Port Huron Fire Department.
While it is not generally known, Fort Huron, Mich., was one of the first cities in the state to have an organized fire department and to-day its fire-fighting facilities equal those of any city of its size in the United States Like every other village Port Huron before it took on its mantle as a city, had a volunteer department and many of the old residents of to-day were the “fire laddies” of years ago. The first organized department was known as the “Deluge Hose” and was formed on October 26. 1875. The following officers were elected: Foreman, Almond Stevens; first assistant, Stephen Kaiser; second assistant. Archibald Wright; secretary, John Kendall: treasurer, John Chambers; steward, Lewis Owens, branclimcn. Arthur Armstrong and Robert McManus. Twenty-six members were enrolled and the action of this newly organized company was brought before the council for approval, after which it was legally organized and ready for work. At the same time the Port Huron Fire Escape and Hook and Ladder Truck Company was organized, with a capital stock of $200,000. William L. Bancroft. Wallace Ames, James Goulden, Samuel D. Clark, Taylor E. Daniels and N. S. Boynton had 120 shares, each of $25 per share. The old Sixth ward hose company was the nucleus of the present lire department. In the past 36 years there have also been many changes in the personnel of the fire department. Young men are in command to-day, and the department is maintained by the city. It is also regarded as one of Port Huron’s best investments. Owing to the large stretch of territory covered by the city, four stations have been established to give it ample fire protection. No. 1 hose house, which is the original head of the department, sends out a fire engine and combination wagon in response to alarms. This station is located on Seventh street, between Water and Howard streets. At No. 2 station, which is on Brown street, a large book and ladder truck is kept in readiness. A hose wagon is maintained at No. 3 house, which is located at the corner of Cherry and State streets. This last named hose house has been completed within the past year, and is complete in every detail. No. 4 hose house provides for the district known as South Park, and is equipped with a hose wagon. The following are the members of the present fire department over which C. E. Mudford, public safety commissioner, has charge Frank J. Schaller, chief, with headquarters at No. 1 engine house; James Byrne, captain, No 1; William Dingwell, lieutenant; Ray Smith, engineer: Louis Bell, assist ant engineer; Fred Cleaver, driver; Harry Wilkins and George Keener, pipemen. Albert Houle, captain No. 2; bred Manly, lieutenant; lames Hyde, driver; Fred Viagra’s, James Smith and Edward West, pipemen. Archie McClellan, cap tain. No. 3; John Cohen, George Hissock and Sidney Hill, pipemen. George Siekels, captain, No. 4; Frank Hand, driver, and Arthur McWilliams, pipeman. One of the most prominent mem hers of the old volunteer fire fighters is Mack Walker, who resides at the corner of Sixth and Chestnut streets. While in a reminiscent mood the other day, Mr. Walker recalled many incidents of the olden days, including the purchase in Chicago of the hand fire engine “Silver Sides.” which won the banner in the state contest at Detroit years ago. Mr Walker also invented a code of signals for the use of the fire department and later invented a telephone system which connected the waterworks with prominent points in the city over which alarms were sent in. This was before the telephone came into general use. A few days ago be presented Chief Frank Schaller with one of the receivers of the old telephone system. Some time ago Mr. Walker pre sented the department with a nozzle of a hose which was used in the disastrous fire which swept Chicago.