Buffalo Beneficiary Association.
Upon the request of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, the following interesting account of the Buffalo Fire Department Beneficiary Association has been sent by its president, Edward P. Murphy, who is also assistant chief of the fire department:
“The Buffalo Fire Department Beneficiary Association was organized in 1889 with a membership of 120. The object of the association was ‘to organize all the members of the fire department of the city of Buffalo’ with a view of providing a beneficiary fund for the families of its members. As noted herein all members of the department, including the commissioners, are eligible to membership. When a member resigns or is retired he is classified as a ‘citizen member,’ losing only the right to hold office within the society. At this time there was also a sick benefit attached to membership of $5 per week. Dues were $0 a year and an assessment of $2 upon death. The death benefit at this time was the total of the membership assessment. The total sick benefit was limited to 20 weeks. In 1894 the membership had increased to 832. In 1900 the membership was 437. The total resources at this time were $17,733.31. During April, 1902, the constitution was amended whereby the yearly dues were placed at $2 per annum and the sick benefit discontinued, and the death benefit raised to $1,250. The membership at this time was 510. Two years later the benefit was placed at $1,500 and the membership was 601. In January, 1908, the death benefit was raised to $2,000 with a membership of 655. At the present writing the membership is 699. The total resources of the association are $50,147.67, and there are no liabilities at the present time. Funds are secured in the following manner: From initiations, $5 each member admitted; from dues, $2 each member. We hold an annual ball, and also receive some donations. The following are the officers: Edward P. Murphy, president, elected 1894; Erhard Seibold, vice-president, elected 1908; John Weiss, treasurer, elected 1900; Joseph Knapp, financial secretary, 1908; Joseph C. Morey, recording secretary, elected 1907. These are still serving. During the year 1908 we levied assessments for eleven deaths, that being the highest number in the history of our association, making, with the dues, a total of $24 for the year on a policy calling for $2,000, During the current year to date we have had five deaths, so that we figure that 1909 will not see more than $14 at the outside for the same policy of $2,000. We believe that our association is unique in this respect, and that it is the safest and cheapest fraternal insurance in the country. One thing is certain, and that is, that its members so regard it and work harmoniously for the best interest of our pet organization.”