Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899
Milwaukee Sentinel: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Wednesday, February 22, 1899, pp. 67-71
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."
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright