VENTORINO FRANCESCONI was active politically as a Democrat in South Camden in the 1930s and 1940s.
In late June 1937, the board changed an application for alterations and additions from the Mount Vernon School to the C. A. Bergen School. They also applied for a $925,000 loan for a new school in the fourth ward, and for modernizing the Cooper and Grant Schools. The loan never materialized, and this led to the formation of new civic committees and coalitions. Mr. Ventorino Francesconi, representing the Camden Citizens Taxpayers League, and the Fourth Ward Democratic Club of Camden, demanded a new school to replace the aging schools near the center of the city. Francesconi was incensed that district administration told him that the board made application for a new school through the federal government, but when he wrote to Washington, he learned that no application was on file. He declared, "You know that that section is known, perhaps, as the slums of the City of Camden, but unless something IS done in the way of a new school, I believe that children in our section will perhaps go on a school strike." He insisted that not only was the school a firetrap, but
“I am going to show you some pictures we took down there, showing the facilities. The first picture is of the [Steven's] School itself. Eighteen years ago, I went to that school and they were patching it .... This second picture shows the facilities being used by the girls-the roof is coming down, water on the floor, no seats. The third picture shows the facilities being used by the boys. I would not want my child to use these facilities, and I am sure that none of the members of the Board would want your children to use them .... The last picture is ... of the inside. This shows the plaster coming off the walls. It has been patched up several times before. A WPA Project is working there now.
Board of Education member Shaw informed Francesconi that board did submit an application in 1938, and showed him a letter from the PWA. In April 1939, the WPA notified the board that they approved the board's application for improvements to Central, Central Annex, Mickle, Yorkship, Stevens, and H. B. Wilson Schools.When the 194 Camden City Directory was compiled, Ventorino Francesconi and his wife lived at 447 Benson Street. He was then working for the City of Camden as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs.
|Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1933|
want to take this opportunity to thank all the workers and all my friends
in the Fourth Ward who so loyally
Mrs. Mary Di
and myself as county committeewoman and county committeeman. Unfortunately
Mrs. Di Pilla lost by four votes; but won a moral victory.
will do all in· my power to serve the people of the Fourth Ward to the
best of my ability and under no circumstances will I show any partiality.
|Camden Courier-Post * June 15, 1933|
4TH WARD DEMOCRATS ELECT JAMES LAURINO
James Laurino, was elected president of the Fourth Ward Democratic Club of Camden last night at its headquarters, Broadway and Washington streets. Other officers chosen are John Stewart, vice president; Joseph Panichella, secretary; Dominick Lombardo, re-elected treasurer; Fred Ross, financial secretary; Thomas Shannon, sergeant-at-arms.
County Committeeman Ventorino Francesconi was named honorary president. David Visor was named to draw up by-laws. The charter is open for new members. The club will meet each Wednesday night.
Camden Courier-Post - June 20, 1933
DEMOCRATS ARRANGE FOR 'MALONEY DAY'
"Harry L. Maloney Day" will be celebrated by South Jersey
Democrats, Sunday, July 9, when the newly-appointed collector of internal
revenue will be guest of honor at a picnic at Silver Lake Park. State leaders of the party will attend.
Maloney, Democratic state committeeman from Camden County and Mayor of Bellmawr, was named by President
Roosevelt to succeed Edward L. Sturgess and is expected to
Plans for the outing were made last night at a meeting in Democratic headquarters, 538 Stevens Street, at which Albert S. Marvel, Jr., was named chairman of the general committee. Vincent de P. Costello was elected secretary and former Mayor Victor King treasurer.
The committees follow:
Refreshments- Ralph W. Wescott, chairman; Raymond Hadley, Walter Bateman, Joseph Ackroyd, James Hainesworth, Joseph Harczynski.
Athletics- Frank Abbott, chairman; John Lyons, Joseph McVey and Daniel T. Hagans,
District organization- Michael J. Powell, chairman; Dominick Josephs, Ralph Comilli, Herbert McAdams, William Noonan, Edward Huston, Harry Daly and William Kistner.
Transportation - Mayor Emerson Jackson, of Gloucester, chairman; Lewis C. Parker, George Cohen, John Bennett, Horace L. Brewer and Sabba Verdiglione.
Printing- Charles J. Clark, chairman; Raymond Saltzman, Jack Goldstein, Walter Kelly and William M. Williams.
Publicity- Edward C. Bowe, Herbert Beattie, Patrick Whalen, Alfred R. White and Luke Bates.
Mrs. Emma E. Hyland, state committeewoman, and Miss Marie V. Kelley, vice- chairman of the county committee, will head a women's reception committee to be chosen later.
The committees will meet again Monday night to complete arrangements. .
Camden Courier-Post - February 26, 1938
15 MEN PASS TEST FOR NEW CITY JOB
Fifteen Camden residents passed the civil service
examination for appointment as a process server in the city's new Tax Title Perfection Department, which is under
the direction of Mayor Brunner. One will be appointed. Arthur R. Dorsey, 1130
Avenue, a disabled veteran received the highest average. Another disabled
veteran, Clifford C. Chalfant, 412 Haddon
Avenue, was second, and Robert W. McCay, also a veteran, of 1269 Kenwood
Avenue, was third. Fourth place went to
The Tax Title Perfection Department was officially designated Thursday, when an ordinance setting up the bureau was passed on first reading.
Others who passed the examination for the post which will
pay an annual salary of $1820, are: Eugene Aumaitre, 2150 South Tenth
Street; Oscar Moore, 543 Washington
Street; Eugene C. Scranton, 832 Sylvan
|Camden Courier-Post * July 1, 1941|
KOBUS CALLED BEFORE GRAND JURY
Probe Concerns' Vote Fraud Case; Court Asked to Oust 2 Freeholders
Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, director of public safety, is to be among seven witnesses tonight before the grand jury investigating election frauds in Camden.
This was announced yesterday by Assistant Prosecutor Patrick H. Harding after Circuit Court Judge V. Claude Palmer took under advisement the application of Republican attorneys to unseat Democratic Freeholders Stanley Ciechanowski and Ventorino Francesconi.
The court was asked to "declare the election of their Republican opponents, Charles A. Burkett and George Farrell, because of “fraud, corruption or malconduct" in nine precincts of five Camden wards "sufficient to permit the court to reject the entire vote in those districts."
Mrs. Kobus was summoned before the grand jury with six other persons whose identities were not revealed by Harding. It was reported the jury intended probing the police and firemen's pay increase referendum in the last election, of which there has been considerable testimony in the ballot tampering hearing.
It is understood the jury wants to learn where police and firemen were stationed on election day.
Molt's Majority Admitted
In final arguments before Judge Palmer, attorneys did not ask the court to rule that the election of Freeholder Albert H. Molt, three-year term incumbent, be set aside. The lawyers admitted the total vote with the nine district eliminated does not nullify Molt's majority over Howard Westcott, G.O.P. three-year candidate.
Democrat attorneys combatted the argument of the Republicans with the claim the court does not have the power to set the whole district aside but only those votes found to be illegally credited to the incumbents or taken away from the petitioners.
"Giving the petitioners (Republicans) the benefit of every doubt and crediting to them the votes they contend the losing candidates were deprived of by alleged illegal means, the three Democratic freeholders still maintain substantial pluralities to continue in office" Alex Feinberg, attorney for the Democrats, told the court.
After declaring the attorneys for the freeholders failed to produce evidence to refute testimony given that "hundreds of ballots were tampered with by persons other than the voter," Benjamin Friedman, counsel for the Republican candidates, went into a minute review of the results of testimony at previous sessions of the fraud hearing.
He characterized the persons who made the illegal markings as "culprits" and "stupid individuals without any degree of finesse." In district by district, he pointed out the total number of ballots on which there had been erasures and markings by “from one to five persons other than the voter."
He told the court that one of the districts where ballots had been tampered with, the Fifth precinct of the Fourth ward, was the home district of Freeholder Francesconi but he added he did not wish the court to think "he should be charged with comp1iance in the fraud,"
"I think it is significant to point out that in the Eighth and Ninth precincts of the Seventh ward where most of this fraud was carried on there were only a few so-called blank ballots on which the voter made no choice for three-year term freeholder while in every other precinct in the city, there were anywhere from 35 to 50," Friedman said.
"In the Eighth precinct:, there were four blanks and two of those were soldier ballots and contained no freeholders' names. In the Ninth, there were two, both soldier ballots."
Judge Palmer interrupted Friedman to declare:
"That's not hard to understand. Whoever was taking care of the ballots saw to it there would be no blanks. That is perfectly obvious,"
Friedman then charged members or the hoards of the disputed districts with “getting together” and working out what they would say in court.
"They knew we had discovered fraud' very early in this recount," Friedman charged. "They had plenty of time to get together and work this thing out and decide they would come into court and say they knew nothing about it. That's what they did when the court questioned them. I am convinced that everyone who participated in this activity of these boards has direct or indirect knowledge of this fraud,"
Palmer again interrupted Friedman to declare:
"I think that it is true beyond question because on the ballots I gave these members to mark, there were three or four markings which are identical with the fraudulent markings on the ballots examined here during the course of the hearing,"
Friedman continued his argument to state the "boxes in question smell to high Heaven and the odor permeates every vote contained in them." .
"The fraud we have shown in four of these districts and the substantial variations in the others is more than enough to challenge the election," Friedman said. "These boxes are rife and reek of fraud and the results of the districts are fraught with doubt and fraud and should be thrown out."
After Palmer asked that the districts which showed "substantial variation" be set aside, Judge Palmer defended the officers of those districts by declaring "it takes much concentration to be accurate after sitting 26 hours in a row."
Would Reject Votes
Friedman then pointed out to the court that if all the votes were rejected and deducted from the six three-year term freeholder votes, the result would be: Burkett, 57,277; Farrell, 57,265; Molt, 57,111; Westcott, 56,858; Ciechanowski, 55,517, and Francesconi, 54,931.
“We contend, therefore, that Burkett and Farrell have majorities over Francesconi and Ciechanowski and that Molt continues to hold a majority over Westcott." Friedman said. "We ask that the court reject the results in these districts, cancel the certificates of election to Francesconi and Ciechanowski and order that certificates be issued for Burkett and Farrell.”
Most of Feinberg's argument was confined to a review of the testimony during the fraud hearing and a mathemetical calculation of the method, he claimed, for the vote to be adjusted because of the evidence of tampering. He also cited numerous laws which he contended were the basis for his argument: "all the voters of a district should not be disenfranchised because of illegal practices of some unknown person or persons."
"The cases are clear in holding that a district cannot be rejected in its entirely and the results of an election challenged unless the court is without a method of determining arithmetically that the election is changed," Feinberg said.
“There has been no evidence of illegal ballots being cast in this contest. The only evidence concerns something done after the votes were cast and of which the voter had no knowledge. I maintain that can not disfranchise all the votes."
Feinberg claimed that after giving the losing candidates all the votes claimed for them and after taking away all the votes claimed to have been illegally given the incumbents, the county-wide results would be: Molt, 61,216; Ciechanowski, 59,571; Francesconi, 58,999; Farrell, 58,529; Burkett, 58,521, and Westcott, 58,126.
Courier-Post - July 5, 1941
CHECKED AND DOUBLE CHECKED
Feed Bag: Former Judge Joseph Varbalow will soon announce he has purchased the Towers and Broadway Theatres from the Ellis family ... Circuit Court Judge V. Claude Palmer will probably file his decision today in the fraud charges made by the Republican League against the election of Freeholders Ciechanowski and Francesconi ... Since Judge Palmer told the Democratic attorney, Alex Feinberg, that Feinberg must complete his entire case in a half a day "because, frankly, 1 don't see what answer you can make to this testimony," you can draw your own conclusions about what the decision will be ... Incidentally, Judge Palmer will take a plane July 12 for a vacation at Calgary in the Canadian Rockies ... The name of Walter Uliase, Seventh ward Democrat, has been withdrawn from powwows on appointments to the county tax board, .. Senator Al Driscoll was willing to okay Joe Ackroyd, Democrat, as successor on the board to Fred Schorpp, whose term expired a few weeks ago, .. The Republicans are said to have figured that in that way, they could hold Victor King on the board awhile longer, even though his term expired more than a year ago ... Lee Smith, former WPA director; is still a possibility for the tax board job ... The Democrats are holding frequent conferences on who the assistant prosecutor shall be ... Police Judge Gene R, Mariano, a strong contender, has reportedly been dropped with Ben Dzick, Tony Mitchell, Charlie Rudd and the Kraft boys still in the running ... Police court habitues believe that Gene himself announced indirectly that he had been eliminated when he said from the bench, while hearing a case, "Lady, you'll find that even your best friends sometimes stab you in the back. I found that out myself only 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon" ... That was on Thursday ... Mayor George Brunner told the dept that our guess was still I as good his, so that leaves Ben Dzick still with the fence position in the race ... Mariano may be considered for the $5000 State job as sealer of weights and measures ...
Miscellany: Neil F. Deighan, the saloonman who led the opposition to a legislative bill which proposed that liquor manufacturers and wholesalers be prevented from selling goods to any retailer who owed them money and that all purchases be made with cash or quick payment credit plan (the bill will die in committee), is having his troubles with some wholesalers ... Suits have been filed against Deighan and the Old Mill Inn, Inc., by Galsworthy, Inc., for $1713.51 plus interest; Joseph A. Reinfeld, Inc., for $1366.43 plus interest, and Majestic Wines and Spirits, Inc., for $1579.80 plus interest ... The suits are in the New Jersey Supreme Court and allegedly represent unpaid balances of liquor bills ... Tom Dickinson, courthouse custodian, is wearing a bright red face these days because the missus sent him to the store the other night for some sandwich meat for their guest…… Because of a similarity of trade names, Tom returned home with a package ... Of razor blades ... The new office of Bishop Eustace may be established at the old Rodger homestead at 721 Cooper street ... Vice Chancellor Al Woodruff has left for Chile and some deep sea fishing.
|CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE|
|Camden Courier-Post * July 24, 1941|
John R. Di Mona
F. Stanley Bleakly
George E. Brunner
Frederick von Nieda
William H. Heiser
Raymond G. Price
Arthur H. Holl
Frank C. Schramm - Benjamin H.
July 26, 1941
Camden Courier-Post - August 26, 1941
Magin Laid to Rest By War Veteran Buddies
Funeral services for City Commissioner Henry Magin were held today with his colleagues in official and veterans circles participating.
were conducted in city commission chambers on the second floor of city
hall, in charge of Rev. Dr. W.W. Ridgeway, rector of St. Wilfrid's Episcopal
The casket was carried by war veteran associates of the public works director, who died from a heart attack Friday. A color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion preceded the casket, followed by the four remaining members of the city commission, Mayor George Brunner and commissioners E. George Aaron, Mrs. Mary W. Kobus and Dr. David S. Rhone.
A guard of honor lined both sides of' city hall steps, 22 policemen on one side and 22 firemen on the other, representing Magin's age, 44 years.
Hundreds of men and women waited
outside the building to pay their respects as the solemn procession
filed by. Mayor Brunner had declared this morning a holiday for city
employees. The casket was borne by Thomas Jackson and Samuel Magill,
both past Legion commanders; Leon McCarty, past commander of August
Walter Chapter, Disabled American Veterans; Richard Jermyn, past
commander of Post 1270, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Benjamin P.
Thomas, past captain of Sparrow Ship No. 1269. V. F. W.; and William
Miller, past State commander, D. A. V.
Three trucks were required to carry
the floral pieces from the scene of the services to the National
Cemetery at Beverly, where burial took place.
An estimated 8000 persons from all walks of life paid their respects to the late official by viewing the body as it lay in state in the commission chambers.
The throng of mourners of Camden city and county was the largest to converge on a public building since the funeral of Fire Chief Charles Worthington, who was killed while fighting a fire almost 20 years ago. His body was placed on public view in the rotunda of the old county courthouse.
File Past Bier
A continuous progression of people filed past the flag draped bier for more than three and one-half hours. Scores of Republicans and hundreds of Democrats joined in the tribute.
Services were conducted by Camden
lodges of Elks and Moose. Military rites were conducted by the
Fairview Post, American Legion, of which Magin was a founder and past
commander. The tribute was led by Mitchell Halin, post commander, and C.
Richard Allen, past department commander.
James W. Conner, chief clerk of the
city water bureau and past State Commander of the V.F.W., conducted
rites at the grave.
Mayor Brunner and Commissioners
Kobus, Aaron, and
came early and remained throughout the hours of
viewing. Mrs. Helen Magin, the widow, and daughter Helen, attired in
deep mourning, arrived shortly after 7:00 PM.
Embraces Widow, Daughter
Commissioner Kobus, who knelt in
prayer before the bier, arose and went over to Mrs. Magin and her
daughter. Mrs. Kobus
embraced and kissed the widow and daughter of the late commissioner.
They were in tears.
American Legion and V. F. W. members
in uniform alternated as members of the military guard of honor. A
detail of 50 policemen was under command of Acting Lieutenant John
Garrity. Fifty firemen, under supervision of Deputy Chief Walter
assisted the patrolmen in handling the crowd, which at times choked the
stairways leading to the
Albert H. Molt, director of the Board of Freeholders and
John J. Tull, Oscar Moore, Ventorino
and Emil J. McCall arrived shortly after 7:00 PM. Moore and Tull wore American
Legion overseas caps. Albert S. Marvel, clerk of the board, accompanied
of the various bureaus in the department of public works, headed by
Commissioner Magin, came in delegations with the highway bureau having
150, the largest number.
A. Abbott, acting director of the department, accompanied by James P.
Carr, superintendent of Streets;
highway bureau employees.
Abbott is deputy director of revenue and finance and first
assistant to Mayor Brunner. He was named by Brunner as
director until the City Commission elects Mr.
Clerk Frank J. Suttill, City
Clerk Clay W.
Fire Chief John H. Lennox and
James A. Howell, chief of
city electrical bureau, attended, as did Albert
Austermuhl, secretary of
the board of education. Every city department sent a floral piece.
Outstanding Floral Tribute
floral chair was sent by the Camden Police and Firemen’s Association.
The word “Rest” was made up of flowers. The offering of the Veterans League
an organization formed by Commissioner Magin and of which
was the first president, was a large floral pillow.
The freeholders and county officials
gave a large floral basket. Floral tributes came from the employees of
the board of education, the RCA Manufacturing Company, the police and
fire bureaus, Pyne Point Athletic Association, the Elks, Moose and
several Democratic clubs.
The floral tributes came in such
numbers yesterday afternoon that Funeral Director Harry Leonard and his
assistants could not find room for them in the commission chamber
proper. They were banked on both sides, in the rear and over the casket.
Among prominent officials and
citizens who came to pay their respects were Congressman Charles A.
Wolverton and his son, Donnell, Assemblymen Joseph W. Cowgill and J. Frank Crawford, Sidney P.
comptroller, Thomas C. Schneider, president of Camden County Council No.
10, New Jersey Civil Service Association.
Others at Bier
Others were Sue Devinney, secretary
to Mrs. Kobus; Fred S. Caperoon; Henry Aitken, city sealer of weights
and measures, Horace R. Dixon, executive director of the Camden Housing
Authority; George I. Shaw, vice president of the board of education.
Smith, chairman of the Elks
Crippled Children Committee and commander of East Camden Post, V.F.W.; Albert
Becker, commander of Camden County Post 126, Jewish War Veterans; Dr.
Howard E. Primas and Wilbur F. Dobbins, members of the Camden Housing
Authority; Postmaster Emma E.
Hyland; Samuel E. Fulton, member of the
Camden local assistance board.
former Assemblyman Rocco Palese, former Freeholder Maurice Bart and
wife, County Detective James Mulligan, Deputy City Clerk William D.
Sayrs, Mary King, secretary to City Clerk Reesman, Charles W. Anderson
and John W. Diehl Jr., former members of the housing authority, Walter
P. Wolverton, chief clerk of the public works department; Thomas J.
Kenney, Maurice Hertz, Isadore Hermann, chief of the city tax title
bureau; S. Raymond Dobbs; acting chief of city property, John Oziekanski,
building inspector, Harry Langebein, city assessor.
Oliver H. Bond,
housing manager of
Clement T. Branch Village; former Judge Joseph
Varbalow, acting city
counsel John J. Crean, assistant City Counsel Edward V. Martino, Paul
Day, secretary of city board of assessors, former Assemblyman William T.
Iszard, Harry Roye, district director of NYA; Victor J. Scharle and
Martin Segal, Democratic and Republican registrars, respectively, of the
Camden County permanent registration bureau.
Mrs. Marian Garrity and Mrs. Mary F. Hendricks, vice chairman and secretary respectively, of the Republican City Committee; Dr, Ethan A. Lang and Dr. Richard P. Bowman, members of the board of education; Edward J. Borden, Carl Kisselman, Harry A. Kelleher, Samuel T. French Sr., former Freeholder Walter Budniak, Coroner Paul R. Rilatt, County Treasurer Edward J. Kelleher, William Shepp, of the city legal bureau, Marie Carr, stenographer, mayor's office; Samuel T. French Jr., member, board of education.
Also John C. Trainor, member of the
Camden County Board of Elections; Antonio
Mecca, funeral director;
Alexander Feinberg, solicitor of the housing authority, former
Freeholder John T. Hanson, Sterling Parker and Paul Reihman, member of
the county park commission.
James O’Brien, commander of the
Camden Disabled American Veterans, was in charge of services by veterans
at the cemetery. Former Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan, county
vice-commander of the American Legion, directed last night memorial
services and was in charge of the firing squad at the grave.
|Camden Courier-Post * April 15, 1950|
Morse - Stevens
Street - Louis Cohen - Ventorino
Edward Garrity - Dr. David S. Rhone - Dr. David D. Helm - Maurice O'Brien
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