Leon E. Todd, Realtor


 
Leon Todd in 1926
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Leon Edgar Todd Sr. was born in Camden NJ on November 22, 1893. He operated his real estate agency for many years in Camden at 2623 Westfield Avenue, a building designed by the Camden architectural firm of Lackey & Hettel. Besides handling real estate transactions between buyers and sellers, Leon Todd developed several neighborhoods. One of his most successful projects were the row homes built between Rosedale Street and Westfield Avenue, below North 33rd Street, in East Camden, which were completed in 1925.  He also was involved in the fundraising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper streets in 1925. 

Later in the 1920s, Leon Todd became involved in the development of Medford Lakes, and was instrumental in that town's becoming an independent borough. He had founded the Medford Lakes Colony Club in 1927, and developed the area, known for its log cabins. In 1939 Medford Lakes separated from Medford Township, and Mr. Todd was unanimously elected the town's first mayor.

Leon Todd's son, Ensign Leon E. Todd Jr. was killed in action in the South Pacific while serving with the United States Navy on July 2, 1943. Leon E. Todd Sr. died while on vacation in Pompano Beach FL on February 10, 1959.


From
South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

LEON EDGAR TODD—Substantial reasons for Camden's continuous growth and advancement in recent years, are furnished in the development of the real estate plans of Leon E. Todd, one of the city's most prominent realtors and builders in South Jersey, whose extensive general brokerage business and building interests have aroused State-wide attention.

A native of Camden, and always a careful observer of the many opportunities that have presented themselves for the city's expansion, since entering into business on his own account, he has put many of his very practical ideas into successful operation; and as a result, East Camden, his main field of endeavors, took on a new lease of life as far as real estate activity is concerned; and new residential sections were provided, and the increasing population has found pleasant new "Air-Lite" modern built homes. Mr. Todd from the beginning of his business activities has worked directly for and with the people, both in assisting to secure locations and their new homes, and in providing financial ways and means thereto. In the short space of a little over five years, his organization grew to a point of establishing a suburban branch office at No. 29 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield; both offices specializing in all the various departments of the usual insurance, mortgage, building and real estate business. And his organization today is looked upon as one of Camden's leading brokerage offices. His general interest, also, in all matters that pertain to the welfare of Camden is evidenced in his praiseworthy efforts to be of large service both in peace and in war. Of English ancestry for many generations, he is a son of J. Linwood Todd, a decorator and painter, who was born June 8, 1869, and of Ida May (Fox) Todd, who was born December 4, 1873.

Leon Edgar Todd was born November 22, 1893, at East Camden, and he attended the Garfield Grammar School and the Camden High School, where he graduated with the class of 1912. He then attended Pierce Business College, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating with the class of 1914 and also class of 1915. Ambitious and with a desire to be independent, he worked his way along through school, by selling newspapers, morning and evening, and in employment of a local grocery company. Completing his school work, he was employed in the office of a commission house, later going on the road as a salesman. Later he became office manager and house secretary of the Camden Young Men's Christian Association, after  which he became associated with a Camden real estate firm. In March, 1918, he established his own real estate business, with his offices at his present address. His business outgrew its quarters in 1921, and he now has what is considered the most modern up-to-date real estate office in Camden, the building formerly being occupied by James K. Asay, who had been in the same business thirty years prior. Mr. Todd at once gave his attention to the development of East Camden territory, not only on a brokerage basis, but as a builder of new homes. He has just purchased thirty-three acres from the estate of Edward Dudley where plans are under way to construct five hundred houses, now being completed right in the heart of future Greater Camden.

Mr. Todd was one of the organizers, and is a member of the board of directors of the East End Trust Company, and he was also one of the organizers of five building and loan associations. He is secretary of the Ideal, Cooperative, Dudley and the Public Safety Building & Loan associations. Throughout the World War he was very active, and his offices were at the disposal of a local trust company as a branch during the loan drives.

Mr. Todd is a Republican in politics; and his fraternal affiliations are those of Camden Lodge, in Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Encampment; the Moose; Knights of the Golden Eagle; Foresters of America; Patriotic Order Sons of America; Lodge No. 293, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Shield of Honor; and Artisans. He is a member of the Riverton Country Club; Tavistock Country Club; Camden Club; Kiwanis Club; president, Camden Real Estate Board; member of the New Jersey Association of Real Estate Boards and the National Real Estate Association, and a member of the Camden Chamber of Cornmerce. He is a member of the board of trustees of Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church at East Camden, and on the board of the Homeopathic Hospital.

Mr. Todd married, January 31, 1915, Helen M. Cliver, born October 2, 1893, daughter of George B. Cliver, stationary engineer, and former commodore of the Farragut Sportsmen's Association, and of Katharine (Tyson) Cliver; and they are the parents of: Harrison L., born April 2, 1916; and Leon E., Jr., born June 30, 1920; another son, Raymond Linwood, died during the influenza epidemic,


2621-2623 Westfield Avenue
Camden NJ

1927


Westfield, Merriel, & Rosedale Avenues at 32nd Street
Black & White Photos from April, 1925  *  Color Photographs taken February 2004

These pages show the many varieties of beautiful "Air-Lite" and "Air-Wa" homes on the outskirts of Camden. These pictures tell there own story of attractiveness, coziness, and unique fittings. This locality is especially attractive having ideal living conditions, good transportation by bus, trolley, and auto.

CAMDEN FIRST- 1925

Left: 3100 Block Westfield Avenue  * Right: Westfield Avenue East from North 32nd Street

Left: North 32nd Street from Rosedale Avenue  * Right: Corner of Westfield Ave. & N. 32nd Street
Right: North 32nd Street from Westfield Avenue  * Right: N. 32nd Street from Rosedale Avenue
Right: North 32nd Street from Rosedale Avenue
Above Left: Rear of North 32nd Street Rowhomes  *  Above Right: Inside a home 
3177 to 3187 Rosedale Avenue - February 7, 2004
Above: Four views of 3177 to 3187 Rosedale Avenue - February 7, 2004
Looking through the alley, one can see two houses on Merriel Avenue,
& in the background the Westfield Tower senior citizens high rise apartment building
Three views
of
3281 to 3291
Rosedale Avenue

February 1, 2004

Click on Images to Enlarge

 


Camden Courier-Post
July 5, 1926

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Camden Courier-Post - January 16, 1928

WOOLWORTH LEASES EAST CAMDEN SITE
Five-and-Ten’ to Occupy Proposed Building at Twenty-Sixth St.

 F.W. Woolworth is invading East Camden with his “five and ten”. 

A 2O year lease was signed today, under the terms of which the merchant magnate will pay more than $150,000 rental for a store to be erected at the northwest corner of Twenty-Sixth and Federal Streets. The property, now occupied by an American Store and two other buildings, is owned by Leon E. Todd, East Camden real estate man, who negotiated the lease with representatives of the Woolworth concern, George C.B. Stout and Harold S. Armitage, of Philadelphia. 

Razing of the present structures will begin April 1, the present lease expiration March 31. Lackey & Hettel, architects, have been engaged to design the new “five-and-ten” building, a two-story structure of brick, steel and stone to cost $50,000.  

According to representatives of the Woolworth Company, the rental to be paid for the site is the highest ever contracted in any city for a site outside the central business area. 

“This transaction is concrete evidence of the value of East Camden realty,” Todd said today. “When a big national concern is willing to pay a record-breaking price for an East Camden lease it is proof of the remarkable standing of this section of the city.”  

The new Woolworth store is expected to be in operation late this year. 

2515
Federal Street

Built in 1928 by realtor Leon Todd, this building was designed by the Camden architectural firm of Lackey & Hettel. The F.W. Woolworth department store chain was the original lessee, and remained there for many years. Since Woolworth's closed for the final time, the store has been known as VALU-PLUS.

Photographed March 14, 2004

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Camden Courier-Post * June 8, 1933

BORDEN TO BE GUEST Of REALTY BOARD
Newly Elected President of Commission Will Be Honored at Dinner

Edward J. Borden will be guest of honor tonight of the Camden County Real Estate Board at a banquet in honor of his election as president of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission.

The banquet, to be held in the Camden Club, 315 Cooper street, will be attended by lawyers, real estate men and public officials from all sections of the state. The Real Estate Board, of which Borden was thrice president, is giving the dinner.

Among the guests who will attend are former U. S. Senator David Baird, Jr., Assemblyman Frank M. Travaline, Jr., Mayor Roy R. Stewart and other members of the Camden City Commission; Dr. Leon N. Neulen, city superintendent of schools, and Police Judge Garfield Pancoast.

The speakers include William S. Abbott, president of the Camden County Real Estate Board; Leon E. Todd, former president; Vincent P. Bradley, of Trenton, retiring president of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission; Carleton E. Adams, of Atlantic City, vice president of the New Jersey Association of Real Estate Boards; Samuel P. Orlando, former assistant prosecutor of Camden county, and C. Armel Nutter, general chairman of the banquet committee.

On the banquet program appears the gilded outline of a bee, typifying Borden's activities in the interests of real estate advancement in Camden county. Wayland P. Cramer is chairman of the program, committee. Chairmen of other committees follow: William A. Eppright, attendance; T. J., McCormick, entertainment; Carl R. Evered, door prizes, and Todd, speakers and guests.

George B. Robeson, former president of the Real Estate Board, Is toastmaster of the banquet, which will begin at 7:30 p. m.


Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1933

Honor Guest

Borden Honored at Dinner On Election as President Of Real Estate Commission 
250 Guests Attend Affair And Speakers Laud His Service 
WIFE PAID TRIBUTE IN SECOND FETE
Date Marks Twentieth Anniversary of Wedding Of Popular Couple
 

Leading real estate brokers and notables in other callings paid high tribute last night to Edward J. Borden in honor of his election as president of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. 

Before 250 guests at a testimonial dinner in the. Camden Club, 315 Cooper Street, Borden was presented a briefcase by C. Armel Nutter on behalf of the Camden County Real Estate Board, which Borden served three terms as president. The Chamber of Commerce, through Carl R. Evered, gave him a RCA-Victor auto radio. 

The occasion also marked Borden's twentieth wedding anniversary. Since the dinner to him was a stag party, Mrs. Borden was given a similar dinner at the same time at the home of Mrs. William A. Eppright, 223 Seventh Avenue, Haddon Heights. Eppright was chairman of the dinner committee. 

Career Traced 

"We need more men like Ed Borden in the world today," Vincent P. Bradley, of Trenton, whom Borden succeeds as president of the commission, said in the principal speech. The depression is weeding out the children of pampered upbringing and real men are coming to the front. Ed Borden came from a 

EDWARD J. BORDEN

who was the guest of honor at a testimonial dinner in the Camden Club last night on the occasion of his election as president of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. The dinner also marked his twentieth wedding anniversary, and Mrs. Borden was similarly feted at another dinner.

lowly beginning. His parents were poor and his education was limited. He has served in the navy, and he knows the trials of the lowly real estate broker, and is therefore aptly fitted to administer justice as president of the Real Estate Commission." 

"No man in South Jersey," said Carleton J. Adams, vice president of the New Jersey Real Estate Board, "is doing more for our profession than Ed Borden." 

Public Service Cited

William S. Abbott, president of the Camden County Real Estate Board, told of Borden's achievements as his predecessor, which included inauguration of "vandalism signs," offering reward for arrest and convictions of persons damaging vacant property. He praised Borden also as one of the first advocates of a state income tax. 

Among others at the speakers' table were David Baird, Jr., Sheriff George N. Wimer, Police Judge Garfield Pancoast, Assemblyman Frank M. Travaline Jr., Mayor Harry L. Maloney, of Bellmawr; Dr. Leon E. Neulen, superintendent of schools; Samuel E. Fulton, president of the Board of Education; Samuel P. Orlando, former assistant prosecutor; Commissioner Frank B. Hanna, Wayland P. Cramer, county director of the Emergency Relief Administration, and Leon E. Todd. George B. Robeson was toastmaster. Rev. James P. O'Sullivan, assistant rector of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, delivered the invocation.


Camden Courier-Post - June 17, 1933

Gets High Post

 

Camden realtor who was yesterday elected vice president of the National Real Estate Board in convention at Gary, Indiana, according to a telegraphic dispatch, Todd has long been active in work of the national board and has served as president of the New Jersey Real Estate Board and of the Camden County Real Estate Board.

LEON E. TODD

 

Camden Courier-Post - August 8, 1933

LEON E. TODD DINNER PLANNED BY REALTORS

Leon E. Todd, Camden and Medford realtor, newly elected vice president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, will be honored at a testimonial dinner to be given here September 15, it was revealed last night.

Edward J. Borden, president of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, will be toastmaster. C. Armel Nutter is general chairman of the dinner committee, with William S. Abbott, president of the Camden County Real Estate Board, as ex­officio chairman.

Todd is a former president of the Camden County board and of the state association.


Camden Courier-Post - August 9, 1933

REALTY MEN OPPOSE COUNTY PARK LOANS
Resolution Denounces Borrowing of Funds for Projects Not Self-liquidating

One of two resolutions adopted yesterday afternoon by the Taxation Committee of the Camden County Real Estate Board opposes the borrowing by Camden county or city of any funds for projects that are not self-liquidating.

The resolutions were acted upon at a luncheon of the committee, headed by Leon E. Todd, in the Hotel Walt Whitman. Copies were sent to city and county officials.

One proposed loan which the resolution opposed was the application for federal industrial recovery funds to carryon the Camden county park program. It had been called to the attention of the committee that plans are being considered to alter the city and county budgets for various projects. 

The other resolution indorsed plans submitted to newspapers 

by the joint taxation committee of the New Jersey legislature for the relief of taxation on real estate "provided, however, that all such additional funds so assessed and raised will be utilized on for the direct relief of real estate."

Other members of the committee are William S. Abbott, president of the Real Estate Board; Earl R. Lippincott, George B. Robeson, J. William Markeim, Carl R. Evered, William F. Schmid and Edward J. Borden.

Herbert K. Strattan, a Democratic leader of Haddonfield, also expressed opposition to the park loan appllication.

He stressed three reasons as his grounds for opposing the loan, the first being the absence of a definite plan for spending the money.

Strattan also charges that the members of the park commission are incapable of handling such a large project and that no one park has been finished and no portion of the parks are self-liquidating, thus necessitating large annual maintenance funds.

He also stated the loan would increase Camden's bonded indebtedness, which could not be afforded at this time.


Camden Courier-Post
August 10, 1936

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Camden Courier-Post
July 5, 1941


Camden Courier-Post - July 5, 1941


Leon Todd (right) was a Camden developer who built the vacation community that is now Medford Lakes in 1927. He moved to the community and became its first mayor when it separated from Medford Township in 1939.

Camden Courier-Post
file photo


Camden Courier-Post * December 22, 1957

Joseph W. Cowgill - Abraham Charles Corotis - Leon Todd
I.F. Huntzinger - W. Orval Schalick - Argus

Medford Lakes Country Club

In the late 1920s, Medford Lakes was a vacation community in the New Jersey pines, some 18 miles southeast of Camden. One of its prominent citizens, Leon Todd, believed that a golf course was needed in order to provide residents and summer visitors with a complete range of recreational and sporting opportunities. In 1929 the Medford Lakes Development Company acquired the 115-acre Shrider farm. Alex Findlay, scarcely an unknown quantity in southern New Jersey, was brought in to lay out nine holes. His skillful use of both water and trees gave the course, though on the short side and with few changes in elevation, both interest and charm. It opened for play in 1930.

Some five or six years later, the golf course was incorporated as the Medford Lakes Country Club. Its first president was Charles Morrison, who remained in office till 1946 and single-handedly piloted the club through its difficult formative years, raising the funds necessary to put it on a sound fiscal basis.

For the first 40 years, Medford Lakes played its golf over the Findlay nine. In 1969 a second nine was added. Harold C. Purdy, who had apprenticed as a construction supervisor under Robert Trent Jones in the mid-1950s, designed and built the new holes. Purdy, a native of Wabash, Indiana, could ultimately point to some 50 courses in the Garden State—35 new designs, 15 others which he remodeled or expanded—that bore his stamp.


Medford Lakes clubhouse, which was built in 1996.


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