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Henry A. Isermann

As published in
"The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement"
by Frank H. Lyman Vol. 2, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1916.

The public service of Kenosha finds a prominent and valued representative in Henry A. Isermann, chief of the fire department, who during his incumbency in this office has wrought many changes and improvements that have greatly benefited the fire system in protecting the interests of the town. Mr. Isermann belongs to one of Kenoshaıs old and representative families. He was born in this city in 1870 and in his youth spent much time behind the counter in his fatherıs grocery store, widening his acquaintance, while his attractive qualities and social and genial disposition won him popularity.

That was his initial business training and his second step was made when he entered the employ of the Bain Wagon Works, soon afterward joining the Bain Hook and Ladder Company, a volunteer fire organization in 1892. Many were the great fires which that company assisted in extinguishing and more than once its members won valor and distinction through their deeds of bravery. Mr. Isermann studied every phase of fire fighting and was most competent in that connection, when, in 1896, he joined the paid fire department of the city. His exceptional knowledge and ability to cope with emergencies immediately suggested him for the rank of captain, to which office he was appointed. On the 10th of October, 1906, a new fire chief was needed in Kenosha and Mr. Isermann was unanimously chosen for the position. Following his promotion he began the reorganization and reequipment of the department. Its fire fighting apparatus at that time was somewhat antiquated and as he has always been an advocate of everything that is modern in connection with the management and control of an enterprising city, he began searching for the newest and best things needed in fighting fires of little or of great consequence. When the automobile fire truck was introduced he desired one for his department and did not hesitate to express to the aldermen his wish. His proposition did not meet with great favor, for the city council considered it an expenditure of ³too much money.² But Mr. Isermann soon demonstrated to them through mathematical calculation that a motor truck could be maintained at a much smaller expense than apparatus operated by horses. Accordingly the motor truck was secured and Kenosha thus took the lead in this line in the state. Time proved the truth of his statement that the motor truck would materially reduce the cost of maintenance in the department. The officers of the city recognized in the purchase a good move, so a second motor truck was installed, bringing the department to a high point of efficiency.

Many are the favorable comments made concerning Mr. Isermann, who is ever alert to the interests of his department and its improvement. He seems never to become excited but to make every move of his men count in checking the fire fiend and protect property. There are many questions to be considered in this regard, none of which seems to elude him, and his work and that of his men is attended with excellent results. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Engineers, the State Firemenıs Association and he is also identified with the Fraternal Reserve Association, the Order of Foresters, the Elks and the Eagles.

Typed by: Marilyn Allis

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