Chief Bunker of Cincinnati

Chief Bunker of Cincinnati

Henry C. Bunker, first assistant chief under Jack Archibald and acting chief soince the latter’s resignation, was promoted to chief of the fire department was announced after a long conference between the new chief, Mayor Hunt and Director Cash. Bunker has a splendid record as a fire fighter, and was first in line in the department for the appointment. His promotion was received with great favor by the members of the department and the public at large. Mayor Hunt notified Bunker of his selection as chief in a letter in which the executive expressed the greatest confidence in his ability to make good. In discussing the appointment the mayor said he was glad to find a man right in line for the position of the caliber and ability he thought needed in the head of the fire department. The mayor said that he believed Bunker would show fine ability as head of the department and would be successful in bringing the department to the highest possible standard of efficiency. He thought Bunker would show the initiative desired and looked for the department to make a fine record under his guidance. Director Cash said he was satisfied that Bunker was the man they were looking for, and expressed the greatest confidence in his ability. He said it had been necessary to secure a permanent head of the department at the earliest moment in order that plans for the improvement of the deparment would not be delayed. Chief Bunker received his honors with the modesty that is characteristic of the man. “My hope is that I may be as successful in administering the department as was my predecessor,” said the new chief. Chief Bunker is a native of Cincinnati, is 55 years old and joined the department in 1879. He has been a lifelong friend of his predecessor, ex-Chief Archibald. On entering the fire department both he and Archibald were assigned to the Gift’s Company. Bunker became captain of the company and Archibald served as a lieutenant under him. When Archibald was made a captain. Jack Conway, now superintendent of the salvage corps, became the lieutenant of the Gift’s under Bunker, and when later Bunker was made district marshal, Conway succeeded him as captain of the company. At all big fires in recent years, Archibald, Conway and Bunker have worked shoulder to shoulder in handling the corps of firemen under them. Bunker is known for his great bravery. He is over six feet tall, lithe and active as a panther and is a born leader among men. He never orders a fireman to go anywhere where he will not lead. During his career he has had many hair-breadth escapes, and though often receiving minor injuries, has never received any great hurt that incapacitated him for any length of time. In respect to injuries he has been most fortunate, as he had been in many a tight place where his escape was measured by inches. The new chief is married and lives on Woodward street. He has a family of six children. His salary of chief will be $6,000 a year.

CHIEF THOMAS A. CLANCY. MILWAUKEE

CHIEF BUNKER, OF CINCINNATI.

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CHIEF BUNKER, OF CINCINNATI.

We present this week a portrait of Joseph Bunker, Chief of the Cincinnati Fire Department, and President of the National Association of Fire Engineers. While the portrait is not as fine a one, artistically considered, as we should like to have given, yet the artist has done the best possible from the poor photograph from which he worked. It is, however, a good likeness, and will be readily recognized by all who ever saw this genial gentleman and thoroughly competent Fireman.

Joseph Bunker, Chief Engineer and Fire Marshal of the Cincinnati Fire Department, was born at Saratoga. N. Y„ on the 18th of October, 183a. One year later, his parents removed to Cincinnati, which makes Mr. Bunker almost a native Cincinnatian. He received his education at the public schools of the city, where lie was a pupil until he attained the age of fourteen years, when he started out in life for himself. His first employment was that of a teamster, and during his experience in that capacity, he joined the “ Fite boys,” running as a volunteer with Washington Fire Engine Company No. I. He remained identified with the Fire Depaittnent for years, and on February 1, 1856, was appointed Driver on the Washington. He remained with this Company until 1861, when he was tendered a position on the Police Force of the city, which position he accepted, but in 1862 he went into the army as Brigade Wagon Master. After six months service, however, he resigned his army position, returned to Cincinnati and rejoined his old Fire Company, taking again his former position, which he retained until 1870, when he was elected a Councilman from the Eighth Ward of the city, the duties of which compelled his resignation as a Fireman. But in 1872 he relinquished municipal honors and rejoined, for the second time, the old Company in the Fire Department, In 1872, E. G. Megrue, who was then Chief of the Fire Department, promoted him to Captain of his Company. In 1876, he was tendered, by Chief Megrue, the position of Assistant Chief, which he accepted and held until February, 1878, when he was appointed Chief Fire Marshal of the Department in which he had served so gallantly for so many years. With the exception of one or two years, Fire Marshal Bunker has been in active service as a Fireman from a volunteer runner to the Commander of one of the best Paid Fire Departments in the country, lor over thirty-six years, which makes him one of the oldest Firemen in the ranks. Throughout his long career he has proved himself not only an expert Fireman and a good Commander, but a most excellent citizen, in whom all classes of his fellows have great confidence, and for whom they entertain the highest regard.

At the Annual Convention of the National Association of Fire Engineers, held in Cincinnati, in September last, Chief Bunker was unanimously chosen President for the coming year. He is as popular among the Chiefs composing the Association as he is among his fellow-citizens.

JAPANESE EIRE RECORDS.

A report on the meteorology of Tokio, Japan, by Professor Mendenhall, of the University of Tokio, forms one of a series of ‘ Memoirs ” recently issued. We have not seen the volume itself, but from a review thereof in the New York Evening Post, we glean the following : The volume closes with an exhaustive essay on fires in Tokio, full of curious information, with a list of conflagrations since 1657. As the capital city is built almost entirely of wood—until twenty years ago having not one stone or brick house in it—the whole city is burned over twice in every century, and several of the most densely inhabited portions once in every seven years These “ flowers of Yedo ” bloom very luxuriantly after earthquakes, which upset lamps and braziers and attain their annual maximum in March, the month of high winds ; so that a table of earthquakes and winds, and another of fires, make nearly parallel records. The abundant use of petroleum has of late years helped on the devastation. The average value of houses in Tokio is about $30 for every thirty-six square feet built upon, and, notwithstanding this cheapness of material, the absolute loss yearly to the citizens by fire is$3,000,000. Their building material is entirely from the lumber yard. Their Firemen, though brave, act without proper direction, and their apparatus is little better than a toy. Their only protection from the flames is heavy walled houses, which are nothing more than fire-proof safes set out on the street. These fire-proofs are made by plastering a foot of mud on heavy timber frames, and making the one doot and very few windows of the shape and thickness of our ordinary office iron safes. On the approach of a fire candles set in sockets are lighted to convert the air inside into carbonic acid gas, in which no flame can live. The cracks of the shutters are smeared off the outside with mud, and the well-to-do shopkeeper sallies off to the lumber yard to contract for new, material before the wood-sawyers get up a strike, or the merchants a “corner” in building lumber. The recent introduction of brick as a material of construction may alter this state of things, which is, and has been for centuries steadily draining the wealth of Japan.