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History of Henniker Fire Department

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The following list has been compiled from excerpts of various town and fire meetings through the years.

  • From handwritten Warrant from 1876:  Article 10.To see if the Town will vote to purchase a fire engine and hose suitable for the use of the Town and choose a committee for that purpose, or act anything relative thereto.  Article 11  To see how much money the Town will raise to purchase a fire engine and hose for the use of the town or act anything relative thereto.
  • From Town History page 53.  On May 26, 1899 General Taylor Fire Company formed.
  • Craney Hill #1 New chemical engine to be stored in basement of Emerson Block.
  • In June tested chemical engine.  In August exchanged chemical engine for hand engine.  In August of 1899 General Taylor hand pumper arrived.  In September 1899 Gen Taylor Engine Co. met at Town Hall.
  • From Fire Department records:
  • May 26, 1899 Craney Hill Fire Engine Company meet at Town Hall for the purpose of organizing.  Officers were elected.
  • May 31, 1899 Second meeting established committee on by-laws and committee to locate a place to meet.
  • Sept 8, 1899 28 new members appointed, their names are not listed.  Appointments wee made for handling hand tub engine.
  • Sept 22, 1899  By-Laws accepted
  • Dec 29, 1899  Report on the Buxton Fire read and accepted.  On motion voted to that the Company be known as the General Taylor Engine Company of Henniker NH instead of Craney Hill Engine Company.
  • Balls held as early as 1900.
  • Sept 12, 1900  Company to fill the well in Proctor Square
  • Oct 5 1900  Training at the well on Pleasant Street
  • Many early meetings held at Academy Hall, some at Town Hall, some on town common.
  • Feb. 5, 1902 first meeting to be held in Engine Hall, also called engine house hall for a short time, then referred to as Firemen’s Hall.
  • 6/4/1902  There being present by invitation of Foreman a representative of the Globe Manufacturing Co. of Pittsfield with samples of firemen’s suits.  On motion of Brother John Piper voted to purchase 6 suits of Globe Manufacturing Co.  Suits to have the lightweight lining as per sample shown by Mr. Horne.  Price per suit at factory $3.75.
  • 3/4/1903  On motion of Bro. Gilchrist voted that the Foreman be appointed to confer with the Fire Wardens relative to purchasing a suitable receptacle for a key at the outside door of the Engine House.
  • 6/4/1903  voted to appoint a committee in regard to a sign for the Engine House.
  • 10/7/1903  Foreman stated that Mr. Allen would put a scroll on sign for free.  George L. Allen bill for painting sign $7.75.  R.E. Nelson scroll for sign $0.15.
  • 2/3/1904  Bought 3 cuspidors $1.50
  • Payroll for 1903 was $123.30
  • 5/4/1904  Committee to work on by-laws in regard to weight of fireman
  • 7/6/1904  Weight limit set – no one under 135 pounds allowed.
  • Purchased 4 dozen pants (white) for $24.00, 1 coat $3.50, 2 caps $3.50.
  • 10/2/1904  Bill from WS Carnes (clerk). Car fare to Laconia for NH State Fireman’s Assoc. meeting $1.40.
  • 6/7/1905  Created position of foreman of Hook & Ladder Truck
  • 9/4/1907  Checked into State laws regarding Fire Wards.  Began calling them Engineers.
  • 6/3/1908  Foreman Childs spoke in regard to the pool table for the Hall.  Voted 25 yes to 4 no to appoint a committee of 3 to wait upon Brother Gould in regard to the table.
  • 6/11/1908  Special meeting:  Brother MC Gould stated he would set up the table in the Hall all in good shape and the sum not to exceed $75.00 for the table and all of the fixtures.  Voted to purchase.  Committee of 3 appointed to write up and have printed restriction in regard to use of the table.  Motion that the table be set up ASAP.
  • 7/1/1908  Special Committee Body on Pool Table Restrictions read an article from by-laws of Social Club in regard to same.  “That any member of the Company shall not invite anyone who is a resident of town to play on the table.”  On motion voted to accept and have printed.
  • 5/11/1911  Two ancient fire buckets were presented to the Company by Miss Etta Colby.  On motion, the gift was accepted and the clerk was instructed to extend to her the unanimous vote of thanks for the same.
  • 5/7/1913  Voted to discard white pants on Memorial Day and use dark pants.
  • 3/4/1914  Remarks for the good of Company in regard to Town Water question.  On motion voted that it go on record that General Taylor Engine Company endorse the movement put forth by the Water Committee.
  • 2/3/1915  Vote to pay the ME Society $0.75 for the use of their silverware for the ball of 1913.
  • 4/15/1915  A special meeting was held with Fire Wardens.  P.S. Chapter 115 of State Laws in regard to duties of Fire Wardens were read.  Mr. Marshall (Fire Warden) stated that there would be a hose Co. on the south side of the river of 9 men and a captain known as Hose Co. #2.  Also a Hose Co. of 9 men and a Captain known as Hose Co. #3 at Wilkens Mill and a Hose Co and a Hook & Ladder Co. at the Central House known as Hose Co. No 1 and H & L No 1 and the Foreman of the Co. would have charge of the two Co. at the Central House and there was to be a Hose Reel and Hose at W. Henniker.  Mr. Marshall stated that the Chief Fire Warden would five his orders to the Captain at Wilkens Mill also to the Captain on south side of river and he would give his orders to the Foreman of the Co. and the foreman would then give them to the Captains at the Central House.  Mr. Marshall state that the Hose Co. that got to work first would have charge of that fire.  All firemen present were in favor of the plan that the Fire Wardens had planned out.
  • 5/5/1915  Mr. Marshall stated that he hoped we would keep up the old General Taylor Engine Co.  On motion voted to accept suggestion.  Chief Engineer Marshall read the report of Fire Engineers as laid down on the division of the Company to take effect on May 1 or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • Brother Connelly stated he would bring the matter of pay before the Selectmen.
  • 8/4/1915  Brother Connelly reported on pay for members.  Minutes do say what the outcome was.
  • 8/7/1915  Voted that the sum of $5.00 be placed with a similar amount to be given by Selectmen to defray expenses of decorating Fireman’s Hall at our 150 anniversary and Old Home Week celebration.  Committee to arrange and trim hand tub for parade was established.
  • 11/3/1915  Appointed committee of 3 to confer with the Fire Wardens in regard to the Company.
  • 12/1/1915  Wardens requested more time.
  • 1/5/1916  Response from Engineers to special committee was read.  To the officers and Members of General Taylor Engine Company.  In compliance with your request of recent date in regard to abolishing the present system of the Hose Co. and returning to your former system of one company to be under command of a chief and necessary officers, Your board of engineers grant this request on condition that you reduce your active membership to 30 men, this reduction to be made as soon as possible. On motion voted that we return to the old system and to comply with the request of the Engineers to reduce the membership of the Co to 30 men.  This reduction to be made automatically when members drift out and that a Committee be appointed to confer with the Engineers in regard to said reduction.   Officers were elected at that meeting, eliminating hose companies.
  • 5/3/1916  Special Committee Edward Connelly to meet Engineers.   Engineers state that they wanted the Company to reduce their membership form 50 men to 30 men as soon as they could.  Brother Connelly resigned.
  • 9/6/1916  It was voted that the Forman be authorized to communicate with the Contoocook Fire Co and express appreciation of this Co. for their very efficient services at the Big Elm Farm Fire.
  • 10/4/1916  Communication read form Will H. Bean and I wish to thank the members of the company for the assistance they rendered at the burning of my buildings.
  • 3/7/1917  Article 15 of by-laws to read:  All application for membership shall be made on blanks for that purpose, by the person applying form membership, to the Clerk, whose duty it shall be to file such application and notify the Company of the same at the next meeting.  No applicant shall be eligible to membership in said company who has not been a resident in the Town at least three months previous to said application and attained the age of sixteen years and not weighing less than one hundred and thirty five pounds.
  • Article 15 also amended to include:  Any person who has at any time been a member of this company shall be eligible as an honorary member of General Taylor Engine Company and entitled to all the rights and privileges of hall but shall not receive any yearly salary as member under such class.  Except, He shall be subject to a call at any time by Chief of subordinate officer of said Co. and at such time would receive the regular compensation, per hour as the active members.  Any Bro. Holding membership under above clause shall not be entitled the privilege of voting at meetings of Co.
  • 6/6/1917  Brother Gilchrist spoke of the town owning half & the Co. owning half of a Ford Truck to be kept at Engine House for Fire purposes.  Bro. Childs & Bro. G K Clark spoke in favor of uniforms instead of a truck.
  • 7/5/1917  Footnote to monthly minutes:  Mr. Charles F Johnson was injured at the fire of the K & C Manufacturing Co. April 24, 1917, was 6 weeks under Dr. care and received 6 weeks benefits form the NH State firemen’s Assoc. $84.00 in money.
  • 12/5/1917  It was voted to purchase 12 southeaster Fire hats for hosemen.
  • 1/2/1918  Committee to confer with the Selectmen to see if they would purchase 4 smoke masks.  Another committee to see selectmen about increasing pay per hour for fighting fires.  A third committee to investigate area departments to see what they paid.  Voted to raise pay from .25 to .40 per meeting. If the Co. received $150.00 from the Town.
  • 2/6/1918  Committee reported that in most places Firemen were receiving .40 per hour for fighting fire.  Committee met with Fire Wards & Selectmen who agreed to put the issue on the Town Warrant to see what action the Town would take in regard to raise of pay for Fighting Fire.
  • 6/5/1918 It was moved by Bro. Gilchrist that all members of Co. going into the service should be granted a leave of absence.  Carried.
  • 7/3/1918  Purchase a flag from Henniker Store Co. for $4.00.
  • 9/29/1918 Sunday Sept 29 at 6 PM the alarm of fire was sounded for fire at the farm building known as Newton Farm.  The fire had gained headway and the barn and ell of house were all in flames before discovered and alarm sounded.  Upon arrival of fire Co. it was found that a bucket brigade from a nearby well was the only available means of combating the fire and by faithful work a part of the out-buildings were saved.
  • 8/3/1921  Suggested that the floor needed attention and suggested that the Steward mention the fact to the Selectmen often, until the same received attention.
  • 9/7/1921 By-laws revised and voted to print 100 copies of new by-laws.
  • 11/2/1921 Suggested that a 40 ft. ladder was needed and that an article should be placed on Town Warrant for this and new hose.
  • 12/7/1921  clerk instructed to write a letter to Selectmen and ask them to come to the hall and inspect the floor, ceilings and curtains.
  • 3/1/1922  Bill for $30.00 paid to Diamond Maxwell for printing by-laws.
  • Voted to change meeting night to the first Thursday in each month at 7:30 PM.  (was 1st Wednesday)
  • 4/6/1922  Voted to thank selectmen for repairs to hall.
  • 10/5/1922  General Taylor Engine reported as just thoroughly overhauled and is OK.
  • 11/2/1922  Mr. & Mrs. George Preston & Harry B Preston thanked the company for the protection given the Preston buildings at the time of the Henniker Inn Garage fire.
  • 2/1/1923  Moved that the Foreman appoint a committee to petition the selectmen to put an article in the Town Warrant to obtain a siren whistle and Truck, one or both.
  • Remarks made by company on call system and motor driven apparatus.
  • 2/4/1926  A discussion was entered into by those present and it was decided to call Charles Flanders to draw hose and A. S. Bennett and H. L. Holmes to carry men with their teams in case of a fire during deep snow or at night.
  • 5/6/1926  Remarks made by Foreman W. L. Childs concerning new fire alarm whistle which is to be installed on thirty day’s trial.  Expected to arrive  May 6, 1926.
  • 6/3/1926  It was stated at this meeting that it was understood that the Selectmen were in favor of keeping the whistle now installed in the Engine building to be used in connection with the bell.  Motion:  That a vote of the Fire Company be taken showing whether or not they were in favor of keeping the whistle now installed at the Engine House.  This motion was withdrawn as it developed that another whistle is to be asked for to try out in connection with the one now in use.
  • 7/1/1926  A vote was taken to see if the members were in favor of the siren which is installed at present.  Everyone present voted in favor of it.  It was voted that the firemen see if the town will buy the siren.
  • 7/13/1926  Special Meeting:  15 members present.  Townsmen other than firemen present were:  Edward Connelly, Forrest W. Dowlin, Henry Bean, Harry B. Preston and Harry F. Holmes.  Meeting opened with remarks by Foreman W. L. Childs in regard to different fire signals.  It was expressed by vote of the firemen that the company was in favor of having the present siren installed.  Voted:  That the Company purchase the siren with the expectation of being reimbursed at the next annual Town meeting.
  • 9/2/1926  Bills for installation of siren:
    $  7.50 - R.W. Savage
    $  1.75 - H.W. Ayer
    $ 14.58 - J.E. Marshall
    $150.59 - American Fire Equipment
  • 11/4/1926  Expenses of annual ball & supper
    Income:  $117.05
    $ 41.50 - Music
    $ 14.75 - Printing (including tickets,posters, D.O., pencils, fliers & posters)
    $   2.00 - So-called Police Protection
    $   2. 50 - Hall and Janitor Service
    $   0.30 - Crepe Paper
    $   0.40 - Postage
    $   1.65 - Pins and Ribbons
    $   0.50 - Ad in Paper

    Income: $46.80
    $   9.90 - Fred Whitney for Ham and butter
    $  3.15 - Cloverdale Co. for coffee, milk & bread
    $  1.20 - F.L. Chase for incidentals
    $  1.00 - Paper Mill for paper
    $  1.50 - Rent for Lower Hall
    $  2.50 - Gold piece
    $  0.75 - Mrs. Sarah Meade for services

  • 3/3/1927  Report of Special Committee in regard to Fire Siren covered by placing of article in Town Warrant asking for an Appropriation of $500.00 for Fire Company.  Check received at meeting 4/7/1927.
  • 6/7/1928  G.W. Wyman reports that the picture frames were donated to the Company by his brother, Findley Wyman of Amherst, NH.  It was also voted that the Company extend a vote of thanks to Brothers Hollis and Wyman for Convention pictures.
  • Suggested that the Company secure uniforms.  It was decided to request at Town Meeting that the Town pay for half and the Fire Company to pay the other half.
  • 1/3/1929  Brother G.W. Wyman thinks it time for the members to wake up and have a good time once in a while in the Hall.  After a brief discussion, G.W. Wyman makes a motion that we hold a social with refreshments served by White’s Café on Tuesday evening Jan. 8 1929.
  • 2/7/1929  Foreman spoke on probability of placing an article in Town Warrant for purchase of Combination Truck, the cost not to exceed $5,000.00
  • 3/7/1929  A motion was and seconded to place a framed list of Honorary Members in the Hall.
  • 4/4/1929  Coats & caps purchased. $228.37
  • 10/3/1929 Voted that no brother who has served on Committee during the past five years be appointed to the coming ball.  Voted that every member who does not appear at the Ball in uniform be fined $1.00 the same to be taken out of his pay.
  • 12/5/1929  Voted to rescind policy fining members not present in uniform $1.00.
  • 5/1/1930  Foreman Childs reported that the truck would be here the first of next week and that it would be tested by underwriters before being accepted.
  •  5/15/1930  Special meeting to try out the fire truck.
  • 6/5/1930  J.A. Graham presents company with a box of cigars to show his appreciation for the good work done at the Graham fire.
  • 12/4/1930  Chief of Police, G.H. Brill informs the members present that gas has been stolen from the Fire Truck and advises each driver to examine gauge before going out.  This matter is being taken up by town officials.
  • 1/1/1931  W.L. Childs requests that his resignation as Foreman be accepted.  After discussion, a motion was made to appoint a Committee to recommend a revision of By-Laws, so that a Foreman would not be necessary.
  • 2/5/1931  Officer positions changed.  100 copies of new By-laws to be printed.
  • 4/2/1931  The Chairman reported on the crooked nozzle and where it is kept and how it is to be used.
  • 6/2/1932  A check for $10.00 was received from F.E. Norton & Sons, Inc. in appreciation for the service rendered at their recent fire.
  • 12/1/1932  W.F. Holmes wishes a Committee to confer with the Fire Engineers or Selectmen in regard to (ex)changing Chassis of Old Ladder Truck.
  • 3/5/1936  new cap ornaments to be purchased.
  • Cigars purchased regularly from Balch Pharmacy.
  • 9/5/1940  The bill of Frank Stacy, for the things used to clean the hand tub was read and referred to finance committee.  Brother Brill remarked in regards to restoring and preserving the old hand tub.  Brother Jones thanked those who helped get the hand tub ready for Old Home Day.
  • 10/3/1940  The Foreman spoke about having some hose left at the home of Alfred Colby in case of fire at the Engine House.
  • Otto Schacht was placed on honorary role but agreed to continue on as clerk.  Served as clerk until his death after the meeting of 6/5/1941.
  • 9/4/1941  Standpipe from river near Ayer’s Garage for use at fires was discussed but no motion was made.
  • 10/2/1941  Brother Albert Jones gave a report of his trip to the Convention.  He spoke especially about the demonstration of extinguishing incendiary bombs.
  • 11/6/1941  Motion made & carried to grant use of Fireman’s Hall to the Women’s Club for surgical dressing classes.
  • 1/1/1942  Moved & voted to purchase 4 $25.00 defense bonds.
  • 2/5/1942  Voted to grant the use of Fireman’s Hall to Headmaster C. Wayne Hancock for defense class work.
  • 3/5/1942  Voted to authorize the directors to have an article in the Town Warrant to see if the Town will buy a portable pumper.
  • 8/6/1942  H.W. Ayer thanked the Company for coming to his farm to put out the fire.
  • 4/1/1943  It was reported that a shed at the Jones place on the Concord Road was burned down but no call was sent for the fire department.
  • 9/2/1943  Brother Childs reported that Mildred O’Leary was making a service flag for the company.
  • 10/7/1943  Brother G. H. Brill spoke in regard to blackouts and lack of attendance by firemen, and asked all firemen to make an effort to attend any held in the future.
  • 12/22/1943  A special meeting was held.  A letter was read from Harry Preston enclosing a check for $25.00 as a gift of appreciation for the work done at the fire in his block.  Moved and voted to start a subscription for the benefit of the Harry Robertson family, and to start the list with $10.00 from the gift of Harry Preston.  Moved and voted to give the family of Clarence Allen $5.00 from this check.  Moved and voted to have a card of thanks inserted in the Henniker Courier for the school boys and others who helped at the Robertson fire.
  • 1/6/1944  Moved and voted that the directors buy $200 or $300 in war bonds during the next drive.
  • 2/3/1944  Letter regarding selling the old hand tub was read, but no action was taken as this is a matter to be decided by the fire engineers.
  • 3/2/1944  Brother Childs gave instructions regarding fire escapes on the Odd Fellows Block.  Also to be sure to take some Indian pumps when going to fires at farm buildings. 
  • 4/6/1944  Some discussion regarding portable pumper & hose.  No vote taken. 
  • 1/4/1945  Meeting Held at K of P hall.  Included supper.  Brother Childs reported that we had only 6 alarm fires in 1944 and the total cost of fighting fires, including trials of apparatus and watching at Fire Station on Fourth of July night was only $113.00.  Two members were present who were charter members of the Company.  Brothers G.S. Powers & W. L. Childs.  Bro. Powers spoke of some events of the early days of the company. 
  • 3/1/1945  Bro. Childs stated that an article had been put in the Town Warrant regarding sale of old hand tub. 
  • 5/3/1945  Bro Childs stated that the hand tub had been sold also that the money from the hand tub could be used to good advantage to buy a street clearer siren so more people could hear the alarm. 
  • 7/11/1946  Bro. Brill reported going to a fire at the paper mill dump in W. Henniker. 
  • 6/5/1947  Bro. Greenwood stated that A.S. Rush has a 40 ft. extension ladder for sale, and Edgar Richardson a 44 ft. one, also for sale. 
  • 7/3/1947  Bro. Brill reported that extension ladder had been bought from Albert Rush and that it was now on fire truck.  The Town is paying for same. 
  • 2/5/1948  Bro. Greenwood stated that a new hose reel and fog nozzle had been put on the fire truck. 
  • 9/2/1948  Bro. Brill spoke of taking trailer with extra hose when going to fires at certain places where no water was near enough without it.  Some places mentioned were Charles McComish’s, Lester Brown’s, Ernest Coombs’, Lester Connor’s and no doubt there are others. 
  • 1/6/1949  A letter was read from War Memorial Comm. Requesting our help in financing a memorial to World War II veterans and an Town playground.  It was moved and voted to pledge $100.00. 
  • Moved and voted to have Bro. Childs order 2 new coats to replace those burned in the fire at Robert Morse’s farm. 
  • 2/3/1949  Bro Brill suggested that some set-up should be arranged with Hillsboro or some nearby town, whereby we could exchange help in case of a bad fire. 
  • 3/3/1949  Chief Brill suggested that all members try to be present at Town Meeting, as important business was coming up regarding a second fire truck. 
  • 4/7/1949  Bill for two coats, $31.55. 
  • 8/4/1949  A letter was read from Aaron Todd thanking the fire company for the good work done at his fire. 
  • 3/2/1950  Bro. Greenwood stated that pictures of the Fire Station and trucks were for sale if anyone desired them. 
  • 4/5/1951  There was some discussion of sirens, air whistles, etc. as fire alarms.  It was stated that Merle Patenaude would give the whistle from the old machine shop in Contoocook for a fire alarm. 
  • 9/6/1951  A letter of thanks was read from Mr.. Edward Lewis, son-in-law of Mrs. Anderson thanking us for the quick response to their call for the fire department on August 21, at the barn fire at their home, the Walter French place. 
  • 11/1/1951  A letter was receive from Rev. & Mrs. Robert Lewis for expressing their thanks for work done at the parsonage fire. 
  • Moved & voted to grant permission to Judge D. A. Maxwell to use Fireman’s Hall for any court case requiring more room than he has available elsewhere. 
  • 12/6/1951  Chief Brill spoke of the new boxes for tools & hose fittings just installed on the fire truck. 
  • 4/2/1953  Bro. Wood spoke of new comers in Town, who, without knowing the law here, build fires without a permit, sometimes losing control of same and having to call the fire department.  He thinks it would be best to warn them on the first offense, and then, if they repeat the offense, charge them for both times. 
  • It was moved and voted to have an article put in the local papers regarding the practice of private cars going to fires and obstructing fire apparatus and foremen from getting to fires as soon as possible. 
  • 5/7/1953  It was announced that Town of Henniker employees would come under Social Security in the future, and since the firemen are Town employees they should give their Social Security numbers to the Selectmen. 
  • 8/6/1953  It was voted that the clerk shall write notes of thanks to Alice Goss and Virginia Easton for food and drink served to fire fighters at the Mt. Misery fire. 
  • 12/3/1953  Moved and voted that the supper committee be composed of all members who have not attended at least 3 meetings in 1953. 
  • 4/1/1954  A demonstration was made of an E & J resuscitator, “the use of which was explained very thoroughly, so that all the members and others present had a pretty good idea of how to use same…” 
  • 5/6/1954  another demonstration of resuscitator followed the meeting.  The device was “purchased for the use of any emergency unit of the Town.  The 2 doctors and the District Nurse were present.” 
  • 10/7/1954  Bro. Brill gave a report of his trip(to the Convention), which ended quite quickly, due to the hurricane. 
  • 10/6/1955  There was some discussion regarding changing of the name of Gen Taylor Fire Co. but it was decided to leave it as it is. 
  • 2/2/1956  Moved and voted that the Chief be elected at the Annual Meeting of the Fire Company for a period of 1 year by written ballot, that 75% of the members present at the time of election, and at least a 2/3 majority of those voting be necessary for election, and that this motion be incorporated in the by-lwas of the Company. 
  • 3/1/1956 Clarence Fitch elected as Chief.
  • There was considerable discussion as to what the Town should buy for a new fire truck, but no vote was taken. 
  • 9/6/1956  It was announced that the basement of the Fire Station is to be used as a meeting place for kindergarten classes. 
  • Bro. Fitch reported that there is a well by Wesley Herrick’s house that can be used in case of fire and should furnish water to last ½ hour. 
  • 10/4/1956  The resignation of Bro. Roy J. Gilbert was read.  It was moved and voted not to take any action on same until the Annual Meeting.  This met with Bro. Gilbert’s approval since his only reason for resigning is because he has moved out of the village and felt he was too far away to still be an active member. 
  • 1/5/1957  Voted not to accept resignation of Bro. Gilbert. 
  • 4/4/1957  Chief Fitch announced that he is posting a list of 10 drivers in the downstairs room and that these drivers would, each in his own turn, check over the equipment once each week. 
  • 8/1/1956  WL Childs retired as treasurer. 
  • 12/5/1957  Moved and voted to hold Annual Supper at next meeting…  The wives of firemen and Honorary members were invited to the supper by secret ballot, which proved to be not too “secret” as 1st Dir. Greenwood had to vote “yes” to break a tie vote. 
  • 4/3/1958  There was some discussion of remodeling the Fireman’s Hall, and a committee with Roby Wood as Chairman was appointed. 
  • 5/1/1958  There was considerable discussion as to what will be needed to heat water in the new kitchen, also regarding a stove for cooking.  It was decided to put an ad in the local paper to see what we can get and to see if we can get a refrigerator and sink. 
  • 4/2/1959  The vote taken at Town Meeting to buy a new truck for the Town and turn over the old one to Fire Dept. was found to be illegal by the tax commission, so the Town gets no new truck, nor does the Fire co. get the old one. 
  • 1/9/1960  Volunteers were requested to help paint the Army Surplus Tank Truck. 
  • 2/4/1960  Dermon fire discussed at meeting. 
  • Bro. Wood spoke of an addition to the Fire Station to house the extra equipment. 
  • 5/5/1960  There was some discussion regarding navy blue uniform shirts in place of the heavy wool coats for hot weather. 
  • 6/2/1960  A report was made by the comm.. on trucks that they had purchased a 1955Ford chassis and that work would begin on it soon. 
  • 1/7/1961  Mr. Ronald T Lyman, Jr. who owns a farm on Bear Hill, and who generously gave the Company a gift of $1000.00 recently was among the invited guests at the supper.  He was introduced and spoke briefly to the Company, after which he was made and Honorary Member of the Company, and given a badge as a token of our appreciation. 
  • 3/2/1961  Chief Fitch spoke of the Red phones and possible solutions as to how they will work out when the dial phones become effective. 
  • 10/4/1961  There was considerable talk regarding the red phones which will be used when the dial system becomes effective, but no action was taken. 
  • 12/7/1961  Chief Fitch explained how dial phones work in case of fire. 
  • 4/5/1962  Chief Fitch said the contractor who is removing the old “Rim Shop” building wants 3 firemen to work when they burn the wreckage. 
  • 8/2/1962  Peter Gilbert, son of RJ Gilbert was present, and explained the converter, which makes it possible to receive Forest Fire reports on house and car radios.  Peter and his partner expect to build these converters to sell for about $32.95. 
  • 12/6/1962  Report of the forest fire on Carter Hill in Bradford and Hillsboro was given. 
  • 2/7/1963  Donald Goss made a motion for Chief Fitch to check into getting a Scott Air Pac and a smoke ejector and buy if it seems fit. 
  • 3/7/1963  Mr. Frank Colyn gave an interesting talk and demonstration on the Scott Air Pac. 
  • 10/5/1963  Tom Mansur gave a talk on the fighting of airplane fires, especially planes carrying nuclear devices. 
  • 2/6/1964  Chief Fitch spoke on night phones & quick calls.  He said it was a little mixed up at the present but would straighten out. 
  • 3/5/1964  Chief Fitch spoke on addition to fire house.
  • 6/4/1964  Chief Fitch said addition should be started soon. 
  • 8/6/1964  Fred Brunnhoelzl; Jr.  invited all or any firemen that wanted to go to Hicksville, Long Island, to the tournament finals.  This is a test of speed in hose handling and fire fighting.  An article form a Long Island newspaper is taped into record book describing the visit of Fred, Marshall & Steve Connor. 
  • 9/3/1964  It was moved and voted to paint a new sign for the front of the fire house and it will read as the Henniker Fire Department. 
  • 11/5/1964  Marshall Connor spoke on the hose laying contest held at Allenstown, which was won by his crew, representing the Henniker FD. 
  • Moved and voted to approve the transferring of plates from No 1 truck to a different truck which is to be used for a muster truck which is to be built by the Henniker FD with the approval of the Selectmen. 
  • 12/3/1964  It was voted to send Ken Holt a letter of thanks for donation of picture of Ernie Greenwood’s funeral. 
  • 2/4/1965  Fred Brunnhoelzl Jr. showed movies of fire training at Patenaude buildings. 
  • 3/4/1965  It was moved and voted to send the Penacook Rescue Squad for their services $10.00 which is to come from Town funds.. 
  • Chief Fitch showed slides of fire at Wyman’s Garage at Hillsboro and also a few of the College. 
  • 4/7/1966  It was voted that the clerk keep some kind of record of all the fires we have during the year. 
  • By-laws changed so a simple majority elects new members.  Probation of 1 year also added. 
  • 4/6/1967  There was an open discussion about the morale of the Department and how it has dropped in the past few years and what could be done to bring it back up.  One thing that the men wanted to know who the assigned drivers of the Trucks were.  And that a new schedule be made up and posted so the drivers know who they are and what day they are to check the equipment.  Also the men wanted to know how many Quick Call phones we have?  Who has them? How many are vacant? Is there any chance of getting any more so that some other members who are active members can have one?  This information is supposed to be available at the next meeting.  It was the opinion of the men at the meeting that we are not having the training we should.  They felt that after the Monthly meeting would be a good time to have some training. 
  • 5/4/1967  10 day phones and 10 night phones.  Night phones occupied but there are a few vacancies on day phones. 
  • 9/7/1967  Firemen’s ball & field day planned for September 9th and 10th. 
  • Chief Fitch reported that the ladder truck had just been tested by the Board of Underwriters and will receive credit as both a ladder truck and a pumper.  More credit will be given for its being a ladder truck because even though the pump is in very good working order the truck is old. 
  • It was mentioned that 15 fellows from Hicksville Long Island would be here with Class B truck. 
  • 10/5/1967  It was voted to buy Pete Gilbert a ski jacket in appreciation for all the work he put into the timing equipment for the contest. 
  • It was voted to pay Marshall Connor for the engine in the tournament truck. 
  • 11/2/1967  A letter from Pete Gilbert was read stating that he is turning the timing equipment he built over to the Fire Department for further use. 
  • 12/7/1967  It was brought up that the department adopt a standard uniform and Marshall Connor is to look into the cost of this and report it at the next meeting. 
  • 2/1/1968  It was voted to hold a work night on Wednesday’s to fix up and paint the old Seagraves. 
  • 3/7/1968  Ben Ayer reported on the fire in Bradford and how he and the men that went happened to be called.  Open discussion started about the way the men of the Dept. feel about not getting called for what few fires we have.  They don’t feel it is fair for a certain few to handle these calls all the time.  Everyone joins the FD to fight fires but cannot do so if they know nothing about them.  All 22 members present were asked to give their opinion on how they felt about being called.  18 would like to be called for all fires even if they did nothing but wait in the station and help clean up after.  4 men said they would be happy being called only when necessary.  Next meeting Fred Brunnhoelzl, Jr. will report on the types and cost of some sort of signaling units that can be installed in the fireman’s home. 
  • 4/4/1968  Ben Ayer was elected as General Chairman of the Firemen’s activities on Bicentennial weekend. 
  • 5/2/1968  It was voted to buy blue pants and yellow ties to match our present uniform shirts.  If any member wants any of these they will pay for them themselves. 
  • Chief Fitch talked about a Mutual Aid system that is trying to be set up between the local towns of Bradford, Warner, Hopkinton, Sutton, Newbury, Webster, New London and Henniker. 
  • 6/6/1968  It was voted to have a raffle with different prizes.  A book with different prizes donated by the local merchants. 
  • 9/5/1968  After some discussion, it was voted to take the engine apart in the old Seagraves this winter and see just what it does need. 
  • 10/3/1968  Marshall Connor reported that he had given up on the Uniform Committee as he could not find what we were after for the price we were willing to pay. 
  • 12/5/1968  Clarence Fitch resigned as Chief. 
  • 1/9/1969  Ben Ayer elected Chief. 
  • 2/6/1969  It was voted to play the high school seniors in Donkey Basketball. 
  • 3/6/1968  It was voted to have a work night every Wednesday night to fix the Segraves and to build a kitchen upstairs in the station. 
  • 11/6/1969 Don Goss was elected chairman of a committee to repair the engine in the old Seagraves. 
  • Work nights on the new lounge and kitchen will be held every Wednesday night. 
  • 2/5/1970  Chief Ayer stated that the Fire Engineers had placed an article in the Town Warrant requesting that the Town buy a new first line pumper. 
  • Jim Connor brought up the question of outgrowing the firehouse and considerable discussion followed. 
  • 3/5/1970  The Kitchen Committee reported that the new kitchen was in progress and most necessary expenditures had been made. The treasurer reported that $527.36 had been expended so far. 
  • 12/3/1970  1st Director Marshall Connor went over the latest proposals for the location of the new route 202 and the intersections thereof. 
  • 3/4/1971  It was voted to buy a 1926 Maxum fire truck for $300.00.  The truck will be auctioned off during our tournament weekend. 
  • The new truck was on display at this meeting. (GMC) 
  • 6/3/1971  Deputy Chief Charlie Damour was appointed head of a committee to repair the old Seagraves. 
  • Chief Ayer reported that Sutton might be interested in buying old Engine 2. 
  • 7/1/1971 Engine 2 sold for $400.00. 
  • 1/6/1972  Chief Ayer reported that the 1971 payroll was $2204.50. 
  • 3/2/1972  Chief Ayer reported on the types and prices of uniforms available and it was then voted that we purchase navy blue shirts and pants, yellow clip on ties and that the money be taken from Company funds. 
  • After considerable discussion it was voted that the FD take on responsibility for organizing the memorial day observance. 
  • Chief Ayer requested that members repair the old Seagraves before Bridge Week if possible. 
  • Marshall Connor requested that all muster team members attend a NHDTA meeting to be held in Pittsfield April 28th.  It was decided that Henniker would announce if they would participate this year at this meeting. 
  • 4/2/1972  Marshall Connor reported that the muster team would participate in the Hillsboro muster only this year and there will be no muster in Henniker. 
  • 6/1/1972  Chief Ayer reported that we had been asked to bring the tanker to Orono Me to attend a forest fire compact meeting on June 20th. 
  • 7/6/1972  Steve Connor reported on the trip to Orono Me. Commenting on how well known our tank truck was among compact members due to publicity by the GSA. 
  • Skip McKean questioned the present service given by our quick call system and asked for a discussion on ways to alert more members.  A long discussion followed about quick call vs. radio resulting in a committee being elected to present arguments for both methods at the next meeting. 
  • 8/3/1972  Joe Gilbert explained the proposed radio call system.  The cost of a system to service all 30 members would be approx. $6800.00.  Don Goss reported that the phone co. would provide a dispatcher but he hadn’t gotten a price yet. 
  • It was voted to get up to 10 additional night and 10 day phones. 
  • 9/7/1972  Ben discussed the influx of new families into town and the problem of locating them if only a name was given for a fire. 
  • 11/2/1972  Chief Ayer commented on the Chag fire. 
  • 1/4/1973  Fred Brunnhoelzl III brought up the question of replacing the quick calls with radios and suggested that we try to make some decision before Town meeting.  A lengthy discussion followed and it was resolved to try once again try to get an answer from the telephone company as to providing dispatcher service. 
  • 2/1/1973  It was voted to remove $2500.00 from company funds and ask the Town for the remainder to purchase necessary radio equipment for the Henniker fire house, Hillsboro dispatcher and 35 home receivers. 
  • 3/1/1973  Jeep acquired from the State (with a frozen engine) 
  • 6/7/1973  A second 6 X 6 was received from the State with a 500 gal tank and a small John Bean high pressure pump. 
  • 7/5/1973  The radio committee reported that all of the radio’s except the base set were in and that we had a license to operate. 
  • 9/6/1973  It was voted not to accept less than $750.00 for the Maxim pumper if a buyer is found. 
  • 10/4/1973  Chief Ayer reported that due to a reported increase of fires at auto accidents that the department would now be called for all serious accidents. 
  • 1/5/1974  At the annual supper, Lester Farrar, who has manned the Craney Hill lookout tower for many years was enthusiastically elected an honorary member of the Henniker FD by the assembly of past and present members. 
  • 8/7/1975  It was voted to remove the equipment from the muster truck and move it to other trucks.  It was voted to display the truck at Fred Brunnhoelzl, Jr.’s and to decide what to do with it at a future meeting. 
  • 10/2/1975  New set of by-laws proposed. 
  • Skip McKean reported that the 1926 Maxum had been sold for $600.00. 
  • 11/6/1975  New by-laws adopted.  Changed officer structure to present form.  Changed Company name to Henniker Fire Department. 
  • 3/4/1976  It was voted that the meeting numbering system be maintained using the Department’s new name according to the by-laws. 
  • 4/1/1976  The flag committee reported that they had not received all of the catalogs requested as yet.  Don Blanchard suggested that some thought be given t the design of a company flag and suggestions be given to the committee. 
  • A general discussion was held pertaining to the lack of funds to buy kitchen supplies and all agreed to more careful that they kept paid up.
  • 5/6/1976  The kitchen committee requested that they be allowed to change distributors since due to a strike no beer can purchased.  The consensus of the meeting was that they change. 
  • 8/5/1976 Treasurers report indicated revenue from sale of muster truck $500.00 
  • 3/3/1977  Co. asked about the “new” tanker being accepted which led to a lively discussion of the pros and cons of retiring the ladder truck from service in place of the tanker.  No resolution. 
  • 4/7/1977  The company purchased 14 of the new style helmets which were lettered by Bob Douglas with the reflectorized word Henniker.  It was voted to give him two antique chairs, which he asked for and were once in the meeting room, as a token of our appreciation. 
  • 6/2/1977  The subject of limited response to day-time fire calls was raised.  …several suggestions were made including 1)possible purchase of alert devices carried on the person costing about $300.00 each 2) addition of more men to the roll. 3) the used of citizen volunteers was discussed.  It was felt that they are useful for brush fires but that  trained and experienced personnel are essential for house fires. 
  • 8/4/1977  It was voted with no opposition to drop our membership and insurance with the NH State Fireman’s Assoc.  This is because of an increase in rates with increase in benefits in recent years and emphasis of the program on big city departments.  The Town has dropped our insurance coverage leaving us dependant on workmen's compensation for future protection. 
  • 9/1/1977  Motorola representative demonstrated paging radios.  Cost of monitor $260, leather case $10 batteries $5 chargers $60 w/amplifier $30 no amp cheap chargers w/o antenna $20. 
  • 11/3/1977  Remarks for the good of the Company focused on the Von Schmidt fire which was serious but not disastrous in that there was no loss of life and his home was saved.  Bernie Walker woke the occupant for which he was grateful. 
  • 2/2/78  The Chief announced the proposed termination of our present dispatch service from the phone company as of June 1979. 
  • 10/5/1978  Voted to expand roster from 30 members to 35.  It was decided to pursue the purchase of a new engine to replace 1956 pumper (M2). 
  • 12/7/1978  Fred Brunnhoelzl said Bow is looking for a ladder truck – we have one. 
  • 1/4/1979  Decided to move the ladder truck to storage. 
  • 4/5/1979  Training officer position established. 
  • 2/7/1980  2nd Lt. Alan Michie suggested that we build a new tank for the International truck now parked at Ben’s house and put it in full service.  He pointed out that this truck would provide faster response and would be owned by the Town.  After discussion it was voted to build a new tanker body, cost not to exceed $1500.00. 
  • 3/6/1980  Tank truck committee members reported that  the new tank truck was finished and in service and they estimated that the total  cost including the new tank and repairs to the truck at $2200.00. 
  • 8/7/1980  Deputy Blanchard explained the Firefighter Certification program and asked if any members would like to devote the time required to start an in house course. 
  • It was reported that the engine swap in K2 was coming along very well (Detroit diesel in forestry tanker). 
  • 12/2/1982  It was decided to purchase a new tanker.  Tank to be constructed at Valley Transportation. 
  • 8/4/1983  Chief Ayer reported that dispatch may not survive and that we might have to go to Concord for fire dispatch. 
  • 10/6/1983  It was decided that emergency number would be changed to use Concord Dispatch.  The possibility of locating a repeater on Craney Hill would be investigated. 
  • 5/1/1986  Fred Brunnhoelzl discussed land purchase for a new station. 
  • 9/4/1986  An offer to sell the Wilkin’s lot was received and it was voted to reply that the department was not interested at this time.  A committee of the engineers was formed to look for land and plan a new station. 
  • 7/2/1987  Chief Ayer discussed using the money in the Frank Goss fund  to purchase jackets.  After discussion it was decided to have blue jackets with gold lettering and red symbol. 
  • The new tanker was discussed and the depart. Is ready to go. (I assume this refers to remounting tank from K2 International to the Ford-old Highway Dept. truck). 
  • 11/5/87  Chief Ayer discussed land for the new public safety building.  The Old Western Ave. Garage lot owned by NEC is a possibility. 
  • 12/3/1987  K2 now in service with only a few things left to complete. 
  • 12/7/1989  The new truck was discussed at great length.  Top Pump, custom cab, 1000/1000,  Allison trans. 
  • 2/1/1990  There was a lengthy discussion about the new truck and the Public Safety Building.  It was voted to inform the Selectmen that the Dept. requests that the truck and building not be on the same Warrant Article, and that an Article be added to provide $15,000 for Capital Reserve if the truck fails. 
  • 3/1/90  A vote to indefinitely postpone action on the new building this year failed. 
  • It was agreed that new truck would have a conventional chassis.  The body would be about $97,000 and a Mack cab would be about $60,000.  It was agreed to get other cab prices. 
  • 5/3/1990  The new truck will be a Pierce on a Ford chassis or an E-1 on IH chassis. 
  • 6/7/1990  The Department voted no to the new truck as specified (IH model 2574 with E-1 body)  The Dept. voted no to IH Eagle cab, std. Trans. 3408 350hp Cat.  The Dept. voted yes to Ford LS9000 w/set back axle, std. Trans., 3406 350hp Cat. 
  • 6/14/1990  Special Meeting.  Final specification for truck presented.  E-1 body, Peterbuilt chassis.  E-1 body - $89,531, Fittings $6,700, Prepayment to E-1 of 90,000 at the time of order would get the Dept. a $4462 credit.  Chassis $62.727.  The deal would require about $4200 of Company funds.  The company voted to take up to $5,000 of Company funds for new truck. 
  • 3/7/1991  New by-Laws proposed 14 yes, 8 no, 1 abstained.  Failed to achieve 2/3 majority needed. 
  • 7/11/91  Voted to purchase Lukas extrication tools for about $14,980. 
  • 10/3/1991  The old M2 was sold for $8500.00. 
  • 12/5/1991  Non-profit status of Company funds discussed.  Retrofitting 58U1 was discussed (old ambulance) 
  • 2/6/1992  It was voted to establish and register a tax-exempt charitable trust to be called “Henniker Firefighters Association”  the officers to be Chief, both Deputy Chiefs, Captain & treasurer of the Department. 
  • 10/1/1992  Dep. Chief St Lawrence has found the old hand pumper in Northern Maine. 
  • 12/3/1992  It was voted to eliminate the position of Steward. 
  • It was voted to spend up to $1200 to buy a trailer to store the Seagraves. 
  • 1/7/1993  Storage trailer purchased for $800.  Placed at Fred Brunnhoelzl’s with Seagraves in it. 
  • Chief Ayer announced that K9 (really K3 forestry tanker with Detroit engine) was for sale. 
  • 7/1/1993  Fred Brunnhoelzl will get the old hose and ladder wagons for the Old Home Days parade.  Arrangements were made to have the “General Taylor” hand tub participate in Old Home Day celebrations. 
  • Chief Ayer presented plaque at Old Home Day in recognition of his 25 years as Chief and many years of service to the Department.  1 plaque for him & one to hang at Station. 
  • 9/2/1993  The emergency Services Committee going over plans from architect for new building. 
  • 2/3/1994  The fire/rescue building was discussed and will be the first 4 Articles at Town Meeting.  Funding may come from bonds, sale of tax land, raised in general taxation. 
  • Lt. Kimball discussed the Plourde farm fire in Hillsboro.  The Dept. did an outstanding job in less than ideal (-10o) conditions. 
  • 10/6/1994  a gift of $10,000 was received for the Fire Rescue building. 
  • 11/3/1994  Open house at the new Fire Rescue Building scheduled for Dec. 3, 1994. 
  • Triple L donated $500.00 to be used to refurbish pool table. 
  • 12/1/1994  First meeting held in new Fire Rescue Building. 
  • 1/5/1995  Jim Crane briefed the members on the proposed full time rescue/fire personnel. 
  • 2/2/95  The full time rescue was killed by the Town budget committee. 
  • 7/6/1995  A statue of a fireman was received from Kenneth Arnie. 
  • 10/5/1995  The dive team was discussed. 
  • 5/2/1996  It was voted to purchase black ties for uniforms. 
  • $750 grant received for dry hydrant at Keyser Pond. 
  • 9/5/1996  New U1 discussed. 
  • 11/3/1996  New by-laws approved by unanimous vote with 30 present. 
  • Voted to purchase compressor with $1500 from HFA funds, $1500 from Rescue funds and $4000 Town funds. 
  • 4/3/1997  Utility truck ordered delivery expected during the summer. 
  • 10/2/1997  U1 chassis sent to Valley Fire for body installation. 
  • 2/5/1998  It was voted to participate in the “911” demolition derby at the Hopkinton Fair. 
  • 3/2/98  Dry hydrant at Keyser Pond now in service. 
  • 5/7/1998  Chief Ayer discussed selling Seagraves Back to Town for $1.00 so truck can be insured through Town.  FD would retain first refusal to repurchase for $1.00. 
  • Moved & voted to by new white short sleeve uniform shirts. 
  • 11/5/1998  Steve Connor was voted chair of the Honor Roll Committee. 
  • 12/3/1998  Truck Committee established for purchase of new tanker. 
  • 1/7/1999  Updated by-laws voted approved. 
  • Membership Committee established to review applications, interview candidates for membership and make recommendations to the department for the election of new members. 
  • 2/4/1999  New patch design presented for uniforms.  Voted to order same. 
  • 5/6/1999  It was noted that May 26 is the 100th Anniversary of the Fire Department.  Eric Hauptman to get a banner proclaiming anniversary. 
  • 1999 Group and individual photo’s taken after parade by Terri Trier. 
  • 12/2/1999  Voted to have Eric Hauptman purchase plaques to list member names.

History of Henniker Rescue Squad

black and white photo of the fire rescue squad

The Henniker rescue squad has a long tradition of outstanding service and commitment to the residents and visitors of the town of Henniker. Organized in 1969, the squad has a long history with many firsts such as having two members attend the first national EMT course, running one of the first standardized EMT training courses in New Hampshire, and being the first squad in the state with all members nationally certified. The squad has set standards that volunteer EMS squads strive to achieve. 

In 2008 the Rescue Squad lost a great friend in founding member Joe Parish. After Joe succumbed to illness, we reflected on how far the squad has come since its inception. As we mourn the loss of Joe, we take pause of the work done by those that have come before us as we enter into our 40th year of service.

In 1969 the Rescue Squad was born as a result of tragedy. At that time there was no easy way to get someone to emergency medical care. Nine dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to establish a reliable response network within the Town to offer this service. Since inception the Rescue Squad has striven to meet five simple goals; the visions of our founders:

  • To provide a necessary and adequate emergency medical service system to the Town of Henniker and the surrounding communities under appropriate mutual aid agreements.  This service is to be the best possible, within the limits of this call organization.
  • To maintain a program of continuing training for all members of the Henniker Rescue Squad.
  • To promote and advance the interests of the Henniker Rescue Squad.
  • To promote the public welfare.
  • To maintain coordination with all the other agencies directly or indirectly involved with the Henniker Rescue Squad.

It was the vision of these men that set the precedence for all of us to live up to. We take great pride in carrying on the tradition that was started those 40 years ago. To that end we strive to maintain a diversified membership that responds at all levels of national certification.

Last year, the call volume increased after three years of being relatively even. In 2009 the squad responded to 581 medical emergency calls. Most of these calls were for trauma or cardiac related emergencies. Currently, the Henniker Rescue Squad has 10 EMT-Basics, 3 EMT-Intermediates, and 2 Paramedics.

fire rescue team  fire rescue team fire rescue team  fire rescue team

crashed car

Pictures of the Past

old photograph old photograph of a group of people  old badge  old badges old fire truck people in front of an old fire truck old photograph of fire fighters old photo of fire rescue squad

fire vehicle  old photo of fire fighters putting out a fire old fire truck old photo of a fire rescue squad

old fire department old photo of a man in an ambulance old photo of a building burning old photo of a parade

old fire trucks old photo of fire fighters old group photo old photo of a parade

fire house building fire fighter putting out a fire with a hose smoke and fire group photo

group photo of fire fighters man with old fire truck