Page 14 THE VILLADOM TIMES II, III & IV • September 16, 2009 100 The Midland Park Fire Department has been protecting the borough’s quality of life since its formation in 1909. Although Midland Park was incorporated as a borough in 1894, the governing boards of the day were not particularly receptive to the idea of establishing a local fire department. In May 1899, the borough council’s Committee on Finance investigated the establishment of a fire brigade, but the concept stalled, and no report was ever presented. The fire departments in Ridgewood and Paterson provided service to Midland Park, but fire can wreak havoc th ANNIVERSARY Fire department’s history is one of dedicated service quickly, and borough residents soon saw that it was necessary to have a department that would be able to respond with haste. It was the 1905 fire that destroyed the Granite Linen Company that placed fire protection front and center in local officials’ minds. In November 1905, the governing body approved an ordinance to provide for extinguishment of fires. Four years later, the ordinance was resurrected, amended, and finally adopted by the council. Working in conjunction with Councilmen John Pecker, Henry Gunther and John Cronk, Dr. Joseph Payne directed his efforts toward starting a membership drive for Midland Park’s first fire company. In May 1909, the council confirmed the initial members of the Midland Park Fire Company. They included John Amos, Louis Eisenstein, Thomas Englishman, William Flaker, Henry Gunther, Harry Goetschuis, Adam Goetschuis, Fred Hall, William Benjamin, Lou Braughman, Charles Beatle, John Cronk, Charles Christopher, H.I. Coggershall, Louis Carlough, Theodore Carlough, George Lawrence, Abe Englishman, Louis Essing, Dr. Joseph Payne, John Robinson, Adolph Schliechler, Robert Sall, Allen Terhune, Ruthwin Terhune, Fred Terhune, John J. Terhune, Arthur D. Talbot, Henry Woodhead, Frank Leonard, Theodore Mabee, John Packer, Gustav Roman, Henry Sluytor, Frank Stuart, John Steele, W.H. Rackett, John Thompson, Richard Terhune, Jacob Terhune, Garret White and Barney Vandersnow. The first fire department and company officers to be elected were: Dr. Joseph Payne, chief; Louis Boughman, captain; Jacob J. Terhune, president; Arthur D. Talbot, vice president; Charles J. Christopher, secretary; and A.F. Hall, treasurer. In appreciation for their organizational support of the new department, Frank Woodhead and Mayor Henry J. Wostbrock were recognized as honorary members. In subsequent years this tradition continued, as this honor was bestowed upon John Iseldyke, Frank Pagano, baseball great Johnny Van Der Meer, and Roland Zimmerman. In July 1909, the borough received bids for a hose and a hook and ladder trucks. Upon delivery of Midland Park’s first fire fighting apparatus -- a two-wheel hand-drawn hose reel and a horse-drawn hook and ladder truck – borough officials inked a contract with Rose Terhune for occupancy of a barn near her residence on Franklin Avenue. The $9 a month fee covered the use of the barn and loft areas. Horses used to draw the hook and ladder, were quartered nearby at a Franklin Avenue barn owned by Jessie Decker. Midland Park finally had a fire department and its first firehouse. The Terhune Barn’s loft became headquarters for the firemen, with furnishings provided by the fire company consisting of 50 chairs, two tables, and a potbelly stove. During the severe winter nights, the men would gather around the stove in the well-ventilated barn to exchange stories. Additional supplies included turnout hats, coats and boots. The total cost was approximately $750. The first indication of dress uniform consisted of a store-bought cap. A fair conducted in Columbia Hall (across from present-day Friendly’s restaurant) provided the seed money for a uniform fund. The regulation uniform was later adopted. By the end of the department’s first year, the volunteers had established a routine of conducting training drills focused on the fire theory of the day and the apparatus they were using. Following a fire call, Chief Payne was injured and confined to his home. He resigned in July of 1910, but the following month, Charles Brown, the man who was destined to become the next chief, joined the department. In 1911, Brown was elected chief, a position he held for 22 years. Due to the expanding membership and the growing role of the department in serving the community, the office of fire lieutenant was created. Adolph Schleicher and Barney Vandersnow were the first two lieutenants. When the present-day borough hall was completed in 1917, the building included two bays for fire apparatus (continued on page 15) 8-19-09 janine GodwinDental4x9(8-19-09) 4 x 9”