Charles
Gladney


 

CHARLES MILLER GLADNEY was born in New Jersey on September 2, 1877 to George and Mary Gladney. The family was living at 728 Mount Vernon Street in 1878. His parents and older brother David were living in Camden at 432 Liberty Street in 1880, apparently the family had separated temporarily. The family moved every year in the early 1880s, as George Gladney worked alternately as a huckster, painter, and bartender. He settled on working as a huckster in the mid-1880s and apparently stopped drinking, working for a time at the Reformed Men's Home on Kaighn Avenue as a librarian.

The 1881-1882 City Directory has the family at 1423 South 4th Street. They were at 834 Broadway the following year, then moved to 415 Liberty Street by 1883. George Gladney moved with his family to 1101 Pavonia Street prior to the compilation of the 1885 City Directory. The 1887 Directory shows the Gladneys living at 2 Sycamore Street. In the early 1890s George Gladney took a job as a salesman for S.C. Moore. The family lived at 452 Royden Street from 1893 to 1895. In 1896 the family was living at 516 North 9th Street in North Camden, George Gladney and oldest son David working as hucksters. By 1897 the Gladneys had moved to 233 Point Street

Charles Gladney first appears in City Directories in 1897. That year's Directory shows Charles Gladney living at 233 Point Street and working as an oyster opener for E.L. Brewster. His widowed father, George J.B. Gladney, older brother David and his wife Fannie were also living at the address. George and David worked as hucksters. Things were the same in 1898, except that David had gone into the milk business. Charles Gladney worked as a clerk in 1899, but the following year found him working with his father as a huckster. 

Charles Gladney married around 1901. He was still living at 233 Point Street and working as a huckster when the 1906 City Directory was compiled. When the 1910 Census was enumerated Charles and Anna Gladney were living at 618 Point Street with their daughter Fannie. He was still working as a huckster. On August 1, 1911 Charles Gladney was appointed to the Camden Fire Department, replacing Howard H. Currie, who had retired..  

The 1920 census lists Charles and Anna Gladney at 618 Point Street with their children Fannie and David, and a boarder, J. Fred Thompson. The family had moved to 1124 Cooper Street by the time the 1924 City Directory was compiled.

The 1910s and 1920s, a time before buildings were constructed with fire safety in mind, saw many large fires in Camden. One such conflagration originated in the Sargol Shoe Store at 455 Kaighn Avenue, South Camden, during the early morning hours of December 14, 1921. Police Officer Arthur Levington while walking his beat along Broadway near Kaighn Avenue, smelled the strong odor of pungent wood smoke. Upon rounding the corner at Kaighn Avenue, Levington saw flames shooting from the top floor windows and quickly turned in the alarm. By the time Engine 8 and Ladder 2 arrived first due, all three floors of the shoe store were blowing heavy fire out the rear. The shoe store had been part of the Toone and Hollinshed Department Store. Only a door separated both properties at an elevator shaft. As units scrambled to get water on the blaze, the fire rapidly communicated up the shaft to involve the Toone and Hollinshed Mercantile. This property erected in 1881 measured 60 x 100 feet and was the City's first Department Store. The mercantile was heavily stocked with goods and wares at the height of the Christmas shopping season. Greater Alarms were transmitted in quick succession. Companies advanced lines to the roof of the exposure to gain a vantage position from which to darken the fire in the shoe store, but the blaze extended to involve the top floor of the mercantile. Several fire fighters nearly fell to their death when the tin roof on which they stood  froze over with encrusted ice despite extreme heat from the fire. Fireman Charles Gladney, then aide to Assistant Chief William W. Patterson, was saved from certain death while working on the roof. He fell and began a perilous slide to the street. At the last moment, a fast and tenuous grasp by brother fire fighter averted tragedy. As the blaze illuminated the surrounding neighborhood, roof positions became untenable as companies were withdrawn to the street.

Adjoining the shoe store was the Sugar Bowl at 451 Kaighn Avenue, a well known confectionery. Only through the extraordinary efforts of fire fighters was the fire prevented from extending to this property. Numerous master streams poured tons of water on the blaze before it was finally brought under control nearly six hours after it began. Although the fire did not reach the first two levels of the mercantile, smoke and water damage took its toll upon the stock on the lower floors. Toone and Hollinshed sustained $175,000 in damage while the adjoining shoe store was reduced to ruins. The mercantile had suffered $50,000 damage in another blaze on August 8, 1913 when the property was struck by lightning during a fierce summer storm.

By 1927 Charles and Anna Gladney had parted company. Charles Gladney was living at 1533 Federal Street in East Camden, while Mrs. Gladney had moved to 1125 Federal Street. The 1929 City Directory gives an address of 18 North 22nd Street.

1930 census Charles Gladney was divorced and living at 516 Mickle Street. He was still a member of the Camden Fire Department when the Census was taken in April of that year. Fire Department records from 1931 sho him living at 706 North 6th Street.The 1940 City Directory shows Charles Gladney living at 1545 Federal Street in East Camden. He was then living with his son David, and appears to have reconciled with his wife by this time as well. While son David Gladney is listed in the 1943 Directory, Charles Gladney is not, and it would appear that he either had passed away, as he did not register for the draft in the spring of 1942, which he would have been obligated to do had he been living. 


Hook & Ladder Company No.1
with new 1914 American LaFrance 75', 4 cylinder aerial ladder, in front of Fire Headquarters

From Left: tillerman Bill Tatem, firemen Edward Finley, Charles Gladney, and Harry Green, Lt. Harry Anderson,
Firemen
George Hollins and Steward Bakley, Captain Joseph Maxwell, and driver Harry Burroughs


World War I Draft Card


Philadelphia Public Ledger - October 31, 1918

GLADNEY - Oct. 30, 
GEORGE J. B. GLADNEY, aged 71.  Relatives and friends invited to
funeral services, Sat., 2 p. m., son's residence, Charles M. Gladney, 
618 Point st., Camden, N. J.  Int. Harleigh Cem. Friends may call Fri. eve.    

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 31, 1919

Howard Currie - William Judge - William Walton - William Rose John Plum - Roy Saunders - James Howell - Earl Vansant Charles Gladney 


Philadelphia Inquirer - July 6, 1921

William W. Patterson - Charles Gladney - Edgar Ellender - North 3rd Street 


Camden Courier - January 20, 1925 

FIREMAN DIES IN EXPLOSION OF CHEMICALS
Companion Hurt As Extinguisher Explodes at Second Street Fire
CAUSE OF BLAST MYSTERY TO FIREMEN
Injured Fireman Finds Self Lying on Comrade's Dead Body
WAS FIREMAN EIGHT MONTHS

...continued...
John J. Reilly - Charles Gladney - Samuel Harring - William W. Patterson
Albert Raeuber - Max Koch - North 2nd Street - Pearl Street - Engine Company 4

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