Over the next 17 years the Cedarburg Fire Department took steps
that would influence the decisions for the rest of the century
and beyond. The burning down of the Engine House was a game
changing event for the Cedarburg Fire Department. Members of the
department took great pride in building the department to what
it was before the fire. Now it was time to rebuild the
department again. The first step members of the Cedarburg Fire
Department took to rebuild was to secure the use of a piece of
equipment from Milwaukee. This would allow for the community to
be protected during the early stages of the rebuilding process.
A Nott Steam pumper that was intended for Milwaukee was
purchased by the department for $5100. The piece of equipment
was stored in a shed behind Charles Lutzís saloon until a proper
quarters was built. Mr. Kannenburg was asked to replace the
departments other apparatus. He began the process of building a
new ladder wagon, hose wagon, and hose cart. 1907 proved to be a
busy year for the fire department. The department responded to a
fire call a Nic Schuhís Hall on July 21, which caused $150 in
damage. The department also responded to a fire in the town of
Cedarburg on October 10. The year 1907 concluded and the members
looked forward to a new year.
Early in 1908, the State of Wisconsin ordered the City of
Cedarburg to again build a proper firehouse. While the
department watched its new firehouse being constructed, fires
continued. On July 22, a fire occurred at William Jochemís
Elevator. The fire caused $3,500 in damage. A week later, a fire
at the Otto Jaeger home caused $7,580 in damage. These fires are
some of the largest fires of the time.
|The photo above is of the
Nott Steam pumper that was purchased in 1907 to protect
the city (CFD Collection)
In the fall of 1908, the department finally moved into their new
quarters on Mequon Avenue. The fire department occupied the
ground level and basement. Horses were stabled in the back of
the station and owned by the city. A mighty hose tower was
constructed on the building, rivaling the many steeples in the
Cedarburg skyline. In the basement of the building there was a
boiler for heating. Pipes were run onto the apparatus floor and
connected to the steam pumper. This allowed steam to always be
present in the steam pumper. A few valves were closed and hoses
disconnected allowed the pumper to be ready for action. The
second floor housed city hall, creating a close relationship
between the City leaders and fire department leaders that would
continue for many years. On November 24, a fire struck the
Cedarburg Foundry and caused at least $3000 in damage.
|The above picture is of the new fire station
completed in the fall of 1908 with its impressive hose
The next year, 1909, a fire occurred at the John Weber Brewery
on June 19. This was the only reported fire in 1909.
|Above is an image of the
1908 station on the apparatus floor. Chief Wurthman is
on the left side of the picture. (CFD Collection)
1910 saw the department add a new piece of equipment. A 1910
Howe gasoline pumper was purchased. This engine was pulled by
horse. The department made this engine the first its first due
engine at a fire.
|The above image is of the
1910 Howe Gasoline Engine (CFD Collection)
During this time the team of horses stabled in the rear of the
station, were used by the cityís public works for watering the
streets. The team however, was just like itsí human counterparts
and would get excited when the fire whistle would sound. The
team was always ready to be harnessed to any piece of equipment
and ride off to the rescue.
|Here is an image of the Hook
& Ladder Wagon in full parade dress for the 4th of July
On September 26, 1911, the fire department responded to a fire
that caused $1,280 in damage. Over the next few years the
department responded to numerous fire alarms and fires, however
most of these did little damage.
Ernst Schneider became the fourth Chief of the Cedarburg Fire
Department in May of 1914. With his election to Chief the
department would start the process of changing into what it is
today. One of the first changes made was that Chief Schneider
would give a report of any fire call that had been received
during the previous month at the monthly business meeting. 1914
also brought the Cedarburg Fire Department its first automobile
garage fire on May 26th. The cause of this fire was believed to
be spontaneous combustion.
In June of 1914, it seems that the Chief issued one of the first
standard operating guidelines. The first out piece of equipment
was the hose wagon, the second out was the gasoline engine, the
third out was the hook and ladder wagon. Next was the steamer,
followed by the hose cart. Later in the month, this was put into
action at a barn fire which caused $1,200 in damage, a total
On the 3rd of March, 1915, a house fire occurred causing $4,000
in damage, a total loss.
In 1917, the United State became involved in the Great War. One
of the members of the department wrote a letter home in 1918.
The letter was read to the membership at a business meeting.
One on the largest fires in Cedarburg occurred on July 22, 1918,
at Grothís Lime Kiln. The fire started in the cords of wood used
for firing the lime. Help was called from Grafton, Thiensville,
and Port Washington. The fire caused $11,000 in damage to the
business and cost the city $300 in destroyed telephone poles
along with some wire.
|Here is a picture from a 4th
of July parade. The sign on the Hose Wagon says, "We
Risk Our Lives To Save Others." (CFD Collection)
Around this time the city acquired a new team of horses. One day
while the horses were standing on the side of a road, they got
loose and ran off. The horses crashed into a building downtown,
and were from then on known as the Wild Ones.
One of the things the Cedarburg Fire Department's traditions is
to network after the monthly business meetings and trainings.
With the rich German and Irish heritage of Cedarburg, the
members would drink beer and other beverages during the
socialization. In 1919, this was discontinued to the dismay of
the members, because of Prohibition.
In 1921, the Grafton Fire Department requested help for a fire.
Cedarburg responded with the hose wagon and gasoline engine.
The next few years the department responded to minor fires with
minimal loss. These fires occurred at the Box Factory, Gilson
Manufacturing Company, and the Hanson Canning Machine
During these years the Chief earned a salary of $50 per year and
the Secretary earned $33 per year. Members who brought their
teams of horses to pull fire equipment were given $3 per call.
However, many changes were about to occur that would see the end
for the horse drawn equipment.
A Disastrous Blaze Motorization
1908-New Station Opened
1914-Chief Schneider elected
1917-World War 1
1918-Groth's Lime Kiln Fire
John Kafehl 7/11/1907
John Bruss 9/9/1908
William Williams 6/8/1909
Art Jaeger 9/16/1909
Charles Klug 9/16/1909
William Roebken 1/3/1912
Allen Scherf 6/7/1912
Anton Borleske 5/6/1913
John Buth 5/12/1913
Otto Koehn 5/21/1913
Herman Zeunert 5/24/1913
Edgar Roth 8/15/1914
William Holnagel 8/17/1914
Henry Groth 8/27/1914
Walter Nero 5/6/1915
John Sieben 6/7/1915
Oscar Schultz 6/7/1915
Theodore Tews 9/3/1915
Arn Scheunemann 9/4/1915
William Loibl 1/7/1916
William Klug 9/1/1917
Rich Luedtke 6/4/1918
Elmer Drechsler 8/3/1918
Art Buch 5/8/1919
Anton Rahn 12/10/1919
John Luedtke 5/7/1920
George Armbruster 5/7/1920
John Lauterbach 8/3/1921
Arnold Butt 10/4/1921
Arnold Scherf 10/7/1921
Melvin Maronde 11/4/1921
Palmer Schneider 8/4/1922
Charles Dahlmann 6/6/1923
Ray Jung 9/5/1923
Allen Ruck 11/4/1923
Nott Steam Pumper
Howe Gas Pumper