David
Russell
Ellis


 

DAVID RUSSELL ELLIS was the son of Bertha and David Ellis. His father was a Camden Police officer in the 1890s and 1900s. David Russell Ellis was born in Camden on May 9, 1893. When the Census was taken in 1900 the Ellis family, which included an older brother, Howard Ellis, was living at 724 Division Street. By 1906 they had moved to 709 Walnut Street and were still there when the Census was taken in 1910. David R. Ellis was then working as a steamfitter. By 1914 he had married. The City Directory for that year lists him and his wife Frieda at 760 Cherry Street. When he registered for the draft in June of 1917, David Ellis had gone to work at the Keystone Leather Works factory. He was then living at 820 Fern Street in North Camden.

David R. Ellis and his wife had separated by January of 1920. He was boarding at the home of a young widow, Evelyn Magann, at 1024 Penn Street. The 1920 Census shows him working at a shipyard. By 1927 David Ellis had joined the Camden Fire Department. By this time he and Evelyn Magann had married. They were then living, along with stepson Walden Magann, at 913 Cedar Street, remaining at that address into 1931. The Ellis family moved to 1614 Fillmore Street shortly afterwards. By April 18, 1930 he had been promoted to Captain, serving with Engine Company 2.

Tragedy struck on June 15, 1934 when Captain Ellis died of acute indigestion at Leslie's Cove, which was a small island with summer cottages in Mantua Creek near Mt. Royal, New Jersey. He was only 42 years old at the time. David Russell Leslie rests at Harleigh Cemetery.  

Coincidentally, not long after Captain Ellis died, a flood brought on by a severe storm washed away the island and the cottages. Leslie's Cove, which had been a popular summer resort for about 50 years, was gone forever.


 

Camden Courier - May 22, 1925

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William Chambers - Leonard Megee Thomas J. Nicholas - David Ellis
Dr. Thomas B. Lee - Dr. David F. Bentley -
Engine Company 2 - Ladder Company 1
Click on Images to Enlarge


Camden Courier-Post - February 22, 1928
$225,000 FIRE RUINS 5 UPTOWN PLANTS

HOW FLAMES GUTTED BIG INDUSTRIAL BUILDING

RESIDENTS FLEE AS FLAMES RAGE IN BIG BUILDING
Factory of Evans Leather Co. Saved by Valiant Work of Firemen
APPARATUS IS DISABLED; DEBRIS BURIED FIRE PLUG

Metal Stamping Firm, Textile Concern Heavy Losers; Pattern Shop Saved
...continued...

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Thomas Nicholas - James Tatem
Manuel Kane
Harry M. Leigh
- David Ellis
Engine Company 2
Engine Company 4
Engine Company 5
Engine Company 6
Segal Street
Click in Images to Enlarge

Camden Courier-Post - April 4, 1928

...continued...

Thomas Nicholas - John H. Lennox - Rollo Jones - William Harring Clarence Madden - George B. Wade - William W. Patterson
George Hunt - David Ellis - George Saunders
Eli Hunt - William Van Pfefferle - William H. Toy - Leo Tomkins
Horace T. Molan - Laurence Boulton - George W. Garner
Felix E. Bendzyn - Harry H. Hess - Charles Jones
Thomas F. Gibbons - Byron Davis - John S. Anderson
Ladder Company 1 - Engine Company 3
Engine Company 6
- Engine Company 7 - Engine Company 9
 27th Street - Arch Street - Broadway Clinton Street
Federal Street
-  Ferry Avenue
-
York Street


Camden Courier-Post - April 18, 1930

3 YOUTHS HELD AS BLAZE RAZES
GRAIN PLANT OF SITLEY AND SON

Damage in Fire at Sixth and Bulson Streets Estimated at $45,000
FOUR MEN RISK LIVES TO SAVE TWO HORSES
Boys Believed by Police Probers to Have Been Smoking, in Building

Three boys are being held and two others are sought in the investigation of the $45.000 fire which today destroyed the warehouse of Sitley & Son, wholesale hardware, roofing material and grain dealers at Sixth and Bulson streets.

The three boys were ordered held by Police Judge Pancoast after authorities expressed belief that the three alarm fire was caused either by thieves or boys smoking cigarettes on the premises.

Two of the youths admitted they stole coal from the plant's siding last night, while the third confessed that he, and two other boys were in the plant last evening. He said his two companions, who are expected to be arrested this afternoon, were smoking

One fireman was slightly hurt when he ran a nail into his foot, while other firefighters narrowly escaped injury when the roof of the-blazing building collapsed.

A dense fog, rain, great clouds of thick smoke and intense heat' all hampered the firemen, and rendered them practically helpless for more than three hours. When the blaze was finally under control at 8:00 a.m., only the blackened and buckled walls remained standing,

Practically the entire stock was lost. but through the courage of four men including two policemen: a team of terrified horses and three trucks were saved from the blazing stable.

Twenty employees were temporarily deprived of work.

Discovery of three rolls of wire fencing on nearby railroad tracks and the presence at two men near the premises when the blaze was discovered led Fire Chief Thomas Nicholas to believe thieves had thrown a cigarette near some flammable material.

The arrested boy is John Brodzik, 1927 Fillmore Street.

Two other youths, John Hadyniak, 16, of 685 Ferry Avenue, and Anthony Parraine [Piraino- PMC], 11, of 2026 South Seventh Street, arrested on a charge of stealing coal from the Sitley siding last night are also being held. They declare they were not in the plant.

In addition to the smoke and heat firemen were further hampered by the fact that two railroads pass the building. Many of the hose lines had to be stretched over the tracks, so that in order to prevent passing trains, from which thousands of commuters saw the fire, from cutting the lines, holes were dug under the tracks and the lines run through the excavations.

Captain David Ellis, of No. 7 fire company at Mt. Ephraim and Kaighn Avenues, ran a nail in his foot, and after being given first aid treatment at the scene was taken to the West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital.

The first alarm was sounded at 4:18 a.m. from a box at Fillmore Street and Chelton Avenue. The fire was discovered by Paul N. Naurath, 1727 Master Street, an engineer at the Camden brewery, which is in the immediate vicinity of the Sitley plant.

Naurath ran to a gasoline filling station at Broadway and Chelton Street from where he telephoned to fire headquarters. He later told Police Lieutenant George Frost that when he noticed the smoke and flames he saw two men running around the Sitley stable, which is attached to the main plant. However, he paid no attention to them, being intent upon turning in an alarm.

While fire apparatus sped to the scene, Naurath, Frederick Baum, 431 Winslow Street; Patrolman Frank Del Rossi and Police Sergeant Edward Carroll, heard the shrill screams of horses in the stable, which had quickly become an inferno,

Horses Rescued

The four rushed into the stable, broke down the door, and led out the two horses, which several times attempted to run back into the flames. The men also drove three trucks out of the place before they were driven away by the dense smoke.

The building occupies a plot about 300 feet square and comprises several one and two-story sections. There wax formerly a grain elevator on the site belonging to the Sitleys, but it was destroyed by fire more than a decade ago and never rebuilt. On the south side of the plant are the Atlantic City Railroad tracks, and on the east side the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad lines.

Flames Spread Rapidly 

Believed to have started either in the stable or at the extreme northern end of the plant, the fire quickly swept through the entire building. Rolls of tarred paper and bins of grain were quickly consumed, throwing out huge clouds of smoke.

Two more alarms were sounded for additional apparatus, but it was not until 7:30 a.m. that firemen could enter the building. Meanwhile, about 50 hose lines were stretched to the building and water continually played on the fire. Commissioner Frank B. Hanna arrived and increased the water pressure five points at the pumping stations to keep a water supply to feed the hose lines. Chief of Police Lewis H. Stehr also sped to the fire.

A touch of tragedy was added when Thomas Mills, 70, of 431 Viola Street, employed by the Sitleys for 40 years as a packer, arrived. The elderly workman burst into tears when he saw the flames, and sobbed that he was now out of work and had a family to support.

Finally, about 8 a. m., firemen had the blaze under control, after the roof had caved in. Only the walls stood, but several times they threatened to collapse.

The owners, Frank B. Sitley, Sr., of Woodbury, and his son, Frank B. Sitley, Jr., arrived, but declined to estimate their loss. However, police and firemen fixed an approximate damage of $25,000 to the building and $20,000 to the stock.

Lieutenant Frost found three rolls of wire fencing which had been taken from the building, They were lying on the Reading Railroad tracks, apparently dropped by thieves when police arrived.

Young Brodzik was arrested at 8:00 p.m. yesterday by Special Officer John Stevenson, who turned him over to Patrolmen Smith and Rieh. The youth was charged with suspicion of having broken into the place, and is alleged to have first denied being in the building, but later admitted that he and two other boys crawled through a basement window.

The boy declared that he neither smoked nor stole anything, but said that other boys had smoked. He refused to divulge their names.

Hadyniak and Perraine were arrested last night and charged with theft of coal from the siding. Brodzik declared those two were not the boys who were with him last night,

All three were arrraigned before Judge Pancoast in police court this morning and held without bail pending investigation.

 

Trenton Times
April 26, 1932

John Lennox
David Ellis
Michele Natale
Louise Pologruto
Joesphine Zangari

 3rd Street
 Benson Street



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