Our Firemen, The History of the NY Fire Departments
Chapter 41, Part VI
By Holice and Debbie
Through the strenuous efforts of certain members of the Fire Patrol committee of the new York Board of Fire Underwriters, viz., Messrs. Charles M. Peck, J. A. Silvey, and George T. Patterson, Jr., an agreement was reached (March 26, 1866) for the more equitable distribution of the two per cent tax levied on other State and foreign companies� premiums received in this State. The Exempt firemen�s Benevolent Fund of New York City had renewed its charter (which was about expiring) for the term of thirty years. this fund had been accumulated by a two per cent tax on the fire premiums received in New York City by insurance from other States and countries during the past twenty years, and now amounts to about two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The new agreement was made between the Exempt Firemen�s Benevolent Fund of the New York Paid Fire Department and the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, that a bill should be passed, by which the proceeds of this tax, amounting to about sixty thousand dollars per annum, should hereafter be divided in the following proportion, viz.: for the first year, to the Exempt Firemen�s Benevolent Find, 46-1/4 per cent� to the new York Paid Fire Department, 46-1/4 per cent; and to the New York Fire patrol, 7-1/2 per cent; and for the twenty-nine succeeding years, as follows, viz.: to the Exempt Firemen�s Benevolent Fund, 42-1/2 per cent; to the New York Paid Fire Department, 42-1/2 per cent; and to the New York Fire Patrol, 15 per cent, as a basis for a benevolent fund for widows and orphans of the Fire Patrol. This is a more just apportionment if this fund heretofore, and, in fact, without such an adjustment, there would be no justice whatever in continuing this tax.
THE LADIES� METROPOLITAN FAIR
THE Ladies� Metropolitan Fair, in aid of the noble United State Sanitary Commission, which did such excellent work in relieving National sufferers, was opened in New York, April 4, 1864. The main building was the Twenty-second Regiment Armory. There was a cattle show at Fifteenth Street and Seventh Avenue, and International Hall, Knickerbocker Kitchen Music Hall, and Children�s Department in Union Square. The splendid exhibit of the Volunteer Fire Department was in the armory, against the east wall, of which it occupied one-half the length, and was in charge of the following committee: William H. Wickham, chairman; Lawrence Taylor, A. J. Delatour, James L. Miller, Josiah Hedden, C. Godfrey Gunther, William M. Randell, Sylvanus J. Macy, John Gracie, Alonzo Slote, John Decker, John R. Platt, Robert McGinnis, Charles McDougall, E. D. Garesche, Francis H. Macy, George T. Hope, George W. Lane, James F. Wenman, Z. H. Jarman.
The opening address, made by General John A. Dix, placed the Fair in the hands of the Ladies� committee, for whom Mr. Joseph H. Choate responded. The fair lasted until the twenty-third of April, and netted one million one hundred and seventy-six thousand six hundred and seventy-one dollars and ninety cents, the contribution of the Volunteer Fire Department being thirty thousand two hundred and fifty dollars.
THE FIREMEN�S MONUMENT AT GREENWOOD
Several years have passed since the New York Fire Department bought a handsome lot on Tulip Hill, Greenwood Cemetery, for the interment and commemoration of those who had lost their lives in the discharge of a laborious and often perilous duty. The spot selected is one of the finest in the country. The Firemen�s Monument is a pyramidal column of marble, resting ona massive pedestal of the same material, with a granite base below. The fireman on its summit is a well-executed figure. One arm surrounds and supports a child, just rescued from the flames, which still pursue it. His right hand holds a trumpet. The attitude is spirited, and the general effect very good. Upon four of the pilasters of the pedestal, and upon its upper surface, appears various representations in relief, or in full, of implements and articles appertaining to the fireman�s calling. His swinging engine lantern, his trumpet and cap, his hose and hydrant, the hook and ladder�all are sculptured there. The workmanship of the structure is admirable. The monument occupies the center of a large circular lot, and its position is commanding. The eminence upon which it is built is some distance from the entrance. The view from this will detain the visitor a moment; the little dell which he has just passed, with its shady water, is immediately below. Here, with the city of the living before him, and another of the dead growing up around, is a striking contrast. From the loftiest height of charming Greenwood the marble monument rises, severe in beauty, and grand in its proportions. It is emblematical of the men, and their works will be a perpetual remembrance of the fireman�s name.
The monument is surrounded by a neat iron railing. On each side of the gate, or entrance to the plot, is a hydrant and on the top of the railing at different points are lamps. Through the openings of leafy trees the churches of Flatbush are to be seen. The prospect is one of peculiar peacefulness, and suggestive of heavenly rest. On the right is a monument erected to the memory of Henry Fargis, assistant foreman of Engine Company No. 38, and on the left another tot he memory of George Kerr, engineer.
On the tablet at the base of the column, and facing the lake, is the following inscription:
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
The names of the deceased firemen cover the remaining three sides of the base, and three sides of the first section of the pyramid next to the base. The chronological order has not been preserved, but we give her the names of the deceased in the order in which they died:
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS.
1855 and 1856
1856 and 1857
1857 and 1858
1858 and 1859
1859 and 1860
1861 and 1862
1862 and 1863
1863 and 1864
1864 and 1865
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF APPEALS
JOHN GILLELAN, President.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
HTML by Debbie
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