The History of the Brookville Volunteer Fire Company
Organized -- 1909
The Brookville Volunteer Fire Company dates back to its offical start in the year 1909. A local townsman, Charles S. Siegel announced in the early part of June, 1909, that he would be circulating papers around the town of Brookville to secure signers to organize a local fire department. On June 7, 1909, a large number of citizens met in the large reading room of the former Central hotel for the purpose of organizing the local fire department.Siegel briefly announced the purpose of the meeting, to organize a local fire department to prevent and extinguish the threat of fire which may occur or are likely to occur in the Borough of Brookville and the neighboring communities. Siegel then moved to elect ThomasV. Hendricks as chairman of the Meeting. Hendricks was elected president and Harry McMurray was elected the secretary. The first Brookville Fire Department would consist of three stations. The first being the "Central Station", locted in the center of town, the "Brookville East" station and the "Brookville South" station, located in their prospective areas of town. After little discussion, it was decided among all persons present to permanently organize this fire department. The first officers elected were: Thomas V. Hendricks, President; A. M. Wadding, Vice-President; Harry McMurray, Sectretary; L. B. Shannon, Treasurer; and Trustees were F.P Aulenbach, for the "South Station", H. G. Mea ns for the "Central Station", and W. N. Conrad for the "East Station". Hendricks appointed Siegel, Reuben S. Wensel, Charles Anderson, F. E. Love, Bernard Klein, Edward Johnson and John T. Anderson as a committee on organizing a constitution and by-laws for the fire department.
On June 17, 1909, announcement for a meeting to be held on or around June 23, 1909, was made for the purpose of passing and accepting the constitution and by-laws of the fire department, and effecting a permanent organization of the three companies. At the meeting, the business men of the community were especially urged to attend the next meeting due to the lack of participation from them up until this point. It was made known that without the support of the entire community, this newly organized fire department would not be able to survive. On June 23, 1909, a large and enthusiastic crowd gathered in the Odd Fellow's Hall to discuss the future of the new Brookville Fire Department. At this meeting, the three companies that are to comprise this department were officially organized by the selction of officers to have charge of the regular work of fire fighting. the officers elected by the three companies were:
Brookville East Station Central Station Brookville South Station
Calvin J. Plyler, Foreman F.E. Love, Foreman Reuben S. Wensel, Foreman
Jack O'Donnell, Assistant A. J. McMurray, Assistant Forrest Reitz, Assistant
Perry Roemer, Hydrant R. L. Henderson, Hydrant Schofield Steward, Hydrant
Benjamin Bush, Nozzelman Arthur Gardlock, Nozzelman E.P. Clark, Nozzelman
Harry Richards, Linemen Mead Neal, Nozzelman Floyd Schreckengost
Steele Butler George H. Smail, Linemen John Brooks
Taylor Reitz Bernard Klein David McCracken
Benton Wilson H. S. Hall
Frank Austin W. W. Cochran
George Clabotts Oscar F. Hinerman
Robert Milliron Charles Anderson
Firl Harmon Edward Johnson
AN OPEN LETTER
Necessity of Organizing a Fire Department is Pointed Out.
To the Citizens of Brookville:
A most important thing to a town of this size is to have a volunteer fire department with well equiped fire apparatus with which to fight fire. To fight fire without system is like going into battle without a general-you are bound to fall into the hands of the enemy if you do not have some ont to give the proper command at the proper time. This last fire ought to serve as an example to the people of Brookville. "Bill, turn on the water!" "Bill, turn off the water!" "Where is the wrench, where is the hydrant and where is the rest of the hose. Why don't the cap of the water plug unscrew and why does the hose leak!" Does anybody know? No. Have we got some one to look after these things? No. If we had everything would work like clockwork. Let us wake up and take an interest in forming a fire department with two or three companies. Anyone who joins should take an interest in it, and the main thing is to attend the meetings. If you do this you will know your place and be able to do your full duty whenever you are called out. If you don't expect to attend the meetings once a week do not join the company. You will only be a hindrance to proper organization.
I will say to the citizens of Brookville that I am circulating a paper to organize a fire department in this place. We want your good will and encouragement. I have had some experience in organizing an active fire department, and am now carried on the retired list of several companies. In 1891 I saw service with the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company of Atkins, N.Y., as a volunteer; in 1895 was with the Fire Police Patrol Company, Watkins N.Y., as captain; in 1898 with Baldwin Hose Co., No. 2, Westfield, Pa., as drill master; in 1890 with Crasey Hose Co., Westfield, Pa., as foreman; in 1903 with Cross Fork Hose Co., No. 2, Cross Fork, Pa., as drill master. I was also a member of the Crasey Hose Company's running team.
I am not looking for any office or honors. I am doing this of my own free will and for my own protection as a business man, and I hope to be able to show the people of Brookville a first-class fire department in the near future. We need a fire department very badly and I hope to have the active support and encouragement of all in my endeavor to awaken of all in my endeavor to awaken interest in the organization.
Those who are on the list will be notified by postal card when and where we are going to hold the meetings and elect officers.
Chas. S. Seigel