01/26/10 464 W - + 16 - 10 Captain Brockwell, 1914

In 1914, the state’s first Fire Marshal was appointed1. Raleigh Fire Chief Sherwood Brockwell accepted the appointment, which was announced in North Carolina Department of Insurance News Bulletin No. 26. Why is he called Captain Brockwell? Don't know. Perhaps it's a courtesy title of the time? Here’s what was said:

Captain Brockwell

The Insurance Commissioner has put info force his idea of employing a competent and experienced fireman to be used in aiding cities and towns in stopping the fire waste. He has been fortunate in securing the services of Captain Sherwood Brockwell, formerly of the Raleigh Fire Department, for this work.

Captain Brockwell graduated at the A. and M. College as a mechanical engineer, is a natural born mechanic, has been all his life working with the Raleigh Fire Department, and prior to taking charge as chief of the paid Raleigh department, spent three months at the Firemen’s School in New York.

Captain Brockwell is well qualified by experience and training as well as education for this work, and Commissioner Young considers himself fortunate in getting his services.

The Commissioners says that Captain Brockwell will always be available for the authorities of the different cities and towns in the state to advise with them as to what fire apparatus they need, at what price it should be purchased, and how to get the most of it in the way of efficiency. Captain Brockwell will also extend every aid to the firemen of the state in showing them how to best conduct the inspection for the purpose of preventing fires as well as in handling fire apparatus and otherwise fighting fires to the best advantage.

Captain Brockwell will be a paid employee of the Insurance Department, with the authority of a Deputy Commissioner or Fire Marshal, and will not be at any cost to the cities and towns unless they desire him to spend from three to ten days in their city inspecting, advising with and training their firemen, when the cost to the city or town will only be the railroad fare and hotel expense while in the city.

Commissioner Young says that he was gratified at the action of the state firemen’s convention in Winston, which not only endorsed this work, but pledged their best aid to Captain Brockwell and also urged the cities and towns in the state to avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded of improving and perfecting the work not only of putting out fires when started, but their prevention.

1First fire marshal in the state, right? That's what all the history books say, but Mr. Blogger believes he's seen earlier references to state fire marshals. Nothing to cite, just yet. Maybe with later research. Or maybe he's just misremembering.

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