Cooperstown Fire Department

On about April 9, 1895, the first meeting was called to discuss the feasibility of putting in some kind of fire apparatus to protect the citizens against the ravages of fire. Every business house was represented and much interest was manifested showing that the people were ready to do anything in reason to protect themselves against fire. After being thoroughly discussed pro and con, the town board ordered from the Waterous Fire Supply Co. of St. Paul one steam fire engine with a capacity of 325 gallons per minute, together with two hose carts and 1000 feet of hose. The town board also provided the necessary engine house and storage cisterns for water. The whole outfit complete cost the town about $3,600.00 (This fire Engine is the one shown on the page and is in good working order today.)

The May meeting was held at the Palace Hotel, Maynard Crane elected Chief, F. J. Stone assistant chief. Four companies were formed, the engine company with a membership of 20 men; Hose Co. No. 1 with 17 men, Hose Co. No. 2 with 16 men and Hook and Ladder Co. with a membership of 14 men.

On the 23rd of July the engine arrived at Cooperstown. J. C. Flynn's dray team was hitched to the engine, and with other teams drawing the hose carts, the equipment was tested. Engineer W. M. Gibson touched a match to the fuel. In moments she had twenty pounds of steam and her pumps working. In four minutes she was sending a strong-stream through a 1,000 feet of hose, to which was attached an inch nozzle. She threw water over 100 feet high.

The Fire Department has progressed down the years. As of today, there is a total membership of 25 active members.

Present Chief W. J. Nelson

Assistant Chief Oscar Tang

Secretary Kenneth Olgaard

Treasurer Deland Marson

In the fall of 1956 the department decided that a rural fire truck was a must. A truck was purchased, and Reiten Manufacturing Company install ed a 1000 gallon tank with a pump to pump 500 gallons of water a minute. The department now feels that it is equipped to fight rural fires as well as those occurring in town.


1. Oswald Melgard, 2. Martin Garlid, 3. Frank Retzlaff, 4. George Newberry, 5. Bob Moffatt, 6. Theodore Thompson, 7. Charles Goff, 8. Theodore Marquardt, 9: Christ Olson, 70. Unknown, 11. Sansburn, 12. George Adams, 13. Fred Graff, 14. George Stringer, 15. Adolph Melgard, 16. William Glaspell, 17. Charles Anderson, 18. Harry Detwiller, 19. Chet Jackson, 20. Dick Lizer, 21. George McConnel, 22. Unknown, 23. Frank Buchette, 24. Johnnie Ruttle, 25. James Sinclair, 26. Carl Johnson.

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 32

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