Thomas
"Bluch"
Golding


 

THOMAS GOLDING was born on July 16, 1889 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Italian immigrant parents. When he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 he was living at 1759 Master Street in the Centerville section, which lay in what was then Camden's Eighth Ward. By January of 1920 he had moved to 1730 Master Street He was working, first as a helper and later as a "lever man", at the Camden Forge steel works, which was within walking distance of his home. Thomas Golding had married prior to June of 1917, however he and wife Margaret were childless at the time of the January 1920 census enumeration. In the next block, at 1854 Master Street, lived a stable owner named Michael "Mikey" Brown. Both men were of the same age and ethnic background, both had "Americanized" their surnames, and both involved themselves in the full-contact sport that defined politics in the Eighth Ward in the 1920s and 1930s. Thomas Golding was also known as Thomas Golden.

Thomas Golding does not appear in the 1924 Camden City Directory, however, there were other Goldings living in the 1700 block of Master. Margaret Golding had either died or divorced Thomas by 1925. By January of that year, Thomas Golding was living around the corner at 693 Central Avenue and had, in the parlance of the day, engaged a housekeeper, Bertha Chamberlain, who lived on premises. The two are listed separately at the Central Avenue address in the 1927 City Directory The two wed sometime between the compilation of the 1927 and 1929 Camden City Directories. 

 Both Thomas Golding and Mikey Brown also had acquired taverns by 1929, Brown at 629 Ferry, and Golding a block or so away at 1727 Van Buren Street

The 1929 Camden City Directory lists Thomas Golding and his wife Bertha at 1743 Van Buren, a few doors away from his tavern, which he operated under a soft drink license. He also did a little bootlegging from a property to the rear of his bar at 1726 Master Street. 1743 Master Street had been the site of an orphanage, the Mary Ball Home and Day Nursery in the 1910s. 

Thomas Golding was still operating at the Van Buren Street address when the 1931 Camden City Directory was compiled. He subsequently moved his business to 650 Central Avenue, quite close to the railroad tracks that bisect Central and Ferry Avenues and around the corner from Mikey" Brown's cafe.

Around 1:00 on the afternoon of August 9, 1933 two shots were fired through the window of Thomas Golding's saloon. No one was injured, however, when the car was spotted by police a running gunfight ensued. The occupants of the car fired repeatedly at pursuing motorcycle police with a shotgun, forcing the officers to break off the pursuit at Van Hook and South Fourth Streets. Thomas Golding gave no explanation for the attack at that time.

By 1942 Thomas and Bertha Golding had moved to West Collingswood Heights. He was then engaged in the junk business. He later moved to Kearsarge Road in Camden's Fairview neighborhood. Bertha Golding was still a Camden resident when she died in September of 1979.


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Camden Courier - January 25, 1925

John Cleary - Michael Brown - Thomas Golding - Bertha Chamberlain
Ferry Avenue - Central Avenue


Camden Courier-Post - June 13, 1933
excerpts

27 Mild Padlocks Provided In U.S. Court Rules by Avis

Camden County Padlocks 

Probationary padlocks of one year were ordered by Judge Avis for the following establishments: [Frank's Cafe] Frank Auletto, as proprietor; William J. Stettler, bartender; Rebecca Friedenberg and Lena Teitelman, owners, 1135 and 1137 South Fourth Street, $1000 bond; William Barr, proprietor; George E. Stone, bartender; Marion R. Klump, owner, 11 South Third Street, $1000 bond; Annabale Corda, proprietor and owner; Mary Corda, employee, 1104 South Fourth Street, $1000 bond; Anthony and Stanley Knast, owners, 7807 East Park Avenue, Pennsauken, $1000 bond; Oliver Smith, proprietor; [Thomas "Bluch" Golding] Bertha Golding; owner, 1726 Master Street, $1000 bond; [Big Ed's Place] Edward W. Williams, proprietor; William J. Dolan, bartender, 623 Pearl Street, $1000 bond. 

Conrad Lambert, 44, of 1427 South Ninth Street, Camden, pleaded guilty to possession of liquor and was fined $35. 

Frank Tischner, 1244 Cambridge Street, pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance and sentence was deferred until June 19.

Frank H. Poole, 1400 Rose Street, pleaded guilty to possession and maintaining a nuisance and was fined $35. James Rodgers, 1000 Segal Street, pleaded guilty to possession and maintaining a nuisance. Agents said he conducted a speakeasy and he was fined $l0 and given 10 days in jail.

Harry Getty, 48, of 29 North Third Street, Camden, was fined $35 for possession of beer and maintaining a nuisance. A fine of $25 was imposed upon Charles H. Lee, 30, of 1565 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, Camden, when he pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance charges. Annibale Corda, 35, of 1104 South Fourth Street, Camden, was fined $10 when he pleaded guilty to charges of possession of liquor and maintenance of a nuisance.

[Steppy's Cafe] Walenty Szczepankiewicz, 63, of 1621 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, was given a 45-day jail term and fined $25 when he pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance charges. His son, Edward, 19, was freed on a suspended sentence and placed on probation for six months on similar charges. 

John Baronkin, 669-1/2 Van Hook Street, Camden, was given a suspended sentence upon pleading guilty to possession of liquor, after his attorney pleaded he was keeping a wife, child and an ill mother. 

A bench warrant was issued for Mike Britto, of 112 North Delaware Avenue, and bail of $500 was ordered forfeited when he failed to answer charges of possession and maintaining a nuisance. 

Frank Cipriani, of 713 South Third Street, Camden, was sent to jail for 10 days and fined $1 when he pleaded guilty to possession and nuisance charges. His attorney said he was a prosperous South Camden business man who lost his holdings in the depression and has six children to support. 

Lawrence L. Murphy, 33, of 552 Haddon Avenue, Camden, was fined $25 when he pleaded guilty to possession of two jugs of liquor. He was arrested February 10 with the liquor in his possession. 

William Deroncone, 38, of 520 South Second Street, Camden, was given five days in jail and fined $1. He pleaded guilty to possession of a half pint, of liquor, in his cigar store. 


Camden Morning Post
Camden Courier-Post - August 9, 1933

GUNMEN FIRE AT SALOON, OUTRACE POLICE
MOTORISTS PUT SHOTS THROUGH SOUTH CAMDEN CAFE WINDOW
Car Sighted by Cops After Attack on 'Bluch' Golding's Place
TURN OUT LIGHTS, SPEED OFF AT ORDER TO HALT
Pursuers Send 12 Bullets After Fleeing Machine; May Have Hit One

Occupants of a roadster who are alleged to have fired two shots through a saloon window escaped early today after police fired a dozen shots at the car during a chase of a mile and a half.

Shortly after 1 p. m., Thomas "Bluch" Golding, proprietor of a cafe at 650 Central Avenue, notified police of the attack.

Motorcycle Policemen Frank Guetherman and William Thorn saw the car described by Golding, at Ninth and Ferry Avenue. When the officers ordered the car to halt, its lights were extinguished and it sped away.

The police chased it to Fillmore street, to Van Hook Street to Fourth Street where it disappeared, amid a barrage of bullets from a pump gun fired by the pursuers.

The car was seen to swerve just before it disappeared and police believe the drivel' may have been struck.

Camden Bridge police were notified to watch for the car, which bore a Camden county license.

Golding is a well known Eighth ward politician. He could give no reason for the attack.


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