a crlminal court jury.
Acting Lieutenant Louis Shaw, of the city detective bureau, testified of a raid on the Klosterman saloon at Mechanic and Green streets and an adjacent house at 1321 Green street. The witness identified a brief-case containing numbers slips and also a postal card addressed to "F. Klosterman."
When Shaw was turned over to Keown for cross-examination, the defense counsel reached into the case, pulled out a piece of paper and asked how it had gotten into the bar. When Shaw said he had put it there, Keown declared:
"Well, put it into your pocket. It has nothing to do with this case."
Shaw refused, whereupon Keown rolled it up into a ball and put it in his own pocket. At this, Gotshalk angrily demanded to see the paper, but Keown declared that "you can't see this until after the jury has gone out." When Gotshalk insisted, Keown said he would give it to Judge Shay. He threw it on the judge's desk, but Judge Shay, who was smiling broadly, made no move to take it. Gotshalk then reached out to get the paper, but Keown was quicker retrieving it and placing it in his pocket again.
"What right have you to take a state exhibit and place it in your pocket?" Gotshalk queried heatedly. "I want that paper."
"I'll show it to Judge Shay," parried Keown.
"I don't want to see it," laughed Judge Shay, as Keown paced around the courtroom, followed by Gotshalk.
"It has nothing to do with this case," repeated Keown.
And there the matter stood.
Shaw testified that he, Detective Clarence Arthur and Patrolman John Kaighn entered the saloon December 10, and went out the back door. They followed a path to the Green street house, broke down the door and found Henry Bagroewski, 17, and his mother burning numbers slips in a stove. Shaw said he recovered a half basket of slips.
Mary King, deputy city clerk, testified that at the time of the raid the license for the saloon was in Joseph Klosterman's name.
Shaw's testimony was corroborated by Arthur and Kaighn. Shaw was then recalled to the stand and related that as the three detectives went from the saloon to the other house, the Klosterman brothers followed them and demanded to know "why the dicks are always picking on us."
The case will be resumed this morning. .
Camden Courier-Post - June 22, 1933
KLOSTERMAN BOYS FOUND GUILTY IN NUMBERS CASE
A jury returned a guilty verdict against the two South Camden sportsmen-brothers at 6:25 p. m., after deliberating only a short while.
Both were in the courtroom when the verdict was announced, but were allowed to depart under bail pending sentence later by Judge Samuel M. Shay.
Shay delivered his charge to the jury after denying motions by Walter S. Keown, defense counsel, first to quash the indictment on grounds that
Called 'Big Shots'
The two brothers were character ized as "big shot numbers barons" by Assistant Prosecutor William C. Gotshalk in his closing argument to the jury.
Referring to a woman and her son, who were burning numbers slips when raiders entered the establishment, Gotshalk said: .
"They might ask us why we don't have that woman and her 17-yearold son on trial here. When the police make an arrest the public wants to know why we don't get the big shots. Well, here they are," pointing at the Klostermans. "Here are the big shots,"
The Klosterman saloon, Mechanic and Green Streets, was raided December 10 by city detectives who testified Tuesday they followed a footpath to an adjacent house at 1312 Green Street. They broke down the door and found a woman and her son burning numbers slips. Acting Lieutenant Louis Shaw, of the city detective bureau, testified he recovered some of the slips and also found a brief case containing numbers slips and a post card addressed to "F. Klosterman." Detective Clarence Arthur and Patrolman John Kaighn corroborated Shaw's testimony.
Says He Was Visitor
The defense opened with Joseph Klosterman on the stand. He testified he had nothing to do with the saloon when it was raided, but merely happened to be in there for a drink when the raiders entered. He said he had owned the saloon for three and a half years but sold it last July for $100. He never had any connection with the Green Street house, he declared. He is now a plumber, Klosterman averred.
When Assistant Prosecutor Gotshalk asked him if he had ever been convicted of crime, Keown asked that the jury be withdrawn as he wanted to make another motion. Court then recessed.
When court resumed Mrs. Anna Pogroszewski, of the Green street address, took the stand. She testified the Klostermans were not connected with her home in any manner. She testified she had rented a room to a man named "Tommy" and all the numbers apparatus was his. When he moved out, he left the slips and adding machines there, she said, and she had cleaned out his room and was burning the papers when the raiders arrived.
Fred Klosterman, who resides at 1255 Decatur Street, denied he was a "numbers baron" and said he merely "happened" to be there on the day of the raid. Under cross-examination he admitted having pleaded guilty to slot machine charges in June of last year.
Evening Courier - September 12, 1934
TO BLAIR, COLSEY SAYS;
3 HELD IN NUMBERS DRIVE
1 ADMITS GUILT AND POLICE SAY LINKS OTHERS
Klosterman Named by Man Found With Slips On Him After Arrest
3 'BIG BANKS' INVOLVED IN MOVE TO CLEAN UP
Others Must Face Trial; More Arraigned and Bonds Fixed by Court
While Camden County authorities were collecting evidence to present to the new Grand Jury when it convenes next Thursday afternoon to open its extraordinary probe into vice and crime, Camden today pressed their drive on gambling in this city.
Three men, one of whom police declare is a "numbers" bank operator here, were held under bail to await the action of the Grand Jury by Judge J. Harry Switzer when arraigned in Police Court.
The alleged "numbers" baron is Joseph Klosterman, who gave an address of 1400 Mechanic Street. He was held in $3000 bail for the Grand Jury on a charge of operating a "numbers" Lottery.
Held in $2000 Bail
Albert Young, 41, of 519 North 2nd Street, was held in $2000 bail and remanded to the Grand Jury action on a charge of possession of numbers slips. He entered a plea of guilty when arraigned before Judge Switzer.
Walter Hart, 25, of 1245 Thurman Street, who was taken into custody at 9:05 AM today by police after Young revealed he passed over his numbers slips between 2:00 PM and 2:30 PM daily, was held in $5000 bail on a charge of operating a "numbers" lottery. He pleaded not guilty to the complaint which was signed by City Detective George Zeitz.
After arraignment the three "numbers" suspects were taken from court to detective headquarters where they were photographed and fingerprinted.
At the hearing of Klosterman, Detective Zeitz testified that he hand his brother Fred were each fined $500 on May 23 last in lieu of serving a six month jail sentence which had been imposed July 21, 1933 by Criminal Judge Shay after having been convicted of operating a "numbers" lottery.
The detective further testified that he had statement ts from five other persons, one of whom was Young, arrested in connection with the gambling drive, who stated that they worked for the "Klosterman brothers numbers bank".
Besides Young, the others, all of whom are under $2000 bail each for grand jury action, include Frank Kulczynski 26, of 1100 Orchard Street, Charles Simonin, 35, of 709 Fairview Street; Mrs. Mary Angelio, 26, of 600 Line Street; Harry Koron, 42, of 1528 Mount Ephraim Avenue, and Leon Yaroch, 39,of 612 Kaighn Avenue.
Klosterman was taken into custody yesterday by Police Lieutenant Walter Welch, of the Second Police District, on a warrant signed by Zeitz. Young was picked up Sergeant Edward Hahn and Patrolman Ralph Cline.
A "number" bank fugitive, Joseph Cheak, 32, colored, who lives on 10th Street near Kaighn Avenue, is lodged in the Camden County jail awaiting court action. He was arrested in Philadelphia yesterday and brought here to face an indictment returned against him two weeks ago by the Camden County Grand Jury.
Chief County Detective Lawrence T. Doran disclosed that Cheak is known as the operator of the "colored numbers bank" in South Camden.
While police and detectives were scouring the city to learn whether or not the warning issued 36 hours ago to all proprietors of gambling houses to close down and stay closed was being enforced, Mayor Stewart was continuing the questioning of police officials and detectives at his City Hall office.
Data on vice and crime conditions was sought by Mayor Stewart.
Evening Courier - September 13, 1934
TENTH ARREST MADE
Arrests in the numbers racket in Camden continued today simultaneously with the continuation of the inquiry into the murder of City Detective William T. Feitz Jr.
With the Feitz slaying probe in its eleventh day- the detective was slain September 2 at 243 Sycamore Street, an alleged disorderly house- city and county authorities were still questioning witnesses in an endeavor to obtain sufficient evidence to name the murderer or murderers.
The arrest this morning of Crawford Smith, 51, of 702 Carman Street, as a numbers writer, brought the total of those apprehended this week in the numbers racket to 10.
At the same time Police Judge J. Harry Switzer held Fred Klosterman, 33, of 1050 Mechanic Street, in $5000 bail for the grand jury on a charge of operating a numbers game.
Klosterman's brother, Joseph Klosterman, 35, of 1400 Mechanic Street, was released in $3000 bail yesterday by Judge Switzer on a charge of operating a numbers lottery.
The Klostermans. according to police, are among the topnotch numbers barons of the city. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
No Testimony Taken
Fred Klosterman surrendered voluntarily yesterday afternoon when he learned that police were seeking him as an alleged numbers operator.
He was arraigned in police court today on complaint of George Zeitz, a city detective, who charged him with operating a numbers game. Police did not reveal where Fred Klosterman allegedly operated.
There was no testimony taken at the hearing of Fred Klosterman. His bail bond was signed by John Zubien. Police say they do not know Zubien's address. Mrs. Anna Bubnoski, of 1426 Mount Ephraim Avenue, posted the $3000 bail for Joseph Klosterman. Zeitz also had made complaint against him.
Fred Klosterman surrendered yesterday, according to police, after a defendant in police court testified that he was employed at an alleged numbers bank operated by Fred Klosterman. Zeitz swore to a warrant for Fred Klosterman's arrest based on the police information, he said.
Smith, who was arrested by George Clayton, a policeman, will =be given a hearing in police court tomorrow as an alleged numbers writer.
Meanwhile no disposition was made in the case of Mrs. Mollie Schwartz, 42, who was arrested yesterday on a charge of operating a still at a double dwelling at 3404 Rosedale Avenue. Police Lieutenant John Potter said the woman admitted operating the still.
A man said to be a brother of Mrs. Schwartz fled in his undershirt at the time of the raid, as Sergeant Edward Hahn and Policeman Joseph Keefe were making the arrest and seizure. The seizure included 13 barrels of alleged mash, a stove, one cooler, three gallons of liquor, and a 75 gallon still. Police reported that one of two cars without license tags which had been parked in front of the house disappeared later.
Cops to Aid State
Strict cooperation with the State Alcoholic beverages Commission in the detection, closing up, and prosecution of speakeasies is being given by the Camden Police Department.
That statement was made today by Mayor Roy R. Stewart, who is the director of the department of public safety, and came as a result of an interview which Howard B. Dyer, an investigator with the state beverage commission had with the mayor. Dyer was formerly deputy city clerk.
"Dyer came in and asked for the cooperation of the police department," said Mayor Stewart, "and I told him we would cooperate fully".
The state alcoholic beverage commission, through its investigators, has been busy in running down speakeasies, stills and other illicit liquor practices.
|Where Police Seized Still, After Year's Operation|
Camden Courier-Post - August 5, 1935
JURY CLEARS NUMBER SUSPECTS
men alleged by city and county authorities to have succeeded the Klosterman
brother sin controlling the Camden numbers racket last Spring, were exonerated
by the Camden county grand jury.
whose cases were “no billed” are Chester “Gassy” Szalinski, 30, of
1188 Chestnut Street, and Joseph Putek, 29, of 2955 Tuckahoe Road.
the same time, the grand jury in its report to the County Clerk Charles S.
Wise, failed to find an indictment against Robert Bloodworth, another suspect
arrested in connection with the operation of lotteries in Camden.
the trial of the Klosterman
brothers, Fred and Joe, both of whom were convicted last spring of number
charges, Szalinski was named by Police Chief Arthur
Colsey as the “Sixty-ninth Street mobster who had taken over the Klosterman
numbers play.” Every policeman in Camden was ordered to arrest Szalinski on
suspected numbers operator was arrested and later released in $1500 bail to
await the action of the grand jury.
was arrested last April after police had engaged in a sensational chase of 15
blocks after a suspected numbers pickup automobile at which they fired a
number of shots, pone of which struck a bystander.
allege Putek joined Szalinski in control of the Klosterman
numbers game. Arrests of both men climaxed orders to county police authorities
by Supreme Court Justice Frank T.
Lloyd and Prosecutor Samuel P.
Orlando to clean up the number racket in this area.
bills” were returned by the grand jury for Harry Hartman and John Burke
charged with attempts and breaking and entry; J.G. Flynn, accused of being a
fugitive from justice from Philadelphia; Ralph Latshaw, Anna Green, and
Theodore Jones, statutory charges.
|Camden Courier-Post - January 8, 1940|
BY PUMP GUN FIRE
|Camden Courier-Post - January 10, 1940|
|Trenton Evening Times * May 20, 1959|
Bushnell III - David D. Furman - Alfred
Pierce - Joseph
Klosterman - Julius
Raymond Brown - William Greenly - Fithian Hill - John Leo - Dominick Padulla
Joseph Pitzo - Charles Darpino
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