Casmier
Wojtkowiak


 

CASMIER WOJTKOWIAK was born in Camden NJ on October 16, 1892. He was one of eight children, seven of whom were born in Camden. His parents, John L. Wojtkowiak and Hedwig (Jadwiga) Sobus-Wojtkowiak and their eldest child Victoria came to the U.S. in 1884 into the Port of New York on the ship AMERICA. from Poland. Also aboard were two of John L.'s brothers, Andrew and Adalbert and his wife Marianna and their son Ladislaus. John L. Wojtkowiak was one of the founding members of the predominantly Polish St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, located at South 10th and Mechanic Streets

The Wojtkowiak family was living at 1225 Chestnut Street as early as 1888, working as a laborer, according to the city directories of the day. The family was living at 1210 Chestnut Street at the time of the 1900 Census, and later moved to  of 1212 Chestnut Street in Camden NJ. Casmier married Lillian M. Draim in 1913. Casmier acquired the nickname "Rube" because he was a large fellow and the Polish word for large or big is "Gruby." In 1915 Casmier and Lillian resided at 908 Sycamore Street and Casmier worked for the Ferry Avenue Bottling Company. 

Sadly, his older brother Private John Wojtkowiak was killed in action while serving with the United States Army in France in November of 1918.

In 1919 Casmier worked as a shipworker and resided at 1227 Chase StreetWhen the Census was taken in 1920, Casmier and Lillian Wojtkowiak were living at 1210 Chestnut Street, which the family still owned. He was working as a driver for an ice company. His brothers Stephen and Stanley were also in the coal and ice business at that time. Casmier Wojtkowiak and Lillian by then had two children, Joseph and Veronica. Stanley Wojtkowiak went out on his own in the mid 1930s and operated the Stanley Heat & Fuel Company in Camden for many years thereafter.

The 1924 City Directory for Camden shows C.A. Wojtkoiwak working as a court interpreter, a position he held into the mid 1930s. At the time of the 1920 City Directory compilation and the taking of the 1930 census, Casmier Wojtkowiak was living with his brother Stanley and his family at 1212 Chestnut Street. Stanley Wojtkowiak, then a bus driver, would go on to found the Stanley Fuel Company, which served Camden for many years. The neighbors at 1210 Chestnut Street in those times were the Murawski family. Their son, Joseph Murawski, was later killed while serving with the United States Army during World War II. Casmier Wojtkowiak was then working as a government interpreter. In February of 1934, he was appointed as a detective by then County Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando. Casmier Wojtkowiak served under the direction of Chief of Detectives Larry Doran

Casmier Wojtkowiak later made his home at 1155 Louis Street, around the corner from where he had grown up. When he registered for the draft in the spring of 1942, he was still with the Prosecutor's office and was making his home at 1163 Mechanic Street

Eventually Casmier and Lillian Wojtkowiak moved to Wenonah, NJ. He passed away in 1945, and was buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery on Chews Landing Road in Gloucester Township NJ. He was survived by his wife Lillian, and two children,  Joseph Wojtkowiak  (who became a stationary fireman at the Camden Court House) and Veronica Wojtkowiak-Cisek (or Ciszek). 

Casmier's first cousin, by his uncle Adelbert, was Mitchell Wojtkowiak, who served for over 33 years with the Camden Fire Department. His nephew, John White, son of his brother Stanley, was a fighter pilot during World War II.


1210
Chestnut Street

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CAMDEN COURIER-POST - FEBRUARY 1934

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 - February 5, 1938
CHECKED AND DOUBLE CHECKED
by
JIMINY

The way some of the members of the Camden County Republican Committee are behaving these days, the Democrats can stay home on their own meeting nights .... The Republicans are doing their work for them .... Now some 70 of the Republican committeemen have signed a petition to give Baird a job that won't pay him anything.... It's about time they're giving him something .... They took the U. S. Senatorship away from him .... Moore took the governorship away from him .... Woodruff took the state committeeship away from him .... The New Deal took the city commission away from him .... The New Deal took the freeholders away from him:.:. Somebody always is taking something away from Baird ....

It isn't a question of Baird's ability to fill the bridge job .... The only one to even mention that as an issue was Fred von Nieda .... He's a city commissioner, you know .... It's a matter of principle .... At least, that is what Florence Baker, state com­mitteewoman, says .... Mrs. Baker is telling Senator, Clee and others at Trenton that they owe it to Baird to support him for the job because he has always helped Clee ...Let's, in all fairness to Baird, look at the record .... In the primary, during an address at the First Ward Republican Club, Dave Baird stated he was for Cliff Powell against Clee .... Mrs. Baker did not come out against Clee .... She didn't come out against Powell. Instead, she said she was neutral. In the general election, Mrs. Baker said she was for Clee. Baird never said he was for Clee. (If he had, Clee's majority of 35,000 would have gone to Moore) ....

So we don't think that Mrs. Baker is very convincing when she tells Clee that Baird helped Clee .... She said that the Camden county legislative delegation helped Clee's program against Hoffman. Was Baird a Democrat last year? Sheehan, Roye and Lodge were .... Burling was a Republican, and helped Clee, but he is not for Baird. Perhaps it was because Baird "helped" Clee's program against Hoffman opposition, that Hoffman slipped in Baird's appointment without the knowledge of Burling or the state or county committee members .... Mrs. Baker stated at a banquet that she has copies of the Courier-Post in 1931 in which Baird was praised for his bridge work .... If anyone cares to look at our files, we will show what Mrs. Baker said about Baird in the neighborhood of 1931. ... Or what we said about Baird at other times .... Also what Mr. van Nieda and Frank Travaline said.

But enough ado about nothing .... All we've done is talked about Baird when it had been our plan instead to talk about politics.

* * *

The political ax is hanging over the head of a Mt. Ephraim official on the charge he is assuming too much authority ..... The political ax hanging over the heads of the Delaware township cops is about to be enmeshed in litigation .... One of the policeman is a member of the P.B.A. which will carry his fight into court in a case that will be a precedent for the other township cops, too .... Herb Taylor will be county engineer if it goes to a Republican .... It may be a Democrat however, and newest among the candidates, on that side of the ledger is former City Commissioner Carroll P. Sherwood .... There may be only one assistant county solicitor instead of two in which case it will probably go to Carleton Rowand, city school board member .... 

By the way, don't, be surprised if under the new contract between the city and county on maintenance of the City Hall, the city takes full control of the building with consent of the county ... Which will be tough on some of the county jobholders ...* * *.

Assemblyman Allen now denies he wants all us newspaper fellers to go to the guillotine ... He says he meant lawyers ... Charlie Humes wants to be guillotined ... Standing up ... Incidentally, Charlie is defending his last-place position in the ping-pong league tonight… Firefighter Lennox went to church the other day… And found the roof braced up. When will the borough of Merchantville fix up that dangerous hole in Browning road at the railroad tracks north of Maple Avenue? ... Or is that in the township?

Whenever the state police want Detective Wojtkowiak at the prosecutor's office, ·they ask for "Sergeant Watchyourcoatandhat" … The Mt. Ephraim commissioners are going to buy a police car for their chief ... He's also in for a pay rise ... Bellmawr's chief of police won't get the salary increase he wants, but he will get an additional allowance for the use of his car ... Runnemede's two new cops will also get pay increases …

The other day an alarm was sent to every police department in the county and also to the Philadelphia cops that a car had been stolen in Audubon ... The culprit is glad no cops saw him ... He was none other than a police official who wanted to borrow a storekeeper's car but took the wrong one by mistake ... His face is almost as red as Vince (deP) Costello's ... At the K. of C. roller skating exhibition the other night, Luke McKenna did a few fancy turns ... Vince recalled he, too, had been pretty good at one time, so he essayed to show his friends ... His intentions were better than his legs, and a couple of well-­wishers followed him around the floor with a stretcher.

This all happened quietly The Runnemede police received a complaint from two storekeepers ... It appears that a group of high school students from another town had stopped off at Runnemede to purchase some cakes ... Several other articles disappeared from the stores ... A few days later the dean of the high school went to Runnemede paid one shopkeeper $10 and the other $2.60 ... Representing the goods they said were taken ...

Aside to that clairvoyant weakly editor who reported yesterday that Joe Van Meter is going to be the Republican nominee for sheriff: A sheriff cannot succeed himself in New Jersey ... Silvio Fittipaldi, former Haddon Heights High star, is a veterinarian and doing nicely ... A Philadelphia college professor who lives in Pennsauken uses his spare time writing a book ... Home by 4.30 p.m. from work, he retires at 8 p.m., rises at 3.30 a.m., writes for four hours, breakfasts and goes to work ... The Playcrafters are busy rehearsing "Post Road" for Feb. 18 and 19 ... A warrant is in the mails for a suburban doctor ... Illegal operation ... Fred Homer. Merchantville song-bird, had an audition in New York recently before the Metropolitan Opera Audition Committee ... What Collingswood shopkeeper's missus is having trouble getting a costume for a minstrel show? ... They're still looking for better buses on Route 14 ...

Carlton Rowand told this one at a dinner the other night… The foreman on a western WPA job wired Farley for more materials to finish the job ... "We need 2000 shovels in a hurry," the foreman wired ..."We ran out of shovels," replied Farley. "Let the men lean on each other."


Camden Courier-Post * February 12, 1938

Four Charged With Numbers Using 'Bingo'
Marino, Girard Held At Merchantville In New Racket

A new numbers racket based on "Bingo" was disclosed yesterday when county detectives and Merchantville police arrested four men, two of them police characters.

The suspects were seized in an automobile parked within sight of the Merchantville police station.

The two with police records are Joseph Marino and Harry Girard. The others are Irving Chapman, 23, of 43 South Merchant street, and John Holmes, 23, of 227 Main street, both of Merchantville. All were arraigned on a charge of violating the state lottery law, before Justice of the Peace Samuel Rudolph, who complied with a request from Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando and held them without bail for the grand jury. 

Marino's police record dates to 1914. He received three suspended sentences, three other cases were nolle pressed by the court and on one occasion he served a jail sentence.

His last time in custody was as a suspect in the slaying of Abe Goodman, former numbers baron. He was released after questioning.

Girard's criminal record dates back to 1924. He has been arrested five times, serving two reformatory sentences and one term in the state prison.

Details of the new racket were not immediately divulged by the prosecutor's office. It was learned, however, that hundreds of "bing slips'" were seized by the police when the men were arrested.

The new game is operated by means of a printed slip which contains the word "Bingo" in large type at the top. There is a set of instructions for the player, part of which reads:

"More action for your money than any other game on the market, plays six days for 30 cents. Beginning Monday, write the daily policy number for that day in the three squares on the same line with the word Monday, continue in this manner for each day of the week from Monday until Saturday, making sure that you write that number issued for that particular day during the week. Your ticket is dated and write only on the line reserved for that day of the week. Whenever your ticket number appears in a straight line (in any direction) from using the daily numbers in this way you receive the amount printed beside arrow which points in the direction your ticket runs."

Space for Writing

Then follows a space for the writing of the daily number, with the amount of payoff, from $2 to $10, according to which manner your number reads if you "hit."

Police Chief William Linderman, County Detective Chief Lawrence T. Doran and County Detectives Wilfred Dube, James J. Mulligan, Joseph Bennie and Casmir Wojtkowiak arrested the four men, all of whom were taken at once to the office of Prosecutor Orlando for questioning.

It was revealed at the prosecutor's office that an attempt to flood Camden city and county with the new numbers game has been made during the last two weeks.

Detectives have been trailing an automobile during this time, believed to have been the car in which the men were seized yesterday.


Camden Courier-Post * February 14, 1938

11 NABBED BY POLICE IN GAMBLING RAIDS
7 Arrested in Bingo Numbers Racket; 4 Seized in Betting Place

Ten men and a woman were arrested in gambling raids over the weekend by Camden city and county authorities.

Seven were arrested for operating a "bingo numbers" racket. A warrant also was issued for Frank Palese, 400 Spruce street, a member of a widely known South Camden family, as the "big shot" of the racket, according to Chief Lawrence T. Doran, of county detectives. Doran said last night Palese is still a fugitive.

In another raid by Camden police, three men and a woman were arrested in an alleged horse racing betting establishment at 1149 Lansdowne avenue. The place was on the second floor over a grocery store, according to Sergeant Gus Koerner, City Detective Thomas Murphy, Jr.
and Patrolman James McLaughlin, who made the raid. Koerner and Murphy also figured in the second raid.

Several racing forms and four telephones with two direct wires to tracks now in operation were seized, according to Koerner and Murphy, The police first arrested Roland Flynn, 36, of 589 Carman street; Neil Zeldman, 43, of 1064 Langham avenue, and James O'Donal, 27, of. 
1119 Empire avenue, and held them in $1000 bail for violating the State crimes act.

Woman Arrested

Later Mrs. Rose Koplin, 37, who lives in an apartment over the store, was taken into custody on the same charge and held in $500 bail. Mrs. Koplin's brother, Milton Katz, posted cash bail for her release.

Katarina Pologruto, 420 West street, posted bail for O'Donal, who also is known as O'Donnell, and Flynn. Frank Davalos, saloonkeeper, of 441 Benson street, furnished bail for Zeldman.

Murphy reported that $700 had been bet on race horses at the establishment up until 3.30 p. m., Saturday, the time of the raid.

Among those arrested in the "bingo numbers" racket was Fred Rossi, who fought in the prize ring under the name of "Pee Wee" Ross. He was arrested Saturday afternoon at his home at 438 Mickle street by Koerner and Murphy.

O'Donal, Flynn, Zeidman and Mrs. Koplin will be given hearings today in police court. Others under arrest in the lottery game their names and addresses as Joseph Marino, 288 Chestnut street; Harry Girard, 446 Pine street; Peter Branco, 1109 South Third street; Donald Goodman, of Woodlynne; Irving Chapman, 43 South Merchant street, Merchantville, and John Holmes, 227 Main street, Merchantville. An eighth man, James Lodge, Brooklawn, was questioned and released as a material witness.

Rossi, Branco, Goodman and Holmes were released in $500 bail each for the Grand Jury by Justice of the Peace Samuel Rudolph. Prosecutor Orlando said he would demand bail of $1000 each for release of Girard and Marino.

Refused to Sell

Lodge told the detectives he was approached to sell the slips but that he refused to take them.

Doran stated that Marino insists he is the operator of the lottery, but the county detective chief declared that Marino was merely trying to "take the rap" for Palese.

City and county authorities have been aware of the existence of the new racket for about 10 days. Murphy and Koerner had been detailed specifically by Commissioner Mary W. Kobus to investigate and break up the ring. The two sleuths followed numerous suspects, watching 
where they went, and getting a list of stops and suspects.

The trap was sprung when Marino, Girard, Chapman and Holmes were arrested on South Centre street in Merchantville as they sat in a parked car. The car, according to Doran, bore license plates issued to Palese.

Merchantville police and Doran arrested the four and seized bingo numbers slips. Murphy and Koerner also arrested Branco, while County Detectives James Mulligan, Elmer Mathis, Wilfred Dube and Casmir Wojtkowiak arrested Goodman.

Doran admitted that the automobile in which the four men were found was the property of Palese. A search was made at the home of Palese, on Fourth street, near Spruce, but nothing indicating he was connected with the racket was found, Doran said. But Doran added he has information which leads him to believe Palese was the head of the new racket..


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