Bringhurst Appointed Fire Marshal at Seattle.
Mayor George W. Dilling of Seattle, Wash., has appointed Harry W. Bringhurst to succeed Fire Marshal Gardner Kellogg, who retires at the age of 73 years. Mr. Bringhurst was fire chief of Seattle front 1906 to 1910. when he was removed to make room for an appointee of Mayor H. C. Gill. Under the new fire patrol ordinance passed by the city council, which went into effect December 17 last, the position of fire marshal in Seattle will be exceptionally important. The fire marshal will have direct charge of the executive features of the ordinance which provides for a suborganization composed of the captain, lieutenant, a pipeman and truckman in each of the ewenty-eight fire districts of the city to inspect all buildings, new and old, keep plans of them at local headquarters. inspect fire hydrants, mains, fire escapes, etc. to prevent fires. Mr. Bringhurst, who took office January 1st is one of the best known fire fighters in the Northwest. When Mayor Gill was elected, one of his first official acts was to remove Bringhurst. The mayor brought charges against the chief, alleging criticism of city officials, permitting firemen to be active in politics and petty offences. The civil service commission at that time sustained two of the charges, criticising city officials and failing to answer two letters the commission had addressed to Bringhurst. Following Mayor Hilling’s election, there was considerable discussion regarding the proposed reappointment of Bringhurst as fire chief. The personnel of the civil service commission was unchanged at that time and the commissioners let it be known that they had formulated a rule of their own that a man dismissed “for cause” could not be reinstated under them. The matter was dropped despite the agitation of leading business interests in the city demanding Bringhurst’s reappointment. Recently many applications on the subject were made to Mayor Dilling, and he was presented with petitions singed by nearly 100 of the leading business, financial and insurance men of the city, representing many more firms, asking for Bringhurst’s appointment as fire marshal. Acting on the petitions, and his knowledge of Bringhurst’s competency, the mayor made the appointment. Mr, Bringhurst will be 50 years old next June. He gained his first experience in fighting fires in Logansport, Ind., working with the companies regularly when he was even too young to join as a volunteer. He assisted in organizing the Logansport paid fire department and was later an assistant chief in it. Twenty-seven years ago Mr. Bringhurst was the city engineer of Bismark, S. D., and a member of the pioneer fire company. Mr. Bringhurst went to Seattle as a civil engineer six weeks before the big fire of 1889 and took an active part in fighting that conflagration as a volunteer. He is an authority on fire departments and fire apparatus and his knowledge on the subject is attested to by the fire chiefs of Portland. Or.; Victoria. B. C.; Tacoma, Chi cago and many others. Readers of this Journal have frequently been edified by technical papers prepared by Mr. Bringhurst. Gardner Kellogg, the retiring fire marshal, has been connected with the Seattle fire department since its inception. He entered the volunteer departfnent in 1872. In 1884. when the department was reorganized, and the council provided for the election of a chief, the six companies chose Mr. Kellogg. He served until 1888, when he was succeeded as chief by Josiah Collins. After the big fire of 1889, the department was reorganized as a paid department and Mr. Kellogg was apointed chief by the council. He remained in office until 1893, when a Democratic adminstration came in. He was reappointed fire chief in 1895 and served as chief until 1902, when was appointed fire marshal, holding that position ever since.