|Answer to Quiz #67 - July 9, 2006
|What is the latest date this photo could have been taken?
|Submitted by Emily Aulicino. Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
September 20, 1927
From the website of the Kansas City Fire Museum at
The Kansas City Fire Department's last
horse team makes its final run on Sept. 20,
 from Station 16 to a blaze at the
stockyards. Driving the rig are Capt. Mike
Dalton, firefighter Dennis Sheehe, and an
unidentified man on the back.
The horses, Pete and Jerry, are retired to
Swope Park three days later to live out their
remaining days. Jerry lives until Christmas
Day, 1942, dying at age 35.
The horse-drawn wagon is replaced by a
1923 GMC fire truck.
Ray Elder, Historian at the Kansas City Fire Museum, wrote us:
Fire Station No.20 was opened August 19, 1902 at 2701 Guinotte ave, in the East
Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo.
Station-20 was opened as a single bay station. The hose wagon (as shown in [your]
photo) normally had 1 Captain, 4 Firefighters and a Watchboy. The Driver was chosen
from one of the four firefighters by the Captain to drive the hose Wagon. The Watch
boy received alarms, opened and closed the apparatus doors and looked after the station
when the men and wagon left the station. Station-20 was always a single bay station
and was closed in May of 1977.
Most of the time when a new company was put in service the members would pay a
photographer to take their picture as the firefighters are in their dress uniforms. I
believe the photo was taken just after the station was opened in August of 1902. The
photo was taken across the street in front of Station-20 and I would venture a
guess this photo was taken in late August or September of 1902. The building in
the back ground is still standing and so is Fire Station No. 20.
1.The Kansas City Fire Museum does not have any records on the names of horses
belonging to the K.C.Fire Department. Fire horses were made popular by having photo
and their names published in local newspapers; going to England in 1893, Paris in 1900
and the last to retire in 1927. Short names such as Dan, Joe, Tom Jerry, Buck, Mack
and Pete were easier and quicker for the drivers to say and give orders to the horses.
2. Identifying the firefighters in the photo cannot be done with 100% accuracy. The
museum has records showing who was assigned to Station-20 from 1902 to 1925 but I
cannot identify who is standing where. Fire Station No.20 was put in service August
19, 1902 at 2701 Guinotte ave. in the East Bottoms of Kansas City. This fire station
along with the post office next door east was built and paid for by the Heim Brewery
Co. located two blocks east of the station. The exact date when Station-20 changed
from horses to mechanical equipment is unknown but it was before 1920.
3.The Kansas City Fire Dept. became completely motorized Sept 23, 1927. Pete and
Jerry of Station No. 16, 1700 Genesee street were sent to Swope Park and lived in
retirement until the late 1930's.
I was detailed several times in my early career to work a 24 hour shifts at Station-20. I
am very interested in obtaining a scanned or reproduction of this photo for Fire
Ray Elder, Historian
Kansas City Fire Museum
Further information from Ray Elder:
Mary and Emily,
I have found 25 men and one watchboy who worked at Fire Station No.20 from its
opening day August 19, 1902 to 1918.
Michael H. Burns was the first Captain of Station-20, 8-19-1902 to 6-1-1918. He is the
man who is setting next to the driver.
A.F. Shobe, Dorris Ginn, Edward J.Duffy and J.P.Mahoney are the first hosemen
assigned to Station-20 August 19, 1902. Albert O'Hare was the first watchboy. The
following men worked at Station-20 after the above 4 men had left Station-20. Oscar E.
Warnnken, Patrick Lavery, Albert Loehening, Joseph E. Stockard, Jackson Green
(twice), E.K. Fleming, Leon G. Snow, Bryan Fitzgerald, A.P. Bruecks, Charles F. Dew,
F.W. Connors, William H. Cassidy, Charles H. Newman, N.J. Sanford, W.F. Chlose,
John J. Dumalt,James Hamilton, Charles T. Onasch and George J. Skauv.
As for dating, I still believe the photo was taken just after the opening of this Station in
1902. Keep in mind the men did not stay long as they were only paid $2.60 for a 24
Ray Elder, Historian
Kansas City Fire Museum
A note of thanks from Emily:
Thanks for all your help, everyone! It has been very fascinating to learn more about
the photo and the times. As a history major, I welcome any additional information,
also. I find the pay very interesting and I'm sure there are more stories to tell of all this!
A History of Horses in the Fire Services
by Marty, FFRS Associate -- Missouri, USA
1832, the New York Mutual Hook and
Ladder Company No. 1 volunteers purchased
a horse to pull their engine. One of the
reasons may have been due to a shortage of
firefighters caused by a yellow fever
epidemic. The other stations were
unsympathetic. One evening the anti-equine
element crept into the stable, shaved the
horse’s mane and tail and painted a white
stripe down the horse’s back, embarrassing
"In continuing, The Kansan story of June 9, 1922, said, "The purchase of motor
equipment was rapid from this time on. In 1913 a city service truck was purchased at a
cost of $5,490; in 1914 two hose cars and a second assistant chief's car cost $13,105;
and in 1915 the first combination chemical hose car was bought for $4,848. Another
city service truck and a hose wagon were bought in 1916 for $10,878 and in 1917 a
second chemical hose car was bought for $4,678.
"The only second-hand motor equipment
ever purchased by the department was a
triple-combination chemical pump car,
bought from Joplin, Mo., in 1918. It cost
"In 1921 two Stutz cars were purchased
for the assistant chiefs, together with one
triple-combination chemical car and a
combination hose car, the total
expenditure being $19,565. The most
recent purchases of the department, in
1922, were a Buick roadster and a Cadillac roadster at a combined cost of $5,412."
|Comments from Our Readers
Colleen- if you put the 2701 Guinotte ave address into Google, and hit the satellite
button, you can zoom in enough to see what looks like a fire engine parked outside.
The street was unpaved. After 1900 all of the main streets in K.C. MO were paved, so
the photo probably was taken about 1900.
150 Facts about Kansas City
|The John C. Egner Scrapbook
Kansas City Public Library
John C. Egner was Fire Chief of the Kansas City Fire Department from 1906 to 1918
and his name has been associated with this item. This scrapbook contains a total of
178 pages, 127 actually used. It measures 13" x 17" and is primarily filled with
newspaper clippings, photographs, brochures, and various ephemeral items covering
dates between 1880-1940. The collection is housed in two boxes.
Content of the scrapbook features the early years
of the Kansas City Fire Department and
chronicles the department's trips to London in
1893 and the Paris Exposition in 1900. George C.
Hale was Fire Chief during this time and his water
tower used for fire fighting was famous. The
scrapbook also contains numerous pages of
There are approximately 28 photographs included
ranging from the 1880s into the early 1900s.
Photos include images of firemen, ruins of local
fires and firefighting equipment including Chief
Hale's water tower. These photographs have
been reproduced and negatives made with funding
provided by the Friends of the Library in 1998.
The scrapbook has also been microfilmed and
|Special Mention goes to Quizmaster Elizabeth Mackie from Australia
AARRGGHHH ... You do try to make it hard for me don't you? "Assume MO" why
should I assume modus operandi??? Then it clicked that maybe you were referring to
one of your billion states ... ok I know there are only 52 ...but how many of them start
with M? I googled one of your M states and worked out how the web address might
look and took a punt on www.mo.gov then it was just a short search to narrow down
the K.C cities. My guess is that the photo is of a Kansas City Fire Department horse
drawn truck and the picture could have been taken no later than 20 Sept 1927 as this is
the date the final horse team made its run. Did I do OK?
|Congratulations to our winners!
Debbie Sterbinsky Mary Fraser
Stan Read Jim Berry
Suzan Farris Kitty Chan
Carol Phillips Elizabeth Mackie
Randy Seaver Peter St. Wecker
Delores Martin Maureen O'Connor
Susan Fortune Mary South
Allie Guidry Vicki Hilb
Rick Mackinney Marty Guidry
Jim Kiser Fred Stuart
Pinky Palladino Judy Pfaff
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