History of Monticello Fire Department

In April 1874...

...a major fire occurred in the Village of Monticello destroying the Exchange Hotel, Hindley’s Saloon, Kent’s Barber Shop, The Republican Watchman newspaper office, Billing’s Flour and Feed Store, and Curley’s Hotel. This tragic event was the major impetus for the formation of a new fire department.

The Civil War had ended nine years earlier and
Ulysses S. Grant was President. On March 8, 1875,
a new fire department was discussed and organized
with 83 charter members. Two days later on March
10, 1875 they met at Pelton’s hall and the office of
A.C. Butts and officially formed the new Monticello
Fire Department. Two companies were organized
that night: Monticello Engine Company #1, and
Mountain Hose Company #1. Then in February
1876, Rescue Hook and Ladder was formed with 124 members, none of whom were members of the other two companies. In 1875, the population of Monticello was 912 – so one-tenth of the total population were members of the fire department!

Friend W. Johnson was appointed Fire Chief
Engineer on June 30, 1875 and John F. Tymeson was appointed Chief Engineer on August 23, 1875. Fire equipment had been kept in local barns and businesses until 1893, when it was moved to the first firehouse in the Village Hall building on Broadway.

Saving Our History

Our fire department is fortunate to have many historical artifacts and records in our posession. We treasure the history these items represent and keep them in our on-site Museum room. If you are researching fire department history, we welcome your inquiries. We are happy to allow access to the collection with proper notification
so we can provide assistance.

Please call us at 845-794-6330 to make an appointment.

If you have an artifact or historical record relating to the Monticello Fire Department and would be willing to donate the item(s), we would like to hear from you. Please call 845-794-6330 during business hours.

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