SOME CINCINNATI FIRE VETERANS.
OHIO’S chief city has in the ranks of its fire department some veterans who have well served Cincinnati for more than a quarter of a century. The “counterfeit presentments” of these men are given herewith. Many of them have received severe injuries in the performance of their duties, and it is in great measure owing to their good example of pluck and faithful performance of the work they were set to do that the department now enjoys its reputation for efficiency. The quaint arrangement of the veterans in the cut appeared in a local paper.
In point of service John Vetter is the oldest member of the department. His inrolment in the service dates back to August. 1855. when he started in as pipeman of Union fire company; being afterwards attached to ladder companies No. 2 and 5. He is now pilot on ladder wagon No. 5. Mr. Vetter, though sixty-five years of age, is as vigorous as any young man in the department.
Daniel Twohig, entered the department in March, 1856,8s a running member of engine company No. 2, to which he soon became attached as a regular member; and remained with that company for several years, when he was promoted to the captaincy of chemical engine No. 20; whence, after serving for a short time, he was transferred to engine company No. 2; thence to engine company No. 25; and upon the organization of engine campany No. 24. on Price Hill, he was chosen as, and still remains its captain.
John O’ F. Miller was seventeen years of age when he entered the department in 1857, as a member of engine company No. 10. After serving for almost two years he withdrew, but shortly afterwards returned, and was made first pipeman and then reel driver. He was promoted to a captaincy and detailed to engine company No. 3, where he remained for a while, returning to the ranks as pipeman of engine company No. 10,whence he was appointed captain of engine house No. 16. In 1893 he was elected district fire marshal for the Fourth district—an office which he continues to fill.
In 1857 William Estep entered the fire department as stoker of the Brightens jpassing from that company, he served as stoker at engine company No. 5, and in 1858 was transferred to company No. TO. where to-day he is highly esteemed as a pioneer fireman of nearly thirty-eight years’ standing.
After serving the fire department as outside pipeman of fire companyNo.4,entering the department in 1861,J. C. Donovan in a short time retired and worked at his trade of a carriage blacksmith. InSept. 1,1862,he reentered the departmentas regular pipeman of company No. 10. He was then made pipeman of engine company No. 10, where he remained for ten years,after which he was appointed captain of fire company No. 6, and transferred to company No. 4 shortly afterwards. He also served as captain of fire (ompanies Nos. 10 and 3, at which latter company he remained until the death of Chief Bunker, when he was appointed district marshal of the Western district, which position he has filled most creditably ever since. During his career he has met with numerous accidents, some very serious, and only a short while ago had a most narrow escape from death at Seventh and Race electric car in responding to an alarm of fire.
Daniel Gallagher began his career as a pipeman with engine company No 6 in 1861, serving in that capacity and as stoker till he became captain. He was then transferred to engine No 10. as pipeman; to No. 6, as stoker, and finally to engine company No. 20, with which he still does duty. He has received many injuries, more or less severe, during his time of service; but they have not permanently interfered with his good work as a fireman.
M, T. Iligginson became pipeman of fire company No. 4, on June 5, being promoted to captain of the company on November 20,1886. He was very severely injured at the MackStadler fire, and besides had many narrow’ escapes from death —having been compelled to lie off from duty for a long while on account of injuries. He is now captain of fire company No. 26, to which position he w-as appointed on the organization of that company. Captain Higginson is one of the trustees of the firemen’s pension fund.
William H. Hadler’s experiences date back to April 1, 1864, when he became a running member of hook and ladder company No. r—being shortly afterwards appointed pipeman of engine company No. 7. Thence he went to company 19 as driver, becoming its captain in course of time.
Thomas McAvoy began his fireman’s life in 1867 as reel driver in co np iny 9, in which capacity he re n lined until April 1 in the following year, when he became pipeman of engine company No. 14, of which he was appointed captain in 1875. In 1878 he was elected assistant marshal of the Third district, resigning that post to become an officer in the police court. He reentered the fire department in 1885 as captain of fire company No. 8. and five years afterwards he was elected first assistant fire marshal, to which position he was reelected last year. Fire Marshal McAvoy was always a daring fireman and one who, whatever the danger, never lost his head.
Herman Placke entered the fire department in April, 1868, as a member of engine company No. 9. Subsequently he did duty with engine companies Nos. 27, 12, 13. and 30, of which last he is now captain. He often performs the duties of district marshal in the absence of any one of these officers, and has on several occasions been badly injured, and had very close shaves for his life at fires.
William H. Culver, who entered the department on January 27, 186S, as a memberof fire company No. 11, has remained in it ever since, rising by degrees from pipeman to captain— his reputation as a brave fire fighter helping him up the ladder of promotion.
Lieutenant Francis Heu was made pipeman of engine company No, 4 on July 4, and was also pipeman of engine companies Nos. 18 and 7 for some years. He w’as promoted to be lieutenant of engine company No. 19, with which he remained till fire company No. 30 was organized, when that company was put (and continues to be) under his charge.
Lafe Kinzel became a member of ladder company No. 2 September 1, 1871 During his period of service with that company he was driver of the fuel wagon, from which position he was promoted to the captaincy. A few years afterwards he was elected district marshal of the Third district, which positon he held for four years, and, failing to be reelected, was appointed to his present position of captain of ire company No. 20. Captain Kinzel met with many severe accidents during his career—from the effects of one, when he was thrown out of his wagon on his way to a fire, he still suffers.
Like others of his brethren in the service, Jonn Daniels bears upon his body the marks of honorable scars—the insignia of his gallantry at fires. He entered the department on the same day as Capt. Kinzel, and was appointed to the same hook and ladder company, No. 2. After long service he was promoted to be captain of engine company No. q—a position to which he does credit.
Milton L. Campbell, who in September, 1S71, became a running member of hook and ladder company No. 2, had held that position for only a short time, when he was appointed captain of fire company No. 13. He was soon transferred from that company to the command of compiny No. 3, and in 1881 to that of hook and ladder company No. 1. In February, 1S93, he was promoted to be assistant fire marshal of the Second district. Assistant Marshal Campbell bears an unimpeachable record, and ranks as a most efficient officer. He has been president of the Firemen’s Protective Association, of Cincinnati, since 1880; is a thirty-second degree Mason and high up in the orders of the Knights of Pythias and the Odd Fellows.
Benjamin Meyers, after entering the fire department November 1. 1871, as pipeman of fire company No 8, in which capacity he saw quite a considerable amount of service, was promoted to be lieutenant. As such, he proved himself so efficient that in 1884 he was set over a fire company as captain. His engine house is one of the most thoroughly equipped in the service.
During all his time of service, which dates back to August 1. 1870, when he entered the department as a member of fire company No. 16 (Walnut Hill), then newly organized, Wil1 am Merren,now its lieutenant, has shown himself a most efficient and capable fireman and officer, He will shortly retire from the service in consequence of injuries he received through sliding down the pole in responding to an alarm. These injuries have permanently disabled him. He will leave the service accompanied with the best wishes of Chief Archibald, his brother officers, and the rank and file of the fire department.