Van Hart

FRANK S. VAN HART was born in 1875 in Pennsylvania. His family moved to Camden when he was a young boy. As a young man he was well known as an athlete. Frank S. Van Hart was widely regarded as one of the best second-basemen in South Jersey, playing for such local teams as the Howards and the Camden Athletic Association. Playing on the same teams as future major league stars William "Wid" Conroy and "Kid" Gleason, Van Hart was said to have turned down several offers to sign with minor league professional teams. In the days prior to million-dollar contracts, there were many superb ballplayers who chose to stay at home, work a regular job, and play semi-pro ball on the side.

Frank Van Hart played football for the Camden Athletic Association, which in those days played its games at North 3rd and Erie Streets. Among his team mates were William French and his brother Samuel J.T. French, George and Martin Bergen, and Tom Peterson. The French brothers and the two Bergens all became lawyers in Camden, and had notable careers, William French rising to the judgeship.  

After starting his career with a rope company in Philadelphia, Frank S. Van Hart went to work in the office of the Esterbrook Pen Manufacturing Company in Camden. This led him to a sales job that saw travel to 29 states and Cuba, and culminated with his rise to the position of General Manager. 

At the time of the 1920 census Frank S, Van Harts was living with wife Ida and son D. Spencer Van Hart at 851 Haddon Avenue, and working as a manager at the Esterbrook Pen Company. The home was later sold to Robert Blake, who operated a funeral home there from the mid 1940s to the 1960s.

Aligned politically with David Baird Sr., as president of Camden's City Council Frank S. Van Hart was named to succeed Charles H. Ellis to serve as the acting mayor of Camden NJ in 1922 when Ellis was named as Camden's Postmaster. He ran for Mayor in the election of 1923, but was defeated by Victor S. King. Frank S. Van Hart was the last Mayor to serve prior to the adoption of the commission system of government. 

In 1925 John Foster served as Exalted Ruler of Camden Lodge 293 of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

Frank S. Van Hart returned to private business after leaving the mayor's office. By 1930 he had moved from Camden to 910 Station Avenue in Haddon Heights NJ. He later took a position as the General Manager of the Camden Lime Company.

Frank S. Van Hart retired in the fall of 1940, and moved to his long-time summer home at Pitman NJ. He died as a result of a sudden heart attack on January 11, 1941. Frank S. Van Hart was buried at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, where he now rests next to his wife Ida. 

Philadelphia Inquirer * August 30, 1910

Charles H. Ellis - Dr. William H. Kensinger - O. Glen Stackhouse - John S. Roberts - George A. Frey
William J. Fox - Edmund E. Read Jr. - Harry C. Dole - Charles H. Greer - David Jester - Edmund H. Way
Harry R. Read - Robert W. Gordon - Joshua C. Haines - Frank Van Hart - J. William Mills
Raymond Warren - C.K. Deacon -  Daniel Smith - Henry S. Gordon  - Frederick A. Finkeldey
Frederick Von Neida - Henry D. Longacre - J. Morton Pennock - John B. Irwin - Dr. Silas H. Quint
John J. Welsh - Alfred R. White - William H. Deets - Harry R. Barrett - John Miller - D.W. Poland
Frank Shaw - Edward J. Kelleher - Harry Richmond - William C. King - William Wynn
George Clark - George N. Stokes - John F. Hurley - George W. Evans
Frederick A. Finkeldey - Jonas Shaw 

Philadelphia Inquirer
November 16, 1914
Frederick A. Finkledey - James E. Hewitt
Amos R. Dease - Frank S. Van Hart

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 19, 1915

Dr. Emma M. Richardson - William J. Cooper - William F. Rose
Harry C. Sharp - Frank Van Hart - H.C. Dole - Lawrence B. Reader
Mrs. Stephen Pfeil - Mrs. J.W.F. Bleakly - Mrs. John W. Croft
Mrs. Rose Batters - Mary J. Ball Day Nursery

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 26, 1915

Philadelphia Inquirer
July 30, 1915

David Jester
Charles H. Greer
Frank S. Van Hart
George L. Bender

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Photo of
Esterbrook Pen Manufacturing Co. 
published in 1915

Drawing of
Esterbrook Pen Manufacturing Co.
published in 1926

During the 1920s, Frank S. Van Hart was the Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge in Camden. He was the last to hold this post while the Elks were at this building, at the south-east corner of Broadway and Federal Street. The Elks erected a new building during the 1920s at 7th and Copper Street, which in 2004 is the home of the LEAP Academy charter school.

Elks Building
Federal Street East of Broadway
Elks Building
Federal Street East of Broadway
YMCA & Elks Buildings
Federal Street East of Broadway
YMCA & Elks Buildings
Federal Street East of Broadway
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Philadelphia Inquirer - July 27, 1917

Dr. Grant E. Kirk - Frank S. Vanhart

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 2, 1918

T. Gordon Coulter
George Kappell
Frederick A. Finkeldey
William C. Davis
Theodore T. Kausel
Allen Jarvis -
Frank S. Van Hart
Frederick von Nieda
Joseph Forsyth
Dr. Charles P. Tuttle
Dr. H.F. Bushey
Elisha Gravenor
Charles Whaland


City Farm Gardens

Another 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 of 
Messrs. Pfeil and Jackson. 

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. 

The 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 
Exposition held in Third Regiment Armory from September 15 to 20. Benjamin Abrams was elected general manager and Frank Sheridan publicity agent.

Philadelphia Inquirer
September 7, 1919

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Admiral Henry Wilson - Charles H. Ellis
Elisha A. Gravenor - Edward S. Hyde
William E. Albert -
James H. Long
Frank S. Van Hart - William D. Sayrs Jr.
Frank S. Fithian - A. Benjamin Sparks
Kessel Webster - William H. Iszard
Robert D. Clow - Andrew B.F. Smith
William H. Lorigan - Charles Austermuhl
David Doane -
William C. Davis
William Vanaman -
David Baird Sr.
J. Wesley Sell - William D. Brown
Charles A. Wolverton - William J. Browning


Philadelphia Inquirer - October 7, 1921

Judge Frank T. Lloyd
Alban Eavenson
Belford G. Royal
Francis Ford Patterson Jr.
Charles H. Ellis
David Baird Sr.
L.A. Hawkes
Frank S. Van Hart
John Prentice
Burleigh B. Draper
A.C. Dorrance
William S. Darnell
C.W. Tomlinson
James V. Moran
Rev. Thomas J. Whelen
L.D. Johnson
Rev. Charles B. Dubell
Elmer Ellsworth Long

Mrs. A. Haines Lippincott

Mrs. W. Penn Corson
Mrs. Harry Pelouze
William E. Bennett

Eavenson & Levering

Hunt Pen Company

Esterbrook Pen Company

Broadway Trust Company

R.M. Hollinshed Company

Hurley Store

Church of the Holy Name

St. John's Episcopal Church

Munger & Long

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Camden Daily Courier - January 23, 1922


Camden Daily Courier - June 4, 1922


Frank S. Van Hart - Frank Murray  - Edward Hahn - Walter Christy - Albert Yost - Frank Pintozzi
John McTaggart - Frank Sattler - Walter Larson - August Pflederer
Kimber Street - North 5th Street - Howell Street - Waldorf Avenue - Cherry Street
Lansdowne Avenue - Jackson Street - Sylvan Street - Pine Street

Camden Daily Courier - June 11, 1922

Camden Daily Courier - July 6, 1922

Frank S. Van Hart - Frank Murray  - Edward Hahn - Walter Christy - Albert Yost - Frank Pintozzi
John McTaggart - Frank Sattler - Walter Larson - August Pflederer
Kimber Street - North 5th Street - Howell Street - Waldorf Avenue - Cherry Street
Lansdowne Avenue - Jackson Street - Sylvan Street - Pine Street

Philadelphia Inquirer * September 26, 1922

Simon Wilkinsky

Frank Ford Patterson Jr.

Harry Reeves

Irving Buckle

Leon Buckle

O. Glen Stackhouse

David Rankins

Frank S. Van Hart

George A. Frey

A.B. Sparks

Robert Irving

Victor King

George W. Tash

Benjamin S. Maloney

Isaac Albertson

T. Harry Rowland

J. Heulings Coles

Willard T. Gibbs

C. Lawrence Gregorio

John J. Tischner

Frank B. Hambleton

Frank J. Leonard

Dr. William H. Pratt

Mrs. Katherine Donges

Mrs. Mae Hawkins

Edward Kelleher

Albert Neutze

Louis Bantivoglio

J.H. Williams

John H. Carroll

John P. Shaw

Joseph B. Davis

William Frost

Patrick Carr

Alfred L. Sayers

William D. Brown

John Rogers

Charles E. Hill

Charles S. Wolverton

Samuel Edwards

John Dobbins

Lizzie P. Abbot

Edward L. Aument

Frederick Stanton

Walter J. Farrell

John B. Dean

S. Raymond Dobbs

Harry McCloskey

Herman Neissner

Francis Stratton

Clara K. Stamm

Morris Steppa

Thomas Heil

Albert Bardsley

Albert H. Starr

George A. Harkins

John McAlack

Richard Davies

Leo Harkins

William Smith

Joseph Wood

Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1933


Past exalted rulers will be honored  tonight by Camden Lodge of Elks with a dinner, ceremonial and entertainment. 

The program will be nation-wide. A dinner will be served at 6:00 PM, followed by a business session. Harry G. Robinson, present exalted ruler, will open the ceremonial and turn the lodge over to the past officers.

The past exalted rulers expected are Samuel Kilpatrick, who served in 1900 and 1921; Dr. A. Haines Lippincott, Alexander J. Milliette, J. Harry Switzer, James H. Long, Marian Moriarty, Allen Jarvis, Albert Austermuhl, William L. Sauerhoff, former Mayor Frank S. Van Hart, D. Trueman Stackhouse, Harry Ellis, William G. Ferat, Judge Garfield Pancoast, Rudolph Preisendanz, Jr., Theodore T. Kausel, Edward J. Kelley, Mayor Roy R. Stewart, William H. lszard, William S. Lehman and J. Harry Todd.

Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1933

Advisory Committee Will Present Formal Invitation for State Meet

The twenty-first annual reunion and the convention of the New Jersey State Elks Association will be held in Camden next June if efforts of the advisory board of' Camden Lodge of Elks are successful at the state meeting in Newark on June 15, 16 and 17.

Members of the advisory board for the local lodge, who are past exalted rulers of the Camden lodge, will present the invitation to hold the 1934 meeting in Camden, at the twentieth reunion and convention in Newark.

Members of the lodge have adopted a resolution confirming the action of the advisory board and plans were made to set the necessary machinery in motion to bring the 1934 convention to Camden. It was pointed out that Camden Elks have the largest home in the state.

Samuel Kilpatrick, the oldest past exalted ruler of the lodge, is head of the advisory board, and Harry G. Robinson, youngest past exalted ruler, is delegate to the state association, which is composed of past exalted rulers of all Elks lodges in New Jersey. 

Although the state association was formed in Camden, there has never been a reunion or convention of the association held here, it was pointed out.

The outstanding feature of each annual convention is the mammoth sessions, with thousands of Elks in line. It is estimated the parade would draw more than 50,000 persons to Camden, if the local lodge's invi­tation is accepted.

The Camden lodge is sending the band and patrol to Newark for the parade, which will start at 7 p. m. on June 17. Arrangements are being made to have the largest delegation in the parade represent Camden.

Past exalted rulers who comprise the advisory board, and the year they took office, follow: Samuel Kirkpatrick, 1900; Dr. A. Haines Lippincott, 1901; Alex J. Milliette, 1906; J. Harry Switzer, 1908; James H. Long, 1911; Marion Moriarty, 11113; Allen Jarvis, 1914; Albert Austermuhl, 1915; William L. Sauerhoff, 1917; Theodore T. Kausel, 1918; Garfield Pancoast, 1919; William G. Ferat, 1920; Harry Ellis, 1921; Samuel A. Dobbins, 1923; D. Trueman Stackhouse, 1924; Frank S. Van Hart, 1925; Edward J. Kelly, 1926; Rud Preisendanz, Jr., 1927; Roy R. Stewart, 1928; William H. lszard, 1929; William Lehman, 1930; J. Harry Todd, 1931, and Harry G. Robinson, 1932.

Deceased past exalted. rulers and the year they took office are: John H. Foster, 1895; W. E. B. Miller, 1896; Philip Burch, 1897; D. Harry Condit, 1898; H. L. Hartshorn, 1891; George D. Borton, 1902; Maurice Rogers, 1904; Francis Warren, 1907; E. Wilmer Collins, 1909; Lewis H. Leigh, 1910; Morris Odell, 1912, and W. Wallace Balcom, 1922. 


Camden Courier-Post
March 10, 1934

John McTaggart
South 6th Street
Sixth Ward Republican Club
William Mills
Monte Bessor
Frank S. Van Hart
David Baird Sr.
Charles A. Wolverton
Albert S. Woodruff
Elizabeth C. Verga
Michael Durkin
Theodore Guthrie
George Chambers
Joseph Leonard
Howard B. Dyer
John Breslin
Mary Hartung
Marie Doyle

Camden Courier-Post - January 13, 1941

Camden Courier-Post - January 13, 1941

851 Haddon Avenue - March 15, 2003
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