Mary W. Kobus

Mary W Kobus - 1940-05-01

Mary Walsh Kobus was one of the first female politicians to rise to prominence in Camden NJ. Born Mary Walsh in New Jersey around 1876, she married well known Camden businessman Joseph Kobus around 1910, and was the daughter-in-law of Anthony Kobus, who founded the Kobus shoe business and also served as president of the the Broadway Trust Bank at Broadway and Walnut Streets. After women won the right to vote, Mary Kobus involved herself in politics. She also studied law, and was the only female graduate in 1930 from the South Jersey Law School, now a part of Rutgers University, in Camden NJ.

Mary Kobus was elected to the City Commission on May 1, 1935. She was a Democrat and a political ally of George M. Brunner, who served as Mayor of Camden from 1935 through 1959. When a recount added Frank Hartmann Jr. to the Commission, the balance of power shifted, and Mary Kobus was named director of public safety, and George Brunner replaced Frederick Von Nieda as mayor. Von Nieda sued to keep his position, but his suit was rejected in the New Jersey State Supreme Court.

Mary Kobus and her husband, Joseph Kobus, lived at 429 Haddon Avenue in Camden. Joseph Kobus passed away in June of 1939. Mary Kobus continued to serve in Camden city government after his passing.

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