THOMAS JOSEPH WARK was born in Moorestown, New Jersey, November 8, 1888, the oldest of at least seven children born to Thomas and Eliza Wark. The family came to Camden. in the 1890s, and he was educated in the public school system. His father had operated a grocery at one time.
By 1910 the Wark family had settled in Cramer Hill, at 2814 Arthur Avenue. By this time Thomas J. Wark, his father, and brother Jonathan were working as wallpaper salesmen in Philadelphia. They lived around the corner from the Koerner family, at 712 North 29th. Their son, Gustav Koerner, a few years younger than Thomas J. Wark, would go on to become Camden's Chief of Police.
Thomas J. Wark married Emma King in Camden on February 4, 1914. By 1920 they were living at 905 North 30th Street in Cramer Hill, and had three children: Clyde Thomas, born February 4, 1916; Donald, born September 17, 1917; Chandler Yarnall, born June 30, 1919. A fourth child, Kenneth Warren Wark, was born March 9, 1924. The family still resided there as late as 1930. Thomas J. Wark had purchased the house next door, at 901 North 30th, where his widowed mother lived as as late as 1947.
By 1947 Thomas J. Wark had passed away. His wallpaper manufacturing business however, was still being carried on, at 906 Reeves Avenue in Cramer Hill, by his three younger sons, as the Thomas J. Wark Sons, Inc.
Thomas J. Wark was quite active in the civic life in Cramer Hill. He was, along with Mayor Frederick von Nieda, a charter member of the Farragut Sportsmen's Association, and of the Lincoln Association, and a member of the Eleventh Ward Republican Club.
South Jersey: A History 1624-1924
THOMAS JOSEPH WARK—The people of Camden's Eleventh Ward know Thomas Joseph Wark, wall paper merchant, better than all of Camden knows him, for he is active in the ward's community affairs, being a member of the Eleventh Ward Republican Club and served on Eleventh Ward teams in the Victory and Liberty Loan drives in Camden, but Mr. Wark's intimacy with the Eleventh Ward does not detract from his reputation throughout all Camden, where he is known as an active citizen, a club and fraternal member, churchman and sportsman.
Thomas Joseph Wark was born in Moorestown, New Jersey, November 8, 1888, of Irish parentage. His father was Thomas Wark, a grocer, who was born in Ireland and came to Camden, and his mother was Elizabeth (Clark) Wark, also a native of the Emerald Isle. Thomas Joseph Wark was educated in the public schools of Camden, which he left early in order to go to work so that he could help support the family. His first employment was in the wall paper plant of William R. Thompson, of Philadelphia, the oldest wall paper concern in Pennsylvania. When Mr. Wark was a young boy, he had been interested in wall paper and had played around the plant of Hitchner and Yerkes Wall Paper Company, in Camden, drawn to it with a magnetic fascination that must have been the survival of an artistic strain in his family, and his puerile interest stood him in good stead in his maturity, for in the nineteen years he was with the Thompson plant he became a valuable buyer, seller and sample-maker.
When Mr. Thompson, head of the company, retired in 1919, Mr. Wark and John Lindsay bought the business and conducted it for one year. In 1920, Mr. Wark, returned to Camden and with his brother, Perry J. Wark, founded the Camden Wall Paper Company, establishing a store at No. 24 Market Street. In 1922, the brothers opened a branch store in Philadelphia, under the name of Victor Wall Paper Company. The branch store became larger than the original one and both were incorporated into the Victor Wall Paper Company.
Mr. Wark is a director in the River Avenue Building and Loan Association, and he belongs to the Coaquawock Lodge, No. 413, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Philadelphia; the Decorative Trade Association, the National Wholesalers' Association, the Farragut Sportsmen's Association, of which he is a charter member; the Lincoln Association and the Mariners' Yacht Club, of which he is treasurer. He is also treasurer of the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and of the Men's Club of that church.
Mr. Wark married, in Camden, February 4, 1914, Emma King, daughter of Isaac King, deceased, contractor and builder of Camden, and Margaret King, who survives her husband. They have four children: Clyde Thomas, born February 4, 1916; Donald, born September 17, 1917; Chandler Yarnall, born June 30, 1919; Kenneth Warren, born March 9, 1924..
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