WILLIAM PENN CORSON was born February 27, 1873, in Camden, the son of Elias Lake Corson, a sea captain who had commanded a vessel during the Civil War. At the time of the 1880 census, the Corson family lived at 442 Hartman Street. In 1882 Hartman Street was renamed Clinton Street. two doors away, at 401 Broadway, lived contractor Joseph E. Roberts, who built many homes in Camden during the later part of the 1800s. His son Joseph E. Roberts Jr. had a long and distinguished medical career in Camden. During the late 1880s the Corson family lived at 610 North 5th, moving in late 1889 or early 1890 to 525 North 2nd Street

Known locally in his time as W. Penn Corson, he attended Camden's public schools. In 1898 he began working for Frank B. Sweeten, who was a general contractor, where he learned enough about the construction business to set up his own firm, in 1904. After establishing himself paving streets and building sewers in Camden, he completed many large projects in the new suburban towns, including the sewage systems in Westmont and Haddonfield. Perhaps his mist notable project was the paving of the White Horse Pike Pike from Haddon Heights to Camden, a distance of four miles.

At the time of the 1910 Census W. Penn Corson, his wife and family lived at 540 Newton Avenue, in Camden's Ninth ward.

W. Penn Corson was also involved in Camden with professional basketball. He was co-owner, with veterinarian and one-time Camden City purchasing agent Dr. Charles B. Helm of the Camden franchise of the Eastern Basket Ball League from 1913 through 1925. The team, coached by William "Billy" Morgenweck was known as the Camden Alphas prior to World War I. The Alphas were the league champions in 1914-1915.

1917 was a year of turmoil in the world as the United States entered World War I. On December 3 the league disbanded abruptly as two teams withdrew from the league without warning. An unsuccessful attempt was made to reorganize with a four team league and the league remained inactive until the 1919-20 season. One of Camden's players during this abridged season was future Olympic rowing star, Jack Kelly. He later would become the father of Grace Kelly, movie star and Princess of Monaco. 

The team was renamed the Camden Crusaders after World War I. The Camden five were champions again in 1919-1920, winning both halves of the split-season with a combined 30 and 9 record. The team was renamed once again as the Camden Skeeters for the 1921-1922 season. They were were one of the league's better teams, until it disbanded in 1923. A team was fielded in the a new Eastern Basketball League in 1925 (note the new spelling of "Basketball"), but did not do well, and that marked the end of the professional game in Camden for several years.

The Camden team was generally a winner in the league. Besides bringing players to Camden from out of town, Corson and Helm's team employed and/or developed many fine players from Camden, including Eddie Ferat, Sam Lennox, Roy Steele, Joe Hyde, Neil Deighan, and his brother Rich Deighan.

W. Penn Corson served as Camden County Sheriff from 1917 to 1920. By 1914 he had moved to 506 Haddon Avenue in Camden. He later moved to 119 White Horse Pike in Haddon Heights, passing away on November 29, 1927. He was survived by his wife Katherine and three children, W. Wallace Corson, C. Hobart Corson, and E. Mahlon Corson. Katherine Corson and her sons returned to the Haddon avenue address, where she resided in the fall of 1936. C. Hobart Corson was still residing there as late as 1947.

Camden Crusaders
1919-1920 Eastern Basketball League Champs

Front row, left to right:  Jimmy “Soup” Campbell and Joe Hyde.
Second row, left to right:
Dr. Charles B. Helm, Neil Deighan, Roy Steele,
Eddie Dolin, Dave Kerr and Sheriff W. Penn Corson.
Back row, left to right: Bill Mitchell, trainer;
Sam Lennox,
Manager Bill Kennedy,
Richie Deighan and Timekeeper Jim Kane.

Click on Image to Enlarge

South Jersey: A History 1624-1924

WILLIAM PENN CORSON—An active factor in the modern development of Camden and vicinity, a native of the city, a credit to his ancestry and the community, Mr. Corson is widely known and esteemed for manly worth and public spirit. He was born February 27, 1873, in Camden, and is a lineal descendant of John Corson, who was one of the settlers of Gravesend, Long- Island, New York, in 1640. He was one of a party headed by Lady Deborah Moody and, after residing some time at Gravesend, removed to Cape May County, New Jersey. His son, Peter Corson, was the father of Jonathan Corson, who was born November 18, 1768. He married, December 21, 1797, Lydia Lake, born March 17, 1776, daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Lucas) Lake. Absalom Corson, son of Jonathan and Lydia, was born May 3, 1803, and married Sarah Corson, born January 3, 1812. They were the parents of Elias Lake Corson, who was born June 14, 1835, was a sea captain, master of a vessel during the Civil War, retired to Ocean City, where he died in November, 1916, the day before Election Day. He married Eleanor Hughes Young, who was born April, 1838, and is now living in Camden, near the close of her eighty-seventh year.

William Penn Corson grew up in Camden and attended its public schools. In 1898 he entered the employ of B. F. Sweeten & Son, general contractors, and continued with them six years, gaining an extensive knowledge of their line of business. In 1904 he began taking contracts on his own account, and has since completed many of the public improvements in the vicinity of Camden. His first engagements were in the line of street paving and sewer construction in Camden and, later, laying sewage systems and water lines in the suburbs. The sewage systems in Westmont and Haddonfield were constructed by him, and he laid most of the sewer lines in Camden. The "White Horse" pike, from Haddon Heights to Camden, a distance of four miles, was paved by Mr. Corson, like a city street, forty feet wide, plus gutters. In five months, or one hundred and twenty working days, 82,000 square yards of paving were laid. Mr. Corson has shown himself one of the most public-spirited and efficient of men, and has applied the same executive ability to matters enhancing the public progress and welfare that has characterized his private labors. During the World War, he was chairman of Draft Board No. 1 (Camden County), and served as "four-minute" speaker and on teams in Victory and Liberty Loan, Red Cross and Salvation Army drives. W. Penn Corson was one of the twenty-nine organizations that assisted in the formation and management of the Camden Forge Company, used by the Government as a war shop. For fifteen years, Mr. Corson was Republican committeeman representing the Ninth Ward of Camden, and served as sheriff of Camden County from 1917 to 1920. He is a member of the Ninth Ward Republican Association, the Contractors' Association of New Jersey, and the Camden Club, and is also affiliated with several fraternal organizations, including Camden Lodge, No. 293, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Camden Lodge 111, Loyal Order of Moose; and Wyoming Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men.

Mr. Corson was married, May 30, 1899, at St. Mary's, Pennsylvania, to Katherine Kronenwetter, who was born there, daughter of Charles and Kunegunde (Call) Kronenwetter, both of whom were born and lived and died at that place. Mr. and Mrs. Corson are the parents of three sons, namely: William Wallace, born March 16, 1900; Charles Hobart, born July 23, 1902; Edward Mahlon, born December 8, 1907.

Camden Courier-Post - July 26, 1955
in original full page format
in original full page format



September 15, 1904

Charles H. Ellis
Frank Ford Patterson Jr.
W. Penn Corson
O. Glen Stackhouse
George A. Frey
John S. Roberts
E.E. Read
Harry C. Sharp
Kirby Garwood
George Schneider
Charles H. Mills
George E. Cender
Clifford K. Deacon
William J. Fox

Click on Image for Enlarged View
PDF File

April 18, 1906

Camden Lodge No. 293, B. P. 0. E.

CAMDEN, N. J., April 13, 1906


You are requested to attend the regular Stated Meeting, April 18, 1906, at 8 o'clock, at which time the following named applicants for membership will be balloted for:


Thomas H. Edwards

37 Shoe Man'f''g 423 Benson St.

John H. Switzer

Bro. John Harris
Bro. W. Penn Corson
Bro. Asa L. Roberts

Francis. J. Bicker M.D.

46 Physician

Fillmore & VanHook Sts.

John S. Smith

Bro. H.H. Davis
Bro. J. Willard Morgan
Bro. George B. Bond

Charles W. Bossle

31 Hatter 706 Linden Street

Joseph Bossle Sr.

Bro. J.R. McCabe
Bro. H.B. Francis
Bro. B.H. Shivers

John Morgan Jr. 

27 Real Estate Agent Merchantville, N.J.

John W. Barr

Bro. William F. Rex
Bro, D. Harry Condit
Bro. Frank E. Gardiner

Howard Callingham

23 Bookkeeper Orston, N.J.

Joseph Bossle Sr.

Bro. Tomas J. Moore
Bro. Samuel B. Crall
Bro. James H. Eyster

G. Frank Travis

34 Tailor 320 Spruce Street

John W. Barr

Bro. John H. Switzer
Bro. William G. Maguire
Bro. Charles W. Brecker

Theodore Stiles Jr.

42 Meat and Provision Dealer 27 N. Third Street

C.W. Brecker

Bro. Wm. Shillingsburg
Bro. James T. Bailey
Bro. P.S.D. Johnston

C.F. Taylor

35 General Storekeeper Collingswood, N.J.

Thomas J. Moore

Bro. Samuel B. Crall
Bro. James H. Eyster
Bro. H.I. Cooper

Frank Reiss

  Cotton Duck Salesman Collingswood, N.J.

S.H. Wilkinson

Bro. Thomas J. Moore
Bro. Samuel B. Crall
Bro. James H. Eyster

Edward M. Wright

35 Produce
Com. Merchant
Merchantville, N.J.

John Stewart

Bro. Al. L. Smith
Bro. M.W. Taylor
Bro. H.H. Voorhees

      Attest: J. FRED. NEWTON,                                                           ALEX. J. MILLIETTE,
                                             Secretary.                                                                              Exalted Ruler.

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 17, 1912
Wallace Corson - Newton Avenue

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 24, 1915

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 20, 1918

W. Penn Corson

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 23, 1918

W. Penn Corson
Charles G. Garrison
William H. Fish - George H. Garland
Alonzo Wood -
H.B. Hanford
Thomas Leeson -
Conrad G. Hoell
Albert Austermuhl - John Allen
R.A. Rockhill - Hugo Koehler
F. Ketterer - Smith S. Fogg
Reuben H. Gaskill -
W.B.M. Burrell
Charles S. Boyer - Ralph Williams
Charles H. Laird Jr.
Raymond L. Warren
Charles Brower - Samuel Withers
Thomas J. McLaren
B.H. Brace - Samuel Bakley
Irvine Deakyne - Lemuel D. Horner
F.W. Ayer - Walter S. Wolf
George S. Dallas - John T. Blandy
Franklin Hawksworth
John K. Bennett -  Frederick Lange
Ben Lawton - William A. Stewart
William D. Brown

Click on Image for Enlarged View

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

Click on Image to Enlarge

Trenton Times
October 3, 1922

William D. Brown
W. Penn Corson
Harry C. Sharp
Charles S. Straw
John J. Welsh
Emma Hyland

Mortimer Richmond

Camden Courier-Post * June 25, 1929
Walter S. Keown - Joseph Wallworth - Elizabeth Verga - Harry C. Sharp - William D. Sayrs
Howard B. Dyer - Laura Silberg - Lottie Stinson - Harold W. Bennett - Edward R. Diebert
Bernard Bertman - L. Scott Cherchesky - Carl Kisselman - Frank Voigt - David Baird Sr.
Francis Ford Patterson Jr. - Al Matthews - W. Penn Corson - Charles A. Wolverton
Clinton L. Bardo - Col. George L. Selby - Daniel Silbers

Camden Courier-Post - March 12, 1930


A bus struck the automobile of William C. Corson, yesterday as he was backing out of the driveway at his home, 119 White Horse Pike, Had­don Heights. Corson is a son of the late W. Penn Corson, former sheriff.

Corson escaped with slight cuts and bruises. The driver of the bus was Albert J. Shaw, of 1912 Sycamore Street.