A Well Appointed Western Department.

The fire department of Sioux City, Ia., was organised in December, 1874. Before that date it had been dependent upon a hook and ladder company, with a haphazard crew. It did good service, however, in its day. When the new department was organised on December 2, 1874, E. R. Kirk was appointed chief engineer. The apparatus consisted of a steamer, a hook and ladder truck, and two hand hose carts. The crews that manned them were all volunteers, and the water, in case of fire, was supplied from four cisterns and one supply tank. In 1881 a team of horses was bought by the city to haul the steamer, and to work on the streets, subject, of course, to the fire bella bad system which the city soon had to remedy. There were four houses, with volunteer companies, who displayed the accustomed rivalry as to who should be first on the scene when a fire broke out. T he succession of chiefs of the volunteer department were as follows: 1874-1878, E. R. Kirk; 1878-1880, A. J. Millard; 1880-1883, James P. Wall; 1883-1885, John Robson; 1885-1886, A. J. More; 1886-1887, II H. Hardman, with a few paid men.


In January, 1888. a very destructive night fire during a violent snow storm caused the city to realise the fact that the department must be improved. More paid men were added to its ranks, and James Leitch was made chief, with seventeen men under hint, who served one hook and ladder and three hose companies. In 1889. the number of men was added to and the department improved generally. George M. Kellogg was made chief, and, with the exception of one year, when Harvey IT. Hawaiian held the office, has held the position ever since. To his efforts more than those of any other one man is due the present high standing of the Sioux City fire department. His record has been absolutely clean, and his efficiency has been unquestioned. He is not only popular with his men and respected by them as a master firefighter, but he has the confidence of the city authorities, the owners of valuable property, and the representatives of the insurance companies. He has had some fierce fires to fight, and has fought them successfully.

The department consists of Chief Kellogg, Assistant Chief H. L. Pecaut, and thirty-two men. In addition, it boasts of a team which holds the world’s record for a half-mile run with horses and wagon. It won this distinction at Davenport, la., when the free-for-all race open to the world for a purse of $600. was contested during the State Firemen’s tournament on September 4, 1902. Contestants were to run one-half mile from standing start, lay 150 feet of hose, break coupling, and put on pipe ready for water. The Sioux City team ran the half mile in 1 minute 7 4-5 seconds, but the full time, including the coupling, was 1 minute, 16 1-5 seconds, which broke the world’s record. The men who rode on the wagon were John Dineen, captain, who carried the pipe; Thomas J. Stanton, driver; John Shea, coupler; and Michael Walsh, captain of chemical company No. I, who, on this occasion, acted as plugman. “Corbett” and “Sullivan,” the horses which took part in the contest, form a beautiful team ol horses, seal brown in color and weighing 1,250 and 1,160 pounds, respectively; they are rangy and bred from Morgan and English coach stock. ‘They are now, and have been for the last four years the regular hose team at the Central station of the Sioux City fire department, whose members will back them in any future contest.


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