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Volunteer Companies:

Empire Company

Organized: January 1850

After the Town Alcalde authorized the organization of the Fire Department, December 24, 1849, a decision was made to form the Department around three engine companies, named the San Francisco, Empire and Protection. Little is know about the San Francisco Company. Soon, within the first three months of 1850, it became apparent that the City needed a larger and more formal fire organization as the population and growth of the town was outpacing the department. The Empire and Protection companies were expanded and admitted into a new re-organized department.

Empire Engine Company No. 1

Organized: April 14, 1850
Admitted into the Department: June 4th, 1850

Named changed by Company Resolution, October 7, 1859

Broderick Engine Company No. 1

1859 October 7
The members of Empire Engine Company No. 1, held their regular monthly Meeting last evening, and adopted the following preamble and resolution..
WHEREAS, By a recent calamity we have been deprived by death of the presence of the founder of our company, the Hon David C. Broderick and wishing to perpetuate the name of the illustrious deceased, and to show our lasting respect for his memory, we adopt the following resolution.
RESOLVED, That from and after this date the name of this company shall be known as Broderick Engine Co, No. 1.
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of this company be requested to furnish a copy of the above resolutions to the Board of Delegates of the Fire Department of San Francisco, respectfully requesting them to change the name of our company from Empire to Broderick Engine Co No. 1,on the Department books.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 11, Number 279, 8 October 1859 — CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]

Disbanded: December 2, 1866

Company founders: David C. Broderick, Frederick D. Kohler, George W. Green, William McKibbin.

Before June 4, 1850, and on being accepted into the Department, David Broderick was successful in receiving the coveted Number 1 for his Empire Company. That coveted number was also sought by William Howard for his Howard Company, but when he did not receive the number he sought, he accepted the Number 3.

Membership: the majority of members were from the disbanded company Independent No. 1, and were for the most part New Yorkers.


1850 Kearny street, between Sacramento and California streets.
Rented building: $2,100 per year.
1855 July   Temporary location, on Commercial street, between Kearny and Montgomery, rent $180 per month.
1855 Sacramento street, south side near Kearny street.
May 15th, the City purchased a new firehouse lot for $6,500. Cornerstone laid July 21.
The house is two stories in height; the first story of granite and the second of brick; constructed in the Tudor style of architecture. The lot is 18 feet 9 inches by 68 feet 6 inches, purchased by the city for $6,656. The house was built by the city at a cost of $7,100, of which amount the company expended $600.  Construction completed: September 8.
1865 June 21st, moved to new quarters on Bryant Street near Third Street.
A two story wooden building, city property, in good order, built by the Kimball Carriage Company.
  Destroyed in the 1906 Fire.
Motto: “Onward” (1850)  
Motto: “Excelsior."  (1863)
Stated meetings: the first Friday in each month
1851 Organized a target company in the New York fashion which parades one hundred and twenty-five muskets.  
Apparatus: hand drawn, hand pumped
April 14, 1850 – May 1850                                                                
  1820 James Smith side stroke engine, eight feet long with single hand brakes.
“The Van Buren”
May1850 –  October 15, 1852
  c.1820 James Smith, builder, New York side-lever.
Purchase authorized by the Town Council meeting, August 27, 1849.
Arrived in San Francisco May, 1850.
October 15, 1852 – July 28, 1854
  1852 James Smith, builder a beautifully decorated New York side-lever.
with eight and one-half inch cylinders; stroke, nine inches.
1852 May 27   Arrived in San Francisco. Placed into service October 15, 1852 after it had been beautifully painted and ornamented in a magnificent style.
(see related articles below)
Cost: $2,500 and is the property of the company.
1854 July 28, Friday — Sold to the city of San Jose for $1,800. It was purchased for the use of a fire company lately organized at that place, also designated as Empire No. 1.
October 31, 1855 - December 2, 1866
  1855 William E. Worth, builder, of San Francisco, 2nd-class hand engine.
with 8 1/2 inch cylinders and a capacity of 524.84 cubic inches. Fitted with patent air-discharging valves invented by Mr. Worth would enable her to throw two streams of water. Its box was to be built of tamanu, a rare wood from the South Seas.
Weight: 3,000 pounds.
Cost: $5,000 and owned by the city.
1859   The engine has been recently altered and placed in fine repair by Mr. Worth.
2015 September 2, Wednesday – Donated by Allianz Global, formerly Fireman’s Fund, to the San Francisco Fire Department Museum
October 1855 – December 2, 1866
  1855 W. D. Brown & Co., San Francisco, builder, Hose Carriage, four wheel.
Cost: $1,500
1859 – June 5, 1863
  1859 James Smith, New York, builder, second class, side stroke, engine with 8 and one-half inch cylinders and a 9 inch stroke, cost:$2,500, company property.
1860 – December 2, 1866
  1860    Hose carriage, two wheel, built by Folsom, San Francisco, city property.
Cost, $200 
June 5, 1863 – December 2, 1866
  1863 James Smith, New York, builder, second class engine with 8 1/2 inch cylinders and an adjustable stroke of 6 to 9 inches.
Cost: $2,500, company property. Freight: $700
1865 – December 2, 1866
  1865 Hose carriage, built by Folsom, San Francisco.
Cost, $1,486
Note: One of the later Smith engines was sold to the Stockton Exempts in 1895 for $150. The engine carried the name Broderick on the wash box
  1850 David C. Broderick
John A. McGlynn
  1852 George W. Green
Asst. foreman. Jno. Scott
  1853 George W. Green
Asst. foreman. Jno. Scott
  1854 George W. Green
1st Asst. David Scannell
  1856 David Scannell
First Assistant, C. A. Howard
  1858-59 David Scannell
First Assistant, Patrick Hunt
  1860 David Scannell
First Assistant, John Martin
  1861 John Martin
Assistant: Bernard Harlan
  1862 Edward ByronCutter
Assistant: Bernard Hagan
  1863 M. McLaughlin
  1864 Bernard Hagan
Assistant, M. McLaughlin
  1865 M. McLaughlin, Robert Howard
Assistant, Thos. Mitchell
  1866 Marcus Robert Harris
Members: 1852 - 37
  1855 - 50
  1856 - 48
  1858 - 62
  1859 - 58
  1860 - 52
  1861 - 42
  1862 - 34
  1863 - 65
  1864 - 45
  1865 - 35
  1866 – 31


This company was one of those that took part in the organization of the department directly after the first great fire (1849); but does not date its regular existence until June 4th, 1850. The citizens most influential in its origins were Messrs. D. C. Broderick, F. D. Kohler, Wm. McKibbin, Geo. W. Green, C. W. Cornell and John A. McGlynn. D. C. Broderick was elected the first foreman; G. W. Green, assistant; Wm. McKibbin, secretary; and James Grant, treasurer. The Empire has continued in the spirit of its motto, ‘‘onward,” a fine company, to the present date, always having a full roll, and doing active service on every regular occasion. The apparatus is a beautifully decorated New York side-lever engine, and is located on Kearny Street between Sacramento and California streets. The members, early in 1851, organized a target company in the New York fashion, which parades one hundred and twenty-five muskets.
Source: Frank Soulé, John H. Gihon, M.D., and James Nisbet. The Annals of San Francisco. 1855: San Francisco

Re: c.1820 James Smith fourth class side stroke engine built in the New York style with two 6 ¼ inch cylinders
1849 August 27, Seventh Meeting
In part
It was also
Resolved, That the Treasurer of the Town of San Francisco is hereby authorized to order from the United States (New York or Boston) two fire engines for the use of the Corporation, with 300 feet each of leather hose, two pipes, and such implements necessary for the working of such engines; also, the proper and necessary apparatus complete for the equipment and use of two hook and ladder companies
Source: Record of the Organization and Proceedings of the Ayuntamiento of, or Town Council of San Francisco, Seventh Meeting, August 27, 1849

Note: These two engines were purchased from New York city through the guidance of Mayor Jon. Geary and arrived in San Francisco May of 1850.


1850 July 8
An alarm of fire was created at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon, in consequence of the slight burning of the kitchen of the house corner of Pacific and Dupont streets. A few buckets of water quenched the fire, which is said to have caught from a defective stove pipe.

At 4 o'clock the engines were again called out by an alarm which proceeded from the vicinity of the post office. A shed in the rear of the refreshment saloon opposite the post office, on Clay street, had been set on fire, but the timely discovery the roof prevented any material damage.

It was gratifying to notice the alacrity with which the engine companies (Ed., Empire, Protection & Howard) brought their machines to the scenes of danger. The three fire companies which have been recently organized turned out in force sufficient to satisfy the people that they could be depended upon in the hour of peril. A singular feeling of security has arisen in the community since the formation of these companies.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 1, Number 162, 8 July 1850 — LOCAL MATTERS. [SECTION]


1852 April 9
In part
Target Excursion. — The Empire Guards, composed of the members of Empire Engine Company No. 1 of the Fire Department, will take their annual excursion to the Mission Dolores on Monday next. The Company will exercise their skill at a target, the best shot receiving a gold medal, the second a silver cup inlaid with gold, and the third a silver medal. A band of music will be in attendance, and in the evening a collation will be served up for the company. The Empire Guards are commanded by George W. Green, foreman of the Empire Engine Company.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 3, Number 99, 9 April 1852 — LOCAL MATTERS. [ARTICLE]


1852 May 27
In part
An invitation was received from the Empire Engine Company, requesting the presence of the Board at their house this evening on the occasion of the trying a new engine. Accepted.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 3, Number 147, 27 May 1852 — Common Counsel. [ARTICLE]


1852 May 27
— This fine and efficient company of firemen turned out last evening in uniform upon the Plaza for the purpose of testing their new engine. It was purchased in New York, at a cost of $1200, which was subscribed by the friends of the company, and was but recently imported. As a matter of course, the firemen looked to the result of this trial with great anxiety, and it is only necessary to say that it proved equal to their greatest expectations. Water was thrown several feet above the top of the liberty pole on the Plaza with apparent ease, which is sufficient proof that the company can command any building in the city. After the exercises were over the company returned to their engine room, on Kearny street, where a fine cold collation had been spread out for the occasion. The room was beautifully decorated with flags, festoons and different emblems significant of the Fire Department. Among the invited guests who were present were a large number of the members of the Common Council, several city officials, and many citizens and members of other companies. Many pertinent speeches were made and appropriate sentiments offered, amid a flow of champagne. The whole affair was characterized with great harmony and good feeling, and was well worthy of this prompt and efficient company.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 3, Number 147, 27 May 1852 — LOCAL MATTERS [ARTICLE]


1852 October 15
— The Empire Engine turned out in procession yesterday in uniform, with a fine band of music, to receive their new engine which has just arrived from New Your. We are informed that the machine was manufactured by Jas. Smith of New York. The painting was done in this city by Mr. G. Moneypenny.
Source: Fireman’s Journal


1852 October 15
In part
— This fine and efficient company of our Fire Department turned out last evening, in uniform, and paraded their new machine, which they have lately received. A fine band of music attended them, and the display was quite imposing. The engine has been lately imported, and is said to be one of the finest, must serviceable, and most powerful that could be made. The company of course had a good time upon the strength of their new acquisition.
Source: Fireman’s Journal


1852 October 16
— This efficient company of firemen held a festival yesterday, at their engine-house on Kearny street, upon the occasion of the reception of their new engine. Hundreds of ladies and gentlemen visited their rooms and partook of a splendid collation that was prepared. The engine has been lately imported from New York, and is said to be one of the most powerful in the Department It has been beautifully painted and ornamented in a magnificent style. A fine painting of the great May fire in 1850, as seen from Rincon Point, has been placed on the tower of the engine. On the rear is a beautiful picture of a pioneer, with rifle in hand, protecting his wife and children from the savages, who have set fire to his cabin and are now in pursuit. This company is one of the oldest in the city, and the representation of the pioneer is suggestive of that fact. There are several large figures 1. nude of solid silver, placed on different portions, and in front a large plate of burnished silver bearing the word “Empire." A brass dog, representing vigilance, is placed in front, and there are several emblems of our nationality to ornament the engine. It cost $3,700, and is pronounced to be one of the best that could be made. The entertainment room was exceedingly well furnished, and had been beautifully decorated. A magnificent wreath of flowers, presented by Mrs. G. W. Green, was placed over the President's chair, and ornaments of various descriptions were placed about the room. A convivial party were in attendance last evening, and many a bumper was drank to the success and prosperity of the gallant and efficient Empire Engine Company No. 1.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 3, Number 286, 16 October 1852 — LOCAL MATTERS. [ARTICLE]


1852 October 18
— The Empire Engine Company No. 1, at their late festival, tendered a vote of thanks to Mrs. George W. Green, Mrs. James Thompson, and Mrs. Francis Kance, for wreaths of flowers presented to the company. These ladies took great interest in the decoration of the room, and displayed much good taste and judgment. Their efforts were well appreciated, and will be long remembered.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 3, Number 288, 18 October 1852 — LOCAL MATTERS. [ARTICLE]


1853 July 6
One of the crowning features of the Fourth was the Grand Annual Ball of Empire Engine Company, at the Polka Saloon. It was a superb affair, and the taste displayed in the decorations was surpassed only by that shown by the ladies in their rich yet elegant costumes. The ladies looked charming and the gallant gents, were evidently realising their early dreams of fairy land, to judge from their sunny smiling faces.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 4, Number 185, 6 July 1853


1854 July 29
— The city of San Jose purchased on Friday last, the engine belonging to Empire No. 1 of this city, for $1800 cash. This old engine has done much work in San Francisco, having been in use since '51. The company's financial embarrassments obliged them to dispose of their engine. It was offered to the corporation of this city, who refused to purchase it, in consequence of which refusal the company accepted the offer of the San Jose Corporation. It was purchased for the use of a fire company lately organized at that place, also designated as Empire No. 1 .
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 5, Number 208, 29 July 1854


1854 September 1
Empire Engine Co. No. 1, for an appropriation of $7,000 to purchase an engine and apparatus. To Committee on Fire and Water, to report next Thursday evening
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 5, Number 242, 1 September 1854 — COMMON COUNCIL. [ARTICLE]


1855 April 14
There is an engine building here by Mr. Worth, formerly of Troy, something similar to the outside build of Smith’s engines, and we hope that the “Worth California” will carry off the palm from all others, either here or afloat, for the simple reason that she is the California build, and that she may be worthy of the Company for whom she is intended---Empire Engine Co. No. 1, of this city.
Source: Fireman’s Journal 2/2


1855 May 28
The Empires, No. I, bought out their new engine on Saturday afternoon and gave her a trial at the corner of California and Sacramento streets. She answered the most sanguine expectations of the company, and will be received from her builder. A description of the machine and everything of interest relating to the company and engine has been recently published in the Alta.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 6, Number 134, 28 May 1855 — SPORTING INTELLIGENCE. [ARTICLE]


1855 June 9
— The Empire Hose Company, No. 1, are getting up a splendid new hose carriage, but are yet lacking the means to pay for it. The committee of five appointed by the company propose to raise the amount by subscription from the residents of the Sixth Ward, in which the engine is located. The company has recently had built a beautiful new engine, and are desirous of having a hose carriage to match it. The committee will call upon the residents of the ward during the present month, and it is hoped that those who take an interest in the progress of our Fire Department will contribute such amounts as their means will permit for this praiseworthy object A very little from every one will more than make up the requisite sum.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 6, Number 145, 9 June 1855 — Commercial Canker. [ARTICLE]


1855 July 3
— Sometime since a committee was appointed out of the Empire Hose Company, to collect funds for the building of a new hose carriage. Out of the superabundant enthusiasm of the company, it appears that others besides the committee, are collecting, and we are requested to state that no others than the following are authorised to officiate : David H.. Penny, Wm. Murray, James M. Lenhart. William S. Carneau and Thomas P. Slater. Messrs. Drezel, Sather & Church contributed $25 a few days since, and were applied to afterwards, by a second party, so that some confusion was created . A word to the wise, etc. :
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 6, Number 165, 3 July 1855 — Nrl ant lire., [ARTICLE]


1855 August 1
— Members of this company gave their new engine a trial yesterday afternoon on the corner of California and Montgomery streets the result of which was as follows : Through 50 feet of hose with open butt on the first trial, she threw 45 feet and 6 inches; through 60 feet of hose on the second trial 47 feet and 3 1/2 inches ; through 200 feet of hose with 1 inch nozzle, 125 feet of solid water over Wells, Fargo & Co 's building; through a 7/8 inch nozzle, 26 feet of solid water above the same building. Pretty good spouting.—
Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 9, Number 1357, 1 August 1855 — POSTSCRIPT [SECTION]


1855 August 11
In part
The members of Empire Engine No. 1, tested their new apparatus on Thursday afternoon, preparatory to its being accepted by the Fire and Water Committee. A large concourse of citizens witnessed the playing, the test was most satisfactory to the Fire and Water Committee and the Department. The following are the distances thrown through 150 feet of hose, 2 ½ inch butt, 35 feet; second trial, through 50 feet of hose, 2 ¼ inch butt, 44 ½ feet; third trial, through 200 feet of hose, 1 inch nozzle, 135 feet; fifth trial, through 50 feet of hose 2 ½ inch butt, 33 feet; sixth trial through 50 feet of hose, 1 ¼ inch nozzle, 140 feet; seventh trial, 2 streams 7/8 inch nozzle 80 feet perpendicular.

The engine whose playing in above record was built in this city, by William E. Worth, and is the first engine over constructed this side of this Rocky Mountains, and is an honor to Mr. Worth and a credit to the State. The Fire and Water Committee have signified their intention of accepting the engine as a portion of the apparatus of the Department.
Source: Fireman’s Journal


1855 October 4
— We yesterday stepped into the manufactory of Messrs. W. D. Brown & Co., and had a view of the beautiful carriage which has been constructed by that firm for the use of Empire Co No. 1, of this city. An article of home manufacture is sometimes apt to be overvalued, sometimes, as in the case of home made paintings, actors and other artists, undervalued : but to the Empire hose carriage, which, in every particular, was built, painted, and ornamented in the establishment of Messrs. Brown & Co., it must be admitted that California has made a fair start in engine building, and has turned out as pretty a piece of workmanship as ever won the affections of one of the d’boys, and made him ready to swear by, stand by, and die for his machine. The Empire hose carriage is four-wheeled, constructed of hickory wood, on a new principle designed by the builders, and finished in every part with much taste, elegance, and exquisite workmanship. It is painted a very rich lake color or subdued crimson, with a narrow vermillion stripe, and a broader stripe of yellow. The mountings, lamps, etc , are of silver plate, the binding of brass The boxes are of polished mahogany ; on the front box. inscribed within a silver line, are the words : " Instituted 1853; on the other box are inscribed the words: "Empire Hose." In front, is a gold is American eagle, with outstretch wings, as if in the act of commencing her flight ; on either side of the eagle in a gilt grissly, seated upon an acorn, and holding in its fore paws a placard, with " Empire" inscribed upon it. Two tulip bells, of clear and exquisite tone, are attached to the carriage, and also two lamps, silver plated and skillfully wrought. The crab upon the tongue is also silver plated, and is of very superior workmanship. The entire carriage is in every respect a splendid specimen of the skill of San Franciscan artisans, and reflects great credit upon Messrs. Brown & Co., who have expended in its construction the sum of $1500.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 6, Number 244, 4 October 1855 — MINING INTELLIGENCE [ARTICLE]


1855 November 3
The new engine and hose carriage of this company went into service on Wednesday, and has been on hand promptly at the first stroke of the bell. She made a very handsome appearance. Thursday November 1, 6 ½ P.M., City Hall bell alarm, Fifth District; pile of shaving at the corner of Pine and Market streets. The entire department out. No’s 1 and 6 in service, no damage. Source: Fireman’s Journal   EMPIRE HOSE No. 1. 1855 November 10 Empire Hose Company thanks firms and other friends for contributions towards our new hose carriage. J. W. Tucker gave silver plate with the company’s name on it.
Source: Fireman’s Journal


1857 September 29
— Empire Engine Co. No. 1, David Scannell, Foreman, and Pat Hunt, Assistant, had a grand parade yesterday, on the occasion of the award of a diploma to them by the Committee of the Mechanics' Institute, where their engine had been on exhibition. It is a beautiful machine, and entirely of California manufacture. The company, yesterday, turned out about 50 men to man-the engine, and 20 to the hose carriage. They were preceded by a band of music, and made a very creditable appearance upon the parade,
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 9, Number 161, 29 September 1857 — CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


1857 October 30
This engine is first class, and one of the best in the Department; a very heavy bed plate, however, and the want of springs to enable her to run more easily, not only detracts from her usefulness in her progress to fires, but causes injury to her machinery in so running. The engine is entirely of California build, and her previous high reputation and eminent service in the Department all combined, demand for her a correction of the evils above noted. I therefore earnestly recommend that a new and lighter bed plate be ordered for her, and that she be placed on springs.”
Source: Quarterly Report of F. E. R. Whitney, Chief Engineer, October 30, 1857


1859 October 9
The members of Empire Engine Company No. 1, held their regular monthly Meeting last evening, and adopted the following preamble and resolution..
WHEREAS, By a recent calamity we have been deprived by death of the presence of the founder of our company, the Hon David C. Broderick and wishing to perpetuate the name of the illustrious deceased, and to show our lasting respect for his memory, we adopt the following resolution.
RESOLVED, That from and after this date the name of this company shall be known as Broderick Engine Co, No. 1.
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of this company be requested to furnish a copy of the above resolutions to the Board of Delegates of the Fire Department of San Francisco, respectfully requesting them to change the name of our company from Empire to Broderick Engine Co No. 1,on the Department books. 1
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 11, Number 279, 8 October 1859 — CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


1859 September 22
— The Fire Department of San Francisco, at a recent meeting passed the following resolutions in relation to the deceased and that Department :
WHEREAS, The Fire Department of this city having, by the death of the Hon. D. C. Broderick, lost one of its pioneers, be it therefore
RESOLVED, That the Fire Department of the city and county of San Francisco deeply sympathize with the community at the great loss sustained by it in the untimely death of their much lamented and distinguished friend and fellow-citizen and Senator, the Hon. D. C. Broderick.
RESOLVED, That in this sad dispensation of Providence, the State has lost in the councils of the nation a brave defender and persistent advocate, our metropolis a persistent representative, society an exemplar, the political world a bright particular star, and this Department a pioneer and fast friend.
RESOLVED, That to the Hon. D. C. Broderick this Department is indebted for the law exempting the firemen of this State from jury and militia duty, thereby adding to the success and stability of the Association.
RESOLVED, That in testimony of their respect for the deceased, and for the deep regret entertained by the firemen of San Francisco at his demise, they wear the usual badge of mourning and attend his funeral.
RESOLVED, That, as further expression of our grief tor this bereavement, the flags at the various engine houses be hung at half-mast for the space of three days.
RESOLVED, That a copy of the resolutions be furnished the various newspapers of this city for publication.
David Scannell, Foreman Empire, No. 1 ; John D. Swift. Foreman Manhattan, No. 2 ; Thomas McNaughton, Acting Foreman Howard, No. 3 ; John W. Farren, Foreman California, No. 4 ; William N. Smith, Acting Foreman Knickerbocker, No. 5; M. G. Searing, Acting Foreman Volunteer, No. 7 ; J. H. Gilchrist, Foreman Pacific, No. 8 ; John E. Fitzpatrick, Foreman Vigilant, No. 9 ; William Free, Foreman Crescent, No. 10"; John Pennycook, Foreman Columbia, No. 11; John Hanna, Foreman Pennsylvania, No. 12; M. Hayes, Foreman Young America, No. 13: John Carroll, Foreman Tiger, No. 14; Jacob Kzekiel, Foreman Hook and Ladder, No. 1 ; Joseph Boverart, Foreman Hook and Ladder! No. 2 : A. A. Snyder, Foreman Hook and Ladder, No. 3 ; George H. Hossefross, (Foreman No. 6), Chairman Board of Foremen; Thomas H. Flanagan, Secretary.
Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 18, Number 2648, 22 September 1859 — THE ENCAMPMENT. [ARTICLE]


1861 September 3
In part
— At a meeting of Broderick Engine Company, No. 1, held last evening, the following preamble and resolution were unanimously adopted :
Whereas, The Government of the United States is threatened by organised treason, having for its object the division of our National Union, therefore
Resolved, That we, the members of Broderick Engine Company, No. 1, do hereby form ourselves into a Company of Home Guards, for the purpose of aiding the civil and military authorities in detecting and suppressing treason and rebellion in any form it may present itself.
Resolved further, That, in the performance of this sacred duty, we solemnly pledge ourselves, each to the other, to carry out the purposes of our organization under any and all circumstances.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 13, Number 4216, 3 September 1861 — CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


City Items
1862 December 20, Saturday
— The firemen of this city have, ever since their organization, been as careful and cautious in protecting the property of the lowest as the highest citizen in this community. Some weeks ago a fire occurred on Sacramento street, at the corner of a disreputable thoroughfare. Broderick Engine Company No. 1, in the immediate vicinity, soon had a stream playing upon the flames. A great conflagration was averted through their prompt and efficient efforts. The Chinese merchants of Sacramento street, fully appreciating the valor and heroism of our firemen, send them in token of regard, the sum of $500.

The subjoined is the correspondence on the occasion :

San Francisco. Dec. 9th. 1862.
To Edward B. Cotter, foreman Broderick Engine Company No. 1,

Dear Sir:— Understanding that the company commanded by you are making endeavors to purchase a new engine, we their immediate neighbors being well aware of the disadvantage under which they have heretofore labored, and appreciating their activity and real in the performance of their duties beg your acceptance of the accompanying sum of #500 to assist them in their purpose. Trusting that the pleasant relations now existing between us may always continue, we remain
Your friends and well wishers,

The Chinese Merchants of Sacramento. Dupont and Commercial Streets.

House of Broderick Engine Co., No. 1.
San Francisco, Dec. 19th, 1862.
To the Chinese Merchants of Sacramento. Dupont and Commercial Streets.

Gentlemen :: On behalf of Broderick Engine Company. No. 1. I beg leave to tender the sincere thanks of that Company for your well-timed and liberal donation of five hundred dollars.

Allow me to assure you that the kind wishes expressed in your letter are fully reciprocated, and our efforts will be exerted to the utmost to merit your commendation and approval.

I remain, Gentlemen, yours respectfully.
Edw'd B. Cotter,
Foreman Broderick Engine Co., No. 1.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume XIV, Number 4685, 20 December 1862 — SAN FRANCISCO, SATURDAY, DEC. 20. CITY ITEMS. Daily Alta California. [ARTICLE]


1863 April 23
In part
— A new engine for No. l's Company was shipped from the celebrated manufacturer. James Smith, of New York City, on the 21st of this month, via the Isthmus. From what we hear we should judge that it will be one of the “ crack" engines of the State. It is what it termed a " crane-neck engine," solid mahogany box, platform springs, 8 1/2 inch cylinders, stroke changing from 6 to 9 inches, front wheels 4 feet diameter, and rear 4 feet 3 inches, folding levers spreading 8 1/2 feet, with hose reel, and brass mounted : all the iron work highly finished, with fancy signal and apparatus complete. The Company is now doing duty with one of the old relief engines. And, to perform their adequate amount of labor, they ordered the machine to be brought in the shortest practicable time, which although now more expense, will prove its own economy by the additional security against fire.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 15, Number 4807, 23 April 1863 — SAN FRANCISCO, THURSDAY, APRIL 23. CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


1863—San Francisco, April 26th.
In part
J. B. Cotter, Foreman of Broderick Fire Company, was presented with a massive trumpet, of Washoe silver.
Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 25, Number 3774, 27 April 1863 — Arrival of the Oregon— Presentation— Typographical Union — Commissioned — Reported Hale. [ARTICLE]


1863 May 5
In part
Mr. Titcomb offered an authorization to pay $770 freight on the new machine of Broderick Engine Company, now en route from the Atlantic States. Passed to print
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 15, Number 4819, 5 May 1863 — TELEGRAPHIC [ARTICLE]


1863 May 11
An engine, built in New York for Broderick Engine Company, No. 1. of this city, was tried on the 9th of April last, by the members of Howard Engine Company, No. 34, of the former city, of which the late Hon. D. C. Broderick was the first foreman. The engine worked very satisfactorily, throwing water 175 feet horizontally through an inch nozzle.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 15, Number 4825, 11 May 1863 — SAN FRANCISCO, MONDAY, MAY 11. Daily Alta California. [ARTICLE]


1863 May 30
— The steamer Sonora brought up the new engine of Broderick Engine Company, No. 1, a full description of which has been given in our columns. We learn that she is fully up to expeditions. Her arrival is very opportune, for the engine, " Bright things,” etc., in use by the company, while going to the fire at Hayes' Park, night before last, on the railroad track broke down at the junction, and was thereby prevented from being the second engine on the ground.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 15, Number 4844, 30 May 1863 — SAN FRANCISCO, SATURDAY, MAY 30. CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


Re: 1863 James Smith second class Engine With cylinders 8 1/2 inches; stroke, nine inches stroke changing from 6 to 9 inches
1863 June 5
— Broderick Engine Company housed their new engine last evening, it being the thirteenth anniversary of the organization of the Company. A complete and thorough trial, at the corner of Montgomery and Commercial streets, was had : the result of which was very gratifying to the numerous friends of the Company and the spectators present, and gave the utmost satisfaction to the Company. The machine was a very neat and simple apparatus, built by James Smith. of New York  city. Her dimensions are 8 1/2 inch cylinder by a 9-inch stroke, and is what is called a “second class." After the trial the Company had a “good old fashioned” time at their house— wine, firecrackers, bonfires, etc. We are perfectly safe in saying that No. 1’s Company will always maintain its reputation and efficiency as a pioneer company in our incomparable Department, and fully merit their motto of “Excelsior."
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 15, Number 4850, 5 June 1863 — SAN FRANCISCO, FRIDAY, JUNE 5. CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


1865 January 17
In part
Bernard Hagan, foreman of Broderick Engine Co., No. 1, and well known in san Francisco as an energetic and reliable special officer, died last evening from the effects of over exertion and exposure at the incendiary fire on the corner of Davis and Washington streets, several weeks since.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 17, Number 5430, 17 January 1865 — BY STATE TELEGRAPH. [ARTICLE]


1865 June 21
The removal of two of the earlier and most efficient of our Fire Department Companies, from the heretofore, but not now central portion of the city, was the occasion last evening of a magnificent demonstration. The companies were Broderick. No. 1, and Pennsylvania, No. 12. The former gallantly offered to escort their brethren of the Pennsylvanians to their new house.

At eight o'clock the Brodericks, in full force, marched from their house on Sacramento street, above Kearny, to the house of the Pennsylvanians on Jackson street, above Kearny. The latter company was then accompanied back through Dupont and Sacramento streets to the house of No. 1. Here the guests accepted of the hospitalities of their hosts, after which the procession moved.

First in the advance a stalwart fireman, bearing the American flag, and then Schultz's celebrated band, playing a martial air. Broderick Engine Company, numbering 90 strong, and preceded by Chief Engineer Scannell, Assistant Engineers, and Honorary Members of No. 1 followed, and after them the Junior Members of the company, with scarlet caps, dragging their “skeleton" hose carriage, and numbering 35 strong.' A quaint caricature of a skeleton, with the words "I’m here," which was posted on the cart, attracted treat attention and created much merriment.

The Pennsylvanians, to the number of eighty-five strong, followed, dragging their hose-carriage, their elegant "steamer”, pulled by the Company's two splendid horses, bringing up the rear of the procession.

The Companies marched through Kearny street to Washington, and down that thoroughfare to Montgomery street. As they wheeled into the latter thoroughfare the demonstration appeared to the finest advantage. Every man carried a torch, whilst from the van, centre and rear of the line, shot rockets and Roman candles in the greatest profusion, . and a benzole light blazed from the funnel of the steamer.

The sidewalks, windows and roofs of buildings throughout Montgomery street were filled with ladies and gentlemen, the former waving kerchiefs and the latter continually cheering and otherwise manifesting their delight at the imposing pageant.

Passing down Second street, the procession halted at the house of Tiger Engine Company, No. 14. Here they entered, and were "treated" with true firemen s hospitality.

A number of the ‘Tigers" fell into procession, and accompanied their fellow firemen to the new house of the Pennsylvanians, on Sixth street, just below Folsom street. The house of the latter was ablaze, and flags innumerable were suspended across the street.

Before the escorting Company were allowed to depart, the Keystone State boys pressed the New Yorkers into their elegant rooms, where, amidst the approving smiles of fair women and cheers of brave men, sentiments were proposed and responded to, and general hilarity, indulged in over the festive board.

Just as the Broderick Company left they gave rousing cheers, which were as vociferously responded to by the Pennsylvania's. The latter Company subsequently entertained their lady guests, and a dance wound up their part of the evening's festivities.

The Broderick Company, after seeing their companions snugly ensconsced in their new and beautiful house, inarched down to Bryant and through that street to their own future headquarters, just west of Third, on that thoroughfare. Hundreds awaited their coming. The street on either side was alive with citizens of both sexes and all ages. Flags and streamers were suspended across the street, and the house illuminated from sidewalk to roof. The machine nicely housed, all repaired to the elegant hall in the second story, there two long tables, filled with the most sumptuous viands, were spread, and at the head of them across table, covered with loaves of frosted cake, and ornamented with fresh flowers, the work, evidently, of the fair friends of the gallant firemen.

And now the substantial; were attacked with a vim only equaled by that which the Brodericks exhibit when attacking the raging element. Subsequently, toasts were proposed and suitably responded to, and not until the early hours ushered in the day was the "house warming " over. The Broderick Company did the handsome thing throughout, and their brethren of No. 12 appreciated the courtesies, as did the former in the reciprocal acts of courtesy extended to them by the latter, as also those received from Tiger Co. 14.

Although the policy of removing these two companies from up town may not be questioned, still we, in common with all about us, will regret losing companies so efficient as "Broderick" and Pennsylvania" have always shown themselves to be. As for their late Chinese neighbors, inhabiting the combustible localities of Sacramento, Jackson. and Pacific streets, we can only say that it would not at all surprise us if their stores and tenements were found draped in black to-day, from grief at the departure of those who have done so much towards preserving their property in days long sync.
Source: Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 17, Number 5585, 21 June 1865 — FIREMEN'S FESTIVITIES – GRAND TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION, ETC. [ARTICLE]


1865 August 16
— The members of Broderick Engine Company. No. 1, wishing to suitably acknowledge the courtesies shown and services rendered them by the Chief Engineer of the New York Fire Department, have caused to be manufactured, by Messrs. Pohlman & Belemere, of this city, the most magnificent Fireman's badge which we have ever had the pleasure of examining, which will be sent East by the steamer of the 18th. It is of solid California gold, and very elaborate and elegant design. The upper or safety pin is in the form of a hook and ladder, crossed and tied with a rope. From this pin depends a gold chain with square links, which is fastened at either end to the badge proper, which has a large pin upon the under side, to fasten it to the coat or vest. The badge is surmounted by an eagle, with rays and laurel wreath, and in the bill of the eagle is a scroll, bearing the inscription— "No. 1, Broderick Engine Company, S. F." The centre of the badge or shield represents the coat-of-arms or great seal of the State of California, in gold and blue enamel, with thirteen stars and " Eureka " beneath. Around this is elaborate and beautiful open scroll-work embodying emblematic designs, and beneath is a tablet, inscribed "John Decker, Chief Engineer." Upon the back is the following inscription : "Presented by the officers and members of Broderick Engine Company, No. 1, San Francisco. California, to John Decker. Esq., Chief Engineer of the New York Fire Department, as a token of their respect and high estimation of his character as a fireman and gentleman." The whole cost of this elegant testimonial was about $300. The badge will be on exhibition in the window of Shreve’s a jewelry store, on Montgomery street, to-day and to-morrow.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 17, Number 5641, 16 August 1865 — SAN FRANCISCO, WEDNESDAY, AUG. 16. CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


1865 August 16
In part
Broderick Engine Company No. 1 forward to New York by the next steamer a badge prepared for presentation to John Decker, Chief of the New York Fire Delegates, at a cost of three hundred dollars.
Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 29, Number 4493, 16 August 1865 — Troops for Arizona—San Francisco and San Jose Railroad Board of Directors [ARTICLE]


1866 December 2
—The members of Broderick Engine Company, No. 1, will assemble at the house of Monumental, No. 6, at one p. m. to-day, in citizen's dress, to proceed to Lone Mountain Cemetery and formally dedicate the plot assigned to their Company in the Firemen's Lot. The band of the Second United States Artilery will furnish music for the occasion, and the exercises preceding the unveiling of the monument recently erected by the Company, will be appropriate to the occasion. Should the weather be pleasant a large assembly will be present.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 18, Number 7008, 2 December 1866 — CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]


1866, December 2
Amongst the more imposing and interesting ceremonies attendant on the disbanding of the Volunteer Fire Department, of San Francisco, those served in the Lone Mountain Cemetery grounds, yesterday, are entitled to especial mention.

Besides the inauguration of the Statue of Lafayette, mentioned elsewhere, the unveiling the monument in the plot of Broderick Engine Company, No. 1, was an occasion of solemn interest.

According to previous arrangement, the members of this Company assembled at Monumental Engine Company’s house, on the Plaza, at 2 p. m., yesterday, and thence, in citizens' dress, marched to the Turk street cars. At the head of the procession marched Chief Engineer Scannell, Fire Marshal Durkee, Foreman of the Broderick. Marcus Harris, and the splendid Band of the Second Artillery, which furnished exquisite music for the occasion. The cortege arrived in the Cemetery at 3 o'clock, and moved directly to the Firemen’s Plot, situated in a central and elevated portion of the grounds. Here had assembled large concourse of persons, some pedestrians, and other seated in carriages. In the centre of the plot assigned to the Broderick Company stands the monument, an imposing and symmetrical structure of marble. The base, solid and square, is handsomely carved, and the words “Broderick," and "one," cut on either side. Above are the epitaphs of the deceased members of the Company. On the north face of the base are the words "Organized June 4th, 1850." and "Disbanded December 2d, 1866." On the south face appear these words, " Name changed from Empire, October 7. 1859.” The pedestal, or shaft is surmounted by a female figure in an altitude of grief—a " Niobe (sic) all tears. This bust is most elaborately and exquisitely carved. The effect at the unveiling of the monument was very fine.

The exercise commenced with a dirge by the band, after which Foreman Harris called upon Chief Engineer Scannell, himself the Foreman of the Company, and Mr. McLaughlin, another member, to unveil the statue. The resolutions passed by the Board of Supervisors complementary to the Volunteer Fire Department, were read, as also the report of the final proceedings the Company, by the Secretary, J. Carson. Edward B Cotter, late Foreman of the Company then advanced and delivered


We deeply regret our inability to give, as we intended this address in extensor.

It was an exceedingly meritorious production, and was listened to with intense interest. He commenced is saying that we were assembled for laudable purpose -- the fulfillment of an acknowledged obligation. Today we have the consummating a scared trust, and exhibiting a glorious example. We are saying to the world the memory of noble men and deeds lives after the deeds are apparently forgotten in the exciting rush of daily struggle. We are presenting an inducement to all around us to live useful lives, that they may secure posthumous honors which should ever be accorded to all our kind worthy of them. We are here to pay a tribute of respect to our dead fellow-members. The speaker next eloquently descanted on the dauntless courage and eulogized the five lamented comrades whose memory was this day commemorated.

The speaker next gave a brief recapitulation of facts bearing on the history of the Broderick Company, and then he passed on to pay a beautiful to the dead Senator alter whom the Company was named, and by whom it was founded.

Mr. Cotter next alluded to the abolishing of the Volunteer Department and the immediate inauguration of the Paid Fire Department.

In this connection he said:
“ When the midnight bells toll forth the close of this day, after an existence of nearly seventeen years, what was the empire, and is now the Broderick Engine Company No. 1, ceases to be a distinct organization. Proud of our past record, jealous of our future fame, no member of our Company has sought office at the hands of the Fire Commission. Ready at all times to peril our lives and health for the protection of the lives and property of our fellow-citizens, no mercenary motive has swayed us in bygone days, and no temptations of emolument will seduce us from our enviable independence now.

“ While we deem the experiment of a Paid Fire Department dangerous to the welfare, of community, we, as citizens. are disposed to lend encouragement to the reformation and contribute, as far as possible, to its success.

“ Not only so, but we would urge all our follow firemen belonging to other Companies to do likewise. We would conjure them to banish all jealousies and heart burnings, and on occasions to lend the advantage of their experiences of firemen’s duties.

“ Let them not smirch their present fair excutchtion by any sin of omission or commission. Wherever and whenever the inexperienced recruits who are to step into the shoes of the burned and scarred veterans require this advice be given freely, and that assistants of their predecessors, let that advice Given freely, and that assistances be promptly rendered. By such conduct the respect and esteem of our fellow citizens which now accompanies us in our retiracy will be increased and perpetuated.

Such disinterested magnanimous as those just given admirably illustrated the mode elements, which compound the late Volunteer Fire Department of San Francisco.

In concluding his excellent oration, the speaker said:

“ Processed of an unsullied reputation in the past as firemen, let us each and every one strive to pursue such as course as will forever cause the citizens of San Francisco to point with well-founded pride to our Company, which has passed away. Let our future conduct be a fitting sequel to that which has gone before, and it will in years to come be deemed an honor to the best citizen in any community to be known as one who was once a member of Broderick Engine Company, No. 1."

The oration concluded, the band executed less lugubrious strains than before, after which the long procession defiled through the circuitous avenues of the cemetery, and departed from the City of the Dead, mingle again with things of the City of Living.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 18, Number 7009, 3 December 1866


1866 December 2
The old Volunteer Fire Department of San Francisco, which has done good service in its day, and was the pride and boast of our city, goes out of existence at 12 o’clock to-night, and will be superseded by the Paid Department.
Source:Daily Alta California, Volume 18, Number 7008, 2 December 1866 — CITY ITEMS. [ARTICLE]

1866 December 2

Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 18, Number 7008, 2 December 1866 — Page 2 Advertisements Column 4 [ADVERTISEMENT

1866 December 2

Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 18, Number 7008, 2 December 1866 — Page 2 Advertisements Column 4 [ADVERTISEMENT


1870 May 24
Mr. McCarthy, from the Fire and Water Committee, reported in favor of granting the use of Broderick Engine House, as an Armory to the Veterans of the Mexican War.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 22, Number 7368, 24 May 1870 — BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. [ARTICLE]

The Hose on the Reel Is Made of Leather and Is Still In Good Condition.

1895 August 27
A relic of ancient times, mute reminder of the days when San Francisco depended upon volunteers for protection against fires, is the old hosecart recently discovered in one of the old warehouses of the Southern Pacific Company.

Since it was turned over to the Exempt Firemen and given a place of honor by them in their hall on Brenham place it has been visited by many of the veterans whose pride it was in the days gone by, when at the alarm of fire they flew to their places on the drag and strove with might and main to win the "Fox Tail."

The historic relic was built for the old Empire engine No. 1, the name of which was subsequently chanted to Broderick No. 1 after the death of Senator Broderick.

Probably the most notable fire in which the old reel did service was the great Brannan-street fire which occurred on the night of November 28, 1876, and which destroyed the old German Hospital and a great amount of valuable property. The Broderick No. 1 was one of the star companies — the volunteers. Its house was on Sacramento street west of Kearny, and many were the times that this piece of equipment, now such a curiosity, led the procession when the possession of the "Fox Tail" was the reward for the company which should reach the fire first.

The late Dave Scannell was the foreman of the company then, and Tim Bainbridge, now in charge of the criminal records in the office of the Chief of Police, was a member of the company.

The engine for which the old cart carried the hose is now at the Almshouse. where it is kept for fire protection. It was found in the Southern Pacific warehouses on Brannan street by George T. Bowen and Assistant Chief Dougherty. They immediately communicated with H. O. Rogers, superintendent of the warehouse, and were referred to E. P. Vining, who presented the old cart to the Exempt Firemen.

In early days, when the old volunteer fire brigades were mustered out, the Chief distributed a number of these carts to citizens for their own protection. The one now in the possession of the Exempts fell into the hands of Michael Skelly, one of the old pioneers, and he lost track of it over twenty-eight years ago, and now, after nearly a third of a century, it has again come into prominence.

The hose is nearly 250 feet long and is made of leather, resembling that used for soling shoes, and is copper-riveted throughout its entire length. Loops of leather riveted on every few feet throughout its length serve as handholds for the firemen to move it easily, as the nozzlemen required. It was made by Cook & Sons, manufacturers of leather hose, and H. B. Cook, who is now the chief deputy in the Tax Collector's office, was a member of the firm.

Source: San Francisco Call, Volume 78, Number 88, 27 August 1895 — A RELIC OF OLDEN TIMES [ARTICLE+ILLUSTRATION]

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