Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Culver - Union Township Fire Department 1934-1943



1934 - jan 17 - Alfred Cromley has been, elected chief of the Culver Fire, Department, succeeding Arthur Fishburn, Wayne VonEhr was named assistant chief.

1934 - 16 July - The only department fatality occurred when a fire truck crashed on a curve while responding to a fire call. Overturning on a freshly oiled road located on the east side of Lake Maxinkuckee. Alfred B. Cromley, chief who was 38 last his life. Others injured were: Cary Cummins, Art Fishburn, Eddie Boberg, and Jack Taylor.

1934 - Jul 25 - Repairing Fire Truck locally - The fire truck which was damaged in the recemt accident, is being repaired locally. It is beleived by the members of the town board that this method will save a considerable sum of money over sending the truck to the manufacturers.

1934 Nov 21 Firemen to hold trap shoot Sunday, Nov 25 - A trap shoot, sponsored by the Culver Fire Ddepartment will be held sunday Nov 23, on the Academy grounds back of the boat house. The shoot will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will include turkeys, ducks, chickens, geese and sugat. A full line of supplies will be on the grounds The public is invited to participate

1934 - Dec 19 - Von Ehr Elected Chief of Fire Deaprtment

    Wayne Von Ehr was elected to serve another term as chief of the Culver Fire Depaertment at the annual election held last week.

    He has been filling out the term of the late Chief Alfred Cromley

    Other officers chosen were:
      Cary Cummins, Assistant chief;
      Perchis Blanchard, Secetary; and
      Mont Foss, Treasurer.


1935 - The officers of the club as elected at the first meeting of the year are: Chief - Cary Cummins
Assistant Chief - Phil McLae
Secretary - Harold Davis and
Treseaurer - Mont Foss

1935 - Union Township had contracted with the town for services in the township. - - with this merge a new Ford chassis with a 500-gallon Hale pumper and 100-gallon booster tank was purchased.

1935 - May 22- Wayne VonEhr has resigned as Fire Chief of the Culver Volunteeer Fire Department, effictive June 10

The top from an original calender - Sometime in 1935-1936 a calendar was issued with the fire department - to get funds for the department.


The actual photograph used - Standing is left to right: 1) Fire Chief Cary Cummins; 2) Wayne VonEhr Kneeling left to right is: 1) Harold Davis ; 2) David "Dave" Burns; 3) Mont Foss; 4) Ed McFeely; 5) Howard Porcher; 6) Kenneth "Kenny" Bush; 7) Horace Ewald; 8) Arthur "Art" Fishburn; 9) Perchis "Perg" Blanchard; 10) Jack Taylor; 11) Phil McLane; 12) Ed Boberg - Sep 11, 1935 -


1935 - Sept 11 - Pride of Organization Basis of Fire Company's Success

1935 - NOV 20 - Good way to get your Meat for thanksgiving - our pilgrim forefathers secured their thanksgiving meat through their trusty rifles and local marksmen will have the opportunity to apre them when the culver fire department stafes it trap shoot Sunday Nov. 24 - Turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens will be available. The meet starts at 9:00 a.m. and will continue until dark while the ladies will shoot at 2:00 p.m. Hot lunch will be served on the grounds.

1935 - DEC 11 - Foss and McFeely Retire from Fire Company After Three decades of Service
    After more than three decades of service as members of theCulver Volunteer Fire Department, Mont Foss and Ed McFelly have retired.

    As an epression of appriciation they will be presented with their badges and suitable engraving thereon.

    Foss was the oldest member of the department, having served 34 years, while MvFeely was only two years behind him. This is a long period to serve the community in a volunteer capacity and the community extends its congratulations fo the fine work the did and acknowledges its debt to them for their faithful service as firefighters.

    Due to insurance technicalities the places of the two retired men will not be filled unto next year. This reduce the company to 14 men.

    At the annual election held Monday night Cary Cummins and Philip McLane were reelected chief and assistant chief respecively. Horace Ewald was named secretary and Kenneth Buch treasurer.


1936 - jan 22 Fireman Balk At Pay Raise Set by Town
    The members of the Culver Volunteer Fire Department have not accepted an incease in salary offered by the town board it was reported at the latter's meeting Monday night.

    The fire company has been drawing $360 annnualy, which has been pro rated among the members according to fire and meetings attended. This maked an average of about $25 a YEAR to each member of the company, which is most cases does not more than cover the damage to clothing, shoes, etc.

    Since the town is receiving financial aid from the township in keeping up the department, the members had requested that the allowance be increased.

    The board recongnized that the present compense was inadequate in comparison with services rendered by the fighters and offered the company an increased to $500 annually.

    It was reported that the fire lads did not accept this as there was the feeling that the figure should be $600.


1936 - Jul 22 - Old Fire Truck Obsolete Chief Tells Trustees
    The old fire truck is completely worn out and useless as a means of fire protection the town board was told Monday night by Fire Chief Cary Cummins.

    The result is that when the new truck is out of the corporate limits the town is actually without fire protection.

    The truck is 20 years old and has been repaired frequently, but Cummins claims that it is now to the point wherereapairs are useless as there are too many worn parts.

    Its engine will not even take it up a hilll, the chief assereted, while its pumping ability is fare from a certainty at any time.

    Cummins told the board that a new light truck was the only solution if township fires were to be fought and adequate fire protection maintained in town.

    The board took the report under advisement.


1936 - Aug 5 Report on Fire Truck fire chief Cummins reported to the board on the type of equipment needed to give adequate fire protection for the town and township. His recommendations were taken under advisment

1936 - Aug 12 - Township makes most calls for fire fighters, survey reveals

1936 - Aug 19 Officlas agree on need of new fire aparatus
    Officials of the township and town arrived at a definite agreement Monday night that a new fire truck must be pruchased if the thownship is to be given adquate fire protection, and set next Monday night for a joint meeting with representative of the fire equipment manufacturers.

    At this meeting the officials will ascertain the type of fire truck needed to meet the problem of furnising complete protection to rural property. The lack of water at many farm homes presents an angle not found in town or around the lake. THe officals will seek a set-up that will handle this situation adequately.

    Ralph Thornburg and John Newman attended the meeting Monday night as representatives of the Farm Bureau and stated that most farmer wanted a township fire truck, but that they wanted equipment that would meet the demands of rural fires better than has been furnished in the past.

    A conrol committee.

    It was agreed, since the township was joining in the purchase of a fire truck, that it should have control in its management and that a committee of a representative from the town board, one from the advisory board, and the fire chief, should be established.

    The township officials expressed themselves as desiring that the town fire department nam the township truck.

    Both taxiing units have provided in their current budgets for the purchase and maintenance of the fire equipment.


1936 - Aug 26, Culver-Union Twp Fire Dept. Formed - Formation of the Culver-Union Township Fire Department was effected at the joint meeting of town and township officials at the town hall on Monday night.

1936 - Sep 2 - Officials parley over new fire equipment
    Officals of the township and town conferred Monday night on the proposed prucahse of a mew fire truck to serve the townsho[, but no definite decision was reached or contract signed.

    Members of the fire department were present to aid the officials with practical suggestions on the type of equipment needed to mee allneeds in the way of rural fire protection.

    The officials of the tw iuntis also discussed the drawing up of an agreement regarding the operation and maintenance of he new truck, but no document was signed

    The matter of past agrrements also came in for considerable discussion and percussion.


1936 - Sep 9 & 16 - Notice to Taxpayers of Culver City, Marshall County Indiana
    You are hereby notified that the Trustees of the town of Culver City, Marshall County, Indiana, will, under date of September 21, 1936, pass an additional ppropriation ordiance for the current year as follows:
      Fire truck including Ford chassiss, fo the total amount of... $3,723.50
    and has seth Monday, September 21, 1936, at 8:00 p.m. at the Town Hall in the town of Culver City, Marshall county, Indiana as the time and place for the hearing of any objections to the making of said additional appropriations.

    Ten or more taxpayers, other than those who pay poll tax only, who feel themselves aggrieved by the above proposed additional appropriation may appeal to the State Baord of Tax commissioners by filing a remonstrance with the County Auditor within ten days after September 21, 1936. The tx board will fix a date for a hearing in this county.

    Dated September 1, 1936

    By order of the trutees of the incoprorated town of Culvery City, Marshall county, Indiana by. J. E. Foreman, Clerk-Treasurer.


1936 - Oct 7 - Order New Fire Apparatus for Township
    A contract for a new fire truck to be used in answering alarms in the township was signed with the General Fire Apparatus Co., of St. Louis, Mo., at the meeting of the town board on Monday night.

    The total purchase price is $3,013.50, and is to b e paid equally by the town and township

    The truck is to have the ususal equipment with certain specifications to meet the problems of fighting rural fires.

    The hose bin is to have a capacity for 1,200 feet of two and one-half inch hose, which is larger than usual.

    There will be one 30 foot extension lader, one 12-foot roof lader, one 10-foot folding lader, and one 10-foot pike pole in addition to the udual accessories.

    The number of fire buckets to be carried has also been increased to ten.

    The truck will be well equiped for furnishing lights at a rural fire. Ther will be ttwo hand electric search lights, on 10-inch swivel electric searhlight and two adjustable searchlights.

    Large Booster Tank

    The truck will carry a 200-gallon b ooster tank, which will allow the refilling at rural fires without stopping the pump. There will be two 3-gallon chemical extinguishers.

    The booster tank will be equiped with 200 feet of three- quarter inch hose.

    The pump is to have a capacity of 350 gallons per minute and is to be equiped with both cooling and heaing systems, the latter to prevent freeze-ups in cold weeather. Ther will be automatic shutters on the radiators.

    The balance of the apparatus is standard on most outfits.

    "Culver and Union Twp. F. D.: is to be the lettering in gold on the red background.

    The truck is to be delivered by the latter part of this month.


1936 - Oct 21 - Trap Shoot Sunday, Oct 25 North of Road 10 Academy Grounds starting at 1: p.m. and continuing until dar. Variety of attractive merchandise prizes Sponsored by Culver Fire Department The public is invited to come and enjoy an afternoon of Trap shooting

1936 - Nov 25 - Chassis Delivered for New Fire APparatus - The A. R> McKesson agency has been notified that the new Ford chassis, 1937 model, has been delivered to the General Fire Truck Corporation, Detriot, and that work assembling the apparatus is under way. It is expected that fir fire fighting equipment will be delivered around the first of the year.

1936 - Dec 23 - Cummins Re-elected Chief of Fire Department
    Cary Cummins was re-elected chief of the fire department at the annual meeting helf last week. Kenneth Bush was named assistant chief, while the balance of the uncumbants were reelected


1937- Jan 20 - New Township Fire Apparatus Ready for Use.
    This new truck gives ther community the best fire protection of any its size in the state.

    That is the way a representative of the General Fire Truck Corporation, Detriot, rated the local fire fighting set-up with the arrival of the new township fire truck

    The new apparatus arrived Sataurday and after tests on Sunday and Monday the town board on Monday night formally accepted the job.

    It will be maintained by both the town and township, but will be used only for township fires.

    The truck has a 1937 Ford chassis, the first used this year by the General Firre Truck Corporation and uses dual rear wheels so that it can go into fields and places the heavier vechicle couldn't venture.

    Has Heavy duty pump

    The truck pump has a rating of 350 gallons per minute but can deliver over 500 gallons per minute as it is a heavy duty pump.

    The truck carried 740 feet of two and one-half inch hose and 350 feet of one and one-half inch hose.

    Then there is a 200 gallon booster tank, with 200 feet of hose. This tank is double the capacity of the one on the large truck and exceeds by 50 feet the amount of booster hose carried by the town vehicle.

    It is pointed out that the booster tank is the ideal equipment for rural use as it permits refilling while in use and this tank equals ten chemical tanks. Chemicals in themselves do not extinguish fires, but merely furnish the pressure, while they damage household furnishing where water will not. All modern fire truckes are now using the booster tank instead of chemicals, a fire authority declared. By starting promptly with a bucket brigade from any nearby well the booster tank can be used without interruption in fighting a fire.

    Is fully equiped

    The truck is completely equiped with the ususal accessories which include an attic ladder, a roof ladder, a 28 foot extension ladder, 10 buckets, 2 axes, 2 electric hand lamps, 4 floodlights, an automatic winter front for the engine, a siren, a flashing red light on the front of th e engine, bell, crowbar, various hoses connections, on Foamite for gasoline fires, one hand pump for attic use, a hand extinguisher for the truck's engine, a cellar spray nozzle, 2 two and one-half inch nozzles, 2 one and one-half inch nozzles, a suction hose screen for use in lake and another for use in cisterns, and hose for pump..

    With this equipment it is stated that the new truck is better prepared to fight rural fires than the larger vechile. It is the most complete and finest in its size ever manufactured by General Fire Truck Corportation, a representative of the company asserts.

    The pump is protected against freeizng at any temperature, and it is the only style pump adopted for use by the U. S. Government.

    Cost Totals $3,478

    The truck and equipment cost the town and township $3,748 and will last from 25 to 30 years with ordinary care, it is stated.

    The Old truck, which had reached the ripe age of 20 years, has been traded for $150 worth of fire hose and will be delivered next SUnday to the company at Hartford City, Indiana.

    The other truck which is to be used now for tiwn fires only, was purchased in 1930.


1937 - on Sanborn Fire map the fire department was still located on Plymouth St. across from what is now Grace Reformed church of Christ and the property is now the churches parking lot.


The notations on the map were: S.W. & W. prevailings winds. Paving: all streets paved or improved. Grades: Level.

Water facilities: Municipally owned. Source from 2 deep wells, 14" diameter and average depth 108'. Direct and gravity pressure system. One 60,000 gallon gravity tank, elevated 100' feet above ground on steel tower. 1 Worthington centrifugal pump, capacity 450 gallons per mintue, gasoline engine driven. 1 Worthington centrifugal pump, capacity 350 gallons per minute, oil engine driven. About 5 1/2 miles of 2" to 8" water pipes. 38 double and triple hrdrants. Average daily consumption about 50,000 gallons. Domestic pressue 42 lbs. Fire pressure 100 lbs.

Fire Department 1 chief, 1 assitant chief, and 10 men. 1 station. 1 Diamond "T" truck, General-St. Louis equipment, 500 gallon per minute pump with one 100 gallon booster tank, 1,000' 2" hose, 300' jhose and 150' 1" hose. 1 Ford truck, Genral-Detriot equipment, 350 gallons per minute pump with one 200 gallon booster tank, 800' feet 2" hose, 200' 1" hose and 300' 1" hose. Fire alarm by telephone and electric siren. Fire-resisitive roofing ordinance. Ordinance prohibits wooden shingle roofs within Corporate limits, adopted 1926.


1937 - March 31, 1937 - Local Moses As Benifit for Fire Comnay
    April 1st marks the opening of the movie "See Yourself and Your Town in the Movies."

    See yourself and your town in the movies

    The moveie will be shown Thursday and Friday nights at the Culver Community Building and will start at 8 o'clock. It is being given in two nights in order to permit every one to see it.

    The day the cameraman took pictures downtwon was an exciting time as everyone enterd into the spirit of the idea. It is estimated that these pictures will not only prove intersesting but mirthful as well - especially the real fire that was helf at the fire hall and the Academy's special fire department.

    Ametiur contest

    Another interesting part of the program will be the amateur contest, with entrants all from a radius of 10 miles.

    A special rehearsal of entrants is being held tonight, Wednesday, at 7 o'clock. Captain J. I. Rich will be both moster of ceremonies and auctioneer of the county store Auction when merchandise donated by various merchants will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

    The Coulver Volunteer FIre Department is putting on this show to raise some money for their general fund. From time to time it is necesssary that they purchase extra things to aid them in their job in the community and they ask the support of all

    Miss Ellen Kingston, the director of this show, wished to express her appreciaion for the very cordial manner in which she was received by local business men, their generous spirit of cooperation being a large factor in putting the advertising program over.

    Becomes record

    This film, which consists of two reels, becomes the prpoperty of the Culver Fire Department after it has been shown at the school on Thursday and Friday nights, and may be used from time to time by other organizations in the community in as much as the school recently pruchased a 16 mm projector.

    The picture is interesting today, but in a few years as the town changes and new faces replace old ones, it will become a most valuable record.

    A door prize is being offered each night andf it is hoped that noe one will miss this oppertunity to see there local moves at popular prices.

    Footnotes:

    The film, which consists of two reels, becomes the property of the Fire Department, which is raising money from the shows for their general fund. The picture is interesting today, but in a few years as the town changes, it will become a most valuable record. A cameraman took silent film of Culver Burr Oak, Hibbard, and the Maxinkuckee Village, including churches, schools, storefronts, and more. Also included were the firemen as they were preparing to make a (fabricated) fire run in which a lighted pipe jammed in a coat pocket had ignited fireman Mont Foss' clothing

    A film was made of Culver - probably in conjunction of the film made on the academy at that time and a source said it was turned over to the fire department at that time. By Mark A. Roeder in his book on Culver revised and published in 2004, writes:
      In early 1937 a film was made of Culver and its people. After its showing it became the property of the fire department. A copy of this film may still exist if someone can find it.


    Thus implied that the film has been lost - as far as I have known the fire department has always had custody of it - back in 1972/3 because of the condition of the original footage of the film then Fire Chief David Burns had it sent in through Mr T's Drug Store and had the what footage could be salvaged restored and re-mastered.

    Because of age, wear and tear of the many showings; breakage and splicing back together, the film was in very very fragile condition. He kept the original footage; and while in his possession Edward "Red" Kowatch borrowed it and made a copy from it in VHS format.

    Upon David Burns' death on 23 Aug 1990; his widow Judith turned the original back over to Fire Chief Lance Overmyer and the fire department, to have and do with as they please.

    From what David Burns always said of the film one gained the impression that the fire department had a film made as part a fund raising project for the department - it was of the town of Culver. David use to show it to organizations in Culver and narrate it during the 1970's and early 1980's.


1937 - Aug. 18 - The fire company is also organized with the following assignments:
    Chief: O. A Gandy
    Nozzlemen: J. R. Saine, Ira Hubler, E. McFeely, M. H. Foss

    Hydrantmen: H. Lirzenbereger, G. R. Howard, A Blanchard, J. McFee.y


1936 - Oct 7 - A contract for a new fire truck to be used in answering alarms in the township was signed with the General Fire Apparatus Co. of St. Louis at the meeting of the town board Monday night,

1938 c. another source lists as early as 1936 that Don Mikesell joins fire department

1938 - Aug 12 - Clinton Short Dies from Injuries Received in accident Passed Away Wednesday Night At Hospital; Bruns and Tayor Recovering ... was driving to fire at the Dimmick farm on the Behmer road with Dave Burns and Jack Taylor, members of the Culver Fire Department, accompaning him.

1938 - October 3 - An addiional doorway has been built into the west wall of the town hall and the township fire truck placed next to its big brother, the pumper. The chemical truck has been housed in a shed in back of the town hall but with the clearing of the land to make room for the new water tower it was necessary to find a new home for the township's fire apparatus.

1938 - Nov - Newman's Dairy Barn burns.

1939 - Aug 16 - Made Test Run
    The fire department made a test run Monday night for the Underwriters department, and the sounding of the siren brought out the usuasl crowd of spectators who wondered what it was all about

    The test run was to the farthest point in town and then to the county line.

    The time on the former was two and one-half minutes.


1941 - Dec 10 - Firemen Get Equipmentm Ready For all Action - - With the purchase of new coats, boots, helmets and gloves, the Culver Fire Separtment is up to 100% efficiency and ranks amoung the best in the state in inventory of equipment. The firemen have been motified to be ready to send aid to Kingsbury and South Bend in case attackes are made of those important points.

1942 - feb. 11 - Firemen Eat Turkey, Plan Defense School, Hear Talk on Spirit. The Culver Volunteer Fire Department staged its ' annual turkey dinner Monday night in Snyder's Cafe...

1943 - Culver Citizen dated 24 March - Medbourn Ice House Burns

1943 - Aug 11 Lions Club to Donate Resuscitator As Saftey Aid to Community

memebrs of the Culver Fire Depaartment demonstrate the resusciataiton equipement donated by the Culver Lions Club. The not all clearly pictured the news article of Jan 9, 1952 says pictured are Fire Chief, Dave Burns; Dewey Overmyer, V. Stafford, Arthur Fishburn, Frank Hayward and Assistant Chief Oscar Booker.


1943 Jun 30 - Burns Succeds Cummins As Culver's Fire Cheif
    David Burns has been elected chief of the CUlver Volunteer Fire Department to fill the vacancy created whem Cary Cummins resigned due to his work keeping him out of town most of the day.

    Cummins served as chief for over eight years and during that time the fire department has developed to a high degree of efficiency and the equipment placed in first class condition. Under his leadership the members of the department were given special training in civilian defense.

    Burns has been an outstanding member of the department for several years and the ciommuniyt is assured efficient fire protection under his leadership.<

    Howad Maxey was elected assistant chief, following Burns' promition - 30 Jun 1943


1903-1913 ~~~ 1914-1923 ~~~ 1924-1933 ~~~ 1934-1943 ~~~ 1944-1953 ~~~ 1954-1963 ~~~ 1964-1973 ~~~ 1974-?







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