Sunday, February 3, 2019

Milmont Fire Co. 100 years old this year! Upcoming events this week

The dedication of the original Milmont Fire Co. House from 1921. The firemen built their own building. This building stood where their rental hall is today.


Milmont Fire Co. 100 years old this year


Note: The Milmont Fire Co. was organized in October of 1919 with 9 men as the original members. They met at the home of Gus Ball on Baltimore Ave. I was lucky enough to interview the last original member, Valentine Violen some 30 years ago. The article below is from 1921,

        How Milmont got fire protection

      Those who are cross-grained by heavy streaks of pessimism should take a trip out to Milmont and learn what a handful of men and women of the Milmont Fire Company are accomplishing.  The women are included in this story because they, the Ladies’ Aid, are actively assisting the firemen in reaching a stated object.  In the first place, Milmont is situated on the Chester-Darby P.R.T. trolley line with Ridley Township.  There are not more than fifty houses in the whole community.  Basing its population upon the accepted to 5 to 1 ratio, then the population of Milmont is approximately 250.

     But this is where the Milmont story puts to shame the pessimist who assumes nothing can be doneTwo years ago a handful of the male residents of Milmont decided the community needed fire protection, so they got together and organized the Milmont Fire Company.  A lot was acquired facing Belmont avenue.  Gradually, through heroic effort, sufficient cash was accumulated to purchase building materials required to erect a creditable, though not commodious fire house.  At this point in the fame the Milmont Fire Company possessed the ground, the fire house, but no apparatus.  True, there existed a bucket brigade.  But the fire underwriters don’t look kindly upon bucket brigades in calculating fire hazard rates, for such primeval fire prevention in methods have long since been discounted and discountenanced.  The Milmont firemen were aware of these facts, but a bucket brigades and salvage corps, particularly the Salvage Corps were to them the two best bets for the time being; that is, to fill I the interval between the hoped for and the actual acquisition of up-to-date apparatus.   

     The fire protection, the Milmont “boys” had set their hearts upon securing was a childs apparatus on an Oldsmobile chassis, and this cost $5,266.  Now to raise such an amount of real money in a community of 250 souls means a head per capita tax of something over $22.  Yet in this course of one year the proposition was put over.  This, indeed, is a wonderful accomplishment when the financial expansion of Milmont as a community, is considered, as the residents there, are of the hard working class.  They are clean livers, hard workers and own their own homes, however humble the domiciles may be.  However, $3,000 of the $5,265 has been raised, and the balance pledged.  The fire apparatus is ordered and should arrive at Milmont by April 1.  Some accomplishment.  Indeed?

     The Milmonters were so gleeful over the success of this drive that Saturday night last the fire company decided to celebrate the event.  The affair took the form of a sauerkraut dinned, served in cabaret fashion followed by dancing later in the evening.  It appeared every living soul in Milmont and for miles around succeeded somehow in getting standing room in that little fire house.  It was certainly packed to capacity and more.  The sauerkraut was conditioned after three styles.  Hungarian, German and American but as the pigs knuckles were from the piggy ranch of Thomas Glennon, they were 100 per cent American.  On this Glennon farm there are 56 milch cows and 154 pigs and Glennon gave it from the shoulder that if the fireman needed every head of this livestock was theirs for the asking.  Then is it any wonder there was feasting and no famines at Milmont Saturday night.

     However, this sauerkraut dinner and its ensuing aftermaths were a huge success.  Among the guests from out of Milmont who attended to boost the festivities along were George Hill of Drexel Hill, president of the Delaware County Firemen’s Association; burgess William Johnson of Ridley Park; Jimmy Dougherty of Leiperville and Charles Gallagher of Folsom.

     Thomas Glennon, James B. DeHaven and Joseph Hesch com0rised a very efficient Entertainment Committee.

     The officers of the Milmont Fire Company are as follows:  Thomas Glennon, president; George Kauffman, vice president; Joseph Hesch, treasurer; James B. DeHaven, financial secretary; Joseph Kayrack, recording secretary; and Gustavus Ball, chief.






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