Sixth Ward Republican Club

The SIXTH WARD REPUBLICAN CLUB was active in Camden as early as the 1890s through at least 1947. Richard J. Richardson was the club president for several years around the turn of the century. Camden Fire Department Captain William Deno was another long-time member. As early as February of 1899 the club’s headquarters was at 908 Broadway. In the fall of 1927 the club tried to transfer its liquor license to 506 Chestnut Street. Officers at that time were Edmund G. Hunt, President; Robert P. Wilson, Secretary; John Breslin, Treasurer. The trustees of the club were Hunt, Breslin, Benjamin Asbell, Frank J. Leonard, and Marvin Collar. In 1928 the Sixth Ward Women’s Republican Club installed the following officers: Mary S. Hartung, president; Mrs. Jennie F. Sayrs, first vice president; Mrs. Theodosia Conaghy, second vice president; Mrs. Irma Becker, recording secretary; Mrs. Elizabeth Batesta, financial secretary; Mrs. Louis C. Doyle, treasurer, and Mrs. Edith Keys, chairman of the entertainment committee. Breslin was still president of the club as late as December, 1930.

Apparently the transfer did not work out, as the club still at 908 Broadway in January of 1928. By 1931 the club did move its headquarters to 506 Chestnut Street. William H. “W. Harry” Smith, who had been active in Ninth Ward Republican affairs since the 1890, was given the job of custodian at the new location.

Camden politics were, to say the least, a peculiar affair in the 1920s. During the early morning hours of January 14, 1928 a crap game was underway when Joseph ‘Mose’ Flannery, whose careers were crime and politics and Philadelphia crime figure Joseph Cimini arrived at the club and got into a confrontation with a group of equally questionable characters led by ex-boxer Charles “Chick” Hunt and Joseph “Polack Joe” Deven. Deven confessed to shooting Cimini, who was dead on arrival at Cooper Hospital. The Club also had a women’s organization that operated in partnership with it, known as the Sixth Ward Women’s Republican Club.

Of even further interest is that prior to, at the time of, and for some time after all the above shenanigans Lewis H. Stehr Jr., soon to be named Chief of Police for the City of Camden, was an active member of the Sixth Ward Republican Club. Another prominent member was Camden Police detective Theodore F. “Dorie” Guthrie.

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