Charles E.A. "Pop"


CHARLES ERNEST ALBERT "POP" MATHEWS was born in England on October 11, 1874. He came to America with his wife Ada and three children in 1900, having been recruited by the Hunt Pen Company in Camden. He worked there for two years, then took a position with the Esterbrook Pen Company in 1902, remaining there for twenty years. While at Esterbrook, he went into the hotel and bar business. In 1912 he purchased a property at 21st Street and Marlton Avenue and opened the Westminster Hotel. He operated it for four years, then moved to Maple Shade NJ. By 1918 he had returned to East Camden, living at 24 North 34th Street. Charles E.A. Mathews at that time had gone into business as a cement contractor. He is listed in the 1931 Camden City Directory as running a cafe at 931 Market Street. After the repeal of Prohibition, "Pop" Mathews opened the East End Hotel at Maple Avenue and the railroad in Pennsauken NJ. After two years he sold the business. He later acquired the bar at 1223 Haddon Avenue, where he would reside in his remaining years.

During World War I, "Pop" Mathews' son Charles Albert Mathews enlisted in the 3rd Regiment, New Jersey National Guard, and went with the regiment on July 25, 1917 to Camp Edge, Sea Girt NJ. He was sent on with the 3rd New Jersey to Camp McClellan, Anniston AL, where the 3rd became the 114th Infantry Regiment. Assigned to Company G, he was the gas instructor for his company. Corporal Charles Albert Mathews died of wounds in France on October 14, 1918, during the Battle of the Argonne Forest. He was 24 years old at the time of his death. Another Mathews child, Dora Mathews, died of influenza the following year.

Charles E.A. "Pop" Mathews passed away on July 6, 1942 after a long illness. The bar where he lived, at 1223 Haddon Avenue in Camden NJ, was known then and now as Donkey's Place. Charles E.A. Mathews was buried near his son at Arlington Cemetery in Pennsauken NJ.

World War I Draft Registration Card
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Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1938

V. F. W. Post Auxiliary Stages Party for 16th Anniversary
Parents of Three World War Heroes Honored by Women of Mathews-Purnell Unit;
Mrs. Kobus Lauds Civic Work of Organization

Sixteen years ago the Ladies Auxiliary of the Mathews-Purnell Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, was instituted. Last night the "coming out party," as the occasion was described by Mrs. Mary W. Kobus, Director of Public Safety, was celebrated by the women and the soldiery of the post.

The affair had a dual importance, as it was not only the birthday of the auxiliary, with guests from the various parts of the State in attendance, but three gold star mothers were guests of honor.

Two of those, gray-haired, solemn and maternal, were mothers of the heroes who died in France and for whom the post was named. With these gold star mothers were the fathers of these same lads.

The parents are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathews and Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Purnell, while the fifth member of the group, the third mother who gave up her son, is Mrs. Louise Atger.

Parents Receive Honors

As the names of these parents were called the entire gathering arose and stood in silent tribute.

The event was at O'Donnell's restaurant, Thirty-ninth and Federal streets, and John Mullin, of Atlantic City, past department commander, was toastmaster.

Mullin cited the affair as "the 16th wedding anniversary" of the auxiliary, as the speaker declared the auxiliary had married the post on that day 16 years ago.

Mrs. Kobus  was the first speaker.

She is an honorary member of the auxiliary.

"This night marks your entrance into society" said the commissioner, facetiously, "for whenever a girl gets to be 16 she puts on a new dress, comes out and starts to step out. I hope 'that you will always work with the post as harmoniously in the future, as you have done in the past.

"On behalf of the City of Camden I want to congratulate the auxiliary and also to welcome the distinguished guests who are visitors tonight from other parts of our state."

Mrs. Mildred Reed, president of the auxiliary, extended the welcome of the organization and congratulated the committee headed by Mrs. Theresa Mungioli, past president, for the manner in which they had functioned to make the dinner such a success.

Commander Lauds Women

Associated with Mrs. Mungioli on the committee were Mrs. Minnie Martin, Mrs. Anna Jackson, Mrs. Betty Donlon and Mrs. Helen J. Cholister.

Charles Hewitt, commander of the Mathews-Purnell Post, extolled the women for their aid to the men, remarks which were emphasized by Freeholder Raymond G. Price, of the Eleventh ward, also a past commander of the post.

"It is only fair to say," declared Price, "that it has been the women who have kept our post together. There have been times when we were ready to disband, throw up the sponge, but always the women stepped into the breach then, and carried us through the stress, emergency and trouble and kept the post alive."

Mrs. Florence Stark, past national president, who instituted the auxiliary 16 years ago, marveled, she said, at the manner in which the growth and influence of the auxiliary had so far expanded and extended.

Mrs. Stark also told of the meeting of the national defense committee which she had attended in Washington, and informed the members that Congressman Wolverton had delegated Mrs. Stark to present his regrets that official business detained Wolverton at the national capital.

County Organization Praised

Frances Fullam, introduced as a "Hudson County Democrat" recited the experiences she had known as she went on tour of the state with the commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars recently.

"I want to say," asserted the, speaker, "that the turnout in Camden county was the best in the staff and that the county has every reason to feel proud of the strength and influence which it exerts in the ladies auxiliary in New Jersey."

Mrs. Hazel Hines, Camden county president of the auxiliary, extended her congratulations as did County Commander Charles Franks and others, including Mrs. Maud Ryan, of Atlantic City, Mrs. Catherine Corbett of Pennsauken, and Mrs. Carrie Bean, senior vice president of the Department of New Jersey.

Mrs. Mungioli was then called upon to congratulate her fellow workers for their unstinted help in making the affair the signal success which every speaker emphasized.

Mrs. Joseph Snyder led the gathering in singing "The Star Spangled Banner,"


Camden Courier-Post * July 7, 1947

Donkey's Place at 1223 Haddon Avenue, Camden NJ - March 2003