Long Service of a Fire Veteran

Long Service of a Fire Veteran

In commenting on the long service of the late Chief Denis J. Swenie, of the Chicago fire department, this journal in its issue of July 19, 1879, said:

Mayor Harrison recently appointed Denis J. Swenie fire marshal, in place of M. Benner, and the appointment was at once confirmed by the council. Denis J. Swenie was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1834. In 1848, at the age of 14, he became a resident of Chicago, and in the year following, 1849, became a member of the volunteer fire organization and was made assistant foreman of a company. In 1856 he was advanced to assistant engineer, under Chief McBride, and in 1858 was promoted to chief, which position he held when the old volunteer system was abandoned and the present system introduced. Chief Swenie, of the volunteers, became first chief of the paid organization, and has been identified with the paid fire department of the city, a period of twenty-one years. The following are the names ol the chiefs of the present fire department since its organization: Denis J. Swenie, 1858-1859; U. P. Harris, 1859-1868; R. A. Williams, 1868-1873; M. Benner, 18731879; D. J. Swenie (acting), 1879. Thus after a period of twenty years, Mr. Swenie finds himself at the head of the department of which he was chief at its organization and which has grown from its small and imperfect beginning into one of the most efficient departments in the world, and in the development of which to its present condition he has taken a most active part.

A large service flag, bearing seventy starsfi was flung to the bree/c from the fire headquarters building on Bristol street, Boston, Mass., on December 11. The flag raising was preceded by a parade of 250 Boston firemen, headed by Chief P. F. McDonough, escorted by four companies of sailors and the naval band from Commonwealth pier.

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