Death of Chief Harry L. Marston
Chief Harry L. Marston, known to all active members of the fire service throughout the United States and Canada, passed away at 12.25 p. m., Thursday, the 18th inst. While his death was anticipated, as he suffered from heart trouble, no one expected the end would come so soon. The heart weakness that proved fatal had so affected Chief Marston for about two years that he was prevented from taking much physical exertion, and finally he was obliged to remain in bed until the last summons came. Here was a chief who stood at the head of his profession by merit. He was one of the best informed men on the duties of his calling that existed in the country, besides being an expert on apparatus, its operation and care. Affable, none more so, a gentleman always, and as pleasant a companion as could be found, the memory of the departed will pass into history as a lovable man, a sincere friend and as competent a chief as ever answered the gong. Chief Marston was 54 years old. He was born March 26, 1862, at Campello, in the town of North Bridgewater, now Brockton. He was 14 years of age when he entered the department as a member of Enterprise No. 2, as hoseman; remained with it until 1881 when he was promoted a fireman of same company. A year after he returned to duties as hoseman. In 1884 he was transferred to Engine No. 1 as hoseman and filled that position until 1S86. In January, 1886, he went in as spare man doing regular duty and was appointed permanent April 1, 1886. On November, 1886, he was appointed Engineer of Steamer No. 1, and about the same time superintendent of fire alarm, and was afterwards made overseer of police signal system, and was appointed inspector of wires May, 1892. He was made Chief October 3, 1892, to fill the unexpired term made vacant by the resignation of Chief Charles A. Eaton, the appointment being made by the late ex-Mayor Ziba C. Keith. Chief Marston was appointed for his first 3-year term by the late ex-Mayor Keith January, 1893. When he was appointed permanent Chief, the force consisted of eighteen men; the apparatus consisted of: Four steam fire engines, 1 aerial truck, 1 city truck, 3 chemical engines, 1 2-horse hose wagon, 2 1-horse hose wagons, 1 1-horse hose reel, 1 chief’s buggy. 21 horses permanently employed. There were 3 stations: Central Station, Pleasant street; Campello Station, Main street, and Montello Station, N. Main street. Chief Marston was a charter member of Massachusetts Fire Chiefs’ Club, its first secretary and second president. He was elected president of the Massachusetts State Firemen’s Association September, 1890, for one year, at Brockton, and was still a member of its Legislative Committee at the time of his death. He was elected president of International Association of Fire Engineers September, 1915, at Cincinnati. He was also a member of Brockton Lodge, I. O. O. F.; Banner Lodge, N. E. O. P.; Paul Revere Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Satuckett Royal Arch Chapter; Brockton Council, R. & S. M.; Bay State Commandery, K. T.; Aleppo Temple, M. S. and the American Benefit Society; Montello Lodge, K. of P. Assistant Chief William F. Daley, who has been Chief Marston’s able right hand man for years and is a man of experience and initiative, was deeply affected when the news of Chief Marston’s death reached him. Mayor John S. Burbank said: “In the death of Chief Marston the city loses a faithful, efficient official, one who has always had the interests of the city at heart and his passing is deeply regretted by all. Chief Marston had the enviable reputation of being one of the greatest fire fighters in the country and his loss can never be replaced. He was a good disciplinarian, who had the respect of all his men.” When notified of Chief Marston’s death Mayor Burbank ordered flags on all city buildings at half mast, to remain so until after the funeral. The funeral was held in the Unity Church, Brockton, on Sunday, May 21, at 2 p. m. It was largely attended and among those there were: Chief James McFall, of Roanoke, Va., secretary of the International Association of Fire Engineers, and delegations from New York, and elsewhere, including D. A. Woodhouse, who was a close friend of the deceased and a number of others, chiefs and friends, with whom Chief Marston was associated during his career as a fireman. The publisher and staff of this journal extend sincere sympathy to Chief Marston’s widow and daughters.