FRANK GONDOLF was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 1885 to Peter and Madeline Gondolf. His parents had emigrated from the Alsace region of France, and after some time in the United States, shortened to family name from "Gondolff" to Gondolf. Only older brother Edward Gondolff kept the original spelling. Older brothers Joseph and Peter Gondolf, along with Frank Gondolf and his parents, were using the shortened name by 1900.
The 1900 Census shows the Gondolf family at 753 Ferry Avenue, next door to Frank Rouh's saloon at 751 Ferry Avenue. Rouh's father, Eighth Ward Justice of the Peace F. Joseph Rouh, also lived there. Frank Gondolf was still in school at the time of the census. By 1906 his father had passed away. Frank Gondolf was living with his widowed mother and brother Joseph at 682 Ferry Avenue. He then worked as a plumber. He married his first wife, Mary, shortly after the 1906 City Directory was compiled. The 1910 Census shows him living with his wife and his mother at 620 Van Hook Street. Frank Gondolf was then working as a trolley car conductor.
At some point in the early 1910s Frank Gondolf was appointed to the Camden Fire Department. He was assigned to Engine Company 3 at 1815 Broadway. On December 10, 1914 Fireman Gondolf "ascended a ladder and rescued five children from the third story" of an orphanage, the Mary J. Ball Home and Day Nursery, at 1743 Master Street.
Frank Gondolf had left the Fire Department by September of 1918. It is probable that he, like several other Camden Fire Department members of that time, was lured away to work in the higher paying jobs in the defense industry created by America's involvement in World War I. His draft card, dated September 12, 1918, shows him living with his wife Mary in Audubon, New Jersey. He was then working as a fireman on Hog Island, most likely for a firm connected with the Philadelphia Navy Yard. At some point between the time he registered for the draft and the January, 1920 Census enumeration, Frank Gondolf's marriage ended. As of this writing it is not known whether this was due to death or divorce. Frank Gondolf was lodging at 1839 Broadway in January of 1920, and was working at a shipyard, most likely the nearby New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard located a few blocks south on Broadway.
By 1924 Frank Gondolf had remarried. He adopted his wife Ida's son Robert. The Gondolfs were living at 2038 Arlington Street and working as a driver. The 1927 City Directory shows him working as a foreman and living at 687 Woodland Avenue, just north of Morgan Street. On January 12, 1928 the Gondolfs were blessed with another son, Frank J. Gondolf.
He was still working as a foreman in 1929. The City Directory for that year shows him living at 3010 Fenwick Road in Fairview, across the street from his older brother, former Camden policeman Peter Gondolf, who lived at 3001 Fenwick Road, and who was for many years the proprietor of what was for decades one of only two bars in Fairview, The Fairview Gardens, at 3007 Fenwick Road. Officially "The Fairview Grill Association", the Fairview Gardens was known to Fairview residents for years as The Pink Cat. After Peter passed away in 1940, his widow and son Richard Gondolf, who also had been a Camden police officer, operated the bar for many years thereafter.
The 1930 Census shows the Gondolfs still living at 3010 Fenwick Road. Frank Gondolf was working as a foreman and according to the Census, working for the City of Camden. The 1940 City Directory shows that he and his family had moved to 2888 Congress Road in Fairview. Frank Gondolf was then working as the chemist at the City Disposal Plant at 3211 Farragut Avenue in Cramer Hill. on Robert was still at home, and was working as a shipfitter at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard. Sadly, Ida Gondolf pased away not long after the 1940 Census.
Frank Gondolf was still living in Congress Road as late as the spring of 1942. Later that year he was promoted to the post of Superintendent of Sewers for the city of Camden. He rwmarries, and moved to 1375 Chesapeake Road in Fairview with his new wife, the former Anna T. Flood. Frank Gondolf continued to work in that position into at least the late 1940s. The 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory shows him still living at 1375 Chesapeake Road in Fairview.
Frank Gondolf passed away on September 20, 1961.
Frank Gondolf's older brother Edward was the owner and operator of the Temple Bar & Hotel at 407-409 Market Street in Camden for about twenty years prior to his death in April of 1918. Edward Gondolff's son, Augustus "Gus" Gondolf Sr. was the superintendent of the New Jersey motor vehicle inspection station in Camden for many years. Grandson Gus Gondolf Jr., was the proprietor of Mickey's Grille in Magnolia NJ in the 1960s and 1970s. Another grandson, Edward R. Gondolf, was killed in action near Lemberg, France in December of 1944.
Camden Post-Telegram - December 11, 1914
Street - Mary J. Ball Home & Day Nursery - Thomas
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