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
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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