A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, November 8, 2013

History: William C Horley, Perth Amboy (1901 - 1980)

Edna Emmons, born 10 Feb 1898, the spinster daughter of Josiah M and Almira Emmons, lived with her parents in Matawan in 1930, according to the Federal Census, and she worked as a bank teller at Perth Amboy Trust Company in nearby Perth Amboy.

That's where she met William Charles Horley, also a teller. William was born on 28 Oct 1901 in Warwick, England to George and June Horley. His parents emigrated to the US when William was an infant and settled in Pennsylvania. William and Edna announced their engagement in the 22 Feb 1931 edition of The Sunday Times Advertiser of Trenton.

The Horleys settled in Perth Amboy and had three children. William moved up in the banking industry, eventually becoming Vice President of the First Bank and Trust Company of Perth Amboy. He served as an officer at St Peter's Episcopal Church and handled its trust fund. He served as President of the local chapter of American Institute of Banking, chairman of the local Community Chest, director of a Red Cross chapter, and headed fundraising for a Boy Scout campaign.

This sounds like information you'd find in an obituary, except for the odd focus on William's handling of money outside the work place. But the article on the front page of the 6 May 1952 edition of The Trenton Evening Times and circulated by the Associated Press across the country was not about his death. Unfortunately not. Instead, William had made some very unwise loans and bad investments with over $400,000 in bank funds, prompting the Middlesex County Prosecutor to pursue embezzlement charges against him

This was shocking to locals, who thought William a sympathetic figure and who worried for the former Emmons' girl and her children. Readers found a lengthy front page article providing a detailed background, including something of an explanation for William's actions, in the 8 May 1952 edition of The Matawan Journal.
After the closing arguments and ruling, the judge prayerfully considered an appropriate sentence. The 19 Aug 1952 edition of The Reading Eagle reported that William would face 10 to 14 years in state prison. The judge refused to consider leniency, saying that William had brought the unfortunate situation upon himself.

Edna Horley died in Perth Amboy in Nov 1979. William was living in Cranford when he died in May 1980. His last Social Security benefits went to an address in Perth Amboy.

1 comment:

  1. Edna Emmons lived at my current residence on Schenck Ave in 1930.