to who John W. Helmbold was, there is some confusion, as there
were three John Helmbolds in Camden in the late 19th Century and
two of them were father and son. Either one of them could be the
person in question. The father would have been about 43 at the
time of his appointment, while John Helmbold the son would have
been 21. The 1890 City Directory seems to indicate that John
Helmbold Sr. was the person who served briefly with the Fire
Whiteman Helmbold Sr. was born in Pennsylvania in 1847 to Alfred
and Eliza Helmbold. The family appears in the 1860 Census in
Philadelphia. John W. Helmbold was the fourth of sixth children
then at home, the older children being brothers Alfred, Charles,
and Thomas; the younger David and Eliza Helmbold. Another
brother, Herman, had already moved from home.
W. Helmbold Sr. married in 1867 and was living in Somerset
County, Pennsylvania when, on August 4, 1868 son John W.
Helmbold Jr. was born. By July 12, 1870 when the Census was
taken the family was living in Philadelphia. Besides John Jr.
there was another son at home, Thomas, age 4. His parents,
Alfred and Eliza Helmbold, along with younger brother David had
moved to what was then Newton Township in by the time the 1870
Census was taken, more than likely in the vicinity of Broadway
and Ferry Avenue. Newton Township was merged into Camden in
the 1870s Alfred Helmold's son Herman, Charles, and John W.
Helmbold all came to Camden, settling in the Eighth Ward near
their parents. John W. Helmbold worked a number of different
jobs to support his wife and family, including work as a
huckster, teamster, carpenter, laborer, and waterman.
W. Helmbold Sr. appears in the 1878-1879 and 1879-1880 City
Directory at 1717 Fillmore
Street. The 1880 Census shows John W. Helmbold Sr. and
family at 418 Webster
Street. He was then working as a huckster.
The family then consisted of John W. Helmbold, his wife Maggie,
and children Thomas, John W. Jr., Martha, Eliza, and Edward.
Directories from 1882 through 1887 show the family at 1722 South
6th Street. By 1888 they had moved to 1806 Fillmore
1890 they had again moved, to 1643 South
6th Street. The 1891-1892
Directory shows him living at 1702 South 7th
1892-1893 Directory shows hum at 518 Liberty
Street. He had moved to 504 Liberty by October of 1893. At this
point things become unclear.
John Helmbold was living at 1118 Cresson Street in South Camden
when the 1894-1895 City Directory was compiled. The 1896 edition
shows him living at 1119 Cresson Street. He does not appear in
the 1897 City Directory. His wife Maggie appears in the 1898
City Directory at 1064 Ivins
Street, and at 1120 Cresson Street
in the 1900 Census. Of the ten children that John W. Helmbold
Sr. had fathered, eight were still alive, and six were living
with their mother, Ayda, Edward, Charles, Alfred, Benjamin, and
Helmbold's brother Charles Helmbold was active in Camden
politics as a Republican, and served as a City Councilman from
the Eighth Ward. Son John W. Helmbold Jr. was also active.