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1887-1900 1900-1909 1910-1919 1920-1929 1930-1939 1940-1949 1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1987


This is the original Preamble as copied from the first Darlington Fire Department secretaries' minute book dated April 1887.


Believing that no valuable interests of society can be successfully maintained without associated efforts and further believing that no association is perfect which has not regularly established rules and articles of government for its guidance. Therefore, we order more thoroughly to confederate for the protection of the houses and property, of our fellow citizens, from the devouring elements. We have banded together, and adopt the following constitution and by-laws for our government, which we mutually pledge ourselves to support.

April 1, 1887-Records show that on this date a roll call of men was taken and that it must have been voted to form some kind of a Fire Department. A Preamble was written up and 38 men pledged their support.

June 8, 1,887-The first meeting was called to order by Chief Driver. Sometime from the April roll call and this meeting, the Constitution and By-Laws were made up and voted on. At this meeting, two Companies were formed: Hook and Ladder and Hose Company.

The two Companies were requested to select suits and that each man would buy his own. It was also voted that a fine of $.15 would be charged to each fireman who was absent from meetings and for drills.

June 24, L887On motion, it was decided that each Company be responsible for their uniforms, the cost of which was Company #1 - $5.85 and Company#2- $5.75.

Also voted was to march in the July 4th parade, and the Department to have some entertainment. (I wonder what the entertainment was.)

Aug. 8, 1887-At this meeting, a committee was appointed to confer with the City Council in regards to locating a place for a Hose House.

A benefit dance was voted on and passed for August 28, 1887.

Nov. 7, 1887-The regular meeting was changed to the first Monday night of each month.

On a motion, Thanksgiving (Wednesday) night was voted on for the Annual Entertainment Night and Dance to follow.

An oyster supper would be held at the Hose House and a Dance at the Opera House.

March 6, 1888-At this meeting, the dues for membership in the Fire Department were lowered from $5.00 to s2.50.

April 19, 1888-This meeting was the Annual Meeting and the two things that came out of this meeting was the Fire Chief appointed a committee to draw up a map of the City and divide it into four wards.

Also a committee was appointed to establish a code of signals to be used to call the Department to fires, meetings and practice.

Over the four or five months to follow this meeting, the committees were changed a couple of times. No one could get the work done on the setting up of wards and the code for the fire bell.

(Remember there were no telephones and no electricity. It was not until March 15, 1897 that the Hose House got electricity.)

June 11, 1888-The foremen of each Company was ordered to take charge of the new coats, boots, hats and lanterns. They also voted to send some firemen to a tournament at Madison.

Voted to join the State Firemen Association for the sum of $3.00.

Feb. 4, 1889-We find in the minutes of this meeting that the insurance companies that covered the property in the City of Darlington paid the Firemen's Fund the 2 percent dues.

(The 2 percent dues now go to the State and are prorated back to the Fire Departments in the State. This money goes for training, equipment and etc.)

Oct. 7, 1889-At this meeting, it was decided to take part in unveiling of the soldier's monument. The men were ordered to buy white gloves and provide himself with a cane to be used in the parade. Monroe and Platteville Fire Departments were invited to come and be in the parade also. It was also voted to decorate the Hose House.

Nov. 4, 1889-Moved and carried that the Dance be on Thanksgiving Eve and that a charge of $1.00 be made. Supper would be extra.

March 7, 1890-It is not clear what happened to Chief Driver but a new Chief was voted into the Department. This man was a John O'Brien.

There was nothing of interest in the next three years, but on - March 8, 1893-The Department had a new Chief - Thomas Crow. Moved and carried that the Foreman of each Company appoint two (2) men to act as Fire Policeman at fires and two (2) men on Fire Patrol.

March 4, 1895-The fourth Chief to be voted in was Philip Lewis.

Dec 2, 1895-Report on Annual Dance Thanksgiving Eve:

Money taken in: Dance Tickets $135.00 Supper $48.50 - $183.50

New Fire Chief - W.D. Flanagan.

Names of Barlow, Westerman, Schreiter, Curry, O'Brien, Roy, Collins, Barnes, Procter, Martin, Howe, O'Nail, Swift are showing up in the minutes. The names do have some meaning, because they are names we hear now.

Disbursements: Music ..... $35.00 Extra .. .....23.00 Board 11.20 Hall ...... 10.00 Supper. 53.00 Telegraph ......50 Ticket Retd.. .. 1.00 $133.70

(It must have been in those days that the Band had to be put up over night.) March 15, 1897-Annual Meeting - Elected a new Chief Pat Torphy. A committee was appointed to attend meeting of the City Council and prevail on them to secure a number of chemical fire extinguishers'. A resolution was adopted asking the City to light the Hose House by electricity.

Bill of Sam Meyers for $.85 for neck ties for Department was presented and paid. (I wonder how many ties $.85 could buy.)

May 27,1898-Moved that the Chief appoint a committee of three to purchase a flag to be placed on the Hose House during the present war.

Bill to J. B. Roy for $5.30, this was for keys and some repair.

March 20, 1899 The new Chief is Sam Meyers'

Moved that the Chief and Foremen confer with the City and citizens to organize a Firemen's Band

History By Decade

1887-1900 1900-1909 1910-1919 1920-1929 1930-1939 1940-1949 1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1987