Detroit Firemen’s Fund Association History
It takes an endless amount of history
to make even a little tradition.
– Henry James –
The history of the Detroit Firemen’s Fund
is intermingled in the history of the Detroit Fire Department.
The Fund has its roots in the “Fire Department Association” which was established in the days
when Detroit’s fire protection was provided by volunteer fire companies.
The “Fire Department Association” from the old volunteer department
provided relief and maintenance of disabled and
indigent firemen and their families.
In 1855 the old system of fire protection
was disbanded and Common Council appointed 8 new fire companies.
To answer the need for assistance to members of the new department the
Detroit Firemen’s Fund was organized March 16, 1866.
On April 13, 1867 The Fund was incorporated as a non-profit fund
to assist the widows and orphans, disabled firefighters and to purchase and maintain burial plots.
Then, as is today only Detroit Firemen were eligible for membership. Dues were $4 per year. Members off duty
by reason of sickness or injury received $5 to $10 each week. The association also
defrayed the funeral expenses of deceased firemen, not to exceed $100.
Shortly after incorporation the Fund purchased
its first burial plots in Elmwood Cemetery. Just 4 month after
the Fund was organized, Pipeman John Miller E-3
was killed at a fire, leaving behind
a wife and child.
In 1872 the Fund purchased large sections of burial plots
in both Mt. Elliott (Catholic) and Elmwood (non-sectarian) Cemeteries
The first Firemen’s Monument
was erected in Elmwood Cemetery
and dedicated July 4, 1876. A similar monument
was erected in Mt. Elliott Cemetery in 1890.
September 9, 1922
The Firemen’s Fund held its
first Firemen’s Field day at Navin Field.
The first issue of “The Slate”,
a magazine featuring Detroit Fire Department news,
was published by the Fund in February 1929. Publishing discontinued
in April 1932 due to lack of advertising
because of the depression.
which is now the
Michigan Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial Rig
was placed in service.
More historical information will be added here at a later date.
For an illustrated view of Fund and the Detroit Fire Department history
HINT: When you go to the timeline page click the 3D icon in the lower left corner.
It gives a great 3D effect to see the progression of events within the Fund and the Detroit Fire Department.