Horace
R.
Dixon



HORACE R. DIXON was born July 28, 1887 in New Jersey. He married his wife Paulina around 1910. They had two children, Horace R.J, and Celia before January of 1920, when the family was living at 740 Walnut Street in Camden. Horace Dixon was then working as a marine engineer. 

By the spring of 1928 Horace Dixon and his family were renting a home at 733 Spruce Street. He was then operating the Plaza Garage out of a warehouse at 405 Mickle Street which was also the home of the Bleakly Brothers stationers. By 1936 the Dixon family was living at 439 Trenton Avenue, near the intersection of Newton and Haddon Avenues. Horace and Paulina Dixon were still on Trenton Avenue in 1947, and he is listed there in the 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory. 

Horace Dixon became interested in the civic life of Camden, and took an active role. He was involved with the Non-Partisan League, the  Good Government League, and the Consumer Labor Tradesman League. He also was a frequent letter writer in the 1930s to Camden's newspapers, the Morning Post and Evening Courier. Unlike many other letter writers of the time, Horace Dixon was far from inflammatory, and he appears from the point of view of 70 years later as a consensus builder, a conciliator, in a time where extremist views often had a larger platform and a wider audience than deserved.

In 1935 there was 1935 a committee composed of labor and consumer’s organizations which sought better housing for the city. From this group was chosen a committee of five consisting of Charles Hollopeter, president; Horace R. Dixon, vice-president; Joseph Reed, Francis Hunter, and Joseph Mitten. This was known as the Action Committee and was sent to Washington to convince the PWA of the need for housing projects in Camden. After the PWA allocated $3,500,000 to finance a housing project in Camden, the Action Committee was disbanded in 1936. These efforts culminated in the building of the Westfield Acres public housing project in East Camden, which took in its first residents in early 1938.

In October of 1937 he became a member of the Municipal Low Cost Housing Committee. When the Housing Authority of the City of Camden was established by an ordinance adopted by the Board of City Commissioners to manage public housing in Camden on April 20, 1938, the members were appointed from the membership of the Municipal Low Cost Housing Committee. They were Charles F. Hollopeter, William H. White, John Green, Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland, and Horace R. Dixon, who were appointed for terms of one, two, three, four, and five years, respectively.

The Housing Authority held its first meeting on April 27, 1938 and on May 11 of that year, Horace R. Dixon was elected chairman and Charles Hollopeter secretary. Prominent architect Joseph N. Hettel was appointed to serve as technical adviser. The first actions of the Housing Authority was to obtain $2,500,000 from the federal government to build a new project in South Camden. This project was completed in 1940, and is known as the Clement T. Branch Village homes.

In June 1939, the city commissioners appointed Mr. Dixon as Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the Housing Authority and named Charles Anderson to take his place as a member. At that time the Housing Authority moved into permanent offices on the ninth floor of the City Hall. The title of executive secretary was later changed to that of Executive Director.

Horace R. Dixon oversaw the successful completion of the William Stanley Ablett Village defense housing project, and began the process that resulted in the 1944 completion of the Chelton Terrace project.

Horace Dixon stepped down in 1943 as Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Camden in 1943. He was replaced by veteran Democrat political leader Edward J. Kelleher.

Horace Dixon last resided in East Camden. He passed away in January of 1982. 


Camden Courier-Post - April 2, 1928

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6th Street - 7th Street - 27th Street
Atlantic Avenue - Federal Street
Ferry Avenue
 Kaighn Avenue - Lawrence Street
Mickle Street - Spruce Street

Congoleum Nairn Inc. - Bleakly Brothers
Engine Company 9

M.D. Cornish - Horace R. Dixon - Fred Hutchinson - Allen Palmer
Clarence Pursglove - Dominic Sgariglio - Louis Tarter
Edward C. Vanderbilt - John Whitehead - Samuel Yentis

Camden
Courier-Post

May 1, 1935


Camden Courier-Post - August 30, 1935
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Arman J. Arakelian

 

 

Camden Courier-Post
August 31, 1935

 

 

 

 


Camden Courier-Post - February 13, 1936

THE EDITOR'S MAIL BAG

Mistakes in Government

To the Editor:

            Sir-Your editorial, "What is Wrong with Commission Government?" prompts me to suggest:

"Plenty wrong with the commission government we have experienced in the last eight years and 10 months." The Republican organization was responsible for the eight years of "mistakes," the present commissioners are responsible for 10 months of "inaction." No close observer expected this set of commissioners to do much else than disagree, but the end is at hand. Don't be surprised to hear of a switch that will put the Baird organization back in control of the commission, not by a Supreme Court decision, either. The other proposal is an ace in the hole.

Commission form of government is not a "mistake," a comn1ission government has been a mistake because the people have followed the "bell cows" of organized politics.

Government must be modernized; the spending of other people's money is a business proposition, must be recognized as such, and be placed in the hands of an expert, one especially trained for the job. A conglomeration of ideas originating in a group of men unqualified, or unwilling to submerge selfish interests or forget "party responsibility," will never produce business government.

Employ a city manager, a trained expert, to be executive head of the city, a council as a legislative body. This is the best form of government known, but we must forget the "'bell cows" when we elect our councilmen.

This form of government can be applied to the county- a county manager, a small board of freeholders.

As a matter of fact, we do not require the five subdivisions of government in the county. This can be accomplished by one government, a county manager. Fifty-three cities in 1933 spent over 93 millions, 23 towns spent over 13˝ millions, 253 boroughs spent over 19˝ millions, 257 townships spent 17 millions, 21 counties spent nearly 56 millions, a total of 207 millions for five kinds of government in each county. To this the people contributed over 55 millions to state government, and nearly 100 millions to education.

Surely here is a field worth exploring by anyone interested in good government .. One wonders what could be done with this money if it was handled as any business enterprise would handle it.

HORACE R. DIXON
President, Good Government League
556 Line Street


Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1938

CAMDEN GROUP WINS HOUSING BILLS GOAL
Newark Parley Results in Slashing Authority of State Director

A long and hard-fought campaign to obtain housing bills which will enable New Jersey municipalities to secure Federal funds for slum clearance and low-cost housing resulted in a moral victory for members of the Camden Municipal Low-Cost Housing Committee yesterday.

The local group, which several weeks ago inaugurated a statewide movement to obtain the legislation and to eliminate political chicanery in the legislation, returned last night from Newark after attending a stormy session that lasted more than four hours. 

S. Raymond Dobbs, executive secretary of the Camden committee and acting secretary of the state conference of low cost housing committees, said the members of the local and state groups are satisfied with several amendments to be made to the present bills.

Four Housing bills will be presented in the Assembly next Monday night, Dobbs said. They will be introduced by Assemblyman Jennie A. Pilch, of Morris County, chairman of the Assembly housing committee. Assemblyman Oscar R. Wilensky, of Passaic County, majority leader of the House, will ask for their passage under suspension of rules, Dobbs said.

Publie Hearing Set

Mrs. Pilch has granted a public hearing on the bills to be held in the Assembly chamber next Wednesday at 1 p.m. The public hearing was requested by the Jersey City Chamber of Commerce.

"The members of our local group and those in the state conference feel a good job was done, "said Dobbs. "We didn't get everything we wanted but at the same time we are confident these bills will be adopted and Camden will get its share of Federal money from the U. S. Housing. Authority."

Dobbs said Wilensky agreed to limit the authority of the state director of housing, set up in two of the bills, to municipalities under 50,000. In the original bills Camden and other cities would have to get written permission from the director before the City Commission could appoint or elect a housing committee.

Another bill was amended requiring the state director to forward to the U. S. Housing Authority with in 20 days all applications for Federal money for slum clearance and low cost housing.

This amendment, Dobbs said, will prevent the state director from arbitrarily deciding whether or not Camden or any other municipality has the legal right to apply for Federal money.

The bill also designates the State Housing Authority as an advisory agency to the state director. In the opinion of Dobbs the state authority will be shorn of much of its power in the matter of housing matters in the state.

Autonomy Assured

The four bills as amended will give Camden and other municipalities even greater autonomy than when they were first drawn, Dobbs declared. 

Frederick Pitett, a retiring building contractor of Bergen County, is named in the bills as state director of housing, Dobbs said. The bills provide for a deputy director to be paid $4000 annually. Pitett's salary will be fixed by the joint appropriations committee of the Legislature, according to Dobbs.

Those representing Camden at the conference besides Dobbs were Charles F. Hollopeter, local committee, chairman, and acting chairman of the state group; Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, counsel, and Joseph N. Hettel, technical adviser to the Camden committee, and Horace R. Dixon, committee secretary,

The State Housing Authority was represented by Frederick W. Ehrlich, chairman; Harry I. Luftman, secretary, and Charles H. Ziegler and Mrs. Isora B. Somers.

Maurice Kaltz, solicitor for the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council, also was present. Members of the Assembly housing committee, J. H. Schneider, counsel for the U.S, Housing Authority, and officials from other cities attended the session.

An observer was Albert Reitman, secretary to Senator Charles S. Loizeaux, of Union county, president of the State Senate..


Camden Courier-Post - February 5, 1938

Supports Dixon's Ideas on Inspection

To the Editor:

Sir-There are nearly a million cars registered in New Jersey. This inspection will make a half million in six months and that is more than the stations and equipment costs.

What will become of the money that is left over? They are not going to give us a lower license fee so let's all get together and back up Horace Dixon.

We helped kill the sales tax. Why not kill this one too before the state get any more 50 cent pieces out of us.

Mr. Dixon starts circulating petitions, I will be one of the first to give my help in getting them around to the different ones for their names.

Let's hear from some of the other disgusted motorists.

PAUL E. PURSCH
2000 Howell Street


Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938

$8,000,000 FUND SOUGHT FOR HOUSING
Hartmann Declares City Needs 2 Added Low-Cost Rental Projects

A Federal grant of $8,000,000 for slum clearance and two municipal low-cost housing units will be sought by the city of Camden when the State Legislature approves pending bills providing enabling legislation.

This was made known yesterday by Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann, director of public works, who also announced he will present an ordinance at Thursday's meeting of the City Commission setting up a Camden Municipal Housing Authority.

The ordinance, Hartmann explained, will conform with requirements in one of the Assembly bills. Members of the authority, who will be known as Housing Commissioners, will be named by the City Commission.

Present members of the Camden Municipal Low-cost Housing Committee are Charles F. Hollopeter, chairman; Dr. M. F. Wheatland, William H. White, Horace R. Dixon, secretary, and John Green, president of the United Marine and Shipbuilders' Union of America.

"Camden needs two more low-cost housing units to provide modern, sanitary and adequate housing for its working people," Hartmann said. "Unless present plans are changed the proposed housing authority will seek a grant of $8,000,000 from the U. S. Housing Authority".

"As soon as the legislature passes the enabling legislation the city through this committee will be in a position to go to Washington, present our plans, and make formal request for Federal money.

Hartmann said that neither he nor the members of the housing committee will divulge any contemplated locations of the two proposed projects.

"This committee has studied housing needs from all angles. Neither politics, race or creed will enter into negotiations in connection with the projects."


Camden Courier-Post - February 21, 1938




Camden Courier-Post
February 22, 1938

Housing Authority
of the City of Camden





Camden Courier-Post
February 23, 1938




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Horace R. Dixon - Frank J. Hartmann Jr. - Harold W. Bennett - George Brunner
Mary Kobus - Joseph N. Hettell - S. Raymond Dobbs - Rocco Palese

Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1939

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Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1939

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Camden Courier-Post - June 30, 1939



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From Left: Unknown - Wilbert F. Dobbins - Horace Dixon
Bartholomew Sheehan - Dr. Howard E. Primas Sr. -  Unknown

Click on Image to Enlarge *** Click Here to Supersize


Camden
Courier-Post
July 30, 1941

Horace R. Dixon
Cecelia Dixon
Clinton Street
Kaighn Avenue
John Grey
South 2nd Street
Thomas Hutchinson
Liberty Street
Camden Housing Authority

 


Camden Courier-Post - August 26, 1941

Henry Magin Laid to Rest By War Veteran Buddies
TRUCKS OF FLOWERS IN FUNERAL CORTEGE

Funeral services for City Commissioner Henry Magin were held today with his colleagues in official and veterans circles participating.

Services were conducted in city commission chambers on the second floor of city hall, in charge of Rev. Dr. W.W. Ridgeway, rector of St. Wilfrid's Episcopal Church.

The casket was carried by war veteran associates of the public works director, who died from a heart attack Friday. A color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion preceded the casket, followed by the four remaining members of the city commission, Mayor George Brunner and commissioners E. George Aaron, Mrs. Mary W. Kobus and Dr. David S. Rhone.

A guard of honor lined both sides of' city hall steps, 22 policemen on one side and 22 firemen on the other, representing Magin's age, 44 years.

Hundreds of men and women waited outside the building to pay their respects as the solemn procession filed by. Mayor Brunner had declared this morning a holiday for city employees. The casket was borne by Thomas Jackson and Samuel Magill, both past Legion commanders; Leon McCarty, past commander of August Walter Chapter, Disabled American Veterans; Richard Jermyn, past commander of Post 1270, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Benjamin P. Thomas, past captain of Sparrow Ship No. 1269. V. F. W.; and William Miller, past State commander, D. A. V.  

Three trucks were required to carry the floral pieces from the scene of the services to the National Cemetery at Beverly, where burial took place.  

An estimated 8000 persons from all walks of life paid their respects to the late official by viewing the body as it lay in state in the commission chambers.

The throng of mourners of Camden city and county was the largest to converge on a public building since the funeral of Fire Chief Charles Worthington, who was killed while fighting a fire almost 20 years ago. His body was placed on public view in the rotunda of the old county courthouse.

File Past Bier  

A continuous progression of people filed past the flag draped bier for more than three and one-half hours. Scores of Republicans and hundreds of Democrats joined in the tribute.

Services were conducted by Camden lodges of Elks and Moose. Military rites were conducted by the Fairview Post, American Legion, of which Magin was a founder and past commander. The tribute was led by Mitchell Halin, post commander, and C. Richard Allen, past department commander. 

James W. Conner, chief clerk of the city water bureau and past State Commander of the V.F.W., conducted rites at the grave.  

Mayor Brunner and Commissioners Kobus, Aaron, and Rhone came early and remained throughout the hours of viewing. Mrs. Helen Magin, the widow, and daughter Helen, attired in deep mourning, arrived shortly after 7:00 PM.

Embraces Widow, Daughter  

Commissioner Kobus, who knelt in prayer before the bier, arose and went over to Mrs. Magin and her daughter. Mrs. Kobus embraced and kissed the widow and daughter of the late commissioner. They were in tears.  

Three firemen and three policemen maintained a vigil as a guard of honor. They were Patrolmen Jack Kaighn, George Weber, and William Deery and Firemen Arthur Batten, Warren Carter and William Reed.

American Legion and V. F. W. members in uniform alternated as members of the military guard of honor. A detail of 50 policemen was under command of Acting Lieutenant John Garrity. Fifty firemen, under supervision of Deputy Chief Walter Mertz, assisted the patrolmen in handling the crowd, which at times choked the stairways leading to the second floor.  

Freeholders Arrive  

Albert H. Molt, director of the Board of Freeholders and Freeholders John J. Tull, Oscar Moore, Ventorino Francesconi, Stanley Ciechanowski, Earl Armstrong and Emil J. McCall arrived shortly after 7:00 PM. Moore and Tull wore American Legion overseas caps. Albert S. Marvel, clerk of the board, accompanied the freeholders.

Employees of the various bureaus in the department of public works, headed by Commissioner Magin, came in delegations with the highway bureau having 150, the largest number.  

Frank A. Abbott, acting director of the department, accompanied by James P. Carr, superintendent of Streets; led the highway bureau employees. Abbott is deputy director of revenue and finance and first assistant to Mayor Brunner. He was named by Brunner as acting director until the City Commission elects Mr. Magin's successor.

County Clerk Frank J. Suttill, City Clerk Clay W. Reesman, Fire Chief John H. Lennox and James A. Howell, chief of the city electrical bureau, attended, as did Albert Austermuhl, secretary of the board of education. Every city department sent a floral piece.

Outstanding Floral Tribute

Outstanding among the floral tributes was a six-toot broken circle of varied flowers, an offering from Mayor Brunner and Commissioners Kobus, Aaron, andRhone.

A floral chair was sent by the Camden Police and Firemen’s Association. The word “Rest” was made up of flowers. The offering of the Veterans League of South Jersey, an organization formed by Commissioner Magin and of which he was the first president, was a large floral pillow.

The freeholders and county officials gave a large floral basket. Floral tributes came from the employees of the board of education, the RCA Manufacturing Company, the police and fire bureaus, Pyne Point Athletic Association, the Elks, Moose and several Democratic clubs.  

The floral tributes came in such numbers yesterday afternoon that Funeral Director Harry Leonard and his assistants could not find room for them in the commission chamber proper. They were banked on both sides, in the rear and over the casket.

Among prominent officials and citizens who came to pay their respects were Congressman Charles A. Wolverton and his son, Donnell, Assemblymen Joseph W. Cowgill and J. Frank Crawford, Sidney P. McCord, city comptroller, Thomas C. Schneider, president of Camden County Council No. 10, New Jersey Civil Service Association.

Others at Bier

Others were Sue Devinney, secretary to Mrs. Kobus; Fred S. Caperoon; Henry Aitken, city sealer of weights and measures, Horace R. Dixon, executive director of the Camden Housing Authority; George I. Shaw, vice president of the board of education.

Sgt. Ray Smith, chairman of the Elks Crippled Children Committee and commander of East Camden Post, V.F.W.; Albert Becker, commander of Camden County Post 126, Jewish War Veterans; Dr. Howard E. Primas and Wilbur F. Dobbins, members of the Camden Housing Authority; Postmaster Emma E. Hyland; Samuel E. Fulton, member of the Camden local assistance board.  

Also former Assemblyman Rocco Palese, former Freeholder Maurice Bart and wife, County Detective James Mulligan, Deputy City Clerk William D. Sayrs, Mary King, secretary to City Clerk Reesman, Charles W. Anderson and John W. Diehl Jr., former members of the housing authority, Walter P. Wolverton, chief clerk of the public works department; Thomas J. Kenney, Maurice Hertz, Isadore Hermann, chief of the city tax title bureau; S. Raymond Dobbs; acting chief of city property, John Oziekanski, building inspector, Harry Langebein, city assessor.

Oliver H. Bond, housing manager of Clement T. Branch Village; former Judge Joseph Varbalow, acting city counsel John J. Crean, assistant City Counsel Edward V. Martino, Paul Day, secretary of city board of assessors, former Assemblyman William T. Iszard, Harry Roye, district director of NYA; Victor J. Scharle and Martin Segal, Democratic and Republican registrars, respectively, of the Camden County permanent registration bureau.  

Mrs. Marian Garrity and Mrs. Mary F. Hendricks, vice chairman and secretary respectively, of the Republican City Committee; Dr, Ethan A. Lang and Dr. Richard P. Bowman, members of the board of education; Edward J. Borden, Carl Kisselman, Harry A. Kelleher, Samuel T. French Sr., former Freeholder Walter Budniak, Coroner Paul R. Rilatt, County Treasurer Edward J. Kelleher, William Shepp, of the city legal bureau, Marie Carr, stenographer, mayor's office; Samuel T. French Jr., member, board of education.

Also John C. Trainor, member of the Camden County Board of Elections; Antonio Mecca, funeral director; Alexander Feinberg, solicitor of the housing authority, former Freeholder John T. Hanson, Sterling Parker and Paul Reihman, member of the county park commission.  

James O’Brien, commander of the Camden Disabled American Veterans, was in charge of services by veterans at the cemetery. Former Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan, county vice-commander of the American Legion, directed last night memorial services and was in charge of the firing squad at the grave.  

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