A Century of Firefighting History:
The Glen Rock Hose & Ladder Company
As a result of several destructive fires within Glen Rock Prior to 1888, town council purchased a used 1849 Rumsey hand drawn pumper. This apparatus operated by four firefighter on each side pumping the wood handles which forced the water through the fire hose by the hand powered piston pumps. Water for the engine was drafted from cisterns, wells, the millrace, Codorus Creek and or the millpond. By 1901, Glen Rock had its first water mains and fire hydrants to enhance fire protection.
On October 1st , 1901, the Glen Rock Borough Council issued a call for a public meeting to organize a fire company. President of town council, S.K.Diehl, requested a temporary fire organization, which was granted volunteer firefighter for the new company. Forty five men initially volunteered. The following were elected to office of the company : president, Allen M Seitz; I. Palmer Diehl, Secretary; Isaiah Young, Treasure. The following were appointed by President Seitz to draft a a constitution and by-laws: E.S. Hiteshue, M.L.Kapp and Edward Slonaker.
On October 7th, 1901, a meeting was held in the Knights of Pythias Hall on Main Street in which fire company officers were elected for the ensuing year. President, A. M. Seitz ,1st Vice President M. L. Kapp; 2nd Vice President, G.F. Miller; Secretary, I. Palmer Diehl; Treasurer, Isaiah Young: Chaplain, Rev. L.S. Reichard; Foreman, E.S. Hiteshue; Ass’t. Foreman, Isaiah Young: Chief Hose Director, Levi Gerbrick; Ass’t. Hose Directors, E.W. Heathcote and G.W. Wambaugh. Chief Pipeman, CS. Kinkle; Ass’t. Pipeman, T.M. Brown, Homer Dise, E.B- Radcliffe, Scott Rndcliffe, Lloyd Miller, Paul Birchall, and Spencer Rohrbaugh. Trustees: E.T. Eyster, J.V. Wambaugh, and E.R. Rohrbaugh. Investigating and nominating committee: W.W. Seitz, W.O. Bixler, and J.B. Herbst. These men were the first lo serve as officers of the Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Company.
October 11th, 1901, the company held their 3rd meeting within the month to get organized properly. Membership fees were set at $I .00 per member annually. Copies of the company constitution and by-laws were distributed to members. The Fire Company contacted the Glen Rock town council and urged them to locate a meeting place for the company.
On November 8th, 1901 the Glen Rock town council turned possession of the 1849 Rumsey hand operated pumper over to the newly organized Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Company.
Note: The Rumsey hand pumper was named “Old Mark” in honor of Mark Rackliffe who at the time was Glen Rock’s chief Burgess. Mr. Radcliffe came to Glen Rock about 1849 from England and was not only one of the four original community leaders but a rope manufacturer as well.
The Foust building on Baltimore Street was secured for the fire company to station “Old Mark” and at the same time allow the public to view the hand pumper through a large plate-glass window in front of the building. Today the antiquated “Old Mark” can still be seen proudly displayed In the special museum room at the front of the new fire station addition. “Old Mark” was saved and reconditioned by ambitious members of the fire company who felt the old pumper represented a vital part of out fire company’s history, The Beginning”!
In late 1901 or early 1902 it was decided by the fire company to purchase a hose carriage from the Goodwill Fire Company of York, Pa. This carriage cost $100 and was transported free of charge to Glen Rock via The Northern Central Railroad. The hose was originally carried to the fire scene by the firefighters.
1st Protective Firefighting Clothing
February 14th, 1902 On a motion by F.G. Kintzing, the fire company trustees were instructed to purchase six rubber coats and caps from the E.R, Miller and Company of Glen Rock. Fire Chief (Foreman) E.S. Hiteshue, made the motion at the March 14th fire company meeting to purchase three additional rubber coats and caps, and 12 lanterns, and a 40-foot wooden ladder.
June 30. 1902- at 11 am, the fire-company responded to a fire in the kitchen of the Cold Spring Hotel on Main Street. The fire was extinguished with minimal damage.
July 11th, 1902- The Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Co. took on the duties of sprinkling the dusty dirt streets of Glen Rock. The payment to the fire company for the July, 1902 street sprinkling was $39.55. It is not sure if Glen Rock Borough Council, or community businesses paid for the sprinkling. Sprinkling profits for August. 1902, were $49.45. The fire company also sponsored a lawn festival, which profited $177.10. These profits were used to purchase firefighting equipment.
Thanksgiving Fair and Festival
November 1902- Chairman E.S. Hiteshue. of the Fair and Festival committee reported a profit of $852.25 from the festival. Thanks to the generosity and support of the citizens of Glen Rock, town businesses, a group of ladies who volunteered working at the fair, the Glen Rock orchestra, and the Glen Rock Band, the Thanksgiving Festival was very successful and Rave the fire company a big financial boost.
In January 1903. President A.M. Seitz reported having made application for a charter for the fire company.
At the same time a committee was appointed to secure a plot of ground on which to build the fire station. This was obtained from W.C. Lau for the sum of $650. The plot was located beside the Glen Rock steam bakery on Hanover Street.
February 25, 1903- The company is called to a fire at the Norrish Foundry and machine company which destroyed the Cupola and some of the roof before being brought under control, damage amounted to $1,000.00.
On March 13th ,1903 the Glen Rock Hose & Ladder Company received it’s charter but it was originally issued on January I9th,1903 from Judge John Bittenger, for the court. There are 48 original charter members of which M. Guy Lentz served as a member of the fire company for 78 years until passing away on October 21st, 1979.
|1- Allen M. Seitz2- George F. Miller
3- Curvin E. Dise
4- M. L. Kapp
5- Charles Seitz
6- J. E. Seitz
8- E. T. Eyster
9- Ira Amspacher
10-E. S. Hiteshue
11- E. W. Heathcote
12- T. M. Brown
13-I. J. Young
14- G F. Heathcote
15- C. Edward Slonaker
16- F.G. Kintzing
17- Harry Stover
18- D. R.Bortner
19-I. Palmer Diehl
20- W. W. Seitz
21- J. Victor Wambaugh
22- C. S Kinkle
23- J. S. Little
24- Pius Anstine
|25- Norman Shriver26- George Seebauer
27-C. G. Seitz
29- L. F. Klinefelter
30- Levi Gerbrick
*31- M.Guy Lentz
32- Scott Radcliffe
33- Lloyd Miller
34- J. E. Venus
35- E.B. Radcliffe
36- WO. Bixler
37- Homer A. Dise
38- James B. Herbst
39- Alton Price
40- John Radcliffe
42- E. R. Rohrbach
43-George F. Wambaugh
45- W. C Lau
46-J. L. Bortner
47-D. M. Roser
*M. Guy Lentz- fire company member from 1901-October 21,1979.
At the same time that the charter details were being worked out, the company also began planning the construction of an engine house. In March 1903 plans for the building were discussed with the architect, Joseph Dise. In July 1903 the building plans and sketches presented by architect J. Dise were examined and accepted by the fire company members.
The Standard Screen Works, Wm. Frey and I. Gladfelter donated building stone for the new engine house. $50 was donated towards the building by the Junior Athletics from a fund raising event. Citizens also donated money to purchase bricks for the fire hall. Interest grew as the new engine house continued to rise with members joining the fire-company monthly.
Construction begins on The Glen Rock Fire Hall. Workers are seen setting a steel support beam, 1904.
Fire fighting equipment was badly needed so the borough council purchased hose for the fire-company periodically. The engine house was completed December 9, 1904 at a cost of $8.008.23 plus $650 for the plot of ground. The new engine house has been utilized for many things besides housing fire apparatus and company meetings such as borough council meetings, boy scouts and a host of other organizations. The engine house was also used for voting, tax collection drop off, various fund raising fairs, festivals, etc.! There was even a library on the 2nd floor and a basketball court on the 3rd floor, the electric theater, a practice hall for the Glen Rock Caroler’s association and the list goes on and on!
Church Services Held in the Fire hall
April 9th, 1905- The congregation of the Zion Lutheran Church began to hold its church services in the Glen Ruck Firehall gymnasium, which was on the third floor, until the new Zion Lutheran Church was built. Records show the church services were well attended, literally packing the third floor or the fire hall every Sunday morning and evening, until the congregation moved their services into their new church at the intersection of Hanover and Water Streets. Subsequently, the Zion Lutheran Church congregation donated the bell from the old Lutheran Church to the Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Co. to alert firefighters when there was a fire.
Crowd gathered in front of the Glen Rock Fire Hall and Steam Bakery during a community ox roast in 1910.
Loss of A Great Volunteer
October 12th, 1918- While fighting a house fire at 155 Hanover Street, in Glen Rock, firefighter Harry Stover, who was a charter member and instrumental in the growth of the fire company became extremely ill, suffering from flu and pneumonia, which eventually took his life on October 22nd, 1918. Fire chief Roy Heyn filed a report that he felt that Stover died as a result of fighting the fire. During that time there were many deaths and serious illness due to a flu/pneumonia epidemic . It is not certain if fighting the fire could have contributed to firefighter Stover’s illness and death.
Hot Time In The Old Town
July 1st, 1921 was regarded as the darkest day in the history of the fire company up to that time. A fire broke out in the Read Machinery Company and quickly spread to the neighboring building of J.F. & H.O. Neuhaus Hardware and Farm Machinery Company on Main Street, Glen Rock, destroying both buildings with the loss of $200,000. Handicapped by the absence of modem fire fighting equipment the hand-drawn fire apparatus was no match for this fire. Glen Rock firefighters could only protect nearby properties while in constant danger from exploding fireworks and dynamite going off in the Neuhaus Building. Firechief Roy Heyn requested assistance from the York City Fire Department. Laurel Fire Company of York sent it’s more modem engine to assist Glen Rock. The Laurel engine drafted water from the old mill race and assisted in containing the fire.
July 19th and August 8th. 1921- other fires an these dates destroyed the George Bollinger Stable and spread to L. Siltzer’s Blacksmith Shop. Another fire partially destroyed the S.B. Werner’s Toy Desk Company in Glen Rock.
August 12th, 1921- A new engine committee was selected by president S.D. Wareheim. The committee was Roy Heyn, C.L Seitz. J. Sieling, P.L. Hedrick, and F.J. Hildebrand
Another view of the J.F & H.O. Neuhaus and Read Machinery Company after a fire on july 1st, 1921. The Glen Rock Fire Hall can be seen in the distance.
“First Motorized Fire Engine”
October 28th, 1921- A special meeting was called by fire company president S.D. Wareheim to decide what type of new and more efficient fire apparatus to purchase. After examining the merits White, Ahrens Fox and American La France Fire Apparatus the members of the Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Company voted to purchase a 750 gallon per minute American La France pumper. The new engine was delivered on March 1st, 1922 and was Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Company’s first motorized fire apparatus. Payment for the engine was made on April 22nd, 1922 at a cost of $12,500. This engine would eventually be nicknamed “Old Grandma.” The following members were appointed by company president S.D. Wareheim to have charge of and maintain the new engine: Harry Foust, Furhman Hershner. Kenneth Keller, T.M. Brown, Dan K. Krebs, and Roy M. Heyn. At this point the old Goodwill hose carriage was retired from service. On March 22nd, 1922, the housing ceremony was held at the Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Company for the new American La France engine.
April 13th, 1923- Work was begun by the fire company to form the Glen Rock Firemen’s Relief Association. The original formation committee consisted of: M. Guy Lentz, M.L. Kapp, and Roy M. Heyn.
1925-At this point, the new American La France engine had responded to numerous fire calls out of town since it’s purchase. There were only three fire calls for the year of 1925.
1926-The company meeting room, commonly known as “the parlor”, was finally furnished and complete, providing a suitable room for meetings and other company business. The cost was $1,222.01. By the end of 1926, a committee was appointed to look into the purchase and installation of a siren on top of the fire house to alert volunteers for fire calls.
February 27th, 1927- Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Co. responds to a fire in the kitchen of Hotel Glen resulting in several hundred dollars in damage.
August 8th, 1930- A committee was formed to gather information on an official fire company dress/parade uniform. It would be 20 more years until an official uniform was adopted.
September 20th, 1930- Glen Rock Hose & Ladder Co. participated in the State Firemen’s Association Convention and Parade in York, Pa. Glen Rock fire fighters took the 1922 American La France engine and “Old Mark,” the hand drawn engine. The fire company also had 85 men marching who were accompanied by the Glen Rock Band.
November 13th, 1930- A committee was appointed to investigate mounting of the company’s 2-chemical tanks of the hand drawn chemical carts on a motorized chassis. This idea never materialized.
April 10th, 1931- The first breathing apparatus for firefighting is purchased. It is unknown what type of respiratory protection it was, other than it was reported in the records as (4) respirators were purchased.
Pictured is an original By Laws handbook of the Glen Reck Fireman’s Relief Association belonging to fire company member L.B. Klinefelter issued September 4th, 1923.
January 13th, 1933- York City Fire Chief Ellis Wagner attends the monthly meeting of the Glen Rock Hose & – Ladder Company. Chief Wagner gave an address on fire prevention and the latest fire suppression techniques of the time.
December 1934- The fire house was used as a distribution center for the York County Relief Authority to hand out supplies to the needy.