Wellsville Daily Reporter July 30, 1895
REMINISCENCES OF WELLSVILLE, PART VI
WELLSVILLE’S FIRST FIRE DEPARTMENT
In this connection I deem it proper to refer to our facilities for fighting fire. At that time (1856) we had a small hand engine, without suction hose and a discharge hose about five feet in length. It would hold about a barrel of water, which was poured into it, a half dozen boys could manage it, but it did efficient service, for the boys would go with that little engine, when they could not be induced to go with pails.
In 1860 we purchased a good sized hand engine, made at Seneca Falls, for about $600, named it Pioneer. Upon the suction hose case was the following legend, Pro bono publico (For the Public Good) We critics had a quiet laugh over it, but did not feel that our pet engine suffered any disgrace from it.
March 18, 1871, our steamer was purchased of the city of Titusville, Pa for $3,000. When it arrived, the two engines had a trial, both were stationed near the Baptist church. Both engines drew water from the same tank and the result was the Pioneer threw water several inches higher up the church steeple than the steamer, which created quite a sensation.
At our centennial celebration the steamer was in the parade, in all her glory, wreathed with flowers, shining like polished silver, but where was our Pioneer? Reader, just walk a few rods on Madison street and go to the rear of Mr. L. Sweet’s store house and you will find our beloved Pioneer, its wheels sunken in the mud, one of the lever handles broken, the fallen roof of the shanty lying upon it. Shall it remain in obscurity and allowed to crumble into dust, pass into obscurity unnoticed, unhonored and unsung. Mayor Duke’s attention is very respectfully called to the condition of this Pioneer and asked why cannot she have an honored place in our splendid city hall.
Yours thoughtfully, H. M. Sheerar