HELEN M. "NELLIE" RUSH was born in Chester, Pennsylvania to Andrew John Fenton and his wife, the former Elinia "Denie" Everley in 1888. She married her husband George around 1906, and a son, also named George, was born in Pennsylvania around 1908. The Census taken in April of 1910 show the young family had moved to Sea Isle City, New Jersey. The eventually relocated to Pennsylvania, where another son, William, was born around 1914.

World War I Selective Service records and the 1920 Census show her living at 2550 East Dauphin Street in Philadelphia with her husband, George Washington Rush, and sons George and William. The family moved to the Cramer Hill section of Camden at some point thereafter. Helen Rush became active in Democrat politics and at one point served as the county committeewoman from the Eleventh Ward, which comprised all of Cramer Hill. 

When the 1930 Census was enumerated the Rush family was living at 3339 Farragut Avenue in the Cramer Hill section of Camden, New Jersey. 

Although no longer on the county committee by the fall of 1931, Helen Rush remained active in Democrat politics into the mid-1930s. At some point she clashed with the powerful Emma Hyland, as evidenced by a letter to the editor of the Camden Courier-Post from February of 1936. The family then lived at 3219 Pierce Avenue.

The City Directory for 1940 does not list George and Helen Rush. Selective Service records show that they had moved back to Philadelphian by the spring of 1942. The family then resided at 1111 East Susquehanna Avenue. George Rush was working at the Kensington Shipyards at Beach and Palmer Streets. 

Helen Rush remained a resident of Philadelphia until her passing in 1955.

Helen M. Rush
and her niece
Merle Hogan

Taken in the alley between
1100 Susquehanna Ave and Hewson Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Click on Image to Enlarge

Helen Rush's Niece Writes About Her Aunt

Aunt Nellie moved to 1111 Susquehanna Ave across the street from where my Mom, Mary Hogan, daughter of Rachel Fenton Hogan after leaving Cramer Hill. This area of Philadelphia is called Fishtown.  Rachel and Nellie were sisters.  Aunt Nellie became block captain during the WWII Era.  1111 Susquehanna Avenue became a certified First Aid Station for the neighborhood. Aunt Nellie attended classes to become one who could provide triage care in case of a bombing.  She ensured that everyone would obey the rules during Air Raid Black Outs.  Aunt Nellie would make sure everyone had sand in buckets in their home in case of fire/bomb damage.  My Mom and Aunt Dean noted that when England was being bombed daily, here in Philadelphia, everyone was prepared for the worst. Blackouts were common practice. The buckets of sand provided a nice home to sand flees to everyone's annoyance. 

Aunt Nellie would write songs for the War Effort including songs to encourage others to buy war bonds. She went to "Tin Pan Alley" to peddle her songs. She set up a re cycling station at the end of the block of Susquehanna Ave and Wildery Street.  The purpose was to collect all used metal for the war effort.  My Mom remembers the family collecting old pots, pans, and tooth paste tins to recycle for the war effort. 

Aunt Nellie never owned her own home. She was never wealthy in regards to money.  She and George Rush were "renters".  However, Nellie was always on the go.  She opened up a little restaurant on Delaware Ave near the dry docks.  Nellie had a radio in the restaurant and would have special dinners for listening to Boxing Matches.  Whenever Joe Louis was boxing, the family would help out Aunt Nellie with her Spaghetti Night Boxing Match Specials. Customers would pack the place and listen to radio announcer reporting a Joe Louis Boxing Event.  Joe was a crowd pleaser.  My mom and aunt remember carrying large amounts of spaghetti to the tables. 

Uncle George was a miserable man, as per my mom.  A "wet blanket" who wanted Aunt Nellie to settle down.  Uncle George was a member of the Red Men's Club in Philadelphia.   Aunt Nellie nieces adored her.  Nellie took her nieces downtown Philly and showed them the WORLD.   The nieces loved their time with Aunt Nellie.

Aunt Nellie in her later years had a stroke.  My mom remembers Aunt Nellie being paralyzed on one side. However, Aunt Nellie was not down.  She had joined an organization for disabled people. She would teach others how to make pot holders with one hand.   I was two years old when Aunt Nellie pasted away.  So I did meet Aunt Nellie as a baby.  I was in her home many times....

I am a nurse, I have been a committee woman in the 18 Ward, but, I never held a Spaghetti Night Special with a Joe Louis boxing match being played on the radio.

December 1, 2010.

Camden Courier-Post * October 13,1931


Judges Samuel M. Shay and Frank F. Neutze will be among the speakers at an A. Harry Moore rally to be held Friday night by Democratic clubs of the Eleventh Ward at Maennerchor Hall, Twenty-seventh Street below River avenue.

Other speakers will include Samuel P. Orlando and the three Democratic Assembly candidates, William French, Jr., Vincent DePaul Costello and Fred Stanton. A North Jersey orator also is expected.

Mrs. Lillian Pisko, Democratic county committeewoman, is general chairman of the rally, and is being assisted by Charles Goldy, county committeeman; Mrs. Helen Rush, former committeewoman, and John Hutchinson.             ,

Mrs. Pisko and Goldy will open Moore headquarters for the Eleventh Ward today at 923 North North Twenty-seventh Street.

Camden Courier-Post * June 7, 1932
Walter T. Bateman - Helen M. Rush

Camden Courier-Post * June 9, 1932

Sadie Quirk - Nellie Kerbaugh - Helen M. Rush


A card party will be held tonight by the Eleventh Ward Woman's Democratic Club at Red Men's Hall, 715 North Twenty-Seventh Street.

The men's club is co-operating at the function, which will the last of the season. Mrs. Grace MacDonald will be in charge, assisted by Mrs. Helen Rush, president of the Woman's club, and Walter T. Bateman, president of the men's club.

Camden Courier-Post

June 6, 1933



The annual masquerade party given by the Eleventh Ward Women's Democratic Club will be held  tonight at 715 North Twenty-seventh street.

The affair is being arranged by Mrs. Helen M. Rush, president, and Mrs. Verna Carnes, chairman of  the entertainment committee. The judges committee includes Mary O'Drain, Mrs. Mary O'Neil and  Mrs. Florence Oberle.

A card party will be given by the club on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Proceeds will be used to finance the  annual Christmas party for the children in the ward and to supply baskets for needy. Mrs. Helen  Purkins heads the committee in charge, assisted by Mrs. Bertha Bowers, Mrs. Rose Bowers, Mrs.  Clara Kimber, Mrs. Mary Yates, Mrs. Ruby Hensman, Mrs. Catherine Riggins, Mrs. Margaret Richards and Mrs. Alberta Roberts and Mrs. Rush.

Camden Courier-Post

October 29, 1935


Camden Courier-Post * June 7, 1932

Walter T. Bateman * Helen M. Rush

Camden Courier-Post - February 21, 1936

Scores Marvel and Mrs. Hyland

To the Editor:

Sir-Well, well so Albert says Harry L. Maloney has misled the Democratic party. Well if Maloney has done that will someone tell me what Al Marvel and Emma E. Hyland have done to the Democrats of Camden county? Whenever Mrs. Hyland wanted anything done in the county committee Al Marvel sent out cards for a meeting only to those who they knew Mrs. Hyland could meet at the door and shake hands with and say- Don't forget to vote our way tonight.

When Marie Kelly would make a motion they knew they had to vote in favor of it because they did not dare to get up and express themselves. No, because if they did they were done. Mrs. Hyland knew who said yes and who said no. Well, let me tell you here was one committeewoman who was never afraid to get up and say something when I knew I was right. That is why I never got a job. Oh yes, I forgot, Harry Maloney did put me in the home loan, but Emma Hyland came along and had me removed, but when I was running for state committee she sent Mr. King out to our louse three times in one week to come back but I did not go back.

Everyone knows the story of the day in Trenton when Governor Moore was put in office. We had a banner, the Eleventh Ward Woman's Democratic Club, and 60 women in line. Emma Hyland ordered me to take the banner out of line.

Did we?-not much.

Mrs. Hyland told me she did not need the Democrats in the Eleventh Ward. Well, she sure did need them and so we need all Democrats, not only Al Marvel, Emma Hyland and a few others who call themselves the Democratic party.  

3219 Pierce Avenue