Newspaper Page Text
PAGES 9 TO 16.
PAGES 9 TO 16.
HONOLULU, HAWAII TERRITORY, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1909.
Looking back through an early num
ber of Thrum's Annual I found an
Item relating to the Honolulu Fire De
partment in which there is much of
interest to the people of Honolulu. Eef
erence to old numbers of the Polyne
sian disclosed more information and
among the data was- an account of a
fire that took place .back in the early
'50s, before Honolulu had a department
devoted to the extinguishing of fires.
It was in those days, even before
1S3Q, that the discovery of a fire at
night was usually announced by a
policeman. There are men in business
today who will remember the peace
guardians jgoing the rounds at night
carrying lanterns, a red light indicat
ing the even number and the blue light
the odd. They will remember, also,
seeing as they walked along to or from
home the lights hanging at a corner of
a street and of hearing the'oft told
tale "Eleven o'clock, and all's well.'?
One resident tells me that it was a
, monotonous call, for the men were ob
liged to announce eaeh half hour. It
may have been annoying to the sleeper
wh'i couldn't sleep, but think what it
was to the poor policeman who had
to keep awake whether or no.
Fire engines and hose carts, up to
this time, were an unknown quantity
here, but there was an unwritten law
that compelled every occupant of store
and dwelling to have on his premises
not less than two buckets filled with
water for a fire brigade. That the
fires were not extensive ones may have
been due to the fact that Honolulu
architecture was, in the main, of the
grasshouse era. There were not many
buildings having a second story nor
many very elaborate ones of one floor.
The town got along fairly well with
buckets for as many years as it was
old and the change came when some
new blood was infused into the town.
The First Brigade.
Somewhere in the middle ?40s Alex
ander Cartwright, a resident of New
York, contracted "wanderlust" and
moved West. It was before the days
when Greelev gave his advice to eastern
well-fed voiith to go "Wet and grow
up with 'the country"; before, even.
John Marshal! had panned out the first
pav dirt in California. Young Cart-
wright was robust and a fine specimen
of manhood. Mining, however, though
it was at its height when he was in
California, did not have the lure for
him that it had for others. Honolulu
was very new in mose. uhns uu u
was looking for something newer than
the mainland offered so he came W hde
. , i 3 i
a young man m his nome cny ne rooh.
a great interest in fires and became
ariacm-u Uo me mt "X ' w. hn
siblv he was one of the b hoys who
, ii. .1. . 1 A U A ,iri -vl r- ivvi f P,-k3
wore shiney caps and spit locks, as
was the custom in those day. Anyone
who ever saw Frank Chanfrau as
"Mjse" will understand the character,
and anvone who knew Alexander Cart-
j...:.- i tto-Mo
. ,r , , ,Tn t ronT
areer in Honolulu would iaii to recog-
However. -When Mr. Cartwright .u
landed here in 1349 or '50 he thought moved from a bmld.ng and preventing
of a fire department and baseball. Be looting. They did good service at every
it remembered that he was one of the fire. There were no tixed districts in
orcr-mizers and was for manv vears sec- those days and no regular signals. On
retarv of the old "Knickerbocker", discovery of a fire there was a
Baseball Club of New York, the first prompt clanging of bells and shouts of
organization of the kind in the State "Fire House" by persons nearest the
and one which existed for many years, sceue.
T:e game had not been brought here, j Encouraging the Chinese,
so in time he bent his energies to the j Notwithstanding the fact that many
formation of a fire department in 1S52. of the houses burned, up to th3t time.
A meeting of interested citizens was were owned or occupied by the Chi
called and an organization proposed nese, there was more or less trouble to
and effected with Cartwright as cnier get their assistance when it was need
i engineer. He brought into the depart- ! ei, and at times it became necessary
ment all of the customs and rules of , to use drastic measures to get them
tne -ew iors voiuuieer utrj'ai micm,
that were available, and which the con
ditions would permit.
First Big Fire.
The first fire of anv importance after
the organization of the fire department
! occurred in 1-32. This was down near
the waterfront and was started by a
mob ot deep water saiiors nu iuu
precipitated a row with some of the
town boys. It was praet wall y, , a not
land the police could not restrain the
participants. What property was not
destroyed by nre was a mosx l0uwi,
wrecked by the mob After the affair
naa qe uu
iray ana nre ajipi-aicu m i"c isuv"
ment for redress but as usual in such
cases the attorney-general, who. at the
time, was a gentleman named Lee, de-
eided that after a careful investiga-
tion he had found that the government
wa not responsible.
The following year there were'a few
small fires involving loss of a cook
house in one instance and a dwelling m
another. One of these was recorded
I in the Polynesian of 1S53 where ap-
pears the following:
"The alarm of fire on Thursday at
I,.-. trasi occasioned bv the takinsr fire
of the cook house in connection with
Mr. Bond's confectionery establish
ment in Fort street. The cook house
was a slight wooden structure which
was nearly consumed when the fire was
arrested. " It originated from a stove
pipe. The loss was estimated at $300."
Coming of Insurance.
The same issue of the paper con
tained an item of the same tenor but
referring to another paper and later
in the week it was announced that the
occupant of the place had been left
destitute by the occurrence. Of course
these little blazes were mere bagatelles
compared with the sailors' fire or the
burning of the Varieties Theater on
the site of the present von Holt build
in or where the Gazette company now
is. That one burned two business
blocks and the police station, which
was then on King street. The loss was
estimated at the time as $23,000. But
blessings followed. The damage was
great and the owners of property, and
the merchants who carried a large stock
of goods, considered ways and means of
protection. R. C. Janion entered into
correspondence with the California
agents of the North American Insur
ance Company, and secured the agency
for the Islands. .
The Varieties fire occurred July 7,
IS.!.), and there were two companies in
existence: The Honolulu Fire Company, j
with a roll call of seventy and the j
jieenamcs io. - wnu tigmj men.
Mechanics was not as old a company
as the one started by Mr. Cartwright, !
the latter ranking it a few months, and
the usual rivalry existed and was fed
whenever there was a fire.
There was the usual fight for first
water and the glorification after it was
secured. What followed the glory had
better not be mentioned. The first ex
tinguishers were, of course, of the hand
variety and every fire meant harder
work than is experienced by the aver
age fireman of this day.
The first of the kind was in the
scrap heap out at Jimmy Lemon's place
some years ago, an oojeet oi regaru oi
all the oldtime firemen who saw it as
they passed in the cars. Engines came
after the hand machines and steam was
the motive power for pumping the
water. As the town grew the demand
for more fire protection was with it
side by side, but it was eight years
after the organization of the Mechanics
that the Hawaii No. 4 came into ex
istence, with a membership of sixty.
Real, Shiny Brass
These were classed as engine com
panies, and the year that gave birth
to the Hawaii No. 4 let its sun shine
on the brasswork of the Pacific Hose
Company, whose membership was com
posed largely of white men, the swells
of the period men who usually ap
peared on dres's occasions in broadcloth
and silk tall hats. The Protection Hook
and Ladder Company came into exist
ence about the same time. These com
panies were not immediately admitted
into fellowship with those already in
the department, and in one instance it
is recorded that a lapse of nearly a
year occurred between the organiza
tion of a company and its recognition
by the department.
Fire Took Early Records.
Complete data of the department is
not obtainable. Charles Gulick, who
for a number of years was its secre
tary, lived where the Lewis brothers
now have a grocery store. Next was
the home of J. II. Thompson, and in
the same vaTd Mr. Gulick had a cot
tage and kept the reeords there. Gu-
ini. uv nii'i ,vv ' vii
15ck.s house c ht fir? an(J with fhe
fire came the destruetlln of the rec
. volunteer fire department
, . ,
liam C- Parke 519 marshal of the king
, , . ... . .a-
dom, he, bv virtue of his office, con
sidered himself the "First Engineer"
of the department, but he was not reg
ularly elected, as was Cartwright, and
he held office ex officio. Under the
marshal was an organizat
anization known as
the Fire Police. These men acted
sonitw nut as nit: punctriitf ui uiu, luuii
0Ur. j,emg vanKea along tue street.
occasionally by their cues, wore on
them unti! they decided to do a little
fire-fighting on their own account and
in their own way. A meeting of in
fluential residents in the Ch'nese col
ony was called for action, and the
money necessary for the purchase of a
in Mrnest it buit a fc f j. them
oa Mannakea strpet aml f Tearg ft
Qn Feb .
. -he c nies -
of lation mareh.
; ed in line with the rest
j An old member of one of the early
i companies said in tonversation the
j other day: "Tl.ere was always more
j or less rivalry among the volunteers
; in the matter of reaching the fire first.
'; and after the fire was put out, there
i was an ocasional scrap. Februarv 3
was the day set apart for the annual
parade, and we usually wound up with
, a feast. This was not given bv the
j department, but eaeh company would
act independently. One year, and it
! was the last I remember attenaincr we
, decided on a loan and invited a nam-
ber of guests. The spread was to be ,
a big one, and in the open. We had j
sat down at the table and the signal
was given to begin. In a minute the j
table was swept clear, and I can plain- !
ly see. alter all these years. Hawaiians
putting away food and bottles of beer,
under their coats, and taking the stuff
home to the children and friends who
were unable to come. It settled semi
public gatherings of this character, and
after that we gave our dinners to com
pany members in our homes."
The annual drill by the different
companies was always interesting, and.
as usual, much rivalry existed at these
affairs as well as at a fire. The test
was in the throw of water, and the
place was down on Kaahunianu street,
where the father of J. Mort Oat had a
sail loft. There was always a flagpole
on top of the buildi ng, but on thesd
occasions it was not high enough and
had to be spliced. The engine that
could throw a stream over that pole
held the prize for a year, or until an
other company outdid it.
And there was a good deal of feeling
at some of the company elections. It
is told of one of the Pacific Company,
where an engineer was elected against
a strong opposition, that when it came
time to seat him a man high in the
councils of the sovereign bounced him.
The matter was presented to the cab
inet and the minister of the interior
ordered a new election.
The Line of Chiefs.
During the existence of the volunteer
department there was a good deal of
politics done and when the change in
the form of government came there was
a desire on the part of the officials to
eliminate this feature. It was decided
to put the department under a commis
sion. Up to that time the chiefs had
been Alexander J. Cartwright, Rich
ard. Gilliland, Richard Neville, Ben
jamin F. Snow, C. E. Williams,
Charles N- Spencer, John A. Ilassinger,
James S. Lemon, George Lucas, John
Xott, Charles B. Wilson, Frank Ilustace,
Julius Asche and James H. Hunt. At
the close of the department by the
change of government all of the mate
rial was taken over but the company
accounts were, I believe, divided pro
rata among the members. The list of
chiefs given may not be in the order
THIS FLY COULD FLY.
Dr. Wolling furnishes the following
experience and observation with the
large horsefly, says the Newberry (S.
"Some years ago a large horsefly, in
his wild flight, came plump against, my
eye and gave me a great deal of pain
and discomfort This little piece of ex
erience put me to wondering how fast
they could fly, but without furnishing
nie with any means of finding out.
However, another piece of experience,
or rather observation, has given me
some light on the question.
"In my late trip I went down from
Columbia to Sumter, a distance of
forty-two miles, on the fast train to
Charleston, which makes no stop from
Columbia to Sumter, and covers the
distance in an hour and ten minutes, or
at about forty miles an hour. At a
certain part of the journey I was
standing at the back end of the train,
and had just noticed that we were go
ing at a very lively rate and must
be making a full average speed, and
was impressed with how the track be
low was flying away from us. Just at
that moment I noticed a large horsefly
take the track behind us. about on a
level with my head, and start after the
train, and in an incredibly short time
it was seated on the door facing, riding
along quite at ease. Then it would
dart off, circle around a little, and tVn
again start after the train, which it
could easily overtake.
"So its speed must have been up
ward of forty miles an hour, and it
was not doing its best. So you might
truly say there was a flv that could
Tn Iowa the idea is advanced that
full and complete reports of the trans
actions of school boards be published
in the local press, as is now provided
by law in the case of county boards
of control and city councils.
in which they served. Of the thirteen
named nine have passed to their reck
oning. One of them, Neville, having
been killed by a religious sect in Kona.
John Notr is still engaged in active
business. ChaTlie Wilson is with the
road department. Frank Ilustace is in
business and Julius Asche is jailor at
The Present Department.
Jim Hunt, the last chief of the volun
teer, became the first chief of the
paid departiiieut, having as his assistant
Charles H. Thurston who succeeded as
chief at the time of his death. Its
effectiveness is due entirely to the ef
forts of Mr. Thurston. He" has studiel
firelight ing under the best and most
experienced chiefs of the big depart-!
nieuts on the mainland and has profit
ed by what he saw when in company
with them he watched fires tha'.
amounted to conflagrations and saw
how they were extinguished. His visits
to the Coast since he took up his resi
dence here, and became attached to
the department, have been for the pur
pose of study and be has not lost a
moment of the time intended for that
Naturally there is a difference in
favor of the paid service. When the
department was started in the early
fifties Honolulu had no regular water
supply, but when it was established the
use of engines was not always neces
sary because there were few buildings
at that time so tall that a stream from
a fire plug would not carry over it.
In these days everything has grown
except the water supply and it seems
that the more money spent upon it
the more frequent are the announce
ments that the precious liquid shall not
fee used for irrigation purposes,
The present department consists of
three regular stations, one of them be
ing known as Central, at the corner
of Bererania and Fort; one at Palama
and another at Makiki. There are four
engines in commission and one in re
serve. Two of these are at Central
and in addition there is a chemical
eugine with two double eighty tanks.
Chinatown Station Needed.
Somewhere there is a hook and lad
der outfit, but it is like a gun without
ammunition. The fact that such a
. thing is greatly needed seems not to
t have been recognized by the govern
V- ' i
W - V;"'
FIEE DEPAETMENT COMPANIES
A lad there was, .and he went to school
(Even as me and you),
But he called it a "college," by rote
So he strated right in to play the fool,
And he never took in that the dunce's
Was waiting to find a crew!
A kid he was. but he led the van
(Even as kidlets do).
He whooped and yelled like a bleacher
As brash and as void as an empty can;
But he thought he was re-ally a great
And leading the bunch, a few!
A dream he was. in his roaring socks
(Even as all must see),
A dream that awakes and alarms ar.l
With sweaters that howl for a block
And charming the creatures of frills
With swagger of deviltry.
A drone he was, like a lazy Turk
(Even as one might guess).
He worked at his play and played at
lie settled his books with a slam and
And lit on a thousand ways to shirk,
A little bit less and less!
A chump he. was, with a cigarette
(Even as flows the tid?).
With a cuss word ready and cash to
But waiting a lesson he won't forget,
When the wind is cold and the rain is
And the world will tail his hide!
Judge (with apologies to Kipling.)
The extension of an electric railway
from Palo Alto t Stanford Univernity
is owned by the university but will be
operated by the Peninsular Railway.
W& . V. I
ment for it is without a home and with
out a crew or horses to pull it. A
effort is to lt made to get this i
eominis-iou. Chief Thurston has th
right idea about it for he is going ta
suggest that a place in Chinatown be
built for it and No. I engine be housed
in the same building. This will give
that section of the city ample fir
protection, if the supervisors will so
the necessity for it as the chief does.
There are in all forty-seven employes
of the department and every one is
taken in on his merit, lie is put through
a drill and if his limbs are stiff or he
shows reluctance to go a dizicy height
he does not gf-t The chief has kept
his men absolutelv free from politics
and in that way he has maintained a
discipline not surpassed anywhere In the
I inted Mates. Probably no city of ta
size on the mainland has a department
to compare with it in efficiency. Brills
are held once each week frhe men
and once a month, in which the en
gines are tested at the waterfront, a
very good test because it necessitate
a pretty high lift.
Dry drills, a term with which all fire
men are familiar, are held twice each
week and are of great benefit to the
Chief Thurston went into the depart
ment in 1897 and by strict attention
to his duties Tose from the ranks to
become assistant chief and finally to
succeed Mr. Hunt as chief. Courteous
at all times, he is at once strict in the
administration of the affairs of his de
partment. He demands qjose attention"
on the part of his men, but he does
not bend so far that he is considered
a martinet. There is no rowdyism anions
the men under him and no one is al
lowed to become attached to the lire
department unless he has a testimonial
as to character, can pass the necessary
physical examination and show ap
titude in mastering he drill which is
held at the central station, Assistant
Chief Peering being in charge when
the chief is absent.
The department is large enough, in
point of numbers of men, to establish
a fund for the benefit of disabled fire
men. It is done elsewhere and should
be here. Perhaps Mr. Thurston has not
thought of it. When I gee him I In
tend to mention it and then work it
out. . '
JWi" z ' - in '
1 AND 2.
SOYA BEAN INDUSTRY.
Washington, I). C, advices report
that oil millers of Liverjtool are dis
posed to regard the products of the
soya bean as additional articles of
trade and not as comjieting to replaee
the manufactures of cottonseed, ac
cording to a report transmitted by Con
sul Horace I.ee Washington of that
city. The Consul adds: "The first
complete cargo of soya beans that ar
rived in the United. Kingdom reached
Liverpool February 14, I -and the
interest in thU new industry has grown
apace since then, experiments bdng
made in various other parts of England
as well as Liverpool-that range from
a blend of soya flour, made by an ex
pert Liverpool laker, with flour and
with meal, about one-fifth for mixing
with flour and one-sixth fur meal, to a
soya dog biscuit. The blending of
Mya flour above referrred to is desir
able by reason of its demonstrated food
value. In alliiitninoids soya beans are
stated to be nearly three times as rich
as oats and wheat and possenl of
more fiber and ash. A fw German
millers are reported to have mixed
soya and rye flour in experiments in
the makicg of the black bread of that
country, and local millers lu'r are ex
perimenting with a blend to improve
their own brown bread. A vegetable
cheese is known to be produced from
the casein that the bean contains, but
this has not advanced from the ex
perimental to the commercial stage.
There can be no public school in
Indiana which does not have an aver
age attendance of at least twelve pu
pils. If the number falU below that
the pupils must be transferred to come
In Philadelphia recently Afro-American
women engaged in church work
held a gathering at which a mock gen
eral conference was called over which
women acted in the capacity of bish
ops, presiding elders and general officers.