The Batavia Fire Department.
The Batavia, N. Y., fire department is among the oldest, if not the first established volunteer fire department in the Empire State. It was organised in April 1827, with William Seaver as captain. The members were volunteers. following varied pursuits. They had no fire-fihting apparatus and fought fire and flame with such weapons as were most convenient The old oaken bucket was in general use, and pumps were made to serve for hydrants. As far back as 1829, the sum of $270 was ordered to be expended on the purchase of the first fire apparatus in the history of the village. It was purchased on the instalment plan. Company members were required to purchase a distinguishing garment, consisting of a leather cap, coat and trousers of Russian duck cloth. The Gretin company, the earliest formed, was disbanded, and was succeeded by the Red Jacket engine company, with fifty members, some of whom had belonged to the Cretins. They disbanded in 1847, and were succeeded by Rescue company No. 1, commanded by B. T. Tisdale. Disbandments and reorganisations followed in rapid succession between 1832 and 1872. In 1861 the Batavia volunteer fire department was formed, all the members being first subjected to the approval of the village president and board of trustees. The population was then nearly 4,000. Industrial and railway facilities were in their infancy, and, if there was a fire men in every rank of life shouldered their buckets and water-pails and became firemen. They took turns drawing water from the wells or cisterns or worked hard at the pumps until the flames were extinguished, or, as was not unusual, the building was totally consumed. Nearly fifty years ago the Richmond hose company was organised out of the Neptune and Amphitrite hose company No. 2. The first fireman of the Dean Richmond company was Augustus N. Cowdin. The fire department has gradually grown, and on its rolls appear the names of many of the best citizens, among them those of the 60 members who composed the Dean Richmond Sportsman and Social club. The chief of the present department is Peter J. Hogan, and it may be added that he and his men have earned a good reputation as firefighters.