KAY HAMILTON was born in Camden on September 25, 1909, the daughter of minstrel show and vaudeville performer Joseph P. Hamilton and his wife, the former Laura Cowls. Her grandfather, Garrett Cowls organized and pitched for the first baseball team in the city, and managed it for many years as well. At the time of the April 1910 Census, the family lived at 326 Cooper Street in Camden, renting an apartment from prominent Camden physician Dr. Daniel Strock. The family would include at least four older children, Francis, Laura, Joseph P. Jr; and Elmer Hamilton. Born Kathryn Hamilton, she would become the third generation of Hamiltons to make a career in show business.

As a child Kay "play theater", and would make money by singing in front of music shops to sell sheet music. With show business in her blood, she made her debut in 1919. She attended St. Mary's Catholic School, but her real schooling came on stage. A stage veteran by 1927, Kay Hamilton was working that year on Broadway, with Eddie Dowling in the musical Sidewalks of New York. She also appeared in vaudeville, and in nightclubs and theaters. 

By 1930 The Hamilton family was living at 501 Haddon Avenue, the corner of Haddon and Newton Avenues, directly across the street from what was then Junior High School No. 1. By October of 1931 Kay Hamilton was making her residence at 1317 Park Boulevard in the  Parkside section of Camden. In 1934 Kay Hamilton was a featured performer in the mid 1930s with George Jessel's road show. She later went to Hollywood, where she married actor Peter Trado. By 1956 they had moved to Oaklyn NJ. Peter Trado passed away in 1969. Remaining a resident of Oaklyn, Kay Hamilton Trado passed away on Mach 18, 1998. 

If anyone has any further information about Kathryn "Kay" Hamilton, or her father, vaudeville and minstrel show performer Joseph Hamilton, or Vaudeville in Camden NJ, PLEASE e-mail me!

Phil Cohen phil552@comcast.net

Cooper Street

February 7, 2004

Dr. Daniel Strock
Garrett Cowls
Joseph Hamilton
Kay Hamilton

April 2004-
This building
will be demolished
to accommodate
Rowan University

Click on Images to Enlarge

Camden Courier February 17, 1928

Camden Morning Post

December 9, 1930

Roseland Studio
Federal Street
Joseph Campbell - Hazel McCloskey
William McCloskey
Fawn & Foster
Little Mary Woodrow
Kathryn Hamilton
Jimmy Dougherty's Orchestra

Camden Courier-Post - October 29, 1931

Kathryn Hamilton, Walter Stanton Billed 
for Ambassador's Masked Ball

Two well known Camden entertainers will aid and abet the spooks and the Ambassador Club in making tomorrow evening an enjoyable one for the 5000 mummers expected to attend the club's annual masked ball.

They are Miss Kathryn Hamilton and Walter Stanton, who will not only lead the grand march, but will "put on" their acts. Miss Hamilton is the talented daughter of Joe Hamilton, famous minstrel, and has appeared in this vicinity on numerous occasions as well as on vaudeville circuits. The petite songstress resides at 1317 Park Boulevard.

Stanton has just returned from an RKO tour. The Mack and Stanton act played all last Winter and Summer. He has been master of ceremonies, in which capacity he will serve tomorrow, at a number of famous clubs, and is now 

 enacting that role at the Stroller's Club in New York.

The· club, of which Steve Kirby is president, is holding the gala affair tomorrow night instead of on Halloween in order that dancing will not be discontinued until 2 a. m. Pat Riley's orchestra will present the dance program, while Harry D. Roselle will direct the grand march.

It will be an appropriate night for the "spiriks" to chase "Popeye”, the Courier-Post comic strip idol, as 200 newsboys who will be guests of the club, will vie for a cash prize to be awarded to the one whose costume renders him the best likeness to the hard-hitting sailor man. Other prizes will be awarded to the winners of the perfect form con test and various costume competitions.

Camden Courier Post - October 30, 1931

Many Novelties Planned for Ambassador Club's Masked Ball Tonight

One of the outstanding novelties on the diversified program planned for the Ambassador Club's annual masked ball at Convention Hall tonight will be the "perfect form contest."

Modeled after the bathing beauty contest, it is open to any girl who 

desires to compete. The contestants will be in bathing suits, and cash prizes will be awarded winners. Prizes will also be awarded to the winners in various classes of costumes and to the boy whose disguise renders him the best likeness to "Popeye," the sailor man of the Courier-Post comic strip. More than 200 newsboys, guests of the club, will compete for that award,

Prizes total $300 in cash and awards for the various contests.

The dance program, presented by Pat Riley's 12-piece orchestra, will continue until 2:00 A.M.. The grand march will be led by Walter Stanton and Kathryn Hamilton, who will also number among the entertainers. Stanton will be master of ceremonies, while Harry W. Roselle will direct the grand march.

Steve Kirby, president of the club, heads the committee in charge of arrangements.

Camden Courier-Post - October 31, 1931

'Everybody Happy?'- Yea! Yea!

Two of the hundreds of juvenile mummers who greeted Halloween early were snapped last night, as they wistfully paused in their quest of "cold pieces" to pose for the cameraman. At left is Alfred McLoughlin in Amish regalia. His demure companion, garbed as a Quaker damsel, is Bessie Cummins.

Gloom Vanishes, Joy Prevails As Halloween Is Observed
South Jersey Celebrates With Dances and Parties; Hundreds Attend Ball Masque at Convention Hall; 'Popeye' Impersonated by Newsies

Wrinkles and furrowed brows gave way to grins and broad smiles last night as Camden and South Jersey was gripped by a spirit of fun.

Today children will continue to laugh at the woes of adults. Grown­ups, too, will adopt the festival air characteristic of clowns in place of the depressing concern of the day. There seems to be greater cause to seize upon an occasion for fun this year and everyone is glad Halloween is at hand.        

 The height of jollity was attained last night at the Convention Hall where bathing beauties mingled with costumed dancers. The occasion marked the annual masked dance of the Ambassador Club. Prizes were distributed among the gaily-garbed revelers and more than 200 newsboys sprinkled laughter throughout the huge civic hall by their appearance in costumes impersonating "Popeye."

Nearly 2500 persons, nearly all of whom were costumed, attended. Out­standing among the throng were numerous imitators of Popeye and Olive Oyl, Courier-Post comic strip characters. Many attired as animals, cannibals and  female impersonators attracted comment and attention.

Walter J.A. Stanton, vaudeville star, served as master of the fete, and accompanied Miss Kathryn Hamilton, popular singer, in leading the grand march. "Joe" Hamilton, father of Miss Hamilton and widely known as a minstrel performer, joined Stanton in one act. Warrington's Dancing Dolls, of 921 Broadway, and a chorus of ten, was another feature.

Music was furnished by Pat Riley's 12-piece orchestra.

Parades In Suburbs Tonight

Suburban towns will celebrate Halloween in fitting style tonight. Scattered throughout the county and other parts of South Jersey will be numerous parties and community fetes.

Cash prizes totaling $325 will be awarded mummers in Collingswood's annual parade, arranged under the direction of a committee of the fire company there. The march is due to form at 8 p. m. at Haddon and Pacific avenues. Hundreds of children and various civic and military organizations are expected to participate. Prizes will be distributed during a band concert to be held when the parade disbands at the fire hall. Fifty-nine cash prizes make up the list. Juvenile marchers will be given candy.

 The tenth annual community celebration at Westmont also promises to present a Mardi Gras setting. Merchants throughout the borough have offered prizes to paraders. Jay M. Ackley, under-sheriff, heads a citizens' committee in charge of the event and will serve as parade mar shall. The American Legion bugle and drum corps and a band furnished by the Spanish War veterans will provide music. The parade will start and finish at the Westmont fire hall.

Gloucester Enjoys Parties

The annual masquerade party of the Christian Endeavor Society of the First Presbyterian Church, Gloucester, was held last night in the American Legion Home, 315 Hudson Street.

The Girls Friendly Society, of the P. E. Church of the Ascension, Gloucester, were hostesses last night to a number of young people at a masquerade dance staged in the par­ish building. Mrs. Walter B. Reed, who is the official "mother" of the organization, assisted the members in their program arrangements.

The 13 rooms of the Monmouth Street School, Gloucester, had celebrations yesterday afternoon. It was the annual masquerade party. Miss Ethel M. Costello, principal, visited each room.

Several amateur boxing bouts are scheduled to feature the annual mas­querade party and dance of the Kirk­wood Fire Company, which will be held tonight in the Log Cabin on Kirkwood Lake.

The affair is expected to be one of the biggest Halloween parties of the season in that vicinity, will be staged by a committee composed of George C. Rickards, Charles Goodman, Robert Smith and Ellis Burns. Prizes will be awarded for winning costumes in various classes. Refreshments will be served.

Members of St. Joseph's Council, Knights of Columbus, of Palmyra and Riverton, last night, gave a mas­querade dance and party in the K. of C. Hall, Palmyra. William J. Eck, directed the committee. Prizes were awarded.

Camden Courier-Post - June 20, 1933

Given Screen Test

KAY HAMILTON Camden songbird who attracted attention of Movieland with her own presentation of 'The Blues', was given a screen test yesterday at Warner Brothers New York studio following recent successes on radio and stage. Miss Hamilton returned to Camden last night to visit with her father, "Joe" Hamilton, of minstrel fame. 


 May 13, 1934