9 Mill Street, Stockton, NJ 08559

1.609.397.2144

History

History of the
Stockton Fire Company
 
   The Stockton Fire Company was formed in 1908, three years after a disastrous fire swept through the borough and destroyed 11 buildings. The fire started about midnight on January 26, 1905, in the general store owned by Austin L. Davison. High winds quickly spread the fire to other closely situated building at Main and Bridge Streets.
   Hampered by 14 inches of snow and a blocked railroad, the Lambertville and Trenton fire companies were unable to respond quickly to Stockton’s emergency. Lambertsville’s Columbia Fire Company arrived three and a half hours after the initial call and, in zero-degree temperatures, placed their chemical engine in service. By then, ten buildings had been consumed, but their efforts succeeded in extinguishing the flames and only one additional structure was lost.
   On February 1, 1908, after many conferences and discussions, Mayor Theodore S Moore called a meeting of Stockton’s citizenry for the purpose of organizing a volunteer fire company. After much discussion, the motion was carried and the Stockton Fire Engine Company was formed. The charter remained open until 7:30 p.m., February 5, 1908, at which time officers were elected and a constitution and by-laws established. Elected were Mr. Clark T. Hunt as President and Mr. Horace M Reading as Foreman (Chief).
   This first meeting of the new company also led to the purchase of a steamer engine from New Brunswick, New Jersey Fire Department. The borough purchased the steamer.  Upon receipt of the certificate of incorporation from the Secretary of State on May 7, 1908, and payment of $500 to the borough on May 9, 1908, it became the property of the newly formed Stockton Fire Company. This engine, along with a hose-carriage, was presented to the new Company by the Union Steam Fire Engine Company of Lambertville. The steamer and hose-carriage remained in active service until November 7, 1923, when a new Stutz Triple Combination motorized pumper successfully passed the Underwriter’s test and was housed November 17, 1923. The purchase price of new Stutz was $7,500.
   On July 22, 1923, as a violent electrical storm swept the area, lighting struck the wooden covered bridge connecting Stockton and Centre Bridge. At the height of the blaze, the bridge collapsed, falling some thirty feet into the river and taking with it a number of Stockton’s firefighters. Several were injured in the collapse. Also in the early 1920s, extensive damage resulted from a fire in the engine room of the Stockton Rubber Company.
   On August 20, 1937, lighting struck an oil tank of the National Transit Company in Centre Bridge and ignited a fire, which quickly spread to an adjoining tank. The Stockton firefighters responded at 6:45 p.m. that evening and remained on the job for over 17 hours. At noon the next day after pumping approximately 485,000 gallons of water, Chief Eugene Palmer dismissed his men. His September 2, 1937, report expressed appreciation for the loyal and faithful service of the 28 men on duty.
   On September 25, 1948, a new 750-gallon, triple combination Ward La France pumper was housed. Purchased for $12,304, it was immediately placed into service. In May 1949, the Stutz engine was sold to the Mountain Lake Fire Company for $500. In 1960 radio communication came to the company, and in January 1962 a base station was purchased.
   On November 1, 1962, the company purchased a tank truck from the Eagle Fire Company of New Hope, Pennsylvania. The tank truck remained in active service until 1980, when it was replaced by a 400 gallon TASC pumper-service truck. Responding to fire and auto accident calls, the pumper truck served until 1995, when it was replaced with a 1986 International rescue truck purchased from the Midway Fire Company in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. In August 1971, the company purchased a Hahn 1,000-gallon pumper. The Hahn served as the Company’s major apparatus until 1990, When the addition of a KME 1,500-gallon pumper expanding the Company’s fire-fighting capabilities. In August 2001, a KME 3000-gallon, 1,750-gallon-per-minute pumper-tanker replaced the Hahn that was sold to the Eagletown Fire Company of Eagletown, Oklahoma. Both KME units and the International Rescue truck remain in service today.
   The Company’s first home built in 1907, was an engine room located near Main and Bridge Streets. In August 1961, members voted to construct a new firehouse on Mill Street. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place April 1, 1962, and work progressed at the hands of the members. The firehouse was completed in 1964, and the original structure became the borough hall. Dedication of the new firehouse was held on July 18, 1964. The firehouse was severely damaged in April, 2005, when major flooding took place in the Borough. After extensive renovations, the firehouse was restored and dedicated to H. Wesley Hendricks whose service to the organization spanned a period of 56 years. Wes passed away at the end of 2005. He had served as President and Assistant Chief during his service and was a mentor and model to all of us. Again in the summer of 2006, flooding took place causing additional damage and further restoration. The damage was not as severe as the earlier renovations were made with the possibility of more flooding in mind. Our location while central to our efforts is a continuing concern.
   Thirty charter members began an enterprise dedicated to the service of their fellow citizens. It continues today with many of the same names that appear on the first roll call are on today’s roster as well, as the sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, nephews and nieces, among others who continue the work started 100 years ago.
Fire Company Presidents
1908-1914                          Clark T. Hunt
1915-1932                          Theodore S. Moore
1933-1944                          Patrick H. Ledger
1945-1954                          Charles D. Wilson
1955-1961                          Eugene J. Palmer
1962-1968                          H. Wesley Hendricks
1969-1982                          Joseph J. Steffanelli
1983-1996                          James Kuhn
1997-1998                          Neal Esposito
1999-2000                          Francis Hager Jr.
2001-2003                          Brett Hall
2004-2005                          Francis Hager Jr.
2006 to Present               Anthony Grecco
Fire Company Vice Presidents
1908-1910                          John W. Smith
1911-1913                          Horace M. Reading
1914                                       Theodore S. Moore
1915-1928                          H.R. Van Horn
1929-1932                          Patrick H. Ledger
1933-1944                          Charles D. Wilson
1945-1954                          Eugene J. Palmer
1955                                        William J. Ledger
1956-1961                          D.C. Errico
1962-1965                          Harry Krapf
1966-1968                          Raymond E. Dilts
1969-1977                          Donald Patterson
1978-1982                          James Kuhn
1983-1989                          Gregory Danese
1990-1994                          Neal Esposito
1995-1997                          David Justice
1998                                       Francis Hager Jr.
1999-2000                          Neal Esposito
2001 to 2014                     Joe Steffanelli
2015 to Present               Eric Trautman
Fire Company Treasurers
1908-1910                          Francis M. Wilson
1911-1913                          Samuel Van Cleve
1914-1916                          John F. Hunt
1917                                       William Durling
1918-1968                          Raymond E. Mason
1969-1989                          Raymond E. Dilts
1990-1992                          Gregory Danese
1993 to Present               Robert W. Scarboro
Fire Company Secretaries
1908-1912                          John S. Wilson
1913                                        Theodore S. Moore
1914-1953                          John S. Wilson
1954-1968                          H.B. Caulton
1969-1972                          WM. J. Soriero
1973-1987                          Theodore Vanselous
1988-1991                           Patrica Kuhn
1992-1994                           Patrica Kuhn-Hendricks
1995-2004                           Mary Ann Cook
2005 to Present                James Kuhn
Fire Company Chiefs
1908-1910                         Horace M. Reading
1911                                       Theodore S. Moore
1912-1915                          Horace M. Reading
1916-1921                          Samuel D. Van Cleve
1922-1923                          William Colligan
1924-1925                          Patrick H. Ledger
1926                                       John Mohr
1927                                        Raymond A. Reading
1928                                        William J. Ledger
1929                                        Charles D. Wilson
1930                                        J. Fred Mohr
1931                                        Eli Vanselous
1932                                        Frank Soriero
1933                                        H.A. Gully
1934-1938                          Eugene J. Palmer
1939-1941                          William J. Ledger
1942-1943                          G. Douglass Moore
1944-1954                          Francis Pennett
1955-1959                          Leonard Errico
1960-1983                          H. B. Walton
1984-1987                          Theodore Vanselous
1988 – 2014                        Paul Steffanelli
2014 – Present                  Richard Hendricks
History of the Stockton Fire Company First Aid Squad
 
The First Aid Squad was formed in 1958, under the command of Captain Harry DeWitt, an officer of the Fire Company. The Squad’s first ambulance was actually won in a drawing. The Flemington Rescue Squad (now Flemington Raritan offered both the Stockton and Sergeantsville Fire Companies an ambulance. Stockton won the drawing and a red 1939, LaSalle Ambulance came to the Squad as the initial unit. Training was quickly initiated and included standard and advanced first aid procedures, splinting, and mouth –to-mouth resuscitation. Extrication training followed.
In 1960, a replacement ambulance, a Cadillac, was purchased from the Parkside Fire Company in Chester. Two years later, radio equipment allowing communication with the dispatcher was inaugurated. For many years, Alice DeWitt served as the dispatcher for both the Squad and the Fire Company. Training continued and the Squad members became familiar with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques.
A second ambulance was purchased in 1965 nine years later the Squad purchased its first new unit. A 1974, Modular Ambulance mounted on a Chevrolet chassis was placed in service the first of its kind used in Hunterdon County. This unit continued in service until 1982 when another Modular type, mounted on a Ford chassis, was purchased and placed in service. The new unit contained many up-to-date emergency service items and served until 1997, when a new Braun modular ambulance on a Ford chassis replaced it. The new Braun modular ambulance was placed into service in 1998. The Squad will be putting a new 2008 Braun ambulance in service in 2008.
Another first for the squad occurred in 1980 when in it elected Mary Macomber captain of the squad. Mary became the first female captain in Hunterdon County.
The First Aid Squad has regularly updated their communications capabilities. At present, instructions from hospital physicians can be relayed directly to the ambulance. Taking into account the fact that the majority of calls for emergency medical services were located in Delaware Township, the ambulance was relocated to a more central location in 2007, now being housed in the facility occupied by the Police and Road Departments in Sergeantsville. The Squad remains an integral part of the Stockton Fire Company and continues to handle administrative matters at the firehouse on Mill Street.
The First Aid Squad continues to faithfully serve area residents in the tradition of its 50 year history.
First Aid Squad Captains
1958-1975                          Harry Dewitt
1976-1977                          James Kuhn
1978                                        Richard Macomber
1979                                        Francis Hager Jr.
1980-1988                          Mary Macomber
1989                                        Howard Spencer
1990-1993                          Francis Hager Jr.
1994-1997                          Gregory Cook
1998                                        Bruce Housel
1999                                        Gregory Cook
2000-2002                          Jeremy Colby
2003-2004                          Debbie Colby
2005                                        Gregory Cook
2006-2007                          Richard Allen
2008                                        Debbie Colby
2009 – 2013                        Elisa Hendricks 
2014 – 2015                        Harry Heller   
History of the Auxiliary of the Stockton Fire Company
 
The Ladies Auxiliary Of the Stockton Fire Company was formed in May 1937. Organizational meetings were held on May 19, and May 26. The Twenty-one women who met on May 26, elected the following officers.
   President                                Mary Wilson
   1st Vice President              Kathryn Sandford
   2nd Vice President             Carrie Mason
   Secretary                                Mildred Moore
   Treasurer                                Ruth Palmer
 Auxiliary by-laws state, “The object of the Auxiliary is to aid and assist the Fire Company in their work.” Since its inception, the Auxiliary has accomplished that objective in superlative fashion. Through bake sales, flea markets, strawberry and peach festivals, sale of commemorative items, serving dinners and hosting wine tastings, The Auxiliary has contributed greatly to the financial success of the Fire Company. However in addition to financial backing, the Auxiliary also provides meals and other necessities to the firefighters at fire scenes. In recent years the Auxiliary expanded its scope to assist the First Aid Squad. During the 1990s, the Auxiliary incorporated and officially changed its name to the Auxiliary of the Stockton Fire Company, reflecting its desire to include members of both genders who are interested in serving the community.
The Charter Members of the Auxiliary
Eleanor Cathers          Effie Ennis          Anne Ledger          Elizabeth Colligan
Amerilla Ledger         Sarah Ledger       Carrie Mason         Gertrude Palmer
Kathryn Sandford       Mrs. Matthews    Ruth Palmer           Lucy Soriero
Helen Mohr                Caroline Post       Mildred Moore      Angelina Steffanelli
Elizabeth Reed           Carrie Wilson      Mrs. T.S. Moore    Emma Roberson
Mary Wilson              Dorothy Allen     Edith Allen                 
Vinnie Carlen             Ruth Hendricks
Presidents of the Auxiliary
1937-1960                          Mary Wilson
1960-1962                          Elizabeth Reed
1962-1964                          Marie Moonan
1964-1966                          Anne Steffanelli
1966-1968                          Rose Celli
1968-1970                          Jennie Cline
1970-1972                          Anne Steffanelli
1972-1974                          Rose Celli
1974-1976                          Marie Moonan
1976-1978                          Rose Celli
1978-1979                          Gloria Garefino
1980-1999                          Rose Celli
2000 to 2016              Marion Steffanelli
 
The Stockton Fire Company, the First Aid Squad, and the Auxiliary are always eager to welcome new members who wish to join in our efforts to protect and serve the community.