|Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA|
|Photo by Caulkins
People are not identified
To give a history of the fire fighters of Mansfield would take us back a good many years. Back to the old hand pump fire engine before there was any water system with its hydrants for supplying hose streams.
The first company of record was the old Hook and Ladder Co. The old hook and ladder truck is still in existence, and the survivors of this company can spin interesting stories of their achievements and activities.
Then came three competitive companies, the Pitts Hose Co., the Allen Hose Co., and the Ross Hose Co.
These companies were uniformed and made an impressive appearance when on parade. Various members of these companies made records in the racing events at the fireman’s conventions, which still stand unbeaten by local firemen.
I have no doubt that in many an attic or old trunk you could find a relic of those days in the form of an old uniform or cap.
These companies lasted only about ten years.
In the beginning of the year 1908 a movement was started to organize a new hose company. A fair was held in the old Opera House to raise funds with which to start this new company off in a good way. In April of the same year the organization of the Citizens’ Hose Company was completed. The two back rooms in the second floor of the Boro Building were outfitted for their use. The rear room was equipped as a sort of a gymnasium. There were boxing gloves, Indian clubs, fencing foils, etc. Individual lockers were provided for the members.
The middle room was furnished for a meeting place and reading room. It was recognized then as now, that a place for recreation must be provided for the boys in order to keep them interested in keeping up an active organization. Without it there is small incentive for the real firefighter to pay their dues each year for the privilege of risking their lives and limbs, and damaging their clothing fighting fires.
On January 5,1921, the members of the Citizens Hose Co., in good standings, ten in number, joined with a delegation from the American Legion and formed the present Mansfield Hose Company with a quota of twenty members.
In 1923 the idea of better fire fighting equipment in the form of a motor pumper began to be agitated. A committee was appointed to interview the boro council requesting them to exercise the power given them by the state to levy a two cent tax for the purchase of fire apparatus.
This the council declined to do without knowing the voice of the taxpayers.
The company then tried to get the question put before the voters at the following primary election, but here they again met with failure.
Undaunted they started a pumper fund, to which various sums received from the foreign insurance, etc., were added. Finally late in the year 1926 after calling several special meetings to which representative business men and citizens were invited to discuss the question, a committee was appointed to arrange for a fair to raise the necessary balance of the funds.
A very substantial pledge had already been made by the normal school through Dr. Straughn
The committee arranged for the fair to be held in the Grange hall for a whole week. The surrounding towns of Covington, Mainesburg, Rutland and Lambs Creek each were invited to assist in the fair, with a promise of fire protection in return.
The fair was a big success and the company’s dream of a modern pumper was realized.
The company then took action toward getting a reduction in insurance rates. Through the purchase of other minor equipment and complying with other requirements of the Board of Underwriters, a reduction of about twenty-five per cent on commercial rates was achieved, proving that the purchase of a pumper was a good investment for the business man as well as giving the added protection to all property owners.
The growth of the company has been steady with at one time 115 names on the roll. Death and removals from town have reduced the membership to about eighty active members.
The company is always watching for ways by which it can better safe guard your property and gladly invites your cooperation in its effort. There has not been an inspection by the Board of Underwriters since June 1927, and a committee is again at work toward getting a further reduction in the insurance rate.
The prospects look good for another 25% reduction on the commercial rates, and possibly on the residential rates.
The boys honestly believe that they have made a good record and that
their efforts are appreciated by the residents of Mansfield and the surrounding
towns served by them.