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 last resided in East Camden. He passed away in January of 1982.
|Camden Courier-Post - April 2, 1928|
Street - 7th
Street - 27th
Atlantic Avenue - Federal Street
Kaighn Avenue - Lawrence Street
Mickle Street - Spruce Street
Cornish - Horace
R. Dixon - Fred
Hutchinson - Allen
Clarence Pursglove - Dominic Sgariglio - Louis Tarter
Edward C. Vanderbilt - John Whitehead - Samuel Yentis
Camden Courier-Post - February 13, 1936
EDITOR'S MAIL BAG
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.
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.
Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1938
GROUP WINS HOUSING BILLS GOAL
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.
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.
Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938
FUND SOUGHT FOR HOUSING
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."
February 22, 1938
February 23, 1938
R. Dixon - Frank
J. Hartmann Jr. - Harold
W. Bennett - George
Mary Kobus - Joseph N. Hettell - S. Raymond Dobbs - Rocco Palese
Camden Courier-Post - August 26, 1941
Magin Laid to Rest By War Veteran Buddies
Funeral services for City Commissioner Henry Magin were held today with his colleagues in official and veterans circles participating.
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
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
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.
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
assisted the patrolmen in handling the crowd, which at times choked the
stairways leading to the
Albert H. Molt, director of the Board of Freeholders and
John J. Tull, Oscar Moore, Ventorino
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
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.
A. Abbott, acting director of the department, accompanied by James P.
Carr, superintendent of Streets;
highway bureau employees.
Abbott is deputy director of revenue and finance and first
assistant to Mayor Brunner. He was named by Brunner as
director until the City Commission elects Mr.
Clerk Frank J. Suttill, City
Clerk Clay W.
Fire Chief John H. Lennox and
James A. Howell, chief of
city electrical bureau, attended, as did Albert
Austermuhl, secretary of
the board of education. Every city department sent a floral piece.
Outstanding Floral Tribute
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
an organization formed by Commissioner Magin and of which
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.
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.
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.
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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