Title: Police officer
Birthdate: September 4, 1867
Death Date: January 18, 1918
Plot Location: Section F, Range 7, Lot 5; GPS: 39.93195* N, 075.23446* W

Screenshot (524) Black

If Thompson had a nickname, it would not have been Tom since his older brother was named Thomas. They were sons of Irish natives James and Sarah Black, and the only two of seven to survive childhood. Both were baptized at St. Stephens Episcopal Church on South 10th Street in Philadelphia.

At age 25 he became Officer Black and would serve 25 years with the Department of Public Safety, the formal name for the city’s police department. He persuaded an Irish girl, Susie Vaughn, to be his bride in 1903. Their daughter Mary was born in 1906 and they lived their lives in the Point Breeze section. Prince of Peace Chapel was the church where Mary was baptized later that year, which was just a few doors away from their home on Morris Street at Point Breeze Avenue.

Thompson was on patrol in early 1918 when he answered a domestic disturbance call about a man threatening his wife at 2210 Gerritt Street. Coincidentally, it was less than a half-mile from Officer Black’s home. Just as he arrived there, the man shot and killed him.

Susie never remarried. She went to work as a packer in a yarn mill to support herself and her teenage daughter. She died 40 years after her husband, at her home in Cheltenham at age 93. Mary never married and after her death in Cape May, New Jersey in 1974, she joined her parents in the family plot.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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