On Thursday, April 30, 1914, a small notice appeared in the Trenton
Evening Times, sandwiched between the obituary of a Princeton woman
and a report on civil unrest in the Dominican Republic. Despite its
obscurity, however, the one-paragraph news brief is significant because
it heralded the birth of the organization now known as Lawrence Road
Fire Co. The item read: Organization of the Eldridge Park Fire
Co. will be perfected at a meeting tomorrow evening at the Eldridge
Park school house. Plans for the proposed company were perfected at
a recent meeting when Stephen Ziegler was chosen temporary chairman
and Joseph Shropshire secretary.
The official minutes of that historic first meeting on Friday, May
1, 1914, read: Mr. Stephen Ziegler in the chair. Mr. Joseph
Shropshire acting secretary. The meeting was called for the purpose
of organizing a volunteer fire company for the benefit of Lawrence
Road and vicinity. After much discussion of the proposition, seventy-five
signified a willingness to form such an organization and they permanently
organized. The name Lawrence Volunteer Fire Association was unanimously
adopted.The following officers were nominated and elected. There being
no contest, the secretary was instructed to cast the ballot. They
were declared unanimously elected. Stephen Ziegler, president; John
H. Hutchins, vice president; Millwood Salt, recording secretary; Lambert
Smith, financial secretary; Charles H. Smith, treasurer; Alexander
K. Young, William Hendrickson and J.H. Darrah Sr., trustees. A motion
was adopted the president appoint the necessary committees. The following
committees were appointed. Constitution & Bylaws: John H. Hutchins,
Millwood Salt, John Hulse, Mr. Lindley, and Mr. Shaume. Building Site:
William Hendrickson, Lambert Smith and Albert Clark. Ways & Means:
Joseph Shropshire, Mr. H. Piggins, Ellis Housel, Alexander Young and
Paul Bobkest. Mr. Alexander Young made a proposition that he would
donate $25 towards the fund, providing nineteen others do likewise.
Mr. J.H. Darrah and Mr. Beddige made a like proposition. It was accepted
and the Ways & Means committee was instructed to work for seventeen
more. The meeting was adjourned until Friday, May 15, 1914.
On Saturday, May 2, 1914, the Trenton Evening Times published a report
that at the organization of the Lawrence Volunteer Fire Association
last night Stephen Ziegler was elected president and John Hutchins
vice president. The new organization was formed to ensure better fire
protection for residents of Eldridge Park and vicinity. It proposes
to purchase a chemical fire engine and erect a building to store it.
Mr. Alexander Young pledged $25 on condition more members be added
to the rolls in a short time.
Highlights from the minutes of the company meeting held on Friday,
May 15, 1914, include: The Ways & Means committee reported
that ten gentlemen have been secured to pledge $25 towards the equipment
fund. They also reported about 111 members have been secured up to
date. They reported that together with the membership fee and subscription
there was about $400 in sight for the fund. The Site & Location
committee reported they were not ready to make a definite report at
the time. They told of several sites they had considered and the matter
was discussed by the members in general, but no particular site was
recommended. A motion was adopted that this association should be
incorporated. The Board of Trustees was requested to carry out the
intent of the motion. A motion was adopted that the Ways & Means
committee should solicit honorary memberships of people living out
of the intended district of this association. John L. Brock gave an
interesting talk on chemical fire apparatus, their proper use and
gentleman also distributed a catalogue on fire apparatus, which gave
the members much enlightenment on the subject. There also appeared
an agent of the John Mandley Co., makers of hand fire extinguishers
and accessories. He gave the much needed valuable information on their
use and cost. A motion was adopted that the trustees gather facts
concerning fire apparatus that would be of good use to our fire association
and report at our next regular meeting. Mr. Weller made an offer to
donate a flag and pole when we have our headquarters built. A motion
was adopted that this association hold a strawberry festival and an
Entertainment committee be appointed. A motion was adopted that each
member ask their women folk to donate cakes to the festival and report
on their success at our next meeting.
During the meeting held on Friday, May 29, 1914, the Board of Trustees
reported they had gathered some information on fire apparatus.
They reported a 35-gallon tank could be had off the John Mandley Co.
for $300. They also reported Fire Chief James Bennett of Trenton recommended
the chemical apparatus of the S.F. Hayward Co. Mr. Schwartz, agent
of that company, appeared before the meeting and explained the working
of their apparatus. He quoted a price of $550 for the tank and $700
for two tanks complete. A motion was made we lay the matter over for
two weeks. The motion was amended that we give the trustees power
to act in buying an apparatus. The amendment carried 12 to 5. The
Building Site committee reported that a site could be secured from
Joseph Steinert with 55.5 feet on Lawrence Road at the corner of Wilson
Avenue on condition of the payment of $10 per year for five years,
and option of buying at any time on payment of $500. Motion was made
the trustees accept the offer. The Entertainment committee reported
they had almost all arrangements made for the strawberry festival.
About 1,000 tickets were reported sold. The trustees reported the
association was incorporated by Lawyer Wicoff. Motion adopted the
officers sign the incorporation papers.
The certificate of incorporation was signed on Wednesday, June 3,
1914, by Stephen Ziegler Sr., John T. Hutchins, Millwood Salt, Charles
H. Smith, Lambert H. Smith, Alexander K. Young, William L. Hendrickson,
and J. Henry Darrah. It reads: This is to certify that the undersigned
do hereby associate themselves into a corporation under and by virtue
of the provisions of an act of legislature of the State of New Jersey.
First, the name of this corporation is Lawrence Volunteer Fire Association.
Second, the purposes for which this corporation is formed are to protect
life and property from fire, particularly in the Township of Lawrence
in the County of Mercer in the State of New Jersey. Third, the location
of the principal office of this corporation is on the Lawrence Road
in the Township of Lawrence in the County of Mercer in the State of
New Jersey, and the name of the agent therein and in charge thereof
upon whom process may be served is Alexander K. Young. Fourth, the
number of trustees of this corporation is three. Fifth, the names
of the trustees selected for the first year of the existence of this
corporation are Alexander K. Young, William L. Hendrickson, and J.
Henry Darrah; the post office address of each being R.F.D. #4 Trenton,
New Jersey. The document bears the name of the Law Offices of
Wicoff and Lanning, 5 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey. It further
reads: Received in the Clerks Office of the County of
Mercer on the 4th day of June, AD 1914, at 3:45 oclock in the
afternoon, and recorded in Book J of Corporations for said county
on Page 15c. Signed George R. Robbins, Clerk.
Highlights from the minutes of the company meeting held on Friday,
June 12, 1914, include: Entertainment committee reported the
strawberry festival on June 1 was a financial success and they estimated
between $200 and $250 was made. They asked all who still hold tickets
to settle up as soon as possible. A rising vote of thanks was extended
to the ladies and all who assisted in making the festival a success.
The trustees reported that the incorporation papers were secured and
the lease for the building site was on file in the court house. They
reported they had done nothing definite in buying a fire apparatus.
A motion the trustees buy a 45-gallon tank was adopted. A motion the
president appoint a Building committee of five members was adopted.
The following were appointed: Joseph Shropshire, Ellis Housel, Harry
DeVaul, Clark Reed, and Mr. Chew. A bill of $10 for the building site
lease was ordered paid.
News of the fire companys first apparatus, a hand model, was
reported during the meeting held a week later on Friday, June 19,
1914. The Board of Trustees reported they had purchased a chemical
fire apparatus known as the Champion No. 10 (45-gallon tank) off of
the S.F. Hayward Co. The price paid was $375. The Building committee
reported that they had figured on a building 20-feet by 30-feet, sheeted
and weather-boarded and shingled roof, to cost about $310. Report
was received and the committee authorized to proceed with the building.
A motion by Elmer E. Locke inviting the ladies to form an auxiliary
to this association was adopted. The president appointed the following
to assist the ladies in organizing: Mr. Locke, William Weller and
Alexander Young. Motion was made by Mr. Locke this association conduct
a Harvest Home and a committee be appointed to make the arrangements.
The next meeting was held on Monday, July 6, 1914, in the Eldridge
Park school house. Highlights from the minutes include: Alexander
Young, reporting for the trustees, stated the apparatus had not yet
arrived. Joseph Shropshire reported progress on the Building committee.
Elmer Locke, chairman of coming Harvest Home, reported the ladies
have organized and they are doing excellent work in promoting the
undertaking. Under the head of new business, the following was transacted.
Motion made by Joseph Shropshire and duly seconded that the charter
be closed. Amendment by Mr. Locke and seconded by James Balaam that
the time limit be extended to August 1. Amendment was carried. The
matter of initiation was then brought before the meeting. A motion
was made by Alexander Young and duly seconded that the fee be $10.
An amendment by Mr. Balaam was offered making it $5. After much discussion,
the original motion was carried. Motion by Mr. Locke, seconded by
Harry DeVaul, was carried that any member becoming in arrears for
one years dues be denied use of the engine house. The election
of officers was laid over until the next meeting. By a motion of Alexander
Young, the Building committee was empowered to purchase locks and
50 keys for the new building. Also held during the meeting was
a discussion of locomotive tires being used as fire alarms. Mr.
Acroyd reported that engine tires could be purchased for $7 or $8
each. The secretary was instructed to communicate with the master
mechanic of the Pennsylvania Railroad shops concerning same.
The next meeting was the first to be held in the newly-built frame
firehouse. That fact is proudly recorded in the minutes: At
a regular meeting of the L.V.F.A. on July 13, 1914, in their headquarters
on the Lawrence Road, President Stephen Ziegler was in the chair.
The trustees reported that the building was being insured in the amount
of $800. The Building committee reported that they had gone as far
as the amount appropriated and would finish the building as soon as
possible. The Constitution & Bylaws committee presented
its work and a motion was made by Edward Whitehead and seconded
by Alexander Young that we adopt the constitution and bylaws as a
whole and discharge the committee with thanks. The motion carried
unanimously. The president called for nomination of the new officers
created by the constitution. Charles H. Smith was nominated chief;
Joseph Shropshire, foreman; and John Moulds, assistant foreman. Nominations
were closed. A motion was adopted that the secretary cast the ballot.
The president appointed Mr. Weller, John H. Hutchins, and Harry DeVaul
judges of the election. The ballot was cast and the above named officers
elected. A motion was made by Joseph Shropshire that a House committee
be appointed. Seconded by Edward Whitehead, the motion carried. The
president appointed the following: Harry DeVaul, James Ziegler and
Chester Fell. Committee was empowered to make suitable house rules.
A motion was made by Harry DeVaul and seconded by Edward Whitehead
the financial secretary sell the keys to the headquarters at 25 cents
each. A motion was made by Edward Whitehead, seconded by Alexander
Young, that a committee be appointed to ascertain from all those who
made donations of $5 or more whether they wanted to be active or honorary
members. The president appointed the following Membership committee:
John Hulse, Edward Whitehead and John Hutchins to work below the Eldridge
Park school on the Lawrence Road; Mr. Rickey and Mr. Skillman above
the school on the Lawrence Road; and Mr. Ringkamp and J. Vognet in
During the meeting held on Monday, August 3, 1914, the Board of Trustees
reported that the S.F. Hayward Co. informed that the fire apparatus
was shipped on July 27. John Hutchins and Edward Whitehead reporting
for the Membership committee said that they had secured several new
members and one donation of $5. They told of several who desired to
join but could not do so at this time and would later if some arrangements
could be made. Motion was made by Thomas Powner, seconded by Alexander
Young, that the time limit for becoming a member for $1 be extended
until out next regular meeting, the first Monday in September. Motion
was adopted. Joseph Shropshire, Building committee chairman, reported
they had practically finished the building and presented the following
bills: Samuel Heath Co. (lumber) $263.09; Weeder Co. (paint) $19.77;
and Conner Millworks $37.59. Motion was made by Edward Whitehead that
a committee be appointed to gather information concerning the New
Jersey State Volunteer Firemens Relief Association. A committee
was appointed to ascertain the cost of fire bells. A motion by Edward
Whitehead was adopted that a committee be appointed to attend the
meeting of the township council and urge the changing of the light
near Eldridge Avenue so it would be of advantage to the fire company.
Financial Secretary Lambert Smith reported there was $563.78 in the
During a special meeting held on Tuesday, August 11, 1914, Alexander
Young, chairman of the Board of Trustees, reported that the new fire
apparatus had arrived and he had secured all the necessary materials
to be used in the trial test of the new apparatus. The Building committee
reported that the bills for the material and lumber had been paid
and they turned $30 back to the treasury. This money represented the
rebate on the bills being paid. They showed that they had come within
the estimated cost of the building. A motion made by Elmer Locke that
the money turned back by the Building committee be reserved as a building
fund was adopted. The Firemens Relief committee reported they
had received a communication from Mr. Gatz, secretary of the state
Among the business attended to during another special meeting held
on Friday, August 21, 1914, it was regularly moved and seconded
that we accept the donation of a bell by William Hendrickson to the
fire company. The motion was carried.
The bill for the new fire apparatus, $375 to John L. Brock, was ordered
paid during the meeting held on Monday, September 7, 1914. Also during
the meeting the trustees reported that the firehouse and its furnishings
had been insured for $900. A resolution, which had been sent to the
widow of a recently deceased member, was then recorded in the minutes
of the meeting. The resolution read in part: Whereas it has
come to our notice that the grim reaper has taken from our midst one
of our beloved brother members, Theodore Weaver, and whereas we feel
that we have lost an earnest worker and a true friend, therefore be
it resolved that we do hereby extend out heartfelt sympathy to the
widow and family of our deceased brother in this hour of their deepest
sorrow, and that the engine house be draped in mourning for the space
of one week out of respect to the memory of our late brother.
During the meeting held on Monday, October 5, 1914, Chief Charles
H. Smith reported that he had made arrangements to secure the fire
alarms. It was regularly moved and seconded that the chief and his
assistants be empowered to place the fire alarms. The Furniture committee
reported that they could secure six tables and 12 chairs for $22.50.
A motion was adopted they buy the tables and chairs. It was regularly
moved and seconded that a sinking fund be created under the supervision
of the trustees and that $200 be placed in it at the present and $100
a year thereafter to pay for the building site. It was regularly moved
and seconded the House committee secure the necessary coal for heating
the headquarters. The Entertainment committee reported that they had
secured games for the use of the members. They also reported that
the Ladies Auxiliary desired permission to hold an entertainment in
the headquarters on Halloween evening and also desired the association
to take part. Regularly moved and seconded that we spend $5 for the
tuning of the piano.
Highlights from the minutes of the company meeting held on Monday,
October 19, 1914, include: Chief Charles H. Smith reported that
he had been given to understand that the order for scrap (locomotive)
tires had to be sent to the railroad headquarters in Philadelphia.
The secretary was instructed to attend to the matter. The Entertainment
committee reported they had met with the Ladies Auxiliary and decided
to hold an entertainment on Halloween eve. After quite some discussion,
it was moved and seconded that there be no admission charge but we
have coffee and sandwiches and other refreshments for sale. The resignation
of Millwood Salt was read and accepted, and Edward Whitehead was elected
to fill the term of recording secretary. John Hulse stated the Entertainment
committee was going to conduct a quoit tournament for the members
starting on the first Thursday in November. Some of our junior members
asked for the privilege of parading in the Masquerade Carnival on
October 30 under the auspices of the associations name. The
request was granted.
During the next meeting held on Monday, November 2, 1914, Chief Charles
H. Smith reported that he had been to the shops and got the
locomotive tires and he and the assistant chiefs wanted to know what
they were to do about having them put up. They were instructed to
hire help to put them up if necessary. Harry DeVaul reported the House
committee had purchased cigars and had them for sale. He also asked
what the members thought about having a voluntary contribution box
placed in the firehouse to help pay for the lights (electricity).
After some little discussion, it was decided not to, since some thought
it might be a means of keeping some of the members away. Elliot Poole
suggested we hold a eucher once a month. It was referred to the Entertainment
At the meeting held on Monday, November 16, 1914, Chief Charles
H. Smith reported he had secured three tires from the Pennsylvania
Railroad shops to be used for fire alarms and left one on Fairfield
Avenue, one in Eldridge Park and one up the road by Mr. Skillmans
place, but had as yet been unable to put them up. But he and the two
assistant chiefs would attend to that part of it as soon as possible.
The House committee reported Harry DeVaul had built a coal box. The
committee was authorized to order coal and wood as needed. J.H. Darrah
offered to give a load of wood and Charles H. Smith offered to haul
the same. Harry DeVaul stated the Ladies Auxiliary would like to hold
an oyster supper but had no place to cook in. He stated that if the
association would buy the lumber, he would volunteer to see that a
kitchen, 10-feet by 20-feet, was built and the same would only cost
about $25 as he had an offer from Mr. Goulding for enough tin for
the roof. Harry DeVaul was empowered to purchase the necessary lumber
and have same built. J.H.
stated the trustees had discussed the question of the financial secretary
sending out notices to delinquent members and thought the secretary
ought to be paid for his services. A motion was made the financial
secretary be required to send out quarterly statements and be paid
a yearly salary of $12 and the yearly salary of the recording secretary
be fixed at $6. The secretary then read the resignation of Alexander
Young as trustee. On motion, the same was accepted with regrets and
a vote of thanks tendered for his services rendered. Thomas Powner
was elected to fill the unexpired term. Chief Charles H. Smith then
asked what the limits of the fire district were and the following
limits were agreed upon: from the city line to Mr. Risleys,
south to north, and from the Princeton Road to the Johnson trolley
line, east to west. Stephen Ziegler then stated that he and several
other citizens had called a meeting in the firehouse last Wednesday
night to protest against a certain party building out too near the
road on the Eldridge estate and asked for the privilege of the use
of the firehouse for purpose of forming a civic club. On motion, his
action was sustained and his request granted.
During the meeting held on Monday, December 7, 1914, 1st Assistant
Chief Joseph Shropshire reported that two of the fire alarms had been
placed one on Fairfield Avenue and one on Eldridge Avenue.
The other one would be put up this coming week if possible.
It was reported that about $612.50 was made during the Harvest Home
fundraiser held in August. Joseph Shropshire moved to reconsider
the motion passed at out last meeting fixing the secretaries
salaries. The motion was seconded by John Moulds. John Hulse stated
there was quite some kicking amongst the members about paying the
secretaries until the association was better fixed financially. Charles
Crozer stated he thought we ought to pay our secretaries but he thought
the recording secretary ought to get as much as the financial secretary.
He said we ought not to take notice of any members complaining if
they did not see fit to come to meetings. The matter was laid over
until the night of the election of officers. The question will be
made a special order of business prior to the election. The question
of having the bylaws framed and hung was discussed and the president
appointed John Hulse to attend to it.
Lawrence Roads annual tradition of holding an open house on
January 1st was brought up for the first time during the final meeting
of 1914, which was held on Monday, December 21. During the meeting
the question of holding an open house on New Years Day
was discussed and it was agreed that we hold an all-day open house
and that the expenses be defrayed by voluntary contribution. It was
decided to try out our fire alarms on New Years Eve and the
secretary instructed to notify Slackwood Fire Co. so they would not
mistake it for an alarm of fire. On a motion, the Building committee
was instructed to go ahead and finish the kitchen.
During the first meeting of 1915, held on Monday, January 4, the Building
committee reported that they were trying to get the kitchen finished
as soon as possible. Under unfinished business, the question of reconsidering
the secretaries salaries was taken up and lost by a vote of
4 in favor to 15 against.
of administrative and fire line officers were then held. The
financial secretary reported he had received a donation of $10 from
William Conover Brearley. The president gave a few interesting remarks
in which he asked for the hearty cooperation of the members with the
officers and, while we had done very well since we organized, he thought
we could accomplish still more this coming year and he hoped every
member would work for the success of the company.
On Wednesday, February 10, 1915, members of the Lawrence Volunteer
Fire Association responded to their very first alarm.
Trenton Evening Times published this account of the blaze on the following
day, Thursday, February 11, 1915: Part of the dwelling of Mary
Condy at Eldridge Park was destroyed last evening when fire wiped
out the kitchen and the room above. The damage amounted to about $700.
The Lawrence Road and Slackwood fire departments were summoned and
succeeded, after a hard struggle, in saving the remainder of the home.
The dwelling was a two-story frame and the flames are said to have
originated in an overheated range in the kitchen. Practically all
of the house furnishings were saved by the firemen.
Chief Charles H. Smith submitted the following letter during the meeting
held on Monday, March 1, 1915. To the officers and members of
Lawrence Volunteer Fire Association: Gentlemen, in giving you a report
of the fire which occurred in Eldridge Park on February 10, I will
say that we responded promptly to the alarm given and soon had under
control a fire which had gained considerable headway for which
I think we are entitled to some credit even though the house burned
down later, which was no fault of ours. And I wish to thank the members
for the loyal support given me. This being our first call it gives
us some experience with our engine, which worked very satisfactory.
Where water is nearby, it can be re-filled in a very short space of
time and for nearby property it makes a very efficient machine. In
order that the active members may become more familiar with the engine,
I would suggest that we have a tryout at some prearranged time and
place, say in the vicinity of Fairfield Avenue. In this way, we can
gain experience and have better discipline. In conclusion, I will
suggest that the secretary be instructed to write a letter to Slackwood
Volunteer Fire Co. thanking them for their kind assistance at the
recent fire in our vicinity. I remain your obedient chief, Charles
business attended to during the meeting of March 1, 1915, included:
Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones of the school board asked if the fire
company would rent the firehouse for the balance of the school year
as the board was (lacking) room for the small children. The request
was granted. Motion was made we ask $15 per month. Amendment was made
we ask $20. Amendment carried. Alexander Young asked what constituted
an honorary membership, as both Mr. Beddige and Mr. Opdyke had received
notices for dues. Lambert Smith stated he had sent out notices to
all members as he did not know who wanted to become an honorary member.
He said any who did not respond and had paid $5 or more would be considered
an honorary member and recorded as such. On motion, the president
and chief were instructed to select a design for a badge so those
members who wished might order one.
Discussion about a pool table apparently dominated the next meeting,
according to the minutes recorded on Monday, April 5, 1915. It
was stated that Chief Charles Smith was willing to loan the Entertainment
committee $60 if some of the members were willing to give a note of
security. The following members offered to endorse a note for six
months: Stephen Ziegler Sr., James Balaam, Harry Sohl, Joseph Murray,
and Edward Whitehead. On a motion the Entertainment committee was
empowered to purchase and have installed in the firehouse the pool
table in question. The committee and those going security will have
control of same until it is paid for, after which it will be turned
over to the fire company as their property.
A special meeting was held on Wednesday, April 14, 1915, to decide
whether we should celebrate our first anniversary, as there
seemed to be a desire on the part of some of our members to celebrate
the event. After some discussion, it was decided to hold a celebration
and charge those who wished to come 50 cents each. It was decided
to hold it at the firehouse on May 1 starting 1 p.m.
During the next meeting held on Monday, May 3, 1915, the Entertainment
committee reported that they had purchased the pool table and the
Anniversary committee reported that the affair on May 1 had been a
success. Also, the question of our membership fee of $10 was
discussed at some length. Many of the members thought it was too high
as there were new residents coming into the neighborhood all the time
who thought that our membership fee was too high. The following resolution
was then offered by Edward Whitehead: whereas the fee of $10 for new
active members seems too high, be it resolved that we suspend our
bylaws and open our charter for three months and we receive new active
members for a fee of $2 until August 2, 1915. On motion, resolution
was adopted. Discussion was then held about holding another
strawberry festival and a committee was appointed to attend to the
During the meeting held on Monday, June 7, 1915, President Stephen
Ziegler Sr. stated that on Saturday, June 5, he called up the
chairman of the trustees and found that on that date there was a payment
of $10 due for ground rent and no provision had been made to pay the
same. Whereupon he called up Joseph Steinert and asked him if he would
waive the payment of the $10 for a few days, providing we could pay
the purchase price outright on or before June 10. Joseph Steinert
said he would and was willing to sign an agreement to that effect.
Stephen Ziegler and the secretary then went to Joseph Steinerts
place of business on Saturday at noon and had him sign said agreement.
The president then stated that with what money there was in the hands
of the trustees and the treasurer and the proceeds from the strawberry
festival he thought we could very nearly raise the $500 required,
especially since he had learned the Ladies Auxiliary had $50 which
they wished to turn over to the fire company for that purpose. Alexander
Young then stated that if we were short he would loan the company
$50. Charles Crozer then offered to assume the payment of any of the
festival bills we might be unable to pay and would loan us the money
for three months. The president was then given a rising vote of thanks
for his alertness in looking after the interests of the association.
The trustees were instructed to see that the purchase price of the
lot was paid on or about June 10 and to have the same recorded. The
trustees reported they had placed $200 in the First National Bank.
On motion by Edward Whitehead, the financial secretary was instructed
to write to the tax collector and ascertain if all volunteer firemen
were exempt from the poll tax. The question of holding a three-day
carnival was then discussed at some length, after which a committee
The minutes of the meeting held on Monday, August 2, 1915, show that
President Stephen Ziegler Sr. reported that he and William Hendrickson
had paid Joseph Steinert the $500 on the lot. Financial Secretary
Lambert Smith reported he had made inquiry about the poll tax and
found that only those belonging to the Exempt Firemens Association
were entitled to exemption. The secretary read a letter from the Slackwood
Fire Co. thanking us for the good time shown them on the occasion
of presenting them with the horn won by their baseball team. On motion,
the rule pertaining to our regular initiation fee of $10 was suspended
until another meeting.
During the meeting held on Monday, October 4, 1915, Mr. Schwartz
of the S.F. Hayward Co. was introduced. He stated he understood we
were in the market for a motor apparatus. He displayed a circular
showing a two 25-gallon tank apparatus mounted on a Ford chassis,
which he offered to us for $1,250. Or, if we wished, the firm would
furnish us with two 35-gallon tanks ready to mount including hose
basket, 150 feet of hose and other equipment for $600. He offered
to allow us $200 for our hand machine and allow freight charges. The
secretary read an invitation from the Slackwood Fire Co. to spend
a social evening with them on October 13. On motion, same was accepted.
On motion, the law fixing the initiation fee was suspended for one
month longer. President Stephen Ziegler reported he had got 25 more
badges and any member wishing same could get them from the financial
secretary for 50 cents each. The secretary was instructed to invite
the officers and tug-of-war teams of Lawrenceville Fire Co. and Mercer
Fire Co. of Princeton to attend a special meeting at our firehouse
on Oct. 15 at which time we would present the respective teams with
the loving cup and fire horn won at our carnival. The Entertainment
committee was instructed to get such refreshment for the occasion
as they saw fit.
At the meeting held on Monday, November 1, 1915, the secretary
read an invitation from Mercer Fire Co. of Princeton for our officers
or a delegation to spend a social hour with them on Friday, November
5. On motion, the invitation was accepted. The committee to entertain
Lawrenceville and Princeton firemen on October 15 on the occasion
of presenting them with the trophies won at our carnival reported
a very successful and pleasant evening.
During the meeting held on Monday, December 6, 1915, a resolution
marking the death of Elmer E. Locke was read into the minutes. In
his honor, the firehouse was draped in mourning for 10 days. Also
during the meeting, Harry Sohl reported the pool table was paid
for and would be turned over to the fire company on the first of the
year. Mr. Ziegler asked for the loan of tables and benches for the
Eldridge Park Sunday School bazaar. On motion, the request was granted.
Motion was made the salaries of the recording secretary and the financial
secretary be fixed at $6 per year for faithful performance of duty.
Motion carried. A motion was offered changing the regular meeting
night from the first Monday to the second Monday of the month. Same
was laid over for a second reading. We then went into the nomination
of officers for the coming year. The following nominations were made.
President: Stephen Ziegler Sr., James Balaam, and Edward J. Whitehead.
Vice President: Harry Sohl. Recording Secretary: Edward J. Whitehead
and James Ziegler. Financial Secretary: James Balaam. Treasurer: Charles
H. Smith. Chief: Charles H. Smith, Harry Sohl, and Joseph Shropshire.
1st Assistant Chief: James Balaam and John Moulds. 2nd Assistant Chief:
James Ziegler, John Moulds, Arthur Poole, Hiram Weller, Irving P.
Wolfinger, and Joseph Murray. Trustees: J.H. Darrah Sr., John L. Brock,
Joseph Murray, Thomas DeCou, Stephen Ziegler, William Weller, and
Godfrey Slover. Charles H. Crozer then offered his resignation as
trustee, stating he was unable to attend meetings in the summer months.
On motion, the resignation was accepted.
Officers were elected during the first meeting of 1916, held on Monday,
January 3. Also during the meeting, the resolution changing
the regular meeting from the first to the second Monday of each month
was passed. The secretary read a letter asking for information about
an auto engine or new tanks from the S.F. Hayward Co. The secretary
was instructed to say we were not yet ready to buy. Edward Whitehead
suggested the association purchase four hand extinguishers, one to
be located at each of the fire alarm stations and one in the engine
house. On motion, the matter was laid over and the secretary instructed
to inquire about prices. President Stephen Ziegler, in a few well
chosen remarks, thanked the members for the honor of re-election and
their confidence and suggested a more progressive and efficient policy
of the officers and members in the coming year. The question of apparatus
and new and larger quarters was discussed at some length. The opinion
of those present seemed to favor a new firehouse and the following
committee was appointed to inquire into the possible cost of a suitable
building: Joseph Shropshire, Thomas DeCou, and Andrew Heck. After
discussing the question of the township committee putting the proposition
of the purchase of a fire apparatus up to the voters of the district,
the president appointed Thomas DeCou, Edward Whitehead and Joseph
Shropshire to lay the matter before the township committee at their
next meeting. The question of our joining the state Firemens
Relief Association was then taken up for discussion. President Stephen
Ziegler stated he thought he could get Mr. Frank Wright of the Rusling
Hose Co. to explain the details and benefits to be derived from same.
A special meeting was called for Monday, January 10, to discuss the
proposition and the president instructed to extend an invitation to
Mr. Wright to be present.
January 10, 1916
During the special meeting held on Monday, January 10, 1916, the
question of having a fire kept to warm the building for the winter
months was discussed and the House committee was empowered to hire
someone at $1 per week for the balance of the winter. Secretary Edward
Whitehead stated he found we could get 3-gallon extinguishers for
a low as $6.75 each up to $17. On motion, the secretary and president
were empowered to purchase four suitable extinguishers, providing
they had the approval of the National Board of Underwriters, and have
one placed at or near each of the fire alarms and one in the firehouse.
Mr. Frank Wright and two other gentlemen from the Rusling Hose Co.
were then introduced and Mr. Wright proceeded to explain the workings
of and the benefits of the state Firemens Relief Association.
He said the fee to join was about $25. After that, the local relief
was self-sustaining. The funds of the association are derived from
a tax levied upon all foreign or non-resident insurance companies
by the state of 2 percent of all premiums or policies written by said
companies within the state. When asked if each company in the township
could form its own relief association, he said yes and it was advisable
to do so for then each company got a share of the June dividend each
year, whereas if our companies were all in one relief we would only
get one share. But to get into the association we would be compelled
to get recognition from the township committee and have a given fire
district or area, and receive some sort of aid from the township committee.
Mr. Wright explained that each local relief association was compelled
to make an annual report to the state of all moneys received and expended
and how. No local could spend more than 10 percent of its receipts
for salaries, etc. On motion, Mr. Wright was given a rising vote of
thanks for his courteous and valuable information. A committee consisting
of J.H. Darrah Sr., Harry Sohl, and Charles H. Smith were appointed
to inquire into the advisability of our joining the state Firemens
Minutes from next meeting, dated Thursday, February 10, 1916, show
that Edward Whitehead and Thomas DeCou reported that the committee
went before the township in reference to the fire districts, and Slackwood,
Lawrenceville and our committee had finally agreed upon a division
of territory to be covered by each company respectively. They reported
that the township committee will meet in special session on February
26 to pass a resolution entering into an agreement with the companies
for municipal support and to confirm a member (presumably the chief)
of each company to have control and supervision of any funds appropriated
thus giving us official recognition and enabling us to become
affiliated with the state Firemens Relief Association. On motion,
the report was received and the committee continued. The secretary
was instructed to write to the secretary of the state relief association
asking for application blanks and general information. Also
during the meeting, a bill for four fire extinguishers, $6.75 each,
was ordered paid.
During a special meeting held on Monday, February 28, 1916, the
committee to go before the township to get official recognition and
have a fire zone established reported that the township committee
entered into a contract with our president and secretary to pay our
fire association the sum of $5 to do public fire duty for one year
and set apart the following territory to be known as Fire District
2. The agreement with the township stated, in part, as follows:
and be it further agreed that in particular the said fire
company shall do public fire duty with special reference to the territory
in said township described as: beginning at the junction of Princeton
Avenue and Shabakunk Creek, thence westerly along said creek to the
township line, thence from the township line to the Ewing Road, thence
from the Ewing Road and Bunker Hill Road in a northerly course to
the southerly branch of the Five Mile Run, thence along same Five
Mile Run in an easterly direction to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Traction Co., thence northerly along said trolley line to Denows
Farm, thence in an easterly direction by Denows line and southerly
Bromley line of the farm held by the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville
to the center of the Five Mile Run, thence by course of Five Mile
Run to the center of Princeton Road, thence by a southerly direction
by center of Princeton Road to place of beginning. Dated February
26, 1916. The meeting then adjourned for the purpose of
allowing those members present to organize a firemens relief
Highlights from the minutes of the company meeting held on Monday,
March 13, 1916, include: The trustees reported they had deposited
$850 in the Trenton Trust and Safe Deposit Co. The Relief committee
reported progress. The secretary read a letter from C. Bainbridge
offering to drill a well free of charge provided we pay for moving
his machine and buy the necessary pipe off him. Edward Whitehead reported
Mr. Tilton of Ewing had offered to drill 50 feet of well for us free
of charge and the balance at $1.50 per foot if needed, and would sell
us the necessary pipe at the prevailing market price. On motion, the
secretary was instructed to write and ask Mr. Tilton for a detailed
statement. Edward Whitehead stated 2nd Assistant Chief Irving P. Wolfinger
was working nights and was unable to attend meetings but was willing
to perform his duties in the daytime if needed or would resign his
office if the members thought he ought to do so. On motion, he was
excused from attending the meetings and retained his office. On motion,
the chief and his assistants were instructed to place the four fire
extinguishers at or near the fire alarm stations and get a receipt
or agreement signed by the parties having charge of same agreeing
to return same if called upon to do so. A bill for $30 for the
relief association was ordered paid.
During the meeting held on Monday, April 10, 1916, the secretary
read a letter from the agents of American LaFrance Co. in which they
offered to sell us a two 25-gallon tank Ford fire apparatus for $1,250,
and allow us $250 for our hand-drawn apparatus and allow us one year
in which to pay for the auto machine. On motion, the secretary was
instructed to write and say we did not care to entertain the proposition
at this time. The question of holding a strawberry festival was discussed
and on motion it was agreed to give way this year in favor of the
new church people. The time limit for new members for the $2 fee was
extended to August 1.
Highlights from the minutes of the company meeting held on Monday,
September 11, 1916, include: Stephen Ziegler Sr. reported he
had a sample regulation fire cap, which could be purchased from Harry
Harold for $1.40 each if any of the members wished to have one. On
motion, the matter was laid over. Under the head of new business,
the question of purchasing a new fire apparatus was discussed. On
motion, the following were appointed as a committee to act in conjunction
with the trustees and President Ziegler to inquire about apparatus
and report at out next meeting: Edward Whitehead, Harry Sohl, Arthur
Poole, James Balaam, Thomas DeCou, Godfrey Slover, and William Sharp.
On motion, it was decided that any expenses incurred by the committee
will be borne by the company.
During the meeting held on Monday, October 9, 1916, Edward Whitehead
of the Apparatus committee reported that the committee met on September
23 with representatives of the Stewart Truck Co., the Jeffrey Auto
Truck Co., the Republic Truck Co., and the Auto Car Co. The prices
for same were quoted as: the Stewart 1.25-ton, 4-cylinder chassis
for $1,425, and with electric lights and starter for $1,550; the Jeffrey
1.5-ton, 4-cylinder chassis with electric lights and starter for $1,465;
the Republic 1-ton chassis for $1,275, with $50 added for 4-cylinder
freight; the Auto Car 2-ton, 2-cylinder chassis for $1,650. Upon being
asked what they thought of the merits of the different cars shown,
eight out of 10 members on the committee expressed themselves as being
in favor of the Jeffrey truck. John Brock stated while the committee
was pretty unanimous in favor of the Jeffrey truck, he thought the
committee might do well to further consider the merits of the Auto
Car and, if they wished, he would take them to Yardley, Pa., on Saturday
and arrange for a demonstration of the Auto fire apparatus in that
place. On motion, Mr. Brocks invitation was accepted for Saturday,
October 14. The committee also reported they were making inquiry as
to the cost of equipment but were unable to report on that yet. The
trustees reported receipt of a bill from Mr. Tilton for $33.50 for
installing the pump but as same did not seem satisfactory the bill
was laid over and the trustees instructed to have Mr. Tilton attend
to same. Mr. E.E. Reed, a trustee of the Lawrence Road Chapel, asked
we appoint a committee to confer with the chapels trustees to
see if there could be a deal made in reference to purchasing the corner
lot from the fire company as the church people were very desirous
to acquire the same if both parties could agree upon a price.
The minutes of a special meeting held on Monday, October 23, 1916,
show that Edward Whitehead, chairman of the Apparatus committee, made
the following report. Gentlemen, we have carefully gone over
each and every proposition submitted to us for consideration by the
various firms and agents dealing in fire apparatus and auto trucks
and the following prices were submitted by the firms: the Service
Truck Co. of Wabash, Indiana, 1.5-ton chassis for $1,950, or tanks
and equipment without the body for $900, or a total of $2,850; a 2-ton
Auto Car chassis, offered by John Brock, for $1,640, or fully equipped
for $2,640; the Stewart 1.25-ton truck for $1,425, or equipped with
two 35-gallon steel tanks and (incomplete) accessories for $2,325;
the Reo 2-ton chassis for $1,500, or fully equipped and ready for
service for $3,100; the Republic 1.5-ton chassis for $1,315, or 2-ton
for $1,725, with no estimate on equipment; and the Jeffrey Truck Co.
1.5-ton chassis for $1,465, less a $50 donation to the fire company
for a total of $1,415. James Boyd and Brothers of Philadelphia offer
a two 40-gallon air compression and curved steel body outfit complete
in every way (except search light), finished and mounted on chassis,
for $1,315. Peter Pirsch Co. of Kewanah, Michigan, offers us a body
and equipment with two 35-gallon steel tanks ready to mount for $1,215.
(The Boyd Co. offers similar equipment for $875.) S.F. Hayward Co.
of Philadelphia offers to furnish us with two 35-gallon copper tanks,
by-pass, 200 feet of hose, two extra acid holders, two ladders, two
lanterns, one axe, one crow bar, one 10-inch fire bell and brackets,
and two fire extinguishers and holders for $585.25. We, your committee,
after carefully going over the different propositions and seeing the
different trucks explained and demonstrated, feel justified in recommending
to you that the fire association purchase the Jeffrey 1.5-ton chassis
and the Boyd equipment consisting of two 40-gallon Kanawah tanks with
the compressed air and soda and alum system, curved side steel body,
and other equipment specified, the total cost of which would be $2,730.
We also recommend that the balance of the money needed be raised upon
a one-year note bearing 6 percent interest. Six members of our committee
have expressed a willingness to endorse a standard security for same.
John Hutchins made a motion that the recommendation of the committee
be concurred in and the committee give full power to act in the matter.
Alexander Young seconded the motion. President Stephen Ziegler asked
if there was anyone who wished to ask any questions or make any remarks
before the question was put. There being none, the question was put
and carried without a dissenting vote.
business attended to during the special meeting held on October 23,
1916, included: Harry Sohl of the Lot committee reported the
committee met and the only proposition offered was we sell the church
people our lot and they would give us 50 feet off the bottom of their
lot as part payment and we move the firehouse back on the side street.
Mr. Ziegler suggested that all who were in favor of that proposition
stand up. When about seven members stood up in favor, those opposed
where in the majority. Edward Whitehead stated that if the church
people could offer the fire company a suitable lot on the front road
he, for one, would be willing to consider the proposition. J.H. Darrah
stated there was a lot, 50-feet by 110-feet, on the opposite side
of the road that could be bought for $450. On motion, the matter was
referred back to the committee. Mr. Balaam stated that the township
committee had been requested to replace the light opposite the firehouse
back on the corner of Eldridge Avenue but would not do so without
the consent of the fire company. On motion, the secretary was instructed
to communicate our willingness to accede to the request.
Although it is not clearly marked as such in the companys minutes,
what was probably the second fire in the history of Lawrence Road
Fire Co. occurred on Tuesday, November 7, 1916. The blaze is documented
in the minutes of the meeting held on Monday, November 13, 1916: 2nd
Assistant Chief Irving P. Wolfinger reported an alarm of fire on November
7 in the afternoon, with Harvey Butterfoss, P. Ziegler, Edward J.
Whitehead, and Wolfinger responding. It was only a brush fire, with
no damage done and no need to use the apparatus. He asked that a vote
of thanks be extended to Mr. Wiseman and Mr. John Bayce for taking
the apparatus to and from the scene of the fire. On motion, report
was received and request complied with.
on November 7, 1916, the Apparatus committee reported John Brock
had submitted a bid of $2,700 for an Auto Car equipped with Boyd Kanawah
tanks, but the committee was unanimously in favor of the Jeffrey truck
with Boyd tank equipment. They reported the truck had been ordered
and $250 paid on same. The Apparatus committee also reported
there was a misunderstanding with the Boyd Co. about their equipment
bid, but reported they hoped to have the matter straightened
out in a few days, after which they would be able to complete arrangements
for early delivery. The trustees reported the (well) pump
was alright and the $33.50 bill for same was ordered paid.
The final meeting of 1916 was held on Monday, December 11. During
the meeting, the Apparatus committee reported they had been
held up on account of the Boyd firm refusing to furnish the two Kanawah
tanks at the price agreed upon, and the committee had met and agreed
to let Mr. Wallace Hough, purchasing agent for the Trenton Department
of Public Safety, order us two copper Holloway tanks which he thought
he could get us for $500 if bought soon, whereas the same tanks from
the S.F. Hayward Co. would cost $600. On motion, the committee was
instructed to go ahead and let Mr. Hough order same and have them
shipped to Fitzgibbon and Crisp Co. for mounting. Edward Whitehead
reported Stephen Ziegler and himself had asked young Mr. Cook of the
Acme Rubber Co. for a donation of hose for our new engine and he and
his father had very generously donated to us 200 feet of 3/4-inch
chemical hose. On motion, the secretary was instructed to convey to
the gentlemen our sincere thanks for so generous a donation. On motion
by James Balaam it was decided we have a roster of members hung in
the firehouse and only those members in good standing appear in same.
The question of holding an open house on New Years Day was discussed
and a committee appointed. Nominations for officers for the
coming year were held during the meeting.