Thomas Sr.

BENJAMIN H. THOMAS SR. was born in Pennsylvania around 1835. A ship joiner by trade, he does not appear to have served in the military during the Civil War. His wife, the former Rebecca Pratt was born in New Jersey. The Thomas family lived in Pennsylvania in the early 1860s. Daughters Beulah and Deborah were born there around 1862 and 1864, according to the 1880 Census. Shortly after Deborah was born, the family moved to what was then Newton Township, New Jersey, setting up house at the corner of what would later be called South 7th Street and Ferry Avenue. Newton Township was dissolved in 1871 and portions were incorporated into Camden in 1871, forming the Seventh and Eighth Wards. When house numbers were assigned to Ferry Avenue, the Thomas home was given the address of 697 Ferry Avenue. Benjamin Thomas lived out his days at this address. Two more children were born prior to the 1870 Census, James and Benjamin H. Jr., daughter Sallie and son Clarence were born in the 1870s.

Benjamin H. Thomas worked almost exclusively as a ship joiner, i.e., a carpenter who works in shipbuilding and repair through 1885, with only one exception noted in the City Directories, in 1878, when he ran a grocery. He involved himself in local politics, and by 1887 had been appointed to the Camden Police Department. 

Benjamin H. Thomas Sr.'s political activities were very much a family affair. His wife Rebecca was the sister of Jesse W. Pratt, who served as Mayor of Camden from 1896 to 1892. Benjamin H. Thomas Sr.'s son, James Thomas, married Madeline Rouh, daughter of Eighth Ward Justice of the Peace F. Joseph Rouh

Benjamin H. Thomas Sr. served as a Camden policeman until his passing on May of 1893 when he was forced to resign due to political considerations.

Benjamin Thomas passed away from "brain fever" on November 23, 1893. He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery. 

The house at 697 Ferry Avenue was next occupied by Isaac C. Shute, who is listed in City Directories at that address from 1894 through 1905. Interestingly enough, Isaac C. Shute was appointed to the Camden Police Department and is noted as serving in Directories from 1901 through 1911.

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 29, 1890

Benjamin Thomas - Thomas Whalen

Philadelphia Inquirer

September 11, 1891

Hugh Morgan
Ladies Baseball Club
Camden Club
James M. Cassady
Thomas Jones
Frank O'Neill
Carrie Jones
Ben Thomas
Harry Fish
Josiah Sage
Caesar Sieber

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 12, 1891

Benjamin Thomas - May Howard - Jesse Pratt
Front Street - Kaighn Avenue

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 10, 1891

Benjamin Thomas - Josiah Sage

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 26, 1891

Florence Coutts - Salem Street - Ferry Avenue
Benjamin Thomas - E.E. Jefferis 

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 19, 1893

Alexander Osborne - Julius Bosch - Charles T. Sink
John Zanders - Albert F. Meyers - Armor Shannon - Benjamin Thomas
Alfred Hayden - Michael J. O'Brien - James Conners - Thomas Whalen 

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 23, 1893

James Murphy - Benjamin Thomas - Alfred Hayden - Thomas Walton
Godfrey Eisenhardt - James Conners - John Foley

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 23, 1893

Benjamin Thomas is dangerously ill with brain fever.

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 27, 1893

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 12, 1916

Trenton Evening Times - September 12, 1916

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 12, 1916

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 13, 1916

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 13, 1916

Many thanks to Anthony Thomas and the Thomas Family for helping to create this webpage