GEORGE W. HEDDEN, DEPARTMENT HEAD OF BUFFALO, N. Y., DEAD
Passed Away in Local Hospital After Long Fight to Cure Weakened Heart— Member of Department for 44 Years
GEORGE W. HEDDEN, head of the Buffalo, N. Y., Fire Department for nine years, died at 11:19 p.m., February 24, in the Millard Fillmore Hospital after a long illness. He was sixty-six years old. Dr. Marcy, Fire Department Surgeon, said that death resulted from heart trouble as the result of two strains suffered several months ago.
He was born in Toronto. Ont., December 19, 1866. At that time his father, a Civil Engineer was supervising the construction of the first rolling mill in Toronto. The family moved to Buffalo in 1873, where he attended city schools, but his education wa limited as he became a wage earner early in life. When he was twenty-two years old he joined the Fire Department.
Chief Hedden was promoted to Lieutenant in 1893 and on January 1, 1904 became Captain. He was made a Battalion Chief on December 2, 1911. Advancement to temporary Assistant Chief came on October 10, 1918. This was made permanent on December 4 of that year.
Chief Hedden became head of the department on April 2, 1924. In January. 1928, when the city charter was changed his title was changed to Commissioner. While Chief he was host to the annual convention of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (then I.A.F.E.) which was held in Buffalo in 1925. At the time of his death he was a Director of the Association.
His son, Dr. Hedden, said that Commissioner Hedden had had a premonition of his death for he made tentative arrangements for the funeral at the time he entered the hospital.
Chief Hedden married Miss Minnie Lee of Cincinnati on June 3, 1886. A son and a daughter were born. The first Mrs. Hedden died in 1890. On March 17, 1892, he married again. Three sons were born. The widow and children survive.
He was a member of the I.O.O.F., was a 32nd degree Mason, Buffalo Consistory, A.A.S.R., Ismailia Temple. A.A.N.O.M.S., Royal Order of Jesters and the J.E.W.S. Club.
Besides his intimate friends. Commissioner Hedden will be missed by 25,000 junior firemen, young boys of the city He said:
“There is no better wav of teaching fire prevention than geting the youngsters in the city fire houses where the men can show them why it is important to be careful.”
The body remained in state at the Buffalo Consistory where Masonic services wore conducted. The funeral took place on February 27 and was accorded a uniformed escort of one hundred men. A corps of twelve firemen acted as guard of honor while the body remained in state. A police detail was also assigned. Interment was at Forest Lawn Cemetery.