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Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899
([1997])

Milwaukee Sentinel: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Wednesday, February 22, 1899,   pp. 67-71


Page 70

Clancy and paid no more attention to what was going on further up the street. The mayor
told Mr. Clancy to take his men away because they were causing trouble."
Mayor Feels Grateful.
Mayor Mueller and City Clerk Tolande of Port Washington came to the city
yesterday afternoon and called on Chief Foley at the Fire department. The mayor said last
evening he called on the chief on private business and had not come in the capacity of an
official. "I felt that the Milwaukee men had done good work and had saved my tannery
and property from burning, and I feel that their services should be rewarded. I asked
Chief Foley if it would be permissable to make each of the Milwaukee firemen a present
and the chief said it was against the rules of the department to do so. I have therefore
decided to send a check for $200 to the firemen's relief fund. I am doing this as a citizen
and am only sorry I cannot contribute more, because the men certainly did splendid work
and proved themselves brave men by the manner they worked. They worked nobly and
the way they checked the flames when once they began to throw water shows the
efficiency of the firemen you have here."
Had to Drag Men.
"It is a source of much regret that a feeling should exist about the treatment of the
men while in our city. There seems to have been no question about some of the volunteer
firemen having drunk too much during the night, and I regret it as much as any
Milwaukeean, if your men were not treated with the greatest respect and courtesy while in
our city. I am sorry to say that I had to at times forcibly drag them from the sidewalks
when your firemen called for help, but I am sure I did all I could and tried to set the men
an example by working at a hose myself. If any discourteous treatment was shown your
firemen while they were in our city, it will certainly be investigated. It is the first I have
heard about one of the men being accused of taking a coat, or of your men being called
vile names by volunteer firemen. It's all very unfortunate, but the excitement attending
such times should be considered."
Citizens Are Grateful.
"I am sure the citizens of Port Washington are grateful to the firemen and any
discourtesy that may have been shown them from one of the rougher elements which
usually takes advantage of such times, is not sanctioned by the citizens. Had we the
protection of a large city in such times, we could cope with such an element, but at times
like that of the fire a few drunken men can cause much trouble. As for the little incident
which I stopped the fireman, I did not arrest him. Two drunken railroad men had
assaulted one of our citizens and I thought that if the firemen were there trouble would
follow and I asked Chief Clancy to keep the men away. I tried to do all I could for the
Milwaukee men and I am confident that there was no intention to be disrespectful or
discourteous. If such was the case, the authorities at Port Washington will deal with such
men."


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