Earl Stopfer

Earl Stopfer - Draft Card

Earl Stopfer, born on March 29, 1899, in Philadelphia, PA, initially lived with his grandmother, Elaine Basert, in 1910. By the time he registered for the draft on September 12, 1918, he had married Alamanda Stopfer, and the couple resided at 827 East Tioga Street in Philadelphia. At that time, Earl worked as a forge machine operator for the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Company.

In January 1920, the Stopfer family, including their four-month-old son Earl W. Stopfer, lived at 246 Division Street, with Earl employed at a leather factory. A daughter named Frances joined the family by 1922. The 1924 Camden City Directory listed the Stopfer family at 246 Burns Street in North Camden’s Poets Row. On April 25, 1924, Earl Stopfer joined the Camden Police Department alongside Thomas Kauffman. By the late 1920s and into the 1930s, they owned a home at 114 South 27th Street in East Camden.

In the early 1930s, Officer Earl Stopfer partnered with Officer William Thorn, and around 1935, he began working with Officer George F. Jefferis. During World War II, Stopfer and Jefferis gained citywide recognition for their efforts in selling $4,000,000 in war bonds and for their work with public and parochial school safety patrols. They organized safety patrols in 38 schools, totaling 1058 members.

In 1948, Stopfer and Jefferis produced a colored, sound motion picture titled “A Plan For Safety,” financed by the Atlantic Refining Co. The film, shot in Camden, showcased the two officers and local schoolchildren. It gained widespread attention and prompted several cities, including Vineland, Millville, Akron, OH, Cincinnati, OH, Springfield, MA, Memphis, TN, Washington, DC, Bloomington, IN, Salt Lake City, UT, Topeka, KS, Richland, WA, Boston, MA, Lancaster, PA, Honolulu, HI, and Toronto, Canada, to organize safety patrols based on the film’s principles.

In the 1940s, the Stopfer family moved to a newly-built townhouse at 15 North Dudley Street. Earl Stopfer resided at this address until at least the fall of 1956, although he does not appear in the 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory.

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