CHATTANOOGA FIRE DEPARTMENT
Specially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING
Chattanooga, where the next convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers is to be held, is not only one of the most progressive cities in Tennessee, but of the South in general. It was settled in 1840, and incorporated as a city in 1850. It is situated on the Tennessee river, and is built on limestone hills rising 300 feet above the water. It is the seat of large manufacturing interests, among which that of iron occupies a conspicu ous place. Its population, according to the last United States census, was something over 30,000. but since that census was taken the increase has been very considerable. The city waterworks were built in 1864 by the United States government, but were soon afterwards purchased by a private company, whose management of them was so little of a success that it failed, and the system was sold to the Lookout Water company, which operated it up to 1886 or 1887, when it passed under the control of the American Waterworks & Guarantee company, limited, of Pittsburg, Pa„ the local name being the City Water company. The plant is still in private hands.
Hon. A. W. Chambliss, the present able and popular Democratic mayor of the city, was born in Greenville, S. C., in 1864. He was educated in Virginia, and was admitted to the bar of that State when only nineteen years of age. Mayor Chambliss came to Chattanooga in 1886, and has become one of the leading lawyers at the Tennessee bar, and his force and ability, as well as his high moral character, have made him an influential and representative citizen. He is senior member of the law firm of Chambliss & Chambliss, which has for years done a large and successful practice. Mayor Chambliss has twice been chosen by the people of Chattanooga to represent them. He was a member of the Reform legislature of 1899, as senator from Hamilton county, and, although this was his first political office, he was elected chairman of the joint Democratic caucus, in which position he demonstrated his peculiar fitness as a presiding officer, and became a recognised authority on parliamentary procedure. His record as a senator is an honor to him and the county of Hamilton. He has twice been chosen by the people of Chattanooga to fill the most important position in their gift—that of mayor. His election the last time was a special mark of confidence.
T. s. WILCOX,
who was elected chairman of Chattanooga’s hoard of public safety in 1901, had served the city prior to his election to a position on the board in a number of capacities. Among other offices he held that of chief of the lire department, during which he brought that department up to a high degree of proficiency. As a member of the hoard of public works he always voted in the interest of economy, at the same time favoring all progressive measures which he deemed to be to the best interests of the city. He has great confidence in the future of Chattanooga, and owns considerable property there. He is a patriotic citizen and has done much in public positions for the upbuilding and general welfare of the community. Mr. Wilcox never sought a position on the board of public safety nor the place of chairman of the board for the money there is in it. The pay of the commissioners is merely nominal. Had he desired a remunerative political office, with the political power and influence which he commands and with his standing in the community, he could have secured almost any office within the gift of the people. Too much praise cannot be given Mr. Wilcox for his untiring efforts as chairman of the board of public safety in governing the police and fire departments, and, as further evidence of the board’s appreciation, he has twice been elected to succeed himself.
T. C. LATl MORE,
vicepresident of the board of public safety, is also a prominent member of the Chattanooga bar. He was born forty-eight years ago, on a farm in Monroe county, Tennessee. His father was an extensive farmer and stockraiser in that section, and until his majority the subject of this sketch remained on the farm and assisted his father. Mr. Latimorc was educated in the common schools of Monroe county and Hiwassee college in East Tennessee, and Emory and Henry College, Virginia. In 1879 he studied law at Cumberland University. Lebanon. Tennessee, and two years later he came to Chattanooga, where he opened a law office. He has since resided in that city and practised his profession. He has been exceptionally successful and is recognised as one of the ablest, most painstaking and successful lawyers at the local bar. Mr. Latimorc has manifested a deep interest in Chattanooga’s welfare, and, as already said, is at present vicepresident of the hoard of public safety, which governs the police and fire departments. He has been a member since 1898, having been appointed by Gov. R. L. lay lor.
W. A. SHAFER,
secretary and treasurer of the board of public safety of Chattanooga, is another of that city’s able and highminded citizens, who is never tired of working in every way for its success and progress. To his judicious administration of the funds of the board of public safety Chattanooga is in great measure indebted for its excellent and efficient fire department, a sketch of which appears elsewhere in this impression.
As a very full description of the fire department of Chattanooga, Tenn., appeared in FIRE AND WATER of December 20. 1902, pages 246, 247, it is not necessary to go into much detail as to its rise and progress since it was reorganised in the early part of 1883 from a volunteer to a paid body. It is sufficient to say that the citizens have not only shown their appreciation of the good work that has always been done by their fire department, but have, besides, set a good example to other cities by erecting for its use a headquarters building that is a long way ahead of any other in the South. In the same way, they have shown their gratitude to their firemen by erecting a monument to the memory of such of their number as have heroically fallen at the post of duty or otherwise fallen victims to their devotion to the fire protection of the city. The department as now constituted, consists of forty-eight men, paid full time, under Chief H. A. McQuade. These have to guard the interests of a population of between 30.000 and 40,000 persons (30,154 at the last United States census), spread over a fire area of 2,560 acres in which stand many splendid buildings of brick and stone devoted to commerce, education, amusement, public purposes or religion, and a large number of private residences principally of wood, the aggregate contents of which amount to a vast sum. For the use of the fire department are the following pieces of apparatus: Steamers, five; combination chemical and hose wagons, four; chemical engine; aerial truck; hose reel; 9,000 feet of good rubberlined cotton hose; Gamewell fire alarm telegraph systerft, with fifty-seven boxes. There are twentyfour horses in service, and the total value of the equipment is $35,000; of the buildings, $40,000. With the above equipment and a pressure at the 135 hy~ drants of seventy pounds, it is no wonder that the underwriters have rated Chattanooga as a city whose fire protection places it in the first class.
CHIEF H. A. MCQUADE
is a native of Nashville, Tenn., and was born in 1845. He came to reside in Chattanooga early in 1870. and till 1880 followed the business of a plumber and gasfitter. He was a charter member of the old Chattanooga volunteer fire company, of which he was elected chief in 1881. He held that office for a year, at the end of which he resigned, in order to devote himself to bis business. When the paid department was organised in 1883. he was appointed assistant chief, and occupied that position till 1891. when once more he resigned to attend to his business. In 1899, however, on the resignation of T. S. Wilcox, he was appointed chief of the fire department. In that capacity he is looked up to with esteem, respect and affection by his assistant chiefs, the subordinate officers and every member of the department. His fellow citizens, also, hold him in the highest regard, and feel that their lives and property are safe in his hands. I heir indorsation of their fire chief attaches also to his officers and men. It is needless to say that it is in every way thoroughly deserved.
William Perlewitz. a fireman of fifteen years’ standing has been appointed chief of the Algomar, Wis., fire department.