THOMAS CROKER was born in Pennsylvania in August of 1864 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, younger brother James, 5, 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.
Thomas Croker first appears in Camden City Directories in 1888. He was then working as a teamster, boarding at 1810 Broadway, the home of John A. Ewing. Younger brother James P. Croker had also moved to Camden, living a short walk away at 1631 Fillmore Street, occupation given as laborer.
Thomas Croker soon switched professions, and residences. 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. He also managed an amateur baseball team, the Shamrock Club, which may or may not have been affiliated or sponsored by his business.
The 1893-1984 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.
1894-1895 Directory shows Thomas Croker still living at 434 Pine Street, still working as a bartender. Brother James P. Croker had gone to work as a railroad. He was still living in the Eighth Ward, at 1646 South 6th Street when the directory was compiled, but soon went into the bar business, first on Kaighn Avenue and by the latter half of 1895 at 400 Jasper Street, with Thomas working there as a bartender.
The 1896 City Directory shows that Thomas Croker had married. He and wife Mary resided at 433 Spruce Street. By 1897 they had moved to 435 Spruce, and the City Directory for 1899 shows Thomas Croker at 836 South 4th Street.
Thomas Croker took another stab at owning a bar in late 1899 or early 1900. The June 1900 Census shows him at 909 South 4th Street with wife of 12 year, Mary and their two daughters, Katie and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Croker. Two other children had not survived to that point. Unfortunately, this business venture was not successful, as by 1903 the bar had changed hands. A July 1905 news article gives Thomas Croker's address at 831 Dauphin Street, he actual address was 821 Dauphin . The 1906 City Directory indicates that he was living at and working as a bartender at his brother James P. Croker's then-current establishment, Croker's Tammany House, 1944 Broadway.
The 1910 Census does not list Thomas of Mary Croker in Camden. Daughter Lizzie, now 15, was staying with on Evans Street with Uncle and Aunt Lemuel and Catherine C. Tingley. Thomas Croker is not listed in the 1910-1911 City Directory either, indicating that he had either moved from the City or had passed away.
Philadelphia Inquirer -April 21, 1900
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