10/31/12 650 W, 16 I - + 10 - 8 Lives and Times of Raleigh's Fire Chiefs


For your mid-week enjoyment, some bits and pieces and places and dates about those who served as chiefs of the Raleigh Fire Department. From recent research for the Centennial History Book.
 

# Name Served Notes Photograph
1 Sherwood Battle Brockwell 1912-1914 Born October 12, 1885, in Raleigh.
Joined first volunteer fire company as special member at age 16 in 1902.
Appointed June 7, 1912.
First chief of fully-paid fire department.
Resigned by August 1, 1914, to become deputy insurance commissioner and first state Fire Marshal.
Died June 2, 1953, in Raleigh, age 67.
Buried June 3, 1953, in Raleigh.
2 Charles David Farmer 1914-1919 Born November 13, 1883, in Raleigh.
Joined first volunteer fire company in 1904.
Hired by December 31, 1912.
First Assistant Chief of career fire department.
Appointed August 1, 1914.
Resigned July 31, 1919, to organize equipment division of state highway division.
Portrait from later career as first Major of North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Died April 1, 1949, in Raleigh, age 65.
Buried April 2, 1949, in Raleigh.
3 Hubert H. Horton 1919-1923 Born 1895.
Hired by December 31, 1912.
Original member of career fire department.
Appointed Acting Chief August 1, 1919.
Appointed Chief  October 1, 1921.
Succeeded June 1, 1923.
Died July 18, 1950, in Raleigh, age 55.
4 Lewis Fleming Hicks 1923-1926 Born May 29, 1888, in Granville County.
Hired June 16, 1913.
Military leave from 1917 to 1922.
Worked for state Highway Commission from 1922 to 1923.
Appointed June 1, 1923.
Died August 21, 1926, in Raleigh, age 38. Died off-duty of heart ailment.
Buried August 22, 1926, in Raleigh.
5 William Ernest "Ernest" Holland 1926-1939 Born June 13, 1890, in Wake County.
Hired February 14, 1913.
Appointed September 1, 1926.
Succeeded May 4 or May 11, 1939.
Also President of North Carolina Fireman's Association in 1936.
Died May 17, 1963, in Raleigh, age 72.
Buried May 20, 1963, in Raleigh.
6 Ellis D. King 1939-1941 Born March 27, 1890, in Wake County.
Hired November 1, 1921.
Appointed May 4 or May 11, 1939.
Succeeded July 14, 1941.
Died June 18, 1948, in Raleigh, age 58.
Buried June 20, 1948, in Raleigh.
7 William Ralph "Ralph" Butts 1941-1947 Born May 5, 1906, in Wake County.
Hired December 20, 1926.
Appointed July 14, 1941.
Resigned June 20, 1947.
Was partner in Apex Funeral Home for forty years. Also founder and first president of Apex Shrine Club.
Died August 4, 1966, in Apex, age 60.
Buried August 6, 1966, in Raleigh.
8 Alvin Brown Lloyd 1947-1955 Born 1892 in Granville County.
Hired July 16, 1919.
Appointed Acting Chief after June 20, 1947.
Appointed Chief April 1, 1950.
Died February 25, 1955, in Raleigh, age 63. Died off-duty of heart ailment.
Buried February 27, 1955, in Raleigh.
9 John Boswell "Jack" Keeter 1955-1973 Born February 17, 1907, in Rutherford County.
Hired July 1, 1931.
Appointed February 25, 1955.
Retired June 1, 1973.
Also President of North Carolina Firefighters Association in 1944 and 1945 (and other years?). President of North Carolina State Fireman's Association in 1958. Also Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilman after retirement.
Died December 2, 1978, in Raleigh, age 71.
Buried December 4, 1978.
10 Clarence Rudolph Puryear 1973-1974 Born February 9, 1919, in Virginia.
Hired February 15, 1941.
Military leave, 1942 to 1946.
Appointed June 1, 1973.
Died November 10, 1974, in Raleigh, age 55. Died off-duty of heart attack.
Buried November 12, 1974, in Raleigh.
11 Rufus Edwin Keith 1974-1982 Born April 5, 1930, in Franklin County.
Hired July 16, 1951.
Appointed December 12, 1974.
Retired November 30, 1982.
Died August 2, 1990, in Wake Forest, age 60.
12 Thomas T. Kuster 1983-1986 Born October 30, 1936.
Appointed February 1, 1983.
Resigned January 2, 1986.
First Fire Chief hired outside of department (Fire Protection Administrator, Jefferson County, NY).
Retired Fire Chief of Louisville, KY - Served 20 years in department.
Resigned to become Public Health and Safety Director in Louisville .
Died September 6, 2006, age 70.
13 Sherman A. Pickard 1986-1995

Appointed March 3, 1986.
Retired July 1, 1995.
Second Fire Chief hired outside of department (Director of Service, League of Municipalities).
Started career in Burlington Fire Department, left as Director of Training
Director of fire and rescue service training for NCDOI, for eleven years.
Director of Service, LoM, nineteen years.

14 Jonny B. Sandy 1995-1999 Hired December 28, 1964 .
Military leave from 1966 to 1968.
Asst. Chief of Operations from 1991 to 1995.
Appointed July 1, 1995.
Retired July 1, 1999.
15 Earl F. Fowler 1999-2005 Hired December 8, 1971.
Asst. Chief and Fire Marshal from 1990 to 1999.
Appointed August 2, 1999.
Retired December 31, 2005.
16 John T. McGrath 2006-present Appointed February 1, 2006.
Third Fire Chief hired outside of department (Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Fire Department).
Thirty-two year veteran of Philadelphia FD.

 Photo Credits: Brockwell, Keeter - Courtesy North Carolina State Archives; King, Butts, Hicks, Keith- News & Observer photograph; Lloyd, Kuster - Courtesy Raleigh Fire Department; Fowler, McGrath - Lee Wilson Photograph





This information has been belatedly updated to my web site, http://legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/histo... (File was queued for uploading months ago, but slipped through the cracks.)
Legeros - 07/26/13 - 08:20



  
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