MELBOURNE FLETCHER MIDDLETON JR. was born in Camden on february 22, 1877. His grandfather, Timothy Middleton, had served as the Mayor of Camden during the Civil War. His father, Dr. Melbourne F. Middleton Sr., a prominent Camden physician, built a large house and office at 423-425 Federal Street in 1886, and this is where Melbourne Jr. spent his early years. The elder Middleton also had served as the president of the Camden Homeopathic Hospital at West and Stevens Streets, the fore-runner of West Jersey Hospital.
On Ocrober 25, 1900 Melbourne F. Middleton Jr. was married to Jessamine Weatherby, of Camden NJ. At least four children came of this marriage, Melbourne Fletcher III, Dorothy, jessamine, and C. Barry Middleton.
Mebourne F. Middleton's career was spent in the banking and financial services industry. In 1910 he was working for the banking firm of Charles D. Barney & Company at 124 South 4th Street in Philadelphia. This firm was the successor to the old Jay Cook firm which had provided financing to the Union during the Civil War, and still exists today as Smith-Barney. By 1916 Melbourne F. Middleton was sitting on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Camden, headed by David Baird Sr., longtime head of Camden County's Republican party organization.
Melbourne Middleton Jr. involved himself with the civic life of Camden as a Republican. During World War I he served as chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee, which raised $38,395,150 from Camden and the surrounding area. He also was a member of the Camden County Historical Society.
At the time of the 1920 census, Melbourne F. Middleton Jr. his wife Jessamine, daughters, Dorothy and Jessamine, and son C. Barry were living at 538 Cooper Street in Camden. This home was designed by noted architect Arthur Truscott in 1892. This building was turned into a seafood restaurant in the late 1930s, and has been used for professional offices for many years, up until today in 2003.
In January of 1921 Melbourne F. Middleton Jr. was elected president of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. He was re-elected president of that body at least seven consecutive times.
When Camden changed its charter to the commission form of government in 1923, Melbourne F. Middleton Jr. ran for office successfully. He served as Director of Revenue and Finance during the administration of Mayor Victor King. Although endorsed, along with fellow commissioner Carroll P. Sherwood, for re-election by Camden's Non-Partisan League, his slate, which included Dr. Orris Saunders, newly appointed Judge Frank F. Neutze, and realtor Carl R. Evered, did not win, and Melbourne F. Middleton Jr. left the City Commission after the May 1927 elections. He returned to the stock brokerage business, and was still residing at the Cooper Street address at the time of the April 1930 census. He was still in the financial industry in the mid-1930s.
Melbourne F. Middleton died on January 2, 1951 of injuries sustained in an auto accident.
Bank Directory - March-December 1916
CAMDEN COUNTY IN THE GREAT WAR
City Farm Gardens
weapon to defeat the enemy was the establishment of City Farm Gardens in
the country. They were urged by the Government and not only provided food
for city residents, but abolished unsightly vacant lots. Mayor
Ellis named the first City Gardens Committee on April 19, 1917, as
follows: E. G. C. Bleakly, Judge
Frank T. Lloyd, Zed H. Copp, William Derham, L.
E. Farnham, B. M. Hedrick, David Jester, O. B. Kern, M.
F. Middleton, Dr. H. L. Rose, Asa L. Roberts, W.
D. Sayrs, Jr., Charles A.
Wolverton, Earl T. Jackson, H. R. Kuehner, Herbert N. Moffett and
Hubert H. Pfeil. At the initial meeting of the above date B. M. Hedrick
was elected chairman; Zed H. Copp secretary and M.
F. Middleton treasurer. Brandin W. Wright, a farming expert, was
employed as general superintendent on May 3, 1917. At a meeting on May 18,
1918, the names of Frank Sheridan and Daniel
P. McConnell were added to the publicity committee in the place
In his annual report to City Council on January 1, 1918, Mayor Ellis urged the appointment of a committee by City Council on City Gardens and Councilman Frederick Von Neida was named as chairman. This committee with a committee of representative citizens met in the City Hall in February, 19 18, to organize for the ensuing summer. The members of the Councilmanic committee were: Frederick Von Neida, Frank S. Van Hart, William J. Kelly and John J. Robinson.
The committee planned an exposition of farm garden products for the fall of 1918, but this plan was frustrated by the Spanish influenza epidemic.
war gardens became victory gardens in the year 1919 when the committee met
on January 29, 1919. Meyers Baker
was elected secretary and William
D. Sayrs, Jr., treasurer. At the meeting on March 25 committees were
appointed for the Victory War Gardens
|Philadelphia Inquirer - September 7, 1911|
Dease - John
A. Mather - Melbourne
F. Middleton Jr. - William
Arthur Colsey - William F. Kelly - R.J. Garrison - James E. Hewitt - Lawrence Reader - Dr. Grant E. Kirk
George Kleinheinz - James F. Walton - David A. Henderson - John T. Rodan - Charles Laib
CAMDEN POST-TELEGRAM - May 10, 1914
THOUSANDS VIEW CHIEF’S REMAINS
Not since the memorable funeral of Chief of Police Foster ten years ago, has there been such a genuine public tribute paid an official of Camden as was in evidence last night at the bier of the lamented Fire Chief Worthington, and today at his funeral. It is hard to estimate the number of persons in a crowd, but from 7 until 9 o’clock last night there was a steady stream of men, women and children, two abreast, who passed from the main entrance, through the center corridor and beneath the illuminated rotunda, where the body lay, and thence out by the west corridor. There was never a stop, and it is estimated that at least 10,000 persons were there, perhaps more.
There could not have been a more ideal location for the repose of the casket containing the honored dead, and the great array of beautiful flowers than beneath the rotunda. It seemed to be a sacred shrine in itself where the citizenry dropped a tear for the lamented departed. The effulgence of the soft lights from above specially installed by Electrical Chief Kelly but lent to the scene and as the dark garbed escort of firemen, the active pall bearers, stood, on guard, the scene was unusually impressive.
Chief Worthington, aside from the pallor that comes to the dead, looked as he did in life, for the thread had been snapped so quickly that it was while he was in his full vigor that the vital spark had taken its flight. There were some marks on his face that indicated the intense though momentary suffering through which he passed on his fateful plunge from the roof of the burning building to his quick death, and the passing crowd remarked this. But withal there was that calmness and repose feature which seemed to indicate that the gallant leader of Camden's fire fighters but lay sleeping rather than that his soul had taken its eternal flight.
Public grief may be a mere ephemeral emotion, born of the moment and only to be succeeded by the acclaim of the newly arisen public idol, but last night's encomiums seemed to come from hearts that overflowed with genuine and permanent sorrow over the untimely passing of so excellent a public servant. Many tear-suffused eyes indicated this, many expressions of grief, of sorrow, of condolence of those left showed this. The sentiment in evidence everywhere can only be likened to the sweetness of the wonderful flowers whose odor spread thorough all the corridors and in all the rooms of the great marble building.
High in the clock tower of the City Hall the bell began tolling at 6:30 o'clock. At half-minute intervals its doleful strains went forth on the cold blustery east wind which had succeeded at day of spring sunshine. The bell and the screeching wind seemed to combine as a knell indicating the passing grief of the city. It was the preliminaries to the marching of the funeral cortege from the stricken Chief's home on Penn Street to the resting place at the Court House.
There were forty policemen in dress uniform with Chief Gravenor at their head. There were twenty-six fire heads from Philadelphia, with Chief William Murphy in the van, a tribute in itself of more than passing moment. There was the caisson on which was the black draped casket containing the body of he who all honored. There was the little red car in which Chief Worthington was wont to speed through the city at every alarm and there was his helmet and coat. There was Acting Chief Stockton and forty of the men who fought flames under the direction of he who lay so still. There as the family in cabs with curtains drawn, the members of City Council and the active pall bearers- Daniel Leach, Peter B. Carter, James White, William Patterson, Elmer Burkett, Samuel Harring.
When the cortege reached the Court House the Camden boys took up their position on the inside beneath rotunda while the Philadelphia visitors made an imposing array on the granite steps outside. And then came the public in its steady and unending stream.
Later the Philadelphia delegation was escorted to the Board of Freeholders room where tribute was paid to the dead and where a mingling of the two cities took place. Besides Chief Murphy the visitors included Battalion Chiefs William T. Barrett and George P. McConaghy, Captains L. F. Bunting, William Lindsey; H. Dinlocker, J. Higginson, J. E. Talbot, D. Campbell, T. O'Brien, F. Hughes, E. Basenfelder; H. Hutt, William McCusker, G. Rheim, R. Wilsey, J. Webb, H. Goers, H. Haines, Insurance Patrol Captain Joseph H. Shermer William Hickman, William Rodgers, John Wyatt, David Phillip, John Clyde, H. Wilkinson.
President of City Council James E. Hewitt spoke of the work Chief Worthington had already accomplished, of his plans, of his value and worth to Camden. Chief Murphy responded in a fitting way and this incident in itself was one to be remembered.
An affecting sight was witnessed by the handful of spectators, among them being other firemen, city and county officials and policemen who remained after the big doors on Sixth Street had been closed. The last to view the Chief's remains were a delegation of about twenty firemen. Solemnly the men passed by the bier and gazed upon the features of their departed brother.
As the last of the line approached Deputy Chief John A. Stockton was seen. He stopped and with his cap laid across his breast be looked down into the casket. For almost a minute Chief Stockton stood as though glued to the spot. Then he glanced about him and the sympathetic look upon his face thrilled all.
He heaved a sigh and perhaps the teardrops refused to come, but Chief Stockton, as the lines upon his face showed, was struggling with the inner man. His emotions were tugging at his heart, but a fire laddie cannot give way to his feelings although his brother superior officer and dear friend had answered his last alarm.
The floral pieces surrounding the bier bespoke the love, admiration and respect the donors held for the dead chief. One design particularly beautiful was a mammoth loving cup made of blossoms, f1owers and roses. This was the token sent by members of City Council and other city officials.
Another was the design sent by the Electrical Bureau through Chief Kelly. The original fire box, No. 134, which was pulled on the night of the fire by Chief Worthington was enshrouded by roses, carnations and lilies.
A maltese cross standing several feet high and bearing the initials of the organization was the tribute sent by the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association. Chief Worthington was president of this association.
The Camden police sent a large shield of flowers and Council members offered a vacant chair of roses. The New Jersey Auto Supply Company, No. 2 Engine Company and No. 1 Truck sent beautiful broken circles and a wreath was the offering from the employees of the Victor Talking Machine Company.
A broken circle from member of the Sixth Ward Republican Club and a wreath from his friends in the sixth precinct of the Second Ward were other beautiful pieces. West Collingswood and Collingswood firemen sent two beautiful floral circles and from the Loyal Order Legion a wreath was received.
Other offerings were from the Camden Liquor Dealers league, a beautiful circle from No. 6 Engine Company, in which house Chief Worthington was captain previous to his elevation to the office of chief; sprays from the Bethany M.E. Church, Ladies Auxiliary of the Loyal Order of Moose; a wreath from the pupils of the eighth grade Sewell school, and a spray from North Baptist Church. There also were designs from members of the family and friends, all of which bespoke the great love held for the departed fire chief.
The impressive services of the P.E. Church marked the last sad rites this afternoon at St. Paul’s Church. The guard of honor and city officials left Fire Headquarters at 1:20 and proceeded to the Worthington home and escorted the remains to the church, where services were conducted by the rector, Rev. R.E. Brestell, and Rev. H.O. Jones, rector of St. Stephen’s P.E. Church. Interment was made at Arlington.
The honorary pallbearers were Mayor Ellis, Hon. David Baird, Frank F. Patterson, John W. Bell, General John A. Mather, Melbourne F. Middleton Jr., Harry R. Reed, Arthur L. Jones, Robert Gordon, David Jester, George Schneider, William Mills, J.O. Grear, William Hall, George L. Bender, and James E. Hewitt.
|Trenton Evening Times - June 27, 1923|
B. McClong - Edward
S. Hyde - James
E. Tatem - Victor S. King
Camden Courier-Post - January 13, 1928
RESIGNS POST IN CITY TAX OFFICE
Detweiler resigned yesterday as temporary clerk In the Camden tax
office. He had been appointed to the post by Melbourne F. Middleton,
Jr., former director of revenue and finance.
a temporary appointee in the tax office never took a Civil Service
examination for permanent appointment.
Camden Courier-Post - January 28, 1928
the seventh consecutive term, Melbourne F.
Middleton, Jr., of Camden, has bee chosen president of the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
was nominated for the position yesterday and there was no opposition.
Formal election will take place at the annual meeting of the exchange.
Mr. Middleton, who was city commissioner of revenue and finance in the
former Non-Partisan administration here, lives at 538 Cooper
Ten members of the exchange were nominated yesterday to the board of governors.
|Camden Courier-Post - April 6, 1928|
N. Hettel Sr. - Melbourne F. Middleton Jr.
Camden County Vocational & Technical School
|Camden Courier-Post - February 20, 1936|
FUND PLAN; APPROVE
W. OLIVER KINCANNON
under Chapter 77.
that with what security you can give by resolution or ordinance, but
Disregard Chapter 60.
a business rather than a political basis.
an active Interest In the management of Camden County as well as Camden
city, acting as a committee of inquiry on county management.
are some of the points of advice given to the City Commission yesterday,
at a special meeting of the Commission, by its Citizens' Advisory
trip-hammer style, James W.
Burnison, chairman of the advisory group, read a report that
followed with these recommendations:
politics and work as a unit.
expenses and stay within your budgets.
a complete and honest budget.
the taxpayers decide when an emergency exists that requires an addition
to the budget. Fight shy of gamblers' Interest rates.
default; it's too costly.
on a cash basis and stay there.
every taxpayer in the city realize and live up to his tax
about Camden city and county in a patriotic rather than a political
to Act Quickly
commission voted to take quick action by passing a motion introduced by
Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and finance.
motion empowers Bennett to call, as quickly as possible, a meeting of
the commission, representatives of its advisory committee, the finance
committee of the board of freeholders, representatives of the city's
bonding attorneys, Hawkins, Delafield and Longfellow, representatives of
Lehman Brothers and other bond houses to determine what arrangement can
be effected to solve the city's financial problems. Setting forth that
it is not our intent or desire to criticize the performances of past or
present city officers, " the report nevertheless, contained
frank condemnation of emergency deficiency appropriations for items that
are and were left off budgets.
also implied condemnation
of all the city budgets
since 1930 and pointed out: "That Camden City receipts
running behind expenditures approximately $1,000,000 a year since
yearly budgets do not at present, and did not in the past, in the opinion of your committee, give a frank
clear picture of anticipated income and expenditures.
job of contacting bondholders to
procure interest reductions, "your 'committee finds, has not been handled as frankly as
it deserves. We can find no evidence of a sincere effort to layout a program and attack this problem logically. No
more than 30 cents can be lopped off the tax' rate if the contacting
program were completely successful. The committee has failed to receive a requested report of efforts to contact
committee was convinced that it is futile to expect any large-scale
interest cuts from bondholders.
of Rate Cut
believes the majority of high interest-bearing bonds can be refunded at
substantially lower interest rates
if constructive action is taken immediately. The committee has been
informed that the state has refused to accept "reasonable
rates" on the city's bonds held by the State.
"the present difference of opinion on this subject among members of
our present city commission would in itself effectively block any real
work along this line, " and "We feel that real results along
this line require a united front on the part of our commission and the county freeholders." "Our
sinking fund, we are informed, is stuffed with our own frozen paper.
Such financing, in our estimation, kills the purpose of such
present plan of singling out a
few wards in our city and call
tax sales is neither fair to the delinquent taxpayers in these wards nor
is it fair to the taxpayers throughout the city."
concluding his reading of the summarized report, Burnison informed the
commissioners the committee has completed a detailed report of "40
to 42 pages of homework for you" and said that will be submitted
will contain detailed recommendations, including some errors in figures
and in judgment, but we ask that you disregard the errors and use the
good in it,"
when he mentioned
30 cents as the maximum figure to be lopped from the tax rate of the
city were completely successful in obtaining interest reductions, he
figured that would be the result if the city got 2% to 3 percent rates on all its bonds..
a large number of these bonds you can't hope to refund at lower interest
rates, as the rates already are low. You couldn't get under 4 or 4%
percent on your first refunding under Chapter 77 and almost all of the
bonds not immediately refundable are around those figures, " he
Bennett immediately opened up argument concerning what the committee
thinks will replace his favored refunding plan- Chapter 60 combined with
Objection to 60 Plan
seems to give the other fellow more advantages than us; that's our
objection to it,"
you have been assured from some source that we can avoid an increase in
the tax rate without adopting Chapter 60," Bennett said and
see no way of keeping down this year's budget without 60. Politics is
out in my argument, but I honestly believe 60 and 77 combined make the
only plan for us. Under the present plan the rate will go up this year.
Won't you tell us your source of assurance that it will not?"
did not answer the question immediately and Bennett said: "We would
have to pass resolutions committing us to procedure similar to that
under Chapter 60, wouldn't we?"
Burnison answered, "but not binding you to as close supervision.
You can't continue to exceed receipts and improve conditions
Bennett said, "give us the advantage of your sources assurance.”
have two such sources,"
Burnison said. "Mr. Middleton is one.
Jr., former city director of revenue and finance and
now a bond dealer interested in the city's refunding issues.)
Brothers (New York bankers who have handled many of the city's bonds in
the past and were interviewed last Friday by the advisory committee)
also said if we showed a sincere frank idea of economizing and staying
within our budget, the bondholders would accept our bonds without
necessity of recourse to Chapter 60.
said 60 'meant no more to the
bondholder than resolutions and ordinances, if you get together and go on record to
give security and then do it.
don't think the city commission should have any compunction in binding
itself not to exceed the budget. Then, if you find it is impossible for
you to operate on what you are taking in under the present tax rate,
call in a group of taxpayers say
200 of them-and explain the situation and raise the tax rate.
reasonable man or group will
see the necessity and logic of that. They will go along with you.
under Chapter 60 you put yourself under a rigorous unbending set of
Mrs. Kobus Urges Action
quit arguing and do it," Commissioner Mary
W. Kobus suggested, and
Mayor Frederick von Nieda asked: "If we take an average of the
income for the past three years would you not consider that average for
that point Bennett made his motion for power to call a special meeting
of the freeholders, commissioners, citizens' group, bond attorneys and
bond dealers, and it was passed unanimously after Commissioner George E.
Brunner seconded it.
reserve the right own discretion about dealers will be asked” Bennett
may be that Lehman Brothers are the only ones who will trust us,"
Burnison said. "They know the lines we are working along. They work
with other houses, and there may be other sources of credit we can
42 of the largest cities in New Jersey with 62 percent of all at the
ratables of the state are under Chapter 60 now," Bennett said.
percent could be wrong,"
Burnison answered and laughed, adding:
"In my opinion, those cities going under 60 haven't looked very far
what we have done," Bennett replied. "My department has done
that and that is why we are advocating 60.”
there are members on our committee
who know a good bit about that sort of thing and they say the city is justified in not going
under 60," Burnison said.
Legislature is going to pass a new budget law that will act just the
same as Chapter 60, though it will not be passed in time to effect this
year's budget," Bennett said.
Burnison, "I'd think the commission would prefer to adopt a
safe course voluntarily than to be forced into it."
have no assurance that those who will have charge of the city's affairs
for the next 15 or 18 years will follow the course we lay down for
them," Bennett said and added: "Past political experience
shows that they won't."
brought the argument to a close and
Burnison, questioned by a reporter,
are not unalterably opposed to Chapter 60. We oppose it, yes. We believe
under 77 a better job for us can be worked out."
of the committee, in addition to Burnison, who attended the session are
James V. Moran, Harry A. Kelleher, Carl R.
Evered, Dr. Ulysses S.
Wiggins, A. Lincoln Michener and Eugene E.
City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord, with an aide, attended, and a stenographer from Commissioner Bennett's office took a complete report of the proceedings.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 26, 1936|
VOTES TO PAY EXPERT ON REFUNDING OF CITY DEBTS
They said they expect to make the selection today.
special gathering of the commissioners in Mayor Frederick
von Nieda's offices at noon today was arranged to hear applications of
candidates for the job.
candidate will be considered unless he has a plan to submit that looks
attractive to the commissioners they said.
to select the paid adviser came near the end of a hectic two and one-half
hour conference of the commissioners with their citizens' advisory
committee, members of the Freeholders budget committee, various bond
brokers, and bankers and attorneys for the city and the bond dealers.
commissioners decided to engage the adviser against the recommendation
and despite an eloquent plea of their bond attorney-L. Arnold Frye, of
Hawkins, Delafield and Longfellow, New York attorneys.
was at the suggestion of Commissioner Mary
W. Kobus that the decision to bring in paid help was taken.
action was taken under such a. way as to leave at least one bond house's
representatives under the impression the commission is actually, though
not legally, committed to accepting whatever plan their paid counselor may
questions on this line, however, brought no definite answer.
we'll agree," Mrs. Kobus
said. "I think by the time we select the man we will select the
plan," Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and
that, the commissioners did not commit themselves.
however, announced that the adviser's tenure will be "for whatever
period we decide to engage him."
George E. Brunner suggested that the advisory committee submit the names
of three prospects for the adviser's job and that committee's sub-committee
on finance withdrew and returned to offer two names. They explained they
could not suggest more than two.
names were held confidential and no one knowing them would reveal their
was some speculation as to whether they were
Jr., Philadelphia bond broker and former city director of revenue and
finance, and Norman S. Tabor, noted New York adviser on municipal fiscal
to Make Pick
commissioners, as soon as they received the two names in secret, withdrew
into the mayor's private office for ten minutes to discuss the suggested
helpers, but returned to announce that all applicants for the job will be
heard at noon today.
was accepted as tacit admission that no final agreement was reached on
either name suggested.
are going to pick the man on a basis of his helpfulness to Camden, I
want to say now 'that we will not
necessarily select the man who offers to help us at the lowest cost.
want those applicants for the position who appear tomorrow to have a
definite idea of what plan they expect the city to follow if they are
course, we do not expect any minute detailed plan from any man not already
acquainted with the situation, but we want it to be definite enough to
enable us to know whether we will follow it.
want to keep the cost as low as possible, and we advise now that the cost
of this help or advice must be low, but we will not pick the adviser on a
cost basis purely.
will make no commitments in advance. We will talk to no applicant until
the time comes tomorrow. My conception of how we will select the adviser
will come first. Then contacts, experience, the cost to the city and, of
course, the acceptability of the plan offered."
conference was called to discuss proposed refunding plans for Camden city,
with most of the talk centering on the controversy over Chapter 60 as a
Mrs. Kobus suggested appointment of the financial adviser at a meeting of the city commission to be held immediately.
thought similarly during the last few days," said Bennett. "I
realize it would be a big
expense, but the City is reaching a crisis and it might be money well
asked the advisory committee to submit three names for appointment as an
adviser. The committee suggested two names which were not revealed.
in requesting the commission not to employ an adviser, revealed himself
the principal author of New Jersey's two refunding or bond issuing acts
around which the commissions' difference of opinion as to method has
revolved-Chapters 60 and 77.
can finance your indebtedness
entire, Frye said, "under Chapter
77, or partly under Chapter 60 and partly under 77. I
personally have no preference, as
the principal author of both.
to your tax rate, set what you can set and what the taxpayers can stand.
Don't you think you could get together and settled this among yourselves?
Don't you think that
would be better?"
passed off Fry's suggestion thus:
Mr. Frye, I
think it can best be settled by
use of an adviser. I
am anxious to settle it quickly.
We have been unable to agree thus far and I
am on the uneasy seat for Camden
faces a crisis and I want to get it past."
suggestion carne after all of the bond brokers present, except Middleton,
had advised the city to use the stringent budget, making restrictions of
W. Burnison, chairman of the citizens' advisory committee, reiterated
that group's objections to Chapter 50, saying the same guarantees can be
provided for bondholders under 77, without putting the city under such
rigid state supervision for so long a period.
person present was invited to speak. Most of the freeholders viewed the
matter as a city and not a county problem, but promised cooperation.
Carl R. Evered, A. Lincoln
Michener and James V. Moran form the sub-committee which selected the two
names submitted to the commissioners for consideration as fiscal adviser.
meeting started as a closed session, but after 25 minutes behind closed
doors in the mayor's' office, Evered
came to the door and admitted reporters.
reporters, however, were given to
understand that the only statements they were to use were those from Burnison,
chairman of the committee; James
a member, or Evered,
and from other speakers only with their permission.
Attending were the five city commissioners, William H. Heiser, chairman of the Board of Freeholders' budget committee; Freeholders James S. Caskey, Maurice Bart, William Myers, and James W. Wood; George D. Rothermel, assistant county solicitor; City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord; Meyer Sakin and John R. Di Mona, assistant city solicitors; Burnison, Evered, Moran, and Michener, of the Citizens' Advisory Committee; E. Howard Broome, deputy director of finance; Middleton, John T. Trimble, counsel for Middleton; three representatives of Hawkins, Delafield & Longfellow, New York including Frye, Henry Russell and Alfred Gregory; Walter Shuman, representing Rollins & Sons, of Philadelphia and New York; C. C. Collings, of the C. C. Collings Company, Philadelphia; Russell McInes, representing Lehman Brothers, New York; J. M. G. Brown and Samuel S. Blackman, representing Analyses, Inc., Philadelphia, and Leon C. Guest and Herbert Glucksman, Camden bond brokers.
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - FEBRUARY 28, 1936|
Defer Naming City's
Finance Adviser During Bitter Session
By W. OLIVER KINCANNON
City Commission failed again yesterday to settle the question: Who will
be Camden's financial adviser?
meeting called to settle the point yesterday was adjourned until 2 p. m. today over the
violent protest of Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and finance.
the surprises of the meeting was the statement by Commissioner Frank J.
that Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and finance, and
Mayor Frederick von Nieda
agreed Tuesday to abandon Chapter 60 as the basis for refunding the city's
indebtedness and making the 1936 budget.
Bennett Makes Denial
denied this vehemently, but Hartmann, after the meeting, said:
it. He and the mayor agreed to yield on that point. Mr. Bennett is not
going to get away with telling me one thing in a private conference and
saying another for purposes of appealing to the public."
charge attracted unusual attention due to the fact Bennett has held out
from the first mention of refunding of Chapter 60 -a rigid and stringent
law requiring the city to maintain a cash basis of pay-as-you-go
operations, under strict state supervision, for a minimum of 20 years.
said Bennett and von Nieda
agreed to "go along" on the less stringent provisions of Chapter
77, bolstered by local assurances that would give bondholders virtually
the same guarantees they would receive under Chapter 60, but without
invoking upon the city the strict and long-term regulation by state
George E. Brunner asked for yesterday's adjournment on the ground that
another man or agency, whom the commissioners had not interviewed, desired
to present a proposal to the commissioners yesterday afternoon.
objected that noon Tuesday was the deadline set for applications and said
they are closed as far as he is concerned. He took the position it would
be unethical to consider any more applications for the job, and delivered
refuse to accept any responsibility for any further delay in making
budget and refunding plan. Let's settle
the other four commissioners interviewed the new applicant at 5 p. m. and
may consult another today.
new seeker of the post of official fiscal adviser is George S. Burgess,
president of the State Service Bureau, which publishes the Legislative
Index for New Jersey and the New Jersey Municipal Reporter, and also
supplies a municipal financial information service to hundreds of
officials, including, Burgess said, the state auditor, Walter R. Darby.
is credited with devising and placing in operation the municipal
accounting system in Massachusetts and with setting up the system of
accounting by which the War Department settled war contracts, and
represented the War Department in litigation involving numerous problems
is revealed as opposed to Chapter 60 for most municipalities. He is quoted
in one of his own publications as saying:
Barbour bill (Chapter 50, 1934)
is an ideal conception for sound
municipal financing, but few places can operate under it until their tax
collections increase decidedly. The earning power of the people in a large
number of municipalities is far short of such a possibility."
listed as the municipal finance advisory board of his concern the
H. Albright, New Jersey State Treasurer, as chairman of the board, Senator
John C. Barbour (sponsor of Chapter 60), of Passaic county, president of
the State Senate, Raymond M. Greer, Comptroller of Jersey City and member
of a New York firm of accountants, Arthur N. Pierson, treasurer of Union
county, Samuel S. Kenworthy, executive secretary of the New Jersey State
League of Municipalities.
did not submit a price on his services but told the commissioners he will
submit one by 1 p.m.
today or before that time.
informed the commissioners his firm is serving four municipalities in New
Jersey as financial adviser now and said his experience covers many
similar services to Massachusetts’ cities.
also said he understands budget-making and financial practices on a big
scale, partly through serving after the World War as consulting auditor
for the War Department, reporting directly to General Herbert M. Lord,
then director of finances for the War Department and subsequently director
of the budget for the United States.
was indicated by the commissioners another man may be interviewed today on
an application to be adviser for the city.
interview with Burgess followed a hectic meeting in which numerous charges
were hurled and the commissioners teetered on the brink of revealing
confidences that have been kept hidden behind closed portals for the past
them was a charge by Hartmann
that Bennett has done nothing to carry out the commission's instructions
to contact bondholders and attempt to obtain reductions in interest
rates on city bonds.
denied this angrily and asked:
think I got the interest down? (On tax revenue notes) By sitting back and
argued that the city's budget must be passed by the commission by March 9
and that any further delay past yesterday would jeopardize the city's
standing and bring about a state of "chaos."
also denied he has ever favored employment of a financial adviser, though
he told a gathering of commissioners, freeholders, bond dealers and
attorneys Monday that he thought the city's differences could best be
settled by an adviser.
declined to follow the suggestion of L. Arnold Frye, of Hawkins, Delafield
and Longfellow, counsel for the city on bond matters.
urged the commissioners to settle their differences and agree upon a plan
also brought out an intimation that "the city was to be divided up by
the bondholders," and this brought another hot denial from Bennett.
revealed that in considering applications for fiscal adviser, the
commission also has considered having the man with the plan do the actual
work of placing the bonds, a function that normally would fall under
insisted his department is capable of handling the financial affairs of
the city and would have them composed by now if it had been allowed a free
surprise resulted when Thomas J. Fox, who said he is "a small
taxpayer" and lives at 608 Royden Street,
urged the commission to hold up all refunding for ten days and promised it
could be settled then on a plan he is working out.
said he is retired and told reporters he and two other men are working out
a refunding plan for the city that will prevent a tax increase and will
enable the city to pay all interest. He added:
the most important one." The entire debate resulted from a motion to
adjourn, made by Brunner. Everything that preceded this motion had been
who appeared Tuesday to ask for the city adviser's post were Melbourne F.
Middleton, former commissioner; Leon C. Guest, Camden investment
securities broker; Thomas R. Lill, New York technical adviser of
governmental administration and finance, and J. P. Ramsey, who represented
Norman S. Tabor, New York specialist in municipal finances.
Frank Parker, University of Pennsylvania finance professor and nationally
known as an economist, and Thomas Christensen, former Atlantic county
accountant, were unable to appear.
now doing similar work in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, would be unable to
appear personally before Monday, the commission was advised by Ramsey, but
the latter's bid was confirmed by his superior over long-distance
who has had a wide, international experience in technical finance work, is
now adviser to the Atlantic City bondholders' committee.
four applicants on Tuesday briefly sketched a review of their past
activities in similar work, told of their plans for Camden, and the
compensation they would require for the work.
the first to be heard, described himself as a Camden native who has
handled many Camden bonds in the past.
who followed, said his plan for Camden was substantially the same as the
program he submitted October 2, 1935, when he applied for the position of
financial adviser. The city's first director of revenue and finance under
commission form of government, Middleton is now engaged in the bond
business in Philadelphia.
described the Tabor company as the only one of its kind in the United
States. It has refinanced more than 100 cities, 40 in New Jersey, and
works with 164 bond dealers. Ramsey submitted a long list of bank and
insurance company executives as references.
said he began his finance career in 1911. In 1918 he was director of the
Mexican Refinancing Commission, representing President Carranza in
international negotiations until Carranza's assassination.
After that, Lill served the Republic of Colombia as technical adviser for five years; Chile for two, Yucatan for two, and has worked in cities all over the United States and in Canada. He was chosen by the Atlantic City bond-holders' committee 2½ years ago, still serving as technical adviser for that group, he said.
|CAMDEN COURIER-POST - FEBRUARY 28, 1938|
Middleton Felled by Gas In House Here
With gas flowing from a pipe detached from a gas range, former City Commissioner Melbourne F. Middleton, Jr., was found unconscious in the kitchen of his former home at 538 Cooper street early Saturday night.
Middleton was reported last night to still be in a critical condition at West Jersey Hospital, where he was taken. The Camden Fire Department First Aid Squad worked over him for an hour at the house in a vain effort to revive him.
Middleton, a former president of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, and one time city councilman, was found by a son, C. Barry Middleton, and a friend, John Williams Rossell, who lives with the Middletons on Laurel road, Moorestown. Middleton was clad in overalls and two large pipe wrenches were lying on the kitchen floor near him.
Young Middleton said his father told his family he intended to take up some linoleum in the kitchen of his former home. Middleton first went to his office Saturday and then to St. Paul's Episcopal Church to a service. From there he was traced to his former home, which is owned by him.
When Middleton failed to return home for dinner at the usual time Saturday his son and Rossell decided to search for him. When young Middleton discovered his father's plight he notified police. Patrolmen Frank Cavallo, Henry Lutz, Walter Vecander and George Getley responded in radio cars and gave first aid until the fire department squad arrived.
The firemen worked on the former commissioner one hour with an inhalator before ordering his removal to the hospital, where they continued to work on Middleton for another hour but were unable to revive him. Hospital physicians continued working on him without success. They said his condition was critical.
Gas Man Called
4 p. m. Saturday the family living next to Middlemen's home telephoned
Public Service that gas was coming from the house. Public Service sent a
man to investigate but he was unable to get into the house.
Middleton and Rossell said they reached the house at 6.17 p. m.
While he was a member of the first city commission Middleton was director of finance but never missed responding to all alarms of fire. He was a member of the fire committee while serving in City Council as a member from the Second ward. In that capacity he also answered all alarms.
Members of the Firemen's First Aid Squad responding to the call were Deputy Chief William R. Harring, Hosemen Christopher Moll, William Spencer, Harry Haines, Russell Anderson, William Harry Deitz and Nelson Andrews.
Detectives Benjamin Simon, Joseph
Mardino and William Marter
are investigating the cause.
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