WINFIELD FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Winfield Courier, July 1, 1875.
Winfield City Officers.
The following are the officers elected in this city last Monday.
Mayor: S. C. Smith.
Police Judge: N. H. Wood.
Councilmen: Samuel Darrah, J. D. Cochran, H. S. Silver, J. P. McMillen, and R. B. Saffold.
Winfield Courier, April 24, 1874.
The City Council met at the Courthouse April 20, 1874, at 7 p.m. Mayor S. C. Smith in the chair. Councilmen present: J. P. McMillen, H. S. Silver, S. Darrah. Minutes of last meeting read and approved.
On motion, S. Darrah was duly elected as President of the Council for the ensuing year. H. S. Silver, S. Darrah, and R. B. Saffold were appointed a standing committee on finance for the ensuing year. S. Darrah, J. D. Cochran, and J. P. McMillen were appointed a standing committee on streets and sidewalks.
At its June 17, 1874, meeting the city council of Winfield passed the following resolution: “That a committee of three be appointed to procure for the city six ladders, to be placed at different business places along Main street, where the use of water buckets can be had, said ladders to be the property of the city and to be under the control of the City Marshal, to be used in case of fire. On motion R. B. Saffold, S. Darrah, and H. S. Silver were appointed a committee to procure said ladders.”
In 1875 Winfield had one public well. It spent $15.88 for repairs on this well. The other 49 wells in Winfield were privately owned. All were of uniform depth, which was about 22 feet. On Monday night, January 31, 1876, the cry of fire rang through the streets about 9:00 p.m. during a time when the wind was blowing a gale. A blaze from the top of the Lagonda House was soon viewed coming from a chimney that was hidden by the observatory on top of the building. With ladders and water buckets the roof was soon mounted and the fire was put out. The city council advertised for sealed bids for the sinking and walling of two public wells to be located on Main street between 8th and 9th at its February 21, 1876, meeting. Evidently the bids were too high as the council postponed taking action. From time to time C. A. Bliss presented a bill for around $1.00 to replace the rope for the public well.
In May 1876 the Courier reported: “If there had been a fire in town lately, what fun there would have been hunting up the city ladders and buckets. The painters have left them scattered over town. The buckets are used for slop. We hope none of the city council will have any buildings ignited.”
At a city council meeting on September 4, 1876, councilmen A. B. Lemmon and C. A. Bliss, the committee on fire department, recommended the following action.
1st. That the City Council take immediate steps to procure, for the use of the city, one “Little Giant” chemical engine, two dozen rubber buckets, one two-wheel truck for ladders, and the necessary equipage for a hook and ladder company.
2nd. That a convenient and safe place be secured, in which to keep the engine and other apparatus belonging to the fire department.
3rd. That a fire company be organized which shall become familiar with the management of the engine, and in case of a fire shall have entire control of all the machinery of the department and shall use the same as the officers of said company shall direct.
4th. It shall be the duty of the city marshal to see that the equipments for fighting fire be kept safe in their proper place and ready for use at any time.
The fire committee were instructed to purchase one “Little Giant” chemical engine, No. 3, also one dozen rubber buckets for the use of the city. The committee was instructed to ascertain the cost of a truck, with hooks, axes, ladders, and all necessary equipage, to be gotten up and purchased locally. They were also instructed to find a suitable room, and report at the next meeting where an engine and equipage could be kept safe.
The council instructed the city attorney to prepare an ordinance providing for the organizing of a fire company in the city, and present the same to the council at its next regular meeting.
At the city council meeting on October 3, 1876, the fire department committee reported that they could secure a room for the safe-keeping of an engine, and that, in their opinion, a truck and equipage could be built at home for less money than obtaining one from New York. The committee were instructed to have a truck built and furnish the same with axes, poles, and necessary equipage.
Residents and business houses in Winfield hired well diggers to sink private wells, such as Mr. C. H. Kingsbury, who it was claimed could make a hole in the ground deeper and in a shorter time than any set of well diggers ever seen wielding the spade after he put a well in on James P. Short’s lot just opposite the Courier office in late October 1876, getting the well walled half-way up by dark and calling for a pump the next morning.
The “Little Giant.”
At its November 7, 1876, meeting, the city council appointed T. B. Myers, J. P. Short, and R. B. Pratt as a committee to test the new fire engine when it arrived and to report to the council the best manner in which to organize and conduct a fire company in the city of Winfield. The City Clerk was instructed to draw a warrant on the Treasurer for $20.58 freight on the fire engine. George Brown was paid 75 cents for repairing the city ladders.
On motion the fire committee were instructed to procure a place for the safekeeping of the fire department.
On motion the City Clerk was instructed to draw a warrant on the Treasurer for $20.58 freight paid on the fire engine.
The bill of George Brown, 75 cents, repairing city ladders, was read and ordered paid.
The “Little Giant,” referred to as a “fire extinguisher,” arrived in November 1876. It was run by hand, throwing a chemical fluid that was supposed to put out any blaze except a “fire in the rear.” It cost $500, which included delivery to Winfield complete with buckets and ladders to suit. The public was informed that the “Little Giant” was purchased with the proceeds of the 1876 saloon license, and not by a direct tax upon any citizen.
The December 7, 1876, issue of the Winfield Courier reported use of the “Little Giant.”
“The alarm of ‘fire!’ rang out on the air Tuesday morning and in a few moments hundreds of our citizens were hurrying in the direction of the smoke, which was found to issue from the roof of Wilson’s building at the corner of Millington street and 11th avenue. There being three or four wells in the immediate vicinity and plenty of buckets in willing hands, the flames were prevented from making much headway till the ‘Little Giant’ appeared, when in a few moments they were in perfect subjection. Meantime the doors, windows, furniture, and paraphernalia belonging to the occupant, John Easton, were taken out and placed beyond reach of the fire. The roof of the house being dry and a light wind blowing from the south, considerable damage was done to the building, estimated at about $100. Mr. Easton says the house caught fire from a defective flue; others say that a pan of hot ashes deposited near the south side of the building was the cause of the conflagration. The ‘Little Giant’ did very satisfactory work.”
A citizen remarked: “Every well regulated family ought to have one of those squirt guns.”
The editor of the Winfield Courier defended the “Little Giant,” calling it a success when properly handled. “It needs active, fearless, and experienced men about it to make it real effective. Call a meeting, organize, elect officers, drill, pump, yell fire, and then watch the ‘squirt gun.’ Get more ladders, keep them in a convenient place, and see the boys climb.”
An engine house was built near Shoeb’s Shop for accommodation of the “Little Giant.”
On December 8, 1876, the Mayor and Councilmen of Winfield passed Ordinance No. 61, which organized and governed a Fire Department. This ordinance consisted of 19 sections, no doubt taken from that of a large city. In 1876 Winfield had a population of 1,421 citizens. The ordinance called for Fire Department officers: Chief, Engineer, 1st Assistant Engineer, 2nd Assistant Engineer, Captain, 1st Lieutenant, and 2nd Lieutenant. The Engineer was the commanding officer, and had the duty to enroll twelve volunteers to constitute an Engine Company. The city of Winfield was divided into four fire districts by lines drawn through the city along the center of Main street and along the center of Ninth Avenue. The sum of $85.00 was appropriated from the city treasury to pay for building an engine house on the west end of lot 1, block 109, and to pay for the use of the ground on which it stood for two years in advance; and the property of the city connected with the fire department was housed, stored, and properly secured in said building, the property of the city.
In accordance with passage of Ordinance No. 61, Mayor Millington with the consent and recommendation of the city council, appointed Sheriff R. L. Walker as Chief, T. B. Myers as Engineer, and Hiram S. Silver as Captain of the fire department of the city of Winfield. Mr. H. S. Silver was a former city councilman and trustee of Winfield Township.
On April 6, 1877, R. L. Walker was Mayor; the Fire Committee was composed of C. M. Wood, S. C. Smith, and A. G. Wilson, members of the city council.
On May 2, 1877, two alarms of fire startled citizens in Winfield at a time when the wind was blowing stiff from the south. The fire company had the engine and ladders bearing upon the smoking roof of Mrs. Bradish’s dwelling in exactly ten and one half minutes from the time of the alarm. The smoke came from a burning chimney that allowed the smoke to pass into the gable of the roof; hence the alarm. The second fire was more serious. Between 4 and 5 p.m., another fire alarm was sounded and the fire company with engine and ladders were only three minutes in getting to the house of Mrs. Tucker and turning loose upon it with their chemicals. Flames and smoke were bursting from every door and window of the house before anything was done to save it, but the “Little Giant” and a hundred willing, active hands subdued the flames and saved the house. The damage to furniture and inside woodwork amounted to one hundred dollars.
The fire company began to meet on an irregular basis at lamp light.
A 225 lb. city fire alarm bell arrived on June 20, 1877. It was inadequate.
The “Little Giant” was pressed into service on numerous occasions. In July 1878 a lamp explosion occurred in By Terrill’s livery stable. Prompt and energetic action by the boys in charge of the fire extinguisher smothered the flames and averted disaster. It took the fire company two minutes to race three-quarters of a mile to the south part of Winfield in April 1879 when someone reported a residence fire. The building was nearly consumed by the time the exhausted men arrived. In June 1879 T. A. Wilkinson’s stable, located in the rear of his house on Mansfield street, was set on fire by his little boy, Sammy, who wanted a bonfire and took some matches up to the hay loft, collected a bunch of hay in one corner, and touched it off. Seeing that he had a little more fire than he bargained for, he tumbled head long out of the loft and soon the whole barn was in a blaze. The fire company was on hand with the “Little Giant” in a short time, but they arrived too late to save the stable.
In March 1880 a fire was started at the Central Hotel from a stove pipe passing through a tin ventilator in the upper floor. The roof was kept saturated with water, which prevented the fire from breaking out until the “Little Giant” could be brought to bear upon it from the inside, when it was quickly extinguished. A reporter covering the fire stated: “Several idiots seemed determined to smash in the windows on the north gable, and it required the most strenuous efforts of the members of the fire company to prevent it. Had they done so, and given the air a chance to fan the flames, the building could not have been saved.”
Another report concerning the Central Hotel fire was more alarming: “The fire has served to show the utter inefficiency of the means provided to extinguish it. The wells and pumps on which has been squandered a large amount of money were useless, some of the wells being dry and others, where the hose was attached, the force of the pump was too weak to raise the water as high as the building. It is very certain that had the fire occurred at midnight, instead of in daylight when hundreds were on the streets to help extinguish it by hand, a large portion of the business part of our city would now be but a mass of ruins. Let us take this as a warning, and at once cast about for some effective means of protecting ourselves against this devouring demon.”
In April 1880 the city council was advised by citizens that an appropriation should be made to buy oil for the fire engine and ladder truck, which needed it badly.
The city council was upset when the disastrous fire occurred in May 1880 that destroyed many buildings in Winfield: the old log store, the Central and Lindell Hotels, etc. They no longer had access to revenues from saloons.
A fire that occurred in January 1881 was not heard as the fire bell was frosty and although it was rung long and hard, it could not be heard more than two blocks away. By this time there were two fire machines in Winfield; but they needed water in order to operate. At that time water was very scarce, making the machines useless. The three frame buildings set on fire were all consumed; the brick houses on either side of them were hardly scorched.
In February 1881 the fire engine at station No. 1 was frozen up so that it was not taken out of the fire department building. The hook and ladder truck from the other station appeared after the fire was out at Mr. Scovill’s residence due to the efforts of his neighbors, who had plenty of water near at hand.
The city council procured a new fire bell, much larger than the old one, in April 1881. I. W. Randall was awarded the contract to erect a 30 ft. tall fire bell tower for the new bell in the rear of Max Shoeb’s blacksmith shop. The Courier complained in May: “The new fire bell has been hung in the new tower, and some new hand has been tormenting the life almost out of us by ringing it for the last three days. If the thing doesn’t stop, we will demand our ‘devil’ to give it a taste of real fire.”
In August 1882 the Winfield City Mills (owned by Bliss & Wood) was destroyed by fire, which was discovered too late for the fire department to respond to the clanging of the new fire bell at 3:00 a.m.
Winfield was fortunate in having but few fires after the flour mill burned down and passage of Ordinance No. 167 on January 17, 1883, took place inasmuch as it stipulated that the city would receive protection by the Winfield Water Company against disaster from fires. The
Ordinance No. 167, passed in January 17, 1883, stipulated that the city would receive protection by the Winfield Water Company against disaster from fires
Winfield Courier, May 10, 1883.
[At City Council Meeting.]
On motion, the Mayor, Councilman Kretsinger, and Mr. J. P. Short were appointed a committee to examine the question of providing the city with fire hose and carts.
Winfield Courier, August 9, 1883.
At the Council meeting Monday evening bids for fire department supplies were referred to the fire department committee and Council adjourned to meet next Monday evening.
Winfield Courier, August 9, 1883.
Messrs. English Brothers of Kansas City, Missouri, were awarded the contract by the City Council to furnish the city one thousand feet of fire hose and two hose carts. The hose purchased is the celebrated Excelsior grade manufactured by the Boston Belting Company, who are the oldest manufacturers of fire hose in the country. The hose carts are of the Silsby Manufacturing Company’s make. The names of the manufacturers in each case is a guarantee of strictly first class goods. Messrs. English Bros. were represented by Mr. Maynard Miller, a gentleman thoroughly posted in this business.
Winfield Courier, August 23, 1883.
At the special session of the council Monday evening, a tax levy of 5 mills for general purposes, 2½ mills for fire department supplies, and 5 mills for paying off the Carpenter judgment, was made—12½ mills in all.
An application for levy for water works rents was made and earnestly pressed by councilman Kretsinger, but the council seemed to think it was time enough to make the levy after the contract had been completed and so sat down on the proposition very hard.
Winfield Courier, September 13, 1883.
Our New Water-Works.
The two hose carts and one thousand feet of hose for the city, representing fourteen hundred dollars, arrived Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon the hose was attached to the fire-plugs on Main street, the pressure put on, and the street fairly deluged with the bright, clear water of the Walnut. Solid streams shot over a hundred feet into the air with terrific force. It was indeed a grand sight to see the crystal drops sent whirling through the air from the five or six plugs running at once. Only a third of the power of the huge engine was brought to bear and yet so strong was the force that the nozzle of the hose at several different times downed the efforts of four or five men and they went sprawling around over the ground like some great serpent. The “fire company” turned the stream on everybody who ventured near enough, and the number of “drowned rats” was appalling to see. It produced much jovial excitement and was engineered by our city marshal, G. W. Prater. A constant pressure is now kept on the pipes and over fifty persons have taken water. Many lawn sprinklers are now affording relief from the brazen elements. But one leak has been found in the entire piping since the first test, which certainly reflects great credit upon the workmanship of Mr. John Maxwell, the contractor. The next thing in order to the completion of our fire department is the organizing of a fire company; this done, we can down any blaze that pokes up its head. The extraordinary ability of the superintendent, Frank Barclay, as a draughtsman, plumber, and machinist has been finely demonstrated by the quality and adeptness of the water-works machinery. Frank’s knowledge in this line can’t be beaten.
[WINFIELD FIRE COMPANIES.]
Winfield Courier, November 22, 1883.
It is getting about time to organize fire companies in this city. We have the water, the hose, carts, and every necessary appliance except men to handle them. Let the Council, or someone in authority, arrange for the organization of rival companies, one in each ward, and get up some life and competition in the matter. The insurance rates have already been reduced from fifteen to twenty-five percent, but if some means of handling our fire protection is not speedily perfected, the old rates will be restored. Let everyone take hold of this matter and let us have two fire companies.
Excerpts from a lengthy article...
Winfield Courier, December 13, 1883.
THE WATER WORKS.
The Waterworks Company have notified the mayor and councilmen that they have completed the works and require a test to be made on or before the 15th.
We find from the ordinance that the company agrees to build an engine house according to certain specifications; provide a pump capable of throwing a million gallons of water into a reservoir one hundred feet higher than main street in twenty-four hours; a reservoir capable of storing two million gallons; a boiler; five and a half miles of pipe with certain specification; and forty hydrants. The works, when completed, to be capable of throwing six streams sixty feet high through 50 ft. of hose and inch nozzles; to extend mains and build additional hydrants when required by the city council; to make a satisfactory test as to the capacity of the pumps and the throwing of fire streams; and to keep said works at all times up to the standard of such tests; to lay the pipe in certain streets; to leave the streets in as good condition as before if practicable; to charge consumers not exceeding a certain schedule of rates for water; to keep the said works always in operation and supply the city and its inhabitants with an ample quantity of well settled and wholesome water; and to do their business in Winfield.
The city grants the company the right of way in the city for ninety-nine years and agrees to condemn for the company such property in and out of the city which they require. The named consideration for this is, “for supplying the city and its citizens with water for domestic, sanitary, and other purposes as well as the protection of the city against disaster from fires.”
It is a notorious fact that the reservoir does not hold water well and there are strong doubts if its strength is sufficient to hold two millions of gallons. It is a notorious fact that the water supplied by the pumps is foul, that it is not well settled and filtered, not wholesome; that it is taken from a place in the river where it takes the drainage from the north part of the city and from the cemetery. These must certainly be remedied before there can be a satisfactory test. Then the council should get the best legal advice and have the question of the city’s liability to pay the rents for such time as the works are not maintained up to test settled judiciously before the test can be satisfactory. If as it is claimed, it makes no difference as to the city’s liabilities whether the test is made by the council and the works accepted or not, the council will do no harm by keeping their fingers out of it, and if it would make a difference, in the interest of the city, the council should now take no part in it.
Winfield Courier, January 24, 1884.
Tuesday night about half past twelve the building occupied by Mr. Best, next to Johnston & Hill’s furniture store, was set on fire by someone. The side of the building a few feet from the sidewalk was saturated with coal oil and set on fire. Someone happened to be passing just afterward, gave the alarm, and the blaze was put out before it had fairly got underway. A piece of siding torn from the building smells strongly of coal oil. If it had been discovered five minutes later, five buildings, at least, would have gone up in smoke. What the object of the incendiary was is a mystery. Some connect it with the existence of a gambling room in the upper part of the building—a fact that does not seem to have been known to anyone until Wednesday morning. About the time of the alarm, someone tried to get in the back door of Hudson Bros. Jewelry Store, but were frightened off by a pistol shot from John Hudson, who was sleeping in the building. The fire might have been set by someone with the intention of getting everyone out and burglarizing the town. The marshal ought to keep a sharp look-out for tramps, vags, and strangers generally. The fire bell rope is said to have been cut before the fire.
Winfield Courier, February 7, 1884.
The mayor has appointed Mr. D. L. Kretsinger as chief fire marshal under the new fire department ordinance. Jim Clatworthy is appointed captain of company No. 1 and Frank Finch of No. 2.
Winfield Courier, February 7, 1884.
Another Attempt to Burn the Town Tuesday Morning.
The Water-works Come to The Front.
Tuesday morning between four and five o’clock the fire bell rang and almost the whole male populace of the city turned out. The small barn in the rear of J. L. Hodges’ grocery store was discovered to be on fire. Dr. Mendenhall, living just across the way, was on hand with a garden hose attached to his street hydrant and played at the fire until the large hose was brought out and attached, when the blaze was quickly drowned out, without injury to adjacent buildings. The fire had barely been extinguished and people were returning to their homes when another alarm was made and flames were seen issuing from Mr. Shenneman’s barn on the alley in the rear of Hudson Bros. Jewelry Store. In this barn were six horses, two of McGuire Bros. and several belonging to Mrs. Shenneman. These were got out, the hose brought around, and after some delay about opening the hydrant, caused by the loss of the wrench, a heavy stream was turned on, and in a few minutes the barn was drenched through and through and the fire out. The water worked splendidly and was undoubtedly the means of preventing a disastrous conflagration, as the location of the last fire was in the most inflammable part of the city. The fires were both the work of an incendiary as no fire nor no person was in or about the barns at that time of night. What the motive or object of the fire bugs are is a mystery, but it seems that someone means to have a fire. The officers cannot be too vigilant in their efforts to run down these midnight destroyers. Three incendiarisms within a week is warning enough that there are parties hereabouts who are deadly in earnest in their efforts to burn a big hole in the business portion of the town.
Winfield Courier, February 7, 1884.
The City parliament met Monday evening and ground out the usual grist of laws.
The fire limit ordinance was finally passed, and it is a stout one. Everyone must first get a permit from the Council before the erection of any building within the fire limits.
An ordinance organizing a fire department was also passed. It provided for a chief fire Marshal and two hose companies of twelve members each. The chief Marshal is to receive two dollars for every run made and each member of the companies one dollar. The members are enrolled for three years and are exempt from poll tax and jury duty. It is a first-rate ordinance and ought to give us an excellent fire department.
Winfield Courier, February 14, 1884.
A number of our citizens are arranging for a grand ball to be given Wednesday evening, the 27th, for the benefit of the fire department. The funds secured are to be used in the purchase of hats, belts, etc., for the boys. We hope every citizen will take hold of the matter and assist in making it a success financially and every other way.
Winfield Courier, February 14, 1884.
Again, on Sunday evening, an attempt was made to set fire to property in the city. A lot of hay was stuffed under the rear end of Hendricks & Wilson’s hardware store and ignited. It was done about half past seven o’clock in the evening. Mr. James McLain, who has been acting as night watchman, first discovered and put it out. Shortly before, when walking across Manning Street and Tenth Avenue, he passed a man who was walking hurriedly. As soon as he passed, the man broke into a run, and a moment after McLain discovered the fire. When he turned, the man had disappeared in the darkness. What the object of these incendiaries is cannot be defined. The fire in the Hodges barn could have injured but little business property if successful. The fire started in the Shenneman barn, immediately after, when the hose was handy and hundreds of people standing around to use it, could not have been set with a very villainous intent to destroy, as the destroyer might have known it would be put out in a minute. The setting of the Sunday evening fire early in the evening, when everyone was about, showed a lack of deep intent to do great injury. However, our people have resolved to put a stop to it, and to that end the following paper has been prepared and duly signed, and the total sum of $222.50 goes to the person who runs the fire-bugs in.
We, the undersigned, promise to pay the sum set against our respective names as a reward for the apprehension and conviction of any person or persons engaged in setting any incendiary fire in the city of Winfield, either heretofore or hereafter.
THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED $5.00:
S. C. Smith, T. K. Johnston, Horning & Whitney, Wm. Newton, Hudson Bros., McGuire Bros., J. B. Lynn, Geo. Emerson, COURIER Co., Ella C. Shenneman, W. S. Mendenhall, Winfield Bank, M. L. Read’s Bank, Rinker & Cochran, Miller & Dawson, H. Beard, Whiting Bros., Hendricks & Wilson, A. E. Baird, Johnston & Hill, J. N. Harter, Farmers Bank, Wallis & Wallis, F. V. Rowland, J. S. Mann, Hughes & Cooper, A. B. Arment, Quincy A. Glass, W. L. Morehouse, McDonald & Miner, Curns & Manser, J. D. Pryor, M. Hahn & Co., O’Meara & Randolph, S. H. Myton, J. P. Baden, Telegram, Scofield & Keck, Henry Goldsmith.
THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED $2.50.
R. E. Sydal, S. D. Pryor, E. G. Cole, Kraft & Dix, H. Brown & Son, Brotherton & Silver, F. M. Friend, F. H. Blair, F. H. Bull, T. J. Harris, Albro & Dorley.
TOTAL RAISED: $222.50
Winfield Courier, February 21, 1884.
D. L. Kretsinger was confirmed as chief fire marshal.
Mr. Kretsinger stated that he had appointed Mr. Clatworthy captain of fire company No. 1, and F. W. Finch captain of fire company No. 2. Fire marshal was instructed to procure lanterns, trumpets, and other necessary supplies for the use of the fire department.
City clerk was instructed to notify English Bros. that the city has on hand something over $900.00 to apply on their orders, and for them to send orders to a bank here for payment to that extent.
Winfield Courier, February 21, 1884.
The following is the organization and enrollment of the Fire Department.
City Fire Marshal, D. L. Kretsinger; 1st Asst. Marshal, James Clatworthy; 2nd Asst. Marshal, Frank Finch.
Hose Company No. 1. Jas. Clatworthy, Captain.
Members: W. Lanagan, M. L. Garrigus, W. A. Kuhns, J. W. Hall, John Riley, E. Borghert, C. R. Delay, Frank Cropton, S. Crandall, E. C. Green, Ed Cochran.
Hose Company No. 2. Frank Finch, Captain.
Members: F. L. Noble, W. H. Clark, R. S. Howard, John Wooden, R. D. Rodgers, F. A. Whitney, E. F. Nelson, F. J. Pierce, A. McNeil, C. Trump, and W. S. Brown.
The Department is now thoroughly organized and under the efficient management which Mr. Kretsinger gives any enterprise he takes hold of, assisted by Jas. Clatworthy and Frank Finch, will down any fire that has courage enough to show its little light.
Winfield Courier, February 21, 1884.
Equal in previous arrangement and interest to the grand masquerade ball in January, will be the Firemen’s Ball to be given at the Opera House by citizens of Winfield on next Wednesday evening, February 27th, the proceeds to go for the equipment of our Fire Company. The Committee of arrangement embrace prominent men who are interested and have the experience to make everything pass off successfully. It will undoubtedly be the most elevated occasion of the winter. We all understand the importance and should feel a pride in having Winfield’s Fire Company uniformed in a manner creditable to the city. The way to accomplish it is to get our ladies and all turn out on this occasion. Handsome invitations have been widely circulated.
Winfield Courier, February 28, 1884.
The Courier Surmises
That the Firemen’s Ball this (Wednesday) evening will be the “just too utter too too” affair of the season.
That a good many men were badly “beat” when the fire bell rang Wednesday and they went about four blocks at a 2:40 gait, to find the fire, and only found that it was a signal for the fire companies to turn out for practice.
Winfield Courier, March 13, 1884.
The following bills were allowed and ordered paid.
W. A. Lee, rent of ground for bell tower: $8.80.
The lease existing between Albro & Dorley for room for hose carts was annulled, both parties concurring. A lease was then made with J. C. McMullen for his brick and stone building on North Main for the term of five years at $25.00 per month, for the use of the fire department.
The city treasurer was instructed to pay all money in his hands belonging to the fund raised for paying orders of the city in favor of English Brothers.
Winfield Courier, March 27, 1884.
Another fire bug was loose on a small scale last Saturday night. About eleven o’clock the people were brought out by the ringing of the fire bell to find that a hay stack just back of Caton’s Marble Works had been mysteriously fired. The blaze was discovered before it got much of a start and the alarm given. In a short time hose company No. One was on the ground pouring a heavy stream on the burning hay, and quickly extinguished the fire. It was in a few feet of several livery stables and much combustible matter, and had it not been for our waterworks and the prompt appearance of the fire company, it would certainly have proved disastrous. Because of the non-appearance of fire company Number Two, some pretty severe joking was indulged in at the expense of the more active company, intimating that the members of Number One had set the fire to give themselves an opportunity to display their activity. Some of the company took this a little to heart, and it did seem unfair when they acquitted themselves so nobly. A tramp was allowed a bunk in Billy Hands livery stable that night and about ten o’clock he slid the back door open and went out. Soon after the fire blazed up, and he is supposed to be the incendiary—at least earnest efforts failed to find him. Two or three of these lazy whelps have been lounging around the town lately. Every able-bodied man who wants a meal without paying for it in money or work during these busy times ought to be shoved in the cooler or given a load of shot. He is a danger to the community.
Winfield Courier, April 17, 1884.
Fire Company Number One has received its uniforms and is ready to make a fine show on dress parade.
Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884. [Part of City Council Meeting.]
Application of W. A. Lee to lease part of the building belonging to the city, near the bell tower, was rejected.
The following bills were allowed and ordered paid.
D. L. Kretsinger, supplies for and repairs on fire department buildings, $114.40.
Winfield Courier, May 1, 1884.
Will Clark has been elected to the captaincy of Fire Company Number Two in the place of Frank W. Finch, resigned.
Winfield Courier, May 1, 1884.
Fire Company Number One donned their bright new uniforms Monday evening, hauled out their hose cart, and formed in procession, headed by the Juvenile Band. They marched through the principal streets of the city, with all their paraphernalia, and presented a fine appearance. Company Number Two will have their uniforms in a few days, when we may look for a grand pageant embracing the whole Winfield Fire Department.
Winfield Courier, May 8, 1884.
The following bills were allowed and ordered paid.
J. C. McMullen, rent of Fire Department building for April, $25.00.
D. L. Kretsinger, Fire Department repairs, $2.30.
A committee of three, composed of Councilmen Hodges and McGuire and the City Marshal, was appointed to see about either building, or renting at less expense than the one now used, a permanent place for fire department apparatus.
Winfield Courier, May 22, 1884.
The following bills were allowed and ordered to be paid.
Fire Company and volunteer firemen, $32.00.
D. L. Kretsinger was appointed and confirmed as chief fire marshal for the ensuing year.
Winfield Courier, May 29, 1884.
The following is the position assigned to the different societies in the procession, which have signified their acceptance to take part in the memorial exercises.
1. Chief Marshal and staff mounted.
2. Courier Band.
3. Cowley Legion No. 16 and Knights of Pythias No. 70.
4. I. O. G. T. No. 20.
5. A. O. U. W. No. 18.
6. Fire Department.
7. Girls and Flowers.
8. Juvenile Band.
9. Grand Army of the Republic.
10. Ambulance Corps.
11. City Government in carriages.
12. Citizens in carriages and wagons.
13. Citizens on horseback.
First time fire companies appeared in their new uniforms...
Winfield Courier, June 5, 1884.
Our fire companies appeared for the first time in legitimate parade in their new uniforms, last Friday. The suits are showy and neat and cover as fine a lot of men as the town contains. Winfield is fortunate in having such active, enterprising fire companies.
Winfield Courier, June 12, 1884.
Three splendid cornet bands, uniformed fire companies, fire works, illumination, races, and games of every kind will be a part of Winfield’s celebration this year.
[GRAND BALL: WINFIELD FIRE COMPANIES.]
Winfield Courier, June 19, 1884.
The Winfield Fire Companies have arranged for a grand ball at the Opera House on the night of the Fourth. The best music that money can procure will be had, and the affair promises to be a fit closing to the most glorious Fourth of July celebration ever witnessed in the West.
[JULY 4TH CELEBRATION.]
Winfield Courier, June 26, 1884.
THE FOURTH—ORDER OF MARCH.
The procession will form on Main Street at 9 o’clock a.m., sharp, with right resting on 12th avenue, in the following order: Burden Cornet Band, Grand Army of the Republic, Old Soldiers, Courier Cornet Band, City Officials in Carriages, President of day and Speakers, Juvenile Band, Fire Department, Tony’s Circus, Citizens in Carriages, Secret Societies, Citizens on Foot, Calithumpians.
Winfield Courier, July 10, 1884.
RECAP. Fourth of July Celebration: Fully Fifteen Thousand People Present.
The Robinson and Telegram Fire Companies made a splendid appearance in the procession. The paraphernalia was all beautifully decorated with red, white, and blue, and the Robinson Fire Company represented the Goddess of Liberty with one of the prettiest little misses of the city, Nina Nelson, gracefully seated on their hose cart amid the drapery. O’Meara & Randolph had a representation of their boot and shoe business, accompanied by plantation music from darkies. A feature which attracted wide attention and showed great enterprise was the stone display of Mr. Schmidt from his quarries near town. A large, wide-framed wagon was loaded with fine specimens of stone and men were at work all day sawing it up and distributing the smooth blocks among the people. Oration was delivered by Hon. J. Wade McDonald, who reviewed the progress of the Union from its birth to the present day. Then came dinner followed by an address by Mrs. Helen M. Gougar, the famous lady orator of Indiana.
[FIRE: JAMES KIRK’S CORN & FEED MILL.]
Winfield Courier, July 17, 1884.
A fire caught in James Kirk’s corn and feed mill Monday afternoon from cinders which had been taken from the engine. The alarm had hardly been given before our fire companies were on the ground and had the blaze extinguished. The damage was only a few dollars, but had we been without waterworks, the result would certainly have been very disastrous.
Winfield Courier, August 21, 1884.
DIED. We were very much surprised on Friday to learn of the death of Mr. D. P. Herndon, which occurred at his home in this city Thursday evening. On the Monday proceeding we had seen him on the street as strong and hearty as ever. He was taken Tuesday morning with inflammation of the bowels and in thirty-six hours was a corpse. He came here in February last from Kentucky and went to work at his trade, that of a stone mason. He was an excellent workman, honest, industrious, and soon won the confidence of all with whom he came in contact. Although but thirty-eight years of age, he served through the war as a gallant Kentucky union soldier, in Co. H, 40th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. He leaves a wife and brother, John. The funeral was attended by the fire companies in uniform and the hearse was escorted by Winfield Post G. A. R., bearing arms reversed. Many friends of the family were also present.
Winfield Courier, August 21, 1884.
The wife and sisters of D. P. Herndon, desire to thank the members of the G. A. R. and the Fire Companies and Citizens of this City, for the kindness they were shown during our brother’s sickness and we would especially thank the members of the G. A. R. and Fire Companies of this city, for taking part in the burial. D. P. Herndon was born in Nicholas Co., State of Kentucky, and enlisted in the 40th Kentucky Infantry, during the rebellion and served until he was discharged by expiration of term of service. During his stay in this city, he was an honest, steady man and made many friends by his upright dealing, who now mourn his loss, and extend their sympathies to all the members of the family whoever they may be.
(Signed) MANY COMRADES.
Winfield Courier, September 11, 1884.
A lamp exploded in J. J. Mann’s clothing store last Wednesday evening, throwing all over the goods, and destroying and damaging nearly a thousand dollars worth of goods. There was considerable excitement for a time and the fire companies were out, but did not turn on the stream. Mr. Mann had gas pipes ready, but was waiting for fixtures before taking out his lamps.
Winfield Courier, September 18, 1884.
An ordinance dividing the city into five wards, and regulating fire alarms was passed.
The following bills were ordered paid.
J. C. McMullen, rent fire department building for August, $25.00.
D. L. Kretsinger, services as chief fire marshal, $12.90.
Hose Co. No. 1, fires at Whiting’s, Mann’s, Kirk’s, and call of mayor to exhibit waterworks in May last, $42.00.
Hose Co. No. 2, fires of Whiting, Mann, and Kirk, and call of mayor to exhibit waterworks to Independence officials, $43.00.
Winfield Courier, September 25, 1884.
The fire departments were called out last Thursday in a flurry owing to a fire having been discovered in the twenty tons of coal in the basement of the East Ward school building. The basement was full and airless and the fire seemed to have originated from spontaneous combustion. Several hours of constant playing of the hose were required in extinguishing it, and a close watch has since been kept. It seemed to have been gradually developing for several days.
[AD: J. S. MANN.]
Winfield Courier, October 9, 1884.
FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! From the fire in our store, several thousand dollars worth of Goods were PARTIALLY destroyed. In some instances no part of the suit was injured but the vest, and that only slightly; but the Insurance Companies were compelled to pay us a percentage of value on the whole suit. This puts us in a position to sell some goods EXTREMELY CHEAP! and you can MAKE this gain by calling for these goods early. You cannot afford to lose this, your grand opportunity. Don’t be deceived by clap-trap, but come and see for yourself. We can afford to almost give these goods away, and you will be convinced of this fact when you give us a call. J. S. MANN, THE LEADING CLOTHIER AND OUTFITTER.
[BALL: ROBINSON FIRE COMPANY.]
Winfield Courier, November 20, 1884.
One of the pleasantest social gatherings ever enjoyed by Winfield society was the ball of the Robinson Fire Company at the Opera House last Friday night. A large number were present and true enjoyment reigned supreme. The company was select and the music splendid. The boys were highly successful in their efforts to give a party worthy the presence of our elite lovers of the Terpsichorean art, and have given an advertisement that will insure even greater success to their future entertainments. Financially, the boys were left, but they didn’t expect any recompense, the object being purely entertainment. The “Gill Society” of the Episcopal Church served the company with an excellent oyster supper. The members of Robinson Fire Company have arranged for another ball on December 2nd, which will receive the full attendance of our society people, and should more than clear the Company financially.
Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.
The City Parliament.
Bill of gas company for gas furnished fire department buildings during August and September was rejected.
Committee on fire department was instructed to supply the hose building with a stove.
Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.
The second ball under the auspices of the Fire Company comes off Friday evening. Elegant invitations have been issued and the occasion will be one of the pleasantest of the season.
Winfield Courier, December 11, 1884.
Last Saturday night about eleven o’clock, our city was again visited by one of those incendiary fires which became so frequent last winter. For the third time the barn back of Parmer & Co.’s store was fired. It contained several horses and some baled hay. When discovered the fire had gained considerable headway, and before the hose companies got on the ground, the flames were bursting through the roof. Ben Mays was severely burned while trying to get the horses out; and finally succeeded in saving one although burned so badly it will probably die. The other horse was burned to death. It belonged to the “Two Orphan’s” grocery delivery. In a few moments after the fire boys turned on their hose, the fire was extinguished. The damage is about five hundred dollars. The fire was undoubtedly set by someone, and the spot selected is the most inflammable part of the city. What the object or intention of the fire bug was, no one seems able to fathom. The officers should use extra diligence in looking after all suspicious characters. The fire department has demonstrated its ability to handle any fire that is likely to come so that there is not much danger of a general conflagration, or of serious damage being done.
Winfield Courier, December 11, 1884.
The twenty-four members of the fire company were treated to an excellent oyster supper by Mr. Frank Blair after their expeditious and effective work at the fire Saturday night. It came in splendid play at that hour, about three a.m., after a lively battle with flames, and was highly appreciated.
Winfield Courier, December 18, 1884.
City Council Doings.
City Clerk was ordered to procure 500 lbs. coal for drying hose of fire department.
The following bills were allowed and ordered paid:
J. C. McMullen, rent for fire department building for November, $25.
Hose Co. No. 1, fires of East Ward schoolhouse and Blair’s barn, $28.00.
Hose Co. No. 2, same fires, $26.75.
D. L. Kretsinger, chief fire marshal, $3.00.
Winfield Courier, December 25, 1884.
The Hose Companies will have a uniformed parade New Years Day and at night will have a pleasant ball in the McDougal hall. Tickets will be sold at fifty cents, and care will be taken to have the attendance select.
Quit after December 1884.