Has Been Head of the New York Fire Department Ever Since 1911—Longest in Service of Any New York City Chief

CHIEF JOHN KENLON celebrated on Wednesday. August 1, the twelfth anniversary of his appointment as head of the New York fire department. Congratulations poured in on the chief from all quarters, inside and outside of the fire department. There was very little, however, to indicate that the day was an anniversary, as the chief made very little difference in the routine of his regular work on that account.

John Kenlon was horn in Dublin fifty-one years ago and went to sea at the age of thirteen. Three years later he saw New York for the first time, and called it his home, although he still spent his life on the ocean. Before he said good-bye to the seven seas, he held both a chief engineer’s and a master’s license. His assignment as a fireman was to Engine Company No. 24, in Morton Street. He became foreman of Company 2 in about ten years, and battalion chief of the second district on December 15, 1903. A year later he was made chief of Battalion No. 19, comprising the fireboats. When the marine division was created on December 22, 1908, he was appointed to its command as deputy chief. Edward F. Croker resigned his office on April 17, 1911, and John Kenlon was appointed acting chief. He served in this capacity until August 1 of the same year, when his appointment was made by Mayor Gaynor.

As before mentioned Chief Kenlon holds the record for the longest length of service of chief of the New York fire department. The chiefs of the paid department in the order of service are as follows: Elisha Kingsland, 1865-1869: loseph L. Perlev, 1869-1873: Eli Bates, 1873-1884: Charles O. Shay, 1884-1889; Edward Bonner, 1889-1899; Edward F. Croker. 18991911. Assistant Chief Thomas J. Hayes and Deputy Chief John F. King were promoted deputy chiefs on the same day as Chief Kenlon was made head of the department.

Chief John Kenlon, New York City

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