Roy
A.
Smith


 

ROY ARLINGTON SMITH was born on April 27, 1884 in New Jersey to William Henry Smith and his wife the former Harriet C. Stewart. He was the youngest of eleven children, two of whom had died prior to his birth. The 1880 Census shows the family at 726 Federal Street, with children William H. Jr., Virginia C., Augustus D., Sue G., Howard M. Smith, Clarence S. Smith, and Walter H. Smith. Two more sons came in the early 1880s, Crawford M. Smith. and Roy A. Smith. William Henry Smith died in 1886. Known locally as "Policy Bill" Smith, he had been arrested a number of times on charges of operating a "policy game", i.e., an illegal lottery, what was late called the "numbers racket". After her husband's death, Harriet Smith, with 5 mouths to feed under the age of 12 stayed in the "family business" and was in and out of legal trouble until she and her her unmarried sons fled to Philadelphia in 1898 to escape prosecution. They returned to Camden around 1903.

Roy A. Smith's oldest brother, William H. Smith Jr., popularly best known as W. Harry Smith, was working by 1890, as was second son Augustus D. Smith found work as a blacksmith. W. Harry Smith began involving himself in local politics in Camden's 9th Ward as a Republican, and over the years this served him and the Smith family well. W. Harry Smith's friend an political ally Harry J. Wagner Sr. married Sue Smith. 

Roy Smith married around 1905. The 1906 City Directory shows him living at 609 North 6th Street in North Camden. He was then working as a car builder. 

Having W. Harry Smith for a brother and Harry J. Wagner Sr. for a brother-in-law definitely helped the younger Smith brothers. Possibly due to their influence and possibly due to the fact that the Camden Police Department's baseball team needed a pitcher, Howard M. Smith was appointed to the Camden Police Department on March 20, 1906, and promoted to detective in 1918. 

When the Census was taken in April of 1910 Roy and Anna Smith were living at 727 Carman Street. He was then working as a bartender. He was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in June of 1914 and went to work on July 1 at Engine Company 7.

By the time the 1914 Camden City Directory was compiled, Roy A. Smith  and wife Anna had moved to 607 Carman Street, where he lived out his days. 

Roy Smith's brother, Walter Smith, was appointed to the Camden Police Department on April 30, 1914. By 1925 he too had been promoted to Detective, and served in that until his retirement on February 15, 1935.

When the new firehouse was opened on Morgan Boulevard, Roy Smith was promoted to stoker and assigned to Engine Company 10.

Roy Smith served with the Fire Department until ill-health forced an early retirement. He was granted a disability pension on January 6, 1933. Sadly, Anna H. Smith passed away on May 20, 1934 at the age of 47. Roy A. Smith joined her on January 17, 1936. They both rest at Harleigh Cemetery.

Roy Smith's nephew, Harry J. Wagner Jr., served as a member of the Camden Fire Department for 39 years and 8 months, reaching the rank of Acting Chief of Department. Another nephew, Roy Wagner, owned Roy's Tavern on Federal Street from 1936 to 1964, and nephews Philip and  George C. Wagner tended bar there. Another, nephew, Howard Baker Smith, worked as in security at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard and as an investigator with the Camden County Prosecutor's office until his retirement in 1981.

 

Camden Daily Courier
June 14, 1910

Howard L. Currie
Robert Brice
Clarence Madden
William Cason
William Laird
George Boone
Edward Simpson
John McTaggart
Roy A. Smith
James Ora Burris
William Buzine
Thomas J. Nicholas
Joseph Maxwell
Daniel Smith
Arthur Wingate
Newton Ash
Henry C. Knowles
Engine Company 7

 

 

 

 

Camden Post-Telegram * December 27, 1910

... continued...
... continued...
... continued...
Charles Robinson
Samuel Price
Harry Haines
Mortica Clark
James McDermott
John McTaggart
Roy A. Smith
Peter Gray
Harvey Watts
Samuel S. Elfreth
George P. Cox
Mrs. Tillie Sackett
Harry Ehrlich - Lena Ehrlich
Florence Ehrlich - Martha Ehrlich
Edward T. Sackett - Harry Pinsky
Mary Palosky - Joseph Hermann
Harry Nurock
Broadway
Albertson L. Matlack
Engine Company 7

Camden Post-Telegram * July 18, 1911

Camden Post-Telegram * December 16, 1912

...continued...
...continued...
George Boone  - Roy A. Smith
Daniel M. Stevens - George Leathwhite
George Pine - John Barnett
William C. Davis - John J. Welsh
Adam Urbin -
Zion Church
Berkley Street - William Street

 

 

Camden Post-Telegram * January 2, 1913

... continued...
... continued...
Charles A. Todd - John W. Kelly Jr. - John H. Lutts - William K. Buzine - James Navin - Richard Marter
 Joseph Sparks - George Boone  - Roy A. Smith  - Edward Simpson - Henry C. Knowles
Samuel S. Elfreth - George P. Cox - Walter W. Browning - George B. Wade - John A. Stockton
Joseph F. Ernst - John A. Dold - Josiah Sage - Daniel Smith - Arthur Wingate - Joseph T. Johnson
Harry Hankins - William Laird - William Elberson - John H. Lennox - Martin Carrigan - Charles Cook
Harry Selby - Herman O. Kreher - Daniel P. McConnell - William Howell Tatem  
Harry C. Anderson - Steward Bakley - Joseph Maxwell
William Robinson - Richard Sauer - John Watson - Albert Glanders - Ladder Company 1
Charles Menke - Edward S. Gahan - Engine Company 7 - Engine Company 2

Camden Post-Telegram
March 25, 1914

Engine Company 7
Horace Cairns - Haddon Avenue
George Boone - Mt. Vernon Street
Charles Worthington
Roy A. Smith
Mrs. Elizabeth Caston - Sycamore Street
West Jersey Hospital


 

Camden Post-Telegram
May 13, 1915

Ninth Ward Republican Association
Fourth Ward Republican Club
William Brown
Isaac Gleason
Roy A. Smith
Ulie Andrews
George L. Bender
Arthur WIngate
W.C. Davis Jr.
Edward Holloway
William "Billy" Wilkinson

 

 


Camden Post-Telegram * July 8, 1915

World War I Draft Card

Camden Daily Courier
May 21, 1920

Engine Company 10
Ladder Company 4
James White
Horace Cairns
Mortica Clark
John Vickers
Charles Watkin
Herman O. Kreher
John A.S. Hunt
George Hunt
James McDermott
William Miller
Harry Selby

Joseph T. Daley
Roy A. Smith
Seth Monell
William Madison

 

Camden Post-Telegram * September 22, 1924

Camden Courier-Post * January 6, 1936
... continued...
Roy A. Smith - Robert Ashenfelter - John Sheeran - Jesse Smith - Robert Ward - Charles Gladney
Victor S. King - Roy R. Stewart - North 36th Street - Wright Avenue
Charles Rettberg - Theodore Rettberg - Melbourne James - Gordon McRae

Camden Courier-Post
January 7, 1936

Roy A. Smith
Robert Ashenfelter
John Sheeran
Jesse Smith
Robert Ward
Charles Gladney
Dr. Garnet P. Summerill

 

Camden Courier-Post
May 22, 1934

 

Camden Courier-Post
January 18, 1936

Carman Street
Harry J. Wagner Jr.
Howard M. Smith
Walter Smith

Whoever wrote the second paragraph of this obituary had it quite wrong.

 

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