top of page

LTFPD History

History Timeline

of the

Lockport Volunteer

Fire Department Inc.

& the

Lockport Township

Fire Protection District

May, 28th, 1853

Soloman A. Suits appointed Fire Warden. Also the President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. Steward and Doud head the committee.

June 1st, 1853

An Ordinance for the Prevention of Fires.

Section #1: For the Prevention of Fires

No pipes of any stoves shall be put up or used in any building in the Village of Lockport unless the same be conducted and let into the chimney made of brick or stone and if in conducting the pipe into the chimney the same shall pipe though any ceiling wall or floor, the pipe shall be safely secured with brick, stone, tin or other material in such manner and to make the ceiling wall or floor perfectly secure against taking fire from such pipe.  Any person violating any or either of the provisions of this section, shall for every offense forfeit and pay two dollars and the further sum of one dollar for every twenty four hours the said pipe shall so remain in after being notified of such violation by the Fire Warden, President or any one of the Trustees.

Section #2:  Duties of the Fire Warden

It shall be the duty of the Fire Warden to examine at all times under the order of the Board, every house or building where fires are kept and to ascertain and report to the Board all violations of the foregoing section and cause from which danger may be apprehended and to give notice to the owners or occupants of such buildings as are insecure, and to cause all buildings, chimneys, stoves, pipes, hearths and every place where fire is kept or used to be put in a safe condition at the expense of the owner or occupant thereof without delay.

Section #3: Obstruction of the Fire Warden

Any person or persons who shall obstruct or hinder in any way any Fire Warden in the performance of his aforesaid duties shall forfeit and pay the sum of four dollars for each and every such offense. The Fire Warden shall be entitled to the sum of $1.25 for each day in the discharge of his official duties.

April 3rd, 1854

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. William Phillips and S. S. Chamberlain head the committee. O.D.H. Webb appointed Fire Warden.

 January 25th, 1855

Ordered the O.D.H. Webb be removed for the Office of Fire Warden and that Eli Eddy be and is hereby appointed Fire Warden.

March 16th, 1855

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. W. S. Myres and S. S. Chamberlain head the committee. Jacob Rupley appointed Fire Warden.

March 17th, 1856

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee.  J. G Waterman and George F. Greer head the committee. James K. Wilson appointed Fire Warden.

March 31st, 1856

One of the first orders of business for the new Board of Trustees was to make a motion which carried that “J.G. Waterman go to Chicago to examine fire apparatus and if expedient to purchase ladders.

June 2nd, 1856

The Village Fathers met and from the yellowing of the records we read that they, “Examined into the expediency of purchasing grounds and erect a suitable building for the fire building and were in favor of the same”. Where upon on motion the same committee was instructed to purchase grounds and erect a suitable building to house the Fire Department and Calaboose (Jail) and to dispose of the old building.

October 15th, 1856

A Special Meeting was called on this date concerning the prevention of fires and an old fire law was amended that was “applicable to all buildings and lean-tos”.” The Fire Warden has complete authority as to the arrangements of stoves and other places or things in which fire is kept or used in the corporation”. The fine being $10.00.

March 24th, 1857

James K. Wilson appointed Fire Warden.

January 5th, 1857

N. L. Hawley presented a bill for $5.00 for grading the floor of the fire building and cleaning the room.

March 22nd, 1858

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee.  P. O’Marah and J. K. Wilson head the committee.


James K. Wilson appointed Fire Warden.

April 10th, 1860

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee.  B. C. Cornmayer and T. O’Bryan head the committee.  James K. Wilson appointed Fire Warden.

June 10th, 1861

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee.  B. C. Cornmayer and T. O’Bryan head the committee.  James K. Wilson appointed Fire Warden.

March 20th, 1862

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. James K. Wilson and Charles Clifford head the committee.  James K. Wilson appointed Fire Warden.

March 24th, 1862

It was resolved that the Fire Warden J. K. Wilson “be authorized to place the apparatus for the suppression of fire in thorough working order.”

March 16th, 1863

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. S. S. Chamberlain and F. Cigni head the committee.  A .J. Ewen appointed Fire Warden.

March 25th, 1864

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. George Williams and John H. Deeming head the committee.  A .J. Ewen appointed Fire Warden.

April 3rd, 1865

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. George Williams and John H. Deeming head the committee.  Isaac Preston appointed Fire Warden.

March 22nd, 1866

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. William Shields and Isaac Preston head the committee. 

March 13th, 1867

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. Donahue and Shields head the committee. 

March 8th, 1869

The President of the Board appoints a Fire Department Committee. F. Walters heads the committee. 

March 20th, 1872

Isaac Preston appointed Fire Warden.

August 14th, 1872

The Lockport Herald reporting: On this date Village President George Martin has great concern over the drought. Drastic steps must be taken to prevent the outbreak of fires.  The President issued the order that two Fire Wardens be appointed to examine every house in the village and “wherever a deficient flue or unsafe stove pipe is found, to cause the same to be fixed forthwith and all deposits of ashes are to be immediately removed.” He also ordered that two watchman be appointed to patrol all the streets from Canal to Washington east and north and south while the dry weather continues.

December 10th, 1874

James K. Wilson appointed Fire Warden to carry out the Fire Ordinance of 1853.

May 4th, 1875

……Reported that they have conferred with the owners of the water pipe running from 8th Street along State Street and connecting with the Norton & Company’s Holly Pump and the owners of said pipe have agreed in writing to give the trustees full control of said pipe at all times in case of fire providing the trustees make an appropriation of $340.85 to pay off indebtedness of said pipe and purchase sufficient hose and have also an agreement with Norton and Company to have free use of their Holly Pump and all other pumps they may have in times of fire. On motion, Norton and Company was allowed $340.85 for the water pipe and the City Clerk be authorized to purchase 400 feet of rubber lined hose.

August 4th, 1875

The City Clerk authorized to purchase three fire hydrants for the City of Lockport for fire use.


Constable Michael Kelly Fire Warden (The Duties of the Fire Warden and winding the Village Clock without further compensation has changed).


Constable William A. Johnson appointed Fire Warden.


Constable William A. Johnson appointed Fire Warden.

September 27th, 1880

The building in the Arnold Block, Lot 6 Block 81, was burned (September 21st, 1880). The city motioned to determine the remaining stone walls were a danger and would be torn down.

October 4th, 1880

Elisha Sly appointed Fire Warden. On motion of Cameron, Seconded by Lynd, that the City purchase fire hose and fire apparatus. The motion was referred to the finance committee.

November 8th, 1880

A motion by Lindsay, seconded by Lynd, that an appropriation was made for the sum of $100.00 for equipment for the fire department. Motion carried.

April 9th, 1881

Elisha Sly appointed Fire Warden and is allowed $4.00 per month as Fire Warden and to take charge of the hose and keep it in good order commencing April 1st.

May 4th, 1881

A petition was read and accepted for an Ordinance to establish Fire Limits. At a meeting of the Board for the Village of Lockport the following Ordinance was submitted and adopted: Ordered that hereafter no frame or wooden building shall be erected on the lots fronting upon State Street between Eighth and Eleventh Streets, and that all buildings hereafter erected within such fire limits and fronting on State Street the walls shall be built of either stone or brick with necessary fire escapes and such other improvements as are usually required for the prevention of damage or injury from fire within fire limits in the Village of Lockport.

April 10th, 1882

Elisha Sly appointed Fire Warden.

March 21st, 1883

Paid bill from Simon Simonds for making a Reel for fire hose $4.00.


Elisha Sly appointed Fire Warden.


Elisha Sly appointed Fire Warden.


Elisha Sly appointed Fire Warden.

July 13th, 1885

A letter received from George B. Norton to the Board. Will Trotter, night policeman, was credited with saving the Norton Building from a damaging fire when he spotted a fire from the nearby telegraph wires.

February 1886

No hand or steam Engine; one independent hose cart with 500’ of 2.5” rubber hose belonging to the town on the premises of the Norton & Company. No organized Fire Department for the town, but Norton & Company have a fire department organized consisting of their employees.

March 17th, 1886

 John Jovy Fire appointed Warden.

January 1st, 1887

Paid bill from A. Anderson for the repair of a fire hydrant for $1.00.

August 8th, 1887

A motion to lay a three inch water pipe from State Street east on Eighth Street to a point where from the school building then to be furnished with a hydrant and from there a three-quarter inch lead pipe laid to the basement of the school building and the school trustees agreeing to pay one-third of the cost of the same. Motion carried.


 George M. Underwood appointed Fire Warden.


George M. Underwood appointed Fire Warden.


Adam Woock appointed Fire Warden.

May 7th, 1889

Whereas Norton  and Company have proposed to pump water from the artesian well into a tank to be erected on State Street for the purpose of street sprinkling for the sum of one dollar a day while the water is used. On the motion, it is unanimously resolved that the President and Trustees accept same offer and agree to pay the sum aforesaid and a sufficient amount to hereby appropriated out of the general fund to be kept and paid for that purpose. On motion it is unanimously resolved that C. H. Adams be appointed committee to see the Marseilles Manufacturing Company and make a contract for the erection of a suitable tank to hold 350 barrels for sprinkling purposes.


George M. Underwood appointed Fire Warden.

April 7th, 1890

Letter to the Citizens of Joliet and Lockport:

On the night of January 12th, 1890 our village was visited by a destructive fire and in order to save total destruction by conflagration the Village President John Sullivan of this Board telephoned to the Mayor of Joliet for aid and whereas the appeal was quickly granted by sending of a fire engine with a company of firemen . Be it resolved that we the members of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lockport sincerely thank Mayor Kelly of the City of Joliet for the deep interest manifested and the aid granted to the Village in its hour of peril and danger. That our thanks be extended to the officials of the C & A RR Company for promptly furnishing free of change a locomotive with car and management for the swift transportation of said fire engine.

Resolved that the thanks of this Village are due to the brave citizens among whom most conspicuous were; James O’Bern, John Bohley, Daniel Ragin, Thomas O’Brien, Mickel Rhowl, John McSwain and John Maxwell. For their nerve actions and deeds of bravery in handling the hose thereby subduing the flames under the severest test of human endurance. That the Board of Trustees send Mayor Kelly $60.00 to be divided among the firemen that came to Lockport on the night of January 12th, 1890 and done such good service.

July 1st, 1890

Ordinance #18 Fire Warden

 Section #1:  That the Fire Warden shall be appointed by the President of the Board of Trustees within the first quarter of each fiscal year and shall receive a salary for his services such as may be fixed by the Village Board.

Section #2:  The Fire Warden shall have sole control at fire of all persons present and may appoint persons to assist in the protection property, that he is hereby authorized to examine any building in the village as often as he may deem necessary and to cause the owners or occupants thereof to make such repairs as may be necessary for the protection of property and life.

Section #3:  Any persons refusing to neglecting to make such repairs as provided in Section #2 of this ordinance, when ordered so to do by the Fire Warden, shall at the expiration of five days from the time of such notification concerning repairs, on conviction forfeit and pay a fine of not less than five nor more than one hundred dollars for such neglect.

Section #4:  It shall be the duty of the Fire Warden to look after the erection of all buildings in the village and see that all the provisions of an ordinance entitled “Fire Limits” passed and approved by the Village Board on June 7th, 1890, be strictly complied with. Passed and approved July 1st, 1890. B. A. Grant. President.  Attest: W. M. Ward, Clerk.

Expenses of Fire Department:  $120.00.


George M. Underwood appointed Fire Warden.

October 1891

No organized town fire department; Norton & Company have an organized fire department of their employees. No steam or hand Engine; one independent hose cart with 500’ of 2.5” rubber hose.


George M. Underwood appointed Fire Warden.


W.A. Fox (resigned) Appointed James O’Bern Fire Warden.


Unknown Fire Warden

 July 1st, 1894

Ordinance #18, Fire Marshal Ordinance Adopted.

July 20, 1894

Ordinance #75, Annual Appropriation Bill printed in Lockport Herald. This appropriation bill allowed $1400.00 for the Fire Department.


Police Officers Fred Worst, James O’Bern, George M. Underwood, and Wilson B. Smith are Fire Wardens.

August 10, 1895


A Catastrophic Fire Destroys Downtown Business District. Mayor Leon McDonald and several businessmen and citizens organize the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

                                           August 1895: A Resident remembers the Past

My mother-in-law was a walking history book about Lockport. She lived with us for many years and would reminiscence about the Lockport she knew. One of the stories she told was about the Lockport Fire of 1895. Kathryn moved to Lockport from Lemont and at seventeen became the housekeeper for an older man who lived upstairs in an apartment on Ninth St. between State and Hamilton.

During the Fire of 1895, when the building in which she was living caught fire, she along with her employer were forced to flee. The only belongings she saved from the fire were the clothes on her back. She stood and watched the fire cross Ninth Street, ignite the barn on the Boyer property and then leap to the Central School and consume the school building.

In 1904, she married Henry Landon who had come to Lockport from Columbia City, Indiana and worked as a tinsmith for O’Connell Hardware on State Street. Henry became a partner with Frank Miller and opened Miller & Landon Hardware Store. They were living temporarily at 112 East 11th Street. This house was part of the old flour mill and was moved to that location. They were going to move into a new house where Lockport’s Music Store is now. But that was not to be. Henry, who now had two sons, ages five and six, became ill.  He went to Mayo Clinic and came back with the news that he was only given a year to live. He died when the boys were seven and eight.

I married the younger son, Sebastian Francis in 1939. The older of our two daughters was born while we were living at 112 East 11th Street.

Henry Landon was Lockport’s Fire Chief in 1904. He also held the position of Firemen’s Secretary for the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department. I still have the buttons from his firemen’s uniform and an original fire lantern.

Mrs. Louella Landon

The Great Lockport Fire Occured August 10th, 1895


According to history, the great fire of Lockport happened August 10th, 1895, in downtown Lockport. Reports say that a Tinner working on the Phoenix Newspaper Building roof, located on Tenth Street just east of State, turned over his small coal burning stove and set fire to the roof.

Among the buildings destroyed by this fire that leveled a square block of establishments, was the Central Grade School which has been built in 1857.

All buildings bounded by State, 9th, 10th and Hamilton were leveled with exception of the Norton Store on the corner of 10th and State.  Norton had his own water system and managed to keep his building wet during the fire. This great fire brought firefighting equipment from Chicago, Joliet and Lemont besides the Lockport equipment.

A barn was destroyed at the rear of the Boyer home, which was the Lockport Township Library prior to its removal before building the new library. It looked like the two-story frame building would be gutted, but it was saved through the efforts of Rev.  J .J. McGovern (Pastor of St. Dennis Church) and other volunteer firemen.

Businesses destroyed were the Phoenix Printing Company, Lockport Opera House, Dennis and O’Brien’s Saloon, Mrs. Finch’s Novelty Shop, J. Iskotech Meat Market, F.W. Stowe Grocery, C.H. Bacon Drug Store, Freeman Grocery and Coleman’s Barber Shop.  Offices of Dr. Schoop and Dr. Courtney, Masonic Hall, Frank McCuddens Saloon, Whalen Meat Market, Gaines Dry Goods, Dr. Moon’s Drug Store, Lockport Post Office, William Beach Wagon Shop, Bee Hive General Store, George Spangler Grocery, Thompson Confectionery, Frank Hutton Grocery, Henry Claussen Paint Store, Gaskin’s Blacksmith Shop, Julius Scheibe Shoe Store, O’Connell and Sloan Hardware, and Bohnstengel and Weir Harness Shop.

August 20th, 1895

Ordinance #103: An Ordinance to provide borrowing of the sum of $10,700, which to establish a system of waterworks.

September 10th, 1895

Ordinance #107: An Ordinance for Locating, Erecting and Constructing a Reservoir and Hydrants for the purpose of Fire Protection, and for the Construction and laying a Connected System of Cast Iron Maim Water Pipes in the Village Of Lockport, County of Will and State of Illinois.

A Motion by Backus:  That the Board draws up a set of resolutions thanking the several fire companies who assisted in extinguishing the fire.

A Motion by Backus:  That the Board appropriates $100.00 to the Chicago Fire Department and $50.00 to each of the Joliet and Lemont Fire Departments for assisting in extinguishing the fire.

September 12th, 1895

Be it Resolved: Whereas the Village of Lockport on the 10th day of August 1895 was visited by a severe conflagration and there faced with total destruction and whereas The Chicago and Alton Railroad Company did furnish a special train for the conveyance of the Chicago Fire Department to the Village of Lockport and by its prompt action, did render a most efficient and valuable service to the village; Now therefore be it resolved by the President and the Board of the Village of Lockport on behalf of the citizens of said village, that the sincere and hearty thanks of the village be extended to the said Chicago and Alton Railroad Company and be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be spread upon the village records and a copy sent to the Chicago and Alton Railroad Company.

Be it Resolved:  Resolution sent to the Chicago Joliet and Lemont Fire Departments: Therefore in the recent fire of August 10th, 1895, a large amount of property was destroyed and whereas, the total destruction of the village was only prevented by the prompt and efficient service of the Chicago Fire Department therefore be it resolved that the President and Board of Trustees on behalf of the citizens of Lockport extent to Chief Sweeney and the Chicago Fire Department their sincere and hearty thanks for their most valuable service and be it further resolved that a copy if the resolution be spread upon the village record and a copy sent to the Chicago Fire Department.


Constable Fred Worst and James O’Bern (Day) and Constable John McCarthy (Night) Constable appointed Fire Wardens.

July 20th, 1896

That Constable James O’Bern (Day) Fire Warden and Constable John McCarthy (Night) Fire Warden earn $10.00 a month $240.00 a year.

October 19th, 1896

A Motion by Sullivan, that the Day Warden organizes a volunteer fire department.

February 1897

No hand or steam Engine; Two independent hose carts; No organized fire department; one day & night policeman have charge of fire; Approx. 1450’ of 2.5” hose; one hook & ladder truck; Six chemical fire extinguishers.

March 25th, 1897

A Special Meeting was called to consider an ordinance providing for the organization of a volunteer fire Department and appointment of a Chief. Chairman Colman, Ordinance committee, presented Ordinance #127 relating to creating the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department. It was adopted as read. Ordinance #127 establishes the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department.

Ordinance #127 reads as follows:

An Ordinance in Relation to Volunteer Fire Department

Be it ordained by the President and the Board of Trustees of the village of Lockport:

Section 1:  There is hereby established within and for said Village a Volunteer Fire Department, which shall consist of One Fire Marshall and three Assistant Fire Marshals and such number of hose and hook and ladders companies as may be prescribed.

Section 2: All subordinate officers and members of the Department shall be subject to such rules and regulations and shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed or required of them by the Fire Marshal or Villages Ordinances.

Section 3: The Fire Marshal and Assistants are authorized to enroll such number of men for duty in such Department as in their judgment is necessary and assign them their duties.

Section 4: Such Fire Department may adopt a constitution and by-laws for its own government, subject to the approval of the Marshal and Assistants and not inconsistent with the ordinances of said village.

Section 5: Every person who shall be present at a fire shall be subject and obedient to the orders of the Fire Marshal and Assistants in extinguishing the fire and in the removal and protection of property and any person who shall refuse shall be fined five dollars for each offense.  All such officers shall have the power to arrest any person refusing to obey such orders and take him before the Police Magistrate, or any Justice of the Village, to be dealt with according to law.

Section 6: It shall be lawful for the Fire Marshal and Assistants to require the aid of any driver, with his team or wagon, or any citizen or bystander, in drawing or conveying any fire apparatus to a fire and in using and working the same while at a fire and any person refusing to comply with such requisition shall be fined $10.00 for each offense.

Section 7: Any person who shall willfully hinder or interfere with any Officer or Firemen in the discharge of his duty at a fire or shall with authority, tamper with, injure or disturb any fire apparatus, water plug, hydrant or other things belonging to the village, or who shall without reasonable cause, by outcry or otherwise, make or circulate, or cause to be circulated, any false alarm of fire, shall be fines not less than $5.00 nor more than $100.00 for each offense.

Section 8:  No Wagon, railroad car, locomotive, or other vehicle shall be driven over any hose used by the Fire Department when laid down to be used at a fire, under a penalty of not less than $5.00 for each offense.

Section 9:  The officer in command at a fire may direct the removal of any property to save the same from loss, or to prevent the spread of fire, and shall have authority with the consent of the President or in his absence the consent of any two trustees, to blow up with powder, or otherwise remove any building or other erections during the progress of a fire if necessary to check or extinguish the same.

Section 10:  All Ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

Passed and approved this 25th day of March, A.D., 1897

C. H. Bacon, President.  Joseph L. Donahue, Clerk.

The Lockport Volunteer Fire Department Elects Officers and Chooses Chiefs and Assistants.

A meeting of the volunteer fire department was held in the Village Hall last Thursday evening, following the Board meeting. Officers were elected as follows:

President James A. Howard; VP, John Holmstrom ; Recording Secretary; Louis Lotz ; Financial Secretary; Thomas E. O’Brien; Treasurer; F. J. Walters; Sergeant-at-Arms, John Jovy.

Trustees; Richard Farrell, Phillip Yost & Frank M. Walters.

Frank Sloan, Chief, James A. Donahue 1st Asst., William Yost 2nd Asst., George W. Adelmann 3rd Asst.

These were immediately appointed to their respective positions by President Bacon and will be confined by the Board.

The department has a charter membership of forty-seven and three companies have been formed. The officers had a meeting Friday afternoon and made the following assignment of companies.

The photo above shows the Hose Cart House on E. 10th St. that housed a hose cart of 650’ of 2.5” hose. This building built prior to the Fire of 1895. It was gutted in the fire and rebuilt. This  was also utilized as City Hall, Police Station and the City Jail. The building was razed to erect the current Lockport Moose Building in 1953.

No.1 Hose Company, Central Station, Village Hall

P.F. Maher, Thomas E. O’Brien, James A. Howard, John McGuire, Frank J. Walters, John Meehan, Morton B. Kazar, Phillip Yost, Peter Lundeen, John Holmstrom, Frank I. Sloan, Benjamin Carlin, Henry Ireson, John Sullivan, Anton Ohesson, John Jovy, William M. Ward & William Tunney.

No.2 Hose Company, North Town

Frank J.  Miller, A. P. Wierschem, Lawrence Ryan, Frank M. Walters, William W. Gardiner, Louis Lotz,  George N. Lotz, John A. Pemberton, Patrick W. O’Brien, J. Rodeghero, Peter Rigoni, Stephan Dowse, Tip Coleman, Hal Grimes, J. Conley, Andrew J. O’Brien, and E. A. Bowland.

 No.3 Hose Company, South Town

John Donahue, Richard Farrell, John E. Mackin, John W. Maxwell, William Murray, Frank G. Flink, Adam  E. Harmon, Joseph Donahue, William J. Fiddyment,  Julius H. Bohnstengel, Edward Cook, John L. Smith, Thomas Fitzgerald, Frank M. Morrison, William J. Drymiller, Thomas Erwin, John Stabel, George W. Sisson.

May 17th, 1897

A Motion by Ward that the Committee on Fire and Water including the Fire Chief of the Department is authorized to purchase Rubber Suits and Hose Carts and Nozzles and such other articles necessary for the use of the Fire Department.  6 Ayes. Carried.

October 18th, 1897

A Motion by Ward, seconded by Colman that the committee on Fire and Water including Chief Sloan be instructed to purchase the number of rubber suits necessary for the Fire Department. 6 Ayes. Carried.

December 17, 1897

First Line of Duty Death occurs. FF W. W. Gardiner succumbs to injuries at a fire at 6th & Hamilton Sts.

Lockport Volunteer Fire Department

    One of the saddest deaths which have ever occurred in Lockport was that of William H. Gardiner, last Friday night, December 17th. He was stricken while performing his duties as a member of the volunteer fire department at the Forkel fire*. When taken ill, Mr. Gardiner was immediately removed to his home and given the best of medical treatment, but in an hour he was dead.

     When the fire alarm sounded at about 9 o’clock Friday evening, Mr. Gardiner, who was downtown, hastened with all possible speed to the station of No. 2 Hose Company,

in North Lockport, to which he belonged and assisted in running out a lead of hose. In a few minutes after arriving, he was prostrated by the long hard run in the cold air and was removed to his home and tenderly cared for.

     William W. Gardiner was the only living son of Mr.  & Mrs. William H. Gardiner and was 26 years of age. He was a young man of kind disposition and upright character and no one ever knew him to commit a wrong in word or deed. Besides his parents, one sister survives.

    The funeral which occurred from the late residence to St. Dennis Catholic Church Monday afternoon was an imposing spectacle and very large attended. The Fire Department and Modern Woodmen, headed by the Joliet Band, preceded the remains. The floral tributes were many and of the handsomest and most costly design, principal among which were large pieces from the Fire Department and Woodmen and beautiful offerings from friends and neighbors


     The impressive ceremonies at the church were conducted by Rev. Dr. McGovern and Rev. Father Downey delivered the sermon.

December 20th, 1897

Moved by Ward, seconded by Colman that the Village pays for the expenses of the delegates of the Volunteer Fire Department to the Convention in Champaign on January 10th and 11th, 1898.

1898 The Insurance Year Book: Fire & Marine

Lockport, IL. Will Co., Pop 5,500; fire area 10 acres; mercantile buildings, brick,and stone, 2 & 3 stories; private wood, 2 stories; wooden roofs not permitted; fireworks ordinance. Fire Department- 3 hose carriages, 3 chemical extinguishers, other apparatus, 4 ladders, each 25 ft long; hose, cotton good 3,100 ft, inferior 300 ft; value of fire equipment $2,500; value of buildings occupied $2,500; total and expenses of department $2,000; total membership 60. Chief Engineer Frank Sloan.

Water Supply- Source, artesian well; system pumping to reservoir 500,000 gals; waterpower pump dry capacity 140,000 gals; 1 3/4 mile mains; 25 hydrants, Eddy; works owned by company. President J. L. Norton.

January 17th, 1898

Bills Approved: Frank Sloan and James Donahue Expenses and Fees to Champaign: $111.00.

January 17th, 1898

Appointments confirmed by the City Council. Frank Sloan Fire Chief. James A. Donahue 1st Assistant Chief.  William Yost 2nd Assistant Chief.  George Adelmann 3rd Assistant Chief.

February 19th, 1898

Fire & Water: Volume 23; Page 64 & 65; A report from Frank Sloan, Chief of the Lockport, IL. fire department informs us that a fire alarm system is to be introduced there. Also, the city is contemplating the laying of more water mains.

March 21st 1898

Approved: Duck Brand Fire Suits $146.50

February 6th, 1899

Approval for Sloan and Donahue Expenses to Convention $100.00.

September 18th, 1899

Motion by Whitley, seconded by Walters, that the Fire Marshal be instructed to buy three cutoff nozzles for the hose carts at a cost not to exceed $25.00 apiece. Motion Carried.

December 18th, 1899

A Communication was read from the Volunteer Fire Department asking the Board to pay expenses of the delegates to attend the Convention in Princeton, IL. on January 10th, 1900.

January 1st, 1900

Appointments confirmed by the City Council. Philip Yost, Fire Chief. Henry Landon 1st Assistant Chief.  M.M. Boland 2nd Assistant Chief.  George Adelmann 3rd Assistant Chief.

July 16th, 1900

It was moved and carried that the President of the Board and the Chief of the Fire Department be instructed to ascertain the cost of a suitable wagon to carry hose and fire apparatus.

July 23rd, 1900

Annual Fire Protection Budget allotment $2000.00

Mayor Sloan reported that he and Chief Yost has visited Chicago the previous Friday in relation to ascertaining the cost of a hose wagon and found only one wagon in stock for the reason that such apparatus is built to order. The Wagon was originally intended to be drawn by hand and was represented as a $500.00 wagon. It is offered to the village for $400.00. Included was 50 feet of ladders in three or four sections and such changes would be necessary to adapt it to be horse drawn. Ball Bearing wheels would be $30.00 extra.

The committee visited a number of other companies but did not find anything at that price which was suitable. First Class fire wagons range in price from $600.00 to $1200.00 and even higher.

Representatives of the T. N. W. Sherman Company, Manufactures of this apparatus were present and submitted specifications and a photograph of the regular fire department hose wagon which he proposed to furnish for $600.00. By the removal of the brass rail and substituting a cheaper grade of wheels, the price could be reduced by $25.00 or $50.00.

Trustee Walters declared a hose wagon was a necessity not a luxury and he thought the purchase of the wagon would meet the approval of the citizens in general.

The Committee was given until next regular meeting to investigate further and report.

August 6th, 1900

An Invitation from the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department to participate in the parade August 10th was accepted and the Board voted to attend as a body.

A representative of the T. N. W. Sherman Company of Chicago was present and submitted specifications for a standard two horse hose and ladder wagon to cost $600.00.

August 20th, 1900

The rules were suspended to give Mr. W. H. Hunter of Joliet who represents the Eads Chemicalized Company of Chicago a chance to make a few remarks in reference to chemicalizers and to submit a proposal to furnish the village with a chemicalized fire wagon. A two horse wagon would cost $1000.00 or a one horse wagon for $750.00. The proposal was referred to the special Fire Committee consisting of Mayor Sloan and Fire Chief Yost.

September 7th, 1900

The committee on Fire Apparatus was given until the next meeting to report and recommend whether a hose wagon or chemicalizer should be purchased by the village.

October 15th, 1900

Mayor Sloan reported that one day recently while he was in Chicago he had devoted sometime to a further investigation of the styles of fire apparatus and was of the opinion that a hose wagon would be the most serviceable apparatus at present use in Lockport.

The proposed chemicalizer was of no decided advantage as it could only be used in connection with the present water supply. Chief Yost who is also on the committee for the fire apparatus was called up and upon his arrival he stated that he was not ready to report or recommend what style of apparatus should be purchased so the committee was given until next regular meeting to report.

December 17, 1900

Secretary of the Fire Department L. L. Lotz presented a communication notifying the Board that the department has at its last meeting elected two delegates to the annual meeting of the Illinois Firemens Association to be held in Pana and on motions of Keough the delegates were allowed $80.00 for expenses.

January 21st, 1901

The election of James A. Howard as Fire Chief, Frank M. Walters, Henry Landon, and H.H. Gaines as Assistant Fire Chiefs of the LVFD was confirmed today.

March 18th, 1901

Fire Chief James A. Howard asked the Board to allow the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department to purchase one Dozzer’s Lantern as the department does not have any lanterns to use. Motion by Walters and seconded by Blaesing that the fire department shall be allowed to purchase a Dozzer’s Lantern.

May 23rd, 1901

Chief Howard and Walters of the Fire Department presented the request of the Fire Department for the purchase of a new fire wagon. The Chiefs were instructed to report on the apparatus desired and probable cost at the next meeting.

June 3rd, 1901

By a unanimous vote of the Board, the President and the Clerk were instructed to enter into a contact with Seagrave Company of Columbus, Ohio, for the purchase of a hose wagon at the cost of $750.00. The contact was signed by the President and Clerk and was accepted as read.

August 5th. 1901

An invitation inviting President Clark and Trustees to take part in the Firemen’s Parade from the LVFD was accepted.

November 4th, 1901

Paid to the Seagrave Company $750.00 for the new hose wagon.

 December 16th, 1901

It was moved and seconded that the village reimburse the Fire Department for the cost of a new harness not to exceed $100.00.

January 17th, 1902

The election of James A. Howard as Fire Chief, Frank M. Walters, Henry Landon, and H.H. Gaines as Assistant Fire Chiefs by the LVFD was approved by the Board.

January 20th, 1902

Fire Chief J. A. Howard asked the Board to provide a place for keeping the new fire wagon. On a motion of Fisher, the Public Improvement and Fire and Water Committees was instructed to ascertain how much it would cost to erect this building and report next meeting.

February 3rd, 1902

The following bids were read for the new Fire House (Adelmann's Garage) at State & 11th Streets for the Fire Department Wagon:

W. J. Eaton $240.00, W.S. Norton $212.17, Charles Confer $245.00 and L.A. Norton $217.50. On a Motion of Blaesing, the bids were all rejected and the Public Improvement Committee was authorized to advertise for bids for the construction of the building in accordance with specifications in the hands of the committee.

February 17th, 1902

On a motion of Horan the contract for the construction of the Fire House was awarded to the lowest bidder L. A. Norton for $222.50. Motion Carried.

March 17th, 1902

Fire Chief Howard was instructed to have the City Attorney draft a resolution fixing the price for hauling the fire wagon to a fire at $3.00 and when the time the team is employed exceeds three hours a $ .50 cent per hour additional charge will be added. The Fire Chief was also instructed to have the telephone Company install phones at the new fire house.

June 10th, 1902

A communication from the Fire Chief of the Fire Department was read asking for more hose and that a continual ringing gong be connected with both of the telephone controls be place in Adelmann’s livery stable. This was referred to the Public Improvements Committee to report next meeting.

August 1902

Lockport Volunteer Fire Department Equipment : No hand or Steam Engine; Three independent hose carts;  One Hose Wagon truck;  No organized fire department; Four volunteer companies/15 men each; One day & night policeman have charge of fire watch; Approx. 1450’ of 2.5” hose; Five chemical fire extinguishers. The Fire Alarm Whistle was at the Water Works. It showed a hose house at the S. W. corner of 11th & State Sts. that had housed one hand cart with 400’ of 2.5” rubber hose. The other hose houses were located at 6th & Hamilton and the 900 block of Clinton St. on the east side of the street.  The new garage at 11th and State Streets houses the new hose wagon.

August 4th, 1902

The annual Firemen's Parade will be held on August 9th, 1902.

Lockport's Firemen Day Parade

Photo courtesy of the Lewis University Howard Adelmann Collection


December 15th, 1902

A communication from the LVFD was made asking for a sufficient sum to defray the expenses of the two delegates from Lockport who attend the State Association Meeting in Aurora.

March 2nd, 1903

Fire Chief Landon being present addressed the Board in regards of the shortage of fire hose. He suggested the Board purchase 500 feet for the LVFD. He also reported the LVFD was short of rubber fire suits.

July 20th, 1903

Mr. Tomkins spoke of fire hose for the LVFD and he would meet with the committee any night they might suggest.