JAMES J. SCOTT was born in Camden NJ on January 16, 1875 to Jonathan and Georgia Kahler Scott. His father was atextile worker. Georgia Scott died mother died young, and the young James Scott took a major role in the upbringing of his younger siblings. After attending pubic and secondary schools in Camden, James Scott worked with his father in the textile industry until the age of 21, when he went into the sheet metal business for himself.
James J. Scott married his wife Bertha May Howard on February 15, 1902. A son James J. Jr. was born the following year, sadly, he died in 1908. Three other children followed, Bertha in 1905, James Roland in 1909, and Florence in 1914.
Around 1906 James J. Scott established, with partner William J. Strandwitz, the Strandwitz & Scott Company, a sheet metal fabricating firm at Delaware Avenue and Penn Street. The business was quite successful, servicing the many factories in Camden and vicinity. The company had moved to 537 South 2nd Street by the mid-1920s. The business still retained the Strandwitz and Scott name as late as November of 1936.
James J. Scott and William J. Strandwitz both became involved in the civic life of Camden City and Camden County. They were charter members of the Rotary Club of Camden when it was founded in 1912. During World War I James J. Scott took part in the War Bond campaigns, and chaired the Red Cross in Camden.
By 1920 James J. Scott owned a home at 211 Madison Avenue in Collingswood NJ. In 1921 he undertook a fifty three day tour of Europe and the British Isles, and wrote a book about it, called Scott's Party. Upon his return, James J. Scott became deeply involved with the fundraising campaign, construction, and operation of the Walt Whitman Hotel. He chaired the fundraising committee, and was appointed Purchasing Agent when it was time to furnish and equip the new hotel.
James J. Scott was also on the Board of Directors of the Merchants Trust Bank, the Camden Home for Friendless Children, and the West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital. He also involved himself in real estate, and was president of the Haddon Avenue Real Estate Company.
In May of 2004 James Scott's daughter Florence shared a few insights in the character of James J. Scott. When able, James Scott made a daily visit to the children's ward at West Jersey Hospital or the Camden Home for Friendless Children on Haddon Avenue. Florence said no one really knew of this but because he had been so poor in childhood, he felt a responsibility to those less fortunate.
Florence said he always loved Camden, and that led to his getting involved with Walt Whitman Hotel. He thought that it would be a big boost for city. He served as Purchasing Agent during the construction and outfitting of the Walt Whitman. There and at any other business venture where he was involved with selecting furnishings, James Scott, always would get a Grandfather clock, which he had a passion for. Likewise, James Scott loved anything to do with music. He purchased two pianos for the Walt Whitman from local merchant John H. Heaton, and loved a place in hotel called Rathskeller, where he would take his daughter to meet the singers and musicians appearing there.
Later in the 1920s he was an officer of the City Athletic Club. The club erected a building on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at Baird Avenue which from the 1960s until its demolition in 2000 was known as the Oasis Motel.
James and Bertha Scott's charity to the less fortunate was played out in there daily lives. They had fruit trees in their backyard. Local children would go into the yard, pick cherries from a tree, and then go to the front door and sell them to Mrs. Scott, who knew exactly where the cherries came from! Daughter Florence states that her father had his suits made somewhere around upper Broadway. He would be dressing for work and he would ask Bertha about where is a certain new suit. Mrs. Scott would reply "Well so-and-so, his clothes were so shabby, I gave him your suit". James J. Scott never said a word.
James J. Scott's business ventures were for the most part successful, but he was involved the Merchants Trust Bank, which went under during the Depression. After his death his estate was obligated for to make payments to settle due to the problems at the bank.
James J. Scott died on March 7, 1935 at the age of 60. He had been ill for some time due to heart problems. Sometime after November 1936 the Strandwitz and Scott Company became the William J. Strandwitz Company, Inc. By 1942 the firm had relocated to Jefferson and Master Streets in South Camden.
March 9, 1915
Cyrene Commandery No. 7, Knights Templar
July 5, 1926
The purpose of this plant with a staff of trained engineers is to assist manufacturers in their sheet metal problems.
|Camden Courier-Post - January 25, 1928|
Tags to Be Sold in City, Suburbs to Aid Hospital
Members of the Woman’s Board to the West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital have gathered their forces and are in readiness for their annual Tag Day tomorrow.
The assistance of all the city and suburban auxiliaries as well as the aid of the Camden City Firemen have been enlisted. The city and suburbs will be covered by the various groups selling the small cardboards while food and flower sales will be conducted at various points. In Camden, the City Auxiliary will conduct a food sale at 407 Broadway, and the board members under the direction of Mrs. Charles Lacy will hold another at 540 Federal street.
General arrangements for Tag Day are under the direction of Mrs. William B. Scott, president of the Women’s Board. The members of the board include: Mrs. Harvey Cannon, Mrs. John Danenhower, Mrs. William Clifton, Mrs. Benjamin Wrobleski, Mrs. Ruth Blessing, Mrs. Isadore Green, Mrs. Meyers Baker. Mrs. Lee Griscom, Mrs. George Woodward, Mrs. Joseph Kobus, Mrs. James J. Scott, Mrs. Edith Kerbaugh, Mrs. A. K. Eynon, Mrs. Richard Connor, Mrs. Abe Fuhrman, Mrs. Clarence Fisher, Mrs. Kenneth Athey, Mrs. Robert Warwick and Mrs. F. T. Garrison.
Assistance of the fire department of the city has been arranged through the courtesy of Chief Thomas Nicholas. Sales being conducted by the auxiliaries are under the direction of the following chairmen: Audubon, Mrs. Henry R. Tatem, Jr.; Camden, Mrs. Harry Hackman; Collingswood, Mrs. Milton M. Bitter; East Camden Juniors, Miss Martha Stone; Delair, Mrs. William Morrow; Gloucester, Miss Elizabeth Felbs; Gloucester Heights, Mrs. Mary Gormerley; Haddonfield, Mrs. William F Clement: Haddonfield Juniors, Mrs. Hartje Riddel; Council of Jewish Women, Mrs. Henry Cooperson; Pennsauken and Merchantville, Mrs. J. Perry Long; Haddon Heights, Mrs. Frank Underkuffier; Italian Branch. Mrs. F. Puleo; Polish Branch, Mrs. Edward Praiss; Stratford, Mrs. Charles Jaggard; Woodlynne, Mrs. Charles Harrison.
Members of the Women’s Board of West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital are planning an outing to Washington’s Crossing on Monday, June 20. Mrs. William B. Scott, president, is chairman on arrangements for the trip which will be made by bus. The party will leave the Hotel Walt Whitman at 10 o’clock that Monday morning and luncheon will follow at The Olde Tavern Inn..
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