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Former Newark City Councilman Calvin West. Photo by Al Henderson, courtesy of the Newark Public Library.

Calvin West cemetery full of powerful Essex politicians

Former governor, seven congressmen, two Newark mayors interned at Fairmount Cemetary

By David Wildstein, December 08 2019 3:21 pm

Calvin West is all politics, even in death.

The legendary political figure who died this week at age 87, will be buried on Monday at the Fairmount Cemetery in Newark, the final resting place of some prominent New Jersey political leaders.

West will join a former governor, seven former congressmen, two bear barons, and several organized crime figures – many of whom never had the kind of sustained power West enjoyed during the parts of seven decades he spent in New Jersey politics.

Here are some of West’s soon-to-be neighbors: James Fielder, who succeeded to the New Jersey governorship after Woodrow Wilson became president; William Fiedler, a former Newark mayor and congressman; Newark mayors Henry Doremus and Henry Lang; Fred Hartley, a ten-term congressman who sponsored the Taft-Hartley Act; Herman Lehlbach and his nephew Frederick, who both represented Newark in Congress; Thomas Dunn English; Rep. LeGage Pratt; and Thomas Dunn English, a poet and enemy of Edgar Allan Poe who later served in Congress.”

Stefano Badami, the first boss of the Decavalcante crime family, and underboss Sam Monaco are interned at Fairmount.   So are Abe Manley, the owner of the Newark Eagles and a Negro League Baseball executive, and medical pioneer Clara Maas.

Also buried in Fairmount: Gerhard and William Mennen, the soap kings of New Jersey; 19th century brewers Gottfried Krueger, Herman Schalk and Christian Feigenspan; pencil inventor Joseph Dixon; and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, a Maplewood author who wrote the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series’ under pseudonyms.

West’s sister, former Essex County Register of Deeds and Mortgages Larrie West Stalks, is also buried at the Fairmount Cemetery.

His funeral arrangements are being handled by the James E. Churchman, Jr. Funeral Home in Newark.  Churchman, who passed away in 2014, was the Republican nominee for State Senate in 1965; he and Dr. Hutchins Ingle, the Democrat who won the election, were the first African Americans to run as major party candidates for the New Jersey Senate.

West worked on the Inge campaign.

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