Top Volunteer Fire Co. and Ladies Auxiliary
Transcribed by Sharon Palmateer from the Greene County Volunteer Firemen’s Association 1889-1989 One-Hundred Years of Fire Service History
Round Top Volunteer Fire Co., Inc.
On June 3, 1940, a meeting was held to organize a volunteer fire company. The officers were: President Tam Lawrence, Vice President Vincent Perrella, Treasurer Fred Schoeler, Secretary Lester Khuns, Chief Anker Thorsen, First Assistant Chief Joseph Fitzpatrick, Second Assistant Chief Emmett Lawrence, Directors: 3 years – Karl Bauer, 2 years – Henry Englemann, 1 year- Wm. Muller.
A Brockway Chemical chain drive truck was available and had been purchased by original volunteers before the Company was incorporated. In March 1941 an American LaFrance truck was purchased for $400. In July of the same year, Harold Yeadon donated land to be used for a fire house, and in 1942, the building was completed. In 1946, the men purchased a General Motors army truck.
The firemen sent a letter to the women of the area, and in November 1950, an auxiliary was formed. In 1954, the first fire protection contract was signed with the Town of Cairo. As the district grew, it was decided to purchase a tank truck. There was a great need for a meeting hall, and in November 1965 construction was started. A Ford chassis was also purchased at this time.
By 1968, the company had purchased another LaFrance. In 1973, a ¾ ton GMC was bought. In 1975, a ¾ ton Army brush truck was purchased. 1980 saw the purchase of a Grumman Fire Cat; and in 1988, it was decided to sell the tank truck.
A Junior Fire Company was established in 1982 under the supervision of Fire Chief Richard Hilgendorff.
With the continued growth of the district, a new Grumman Fire Cat was needed and purchased in 1989.
Round Top Auxiliary
On the 9th of November, 1950, a letter was received from Ralph Phoenix, president of the Round Top Volunteer Fire Co., asking the ladies of Round Top to consider forming an auxiliary. A week later we met and organized. The charter members were: Florence Hoovler, President; Jean Bancroft, Secretary; Frances Yeadon, Treasurer; Mildred Story, Marjorie Rivenburg, Florence South, Bertha Lawrence, Edith Miller, Elsie S, Miller, Lillian Alfeld, Hazel Khuns, Marge Kaiser, Henriette Lawrence, Josephine Bodratti, Henrietta Dausend and Carrie Kearney.
Following three years of increased membership, our goal was to raise money to pay for much needed improvements—a well and pump and a kitchen and bathroom. We held raffles, dances and even staged a play. We discovered that we had talent for play acting as well as fund raising. In 1965, our building fund had collected $3,000 and our volunteers started our new upstairs meeting room. Many years of hopes and despair confronted us, but we managed to strive and continue to support our Fire Company by obtaining helmets, raincoats and firefighting equipment. Our largest fund raiser was in 1988, when we collected $1,500 from one event and donated it to the fireman to help pay for a new well.
As we approach our 40th year of service, our children and grandchildren have become members, and we hope, by the example we set, they will carry on and live up to our motto:
“To render assistance to the Round Top Volunteer Fire Company in every possible way and create a feeling of good fellowship among our members.”