The history and growth of the fire departments in the county


Notice To Property Holders The property holders, residents in this village are requested to meet at the Court House on Friday the 6th inst., at 7 o'clock P.M. to consult upon the propriety of purchasing Two fire c???? Fire Engines for the use of the Village, in place of the Engines formerly decided upon by the Board of Trustees, who are now awaiting the action of the Tax payers before making a final decision in regard to a purchase. A general attendance is requested. CHAS. ESSLINGER. President. Manitowoc Tribune, Feb. 5, 1856

The Board of Trustees have taken the preliminary steps for re-organizing and supplying the Fire Department with suitable apparatus. The present Board of Trustees is composed of men of enterprise, and the resolution introduced by Mr. Van Valkenburg, authorising immediate action with reference to this matter, was passed unanimously. We shall take occasion to speak of this subject again. Manitowoc Tribune, June 5, 1856


THE TORRENT FIRE COMPANY No. 1.-organized on Wednesday, 14 of January by electing the following officers; Foreman: W.H. McDondald, 1st Assistent: G.C. Wimpf, 2d Assistent: ??e Beigel, Secratary (sic): ?. H. Schmidt, Treasurer: A.C. Gibson. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday the 21st day of January 1857. ?.H. Schmidt Sec. Manitowoc Tribune, Jan. 15, 1857


BADGER ENGINE Co. met last evening and elected the following officers. Foreman, G. W. Woodin, 1st Assistant, M. Soler, 2d Assistant, F.H. Damon, Secretary, F.W. Borcherdt, Treasurer, W. Barber, Company adjourned till Friday, 18th inst. The Daily Tribune, June 11, 1858


FIRE COMPANY.-The members of Badger Engine Company, No. 1, were out on Tuesday evening last, and proved themselves worthy of the name of firemen.-Their "machine" worked capitally, and they worked well themselves. This company is entitled to the good wishes and countenance of the whole community. At a meeting of the Company, on Tuesday evening, C.G. Esslinger was elected Secretary, -a good choice. Manitowoc Pilot, Aug. 12, 1859

FIRE.- On Monday night, a small tenement on the South side of the River, occupied by Mr. Benj. Hewett was burnt to the ground. The Badger Boys of Engine No. 1 turned out, but the distance was too far for them to reach it in time. Manitowoc Pilot, Friday, October 14, 1859 P.3

BADGER ENGINE CO. NO. 1.- Thos. Sullivan has been elected Secretary of this Fire Company. "Tom" will make a good officer, and we rejoice at his promotion. Manitowoc Pilot, Friday, October 14, 1859 P.3


MANITOWOC FIRE DEPARTMENT - The following officers have been elected in the various fire departments of this village for the coming year: Torrent Engine Co. No. 2.; Foreman - John Kuhnle; 1st. Asst. - Kaver Aumann; 2d Asst. - P. Schreihardt; Sec'y - W.H. Hemschemyer; Treas. - John Schappert; Hose Capt. - Geo. H. Kunz; Asst. Capt. - Geo. Grimm; Color bearer - A. Eckert Delegates to State Firemans Association: Carl H. Schmidt; Jacob Fleiegler; Protection Bucket Co.; Foreman - Jas. Philippen; 1st. Asst. - Carl Friecall; 2d. Asst. - Jas. Pfeffer; Sec'y. - Frank Schnorr; Treas. - Edw. Goetzler Manitowoc Pilot, Jan. 6, 1870

TWO RIVERS FIRE DEPARTMENT - Chief Engineer - E. Evans; 1st. Asst. - Franz F. Kaufmann; 2d. Asst. - Henry Vogt; Sec. - Bernham Richter; Treas. - H.G. Fischbein Monitor Engine No. 1: Foreman - Ernst Hammel; 1st. Ast. - Rich. Mueller; 2d. Ast. - Bernh Richter; Sec. - Mich. Maloy; Treas. - Rob't Suettinger; Hose Capt. - Aug. Weilep; Steward - Rob't Suellinger DEETER HOOK AND LADDER CO.: Foreman - C.H. Webster; 1st. Asst. - C. Kumbalick; 2d Asst. - H.G. Fischbein; Sec. - G.W. Kessmann; Treas. - Fred. Kaufmann Manitowoc Pilot, Jan. 6, 1870

At a regular meeting of Badger Engine Company No. 1, the following officers were elected: Chief Engineer - Fred Becker; First Asst. - Con Murphy; Second Asst. - Gerard Phillipen; Foreman - Hugh Morrison; 1st Assistant Foreman - Edward Conway; 2d Assistant Foreman - Jacob Peterson; Secretary - Quiring Ewen; Treasurer - Charles Luling; Steward - H.R. Sommer Manitowoc Pilot, Jan. 13, 1870


A regular meeting of Dexter Hook & Ladder Company will be held at the engine house on Thursday evening. A full attendance is desired. A. Baetz, Jr. Sec't. A.J. Hartung, Foreman. Manitowoc Co. Chronicle (Two Rivers), May 18, 1875


Two Rivers news: The new steam fire engiee (sic) purchased by the city, a short timn (sic) ago, was out for inspection and trial last Saturday, and gave universal satisfaction. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, October 4, 1881 P.1

Last Sunday evening about 7 o'clock smoke was seen issuing from Miss Gleason's dress making establishment and on investagation an oil stove on fire was discovered to be the cause, with rare presence of mind the persons present wrapped the stove in a carpet and carried it into the street and there the conflagration ended in smoke. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, October 4, 1881 P.4

Two Rivers news: B.F. Richter has been appointed Chief and Chris. Johannes Asst. Engineer of the new fire department. At a citizen's meeting held on last Tuesday evening a sufficient number of competent men signified their willingness to join the new organization, and there is no good reason why we should not have as effective a fire company as any other city of equal size in the state. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, October 11, 1881 P. 1

Thursday morning at about 11 o'clock, a fire, caused by a defective chimney broke out in Mr. Peterson's house on North Sixth street. The fire department was out promptly, and but little damage was done. Insurance fully covers the loss. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, October 18, 1881 P. 1

Warehouse Burned. Saturday morning at about 6 o'clock Platt's warehouse at the foot of North Main street was discovered to be on fire. The fire department was called out and promptly responded, but was unable to save all of the machinery stored in the warehouse. Two threshing machines belonging to Mr. Hanson were so much damaged as to be rendered useless. A second-hand clover-huller, in which the fire is said to have originated, was owned by Sedgwick and Forrest, and was completely destroyed. No insurance. There can be no doubt but that the fire was the work of some incendiary, and it is to be sincerely hoped that our authorities are possessed of sufficient detective ability to ferret out and bring to punishment the guilty scoundrel. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, October 25, 1881 P. 1

Our Fire Department. The semi-annual review of our fire department took place yesterday afternoon. The steamers and apparatus were in first-clas order. The new hook and ladder truck, for which the city pays $1,000 was the center of attraction. The truck contains four fine Babcock extinguishers, twelve buckets, axes, poles, hooks, chains, lanterns, patent adjustable ladders, and all the latest improvements. The following is a list of officers and members of the department; Wm. Stephane, chief engineer. Jos. Auermiller, chief's assistant. Steamer Co. No. 1.-Frank Zeman, foreman, Wenzel Schwaika, ass't., F. Zeman, Jr., sec., Wenzel Kautsky, treas., Wm. Eggan, Tos. Skura, Anton Reinegan, Fred Bulthaupt, Fred Hoffman, Henry Dedons, Jos. Pothola, August Deuno, Aug. Dusold, engineer, Anton Swatzena, fireman. Steamer No. 2.-John Handle, forem'n, Emil Borghart, ass't., Martin Meyer, sec., Charles Heingarten, treas., Wm. Chas. Friedl, Jos. Trustneck, Frank Foster, Jos. Pfeffer, Paul Preaderer, A. Luebke, Gus. Streich, Peter Weber, engineer, Ferd. Schultz, fireman. Hook and Lader Co. No. 1.-John Kessen, foreman, Sweney Howard, asst., Jos. Roxian, sec., Leo. Kadow, treas., Fred Groll, Wm. Groll, Gug. Groll, Benedict Herman, Oswald Herman, Fred Herman, Wm. Herman, Albert Erdman. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, November 1, 1881 P. 1

In giving the names of members of the fire department last week we omitted the name of one of the best and oldest members of that organization, namely W. Menge, the efficient foreman of the Nord Westen. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, November 8, 1881 P. 1

Two Rivers news: The reflection of a fire which was plainly seen on the lake one evening during the week by a number of our citizens, and which was supposed to be due to the burning of some craft on the lake, was caused, according to recent developments, by the burning of a saw mill in Grand Haven, Mich. A rumor which gained considerable currency the next day, to the effect that the reflection was caused by the burning of one of the Goodrich boats was happily unfounded. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, November 15, 1881 P. 1

Wednesday morning, about three o'clock, the fire-alarm was sounded. That barn on Buffalo street, belonging to N.B. Morse, was discovered to be on fire. It contained four horses, three cows, a carriage and cutter. Three of the horses were saved,the rest pperished in the flames. The three saved were found turned loose, which was undoubtedly done by the incendiary. Loss about $1,200, with little insurance. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, November 15, 1881 P. 1

The City Council has ordered the building of a high tower near the First Ward Engine House. It is to be used for drying hose and "fills a longfelt want." Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, November 15, 1881 P. 1

FIRE Some boys set fire to the long dry grass in the slough last Sunday. The punishment for burning marshes is a severe one. Under the statute it is imprisonment one year, or a fine not exceeding $500. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, November 29, 1881 P. 1


The following were elected officers of Steamer No. 1, at the last meeting: Foreman-Wenzel Kautsky; Assistant-Jos. Skura; Seccetary (sic)-F. Bulthaupt; Treasurer-W. Schwalkeer. The following officers of Steamer No. 2 were elected last Monday evening: Foreman-John Handl; Assistant-Emil Borchert; Secretary-Wm. Menge; Treasurer-Chas. Heingarten. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, January 10, 1882 P. 1


The Goodrich Transportation Co. have been victorious in the suit brought aginst them by parties in Green Bay to recover damages for property destroyed by fire, which it was alleged was caused by sparks from one of the steamers. The case was bitterly contested by both sides and occupied three weeks in the trial. Some of the ablest attorneys in the state were engaged. The case was a test case and had it gone against the Co. other suits to the amount of $200,000 would have been commenced. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, December 30, 1884 P.4


Kellnersville news: The Newhall House in Franklin was destroyed by fire on the night of Sept. 20th inst. Although a large crowd had assembled to trip the "light fantastic" all escaped uninjured. We hope the name will be changed when it is rebuilt. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, October 6, 1885 P.1

THE FIREMAN'S REVIEW. The review and inspection of the city fire department took place last Saturday afternoon. The apparatus was all clean and seemed to be in complete readiness for use. It was determined to test the new fire platform at the end of State street. It was quite a severe test as the water has to be lifted through the suction pipe to a distance of 20 feet. Engine No.1, failed to answer the test for some reason probably because her pumps required paeking (sic), but No. 2 when brought on the platform responded at once to all tests required and did excellent work. The new platform will be a great convenience and protection to a large area in case of fire in the 4th Ward. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, November 3, 1885 P.4

FIRE IN THE COUNTY ASYLUM. About eleven o'clock yesterday morning the fire bells sounded their alarm. There was tremendous excitement when the fire was found to be in the Asylum. Though the engines went out as quickly as possible, the fire was extinguished by use of the hand pumps by the superintendent and his aids before the city force reached the Asylum. The fire is said to have been started under one of the beds by an inmate of the Asylum. The promptness exhibited by the Superintendent in the emergency was highly creditable. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, November 17, 1885 P.4


Friday evening the alarm of fire was given and the dwelling belonging to Mrs. Whitney on fifth street was discovered to be in a blaze. Engine No. 1 was the only one in town. The flames had made considerable headway before the hose got in place but they were shortly put in subjection. The fire is supposed to have originated from the explosion of a lamp. Most of the furniture was saved. There was $500 insurance. The loss is between four and five hundred dollars. Manitowoc Lake Shore Times, Tuesday, September 14, 1886 P.1


The Water Work company has received a boiler which will be used to thaw out the hydrants, frozen by the recent cold wave. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Feb. 21, 1899 A fire alarm turned in from the North side about 7 o'clock last evening created all kinds of confusion. A burning chimney at corner of York and seventh was the cause. No damage. The South side hose cart took a run up South Main street, we suppose simply for exercise. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Apr. 18, 1899


HAS BOOK CONTAINING LIST OF OUR OLD TIME FIRE FIGHTERS JOS. AUERMILLER PRIZES AS HISTORIC ORIGINAL RECORDS OF THE OLD BADGER ENGINE COMPANY OF 1870 Old time residents of the city and even the younger generations will be interested in the history of a book retained as a souvenir of olden days by Joseph Auermiller of this city, at one time foreman of the old Manitowoc engine company. The book contains the list of members of Badger Engine company of Manitowoc and is prized by its owner as a relic of Manitowoc's olden days. This list of names will bring many memories to the minds of older residents. The roll as given to the Herald by Mr. Auermiller is as follows: Jonah Richards, Henry Mulholland, John Lantry, H. Morrison, H. Halverson, Cornelius Murphy, Job. Parworth, P. Sullivan, Thos. Robinson, Peter Johnston, Chas. Luling, August Dueno, C.C. Barnes, S. Sanderson, J.E. Platt, Homer Hill, Jas. Barry, Fred Seeger, Jacob Peterson, G.G. Dwyer, E.K. Rand, Aug. Grostueck, Anton Vogt, Christ Koebke, Chas. Franceway, Wm. Clement, Hy. Scherer, L. Schurr, H. R. Sommer, A. Michaelson, Jos. Thomas, Paul Leubner, Wm. Egan, Ed. Conway, G. Halverson, Nic Ley, L. Sander, Chas. Bock, M. Riplinger, Wenzel Kautzky, Miles McMahon, Lars Nelson, E. Holton, F. Baker, Thos. Thompson, F. Horn, A. Anderson, Thors. Knudson, H. Wilcox, F. Kostomistzky, Lars Olson, Mich. Doolan, Jos. Fulmer, John Sheahan, C.W. McCullon, F. Sorge, Hilge Gulicson, Hans Larson, J.C. Bolmeyer, Ed. Borcherdt and Jos. Auermiller. Manitowoc Daily Herald, May 24, 1915


FIRE CHIEF IS TO GET MOTOR RUNABOUT NOW Council Asks For Bids on 35 H.P. Runabout For Him Fire Chief J.H. Kratz is to have a benxine(sic) buggy for use in reaching fires. By unanimous vote the council last night called for bids on a runabout motor car of not less than 35-horse power, 106 inch wheel base, 2,000 pound weight and equipped with electric starter and lights. Some of the aldermen thought that the specifications were vague and should include provision for a chemical tank on the machine but the mayor and committee said that the specifications explained that the machine was wanted for the fire department and that bidders would understand, and predicted that the city would get 100 bids on the machine. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Jan. 18, 1916

FIRE TRUCK PROVES IT CAN GET THROUGH SNOW IN TEST CALL MADE BY ALD. SCHUETZE TODAY That the city's motor fire truck can get through the snow and is all right for winter service was demonstrated conclusively this afternoon when the truck made a run to Twenty-second and Hamilton street in less than six minutes, one-half the time a team would have required. Alderman Schuetze turned in the alarm and Alderman Smuggler who opposed the truck purchase because he thought it could not do service in snow drifts, was present and expressed complete satisfaction with the test. The alarm was sent in from Box 74. There was no fire. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Feb. 12, 1916

In city hall circles it is reported that the motor patrol for the police department is to get an adverse report and that bids will be rejected. The council took no action Wednesday night on the bids for a motor car for Chief Kratz of the fire department but Alderman Thorison of the fire and water committee said that a report would be ready at the next meeting. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Feb. 26, 1916

FIRE CHIEF TO GET AUTO, NO JOY RIDING IN CAR Chief J.H. Kratz is to have a motor vehicle for his own use. The council last night accepted the bid of Hall Bros. of $695 for an Overland car for the chief's use. That's not the end of the story, however. The council, after purchasing the machine, adopted a motion of dered (sic) by Alderman Smuggler directing that the car be painted red to conform to the apparatus of the department. And the end is not yet. It is said that the council, at its next session, will consider a resolution which will provide that the chief's car be not taken outside the city limits except in response to fire calls. The action is said to be prompted by a determination of the aldermen to prevent city machines being used for joy riding. Probably Alderman Bigel's fight to have the council purchase a heavier car for the chief may have been responsible for the attitude of the council. Bigel insisted that the car recommended by the committee was too light for heavy weather and snows and wanted a much heavier machine. He voted against the report. Bigel talked of a car costing $1,450 or more, but the council couldn't see it. Bids for a motor patrol for the police department were rejected and new bids will be called for. The police committee said that the department wanted a patrol that could also be utilized as an ambulance and that machines offered did not meet the requirements. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Mar. 7, 1916

Responding to a call from the North side, the fire department found the home of Fred Vetting, on Fourth street, between Park and State streets, ablaze from a defective chimney. The fire was soon extinguished with the chemical apparatus, but it was found necessary to remove the roof. Chief Kratz declared that he would take steps to condemn the.(sic) The call was entered at 12 o'clock, both the North and South side apparatus being called out. The actual damage was small, chemicals exclusively being used. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Mar. 17, 1916

From the Council Proceedings: Moved and carried to have fire chief's automobile painted red, all members present voting aye except Thorison. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Mar. 18, 1916

Fire Chief J.H. Kratz is at Milwaukee today on business. Chief Kratz expects to get a look at the run about machine which the council recently purchased for use of the department and which is being decorated in red as ordered by the council. The machine will probably be delivered in ten days or two weeks. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Mar. 22, 1916

While switching the new trailer into place in the South side station last Saturday night, after the run to box 15, Peter Bejzar (sic), a member of the force, was caught between the wheels of the trailer and the old fire engine and sustained three minor fractures to his ribs. He will be laid up for a few days. Manitowoc Daily Herald, Wednesday, May 31, 1916 P.2


MOVE OLD RIGS TO MAKE ROOM FOR BIG PUMPER Test of New Piece of Fire Fighting Equipment To Take Place Thursday Morning It was the passing of the old to make way for the march of progress at the No. 2 station of the fire department on Franklin street this afternoon. The old hose wagon, years ago horse drawn, later fitted with a draw bar to be hauled back of the motorized rigs was hauled away to the happy "hunting ground" on city property west of the depot, as was the old fire steamer, the last remnant of the early day fire fighting equipment of Manitowoc. They were moved to make room for the new Mack pumper, that arrived this afternoon from Milwaukee. An official test of the new peice of fire fighting equipment, that is added to the department, will be made Thursday morning starting at nine o'clock from the dock at the foot of South Sixth street. It will be conducted by Frnak Daniels, Milwuakee, head of the Wisconsin inspection bureau. This three hour test will demonstrate whether or not the pumper is all set to be out into commission. It is planned to put the new pumper into commission in the No. 2 house on Franklin street, along with the South Bend truck and the smaller chemical righ (sic), making no change in the north side station. There was no ceremony this afternoon, marking the removal of the two antiquated pieces of fire fighting equipment. The old steamer has been out of use for years. It is doubtful if it will bring anything but a small sum for junk. The hose wagon was used in case of emergency, to haul extra hose to a fire. Manitowoc Herald News, Wednesday, May 8, 1929 P.2