James
P.
Croker


 

JAMES P. CROKER was born in Pennsylvania in 1865 to Irish-born parents, Richard and Mary Croker. When the Census was taken in 1870, the family lived in Philadelphia's 25th Ward, and consisted of his parents, older sister Catherine "Kate", 9, older brother Thomas, 6, and sister Mary, 3. Three more children were with the family by 1880, Richard, Margaret, and Edward. The family lived at 1059 Hewson Street in Philadelphia. Richard Croker worked as a "marine fireman". i.e., in the engine room of a steam-powered ship. By this time Thomas, then 16, was working on one of Philadelphia's wharfs, probably as a stevedore, and Katie was working as a seamstress.

By 1888 both James and Thomas Croker had moved to Camden. Thomas Croker first appears in Camden City Directories in 1888. He was then working as a teamster, residing at 1810 Broadway. James Croker resided nearby, at 1631 Fillmore Street, occupation given as laborer. 

James Croker soon switched professions, and residences. He worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for a few years as a brakeman. The 1891 Directory lists his address as 1824 Broadway. The 1892-1893 edition has him at 560 Van Hook Street, the 1893-1894 edition at 557 Van Hook Street, and the 1894-1895 Directory lists an address at 1646 South 6th Street.

During these years Thomas Croker had been involved in the saloon business. The 1890 City Directory shows that he had moved to 434 Pine Street, and that he was then the proprietor of a saloon at South 3rd and Division Streets. Thomas Croker also managed an amateur baseball team, the Shamrock Club, which may or may not have been affiliated or sponsored by his business. The 1893-1894 Directory shows Thomas Croker still living at 434 Pine Street, but he was not in business for himself at that time. He continued working as a bartender, and was employed by James Trainer at the corner of Locust Street and Kaighn Avenue.

James P. Croker was still living in the Eighth Ward, at 1646 South 6th Street and working for the railroad when the 1894-1895 City Directory was compiled, but by the summer of 1894 had gone into the bar business, first at 512-514 Ferry Avenue. In July of 1894 James P. Crocker acquired the liquor license for 400 Jasper Street from William Brown.  By the latter half of 1895 Thomas Croker working there as a bartender. Thomas Croker took another stab at owning a bar in late 1899 or early 1900. This business venture was not successful, as by 1903 the bar had changed hands. The 1906 City Directory indicates that he was living at and working as a bartender at his brother James Croker's current establishment, Croker's Tammany House, 1944 Broadway. The 1910 Census does not list Thomas Crokerin Camden, and he is not listed in the 1910-1911 City Directory either, indicating that he had either moved from the City or had passed away. 

James P. Croker was quite successful at 400 Jasper Street, and remained at that location into the early 1900s. He sponsored an amateur baseball team that competed on both sides of the Delaware in the 1890s, was an active member of the Eighth Ward Republican Club and the Royal Arch Associaition, a stewide group of saloon owners and operators. 

By 1903 James P. Croker had moved his operation to 1944 Broadway, and at some point during his tenure as the owner of the building, he and the F.A. Poth Brewery, located around a short walk away at South 6th and Bulson Streets, got together to have the wall painted with the advertisements that still can be seen today. The bar was known as The Tammany House, and a social club, known appropriately enough as The Tammany Club, met there as well. 

James P. Croker had married Mary Whalen, daughter of Patrick and Mary Ann Whalen. Sadly, she died in July of 1908, at the age of 39. James P. Croker soon remarried, but tragedy struck again when his wife Catherine died in December of 1912. The Crokers resided at 564 Viola Street at the time of her death. By 1914 James Croker again was wed, to Elizabeth "Bessie" Smith.

James P. Croker was still in business at 1944 Broadway as late as 1912.  By the time the 1914 City Directory was compiled, James P. Croker had moved his business to 1223 Broadway. He and his wife Elizabeth "Bessie" Croker resided at 1010 South 5th Street

By 1924 James P. Croker had left the bar business. He was then living at 583 Line Street, where he operated a small fleet of taxicabs. He was still at that address as late as April of 1930, with his wife and mother-in-law, Delia Smith. James P. Croker was then working as an automobile salesman. 

The Crokers do not appear in the 1940 Camden City Directory. James P. Croker had most likely passed away or had left the city by this time.

1944 Broadway - Northeast Corner of Broadway & Jefferson Street

 

Philadelphia Inquirer
June 29, 1894

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Philadelphia Inquirer
July 14, 1894

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 19, 1895

Francisco Abbatto
Howland Croft
James Croker
Richard T. Miller
John L. Lattimore
Charles Pedigree
John L. Semple

Bulson Street
Cooper Street
Locust Street

Camden Lodge of Elks
Cooper Hospital
D'Olier Engineering Company

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 14, 1895

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 19, 1896

James Croker - George Charles - Joseph Hyde - B.J. Lyons - John L. Westcott
Landos Thomas - John W. Truax - William Robinson - William Thomas - Martin P. Grey
George W. Borden - Mary L. Earle - Edward Rigg Jr. - Mark L. Sooy
Kaighn Avenue  - Broadway - South 4th Street - South 6th Street - South 8th Street
North 10th Street - Jackson Street - Jasper Street - Market Street - Walnut Street -
Cooper Hospital

Philadelphia Inquirer
June 25, 1896

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 28, 1899

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Philadelphia Inquirer
April 14, 1900

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Philadelphia Inquirer * April 14, 1900

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Philadelphia Inquirer
June 25, 1896

Philadelphia Inquirer
July 2, 1905

Joseph Fine
Bessie Hickey
Edward Roosevelt
Edward Oswald
Thomas Croker
Dauphin Street
Division Street
South 6th Street
South 2nd Street
Sycamore Street
Taylor Avenue
Cooper Hospital

Trenton Times - December 19, 1906

George Dilmore - Harry Gilbert - Edward Carmany - Joseph Hyde Charles Sattler
Charles Daubman - Arthur Bedell - James Croker
Roya Arch Association

Philadelphia Inquirer
July 10, 1908

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 30, 1910

Dr. Marcus K. Mines - Dr. Frederick Jones Jr. - Dr. W.P. Wingender - Dr. W.K. Browning
Archer D. Norris - John Wagner  -
Charles G. Garrison - Lewis Hamel - George West
Charles H. Ellis - Clarence Governs - Michael Kirby - William Leonard Hurley - Amelia C. Rouh
Tammany Club - William Black - Redmond Pierson - Charles Redmond - Joseph Ryrie -
James Croker 
Broadway - Ferry Avenue  - Elm Street - Mechanic Street - Clare Street
State Street Methodist Episcopal Church

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 10, 1912

North Wall
of
1944
Broadway

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