Our Firemen, The History of the NY Fire Departments

Chapter 39, Part II

By Holice and Debbie

No. 51. -- Relief. -- Organized September 1, 1862; located in fiftieth Street, near Second Avenue, and went out of service in 1865. Among its members were John E. Flagler, foreman; Thomas Harrison, assistant foreman; Geo. Nixon, Stephen McCoy, Henry Brickall, John Johnson, William Duane, and James Dorsey.

No. 52. -- Undine. -- Was organized October 27, 1851, by John T. Rollins, from old 8 Hose and who was assistant engineer in 1840. Wright Seaman, Jordan L. Mott, George h. E. Lynch (who was afterwards foreman), and others of Harlem. They located in One Hundred and Twenty-second Street on the north side, between Second and Third Avenue, and continued in the same location until organized as Engine Company 52. They received a new carriage the year following their organization, and in 1856 received the carriage that they ran until 1862, when they obtained the steamer, which was one of the first to make it�s appearance in the Harlem River District. John A. McCosker was elected assistant engineer from this company in 1860, having been its foreman in1858. Louis J. and Charles Belloni, Jordan L. Mott and William Tabele were among the prominent members of this company. When Old Tripler Hall was destroyed by fire on the night of January 8, 1854, this company ran their carriage from Harlem to the fire, and did goo d duty, not reaching home until the next day at noon. There was no general alarm struck, but, as one of the members expressed it, "we saw a big light and started for it, and just kept a running till we got there." At the annual meeting held Monday evening, May 3, 1852, the following were unanimously elected officers for the ensuing year; John T Rollins, re-elected foreman; Wright Seaman, re-elected assistant; Franklin S. James, secretary; Elisha Morrill, re-elected treasurer; William V. McDaniels and Louis J. Belloni, representatives.

No. 53. -- Naiad. -- Organized on January 1, 1852; located at 179 Church Street, and voluntarily disbanded on December 1, 1858. Among its leading members were John Garcia, William Thompson, Samuel R. Brown, Lew Van Boskerck, James L. Miller, William H. Shumway, Josiah Hedden, E. L. Garesche, William Baker, P. V. Z. Lane, George Schott, Edward Wheelock, Silas G. Butler, William M. Randell, R. M. Hedden, E. M. Schaffer, I. E. Zimmerman, J. L. Mathez, Siro Delmonico, George Randell. The company was re-organized under the same name and number in September, 1859, located at 142 East Fortieth Street, and went out of service in 1865. Among its members a various times were John P. Flenders, foreman; John McCann, assistant; David Montgomery, Joseph Dixon, Thomas Barrett, Henry Neville, Adam Kohl, Martin Kalb, George F. Uhl, and Francis Mannix.

No. 54. -- Eureka. -- This company was short-lived, remaining in service as a hose company a little over six years. They were organized February 19, 1852, securing a temporary location at 105 West Broadway. John D. Dixon was the first foreman, and Daniel Horrigan assistant; the company doing duty in the Seventh and Eighth Districts. Among its members at the outset were Alexander M. C. Smith, the hose manufacturer, Joseph R. Candee, William F. Searing, B. F. Grant, Frank Johnson, James Craft, William H. Burras, William E. Crary, and William H. Johnson (the two latter being representatives), and Benjamin Johnson, secretary. In 1853 they moved to 153 Franklin Street, adjoining Hook and Ladder 15. Her they remained until 1858, when they disbanded and formed themselves into Engine Company No. 30.

No. 55. -- Harry Howard. -- Organized September 17, 1853. Harry Howard Hose Company had an elegant brown stone front house, erected for them at 115 Christopher Street, upon the roof of which was a carved statute of Harry Howard in full fire rig. Upon disbanding of the company in 1865 this statue was presented to Neptune Engine Company No. 2, of Patterson, N. J., and afterwards passed into the possession of Protections Engine Company No. 5, of the same place, where it yet remains. Among the members of 55 were Fred. Vredenburgh, foreman; John A. Van Buskirk, assistant; Jas. Van Riper, R. D. Wehman, Minturn Van Heusen, John M. Bogart, Samuel Stingerland, and John H. Froelegh.

No. 56. -- Equitable. -- Organized March 5, 1853, located at 123 Wooster Street, disbanded December 20, 1855.

Nassau (the second No. 56) organized November 27, 1856, located in theater alley, and after 1861 in city hall park, went out of service in 1865. Among the members were Patrick McGurick, foreman; Jas. Whalen, assistant; Leopold Schmidt, James Griston,. Thos. Downey, Denis O'Connor, Thos. Goodwin, Joseph F. Reed, Richard Morris, Thomas McCook. John Boyle, Alexander Wilson and Joseph Gregory.

James Whalen was so severely injured while going to a fire in the eighth District on Monday afternoon, November 28, 1859, that he died of internal injuries on the following Wednesday at the New York Hospital. He had the tongue of the carriage, and on descending the hill leading to Trinity Place, placed himself in front of the tongue in order to keep the carriage from going down too fast. While thus running backwards a cart turned the corner, the shafts of which struck him in the back, and at the same time the iron nut on the end of the tongue struck his breast, knocking him under the horses' feet. He was representative and treasurer of the company when he died, and the Fire Department turned out on Sunday, December 4, 1859, at his funeral.

No. 57. -- Paulding. -- Organized October 27, 1854, located in eighteenth Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, organized as engine Company No. 54 on February 19, 1863. Among the members were James Burtes, foreman; Peter P. Ackerman, assistant; Wm. B. Parkerson, James G. Lindsay, Robert Borlane, Joseph Wilkinson, Henry James Potter, Townsend Clark, Walter Ryer, Jacob Duckhardt, James M. Barber, Jas. L. McEntee, Jr., Elias T. Hatch and Robert W. Karle.

No. 58. -- Merchant. -- Forrest. -- Merchant Hose No. 58 was organized on May 14, 1856, and lay in Burling Slip. The first officers of the company were William H. Bulteel, foreman; James Sullivan, assistant foreman; and Cornelius Downey, secretary. Its members were almost exclusively oyster dealers and boatmen. In 1860 New York Hose No. 5, lying in Firemen's Hall, was supplied with a steamer and became Engine Company No. 47. Hose No. 58 then received the number 5 and became Edwin Forrest No. 5,. The first officers of the reorganized company were Cornelius Downey, foreman; Richard Wilson, assistant foreman; and James Sullivan, secretary.

No. 59. -- Ion. -- Manhattan. -- Ion Hose Company 59 was organized September 22, 1856, in James Pettit's carpenter shop, 86 Lawrence Street, Manhattanville, by Alfred Lyon, James Pettit, James Richmond and others, and first located on the first floor of the same building, opposite No. 43 Engine House. They remained here until 1860, when they removed to their new two-story brick house, 58 Lawrence Street, where they remained until mustered out in 1865. The company first run a "jumper," then an old carriage, and in 1862 received a new carriage, painted a rich dark brown, ornamented with gold striping and silver plating, and which the company claimed was the handsomest carriage in the city, or at least in the upper section of it. Pettit has been formerly assistant foreman of 43 engine under Daniel F. Tiemann, and had succeeded Mr. Tiemann as foreman of that company. He was also foreman of No. 59 Hose, and when he left the company had been connected with the Department twenty-two years. James Richmond, now in Girard, Kansas, was secretary from its organization until 1863. They were a good duty-doing company, and before the streets were cut through and graded had many a tough pull with their carriage over the hills. In 1859 the company changed its name to Manhattan Hose Company, and continued under that name until the last. Robt. Prior, who was the secretary of the company in 1864, was the proprietor of the large stables in One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Street, Harlem, and also in Manhattanville. He and his widow, who survives him, were the parents of nineteen children. Wm. Crawford, assistant foreman; Robert O. Glover, secretary Fire Insurance Company; James Hedemath, Garrett Dardass, John McArthur, Patrick McKenna, John Lynch, Michael Lanihan, Paul Schwapper, John McArthur, Edward Roach, foreman and James Murray.

No. 60. -- M. T. Brennan. -- Organized March 28, 1854, it had its headquarters in the Tombs, on Leonard Street, corner of elm, and did duty in the Seventh and eighth District. The men removed in 1858 to the corner of Manhattan Alley and Elm Street, into new quarters specially erected for their accommodation. They remained here till the disbandment of the Volunteer Department in 1865. The late county clerk, John Clancy, who was for a number of years editor of that popular paper, the Leader, and foreman of the company, was one of its originators, and also supervisor Walter Roche, who was foreman, and Congressman Morgan Jones; also Denny Burns, known as "the member from Sligo," Johnny Stacom, and James M. Sweeney (brother of Peter B.), were representatives from it. It had a good many noted men in the down-town districts on its roll. Larry Clancy, brother of John and clerk of the marine Court, was a member of No. 60 Hose. John R. Lyng, the old-time sporting man of New York, was an honorary member, and did good duty. James Hogan, better known as "Jumps" was a doorkeeper in the Sixth Ward when Captain Jourdan, afterwards Superintendent Jourdan, was in charge. Hogan was at one time foreman of No. 60 Hose Company. Matt. Brennan, according to Martin Keese, did good fire duty, and was many a time to be found at the head of the rope notwithstanding the infirmity that he suffered from in one of his legs. At all of the gatherings in the house, such as chowder parties or receptions to other companies, the familiar face of Matt. was always to be seen mingling in the throng in company with Clancy and Harrington, who writes the dramatic column in the Dispatch. Other members were Sweeney, Jones, Dowling, the judge, and more old-timers of the Sixth and the surrounding vicinity. Poor Matt. Brennan, it is said, died of a broken heart, owing ot the failure of his suit against the city for moneys legitimately due to him for his services as sheriff.

No. 61. -- Zephyr. -- Organized December 31, 1856, located at 379 Fourth Avenue, went out of service in 1865. Among the members were John H. Whitney, foreman; A. L. Thomas, assistant Foreman; George L. Jordan, Henry L. Chichester, T. L. Hewitt, Nelson H. Oakley, M. V. B. Smith, George W. Fanning, Philip C. Benjamin, William Snectner, and George F. Nesbit, Jr.

No. 62. -- Minute. -- Organized February 23, 1857, located at 380 West Forty-third Street, changed to Hose Company No. 12 on January 20, 1859. Samuel Woolley was foreman, Daniel Wanamaker, asssitant foreman, and other members were Franklin C. Favor, John H. Tutgen, Freeman Campbell, Robert B. Leete, and Charles Fanning.

Fifth Ward Exempt. -- This company was organized on the west side of the city in February, 1860, for the purpose of doing duty only in the Fifth Ward and vicinity when their services were needed. It was composed entirely of exempt firemen, and among the organizers were Christian B. Woodruff, ex-fire commissioners; Thomas Flender, his brother Henry Flender, Benjamin B. Johnson, James A. Johnston, Theo. A. Ward, John Hewitt, James Dupignac, Samuel Wykoff, William H. Board, and others, merchants, lawyers and manufacturers. They procured a hose tender, and located at 128 West Broadway, selecting as officers Robert C. McIntire, foreman; William H. Johnston, assistant foreman; and Samuel P. Smith, secretary. The number of men that were allowed to the company was thirty, and this number they always had on their roll, filling the vacancy when one occurred from a number of applicants who stood ready to join them. The officers were re-elected each year, and the same officers with which they started in 1860 were mustered out with them in 1865.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Debbie

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