Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Pelhamwood Fire Patrol No. 1 Founded in 1922


During the early 1920s, the little neighborhood of Pelhamwood had a one-man fire department.  His name was Jack Carroll.  

Truth be told, it was not a formal fire department.  In reality, Jack Carroll of Young Avenue was the only resident of Pelhamwood who served in the local fire department in Fire District No. 1.  He was a member of Liberty Engine & Hose Company No. 1.  His neighbors in Pelhamwood jokingly referred to him as the local one-man fire department.  The neighborhood "joke," however, seemed to mask a deep-seated concern that Pelhamwood had no formal fire-fighting organization.

Jack Carroll was proud of his fire service and his department.  In May or June of 1922, he suggested to Pelham Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy (who also lived in Pelhamwood) that a specialized fire company be recruited from among Pelhamwood citizens.  The company would be known as Fire Patrol Company No. 1 and would perform fire police work to control crowds and to guard fire scenes and would perform salvage work at fire scenes.  The intent was to reduce the burdens of such activities from the backs of Pelham firefighters.  

Commissioner McIlroy embraced the idea enthusiastically.  During a meeting of the Fire Commission on the evening of Tuesday, June 6, 1922, McIlroy presented the idea to his fellow Commissioners.  He noted that the First Fire District already had successfully raised a company of fire fighters from the tiny neighborhood of Pelham Heights and proposed that a company be raised from Pelhamwood to "act as fire police and as a salvage corps."  He further proposed that preparations should be made "in the future" for the purchase of a vehicle "to carry implements of salvage work such as tarpaulin, fire lines, etc."  Most significantly, he indicated that he could "have a company formed that would be a credit to the department" before "the end of the month."

On the evening of Thursday, June 15, Commissioner McIlroy appeared before members of the Pelhamwood Association to ask for volunteers to serve in a Pelhamwood fire company.  Members of the Pelhamwood Association volunteered enthusiastically.  McIlroy arranged for seventeen volunteers.  

The next day, The Pelham Sun reported:

"One of Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy's ambitions is realized.  The Pelhamwood Fire Patrol No. 1 now has a membership of seventeen members, three more are needed to fill the company.  The new company will apply to the Board of Fire Commissioners for a charter.  Commissioner McIlroy addressed the meeting of the Pelhamwood Association at the Town Hall last night, and asked for recruits.  The following will be enrolled as members of the new company:  Harold Koevhling, Leslie Hart, Thomas Stewart, W. B. Haff, A. Koppell, James Thompson, C. B. Miller, William Uhler, J. Young, R. R. Mamlock, Dr. David Jones, P. E. Bacas, William Gehron, H. S. Clark, A. E. Andon, John O. Ball and Walter H. McIlroy.  The duties of the new company will be those of a salvage corps and fire police.  At the last meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners it was stated that a piece of apparatus would be purchased for the company in the near future."

The subsequent history of The Pelhamwood Fire Patrol No. 1 is hazy.  More than two and one-half months later in early September, the company still had not been formally organized.  Thus, on the evening of Tuesday, September 5, 1922, Fire Commissioner McIlroy appeared before the Pelhamwood Association again and "reported that the Pelhamwood Fire Patrol would soon be organized and granted a charter by the Board of Fire Commissioners."

Yet, the proposed annual budget for the First Fire District in 1923 included a line item of $1,000 to purchase an "Apparatus for salvage corps."  The Pelham Sun reported that "The proposed budget carries a figure of $1,000.00 for the purchase and outfitting of a Dodge chassis for the newly formed Pelhamwood Fire Patrol, the salvage corps of the department." 

Though it would appear that the Pelhamwood Fire Patrol company was formed, research has not yet revealed its subsequent history.  


Page 2 of 1909 Pelhamwood Advertising Pamphlet.  Source:
Clifford B. Harmon & Co., Inc., PELHAMWOOD, p. 2 (NY: Clifford
B. Harmon & Co., Inc., 1909).  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

*          *          *          *          *

"McIlroy To Organize Pelhamwood Fire Patrol
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Fire Commissioner Enthusiastic About Enlisting Residents of Pelhamwood As Firemen
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The Pelhamwood Fire Department is no longer to be a subject for the wit of the wags of Pelham.  At present the man-power of the department numbers one, but Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy, who lives in Pelhamwood, will place plans before the Pelhamwood Association for the forming of Pelhamwood Fire Patrol No. 1, which will have a membership of twenty or more.

At present the only Pelhamwood member of the Fire Department of the First Fire District is Louis Sivitello [sic], the Pelhamwood street man.  For some time Sivitello [sic] has been known as the Pelhamwood Fire Department.

At the meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners Tuesday night the subject of a company for Pelhamwood along the lines of that of Pelham Heights was discussed, and it was decided that the Pelhamwood company could act as fire police and as a salvage corps.  Preparations will be made in the future for the purchase of a piece of apparatus on which to carry implements of salvage work such as tarpaulin, fire lines, etc.

Commissioner McIlroy was very enthusiastic about the Pelhamwood company and stated that he would push the matter through before the Pelhamwood Association, and by the end of the month would have a company formed that would be a credit to the department."

Source:  McIlroy To Organize Pelhamwood Fire Patrol -- Fire Commissioner Enthusiastic About Enlisting Residents of Pelhamwood As Firemen, The Pelham Sun, Jun. 9, 1922, p. 2, col. 4.

"To Have Fire Patrol

The Pelhamwood section is to have a fire company; that is, there will be a company known as Fire Patrol Company No. 1 which will do salvage work and guard places.  Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy brought the matter to the attention of the fire board at its last meeting and stated that Jack Carroll of Liberty Engine Company, who resides on Young Avenue, Pelhamwood, has been known as the 'Pelhamwood Fire Department' and as he is the only fireman in the section, he suggested the formation of a separate company to be known as the Fire Patrol.  Commissioner McIlroy stated that there were many men in Pelhamwood who would be more than pleased to serve in such a company."

Source:  To Have Fire Patrol, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 13, 1922, p. 7, col. 4.  

"Pelhamwood Fire Patrol Has Seventeen Members
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Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy Interests Members of Pelhamwood Association
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One of Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy's ambitions is realized.  The Pelhamwood Fire Patrol No. 1 now has a membership of seventeen members, three more are needed to fill the company.  The new company will apply to the Board of Fire Commissioners for a charter.

Commissioner McIlroy addressed the meeting of the Pelhamwood Association at the Town Hall last night, and asked for recruits.  The following will be enrolled as members of the new company:  Harold Koevhling, Leslie Hart, Thomas Stewart, W. B. Haff, A. Koppell, James Thompson, C. B. Miller, William Uhler, J. Young, R. R. Mamlock, Dr. David Jones, P. E. Bacas, William Gehron, H. S. Clark, A. E. Andon, John O. Ball and Walter H. McIlroy.  

The duties of the new company will be those of a salvage corps and fire police.  At the last meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners it was stated that a piece of apparatus would be purchased for the company in the near future."

Source:  Pelhamwood Fire Patrol Has Seventeen Members -- Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy Interests Members of Pelhamwood Association, The Pelham Sun, Jun. 16, 1922, p. 9, col. 5.  

"Routine Matters Before Pelhamwood Association
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Committee Appointed to Await On Village Board In Regards to Pelhamwood Sewer Question
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The Pelhamwood Association met for its first fall meeting, at the Town Hall, Tuesday night.  There were about forty members present.  President Brainerd opened the meeting at 8.30 o'clock.

A committee was appointed to await on the Village Board at its next meeting and request that some action be taken on the matter of sewers of the New Rochelle portion of Pelhamwood, draining into those of North Pelham.  The committee is composed of R. H. Shaw, Wm. M. Uhler, M. M. Schwartzschild, Walter H. McIlroy and Charles DeFreest.

Fire Commissioner, W. H. McIlroy, reported that the Pelhamwood Fire Patrol would soon be organized and granted a charter by the Board of Fire Commissioners.

President Brainerd reported that the New Haven railroad company will investigate the matter of deeding the portion of Highbrook avenue from the center of the arch to the Washington avenue pavement, to the Village of North Pelham, in order that the concrete pavement can be carried through the arch.

The association resolved to request the Village Board to replace the street sign at Washington avenue and Fraser street, and to place a street sign at Clifford and Harmon avenues.  The matter of painting the street names on the pillars along Washington was also discussed.

The following membership committee was appointed:  For Highbrook avenue, A. D. Koppel; Young avenue, E. J. Dillon; Harmon avenue south, H. G. Weltmer, Harmon avenue north, R. R. Mamlock; Clifford avenue, A. E. Andon; Washington avenue, Frederick Worrall; Fraser street, J. O. Ball; Benedict place, N. F. Vought.

A resolution of thanks was ordered sent to the Rev. Dr. W. M. Hess, of the Congregational Church, for deeding the land at the corner of Washington and Highbrook avenues to the village, in order that the corner could be rounded.  The association will request the Church of the Redeemer to deed a portion of the corner of Fifth avenue and Harmon avenue, in order that a better approach to that street can be obtained, by rounding the corner.

The meeting adjourned at 10 o'clock."

Source:  Routine Matters Before Pelhamwood Association -- Committee Appointed to Await On Village Board In Regards to Pelhamwood Sewer Question, The Pelham Sun, Sep. 8, 1922, p. 6, cols. 4-5.

"Pelhamwood Fire Patrol.

The Pelhamwood Fire Patrol is being organized and will be the latest addition to the fire department of the first district.  Fire Commissioner Walter H. McIlroy, who is a resident of Pelhamwood, announced that the company is formed and will receive a charter from the board of fire commissioners.  This is something the department has sadly lacked in the past and will relieve some of the men from fire police duty to handling the hose and other equipment at fires."

Source:  Pelhamwood Fire Patrol, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Sep. 20, 1922, p. 14, cols. 1-2.  

"Budget Of First Fire District Shows Decrease
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Board of Fire Commissioners Are Ready To Submit Budget To Town Board
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Little Difference in Major Portion of Items Of Expense For Ensuing Year
-----

It will cost $21,440.00 to run the affairs of the First Fire District through the ensuing year, according to the estimated budget of the Board of Fire Commissioners.  Of this amount the taxpayers will have to raise $18,200.59, as there is about $3,239.41 left over from the budget of last year.  The budget was to have been submitted to the Town Board for approval Monday night, but owing to the fact that a quorum could not be present the matter was laid over to a future meeting.

The budget is approximately $4,000 lower than that of last year.  The decrease is explained by the fact that last year's budget carried an appropriation of that amount for the installation of 17 new fire alarm boxes.  

The proposed budget carries a figure of $1,000.00 for the purchase and outfitting of a Dodge chassis for the newly formed Pelhamwood Fire Patrol, the salvage corps of the department.  The item of light, heat and power shows an increase of $50.  Each of the three drivers have received a salary increase of $5 per month, so the item of drivers' salaries is increased from $4,860.00 to $5,046.00.  Provision for equipment shows an increase from $300 to $800.  Repairs to building have increased from $500 to $1000.  Maintenance of autos shows a drop from $1,000 to $500.  The item of salary for the clerk to the board is double that of last year.  The budget follows.

Principal on bond due July 1, 1923...............$1,550.00
Interest on outstanding bonds for one year..........600.00
Interest on outstanding bond of $1,550.00 for one year..............46.50
Hydrant rental or water supply for North Pelham...................4,950.00
Hydrant rental or water supply for Pelham....................2,000.00
Light, heat and power.....................756.00
3 janitors and chauffeurs at $1680 each...............5,040.00
Equipment..............800.00
Hose..................550.00
Repairs to building............................1,000.00
Insurance (automobile).....................130.00
Insurance (compensation)................284.00
Maintenance of autos.................500.00
Inspection and parade...............150.00
Contingent Fund.......................1,000.00
Clerk to board............................240.00
Legal expense...........................700.00
Apparatus for salvage corps....................1,000.00
Tarpaulins......................150.00
______________________________________
                                            $21,440.00
Left from 1922 budget.........   3,239.41

Total 1923 budget...............$18,200.59"

Source:  Budget Of First Fire District Shows Decrease -- Board of Fire Commissioners Are Ready To Submit Budget To Town Board -- Little Difference in Major Portion of Items Of Expense For Ensuing Year, The Pelham Sun, Jan. 19, 1923, Vol. 13, No. 47, p. 1, col. 5.

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