Houston, Tex., Fire News
(From our Regular Correspondent)
Houston has been added to the list of cities throughout the country that has organized a firemen’s union and become affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. The charter for the union arrived Saturday, August 23, and the new organization is known as the Houston Firemen’s Protective Local. Twenty-six members of the department signed up as charter members and already 150 of the 178 men in the department have become members of the union and the rest of the men are expected to follow. O. B. Juenger, who has been appointed temporary secretary, said the organization was formed purely from a beneficiary standpoint, such as death, sickness and accident benefits and for the purpose of improving the department. He denied that any strike whatever is in contemplation or that the local was organized for any such purpose. Permanent officers will shortly be elected. Thus far city officials have not opposed the organization. Members of the department are circulating petitions asking for an increase in salary
W. P. Wells, chief of the Houston fire department: C. J. Ollre, first assistant chief, and W. E. Franks, second assistant chief, have been presented with three solid gold badges, each set with a diamond. The presentation, which was in the nature of a surprise party, took place at Central fire station one night recently. The presentation was made by County Judge Chester H. Bryan, in the presence of Mayor A. E. Amerman, hire Commissioner Allie Anderson, other citizens and members of the department, about 100 persons being present. The three officials were taken completely by surprise. Chief Wells and Mr. Ollre, the first assistant, were appointed to their present positions several months ago, both having been members of the department for some time. Following the presentation, a musical program was enjoyed and refreshments served.