RALPH WALDO EMERSON DONGES was born in Donaldson, Schuylkill County PA to Dr. John Washington Donges and his wife Rose Marguerite Renaud Donges on May 5, 1868. His father was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania who practiced medicine in Pennsylvania before coming to Camden NJ. His mother was born in France. Ralph Donges was the second of five children, coming after Clarence and  before Miriam, Raymond, and Evelyn Donges.  Dr. John W. Donges moved his family to 1801 Broadway in Camden in 1875. The family remained there until the mid 1890s, when they lived at 525 Broadway. By 1920 Ralph W.E. Donges and his parents had moved to 805 Cooper Street.

After seeing John W. Wescott try a case at the Camden County Court House, Ralph Donges prevailed upon his father to allow him to study law. After studying under Wescott, who went on to a long and distinguished career as a judge in Camden, Ralph Donges went into the practice of law, and practiced alongside older brother Raymond R. Donges, who had passed the bar in 1895 after studying with Judge Howard Carrow

Ralph W.E. Donges, like his father, also became involved in politics and community affairs. On September 23, 1904 hew was named secretary of the First Congressional District branch of the Democrats. He had served as a legal aide to Woodrow Wilson prior to his election as president. Ralph W.E. Donges was an active member of several fraternal and professional organizations, especially Camden Lodge 111, Loyal Order of Moose. He was already quite prominent in the Moose organization when he met the Vice-President Thomas Marshall on, Sunday, July 27, 1913. The purpose of the meeting was to arrange for Marshall to speak at the dedication of a home for fatherless children being started by the Loyal Order of Moose. Ralph Waldo Emerson Donges was presiding that year as Supreme Dictator. (The title of the fraternity's presiding officer was not changed to Supreme Governor until 1940.)

“I detest orphanages,” Marshall had irritably responded to Donges in initially trying to get out of the assignment. “When I was Governor of Indiana I was forced in the course of duty to visit a number of orphanages. I thought they were terrible places, and I won’t help you lay the cornerstone for another one.”

Donges, then 38 and a lawyer from Camden, NJ, reassured the Vice President. “It will never be that kind of orphanage,” he said, referring to the dreary urban warehouses of abandoned children then common in the U.S.; places that got their income via donations from couples who would come to view children before selecting one to adopt. That’s not at all what the Moose were planning, Donges insisted: “It will be a home and school for the children of our deceased members.”

 The orphanage the Moose opened up in 1913 is the Mooseheart Child City and School, a residential childcare facility owned and operated by Moose International. Located on a 1,200-acre campus 38 miles west of Chicago, the Child City is a home for children and teens, from infancy through high school.

Ralph Donges was still practicing law in Camden when the United States entered World War I. Along with brother-in-law  Dr. Grant Elmer Kirk, he served on the Camden City Draft Board. Ralph Donges also was a member of the Public Safety Committee before being called to service in May of 1918 in the United States Army during the war, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

After the war Ralph Donges served as a judge in the New Jersey legal system, first as a circuit judge from 1920 to 1930, then as an associate justice of New Jersey state supreme court for 18 years, from 1930 to 1948, and finally as a superior court judge from 1948 through 1951. He also was involved in banking, and was the first president of the South Camden Trust when it opened for business at Broadway & Ferry Avenue on April 2, 1921.

Ralph W.E. Donges was a member of the American Bar Association,  the  Freemasons, the Elks; and Moose. During the later years of his life he made his home in Oaklyn NJ. Ralph W.E. Donges passed away in September of 1974. He was entombed in the family mausoleum at Harleigh Cemetery, Camden, NJ.

After his death in September of 1974, the Honorable Ralph W.E. Donges Memorial Scholarship Award, an annual scholarship of $1,000 to be given an evening student at any of the following law schools: Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers-Newark, Seton Hall, Penn, Temple, Villanova, or Widener, was established. Applicants must demonstrate a bona fide intention to practice law in Camden County. Applicants also should demonstrate genuine financial need as well as scholastic achievement.

1801 Broadway

Where Dr. John W. Donges
and family
1875 through the early 1890s

Click on Images to Enlarge

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 27, 1912

Ralph W.E. Donges - Camden Lodge 111, Loyal Order of Moose

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 19, 1916

Thomas M.K. Lee Post 5, G.A.R. - Ralph W.E. Donges
John W. Bodine - George Barrett

History of Camden County in the Great War 1917-1918

South Camden Trust Building

August 2, 2003

Click on image to Enlarge

 Designed by architect Joseph Hettel.

Trenton Evening Times
May 31, 1922

Emma Hyland

Harry J. Kelleher
Ralph W.E. Donges

Camden Courier-Post - January 25, 1928


A suit instituted by a Camden family against the Yellow Cab Company for $65,000 growing out of a collision between an automobile in which they were riding and one of the concern’s cabs was settled out of court today for $2,500.

The suit, brought by Thomas W. Jackson, 50 years old; his wife, Sarah E., and daughter, Hannah J., 14 years old, of 1018 Cooper street, was begun yesterday in Circuit Court before Judge Ralph W. E. Donges and a jury.

Settlement was announced by Albert S. Woodruff, attorney for the family, and T. Harry Rowland, counsel for the cab company.

The Jacksons testified they were passengers in a machine that collided with a taxicab at Sixth and Clinton Streets November 15, 1926.  They charged that the cab was speeding.

Camden Courier-Post - January 31, 1931

Philadelphia Sportsman Sued by Camden Trio In Circuit Court

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.

The plaintiffs, who are represented by attorney Albert S. Woodruff, are 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.

The 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.

According 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 days later.

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.

The defense will contend that the Klopp car had no lights, and will deny all responsibility for the tragedy.

Klopp 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 - January 31, 1928

City Fireman Seeks $200,000
From Manufacturer for Loss of Wife

Hearing in the suit of a city fireman demanding from a Camden manufacturer $200,000, alleging alienation or his wife’s affections and defamation of his character was scheduled to start before Judge Ralph W. Donges and a jury in Camden Circuit Court late this afternoon.

Samuel Oshushek, 30 years old, 1639 Pulaski Street, asks $150,000 for the loss of his wife’s love, which he says was stolen by Peter Malinowski, 47 years old, of Drexel Hill PA, proprietor of a concrete block factory at Mt. Ephraim Avenue and Decatur Street, Camden. The fireman also seeks $50,000 for reflections alleged to have been made against his name and character by Malinowski.

According to Oshushek’s affidavit, his wife, Clara, 27 years old, also is living in Drexel Hill. He contends that Malinowski and Mrs. Oshushek became intimate in June 1926, and that the manufacturer finally induced Mrs. Oshushek to leave her husband,

Oshushek further alleges that before his wife’s purported elopement, she received letters from the manufacturer in which the latter attacked the character of the fireman.

Police court records show that the wives of the two men engaged in a quarrel on March 30, 1927 and came to blows. When a date for hearing was set, Mrs. Malinowski did not appear in court. She afterward the told police that her husband had beat her so severely that she could not appear.  


February 4, 1928

Ralph W.E. Donges
William C. French
Frank F. Neutze
Peter Malinowski
Samuel Oshushek

Pulaski Street


February 21, 1928

Ralph W.E. Donges
William C. French
Anna M. Lawson

Miller Street


Ralph W.E. Donges' memorial to Judge John W. Wescott
Published in the 1930 Archive,
the yearbook of the Law School of South Jersey, Camden NJ

My admiration for Judge Wescott developed early. I admired my own father greatly, and he, I discovered, regarded the militant young Judge not only as a friend, but as a heroic character.

 I went into the old Camden County Court House one day- I heard my future preceptor try a case. The picture is with me now, of the skilled, aggressive advocate, and the brilliant, splendidly poised trial judge, the late Charles Grant Garrison, who sat in the trial of cases, where I have the privilege of sitting now. From then on my ambition remained fixed. What earnest boy has not dreamed a future? I wanted to become a lawyer, a trial lawyer, a great trial lawyer if possible- and I wanted to learn the law under Judge Wescott. I think my father hoped that I would follow him in the practice of medicine- in which he was rendering a great service to the community- but when he realized the earnestness of my wish to study law, he did not try to dissuade me, but took me to the Judge’s office, and shortly thereafter my legal training began. Not, however, at the first interview. It was not enough that his good friend had a son who wanted to become a lawyer. I had to convince one, then the other, that it was no passing whim on my part. These were my first two important arguments. To me they were vital, and, having won the first, I struggled the harder to win the next. When Judge Wescott saw I that was in earnest and not to be discouraged by his warnings of the difficulties and dangers of a lawyer’s life, he, with evident reluctance, consented to try me out for a time. He told me he hesitated to take students because he had neither time nor inclination for their instruction. Nevertheless, that was a happy day for me, not only because it meant the beginning of my legal training, but because I knew that it meant an exceptionally good training. By this I do not mean that my preceptor was, in the usual sense, an exceptionally good teacher. Indeed, he had but little knack in giving personal instruction. He had neither the interest in legal technicalities nor the requisite patience for teaching by rote. But he was an inspiring example. To be with him in the office and the courtroom was a constant stimulus to exertion and the acquirement of skill in every branch of the law. The young men he took as students, developed in nearly every instance into capable lawyers. The late Judge Vroom, Francis D. Weaver, who later became his partner, Howard L. Miller, and the Judge’s own three sons, are some of these students, who either preceded or followed my apprenticeship.

 Judge Wescott was interested primarily in the character of his students. He looked first, I think, for honesty, next for courage, lastly for skill and learning. All are prime essentials, but I place them in the order in which he held them, and in which he exemplified them. Great as were his skill and learning, they rested on the greater foundation of courage; and that, in turn, rested on his essential honesty of character, which sprang from the love in his heart.

 He was a lover of all mankind and his fighting spirit was aroused whenever he believed human right was invaded. To him the financial benefit of winning a case, either to the client or to himself was not to be considered, in comparison with the vindication of a right. If he sometimes appeared adamantine or intolerant, it was only because he believed an injustice or an untruth was being perpetrated. He had no disposition to compromise or temporize with either.

By nature, then, a kindly, lovable soul, as I have good reason to know, he would become hard and merciless in his condemnation of sham, hypocrisy, deceit and attempted injustice. In the event of what he conceived to be an oppression, by whomsoever attempted, he flung into the conflict with all of his tremendous powers. I wish space permitted a narration of some instances of the exhibition of his courage, skill, and resourcefulness. None, who has heard him, can forget his matchless elegance, his compelling reasoning, his quiet commanding presence, as he sought to vindicate what he believed in the moment to be right.

 Judge Wescott was essentially an advocate, but such was his belief in the majesty of the law for the honest settlement of differences between suitors, that I believe he never took pleasure in the winning of any case, unless he believed that substantial justice had been done between the parties.

 His life is an inspiration to those following him, an exemplification, as above stated, of honesty, courage, learning, and skill. Fidelity to duty, as he saw that duty, was the cardinal principle that controlled his activities as an advocate- “With firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.”

 Judge Wescott was a great lawyer, a brilliant and courageous advocate, a warm hearted, sympathetic friend, a thorough-going American, to whom Shakespeare’s words, as quoted by Dean Minturm at the end of his foregoing appreciation of our mutual friend and mentor, most aptly apply.

 Ralph W.E. Donges
 Camden NJ
April 1930

‘Take him for all in all, We shall not look upon his like again”




Camden Courier-Post
June 3, 1932





Camden Courier-Post * June 11, 1932
Lewis Liberman - Edward Borden - Ralph W.E. Donges - Lewis Starr -Harry M. Schierer
Patrick H. Harding - Robert J. Kearns -
William Morgenweck - Isaac Van Sciver
H. Schoemer - Julius Burman - Solis D. Cohen -
William T. Boyle - Francis D. Weaver
Walter R. Carroll - Joseph H. Carr - E.E. Read Jr. -
Camden Lodge of Elks
Broadway Merchants Trust Company - Church of the Immaculate Conception

Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1933


"The greatest civic duty an upright, patriotic citizen can render his community is to serve on a jury when called and to be impartial in reaching a verdict in whatever case is brought before him."

Justice Ralph W. E. Donges made that statement yesterday in, instructing the 45 members of the second panel of the petit jury in their duties. Justice Donges substituted for Justice Frank T. Lloyd, who regularly talks to each new jury panel, but who is in Virginia recuperating from an illness.  

Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1933

Justice Donges Presides at Ceremonies Attended by Many Lawyers

By Staff Correspondent

Mt. Holly, June l.-V. Claude Palmer, law partner of State Senator Clifford R. Powell, today took the oath as a judge of the New Jersey Circuit Court.

Palmer was sworn In by Supreme Court Justice Ralph W. E. Donges before some 200 persons assembled in the old Burlington county Court House. Among those present, in addition to Powell, were Prosecutor Howard A. Eastwood; Judge Charles A. Rigg, of Common Pleas and County Probation Officer Frank Hendrickson, all of whom made brief speeches.

Eastwood welcomed Palmer to the bench in behalf of the county bar association, declaring that Burlington County has lost an attorney who "has been our ideal for years."

"We know he has the ability and are proud that he has been elevated to this honor," said the prosecutor.

Justice Donges declared he has known Palmer for years as an able lawyer.

Palmer said he would exercise his best powers to carry out the high trust of his office.

Camden Courier-Post - June 8, 1933

Slayer of Housekeeper Sought to Escape Chair on Insanity Plea

Twice reprieved, Louis Fine, convicted trunk slayer, is to die next Monday night In the electric chair at State's Prison in Trenton.

Fine's execution was set by Governor Moore for the week of June 11 and yesterday Col. Edward B. Stone, principal keeper at State's Prison, selected Monday at 9 p.m,. as the time for the electrocution.

Convicted by a jury in an Atlantic County Criminal Court June 9, 1932, of the murder of Mrs. Mattie Schaaf, 60, Atlantic City housekeeper with whom he lived, Fine and his attorneys have exerted. every effort to keep him from the electric chair.

Both the Court of Errors' and Appeals and the Board of Pardons refused to commute the sentence to life imprisonment or grant the convicted man a new trial.

On application of John Rauffenbart and Edward B. Feinberg, Atlantic City attorneys. Governor Moore granted a reprieve from execution scheduled for April 28 last so that a final test of Fine's mentality could be made by alienists.

At a hearing before Supreme Court Justice Ralph W. E. Donges in Mays Landing, Fine was declared sane and a new execution date set.

The coming electrocution will set a precedent as far as Atlantic county is concerned for Fine will be the first convicted murderer from that county to expiate his crime in the chair.

The body of Mrs. Schaaf, which had been shipped from Atlantic City in a double trunk, was found in a Philadelphia rooming house March 7, 1932. Fine was later arrested in Atlantic City at the home of Mrs. Schaaf and he admitted having shipped the trunk for another man but did not know its contents.

Camden Courier-Post - June 12, 1933

Old Centreville Families 
Dr. Donges, Mills, Schepperkittes, Covely and Other Men Wrought Through Years to Bring Needed Improvements to District


WHEN a larger community annexes an adjoining district the newer area is generally regarded, for a time at least, as a step-child. Older residents of East Camden will bear out that truism when they recall how difficult it was to obtain improvements. Years before, Newton Township which became part of Camden, had had the same experience. Under such circumstances, it requires tireless energy on the part of leading men to get what their district needs. Demands often go unheeded unless the community is fortunate in having those of spirit who insist on street improvements, water extension, lighting facilities and schools. That was more in evidence half a century ago than now, of course, for Camden itself was little more than a large village. 

Down in Centreville there were men who looked after the interests of their constituents, who slowly but surely obtained, improvements and who insisted on being recognized by the powers that be. No one may think of old Centreville without thought of Dr. John W. Donges, whose value to not only that section but Camden at large, has been expatiated upon in these annals. He was not only a leading physician, with a practice extending into Camden, but a leader in many civic movements, and any article on that era would be incomplete without allusion again to the doctor whose services as a real family physician are part of the traditions of many old families. 

Came Here In 1872 

He came here in 1872 from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, when his health was affected by overwork through loyalty to his patients. He bought the drugstore at Ferry Avenue and Broadway, remaining there for many years. It was there Supreme Court Justice Ralph W. E. Donges spent his boyhood. 

There, too, Dr. Clarence B. Donges and Attorney Raymond Donges were boys. Grant E. Kirk, clerk in his store, later becoming a physician and for several years a member of council and at one time being prominently boomed for mayor, married their sister. Dr. Donges was elected to council in 1878 on the Democratic ticket, itself an evidence of the high regard in which he was held, for the Eighth Ward generally was rock­ribbed Republican. Until the early part of this century he resided in his old place, but later went to Broadway and Clinton Streets. In later years, after he had retired, he was city assessor, "just to keep busy." He died a few years ago, well in his 80s, mourned by a great host of Camdenites.

There was another widely known Centreville family of the old days, that of Samuel Mills, who had his own abattoir at Broadway and Jackson Street, where city-dressed meats were provided before the days of car refrigeration brought supplies from the great packing places in Chicago. His son, Charlie, was long a member of the Board of Education, while another, William, was a city councilman. Edward Milis, another son, was excise commissioner 35 years ago in the days when there was plenty of trouble with Sunday sellers. 

Cornelius Schepperkotter was a factor in politics down that way, too, having a grocery store on Ferry Avenue at Ninth, later moving to the southwest corner when the Charles Sumner School was built. That school was torn down two years ago for the recreation center. Schepperkotter was a member of the old Board of Public Instruction in the late 90's, named by Mayor Cooper B. Hatch. In later years and until his death, he was superintendent of Evergreen Cemetery. He was father of Mrs. Frank S. Albright, wife of City Clerk Albright

Frank Covely 

Shortly after the New York shipyard was opened, there moved to the "Hill" Frank D. L. Covely, who became a joiner and for years was foreman of the joiner shop. He was widely known as a secret society man and also as an effective campaign speaker for the G. O. P. He was a member of the Board of Education. 

He sought to go to council, but that was at the time Kirk was a power in the ward. Covely laughingly used to tell of a meeting all set for him from which all save the colored folk were drawn away through strategy of his party opponents. But for ten years he was a member of the Board of Recreation Commissioners. 

That movement owed much to his work. Nor did he forget his colored friends, for he had a playground established for them at Ferry Avenue and Phillips Street and the large one [Staley Park- PMC] at Seventh and Jefferson streets. Long afterward that was named for another city official, but Covely's friends said it should have been for him, as a monument to his services for the boys and girls of Centreville. He died a few years ago at Bellmawr in his 70s, after a hectic experience as a chicken raiser at Port Norris. 

There, too, was William Dorrell, superjntendent of the old "Narrow Guage" who was one of the leading spirits in the paving of Broadway, nearly 60 years ago the big issue of that section. He lived in a house along the railroad still standing, as the hospital and dispensary of the shipyard. 

Mention has been made of the Ferrises, the Helmbolds, the Yeagers, of Squire James D. Chester and Squire F. Joseph Rouh. There was also William O. Thompson, the leading contractor down that way for many years and Theodore Tiedeken, who established the wagon works on Van Hook Street, Martin Ewe, who had the hotel at Broadway and Emerald, and down the street a bit James Croker, who operated Tammany Hall. Forty years ago there was one of the best young athletes of the city, Thomas Nicholas, now retired Camden fire chief. He was down in old No. 3 with Bill Rose, long a fire captain, Bill Miller, Al James, Sam Lodge, Gus Dold and Jim Ware.

Many of these old timers have passed on, but others are still in the flesh but scattered to all parts of the city but it may be said the survivors look back on the days that were down there in Centreville with an interest that does not dim with the passing years.

Camden Courier-Post - June 12, 1933
Real Estate Broker, 51, Has Aged 25 Years Since Arrest 

Trenton, June 10 - Louis B. Fine, 51, but aged considerably beyond his years, is to forfeit his life tomorrow night. He is scheduled to die in the electric chair, as penalty for the murder of Mrs. Mattie Schaaf, his land­lady, of Atlantic City, whose body was found in a trunk shipped to a Philadelphia rooming house in March, 1932.
The former real estate broker will be the first man sent to the electric chair from Atlantic County. In the past 25 years there have been 105 murder trials in that county. 

Fine was scheduled for execution several months ago, but reprieved temporarily when an effort was made to declare him insane. The attempt failed and Supreme Court Justice Ralph W. E. Donges re-sentenced him to death. Court attaches who saw Fine during the sanity hearing at Mays Landing said they could hardly recognize him. The man, they declared, seemed 25 years older than when he was captured.

An organization of which Fine is a member is said to be seeking a reprieve and possible commutation of sentence. Little hope is held, however, and Col. Edward B. Stone, warden at the state prison here, has completed arrangements for the execution..

Camden Courier-Post- January 23, 1938


Click on Images to Enlarge

Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1938

Surprise Appointment Elevates Essex Judge instead of Palmer

Trenton, January 31- Governor Moore today nominated Circuit Court Judge Newton H. Porter, now sitting in Essex: county, to the state Supreme Court seat left vacant by the retirement of Justice Frank T. Lloyd, of Merchantville. The nomination is now before the Senate for confirmation. 

The naming of Porter, a Republican, was a distinct surprise. Circuit Judge V. Claude Palmer, of Burlington county and also a Republican, was believed to have had the inside track for the court vacancy.

J. Warren Leyden, of Hackensack, was nominated as circuit judge to succeed Judge Porter.

The nomination of Porter, marks the fourth time he has been, appointed to the bench by a Democratic Governor and the third, time by Moore.

He first was named to the Essex County Common Pleas Court in 1924 by Gov. George H. Silzer. Moore appointed him to the Circuit Court in 1926 and reappointed him during the second Moore administration.

Porter's appointment maintains the five to four Republican majority on the Supreme Court. When Moore first took office, it was reported that he would name a Democrat to reverse the balance, but later it was understood that the seat would go to a Republican.

The terms of Chief Justice Brogan and Chancellor Campbell, both Democrats, expire during Moore's present administration and it was understood that the Democrats felt that by appointing a G. O. P. man to the Lloyd vacancy they could forestall any criticism of continuing two of their own party in the highest judicial posts in the state.

Porter is a resident of Montclair.

He was born in Somerville, April 13, 1877, and moved with his parents to Newark in 1885. At the age of 12 he went to work in the Newark office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, where he remained until January 1, 1910.

Meanwhile, he went to school at night and in 1902 was graduated from the New York University's evening law school. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar as an attorney in 1904 and as a counselor in 1907. From 1910 until his appointment to Common Pleas Court he practiced law in Newark.

Legislative correspondents here re called Porter as a capable attorney who took part in a number of public hearings on bills. He usually represented liquor interests in hearings on measures governing that industry.

The Supreme Court appointment is for seven years and pays $18,000 annually. Justice Lloyd ended his term last Saturday and chose to retire at $9000 a year, thus causing the vacancy.

Justice Donges, now sitting in the Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties district, is expected to take over Lloyd's old district of Camden and Gloucester counties, while Justice Perskie may move down from the Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean counties .district to the so-called "Shore Circuit" vacated by Donges.

Justices select their own districts according to seniority and usually chose one near their residence. Since Donges lives in Camden he is expected to choose Camden and Gloucester. Perskie's home is in Atlantic City, and it is believed he will take over the shore district.

This will leave the Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean circuit open for Porter, provided some other justice does not choose it.

Porter's appointment apparently dashed the hopes of South Jersey Democrats that they might get a judgeship out of the Supreme Court shift. They had anticipated that if Palmer, who had the backing of Senator Powell and other Hoffmanite Republicans, were named to the Supreme Court, some local Democrat would take Palmer's place on Circuit. With Porter being appointed, however, his successor on the Circuit bench probably will be Grossman or some other North Jersey man.

Reilly, for 27 years connected with the Federal Trust Company, Newark, and now treasurer of the institution, is best known politically since the inauguration of President Roosevelt for his work in connection with the Birthday Ball committee. He has been treasurer of the committee in Essex county each year, and served in a like capacity for the Jackson Day Dinner committees. He is a member of the American Institute of Banking.

In addition to his post with the Federal Trust, Reilly is president of the North Newark and secretary of the Newark 21 Building and Loan Associations. He never before has held public office.

In his youth Reilly was well known as a professional basketball player. Later, he enlisted in the Navy during the World War. He never married..

Camden Courier-Post - February 5, 1938


Legal Profession Pleased at Designation
to Preside Over Lloyd's District

Supreme Court Justice Ralph W. E. Donges yesterday was assigned to preside over the Camden-Gloucester county Second judicial district of the Supreme Court.

A copy of the order of assignment was received by County Clerk Leslie H. Ewing. Justice Donges will take over the circuit presided, over for many years by Justice Frank T. Lloyd who retired on pension last month.

Word of Justice Donges assignment to his "home" district elicited expressions of pleasure from many members of the legal profession in Camden county.

Heretofore Justice Donges has been serving the First judicial district, embracing Cape May, Cumber land, Salem and Atlantic counties. His new assignment was made by a vote of the 

membership of the state Supreme Court, Chief Justice Thomas J. Brogan, signed the assignment order.

“Pleasure to Come Back”

"It is a real pleasure to come back to my home county," Justice Donges said. "I was very happy in my first assignment, but it is a great satisfaction to be among my friends in Camden and Gloucester counties:"

Louis B. Duc, president of the Camden county Bar Association, said he felt he spoke for every member of the county bar when, he said the assignment of Justice Donges was a most natural choice.

“For several decades only sons of Camden of Camden County have had the assignment to the Second judicial district, "he said, “Our regret at losing Justice Lloyd is balanced by our joy of receiving Justice Donges.

"The bar of Camden County tenders him our loyalty and appropriate greetings on his return home."

Outstanding Citizen

Another who expressed keen pleasure over the assignment was Samuel T. French, a veteran member of the local bar.

"Justice Lloyd served the Supreme Court and the citizens of New Jersey faithfully and with glory to him self. Now Justice Donges takes up where he left off. It was to be expected that Justice Donges should be assigned to Camden County.

"He is an outstanding citizen and an eminent jurist who has given dignity to his democracy is unchallenged." .

Speaking as a junior member of the bar Bartholomew A. Sheehan joined in a person tribute:

"As one of the younger members of the bar naturally am pleased over his assignment to Camden. Justice Donges has distinguished himself as one of New Jersey's ablest and most eminent jurists and a judge who is keenly interested in the problems of the young law practitioners.

Burling Pleased

"Sate Senator Albert E. Burling expressed his pleasure by declaring he had the honor as senator from Camden County to present Justice Donges' reappointment to the State Senate for confirmation.

''I have long admired Justice Donges for his ability, his industry and integrity as an associate Justice of the State Supreme Court," Burling said.

"Many members of the bar regretted his elevation to the state's highest court because he was a judge of the Circuit Court. His elevation was richly deserved.

"With other members of the Camden county bar I wish, to join in extending a gracious welcome to Justice Donges on his return to his home county."

Orlando Lauds Donges

Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando was another who paid tribute to Donges. He said:

"I am highly pleased, to say the least. Justice Donges has served his state faithfully in his high judicial position. He is esteemed by all who know him and he commands the respect of all good citizens.

"I propose as county prosecutor to give Justice Donges the same whole hearted co-operation as given to his predecessor, Justice Frank T. Lloyd.

Justice Donges was lauded by County Solicitor Walter S. Keown as one of the state's outstanding jurists.

"I regret that Justice Lloyd decided to retire after his long and honored· career on the bench," Keown said. "However it is with mingled happiness and satisfaction that members of the local bar welcome Justice Donges to his own home district."

The retirement of Justice Lloyd leaves eighth justices for the nine circuits. Circuit Court Judge Newton H. Porter, of Essex County, has been named by Governor Moore to succeed Justice Lloyd. The nomination is before the Senate for confirmation .

Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938

City to Oppose Sergeant's Plea Against Paying Two Percent Assessments

A test suit to clarify the law governing a two-percent assessment against the pension salary of James R. Clay, retired Camden police sergeant, will be brought by the City of Camden through Firmin Michel, city counsel.

This was learned yesterday when counsel for Clay confirmed the report. Michel, after first ruling the money was illegally deducted for a period of several years, decided to oppose the writ of mandamus sought by Alex Schueneman, Jr., attorney for Clay.

John J. Crean, assistant city solicitor, stated the legal department deemed it advisable to settle the matter in the Supreme Court in an effort to clarify the law. Crean spoke in the absence of Michel, who was not available for a statement.

Under the act concerning pensions, four percent of salary is deducted and contributed to the police and firemen's pension fund. The two percent is in addition to the regular pension assessment. This amount is set aside for the pensions of widows of deceased pensioners.

Schueneman contends that inasmuch as Clay has no immediate survivor to receive a pension he should receive his pension salary without the additional two percent assessment.

"The point in question is debatable and the law is not entirely clear," said Crean." The city does not want to deprive any pensioner of his rightful amount. The law should be clarified by the court. The city legal department will oppose the writ of mandamus in the form of a test case.

Supreme Court Justice Frank T. Lloyd issued the rule to show cause why a mandamus should not issue. The case will be heard later in the month by Supreme Court Justice Ralph W. E. Donges.

Camden Courier-Post - February 10, 1938

First Initiation of 1938 Set
for Tonight; Hammonton Group Guests

Camden Lodge of Moose, No. 111, will stage the first initiation of its 1938 campaign for new members to­night in the Moose auditorium, 808 Market street.

One of the largest crowds ever is expected, with the local lodge playing host to the Hammonton lodge on the same night.

The new membership campaign is sponsored by the Supreme Lodge, Loyal Order of Moose, Membership committee, in honor of the twenty-
fifth anniversary of Mooseheart, Illinois.

In June, 1913, Supreme Court Justice Ralph W. E. Donges, then Supreme Dictator of the Loyal Order of Moose, dedicated Mooseheart City, now celebrating its silver anniversary.

Moosehaven Governor Thomas A. Colsey and Al Rosenheck, past dictator, have been named by Dictator George J. Scherer to head the campaign for new members in Camden.

The degree staff and team will be attired in their new uniforms for the occasion and will be headed by Leon B. Heffelfinger, Joseph B. Jones and Charles Hughes.

Another feature of the night will be a birthday party for all members who joined the lodge during February of any year. Scherer will call the meeting to order at 8 p. m.

Camden Courier-Post * February 15, 1938

Bosco Faces Hearing Today on Murder Charge in Holdup Death COUNTY JAIL AIDES REFUSE TO ACCEPT PRISONER OF CITY
Counsel to Seek Writ for Release of Barber in Magalas Fatality

Sam Bosco, central city barber held since Friday on a murder indictment, finally will get a police court hearing today, it was decided yesterday.

Handcuffed but composed, Bosco appeared briefly before Police Judge Mariano yesterday, but there was no formal hearing then because defense counsel held that the city court no longer had jurisdiction since an indictment was found.

Judge Mariano agreed that the indictment removed the case from his jurisdiction and placed it in the hands of the county, but later when Bosco was taken to the county prison on transfer from the city jail, attaches there refused to admit him on the grounds there was no commitment from a judge. 

Went Berserk in Jail

Then it was that his lawyer, John L. Morrissey, and Mariano agreed that a formal hearing should be conducted today and commitment papers for the county jail prepared. After that, Morrissey said, he probably will seek his client's release on a writ of habeas corpus before a higher court.

Meanwhile, Bosco will remain in the city jail, where, according to police, he went berserk Saturday and, after flinging a plate of food in the turnkey's face, threatened him with a jagged piece of the broken dish. For that reason, he was handcuffed when taken before Mariano.

Yesterday's arraignment was to have been a further hearing on material witness charges against Bosco in connection with the death of Angelo Magalas, fatally wounded during an alleged holdup of a card game in which Magalas and Bosco were playing in a Penn Street house last January 10.

Morrissey pointed out that since the previous hearing the case had been taken out of the hands of the city and was now a matter of the county prosecutor's office by reason of the murder indictment. Mariano said he was in accord with that reasoning.

Bosco, who showed no sign of having lost control of himself, then was led away. After the hearing, Morrissey said:

"I intend to go before Common Pleas Judge Baldwin or Justice Donges and seek a writ of habeas corpus. This will permit me to see what the indictment contains, and if the evidence does not support a murder charge— as we are certain it does not— the charge might be changed to manslaughter, which would be bailable."

The indictment against Bosco will not be formally handed up until Friday, and it was not certain whether Morrissey would wait until then or would act at once..

Camden Courier-Post

May 22, 1945

Click on Image to Enlarge


Joseph Balzano, 11, Selected As City’s No. 1 Young Citizen

 By Daniel P. McConnell

Camden’s outstanding young citizen for 1945, Joseph Balzano, Jr., a sixth grade pupil at Kaighn School, wants to be a "bone doctor" so that he can help other children get well again.

Last night before an audience of more than 500 adults and pupils this courageous youngster, the son of a longshoreman, accepted with calm dignity and a radiant smile the tumultuous applause that greeted the announcement he had been picked for this high honor in the annual contest sponsored by the Camden Lodge of Moose.

Known only to a few of the audience that taxed the capacity of the city hall commission chamber was the father of the “champ”, Joseph Balzano Sr., who after quitting work in Philadelphia rushed to Camden in time to hear his son called to the platform to receive a certificate naming him the out­standing citizen of his own school.

The audience virtually shrieked its approval of young Joe's selection. His surprised and excited father naturally jumped up and down for joy as the lad, attired in a gray suit with long trousers walked to the platform where he was received by Stan Lee Broza, director of the radio "Children's Hour" program; Dr. Ethan A. Lang, governor of the local lodge of Moose; Mayor Brunner and Supreme Court Justice Donges, Past Supreme Governor of the Loyal Order of Moose.

Broza presented the outstanding youth plaque to the winner. Justice Donges gave a plaque to Miss Emilia Corda, 16, of 1104 South Fourth Street, Camden High School junior, winner of the second award. Dr. Lang also gave a plaque to James Zitz, 16, of 702 Florence Street, Camden Catholic High School junior, who won the third award.

Suffered Blood Poisoning

Young Joe Balzano never dreamed as he lay on his pain-wracked cot in Hahnemann Hospital in January and February last year that this great honor would come to him. Joe had blood poisoning in his left leg. He suffered excruciating pain.

When the doctors stuck needles in his leg every two hours, day after day, he never cried. He only wanted to do one thing- go back to school.

When he was brought home he was told he could not go to school. Members of the Camden Board of Education, of which Dr. Lang is president, assigned Miss Clara Mantini to give him home instructions. That was almost like going to school. Joe went back top school and ended the term in the upper quarter of his class, Miss Mantini said.

After he was whisked into a side room to escape well-wishers, fellow pupils and pothers who wanted to shake his hand, this typical American lad, taking it all in stride sat down to be interviewed.

Tells of Ambition

"My ambition in life is to be a bone doctor,” he said. “While I was in the hospital I watched the doctors and nurses who treated me so fine. They told me I would walk again, and I did. I want to be that kind of doctor so I can help other boys and girls who were stricken as I was. I want to do something when I become a man to show my gratitude for what was done for me by the doctors in the Hahnemann hospital.”

Obtaining a perfect score of 80 points in the contest, young Balzano was rated for courtesy, kindness, trustworthiness, sportsmanship, cleanliness, obedience, thrift, loyalty, reverence, leadership, cooperation, punctuality, init­iative, leisure time activities, school activities- extra curricula and social attitude.

His regular teacher, Miss Rosolia Cioffi, gave him a testimonial to the judges. She lauded his courageous spirit, among other attributes.

Rev. Michael Argullo, acting pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, had this to say about Joe. "He is an outstanding boy endowed with many fine qualities. He is a boy of fine character, manly, a good sport, faithful to his religious duties and has the necessary qualifications for the honor of the outstanding young citizen."

Miss Mantini, who taught him at home, added this: "He is pleasant, good natured and above all, a courageous boy. I have never known him to complain. There are many words I could us to describe Joe, but 1 prefer you see and speak to him personally.

Mrs. John Beskett, director of recreation, Deaconess Home and Community center, also praised the citizen award winner. As a member of the center’s boys club, she said, he accepts responsibility, is honest, trustworthy, ambitious and is willing at all times to help others.

The winner and the two runners up will receive two additional awards. Sunday all will appear on the "Children's Hour" broadcast over WCAU at 11.30 AM.

Going to Washington

In addition, they will be taken ion a two-day trip to Washington. The escorts will be Justice and Mrs. Donges.

Mayor Brunner said the three winners and each of those picked as outstanding citizen of the other public and parochial schools are the future citizens of the community, state and nation. The mayor congratulated all the outstanding young citizens and praised the local lodge of Moose for conducting its second annual award program.

Offering his congratulations, Justice Donges warned against optimism over the early end of the war with Japan. Sacrifices on the home front, he added, must be endured until the victory is won.

Dr. Lang presided at the exercises. Rev. William L. McKeever, assistant rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, gave the invocation. Vocal selections were given by the Cooper School choir under the direction of Mrs. Anna Malloy. Rev. Everett W. Palmer, pastor of Centenary-Tabernacle Methodist Church, offered benediction.

Among: those attending were Leon N. Neulen, superintendent of public schools; Daniel R. Weigle, executive vice-president, county Chamber of Commerce; David Balsam, director of youth activities, Federation of Jewish Charities, and Mrs. Alice K. Predmore, member of the Camden Board of Education.

Camden Courier-Post - March 23, 1950

Camden Courier-Post - May 6, 1950

Camden Courier-Post * September 26, 1951
First Camden National Bank & Trust Company - Ralph W.E. Donges - Edward V. Martino
Bartholomew J. Sheehan - William C. Gotshalk - Mitchell H. Cohen - Benjamin Asbell - Ralph W. Wescott
Gene R. Mariano - John J. Crean - J. Hartley Bowen - Jerome Hurley - Hurley Stores
 William B. Macdonald -
Camden Trust Company - Isador Herman - Fred Albert - Herbert Richardson Howard C. Wickes Sr. - Carl Kisselman - Frank M. Traveline - William F. Hyland Jr.
Henry Stockwell - Grover C. Richman - Emma W. Boyle  -
William T. Boyle

Camden Courier-Post - February 28, 1959