Our Firemen, The History of the NY Fire Departments

Chapter 38, Part II

By Holice and Debbie

No. 31, -- Putnam was changed from Hose Company No. 43 on April 28, 1842, located at 7 Walnut (Jackson) Street, and went out of service in 1865. Among the members were Andrew Hill, foreman; Charles Daley, assistant; Nicholas Kent, Peter L. Thompson and Philip Smith. At the annual meeting on the evening of May 6, 1851, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year: David P. conger, re-elected foreman; Abraham W. Kennedy, assistant, vice J. B. King, declined; Wm. J. Jessup, re-elected secretary; J. B. King, re-elected treasurer, and Jesse Thomas and Wm. H. Jones, representatives. About August, 1851, Putnam brought home a new hose carriage. She was different in construction from any other apparatus, and was a very handsome carriage. She was built by Pine and Pearson. At the annual meeting on May 4, 1852, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year: Jesse Thomas, re-elected foreman; Thomas Sullivan, re-elected assistant; Wm. J. Jessup, re-elected secretary; John Boyd, treasurer, vice J. B. King, resigned; Jesse Thomas and John Boyd re-elected representatives. On May 3, 1853, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year: Thos. Sullivan, foreman, vice Jesse Thomas; John Boyd, assistant, vice Thomas Sullivan; Wm. J. Jessup, secretary; re-elected; Archibald Armstrong, treasurer, vice John Boyd; Thomas Sullivan, vice Jesse Thomas and John Boyd re-elected representatives. On May 2, 1854, the following officers were unanimously elected: Thomas Sullivan, foreman; Charles J. E. Spring, Assistant; Wm. Gamble, secretary; Archibald Armstrong, treasurer; John McCarthy, vice Thomas Sullivan, who declined re-election and Thomas K. Coultors, representatives.

No. 32. -- Richard M. Johnson. -- Organized June 1, 1840, located at 6 Third Street, and organized as Engine Company No. 26, on December 2, 1851. Among the members were Clark Vanderbilt, who was assistant engineer from 1848 to 1853; Oliver Charlick, foreman; S. R. Harris, assistant foreman; Alfred S. Wright, R. Putnam, Daniel Carpenter and Reuben S. Munson. At the annual meeting in 1850 the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Geo. A. Jeremiah, foreman; George F. C. Tufts, assistant; Samuel H. Doty, secretary; Elisha Kingsland, treasurer. On May 12, 1851, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year: George A. Jeremiah, foreman; G. F. C. Tufts, assistant; E. A. Towes, secretary; E. Kingsland, treasurer; and Messrs. Kingsland and Peterson representatives.

Index (the second No. 32). -- In 1852 William Halden resigned from Hudson Engine Company No. 1, and organized Hose company 32. The headquarters were in Forty-eighth Street, east of Eighth Avenue. The house is now used as a stable by Hook and Ladder Company No. 4. This company continued in active service until 1865. The organizer, William Halden, was a very popular man in the Twenty-second Ward, having held several prominent political positions in his time. He joined the Fire Department in 1840, and continued an active member until 1865; he died in April 1875. The Exempt Firemen's Association attended his funeral ina body. The last foreman of this company was Benjamin martin, and the last assistant foreman John Linder.

No. 33. -- Hoffmire. -- City. -- Warren. -- ("Kentuck"). -- ("Blackbird"). -- This company was first organized as a "June Bug" in 1830, under the name of Hoffmire Hose Company No. 33, taking its name from Edward M. Hoffmire, an ex-assistant engineer from Neptune Engine Company No. 6. They procured a two-wheeled jumper, and located in a one-story frame building which was formerly used as a stable, on the east side of Sullivan Street, between prince and Houston Streets. John Ely, formerly of Engine Company No. 37, and an ex-assistant engineer, was foreman of the company. They did not do any duty, however, and on February 3,1841, the company was reorganized as City Hose company No. 33, with John P. Teale, as foreman, Theodore P. Trumpore, assistant, and John Barker, Levi Guernsey, Jacob May, Robert R. Lawrence and others, members. They took the location and apparatus of the former company, but added a story to the building, and ina short time procured a new carriage. This, like its predecessor, was a two-wheeled machine. In fact, there were but four or five four-wheeled hose carriages in the city at that time, but it was tastefully painted and ornamented by the company, being painted red with gilt stripes. On January 4, 1842, the company ina body joined Washginton Temperance Society, of which Nicholas Duff was the president. The ladies of the society presented the company with a handsome banner. Mr. Wm. W. Adams, a silversmith, who kept his place in Church Street, between Franklin and White Streets, and who was the assistant alderman for the Fifth Ward, made the trumpets given by the city to temperance companies, and they were presented by Alderman Simpson, chairman of the Fire and Water committee. They were received on behalf of the engine companies by Harry Wilson of Engine Company No. 18, and on behalf of the hose companies by John P. Teale, of Hose Company No. 33. About this time a committee from 33 Hose Company proceeded to Washington to present to Thomas F. Marshall of Kentucky, then a member of Congress, a gold badge for his efforts in the temperance cause. When they returned they adopted the nickname of "Kentuck." and had this name painted on their back box. On October 14, 1842, the Liberty Company No. 5, of Baltimore, were the guests of Hose Company No. 33 on the occasion of the Croton Water celebration. They brought with them and presented to the company the double silk banner carried by them that day. It was a very handsome and costly affair, suitably inscribed with the names of the donors and recipients. Robert R. Lawrence succeeded Mr. Teale as foreman, and Henry Colgrove followed him. About the year 1849, the company having dwindled down considerably, was reorganized as Warren Hose company, and they procured a new two-story brick house on the west side of Sullivan Street, between Spring and Prince Streets, in 1851. James E. Colegrove was foreman in 1849 and 1850, and during his service the company had obtained a new hose carriage. Joseph C. Devine was the next foreman, and he held the position for several years, being succeeded by John Rayney. In 1855 the company elected Robert A. Johnson, foreman, and John Riley, assistant, and housed a new carriage built by J. H. Ludlum. John S. Craft and Anthony Yeomans succeeded to the positions of foreman and assistant, and when the paw was passed allowing hose companies thirty members, No. 33 had no trouble in keeping their roll full. In 1859 Anthony Yeomans was elected foreman of the company, and was succeeded by Henry C. Dennett, Charles H. Denman being elected assistant foreman. These two gentlemen were re-elected for several years. When Denman was promoted to the foremanship, a new carriage of Hartshorn's build was obtained by the company. Chas. E. Bacon and peter Keenan were the last officers of the company. No. 33 Hose obtained the nickname of "Blackbird," from a carriage they ran which was painted black and gold. They were one of the quickest companies on the west side of the city, and enjoyed a good reputation of the duty-doing qualities, and they were certainly famous for their "chowders," which were served up on Saturday evenings, at which times they would always enjoy having a number of guests, and passed the evening ina very enjoyable manner. They went out of service in 1865.

No. 34. -- Star. -- Lafayette. -- Organized on June 22, 1842, by the members of Engine Company No. 47; located in Tenth Street near the Dry Dock; after 1855 at 211 East Eleventh Street; organized on march 5, 1860, as Engine Company No. 3. On May 13, 1851, the company gave a grand entertainment to afford their friends a view of their newly painted machine. The carriage was built by Pine, and painted by Moriarty. The running gear was ultramarine blue with rich gilt stripes; the springs were polished, the reel was ornamented with two paintings, on the right panel was a view of a ship on fire at sea, and the passengers and crew are seeking safety in the boats; on the left panel was a scene at a fire; in the background a dwelling on fire; and in the foreground a figure of a fireman who has just rescued two children--one he is leading by the hand, and the other has clasped its tiny arms around his neck. It was a very expensive picture. The pictures were encircled with handsome carved work, which was decorated with stars. The boxes were a plum color; on the front box was the Brooklyn Fire Department certificate, and on the back box the new York Fire Department certificate, with the motto "Protection and Benevolence." On each of the side panels were neat little paintings. The Star Volunteers have presented to Mr. S. Gunyan, assistant foreman, a beautiful trumpet as a token of their respect and esteem. It was presented by Mr. David Kerr, captain of the company. At the annual meeting of Star Hose Company No. 34, held on May 14, 1850, the following officers were elect for the enduing year: Wesley smith, foreman; Scott Gunyan assistant; William Foulks, treasurer; David Kerr and John Wood, representatives.

Hibernia (the second No. 34). -- Was organized May 25, 1863; located in forty-first Street, east of Eighth Avenue, and disbanded February 8, 1864. Among the members were Thomas McCarthy, foreman; David Anderson, assistant foreman; Edward S. Lord, Thomas D'Arcy, Geo. W. Osborne, Henry Clifford, and Peter Hanlon.

No. 35. -- Fifteenth Ward. -- Baltic. -- This number was first taken up by several of the citizens of the fifteenth Ward, among whom were Carlisle Norwood, A.. W. Van Pelt, J. S. Winthrop, Jr., L. S. Foreman, Wm. M. Calhoun, E. P. Willetts, and John S. Kelso, a split from Hose Company No. 5. They adopted the name of the Fifteenth Ward Hose Company No. 35, and on the evening of October 27, 1840, elected J. S. Winthrop foreman. The company succeeded in filling up with good duty-doing men, and in 1849 James F. Wenman, in after years an assistant engineer, became a member. About this time they changed their name to "Baltic." L. S. Foreman and John K. Bowen both served several terms as foreman. The company was located at 199 Mercer Street. After 1840 Hugh curry (the champion pipeman) became an active member, and was soon elected foreman, which position he filled for several terms. At each election, however, he was a candidate for a white hat. While under his administration, they received a new carriage, which was shortly after disabled, and in 1854, they secured another new one. The company had no changed considerably, many of the old members having resigned. During the sugar house fire in 1848, in Duane Street, one of the members, Charles J. Durant, was fatally injured. In 1854 E. P. white was elected foeman, having succeeded T. F. Goodwin. In 1857 John W. Slater was promoted to the foremanship, and James H. Bell made assistant. Bell was the last foreman. At the Tripler Hall fire, as well as on several other occasions, the men of the company distinguished themselves, but they were continually in trouble, and were finally disbanded June 30, 1859.

Crystal (the second No. 35). -- Was organized June 25, 1863, by Gustavus Isaacs, Geo. s. Wickham, and Wm. T. Worrall, from Amity Hose Company No. 38, and fourteen others, among them were Charles Delmonico, Seneca M. Bell and Henry L. Faris. Gustavus Isaacs was chosen foreman, and Wm. Mead. Jr., assistant. They were assigned to duty in the third and Fourth Districts, but for quite a while without an apparatus or location. They succeeded in getting a location at 101 West Fifteenth Street, near Sixth Avenue, where they remained until the department was reorganized. Isaacs and Mead continued to be the officers of the company during the course of its existence.

Oceana Hose. -- Was organized on March 5, 1845, at a meeting held at the residence of Francis B. O'Connor, No. 94 Madison Street. There were present Messrs. James H. Rich, Daniel B. Jenkins, Lawrence Turnure, Charles A. Coe, and Francis B. O'Connor. Messrs. James Gillan, Benjamin Cartwright and Charles Rose, who were absent, had signified their intention of joining the new company and were duly enrolled.

Messrs. O'Connor, Turnure, and Coe were respectively elected foreman, assistant foreman, and secretary. In the following December the company was comfortably quartered at No. 189 Madison Street. Benjamin Cartwright and W. D. Wade were the two fire preventatives.

The hose carriage, built for the company in 1848 by Van Nes and Co., and painted by Edward Weir, Jr. and W. Hamilton, was a very elaborate affair, and cost with it embellishments fifteen hundred dollars, of which the company paid twelve hundred. On the front panel Oceans was represented with her attendant nymphs rising from the sea. On the back was a finely executed view of the High Bridge at Harlem, with a group of Indians; on the back ends the park and Bowling Green fountains, and one the front a painting of a little girl washing her feet at a hydrant and a little boy playing the hose.

William M. Tweed was elected secretary of 36 Hose on December 19, 1845, but only held the office till the following April, when he resigned. He aspired to reach the position of assistant foreman, but he had evidently not yet leaned the art of manipulating the political machine, at which he became so expert in after years, and his plans were frustrated. Seeing no chance of advancing his ambition on the company, he betook himself to Engine Company No. 1.

On resigning from the company on May 1, 1850, Mr. John R. Platt presented it with a handsome silver trumpet and a fine engraving.

The minute books of the company, from the time of its organization to its disbandment in 1865, were in the possession of Mr. Alonzo Slote, for many years a prominent member, and are remarkable as being probably the best kept set of books of the Old Fire Department now in existence.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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