Same Circus,
Different Clowns

So you think the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Fear not, young Jedi, because here is where your old Uncle Phil (or young cousin Phil, depending on your age) shows you how things are no worse now than they were then..... simply because then wasn't all that hot either! As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same!


This sort of speaks for itself..... 

Cambria Herald, Ebensburg, PA - May 9, 1894


A marriage license bill has been introduced into the New Jersey legislature and it will probably pass. It is certainly in the interest of public morals that such a measure should be enacted. Camden has become such a great resort for an easy tying of the nuptial knot in an indiscriminate manner that the New Jersey conscience--or if not the Jersey conscience certainly the public conscience--can hardly tolerate the abuse any longer. When these runaway marriages are stopped great good will have been done.


There is no such thing as an "undocumented person", except for my imaginary friend Harvey, and he's a six foot tall rabbit.

What's the difference between a drug smuggler, a child rapist, and priest or preacher hiding illegal aliens? Nothing.

Have you noticed that the same people crying to give law-breakers rights (and welfare) are also first in line to condemn our men and women at war? Whose side are they on? Well, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, the Holy Jazeerah Batman, it must be Al.... or his friend. 

Camden Courier-Post - January 9, 1928


Why does the world think Camden is such a dangerous, horrible and dangerous place? Because for far too long, too many people with personal, political, or financial agendas have been ripping the city. Think I'm kidding? Read the Courier's editorial from January of 1928.

Camden Courier-Post - January 10, 1928


Headlines in Philadelphia newspapers, in big black capitals, “SHIP COMBINE TO BUILD LINERS IN PHILADELPHIA YARDS”.

Small type text under this blazing headline, “Ships will be built at the shipyards of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, in the Philadelphia area.”


The ships will be built IN THE CAMDEN AREA.  

* * * * *

 It is an old story.

A murder committed in Camden is reported in the Philadelphia papers as a Camden murder.

Not as a murder “in the Philadelphia area.”

But let Crew-Levick* set up its great system of oil tanks on Petty’s Island, so that tankers can discharge their cargoes and oil burning ships can fill up direct from the tanks ashore, and at once the Philadelphia papers set up a yawp about the wondrous improvement of THE PORT OF PHILADELPHIA.

BAD news is OURS, GOOD news is THEIRS, as they tell it.

It is cheap, mean.

And the more amusing because solemn, sleepy Philadelphia makes such a to-do about its own virtue and respectability.

* * * * *

The great new super-liners will be built in THE CAMDEN AREA.

Brown-Boveri** will build them.

Shipbuilding on the other side of the river is shot .

Even the navy yard over there is under fire.

The glories of the old Cramp yards have faded out.

Present and future belong to the Camden side of the river.

While Philadelphia is satisfying itself with stolen glory, the life of the port is shifting to this side of the river. Camden’s arrogant sister city is going to see its ancient brilliance transferred to this side of the river.

This splendid move, taking the government out of the merchant marine business and putting it into private hands, has its center and is core in New Jersey, NOT in Philadelphia.

*   Crew-Levick was a part of Cities Service Oil, which became CITGO,
I think in the late 60s or early 70s.

** In 1928, Brown-Coveri was the parent corporation of New York Ship.


The funny thing is that the 1700 Block of Mulford Street is every bit as "hot" today as it was then.

Camden Courier-Post - January 21, 1928

Climaxes Investigation of Several Months; Beer in Big Field

Exposure of a huge rum-running ring is expected to result from the seizure of $10,000 worth of alleged high-powered beer and arrest of six men in South Camden by special Federal agents yesterday.

An extensive investigation instituted several months ago came to a near climax with the raid, and arrest of leaders in the supposed ring will be effected in a short time, the agents declared.

Five of the men under arrest sur­rendered unhesitatingly. The sixth, Dominic Larre, 21. of Philadelphia, was halted when agents fired several shots at the truck in which he tried to escape after backing it up in the yard opposite 1738 and 1744 Mulford Street, where the beer was stored.

Seven hundred half-barrels of the liquid was found in the Mulford Street yard, a large vacant field, enclosed by a high board fence, the agents said.

Bail Set At $1000 Each

The men found within the yard said they were Charles Mowery, 20, of 712 Chestnut Street; George Orr, 30, of 1939 Fillmore Street; James Morris, 31, of 426 Viola Street; Walter Quinn, 23, of 1596 Broadway, and Frank Daley, 28, of 568 Viola Street.

Together with Larre they were taken to city police headquarters, booked as “witnesses” and later released under $1,000 bond each by United States Commissioner Wynn Armstrong.

The trail of the beer stored in the Mulford Street yard led from a brewery at Reading PA, from where it was traced by special investigators, working out of the Treasury Department, at Washington, the agents said.

A quantity recently was confiscated in Gloucester County, they said. From there the trail was followed to this city. The tactics of the beer-runners were learned, and yesterday afternoon the raiders swooped down on the yard.

Shots Halt Truck Driver

As the agents, led by William L. Thibadeau and Hiram K. Jameson, rounded up the five men inside the boarded area, an agent on guard outside saw a vacant truck start to back toward the door where he was standing.

As the agent walked toward the truck the driver apparently suspected trouble. He stepped on the accelerator and started down the street. The agent shouted for him to stop, but Larre, driving, the agent said, failed to heed the warning.

Then the agent fired two shots in the air. Larre bought the truck to a halt and surrendered.

Meanwhile the five inside the yard were being loaded into a city police patrol. They were taken to headquarters, detained more than an hour and then removed to Armstrong’s office. The men will be given a further hearing January 31 at 11:00 AM in the latter office.

Police Make Two Raids

Last night Mulford Street resembled an amber river as the foaming liquid was poured from the kegs. These then were destroyed. Hundreds of people witnessed the scene with mingled emotions.

During the afternoon two raids were staged by Sergeant John Gilbert and Policemen Warner and Branch resulting in the arrest of two men and seizure of a still and a small quantity of alleged liquor.

At the home of Stanley Saposki, 46, of 1066 Thurman Street, the raiders said they found a 25-gallon still, three gallons of “moonshine” and a complete set of coils. Saposki was arrested and later released under $500 bail.

Only a half-gallon of alleged liquor was found in the home of Frank Beuclawski, 60, of 1422 Mount Ephraim Avenue, who likewise was arrested, then released under $5000 bail.


Same story, no milk cartons. Human beings do terrible things, for no logical reason I've ever heard. Things re not getting worse.... but they sure aren't getting bettier in this regard. Nor do i expect they ever will. Out of every 10,000 or so people on this planet, there are going to be one or two screwballs, and I do not think there is any getting around it. 

Camden Courier-Post - January 25, 1928


You would think someone would have learned some lessons from this situation. 

Camden Courier-Post - January 26, 1928

Marauders Declared Using Former Reeves Home on State St. as Lair

Aroused Householders Threaten to Act As Own Cops

Failure of city officials to heed repeated complaints that a deserted and dilapidated mansion at Third and State Streets is a ‘rendezvous of thieves, a haven for spooners, and a general nightmare” was blamed today by residents of that neighborhood for three robberies in one State Street block in two weeks.

Complaining residents declared today that they have appealed to officials for help without avail. They said that the former palatial residence of the late Augustus Reeve, brick manufacturer, has been a ‘den of thieves for some time. The police have been apprised of the situation, they reported, but have done nothing except “promise to investigate”.

Police have made public no reports of the three robberies that have occurred in the one block in two weeks. The victims themselves said today that city detectives told them “to keep quiet,” as release of any information might interfere with the arrest of a certain young man under suspicion in their own neighborhood.

The first robbery occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George T. Moore, 313 State Street, on January 7. The Moore home is next to the broken down mansion and only a few feet away. Thieves, watching from the deserted house, whose side windows face those of the Moore residence, ransacked the dwelling after the family left that night for dinner at the home of friends. Entrance was gained by jimmying a side window, and money, jewelry, and two overcoats belonging to Mrs. Moore’s son, produce salesman, were stolen.

Rob Bonstedt Home

A second robbery occurred six days later on January 13, at the home of W.G Bonstedt,327 State Street, a few doors from the Moore home. The third was at 302 State Street, January 21. In the family’s absence, $250 and a number of silk dresses were stolen. This house is directly opposite the Reeve property.

“It was from the deserted old mansion, next door to us, that the thieves watched our movements and waited until we had left the house”, said Mrs. Moore today, “Them, when they saw we would be away for the night, they broke in and robbed us. It was the same case with the other two robberies in the block. The burglars could see when the families were leaving the house- they had a good view from their hiding place. Having no police protection, the owners of the ransacked houses were at their mercy.”

Moore said police have been told “time and again” that the abandoned mansion at the corner is a “public nuisance,” and that “it is frequented by thieves, spooners, and tramps.” He said the condition has existed since relatives of the late brick manufacturer moved out of the place five years ago, but city officials have ignored all complaints made by residents of the neighborhood. The place was sold to other parties and a “for rent” sign had been on it for a long period.

Declared a Menace

“Not only do thieves and other undesirables make their rendezvous there, but the property is used for immoral purposes” Moore asserted. “It is one of the worst menaces in the city, both from a sanitary and a moral standpoint. Women—except the class that has gone there to spoon— fear to go near the place by night, and the neighborhood in general has suffered considerably because city officials have failed to take steps to have the nui­sance eliminated. It is a disgraceful condition, and the authorities should see to it that the owners be compelled to board up the property at once. Otherwise it will continue to strike terror in the hearts of the residents of the neighborhood, many of whom express the fear that unless something is done before long, more robberies might occur, or the old building might go up in flames and perhaps damage theirs and other property nearby.”

Moore declared that increasing robberies in the neighborhood might have been averted had the police been more alert,

“Laxity of the Camden police department in giving residents of our neighborhood adequate protection was plainly evident in the three robberies in the one block in two weeks,” Moore said. “I have not seen one policeman near my home for more than a year, neither morning, noon, or night. I understand, however, that two or three members of the force live in this very neighborhood, and that one of them passes the old mansion every day. Why they, or the men assigned to this beat, have not had their superiors take some action on the corner property I cannot understand .

To Be Own Policemen

“As for myself, I will  shoot the first man to make another attempt to burglarize our home. If the police won’t help us, I suppose the best thing we can do is to be our own policemen and protect ourselves.

Similar complaints were made by other residents of the neighborhood who requested that their names be withheld, as they feared political reprisals and in one case loss of business, if it were known that they criticized any of the city officials.

In the meantime, a number of those interviews reported that plans are being made for the circulation of a petition, to be presented to the city commissioners, requesting them to take steps to have the abandoned mansion- which they termed a “nightmare” ”—locked against invasion by the thieves and other undesirables who have been making the ramshackle building their rendezvous.

The property is directly across from the James N. Cassady School, and part of its exterior d covered with theater posters.

The building to which the Cassady School pupils allude as “the haunted house,” in the time of its occupancy by the Reeves was the center of many noted social gatherings. Most of its windows have been broken by boys and other marauders have torn away the staircase and ripped the plaster from its walls.

Surviving members of the Reeve family, who had lived there, left the mansion after Mr. Reeve died; and the place has been gradually falling to ruin since. According to residents of the neighborhood, it is today not only a menace, but “one of the city’s worst eyesores”.  


This story repeated itself a few years ago. In the year of "60 Camden Murders" a single incident saw 5 Brooklyn-based Jamaican drug dealers killed in a house on Federal Street in East Camden. Apparently the victims were on the run from other New York drug gangsters who they had ripped off in the Big Apple. This obviously is not a "Camden" crime.... just a crime that happened to occur here. It could have just as easily happened in Cherry Hill if the Jamaicans had rented a house or apartment there. Of course, the "nattering nabobs of negativism" chose to consider this Camden's problem.... and to artificially pump the numbers regarding Camden crime. 

Camden Courier-Post - February 21, 1928





72 Years ago, drugs were being smuggled into the United States. Today, it's cocaine, marijuana, and people. What's changed? Only the items. The smuggling never stops.

Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1933

Boat,Liquor,3 Men Seized After 10 Mile Chase Off Cape May

By Staff Correspondent

Cape May, Feb. 3.-After chase of more than 10 miles in which many shots were fired, Coast Guard Patrol Boat No. 103 captured a speed boat rum runner early today, arrested three members of the crew and seized 300 cases of liquors. 

The boat, her cargo and crew are in tow, en route to Philadelphia.

It was shortly before dawn that the patrol boat saw a speed boat running without lights at a point several miles above Cape May Point. The patrol boat started in pursuit of the speedy ship.

Toward the end of a chase lasting more than 10 miles the rum laden vessel started to draw away from her pursuer when the government vessel after firing several blank warning shots which were disregarded opened fire on the rum runner with one-pounders and machine guns. The smuggler then hove to and surrendered. 

The vessel proved to be the Java out of Providence, R. I. Members of the crew said that they were attempting to make a landing when they were spotted by the patrol boat. Coast guards believe that a second speed boat which was running with the Java made her get-away during the chase. The Coast Guard boat then took the rum runner in tow after putting the crew in irons. Members of the crew will be given a hearing when they reach Philadelphia this afternoon.

69 Years Later, and we are STILL getting hosed!

Camden Courier-Post - February 19, 1936

National Bureau Announces Jump of Nine Dollars in Prevailing Rate

A nine dollar Increase In the standard automobile insurance policy rate for Camden district was revealed yesterday by the National Bureau of Casualty and Surety Underwriters. A majority of the northern insurance companies, including virtually all of the large ones, belong to this organization. The rate applies to public liability.

This phase of the standard policies, limited to $5000 liability if one person is injured and $10,000 if two or more are hurt, increases from $35 to $44. Property damage to the amount of $5000, which is included in the standard policy, remains stationary at $11, so that the entire policy is increased from $46 to $55.

Most companies ordered the rise, put into effect February 10, but others, including the Keystone Automobile Club and the A. A. A., will raise rates March 6.

Loss Ratios Increase

Loss ratios submitted by member companies of the national bureau each year determine the rates. Camden is the only one of a dozen New Jersey districts in which changes were announced that shows an Increase. The others, all northern and central state cities, show decreases.

Neither Philadelphia proper nor the South Philadelphia district has been changed as yet. The latter rate $80, $62 for liability and $18 for property, while Philadelphia proper is $64, at $50 and $14. New York's rate is the highest in the country, $114. The lowest is rural Iowa, $18.

Accident and death tolls are not the only factors which affect the insurance rates, it was explained.

"Conditions in the courts are as important as conditions in the streets," a spokesman said. "All factors enter into the loss ratio reports submitted by company members. They are broken down geographically. If they indicate claims are out of proportion to rates, the rates are changed. In the final analysis, changes are based on experience of the companies.

Ambulance Chasers Factor

"Where unsavory claim conditions exist, where courts are harassed by ambulance chasers, perjury, or corrupt jurors, there is more likely to be an unfavorable insurance record.

"The New York rates, for Instance, was $127 two years ago. There has been no marked decline in accidents since then, but the rate is now down to $114 and is expected to go lower. The change is attributed to the recurring drives against insurance rings and ambulance chasers."

All municipalities touching an area within five miles of the city limits are included in the Camden district. Charles J. Hawe is actuary for the national bureau. He is in charge of the staff which sets the motor liability rates for the entire country, with the exception of Massachusetts. In that commonwealth, the one state with a compulsory law, the rates are set by a state commission.

Gee Whiz! What is scary is that we are still paying people to study, comment,and in general spew drivel on this subject.... and of course never actually solving the problem!

Camden Courier-Post - February 20, 1936

Abnormal Home Life Blamed By Nay for Child Delinquency
Irresponsible and Shiftless Parents Assailed In Address

>In 95 cases of Juvenile delinquency out of every 100 the real offenders are adults, C. Paul Nay, Supervisor of attendance for Camden city schools, declared yesterday in releasing statistics on arrest of persons under 21 in the city last year. >The number of arrests was 945, as compared with 984 in 1934 and 988 in 1933. The high water mark was in 1930 when the figure was 1296. >

"Contrary to public opinion," Nay stated, "juvenile delinquency in Camden does not seem to be increasing." >In a radio address Nay, who is principal of the Mt. Vernon School for behavior problem children, blamed abnormal home life for a large percentage of juvenile delinquency.  >In this s connection he said: 

Parents Often at Fault

>"The fault lies with careless, dirty, irresponsible, shiftless parents who had no comprehension of the meaning of marriage in the first place and who shed the cares and responsibilities of properly rearing their children as water is shed from a duck's back. >"There are fathers who bring a family of children into the world and when support becomes too arduous they calmly walk out and quietly disappear, leaving the mother and the state to do the best they can to rear the children. >

"Sometimes it is the mother who seeks more cheerful surroundings and new scenes.

"Families where both father and a mother are compelled, or think they are, by economic circumstances to go to work, leaving an elder child to do the homework and discipline the children are another cause. >

"Many times the eldest child who is made a household slave marries at 17 or 18 in order to escape the drudgery and soon finds herself with a large family and in the same round of misery from which she attempted to escape. >

"Then there are the feeble-minded and borderline cases who blithely accept the responsibilities of family life, without the slightest conception of what it entails; and they bring into the world a family of children, who in all probability will never be able to support themselves under the most favorable circumstances".

 >Recalls "Child's Charter" >

Recalling the "children's charter" drawn up at a child conference in the White House several years ago, Nay said: >

"That charter was just full of a beautiful lovely things which we resolved to be the inalienable right of every child in the United States. >

"Put that charter into effect and we'll have no worry about juvenile delinquency- it will disappear like magic. There is nothing in it which anyone can deny to be highly desirable- but how far we fall short of realizing any part of it for our children. The opportunity to be well born, well fed, adequately clothed, properly educated and in a clean home in good surrounding with sufficient play space, etc.- how desirable they all are. >

"Yes, I know there has been a depression on for a few years, but is America, the land of  opportunity and equality, going to hide behind that and make the children pay for it? >"We adults who worry about the young and charge them with every crime known to man- we need take care that our young don't indict us sometime for breaking faith with them, and quite likely they will make the indictments stick, to our extreme embarrassment and discomfiture." >

Statistics Highlights  >

Highlights of Nay's statistics are: Eight boys are arrested to every girl. The 15-year-old boy leads all other juveniles in number of arrests over last three years. probably accounted for by fact he is greatest truant. >In 1935 as in past years so-called Americans-those white persons native born and probably of native born parentage for several generations-lead the list with 334 arrests; Negroes are second, with 229; Italians, third, 196 and Polish, fourth 163. Both Polish and Italian classifications show a considerable decrease in 1935 as compared with 1933 and 1934. >

Based upon ward populations, the Third Ward is first in percentage of arrests to population. On this same basis the cleanest wards are Fourteenth, Ninth, Twelfth, Eleventh and Tenth. >The changes in the last three years ranged from murder to peddling without license, from highway robbery to malicious mischief. Of 79 various charges the great majority are for disorderly conduct, larceny and truancy.


People are pretty much the same as they were back then. No surprise about that, no surprise at all.

Camden Courier-Post - February 20, 1936

Protests Snow On Sidewalk

To the Editor:

Sir-I am writing to find out if Camden city has an ordinance to the effect that sidewalks should be cleaned after snowstorms. Most of the sidewalks on Kaighn Avenue are cleared off but there is one corner at Kaighn Avenue and Baird Avenue that hasn't been cleared once this Winter. I have fallen on this sidewalk twice so far but with no serious effects-thank goodness. 

I would appreciate being- advised what can be done to persons of this sort. Please answer through the Mail Bag 



The hurrieder ya go, the behinder ya get!

Camden Courier-Post - February 20, 1936

He's Going to Paper the Bathroom

To the Editor:

Sir->Speaking from experience with justices. I am certainly in sympathy with "One Who Knows." Like everyone nearly, I have been hit by the depression and also have tried to raise four children and keep a home together through it. But it seems that just as soon as I get started on my feet a good justice, one that is noted for getting the money out of people, sneaks up behind me and knocks me for a loop. I have before me three copies of summons that were issued to me and I want the readers to ask whether its fair or not.>One summons was for $9.93. After the bill was paid it cost $14.83. Another summons was for $6.54. After bill was paid it cost $15.76. Another summons was $37.25. After the bill was paid it was $43.05. No one wants to pay their debts more than I do, but how can a man or woman get ahead when he has to pay out this kind of money? >

I suppose more of my creditors will now put some of their bills in the hands of justices to collect.  align="right">

CAPT. EASY align="left">

P. S. - I only need a .few more summons to have the bathroom papered.


For those who don't know what Wing Bowl is, it is a chicken wing eating contest, an annual event sponsored by a local radio station. If this guy was still around, he'd be the hands down favorite!

Camden Courier-Post - February 21, 1936

Thinks the Man Ought to Know Better

To the Editor:


"Howard Miller, of Kansas City, has gone to a doctor. At a typical meal, eats eight steaks, two plates of stew, 30 slices of bread, nine eggs, two dishes of peaches, 12 cups of coffee and 12 pieces of pie. He doesn't need a doctor. He needs a $10,000 a year job. "-Courier-Post editorial, February 17.

I'd recommend a top-piece other than a hat-rack. If this could be purchased, the $10,000 job might help.