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BELLWOODS FIRE DEPARTMENT
In August 1891 a fire that occurred on Main Street, impressed some of our citizens with the need of an organized fire fighting force. After some preliminary work and discussion, a meeting was called on the 31st of that month, in the room now occupied by the post office.
A list of those present includes the names of the following charter members: P. S. Isenberg, J. W. McCloskey, R. B. Stevens, C. M. Gill, Dr. B. B. Levengood, G. W. Wolfe, T. A. McCaulley, A. J. Van Scoyoc, J. M. McCloskey, L. W. Irwin, T. P. Gheer, H. A. Roth, J. C. Innes, Ira Wentzel, Oliver R. Rush, the Rev. J. H. Mathers, the Rev. James B. Stein, W. A. Ford, W. N. Root and G. W. Wiley. Of this number only two, Dr. B. B. Levengood and T. P. Gheer, are still living in Bellwood. Dr. Levengood was the first Fire Chief and Mr. Gheer was the first President.
This meeting was full of enthusiasm and it was decided to organize. Committees were appointed to prepare the constitution and bylaws. This committee did its work and reported to the following meeting and the Excelsior Hook and Ladder Company was launched. In due time the organization was chartered by the state, and a few years later it was deemed advisable to change its name to Excelsior Fire Company No. 1. The first equipment purchased by the company consisted of a hand chemical engine, a light hook and ladder truck and two hundred feet of hose. This modest outfit was augmented from time to time and in a few years a regular horse drawn fire wagon was purchased. During most of the years this wagon was in service, Mr. George W. Wiley provided horses and driver.
In 1921 a campaign was launched to purchase the present Stutz Pumper. The goal was set at $12,000 of which $10,000 was pledged and $8,000 paid. The firemen by their own efforts raised the difference and secured this fine piece of apparatus. The firemen have also at their own expense built two additional motorized fire vehicles for transporting ladders, hose and men.
The supplies for the company are ordinarily provided by appropriations of borough council and with what the firemen have contributed leaves the town with a s fine a supply of fire fighting equipment as can be found in any small town in the state, the approximate value of which is nearly $22,000.