David Baird Sr.

Photo published 1886
Photo published 1908

Congressional Photo - 1918

David Baird Sr. was one of Camden's leading citizens for well over 50 years. Born in Ireland in on April 7th of 1839, he came to America in 1858 after the death of his father, and settled in Camden the following year. After working in a Philadelphia lumber yard for 13 years, he opened his own business, the David Baird Company, in Camden in 1872 and became quite successful, with  lumber operations in eight states and ship's spar yards in five different cities in the northeast.

David Baird involved himself in politics, and served in a variety of capacities. He was a quite powerful figure in the Republican party which dominated Camden politics. A protege of Civil War hero, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, and United States Senator William Joyce Sewell, he secured contracts to supply poles to string the new telegraph, telephone and electrical lines in Camden and the surrounding area, and timber contracts during the Spanish-American War through Sewell's patronage. In return, David Baird ran the local Republican organization while Sewell served in Trenton and Washington. 

To say David Baird Sr. did quite well during these years would be an understatement. He acquired the home at 804 Cooper Street in the 1890s, the mansion built by real estate developer Edward N. Cohn in the late 1880s. The Baird family would make its home here until October of 1936, when his son David Baird Jr. left Camden for his farm in Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill). 

David Baird Sr. was the dominant figure in the Camden County Republican party after Sewell's death. At different times he served as a member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, Camden County Sheriff, and sat on the New Jersey State Board of Assessors. An unsuccessful Senatorial candidate in 1910, he was appointed to the United States Senate in 1918 to fill the seat vacated by the death of Senator William Hughes, and won a special election in November of that year to serve the remaining two years of that term. He served on the Republican State Committee and was a delegate to the National Conventions in 1888, 1904, and 1916. After returning to Camden from his senatorial service in Washington DC, David Baird continued his involvement in local politics, and was instrumental in the acquisition of 225 Broadway, which served as Republican Party headquarters in Camden from 1923 until 1940.

Besides his lumberyard, David Baird's business interests included a partnership with Joseph I. Morris of the Morris and Mathis Shipyard and Joseph Tway. The three founded the Tway Steel Forge, which later became the Camden Forge, on Mount Ephraim Avenue. This business provided most of the steel forging for the New York Shipbuilding yards during both World Wars. In 1916, David Baird Sr. was the President of the First National Bank of Camden, and on the Board of Directors of the Security Trust Company.

On January 28, 1897 then Sheriff David Baird Sr. was one of several dignitaries who were in attendance at the opening of the Catholic Lyceum, attached to the the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Broadway at Market Street. Other attendees included the-New Jersey Governor John W. Griggs, Mayor John L. Westcott, late Attorney-General Samuel H. Grey, Camden city solicitor J. Willard Morgan, Senator H. W. Johnson, then- Assemblymen Louis Derousse and Scovel, Postmaster Harry B. Paul, ex-Judge Armstrong, Architect Henry S. Dagit, J. J. Burleigh, George A. Frey, and H. L. Bonsall. The Lyceum would evolve into Camden Catholic High School

David Baird Sr.'s wife, Christianna Beatty Baird, was very involved with the founding and operation of the The Home for the Aged and Infirm of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was originally at 531 York Street before its construction and opening in Collingswood in 1891. Mrs. Baird passed away on August 29, 1897. The Baird's daughter, Mrs. Mary Baird Fox, then took up her mother's role as President of the Board of Managers of the Home. 

David Baird Sr. served twice as Sheriff of Camden County, from 1887 to 1890 and from 1896 to 1898. While Sheriff in 1887 he appointed his cousin, David Logue to the position of turnkey of the Camden County jail, a post he held until 1906, when he was made warden, serving in that capacity until 1921. Another cousin, Joseph Logue, served from 1894 to 1920 as a firefighter with the Camden Fire Department.

David Baird Sr. passed away at his home, 804 Cooper Street, Camden NJ on February 25, 1927. He was interred at Harleigh Cemetery. His surviving family members included his son David Baird Jr., who also served as a senatorial appointee from New Jersey, and was a dominant figure in South Jersey Republican politics for many years after his father's passing.  

BAIRD BOULEVARD in Camden was named in honor of David Baird Sr.

The History of Camden County New Jersey
George Reeser Prowell - 1886

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Philadelphia Inquirer - October 7, 1880
David Baird Sr. - J. Willard Morgan - Edward Delacroix
Charles A. Randall - Christopher J. Mines Jr. -
A.J. Milliette
Gabriel Johnson

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 6, 1884
Market Street - Charles A. Butts - John Blowe - William Sloan - Frank Green

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 11, 1887



Jacob C. Daubman - Charles Fackler - Dr. Willis Hunt - Charles Pedigree - David Baird - George S. West
Dr. James G. Stanton
- William O. Sloan - Thomas Harned - George Barrett - John Campbell
William H. Chandler - William F. Reed - Dr. John D. Leckner - John Corbitt - John Blowe - Harry B. Paul  
George Pfeiffer
- David M. Chambers - George A. Tenner - Benjamin M. Braker - John H. Doerr
David Jones - L.D. Sheppard - H.C. Hopper - A.J. Hoey - Frank Warren
Edward Dudley - B.L. Bonsall - John D. Glover - Peter Arrison - Dr. Onan Gross

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Philadelphia Inquirer
August 9, 1889


George "George Cable" Kappel
Beideman's Station
David Baird Sr.
Alfred Hugg
Richard Kerswell
Samuel Dodd
Jesse Pratt

Historical and Industrial Review of Camden, N.J. - 1890


IN the important department of heavy timber for ships' spars and masts, for wharf building, and for all constructive work requiring massive girders, etc., the establishment of Mr. David Baird is one of the most prominent in Camden. Mr. Baird has been connected with this line of business for the past 30 years, and is therefore thoroughly practised and experienced in all its details. In 1873 he commenced the present firm, dealing in spars, heavy logs and timber, and piling, and now carries a stock which is the heaviest of this kind in the United States, and which is divided between the three cities, New York, Boston and Philadelphia. The yards and log-pens are located at Point and Pearl streets, having a large river frontage, and all the necessary conveniences, and the trade is one which may be said practically to extend to all parts of the country, the chief markets being New York City, New London, Boston, Mystic Bridge, Portland, Maine ; Gloucester, Mass., and the East generally. The spars, which vary in length from 30 to 100 feet, and from 6 to 40 inches in diameter, are either floated in rafts or brought by vessels from the lumber districts of Pennsylvania, Nova Scotia, New York State, Michigan and California, and are secured in the log-pens until needed. Some are sold in the rough, and others dressed and finished for their destined purpose, the majority being made into spars of various dimensions for shipping. The business is a heavy one in all its details, employs very large capital and much labor, both skilled and unskilled, and is almost entirely wholesale. It is an essentially water-side and maritime industry, and one for which the city of Camden, with its fine river frontage, is particularly well adapted.

In addition to his business in spars, Mr. Baird is also a considerable owner of vessel property, either owning entirely, or in part, a large number of sailing vessels and several tug-boats. He is an influential citizen of Camden, known and respected highly in all circles, especially in political life. He has held most of the prominent public municipal offices, and now sustains the responsible duty of Sheriff of Camden City and County.

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 14, 1890

Kaighn's Point Ferry Company
Herbert C. Felton
West Jersey Title & Guarantee Company
Samuel H. Grey -
John J. Burleigh 
William Casselman - D. Somers Risley
William J. Sewell - Peter L. Voorhees
William S. Scull - E.N. Cohn
Franklin C. Woolman -
Thomas E. French
Alexander C. Wood
Camden Heating & Lighting Company
E.A. Armstrong - J.E. Roberts
George Barrett -
J. Willard Morgan
William T. Bailey - David Baird Sr.
Howard M. Cooper - Rene Gillon

Philadelphia Inquirer * January 26, 1890

Edward E. Jefferis - Charles Lear - David Baird Sr. - Robert Smith - Harry Winters
Frederick A. Rex - Edward Francis - George Hammond - Charles H. Ellis
J. Wesley Sell - Benjamin Miller - Thomas P. Kirkley - James Ware Jr.
Samuel Weaver

Camden Post
June 3, 1891

 Joseph Logue
Sarah Louwin
Henry S. Scovel
Birch Street
Fannie Ellingsworth
John Lee
James Baird -
David Baird Sr.
Joseph Robinson - Mary Simpson
John Edgert - James Lennox
George S. West
Alfred Hugg
 Richard Ridgway

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 19, 1891

Jesse Pratt - South 4th Street - Kaighn Avenue
Line Street - West Street - Broadway
J. Hermann - 
Temple Theater - David Baird Sr.
William Kemble - Delaware Avenue - Baltic House
Market Street - Henry George - John Woodhull

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 9, 1894

Harry Curtis - David Baird Sr. - John L. Westcott - Howard Butcher

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 11, 1895
William Joyce Sewell
David Baird Sr.
J. WIllard Morgan
Thaddeus P. Varney
Robert Barber
J. Wesley Sell
Frank T. Lloyd
Thomas P. Curley
William A. Husted
William D. Brown
Arthur Bedell
Maurce A. Rogers
George Pfeiffer Jr.
Henry J. West
William Bettle
Louis T. DeRousse
Col. George Felton
Amos Richard Dease
Theodore B. Gibbs
William Barnard

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 20, 1895
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Philadelphia Inquirer
October 27, 1895

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 12, 1900

David Baird Sr. - J. Willard Morgan - Thaddeus P. Varney - John Truax


City Directory

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 1, 1896

David Baird Sr. - Benjamin A. Starr - Jesse W. Starr Jr. - R.T. Miller
Edward Dudley - H.L. Bonsall - Samuel Whitlock - Charles Lawrence

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 12, 1896
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Philadelphia Inquirer - March 10, 1897

Biographical Review - 1897

804 Cooper Street

Baird Family home from the 1890s until October, 1936

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800 Block
Cooper Street


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Philadelphia Inquirer - February 3, 1898
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George W. Jessup - David Baird Sr. - Thaddeus P. Varney - George Barrett - Harry F. Wolfe
Isaac Toone - John H. Fort - Philip Schmitz - O. Glen Stackhouse - Charles M. Baldwin
George R. Thompson - Frederick Kauffman - Benjamin Braker - David M. Chambers
William H. Davis - Dr. John W. Donges - Harry B. Paul 

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 10, 1899

Julius Taylor
David Baird Sr.
George M. Beringer
Henry L. Bonsall
Samuel Elfreth
Joseph Maxwell

Penn Street
South 5th Street
Bridge Avenue


Philadelphia Inquirer - March 12, 1900

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 24, 1900

J. Willard Morgan - William Joyce Sewell - David Baird Sr.
J.J. Burleigh - Col. A. Louden Snowden - Joseph P. McCall
L.B. Byers - James E. Hays - A. Seche 

Trenton Times - January 15, 1902

Frank F. Patterson Jr. - J. Wesley Sell - David Baird Sr.
Upton S. Jefferys 


July 5, 1903

Benjamin L. Kellum
Harry Grosscup
William Deno
David Baird Sr.


Philadelphia Inquirer - September 5, 1903

David Baird Sr. - J. Wesley Sell - Frank F. Patterson Jr. - E.V.D. Joline
E. Ambler Armstrong -
Frank T. Lloyd - F. Morse Archer - Robert L. Barber
William J. Bradley -
William D. Brown - Thomas P. Curley - Charles F. Currie
Isaac W. Coles - E.W. Delacroix -
John J. Burleigh - John Cherry - William Graeff
Theodore Gibbs -
John S. Roberts - Henry J. West - George Pfeiffer Jr.
Irving Buckle - Samuel Wood - Jonathan Watson - Maurice Redrow
Richard R. Miller - Lwis H. Mohrman - David M. Anderson - G. WIlliam Harned
Edward H. Chew - William Coffin - Dr. John B. Davis -
Dr. Henry H. Davis
Samuel S. Elfreth - Charles H. Ellis - Levi Farnham - John Blowe - J. Palmer Earl
Samuel P. Jones - George W. Turner - Henry M. Snyder - Lewis Stehr Sr.
Charles P. Sayrs - Henry J. Rumrille - William M. Palmer - Frank Peterson
Martin J. O'Brien -
J. WIllard Morgan - J. Alpheus McCracken - John R. McCabe
A.G. McCausland - Joseph Kolb - John M. Kelly - E.E. Jefferies - Jacob S. Justice
Robert Jaggard - Harry L. Jones - Upton S. Jefferys - William Kettler
John D. Courter -
Dr. William S. Jones - Mahlon F. Ivins Sr.
Samuel G. Hufty - Ephraim T. Gill -
Francis Fithian 

1904 Cartoon
David Baird

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Philadelphia Inquirer * July 13, 1904

Charles Van Dyke Joline -  David Baird Sr. 
George Moore - Charles Campbell - Stephen Warwick

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 25, 1906

Frank F. Patterson Jr.
Edward Van Dyke Joline
Howard Truax
Frank Voight
David Baird Sr.
J. Wesley Sell
Wiiliam J. Bradley
Charles G. Garrison
A.B. Endicott
Harry C. Loudenslager
J. Willard Morgan
Henry S. Scovel
Theodore Gibbs
Samuel P. Jones
John G. Horner
J. Boyd Avis
Wood McKee
W.H. Jackson
Frank Somers
Frank T. Lloyd
Edward S. Delacroix
F. Morse Archer
Harry Reeves
William D. Brown
Robert Leyburne
Theodore N. Patterson
Wolcott J. Patterson
Irving Buckle
Joseph Burt
Dr. William S. Jones
Dr. E.A.Y. Schellenger
Henry J. Cloud
Charles Middleton
Edward W. Humphreys


Philadelphia Inquirer
June 18, 1907



Rollo Jones - Henry Green - John Lutts - George KappelCharles H. Ellis - David Baird Jr. 
Captain Ricardo Pericoli -
Italian Royal Navy cruiser R.M. Etruria - Howard Mulford
Ladder  Company 1 - Pearl  Street 




WEEPING the horizon in search of men who are types of our times, men who have "done things," men whose influence and power have made an impression upon our national life, through the kindness of Congressman Harry Loudenslager, I met Mr. David Baird, of Camden, New Jersey.

It is not necessary to tell anyone in New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey anything about David Baird, for he is well known there, as a virile, strong type of adopted citizen, whose life-story is fascinating and inspiring.

A red-cheeked, Irish boy, after the death of both his parents, in the sturdy strength of his seventeen years, he set sail for the new land of promise, where "there's bread and work for all." For eleven weeks that sailing vessel careened with the tossing waves, buffeted by the winds of the Atlantic, but at last, in August 1856, the Irish lad landed in New York. His story, since his birth in County Derry, Ireland, April, 1839, reads like a romance, and is as thrilling as the history of the defense made by that famous city of his home county, when the resolute citizens starved behind their strong walls rather than relinquish what they believed to be a righteous cause. Mr. Baird is animated by just such a spirit as was possessed by the daring young apprentice who with his own hands closed the gates of Londonderry, and commenced the siege that has gone down into history as one of the most resolute defenses ever made for home and religion.

At Port Deposit, Maryland, the young Derry lad worked on a farm known as Brick Meeting House, where he earned $6 a month and his board. The panic of 1857 came and it was evident that there would be no more work for the Irish lad, even at low wage. He was about to set forth in search of work when the good wife of the farmer pleaded with her husband to let "David stay and work for his board. He is such a good boy and always gets things done," she said. So David re­mained until the spring of 1858, when he was employed by Gillingham & Garrison in rafting logs on the Susquehanna River, at a wage of $16 per month.

At a luncheon recently given at the Union League Club, in Philadelphia, it was affecting to hear this man, who has long since reaped success beyond his wildest hopes, pay a tribute to that good wife who made an effort to save him a winter of hardship. Nothing could have more plainly indicated the warm heart and splendid qualities of the man who in youth, was accounted a good" log sailor."

On this same occasion a suggestive tribute was paid to Mr. Baird himself at the Union League of Philadelphia, by the Republicans of Southern New Jersey; that banquet was an event in the history of the party and state. The greeting to the honored guest of the occasion expressed the feeling of his friends in a very charming manner:

"It seems the whole durned country 

Has come around tonight

To celebrate your doin's

In the great South Jersey fight,

To take you by the hand, old man 

And say? 'Dave, you're all right.'"

"Dave's all right," seems to be the general opinion, even when expressed in a more conservative but not less positive manner by Philadelphia's prominent business men, with several of whom I talked; his political associates also chime in promptly with the senti­ment, "Dave is a good man,"

Mr. Baird hails from the same town as Walt Whitman, and many other celebrated names come to mind in connection with the state, deepening the conviction that New Jersey is the right place for training and keeping the best men, whether in literature, politics, business, or billion dollar corporation.

Mr. Baird is one of those men who never forget a friend, and when in later years 'he returned to Port Deposit his first care was to go in search of the farmer's wife, but the patron saint of Brick Meeting House had passed to a wider sphere of work. The grateful lad invited the bereaved farmer to come and see him in his prosperous days at $16 a month, and afterwards visited the Old Erick Meeting House to assure himself that the good farmer lacked nothing, for the successful young man never forgot those who had shown kindness to a homeless lad.

It was probably his early experience which molded the opinions of David Baird and made him an ardent Republican for life. The hard times on the farm and the panic of 1857 taught him by bitter experience what the days of "ten-cent Jimmy Buchanan" meant to the working man, and made him in after years a consistent adherent of his party irrespective of his own business affairs.

Those happy days on the Susquehanna River are still recalled by Mr. Baird; it is delightful to hear him tell of the swirling rapids, the rolling logs, the seething waters that are as fresh and forceful as that rich brogue, which he declares is "as good now as ever." As he talks, one almost sees the logs coming down the Pennsylvania primeval forests. It is easy to see that then as now he loved America and American institutions, and already promised to be what he has since become a type of those men who have created wealth and influence from the latent opportunity of a new country, and have used their acquisitions to help their fellowmen, rather than for personal aggrandizement.

In 1859 Mr. Baird came to Camden, New Jersey, and his sincere loyalty to the firm for which he worked soon advanced him to the position of foreman, in which he had charge of rafting lumber on the Susquehanna and delivering it at Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and New Haven. During the panic of 1873, when he felt that his employers were paying him a salary that he was not earning, he insisted on embarking in business for himself, with a capital of less than a thousand dollars, which represented his en­tire savings, and that is a story by itself.

In 1868 David Baird married Christiana Beaty, an Irish lass; in 1873, when the hard times came it was his wife who had ready for use the savings that started Mr. Baird in business, and what a tribute he paid to her, who had stood by him in all the struggles of business and political life, always under­standing his purposes, and always inspiring him with the highest ideals and the brightest hopes. Never have I heard a more beautiful tribute paid in so few words, ai1d while he spoke I realized what a heavy loss the hus­band sustained in the death of such a wife.

Despite the fact that he began business in the teeth of that panic, Mr. Baird began to make money, aided by his former employers who told the bank that "David was to have anything he wanted." In the years that followed the young man started in the busi­ness in which he had formerly been employed, and had the pleasure of hearing from the lips of his sometime' employers warm expressions of gratitude and appreciation, who were always ready with a "good word" for a loyal worker who has since become one of the richest men in the community in which he resides.

Early in life the young Irishman showed a decided aptitude and liking for politics, and even before he had a vote he allied himself to the party and principles for which he has been a lifelong worker. After he- had entered into business he was asked to become a candidate for the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Camden, in 1875. The matter was discussed in the humble, two-tenement home that had been provided by their own earnings, and it was the bright-eyed Irish wife who encouraged him to take up his duties as an American citizen. The young man called the attention of the lady of the home to the fact that "it cost money to be elected," for at that time" the bright metals" were somewhat scarce in that household. Mrs. Baird promptly went to a pillow that was her especial pride and from it took the savings that furnished funds for David Baird's first campaign. He was popular with "the boys," and when he made the fight it was to win, though in the beginning he was somewhat hard pushed. He was elected for four years and was a member of the Court House Committee during the time of his membership. Mr. Baird's activity in the interests of his party and loyalty to his friends soon became known throughout the state. He was interested in everything that concerned New Jersey and Camden County and helped. to build the Insane Asylum, in Blackwood, and the new county office building. He was nominated as sheriff of Camden County, after a bitter contest at the polls, where he was opposed by one Democratic candidate and two Republicans.

Mr. Baird was the only Republican candidate elected in the county at that time. After an interim of two terms he was again nominated for sheriff for 1896 and was chosen at the same time that William McKinley was elected president. He enjoys the distinction of being the only man ever elected more than once for the office of sheriff in Camden County, and was also the only sheriff who was successful in having his deputies elected to succeed him, which is suggestive of Mr. Baird's loyalty to his associates.

As a delegate to the National Republican Convention in Minneapolis, Mr. Baird was an active factor in securing the nomination for Benjamin Harrison, also in the election of Governor Griggs in 1896, of Governor Voorhees in 1899, of Governor Murphy in 1902, and of Governor Stokes in 1905 and lastly of Governor Fort in 1908. In 1900 he was chosen as national elector for president and delegate to the National Con­vention to Chicago, which nominated Theodore Roosevelt for president. At the St. Louis Convention, when President McKinley was nominated, Mr. Baird was active in the selection of Garret A. Hobart, of New Jersey, for vice-president. He secured the delegates from Alabama for Mr. Hobart; that state being the first on the roll call it had much to do with influencing results. A democratic governor appointed Mr. Baird as member of the State Board of Assessors in 1895, which office he resigned to become a nominee for sheriff. In 1901 he was again made a member of the same board and was also appointed in 1905, and is still a member being at present president of this board.

 Mr. Baird was a devoted admirer of General William J. Sewell, United States Senator, and his tribute to his old chief emphasized the fact that to be a leader one must know how to serve faithfully. Mr. Baird is truly a leader of men, and holds the position of political chief in South Jersey. He did much to forward the election of Mr. Jess, a Camden County boy who became speaker of the House of Assembly, and also active in securing the election of Henry J. West as State Comptroller. His successful work on behalf of friends emphasizes his strength as a state leader of his party. In several campaigns he has been prominently mentioned as a candidate for United States Senator. He is especially suited to fill public office, because there is nothing of importance, either for the betterment of the state or the city, that fails to secure his attention and aid. Large hearted and charitable, he has always been a contributor to churches and is particularly interested in the Young Men's Christian Association, an institution to which he gives largely; he especially delights in assisting young men, and expends money and time to I secure their advancement in life. He has not forgotten the struggles of his youth and one of the greatest factors in his career has been the fidelity to his word when once given.


His promises, whether in business or politics, are always kept, no matter at what sacrifice to himself, and he evidently is one of the old-time men who "sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not." Hard work and fidelity to duty have been the. keynotes of his successful career. He is frank and self-sacrificing and does not hesitate to inconvenience himself to fulfill a promise to a humble friend. He candidly acknowledges a mistake, and is eager to make full return for any favor received; he says: "My heart was in· it; I would have felt an ingrate to do otherwise."

Mr. Baird is a fine example of manhood, and has all the prowess of the raftsman; he is stocky and powerful in build, wears a heavy mustache, and has keen blue eyes; Mr. Baird has an emphatic way of bringing down his fist that emphasizes his conviction. He is peculiarly devoted to his family, and his affection is equaled by theirs for him. They believe absolutely in him, and when in former days his wife said: "You will beat him, Dave," there was not a dissentient voice all along the line. "I may have been wrong," he said, "but they were always with me."

Mr. Baird has a beautiful home in Camden, but is one of those men who has never been envied because of his modest success- sharing it far and wide, doing good to all, and everyone is welcome to a share in his prosperity. Mrs. Baird was noted for her philanthropy and her warm-hearted way of helping others.

In early days Mr. Baird won distinction in other lines than politics, he had the honor of towing the first raft of spars from New York to Boston; its value was $25,000 and the 'safe conduct of such a raft was con­sidered an impossible feat until achieved by the enterprising young Irishman. He also towed valuable rafts from Lake Michigan to Buffalo, through the Erie Canal, down the Hudson River to New York, and to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Norfolk. For many years Mr. Baird purchased spars and piling from Alger, Smith & Company, of Detroit, Michigan, and his business relations with, and tribute to General Alger aptly exemplify that "comrade" spirit which prevails in the lumber trade, in which the men are always ready to help each other during troublesome times, when the worth of friendship is tested. At such periods David Baird has always been a true friend.

The enterprising man from Derry has also dealt in timber, lands, saw and planing mills in Pennsylvania, New York and the South, and knows the quality of timber as well as he does human nature. He seems instinctively to recognize sound wood and a good man and it is this insight which has created his fortune, combined with his doing and daring things that other men never attempted. His feats in raft transportation are well known in the lumber trade, and represent a saving of thousands of dollars, owing to the expert methods employed.

Mr. Baird is active in commercial life and is interested in the financial institutions of his city, and in building associations, which have been in existence more than twenty-six years, and are the strongest and most successful in the southern part of the state. He is president of one of these societies. He succeeded John F. Starr, war congressman and former member of the district, as president of the First National Bank, which was established in 1855, and is located in a stately building of colonial design, surrounded by an iron fence, and standing in the center of the city. During his presidency the deposits have doubled. Mr. Baird is also director of the Security Trust Company of his home city, and is loved and revered by his fellow citizens in Camden- his home-where his "boys" and friends all agree "Dave is a real man."

Some five years ago he purchased an extensive property in Camden at the foot of Pearl Street, where in 1859 he found his first employment in Camden; he has now on this site a large lumber, saw and planing mill and spar manufacturing business and has also an extensive spar making establishment in Brooklyn, New York. This enterprise is known as the David Baird Company and those interested are: Mr. Baird, his two sons, Irvine Baird and David Baird, Jr., bright active young men, and E. F. Van Stavoren who came into Mr. Baird's employ some twenty 'years ago.

At all times there can be found at this plant some of the largest timbers and spars that are to be had in any section of the country. The large stock includes yellow pine from the South, white pine, fir and oak from various sections, in fact almost everything in the lumber or spar line is to be found in the large and varied stock.

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 18, 1909
Jane Stoy Fox - William Fox - David Baird Sr. - Cooper Street

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 27, 1909
David Baird Sr. - Edward C. Stokes - Harry Loudenslager - William J. Browning
Samuel K. Robbins - Floyd H. Bradley - Assemblyman Tatem - Albert DeUnger
George W. Whyte
- Joshua A. Borton - J. Willard Morgan - John J. Burleigh
Frank T. Lloyd - Isaac Moffett - Charles Van Dyke Joline - Judge West
Charles H. Ellis


Philadelphia Inquirer

April 27, 1910

  John S. Smith
David Baird Sr.

Edward Hartman

Philadelphia Inquirer * September 20, 1911

Cooper B. Hatch - David Baird Sr. - Charles G. Garrison - Lizzie Green - John Gideon - Frank T. Lloyd Sr.


Throngs Jam Court House While Body Lies in State for Two Hours.


Not since the memorable funeral of Chief of Police Foster ten years ago, has there been such a genuine public tribute paid an official of Camden as was in evidence last night at the bier of the lamented Fire Chief Worthington, and today at his funeral. It is hard to estimate the number of persons in a crowd, but from 7 until 9 o’clock last night there was a steady stream of men, women and children, two abreast, who passed from the main entrance, through the center corridor and beneath the illuminated rotunda, where the body lay, and thence out by the west corridor. There was never a stop, and it is estimated that at least 10,000 persons were there, perhaps more.

There could not have been a more ideal location for the repose of the casket containing the honored dead, and the great array of beautiful flowers than beneath the rotunda. It seemed to be a sacred shrine in itself where the citizenry dropped a tear for the lamented departed. The effulgence of the soft lights from above specially installed by Electrical Chief Kelly but lent to the scene and as the dark garbed escort of firemen, the active pall bearers, stood, on guard, the scene was unusually impressive.

Chief Worthington, aside from the pallor that comes to the dead, looked as he did in life, for the thread had been snapped so quickly that it was while he was in his full vigor that the vital spark had taken its flight. There were some marks on his face that indicated the intense though momentary suffering through which he passed on his fateful plunge from the roof of the burning building to his quick death, and the passing crowd remarked this. But withal there was that calmness and repose feature which seemed to indicate that the gallant leader of Camden's fire fighters but lay sleeping rather than that his soul had taken its eternal flight.

Public grief may be a mere ephemeral emotion, born of the moment and only to be succeeded by the acclaim of the newly arisen public idol, but last night's encomiums seemed to come from hearts that overflowed with genuine and permanent sorrow over the untimely passing of so excellent a public servant. Many tear-suffused eyes indicated this, many expressions of grief, of sorrow, of condolence of those left showed this. The sentiment in evidence everywhere can only be likened to the sweetness of the wonderful flowers whose odor spread thorough all the corridors and in all the rooms of the great marble building. 

High in the clock tower of the City Hall the bell began tolling at 6:30 o'clock. At half-minute intervals its doleful strains went forth on the cold blustery east wind which had succeeded at day of spring sunshine. The bell and the screeching wind seemed to combine as a knell indicating the passing grief of the city. It was the preliminaries to the marching of the funeral cortege from the stricken Chief's home on Penn Street to the resting place at the Court House.

There were forty policemen in dress uniform with Chief Gravenor at their head. There were twenty-six fire heads from Philadelphia, with Chief William Murphy in the van, a tribute in itself of more than passing moment. There was the caisson on which was the black draped casket containing the body of he who all honored. There was the little red car in which Chief Worthington was wont to speed through the city at every alarm and there was his helmet and coat. There was Acting Chief Stockton and forty of the men who fought flames under the direction of he who lay so still. There as the family in cabs with curtains drawn, the members of City Council and the active pall bearers- Daniel Leach, Peter B. Carter, James White, William Patterson, Elmer Burkett, Samuel Harring

When the cortege reached the Court House the Camden boys took up their position on the inside beneath rotunda while the Philadelphia visitors made an imposing array on the granite steps outside. And then came the public in its steady and unending stream.

Later the Philadelphia delegation was escorted to the Board of Freeholders room where tribute was paid to the dead and where a mingling of the two cities took place. Besides Chief Murphy the visitors included Battalion Chiefs William T. Barrett and George P. McConaghy, Captains L. F. Bunting, William Lindsey; H. Dinlocker, J. Higginson, J. E. Talbot, D. Campbell, T. O'Brien, F. Hughes, E. Basenfelder; H. Hutt, William McCusker, G. Rheim, R. Wilsey, J. Webb, H. Goers, H. Haines, Insurance Patrol Captain Joseph H. Shermer William Hickman, William Rodgers, John Wyatt, David Phillip, John Clyde, H. Wilkinson.

President of City Council James E. Hewitt spoke of the work Chief Worthington had already accomplished, of his plans, of his value and worth to Camden. Chief Murphy responded in a fitting way and this incident in itself was one to be remembered.

An affecting sight was witnessed by the handful of spectators, among them being other firemen, city and county officials and policemen who remained after the big doors on Sixth Street had been closed. The last to view the Chief's remains were a delegation of about twenty firemen. Solemnly the men passed by the bier and gazed upon the features of their departed brother.

As the last of the line approached Deputy Chief John A. Stockton was seen. He stopped and with his cap laid across his breast be looked down into the casket. For almost a minute Chief Stockton stood as though glued to the spot. Then he glanced about him and the sympathetic look upon his face thrilled all.

He heaved a sigh and perhaps the teardrops refused to come, but Chief Stockton, as the lines upon his face showed, was struggling with the inner man. His emotions were tugging at his heart, but a fire laddie cannot give way to his feelings although his brother superior officer and dear friend had answered his last alarm.

The floral pieces surrounding the bier bespoke the love, admiration and respect the donors held for the dead chief. One design particularly beautiful was a mammoth loving cup made of blossoms, f1owers and roses. This was the token sent by members of City Council and other city officials.

Another was the design sent by the Electrical Bureau through Chief Kelly. The original fire box, No. 134, which was pulled on the night of the fire by Chief Worthington was enshrouded by roses, carnations and lilies.

A maltese cross standing several feet high and bearing the initials of the organization was the tribute sent by the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association. Chief Worthington was president of this association. 

The Camden police sent a large shield of flowers and Council members offered a vacant chair of roses. The New Jersey Auto Supply Company, No. 2 Engine Company and No. 1 Truck sent beautiful broken circles and a wreath was the offering from the employees of the Victor Talking Machine Company.

 A broken circle from member of the Sixth Ward Republican Club and a wreath from his friends in the sixth precinct of the Second Ward were other beautiful pieces. West Collingswood and Collingswood firemen sent two beautiful floral circles and from the Loyal Order Legion a wreath was received.

Other offerings were from the Camden Liquor Dealers league, a beautiful circle from No. 6 Engine Company, in which house Chief Worthington was captain previous to his elevation to the office of chief; sprays from the Bethany M.E. Church, Ladies Auxiliary of the Loyal Order of Moose; a wreath from the pupils of the eighth grade Sewell school, and a spray from North Baptist Church. There also were designs from members of the family and friends, all of which bespoke the great love held for the departed fire chief.

The impressive services of the P.E. Church marked the last sad rites this afternoon at St. Paul’s Church. The guard of honor and city officials left Fire Headquarters at 1:20 and proceeded to the Worthington home and escorted the remains to the church, where services were conducted by the rector, Rev. R.E. Brestell, and Rev. H.O. Jones, rector of St. Stephen’s P.E. Church. Interment was made at Arlington.

The honorary pallbearers were Mayor Ellis, Hon. David Baird, Frank F. Patterson, John W. Bell, General John A. Mather, Melbourne F. Middleton Jr., Harry R. Reed, Arthur L. Jones, Robert Gordon, David Jester, George Schneider, William Mills, J.O. Grear, William Hall, George L. Bender, and James E. Hewitt.

Bank Directory - March-December 1916

First National Bank
Camden, N J.

DAVID BAIRD, President
WILLIAM T. READ, Vice President and Solicitor
W. S. AYRES, Assistant Cashier
THEODORE THOMPSON, Assistant Cashier


David Baird        

Frank L. Starr 

Alfred W. Clement         

Walter J. Staats 

Frank C. Somers      

David Baird Jr. 

J. J. Albertson         

Joseph W. Graham 

Albert C. Middleton      

Lawrence M. Verga

Ferdinand A. Loeb

Melbourne F. Middleton Jr.

William T. Read         

Philadelphia Office, 246 Market Street
W. S. AYRES, Assistant Cashier

Discount Day, Thursday

Condition of Bank - March 7, 1916

Bank Directory - March-December 1916

Security Trust Company
301 Market Street, Camden, N. J.

HENRY D. MOORE, Vice President.
C. H. POLHEMUS, Secretary and Treasurer 
WALTER T. PRATT, Assistant Treasurer
HOWARD M. POTTER, Trust Officer
General Counsel


Joshua E. Borton        

Henry D. Moore 

David Baird Sr.         

Harry Reeves

Howard Carrow 

Thomas W. Synnott

John F. Harned 

Isaac Ferris Jr.

Cooper B. Hatch

Dr. Paul Mecray

Francis C. Howell

Townsend Stites

S. Stanger Iszard

J. Spicer Leaming

Valentine Kissling

Anthony Kuser

Condition of Bank - March 7, 1916

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 20, 1918
Click on Image for PDF File of Complete Article
Charles H. Ellis - David Baird Sr. - Benjamin Natal
Abe Fuhrman - Samuel Mackler - Morris Berman - Mark Obus
Y.M.H.A. of Camden

1918-1919 City Directory Ad


October 27, 1919

History of Camden County in the Great War, 1917-1918
Camden, N.J.: Publicity and Historical Committee, 1919

Philadelphia Inquirer
September 7, 1919

Click on Images for PDF File of Complete Article

Admiral Henry Wilson - Charles H. Ellis
Elisha A. Gravenor - Edward S. Hyde
William E. Albert - James H. Long
Frank S. Van Hart - William D. Sayrs Jr.
Frank S. Fithian - A. Benjamin Sparks
Kessel Webster -
William H. Iszard
Robert D. Clow - Andrew B.F. Smith
William H. Lorigan - Charles Austermuhl
David Doane -
William C. Davis
William Vanaman -
David Baird Sr.
J. Wesley Sell - William D. Brown
Charles A. Wolverton - William J. Browning


Philadelphia Inquirer
February 12, 1920


Robert Patterson Finley - David Baird Sr.

Events at the Church of the Immaculate Conception - March 17, 1920
Story by Mr. Daniel P. McConnell, of the Camden Post Telegram,
for Wednesday, March 18, 1920

Camden last night gave a splendid welcome to the Very Rev. Dean William J. 
Fitzgerald, J. c. D., M. R. V. F., the new pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and Dean of the South Jersey Catholic parishes.

Citizens of other faiths, judges, doctors, lawyers and those in more humble stations of life, rubbed elbows in the vast audience that packed to capacity the Catholic Lyceum. All were present for a common purpose- to honor the new prelate, who comes to Camden with a splendid reputation as a Christian gentleman, patriot and ambassador of the Catholic Church. 

At the reception in the Lyceum, former Judge William T. Boyle presided. He in turn introduced Rev. Francis J. McCallion, who was acting pastor of the parish. Father McCallion was given a wonderful reception after Judge Boyle extolled his oratorical and executive ability. In a splendid speech Father McCallion paid a glowing tribute to Dean Fitzgerald, the subject of the evening's testimonial. 

James F. Lennon was the principal speaker for the occasion. Already famed for his ability as an orator, Mr. Lennon probably gave his best talk last night. It was a tribute to the new Dean and the members of the Catholic clergy and Sisters of Mercy.

In his remarks Mr. Lennon told of the duties of a priest, of his mission and his value to the community. To the good sisters a glowing tribute was also paid by the speaker. Mr. Lennon also lauded the public school system and explained the principles of the parochial school. His reference to the 312 Immaculate Conception members who fought in the war for Democracy evoked a storm of applause. To the late and lamented Monsignor Mulligan Mr. Lennon offered a deserved tribute. In the course of his address the 
speaker told of the early struggles of the founders of the Immaculate parish. His description of the good old Irish mothers and fathers who erected a monument to Catholicism at Broadway and Market street struck a happy chord. 

Turning to Dean Fitzgerald Mr. Lennon extended to him a warm welcome after which he presented the pastor with a large basket of beautiful flowers, a gift of the ladies of the parish. 

Mayor Charles H. Ellis was warmly received and in a splendid talk the city's chief executive turned over the keys of the city. The Mayor's talk was punctuated with witty remarks concerning the "suburb of Philadelphia".

The Mayor said that the great day had arrived when religious strife was no more and creeds were united for one common cause. 

With much feeling Dean Fitzgerald told of his appreciation of the great honor. He was visibly affected by the testimonial, but modestly stated that he considered it not only a reception to him, but to the members of the Catholic clergy. 

Dean Fitzgerald assured all that he was glad to come to Camden and he asked the hearty co-operation of his parishioners. He turned and gazed over the members of the reception committee seated on the stage and told how happy he was that men like former Senator Baird, County Clerk Patterson, Mayor Ellis and other big men of the city and county were present to do him honor. 

After the reception in the Lyceum Dean Fitzgerald adjourned to the parlor of the Lyceum where he met members of the parish and other friends. He stood under a canopy of flowers and colored electric lights.

The guard of honor was comprised of fifty-fourth degree Knights of Columbus. 
Three hundred members of the parish formed the honorary escort from the train terminal to the rectory. 

Unable to be present, because of previous engagements, Rev. Leon K. Willman, pastor of the Broadway M. E. Church, and Rev. Edwin F. Hann, of First M. E. Church, sent letters of regret in which they wished the new pastor success in his new fields of labor.

Success of last night's eventful occasion can be attributed to Rev. Francis J. 
McCallion, who directed the affair. He was ably assisted by Edward Clare, George Slake, George Burke, Cornelius J. Healy, James McGowan, Hugh Pattie, Michael Quinn, Robert A. Stack and James Wren.

This morning the church reception was held with a solemn high mass, which was sung by Dean Fitzgerald. F ather Whelan was deacon, Father Hennig, sub-deacon, and Father Shay, master of ceremonies. Father McCallion delivered a splendid sermon for the occasion and the singing of the altar boys was very fine. William H. Lorigan presided at the organ. 

Children of the parish this afternoon tendered a reception to the new pastor. The altar boys will present Dean Fitzgerald with an enlarged and framed likeness of himself. 

Trenton Times
December 11, 1920

William D. Brown
David Baird Sr.

Frank Ford Patterson Jr.

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 7, 1921

Judge Frank T. Lloyd
Alban Eavenson
Belford G. Royal
Francis Ford Patterson Jr.
Charles H. Ellis
David Baird Sr.
L.A. Hawkes
Frank S. Van Hart
John Prentice
Burleigh B. Draper
A.C. Dorrance
William S. Darnell
C.W. Tomlinson
James V. Moran
Rev. Thomas J. Whelen
L.D. Johnson
Rev. Charles B. Dubell
Elmer Ellsworth Long

Mrs. A. Haines Lippincott

Mrs. W. Penn Corson
Mrs. Harry Pelouze
William E. Bennett

Eavenson & Levering

Hunt Pen Company

Esterbrook Pen Company

Broadway Trust Company

R.M. Hollinshed Company

Hurley Store

Church of the Holy Name

St. John's Episcopal Church

Munger & Long

Click on Image to Enlarge


November 26, 1922

Trenton Evening Times

September 27, 1923

Frank Homan
Robert A. Irving

Volney Bennett Jr.
Horace L. Brewer

David Baird Sr.

Camden Courier-Post * June 25, 1929
Walter S. Keown - Joseph Wallworth - Elizabeth Verga - Harry C. Sharp - William D. Sayrs
Howard B. Dyer - Laura Silberg - Lottie Stinson - Harold W. Bennett - Edward R. Diebert
Bernard Bertman - L. Scott Cherchesky - Carl Kisselman - Frank Voigt - David Baird Sr.
Francis Ford Patterson Jr. - Al Matthews - W. Penn Corson - Charles A. Wolverton
Clinton L. Bardo - Col. George L. Selby - Daniel Silbers

Camden Courier-Post * March 12, 1930

Camden Courier-Post - September 18, 1933


Dazedly Insists He Had No Intention of Shooting Sire
Slain Man Long Was Prominent Figure in Camden Politics

Jacob Schiller, 72, for 45 years a political figure here, is dead, shot by his own son.

The slayer, William Schillcr, 30, a former summer policeman now unemployed, was held over today to the grand jury on a charge of murder. He made no comment whatever during his police court hearing.

A few hours later, young Schiller's wife, Augusta, whom he lad also tried to shoot, was found wandering through the city street, in all hysterical condition.

She had written a note which police believed showed intent to 

commit suicide, and had staggered dazedly through the streets last night. Both in her note and in her incoherent statements to detectives she declared she was to blame for the tragedy.

She said her father-in-law had tried to save her and was killed in the attempt.

 The slaying occurred Saturday night at the elder Schiller's home, 2420 Carman Street. It climaxed an estrangement between young Schiller and his wife, with "Jake" Schiller attempting to reconcile the couple.

Mrs. William Schiller, who had had her husband arrested several months ago, said she believed he had become mentally deranged, but Police Judge Pancoast was informed that an alienist had examined young Schiller in July and pronounced him sane.

Couple Separated

Young Schiller had been living with his father at the Carman Street address, while Mrs. Schiller has been residing with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John I. Green, 409 North Thirty-seventh Street. The cause of the estrangement has no been revealed by police, but it is stated that young Schiller refused to consent to a reconciliation.

"Jake" Schiller was a Republican worker in the Twelfth ward for years, and was at the time or his death inspector of city street lights.

Were Alone it Home

The father and son were at home 9.00 p. m. Saturday night and apparently were quarreling when the young Mrs. Schiller, her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. William Miller and another sister, Mrs. Lottie Bennehler, reached the house.

"Don't come in here," the older Schiller shouted as they started to enter the front sun parlor. But Miller did enter and said young Schiller was clutching a revolver in his right hand. He declared he closed in on his brother-in-law and tried to wrench the revolver from him. Two shots rang out and the father fell to the floor.

Patrolman Joseph Keefe was standing at Twenty-fifth and Federal Streets when two boys ran up and told him there was a shooting at Twenty-fifth and Carman Street. He ran to the scene and said he reached there in time to see young Schiller shooting up the street at his wife.

Keefe said Schiller ran into the house when he saw him. Aided by Miller, Keefe overpowered Schiller and placed an iron claw on his right hand after disarming him.

Jacob Schiller Jr., another son, learning of the shooting, went to his father's home and took him to Cooper Hospital in a passing automobile As he was being taken into the hospital he failed to recognize City Detective Robert Ashenfelter and died five minutes later.

Expresses No Regret

Police Sergeant John Potter joined Keefe and Miller and they took young Schiller to police headquarters.

Keefe said the son expressed no regret at shooting his father.

At about 5 a, m. today, Policeman Keefe was patrolling his "beat" when he passed the Schiller home on Carman Street. He noticed the front door was standing open, and he went inside to investigate.

The officer saw a note on a smoking stand. Picking it up, he read:

"Dear Everybody:

 "Please forgive me ... You have all been so wonderful ... But I couldn't go on to see you all suffer for what is my fault ... Lottie was right ... He killed his father because of insane love for me ... But he didn't. I killed Pop and now am sending Bibs to jail for my weakness.

 "Tell him I love him and ask my poor mother and dad to forgive me. I should have done this long ago and saved everyone all this suffering ... I love Billy and I know he loves me but I am afraid he has been turned against me. But I forgive him for all.


 "Gussie" is Mrs. Schiller.

Finds 'Gussie’ Hysterical

Keefe ran to Federal Street, but could not see Mrs. Schiller.

Meanwhile, Constable Dugan of the Twelfth Ward, saw Mrs. Schiller walking on Federal Street near the Cooper River. She was mumbling to herself and was in a hysterical condition, Dugan said.

Dugan telephoned police headquarters. City Detectives Rox Saponare and Maurice DeNicoli went out Federal Street and took her back with them to detective headquarters. There they sought to quiet her, but she continually sobbed.

"I want to take the blame- if I hadn't gone to Pop's home he would be living now."

"Pop wanted to save me," she said. "and he was shot. I can't eat or sleep. I think I'm going crazy."

Later, she was permitted to return to the home.

Young Schiller had been held in the city jail over the weekend. Today he was taken into police court. He wore no necktie and carried a raincoat over his arm. He was rep resented by counsel, C. Lawrence Gregorio, who said he had been retained "by friends" to act as attorney for the accused man.

City detective Benjamin Simon had signed the complaint in which he charged "on information received” that Schiller did feloniously and with malice aforethought shoot and kill his father.

The complaint was read to him and Gregorio told him not to say any thing, as Judge Pancoast would enter a plea of "not guilty" in his behalf. This was done by the court and Schiller was then held without bail pending grand jury action. He was taken to the county jail.

Declared Sane

After the hearing, Mrs. Etta C. Pfrommer, acting overseer of the poor, told Judge Pancoast that on July 26, Dr. Harry Jarrett, Broadway and Cherry Street, well known alienist, had examined young Schiller and declared him sane. The examination was made on the request of Mrs. Schiller in police court on the previous day. At that time young Schiller had been released by the court in the custody of his father.

County Detective Chief Lawrence T. Doran, who was among the first to question young Schiller Saturday night, said the man did not seem repentant over what he had done. He said Schiller did not give authorities much information. According to Doran, young Schiller declared he had objected frequently to his father that he did not want his wife to come to their home.

"It doesn't seem possible," said young Mrs. Schiller some hours after the tragedy. "It seems as though it was only a dream. I don't seem to remember anything.

"Poor Bill. He must have been crazy. He idolized his father. You can blame this all on the depression. He has been without work since they eliminated summer policemen two years ago. He has been worried as a result of being unable to obtain work. Just recently he started to drink.

"Bill intended to shoot me but his father tried to get the gun away from him and I believe it went off accidentally. Nothing could convince me that Bill would shoot his father in cold blood.

"I went to his father's home last night to try to effect a reconciliation with my husband. He had been drinking."

Registered as Sober

The police docket at headquarters shows Schiller registered as sober. The entry was not made until 2.15 a. m., and the shooting occurred shortly after 9.30 p.m.

Relatives said the father had attempted for months to patch up the marital difficulties of the couple.

Young Schiller had been living lately with his sister, Mrs. Bennehler, 2530 Bank Street and his wife with her parents at 409 North Thirty-seventh Street. He formerly lived at that address with his wife. He was appointed a summer policeman in 1929 and served until they were all dismissed two years ago.

Coroner Holl and Dr. Edward B. Rogers, county physician, yesterday performed an autopsy on the senior Schiller's body and ascertained that death was due to an internal hemorrhage caused by a bullet wound of the upper portion of the abdomen. They said a .32-callbre revolver had been used in the shooting.

Camden Lodge of Elks will hold services tomorrow night at the Schiller home, at which time the body will be on view. The funeral will be private on Wednesday with burial in Evergreen Cemetery.

Judge Pancoast last night recalled that young Schiller was arrested two months ago after he had kept his wife a prisoner on a lot all night. At that time "Jake," as he was affectionately known to his friends, tried to act as a mediator between his son and daughter-in-law.

The young Mrs. Schiller at that time told Pancoast she believed her husband was deranged and asked permission to have him examined by physicians she would name. Pancoast released young Schiller in the custody at his father. The police judge said the examination had apparently not been made as no commitment papers had been sent through his office.

Few political workers were better known that "Jake” Schiller. He was born in Philadelphia and was brought to Camden in early life by his parents, who conducted a saloon near Twenty-third and Federal Streets. East Camden was then the town of Stockton and the scene of Saturday night's shooting was a farm. Schiller recalled to friends that he drove cows through a pasture on which his house now stands.

 He was originally a Democrat but became a Republican through persuasion of the late U. S. Senator David Baird and remained a friend of the former leader for 40 years.

 Schiller had been melancholy over the death of his wife on February 13 last, friends said.

 When his son was arrested he remarked to Pancoast:  What is next?"

Figured In Shaw Case

None was more in the public eye 35 years ago in South Jersey than Schiller. It was the that he figured prominently in one phase of the locally celebrated Shaw murder trial.

It was during the second trial of Eli Shaw for the murder of his mother and grandmother, Mrs. Anna Shaw and Mrs. Emma Zane. They were found shot to death in September, 1897, in their bedroom of their home on Line Street near Third. Detective John Painter had found a revolver hidden in the chimney, one of several points in the circumstantial evidence that resulted in the indictment of Shaw. He was then a widely known young man about town and his arrest caused a big sensation. As time drew near for the trial feeling was intense, for there were adherents for and against the son and grandson, those arguments often grew bitter.

Henry Sidney Scovel, then one of the prominent criminal lawyers of Camden county, was retained to defend Shaw. Scovel was son of James Matlack Scovel, himself one of the leading barristers of this section. When the trial of Shaw was under way the city was astounded when it was charged Scovel had tampered with the jury. It was Schiller who made the charge.

The trial stopped abruptly. Scovel emphatically denied the story of Schiller and demanded vindication. An indictment for embracery was returned and at a trial, which had Camden on the tip toe of expectancy for days, it developed there was absolutely nothing to verify the charge, and Scovel was acquitted. He acted in two subsequent trials of Shaw, the second being a disagreement and the third acquittal for the son and grandson of the slain women.

Schiller, strangely enough, in later years became friendly with Scovel and when the latter was prosecutor from 1905 to 1912, "Jake," as he was familiarly known, was usually to be found in the office at the courthouse. Scovel was then a white haired man of flowery speech and impressive personality who let bygones be bygones.

Long Excise Inspector

For more than 20 years Schiller was inspector of the Excise Commission in Camden. It was during the days when the principal object of the inspector apparently was to keep the saloonmen in line. He was considered pretty good at that job, by no means an unimportant one from the organization viewpoint. It was also during that period the city had its troubles enforcing the Sunday liquor laws. There were those who considered they had enough pull to keep their back or side doors open on the Sabbath to let in their regular thirsty trade. Some succeeded in getting by, but "Jake" had his own troubles in keeping the boys straight and sometimes causing their arrest, although that was not frequent by any means.

His reign as inspector, too, was in the halcyon days of free lunch and schooner beers. Saloonmen themselves were against the lunch idea eventually since it meant too much of a financial burden. Jake kept tabs on the recalcitrants so that the liquor dealers knew who was obeying the order and who was "cutting corners" to get some extra trade.

Schiller was virtually raised with the saloon trade since his father was one of the old time German beer garden owners here, having had a place at Fourth and Line Streets. That was in the days when that section was largely populated by the German, English and Irish families lately come from the motherlands. When he was a boy, Schiller entered the U. S. Navy and served several years. When he came out he went to the old Town of Stockton, now East Camden, where he opened a saloon on Federal Street near Twenty-fourth. At that period, some 45 years ago, Stockton seethed with politics and it was just as natural for a young man to get into the game as it was for a duck to swim. Jake at that period was a Democrat and during the battle in the middle 90's when the West Jersey Traction and the Camden Horse Railway Company were fighting for the rail franchises in the town he was a candidate for council from the old Second Ward. The late Robert Lee was the Republican candidate and won out by the narrow margin of two votes. In later years Schiller became a Republican and was elected a constable.

Never Ran From Scrap

Throughout his career Schiller never quite forgot his training In the navy, particularly with reference to boxing or fighting at the drop of a hat. He was a scrapper in his early years and never ran from a fight. That was just as true in political battles, frequent then around the polls, as in purely personal matters. And Jake would battle for a friend just as readily as for any personal reason. He was usually in the thick of the political fracases of the years when it was the accepted thing to fight at the drop of a hat. But he also had lots of native wit which kept things interesting when he was a frequenter of the prosecutors' office during the Scovel and Wolverton regime's. In late years, with the approach of age, he had tempered his propensity to get into an argument and liked nothing more than to tell of “the good old days" when he helped the elder Baird in his organization battles.

He made his last political stand for leadership of the Twelfth Ward in 1926 when he supported the candidacy of Sergeant Ray Smith against Commissioner Clay W. Reesman for ward committeeman. Schiller was supporting Congressman Charles A. Wolverton and the late Senator Joseph H. Forsyth in a campaign against former Congressman Francis F. Patterson and State Senator Albert S. Woodruff.

Reesman won and among the first to visit the hospital after learning of the shooting was the city commissioner. Reesman was his latest chief as lights inspector as he was attached to the highway department. Commissioner Frank B. Hanna also visited the hospital.

"In all the years I have known him he has always been an enthusiastic and loyal friend with a good heart for everybody in trouble," Congressman Wolverton said when he learned of Schiller's death.

Schiller was also a familiar figure at the Elks Club, where he was an ardent card player. But after the death of his wife he gave up this pastime, contenting himself with watching the games. He was also a frequent visitor among old friends at the courthouse.

Baird Family Mausoleum
Harleigh Cemetery

Camden NJ

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Camden Courier-Post - June 7, 1950


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