Norristown Fire Department.
The fire department of Norristown, Pa., is made up of well drilled and well equiped volunteers, divided into five companies under the command of Chief Peter V. Hoy. The first of the present companies, the Norris, was organised on November 12, 1847. The Montgomery is but ten days younger, having been organised on November 22, 1847. At the meeting to organise the Norris some of those prominent in the movement differed with the manner of organisation and separated. A conference was held, and it was decided to form another company: the Montgomery was the result. While the Kairmount hook and ladder company was instituted on February 22, 1852, it was not incorporated until May 19, 1853, so that the Humane, which was instituted on July 21. 1852, and incorporated on November 8, 1852, holds seniority over the “Fairies.” The youngest company, the Hancock, was instituted in 1895. All the companies are equiped with the latest firefighting apparatus. The Hancock company has a motor-prooelled chemical apparatus. Firemen were known to the borough as early as its first existence. At a meeting of the town council on August 24, 1812, the subject of a fire company was discussed, and the next June a movement was set on foot for the organisation of a company. A committee of council appointed for the purpose asked a bid of Patrick Lyon for a fire engine. The estimate was given of from $550 to $570. The bid was submitted to council. The county commissioners were appealed to for a contribution and for permission to erect a firehouse on the Courthouse lawn, now the Public square, at Main and DeKalb streets. A donation of $150 was given by the commissioners, a site, at the corner of Main and Swede streets. A stone house, 12 x 15, was built. The Pat. Lyon, the first handengine in the town, was secured in April, 1814. It is still in possession of the Montgomery hose company. It is currently reported that the Pat. Lyon was secondhand when it came to Norristown, so that the probability is that it is more than 100 years old. Notwithstanding its antiquity, at its last trial, not many years since, with six men at its pumps—the pumps were hand-operated—a stream of water was thrown through a %-in. nozzle 90 ft. On Thanksgiving Day this year there was a monster parade of firemen. Fifty-nine companies from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware accepted invitations, and, with the local companies and the various bands there were about 10,000 uniformed men in line, with their apparatus and horses.