Elisha
A.
Gravenor


ELISHA A. GRAVENOR was born in Maryland on January 14, 1868 to Benjamin P. and Ellenor Gravenor. His early years were spent in Barren Creek, Wiccomico County MD, where his father owned a farm. Elisha add older brother Benjamin were still on the family farm in 1880.

By 1887 older brother Isaac Gravenor had moved to Camden NJ. Elisha Gravenor would follow, as did other family members. Elisha Gravenor married Almedia A. Bennett on January 26, 1898. When the Census was taken in 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Gravenor were making there home at 528 Elm Street in North Camden. He was the working as a policeman.

Rising through the ranks, Elisha Gravenor was appointed Camden's Chief of Police in 1907, during the administration of Mayor Charles H. Ellis. He succeeded John Foster

In May of 1914 Camden Fire Department Chief Charles Worthington was killed in the line duty while fighting a fire at  the the Camden Electroplating Company at Delaware Avenue and George Street, near the Pennsylvania Railroad Ferry in the center of Camden.  Chief of Department Worthington was one of the first units to arrive at the scene and observed heavy fire conditions on the top floor of the two-story building. Chief Worthington ordered an exterior attack from the roof area through large 

skylight openings. This operation was made particularly arduous by heavy smoke. The fire extended from the plating company at 12 George Street, to involve the New Jersey Automobile Supply Company car dealership at 38 Delaware Avenue. 

On the roof, Chief Worthington conversed with Deputy Chief John A. Stockton and Captain Madison of Engine Company 5. Chief Worthington directed Stockton to go down to the street, transmit a second alarm, and also have an engine company stretch a line up the alley. Worthington then left the men and proceeded along the roof to the south side of the building where he was last seen. When Stockton brought the hose team up the alleyway, he found the unconscious Chief laying next to the building. Chief Worthington had apparently stepped back on the roof to avoid a skylight and fell into a shaft between two buildings. The Chief had landed on a pile of scrap iron which inflicted serious wounds including a deep gash on his neck. Deputy Chief Stockton and Police Chief Elias Gravenor assisted firemen in removing Chief Worthington from the alley where he was rushed to Cooper Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival with a broken neck and fractured skull. 

Chief Gravenor retired on July 31, 1922. He was succeeded as Chief of Police by Edward Hyde, and in turn by James Tatem. Many innovations took place during his tenure, including the addition of motor vehicles to the force. Perhaps his most notable achievement was in bringing members of the new immigrant communities into the department, men such as Fiore Troncone and Benjamin Simon. He also promoted William Schregler to Captain of Detectives while Chief. 

One appointment, probably not of his choosing, did not work out quite so well. George V. Murry, a political leader in Camden's Third Ward, was brought into the police department and was made Camden's first black detective. Murry was both quite intelligent and thoroughly corrupt. He promptly went into business for himself, holding the distinction of being Camden's first organized crime boss.

When the Census was taken in 1920, Chief Gravenor he lived with his wife and his brother-in-law Clarence Bennett, at 629 State Street in North Camden. Just across the way at 624 State Street was Police Sergeant Cullis Errickson. He was still living on State Street with his wife as late as April of 1930. The Gravenors moved back to Maryland shortly afterwards, to a town called Mardela Springs. Chief Gravenor died in 1935, his wife in 1939.

Philadelphia
Inquirer

October 25, 1904

John Foster
Edward Hyde
Charles O. Pedrick
Elisha Albert Gravenor
David Bentley
John Reader
William Schregler
George Nowrey

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 24, 1905


Philadelphia Inquirer - March 5, 1906

William J. Sewell - Mount Vernon Street - John Foster
Charles H. Ellis - Ionic Lodge of Masons
First Italian Republican Club - Tall Cedars of Lebanon
Improved Order of Red Men  - John Carroll - John R. Campbell
Rev. Gilbert Underhill - St. John's Episcopal Church
Elisha Albert Gravenor
- John Brothers - Maurice A. Rogers
George Hammond - Joseph Nowrey - Albert Shaw
Thomas Brothers - Camillus Appley - Robert Colkett
Jules Busch - Thomas J. Murphy - Harry Mines 
  
George Kappel - George Kleaver - Albert Snow - Casper Hart
Arthur Stanley
- Fifth Ward Republican Club - William Horner
Aaron Matlack - Third Street - Walnut Street - Broadway
Benson Street
- Haddon Avenue - City Hall - Harleigh Cemetery  

Philadelphia
Inquirer

March 21, 1906

 


Philadelphia  Inquirer - August 14, 1906
Elisha A. Gravenor

Philadelphia  Inquirer - September 13, 1906
Elisha A. Gravenor

Bridgeton Evening News - December 31, 1906
Isaac Toy - South 3rd Street - Rev. Alfonso Dare - Charles H. Ellis
Wiley Methodist Episcopal Church - Elisha A. Gravenor - Harry Mines
Albert Shaw - 
Robert Colkett - Albert Keaser - William Todd - William Lyons
Alonzo Dyer -
Broadway - Berkley Street - Elm Street
Improved Order of Red Men - Camden Aerie No. 65 Fraternal Order of Eagles
 Third Ward Republican Club

Philadelphia  Inquirer - March 19, 1907
Elisha A. Gravenor

Philadelphia Inquirer * August 21, 1907
...continued...
...continued...
Charles Gibson - Stephen Dorsey - Mulford Street - Edward Horner - Frances Horner
Victoria Natoli - John S. Smith - John Cherry - Elisha Gravenor - Dr. William S. Jones
J.W. Fithian - Henry S. Scovel - Mrs. Anna Marter - Mrs. Edward Megargee - Mrs. Isaac Beideman


Philadelphia Inquirer
November 2, 1908

Coates Alley - Spruce Street
Adolph Walker - Anna Walker
Cooper Hospital
Charles Olden -
Elisha Gravenor
Frank Matlack -
Arthur Stanley

Click on Images for PDF File
of Complete Article


 

 

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 14, 1911

 

 

 

 

 


Philadelphia Inquirer - May 19, 1911
Elisha A. Gravenor - John Reader - Arthur Stanley

Philadelphia Inquirer * April 3, 1912

Cyclone of April 2, 1912

Anna Cleary - Anna Gehrend - Vine Street
Oxford Copper Company - North 4th Street - North 10th Street - Elm Street
Edward Francis - Mrs. Mills - Albert Roberts - Mary Goldy - Charles Houser
Edward Trappe - Joseph Layton - August Weber - Mrs. George Waldis
John Presher - Susie Aborn
Edward Priesendanz - Harry Curtis - Frank Nice - GeorgeBeckert
Mrs. A.M. Magrath - Thomas Reed - George Eckenhoff - Lillian Rhoades
S.M. Blair - John Getty - Mrs. Howard Ivins - George Batchelor - Raymond Wallen
Charles Jordan - Michael Burke - Allen Naylor - William Conerdi 
Matthew J. Lemon -
Dr. Howard F. Palm - William Ackley - Thomas Wescott
Frank Kears -Otto Shapiro
North 2nd Street - North 5th Street - North 8th Street - Linwood Street 
Elisha A. Gravenor
Samuel S. Elfreth
Scott Veazey

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Camden Post-Telegram * October 14, 1912
BOY'S BRUTAL MURDERER COLLAPSES AT HEARING


...continued...
O. Glenn Stackhouse -
John Painter
Frank B. Frost - Jeff Kay
-
William T. Boyle
...continued...
Elisha Gravenor - Grace Presbyterian Church - Bertha Skillen
 Bessie Skillen - Albert Ludlow - Joseph Wittick
...continued...
Thomas Sink - Abraham L. James - William Schregler
Henry C. Moffett - John Brothers - William C. Horner
Arthur Colsey - Anson Kelly - Robert T. Abbott
John H. Vickers - Frederick A. Finkelday - "Indian Bill" May - Eugene McCafferty
...continued...
...continued...
Dr. E.A.Y. Schellenger Sr. - John T. Potter
Elbridge B. McClong
Dr. Jones - John T. Cleary - Charles A. Wolverton - Thomas Gallagher's Saloon


Philadelphia Inquirer
December 25, 1912


Ilario DiAntonio
William Gallagher
Elisha Gravenor - Fiore Troncone
Felice Ronca
Giuseppe Azzari - Antonio DaAndea
Beckett Street - Locust Street
South 3rd Street - Line Street
Agostine Toscane - Giuseppe Diane

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CAMDEN POST-TELEGRAM - May 10, 1914

THOUSANDS VIEW CHIEF’S REMAINS
Throngs Jam Court House While Body Lies in State for Two Hours

LAST SAD RITES THIS AFTERNOON

Not since the memorable funeral of Chief of Police Foster ten years ago, has there been such a genuine public tribute paid an official of Camden as was in evidence last night at the bier of the lamented Fire Chief Worthington, and today at his funeral. It is hard to estimate the number of persons in a crowd, but from 7 until 9 o’clock last night there was a steady stream of men, women and children, two abreast, who passed from the main entrance, through the center corridor and beneath the illuminated rotunda, where the body lay, and thence out by the west corridor. There was never a stop, and it is estimated that at least 10,000 persons were there, perhaps more.

There could not have been a more ideal location for the repose of the casket containing the honored dead, and the great array of beautiful flowers than beneath the rotunda. It seemed to be a sacred shrine in itself where the citizenry dropped a tear for the lamented departed. The effulgence of the soft lights from above specially installed by Electrical Chief Kelly but lent to the scene and as the dark garbed escort of firemen, the active pall bearers, stood, on guard, the scene was unusually impressive.

Chief Worthington, aside from the pallor that comes to the dead, looked as he did in life, for the thread had been snapped so quickly that it was while he was in his full vigor that the vital spark had taken its flight. There were some marks on his face that indicated the intense though momentary suffering through which he passed on his fateful plunge from the roof of the burning building to his quick death, and the passing crowd remarked this. But withal there was that calmness and repose feature which seemed to indicate that the gallant leader of Camden's fire fighters but lay sleeping rather than that his soul had taken its eternal flight.

Public grief may be a mere ephemeral emotion, born of the moment and only to be succeeded by the acclaim of the newly arisen public idol, but last night's encomiums seemed to come from hearts that overflowed with genuine and permanent sorrow over the untimely passing of so excellent a public servant. Many tear-suffused eyes indicated this, many expressions of grief, of sorrow, of condolence of those left showed this. The sentiment in evidence everywhere can only be likened to the sweetness of the wonderful flowers whose odor spread thorough all the corridors and in all the rooms of the great marble building. 

High in the clock tower of the City Hall the bell began tolling at 6:30 o'clock. At half-minute intervals its doleful strains went forth on the cold blustery east wind which had succeeded at day of spring sunshine. The bell and the screeching wind seemed to combine as a knell indicating the passing grief of the city. It was the preliminaries to the marching of the funeral cortege from the stricken Chief's home on Penn Street to the resting place at the Court House.

There were forty policemen in dress uniform with Chief Gravenor at their head. There were twenty-six fire heads from Philadelphia, with Chief William Murphy in the van, a tribute in itself of more than passing moment. There was the caisson on which was the black draped casket containing the body of he who all honored. There was the little red car in which Chief Worthington was wont to speed through the city at every alarm and there was his helmet and coat. There was Acting Chief Stockton and forty of the men who fought flames under the direction of he who lay so still. There as the family in cabs with curtains drawn, the members of City Council and the active pall bearers- Daniel Leach, Peter B. Carter, James White, William Patterson, Elmer Burkett, Samuel Harring

When the cortege reached the Court House the Camden boys took up their position on the inside beneath rotunda while the Philadelphia visitors made an imposing array on the granite steps outside. And then came the public in its steady and unending stream.

Later the Philadelphia delegation was escorted to the Board of Freeholders room where tribute was paid to the dead and where a mingling of the two cities took place. Besides Chief Murphy the visitors included Battalion Chiefs William T. Barrett and George P. McConaghy, Captains L. F. Bunting, William Lindsey; H. Dinlocker, J. Higginson, J. E. Talbot, D. Campbell, T. O'Brien, F. Hughes, E. Basenfelder; H. Hutt, William McCusker, G. Rheim, R. Wilsey, J. Webb, H. Goers, H. Haines, Insurance Patrol Captain Joseph H. Shermer William Hickman, William Rodgers, John Wyatt, David Phillip, John Clyde, H. Wilkinson.

President of City Council James E. Hewitt spoke of the work Chief Worthington had already accomplished, of his plans, of his value and worth to Camden. Chief Murphy responded in a fitting way and this incident in itself was one to be remembered.

An affecting sight was witnessed by the handful of spectators, among them being other firemen, city and county officials and policemen who remained after the big doors on Sixth Street had been closed. The last to view the Chief's remains were a delegation of about twenty firemen. Solemnly the men passed by the bier and gazed upon the features of their departed brother.

As the last of the line approached Deputy Chief John A. Stockton was seen. He stopped and with his cap laid across his breast be looked down into the casket. For almost a minute Chief Stockton stood as though glued to the spot. Then he glanced about him and the sympathetic look upon his face thrilled all.

He heaved a sigh and perhaps the teardrops refused to come, but Chief Stockton, as the lines upon his face showed, was struggling with the inner man. His emotions were tugging at his heart, but a fire laddie cannot give way to his feelings although his brother superior officer and dear friend had answered his last alarm.

The floral pieces surrounding the bier bespoke the love, admiration and respect the donors held for the dead chief. One design particularly beautiful was a mammoth loving cup made of blossoms, f1owers and roses. This was the token sent by members of City Council and other city officials.

Another was the design sent by the Electrical Bureau through Chief Kelly. The original fire box, No. 134, which was pulled on the night of the fire by Chief Worthington was enshrouded by roses, carnations and lilies.

A maltese cross standing several feet high and bearing the initials of the organization was the tribute sent by the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association. Chief Worthington was president of this association. 

The Camden police sent a large shield of flowers and Council members offered a vacant chair of roses. The New Jersey Auto Supply Company, No. 2 Engine Company and No. 1 Truck sent beautiful broken circles and a wreath was the offering from the employees of the Victor Talking Machine Company.

 A broken circle from member of the Sixth Ward Republican Club and a wreath from his friends in the sixth precinct of the Second Ward were other beautiful pieces. West Collingswood and Collingswood firemen sent two beautiful floral circles and from the Loyal Order Legion a wreath was received.

Other offerings were from the Camden Liquor Dealers league, a beautiful circle from No. 6 Engine Company, in which house Chief Worthington was captain previous to his elevation to the office of chief; sprays from the Bethany M.E. Church, Ladies Auxiliary of the Loyal Order of Moose; a wreath from the pupils of the eighth grade Sewell school, and a spray from North Baptist Church. There also were designs from members of the family and friends, all of which bespoke the great love held for the departed fire chief.

The impressive services of the P.E. Church marked the last sad rites this afternoon at St. Paul’s Church. The guard of honor and city officials left Fire Headquarters at 1:20 and proceeded to the Worthington home and escorted the remains to the church, where services were conducted by the rector, Rev. R.E. Brestell, and Rev. H.O. Jones, rector of St. Stephen’s P.E. Church. Interment was made at Arlington.

The honorary pallbearers were Mayor Ellis, Hon. David Baird, Frank F. Patterson, John W. Bell, General John A. Mather, Melbourne F. Middleton Jr., Harry R. Reed, Arthur L. Jones, Robert Gordon, David Jester, George Schneider, William Mills, J.O. Grear, William Hall, George L. Bender, and James E. Hewitt.


Camden Courier-Post - July 8, 1914

Louis Weisban - Harry C. Kramer - Harry G. Newton
Elisha A. Gravenor - O. Glen Stackhouse
North 28th Street - Polk Avenue


Trenton
Evening Times

May 23, 1916


Camden Post-Telegram * July 19, 1916

EXTRA
ASHBRIDGE CAUGHT IN CHESTER HOTEL ALONG WITH WIFE
Fugitive Murderer Waives Extradition and Detective Schregler
Brings Couple to Camden in Motor Car
PAIR REGISTERED IN EARLY MORNING

Captured at noon with his wife in the Keystone Hotel at Chester PA, Wilson Ashbridge, who escaped from the County Prison last night with George E. Thompson, a forger, after killing Jailor Hibbs and shooting Jailor Ellis, is again in the County Jail.

Ashbridge admits that he shot both men. He said the gun was given to him by Thompson.

The coupe were captured in their room at the Keystone Hotel by Captain of Detectives Schregler and Policeman David Hunt, who hurried to Chester in Chief Gravenor's automobile in receipt of a message that a man answering to the description if the published picture of Ashbridge registered there early this morning with a woman as his wife.

Ashbridge offered no resistance when the officers entered his room. He waived extradition and being handcuffed was placed in the machine with his wife and hurried to this city.

Schregler sat in the rear of the machine between Ashbridge and his wife.

They reached City Hall at 2:10 o'clock this afternoon. Ashbridge was smoking a cigarette and looked sullen.

When the murderer saw a battery of photographers getting ready to take their pictures, Ashbridge shielded his wife's face with his hat and hid his own face as best he could in his handcuffed condition.

They were taken upstairs to the Chief's office and later sent to the Prosecutor's office.

Ashbridge takes blame for the double shooting, but insists that his wife did not give him the gun, saying that Thompson supplied the weapon.

The police knew last night that Mrs. Ashbridge was with her husband or intended to go with him. This information came in a letter turned over to the police by a Mrs. Dick, of East Camden, who was carting for the children. The envelope cautioned her not to open the letter until 7:00 o'clock last night.

Mrs. Ashbridge said in the note that she was going to do a rash act and might not see the children again.

In the cell occupied by Thompson the following note was found by Detective Painter.

"Ashbridge has made up his mind to leave this place. I have decided to go with him.

"It may seem like suicide and if anything happens send my body to the University of Pennsylvania"

"THOMPSON"

Seventeen loaded cartridges were also found in the cell.

The detectives and their prisoners were accompanied to Camden by E.S. Fry, proprietor of the Chester hotel, where the couple were caught.

There is no question but that Mrs. Ashbridge knew all bout the plan to escape. Where she met her husband has not been discovered.

A reward of $1,000- $500 for each- was today offered by the Prosecutor.


CAMDEN POST TELEGRAM * July 19, 1916

MURDERER’S WIFE SUPPLIED REVOLVER, SMUGGLING IT IN COVERED BY FRUIT
Confessing Supplying Pistol, in Spite of Husband’s Denial That She Was Guiltless, Mrs. Ashbridge Is Held Without Bail on Charge of Conspiracy in Aiding and Abetting Escape From Jail
Slayer's Wife Look For This Man

MRS. MARION ASHBRIDGE GEORGE E. THOMPSON

With Wilson T. Ashbridge under guard in a cell in what was formerly known as Murderer’s Row, the police and county detectives today redoubled their energies towards the capture of George E. Thompson, the forger who escaped with Ashbridge from the County Jail on Monday night after murdering one keeper and wounding another. Stirring the police of all cities in the East to renewed activity, another circular was sent out today by the authorities giving notice of the reward of $500 offered for Thompson’s capture. Attention was strongly directed in the circular due to the fact that one of the fingers of Thompson’s left hand is missing.

The gun with which Ashbridge murdered jailor Isaac Hibbs and wounded Jailor Ellis was smuggled into the jail by Mrs. Ashbridge on Saturday morning. With it went a box of cartridges. The weapon and bullets were passed to Ashbridge in a basket of fruit, being at the bottom of the basket. The jailors were busy at the time she called and as she frequently had brought her husband fruit they did not take precaution to search the basket. Mrs. Ashbridge bought the gun and cartridges on the written request of her husband.

Her confession as to the very grave part she played in the escape and murder was made to the Prosecutor late yesterday afternoon after she had first insisted she had no knowledge if how the gun got into the jail and after her husband had repeatedly declared that the revolver was supplied by Thompson. The revolver, fully loaded, was still carried by Ashbridge when he was captured in the Keystone Hotel......

..... by Recorder Stackhouse without bail for conspiracy in aiding and abetting the escape of her husband and George E. Thompson from the County Jail on Monday night.

The court room was packed to suffocation by a morbidly curious crowd, composed primarily of women. A strange silence spread through the court room when the little woman was led into the court room by Captain Schregler. The regular formality of placing prisoners in the dock was dispensed with the woman's case.

Prosecutor De Unger pointed to the high witness chair and Mrs. Ashbridge sat in it. She evaded the gaze of the crowd, looking intently at the floor and through a window on the Washington Street side. She wore a blue skirt and a white waist. She was without her hat. her hair was carefully arranged and she wore nose glasses.

Resting her chin on her right hand her arm and hand were seen to tremble slightly. So quiet was the room that a pin dropping could have been heard.

"Mrs. Marian Ashbridge," called the Recorder.

"Yes, Sir" was the faint reply of the woman, who did not even look up at the call of her name.

"This complaint charges you with delivering to Wilson Ashbridge and George E. Thompson a pistol and aiding and abetting them in escaping from the County Jail, where they had been lawfully committed. Do you plead guilty or not guilty," said the Recorder as he read the complaint.

"The woman said nothing. Detective Schregler was then called as the complainant. He told of the confession made by the woman and produced the revolver which the woman purchased and which Ashbridge used in his daring escape. The gun, Captain Schregler said, was purchased in a pawnshop at Eleventh and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, on Friday of last week and was delivered to Ashbridge on Saturday morning along with a box of cartridges. "Marian, I will hold you without bail,": said the Recorder.

As the woman was being led from the court room by Captain Schregler and Sergeant Reed the crowd made a rush for the door leading from the court room, whereupon orders were given by the police to the crowd and many were prevented from rushing out. Everybody seemed anxious to secure a closer look at the unfortunate woman.

Visitors were denied Mrs. Ashbridge. Not even her children were permitted to be brought before her, although the broken-hearted mother asked for them.

"Oh, God, I don't know why I did this; why I left the little ones to go with Wilson," tearfully expostulated Mrs. Ashbridge to the kind-hearted matron, who spent the best part of last night with the distraught woman.

"If I could only see little Marian," sobbed the woman in the arms of Mrs. Kirkpatrick, who informed her that perhaps she could see them today.

Last eveneing the only support Mrs. Ashbridge had was a cup of tea. The morning she sipped a portion of a cup of coffee. She told Matron Kirkpatrick that she was not hungry.

:Everybody hounded me, I had no friends, and that's why I went with my husband, becasue he was the only friend I had left," said Mrs. Ashbridge. "He was a good boy, but was easily led." The wife said even before her marriage that Ashbridge would run around with other girls, but he always returned to her and she forgave him. She said he seemed to have a spell over her and she couldn't leave him.

"I love my husband, still and will stand by him to the end," sobbed the little woman to Mrs. Kirkpatrick. She told how her relatives disowned her and how after her father's death she went to live with strangers. When her husband fostered the plan to escape she willingly consented to aid him. She drew $100 out of the bank and purchased clothes and the gun and bullets. She never faltered in her plan.

"My heart aches for that woman," said Matron Kirkpatrick this morning to a Post-Telegram reporter. "She's a good girl, but was easily led into her present predicament. It only goes to show what a woman will do for the man she loves, no matter how base a wretch he may be. Mrs. Ashbridge is more to be pitied than scorned.

Recorder Stackhouse this morning produced a copy of the marriage of the couple, performed by him on July 28, 1914. The marriage was performed at the instance of Assistant Prosecutor Butler after Ashbridge wronged the girl. Constable William E. Headley and William C. Ashbridge, the latter father of the murderer, were witnesses.

As told in yesterday's Post-Telegram, Ashbridge and his wife and their captors arrived at the City Hall from Chester shortly after 2:00 o'clock. After a brief stay they were taken to the Court House and turned over to Prosecutor Kraft, Ashbridge being taken into the Prosecutor's private office and Mrs. Ashbridge being placed under guard in the ante room.

Taking full blame for the murder of Hibbs and the wounding of Ellis, Ashbridge declared that none of the shots were fired by Thompson.

"I shot both men," he declared, "but Thompson gave me the gun. He had it since Saturday." He repeated this assertion several times in the course of his examination, adding each time that his wife had no part in supplying the firearm. His voluntary insistence in.....

.... exercise corridor of their cells in response to his request that he wanted to show him a note that had been left for him, he asked the aged keeper to step inside the corridor. Evidently suspecting something was wrong Hibbs refuse to enter the corridor. When Ashbridge repeated his request that Hibbs step inside, Thompson, why was immediately behind Ashbridge, said something to the murderer. Ashbridge could not exactly recall what the expression was. At any rate it was then that he fired and Hibbs fell to the floor with his death wound. To take Hibbs keys and open the door leading from the exercise room to the corridor was the work of but an instant. It was then that Ellis confronted Ashbridge at the other end of the corridor. He refused to throw up his hands when the murderer so ordered. Instead, the plucky jailor grappled with the slayer, who again brought the gun into play, twice wounding the remaining jailor.

Ashbridge did not say why he wanted Hibbs to step inside the corridor. One surmise is that the pair had planned to get the old man into the corridor, overpower him, take his keys and after gagging him place him in a cell, depending ion the gun to awe any prisoners who might make an outcry. But whatever their plan was in this respect it miscarried. Hibbs would not enter the corridor and was shot down where he stood.

Thompson carried both his own and Ashbridge's coats when they fled,. As Ashbridge had decided to do the talking with Hibbs when the jailor came to lock them in their cells it was agreed that it would not be wise for the murderer to be wearing a coat. This might look suspicious to Hibbs and in all likelihood he would refuse to open the door. Hence it was decided that Thompson should take both coats. He also carried Ashbridge's cap and his own Panama.

The coats and harts were adjusted as they ran down the spiral stairway leading to the street. They walked slowly into Sixth Street; increasing their pace up Sixth Street after crossing Market and after turning into Cooper walked very rapidly. They turned north on Third Street to Main and thence to the Vine Street ferry, where they caught the boat leaving at 7:15 for Philadelphia. Landing on the other side the fugitives exchanged hats. They walked rapidly to Broad Street Station, where Mrs. Ashbridge was in waiting, this arrangement having been made when she smuggled the gun in to her husband on Saturday morning.

Accompanied by Thompson the Ashbridges walked out Market Street to Thirty-second Street. Here Thompson left them and after walking the street for a brief while longer the slayer and his wife boarded a trolley car for Chester, where a few hours later the murderer's short-lived liberty was so dramatically terminated.

Although jailor Ellis still insists that three shots were fired before he was attacked and in spite of the positive declaration of Alfred Williams, the trusty, that three shots were fired at Hibbs, Ashbridge claims that Hibbs was shot only once and that two bullets  were used on Ellis. He said that the three empty shells which the detectives found in his pocket contained the only bullets fired in the jail. The post mortem examination made yesterday by County Physician Stem bears out his contention as to the number of shots fired. Only one bullet was found and that had penetrated the jailor's heart.

"That's the truth about the shooting," declared Ashbridge. "I fired the shots- three of them in all- and the gun was given me by Thompson. My wife had nothing to do with it. Don't blame her."

Enroute back to the prison from which he had made his tragic getaway on Monday night, Ashbridge passed through the ante room where his wife was under guard. He stopped, kissed her, gently caressed her cheek, told her not to worry and passed on to the jail, from whence his next exit will be to the electric chair.

Haggard and very weak Mrs. Ashbridge was at once taken before the Prosecutor. With due regard for her condition Mrs. Ashbridge was handled very gently. At first she insisted that she had no part in getting the gun, but under skillful handling she finally broke down and confessed that she had supplied the revolver.

She stated that on Friday night she received a letter from her husband telling her that he planned to escape from the jail on Monday night and that he needed a revolver to make certain that his scheme would not fail.  He requested that she procure the pistol and cartridges and personally deliver them on Saturday. being anxious to aid her husband in every way possible she readily decided to do as he requested.

Accordingly she purchased the needed articles in a Philadelphia pawnshop on Friday afternoon, paying $3.00 for the pistol and 67 cents for the cartridges. She kept them over night and on Saturday safely delivered the weapon and bullets to her husband in the bottom of a basket of fruit. At the same time Ashbridge asked her to go with him and when she agreed to share his fate he told her to meet him in Broad Street Station, Philadelphia, shortly after seven o'clock on Monday night. He further told her that he had carefully studied the situation and did not see how it was possible for his plan to miscarry. On Monday morning she sent her children to the home of Mrs. Anna Dick and later in the day sent the letter to Mrs. Dick telling of her "rash deed" and enclosing $10 for the children.

As Mrs. Ashbridge told her story she spoke in a very low tone. Most of the time her eyes were cast down and as she concluded her brief narrative she sobbed convulsively and was in a state of utter collapse. Reviving somewhat when given cold water Mrs. Ashbridge was turned over to the police and taken back to City Hall to await her hearing this morning.

The prison key stolen by Ashbridge from Hibbs' murdered body was recovered this morning by Detective Doran in the yard of Dr. Frank, 2025 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. The recovery of the key was sue to information given by Ashbridge, after he had been locked up in jail yesterday afternoon. Ashbridge, when questioned as to the whereabouts of the key, said that Thompson had it and that he had seen him toss it over a wall of a residence near Twenty-third and Chestnut Streets on Monday night while he and his wife and Thompson were walking to Thirty-second Street.

Detective Doran and Constable Voight went to Philadelphia late yesterday afternoon and searched in vain for the key in the vicinity of Twenty-third and Chestnut Streets until darkness came on. Detective Doran renewed the search early this morning. There is a high wall fronting the yard at the home of Dr. Frank, and a search of the grounds resulted in the finding of the key, which was returned to Sheriff Haines.

Ashbridge is confined in a large cell in what is known as Section E. As cellmates he has two persons who are being held as witnesses to the crime. Sheriff Haines has assigned three constables, Gardner, Ford, and Addison. They will work on eight-hour shifts and will see that Ashbridge does not attempt any further escape or try to end his life.

Sergeant Detective Kane of the Chicago Police Department today took to Chicago Alfred Williams, who was an eyewitness to the murder of Hibbs. Williams, an Italian, served six months here on a charge of false pretence in obtaining money from a number of Italian grocers under the pretence that he represented the Roma Grocery Company. After his arrest and sentence here the police of Chicago lodged a detainer against Williams who is wanted in the West for a like crime.

The body of Jailor Hibbs will be exposed to view tonight at his home, 913 South 8th Street. Services will be conducted by Reverend Harry Bradway, pastor of Eighth Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Members of the Seventh Ward Republican Club, Mutual Aid and the Liberty Beneficial Society will attend in a body.

Tomorrow morning the body will be taken to Langhorne, where services will be held in the Friends Meeting House, after which interment will be made in the burial ground by the Schroeder-Kephart Company. Friends may call this evening to pay their respects.

Ashbridge will not be tried until December. On the day he was listed for trial of murdering Mrs. Dunbar his lawyer, Assemblyman Wolverton, was ill. In the interim the entire panel of jurors for the April term of court was discharged following a case of alleged tampering. This makes it necessary that he be held until September for trial unless the Court should otherwise decree, which is hardly likely.

Ashbridge is 22 years old and not 27, as previously stated. His real age was disclosed by the certificate of his marriage. He was 20 when he wedded two years ago,

The Howard Marshall who mailed a letter to a woman in Baltimore is not Freeholder Howard Marshall of the Eighth Ward, as was reported to the Prosecutor yesterday. Mr. Kraft's investigation disclosed that Freeholder Marshall does not know either Ashbridge or Thompson and that as a matter of fact the Marshall in question is an East Sider and to relative to the freeholder, who was naturally much upset at being mistakenly dragged into the case.

E.S. Fry, proprietor of the Keystone Hotel, Chester, where the couple were caught, told the story of the capture both to the city police and Prosecutor Kraft.

"Late on Monday night I received a call from another hotel, requesting that I take care of a man and his wife for the evening," said Mr. Fry. "I waited until a little before midnight when the couple arrived. He seemed nervous and registered in a shaky hand, and I was suspicious that there was something wrong."

"I did not pay much attention to the way he registered until the next morning when I examined the register and saw that he had neglected to register his wife. He signed 'Mr. Smythe, Washington, D.C.' I communicated my suspicions to my wife and told her to go observe the couple, too. Then I went out on the porch and picked up a morning newspaper. On the front page were the pictures of the two men  who escaped."

"I instantly recognized Ashbridge, but was not just sure of my identity of the man, so I decided to get a better look at him. At the breakfast table I observed him more closely and feeling sure of my ground I called Captain Schregler, afterward securing the service of two negro policemen, whom I placed on guard outside the hotel, giving them orders not to allow the couple to leave. The officers, William Padgett and William Robinson, took their positions outside the hotel, ready for the signal to enter when I gave it."

"Ashbridge arose."

"What's the matter," he exclaimed. "You know what's the matter," replied Mr. Fry, who brought in Captain Schregler and Detective Hunt. Schregler and Hunt instantly recognized the fugitive.

Before Ashbridge had a chance to move his arms were pinioned by his sides and Policeman Hunt had extracted the murder gun from his right hip pocket. It was fully loaded. In the same pocket were seventeen additional cartridges and in a suitcase in his room, Number 9, was a fresh box of cartridges.

"The little wife was crying bitterly," said Mr. Fry. "She leaned her head upon his shoulder and the husband tried to console her."

Captain Schregler sent a telegram to Chiefs Gravenor and Hyde with the startling news that Ashbridge had been caught.

On the way back to Camden Mrs. Ashbridge began to cry. She was sitting beside Captain Schregler, and he tried to console her. Her sobs increased, and Ashbridge called to her to "take it easy".

This seemed to quiet her a bit, and Schregler spoke to her kindly, saying that she would not be blamed very much for her part in the escape. "That's nopt worrying me" she answered. "I am worried about 'Wil'."

"well you women beat me" was Schregler's comment. "What did you want to help him escape for, anyhow? He had beaten you, deserted you for another woman and when she turned him down, he killed her. Yet you make up with him, leave your kids and risk everything to help him escape. Seems to me the worse men treat you women, the more you will do for them."

"Lots of truth in what you say'" remarked Mrs. Ashbridge, with a sigh.

Mr. Fry was the center of attention. Everybody seemed anxious to hear his story.

"I'm not going back until I collect that $500 either," he was heard to say. The capturer was formerly coroner of Delaware County.

Scenes of excitement were prevalent when the automobile of Chief Gravenor with Detective-chauffer David Hunt at the wheel, Captain Schregler and the prisoners in the rear and Chief Dodd, of the Pennsylvania Railroad police force in the front seat came from the Federal Street Ferry. E.S Fry, the hotel proprietor who caught the Ashbridges, was also in the car.

Ashbridge and his wife were instantly recognized. The news spread like wildfire and was passed along the route of the machine to police headquarters.

Thinking that the prisoners would be brought to the Prosecutors office, a battery of newspapermen and photographers were camped on the Court House plaza. When someone cried in bellowed tones "There they go", the scribes and photographers started in hot pursuit behind the automobile.

The officers upon reaching the City Hall had to fight their way through the dense crowd which had gathered outside Police Headquarters. Many stood tiptoed to get a good glance at the prisoners who were abashed at their predicament.

Pulling her black straw hat over her face, Mrs. Ashbridge leaned on her husband's arm. To hide his face the murderer pulled the Panama hat, which he had secured from Thompson, over his countenance.

Preliminary questioning was done by Captain A.L. James, after which the officers and prisoners were escorted upstairs to the office of Chief Gravenor.

Still clenching the stump of a cheap cigarette in the corner of his mouth, Ashbridge had a pitiful look on his face. He was much thinner than he was when he was arrested for the murder of the Dunbar girl. On his upper lip was a small mustache, which he raised during the last week.

His beautiful and baby-like eyes still retained their piercing stare. The murderer looked wild-eyed at persons in the room. He seemed to take delight in singling out persons in the room and "staring them out". None seemed courageous enough to return Ashbridge's strange stare. He looked distressed but the only betraying sign of nervousness was his incessant twitching of his fingers. Sweated on the couch in the chief's room, Ashbridge talked freely.

His wife dried away the tears as they trickled down her reddened face but after regaining her composure she seemed quite calm. She intently watched Captain Schregler and Detective Hunt as they searched through her husband's clothes.

When the trip for the Court House was being arranged the two prisoners, still handcuffed together, walked in the outer room of the chief's office. It was then that the wife broke down slightly. She choked back a sob and leaned her head on her husband's shoulder. Ashbridge did likewise and patted her on the back, at the same time, saying something in a suppressed tone of voice. The only persons in the room at the time were Assistant Chief Hyde and a Post-Telegram reporter. Neither was able to catch the words uttered. Captain Schregler, Chief Gravenor, and Detective Hunt later entered the room and the start for the Court House was made.

The crowd below which was camped about the entrance to the building awaited with patient expectancy, when the news was spread that the prisoners were leaving the building.

Camera men took their positions, ready to snap the couple, but the Ashbridges fooled them. Before the door leading to the street was opened Ashbridge drew his wife to him and with their free hands pulled their hats over their faces, thus eluding the photographers, who resorted top every means to secure a photograph.

Once inside the automobile the prisoners seemed content until the Court House was reached when another large crowd was on hand to great them. Both repeated the trick of hiding their faces.

After Ashbridge was taken to his cell his wife was ordered taken to the detention department in the City Hall. Captain Schregler and Detective Hunt half-carrying the sobbing and broken-hearted woman, who has aroused some sympathy for her courageousness in taking such a desperate chance for the man she loved, the father of her children and a cruel murderer.

"What other woman would do as much as she has for her husband," was the query advanced by one of the spectators in the Court House corridor as Mrs. Ashbridge passed through on her way to the waiting automobile.


Camden Post-Telegram * July 20, 1916

FORGER THOMPSON STILL AT LIBERTY
No Trace Yet Found of the Ashbridge’s Pal in Sensational and Tragic Escape From the County Prison on Monday Night
FOOD SHUNNED BY YOUNG MURDERER

Evidently in hiding, George E. Thompson, who escaped from prison with Wilson Ashbridge on Monday night after Murdering one jailor and wounding another, is still at liberty. No trace of him has been found after he left Ashbridge and Mrs. Ashbridge at Thirty-second and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, on Monday night, and the police and county officials have assumed a policy of watching, waiting, in the hope that the hundreds of circulars sent to the police all over the country will be productive of the capture of the fugitive or at least some real clue as to his whereabouts.

Ashbridge has not eaten anything since his return to the jail. This, however, is not regarded by the prison officials as a hunger strike. A man who had gone through what Ashbridge experienced in the last three days is naturally not hungry and the fact that he had not touched the food served to him is not causing any worry. Just as soon as his nerves settle a bit and he becomes resigned to his fate Ashbridge will likely eat as heartily as before. 

The murderer is much more composed today than he was yesterday. Practically all of yesterday he spent pacing the narrow confines of his cell in Murderers’ Row and for the greater part of the time he was crying. Toward evening he became less restless. A little after 9:00 o’clock he threw himself on his bunk and was soon in a sound sleep, which lasted until 6:00 o’clock this morning. 

The food handed into the double murderer through the opening in the door of his cell has been taken out untouched, and not a mouthful of the nourishment has been taken by the prisoner. He drank freely of water and craves for tobacco, which thus far has been denied him. The food served him is the same given the other prisoners. In the morning it is half a loaf of bead and a cup of coffee. For dinner they get pea or bean soup with bread, and for supper some sort of stew or soup with bread and sometimes boiled potatoes with the skins on. Fish is served on Friday. None of this has looked good to Ashbridge, who probably would not touch a more tempting menu.  At any rate he has not asked for anything for the very simple reason that he is not hungry. 

Seemingly more composed and realizing the gravity of her position, Mrs. Ashbridges still languishes in the detention Department of Police Headquarters, where she is under the care of the kindly matron, Mrs. Kirkpatrick. 

The woman frequently expresses her regret for her rashness. She confides in Mrs. Kirkpatrick, who has given her every care. 

“I don’t know why I did it,” said Mrs. Ashbridge to the matron several times.

"Oh, I wish someone had shot me, becasue I deserved it," she tearfully cried when the matron tried to console her. To Jailor Fred Lechleidner, who knew her when she was a little girl, Mrs. Ashbridge also expressed regret for her act.

Since her hearing yesterday the woman has talked very little of her husband. When mention is made of his name she seems indifferent, and the police suspect that her affections for her murderer-husband are cooling.

When told that Mrs. Gick had agrees to take her two children to Wildwood for a vacation, Mrs. Ashbridge smiled and clapped her hands in joy.

"Thank God for that; I know they'll be alright now" she said to the matron.

For supper last night Mrs. Ashbridge ate a chop, a large quantity of tomatoes and potatoes, a cup of tea and some sliced peaches. She said she felt much better after eating. For her breakfast she ate two slices of toast and drank a cup of coffee. Mrs. Kilpatrick said she slept soundly all thorough the night and arose about six o'clock this morning.

The circular being sent out to the police all over the country contain front and side likenesses of Thompson and read as follows:

$500 REWARD
WANTED FOR MURDER

On July 17th, 1916 at 7 o'clock p.m., George E. Thompson, alias Francis Murphy, shot and killed a jailor at Camden County Jail, Camden, New Jersey, shot and wounded another jailor, and escaped.

George E. Thompson, alias Francis Murphy, is white, 41 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches in height, weighs 175 pounds, has dark brown hair mixed with gray, very bushy, light complexion, gray eyes, smooth face, first and middle finger of his left hand are missing, wears nose glasses. He was confined in the County Jail on charges of forgery and obtaining money under false pretences. He is well-educated and represents himself as an attorney-at-law.

Bertillon measurements: 70; 70; 91-0; 19-1; 15-4; 0-2; 12-4; 24-4; First and L.M. Fing missing; 8-4; 43-8.

Five hundred dollars reward will be paid for the arrest or information leading to the arrest of this man.

The circular, which is signed by Prosecutor Kraft and Chief of Police Gravenor, discloses the fact that the first and middle fingers of the fugitives hand are missing. In the prior descriptions mention was made of but one finger gone. The fact that two of his fingers are gone should serve to make his capture all the more certain should he venture out in Public.

City and county detectives spent several hours in Philadelphia last night scouring the Tenderloin and other places where crooks are likely to gather, but no trace of the fugitive could be found.

Asked today if he would represent Ashbridge for the murder of Hibbs, Charles A. Wolverton, who is counsel for Ashbridge on the charge of shooting the Dunbar woman, said: "As an officer of the court I am subject to whatever order Judge Garrison may make. In representing Ashbridge in the former matter I am operating under an order of the Court which was made by Judge Garrison on the application of Ashbridge for counsel to represent him, as he was without means to employ counsel. For a great many years it has been the custom of the Court of this country to grant such requests and this was accordingly done when Ashbridge made application; in fact, it is a right that the accused person has under the laws of the State. Whether I will be appointed to act for him in this last case I do not know. The matter is entirely in the hands of Judge Garrison, who has the right to appoint any member of the Bar he desires."

Provisions for the temporary care of the Ashbridge babies- Marian and Thomas- was made last night. Mr. and Mrs. Gick, of 2744 Pierce Avenue, East Camden, notifying Secretary Walsh, of the S.P.C.C. that they would take the kiddies with them to Wildwood this afternoon.

Jailor Ellis is rapidly recovering at Cooper Hospital, Police Surgeon Schellenger stating today that is condition is fine.


Philadelphia Inquirer - March 18, 1917
Pine Street - Thomas Bundick - Emma Knauff Bundick
Philip Knauff - Elisha Gravenor - Harry Vliet - John Sheeran
Albert Cornog - Clarence Boyer - William Briant - David Hunt
Kaighn Avenue M.E. Church - Rev. William P. Valiant

Philadelphia Inquirer
April 13, 1917

John Daly
Elm Street

Newton Avenue

Carteret Street
Elisha Gravenor


Philadelphia Inquirer
January 2, 1918

T. Gordon Coulter
George Kappell
Frederick A. Finkeldey
William C. Davis
Theodore T. Kausel
Allen Jarvis -
Frank S. Van Hart
Frederick von Nieda
Joseph Forsyth
Dr. Charles P. Tuttle
Dr. H.F. Bushey
Elisha Gravenor
Charles Whaland


Philadelphia Inquirer
September 7, 1919

Click on Images for PDF File of Complete Article

Admiral Henry Wilson - Charles H. Ellis
Elisha A. Gravenor - Edward S. Hyde
William E. Albert -
James H. Long
Frank S. Van Hart - William D. Sayrs Jr.
Frank S. Fithian - A. Benjamin Sparks
Kessel Webster - William H. Iszard
Robert D. Clow - Andrew B.F. Smith
William H. Lorigan - Charles Austermuhl
David Doane -
William C. Davis
William Vanaman -
David Baird Sr.
J. Wesley Sell - William D. Brown
Charles A. Wolverton - William J. Browning

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Philadelphia Inquirer - August 24, 1920





Charles H. Ellis - David Bentley - Vincenzo Strattoni - Percy D. Gunn - Elizabeth M. Hyatt
Quentin Hyatt - Hazel Dalton - Eileen Dalton - Kenneth Stafford - William A. Streeker
Alice Streeker - Dorothy Streeker - James Dalton - John Myers - Neil Herold - Robert Stafford
Margaret Stafford - Tony Verne - William Osborne - Elisha Gravenor - Alfred Bath
Theodore M. Hyatt - Violet Ettinmger - Ida Wadsworth - Viola Street - Sumter Road
Collings Road - Kansas Road - Minnesota Road
Constitution Road

October 1920
This wanted poster was circulated prior to the discovery of David S. Paul's remains

David S. Paul - Elisha A. Gravenor - Charles A. Wolverton

 

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 9, 1921

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

CAMDEN DAILY COURIER - JANUARY 24, 1922
Charge Detective Murry Protected Vice

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John B. Kates - Walter Keown - George Ward - Howard Fisher - James E. Tatem
Elisha A. Gravenor - E.G.C. Bleakly - Anthony "Babe" Paradise - "Pye" Calletino
George Murry - William Draper - Tony Latorre - Ira Hall - George V. Murry
Harry "Dutch" Selby - Gus Davis - Albert "Salty" Cook - Ned Galvin - James Wilson
Sycamore Street - Pine Street - Rosetta Blue - Deena Howard - Minnie Draper
Harry Knox - Blanche Martin - Jesse Smith - Antonio Pelle - Ethel Murray
Paulo Genovese - Nazzara DeVecches - Nino Mercandino -
South 2nd Street -
South 3rd Street - South 4th Street - Line Street - Pine Street
Ann Street - Baxter Street - Sycamore Street

CAMDEN POST-TELEGRAM * JANUARY 4, 1922
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John B. Kates - Walter Keown - George Ward - Howard Fisher
Anthony "Babe" Paradise - "Pye" Calletino - Polack Joe Devon
Richard Marchmon - E.G.C. Bleakly -
George Murry - William Draper
Tony Latorre - Ira Hall - Harry "Dutch" Selby - Gus Davis
Albert "Salty" Cook - Ned Galvin - James Wilson
Sycamore Street - Pine Street - Rosetta Blue - Deena Howard

CAMDEN COURIER * JANUARY 5, 1922
VICE GRAFT PROBE BRINGS SUSPENSIONS FOR 4 POLICEMEN
Detective George Murry and Patrolmen Draper, Hall and Latorre Affected
HEARINGS SET FOR JANUARY 11
Men Accused of Giving Protection to Tenderloin of Downtown Wards
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Elisha A. Gravenor - E.G.C. Bleakly - George Murry
Ira Hall - William Draper -Anthony Latorre - Minnie Draper - Jessie Smith - Harry Knox
Line Street - Pine Street

CAMDEN COURIER * JANUARY 6, 1922
Elisha A. Gravenor - E.G.C. Bleakly - Charles A. Wolverton
George Murry - Ira Hall - William Draper -Anthony Latorre 

CAMDEN COURIER * JANUARY 9, 1922
Elisha A. Gravenor - E.G.C. Bleakly - Charles H. Ellis
George Murry - Ira Hall - William Draper -Anthony Latorre 

CAMDEN COURIER * JANUARY 13, 1922
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E.G.C. Bleakly - Charles H. Ellis - Elisha A. Gravenor - Charles A. Wolverton
George Murry
- Ira Hall - William Draper -Anthony Latorre
Howard Fisher - Albert D.  Archer 

CAMDEN COURIER * JANUARY 16, 1922
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E.G.C. Bleakly - Charles H. Ellis - Elisha A. Gravenor
Charles A. Wolverton - George Murry - Ira Hall - William Draper Anthony Latorre - Dr. A. Haines Lippincott - Lewis Stehr Jr.
Gus Giuseppi Guarino -
Benson Street - Edward West

CAMDEN COURIER * JANUARY 25, 1922
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E.G.C. Bleakly - Charles H. Ellis - Elisha A. Gravenor  
Charles A. Wolverton - George Murry - Ira Hall - William Draper Anthony Latorre - Dr. A. Haines Lippincott - Lewis Stehr Jr.
Gus Giuseppi Guarino -
Benson Street - Edward West

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