SOME FIREMEN’S GATHERINGS.

SOME FIREMEN’S GATHERINGS.

ASTON, PA., on October 1, was the scene of a large gathering of firemen, the occasion being the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the Humane fire company of that city, and the centennial of organized fire service in the Lehigh valley—Easton being the pioneer in that line. In the parade at least 1,000 men were in line, firemen being present with their apparatus from New Jersey, New York, and from many cities and towns in Pennsylvania. The chief marshal was John R. Beers, who was assisted by a large number of able aides. The streets and windows were handsomely decorated and the city was full of spectators from far and near. Among those present were 100 members of the Volunteer Firemen’s Association of New York city, drawing their own hand engine, their banner being carried by eight sons of veteran firemen. The Volunteer Firemen’s Association, of Philadelphia, was represented by Chauncey E. Burke and II. S. Agnew. The firemen of Betlehem, l’a., had in their line a modern hook and ladder truck, and a wagon on which was mounted a hand engine, said to be the oldest in America, having been brought to Bethlehem by the Moravians in 1751.

The Humane company, of Easton, was, of course, the chief attraction. Thirty-six men drew’ their old service carriage, followed by their old suction engine, the first of its kind owned by the towrn of Easton, mounted on a float, drawn by horses. The first engine of Humane company was built by Philip Mason, of Philadeldhia, in 1797. It was but a force pump, and was supplied with water from buckets passed by men, who stood in rows, from the nearest well or most available water supply to the engine, which was usually placed as near the burning structure as possible, and the stream directed from a metal pipe attached to the engine upon the flames. The first officers of the company were: President, Abraham Horn, sr.; secretary, Christian J. flutter; treasurer, Jacob Wevgandt. The company had rowmen, guardmen, axemen, and hook and ladder men. The rowmen were obliged ‘‘to form the rows at fires; to see that the buckets passed to and from the engine with regularity; to see that no water is spilled unnecessarily; and that no idle spectators are suffered to look on.” These “fire buckets” were made of leather, and had the owner’s name and the company’s name painted upon them. According to rule they were kept in a conspicuous part of the home of each of the members, anc were used for no other purposes but for conveying water in time of fire. The guardmen were to take care of. and guard the goods saved out of any burning building. Two of the axemen would remain near the engine in case of fire and remove any impediments in way of the engine. The other two were required to work on the roofs. The ladder and hook men conveyed the ladders and hooks to fires and operated them. In 1867 the Humane men bought their first steam fire engine—one built by Haupt Bros, of Philadelpha.

In 1879, when the present paid fire department was established at Eaton, the following were the officers of the company: Fire company No. 1: President, George Finley; vice-president, John R. Beers; recording secretary, J. J. Smith, financial secretary, H. D. Osterstock; treasurer, William E. Ilammann, trustees, E. H. Ilammann ; J. J. Smith, J. J. Bishop; foreman, J. J. Smith; assistant foreman, George Freyberger; engineer. John J. Bishop; assistant engineer, John R. Beers; first stoker, J. I). Reaser, second stoker. Ed. Nungesser. There were besides thirty-three members, of whom five are dead. The chiefs of the volunteer fire department of Easton were us follows: Captain Charles Yard, 1871; the late Colonel Charles Glantz, 1872; the late James Ward, 1873-4; the late James Mutchler, 1875; the late George Finley, 1876. It was interesting to notice that in the centennial parade were present types of all the different kinds of fire apparatus, from the old leather fire bucket to the force pump hand engine of 1797; from that to the more modern hand suction engine; and from that to the steam fire engine and up-to-date chemical engine.

The fire department of Poughkeepsie. N. Y., under Chief Thompson, entertained the Volunteer Firemen’s Association in old-fashioned style on the occasion of its annual inspection. 1° the parade through the decorated streets were veterans of eighty-two years of age. not one of the Philadelphians being under fifty-two years. Among them was John H. Clay, Mechanic fire company, an enthusiastic fireman, who in three weeks built the hose carriage the Philadelphia men brought with them, and, as the Li Hung Chang fever was raging at the time, had peacocks and peacocks’ feathers painted on the car. riage. Each painting cost $100, and is a fine work of art. The members nicknamed it “ Yellow Jacket and Peacock Feathers.” The hose carriage cost $1,500, and was proceded by a band of twenty pieces. Mr. Clay was never anything else than enthusiastic. When but fifteen years of age,he ran away from school to join Miller’s battery and served during the Civil war. The Poughkeepsie men made a very fine display and their parade was swelled by visiting firemen from all quarters.

Plainfield, N. J., kept up with the procession and had a very successful and truly fine parade, in which, of course, the silver hose carriage, which recently had such a narrow’ escape from being burned, played a most conspicuons part. New York’s firemen, who had just been payig a visit to Easton, Pa., were granted the right of way, with their decorated double-decker, preceded by a handsome silk flag, the gift of the Eastonians, which was carried by Amos. H. Veritzan, a true type of the conventional pictures of Uncle Sam. Several old New York Veteran firemen and members of the Volunteer Firemen’s Sons’ Association were also present, with their hose carriage.

At the nineteenth annual convention of the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association recently held at Cape May, N. J., 500 delegates were present. The association,which consists of in local organizations, has a relief fund of $525,000,and will build a $100,000 firemen’s home. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, Bird W. Spencer, of Passaic, (reelected); vice-presidents, first district, N.N. Wentz, Blackwoodtown; second district, Frank Elliott, Morristown; third district, Al. W. Die, New Brunswick; fourth district, C. F. Axtell, Moorestown; fifth district, Ed. Gruber, Englewood; sixth district, Ed. I. Conduct, East Orange; seventh district, Patrick J. Welsh, Guttenburg; eighth district, J. J. Gardner, Elizabeth; sergeant-at-arms, J. I. Parker, Rahway; treasurer John McKiernan, Paterson: secretary, Horace H. Brown, Newark; assistant secretaries, William Extall, Newark, Frank G. Tower, Bloomfield; financial secretary, George T. Everitt, Hackettstown; counsel, William A. Cotter, Newark. The convention decided to meet at Trenton, N. J., next year.

SOME FIREMEN’S GATHERINGS

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SOME FIREMEN’S GATHERINGS

The Fitton Fire Company had a field day at Rockville, Conn., in which a dozen companies paraded. At the noonday banquet speeches were made by Mayor E. L. Heath; Alderman Charles Harris, Councilmm William Rogers, Councilman W. Frank Fay,, Thomas S. I’ratt and Chief Edward O. Goodwin of East Hartford. In the field day contests the prizes were a silver trumpet for the hose race, a cup for the relay race, and gold first and silver second medals in the other events.

At Lockport, N, Y., the annual convention of the State Firemen’s convention was a thorough success, firemen’s companies being present in great numbers. The reception of the delegates was held in the Hodge opera house, the mayor delivering the address of welcome, and a male choir of sixteen voices (Danford J. I’enfold, soloist) singing the ” Fireman’s Convention Song,” words by Charles H. Squires, music by Arthur L liurtis, accompanied by Citizen’s Reed Band,Frank Byron, musical director. The address of welcome on behalf of the firemen was delivered by Hon. John Ii. Pound, and replied to by President John F. Schiosser, of the State Firemen’s Association. Receptions were afterwards tendered to the delegates of the various fire department houses. On the second day there was a water excursion followed by a clam bake, and on the third the accustomed tournament, with a keenly contested list of events, the whole proceedings winding up with a grand night parade accompanied with fire works and music—in the eyes of the multitude Mr feature of the gathering. For the instruction of the delegates the following topics were set down to be discussed:

“ Could an international firemen’s congress be advantageous to the firemen of America?”“ Do the chief engineers of fire departments or officers of fire companies pursue a plan of inspection of large buildings in their jurisdiction? If not, why not?” ” Is the introduction of politics into fire matters pernicious, and what steps can be taken to prohibit it?” “ Resolved, That the legislature should make provision for the appointment of a State officer, to be known as fire marshal, whose duty shall be to investigate all suspicious fires. “What action should be taken to secure the membership into this association of every volunteer fire company or organization in the State ?” ** Would it not be to the best interests of the exempt and veteran firemen to organize a separate and distinct State association?”

’11 c last day of the convention of the Central New York Firemen’s Association drew a crowd of 8,000 visitors to Waterloo, N. Y. Had it not been for the intense heat, the number would have at least been double—probably also the failure of some of the railways to give special rates accounts for many of the absentees. The races were a great attraction as, was the succeeding parade, conspicuous in which was a very fine steam fire engine from the American Fire Engine Company’s works. The marshals were N. D. Belles, W. E. I.earch, F. M.Birdsey, A. S. Hollenbeck, M. M. Moore, S. S. Conover, Dr. James Ilaslett, and Howard Cone, who headed the parade. There were in line nearly 1,100 men, and twenty-five pieces of apparatus. After the parade a heavy rain caused the band tournament to be abandoned. The convention wound up with a fireman’s ball at the Academy of Music, which was largely attended.

The fifth annual convention of the Steuben County Volunteer Firemen’s Association was held at Wayland, N. Y., with seventy-one delegates. The address of welcome was delivered by Hon. W. W. Clark, president of the association, to which response was made by W. I„ McGeorge of Corning. A stirring speech was also made by Hon. Monroe Wheeler. The election of officers for 1897 resulted as follows: President, Monroe Wheeler, Hammondsport; vice president, Dr. Alden, Hammondsport. treasurer, I.. D. Mason, Hammondsport; secretary, J. O. Hubbe, Hammondsport. Hammondsport was chosen as the place of meeting in 1897. A parade, in which t,000firemen took part, a ball game, a clam bake,given by the retiring officers of the association, and an open air concert formed pxrt of the non-business portion of the meeting.

The firemen’s muster at Greenwich, N. Y., drew together a crowd of over 10,000 to the village. The parade was quite a mile in length and was the finest ever seen in the place. The games and tournament went off most successfully,

At Rockville, Conn , the State Firemen’s Association met in convention and elected the following officers; President, Assistant Chief Charles E. Palmer, of Bridgeport; vice-president, Charles O’Neill, of New Haven; secretary, J, S. Jones, of Westport; treasurer, Samuel S, Snagg, of Waterbury; county vice-presidents, Middlesex,G. S. Pitt, of Middletown, New London, H. S. Stanton, of Norwich; Windham, Fred S. Young, of Willimantic; Fairfield, A. H. Hewins, of Norwalk; Tolland, J. W. Hefleran.of Rockville; Hartford, Wm. Gibbs, of Hartford; New Haven, F. J. Riley, of Derby; Litchfield, George S. Woodruff, of Litchfield. The reports showed a balance on hand of $16,131; total relief paid to sick and injured, $4,656; paid to orphans, $831.

The annual firemen’s parade at Clearfield, Pa., this year was the most successful ever held. In addition to those who in carriages or were mounted, there were 629 firemen, with bands in line, besides Clearfield’s military company, numbering 148 men. Five steamers and twelve hose carts were in the procession.

Firemen’s Day at New Bedford saw a parade in seven divisions marching in review, with no stint of gaily decked apparatus and bands. The procession was nearly two miles in length and took over 45 minutes to pass the reviewing stand. The “playout” showed that the old vets, are still “all there.”