HERBERT ANDERSON was born in New Jersey in 1891 to George W. Anderson and his wife Lizzie Anderson, one of at least four children. His father served as a member of the Camden Police Department from the 1890s through at least 1916. In 1900 the family then lived at 711 Carman Street, in what was then Camden's 9th Ward. Besides Herbert the family included brothers Harry and Russell, and a sister, Nellie.
He married Florence L. Walls at the age of 17. His father-in-law, George Walls, was a sailing ship captain. A son, George, was born in 1909, daughter Anna came two years later. When the census was taken in 1910, Herbert Anderson and family were living at 304 Vine Street in North Camden, the home of Captain and Mrs. Walls. He was then working as a "wiper" in an "engine house", which roughly translates that he was working somewhere around steam engines and boilers as an unskilled laborer.
Herbert Anderson was a member of the New Jersey National Guard when America became involved in World War I, and served with the United States Army when the guard was mobilized. He was working as a member of the Camden Police Department, however, in May of 1918. At the time of the 1920 Census, the Anderson family resided at 534 South 8th Street.
In April of 1930, when the census was again taken, Herbert Anderson was a sergeant on the Camden Police Department. He was promoted to Lieutenant shortly thereafter, and served in that capacity until his death in November of 1939. The family lived at 496 Newton Avenue, across the street from Clara Burrough Jr. High School. During this period he served as Chief Clerk of the Police Department.
Well liked and respected by all, journalist Dan McConnell wrote of him in the November 7, 1939 edition of the Camden Courier-Post:
Sympathy: To the loved ones of Police Lieutenant Anderson we extend heartfelt sympathy... Herb was a gentleman and a fine officer who was liked by every man in his department. So few of us could hope to be so esteemed and respected, newspapermen lost a real friend.
Herbert Anderson was survived by his wife and children. His wife was still living at the Newton Avenue address as late as 1947.
Herbert Anderson's son George married Mary Ferat, daughter of former professional basketball star Eddie Ferat in October of 1935.
May 13, 1918
|Camden Courier * April 9, 1925|
transcribed by Phillip Cohen
Discovery of the body of a white baby several weeks old, human bones and other gruesome articles in a maze of dungeon-like caves and sub-cellars under 413 and 415 Liberty Street today have led the police to hold without bail "Doctor" H.H. Hyghcock, 71 year-old negro preacher, medicine man and undertaker.
The weird discoveries were made in the fantastically furnished "torture chambers" and "witch caves" under the houses. In addition statements made to Patrolman Charles Naylor and a Courier reporter by a seven-year-old daughter of the accused man, point to a possibility of a woman having been murdered in the place only last week.
"Weirdest Ever" Says Tempest
The labyrinth of underground passages and chambers discovered under the houses is declared by Deputy Director Tempest to be the "strangest and weirdest layout" he ever has visited in all his long career in police work.
Twisting and narrow underground passages and half-buried doors in almost inaccessible portions of the underground passages led to a belief that many more chambers remain for the police to enter in their underground exploration.
Deputy Tempest has ordered that a complete search be made of every corner of the cellars and sub-cellars and that if necessary the two houses above be torn down to make examination possible. The earth of all the cave floors is being dug up by the police in search of further clues.
Bone of Forearm is Found
The white baby's body was found shortly before 1:00 PM today, lying in a large glass jar in one of the sub-cellars. What is believed to be the bone of a child's forearm had been found in one of the passages a short time before. In another glass jar the police found what they report to be a human stomach.
To count the rooms, or divisions, of the many underground passages is impossible, because of the irregular arrangement, up and down and in all directions. Some of the policemen engaged in the exploring task have estimated there are more than 75 different compartments.
Second Arrest is Made
While the police were exploring the place shortly after noon a colored man walked into the Liberty Street entrance and started down the tunnel leading to the underground chamber as if he were well acquainted with the place.
Arrested and taken into police custody was Louis Reeves, 23 years, 1061 Ivins Street. he had been employed as a chauffer to drive the voodoo doctor's automobile, he said, and he had been accustomed to visiting "Doctor" Hyghcock daily and being given a bottle of soda water. That was the only purpose of his visit today, he declared, and he disclaimed any knowledge of the activities of Hyghcock.
The little daughter of the "proprietor" of the strange "place of horrors" made her hair-raising statements while being questioned in regard to her father's recent activities.
"Shot a Woman"- Took Her Away
"How many people has your father killed here?" she was asked.
"He never killed nobody until last week" she replied with childish frankness. "Then he shot a woman, and he took her away in her automobile at night."
In his cell at City Hall, Hyghcock maintains an air of mysterious silence. He is of an impressive personal appearance. although below medium height, he has a proud bearing, made more compelling by his white hair, mustache and imperial.
He has boasted to acquaintances that he is the father of 32 children.
Bootblacks tell of him giving 50 cent tips.
Hyghcock was arrested last night when he appealed to police, demanding a warrant for an unknown thief about whom he told a weird tale of threats to return and kill him. Hyghcock styles himself a clergyman, physician, an undertaker, a real estate operator, a clairvoyant, a palmist, and a fortune teller.
Hyghcock was held on $500 bail early today on the charge of obtaining money under false pretenses and in an equal amount on the charge of practicing medicine without a license when arraigned before Police Judge Cleary this morning.
He could not raise the money and was held in jail.
Then, when the other discovered were made, he was held without bail.
A visit to his place by the police led to the exploration of the intricate series of underground chambers. They were separated by swinging doors operated by mechanical springs. Some of the cave-like dungeons contained weird contraptions, like ancient machinery of torture, believed to have been used in connection with "cures," is to which patients of the voodoo man were terrified.
Patient Believes In Him
Besides Hyghcock police arrested as material witnesses Mrs. Bipp Hyghcock, 43 years old, said to be his wife, and Mrs. Lotte Ingram, also a negress, 43 years old, of 59 North Peach Street, Philadelphia.
Mrs. Ingram, who was found in the house at 413 Liberty Street, aid she was there to receive treatment for heart disease from Hyghcock. In a statement to Detective Hunt, Mrs. Ingram said she gave Hyghcock $25 as part payment for the cure of her disease, and that she had been visiting his house for several months. Upon questioning she revealed further that Hyghcock had given her herb medicines, adding that she had faith in his powers and believed she was being healed.
Hyghcock has no license to practice medicine, police say.
The revelation of the startling interior of the place and the practice of Hyghcock, at the Liberty Street houses, both of which were rented by him, was brought about when the "doctor" inquired for a magistrate to issue a warrant for a Philadelphia man who, he said, stole some automobile tools from him and threatened to return to slay him. Hyghcock made the first inquiry of Howard Westsell, 797 Mt. Vernon street, who was standing at Railroad and Kaighn Avenues at 6:00 o'clock last night. Westsell referred him to Howard Fisher, a negro policeman of the Second District, who approached the two.
Cops Take Him Home
Fisher, becoming suspicious, questioned Hyghcock, who became evasive and insisted that the officer could not aid him. Fisher placed him under arrest, summoned Policeman James McTaggert and William Prucella, of the Second District, who were in plain clothes at the time, and went to the Hyghcock house, where they were admitted.
The dingy front room of the house was heated with a glowing coal stove and dimly lighted with a flickering kerosene lamp, faintly disclosed several ancient and must articles of furniture, several dozen bottles of soda water inside a glass showcase most of whose sides were missing or broken, several mysterious looking grips, bed-clothing, bric-a-brac, and other odd articles scattered about, it suggested what might be found in the rudely constructed entrances to chambers beyond.
In the glow of their flashlights the officers made a hurried search of the premises.
Entering the kitchen the trio descended a narrow, winding cellar-way into a gloomy cellar
McTaggart branched into one passageway, while Fisher and Prucella each chose a different path. After stumbling upon blind tunnels which ended in closets or in compartments from which there were no exits, the three officers joined into one party.
Stooping at times under low ceilings, squeezing between the sides of converging walls, jumping over pits covered with rotted trapdoors, and pushing through a seemingly endless series of doors rudely constructed of odd pieces of lumber, and each equipped with a powerful springs, the officers wormed their way through a tunnel extending 50 feet under the yard after leaving the cellar. It ended at a trapdoor in the floor of a ramshackle refuse littered woodshed in the rear of the yard.
As soon as they emerged they took Hyghcock, who had accompanied them through the tunnels, to police headquarters
Cops Go Look For More
Hyghcock, his wife, and Mrs. Ingram were placed under arrest. Captain Arthur Colsey assembled Sergeant Charles Smith and Policemen Prucella, McTaggart, Howard Fisher, Harry Kreher, William Bryant, Herbert Anderson, and John Bryant of headquarters for a needed investigation of the premises. On the way to the house the patrol picked up Officers Enoch Johnson, Charles Smith, and William Michalak.
With the arrival of the patrol a crowd gathered in front of the unkempt buildings. Bordering the gloomy houses on each side are modest, well-kept two and three story homes, inhabited by white families.
Guided by flashlights and lanterns, a long line of policemen laboriously wound through the circuitous underground passages, scrutinizing every nook, and opening every container upon which they came.
Many Rooms Entered
At least seventy-five rooms or compartments were entered and hurriedly examined. Contents of innumerable closets and holes in walls were left undisturbed for fear that they would litter the narrow passageway and block the progress of the searchers.
In one room was found a large cartwheel daubed with dabs of white paint on each spoke. the wheel was mounted on a short upright axis set into the ground, permitting its rotation. Above the wheel was suspended a stuffed bird. The legs could be made to twitch and the wings to flap by the manipulation of a set of strings attached to them and fastened to a stick in an adjoining den.
Beside these the room contained an old iron bed, an oil lamp. and an oil stove. Other dens were similarly furnished.
Wires and Bells and Things
Closets and alcoves revealed odd collections of preserves, trinkets, charms, and indescribable odds and ends. In one closet in the kitchen of 413 Liberty Street were discovered a complicated set of improvised signaling devices. Wires attached to sticks will ring bells and unlock doors and various rooms of the house. Each door was equipped with a spring and bolts, and contained bells of various shapes and sizes.
In the rear of 413 Liberty Street partitioned with odd boards, curtains, and rags was a chapel. This room, about 10 feet wide by 13 feet long, contained an old wheezy organ, an altar, and religious pictures. Two more organs helped furnish two other rooms.
In a bedroom by the third floor of 413 Liberty Street, evidently occupied by Hyghcock, the searchers found charms sewed up in bags, odd implements, and three high silk hats.
Mrs. Hyghcock said that she her husband and daughter had occupied the two houses for eight years. Hyghcock, she said, had been working on the tunnels and underground dens for four years, carrying out earth in small quantities and depositing it in the back yards. police doubt that all the sand extracted from the subterranean dens would have been dumped in the yard, and believe that Hyghcock must have carried it away under the cover of darkness.
The Police Knew Him
A year ago Hyghcock was arrested by District Detectives David Kates and Walter Smith on Mount Ephraim Avenue near Van Hook Street. At that time he was searching for a policeman to report a hold-up. Looking into the closed automobile, the detectives found in the tonneau a bed in which lay a young negress, a lighted lantern hung from the roof, and a kerosene lamp on the floor. After questioning at police headquarters Hyghcock so changed his first story of an alleged hold-up on Kaighn Avenue and Cooper River bridge that the police disbelieved his tale.
Captain Colsey will notify the fire department today to safeguard the buildings from fire hazards and also will call to the attention of the health department the unsanitary condition of the place.
In his seventeen years completed with the police department, Captain Colsey said he has never seen such a layout.
Camden Courier-Post - January 16, 1928
ATTEMPT FAILS, MAN IS SENT TO JAIL
over the death of his wife he was unable to see because he was in jail,
was arrested by Patrolman Herbert Anderson
at Eighth and Market streets. Anderson told
the court he found White lying in the street. He took him to
Cooper Hospital. After being revived, White told Anderson he would again
attempt to end life if he was given the chance because he wanted to be
with his wife.
White denied telling Anderson he would repeat his act. He said he had been arrested before for stealing an automobile and for attempting to end his life by jumping of the Delaware River Bridge. He said he had been serving a six months term when his wife died and he had been unable to see her.
February 25, 1928
|Camden Courier-Post * April 9, 1930|
Camden Courier-Post * December 11, 1930
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
Camden Courier-Post * December 12, 1930
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
Camden Courier-Post - October 21, 1931
Camden Evening Courier - March 28, 1932
26 MEN AND 6 WOMEN ARE ARRESTED IN RAID
Lieutenant Herbert Anderson and patrolmen of the Fourth district, raided a house at 1812 Mulford Street early yesterday, held Hobart White, 27, colored, of that address, as the alleged proprietor, and 25 men and 6 women as material witnesses for hearing today.
White was released in $500 bail and the others in $100 bail, which was furnished by Mikey Brown and Jake Foos.
Camden Courier Post
June 18, 1932
Marie Fort - Thurman
material witness all appear to have given false addresses and in all
likelihood false names.
Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1933
Jail Sentence is Given Operator
Pleading non vult to charge of operating a 'numbers" headquarters raided by the police last July, Dominic Olivette, 28, of 444 Royden street, was fined $100 and given a suspended sentence of six months in criminal court yesterday.
In police court the day following the raid Olivette was fined $100 by Judge Garfield Pancoast on charges of violating Section 422 of the city ordinances prohibiting disorderly persons from congregating in a building.
Olivette paid the fine and was later indicted by the grand jury following an investigation by Prosecutor Clifford A. Baldwin. Judge Shay, in imposing the fine, refused Olivette's plea that he be allowed to pay the sum on installments.
One other man charged with "numbers' writing was fined $100 with the privilege of paying at a $2 weekly rate. He is Herbert Lantry, 35, of 519 Ray street, arrested by Lieutenant Herbert Anderson November 26. He was held for the grand jury by Judge Pancoast when arraigned in police court.
Camden Courier-Post - February 11, 1933
Agin the Law' To Sell Rum Here Without a License
opened a "store" at
15 South Fourth Street yesterday, without
the formality of first obtaining a “soft drink license’.
Herbert Anderson and
District Detectives Walter Smith
and John Trout were the first
customers. They entered the place
reading that chicken dinners could be purchased for 20 cents. But, according to police, "they didn't find an
egg" in the place.
But what they did find was an improvised bar, a quantity of whisky and several cases of home brew. They dumped the liquor, they said, and told the proprietor to "close up until he got a license." They didn't bother with the name.
Camden Courier-Post - June 3, 1933
there’s anything Police Judge Pancoast
doesn’t like it's to have people trying to fool him, he said. So
yesterday Pancoast sent two alleged speakeasy inmates to jail for 6o
days and gave the confessed proprietor only 50 days.
35, of 829 Carpenter
Street, was arrested for violating the ordinance prohibiting
congregation of disorder1y persons on the premises by Lieutenant Herbert
Anderson Thursday. Hatter told the court that he was proprietor and
was in the illegal liquor business to provide for his two children.
no excuse," said the judge, "you should provide for them
without breaking the law."
fined Hatter $50 and sentenced him to 50
days when he was unable to
pay. The judge then turned to Edward
Mackay, 38, of 531 Ray Street,
and Alfred Brooks, 45, of 700 Pearl Street, who, Andersen said, were
drunk in Hatter's
men admitted having a few drinks, elsewhere, but insisted they were
sober and that they did not buy the drinks from Hatter.
good and tired of having peop1e trying to fool me," said Pancoast.
"I don't know what they take me for. I'm going to end it, though,
by giving each of you 60 days."
Unable to pay a fine of $100, George Young, 29, colored, 954 South Ninth Street, was sentenced to 100 days when he pleaded guilty to operating a "washboiler" still in violation of the city speakeasy ordinance. His wife, Ethel, 19, and Annie Fussel, 37, of 614 Chestnut Street, alleged inmates, were given 30 days each in default of $25 fines.
Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1933
ARRESTED AS POLICE SEIZE STILL
Thompson, 70, and his brother, Henry, 57, of 433 Riley
arrested late last night when police raided their home and seized a
150-gallon still and a quantity of mash.
They were held for violation of the city disorderly house ordinance and will be arraigned in police court today. The raid was made by Lieutenant Herbert Anderson and Detectives Walter Smith, John Trout and Harry Kyler. .
|Camden Courier-Post - June 10, 1933|
SHORE WOMAN IS FINED FOR KICKING POLICEMAN
Miss Helen Hancock, 30, of 602 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, was charged with drunkenness and pleaded guilty. Lieutenant Anderson said she ran against a wall and fell down and when he tried to take her to the hospital she kicked him in the stomach and cursed him.
Anderson also testified that she refused treatment at Cooper Hospital and cursed all the doctors and nurses. The woman said she did not remember anything about the incident.
|Camden Courier-Post - June 19, 1933|
2 MEN, WOMAN SEIZED IN RAID ON HOUSE
Two men and a woman were arrested by police in a raid Saturday night on an alleged disorderly house at 610 South Second street. Freddy M. West, 34, and Mattie Watson, both of that address, were held in $500 bail each. West was charged with being the proprietor, and the Watson woman held as a material witness, along with Thomas R. Bunting, 62, of 560 Highland Boulevard, Gloucester. The raid was made by Lieutenant Herbert Anderson and Detectives Walter Smith, John Trout and Harry Kyler. The defendants will be arraigned in police court this morning.
Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1933
Evening Courier - September 10, 1934
Photograph taken at the funeral of Detective William Feitz, the first Camden police officer to be killed in the line of duty.
|Click on Image to Enlarge|
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - AUGUST 3, 1935|
FORCE POLITICS BANNED
“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.”
George Anderson To Wed Mary Ferat In Camden Church
The marriage of Miss Mary Eloise Ferat, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Ferat, of 1476 Kaighn avenue, and George Henry Anderson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Anderson, of 496 Newton avenue, will take place this evening in the Centenary-Tabernacle Church, Fifth and Cooper streets.
The ceremony will be performed at seven o'clock by Rev. John Pemberton, Jr., pastor of the church. Grant Harden, of this city, will play the wedding march and accompany Mrs. Vernon Jorgenson, of Philadelphia, in vocal solos.
The bride will be given in marriage by her father. She will wear a lovely gown of ivory-toned wedding ring velvet made entrain. Her veil of ivory toned tulle falls from a coronet and she will carry a shower bouquet of chrysanthemums.
Mrs. John Bachman, of Harrisburg, Pa., will be her cousin's matron of honor while Miss Margaret Jones, of Merchantville, will be maid of honor and Mrs. George A. Restrick and Miss Anne Anderson, sister of the bridegroom, both of Camden, will be bridesmaids. They will wear velvet gowns with matching accessories, Mrs. Bachman in sapphire blue and carrying maize chrysanthemums; Miss Jones in rust and carrying bronze chrysanthemums and the bridesmaids in emerald green and carrying orchid chrysanthemums. Mary Ann Tweedy, of this city, as flower, girl will wear a frock of yellow pleated net and carry a basket of baby chrysanthemums.
Mr. Anderson will be best man for his son and ushers will include: Solomon Walls, of Dover, Del., uncle of the bridegroom; John Bachman, of Harrisburg, and George Restrick, of this city.
Mrs. Ferat will be gowned in wine colored velvet and wear a corsage of gardenias, while Mrs. Anderson will wear sapphire blue velvet with gardenias.
A reception will be held at the Hotel Walt Whitman, which also will be in observance of the silver wedding anniversary of the bride's parents. Following, Mr. Anderson and his bride will leave on a tour of the Southern States. They will be at home after November 15, at the Kaighn avenue address..
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - FEBRUARY 26, 1936|
ILLNESS CAUSES SHIFTS FOR POLICE OFFICIALS
Temporary changes in the police department to offset the absence of Lieutenant George Frost, head of the First District, who is ill, and Lieutenant George Ward, of headquarters, who is away on police business, were announced yesterday by Chief Arthur Colsey.
John Potter, of the Third District, is made acting lieutenant and placed
in charge of the First. Patrolman Louis Schmidt, of the Third, replaces
Potter as acting sergeant.
Gustav Koerner, of the
Second District, who has been working in plain clothes, Is to report in uniform.
Camden Courier-Post * February 14, 1938
POLICE JAILER HURT AS BOSCO HURLS PLATTER
Sam Bosco, Camden barber indicted and arrested on a murder charge last Friday, went temporarily berserk in the city jail late Saturday, police revealed yesterday.
In a fit of nerves and rage, according to the police, the heavy-set prisoner flung a platter of food in the face of the jailer, Policeman William Michalak, who had opened Bosco's cell to give him a hot meal he brought from a nearby restaurant.
Bosco then menaced the jailer with a jagged fragment of the platter that shattered on the cell floor. Michalak rang an alarm which attracted Police Lieut. Herbert Anderson, Detective Thomas Murphy, Motorcycle Policeman Marshall Thompson, Sgt. Gus Koerner and Policeman James McLaughlin from the adjacent police headquarters in City Hall.
Anderson and Murphy went into the cell tier at the end of which Bosco stood, still brandishing the piece of broken dish. After grabbing his arms, they led him back to his cell. He offered no resistance.
"I was excited," he told them later.
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