From 1821 to 1838 the wardens appointed the chief and assistant engineers. In 1838 and 1839 the wardens appointed upon nominations made by the firemen, and from 1840 down to the present time they have elected their officers with the exception of James Radcliffe, who was appointed assistant engineer by the board of aldermen in the spring of 1869.
ORDINANCE OF 1875
That the election for Chief Engineer and two Assistant Engineers of the fire department should be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May, 1875, between the hours of 7 and 9 o'clock in the afternoon, at the house of each company, and the person so elected Chief Engineer should hold office for the term of two years from the 20th day of May, 1875, and his successor should be elected, in the manner above provided, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May, every two years thereafter. And the two Assistant Engineers so elected should one of them hold his office for the term of two years; and there should be elected one Assistant Engineer on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May every year thereafter; and the two Assistant Engineers so to be elected should determine by lot which should hold the office for the term of two years.
In May, 1889, appointed David I. Trumbull chief and John F. Murphy assistant engineer. During that year the department was reorganized by a special committee consisting of Aldermen Macdonald, Miller and Kearney, and a paid department succeeded the volunteer system on March '20th, 1890, with four permanent men in nine engine and three hook and ladder companies, and eight call men to each. John Gillmer succeeded John Crotty as assistant engineer in May, 1890. Chief Turnbull resigned May 5th, 1890, and Assistant John Murphy was appointed to fill vacancy of term, John Struck succeeding Assistant Murphy. The Legislature, in the spring of 1891, passed a law making the office of chief and assistant engineers during good behavior, and in May, 1891, John Stagg was elected chief and James Mills assistant engineer. In June, 1891, Assistant John Gillmer resigned and was reappointed under the law of 1891.
27 CHIEFS AND ASSISTANT ENGINEERS
The following is an almost complete list of the chief and assistant engineers of the Volunteer Paterson fire department, with date of appointment:
1821, February 7th, Timothy B. Crane, chief; pictured below
Courtesy Jim Eifler
1821, December 28th, Samuel Colt, chief. At the same meeting Mr. Colt's election was reconsidered. 1822, January 4th, the wardens voted to serve as chief monthly in alphabetical order. 1823, March 22d, Timothy B. Crane, chief; 1824, January 5th, Timothy B. Crane, chief; 1825, December 9th, Timothy B. Crane, chief; John Rutan and Andrew Parsons, assistant engineers. 1826, December 6th, Timothy B. Crane, chief 1827, December 10th, Andrew Parsons, chief John Rutan, assistant engineer. 1828, November 14th, Andrew Parsons, chief; John G. Bates First assistant; David Reid, second assistant. As Mr. Bates declined to serve, Dec. 1st, Mr. Reid was appointed first assistant and Cornelius S. Post second assistant. 1829, November 2d, John G. Bates, chief Peter F. Merselis, assistant engineer. Mr. Merselis declining, November 9th, John Garrison was appointed first assistant and Charles D. Clinton second assistant. 1830, No record of appointments. John Bates remains chief 1831, November, Josiali M. Crismond, chief Horatio Moses, first assistant; John II. Ryerson, second assistant. 1832, November 23d, John G. Bates, chief Alexander Paul, first assistant; Albert Hopper, second assistant. 1833, November 5th, John Sloat, chief Cornelius II. Post, first assistant; Nathaniel Lane, second assistant. 1834, November 4th, Nathaniel Lane, chief (Lane resigned March 9th, 1835) Cornelius H. Post, first' assistant; Henry Tan Houten, second assistant. 1835, November 18th, Cornelius Speer, chief Giles Van Ness, first assistant; Henry Tan Houten, second assistant. 1836, December 30th, Horatio Moses, chief. 1837, January 9th, John G. Bates, chief Nathaniel Lane, first assistant; Albert I. Hopper, second assistant.
1837, November 8th, John G. Bates, chief Nathaniel Lane, first assistant; Cornelius V. W. Post, second assistant. 1838, November 14th, Nathaniel Lane, chief Edward McKeon, first assistant; Robert Fields, second assistant. 1839, November 15th, Nathaniel Lane, chief John Bentley, first assistant; Giles Yan Ness, second assistant. On March 27th, 1840, Messrs. Bentley and Yan Ness resigned and the wardens appointed William Masters first assistant and Jacob Yan Houten second assistant. 1840, Nathaniel Lane, chief, no date of election.
1840, November 11th, William Cundell, chief (First Chief elected by FD members) Titus Ward, first assistant; Cornelius H. Post, second assistant. 1841, May 26th, William Cundell, chief 1842, May 22 Nathaniel Lane, chief John Benson, first assistant; Cornelius Westervelt, second assistant. 1843, Nathaniel Lane, chief; Alfred Westervelt, first assistant; Peter B. Westervelt, second assistant. 1844, May 15th, Nathaniel Lane, chief Austin McCloud, first assistant; Robert Smith, second assistant. 1845, May 12th, John W. Ackerson, chief 1847, May 17th, Nathaniel Lane, chief 1848, May 26th, Thomas O. Smith, chief; Michael B. Murphy, first assistant; Richard B. Chiswell, second assistant. 1849, 1850, 1851, May 26th, 29th, 20th respectively, Thomas O. Smith, chief Patrick Curran, first assistant. There being a tie vote no election was had for second assistant. 1852, May 27th, Thomas O. Smith, chief; Patrick Curran First assistant; Griffith King, second assistant. 1853, May 10th, Patrick Curran, chief William Douglass, first assistant; Thomas Farnon, second assistant. 1854, May 17th, Thompson Titus, chief Thomas Farnon, first assistant. 1855, May, William Sykes, chief John Bowering, James A. King, assistants. 1856, May, William Sykes, chief John Bowering, James A. King, assistants.
1857, May, John Bowering, chief James A. King and Thomas Farnon, assistants. 1858, May, John Bowering, chief William Killen and Thomas Farnon, assistants.
1859, May, James A. King, chief Jonathan W. Hockett and William Killen, assistants. 1860, May, James A. King, chief John Gillespie and James McClory, assistants. 1861, May, James McKiernan, chief George J. Bunce and Peter Fields, assistants. 1862, May, Peter Fields, chief John McKiernan and John Hinchliffe, assistants. 1863, May, William Killen, chief John Schoonmaker and Jacob Pfitzmeir, assistants. 1864, May, William Killen, chief Edward Swift and Jacob Pfitzmeir, assistants.
1865, May, Edward Swift, chief (at right); George W. Steed and Lawrence Ryan, assistants.
Chief Swift with Octagonal Trumpet & Parade Belt
1866, May, Daniel McClory, chief Andrew Moser and Charles Reed, assistants.
Chiefs seen in front row. On right appears to be Andrew Moser
1867, May,Andrew Moser, chief Joseph Bousseleth and Dewitt C. Simonton, assistants.
1867, May, Andrew Moser, chief Joseph Bousseleth and Dewitt C. Simonton, assistants.
1868, May, John McKiernan, chief Patrick Sweeney and George Young, assistants.
1869, Patrick Sweeney, chief Edward Gore, William E. Heimlich and James Radcliffe, assistants
1870, May, Edward Gore, chief James Doherty, George Burton and James Atchison, assistants. 1871, May, James Atchison, chief Patrick Chapman, William Martin and Thomas Mullen, assistants.
1872, May, William Martin, chief Edward Fanning, George M. Case and Thomas Mullen, assistants.
Chief Martin with helmet, trumpet and parade belt
1873, May, James I. King, chief for two years (first chief elected for a term of two years. Assistants, William Bailey, two years; Joseph Buckley, one year. Bailey and Buckley, assistant engineers elect, drew lots to see who would have the two-year term. Bailey was the fortunate man. Thereafter the chiefs and assistants were elected for two years. 1874, Bartholomew Reilly assistant.
1875, May, John E. Regner, chief; Fredrick Wieler, assistant.
1876, Lambert Romaine, assistant. 1877, May, David I. Turnbull, chief (below) William Bland, assistant. 1878, Patrick Morrison, assistant.
David Turnbill 1877
David Turnbull 1890
1879, May, Bartholomew Reilly, chief; Gustave Specht, assistant. 1880, James Kearny, assistant (presumed photo below - note JK initials on helmet shield)
Helmet shield of Bartholomew Reilly
1881, May, Leonard Garrison, Chief (seen below in center) Daniel W. Leonard, assistant at right 1882, Louis Brandt, assistant.
Assistant Chief Daniel Leonard
Chief Leonard Garrison in Center. Other two men wearing "Jockey Style" helmets
1883, May, James MacDonald. Chief (in center), Peter Zeluff, assistant (at left). 1884, Samuel S. Pounds, assistant (seen at left and below)
Zeluff. MacDonald and Pounds
Samuel S Pounds
Shield and Helmet
1885, May, James Kearney, chief Charles Carroll, assistant. 1886, Frank W. King, assistant.
Asst Chief Frank King shield & helmet
1887, May, John Stagg, chief John Struck, assistant. 1888, John Crotti, assistant.
1888, May Board of Aldermen took from Fire Companies the privilege of electing Chief and Assistants
1888, May 20, David I. Turnbull (First Chief elected by Board of Aldermen). Assistant was John F. Murphy