Chief John F. Donovan, of Meriden, Dead
THOMAS F. MAGNER
Chief John F. Donovan of Meriden, Conn., well known in the East, died suddenly on May 27, after an illness of two days. Chief Donovan suffered a heart attack at his home, and his condition became worse. He gradually grew weaker until death intervened two day’s later.
Chief Donovan was a member of the Meriden Fire Department for the past forty-eight years, the last eighteen of which he has been its head. The deceased chief was born on January 14, 1861, in a house that still stands next door to the present Meriden fire headquarters. He had been identified with fire fighting practically all of his life.
He joined the old Bixbie Hose Company on December 1, 1882. After ten years of service with that company as a hoseman his merits as a fire fighter were recognized and he was made a captain. In 1907 he was appointed permanent captain and on April 30, 1912, after thirty years of service in the department he was appointed permanent chief.
During his long term of service as a fireman, Chief Donovan has been a member of the Connecticut State Firemen’s Association. The Fire Chief’s Club, of Connecticut, the New England Fire Chief’s Association and the International Association of Fire Engineers.
In 1913, Chief Donovan was one of a committee which was instrumental in having Bill No. 108 passed, which made the positions of firemen in Connecticut permanent, taking them out of politics.
Besides his wife, Chief Donovan leaves two daughters Mrs. Margaret Arnold and Mrs. Mary Slater; two sons, Daniel and James Donovan and a sister, Miss Hannah Donovan. The funeral was held on May 30 with services in St. Rose’s R. C. Church and interment in Sacred Heart Cemetery.
The entire off-shift platoon of the Meriden Fire Department escorted the remains of Chief Donovan to the cemetery. Fire Department officials from several cities and towns in Connecticut attended the funeral.
OFFICERS AND MEMBERS NEW ENGLAND ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS