Walter J. Stanton, Sr.

Walter J Stanton - 1902-06-16

Walter James Aloysius Stanton Sr. was born in March of 1867 to James and Emma Stanton. The 1870 Census shows the family residing in what was then Camden’s South Ward, providing a glimpse of their early life in the city. By the time of the 1880 Census, the Stanton family had moved to 439 Riley Street in the Fourth Ward. Along with Walter, the family consisted of his older brother Willie and younger siblings Elizabeth and Wesley. As the years went by, the family lived at different addresses, including 230 Washington Street in the late 1880s and 1890s, where Walter Stanton Sr. pursued a career as an upholsterer.

Around 1892, Walter Stanton Sr. married Elizabeth Kelly, and the couple welcomed two sons into their family: Walter Stanton Jr., born on September 27, 1893, and Thomas Carroll Stanton, born on January 1, 1901.

Walter Stanton Sr., known for his talent in baseball, and known as “Weep” Stanton during his baseball years, was a well-known figure in Camden during his youth and continued to play into his 30s. After getting married, he worked in various occupations, including butcher, driver, and salesman. Additionally, he was actively involved in social organizations, such as the Camden Wheelmen, which consisted of bicycle enthusiasts.

The City Directories provide insights into Walter Stanton Sr.’s changing residences and employment. In 1894, he was listed at 450 South 2nd Street, and by 1896, the family had moved to 434 South 2nd Street. During this period, he worked as a driver for R.T. Robinson. Subsequently, he transitioned to become a driver and salesman for W. Mills & Brother, a meat business located at 1598 Broadway. The Stanton family lived at 318 Berkley Street from 1898 to 1905. In the 1900 Census, Walter Sr.’s brother-in-law, Joseph Kelly, was recorded as living with them. Walter Stanton Sr. likely continued his work as a butcher for W. Mills and Brother during this time. From 1903 to 1905, he worked as a water tapper.

In 1906, the family moved to 522 South 2nd Street, and this marked a significant turning point for Walter Stanton Sr., as he joined the Camden Police Department. The following year, he even played right field for the Camden Police Department’s baseball team, reflecting his ongoing interest in the sport.

Walter Stanton Sr.’s service on the Camden Police Department continued well into the 1930s, making his career span several decades. Remarkably, even in the 1940 Census, when he was well past 70 years old, he was still listed as a working Camden police officer. This was possible because mandatory retirement at age 65 had not yet been implemented, and he remained actively serving the community. During this period, the Stanton family lived at 362 Dudley Street, part of the newly developed Westfield Acres public housing project.

Meanwhile, Walter Stanton Jr. took a different path. By the time he registered for the draft on June 5th, 1917, he and his family were residing at 604 South 3rd Street. At that time, Walter Jr. was not employed, but shortly after, he joined the United States Navy on June 25, 1917, serving as an Able Seaman during World War I.

The Stanton family’s journey continued, and by the end of 1919, they had moved to 618 South 2nd Street. Walter Stanton Jr. pursued a career in vaudeville and established himself as a vocalist, forming a partnership with Joe Hamilton, a seasoned vaudeville and minstrel show entertainer living in Camden. They worked together in a variety act until Hamilton’s passing in 1946.

The 1924 City Directory indicates yet another move for the Walter Stanton Sr. family, placing them at 533 Fulton Place. They remained at that address at least until April 1930, as evidenced by the Census records. Despite the passage of time and reaching an age beyond 70, Walter Stanton Sr. was dedicated to his profession, continuing to serve on the Camden Police Department. His dedication and long career were a testament to his commitment to the community he served.

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