CHIEF DOANE OF PLAINFIELD HONORED
Specially reported for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
Though May I was by no means a day to cheer up anyone given to indulging in the blues, it was “bright May day” to the fire department of Plainfield, N. J., whose members saw their esteemed chief, Thaddeus O. Doane, made the deserving recipient of a gold medal in honor of his long and faithful service as a firefighter and head of the “noble army” that defends the people of that lovely city from the ravages of fire. The whole department and that of the police were on view and turned out on parade, headed by a military band. After being inspected and reviewed by the mayor and other city officials in front of his house. Chief Doane was decorated by the city’s chief magistrate, who complimented the officers and men on their appearance and efficiency and the good work they had done and were always ready to do. In his address the mayor, referring to their smart get-up, said that, fine feathers did not always make fine birds; but, in the case of the men before him, the records counted, and these were as good as the appearance of the record-makers, lie spoke in the highest terms of their generally clean record, and observed that some had never had any charges preferred against them during their whole time of service. Turning to Chief Doane. the mayor embraced the opportunity to speak of him as a “natural-born fighter”—one who had first fought for the integrity of the Unien ami in 1865, had enlisted in the ranks of the firelighting corps. The chief was on that dav celebrating Ins twentieth year as permanent head of the tire department : but, in addition, he had served continuously in its ranks since the day of his enlistment. His career was as follows: In 1870 he was second assistant chief, when the department was under the control of a board of fire commissioners, elected bv the propertv owners. and both city and borough fire matters were under the same jurisdiction. In 1887. in consequence of trouble and litigation arising out of a citizen refusing to pay his tire-tax. and the method of collecting that tax having been declared unconstitutional, the lire board found itself without funds to carry on its workanil turned it over, its houses anil equipment, to the city. At that time five companies composed the department, the equipment being three steamers, two of which are still in service, a hook and ladder truck and a hose wagon, all bought be the volunteers of the borough, of w hich North Plainfield then formed a “art. The latter bought some of the equipment. The department of Plainfield has a historv which reaches as far back as 18>7. when it was organised as the Engine company of Plainfield. Its first hand engine was IK night at New Brunswick, the price paid being $219, two dollars more living expended on hauling it to its destination. Under the first board of engineers that of twenty years ago— T. O. Doane, was chief. His first and second assistant were Thomas Lyness and Eugene Laine. Chief Doane had been appointed chief in 1876 under the former regime with Jacob Kriney and B. Frank Coriell as his assistants. He held office for two years and was succeeded by B. Frank Coriell, who, however, occupied that position for only one year, being succeeded in 1879 by his predecessor, whose assistants were A. L. Carney and James G. Van Winkle. W. H. Voorhees, F. W. Vail, A. L. Carney, A. D. Jennings, August Saltzman and J. Erwin Waters succeeded Chief Doane, who was again appointed head of the department—this time permanently. The assistant chief of the department today is Andrew D. Jennings, in whom Chief Doane has an able coadjutor. The first chief under the city fire department in 1867 was John Rosell, who was succeeded by Theodore F. French, J. F. G. Frazer, Jeremiah Van Winkle, W. H. Voorhees and John Chandler, up to 1888. The list of members of the old department comprises the names of many old and highly respected citizens, the last survivor being William C. Ayers, who died a few years ago. The department is now made up of permanent and call men. Those who, besides Chief Doane were distinguishably honored on May T, were the following: Assistant Chief A. D. Jennings; Captain William H. Daly; Captain George Fairing; tillermen, G. II. Freeman, George Mehl, jr.; Driver F. F. Vail; Driver J P. Clark: Driver D. Keildcrling; Hosetnen J. Fitzpatrick and J. P. Townlev; Callmen—Captain W, H. Addis. F. Compton, W. J. Dunn. M. J. Higgins. K. P. Townlev. Hose company No. 1 James Conkling, John Cline. James McClane; Hose company No. C. C. Graves, H. Manning, J. Pennington, J. II. Cose: Hose company No. 2 William C. Chamberlain, E. V. Lorton. Among those who witnessed the proceedings and were afterwards the guests of Chief Doane, were the following: Chiefs Black, Atlantic City; Somers, Bound Brook; Weill, Somerville; Stagg. Paterson; Fifreth. Camden; Conway, Jersey City; Arnett, Lamhertville; Allen, Trenton: Gerstung. Elizabeth: Wvhuskie, Dunellen: Decker, Wesifidd ; also, former Chief Kiersted, Newark.