Chief Edward J. Jewhurst, of Auburn, Dean of New York Chiefs
Edward J. Jewhurst, chief of the Auburn, N. Y., fire department, celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday on July 20, and received the congratulations of his many friends on the event, which makes him the oldest active chief in New York State, and one of the oldest, both in years and active service, in the International Association of Fire Engineers. Chief Jewhurst has fought over 5,000 fires large and small since he became a fireman forty-nine years ago. For thirtyeight years he has been chief of the local department and though fire commissioners have com and gone, no one had ever thought of anyone else as chief. Due to the efforts of Chief Jewhurst, assisted by George S. Conybear, fire marshal of the city, Auburn’s fire loss is the lowest in the state and insurance rates are correspondingly low. It was through the efforts of Chief Jewhurst backed up by Thomas H. O’Neill in his two terms of mayor of the city, that all but four companies of the local department are motorized. Even after Mayor O’Neill had left the office, the work went on as the way for the big motor truck had been paved and others will be purchased as soon as the finances of the city will permit. The chief was born in Auburn and educated in the public schools. He joined the department in 1869, becoming a member of the old Hook & Ladder Company No. 1. He learned the printer’s trade in the offices of The Auburn Advertiser, and later started in a job business with one of his brother printers in State street. The failure of the old First National Bank of Auburn wiped out the capital of the little shop and the chief had to begin all over. In all this time. Chief Jewhurst had been a volunteer firemen in the old Cayuga Hose No. 4, now Chemical Hose No. 4. He was made foreman of the company and successively second and first assistant chief in 1879 and on the evening of the first day of the State Firemen’s convention held in this city in 1880, J. H. Morris, then chief, was stricken with apoplexy and the first assistant assumed the office, carrying on the remainder of the work of the convention like a veteran. Many honors have come to Chief Jewhurst during his regime as head of Auburn’s firemen. He became a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs thirty-four years ago and has missed but two conventions of that organization. He has been a vice-president and a member of the board of directors and had a voice in the plans of the association. It was through his efforts that the local organization became a paid organization in 1890 with professional firemen at work. The evolution was gradual and first one and then another of the companies were absorbed into the united department.