Fire Department Inc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 16th, 1903
Fire Chief Landon being present said the Fire Department has been thinking of buying a team of horses and setting up the present department house and enlarging the same to keep the team there. He asked the Board would support the team and pay for them in two, three or more years, and hire a man to care for them, the team to be under the control of the Board. He requested that a committee be appointed to meet with the Fire Department Committee and confer upon the subject. In a Motion by Stowe, seconded by Horan, the President appointed a committee of three to confer with the Fire Department Committee, motion passed. Committee: Stowe, Horan, and Bartlett.
December 7th, 1903
Fire Chief Landon presented the Board with the plans of the new building for the Fire Department. The Cost would be around $500.00 and $600.00. Committee to report next meeting.
December 21st, 1903
A communication from the LVFD was read stating that John E. Mackin and Patrick O’Brien have been elected to attend the Illinois Firemen’s Convention in Waukegan and requested the Board to set a sum of money to defray the expense of the delegates. Motion Carried.
January 4th, 1904
$80.00 was approved for the delegates for the convention. Also, the Building Committee for the LVFD was laid over until next meeting.
January 18th, 1904
Appointments confirmed by the City Council. Henry Landon Fire Chief. George Scheidt, 1st Assistant Chief. Howard Norton, 2nd Assistant Chief. F.W. Walter, 3rd Assistant Chief.
December 19th 1904
A communication from the LVFD was read stating that the usual sum be allowed for two delegates to attend the Illinois Firemen’s Convention in Waukegan. Motion Carried and $80.00 allotted.
June 19th, 1905
Fire Chief Landon petitioned the Board for new rubber coats for the firemen and a cupboard be built in the City Hall to keep stationary, etc. A committee was appointed to research.
August 10, 1905 Ten-Year Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department.
December 11th, 1905
A communication from the LVFD was read stating that Edward J. Ross and William Yost have been elected as delegates and Frank J. Miller and Adam Harmon as alternates to attend the Illinois Firemen’s Convention in Peoria from January 9th to 13th. Motion Carried and the Board allotted $100.00.
February 5th, 1906
Appointments confirmed by the Board. George Scheidt Fire Chief. Frank J. Walters, 1st Assistant Chief. John Holmstrom, 2nd Assistant Chief. Adam Harmon, 3rd Assistant Chief. Motion Carried.
May 21st, 1906
A motion by Mackin and seconded that the Mayor and Clerk sign a lease for a building on 9th Street for the use by the LVFD and make the necessary alterations. Rent to be $33.50 per month. Motion Carried.
June 4th, 1906
Minutes of the previous meeting was read and a motion was made by Miller and seconded by Enz to strike from the records the action of the previous meeting regarding the leasing and improving a building on 9th Street to be used for the LVFD. Vote as follows: Mackin, Johnson, Corbley, and Wagner Yea. Miller, Enz and Fisher, Nay. Minutes approved.
July 16th. 1906
A petition was read by the LVFD asking permission to hold a carnival on the city streets from 8th to 11th and on 9th and 10th between Hamilton and State Streets. A motion by Enz, seconded by Johnson, motion carried.
August 6th, 1906
A motion by Mackin, seconded by Johnson that the City of Lockport buys the LVFD team of horses. Voting went as follows: Mackin, Johnson and Corbley, Yes. Miller, Enz and Fisher, Nay. The mayor refused to vote. The motion was lost.
On a motion by Mackin, seconded by Corbley, an invitation was read from the LVFD for the Board to take part in the Firemen’s Parade was accepted.
October 1st, 1906
A motion by Fisher, Seconded by Johnson that the Board ordered that the LVFD Team of horses be bought by the City at $450.00. Motion carried.
A motion by Mackin and seconded by Corbley to allot the driver at the LVFD $65.00 per month. Motion carried. Vote was as follows: Mackin, Johnson and Corbley, Yes. Miller, Enz and Fisher, Nay. The mayor The Mayor decided in favor of the motion.
January 7th, 1907
Appointments confirmed by the Board. George Scheidt Fire Chief. P. J. Wagner 1st Assistant Chief. Edward J. Ross, 2nd Assistant Chief. Otto Hartmann, 3rd Assistant Chief. Motion Carried.
A communication from the LVFD was read stating that John Holmstrom and Adam Harmon have been elected as delegates to attend the Illinois Firemen’s Convention. Motion Carried and the Board allotted $100.00.
An Ordinance creating the Office of Driver of the LVFD Hose Wagon was read and on a motion by Enz, seconded by Johnson was adopted as read. A motion was made by Miller seconded by Enz that the City Driver receive $2.00 per day and amended by Mackin, seconded by Corbley that he receives $65.00 per month. Motion carried. Adam Harmon was appointed the Hose Wagon Driver by the Board.
February 18th, 1907
Alderman Johnson reported that the LVFD favored Hale or Berry Horse Collars and the members of the LVFD chose Hale Collars to be purchased. A motion by Enz, seconded by Johnson that the Public Works Committee purchase one pair of Hale Collar and Harness for the LVFD at $21.50 per pair brass plated.
March 18th, 1907
Alderman Johnson suggested a plan for moving the Fire House to the Water Works to be used as a store house. A motion by Mackin the Public Improvement Committee was authorized to advertise for bids for moving the Fire House.
April 1st, 1907
All bids for moving the Fire House were rejected.
Enz objected to the bills from Sloan and Walters saying it was the duty of the driver to dry hose.
April 15th, 1907
A communication from the LVFD stating that E. J. Sloan was elected Fire Chief to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Chief George Scheidt.
August 19th, 1907
The bills of Peter Diehl in the amount of $17.00 for oiling hydrants and drying hose were referred back to the committee for correction. The City Clerk was instructed to notify the Fire Chief that hereafter the City would have charge of oiling the hydrants and drying the hose, all members with the exception of Mackin voting yes.
The LVFD request for supplies was referred to the Public Improvement Committee who was instructed to purchase one dozen pair of fire boots, six helmets and six fire coats.
January 6th, 1908
A communication from the LVFD was read stating that Patrick O’Brien and Frank Miller have been elected as delegates to attend the Illinois Firemen’s Convention. Motion Carried and the Board allotted $80.00.
February 3rd, 1908
A motion by Foster, seconded by Miller that the City Clerk was instructed to advertise for bids for 500 feet of fire hose.
March 2nd, 1908
The bids of the Manhattan Rubber Hose Mfg. Company, the Chicago Fire Hose Company and the Eureka Fire Hose Company, for supplying hose to the LVFD, was referred to the Public Improvement Committee.
March 16th, 1908
Fire Chief Sloan reported that all public halls in the city were not properly equipped in the case of a fire and wished the Board to take action.
April 10th, 1908
A motion was moved and seconded that the Board was authorized to buy two twenty-foot extension ladders for the LVFD.
May 16th, 1908
The Public Improvement Committee recommended that the Manhattan Hose Company be given the contract to supply the City with fire hose at $.80 cent per foot. Motion carried.
June 1st, 1908
The Regular order of business was resumed and an invitation to attend the Firemen’s Memorial Service on June 14th was accepted.
January 4th, 1909
Appointments confirmed by the Board. E. J. Sloan Fire Chief. W. Pitts, 1st Assistant Chief. John Wren, 2nd Assistant Chief. Peter Diehl 3rd Assistant Chief. Motion Carried. Christ Rodighero and H. H. Gaines were elected delegates for the annual convention.
Febraury 1st, 1909
Episcopal Church Fire 312 E. 11th Street
June 7th, 1909
Chief Sloan reports that nine hydrants are in bad order and request action are taken to get all these hydrants in good working order and also for periodical inspection of all the hydrants. He also extended an invitation to the Board to attend a Memorial Exercise next Sunday at 1330 Hrs.
September 20th, 1909
A petition from Chief Sloan was read for the City Fire Wagon Driver to receive a yearly vacation of 15 days. This leave of absence is to be taken anytime he may choose pending he secures a competent man to take his place. The relief driver would have to be approved by the Fire Chief and the Board and it being understood that that regular driver receive full pay from the Board and the relief driver receive the same pay as the regular driver. Motion Carried.
Alderman Foster reports the Fire Hose Tower is in need of repairs.
October 4th, 1909
A motion by Mackin and seconded by Miller that John Wren was appointed driver of the City Fire Wagon.
January 3rd, 1910
Appointments confirmed by the Board. E. J. Sloan Fire Chief. Otto Hartmann, 1st Assistant Chief. Andrew O’Brien, 2nd Assistant Chief. John Ryan 3rd Assistant Chief. Motion Carried.
Otto Hartmann and Thad Lambert were elected delegates for the annual convention in Granite City.
The Lockport Fire Department had one paid fireman, one company of 45 Volunteers, two horses, one hose wagon, and 1800’ ft. of 2.5 inch hose in good condition at Central Fire Station at #13 E. 9th Street near State St. One Hand Cart with 700 ft of 2.5 inch hose at each of the other three Hose Houses, located as follows:
Clinton Street, between 9th & 10th Streets; SW corner of State & 11th Streets; Hamilton St. & 6th Street; The Fire Alarm whistle was located at the Water Works. The Lockport Fire Department had no hand engine or steam engine or a hook & ladder truck.
Fire Wagon Driver Patrick O'Brien in 1910.
Photo courtesy of the Lewis University Howard Adelmann Collection
The first full-time employee with the department was hired in 1907. Adam Harmon was his name, and it was his job to tend to the horses and maintain the hose cart. The fire department was then housed in the Hyland Building located immediately east of the alleyway at 13 E. 9th Street. Adam Harmon 1907-1910, Patrick O'Brien 1910-1913 and James Corcoran 1913-1920 did stay in this facility around the clock, but when a few months lapsed and city officials concluded the job was not demanding enough, there job duties were expanded to include collecting the city's garbage as well. The photo is courtesy of the Joliet Herald News.
May 5th, 1910
Fire Chief Sloan called attention of the Board of the violations of Ordinances #120, #124, #125 & #125A covering fire protection and on the motion of Chief Sloan, seconded by Woock the matter was referred to the Public Improvement Committee for report.
May, 16th, 1910
The Mayor appointed Patrick O’Brien Driver of the City Fire Wagon.
June 6th, 1910
A petition was read by the LVFD asking permission to hold a carnival from August 8th to 13th, 1910. Motion carried.
September 6th, 1910
An application from Patrick O’Brien driver of the City Fire Wagon for a two-week vacation was read and granted.
September 20th, 1910
The Public Improvement Committee was instructed to meet with the Fire Chief and ascertain the damage done to department fire hose on two occasions caused by the street car running over the hose. A bill for damages is to be sent to the Chicago and Joliet Electric Company for payment. Motion carried.
October 17th, 1910
Three lengths of 50 ft. fire hose damaged by the Chicago and Joliet Electric Company Street Car were compensated in the amount of $135.00.
Fire Chief Sloan called attention to the Board that some buildings in the city fire limits were not up to the requirements of ordinance. The City and the Mayor ordered a committee to investigate and on a motion by Foster, seconded by McLain, the City Clerk was instructed to notify the owner of the McDonald Hall to have the door openings in the rear alley to swing out not in at present.
December 5th, 1910
The Mayor appointed Miller, Cook and Woock on a special committee to determine what actions should be taken with the LVFD. Alderman Foster spoke relative to Ordinance on the same matter and the City Attorney was instructed to prepare an ordinance.
December 19th, 1910
Appointments confirmed by the Board. Henry Landon Fire Chief. John Jovy, 1st Assistant Chief. E. Johnson, 2nd Assistant Chief. Patrick O’Brien 3rd Assistant Chief. Motion Carried.
Tony Wagner and William Drymiller were elected delegates for the annual convention.
June 11th, 1911
Alderman Foster moved to reconsider the sale of the building formerly used for the fire house, seconded by Horan and was referred to the Streets and Alleys Committee for investigation.
The appointment of Patrick O’Brien as City Fire Wagon Driver at $65.00 per month was carried.
A communication from W. W. North in regard to the lease of Fire House was left to the Fire and Water Committee.
June 19th, 1911
The bill of W.W. North for $135.00 for rent of the fire house was deferred.
July 5th, 1911
A motion by Sullivan and seconded by Horan, the City Clerk was instructed to ascertain if the insurance would not bear the expense of the LVFD when making a run outside of the city limits.
August 7th, 1911
Ten days of paid vacation was approved for the City Fire Wagon Driver and also the purchase of two mattresses for the LVFD.
October 2nd, 1911
Bids for the purchase of fire hose.
October 16th, 1911
A bid of $ .95 per foot by the Chicago Hose Company was read.
December 18th, 1911
Appointments confirmed by the Board. H. H. Gaines Fire Chief. John Ryan, 1st Assistant Chief. Andrew Harmon, 2nd Assistant Chief. Henry Fish 3rd Assistant Chief. Motion Carried.
H. H. Gaines and John Ryan were elected delegates for the annual convention.
June 2nd, 1913
James Corcoran appointed the City Fire Wagon Driver.
July 7th, 1913
From June 2nd to June 30th, the Fire Department Team and Driver worked 162 Hours cleaning rubbish from the streets.
August 4th, 1913
In July, the Fire Department Team and Driver worked 137 Hours cleaning rubbish from the streets.
September 2nd, 1913
In August, the Fire Department Team and Driver worked 129 Hours cleaning rubbish from the streets.
September 15th, 1913
A communication was read from Stephen Dowse asking the Board to remove the City Hose Cart Station at 11th and State Streets. It was referred to the Streets and Alley Committee.
October 6th, 1913
The City Hose Cart Station was moved to the Murray Property south of the present location at $ .50 per month. In September, the Fire Department Team and Driver worked 151 Hours cleaning rubbish from the streets.
November 3rd, 1913
In October, the Fire Department Team and Driver worked 161 Hours cleaning rubbish from the streets.
December 1st, 1913
In November, the Fire Department Team and Driver worked 144 Hours cleaning rubbish from the streets.
January 5th, 1914
William Fish and John Jovy were elected delegates for the annual convention.
The Fire Department Team and Driver continued working through 1914 cleaning rubbish from the streets.
January, 15th, 1915
The Fire Department Team and Driver continued working through September of 1915 cleaning rubbish from the streets.
August 10, 1915
Twenty-Year Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department.
October 4th, 1915
There being no bids received in response to the City of Lockport advertisement offering the sale of the city team of horses, a motion was made and seconded that the Finance Committee dispose of the team for the best offer.
October 18th, 1915
The city team of horses was sold for $200.00.
December 20th, 1915
Adelmann and Walters approved to go to convention in Murphysboro.
May 1st, 1916
Mayor Gleason suggested that the City hire or buy a team of horses to be used in cleaning the streets and hauling the City Fire Hose Wagon, etc. Questions were referred to the Public Improvement Committee.
May 15th, 1916
The Street Committee was instructed to hire George Adelmann’s team when needed.
December 4th, 1916
A motion by Wurst, seconded by Enz that a resolution thanking the Joliet Fire Department for the assistance rendered at the fire which occurred in the City of Lockport on November 24th, 1916. A motion by Enz, seconded by Wurst that the sum of $100.00 is allotted for the City of Joliet Fire Department in recognition for their services.
Adelmann and Walters approved to attend convention on January 9th-11th, 1917. Mayor Gleason asked for a typewritten report from the delegates.
January 15th, 1917
The reports of Adelmann and Walters were placed on file.
February 5th, 1917
In a communication to the Board from the people of south Lockport thanking the city for aid rendered during several fires in the south part of town. A check for $58.00 was donated to the LVFD fund.
October 15th, 1917
D. G. Murray is now storing the City Fire Wagon on his property.
January 7th, 1918
Adelmann and Yost approved for convention in Joliet. John Jovy and John Mackin approved as alternates.
August 10th, 1918
Fire Chief George W. Adelmann on horse (left) &
Dr. E. A. Kingston on horse (right)
Lockport's Firemen's Day Parade
Firemen include: Charles Goss, Adam Harmon, Henry Fish, William Miller, W. R. McCabe,
Tom Lambert, Ed Ross, Andy Pesavento, Chris Rodeghero, John Mackin, John Meehan,
Phil Yost, Mike Bowlan, John Ryan, and Patrick O'Brien.
Photo Courtesy of Lewis University Howard Adelmann Collection
October 20th, 1919
Chief Adelmann asked the Board to purchase fire coats for the firemen. A meeting was set up with the Fire Committee on October 27th, 1919.
November 3rd, 1919
A motion by Seaborg, seconded by Solley that the city purchase a motorized fire engine valued at $3740.00. It’s capacity being one and a half tons from the Obenchain and Boyer Company of Logansport, Indiana. It will be delivered by January 15th, 1920. Voting results: 4 Yeas and 2 Nays. Motion carried.
Alderman Murray and Yost stated that they were in favor of the fire engine but would prefer to see it or see others companies’ trucks before they would vote yes.
February 16th, 1920
Mr. Mowers was present at the Board Meeting as a representative from the Pneumatic Tire Company to suggest that the new fire engine have pneumatic tires instead of solid tires. The Board request was to leave the order as is.
March 1st, 1920
The Obenchain-Boyer Company Manufactures of the International Harvester Company accepted three noted from the City of Lockport as payment for the new fire engine.
$1000.00 issued February 20th, 1920. Due March 1st, 1921
$1000.00 issued February 20th, 1920. Due March 1st, 1922
$1740.00 issued February 20th, 1920. Due March 1st, 1923
1920’s First Motorized Vehicle Chain Drive International with a Chemical Tank
The history of the volunteer fire department over this decade will see giant leaps taken to improve the quality of service rendered to its citizens. A signal of this impending change came early in the 20's with the purchase of the department's first motorized vehicle. It was a chemical tank on a chain drive International. This proved a timely purchase, because simultaneously the City of Lockport opened its first paved streets. The city and volunteers were so pleased with their newly purchased vehicle that in 1928 they bought another one. This Studebaker was the city's first pumper which could carry eighty gallons of water in a tank located behind the driver. Arrangements were made to store this piece of equipment in the Adelmann Garage due to a lack of space in the other facilities. The volunteers were instrumental in financing the pumper. Together with the city they mutually developed a program to assist its payment. The source of this income tapped by the volunteers came from their yearly Thanksgiving Eve dances and door-to-door solicitations.
An interesting story of history unfolds during this decade dealing with the fire chiefs who served the volunteer department. Over the course of years spanning from 1919 to 1929, five different chiefs held the position. The first of those was a mainstay of the original volunteer force, George Adelmann. His reign lasted for two years from 1919 to 1921. Dr. Leonard Roblee followed as Chief. Quite a picture can be drawn about "Doc" Roblee, for throughout most of his adult years he was an active member of the department serving as Chief, volunteer, and trustee. After his brief stint as the Chief, he participated in volunteer calls and other activities from the mid-1920's to 1956. The culmination of his dedicated service came in 1956 when he became President of the fire district's first Board of Trustees. In conjunction with this event came the recognition that Dr. Roblee had accumulated 50 years of work with the Lockport volunteers. This assuredly qualified him as one of the true supporters in the department's history. Dr. Roblee's successor was Walter Reed, who, in turn, was replaced by Richard Force. William Clark's appointment to the post completed the series of changes made over the course of the past ten years.
April 5th, 1920
It was reported by M. L. Gossel, Inspector for the International Harvester Company of Logansport, Indiana, that the new fire engine was in good condition. The siren horn and new brakes pad were replaced.
October 18th, 1920
The Board instructed the City Attorney to advertise for bids for the old fire pumps and fire wagon, etc. belonging to the City.
November 15th, 1920
The City Clerk notified the Fire Chief to open the hydrant slowly if they have a fire in the area of 4th and Washington Streets.
Fire Chief’s through the 1920’s:
George Adelmann, Dr. Leonard Roblee, Walter Reed, Richard Force & William Clark.
January 3rd, 1921
Richard Force and Howard Adelmann were approved for the convention in Jacksonville.
February 21st, 1921
A motion by Yost and seconded by Foster that a draft for $1224.40 be drawn by the City Clerk for the City Treasurer to pay the First National Bank in favor of the International Harvester Company for the new fire engine as follows:
1st note due 1921 plus interest $1060.00
2nd note due 1921 plus interest $60.00
3rd note due 1921 plus interest $104.40
April 4th, 1921
Paid D. J. Childs for one searchlight and three bulbs $16.35 and Apsley Rubber Company for six fire coats and six fire boots $73.50.
July, 18th, 1921
The State Fire Marshal paid a visit to Lockport and instructed the City Officials to forbid anyone emptying rubbish in the public alley between 9th and 10th Streets as there is a penalty for any person violating that law.
January 16th, 1922
Dr. Roblee, one of the delegates sent by the LVFD to the Firemen’s Convention at Rockford, reported that the LVFD was one of the best equipped fire departments for its size in the state and so far he could see the LVFD in need of two hand pumps and one hydrant wrench. The Board gave permission to purchase the equipment ASAP.
The Board also instructed Fred Linder the Day Police Officer to look after the fire truck at various times and report to the Board.
February 6th, 1922
The Public Improvement Committee was instructed to visit the LVFD in regards to the fire engine convenience in case of fire.
April 17th, 1922
The Ordinance Committee reported having seen the Fire Chief about the Ordinance to be passed. Fire Chief George Adelmann appeared before the Board and stated that he knew nothing of the matter unless the Secretary had the Ordinance drawn up and stated he would find out at their next meeting.
The Fire Chief asked permission to purchase six fire coats. The Mayor stated he was willing to purchase the six fire coats providing they were placed on the fire engine and kept there for immediate use at a fire. Also, if purchased, and not found on the fire engine, he would not sign an order for the payment. Motion carried. The Fire Chief also stated the Firemen had at present about $400.00 in there treasury.
November 9th, 1922
A communication was read from the LVFD asking the Board to make sure the fire hydrants are properly protected during the winter months.
January 15th, 1923
R. F. Roblee, Chief of the LVFD asked the Board to purchase additional hose. Upon a motion by Yost seconded by Solley, he was authorized to purchase 300 feet of double jacketed hose at $1.15 per foot.
July 1st, 1923
Motor repair for the fire engine $50.00
Hand hose reel repairs $25.00
New Hose $200.00
Chemical Supplies $50.00
Expense and Travel $80.00
August 20th, 1923
John Mackin and George Adelmann were approved to attend the convention.
The Board purchased 300 feet of fire hose at $330.00 from the United States Rubber Company.
Six complete Chemical changes were purchased for the Obenchain-Boyer Company $12.50.
October 4th, 1923
Dr. R. F. Loblee, Fire Chief, appeared before the Board in behalf on the LVFD and he asked the city guarantee the purchase of 200 feet of chemical hose, 30 feet of ladders, some fire coats and boots, also the blowing of the Fire Whistle be discontinued and that the firemen be notified by telephone operator in the event of a fire.
A motion was moved and seconded by Alderman Yost for the city to purchase the chemical hose and 30 feet of ladders. Motion carried.
January 7th, 1924
Alderman Yost moved that the sum of $80.00 be paid to the Treasurer of the LVFD for expenses of two delegates to the annual firemen’s convention. Motion carried.
February 18th, 1924
Fire Department Expenses:
Peter Pirsch and Sons Company: Extension Ladder $ 100.00
Obenchain-Boyer Chemical changes $25.00
Bi-Lateral Fire Hose Company $90.00
Chief Roblee of the LVFD gave a report for the year 1923. Also he stated the condition and the amount of fire hose on hand.
March 17th, 1924
Alderman Miller moved that the Police Committee confer with the Chief of the LVFD with authority to purchase two copper hand pumps and 600 feet of hose. Motion carried.
July 21st, 1924
Fire Department Expenses:
United States Rubber Hose Company 300 feet of hose $330.00.
Bi-Lateral Fire Hose Company 300 feet of fire hose $345.00
February 2nd, 1925
Dr. Roblee, Chief of the LVFD, requested that the Board authorize him to complete arrangements with the telephone company and discontinue the use of the Fire Whistle. Alderman Daly motioned that the request of the Fire Chief be granted.
August 10, 1925
Thirty-Year Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department.
January 3rd, 1927
A communication from the LVFD was read. Alderman Juver moved that the communication from the LVFD be accepted and that their selection of Richard Force for Fire Chief and E. J. Sloan and Charles Goss as delegates to the convention and their aids be confirmed. The motion was seconded and the motion carried.
February 20th, 1928
A committee from the LVFD addressed the council and extended an invitation it the members of the council to meet with them on Tuesday night February 21st, 1928 at 2000 Hrs. The purpose of this meeting is the purchasing of a new fire truck by the LVFD. Alderman Worst moved that the invitation be accepted and the council attends in a body. Seconded by Alderman Solley and the motion were carried.
1928 Studebaker. FF Corcoran, Chief Clark
A motion by Alderman Worst that the LVFD be given full power to dispose of the old fire truck at the best possible price or way in purchasing of the new fire truck, the old fire truck is given as a donation by the city. Motion carried.
January 7th, 1929
A committee from the LVFD was present and asked the council if H. Karstens, H. Spangler and Richard Force be recognized as members of the fire department although they do not live in the city limits. On a motion by Worst and a second by Erickson the city recognizes them. The firemen also asked the council to maintain the small fire truck for $10.00 per month during the winter months only. Motion carried.
January 21st, 1929
A communication was read from the LVFD inviting the City Council to a banquet and entertainment on February 2nd, 1929 at Pilgrim Hall. A motion made and seconded that the City Council will attend as a body. Motion carried.
February 18th, 1929
A list of members of the LVFD for the coming year was read. President Thomas Yost, Vice-President Howard Sonntag, Secretary William Miller, Treasurer G. W. Adelmann. Trustees: Ed Ross, Adam Harmon and F. J. Walters, Sergeant at Arms Lawrence Corcoran, Fire Chief Walter Reed, 1st Assistant William Clark, 2nd Assistant L. F. Roblee and 3rd Assistant Charles Goss. All members approved by the Board.
May 20th, 1929
Mr. Ross of the LVFD addressed the Council in behalf of the fire department and requested the city to pay storage for the second fire truck for the balance of the year. A motion was made and seconded. Motion carried.
1929 William Clark Appointed Chief of the Department.
Serves until January 1st, 1961
Chief Clark's mastery of this job was reflected in filling the equipment needs of the department. This became visible when he designed a custom-built REO tank and hose wagon as one of his first projects. As the Chief saw it, the department could use such a piece to serve those living outside of the city that had no hydrants or fire protection. The prohibition period had seen numerous attempts to manufacture home brews, but in some instances the stills used were flammable and caused fires. In the 1920's the Chaney area experienced an outbreak of these types of fires. The volunteers would answer these whenever possible, but with this new equipment the area could be reached and offered better protection.
1929 REO Speedwagon Engine.
First fire engine is the area to carry 500 gallons of water.
Farrell Manufacturing Company of Joliet actually built the tank on the REO pumper, and when it was finished, this became the first known instance where a fire vehicle carried water to a fire on a pumper. The Lockport Volunteer Department received attention from nearby communities who envied this piece of equipment. This vehicle was commonly referred to as a "prize possession" by our own city officials. This notion was confirmed when Chicago summoned this unit to the scene of a stock yard fire in 1934 to assist them in fighting the roof-top fires on their buildings.
June 14, 1929
At a meeting of the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department last Monday evening the excellent situation in regard to equipment was reviewed. A campaign was also inaugurated to increase the membership of the force to the maximum recently authorized from 25 to 35. According to William Miller, secretary of the organization, the two trucks now available for fire service are the property of the people of the township and may be called to any part of that territory. However, it is the intention that one of the trucks shall be held in reserve in the city whenever a call is answered at a distance.
The larger truck, a 500-gallon a minute pumper for high pressure duty, was purchased some time ago from the General Mfg. Company of St. Louis. This carries over 1000 feet of fire hose and an auxiliary water tank and small hose are also mounted on it for use where a limited amount of water is obtainable.
The old city fire truck was given to the firemen by the city and turned in on the new truck for $500. Later, it was repurchased and the chassis sold. The chemical tank and hose were mounted by the firemen on another chassis purchased from George Adelmann for $300.The work of mounting the body was done by the firemen themselves in Richard Force’s blacksmith shop.
The net result is two good pieces of firefighting equipment to which the community can be proud. Together with the new pump at the city water works, the city now has excellent fire protection. The new pump will raise approximately enough water per minute to supply the capacity of the pressure pumper. Besides this, 100,000 gallons are held in reserve in the city tank.
As has already been demonstrated, this apparatus offers protection to territory beyond the city mains. The chemical equipment can be used anywhere on a small fire and pumper can utilize any water within reach of a fire. The smaller truck also carries fire hose.
1930 Lockport Fire Department Inc.
September 15th, 1930
The firemen committee asked the city to purchase 12 coats and boots for the fire department at a cost of $284.00. Samples of each were shown to the Councilman. Motion carried.
July 20th, 1931
A Communication from the LVFD concerning the 2% Fire Insurance Tax was read and a motion by Aldermen Anderson, seconded by Aldermen Pesavento that the Clerk be instructed to collect tax for the fire department. Motion carried.
Assisted the City of Chicago Fire Department at the Stockyards Fire.
August 10, 1935
Forty-Year Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department.
November 25, 1936
Lockport Fire Station at 921 S. State St. 1937-1960
The City of Lockport and the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department collaborated together in the 1930's on the construction of a New City Hall facility which would house the fire department. Thanks to legislation passed under the New Deal, the FWPA provided the funds and the manpower to build and complete this project. By 1937 this building was readied for occupancy. The volunteers were quite pleased with their new home, and donated $3,000 of their funds to this cause. This structure would serve as the focal point of fire department history as it unfolds over the next twenty-two years.
May 16th, 1938
A motion to hold an Open House, dedicating the New City Hall and Fire Station will be held May 28th, 29th, 30th, 1938 was made and seconded. Motion carried.
Present Day Boy Scouts of America Building
July 3rd, 1938 Stateville Honor Farm Fire
Lockport Fire Department 1938 Open House
Furniture Factory at Stateville Prison; Lewis College Chapel;
1944 Raue & Bentley Store Fire 9th & State Sts.
August 10th, 1945
Fifty Year Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department
March 30th, 1946 St. Dennis Church Fire
A Fire Station in Crest Hill Chaney Area established.
The Lockport Volunteer Fire Department purchased two vehicles from the U.S. Army in the late 1940’s. Both vehicles had a 750 GPM pump, one used as an engine (Engine #5) and the other as a tanker (Tanker #7). It is unknown if they were modified by the FD or the Army before they took delivery. 1936 Holabird Class BF 750 Fire Engine made by the Motor Transport Shop Camp Holabird, Baltimore, Maryland. Engine #5 served at Fort Ethan Allen Vermont with USA shop number W-5052. Thank you to Mr. Ted Heinbuch at . He has been able to document some 100 of these rigs.
February 13th, 1949 Engine #1 delivered.
Ford/Barton 500 GPM Front Mount Pump
Chief Clark held the belief that whenever the need arose to either update or modernize the force's equipment, new or used vehicles would be obtained. At about the same time, a major deficiency was addressed when his plans were laid to extend fire protection to the western sections of the township. It was a known fact the swing bridge hampered the free access of the department's vehicles to these western areas within the township. Circumstances were such that canal traffic was getting heavier, and unless some steps were taken to alleviate this situation, quick service would be more difficult to deliver. The solution came when Station #2 opened in the Chaney School area in 1947. Residents applauded the decision and paved the way for department official to equip their new acquisition. The department obtained the funds and added a white fire truck to their fleet. People in Lockport were elated and soon the conversation piece and source of everyone's pride was this white engine. This Engine was later painted red and served the LTFD until 1966 when it was sold to the Buffalo Grove Fire Department.
March 6th, 1950 Drake Lumber Yard Fire 9th Street
July 17, 1951
Lockport VFW presents Chief Clark with a new portable inhalator.
1952 Ford Courier Inhalator Squad #2 delivered.
1953 Engine #3 delivered. 1953 Ford/Darley 750/750
1955 Engine #4 delivered. 1955 Ford/Darley 450/750
Sold 1929 REO Speedwagon to Troy Fire Department for $500.00
August 10th 1955
Sixty-Year Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department.
April 21, 1956
Lockport Township Fire Protection District Approved by the Voters.
Andrew J. Halden, A.O. Harrison, L. F. Roblee first Trustees.
The activity of the late 1920's was a prelude of things to come in the 1950's. The extent of the change is of such magnitude that it would be appropriate for a new chapter to be written in the department's history. The lead story capturing the headlines of this new chapter involves the formation of the Lockport Township Fire Protection District in 1956. The demands had reached new heights after the war on the volunteer corps. The job required a greater degree of sophistication calling for more time on task. Recognizing this, a committee was formed in 1954 to investigate both the pro and the cons of alternative structures of organization. After intensive study, the committee recommended to place a referendum before the public encouraging them to institute a fire district for the township. In April, 1956, the voters passed this issue officially, and in so doing, the foundation for Lockport Township's first fire district was set. This fire district would be empowered to levy a tax in the township to permit the district to employ personnel, purchase equipment and erect buildings. Those actual decisions would be rendered by a three-person Board of Trustees appointed by the county board chairperson. They would be governed in their actions according to the rules and regulations as set forth for fire districts in the Illinois statutes. The first three appointees were Andrew Halden, Dr. Leonard Roblee and Orman Harrison. Together with the Chief they would constitute the major decision-making body overseeing fire district operations.
When assuming the tasks associated with being a trustee, two conclusions were agreed upon by all. One was to hire additional full-time firemen, and the other was to commission a feasibility study for the purchase of land in construction a new fire station in Lockport. To meet this first of two items, John Taskay, Lavern Myers, Donald Randich, Al Kryzak, and James Miller became the fire district's first new employees in the late 1950's. Manpower capabilities had been increased with their addition. The volunteers continued to make their presence known by their strength in numbers, exerting their influence on district policy. This was visibly seen in the earliest years when many of these same volunteers were brought on as full-time firemen. Although the word volunteer was removed from the department's title, the relationship between the parties remained friendly and intact.
State St. Fire Station circa 1957
Chief William Clark, FF Don Randich, FF Jim Miller & FF John Taskey
May 7th, 1959. Photo Courtesy of the Joliet Herald News
May 28th, 1959
Bids awarded for the Fire Station #1 at 828 E. 9th St.
Father Norman Petz begins his position of Chaplin for the LTFPD. He served until his untimely death in 1996.
5 Career Paid Men
FF Lavern Myers & FF Al Kryzak May 21st, 1960
June 1st, 1960 Tanker #7 delivered 1960 Ford Farrell Mfg. 250/2200
June 5th, 1960 New Fire Station #1 opens at 828 E. 9th St. This firehouse would serve the Fire District until 2016.
August 14th, 1960
Sixty-Fifth Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department
The Crest of Crest Hill is incorporated.
August 18th, 1960. Chief William Clark retires.
After 35 years as a fireman, Lockport Fire Chef William Clark will hang up his fire coat and helmet and go into retirement at the end of this year.
When asked what he intended to do after retiring, he said he was not certain, but agreed he would continue to act like the old fire horse who was put out to pasture. He said the sound of the fire siren and bell will never quit causing him anxiety. Chief Clark said he has resigned as head of the Lockport Fire District as of September 1st, but will continue on as head of the department until January 1st, 1961.
Chief Clark said his career as a fireman started while he was working as a plumber for the Miller and Landon Hardware Store in Lockport, where he was employed for 27 years. He said Henry Landon, co-owner of the store, was then Chief of the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department and interested Chief Clark in joining. Within five years Clark was named Chief.
He recalls that when he came into the department the only equipment available was one hose wagon truck. Firemen had to depend on hydrant pressure to carry water to the tops of buildings. The Chief said the water department then had special water pumps at one pumping station to increase the water pressure. He said the pumps served their purpose when they worked. The Chief recalled a fire at 8th & State streets in Lockport when the hydrant pressure would not carry water into the first floor.
Chief Clark has always been a staunch advocate of the best workable fire equipment and highly skilled fire fighters. Following thru with these ideas he required that each volunteer spend time at the Illinois State Fire College in Champaign. He has had 10 summer of training at the college himself. Not always did the manufactured fire trucks suit the tastes of Chief Clark. As a result, custom trucks were built on chassis to the specifications of the fire chief and firemen. All kinds of ideas were submitted by both the chief and the firemen, and the best were incorporated into that vehicle.
September 21st, 1960 Ambulance #6 delivered. 1957 Ford County Squire Station Wagon
January 1st, 1961 Carl Munson appointed Chief.
October 17th, 1961. First Aerial Ladder
Aerial Ladder #8 delivered. Ford/ALF 85' Aerial Ladder 100/300
February 12th, 1963 Engine #5 delivered. 1963 Ford ALF 750/750
The advent of the 1960's looms large in shaping our district's past. One of those acts causing attention was the retirement of William Clark as Fire Chief. His replacement was Carl "Moon" Munson. One of Chief Munson's first moves would be the adoption and promotion of policies designed to upgrade the district's equipment. Technology had advanced dramatically in the fire sciences by producing hydraulic tools, skill saws for cutting metal, Hurst's power tools used in lifting vehicles or beams, fire proof clothing and protective gear, fire engines complete with modern gadgetry and larger capacities for water storage, and the manufacturing of specialized vehicles intended solely for emergency use. Chief Munson and the trustees brought these improvements into our department, thus continuing a long-standing practice set in past administrations. One can't help but remiss after reading this about the early days of Lockport's force and what they typically used in battling the elements. The contrast in approach is indeed vivid and illuminating.
April 15th, 1963. One FF to man Station #2
at Sweetbriar & Lynwood Sts. five days a week.
1956 Cadillac Ambulance #9 purchased from Goodale's Funeral Home.
Volunteers sold Fire Vehicles to the Fire District.
December 14th, 1964
Purchased 3 lots in the Crestwood Estates Subdivision for the construction of Station #2.
January 18th, 1965
Purchased 12 all purpose canister masks and four mine safety masks.
March 9th, 1965. IAFF Local #1544 Chartered.
July 7th, 1965 Engine #10 delivered. 1965 Ford/ALF 1000/1000
Photo courtesy of the Bill Friedrich Collection
August 10, 1965
Seventy-Year Anniversary of the Lockport Fire Department.
September 20, 1965
Purchased (10) 10-10 Radios.
November 4, 1965
Sold 1936 Holabird Engine #5.
March 10th, 1966 Ambulance #6 delivered. 1966 Pontiac Bonneville
June 20th, 1966
Sold 1949 Ford/Barton Engine #1 to Buffalo Grove Fire Department.