Eavenson
&
Levering Co.


The Eavenson & Levering plant at South 3rd & Jackson Streets
as viewed from the southwest

Founded in 1902 by Alban Eavenson and J. Walter Levering in Philadelphia, the Eavenson & Levering plant scoured wool so it could be processed into yarn. The firm moved to Camden in 1906 and expanded so rapidly that it incorporated in 1916. At one time Eavenson & Levering processed 50,000,000 pounds of wool a year. A major employer, at one time the company had 500 production workers and 100 employed in other capacities.

Alban Eavenson was a son of Jones Eavenson, the founder of the J. Eavenson & Sons Company, which manufactured soap products. This company purchased Adolph Segal's newly constructed but never used sugar refinery at Delaware Avenue and Penn Street. They adapted the refinery to produce soap products, and did business until 1959.

J. Walter Levering was the president of the company for many years. When he passed, he was succeeded in the business by his son, Frank D. Levering, who died in 1943. Grandson John Levering then served as chairman of the board. Another grandson, F. Weir Levering, was president of the Levering-Riebel Printing Company, which was located at 1845 Haddon Avenue in Camden.

With its large workforce, the Eavenson & Levering Company was one of Camden's major employers. During World War II, many Eavenson & Levering employees served America. Some, like Albert W. LaurieJoseph A. Scheurich, and Charles A. Brunk, made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

At one time Eavenson & Levering was the world's largest wool scouring and carbonizing company, but by the fall of 1951 rising production costs caused the board of directors to reevaluate the company's prospects. A decision was made to close the doors and sell off the assets, and the firm announced its closing on December 7, 1951. 

The buildings were sold, and were operated as warehouses for many years. The Mack Warehouse Corporation operated the facility from 1953 into the late 1960s. By 1970 James Gallegher's firms, James Gallegher Inc. trucking and Gallegher's Warehouses Inc. owned the 301 Jackson Street site. The Gallegher company was there as late as 1977. The site was then acquired by Peter Del Grande, whose parents owned Nick and Sophie's Cafe at 7th & Central Avenue in Camden's Centerville section. When Peter Del Grande died in the mid-1980s, the site was tied up in the settlement of the estate for several years. A disastrous fire had destroyed much of the property, and the South Jersey Port Corporation razed everything else save building #70 (the stable), during the mid-1990s.   


A History of Eavenson & Levering by Paul W. Schopp

EARLY HISTORY OF EAVENSON & LEVERING

Alban Eavenson was one of the sons in the title “J. Eavenson & Sons, Inc.,” a soap manufacturer with plants located at 20th and Wood Streets. in Philadelphia and along Delaware Avenue in Camden, NJ. Prior to 1900 he was an active member of that firm; He resided at 2013 Vine Street in Philadelphia.

In 1900 Eavenson left the soap works to become a dealer in wool and wool waste.  By 1902 he had formed a partnership with J. Walter Levering, a clerk and bookkeeper, who also resided in Philadelphia at 1540 N. Eighth Street.  This unincorporated firm became known as Eavenson & Levering.  They were primarily waste dealers headquartered at 2025 Naudain Street in the Quaker City.

About 1905 the partners moved their operations across the river to Camden.  Eavenson already knew the virtues of locating a manufacturing company in Camden since the soap factory had been situated there since at least the 1890s.  Eavenson also knew the soap industry very well.  This provided him with the technical knowledge he required for wool-scouring. 

Eavenson & Levering immediately began constructing a wool scouring plant on Atlantic Avenue near Ferry Avenue.  It consisted of a wool scouring mill, boiler and engine rooms, water tank and a long, narrow warehouse and machine shop.  This plant remained the main office for the firm until 1921 when the office staff relocated to the new plant at Third and Jackson Streets.  At that point the original plant became another wool warehouse. 

Eavenson & Levering remained a partnership until June, 1916 when the two men officially incorporated the business in the State of New Jersey.  The specialization of the company created an ever-increasing demand for their services by the rapidly expanding woolen industry.  This increasing demand taxed the original plant and warehousing facilities beyond capacity, forcing the company to search for expansion land.  They looked at the wide, empty, meadow land surrounding Little Newton Creek (also known as Line Ditch).  They acquired this land about 1909 with the intention of constructing the largest wool scouring plant in the country.

The first buildings constructed on the site were warehouses nos. 2, 3 & 4 along with a fire protection water tank near warehouse no. 4.  The company erected these buildings about 1910 on what would have been the corner of Pear and Third Streets and provided much needed warehousing space for raw and finished wool.

Building no. 20 appeared next, in 1913.  The construction of this scouring mill tripled the capacity of the firm.  Along with this mill, the boiler and engine house, smokestack, railroad siding with the coal trestle, dust bins, pipe tunnel and the three wood 50,000 gallon water tanks near the boiler house were all simultaneously constructed.  Building no. 20 originally featured a large loading platform on the Third Street end of the mill.

The next two buildings to be constructed on the site were a one-story addition to the Third Street end of no. 20 for shipping and receiving and building no. 40.  E&L first used the latter building for carding and combing operations.  The George Kressler Construction Company began both of these buildings in November 1915.

With two exceptions, the firm constructed the remaining portions of this facility between 1916 and 1920.  With the completion of buildings no. 50 and 60, building no. 40 became the scouring mill and building no. 20, the carbonizing mill. 

  EMPLOYMENT AT EAVENSON & LEVERING

During the years 1905 to 1920, Eavenson & Levering, along with other great industrial plants in Camden, absorbed much of the successive waves of ethnic groups immigrating to the city, giving them employment and a future in a growing America.  This aided the city government in dealing with increasing tensions between the established residents of Camden and the newcomers.

Employment at Eavenson & Levering varied somewhat over the years with the peak occurring during the First World War and lasting into the 1920s and with a second, artificial, peak during WW II.  In 1912 the firm had 350 in its workforce.  This figure stayed fairly constant until 1918 when employment swelled to 500 to meet the demands of World War I. 

By 1927 Eavenson & Levering had more than achieved their goal of becoming the largest wool scouring plant in the country; they were the largest in the world!  At that time they employed 425 people.  During 1937, despite the Great Depression, they had an employment roster of 430 males and 55 females. 

On the eve of the Second World War the workforce had slipped slightly to 412 males and 20 females.  However by the end of WW II the payroll list had soared back to 500.  This was, unfortunately, the swan song for Eavenson & Levering.  With changes that had occurred in the woolen industry, organized labor problems, a buyout by another firm, and with the importation of wool material from war-torn countries to bolster their economies, the services that Eavenson & Levering offered soon were no longer required.  The company contracted with the Samuel A. Freeman Auction Company of Philadelphia to hold a machinery auction in 1952, completely stripping the plant of its wool-scouring capabilities. 

SERVICES AND PROCESSES OFFERED BY EAVENSON & LEVERING

During the early years of the plant(s) in Camden, Eavenson & Levering offered five main services to their clients.  These consisted of sorting and pickering, scouring, carbonizing, carding and combing and storage of grease (dirty wool) and finished wools.  In later years, the company discontinued carding and combing.  At no time did Eavenson & Levering own any of the wool it processed.  The company operated strictly as a commission scouring mill. 

The services Eavenson & Levering offered were vitally necessary, for when a mill owner or wool commission merchant purchased wool it was known as being in the grease.  This means that the wool was dirty and contained vegetable matter like burrs, seeds and straw.  It also contained yolk: a combination of wool grease, dung and suint or body sweat.

Speaking in the present tense, the following is a contemporary description of what you would have observed if you had visited the plant during its operational days:

Shipments of wool arrive by either boxcar or ship.  One major transportation company for domestic wool is the Merchants and Miners line, which brings wool from the southwest.  If wool arrives by ship, it is transported by horse and wagon to one of the company's warehouses to be weighed and to await the next step in processing.  The combined warehousing space at E&L has a capacity in excess of 65,000 bales of wool.  At any given time the wool in storage is insured for 4 to 7 million dollars.  Wool arrives from every corner of the globe.  Thousands of bales of wool moving in and out of the plant each week contributing a significant amount to the local economy and its commerce.

Sorting is an operation that requires much space and time.  It is performed on the top floor of building no. 7 by experts who handle each and every fleece checking for length of fibre, soundness and elasticity, fineness of hair and color.  Many years of training are required to become a competent wool sorter.  A large amount of space is needed to keep the various classifications of wool separate from one another.  Samples are clipped and sent to the in-plant lab for analysis to design a customized treatment plan for each shipment of wool.

The wool is then sent down to the second or third floor of building no. 7 for opening, willowing and pickering.  The opener machine spreads the wool in smooth, even layers until a batch is evenly distributed into a big pile like a layer cake.  This machine, like the willower and pickerer also removes some of the foreign particles in the wool.  The wool is then cut into and slices are carried to the hoppers of the willowers or pickerers.  The willowing machine loosens the fibres of the wool fleece and the pickering machine removes some of the larger pieces of vegetable matter (i.e., burrs, etc.).  Different machines are used depending on the geographical origin of the wool.  The opener, willower and pickerer all work on similar mechanics:  inside of these machines are cylinders embedded with pins or burrs.  These cylinders revolve and engage the wool for straightening the staple and to remove vegetable matter.  If the wool is to be scoured, it is sent by chute to the scouring mill in Building no. 40.

Inside building 40, the scouring mill, are located 13 scouring machine trains which consists of three or four vats or bowls containing a scouring liquor consisting of water, carbonate of potash and dissolved soap, usually palm or olive oil soap.  The water is pre-treated using a Permutit water softening system.  The wool introduced into the scouring train by an automatic loader and is moved about each bowl by a series of rakes.  It passes into successively cleaner liquors until it reaches the last bowl where it is rinsed. 

Each step of wool processing is carefully monitored for quality assurance.  When wool is being scoured at the boiling point of the Liquor, 212 degrees it is only 18 degrees short of being destroyed by temperature.

After the wool has been scoured it is sent through rollers to extract the excess fluid and then it is inserted into the steam heated dryers.  Humidity in the dryers is vigilantly monitored to maintain a 12% moisture content in the fibres.

While the wool is no longer “in the grease” it is still not completely rid of burrs and vegetable matter which can seriously interfere with further processing; so if the client requests it, the scoured wool is sent to the carbonizing mill in building #20.

The carbonizing mill contains seven acid trains on the first floor.  The mechanical operations of carbonizing are very similar to scouring. 

Basically, carbonizing is a chemical process used to remove burrs and vegetable matter from the wool without hurting the fibres.  Wool, after scouring, is placed in a train of large bowls or troughs in which there is a solution of sulphuric acid and water.  After a submergence of about 20 minutes, the wool is sent through rollers to extract any excess acid solution and then sent into steam heated dryers where the acid is given an opportunity to chemically “burn” the foreign matter it has impregnated.  After leaving the dryer, the wool is sent through another set of rollers to crush the burned vegetable matter into dust.  The wool is next fed into the willowers and dusters to remove the dust which is sent through metal ducts to outside dust collectors.  The carbonizing mill has 39 crushing roller sets operating in it.  An alternative method of carbonizing is to substitute Aluminum Chloride for the sulfuric acid.

Buildings no. 50 & 60 originally operated as a carding and combing mill.  Carding and combing operations consists of running the somewhat matted but fluffy wool (as it comes from the scouring or carbonizing mill) through a machine that is about 30' long.  This machine, with revolving cylinders covered with a wire fabric, further cleans and separates the wool fibres which are removed from the machine by a fast moving comb.  The wool at this point is called a sliver.  It is then sent through another comb where the short fibres of wool, noils and paint clips, are further removed.  After completing this operation, the wool is wound into a ball called a “top.”  Eavenson & Levering would either ship the tops to the client or warehouse them until the client is ready.  The firm discontinued carding and combing operations in the late 1920s.

After the wool had been processed according to the client’s wishes it is sent to building 41, at the back of the plant.  The wool is packed into mechanical balers, baled and sent to the warehouse to be prepared for either storage or shipment.

The main storage for shipping and receiving at Eavenson & Levering consists of warehouses nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5a and 6; the old mill on Atlantic Ave. is also utilized for storage.  If the client is not ready to use the wool that E&L has processed for them, it will be stored for a fee.

  MATERIAL HANDLING

In the mid-1940s, modernization efforts at the plant produced a mono-rail handling system for easier movement of the bales of wool.  This system was installed throughout the plant.

As late as 1951 the company continued to install new equipment in the plant, indicating that the decision to cease operations may have been a sudden one.

  LATER UTILIZATION OF THE EAVENSON & LEVERING BUILDINGS

The original plant on Atlantic Ave. today serves as one of the warehouse properties of the HWR Corp.  This company has numerous warehouse holdings throughout Camden.  This building burned sometime between 2000 and 2002. At the main plant at Third and Jackson, wool scouring operations came to an end in late 1951 with the equipment auctioned off in February, 1952.  However, it should be pointed out that the National Worsted Mills, Inc. of Jamestown, New York, bought out the Eavenson & Levering firm in the late 1940s. It is possible that this was a case of another wool scouring company buying out the competition and closing down the purchased plant.

Regardless of the reasons, from 1952 until the mid-1990s, these structures functioned as warehousing space.  By 1953, although the name Eavenson & Levering was retained, the plant complex became known as the Mack Warehouse Corp. buildings. 

Sometime during the 1960s the complex changed hands and the new owner was James Gallagher, Inc.  It became known as Gallagher’s Warehouse.  Around 1977 ownership changed again, and Mr. Peter Del Grande took possession.  This resident of Collingswood, New Jersey would make headline news in the mid-1980s by dying under mysterious circumstances.  Some accounts listed it as suicide while others theorized a mafia “hit” caused his demise. 

The plant complex is not used at all today.  The South Jersey Port Corp. had some interest in it but the property remained tied up in the Del Grande Estate which includes IRS tax liens until the early 1990s. Wool warehouses 1 thru 6 burned down in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, the South Jersey Port Corporation razed the remaining portions of the plant, with the exception of building #70 (the stable), during the mid-1990s. All of the company’s records disappeared with the post-demolition rubble.

 

Many thanks to 
Paul W. Schopp 
who wrote and  contributed 
this history of the Eavenson & Levering Company and site 


Philadelphia Inquirer - October 7, 1921

Judge Frank T. Lloyd
Alban Eavenson
Belford G. Royal
Francis Ford Patterson Jr.
Charles H. Ellis
David Baird Sr.
L.A. Hawkes
Frank S. Van Hart
John Prentice
Burleigh B. Draper
A.C. Dorrance
William S. Darnell
C.W. Tomlinson
James V. Moran
Rev. Thomas J. Whelen
L.D. Johnson
Rev. Charles B. Dubell
Elmer Ellsworth Long

Mrs. A. Haines Lippincott

Mrs. W. Penn Corson
Mrs. Harry Pelouze
William E. Bennett

Eavenson & Levering

Hunt Pen Company

Esterbrook Pen Company

Broadway Trust Company

R.M. Hollinshed Company

Hurley Store

Church of the Holy Name

St. John's Episcopal Church

Munger & Long

Click on Image to Enlarge


Camden Courier-Post - March 17, 1936

'JOEY' POWELL REARRESTED AS COUNTY OPENS HOLDUP PROBE
Orlando Acts as City Cops Free Former Boxer in Payroll Plot
FRAMEUP CHARGED BY ANOTHER SUSPECT

Prisoner Says Ex-Fighter
Got Him in on Theft, Tipped Police

Joseph "Joey" Powell, former boxer who was arrested by city police in connection with a South Camden holdup and subsequently released, was rearrested by county detectives last night.

Powell was taken into custody on orders of Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando, who also ordered the arrest of a second suspect.

Camden police turned the case over to the prosecutor's office after the arraignment of Walter Lewandowski, who was caught in a police trap Friday night as he allegedly attempted to steal a $800 payroll at the Eavenson & Levering Company's plant at Fourth Street and Ferry Avenue. He formerly was employed there.

Two Others Implicated

Lewandowski implicated Powell, 25, of 46 Woodland Avenue, and Leonard Rogalski, 20, of 1219 South Tenth Street, in a plot to steal the payroll, according to Police Chief Arthur Colsey.

Powell thereupon was taken into custody and questioned, then, according to Colsey, he was released temporarily, in his own recognizance, pending further investigation. Rogalski was not arrested until County Detectives James Wren and Casimir Wojtkowiak took him in last night. The same detectives arrested Powell. Both suspects were charged with attempted holdup and robbery and committed to the county jail. 

Lewandoski,24, of 924 Atlantic Avenue, also in county jail, committed without bail by Police Judge Lewis Liberman Saturday.

According to Chief Colsey, Lewandowski made a statement in which he accused Powell of plotting the holdup and making him the “goat”.

"The holdup was Powell's idea” Colsey quoted Lewandowski as saying. "He got me in on it, and Rogalski was supposed to take part, too. Rogalski got “cold feet” though, and Powell sent me in while he was supposed to watch outside.”

"Instead he beat it because he had tipped off the police that the place was going to be held up."

Released After Quiz

On the strength of Lewandowski's statement, patrolman Edward Suski was sent to arrest Powell. After questioning, however, the former pugilist was released.

"We found no evidence against Powell," Colsey explained. "Lewandowski's story looked like an attempt to get himself off easier.

"We turned the case over to the prosecutor's office, as we always do after making an arrest that seems to clear up the case."

Lewandowski was captured by Sergeant Gus Koerner and City Detective Clifford Carr. The detectives were tipped off that the factory office was to be held up and laid in wait for the man.

When Lewandowski showed up, Carr and Koerner pointed revolvers at him. He fled down a stairway and Carr fell on him. The two grappled and the detective says the man pointed a .32 caliber pistol at him. Carr overpowered him with blow on the head with the butt of his revolver.


Camden Courier-Post - March 18, 1936

WIRTZ ORDERED TO FACE INQUIRY BY MRS. KOBUS
Carr and Koerner Will Be Questioned In Holdup Case
CAUTION IS URGED BY JUSTICE LLOYD

Detective Stanley Wirtz, suspended by Police Chief Arthur Colsey yesterday pending investigation into charges that he supplied the guns and an automobile for a holdup, has been ordered to appear today before Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, director of public safety.

Wirtz, who has been in charge of the city accident bureau, will be asked to "give his side of the story," Commissioner Kobus said.

Later the public safety head will question City Detective Clifford Carr and Police Sergeant Gus Koerner in connection with the capture of an alleged, bandit last Friday night, in an attempted holdup of the Eavenson & Levering Company payroll clerk.

Doran Accuses Wirtz

County Detective Chief Lawrence T. Doran yesterday charged that Wirtz had supplied the guns and automobile to be used in the holdup and then posted Carr and Koerner inside the plant to capture the bandits.

Wirtz, Doran said, admitted the charges in a statement given in the office of Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando.

No motive for the detective's action were revealed by Doran.

Following the questioning of Wirtz and Sergeant Koerner at the prosecutor's office, both men visited the office of Justice Frank T. Lloyd late yesterday.

Justice Lloyd said later he had conferred with Commissioner Kobus in regard to the case.

"I advised the commissioner," Justice Lloyd said, "to go cautiously with the investigation and gather the facts before taking any action. It is a common thing for officers to lay traps for men who are prone to commit crime, although they have no business to encourage crime. I think it is bad policy to suspend any policeman before the facts of the case have been heard."

The charges against Wirtz came after an investigation was ordered into a statement made by Walter Lewandowski, 24 of 924 Atlantic Avenue, who was captured when he attempted to hold up a clerk at the wool scouring company, Ferry Avenue and Jackson Street. Lewandoski claimed he had “been framed" and named Joseph Powell, a police stoo1 pigeon, as the one who planned the holdup and then informed Wirtz of the plans.

Powell has been a police informer for some time, according to Chief Colsey. The latter said he had taken Powell into custody for questioning and had released him in his own recognizance. Chief Colsey admitted Powell had given police the tip resulting in Lewandowski’s arrest.

When Lewandowski was nabbed, his gun was loaded with blank cartridges. This gun, according to Chief Doran, was given by Wirtz to Powell, who in turn gave it to Lewandowski. Another youth, Leonard Rogalski, 20, of 1219 South Tenth Street, was supposed to take part in the ho1dup, but "got cold feet and ran away” police were told by Lewandoski.

Doran’s statement follows:

"Stanley Wirtz, Camden city detective, supplied the gun and the automobile used in the attempted hold­up of the Eavenson & Levering Company payroll office Friday night. Statements were given us by three suspects all tally.

“Walter Lewandoski worked at the Eavenson & Levering plant, but was laid off there February 28. On March 3 he had money coming to him and he returned to the plant. Joseph Powell accompanied him. Powell talked to Lewandoski then of the payroll, and suggested the holdup. Powell then got in touch with Stanley Wirtz, and told him that Lewandoski was going to stick up the payroll March 4.

"Wirtz on that night loaned Powell a car but someone got cold feet, and the holdup was not attempted. The following week, on March 13, last Friday, Wirtz took a car to Powell’s home and there turned over to him two guns and the automobile. Wirtz then had detectives posted at the scene to arrest the bandits when they made the holdup attempt.

"Powell met Lewandowski and Rogalski and drove them to the plant. There Powell turned over to his two companions the two guns that had been given him by, Wirtz. Rogalski got cold feet and refused to go through with the holdup. Powell then went into the plant with Lewandowski. After Lewandowski went in the door, Powell ran from the building.

“Sergeant Gus Koerner and Detective Clifford Carr, hiding in the office arrested Lewandowski. Powell knew where these officers were hiding.

"Wirtz was outside the building. He did not catch Powell."

Chief Doran said that no one implicates Koerner or Carr in any way in the statements received.

Koerner said:

"I was doing police work. I was brought into this case on a tip that a holdup was going to be staged and I had no knowledge of the guns or the car. I didn't know what it was all about but merely was there to perform my duties as a policeman.

Wirtz is 37 and lives at 1197 Thurman Street. He was one of the first of the new policemen to be appointed to the department in 1924 after Civil Service was put into effect following the adoption of Commission government in 1924. He is a veteran of the World War and got a special rating for that reason when he took the Civil Service examination. In 1931 Wirtz was appointed as an accident investigator in the detective bureau and has served in that capacity ever since. He has a good reputation as a policeman and has never been in trouble before.

About four years ago Wirtz figured in an automobile accident that caused serious injury to one of his legs.

Rogalski was not arrested until County Detectives James Wren and Casimir Wojtkowiak took him in Monday night. The same detectives arrested Powell. Both suspects were charged with attempted holdup and robbery and committed to the county jail.

Lewandowski also is in county jail, committed without bail by police Judge Lewis Liberman Saturday.


Camden Courier-Post - March 19, 1936

WIRTZ TO HEAR FATE IN BANDIT QUIZ TODAY
Colsey Doubts Cop Will Face Charges; Case to Go to Grand Jury

Decision on any action to be taken against Stanley Wirtz, suspended Camden detective charged with having furnished the guns and automobile for a holdup, will be made today by Commissioner Mary W. Kobus and Police Chief Arthur Colsey.

Wirtz, with Sergeant Gus Koerner and Detective Clifford Carr, was questioned yesterday, and decision was reserved.

Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando, however, said he would place the case before the grand jury.

The charge involved the attempted holdup of the Eavenson & Levering Company payroll, in which one of the alleged bandits was captured at the scene last Friday night.

"No charges have been preferred against Wirtz,” Mrs. Kobus announced after the investigation.

"And I don't believe any charges will be made," Colsey commented, adding:

"Commissioner Kobus and I are going over the reports and statements of all concerned at 10:00 AM tomorrow and a decision will be made then.”

Suspended Tuesday

Wirtz was suspended Tuesday after County Detective Chief Lawrence T. Doran announced Wirtz had admitted supplying the pistols and car, allegedly used in the abortive attempt to obtain a $800 payroll at the wool-scouring plant. 

Wirtz was still under suspension last night, Colsey announced. 

William B. Macdonald, court stenographer, recorded the statements made by each man,

Koerner and Carr were "planted" in the office of the company before the holdup and frustrated the attempted crime, capturing Walter Lewandowski, 24, of 924 Atlantic Avenue.

"All three made full statements to us;" Colsey said and then declined to reveal what the statements contained.

Denies Stories Clash

Asked if there was any conflict between the statements made to Doran and those made to Mrs. Kobus and him, Colsey said:

''No, I wouldn't say so."

Wirtz appeared briefly before the commissioner and chief at the start of their probe, which was conducted in Mrs. Kobus' office. He left the room after about two minutes and told reporters, sitting outside:

"I refused to make a statement. I  made one yesterday and that is enough."

Mrs. Kobus, however, said Wirtz did not refuse to make a statement but, instead, asked for a little time to consider his statement.

"He said he had been In court all day and was nervous,” Mrs. Kobus said.

No Charges Made

Asked for a statement at the conclusion of the investigation, Mrs. Kobus said:

"No charges have been preferred against Wirtz. This was not a hearing on any charge. This was an investigation of reports which I read in the newspapers. It is the duty of the police officials to investigate any such report, and Wirtz and the other two detectives who figured in the case were called in to make statements. 'This was not, a trial and I do not care to make a statement now about what went on."

The suspension of Wirtz came after an investigation was ordered into a statement made by Lewandowski.

Lewandowski charged that he had been "framed" by Joseph Powell, a police stool pigeon. He named Powell as the one who "planned the holdup and, said Powell then informed Wirtz of the plans.

Rearrest Made

Doran said Wirtz, admitted dealing with Powell and giving Powell two pistols and an automobile for use in the holdup. As a result Powell, who had been arrested and released by city police, was rearrested by the county detectives.

In addition, Leonard “Rags” Rogalski, 20, of 1219 South 10th Street, was arrested by the county detectives. They said Lewandowski told them Rogalski originally was intended to take part in the holdup but got "cold feet", and backed out at the last moment.

Powell, Lewandowski and Rogalski are held in the county jail.

When informed last night of the statements made by Mrs. Kobus and Colsey, Prosecutor Orlando said:

"I have nothing to do with the discipline of the police department. I will present the full facts of this holdup to the grand jury and, that body may take any action it desires."

Jury to Get Case

Asked if he would request an indictment against Wirtz, Orlando said:

"I will give the grand jury the full facts. The members will decide for themselves what action to follow."

Doran was in conference briefly with Mrs. Kobus and Colsey before the three detectives were questioned. He said he gave them statements made by Lewandowski, Powell and Rogalski, and also by Wirtz.

Later Doran returned to Mrs. Kobus' office with a copy of charge of carrying concealed deadly weap­ons, preferred in 1930 against Lewandowski in 1930, when Lewandowski was 18.

This charge was no-billed, Doran said.

"He was listed as a mental case," Doran said, "and was examined by the county physician and pronounced O.K." .

Camden Courier-Post - January 18, 1938


Honor Certificate
in recognition of 20 years service
awarded to
Samuel Ostroff
December 11, 2944


Camden Courier-Post - December 7, 1951
...continued...

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