WILBUR BODINE ELLIS was the son of prominent Camden grocer Charles H. Ellis and his wife Hannah. His oldest brother Charles H. Ellis Jr., would serve as the Mayor of Camden for 17 years, from 1905 to 1922, and another brother, Walter P. Ellis, worked as  superintendent at Camden's Post Office for many years. The family lived at 510 Berkley Street at the time of the 1880 Census. He became an assessor for the city of Camden in 1905, was made President of the Board of Assessors in 1913, ands remained in that capacity until May of 1923, when the commission form of government was adopted in Camden. He then went into the real estate business, but later returned to city government, sitting on the Board of Commissioners of Assessment of Taxation.

When the census was taken in 1920, Wilbur and Gertrude Ellis were living at 1434 Ormond Avenue in Camden's Parkside section. After serving on Camden's Board of Commissioners of Assessment of Taxation, he retired on a disability pension around January 1, 1938. He was replaced on the board by S. Raymond Dobbs, on the recommendation of Mayor George Brunner.

Wilbur B. Ellis was still living in Parkside as late as 1936, then residing at 1448 Bradley Avenue.

South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

WILBUR BODINE ELLIS, for many years president of the Board of Assessors of the city of Camden, and now engaged in the real estate and insurance business, is well known in Camden. He is the son of Charles Harris and Hannah A. Ellis, the father, born in Clarksboro, New Jersey, a grocer in Camden over a period of forty years.

Wilbur Bodine Ellis was born in Camden, April 23, 1872, and was educated in Camden, being a graduate from the Stevens School. He first entered his father's grocery business as clerk, and then, upon his father's retirement from business, accepted a position with Toone and Hollingshead's Department Store in the same capacity. In a short time he became salesman in the men's furnishing department, and was buyer for this department at the time when he left the concern to become collector for the Gately and Hurley Company, of Camden. In 1905 he was made an assessor of the city of Camden, and in 1913 became president of the Board of Assessors, a position which he held continuously until the inception of the commission form of government in May, 1923. He then opened up a real estate and insurance business, joining the Camden Real Estate Board on December 22, 1923, and being a member also of the New Jersey State and National Association of Real Estate Boards. Mr. Ellis' intimate knowledge of Camden gained through his many years' experience on the Board of Assessors, is standing him in good stead in this new venture, in which he is very successful.

During the World War Mr. Ellis, at the request of General Sauder, was active in organizing the Third New Jersey Engineers, in which his son, Wilbur Bodine Ellis, Jr., saw overseas service, with the rank of sergeant.

Fraternally, Mr. Ellis is affiliated with Lodge No. 293, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Lincoln Council, Junior Order United American Mechanics. 

Mr. Ellis married, at Camden, in November, 1897, Gertrude Erwin Thompson, born in Camden, daughter of John R. and Anna Elizabeth (Laughlin) Thompson. Her father, born at Stoyes Landing, was for many years a shipbuilder, with wharf formerly at the foot of Kaighn Avenue, Camden. Mr. Ellis had two children: 1. Gertrude, deceased, married Ross H. MacGregor, and the mother of two children: Carolyn, born January 9, 1920, and Valois, born December 23, 1923. 2. Wilbur Bodine, Jr., married to Florence Ellis, and the father of one son, Wilbur Bodine, 3rd..

Philadelphia Inquirer * August 13, 1896

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 5, 1913

Thirteenth Ward Republican Club

Haddon Avenue - Lawrence D. Reader - Calvin F. Bucks - Harry Kurz - Hugh Greenan - J.P. Scull
J.P. Daly - James Cunningham -
Frank S. Albright - Wilbur Ellis - Henry Budney - Edward Kabinsky
George Williams - Liberty Park Republican Club

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 15, 1918

Dr. Paul N. Litchfield - Charles A. Wolverton - William T. Read
St. John's Episcopal Church - Rev J. Hardenbrook
Frank Ford Patterson Jr. - Joshua C. Haines
Ralph N. Kellam -
Wilbur B. Ellis - John R. Mick
Kaighn Avenue


February 21, 1928

Wilbur B. Ellis
James F. Lennon
Charles S. Wolverton

Camden Courier-Post * June 10, 1932
Wilbur B. Ellis
Thomas C. Wright - Edward F. Peard - Albert Chambers - Walter Moore
Mechanic Street - Pine Street - Mt. Ephraim Avenue - Polish American Citizens Club
Laskowkski-Wojtkowiak Post No. 74, American Legion

Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1933

Cops, Nab 14 Nudists After Criticism for Vandalism, Bathing 
Citizens Complain to City Commission and Give 'Hot 'Tips' 
Police Act Quickly on Objection to 'Buck' Swimming

The Camden police were criticized yesterday at a meeting of the City Commission for relaxing their vigilance in halting damage by vandals in vacant properties which have caused total losses of $500,000 in the city. 

A committee representing the North Camden Civic Association appeared before the City Commission and urged an intensive campaign to halt destruction of unoccupied buildings. Among the committee's recommendations for the drive were greater activity by the police, co-operation by citizens with the police in reporting vandalism, appointment of special officers to watch the buildings and a general educational campaign in the city schools. 

Given Hot Clue 

Mayor Roy R. Stewart estimated that $500,000 damage had been done to vacant properties, and agreed to give full support to the drive to halt vandalism. 

With characteristic suddenness, Frank J. Hartmann, secretary of the civic association, arose in the meet ing and told the mayor that if policemen were sent immediately to Tenth and State Streets they would find young men engaged in tearing down an unoccupied factory. 

As another evidence of "police negligence," he said, young men and boys could be found bathing nude at that moment in Cooper River in that vicinity. Acting immediately, Mayor Stewart instructed Capt. John W. Golden, acting police chief, to send policemen to the neighborhood. 

14 Nude Bathers Nabbed 

A few minutes later, 14 boys and young men, ranging, in age from 12 to 26, were arrested for bathing without clothes. 

All bathers over 14 were held in cash security of $10 and those under 14 were released in custody of their parents on charges of disorderly conduct. They are: Leslie Bayne, 26, of 503 Royden street; Harvey Howell, 16, of 529 Washington Street; John Grady; 19, of 578 Benson Street; Roscoe Davis, 15, of 253 North Eleventh Street; James Evans, 15, of 601 North Second Street; William Dempsey, 12, of 1030 Lawrence Street; Robert Farland, 13, of 1112 Federal Street; Roland Garber, 15, of 537 Birch street; Edgar Grundlock, 15, of' 318 North Tenth Street; Frank Garwood; 13; of 717 Bailey Street; Eugene Dodelin, 13, of 309 Cole Street; Ralph Skill, 13, of 512 North Seventh Street; Robert Rudd, 15, of 642 Lynwood Street, and Richard Evans, 14 of 601 North Second Street. 

Miss Elsie Stein, a member of the committee, handed the mayor a letter from a woman who complained about young men bathing in Cooper River. The letter was turned over to Acting Chief Golden. 

"If the police performed the duties they are paid to perform, this vandalism could be stopped," Miss Stein said. 

Mrs. Stephen Pfeil, another committee member, told the mayor she realized the depleted condition of the police force and offered to aid in the educational campaign by talking against vandalism to children in the schools. 

Hartmann urged that politicians and public officeholders refrain from using their influence to obtain leniency for children guilty of damaging vacant houses. William Coghlan said he had complained to the police about the practice but had seen no results. 

Weed Cleanup Ordered 

Other members, of the committee presenting the protest were Vincent Martinelli and Leon Wojtkowiak, representing the South Camden Civic Association .

The city commission adopted on final reading an ordinance requiring property owners to remove from the front of their properties and sidewalks weds and debris. A fine may be imposed as penalty for violation of the ordinance.

A resolution was passed protesting an increase in power authorized by the federal government to Station WORC and WEPS, of Worcester, Mass. An increase to 1280 kilocycles and to 500 watts causes interference in broadcasting, from WCAM, the resolution pointed out. 

Assessors Reappointed 

Wilbur B. Ellis, Edward F. Peard and Thomas C. Wright were reappointed to the city board of assessors as of July 1. George H. Simpson, of 2725 Concord Avenue, was reappointed constable for three years in the Eleventh Ward. 

Another resolution was adopted by the commission clarifying to the federal government its position relative to responsibility as· to operation of WCAM. It was pointed out in the resolution that the mayor and city clerk had entered a supplemental agreement with the Broadcast Advertising Company, which leases the station from Camden. The government desired to establish that nothing be construed in the agreement which would relieve Camden from responsibility in operation of the station. 

Another measure adopted adjourns the city commission until July 13 for a hearing in proposed condemnation proceedings against properties at 332 and 334 Benson street, designated as fire hazards. 

Camden Courier-Post - January 21, 1938

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