Chemical Company, No. 1

Compiled from the Company's meeting minutes.

On February 12, 1909, believing that the growth and expansion of the Borough of Stroudsburg merited additional fire protection, 40 men convened in the Summer Parlor of the Hotel Fulmer to discuss the formation of a new fire company. After thorough discussion a name was chosen, The Stroudsburg Chemical and Hook and Ladder Company #1.

The first officers were elected: President, Samuel E. Shull; vice-president, George W. Rachener; Secretary, Arthur F. Everitt Sr.; Treasurer, George D. Michaels; Chief, Jack L. Harbaugh, and Foreman, J. Clarence Schafer.

It was decided to have 50 members, but this was later changed to 40. That number has been maintained to this day.

It took many meetings in 1909 and 1910 to organize and raise funds for the purchase of a truck and equipment.

On January 20, 1910 the group changed the name to The Chemical Company #1, of Stroudsburg, PA. Charles B. Staples, Judge, granted the charter in that name, February 18, 1910.

On April 27, 1910 the company voted to accept delivery of the engine and equipment. The first apparatus was a hand-drawn Kanawha system chemical and hose cart, costing $1200 fully equipped.

Until quarters could be acquired, the truck was housed in the engine room in the rear of the Ackerman Mill Property, donated by E. F. Smith. Arrangements were made with the Borough May 5, 1910 for leasing the old County House for a period of 25 years. The building was completely remodeled and was very comfortable.

Excerpt from the PA State Fireman’s Association Early 1900’s

“The Company has handsome quarters, beautifully furnished for the accommodations of the members, and has been the scene of many social affairs. During the years of its existence, the Hook’s as they are know by so many, have given the best service and have taken a prominent part in the progress of the town.”

After much discussion and correspondents with the Borough and Phoenix Company #2 a 25- Section Ordinance of the Borough of Stroudsburg, PA was adopted December 7, 1910. This Ordinance of the Borough created The Stroudsburg Fire Department, combining the Chemical Company #1 and Phoenix Fire Company #2. The Borough elected Harvey E. Smith of Phoenix Company, as the first chief and Jack L. Harbaugh of Chemical Company the first Assistant Chief.

The Company gave splendid service, however the Kanawha system chemical and hose cart was too heavy for the territory to be covered and steps were taken in 1914 for the purchase of a motorized apparatus. The Borough Council assisted in financing the $5600. A Boyd Brother’s truck, 80 horsepower, combination hook and ladder and chemical and hose wagon.

Phoenix Engine Company, No. 2

Exerts from the PA Sate Firmans Assoc. from the early 1900
C. A Werkheiser
A. J. Barber
A. E. Miller
W. E. Marean
Dr. H. S. Van Ettan
H. E. Ruster
Roy Nevil
Recording Secretary
Financial Secretary
Assistant Foreman

The first fire company of Stroudsburg was organized in 1845. They bought the old hand engine of the Humane Fire Company, of Easton, Pa., and took the name of Humane Fire Company, No. 1. This engine was used by pouring water in the engine by buckets and pumping it out by hand through a two-inch hose.

In 1866 another fire company was organized and they bought the used hand engine of the Phoenix Fire Company, also of Easton, Pa. This Company took the name of Phoenix, No. 2, and has been in continuous service from that time. This large hand engine has a suction pipe and required thirty tow men to handle the pumping bars.

In 1872 the Company bought a Clapp & Jones steamer. This steamer is kept in perfect condition and is still kept in service for emergencies.

In 1912 they bought a combined Chemical and Hose “Autocar.”

In 1923 they bought an American-LaFrance Pumper.

In 1924 they sold the “Autocar” and bought a “Brockway.”

This apparatus is all Company owned. The town owns the buildings.

The membership of the Company has been maintained at 40 for many years, although there are many on the honorary list who through aged are among the most active in their career. These gray-haired veterans can always be counted on to do their part. The most prominent business and professional men of the borough have been on the roster of the organization and have been active in its interest.

The Company has been honored by the State Association selecting one of their numbers as president of the State Firemen’s Association of Pennsylvania, R. B. Keller, who for many years took an active interest in the Association. He served as a member of the Board of Auditors of the State organization for many years. G. C. Brown, of the Company, was also a President of the Four County Firemen’s Association.

In the years the Phoenix Company has served the municipality unstinting service has been given and one of their members gave his life in the service.

Many years ago the Company organized a Relief Association, the members of the Chemical Company having been admitted to membership shortly after the Company was organized. The relief is in a splendid financial condition. A. F. Everitt is the president of the association; Dimick Edinger, vice-president; Dr. H. S. VanEtten, recording secretary; Samuel V. Dreher, financial secretary, and Lewis Shiffer, treasurer. The organization has been of great value to the firemen of the town.