James
"Jimmy"
Rodgers


 

JAMES "JIMMY" RODGERS was born in Pennsylvania on February 13, 1905. He boxed professionally for a time in the Camden area. The 1930 Census shows that he had married at the age of 19, and was living with his wife Mary, daughter Dorothy, and son James at 1045 Segal Street in North Camden. He was then working at a buffer at a leather factory, almost certainly the nearby John R. Evans & Co. leather works. Another son, John, was born not long afterwards.

In the early 1930s James Rogers operated a speakeasy at 1000 Segal Street. He was well on his way to becoming one of Camden's "bad boys", but in time turned himself around and became a well known and well liked figure in North Camden, serving as a Republican County Committeeman from Camden's old Tenth Ward. The 1947 Camden City Directory shows him living at 624 North 4th Street. He passed away in September of 1970.

Richard Mori, who knew Mr. Rogers wrote the following in December of 2008:

I was a good friend of Jim who at the time lived on North 4th Street just a few doors away from where I worked in Sisians Grocery Store at 4th and Vine Streets. When I knew him he was the Republican County Committeeman  representing what I believe was the Tenth Ward in Camden City. He often was seen taking up collection at Mass in Holy Name Church and politicking on the various corners in North Camden. He was married to Mary and had two sons Jimmy and Johnny Rodgers. He had become quite a gentleman and a truly nice guy. He died in the late 60's if  I remember correctly. I went to his funeral and there was a long line of mourners to see him off.

 


Camden Courier-Post - June 13, 1933
excerpts

27 Mild Padlocks Provided In U.S. Court Rules by Avis

Camden Man Fined 

Conrad Lambert, 44, of 1427 South Ninth Street, Camden, pleaded guilty to possession of liquor and was fined $35. 

Camden County Padlocks 

Probationary padlocks of one year were ordered by Judge Avis for the following establishments: [Frank's Cafe] Frank Auletto, as proprietor; William J. Stettler, bartender; Rebecca Friedenberg and Lena Teitelman, owners, 1135 and 1137 South Fourth Street, $1000 bond; William Barr, proprietor; George E. Stone, bartender; Marion R. Klump, owner, 11 South Third Street, $1000 bond; Annabale Corda, proprietor and owner; Mary Corda, employee, 1104 South Fourth Street, $1000 bond; Anthony and Stanley Knast, owners, 7807 East Park Avenue, Pennsauken, $1000 bond; Oliver Smith, proprietor; [Thomas "Bluch" Golding] Bertha Golding; owner, 1726 Master Street, $1000 bond; [Big Ed's Place] Edward W. Williams, proprietor; William J. Dolan, bartender, 623 Pearl Street, $1000 bond. 

Frank Tischner, 1244 Cambridge Avenue, pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance and sentence was deferred until June 19.

The Mill Grinds 

Frank H. Poole, 1400 Rose Street, pleaded guilty to possession and maintaining a nuisance and was fined $35. James Rodgers, 1000 Segal Street, pleaded guilty to possession and maintaining a nuisance. Agents said he conducted a speakeasy and he was fined $l0 and given 10 days in jail.

Fined for Beer Selling 

Harry Getty, 48, of 29 North Third Street, Camden, was fined $35 for possession of beer and maintaining a nuisance. A fine of $25 was imposed upon Charles H. Lee, 30, of 1565 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, Camden, when he pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance charges. Annibale Corda, 35, of 1104 South Fourth Street, Camden, was fined $10 when he pleaded guilty to charges of possession of liquor and maintenance of a nuisance.

[Steppy's Cafe] Walenty Szczepankiewicz, 63, of 1621 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, was given a 45-day jail term and fined $25 when he pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance charges. His son, Edward, 19, was freed on a suspended sentence and placed on probation for six months on similar charges. 

John Baronkin, 669-1/2 Van Hook Street, Camden, was given a suspended sentence upon pleading guilty to possession of liquor, after his attorney pleaded he was keeping a wife, child and an ill mother. 

Bench Warrant Issued 

A bench warrant was issued for Mike Britto, of 112 North Delaware Avenue, and bail of $500 was ordered forfeited when he failed to answer charges of possession and maintaining a nuisance. 

Frank Cipriani, of 713 South Third Street, Camden, was sent to jail for 10 days and fined $1 when he pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance charges. His attorney said he was a prosperous South Camden business man who lost his holdings in the depression and has six children to support. 

Lawrence L. Murphy, 33, of 552 Haddon Avenue, Camden, was fined $25 when he pleaded guilty to possession of two jugs of liquor. He was arrested February 10 with the liquor in his possession. 

William Deroncone, 38, of 520 South Second Street, Camden, was given five days in jail and fined $1. He pleaded guilty to possession of a half pint, of liquor, in his cigar store. 


Camden Courier-Post - August 15, 1933

RODGERS, EX-BOXER NABBED AGAIN IN RAID
Whisky and 65 Bottles Also Seized by Cops in Segal Street Speakeasy

Modest Moonshinery Found in 'Empty' House

James "Jimmy" Rodgers, 28, former boxer; fell into the hands of police again last night when they raided a speakeasy at 1000 Segal Street, allegedly operated by him.

One gallon of whisky and 65 pint bottles were confiscated by the raiders, who were led by District Detectives Walter Smith, Marshall Thompson and Harry Kyler.

Three others were arrested. One of them, James Greer, 35, of 332 North Second street, placed a charge of possession of stolen goods against Rodgers when police unearthed some articles stolen from Greer two months ago.

Others arrested were Thomas Spencer, 33, of the Segal Street address, and John D. Wood, 35, of 928 Kimber Street.

Rodgers has fallen afoul of the , law on numerous occasions. He has been arrested several times for operating speakeasies. He was also arrested as a material witness in the "Shooey" Bonner murder two years ago.

He will be given a police court hearing today,

Detectives raided a vacant dwelling at 225 Chestnut Street last night and seized a "moonshine" plant consisting of two stills, 36 barrels of mash and oil and gas stove cookers.

The place had been under observation by Detective Vernon Jones for two weeks.

No one was inside when Jones and Patrolmen George Hemphill and John Houston entered. A 50 gallon still was on the second floor and a 35 gallon still on the first floor.


Camden Courier-Post - August 16, 1933

JIMMY RODGERS IS GIVEN 180 DAYS
Former Boxer Jailed on Speakeasy Charge, Held on Stolen Goods Count

James "Jimmy" Rodgers, 28-year-old former boxer who on numerous occasions has run afoul of the law, was sentenced yesterday to serve 180 days in the county jail for operating a speakeasy at 1000 Segal Street.

In addition, he was held without bail by Police Judge Pancoast on a charge of possession of stolen goods. The goods were identified by their owner, James Greer, 35, of 332 North Second Street, who was in the speakeasy when police raided it Monday night.

Greer turned state's evidence against Rodgers in police court yesterday, and for a reward, received a suspended sentence.

District Detective Harry Kyler, Marshall Thompson and Walter Smith raided the speakeasy and confiscated 65 pints of whiskey in bottles and a gallon of whiskey in a jug. Kyler testified Rodgers was not there when the raiders entered the place but appeared later and was arrested.

3 Others Nabbed

Three others were arrested in the place. These were Greer, Thomas Spencer, 33, who gave the speakeasy as his home address, and John D. Wood, 35, of 928 Kimber street. Spencer has been arrested approximately 75 times, the police said.

The detectives, when searching the premises, found a suitcase filled with shoestrings, collar buttons and other merchandise. Greer identified the case and its contents as having been stolen from his car when it was parked on Segal Street near Front some time ago. He lodged the complaint of possession of stolen goods against Rodgers.

Rodgers was arraigned on three charges, including the stolen goods count. The other complaints were that he sold beer without a license and violated Section 422 of the city ordinances which prohibits disorderly persons to congregate on the premises.

Rodgers pleaded not guilty on all three charges, and told the court he had "nothing to say." He was fined $200 on each of the charges of violating Section 422, and selling without a license, and when he did not pay, he was sentenced to 90 days on each of the two counts. He was committed to the county jail without bail on Greer's complaint of possession of stolen goods.

Greer testified that he had purchased liquor in Rodgers' place several times, as late as last night. Greer's sentence was suspended.

Spencer Refuses to Talk 

Spencer refused to testify against Rodgers. He said he did not know "what was going on there" and that he was there painting.

"You won't be painting there for 90 days," retorted the court in pronouncing sentence.

Wood, the other man arrested in the place, did not appear in court and forfeited $10 security he had posted after the raid.

Rodgers has been arrested several times for operating speakeasies. He was also arrested as a material witness two years ago in the murder of William "Shooey" Bonner."

Spencer was arrested so often when he resided in Gloucester that he became known as "Gloucester's Peck's Bad Boy," the police said. Since moving to Camden he has been arrested arrested nearly 50 times, police stated. 

The majority of his arrests have been on charges of drunkenness and disorderly conduct, but in 1925 and in 1926, he was arrested on a charge of larceny of automobile. Again in 1929 he was charged with non support, when he was ordered to pay his wife $10 weekly. Back In 1916 he was arrested on a charge of stealing a gold watch.


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