This Davenport Fire
Department History is from 1911. There is some repetition
from the 1902 history but this one contains more names and some
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SCOTT COUNTY COURTHOUSE
CENTRAL FIRE STATION
Chief Peter Denger
Alexander L. Anderson
Alderman Christain Kuehl
The following group
of pictures were taken in 1904
(End of 1904 Pictures)
De Forrest McCollister
John C. Piening
T. S. Cunningham
Col. Robert Morris Littler
First Chief of Volunteers
John T. Temple
East Davenport Fire,
June 1902 Taken from Government Bridge fifteen minutes after first alarm
View of East Davenport fire
district after the million dollar fire of June 1902
Hill Fire February 22, 1876
History of the
Davenport Volunteer Fire Department
DAVENPORT’S efficient, and
specialized means for protection from the "lurid leveler" is an
evolution from crude beginnings. It was in 1839, three years after the
town was laid out, that the town trustees legislated in regard to fire
protection. Previous to
that, the inhabitants of this burgh were protected only by "Providence
and rain storms." The ordinance provided that every man who occupied or
owned a home should always keep in readiness two fire buckets and a
with a hook attached, and should use them in case of fire. As there
only one hundred houses in the place it did not take many car loads of
to fill this requirement. Local historians name the first fire of the
"City" as the one which, in 1845 destroyed the building on the corner
and Ripley Streets, where Duncan C. Eldridge opened the initial store
the town in 1837.
THE "HAWKEYE" FIRE COMPANY
The second fire of the town was
that which annihilated the dwelling house of Mrs. Dillon on April 18th,
1850. As the town grew, fires became more and more frequent. One
destroyed the LeClaire Foundry in the year of 1853. This fire and
others brought about the organization of the first actual fire company
named the "Hawkeye" Fire Company No.1, in 1855. This organization did
no actual service, and soon
went out of commission. Our volunteer fire services never assumed any
prominence for efficiency and good work until the matter was taken in
hand by that
gallant and fearless fireman and soldier, the late Col. Robert Morris
The proverbial bucket brigade assisted at times by thunder showers,
really the only means to be depended upon for subduing the "fiery
in the early days of the unpretencious "Town of Davenport. "
INDEPENDENT FIRE ENGINE AND HOSE COMPANY
Through Colonel Littler’s
efforts, which represented hard and zealous work, a company was
organized on July 26, 1856, called the Independent Fire Engine and Hose
Company No.1. Officers selected were: R. M. Littler, President; A. S.
Alston, Treasurer; I. Y. Slaymaker, Secretary. Directors, James Morrow
and C. G. Noble. Investigating Committee, Isaac Cummings, S. P.
Knisely, R. F. Hull, J. E. Sells, and
0. T. Cassidy, This company was equipped with a "Hunneman" hand engine
and a "Button" hose cart, which was afterwards housed in a handsome engine house, surmounted by a lofty
tower, on the west side of Brady Street, between Fifth and Sixth
streets. After this company disbanded the building was for a long time
used as our City Hall, until the completion of the stately municipal
building on Fourth
and Harrison streets a few years ago. That old fire house was then
transformed into a modern flat building named the "Oxford" Owned by the
COLONEL R. M. LITTLER
Colonel Littler was president of the Independents
until the fire brigade was reorganized in February, 1858, when he was
made its chief, with a $1000 a year salary, which was generously
appropriated by the City Council. The late lumberman, Christian Mueller
and E. A. Tilebine, the late veteran desk sergeant at the police
station, were Colonel Littler's able assistants. Mr. Mueller later on
had the pleasure and honor of being Chief minus the afore mentioned
Colonel Littler defended the stars and stripes in the Civil War and
left an arm on a Southern battlefield. When he returned from the war,
he still took an ardent interest in the fire department, and "Bob"
Littler's spicy after dinner speeches are yet fresh in the memory of
the fire boys who attended the annual parades and reviews. He died in
Chicago in February 1897, and was as he wished, buried in beautiful
Oakdale, in this city,
beside his wife who had preceded him in death years ago. Surely his
in establishing an efficient fire service for his beloved city have
crowned with success. It would therefore not be out of place to make a
brief mention of the fire companies organized after the Independents
out of existence. Correct dates and records cannot be secured, and the
facts herewith given are as nearly correct as possible.
"FIRE KING" ENGINE AND
The Fire King Engine and Hose Company which was organized December 7,
1857, and was at times also known as the "Independent Fire Kings".
It’s equipment consisted of a second class Amoskeag steamer, tender,
two-wheeled hose cart, which were domiciled in a one story brick engine
house surmounted by an octagon bell tower, on the south side of
Alley between Brady and Perry streets, which house they occupied until
1878, when they took possession of the two story engine house on Perry
street, between Front and Second streets, now occupied by Hose Company
No. 1. The members of the Fire Kings were known to be very zealous
and they did their work fast and well, and managed to put the’ "first
stream" on fires wherever they had a fighting chance.
Fire King Engine Company Organized 1857
Fire King Running Team Organized 1881
Malrsh Noe, that old Cincinnati veteran fireman
was its foreman for a score of years; and had the honor of being the
first chief of the present paid department. Ex-Chief John B. Schmidt,
Ex-Chief "Bonie" Stratman, I. J. Hild, the assessor, the late Chas. P.
McGee and Oliver Van Dyne, were its foramen for many years, while John
T. Temple, the florist, kept the records and cash for a quarter of a
century or more. Coulmns could be filled about
this company and
its members if space permitted it. The company went out of active
service May 1, 1882. It's motto was "Our work shall be the pride of our
The "Pioneer" Hook and Ladder Company was
organized in the latter part of the 50's and occupied the old Western
Avenue Market House, on Western Avenue between Fourth and Fifth
streets. The building was owned by the City, and was partly occupied by
meat and garden truck vendors and the balance was used as a fire house
jointly, by the Pioneer Hooks and the Rescue Hand Engine Company, until
the fire in the winter of 1871, which wiped the Market House and fire
apparatus from the face of the earth. Many old citizens will remember
the old Market House with the quaint bell tower surmounted by a huge
iron weather vane, and hearing the sweet sounding bell therein call the
firemen to duty or meetings. The bell was cracked in the aforementioned
fire, and was afterwards recast, but never did it, ever regain its
melodious tone. This company was mostly composed of sturdy German
citizens who came to this city to build it up. A great many
of the organizers of this staunch company have long since gone to their
and after many years of usefulness the company was disbanded by the
on May 1, 1882. It occupied the double two story brick engine house on
southeast corner of Fourth and Scott streets, opposite the County Court
House. The building was torn down in the spring of 1901 to make way for
the present modern Central Fire Station.
The "Rescue" Hand Engine and Hose Company No.2,
was organized about the time the Pioneer Hooks began service and
occupied jointly the quarters with the Hooks in the old market house.
It did good service in its time, and was the pride of the central
population of the
city. Many of the best business men of the City were hot members and
yet living can tell a great many interesting incidents and occurences
past fire fighting experiences. Eggert Wriedt, the well known West
street Stove merchant and a veteran who lost a leg in the line of duty
in the hand engine days, was the long time president of this Company up
to the date of disbandment in 1882. As with the others, the old timers
of that Company have answered their last summons long ago.
Left to right: John Guldner,
Hendricksen, William Wendt, Otto Lahrmann,
James Deulind, Detlef Koll, Julius Moetzel, Rudolf Rolfs, And Henry
THE "LIBERTY" COMPANY
The "Liberty" Steam Fire Engine Company was
organized in April 1865, and was a part of the disbanded
It owned the brick hose house on West Second street near Brown, until
occupied by the No. 2’s of the paid force. This Company also was the
of the City, and its motto was "Pro-bono-publico." The late Honorable
Michael Donahue, the founder of onr present admirable water works
system, was a contributing member of this Company, and did much
financially and otherwise, to further and foster the efficiency and
well being of the Liberty Company, until it disbanded in 1882. This
Company furnished the Chief of the fire department, in the person of
the late Henry Kurmeier, for many years. Mr. Kurmeier died in the
spring of 1901. The Company sold out to the City when the waterworks
system was inaugurated, and then received $400.00 annually in lieu of
its services. The members of this Company were active and did efficient
service during its existence as a Fire company. Some of the prominent
business men of the City were members such as Henry Korn, Gus Baker,
John F. Miller, August Littig, Amandas Waebur, and many others. The
younger portion of the Company formed a crack running team in the
tournament days and captured many valuable prizes. It's equipment was a
"Button" Steamer, christened "M.
Donahue", tender and hose cart with six hundred feet of hose.
Steamer M. Donahue
THE "RED ROVERS"
In the western end of our City, the First Ward
Hose Company was organized. In 1875 and prior thereto, many fires
occurred in the western portion of the town, when Ex-Chief of Police,
Frank Kessler, already an old timer in the fire service, organized with
Leonard Biller, Henry Schaefer, Ex-Mayor Fred Heinz, Ex-Senator William
0. Schmidt and others, the First Ward Hose Company with about fourty
members. They built a small, though neat hose house surmounted with a
bell tower, on the north-east corner of Third and Green (now Myrtle)
streets, and were supplied with a "Button" make hose cart named ."Red
Rover" with a capacity of one-thousand feet of hose. They covered the
entire City most of the time for $50.00 per annum and
did as good service without any noise as any volunteer company could
Louis Stratman, the late well known brick contractor and builder, was
able foreman for years which fact alone is a voucher that the Company
in a favorable position to do good and efficient service. It was
auxiliary to the present paid fire department from May 1, 1882, until
disbanded by the
city December 6, 1890. The fine toned bell that hung on the "Wards"
tower, now tolls ten o'clock P. M. in the City Hall belfry, heralding
the closing of the wet grocery houses of our City. Ignatius Schmidt was
the "more or less esteemed" secretary of the Company for over fifteen
THE "HOPE" HOSE
The Hope Hose Company was located on upper Brady
street on a tract then known as the "Skating Park", now built up as
Edinger's Subdivision. It was organized by members from the Fire King
Company, who resided in the northern part of the City during the
year1871, and the territory was about the same as is now covered by
Hose Company No.3, of the present paid brigade. The late Charles
Aschermann was its foreman for a long time, and the boys did good work
until the new system was installed in 1882.
This Company was supplied with a two-wheeled hose reel carrying about
hundred feet of hose.
THE "TONY LE CLAIRE'S"
In the Centennial year (1876) the Fifth Ward Hose
Company was organized by residents in the vicinity of old Saint
Marguerite's Catholic Church and members of that parish. Its hose house
on the Church block south of the parish school and had the usual
equipment of a two wheeled cart with five hundred feet of hose. It's
cart was named "Antoine LeClaire" in honor of the pioneer settler and
Indian interpreter. The Arnoulds, Graces, Smiths, Lillises, Heeneys,
Downs and others were
the beacon lights of the Company, which did effective service, both in
the City and across the river, when duty called them for service. The
was legislated out of commission in 1882 to make room for our paid
THE "MOUNT IDA'S"
The Mount Ida Hose Company was organized after
the water works system was in operation, and was located on Bridge
Avenue in the aristocratic Mount Ida district and was chiefly composed
of residents in that neighborhood. Ex-Congressman Joe R. Lane was its
commanding officer, and the boys did some "whooping up" 'during their
time of service which terminated in 1882. Their old hose house is now
doing service as a wagon shed in Mount Ida's back alleys.
Just opposite the old Arsenal Brewery on Mound
and Front streets in East Davenport, was located the "Pilot" Hose
Company, which was organized in 1871. The quarters was a small frame
two story affair, and its equipment was a two wheeled hose cart with
five hundred feet of
hose, and a two wheeled hook and ladder wagon attached to the hose
Alderman Christ Kuehl was the foreman and leading spirit of the
company. It comprised some of the old time residents of the old village
of East Davenport and was noted for it's good work in that quarter of
the City. It remained in active service until Hose Company No.4, of the
paid department was installed.
The Eagle Hook and Ladder Company of Northwest
Davenport was located on the lot now occupied by the handsome school
building on Union street. It had an old style ladder wagon resembling a
band wagon with a lot of poles, hooks, ladders and old rubber buckets
to douse out fires with. That portion of the city was once sparsely
settled and without water mains, so the company was often handicapped
in quenching the flames, despite the fact that it had a "Little Giant"
hand engine along with its band-wagon truck. The members were of the
sturdy old Schleswig-Holsteiners who made Scott County so famous and
prosperous. Peter Nicholous Jacobsen was its heavy weighted foreman,
and he and his brave band of "fire putters oudt" extinguished at one
time a fire in Hamburg, on account of the absence of the necessary
liquid (water) with milk and beer, the latter being more abundant by a
long ways. The City fathers legislated the Hooks out of existence in
The "Alert" Hose Company was the last of the
volunteer fire department that was organized. It was located on Gaines
street north of Eighth street. It had a nice neat looking hose house
and the Lutheran Church bell was used for giving fire signals. Its boys
were good sprinters and did good effective work when the hose did not
burst. The City Fire and Water Committee did treat them rather
unceremoniously by supplying them with worn out hose. This Committee
received a piece of their mind through the medium of Jake Nabstedt,
their long time foreman, who
has since served several terms in the Town Legislature. This Company
dubbed "Jerusalem" from the fact that the district north of Eight and
streets was very sparsely settled and was popularly known as
"Jerusalem." Though their organized career was comparatively a brief
one, each retired member of the "Alerts" can be proud of his work done
in the "hill up" fire brigade.
THE VETERAN ASSOCIATION
On December 2nd, 1896, a few of the remaining
members of the volunteer fire department organized the Veteran
Volunteer Fireman's Association with about forty members, the object
being charity, benevolence and good fellowship. The first president was
Henry Korn and thereafter John T. Temple, Ex-Chief John B. Schmidt, I.
J. Hild, Herman C. Watenbold and Rudolph Rohlfs, wielded the gavel at
meetings, which took place in December, March, June and September of
each year. The association now has a membership of about one hundred,
and was instrumental in bringing about the Iowa State Firemans'
Tournament in September 1902, ably managed by Colonel P. W. McManus, as
Chairman, and Ignatius Schmidt as Secretary. The present officers of
this Association are: President, Rudolph Rohlfs; First Vice President,
Wm. E. Petersen; Second Vice president, Henry C. Huss; Secretary,
Ignatius Schmidt; Treasurer, John T. Temple; Foreman, Henry F. Wriedt.
Executive Committee: I. J. Hild, H. C. Warnebold and Samuel Rowley. The
association celebrates the big Hill Block fire of February 22nd, 1876,
every year and are gathering up all old relics of the old department,
such as trumpets, helmets, flags badges, etc., which will be put in a
case and stored in the Central Fire Station. Mr. Frank Holm, the County
has in his possession a piece of a pole with an iron hook which was
owned and used by his grandfather Louis Baurose in the early days of
Davenport's primitive Fire fighting facilities. Mr. Baurose was an old
timer, serving in the old "Rescue" Hand Engine Company, wherein he was
its favorite president until his death. Mr Holm in the near future will
present this treasure
of the Association. Mr. Gustav Von Dochren residing in Northwest
has the distinction of being the only living Ex.Chief of the old
Fire Department. Those Ex. Chiefs and assistants who went to their
the past years are Colonel Robert Morris Littler, Christian Mueller,
Lumber King, John Luetje, Ernest A. Tilebine, Otto Klug, Marsh Noe,
Malchau, Henry Kurmeier, John B. Schmidt, John Eichner, Charles Timm
Detleff Koll. Marsh Noe of course was also the first Chief of the paid
department, and was succeeded by Peter Maurice Giloley, and Henry
who died October 18th, 1907. He was succeeded by John C. Piening, John
Stoltenberg was placed in the position after Pienings withdrew. The
present Chief Peter Denger succeeding John Stoltenberg. Noteworthy to
remark how much some
volunteer fireman would do to save property without pay is the instance
of one Fritz Baurose who belonged to the Liberty Engine Company No.1.
resided in far off Blackhawk and used to respond to fires in the City
a rig pulled by his valuable mare called "Isabella". At one time while
the engine, "Isabella" through exhaustion passed away, and died as a
in the fire service. Many other instances could be written and
if space permitted it.
Written by IGNATIUS SCHMIDT.
President, Veteran Volunteer Fireman's
Members of the Veteran Volunteer Fireman's
Association of Davenport. Iowa. J. J. Arnould, Charles Baurose, August
Blunk, Charles De Beaulieu, George T. Havens, Henry Haak, H. D.
Hartman, Joseph Hartman., Henry F. Herzog, P. N. Jacobsen, Jr., Paul
Jugenheimer, Gottlieb Koch, William Koch, August Knaack, Henry Koos, P.
W. McManus, Jacob Nabstedt, Ernest Oln, Charles L. Orth, Rudolph
Rohlfs, Samuel Rowley, John H. Schroeder, Detlef Siemsen, Fred
Schoening, John Stoltenberg, Charles Siemer, William F. Strohbehn,
Charles Stubbe, John Stahmer, William Schumacher, Fred Schumacher, John
Siems, John Scheimer, William Thode, E. H. G. Von Dehren, John Wiggers,
Theodore Wilkins, William Wendt, Henry Wriedt, Julius Zabel, Ernest
Zoller, H. C. Beckman, F. Behncke, Jr., John Berwald, E. L. Beyer,
Leonard Biller, H. W. Brandt, Chris Burmeister, Henry Hageboeck, John
Heinz, I. J. Hild, Alfred Hurst, T. Hinselmann, C.H. Huss, Julius H.
Jansen, John Jehning, Claus Kiesburg,. Henry Klindt, Fred Kroy, Henry
Korn, Chris Kuehl, George Maisack, Theodore Maisack, Fred J. Meyer,
Henry Mundt, Robert Piepes, John C. Piening, P. F. Petersen, W. C.
Raimm, John A. Rhodes, Milton A. Rouser, John Schlueter, Peter J.
Schlueter, Frank Schebler, Ignatius Shcmidt, George W. Schwenke, L. W.
Schwenke, L. C. Shchwerdtfeger, Adam Stafenbiet, John F.
Temple, Oliver Van Dyne, H. C. Warneboldt, Hy Wickelmann, E. E. Wooten,
Otto Klug, Henry Martzahn, Claus Wulff, Henry N.
Wegner, Louis Baurose, Gottlieb Maisack, Orson Parker, Fred Roeschmann,
Henry Kurmeier, Jacob J. Dishinger, Thomas W. McClelland, Herman L.
Wagner, Robert P. Moore, William Ritter, John T. Miller, Edwin William
Baker, John Hoelmer, John S. Belick, Charles P. McGhee, Bernhard Beyer,
E. A. Tilebeine, Otto H. Lahrmann, Fred Heniz, Frank Behncke, Sr.,
James B. Delvin, John F. Schultz, John J. Hau, Carl H. Schlapkohl,
William J. Reese, John B. Schmidt, James H. Camp, Henry Ehlers,
Theodore Martens, Henry Hennings, Martin Downs, Henry Stratman, William
Gronau, William 0. Schmidt, Charles Aschermann, Gustav Stengel, J. A.
Stephenson, Peter Fuchs, James Goetsch, Ed W. Purce, G. H. Mosier, Ed
S. Arnold, Joseph Winckler, Detlef Matthias, J. J. Powell, Henry
Barnhoeft, and Charles Falkner.
Parade, Iowa State Firemen's Tournament,
Davenport, September 1902
Peter Denger, Fire Chief
The volunteers, the men who "ran with the old
machine" and who ran with their great pike hook poles and buckets
before there was a "machine" have made history. Their names are
associated with the large enterprises, not only in Davenport and Iowa
but throughout the country, to such an extent that it is impossible to
name them or follow their
activities. They rendered magnificent service, sacrificing themselves
their financial interests for the common welfare. The need however of a
regular paid fire department which would devote its entire time and be
on the alert was recognized and to the strenuous efforts of Ex.
Alderman F. G. Clausen, the architect who worked out the plan for a
paid department, belongs the credit of the full paid fire department.
Some were in favor of
part paid department, but ably assisted by Henry Karwarth, Mr. Clausen
his fight, and three engines were ordered from Chicago, and the full
fire department of Davenport was organized in 1882.
When the paid department was first organized there were twelve men
beside the chief who was Marsh Noe. The pay for captains and drivers
$45 per month, and pipemen $40 per month. Each had six hours off every
twelve days and one half hour for meals. Ex-Chief Henry Stratman had
meal time extended to three-fourths of an hour and an increase in pay.
Since 1882 the fire department has been full
paid and is under the supervision of a board of Police and Fire
Commissioners, viz: Alexander Anderson, Henry Jager, Christian Niemand
and Hugo Moeller, city clerk. The Fire Committee of the city council is
Louis Wiese, chairman, Wm. H. Gosch and Chas. M. Zoeckler. The officers
of the Fire Department are chief, Peter Denger, first assistant, James
Quinn, second assistant, Gustav Alex; third assistant James Moses. The
chief is the executive head of the department and makes assignments and
transfers and inspects building's, keeps records of fires and losses. The officers have all had long
experience, are capable and progressive. There are forty-five members,
the pay roll amounting to $40,000 per annum. The amount appropriated
for the maintenance of the department is $53,000 per annum.
THE PRESENT FIRE DEPARTMENT
All the appointments are made by the chief. The
age limits twenty one to forty years, and the minimum height is five
feet, eight inches. Members maybe discharged only for cause.
In 1909 under a board of trustees composed of the
Fire Chief, City Attorney and Treasurer, (at present Peter Denger,
Attorney, Maurice F. Donegan, and William G. Noth, Treasurer,) a
pension fund was
established under which members may be retired for disability after
two years service, if fifty five years of age, or at any time for
incurred in line of duty. Provisions are also made for the widows,
children and dependent parents of members. The fund is supported by not
one-half mill in the city tax levy; one per cent of salaries of the
and by gifts. Members receive half pay if injured in discharge of duty.
year the tax of one fourth mill produced approximately $6,000 for the
pension fund which was augmented by $400, from the members' salaries.
there is but one pensioner, Paul Krumbholz. Ex-Chief John Stoeltenberg,
the oldest active member in point of
service. There have been only two serious accidents to firemen in the
the Fire Department; the one being Eggert Wriedt, of the Volunteers who
lost a leg, being run over by a hand fire engine at the corner of Front
Brady. The other was T. S. Cunningham, captain of No.3, who in
a fire alarm was thrown from and run over by a truck which he was
He was killed almost instantly. These accidents however, occurred
the pension fund was established. Nearly all the department are members
a fund which pays a small weekly sick benefit and.funeral expenses.
There are seven hose and two ladder companies in
service. Each hose company has four members, except Hose No. 1, where a
fifth man is detailed as driver to the first assistant chief. Ladder
No.2, has four members and Ladder Company No. 1 has eight, including
the second assistant chief. The linemen attend fires with this company.
A Captain is assigned to each company; in his absence the oldest member
in years of service acts. Members are allowed ten days annual vacation,
one day off in eight
and three hours daily for meals in three shifts.
The Equipment Protection includes eight hose
wagons, one aerial ladder, one common ladder, thirteen thousand feet of
hose, about six-hundred feet of ladder, and twenty-five horses. There
are eighty miles of water mains and seven-hundred and twenty-seven
with two pumping stations with a capacity of forty million gallons of
water every twenty-four hours.
Fire Station No. 1
Fire Station No. 4
Fire Station No. 6
Fire Station No. 7
The Gamewell Automatic Fire Alarm System
installed in 1909 is used. There are eighty boxes. All fire alarm
apparatus, switchboard, repeater and storage batteries are the latest
and best. There are some
old style boxes which have been in use since 1881 and are still in good
condition. They are being replaced by the latest style. New boxes are
installed at the rate of four per annum. City Electrician Al
is superintendent of fire alarm.
HOW TO TURN IN ALARM
Every box has a key covered by a glass guard.
Break the glass, turn the key and open the door. Protruding from the
inner box will be found a hook. Pull this hook down once and let go.
Then if the fire does not show plainly for itself wait until the
firemen arrive and give
them the necessary directions. Or call Central by telephone and notify
the location of the fire, street and
number. The Central telephone exchange gives this information to the
The Fire Chiefs under the paid department have
been Marsh Noe (picture with Fire King Engine Company), Henry Stratman;
Peter M. Gilloley, John Piening, John Stoltenberg, (pictures of the
latter two are in the pictures of firemen taken in 1904) and Peter
Roster of Present Fire Department
Peter Denger, Chief; James
Quinn, Assistant Chief.
(note, names under photos may not be in
Central Station Crew
Hose Company No. 2 - James Moses,
Captain, Frank Fidlar, Richard Kelly, William Gilloley, J. Buck.
Hook & Ladder Company, No. 1 -
Gustav Alex, Captain, Hy Brewbaker. Lineman; Paul Germandt, Lineman;
Hy Bergsmith, Fred Raible, Walter Tichenor, Charles Westphal, J. H. Hasson, James Olsen,
M. Wiese, A. F. Kessler.
Hose Company No.1
- Emil Lucht, Captain; Edward Hall, Michael Trainor, Frank Daley,
William St. Onge.
Hose Company No. 3
Schroeder, Captain, Charles Mohr, Henry Uken, Frank Richardson.
Hook & Ladder
Company No. 2 - James Houghton, Captain; Hugo Roddewig, A. Mundt,
Hose Company No. 4
Burda, Captain; James Collins, William Dailey, D. H. Shire.
Hose Company No. 5
Hanssen, Captain, Paul Koch, William Jacobs, Amandus Martens.
Hose Company No. 6
Grobman, James Shields, Captain, Conrad Frey, J. H. O'Niel.
Hose Company No. 7 Charles Cook, John
Stoltenberg, John Costigan, Chris Thiessen
Hook & Ladder
Company, No. 1 - Gustav Alex, Captain, Hy Brewbaker. Lineman; Paul
Hy Bergsmith, Fred Raible, Walter Tichenor, Charles Westphal, J. H. Hasson, James Olsen,
M. Wiese, A. F. Kessler.
The first fire in 1845 destroyed the building,
corner Front and Ripley streets, Duncan C. Eldridge store. The second
fire destroyed Mrs. Dillon's dwelling house, April 1850. The Le Claire
foundry was destroyed in 1853. September 6, 1858 a destructive fire
the Bazar Block, Front and Brady, loss $3,000, June 23, 1860, Miss
Renwick's millinery store burned,loss $3,000. March 21, 1860, City
Hospital destroyed; July 21, 1862; Burrows and Prettyman's mill and
block on levee burned,
loss $60,000. November 11, 1863, Twin City flour mill destroyed, loss
$45,000. Property Judge William C. Cook destroyed. September 3, 1867, a
number of business houses on Brady street, loss $160,000. September 30,
1867, destructive fire on Second street between Brady and Perry
streets; loss $4,000. November 11, 1867, Burrows mill foot of Rock
Island street burned, loss $15,000,
August 9, 1869, John L. Davis planing mill, Fourth and Harrison street
destroyed; loss $20,000. April 4, 1870, Old Pennsylvania House and
dwellings burned; loss $75,000. April 25, 1870, Garret's shoe factory,
two dwellings and
Knostman & Petersen's furniture factory and lumber yards burned,
$30,000. October 5, 1871, great elevator fire, loss $65,000. December
1871, John L. Davis' stables were destroyed, loss $4,000. August 22,
Kirk's Planing Mill, loss $21,000. June 23, 1873, Western Avenue Market
House, destroying Rescue engine and Pioneer ladder wagon. March 29,
Shield's Woolen Mills, loss $40,000. February 22, 1876, Hill Block
loss, $200,000; May 15, 1876, Renwick's mill, fire loss $10,000.
15,1877, Whitaker Planing Mill, fire loss, $10,000.
More recently during the volunteer dispensation
there were Baettie's mill, Newcomb house, and Congregational church.
Besides the above there have been a number of large fires including the
Davenport Furniture, Drake Furniture, Elevator fire, Woolen Mills, "Big
Fire" of 1902 which destroyed millions of dollars of property. The
large fires of the
past six years are Jager livery loss $4,438; Haaks Cigar Manulacturing
$25,000. Sternberg Manufacturing, loss, $28,000. Kircher loss $31,060;
Washing Machine Manufacturing Company $10,000; Schmidt Brothers,
Company, loss, $11,000; Outing Club, loss $15,000; Heinrick's Crockery,
T. Richter and Louis Hansen's Sons, $65,000; 1906, American Tin Can
loss $143,000. 1908, Rothschild's Elevator, Mueller Lumber Company;
Corn Products Company, $65.000; John Van Patten Company, $6,000; U. N.
loss, $206,000; 1910, Brehmer Manufacturing Co., Plate Ice Company and
dwellings, Loss $150,000. The gross fire loss for the past five years
The average number of fires; 167; average loss per fire. $880.00;
loss per one-thousand popuation, $41: average yearly loss per capita
"Ran With the
'Twas old time rocks in the glorious days
When Saxie held the pipe,
With never a thought of pay or praise,
And for fracas or fire was ripe.
What tales that ancient house could tell
Which faced the village green
Where they came at the clang of the fire call
To run with the old machine.
They were strenuous men in the days of yore,
When the ploughman left his farm
And the grocer locked his little store
To get out on the first alarm.
The blacksmith leaves his unfinished job
When the first red gleam is seen,
And the mason drops his trowel and bob
To run with the old machine.
When the winter's nights were long and cold
And the winds blew shrill outside,
What songs "were sung" and stories told
Around the fireplace wide;
And they moistened their whistles now and then
With a swig from the same canteen
As they drank success to the red-shirt men
Who ran with the old machine.
The red-shirt man was a soldier, too,
And risked his life as well
As his comrade who wore the faded Blue
And faced the shot and shell.
When Gabriel's trump awakens them all,
Can you draw the line between
The man who tramped at his country's call
Or ran with the old machine?
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