A VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT THAT DOES THINGS RIGHT
The Seneca, Kan., Fire Fighters Believe in Efficiency in Every Particular—Buy New Apparatus—History of the Fire Department
THE tendency in volunteer fire departments serving the small municipalities is toward increased efficiency and better service in the fighting of fires. The volunteer fire fighter gives his services to the city or town and in return the fire department takes the place for him of a social club. The Seneca, Kan., fire department evidently, judging from the following account, serves both purposes in the very best of ways:
We believe that the fire department of Seneca, Kan., has one of the best quarters for their apparatus in the state and that
it is equal to that of many cities several times larger. In the year 1916, the city voted bonds to the amount of $30,000 to build a city hall in which to house its city offices and the fire department, and a headquarters room on the second floor was also reserved for the fire department to hold its meetings and take part in its club life. This, as you will see by the illustration, is one of the finest club rooms to be found in the State of Kansas. Its furnishings are of the best and latest, giving the boys all the comfort for their leisure hours and convenience to visit with their brother members, consisting of pool tables, card tables, etc. Also have the latest shower bath arrangement that could be bought.
New Apparatus Purchased
Last October the city of Seneca, purchased further equipment to be up to standard in fire fighting for the boys, buying a Stutz triple combination pumper of 350-gallon capacity. The citizens take great pride in their department and give the boys many compliments and assistance. One of the great events is she annual Thanksgiving ball, last year’s being the thirty-second one. This is the only means the boys take to secure money to keep up the running expenses of the department, as it is only a volunteer fire department, consisting of 36 active members. They all respond, however, when called.
Some History of the Department
The Seneca fire department was first organized January 11, 1881, and its first officers were: Simon Conwell, president; N. H. Martin, foreman; S. E. Gallaway, first assistant foreman; W. S. Dillon, second assistant foreman; J. L. Brockman, secretary; J. F. Curran, treasurer. It consisted of twenty-one members on March 1, 1881. The first apparatus bought was the hook and ladder wagon. This apparatus is still in use; and the city is contemplating mounting it on an auto truck. On March 18, 1889, the city further equipped the department by purchasing a horse-drawn .Halloway chemical engine, and this apparatus is also still used and doing excellent service, The city will have this, too, mounted onto an auto-truck.
In the year 1895, the city of Seneca placed a system of water works costing $30,000. getting their supply of water from a well in the northern part of the city. Later, in 1913, they were compelled to secure more water as the city had outgrown its present supply, so they purchased land with a large flowing spring, two miles east of the city, from which a continual stream of water flows through a pipe line by gravity to this well and then is pumped into the mains and standpipe. This water is claimed by the state board of health to be among the best in the state.
Officers of the Fire Department
The present officers are: Davyes Troughton, chief; W. R. Woltkamp, assistant chief; Walter Sperling, treasurer; Edward Herold. secretary: C. J. Smalley, assistant secretary; Parkin Troughton, foreman Stutz Engine No. 1; Roy Carpenter, assistant foreman; B. F. Townsend, foreman Chemical Engine No. 2; Emmett Prater, assistant foreman; Phil leaner, foreman of Hook & Ladder; R. M. Emery, Jr., foreman Hose Cart No. 1; Edward Fisher, fire police.
This department has one man. William E. Fuller, who has been a member nearly forty years and who still takes active part and fights fires to equal its youngest members. Walter Sperling, its treasurer, has served in this office for nearly thirty years.
Chief Troughton takes great pride in his department and men, and has always given his service and attention to the standard and efficiency of this department. His efforts are always for betterment, and through his strong appeals to the citizens for their property protection he did most in acquiring the new truck recently purchased.
Veteran Augusta Fireman Dies on Night Watch—Nathan Huntington, a veteran fireman of the Augusta, Ga., fire department, was found dead Thursday morning, August 30, lying on the hose of the combination wagon at station No. 4. “Nat,” as he was known, was on watch when his body was found. Death was caused from heart failure. He joined the Augusta fire department in September, 1898, and was in service 25 years.