INDIANA STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION.
THIRD ANNUAL CONVENTION,
Held at Michigan City, Indiana, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15 and 16, 1883. At one o’clock the Firemen assembled in Mozart Hall for the transaction of business. After the roll had been signed it was evident that no less than thirty Indiana cities were represented by over 100 representatives. President O. H. Brusie, of South Bend, called the meeting to order, and announced that they were ready for business. The President appointed Thomas Paul, of Mount Vernon ; F. D. Finney, of Goshen ; and Thomas Bulien, of Evansville, a Committee on Credentials. A recess was here taken, and all the Firemen in’attendance were requested to come forward and sign the register. After this had been completed. President Brusie again called the meeting to order, and Chief Finney, of Goshen, Chairman of the Committee on Credentials, reported the following Delegates as entitled to seats. Columbus—Hose Company No. i, John Kline and George Ricker ; Hose Company No. 2, A. B. Reeve and R B Bush, HC. Davie, Chief, delegate at large. Elkhart—L. S. and M. S. Hose Company, H. G. Hay and CSteimberg ; Hose Company No. 2, }. W. Sleer and F. O’Leary; Hose Company No1, H. Williams and J. S. Shultz; Tucker Hook and Ladder Company, O. W. Hively and Charles SageGoshen—Hose Company No. 4, MDembufsky, H. Dokey; Hose Company No. 1, S. Hagey ; Hose Company No. 3, S. P. Yeakle. Plymouth—Protection Hook and Ladder Company No. I, J. F. Langenbaugh, J. C. Jillson. New Carlisle—Hose Company No. 1, A. Bordon, John Gregg, Chief. Aurora—Aurora Fire Company No. 1, H. P. Spaeth. Angola—Babcock Hook and Ladder Company No1, G. W. Palen, O. Leas. South Bend—Delta Hose Company No1, DCasey, D. C. Booker; Eagle Company No. 2, M. V. Cole, Henry Peak ; Union Company No. 3, W. Turnock, W. Doxey ; Young Iloosier Company No. 4, II. Supey, George Koerncr; Mazeppa Company No5, V. R. Erkert, G. McIntosh ; Standpipe Company No. 6, P. Logan, W. Livingstone ; Relief Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, Joseph Turnock ; Studebaker Fire Brigade, George Asaye. Laporte—Rescue Hose Company No. 1, Fred. Peters and D. A. Armrod ; Alert Company No. 2, A. GSarber and J. A. Crawford ; La Porte Company No. 3, T. A. Warvill and C. C. Hartford ; Dreadnaught Company No. 5, AugBrothier and Fred. Wilhelm. Michigan City—Liberty Hose Company No. 1, Walter Soloman and Robert Jones; Young America Company No. 2, John Bader and E. Urquecht; Car Works Company No. 3, A Frehse and William Phillips ; Osceola Hook and Ladder Company No. x, J. E. Shults and L. J. Weiler.
The report of the Committee was accepted, and President Brusie introduced Mayor Harris, who delivered the following
ADDRESS OF WELCOME.
Gentlemen and Brother Firemen : It is my pleasant duty in behalf of our Firemen to bid you welcome to the harbor city.
Your gathering here to-day, from tne various parts of our beloved State, for the urposc of a general interchange of thought and views, whereby you may gain that tnowledge that will lie of great benefit to the Department of which you are all members, and for the elevation and perfection ot which you are all so zealously laboring, will, I trust and hope, be productive of much good. The Volunteer Fire Department of the country is about as old as the country itself, and it is only within the past twenty-five years that the Paid Department has arisen and usurped its place in the larger cities of our land.
While the Paid Department to-day is a necessity in our populous centers, all will admit that the Volunteer Department is of equal or greater importance in our smaller cities and villages. The great curse and bane of the Volunteer Department in the past has been a class that connected themselves with it, only to become rowdy#, bummers and loafers, a disgrace to themselves and the entire Department. Who among you does not remember ” Mose” of the Bowery, the “ Momayensings” of Philadelphia, or the “ Red Jackets?” But I am happy to sav that to-day it is being generally understood and acted upon, that a Volunteer Fireman can and must be a true gentleman in every sense of the word. What nobler aspiration or grander impulse can impel a man than the self-consciousness that he is voluntarily working to save the property, or it may be to rescue the life of a fellow being, and that the perils he endures, and the risks he runs are all labors of love. Remember,
“ The fittest place for man to die.
Is where he dies for rnan.”
Let your State Association continue to grow and enlarge, until every Company in the State is represented; let your annual convocations, like unto the p**>cnt, assemble, compare notes and experiences, discountenance all petty jealousies, or disturbing quarrels, reject all bad and unworthy associates, bring about a higher state of discipline and morality in conduct, stimulate a proper amount of pride and emulation, produce a true brotherly feeling in every Department, and the people will rise up and bless you as one of the noblest band of brothers, working for the good ol humanity, that the world has ever seen.
Trusting that your visit to our city will prove a pleasant one, and the proceedings of your association harmonious and instructive, 1 again in the name ot all our people bid you a hearty welcome.
On the part of the visitors, Max Dembufsky, of Goshen, made the following reply:
1r. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: In behalf of the State Firemen’s Association of Indiana, in delegate convention here assembled, I desire to express our thanks and gratitude to his honor Mayor Harris, tor his warm and generous welcome to the commercial metropolis of Northwestern Indiana, for the open handed and generous hospitality that has been accorded us since our arrival in this city.
I desire through the mediumship of these remarks, to thank the citizens of Michigan City collectively, her efficient Fire Department, the public press and city officials. I believe, sir, that the cordial treatment that we have been the fortunate recipients of, is actuated solely by the finer fibres that make up the constituent elements of human felicity. While I realize, sir. that this is purely a business convention, wherein we meet to exchange ideas, and devise and execute plans for the betterment of our condition, and increase if possible the efficiency of the many Departments in the State of Indiana, I believe, sir, that the social amenities that garnish conventions of this character, are as potent in their influence for the consummation of successful results, as the dry matter-of-fact debate of an animated discussion.
Inasmuch as there are a number of important matters to be presented to the consideration of this convention, and as our time is limited, I feel, Mr. President, that it would be trespassing upon your indulgence to occupy more time, and here hoping that it may be many, many years, aye, even beyond the ” sere and yellow leaf” before any of the good people of this beautiful city, be called in their transit beyond the stars to the ” confines of bliss; ” but yet when they do go that their presence may be ushered into mortality, paved by the song of angels.
When the applause had ceased, the President submitted his report. Gentlemen of the Convention :—At our last annual meeting I took occasion to congratulate our Association on the remarkable progress it had made during the brief period of its organization. The experience of another year has been by no means discouraging; on the conary it has inspired brighter hopes and largerconceptions of our sphere in the economy of the State.
The primary purpose of government is the protection of life and property. Wherever this security is greatest there also is the highest development of the State and the most enlightened type of civilization. Such security docs not depend by any means wholly upon the force of police regulations; but it also depends to a great extent on associated effort outside the province of such regulations. Property especially needs protection from the ravages of fire, as well as from the spoliations of lawlessness. Vast amounts of money are annually drawn from the people for insurance against loss by fire. The cost of this insurance, we well know, would be largely increased were it not for the confidence reposed in the efficiency of Firemen as the protectors of property against such loss. Indeed, insurance policies, at most, can but repair losses of this character when sustained. It is to the Firemen alone that we look for the actual prevention of the calamities themselves. These, of course, are but plain, well known facts; hence the liberal appreciation and support generally accorded to us in the past, and the hope that we cherish for a higher recognition and a wider field of usefulness in the future. Relying upon the merits of our cause, the zeal and enthusiasm of our members, and an intelligent, sympathetic, appreciating public, we need not wonder at our encouraging success thus far, nor harbor misgivings as to the future. We certainly have every encouragement to press on in the good work.
During the recess of this Association business of more or less importance has claimed the attention of the officers. I will briefly refer to some of the most important.
On my recommendation, the Committee on Legislation prepared a bill proposing to levy a tax of $2 per annum on all agents of foreign bre insurance companies doing business in this State, the revenue thus raised to be turned over to the fire companies of the cities or towns where such agents are operating. The bill failed in the legislature for want of proper attention. I desire to here repeat what I said in my recent circular, namely, that if we would have proper recognition in our laws, it behooves us to see to it that none but friends pledged to our cause shall hereafter be supported by Firemen for the general assembly of the State. (The committee will report to you its action in the premises.)
In my recent circular to the Fire Departments of the State I called attention to the propriety of organizing a State Firemen’s Insurance Association, on the plan of similar associations in other States. Should this Convention deem the suggestion worthy of consideration, it will take such action in the matter as to it may seem advisable.
I would also call attention to the importance of having this Association incorporated under the laws of the State. This action I regard as of the highest importance, as it would give us much greater influence should we in the future desire to press our claims for recognition at the hands of the legislature or other bodies.
The selection and approval of vice-presidents having been passed over at the last convention, I assumed the responsibility of making the appointments, and the following named gentlemen kindly consented to serve in such capacity: Fred. K. Schaeunele of Michigan City; G. W. Poland, Angola; Jackson G. Stober, Wabash; H. P. Spaith, Aurora, and Chas. “Jones, Brazil. Mr. Schaeuffele sent in his resignation, and Chief McNulty was appointed to fill the vacancy.
At our last Convention a code of rules for the government of Firemen’s Tournaments was presented and adopted, and to the department at South Bend was awarded the privilege of holding the first State Tournament, they making up prizes to the amount of $2,000. Many noted running teams from this and other States were present and contested for the prizes. The management of the affair gave universal satisfaction, and it was in every respect a success. The rules governing the Tournament, however, having been hastily drawn, were found on practical tests to be somewhat defective. I would therefore recommend that they be referred to a committee for revision, with instructions to report at the earliest practicable time, in order, that such report may be printed with the Proceedings of this Convention
I desire to here explain that, there being but few ot the Board of Control present at the Tournament, I was compelled to assume certain responsibilities on the occasion in which the full board, if practicable, should have joined.
Gentlemen, thanking you for the honor you have conferred upon me in your selection of President of this Association, and for your continued courtesy and forbearance toward me in my efforts to discharge my duties, I now announce that the Convention is ready for business.
On motion, the report of the President was approved. The minutes of the last meeting of the Association read and after correction approved. After payment of annual dues, the Association adjourned to 7 p. m. to accept Chief McNulty’s invitation to a ride around the city, and after the town had been fully inspected, a visit was made to the State Prison, which was thoroughly enjoyed. A ride on the lake was also indulged in.
As per adjournment, the Convention re-assembled at Mozajt Hall, at seven o’clock, for a few minutes business, and were called to order by Chairman Brusie.
The chairman suggested that ccmmittees be appointed on the following matters of business—Legislation, Insurance, Incorporation and Tournament—and the following committees were appointed :
Committee an Legislation—D. R. Leeper, Chairman, South Bend ; L. E. Vinecamp, Aurora ; and J. Paul, Mount Vernon.
Committee on Insurance.—H. P. Spreath, Chairman, Aurora; L. J. Wiler, Michigan City ; H. C. Devie, Columbus.
Committee on Incorporation—G. W. Poland, chairman, Angola; J. E, Crawford, Laporte ; and J. F. Langenbaugh, Plymouth.
Committee on Tournament—A. V. Culver, chairman, South Bend ; F. D. Finney, Goshen ; and D. W. Gillen, South Bend.
After the announcement of the committees, the chairman made a few remarks calling the attention of the committees appointed to the necessity of holding their meetings the same evening and preparing the business for Wednesday morning’s session, in order that no delays might occur and the business of the Convention could be pushed through as rapidly as possible, to give delegates an opportunity of returning home Wednesday evening.
Later in the evening the Firemen were entertained by a grand ball given by the Young America Hose Company No. 2, which was a success n every way, socially, financially and otherwise.
At nine o’clock Wednesday, the Convention was called to order by the President, and the Recording Secretary, W. E. Gorton, being absent, A. J. Krueger, of the Car Works Hose Co., of Michigan City, was called to act as secretary pro tern.
The first order of business was the reports of officers and committees.
D. R. Leeper, Chairman of the Committee on Legislation, being unable to be present at the Convention, no report of that committee was made A member of the committee, however, stated that the claims and petitions had been presented to the legislature in the interest of the Firemen, but as yet nothing had been availed. On motion, the business of the Committee on Legislation was referred back to the committee.
W. V. Cole, of South Bend, Chairman of the Committee on Trophies, reported that in accordance with instructions received from the Association at its last meeting, the committee had procured a beautiful silk banner, a Firemen’s silver trumpet, and a beautiful belt, which were contested for at the South Bend tournament last fall. The trophies were donated by the Firemen of South Bend, and the business firms named in the following resolution, which together with the chairman’s report were adopted as read. The resolution was :
Resolved, That we, the delegates to the State Firemen’s Association of Indiana, in convention assembled, tender a vote of thanks to C. G. Carleton & Co., Morgan, Wheeler & Morgan, G. F. Foster & Co., all of Chicago, for their liberality in donating the above named .supplies, and that a copy of this resolution be published in the home paper of every delegate.
As Chairman of the Committee on Constitution, F. D. Finney, of Goshen, spoke of some slight changes which had been made by the committee, in the constitution, and referred to them in Article 1, of the constitution, in regard to the manner of the Association ; in Sec 2, Art. 2 ; in Sec. 2, Art. 6 ; and a slight change in the rules of the meeting. The report was accepted and the committee discharged.
Owing to the absence of the Treasurer, W. J. Everhart, of La Porte, the short statement made by a representative, being incomplete, the matter was referred back to the treasurer.
Of the committees apppointed at the meeting Tuesday night, the first to report was the Committee on Insurance, who, owing to the fact that the Association is yet quite young, and needed a better financial basis, deemed it unwise to take any steps, as yet, toward any plan of insurance, and offered the following resolution :
Resolved, That the delegates of this Convention are hereby instructed to agitate and urge this question of mutual insurance with their respective companies for some action and report at our next annual Convention.
On motion, the report of the committee together with the resolution was unanimously adopted and the committee discharged.
A. B. Culver, of South Bend, as Chairman of the Committee on Tournaments, recommended the adoption of the following additional rules governing tournaments, which were unanimously adopted :
- No uniform or running suit will be allowed, exposing the person above the knee.
- Hook and ladder trucks must start with front wheels on scratch.
- They must come to dead halt, with rear wheels of truck not less than 200 yards from starting point before ladder is removed.
- Climber must not start until the ladder strikes the ground.
Insert the word ” leather ’’ in section 3 of rules governing hose companies,
RULES GOVERNING COUPLING CONTESTS.
- Hose to lay in straight line on ground or floor.
- Break two-thread coupling and attach pipe. Pipe must be screwed up two threads.
- No couplings can be used having lugs, bands or other projections over ft ot an inch.
- All threads to be the standard—8 to the inch.
- Contestants to run in same direction fifty feet, break coupling and attach pipe.
The Corresponding Secretary’s report was a verbal statement to the effect that he had fulfilled all duties of his office, an! had promptly attended to all correspondence and other business coming under the head of his office.
The Western Fireman and Herald were added to THE FIREMAN’S JOURNAL as official papers of the Association.
On motion, the bills and claims of the Corresponding Secretary and the President for postage and printing to the amount of fifty-two dollars, were ordered paid.
The suggestion of holding the meeting of the State Firemen’s Association and the State Tournament at the same time and place was thoroughly discussed, but failed to meet with the approval of the Association.
Volunteer remarks from various Fire Departments were made by President O. H. Brussie, Chief Culver, of South Bend, Chief Paul, of Mt. Vernon, Chief Rusk, of Brazil, J. F. Langenbaugh, of Plymouth, and other members of the Association.
In the matter of locating the place of holding the next State Tournament, the president and vice-presidents of the association were appointed a committee to select such a place as they may deem advisable. The committee will correspond with authorities in Indianapolis, and if suitable arrangements can be made will locate the tournament at that place.
As to the time and place of holding the next meeting of the association a motion was carried to the effect, that it should be held at Columbus, Ind., on the third Tuesday of May, 1884 ; to convene for business at q o’clock A. M.
After the election of Robert Young, of Ohio, to become a member of the association, the election of officers was then taken up, resulting as follows :
President, II. C. Devie, Chief of the Columbus Department ; Treasurer, G. W. Poland, of Angola Department ; Financial Secretary, A. J. Krueger, of Michigan City Department ; Corresponding Secretary, D. W. Gillen, of South Bend ; Recording Secretary, J. P. Paul, Chief of Mt. Vernon Department; Statistician,]. F. Langenbaugh, Plymouth.
The new president then announced the appointment of vice-presidents as follows ; Thos. Bullen, of Evansville ; A. H. Culver, South Bend ; F. D. Finney, Goshen ; J. F, Langenbaugh, Plymouth ; and II. P. Speath, of Angola.
On motion, the officers elected were made the unanimous choice of the Convention.
Under the head of miscellaneous business, G.W. Poland read a memorial offering over the death.of a brother, which on motion was adopted, and ordered printed in the book of proceedings, to be used at the buria of a brother Fireman.
FIREMEN’S ADDRESS FOR FUNERAL OCCASIONS.
We are assembled, my brother, to tender the last office which the living may minister to the dead. Man is from to die. The coffin, the grave, the scpalchre speak to us in language that cannot be misunderstood, however unheeded it may be; we are but shadows ; floating for a moment over time, soon to be dissipated by the light of eternity. How often are we called uponio shed the tear of sympathy over the grave of our fellow—how constantly are the ravages of the destroyer beheld amid the busy tribes of flesh and blood—p erhaps in the very circle of relationship and friendship—changing joy into sorrow, the fairest spots into the gloomiest wastes; severing the most endearing and tender associations, indeed man is surrounded by innumerable mementoes of his mortality. To-day he looks upon the coffin of the smiling infant; to-morrow lie sees the youth, in the bloom of lile and hope, consigned to an untimely grave, and again he follows one who, after a long pilgrimage through life, has sunk at length to rest. Upon his own brow is stamped the seal of mortality ; he is ever reminded, by the inroads of decay upon his own system, of the time when he shall become a tenant of (he tomb. ” Man cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down : he fleeth as a shadow, and continued! not;” alike in the moments of solitude and sadness, when the days of other years, and the for of the departed, long buried in the stillness of the tomb, comes over the mind wflh the vividness of reality, and in the hours of triumph and hilarity, where mirth and festivity are in the ascent, he is checked and dismayed by the chilling presage of death, and thinks of the time when it shall be said of riim: ” He sleeps the sleep that shall know no earthly waking 1” Men appear and disappear from the stage of life; ” in the midst of life we are in death.’ He whose lips now echo those tones of solemn warning, in his turn will be stilled in the cold and cheerless house of the dead ; and in the providences of God, none may escape. I-et us, then, so far improve the lesson as to be prepared for the change that leads to life eternal.
The following topics were adopted for discussion at the next meet* ing.
1st. What constitutes a thoroughly equipped Fire Department in our cities and towns ?
2. What constitutes a first-class Fireman?
3d. The Importance of City Councils appointing proper committees, and what should be their duty? .
4th. To what extent should Firemen become acquainted with the principles of combustion and the properties of materials used in buildings, in order to be qualified to direct in the extinguishment of fire?
sth. What methods should be adopted to foster, encourage, and hold together volunteer fire organisations, and also vouchsafe discipline, efficiency and reliability to citizens?
6th. Protection against fire—Should a State law be enacted, compelling each town to provide suitable protection against fire, the amount of apparatus to be based on area and population?
7th. Is it not the duty of Chiefs of Departments to investigate the cause of all fires?
8th. Chemical engines—Their efficiency and benefits.
gth. The State Association—Its objects, aims and benefits.
loth. Firemen’s Tournament—Are they a benefit to a Fire Department or fire practice ?
Util. To what extent can a Chief Engineer be justified in allowing his command to absent themselves to participate in a tournament ?
iath. The necessity of a Universal Hose Coupling throughout the State.
13th. Should the State provide for the Veteran Exempt Firemen, and those disabled in the service?
14th. What method can be adopted in our smaller town to encourage the Firemen, who from want of practice have lost their interest?
15th. Should horses belonging to Fire Departments be used for any purpose than that of Fire Service?
16th. Is not the spray nozzle of more value than a solid stream; if not, what is the reason?
17th. The feasibility of taking into consideration the organizing of a State Firemen’s Benefit Association on the assessment plan, same to be under the control of the State Association.
A vote of thanks was then offered to the citizens of Michigan City, the Fire Department, the Press, the Prison Officials, and to Captain Campbell, for the courtesies extended the members of the Association during their stay in the city. Unanimously adopted.
After the election of Fred Browne, of Chicago, as an honorary member of the Association, the meeting then adjourned sine die-