This Davenport Fire Department History is from 1911. There is some repetition
from the 1902 history but this one contains more names and some different pictures.
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Transcribed to HTML by Leon Rowell 2003



DAVENPORT 1875


SCOTT COUNTY COURTHOUSE


CENTRAL FIRE STATION


Chief Peter Denger

Ex-Chief Louis Stratman

Ex-Chief Peter Maurice Gilloley

Fire Commissioner Christian Niemand

Fire Commissioner Alexander L. Anderson

Alderman Christain Kuehl

 The following group of pictures were taken in 1904

John Costigan

Al High

Charles Cook

James Quinn

Chris Thiessen

William Grobman

James Shields

Michael Trainor

James Horrigan

Herman Eggers

Emil Lucht

Louis Langtinn

James Houghton

De Forrest McCollister

Joseph Burda
 
Peter Denger

Julius Hasson

John C. Piening

T. S. Cunningham

Richard Kelly

William Sterling

Charles Westphal

William Gilloley

John Stoltenberg

M. Heeney

J. Moses

Chris Hansen

Frank Siebke

Gustav Alex

Dave Schroeder

Hy Brewbaker

John Pohlman

Gus Feers
(End of 1904 Pictures)


Col. Robert Morris Littler
First Chief of Volunteers


John T. Temple

Christian Mueller
Second Chief of Volunteers


Henry Korn



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

1911

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 pole with a hook attached, and should use them in case of fire. As there were only one hundred houses in the place it did not take many car loads of buckets 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 of Front and Ripley Streets, where Duncan C. Eldridge opened the initial store of 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 Littler. The proverbial bucket brigade assisted at times by thunder showers, were really the only means to be depended upon for subduing the "fiery demon" 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 Ochs Estate.

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 salary.
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 efforts in establishing an efficient fire service for his beloved city have been crowned with success. It would therefore not be out of place to make a brief mention of the fire companies organized after the Independents went 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 HOSE COMPANY

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, and 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 Commercial 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 firemen, 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

MARSH NOE
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 city".

THE "PIONEERS"
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 reward, and after many years of usefulness the company was disbanded by the City, on May 1, 1882. It occupied the double two story brick engine house on the 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 "RESCUES"
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 some yet living can tell a great many interesting incidents and occurences of past fire fighting experiences. Eggert Wriedt, the well known West Second 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.


Rescue Hose
Left to right: John Guldner, Hendricksen, William Wendt, Otto Lahrmann,
James Deulind, Detlef Koll, Julius Moetzel, Rudolf Rolfs, And Henry Wriedt


THE "LIBERTY" COMPANY
The "Liberty" Steam Fire Engine Company was organized in April 1865, and was a part of the disbanded "Independents." It owned the brick hose house on West Second street near Brown, until lately occupied by the No. 2’s of the paid force. This Company also was the favorite 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 do. Louis Stratman, the late well known brick contractor and builder, was its able foreman for years which fact alone is a voucher that the Company was 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 years.

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 six 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 was located 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 Company was legislated out of commission in 1882 to make room for our paid department.

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.

THE "PILOTS"
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 cart. 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 "EAGLES"
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 May 1882.

THE "ALERTS"
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 was dubbed "Jerusalem" from the fact that the district north of Eight and Gaines 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 Recorder has in his possession a piece of a pole with an iron hook which was once 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 Davenport has the distinction of being the only living Ex.Chief of the old Volunteer Fire Department. Those Ex. Chiefs and assistants who went to their reward the past years are Colonel Robert Morris Littler, Christian Mueller, the Lumber King, John Luetje, Ernest A. Tilebine, Otto Klug, Marsh Noe, Jacob Malchau, Henry Kurmeier, John B. Schmidt, John Eichner, Charles Timm and Detleff Koll. Marsh Noe of course was also the first Chief of the paid department, and was succeeded by Peter Maurice Giloley, and Henry "Bonie" Stratman, 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. He resided in far off Blackhawk and used to respond to fires in the City with a rig pulled by his valuable mare called "Isabella". At one time while pulling the engine, "Isabella" through exhaustion passed away, and died as a "hero" in the fire service. Many other instances could be written and chronicled if space permitted it.                                 
Written by IGNATIUS SCHMIDT.


Rudolph Rohlfs
President, Veteran Volunteer Fireman's Association, Davenport

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, Eggert F. Wriedt.

DECEASED
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


Davenport Paid Fire Department


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 and their financial interests for the common welfare. The need however of a regular paid fire department which would devote its entire time and be ever 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 won his fight, and three engines were ordered from Chicago, and the full paid 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 was $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 the meal time extended to three-fourths of an hour and an increase in pay.

THE PRESENT FIRE DEPARTMENT

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.

APPOINTMENTS
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.

PENSION FUND
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 twenty two years service, if fifty five years of age, or at any time for disability incurred in line of duty. Provisions are also made for the widows, minor children and dependent parents of members. The fund is supported by not over one-half mill in the city tax levy; one per cent of salaries of the members and by gifts. Members receive half pay if injured in discharge of duty. Last year the tax of one fourth mill produced approximately $6,000 for the pension fund which was augmented by $400, from the members' salaries. At present there is but one pensioner, Paul Krumbholz. Ex-Chief John Stoeltenberg, is the oldest active member in point of service. There have been only two serious accidents to firemen in the history of 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 and Brady. The other was T. S. Cunningham, captain of No.3, who in answering a fire alarm was thrown from and run over by a truck which he was driving. He was killed almost instantly. These accidents however, occurred before the pension fund was established. Nearly all the department are members of a fund which pays a small weekly sick benefit and.funeral expenses.

FIRE STATIONS
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 hydrants, with two pumping stations with a capacity of forty million gallons of water every twenty-four hours.

                            
                         Fire Station No. 1                                                                                         Fire Station No. 3

                             
                          Fire Station No. 4                                                                                        Fire Station No. 5

                       
                      Fire Station No. 6                                                                                        Fire Station No. 7

FIRE ALARMS
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 being installed at the rate of four per annum. City Electrician Al Goldschmidt 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 her the location of the fire, street and number. The Central telephone exchange gives this information to the entire department.

FIRE CHIEFS
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 Denger.

Roster of Present Fire Department

Peter Denger, Chief; James Quinn, Assistant Chief.

(note, names under photos may not be in order)

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 - Dave Schroeder, Captain, Charles Mohr, Henry Uken, Frank Richardson.
Hook & Ladder Company No. 2 - James Houghton, Captain; Hugo Roddewig, A. Mundt, George Cummings.

Hose Company No. 4 - Jos. Burda, Captain; James Collins, William Dailey, D. H. Shire.


Hose Company No. 5 - Chris Hanssen, Captain, Paul Koch, William Jacobs, Amandus Martens.


Hose Company No. 6 - William 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 Germandt, Lineman;
Hy Bergsmith, Fred Raible, Walter Tichenor,
Charles Westphal, J. H. Hasson, James Olsen, M. Wiese, A. F. Kessler.


IMPORTANT FIRES
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 visited 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, loss, $30,000. October 5, 1871, great elevator fire, loss $65,000. December 17, 1871, John L. Davis' stables were destroyed, loss $4,000. August 22, 1872, Kirk's Planing Mill, loss $21,000. June 23, 1873, Western Avenue Market House, destroying Rescue engine and Pioneer ladder wagon. March 29, 1875, Shield's Woolen Mills, loss $40,000. February 22, 1876, Hill Block fire, loss, $200,000; May 15, 1876, Renwick's mill, fire loss $10,000. September 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 loss, $25,000. Sternberg Manufacturing, loss, $28,000. Kircher loss $31,060; Simplex Washing Machine Manufacturing Company $10,000; Schmidt Brothers, Manufacturing 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 company, loss $143,000. 1908, Rothschild's Elevator, Mueller Lumber Company; American Corn Products Company, $65.000; John Van Patten Company, $6,000; U. N. Roberts, loss, $206,000; 1910, Brehmer Manufacturing Co., Plate Ice Company and dwellings, Loss $150,000. The gross fire loss for the past five years is $724,364. The average number of fires; 167; average loss per fire. $880.00; average loss per one-thousand popuation, $41: average yearly loss per capita $3.67.


"Ran With the Old Machine"

'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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