Posts Tagged ‘firefighter’


Williston Cemetery isn’t very big, but I found 2 firefighters buried fairly close to one another there. I can clearly make out that the second one was a volunteer, but I didn’t get a detailed enough photo of the first headstone to tell whether Mr. Apthorpe also was.


Smarkel (2)

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I generally prefer to historic charm of old cemeteries and grave markers, but I have to admit that some of the new styles and technologies are the next evolution of what I prefer: personalized markers that attempt to communicate with the visitor. Above is the Apthorpe tombstone in Williston Cemetery, which indicates that Mr. Apthorpe was a member of the Fire Department.


Mr. Arnholt was an artist, and Mrs. Arnholt, a nurse.

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Downs (2)

John Downs

Lost his life in the Woolen Exchange fire

Nov. 22, 1895

Aged 55 years

Downs (3)

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Papineau (6)

The Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol was an emergency salvage company whose duty was to respond to fires and reduce the costs associated with them by saving property. Obviously, this could be a dangerous job, and according to the records from the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Alfred C. Papineau responded to an industrial fire on October 31, 1886, and began working in the basement once the flames were doused. A portion of the building collapsed, injuring two other patrolmen and killing Papineau.

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McAvoy (3)

Hanley (3)

I found multiple memorials for firefighters and their families that looked just like this one at Calvary Cemetery.  They were all treestones topped with firefighter helmets. There were a few more than lacked the firefighter helmet, and one for a policeman with his hat next to the stone. It made me wonder if there was a benefit association for firefighters or general public safety employees that included a death benefit, or if the public safety employees were encouraged to join something like Woodman of the World, a large mutual aid society that provided a death benefit.

Drew (2)

Conway (2)

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Irish immigrant John Grady and his family fled the potato famine in his native land. He found his place in his adopted home of Cleveland working for the fire department starting in 1881 and became the captain of Engine Company 1 in 1889. On November 15, 1891, he was trapped under falling debris and killed while fighting a fire at the Short and Foreman Company. It took several days for crews to recover his body for burial.

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Cleveland’s Woodland Cemetery has a firefighter section, guarded by this little guy. I am assuming that he is a replacement. If you look very carefully under his body in the first photo, you can see a hole that used to hold a monument in place over the base. It saddens me to think that the original monument was damaged or destroyed, but the puppy is so sweetly touching that he seems a worthy memorial. He sits, perhaps too young yet to go to fires himself, with a lantern in his mouth and an expression of concern about his masters on his face. His body is poised in a perpetual state of anticipation, ever watchful.


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I was walking through East Cleveland Township Cemetery when I found this monument obviously erected to a firefighter.

Lieut. Wm. S. Lawrence and wife Catherine

I’ve searched so far without finding much about Lieutenant William S. Lawrence. He does not appear to have died in the line of duty. Right now, his burial record is not available on the cemetery’s website. According to the Cleveland Firefighters’ Union Local 93, Engine Company Number 8 operated from 1871-1976 on the corner of Scranton Road and Starkweather Avenue.

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