WALTER T. WELCH was born in Camden NJ on November 19, 1884 to William E. and Mary Welch. He was named for his paternal uncle. William E. Welch worked as a stationary engineer, tending to a drawbridge in the 1880s and 1890s, and later to the boilers at an asylum when the 1900 Census was enumerated. Another uncle, Samuel M. Welch, was a blacksmith in what was the Town of Stockton (present-day Cramer Hill and East Camden) and served as Chief Engineer, supervising and coordinating the work of Stockton's volunteer fire companies from 1893 through 1896.
At the time of the 1910 Census Walter T. Welch was living with his parents at 434 Washington Street in Camden, and working as a house painter. Also at home were younger siblings Estella and Thomas Welch. Walter T. Welch married Elsie Dischert, whose mother kept a boarding house at 428 Stevens Street, around 1913. 434 Washington Street is at the corner of Washington and West Street. The adjacent house on West Street was that of Detective William Schregler of the Camden Police Department. Schregler appears to have taken an interest in Walter Welch, and Welch would join the police force during the ensuing decade.
At the time of the 1920 Census Walter Welch lived with his wife Elsie at 518 Benson Street. At the time of the census there were two daughters, Eleanor and Doris. A son William, was born early in 1920. Walter Welch had been promoted to sergeant by February of 1928. By 1930 mother-in-law Mary Dischert was living with the family as well.
During his early years with the Camden Police Department, Walter Welch served as a member of the mounted police unit. Walter T. Welch reached the rank of Captain before retiring in 1943. He and wife Elsie were both still living at 518 Benson Street as late as the fall of 1959. The Welch family also had a summer home at the Jersey shore in Ship Bottom NJ.
Walter T. Welch spent his last years in Vineland NJ. He died in January of 1968.
Camden Post-Telegram * December 30, 1920
Camden Courier-Post - February 21, 1928
CRITICIZES RAID MINUS WARRANT
|Camden Courier-Post * April 9, 1930|
|Camden Courier-Post * June 3, 1930|
|Catherine Christman - Joseph Conti - Nicholas Bartluci - John Fisher - Mary Reginelli - Marco Reginelli|
S. Pancoast - Clifford A. Baldwin
William "Big Bill" Wierman - Ralph Bakley
C. Leonard Brehm - Louis Schlam
Clarence Bunker - Clarence Arthur
Wilfred L. Dube - Andrew Zopesky
Smith - James
Paradise - Theodore
Guthrie - Joseph
Mardino - Walter
Vernon Jones - Walter Smith
South 33rd Street
North 34th Street
Camden Evening Courier - December 3, 1930
Camden Courier-Post - October 21, 1931
Evening Courier - September 12, 1934
TO BLAIR, COLSEY SAYS;
3 HELD IN NUMBERS DRIVE
1 ADMITS GUILT AND POLICE SAY LINKS OTHERS
Klosterman Named by Man Found With Slips On Him After Arrest
3 'BIG BANKS' INVOLVED IN MOVE TO CLEAN UP
Others Must Face Trial; More Arraigned and Bonds Fixed by Court
While Camden County authorities were collecting evidence to present to the new Grand Jury when it convenes next Thursday afternoon to open its extraordinary probe into vice and crime, Camden today pressed their drive on gambling in this city.
Three men, one of whom police declare is a "numbers" bank operator here, were held under bail to await the action of the Grand Jury by Judge J. Harry Switzer when arraigned in Police Court.
The alleged "numbers" baron is Joseph Klosterman, who gave an address of 1400 Mechanic Street. He was held in $3000 bail for the Grand Jury on a charge of operating a "numbers" Lottery.
Held in $2000 Bail
Albert Young, 41, of 519 North 2nd Street, was held in $2000 bail and remanded to the Grand Jury action on a charge of possession of numbers slips. He entered a plea of guilty when arraigned before Judge Switzer.
Walter Hart, 25, of 1245 Thurman Street, who was taken into custody at 9:05 AM today by police after Young revealed he passed over his numbers slips between 2:00 PM and 2:30 PM daily, was held in $5000 bail on a charge of operating a "numbers" lottery. He pleaded not guilty to the complaint which was signed by City Detective George Zeitz.
After arraignment the three "numbers" suspects were taken from court to detective headquarters where they were photographed and fingerprinted.
At the hearing of Klosterman, Detective Zeitz testified that he hand his brother Fred were each fined $500 on May 23 last in lieu of serving a six month jail sentence which had been imposed July 21, 1933 by Criminal Judge Shay after having been convicted of operating a "numbers" lottery.
The detective further testified that he had statement ts from five other persons, one of whom was Young, arrested in connection with the gambling drive, who stated that they worked for the "Klosterman brothers numbers bank".
Besides Young, the others, all of whom are under $2000 bail each for grand jury action, include Frank Kulczynski 26, of 1100 Orchard Street, Charles Simonin, 35, of 709 Fairview Street; Mrs. Mary Angelio, 26, of 600 Line Street; Harry Koron, 42, of 1528 Mount Ephraim Avenue, and Leon Yaroch, 39,of 612 Kaighn Avenue.
Klosterman was taken into custody yesterday by Police Lieutenant Walter Welch, of the Second Police District, on a warrant signed by Zeitz. Young was picked up Sergeant Edward Hahn and Patrolman Ralph Cline.
A "number" bank fugitive, Joseph Cheak, 32, colored, who lives on 10th Street near Kaighn Avenue, is lodged in the Camden County jail awaiting court action. He was arrested in Philadelphia yesterday and brought here to face an indictment returned against him two weeks ago by the Camden County Grand Jury.
Chief County Detective Lawrence T. Doran disclosed that Cheak is known as the operator of the "colored numbers bank" in South Camden.
While police and detectives were scouring the city to learn whether or not the warning issued 36 hours ago to all proprietors of gambling houses to close down and stay closed was being enforced, Mayor Stewart was continuing the questioning of police officials and detectives at his City Hall office.
Data on vice and crime conditions was sought by Mayor Stewart.
Camden Courier-Post * September 14, 1934
Blair - William
Roy R. Stewart - Emma Heisler
George Ward - Arthur Colsey
Edward V. Martino - Samuel P. Orlando
Fred Klosterman - J. Harry Switzer
Joseph Klosterman - George Clayton
John Geronio - Crawford Smith
Cooper Street - Carman Street
Mollie Schwartz - Rosedale Avenue
John Potter - Howard B. Dyer
Glenn Brown - Mt. Vernon Street
Camden Courier-Post * September 15, 1934
Blair - William
T. Feitz - Roy
R. Stewart - Frank
T. Lloyd - George
Ward - Arthur
Edward V. Martino - Samuel P. Orlando - Fred Klosterman - Joseph Klosterman - J. Harry Switzer
Lawrence T. Doran - George Frost - Benjamin Simon - Vernon Jones - Stanley Wirtz
Nathan U. Katz - Kaighn Avenue - George Clayton - John Geronio - Crawford Smith
Cooper Street - Carman Street
ASSUMES CHARGE OF VICE WAR
Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando today dropped all other duties and took personal charge of the drive to rid Camden city and county of vice.
Orlando announced he would concentrate his activities in the drive against crime and te solution of the murder of Detective William T. Feitz Jr., slain two weeks ago in a South Camden disorderly house.
“I hope to gather enough evidence to go before the grand jury within the next week or 10 days,” Orlando said. “The Feitz murder investigation is progressing and I hope to have sufficient facts before me soon that will enable is to apprehend the slayers.”
Weekend developments in the general drive against crime resulted in the raiding of at least 30 gambling houses, illicit saloons, and alcohol stills with police spurred to feverish activity by Mayor Roy R. Stewart’s probe of the department, which he said will end this week, unless new evidence develops to extend it.
Blair Release Sought
Meanwhile, Edward V. Martino, council for Michael Tenerelli, alias Mickey Blair, former boxer, announced his intention of appearing before Judge Frank F. Neutze today to apply for a writ of habeas corpus to effect the release of Blair, held as the “key witness” in the Feitz slaying.
“Prosecutor Orlando had demanded $10,000 for the release of Blair,” Martino said. “That amount is ridiculously high. When I asked Orlando why his office required such excessive bail, he told me ‘I have to back up the police’”.
Martino said he would demand the prosecutor show in court the reason for the “unreasonable demand”.
Lieutenant Walter Welch, new commander of the Second Police District, conducted an intensive cleanup of his bailiwick over Saturday and Sunday, raiding 25 alleged violators of liquor and gambling laws.
Aided by state alcohol agents, police raiders headed by Lieutenant George Frost uncovered two 50-gallon stills and a bullet-riddled target in two apparently abandoned houses at 531 and 533 South 2nd Street. An advance “tip-off” had caused operators of the stills to flee, police said.
Two alcohol “drops”, believed operated by the proprietors of the South 2nd Street houses, were visited but found empty.
Numbers Baron Nabbed
Marshall Howard, 33, of 1912 Derousse avenue, Delair, described by Prosecutor Orlando as a ‘big shot’ in the Pennsauken and Camden numbers racket, was arrested Saturday when he visited the court house to make inquiries concerning an unnamed woman under arrest as a numbers writer.
A short while later, at the request of Orlando, Lucille Barber, 35, of 8302 Park avenue, Pennsauken township, and John Barnes, 26, of 7508 Pleasant avenue, Pennsauken township, both colored, were arrested as numbers writers.
It was reported at Pennsauken township police headquarters that the pair was wanted in connection with the case against Howard.
Both were held in $1000 bail for the grand jury.
Those who were held without bail as material witnesses in the Feitz case are Cornelius Murphy, 50, of 239 Sycamore Street, doorkeeper in the establishment; Edward Grapatin, 32, of 246 Kaighn Avenue; Joseph McKenna, 31, of 1404 Broadway; Katherine Lougheed, 32, of 626 Pine Street; Edna Butler, 33, colored, of 1122 South 2nd Street, and Joan Stein, 24, of Philadelphia. Six others were released in their own recognizance as material witnesses.
They are Sam Silverman, 34, of 325½ Kaighn Avenue; Edward Gorba, 20, who has supplied police with most of the information about Feitz’ death, and Gorba’s brother, Henry, 19, of 17 South 21st Street; Joseph McDonald, 20, of 1605 South 9th Street; Edith Miller, 28, colored, of 205 Sycamore Street, and George Martorano, 25, of 532 West Street.
Aided by Patrolmen William Marter and Carmin Fuscellaro Sr., Lieutenant Welch conducted a series of raids Saturday night and yesterday morning. The saloon of Mary Niewinski, at 400 Mechanic Street, was raided early yesterday and two customers arrested.
Lieutenant Welch Leads Raiders
Welch, who took over the duties Lieutenant Ralph Bakley when the latter was suspended by Mayor Stewart yesterday, declared he was seeking violators of the city’s Sunday closing ordinance, which states that places selling liquor must close “between the hours of 2:00 AM Sunday and 7:00 AM Monday.”
Nickelson Lehger, 49, of 311 Somerset Street, Gloucester and George Burkett, 38, of 340 Liberty Street, were arrested in Mrs. Niewinski's place. Welch said they were shooting craps on the bar. Mrs. Niewinski was released in $500 bail as proprietor and the men were released in $100 bail each as frequenters.
Welch and his squad visited a house at 1903 South 6th Street, reputedly operated by William Tansky, 33. Tansky, charged with violating the closing ordinance, was released in $500 bail as proprietor, and Edward Krown, 65, of 1705 South 4th Street; Edward Judd, 41, of 721 Ferry Avenue; and William Sampey, of 729 South 10th Street, charged with being frequenters, were released in $100 bail.
A saloon operated by Helen Brass, 52, at 1067 Ferry Avenue, scene of an unsuccessful holdup attempt Friday, was next raided. Frank Dipeto, 42, of 829 Sylvan Street; Edward Podyezmek, 47, of 783 South 2nd Street; Joseph Orbin, 53, of 963 Florence Street; and Angelo Del Rossi, 70, of 430 Emerald Street, were arrested and held as frequenters. Mrs. Brass was charged with violating the closing ordinance.
The establishment of Mitchell Lambert, 26, at 1427 South 9th Street was next visited. Lambert, held as proprietor was released in $500 bail. Florian Shepecarter, 36, of 2811 Yorkship Road; John Glenn, 35, of 52 Courtland Street; Paul Korzewszeski, 34, of 1041 Atlantic Avenue; and William Lanning, 37, of 1149 South 9th Street were all nabbed as frequenters.
At 1025 South 2nd Street, Welch and his men found four colored men and women, and Meg Mack, 38, colored, who was charged with being proprietor. The four gave their names as Alvin Mack, of the South 2nd Street address; Howard Elinor, 30, of 215 Chestnut Street; and Alice Wells and Emily Robinson, 28, of the same address. All were held for hearing today.
Welch declared he was unable to enter some of the places visited because he did not hold warrants. He said he would procure warrants today and return to several of the places. In the other instances where raids were made, Welch did not reveal the addresses or names.
Welch announced last night he is not seeking “personal notoriety” through his activities, but is merely doing his duty as a police officer. He declared “the lid has been clamped on the second District and will stay on.”
State Police Stage Raid
Thirteen were arrested by a detail of state troopers from the Mt. Ephraim and Berlin barracks when a raid was staged on the home of Dominick Melchiore, 28, at Cedar Avenue, Blenheim.
Melchiore was charged with operating a gambling establishment. Arraigned before Justice of the peace Charles Jackson at Runnemede, he was fined $5 and costs. Charles Darpino, 26, a Camden man among those arrested, gave his address as 306 Chestnut Street. He and the 11 others were fined $3 each and costs.
The police raiders who uncovered the two stills and riddled target at 533 South 2nd Street also visited the home of Charles Auletto, 20 South 2nd Street. Auletto, charged with selling illegal liquor, denied knowledge f the stills, but was held on $1000 bail for the grand jury by Police Judge J. Harry Switzer.
Two men were fined $25.00 each last night in Pennsauken township police court by Recorder George E. Yost on slot machine gambling charges.
Arthur Pipher, 25, of 2248 North 36th Street, Camden, was charged with placing slot machines in various stores for gambling purposes, and Edward Friedberg, operator of a medicine store at Park and Union Avenues, Pennsauken was charged with possession of a slot machine. Friedberg announced he would appeal his conviction.
It was testified that he offered merchandise as prizes in conjunction with operation of the device.
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - AUGUST 3, 1935|
FORCE POLITICS BANNED COMMISSIONER KOBUS DECLARES
“I want 100% efficient police department and not a political machine.”
Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, new director of public safety, made that declaration yesterday afternoon at a joint police-press conference in her office at city hall before she was served with a writ restraining her from taking that office.
Commissioner Kobus was the kindly mother talking to her “boys” for the most of the conference- but at times she became the stern parent- with the birchrod in the cupboard- as she instructed the police heads to “divorce themselves from politics.”
“For many years I have nursed in my heart a desire to see Camden with a 100% efficient police department”, the commissioner said. “Now that time is at hand.”
“I have known all of you men for many years,” she told the assembled commanders, “and I don’t care what your respective political affiliations might be. You have a right to you opinions, but I want the police department to divorce itself from politics.
“You must know what is going on in your city and you must let me know. I
must have 100 percent cooperation if I am to succeed in this new
“If you have any complaints, don’t go around and growl, undermining the department. Lay your cards on the table, I guarantee you a fair deal.
“Chief Colsey is head of the police department and not in name only. You others in the rank you occupy are also commanders in fact and not in name. It is up to you.”
The commissioner urged a closer co-operation between police and the press and concluded by saying she wanted her “family” to be honest-to-goodness policemen “because there is no room in the department for those who are not.”
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - MARCH 17, 1936|
Three Camden women and two Temple University students were arrested in a raid on an al1eged disorderly house at 1450 Kenwood Avenue last night.
Charged with being proprietress of the place is Mrs. Charlotte Grimes, 48. She is the wife of Elmer Grimes, employed by the city as a custodian at Convention Hall and formerly custodian of the Camden High School athletic field, according to City Prosecutor John H. Reiners, Jr.
The students under arrest gave their names as Sidney
of 1400 Mt. Ephraim
Avenue, and Herman
Katz, 19, of
2601 Wilder Street, Philadelphia.
Welch Leads Raiders
According to Welch, Mrs. Grimes
signed a statement in
she said she had resided at 1450 Kenwood Avenue for 27 years, and
maintained a disorderly house there for the last seven years. He has had
men watching the place for a year, to get evidence on which to base a raid, he said. He
declared that only persons recommended by patrons were admitted, and then
only after making telephone calls.
Simon, who lives three blocks from the
house, and Mardino saw a car with Pennsylvania license
plates parked near the place last night,
Welch said. They waited until they saw
Goldberg and Katz leaving the house, and questioned them. It was on the
strength of statements by the two youths that the raid was made,
Liberman set bail for $1000
for Mrs. Grimes; $500 each for the other two women,
$200 for Katz and released Goldberg in the custody of his brother, an
The latter said the two youths were willing to plead guilty
to disorderly conduct charges, admitting they had been in the place, but
Judge Liberman said he preferred to wait and hear the entire case tomorrow.
In answer to the query by the
court as to how the two knew about the existence of the disorderly
house" Katz said:
"Oh, things like that get broadcast around the university."
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - JANUARY 8, 1938|
Kobus - Arthur
Colsey - Ralph
Bakley - Herbert
Bott - Louis
John Skolski - George Frost Walter Welch - Nathan Pettit - Frank Evans
Gus Koerner - Edward Hahn - Harry Newton
Trenton Times * August 9,
Click on Image to Enlarge
|Mary Kobus - George Frost - Ralph Bakley - Walter Welch - George Ward - Arthur Colsey|
Walter Welch is remembered by daughter, Doris Welch Heydolph and his nephew, Bob Dischert, who helped with this page.
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