The ALPHA CLUB was a social club that consisted mostly of young men from South Camden in the years prior to World War I. The club appears to have organized in 1906, and was active as late as 1917. The Alphas had a headquarters for a time at 708 Broadway. The Alphas sponsored baseball, basketball, and football teams. The club had ownership of Camden’s professional basketball team in the late 1900s and early 1910s, named, appropriately enough, the Camden Alphas.
Prominent members iucluded William C. Story of 919 Broadway and William E. Lickfeld, of 818 Broadway. William C. Story was president of the club for ten years. The Alpha Club was celebrated in music by Camden songwriter and composer Don Traveline, whose song, “I Want to be an Alpha Boy” was published in 1909.
The Alpha Club began winding down in the mid-1910s, perhaps due to many of its members marrying, starting families, and having less time for social club activities. The Alphas sold the basketball franchise in 1914 to Dr. Charles B. Helm and W. Penn Corson. Just 32 years of age, long-time president William C. Story died in January of 1919, a victim of the influenza pandemic. The Alpha Club still had its rooms at 708 Broadway when the 1920 City Directory was compiled, but was gone by the following year.
E. Allen Hughes embarked on a distinguished 36-year career as a reporter and copy editor with the Camden Courier-Post newspapers and, later, on WCAM, Camden Radio.
The Alpha Club was a social space that consisted mostly of young men from South Camden in the years prior to World War I.