Our Firemen, The History of the NY Fire Departments

Chapter 37, Part V

By Holice and Debbie

Atlantic (second No. 15). -- Was organized July 4, 1859, at the house of William Rainer, an old member of 40 engine, and for many years captain of the Third Company Continental Guards, an independent militia company, which was about the last of those organizations to disband. Among the organizers were A. McDonald, George Cramer, William Rainer, and Henry B. Clark. James R. Mount was elected the first foreman, and they commenced doing duty with an old carriage. In 1860 John Kerrigan, brother to Col. Jas. E. Kerrigan, was elected foreman, and they secured a new hose carriage the following year. The location of the company was in the quarters vacated by Hose Company No. 14, whose name "Atlantic," they had also adopted. Henry Clark was a sergeant in the Twenty-fifth Regiment, New York State Volunteers, during the rebellion, and lost his life at the battle of Hanover court House, in Virginia, in 1863.

No. 16. -- Naiad. -- Organized November 21, 1837; located at 24 Beaver Street, and disbanded January 10m 1848. Among the members were John S. Giles, foreman; A. Mather, assistant; and Alfred A. Mott.

Tompkins (the second No. 16). -- Was organized May 23, 1848, by Geo. W. Trenchard (then an officer in Purdy's old Chatham Street Theater), Wm. H. Mansfield, afterwards Judge Mansfield, A. Hopkins, and others, and located at the junction of First and Houston Streets, where they remained until 1855, when they removed to 154 Norfolk Street, which was their last location. Geo. W. Trenchard was their first foreman and served several years, being succeeded by Wm. Bell and N. Lockwood. In 1853 Mr. Trenchard was re-elected foreman, and on May 31, 1853, while in command of the company at a fire in Essex Street, between Rivington and Stanton Streets, he fell through the back area into the basement where the fire was burning fiercely, and sustained injuries and internal burns, from which he died June 2, 1853. He was buried on the following Sunday, the Department generally turning out in mourning for the occasion. The company first ran a small "jumper," and afterwards a larger one of 36 Hose, dark green with gold stripes, and high wheels. In 1855 they ran a new carriage, built by Torboss, and in 1860 they received a new carriage from Van Ness with an elliptic perch, which they had painted green, and which carriage they claim was never passed. They used this carriage during the remainder of their service. Many old timers will remember Wm. H. Brower (old 40), at one time foreman of the company, and who was suspended for six months for disobeying the orders of Assistant engineer John a Cregier at a fire. Brower always claimed that he did not know Cregier (he not being in uniform at the time) when he gave the order. At the Hague Street explosion, February 4, 1850, this company responded to the call, although out of their regular districts, and worked faithfully all day. Hose companies No. 16 and 17 were bitter rivals, as were Nos. 16 and 9 Hose. Tompkins Hose Company had an old white dog which some of No. 15 engine boys had given them, and he acquired quite a reputation for his peculating qualities, as he would endeavor to steal anything that was shown him, from a codfish to a watermelon. The carriage was known by the appellation of "Old Hump" and the company was certainly a very efficient, hard-working one. Timothy Donovan, Edward Bonnell, and Bernard Kenney were foremen, and all of them achieved distinction outside as well as in the Department.

No. 17. -- Clinton. -- Organized January 27, 1838, located at Fifth Street, near Second Avenue, later at Fifth Street and First Avenue, and went out of service in 1865. Among the members were: Patrick martin, foreman; James O'Brien, assistant; S. Livingston, Jr., Benjamin Gicquel, and Bernard Sheridan. At the annual meeting, held May 13, 1850, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: John McMahon, foreman, vice James A. Harriott, declined; P. A. Shesken, assistant; James A. Harriott, secretary; Abraham Lowere, treasurer; James A. Harriott and Abraham Lowere, representatives.

No. 18. -- Franklin. -- Organized April 11, 1838, located at Franklin Market, old slip; after 1848 at 24 Beaver Street; went out of service in 1865. Among the members were: William Farrel, foreman; Charles Asher, Assistant; Matthew F. Beirne, Charles Kallenstroth, John Bacterbury, and William J. Dagan (killed in the Jennings building fire). No. 18 Hose, with other companies, organized a patrol during the draft riots of 1863 for the protection of the First Ward.

No. 19. -- American. -- Organized January 29, 1839, located in Cortlandt Alley; next at 52 Greene Street; after 1862 at 83 Greene Street; went out of service in 1865. On 1851 Richard Burnton was elected foreman, but, declining to serve, Henry W. Banks was elected to fill the office; A. P. Silloon was elected assistant foreman; S. B. Thomson, secretary; and Messrs. Silloon and Thomson, representatives. In this year, when the engine lay at 52 Greene Street, the company was in a prosperous condition, due mainly to the exertions of Mr. Banks. Among other members of the company were Wm. Van Deusen, foreman; Richard Kidd, assistant foreman; James G. Weaver, Henry R. Williams, Lawrence H. Bogert, and Jacob H. Dawson.

No. 20. -- Second Ward. -- Humane. -- Organized October 1, 1836, under he name of "Second Ward Hose Company." On June 22, 1842, it received the "No. 20." It was located in John Street, near Nassau, and after 1843 at 30 Ann Street. Went out of service in 1865. Among the members were John Schumagel, foreman; Ferdinand Rath, assistant; Bernard Leddy, Daniel Sullivan, and Wm. F. Scott.

No. 21. -- Protection. -- This company was organized on February 13, 1839, was located in Henry street, near Catharine, and on March 20, 1846, organized as Engine Company No. 2.

Hudson (the second No. 21). -- Was organized from Hose company No. 27 on October 21, 1846. It was located on Duane Street, near West, and later in Washington, near Duane. On February 19, 1863, it was organized as Engine Company No. 53.

Hudson (the third No. 21, and the second bearing the same name). -- Was organized on February 19, 1863, by William T. Mawbey, an ex-assistant engineer, and an old member of 49 Engine company, John Hart, the ex-foreman of 35 Engine, Sidney P. Ingraham, nephew of Judge Ingraham, George H. Egleston, William R. Pettigrew, now superintendent of Appleton's factory in Brooklyn, and others, all active men.  They began with a full roll, and it remained so until the company went out of service in 1865.  They commenced duty with a four-wheeled crab formerly in use by Hose Company No. 52, who had procured a steamer and been organized as an engine company.  The first officers were: William T. Mawbey, foreman, and John Hart, assistant, and their location was on the rear of the lot on the southwest corner of One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street and Third Avenue in a one-story frame building.  It was a very quick, active company, composed mostly of young men, who took great pride in their fire duty.  John Hart, as foreman, and R. M. Carlock, as assistant, were the next and last officers of the company, and Robt. C. Brown, formerly foreman of Manhattan No. 8, was one of the last representatives.  In 1865, when the Metropolitan Fire commissioners took charge of the Department, this company was placed in charge of No. 49 Engine, and took their house in Fourth Avenue, near One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street, being known as engine Company No. 36 of the New Department.  Robert C. Browne was made foreman, and John Hart was appointed an assistant engineer. They served thus for a little over two years, and by that time, the Department being well organized in the lower districts, the commissioners turned their attention to the companies up town.A steamer was procured, and the company placed on the same footing as the others in the Department.

No. 22. -- Phenix. -- the members of Engine company No. 22 organized Hose Company No. 22 about august 1, 1839. They were located in Hester Street, near Allen, and after 1864 at 77 Canal Street. The company went out of service in 1865. This company carried the Fire Department banner in 1863 on the occasion of the funeral of George W. Badger, who as killed at a fire. C. C. Pinkney, of Hose 22, was one of the committee of seven appointed in 1851 to present Jenny Lind with a testimonial for her gift to the Fire Department. Colonel W. T. W. Chambers was a member, and while serving his country in the time of war was re-elected foreman. Among other members were Schuyler Stymers, foreman in 1854, George Anderson, assistant foreman in 1854; Kendall F. Knowles, Zabriskie H. Mullen and Nicholas V. Eberhard.

No. 23. -- Triton. -- Perry. -- This company first organized under the name of "Triton" on April 1, 1839, and subsequently changed the name to "Perry," in honor of the celebrated Commodore. Two round panels of Perry Hose, illustrating commodore Perry's victory, and which were owned by ex-President King of the Fire Department, are preserved at the Volunteer Firemen's Headquarters. No. 23 was located in Charles Street, near Hudson; after 1847 in Horatio Street, near Hudson, and went out of service in 1865.

Among the members were Alexander V. Davidson, who became an assistant engineer in 1865, and in later years was sheriff; John J. Gorman, who was president of the New Department, and is now a police justice; John Cavana, asssitant foreman about 1855; John Osborne, Wm. H. Ambury, and Robert Brien.

No. 24. -- Eighth Ward. -- this company was organized on October 31, 1836, as "Eighth Ward Hose," and was located for some time in :Dave: Vanduzer's carpenter shop, in Renwick Street near Spring. The first foreman of Eighth Ward Company was John T. Smith, who was succeeded by peter Silcox, Jas. Plant and Samuel Freer. Other members of the company were, O. A. Farrin, John Van Riper, Lawrence Hampton, Charles Wilcox, W,. B Hays, William Kennedy, and John Woerum. The company was reorganized in 1842.

National (the second No. 24). -- Was organized from Eighth Ward hose on June 22, 1842. Peter Silcox was the first foreman after the reorganization, and John S. Fletcher, John Van Riper, Wm. B. Hays, C. C. Ross, Wm. Hayes, Oliver Farrin, Lawrence M. Luther and Alonzo Hampton, members. Charles Wilcox and James Harris joined the company during the first year of its existence. Wm. B. Hays was elected assistant foreman in 1844, and resigned to take the position of fire warden, which office he held for six years. At the fire corner of King and Washington Streets in 1844 the carriage was laid up, and the members of the company carried their hose to the fire, and did goo d duty in checking the progress of the fire. Joseph W. Robb was elected foreman of the company in 1851, followed by Abraham L. Brewer, Samuel Burhans, Jr., Richard L. Simonson, A. C., D'Ozeville, the last named being re-elected for several terms. In the latter part of 1845 the company removed their location to the rear of Lowry's hardware store, in Spring Street near Greenwich Street, and in 1856 had a new house built for them at 253 Spring Street. This company went on an annual chowder excursion to Sheepshead Bay, making their stop at the "Widow's," then a famous headquarters for chowder parties.

The last carriage run by "National" was built in 1861 by C. E. Hartshorn. It was owned by No. 24, and was sold to a company in Bergen, N. J., on the disbanding of the Old Department. Mr. John Garrie was foreman of the company in 1864, and was re-elected in 1865, being the last foreman in the service of the company. National Hose Company No. 24 enjoyed a first-class reputation among the citizens of their own ward and in the Department generally; their roll was large, and they were never mixed up in any broils or trouble. The company comprised man of the solid citizens of the west side, and they stood among the first for their record of fire duty. John McCool, Daniel Cruger, Michael B. Terhune, D. d. Tullman, and John J. V. Vanderbilt were among the members. Hose 24 was in the line at the Prince of Wales procession, and was on that occasion dubbed "The Giraffe" on account of its seven foot wheels.

No. 25. -- United States ("Fashion"). -- organized May 27, 1839, located in Anthony Street, near Broadway, and after 1864 at 128 Worth Street. It went out of service in 1841, and was reorganized on July 13, 1843, doing duty till the end of the Old Department. Among its officers were Wm. McDonough, foreman, and Wm. Barrett, assistant. On May 8, 1850, the members of No. 25 presented to Mr. James H. Ridabock, their newly-elected foreman, a beautifully wrought silver trumpet in appreciation of the services which he had rendered. The trumpet, a fine specimen of workmanship, was manufactured by J. W. Faulkner, of Broadway. The same evening the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: James H. Ridabock, foreman, vice George McKinley, declined; William S. Kirby, assistant, vice James H. Ridabock, promoted; James R. Dunscombe, secretary; John Curson, treasurer; James H. Ridabock and George McKinley, representatives. In 1852, the company housed a new and beautiful carriage, and entertained their friends in honor of the occasion. The carriage was entirely different from any other in the city. She was built by Cizelman & Sickles. The reel was polished mahogany, with a small carved rim, and was ornamented with a wreath of flowers; on each arch was an easel; the boxes were polished mahogany, the panels plain; on the front box was a silver plate with the following: "Organized 1843"; on the back box was the name of the company in silver letters. The wheels were polished oak; the springs were polished, as were also all the iron work exposed to view. The lifters were new and unique. This company has the name of "Fashion," after the celebrated racer. The lifters represented a horse's head, and the jaws moved as the lids rose. The tongue was apiece of polished hickory. There was much silver playing about the carriage. The painting was done by Moriarty. At the annual meeting held at the house of Perez S. Whiting, No. 75 Anthony Street, on Wednesday evening, May 11, 1853, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year: John Henry Evers, foreman, er-elected; Daniel Rooney, assistant, re-elected; Frederick S. Whiting, secretary, re-elected; Wm. H. MacDonough, treasurer; John Crossin and George Shannon, representatives.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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