enter name and hit return
Find in Page
COMPANIES OF THE TENTH DISTRICT. DISTRICT ENGINEER JAMES WALSH. - BETWEEN THE WATER-FRONT AND THE ARISTOCRATIC PARK - RAPID GROWTH ALONG THE ELEVATED LINES - LIMITS OF THE TENTH DISTRICT AVERAGING a mile in width and stretching out to a length of three miles, the Tenth District gives plenty of work to the four companies that are specially charged with its guardian- ship. It extends from Flatbush Avenue and Butler Street south to the city line at Bay Ridge, and is contained between Prospect Park, Windsor Terrace, Greenwood Cemetery and the easterly city line, and Gowanus Bay and Canal. .The mention of these limits will indicate at once the varied character of the district from a fireman»s point of view. The entire northerly section of the district consists of residences, except along the canal; and including as it does the newly and handsomely developed region along the borders of Prospect Park, it contains what are perhaps the most beautiful and costly of all the residences in the city. Through the heart of the district runs the Brooklyn and Union Elevated railroad, and this means that within the few years that this line has been in operation there has been a constant and rapid growth of building and population. Steadily has the fire duty here increased in importance and magnitude; and these are conditions that exact untiring vigilance from a corps of fire-companies, who would find their enemy beyond their control if they relaxed their watchfulness in the least. The recent re-districting of the city for fire purposes has set apart for the new Tenth District so much of the old First District as was included in the territory covered by Engines Nos. 1, 20, and 28 and Truck No. 9, leaving in the new First District of the old guard only Truck No. 1 and Engine No. 2. - DISTRICT ENGINEER WALSH : TWENTY-THREE YEARS IN COMMAND OF ENGINE COMPANY NO 8
DISTRICT ENGINEER JAMES WALSH. James WALSH is the District Engineer charged with the responsibilities of this district. To its duties he was recently transferred from the scene of his faithful labors of nearly a quarter of a century, where he had directed the fortunes and shared the dangers of Engine Company No. 8, on Front Street, in the Third District. There was little question as to the early promotion of an officer of his experience and long service with high rank; and when he came out second in the examination for promotion with a percentage of 78%, following close on the heels of the leader in the contest, it was no surprise to any one that he stood so high in the competition and secured so surely the second of the five appointments that were given out in July, 1892. Mr. WALSH was an old-timer in the fire business, by whatever standard he was measured. Born in Ireland, on Oct. 18, 1845, and making his home in Brooklyn since his youth, he early joined the Volunteer Fire Department, and served continuously with old Constitution No. 7, until the days of the Volunteer Department were numbered and the Paid Department in all its glory of reorganization was ushered in. At this time many old firemen were put to the test of merit, and so far as selection for the new Department was evidence of faithful work and demonstrated ability, those who received appointments had cause for satisfaction.. In an eminent degree this satisfaction was enjoyed by James WALSH, for not only was he numbered with the elect who were taken into the new Department, but he was so highly esteemed for the work he had done under the former auspices as to be made at once a Foreman under the new regime, and was assigned to the command of Engine Company No. 8, of which he has been the captain ever since, to the great satisfaction of his men and his superiors. So long a service with one command, comprising the entire period of the company's history, has identified him with No. 8 inextricably, and the record of No. 8 is the record of Foreman James WALSH. The honorable career and the excellent condition of this company are the monument of its admirable commander. He not only has successfully directed its work in fire-fighting, but he has himself shared the dangers to which he exposed his men. Twice during his term of service with the company has he been injured. The risk of firemen in handling fires where chemicals are among the combustibles was illustrated in his experience at a fire in the chemical works at Main and Water Streets on May 10, 1881, when the bursting of a bottle of vitriol kept him at home for nearly three months with a badly damaged arm. And a few years before that, in 1875, he was seriously hurt when the butt end of a pipe struck him in the eye while he was leaning over a cornice directing the operations of his men. To get a bluff, brave man like Mr. WALSH, to whom the accidents of a fireman's life are a natural part of it and are lightly considered, to tell much of what has happened to him during, twenty-three years of practical fire duty, is not very easy. It is pretty certain that his experiences would fill a very interesting book; but he does not want too many of them to go into this book, and nothing further can be said of him here than that he is regarded as a most admirable officer worthily filling an honorable position. - ENGINE COMPANY NO. I : THE PIONEER OF THE PAID DEPARTMENT
Engine No. 1 as its number indicates, was organized when the Paid Department came into existence. It was installed in the house on Fourth Avenue, between Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets, which, prior to that time, had been occupied by Putnam Engine No. 21, of the Volunteer Department, and remained there until Aug. 20, 1891, when it was reorganized and moved to a new building of better design and more ample accommodations on Fourth Avenue, between Fifty-first and Fifty-second Streets. The building is of buff colored brick with trimmings of red sandstone, and is an ornament to the neighborhood. While there is little or no pretension to embellishment on the interior, it is neat and comfortable and well adapted to the purposes of the company. In its early days this company had a large, but not a particularly populous district to cover. For the past ten or twelve years, however, building operations have been brisk, and where vacant lots and wooden dwellings were once numerous, there have been erected many fine large factories, public institutions, and apartment houses. Early in the year 1889 Commissioner ENNIS was appealed to by the property owners and residents of the lower section of the Eighth Ward for better protection from fire. The district had grown wonderfully, and as a truck company was needed in the neighborhood the Commissioner took occasion to transfer the engine as soon as the house was completed and ready for occupancy. James CONNORS, who served as Foreman for several years, and was then Assistant Foreman of Engine No. 1, was placed temporarily in charge, and was subsequently promoted to a foremanship, and his place at the head of the company was made permanent. The district is bounded by Prospect Avenue, New Utrecht, Bay Ridge and New York Bay. Among the important buildings in the district are many large structures where machinery is used, including the electrical stations of the Brooklyn City Railroad Company, from which several lines of surface trolley cars are to be operated, the big factory of the United States Projectile Company, where the manufacture of shells for government guns is a specialty; the oil refinery of Bush & Denslow, and the large paper manufactory founded by the late Robert Graves, several large factories where high combustibles and explosives are the output and stock in trade, the great storm shed of the South Brooklyn Terminal Company, and the ferry-house of the Thirty-ninth Street Ferry alongside. All these contribute materially to the possibilities of serious and disastrous conflagration within the limits of the bailiwick so creditably covered by Engine No. 1. Since the reorganization of the company a few months ago it has had little chance to distinguish itself, but what duty it was called upon to do was performed satisfactorily. It was in its early days and while in the old quarters that the company won praise for valiant services. It was a tradition that " Engine No. 1 " was always first at a fire, and the last to leave and did the most effective, service. The engine was formerly in the service of No. 9. It is a second-class Amoskeag, and while yet in perfect condition was one of the first brought into the Department. The tender, or hose-carriage, is one of the "old originals," and is equal to the emergencies that beset its path. " Harry," " Jim " and "Jerry " are the engine pets that speed their way to fires. Their intelligence and affection are not to be overlooked. They require no urging or driving, when the noisy, clanging gong denotes a conflagration and summons No. 1 in haste to the foremost line of duty. Foreman JAMES CONNORS was born in Brooklyn, Aug. 8, 1844. His appointment, made Sept. 15, 1869, places him among the oldest and most reliable members of the Department. In his youth, through the medium of the Volunteer Department, he was enabled to satisfy an ambition for fire-fighting. When old enough he became actively identified with Hose No. 14, which was then quartered in Ninth Street near Third Avenue. Here he speedily earned promotion to Assistant Foreman, a position he held 1! until the advent of the Paid Department, of which he became a member. The rapidity with which Foreman CONNORS forged ahead in his new place, and the events of his period of duty, confirm the adage that " a good man cannot be kept down." On Jan. 23, 1872, in recognition of faithful and earnest work, he was elevated to the rank of Foreman, though only to be reduced to the ranks seven years later by an act of the Shannon- Ryan Commission. The following year his worth was again proven by his reinstatement as Foreman, but on Oct. 21, 1881, among others he suffered another reduction to the ranks. For six years thereafter he continued as a private. When the position of Assistant Foreman was created he was one of the first men appointed by Commissioner ENNIS, being fourth on an eligible list of over fifty. This occurred March 1, 1887. Under the same official he worked his way back to his old post, his advancement taking place June 9, 1891. Foreman CONNORS, like many other veterans of the Department, has had more than one narrow escape from instant death, besides sustaining bodily injuries several times. At the buildings of Woodruff & Robinson in 1872, he was stationed in front of the building, when ordered to the rear. He had hardly reached there when the front of the structure fell in with a thunderous crash, almost upon his back. At the same conflagration he ascended a ladder which rested on an insecure shed, part of an adjoining building. Several firemen also climbed the rungs. They had just thrown a stream on the roaring flames when a creaking sound below attracted the attention of the men. They had scarcely turned their heads to learn the cause of the noise when the roof gave away leaving a small patch secure enough to keep the ladder and its imperiled occupants from being precipitated into the ruins, which meant a horrible death. Assistant Foreman HENRY PLATT was born in New York City, May 22, 1856, was appointed a fireman April 1, 1885, and assigned to Truck No. 1 Later he was transferred to the fire-boat " Seth Low." On Feb. 13, 1892, he was made an Assistant Foreman and assigned to Engine No. 1, where he has served creditably since. With others the last big fire in Pratt's Oil Works, Greenpoint, saw him detailed for ten days by his superior to guard the ruins against a fresh outbreak. It proved his longest and most eventful period of out-door duty since he joined the Department. Engineer ROBERT STACK was born in New York City, March 14, 1862, and was appointed July 1, 1885. His first duties in the Department were performed as a fireman on Engine No. 28. He was made Engineer Feb. 10, 1891, and his transfer to Engine No. 1 occurred when that company moved into its present quarters. Engineer Stack sustained painful injuries at a fire on Conover Street, near William, in the winter of 1888, by accidentally falling from a two-story window to the street. The mishap confined him to his bed for two weeks. GEORGE SPRAGUE, Assistant Engineer of Engine No. 1, was born Jan. 14, 1846. He received his appointment April 1, 1890, and became a member of Engine No. 6, receiving his promotion as stoker sixteen days later. From Engine No. 6 he was transferred to Engine No. 28, upon the organization of the latter, and reported for duty to Engine No. 1, the day it located in its present place. Mr. Sprague enlisted in the Navy on April 12, 1863, and received his discharge April 13, 1865. He arrived in Washington on the night Lincoln was shot. His two years of service were put in on board the government dispatch vessel " Cactus," which is to-day doing duty in the Federal Lighthouse Service. ALEXANDER F. NORTON was born in New York City, March 7, 1863. He was appointed Oct. 14, 1890, and was assigned to Truck No. 1. He was transferred to Engine No. 1 Aug. 20, of the following year. WESLEY SPRAGUE, a son of George Sprague above, was born Dec. 28, 1868. His appointment was made Jan. 31, 1891. He first reported for duty to Engine No. 28, and has been with Engine No. 1 since it has occupied its present house. THOMAS F. NOLAN was born at Fort Hamilton, July 2, 1864. He was appointed July 15, 1889, and began his fire career on Truck No. 5. On April 17, 1890, he was transferred to Engine No. 28, where he filled the position of driver. His connection with Engine No. 1, where he also handles the ribbons, began in 1891. JOHN J. SHANNON was born in Ireland, July 9, 1867. He received his appointment March 12, 1891, and after serving on Engines Nos. 2 and 28 respectively, became attached to No. 1 in 1891. LOUIS FRITSCHLER, who drives the hose-cart of Engine No. 1 was born in Baltimore, Md., in the year 1846. He served five years in the Fifth United States Artillery Band prior to his appointment in the Fire Department, which was on Aug. 6, 1883. He reported for duty to Truck No. 1 His transfer to Engine No. 1 occurred Jan. 24, 1884. A short stay with the latter organization was followed by an official order to join Engine No. 28, and in 1891 he returned to Engine No. 1. - ENGINE COMPANY NO. 20 : A HUNDRED FIRES IN ONE YEAR On Eleventh Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, is located the well appointed house of Engine No. 20. When the company was organized, in 1882, by Commissioner John N. Partridge, the house, then just completed, was looked upon as a model for comfort and convenience. It was the first of the fine quarters that now m shelter several of the recently organized companies, and to Colonel Partridge more than anyone else is due the credit for many of the innovations. The building is of brick, m two stories in height, with a one-story extension for stables and storehouse. On the . former is a lookout, from which fires can be. seen for a long distance in every direction, The neighborhood is one of the finest in the city. It is within a block of Prospect Park, on an elevation and in a fast-growing section. When first organized the company was composed of a Foreman and eleven picked men, mostly from other companies. A fine new Amoskeag engine, with an improved tender and a trio of trained steeds were the pride of the members. Patrick LAMEY, a fireman of long experience, was the first Foreman. The district, at that time, was not as important as it is now. The company responded to only 42 first alarm calls and it was nothing unusual for it to go for two and three weeks without attending a fire. Not so now. It responds to 71 first alarm calls, and during the year 1891 did service at ninety-three fires, large and small. The district covered by the company is bounded by the city line, Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, Gowanus Canal, Greenwood Cemetery and Twenty-eighth Street. Within its confines are several large car stables, including the Brooklyn City stables. the Fifth Avenue stables, the Seventh Avenue stables, the Vanderbilt Avenue stables. the depot of the Prospect Park & Coney Island Railroad and the stables of the Smith and Jay Streets line. In addition to these there are many large factories and institutions. Among them are the mammoth works of the Ansonia Clock Company. William M. Brasher & Co.'s oilcloth factory, Somers Brothers' ornamental tin manufactory, also the Home for the Aged, and all the large business houses that line Fifth and Seventh Avenues. The company, as now composed, is an excellent one. The men are quick, intelligent and conscientious, and have won encomiums from the Commissioner and Chief Engineer of the Department, besides the business men and residents of the district, for the way in which they have performed their duty. By prompt action on many occasions, disastrous fires have been averted. During the ten years of service of the company, there has not been what can really be called a big fire in that district. The nearest approach to this was the conflagration at the oilcloth factory of William Brasher & Co., where one of the members of the company, William Chinn, lost his life while going to the fire, and two others were injured. The company has rendered excellent service at large fires throughout the city. At the recent disastrous fire in Smith, Gray & Co.'s building it was one of the last to leave the scene. PATRICK LARNEY, the first Foreman, served for nearly five years, when he was retired. MATTHEW FOHEY, who is now Foreman of Engine No. 28, was LAMEY's assistant and was placed temporarily in charge. He served in that capacity until July 1, 1889. PETER FARRELL, the present Foreman, was born in the Sixth Ward, on the last day of Aug., 1850. In the days of the Volunteer Fire Department, when still in his teens, he was a member of Neptune Engine No. 3, located on Hicks Street, near Degraw. On June 1, 1874, he was appointed a fireman and served as a bell-ringer in the Sixth Ward tower, and for three years in the same capacity at the City Hall. He spent eleven years as a member of Engine No. 3 and from there went to Engine No. 17, where he remained six months. Then he was made a Foreman and assigned to Engine No. 10. After three years' active service in the latter company, he was transferred to his present post, which he has filled with signal ability. During his nearly eighteen years in the Department he has had several narrow escapes from death. In the Glass House fire on State Street, in 1885, he rescued a woman from the ruins. The walls fell and buried her with many others in the debris. After a hazardous effort, in which his own life was in danger, he brought the victim to the surface and was publicly thanked for his valor. At a fire in Casey's rosin factory, on Richard Street, he assisted in the rescue of two men who were entombed in the storehouse. Foreman FARRELL is surrounded by a capable company of men. He is known among firemen as one of the most considerate of captains, but at the same time strict disciplinarian. All he asks the men under him to do is to live up to the rules of the Department and do their duty. Men who shirk their duties find no quarter with him. Assistant Foreman MARCUS FITZGERALD, At the present time the company has no Assistant Foreman. MARCUS FITZGERALD, who served since his promotion in Feb 1892, up to the middle April, was transferred back to Engine No. 12, where he had served ten years as a private. . Engineer DAVID ROCHE, who has been a member of the company since its organization, was born in Ireland, in 1842, but came to this country when a boy. When the war broke out he joined the Confederate army and served with Company A Fourth Georgia Infantry, Doles Brigade. He was a member of the Volunteer Fire Department, running with Hose No. 9. When that company was organized into Engine No. 8, he was made Engineer and continued as such until the organization of the Paid Department. He is the present Engineer of the company and is regarded as a superior mechanic. JOHN W. DUNN has been a fireman since Aug. 6, 1883. He served as a member of Truck No. I for two years and was then transferred to Engine No. 20, where he has continued since. DUNN is a good fireman and is immensely popular with his associates. He weighs two hundred and twenty pounds, but is as active as a professional athlete, and like all stout men he is good-natured and fond of a joke. While going to a fire one dark night three years ago, he was thrown from the tender and received an injury to hip that incapacitated him from duty for four months. JAMES T. SHANNON was born in New York City, March 7, 1847. At the age of two he removed to this city, and has lived on Sixteenth Street ever since. He was appointed a fireman Sept. 15, 1878. He served successively in Truck No. 1 and Engines Nos. 1 and 4, until Engine No. 20 was organized, since when he has been a member of that company. He is the only member of the original company with it at present. In the days of the Volunteer Fire Department he was a member of Fourteen Hose and Engine No. 21. GEORGE H. FLETCHER, after his appointment as a fireman on Feb. 1, 1884, served for fifteen months as a member of Engine No. 2 and for a short time with Engine No. 1. The remainder of the time he has been a member of Engine No. 20, of which he is stoker. Before becoming a fireman he was a machinist and brass-finisher. JEREMIAH J. DELANEY has an enviable record as a fireman. He was appointed Nov. 1, 1883 and assigned to Truck No. 1, where he served for a year, and was then sent to Engine No. 20. He rescued a child from a burning building at Henry Street and Hamilton Avenue, and at the fire in Cobb's foundry in Feb., 1884, he had his ankle broken while-assisting in the rescue of a man. On another occasion he suffered internal injuries from a fall while in the discharge of his duties. He served in the navy during the late war and was present at the taking of Mobile and also in the blockade of that port. RICHARD S. HEARD, a brother of Veterinary Surgeon Heard of the Department, was appointed a fireman Sept. 10, 1887, and has served continuously with Engine No. 20 since that time. He was born in Ogdensburg, N. Y., forty years ago, and before becoming a fireman was a veterinarian. He knows all about a horse, and the excellent condition in which the animals of Engine No. 20 are always to be found is evidence of his skill. He is a jolly bachelor and likes the life of a fireman. THOMAS F. ENNIS was born July 29, 1865, in this city, and was made a fireman Feb. 1, 1887. He served for a year and a-half as a member of Engine No. 19 and was then transferred to Engine No. 20. He was a truck driver before being a fireman, and that he was a good one is attested by the fact that he is the present careful driver of his engine, and has never met with an accident. During the blizzard he rescued a woman from a snowbank on Seventh Avenue. But for his timely assistance she would have been frozen to death. ENNIS comes of an old Brooklyn family. JAMES T. DONOHUE has been a fireman a little more than a year, but in that time has shown that he is made of the right material. He was appointed March 12, 1891, and has performed duty only as a member of Engine No. 20. He is thirty-one years of age and a perfect athlete. Before becoming a fireman he was an iron-smelter. ALEXANDER J. REEKIE, the most recent acquisition to the company, was made a fireman March 23, 1891, and was a member of Truck No. 1 for eight months. In Oct.1891, he was transferred to his present post, and in that short time has commended himself to his superior officers, by his intelligent devotion to duty. Before his appointment he was an engineer in the dry goods house of Wechsler & Abraham, the members of that firm signing his application and urging his appointment. He was born in Brooklyn on Jan.17,1858. - ENGINE COMPANY NO 28 : CITIZENS COMMEND THEIR BRAVERY ENGINE COMPANY NO. 28. Engine Company No. 28, located on Thirty-ninth Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, is one of the recent companies created by Commissioner ENNIS, and was organized on April 17,1890. The need of an engine in that locality was long felt by the residents and tax-payers, who were persistent in their appeals for protection. Several delegations called upon Mayor Chapin and the Commissioner, and pointed out the necessities for prompt action. They had facts and figures showing that the population of the district had doubled in less than three years, and that the number of new buildings erected in the Eighth Ward for the four previous years exceeded that of any other ward in the city. The nearest engine. No. 1, then at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Nineteenth Street, they claimed, was not enough to cover such a large, growing, and important manufacturing and residential district. In accordance with the general demand the Commissioner, by direction of the Mayor, leased the two-story brick building on Fourth Avenue between Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth Streets, and fitted it up as temporary quarters. An apparatus formerly used by Engine No. 2 was pressed into service and with six experienced men from Engine No. 1 and six new men, under the command of James CONNORS, now Foreman of Engine No. 1 but at that time an Assistant Foreman, the new company was ready for business on the morning of April 17. In the meantime the site upon which the present-house is located was purchased, and work on its erection began. On Dec. 30, 1891 the house was ready for occupancy and the company formally took possession. The building is of suitable design. It is built of brick, with brown stone trimmings, two stories in height, and is especially adapted to the purposes for which it was erected. It contains all the modern improvements for the accommodation of the men, horses and apparatus, and is a model house in many respects. The district covered by the company is an important one. It is bounded by Twelfth Street, Bay Ridge, Ninth Avenue and Flatbush and the New York Bay Within its boundaries are many large manufactories, depots, institutions and handsome dwellings. Among them are the depot and stables of the Brooklyn City Railroad Company, of the Fifth Avenue line, of the Seventh Avenue line, of the Ninth Avenue line and the Culver depot, of the Jay. Smith and Ninth Streets line, the depot of the Brooklyn Bath & West End Railroad Company, the terminal station and car houses of the Union Elevated Railroad Company, the large depot of the South Brooklyn Terminal Company, the Thirty-ninth Street ferry-house, the large wall paper manufactory of the Robert S. Graves Company, the Denslow & Bush oil factory, the Phoenix Oil Works Arnott's Stores, the power station of the Brooklyn City Railroad Company, the factory of the United States Projectile Company, the works of the South Brooklyn Saw Mill Company and the mammoth building of the American Water Meter Company besides 9 many other large structures. In addition to these the large number of vessels that load B and discharge their cargoes along the water-front brings the total amount of property to S be looked after away up into the millions. Since the company was organized no large conflagrations have occurred in the neighborhood. Whatever work has fallen to the company has been performed with promptness, intelligence and fearlessness. During the year 1891, the company responded to nearly fifty first alarms, but fortunately the aggregate s loss of property was only a few thousand dollars, and no lives were lost. The property - owners feel perfectly secure, and are pleased with the good work performed by the company. They have sent several letters to the Commissioner and Chief Engineer commending the men for their bravery at fires and for their good deportment when not actively engaged. Since Engine No. 1 was transferred from its old quarters at Fourth Avenue and Nineteenth Street, to its new house on Fifty-third Street, it has relieved No. 28 of a large part of the lower end of the district. But from the way buildings are growing up in every direction, the time is not far distant when the two companies will have plenty to do and have one of the most important districts in the city to cover Exceptionally good time is made by the company in getting to a fire. Seven seconds is the average time for getting out of the house on an alarm, but this time has been beaten repeatedly. The men fake an especial pride in the company horses " Tom " " Dick " and "Harry." The two latter are a team of iron grays that run along with the engine as though it were a sulky. Assistant Foreman CONNORS remained in charge of the company until he was appointed a Foreman and assigned to Engine No. 1. His place was taken by the present Foreman on June 1, 1891, the day CONNORS was made a Foreman. Foreman MATTHEW FOHEY had been in charge of Engine No. 20 for three and a-half years and brought with him to his new command a long and varied experience. He was born in Ireland, June 24, 1849, and came to this country when a boy, settling in the Twelfth Ward of this city. After pursuing the trade of a carpenter for some years he was made a fireman on June 20, 1878, and assigned to Engine No. 3, on Hicks Street. There he served for a short time, and then was transferred to Engine No. 2. He remained with the latter until he was made an Assistant Foreman and assigned to Engine No. 20, on Eleventh Street. He was in charge of the company for a long time on account of the disability and subsequent retirement from the Department of Patrick LAMEY, the Foreman. Foreman FOHEY has a good record as a fireman. While a member of Engine No. 2, he assisted in the rescue of a woman from a burning building in Hamilton Avenue. He also assisted in the rescue of a child at a fire in Court Street. At a fire in one of the large warehouses at the Atlantic Dock, he, with other members of his company, was on the roof; suddenly it began to sway, and they were obliged to flee for their lives. Just as they reached the ground, in less than half a minute, the roof fell in with a fearful crash. It was a close call, and an experience that Foreman FOHEY and his comrades will long remember. He has had many similar experiences, and could, if he would, fill a large sized book with stirring incidents of his life since he donned a uniform. In build, Foreman FOHEY is of about the average height and of a sturdy figure. He is never happier than when he has something to do, and goes about a fire as a machinist would go about a lathe. He is highly esteemed by the men who have served under him, and enjoys the respect of his superior officers, who have long looked upon him as a careful and clever man even under adverse circumstances. A strict disciplinarian, in the sense that he exacts faithful duty from every man in his company, those under him know what to do and do it willingly. Assistant Foreman JAMES CUMMINGS is a young man who entered the Department with a determination to make a record. He was born in this city, April 18, 1863, and was appointed a fireman on April 2, 1885, sixteen days before his twenty-second birthday. After serving for about a year between Truck No. 1 and Engine No. 2, he was transferred to Engine No. 20, where he remained until June 1, 1890, when he was made an Assistant Foreman and sent in that capacity to Engine No. 28. From all accounts he fills the bill well, and is looked upon as capable of directing a company under any circumstances. His name is inscribed on the roll of honor for heroic services. Engineer JOHN BEGLEY is a veteran fireman and a thorough mechanic. He is one of the few remaining men who entered the Department at its organization, and before that he served as a volunteer in the old Department. He was born Jan. 15, 1845, and before becoming a fireman, in 1869, was an engineer and steam-fitter. During his long years of service he has been a faithful and earnest worker, and is the originator of the appliance for keeping steam in an engine at all times. He has also invented other improvements in the shape of gauges, cocks, exhaust valves, and steam indicators. Engineer BEGLEY has done service in several companies. At one time or another he has served in Engines Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 15 and 28. He was the engineer of Engine No 1 for ten years previous to the time that Engine No. 28 was organized, when, at his own request, he was transferred to that company. Assistant Engineer JOHN A. CALLAGHAN was born in this city, June 4. 1852, and on Dec. 27, 1882, was made a fireman and assigned to Engine No. 1, where he served until transferred to Engine No. 28 last November. He is a man of fine physique, a good fireman, and immensely popular with his associates. At several fires he has distinguished himself for coolness and bravery. JOHN MEDDIS was born in Ireland, May 15, 1850, and was appointed a fireman on Sept. 15, 1882. Since that time he has served respectively as a member of Engines Nos. 19, 4 and 1, and was sent to No. 28 at its organization. He has received favorable mention for assisting in the rescue of two lives at fires. MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM, although the oldest member of the company in point of years, has the appearance and the bearing of a younger man. He was born in Ireland on Feb. 9, 1844, and started for this country to make a name and fortune. Shortly after his arrival here the war broke out, and he was one of the first to enlist and go to the front. He served in both the army and navy. On June 20, 1882, he was appointed a fireman and assigned to Engine No. 9. For some time he was detailed to the repair shop as a painter, a trade he pursued before his connection with the Fire Department. He subsequently served as a member of Engines Nos. 19 and 20, being one of the first men selected for the former when it was organized. Later, when Engine Company No. 28 was established, he was assigned to that and has been a member of the company since. JOHN H. FARRELL was born in the Twelfth Ward of Brooklyn Feb. 11, 1863. He was made a fireman on Jan. 2, 1889, and has been a member of Engines Nos. 5, 2, 26, and Truck No. 2. In Feb. 1892, he was transferred to Engine No. 28 where he has served since. FRANK B. CHARLOCK first saw the light of day in New York City on July 23, 1863. His family moved to this city when Frank was a boy, so that he is an out-and-out Brooklynite. He had long desired to be a fireman, and on July 30. 1889, his ambition was gratified by his appointment at the hands of Commissioner ENNIS. He was in the front rank of a large civil service list. For a short time he served as a member of Engine No. 1, and was sent to No. 28 when it was organized. He is a good fireman, and enjoys the respect of his colleagues. GEORGE A. FREETH was born on Sept. 6, 1865, and was appointed a fireman on April 16, 1890. The day following. Engine Company No. 28 was organized. He was. sent there, so that he has done all his fire duty in Gowanus. Although a comparative novice he has performed duty that is highly creditable. SAMUEL T. ERWIN, for the short time he has been in the Department, has shown that he is made of the right material for a fireman. He was born on Aug. 8, 1859, and was appointed to the Department on July 17, 1891. He served for a short time as a. member of Engine No. 1, and was then transferred to his present quarters. HUGH LAFFERTY was appointed a fireman on March 31, 1892, and, although wearing a uniform only a few months, he has displayed the right qualities for good fire fighting. Born in this city, on Feb. 7, 1867, he knows Brooklyn thoroughly. EUGENE MCCARTHY was born in New York City on April 3, 1866, and was. appointed to the uniformed force July 1, 1892. CHRISTOPHER D. BOYNE was born in Brooklyn on August 12, 1866,and his connection with the Fire Department began on July 1, 1892. - HOOK AND LADDER COMPANY NO 9 : PROTECTORS OF THE FLEET AND FIGHTERS OF OIL FIRES. HOOK AND LADDER COMPANY NO. 9. Hook and Ladder Company No. 9, located at Fourth Avenue and Nineteenth Street, on Aug. 20, 1891, took the place of Engine Company No. 1, which had been located there since the Paid Fire Department was organized. Up to that time that section of South Brooklyn known as Gowanus, and including the entire Eighth Ward and the lower part of the Twenty-second Ward, was without a hook and ladder company. Commissioner ENNIS recognized that it was too important a section to be left without a truck, and organized a new company. He transferred Engine No. 1 to a new house on Fifty-third Street, and placed the new truck in the latter's old quarters at Fourth Avenue and Nineteenth Street. Part of the men from the old company went to the new quarters and the new men appointed were about equally divided between the two companies. Foreman Michael QUINN, who had been in charge of Engine No. 1, was placed in command of the new Truck, and James CONNORS, his assistant, assumed charge of the Engine Company. The section of the city covered by the truck company is a large and important one. It includes all the water-front property from the Hamilton Avenue bridge down the bay as far as the New Utrecht line. During the winter months thousands of yachts are moored at the docks. In the past few years several large factories have been built in that region, including the immense wall paper manufactory of Graves & Co., the window-shade factory of Jay C. Wemple & Co., and the Terra Cotta Brick Trimming Company's factory. The oil works of Denslow & Bush are also located in the district. Firemen who have been in the Department for any length of time are familiar with the regularity and fierceness of the fires there. With the immense oil tanks and chemical retorts filled with the most inflammable material, explosions have been frequent and fraught with great dangers. In recent years, however, they are not so frequent. The Phoenix Chemical Works, at the foot of Fortieth Street, is also one of the places that requires eternal vigilance. Repeated fires have occurred there, and on many occasions the fire laddies of Gowanus have rendered yeoman service be fore the arrival of other companies. A more gallant company of men does not exist in the Department than those attached to Truck No. 9. Alert, fearless and conscious of then- duty, they need no further incentive to do the perilous work allotted to them. In addition to the truck, a hose-carriage is kept at the house and is used for slight fires in the neighborhood. On account of the large hills it is sometimes difficult for engines to get to fires above Seventh Avenue. Truck No. 9 makes excellent time in getting to a fire. A spanking team of steeds is the pride of the company. Foreman MICHAEL QUINN is one of the most fearless fire fighters in the Department. He is known as an excellent disciplinarian, and many young firemen who did their first fire service under him and have been promoted from the ranks, owe much of their success to his experienced advice and the knowledge of fighting fire inculcated by him. Foreman QUINN was born in Ireland, Aug. 10, 1842, but arrived in the home of the brave and the land of the free when a youngster. Before he attained his majority he used to frequent the house of the old Volunteer Engine Company, and always accompanied the men to fires. As soon as he became eligible, he joined Hose No. 9, and served for six years. On Dec. 25, 1869, he was appointed on the Paid Department, and assigned to Engine No. 1, located in the same house where he is now in command. For three years he served in the ranks, and on Sept. 25, 1872, he was made a Foreman and placed in charge of Truck No. 1, at Van Brunt and Seabring Streets. He remained there until Sept. 17, 1878, when through what is known as the " Shannon " in politics, he, with several other Foremen, was dismissed from the Department. Foreman QUINN was out for a year and a day, and was reinstated under Commissioners McLaughlin, Wafer and Brennan. and sent to Engine No. 1, where he remained until the engine was replaced last August by the present truck company of which he is still in command. During his long service he has frequently distinguished himself by acts of bravery. He has been complimented time and again by his superiors, and his name adorns the roll of honor. At a fire at Campbell & Thayer Linseed Oil Works on Front Street, some years ago, he was the last man to leave the building. A few seconds after he got all his men out, the roof fell in with a crash, and what might have been a fearful loss of life among his subordinates was happily averted. He is exceedingly kind and considerate with the men under his charge, but requires them to attend to their duties. In the occasional absence of Foreman QUINN, Assistant Foreman STEPHEN F. GILL assumes command. Although but seven years in the Department, he has done as much real fire service as many veterans. His promotion to the rank of Assistant was well deserved, and was a tribute to a fearless and conscientious fireman, whose excellent record had long attracted the notice of the Commissioner. He was born in this city on Jan. 11, 1863, and attended the public schools. Early in life he conceived the idea of becoming a fireman, and although he engaged in mercantile business before he attained his majority, he never lost sight of the one object of his desire. The civil service law went into effect about that time, and young GILL, a perfect athlete, was one of the first to enter the competitive examination for the Fire Department. Out of a class of over one hundred, he was tenth on the eligible list. He was appointed a fireman on April 7. 1885, and after serving for a short time in different companies was assigned to Engine No. 26, on State Street, when that company was organized. For a short time he acted as driver, but asked to be allowed to do hose duty. On two occasions he distinguished himself by rescuing persons from fires at night. At a tenement house fire on Atlantic Street, between Hicks and Henry, he assisted in the rescue of six persons. On another occasion, unassisted, he carried a half-prostrate woman from the third story of a burning building in Bergen Street, near Third Avenue. In consideration of these and his record, he was made an Assistant Foreman on Feb. 13 of this year and sent to Truck A. 9, where he soon won the confidence of Captain QUINN and every man in the company, In the company there are several old-timers who have grown gray in the service.. Among them are JOHN TIERNEY, who was appointed March 15, 1871, but is just as spry as any of the younger men. PATRICK MINTON was appointed Feb. 4, 1872. He has made application to be retired on half pay on account of rheumatism, superinduced by exposure and sudden changes incident to a fireman's life. CHARLES FERRIS Another veteran fireman, and the oldest member of the company, is CHARLES FERRIS, who was appointed June 2,1871, and has a first-class record. He was a plumber before he became a fire-fighter, and as good mechanics are needed in the Fire Department, he was detailed to mechanical work, but is attached to Truck No. 9, and reports there for duty every night. HUGH RILEY, a brother of the late Sheriff Thomas Riley, is also a member of the company. He was appointed a fireman Feb. 1, 1882, and after serving in several different companies was sent to Engine No. 1, seven years ago, and when Truck N00 superseded the former in the Fourth Avenue house, " Hughey," as his comrades call him, remained at the old stand. There is also a number of new men in the company. Among them are: DANIEL J. CAHILL, appointed June 15,1887; ROBERT ENGLISH, appointed Dec. 24, 1887; JAMES LANGAN, appointed Oct. 15, 1887; JOHN J. McGRONEN, appointed April 1, 1890; JOHN F. MULLIGAN, appointed July 21, 1890; THOMAS J. HILL, appointed Oct. 20, 1890; FRANK STEWART, appointed Nov. 16, 1891, and CORNELIUS DONOVAN, appointed Jan. l8, 1892. None of the new men has had a chance to distinguish himself, but it is not their fault. They are victims of circumstances which have not allowed them to show the sort of metal they are composed of. Although several of them are mere novices in the business, they go about a fire like veterans. Prior to his connection with Truck No. 9. Hill served for a short time as a member of Engine No. 19 and Truck No 10; English was for two years a member of Engine No. 5. All the other new men were sent to Captain QUINN when appointed, and have only seen service in Gowanus. Taken altogether. Truck No. 9 is a model company. Its quarters are beautifully situated in a healthy and fast growing section. The house is well kept, has all the latest improvements and appliances, and, above all, the officers and men enjoy the respect of the residents, who retire at night feeling that life and property can be safely intrusted to the gallant men of Truck No. 9. Among the attaches the Fire Department who have not been classified in the sketches heretofore printed in this volume are the following-‹ MICHAEL REARDON, bell-ringer, was appointed to the Department April 2, 1885, and was assigned to Hook and Ladder Co. No. 6. During his service there he received an injury to his spine, and on his recovery was detailed to the Fourteenth Ward bell-tower where he now does duty. He was born in Ireland, Dec. 1, 1859, and came this country when he was four years old. EDGAR COMBS is the latest addition to the bell-ringer's staff at the Fourteenth Ward owe . He was born in New York, Aug. 26, 1841, and came to Brooklyn when he was twenty-two years old. He was appointed a bell-ringer March 1, 1892 GILBERT STEVENSON is in charge of the blacksmith-shop at the Repair-shops. He was born in Brooklyn, April 12,1832 and was educated in the public schools of the city. He entered the Repair-shops in 1865, during the regime of the Volunteer Department And acted as foreman of the blacksmith shop until the Paid Department came into existence. He is still in the same employment. PETER LUYSTER is one of the oldest employees in the Repair-shop. He was born at Oyster Bay, Queens County, July 26, 1833, and came to Brooklyn in 1855. He entered the repair-shop as a wheelwright, June 1, 1862, and has served as such right THOMAS MORRIS was born in Brooklyn in March, 1845 and was educated at St James-Catholic School. On March 7, 1864, he entered the Volunteer Department and became a member of Union Engine Co. No. 5. remaining with that company when the Department was disbanded. With the inception of the Paid Department entered the Repair-shop as a blacksmith's helper, a position which he still holds. ROBERT J FUREY has served the Department for forty-two years. He was born E New York City, Oct. 22,1831, and came to Brooklyn in 1840 and attend St. Paul's- School. He entered the Fire Department in June, 1850, as a member of Neptune - Engine No. 2. In 1865 he was appointed bell ringer and served in the Sixth Ward and City Hall bell-towers. The Commissioners of the Paid Department transferred him to the repair shop and since then he has worked at the carpenter's bench there. PATRICK FARLEY was born in New York in 1852. He has passed thirty-seven years of his life in Brooklyn, and was educated at the Assumption School, in York Street. He entered the Fire Department in 1879, and was detailed to his present position as wheelwright at the repair shop. ROBERT W. FERRIER was born in Brooklyn Oct 20 , 1859, and was educated at Public School No. 8. He entered the Department as a blacksmith's helper Jan. 1 1884, and is now working there. CATHARINTE RALPH, the janitress at Fire Headquarters, is one of the oldest employees of he Department, her nearly twenty-three years of service having begun on Jan. 1 1870, since which time she has had charge of the orderly condition of the office. Transcribed for the Brooklyn Pages by Mimi Stevens ROSTER of the BROOKLYN FIRE DEPT. Back To HISTORY of the BROOKLYN FIRE DEPT. Index Back To FIRE Index Back To CIVIL Index Back To BROOKLYN Main