JAMES E. TATEM was born in Camden in May of 1876 to William A. and Anna Emley Tatem. There were at least two older siblings, a sister, Mary, and a brother, Edward, and two younger brothers, George and William H. Tatem. In 1880 the Tatem family lived at 101 North 7th Street. William Tatem was then a produce dealer. Sadly, he had passed away by 1887. The family was then living at 422 Henry Street in South Camden. The 1890-1891 Directory shows the Tatems at 619 South 5th Street, where older brother Edward Tatem also conducted a milk business. At the age of 24 James Tatem had married Ella Lummis. The couple resided with her parents, at 435 Beckett Street at the time of the 1900 Census. He had by this time already joined Camden's police force.
James Tatem joined Camden's police department in 1899, an appointee of Mayor Cooper B. Hatch. He managed to avoid being discharged when Democrat mayor Joseph Nowrey was elected. When the Republicans returned to City Hall in 1905, new Mayor Charles Ellis saw "Smilin' Jimmy's" ability to calm a troubled situation, and by 1910 he was promoted to sergeant and by 1920 to captain. For much of Ellis' term James Tatem served as an an aide to the Mayor. He also served as a Justice of the Peace in the early 1920s.
James Tatem remained on with the Camden police department when Mayor Ellis retired to become Postmaster in 1922. The following year Victor King was elected mayor. King also took a liking to the ever-diplomatic Tatem, and saw that he was appointed Captain of the newly created traffic bureau. When Commissioner Frank Hitchner, then the director of public safety, fired Chief Edward S. Hyde, Tatem was chosen to be the new Chief.
James Tatem faced a daunting challenge in his new post, one that in retrospect he may not have been prepared for- not that many police officers of his generation were. Commissioner. He was an officer who came up in the 1890s and 1900s faced with the new organized crime model that took hold in America when Prohibition was instituted in 1919. That and his dalliance with the Democratic Mayor King foretold Chief Tatem's replacement. After a shooting in a downtown bar, the Bluebird Cafe, in late 1927, Commissioner David S. Rhone, the new director of public safety, took a more active role in the affairs of the department. Finally, on March 2, 1928 Mayor Winfield S. Price replaced Chief Tatem, appointing Captain Lewis H. Stehr Jr. as acting Chief of Police. This was a surprise to many, who had assumed that the popular Chief Charles T. Humes would get the post. James Tatem then retired on a full pension. It is worth noting, however, that his service to the city was recognized in that he had been granted a raise on March 1, 1928 which had the effect of locking in his pension at a higher amount.
The marriage between of James and Ella Tatem appears to have been a stormy one. By 1910 the couple had separated, and he appears to never have remarried. He then lived with his mother, grandmother Elizabeth Emley, widowed sister Mary Gahan, and nephew Edward at 535 South 5th Street. James Tatem would remain at this address into the 1920s. Hr moved to 615 South 5th Street by 1924. James Tatem was still living there with his sister as late as April of 1930. The Census shows them living at 615 South 5th Street, next door to Camden firefighter Leonard Megee, and on the same block where he had resided as a boy.
James Tatem's younger brother, William Howell Tatem, served as a member of the Camden Fire Department from the late 1900s into the 1930s.
Inquirer - October 30, 1897
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|Emma Zane - Eli Shaw - Wilson H. Jenkins|
|Henry S. Scovel|
William S. Jones - Dr.
A. Haines Lippincott - William A. Husted - Thomas Benkert
Martin J. O'Brien - William Anderson - Charles Folwell - John Irwin
|Harry Delameter - O. Glen Stackhouse - John Foster - H. Frank Pettit|
|James E. Tatem - Frank B. Haines - Albert Fogg - John Painter - John H. Beard - Albert Hollingshead|
|William Stein - Charles M. Lane - Elwin Steen|
Sinclair - Mrs. Anna Knight
Click on Image for PDF File of Complete Article
September 26, 1899
Philadelphia Inquirer - December 13, 1903
|Philadelphia Inquirer - January 14, 1910|
Oscar Weaver - George
W. Anderson - James Clay -
James E. Tatem - Charles Whaland - Howard Smith - George Cooper Albert Shaw - Harry Mines - Elbridge B. McClong
|Philadelphia Inquirer - August 25, 1915|
B. Williams - Royden
Street - Rev. Dr. John
Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church - Rev. J.H. Townsend
Rev, D.B. Green - John A. Stockton - James E. Tatem
James E. Hewitt - Ralston Sickler - John Baker - Harry Dease
St. John's Episcopal Church
|Philadelphia Inquirer - December 4, 1917|
Colsey - James
E. Tatem - Charles
|CAMDEN DAILY COURIER - JANUARY 4, 1922|
Detective Murry Protected Vice
B. Kates - Walter Keown - George
Ward - Howard Fisher
James E. Tatem - Elisha A. Gravenor - E.G.C. Bleakly
Anthony "Babe" Paradise - "Pye" Calletino - William Draper
Tony Latorre - Ira Hall - George V. Murry - Harry "Dutch" Selby
Gus Davis - Albert "Salty" Cook - Ned Galvin - James Wilson
Sycamore Street - Pine Street - Rosetta Blue - Deena Howard
Minnie Draper - Harry Knox - Blanche Martin - Jesse Smith
Antonio Pelle - Ethel Murray - Paulo Genovese - Nazzara DeVecches
Nino Mercandino - South 2nd Street - South 3rd Street - South 4th Street Ann Street - Baxter Street - Sycamore Street - Line Street - Pine Street
Philadelphia Inquirer - November 26, 1922
This story erred in reporting, as retirement at age 65 was NOT mandatory at the time. William E. Albert, Richard Golden, Frank Matlack, and Edwin Thomas did retire. John Golden, John Painter, Charles Fitzsimmons, Thomas Brothes, and William Lyons continued to work in the Police Department. John Golden was eventually promoted to Chief of Police.
|Trenton Evening Times - June 27, 1923|
Camden Courier-Post * January 7, 1928
CLERK HELD IN ROBBERY OF STORE
Climbing to the roof of a shed in the rear of the Greenetz & Pellicoff jewelry store, 833 Broadway, burglars entered the shop early today and carried away $2,000 in loot.
noon today, Joseph Shapiro, 29 years old, 215 South Fifth
clerk in the store, was being grilled by Detectives George
Ward and Thomas
Cheeseman, after being booked at police headquarters
as having been arrested “on suspicion.”
29 four suspected robbers were captured by police only a few minutes
after they had smashed the plate glass window and snatched a tray of
jewels at the same store.
John McTaggert reported the burglary this morning. He is the brother of
McTaggert, who participated in the capture of the four
suspects last August.
in the loot of the burglars this morning were 35 watches left at the
shop by their owners for repairs. At the shop it was said the owners of
the watches would be reimbursed. Other articles stolen included 26
bracelets, 12 diamond bar pins, 15 pair of earrings, three fountain pen
sets, and six strings of beads.
7:30 this morning, Patrolman McTaggert noticed several men standing in
front of the jewelry store. He learned that they had just discovered an
open window and, investigating, found the shop had been robbed.
watches and other articles of jewelry were taken from trays and
showcases. A safe in the store was left untouched.
building next to the jewelry store at 831 Broadway
is unoccupied and it
was through this structure that the burglars entered. They climbed to
the roof of a shed at the rear, entered a second story window and
followed a corridor to an inner door of the jewelry store, forced open
the door, and entered.
capture of the four men at the store more than four months ago resulted
in commendation from Chief James E. Tatem for the three officers who
participated. With Policeman Edward Smith and Frank
James McTaggert took the four men at revolver’s point. The men
arrested at that time, still awaiting trial, are James Toner, 54 years
old, 1204 Vine Street, Philadelphia; Mervin Campbell, 24 years old, 2309
Carlisle Street; James J. Kelly, 25 years old, 2121 Brandywine Street;
and Frank MacCrossan, 33 years old, of 1328 Pearl Street.
Camden Courier-Post * February 4, 1928
INVITE BANDITS TO NICE SHOOTING PARTY
Targets for Camden’s new desperado eliminators. Bandits, burglars,
snipers and their ilk are requested by Chief of Police James
E. Tatem to apply at police headquarters Monday morning at 10
o’clock, when a practice shooting party will be held.
Tatem said today Camden’s bandit-chasing squad is “just rarin’
to go” with six new automatic rifles guaranteed to shoot full of holes
the toughest bandit in less time than it takes to say “Aligoop.”
the further enlightenment of the bandit fraternity, Chief
Tatem announced detailed instructions on how to use the new
carbines will be given this afternoon at 3 o’clock to bandit chasing
police by Captain Arthur Colsey
and Herman Engle, a representative of Stein Brothers, this city.
The rifles arrived at police headquarters yesterday afternoon. They will be distributed in each of the city’s three police districts in the campaign to rid the city of desperadoes.
weapons can fire a magazine of 20 shots in a few seconds. They will be
mounted in the three red bandit chasing coupes used by the district
squad members. One of the coupes is now being used by Archie Reiss and Vernon
Jones in South Camden, while two others are expected to be delivered
within a few days, according to Chief of Police James
E. Tatem. They will be assigned to Walter Smith
Carpani, First district detectives and Louis Schlam and Richard
Donnelly in the East Camden district.
attachments make it possible to fire the guns from a fixed point in an
automobile. Detached they may be fired from the shoulder. Besides firing a magazine of 20 shots without stopping, they can be
adjusted to single fire, using .45 caliber cartridges.
Instruction in the adjustment and use of the
weapons will be given today by a representative of the company that sold
them- at $175 each— to the city.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 15, 1928|
|Camden Courier-Post - February 22, 1928|
|$225,000 FIRE RUINS 5 UPTOWN PLANTS|
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
Thomas Nicholas - James Tatem
Harry M. Leigh - David Ellis
Engine Company 2
Engine Company 4
Engine Company 5
Engine Company 6
|Click in Images to Enlarge|
|Camden Courier-Post - February 23, 1928|
Robert Brennan -
Marie Mackintosh - William
H. Heiser - Mary McCready
|Camden Courier-Post - June 11, 1932|
Avenue - George A. Tatem Sr. -
George A. Tatem Jr.
James M. Tatem - Mrs. Mabel W. Tatem
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