Our Chronological History, 1837-1976 (from History of the Toledo Fire Division, 1837-1977 by John Killits)
City Council appointed a committee to ascertain the cost of providing two fire engines for city use.
The first effort to organize a Fire Department was by way of a resolution passed by City Council on November 27, 1837. The resolution provided that whenever a number of citizens, not less than forty, should associate themselves together for the purpose of forming a fire company, the company should be put in possession of an engine, hose-wagon, hooks and ladders, and other equipment. The companies were to be designated by numbers.
Charles McLean was elected Fire Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department. On November 27, 1837, the first Volunteer Company was organized. The first Fire Wardens were appointed on December 29, 1837.
In December of 1837, the first engine house was built on Cherry Street between Huron and Superior. It was known as Engine House No. 1. At about this time, two engines were received from a Mr. Platt on which the freight was paid amounting to $86.93.
The city was divided into three wards, which remained in effect until July 2, 1848, when a fourth was established. Total cost of operation in 1838 was $45.05 plus the cost of two engines $1,909.50. Davy Crockett Fire Engine and Hose Company was formed February 3, 1838.
A History of the Toledo Fire Department, (From John M. Killits, ed. (S.J. Clarke Publishing Co.: Chicago, 1923, pp. 307-313)
The first movement toward providing fire protection for the City of Toledo was made on May 29, 1837, when the council appointed a committee to ascertain the cost of two fire engines. Sometime that summer, two engines of the old hand-power type were purchased from a Mr. Platt, of Buffalo, New York, for S1,909.50. In September, Hoisington & Manning were employed to erect two engine houses - No. 1 on Cherry Street, not far from Summit, and No. 2 at some suitable point in the western part of the city. House No. 1 cost the city $68.00 and No. 2 cost $13.00. On November 27, 1827, the council passed a resolution to the effect that whenever forty or more citizens should form themselves into a fire company, such company should be placed in possession of an engine, hose, hose cart, hooks and ladders, etc. The resolution also provided that the companies should be designated by numbers: the first company formed to be No. 1, the second, No. 2, and so on.
Newsclippings about the Department
An 1875 Inventory of the Equipment of Engine House No. 1
Columnist Marie Cochran on the Fire Alarm Operators, from The Toledo News-Bee Sept. 15, 1936.
A Description of the Alarm System from the Toledo Times, Feb. 26, 1944.