FIRE DEPARTMENT OF STEUBENVILLE.
VOLUNTEER firemen served out their day in Steubenville and did their duty faithfully up to January 5, 1886, when the paid fire department was organized. The immediate cause of the change was the destructive United States hotel fire on March 9, 1885. followed by two others within the year. At the first of these fires Alexander Bickerstaff, a volunteer firemen with a biilliant record for pluck and daring, was killed by the fall of a wall. His portrait,together with that of Patrick McKay, first paid foreman of the Phcenix company, one of the bravest of the original members of the paid fire department, who received fatal injuries at a fire on July n, 1888, is given herewith.
The paid fire department consisted of a chief, with the Phoenix and Reliance engine companies.and a hook and ladder company. The first fire marshal was Edward Nicholson. The members of the companies were as follows: Phoenix— Foreman, Patrick McKay; hoseman, W. B. Martin; engineer, Homer Permar; driver, Wilson Barrett. Reliance—Foreman, Frank Weaver; hoseman, William Callendine; engineer,Henry Teaff,driver, Benjamin Winters. Hook and ladder company— Foreman, Frank Weaver.
Since it was first established the paid fire department has been enlarged and made thoroughly efficient. In it are still two of the original members—namely,the present fire marshal, W.B.Martin, and Frank Weaver, foreman of hook and ladder company, of which William Morrow and Benjamin Ovington are likewise members. Those composing the Phcenix company are as follows: Foreman, John Kell; engineer, Ezra Fell; hoseman, Robert Caldwell; driven, W. Albert Shouse. The membership of the Reliance company is : Foreman, Robert Davidson; e gineer, Charles Quimby; hosemen, Benjamin Ovington and Thomas Sterling; driver, Charles Beatty. Their portraits,with that of Michael McGraw,are given in this issue, as is also a full page picture of the Reliance and Phoenix engine houses, the interior of the latter engine house, with the city’s apparatus, the hook and ladder truck, and their canine mascots
The Gamewell electric fire alarm system has been installed, with twenty-four boxes, and the fire apparatus consists of two steam engines,four hose carriages.hose wagon,hook and ladder truck, and four chemical entinguishers. There are also 4,000 feet of good cotton hose and 150 feet of good rubber, with Siamese couplers, etc. The eight horses are valued at $1,200, and the total value of the department’s equipment is $18,000; of its three buildings, $12,622. Its expenses durng the past year amounted to about $24,000. The water pressure is so good that, except in the low pressure districts, the steam fire engines are not needed.
It may be added that the greater portion of the city is within the limits of the high pressure water system described in former issues of FIRE AND WATER. Since the high pressure water system has been introduced,the fire loss in Steubendlle has probably been less than in any other city in the State >f Ohio. During 1896 there were forty alarms of fire, with a oss of only $1,754 and insurance of $1,694—making the unnsured loss only $60; and that showing was $4,412 less than n any previous year since the establishment of the paid fire iepartment.
A firemen’s pension fund was created in February, 1888, to vhich is contributed one-half of the tax levied on all foreign fire insurance companies doing business in the :ity. For permanent disability a fireman receives $40 a month Should he lose his life, his widow receives $20 a month and each child under sixteen years of age, $6. For partial disability a member of the department receives not less than $20, nor more than $30 a month. After serving for twenty-five years he may retire and receive $30 a month, or, if he serves for thirty years, he may retire and receive the same sum, exempt, however, from execution or attachment. 1 ne firemen’s pension fund now amounts to nearly $4,000.