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Springville Volunteer Fire Department celebrates 130 years of service to the community

THOSE WHO WENT BEFORE — Marc and Cheryl Gentner are pictured, placing flags beside tombstones. Photos by Andrew Manzella.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Fire Company commemorated its 130th anniversary, this year, in a stated effort of showing gratitude and support to past department members and to the company’s history.

Volunteers helped clean and refurbish the 250 grave markers that denoted the final resting places of deceased Springville firefighters, on May 18.

HONORING THE DEPARTED — Pictured, from left: Gary McGuire, Duke Dains, Jerry Cohoon, Tom Salzler, Jim Jozwiak, Dave Dains, Cheryl Gentner, Marc Gentner, Jim Siminski, Mike Cochran and Dennis Dains.
To celebrate Memorial Day, grave markers were painted fire engine red. Then, on May 22, American flags were placed at the headstone of every deceased firefighter, by members of the Springville Fire Company.

“We’ve gone through like five different grave markers, since the 1800s,” said department Recording Secretary and Historian Jim Jozwiak. “We have, basically, five different styles and five different colors. So, what we did is, we got a group of firemen together and went through about 250 grave markers.”

Those emblems were wire brushed, cleaned and sprayed red, so that “it’s a lot more noticeable, so people know where the volunteer firemen are laying,” Jozwiak added.

The fire company announced plans to hold an installation dinner, complete with a video and picture presentation of the department’s history and current affairs, next January. “We will have copies of [the video] and they will be available for anyone, like a member or family members; anything like that. And then, whatever we make from the video will go back into our historical account,” Jozwiak explained.

Memorabilia from Springville’s past fire company members is currently being collected, by Jozwiak, in an attempt to piece together a clearer image of the department’s past.

“Family members that have maybe been firemen and had fire memorabilia, stuff like that, and then moved to Florida, or California, [may have moved with mementos of the fire department],” he said. “For the past 10 years, I have been reacquiring that and bringing it back to our company.”

Jozwiak said that he has found a program from the fire department’s fourth installation dinner, held in 1886. He bought this memento in Wisconsin. “We’re trying to keep the historical part of the fire department with stuff like the video, so we can keep buying stuff back,” he said.

Jim Siminski
The village of Springville became an official municipality in 1834. Fewer than 10 years later, in 1842, The Hook and Ladder Company was established, as the area’s first fire company.

Since then, the company’s volunteers have safeguarded Springville against tragedy. In 1882, the fire department’s corporate entity and club, together, became the Springville Fire Company Inc.

Tom Salzler
The department’s club has been holding events and fundraisers for much of its existence. In 1894, more than 120 local couples attended a firemen’s ball in the Springville Opera House. Jozwiak credited the fire department’s growth and advancement, in part, to the company club’s efforts.

Land was donated by J.P. Meyers, to the fire department, in 1892, for the construction of the fire station on South Buffalo Street. By the early 1920s, the village of Springville bought its first motorized fire truck for $12,000 which, factoring in inflation, would have the same buying power as $150,000, today.

The firemen braved through events such as the Main Street fire in 1868, which destroyed all of the downtown buildings between Pearl Street and the current location of Rose Kirsch Realty, as well as a 1879 Main Street fire, which destroyed all of the buildings from Buffalo Street to the Hall’s Opera House on Main Street.

The volunteers from Springville were on hand for an outbreak of a destructive fire at the Springville Canning Factory in 1923 and for a string of blazes that occurred, during an October dry spell in the fall of 1897.

For every fiery eruption in nearly the entire 179-year history of the village of Springville, volunteer firefighters from the local company have been in attendance, to lend a helping hand and to save lives, property and peace.

A complete list of names of the deceased past members of the Springville Volunteer Fire Department is below:

Maplewood Cemetery
Section 1
George Richmond 1793-1869 Silas Green 1862-1940 Frank Prior 1850-1918 William Bensley 1875-1947 Warren Stanbro 1855-1909
Section 2
Warren White 1868-1949 John Chaffee 1784-1858 Dave Wilcox 1847-1930 Albert Bement 1871-1941 Charles White 1879-1957Henry Severance 1852-1936George Dabolt 1863-1942Spencer Widrig 1852-1909George Barker 1843-1917
Section 3
Avery Jones 1848-1922Herman Glass 1872-1950Claude Porter 1894-1950George Conger 1842-1908Fred Ganschow 1861-1925
Section 4
Earl Cook Died 1925Alton Bates 1868-1910Fred Schweizer 1861-1945E. Schwert 1860-1933Walter Zimmer 1886-1946Ray Luther 1910-1947Henry Lohrey 1887-1963Lloyd Davis 1893-1959Wallace Smith 1865-1950Ray Herbold 1893-1968Frank O. Smith 1855-1935Frank Chase 1838-1902Ron Smith 1900-1981Frank D. Smith 1855-1927Ira Woodard 1847-1926John Graff 1887-1960Fred Fox 1873-1937Mark Brooks 1861-1943Fred Schroeder ?Harold Spencer 1902-1981Lewis C. Fisher 1894-1981Louis Chevalier 1854-1915Sam Spencer 1867-1932Percy Fox 1885-1920William Blake 1861-1939Charles Rumsey 1884-1930Charles Hopper 1857-1934Lynn Thurber 1892-1918Carl Felton 1884-1948Howard Borden 1868-1947Ella Chesbro 1858-1925George Chesbro 1851-1925Arthur Block 1893-1966Charles Borden 1863-1940William Weismantel 1888-1983Wilson Graff 1912-1983Gordon Rouse 1900-1987
Section 5 Luther Shuttleworth 1865-1943Phil Rumsey 1889-1977H. J. Benzing 1883-1975Guy Joslin 1878-1948Gerald Salzler 1914-1976Glenn Frank 1881-1956Robert Mahl 1892-1967Allan Brown 1906-1965Les Wells 1873-1946John Little 1910-1972Frank Block 1900-1954George Stedman 1869-1953R. B. Waite 1871-1965George Blakely 1893-1974Cecil Bond 1905-1971Arthur Cobo 1897-1972Webster Krise 1898-1982Avery Smith 1904-1969Andrew Erdman 1898-1983Gail Blakely 1924-1986Calvin H. Girst 1938-1997Stanley Wallace 1913-1997Larry Williams 1920-2009Paul Morley 1952-2012
Section 6
Andrew Fitzpatrick 1871-1930Carl Wendland 1861-1932J. W. Bement 1886-1965Walt Mercer 1902-1975George Goodemote 1895-1936Frank Tackentien 1869-1941John Barthel 1864-1949John Wiley 1873-1931Charles Folts 1863-1932Ira Vail 1872-1956Frank Benzing 1885-1968Edward Vaughn 1873-1940John Clark Wheeler 1879-1962Byron Austin 1868-1939Edward Beckerich 1882-1970Charles Severance 1875-1934Liol Smith 1907-1952Floyd (Jack) Wasson 1899-1983
Section 8
Henry Block 1868-1918Fred Leland 1856-1927Howard Hadley 1869-1932Tom Fay 1862-1936Tom Caldwell 1861-1928Robert Chandler 1879-1970Grove King 1885-1965Frank Bristol No DateCarrol Newman 1879-1966Alfred Richardson 1865-1907Charles Miller 1854-1894Edward Thurber 1866-1940Clayton F. Williams 1883-1989"John E. Sixt, Sr." 1917-1999
Section 9
Morris Gorman 1870-1953Lewis Clair 1873-1917John Clair 1849-1910George Morton 1859-1936William Lowe 1864-1936Stephen Spaulding 1842-1923Alfred Holmann 1848-1908Edgar Wright 1861-1886Carl Frase 1878-1936Spencer Quackenbush 1881-1958Warren Van Volkenberg 1882-1960George Herbold 1858-1917S. H. McEven 1810-1882Stanley F. Walker 1917-2001
Section 10
Morris Hall 1843-1916Bert Rumsey 1856-1939
Section 15
Bernard Rogers 1905-1952F. Schroder 1914-1975Floyd Rogers 1896-1944Ernest Blemaster 1894-1918Arnold Emerson 1895-1934Lyman Rosenberg 1849-1897Herman Vanslyke 1890-1957John Land 1882-1965Dean Shultes 1922-1971Dee Shultes 1897-1971George Miller 1888-1962William Schaper 1888-1977Henry (James) Vanslyke 1846-1918Frank Fuller 1909-1965
Section 16
John Wheeler 1852-1932
Section 19
Alson W. Ferrin Died 1973Hugh King 1918-1987
Section 20
Leon Zimmer 1897-1968George Erdman 1896-1967Don Adams 1919-1983Walt Cobo 1904-1984Wilbur Coons 1919-1998Raymond W. Smith 1910-1995Thomas F. Smith 1918-2000Albert Cobo 1927-2000Thomas Call 1963-2009
Section 21
Robert Coons 1913-1936Elmer Fuller 1893-1930Lester Ahrens 1898-1966Nelson Glass 1880-1962Fred Schaper 1890-1970
Section 27
Francis Westfall 1911-1962Ray Cook 1925-2004Richard Wells 1925-2006
St. Aloysius Cemetery
Section 11
Albert Salzler 1889-1954Carl Berten 1891-1954Stanley A. Krezmien 1929-2011Valentine F. Schueler 1907-1992
Section 17
Victor Collard 1874-1902Frank Fox 1866-1906John Utrich 1879-1904Charles Flannagan 1869-1905Carlos Collard 1866-1917
Section 18
John Gentner 1894-1954Lawrence Christ 1907-1982William Limpinsel 1898-1977Lawrence Schneider 1902-1956Martin Salm 1883-1957Peter Blemel 1894-1971William Morgester 1866-1911Louis Smith 1876-1953Henry VanDermeer 1909-1978Harry Klosin 1916-1983Lawrence Beach 1909-1988"Francis J. Pitillo, Sr." 1910-1990James P. McCarthy 1918-1990Gordon L. Ellis 1910-1992Donald VanDermeer 1935-1991"Richard Enser, Sr. " 1915-1995Claude Follman 1916-2001Nicholas J. Lux 1915-1995Gerald P. Klosin 1939-2005
Section 22
Frank Kessler 1885-1958Maurice V. Kessler 1902-1921John Ciszak 1905-1973Joe Nunweiler 1879-1956Ernest Vacinek 1910-1981Joseph Colling 1885-1961Ray Zielinski 1914-1937Norbert Smith 1901-1953Edward Mahl 1885-1962William Watson 1864-1935Myles Rogers 1914-1988John H. Kruse 1895-1991Carl (Chuck) Seider 1918-1991Joseph Zielinski 1917-1999Paul Willover 1922-2001John Crandall 1905-1958Edward T. Kruse 1897-1942
Section 23
Joseph H. Seider 1901-1955Lambert Gelen 1860-1928Bert R. Spaulding 1870-1957George Smead 1868-1936Richard Walter 1895-1918Joseph Seider 1868-1910Carl Seider 1893-1949
Section 24
Louis Vacinek 1909-1974Dan Cotter No DateAugust Schroeder 1872-1955Henry Salzler 1875-1940Charles Salzler 1900-1971John Powers 1906-1965Mike Weber 1896-1968Joseph Schneider 1879-1960William Salzler 1903-1965Allious Schindler 1888-1956Leonard Cooper 1891-1958Maynard Salzler 1919-1958Clair Sherwood 1895-1967Joseph Altman 1887-1959John J. Hogan 1894-1967Francis Salzler 1910-1963Gregory Kessler 1907-1965John Kaufmann 1896-1974Clayton Boberg 1922-1986Rollin Hauth 1898-1986Norman Willitt 1927-1997
Section 25
Vincent W. Nannen 1922-1994Keith Warner 1956-2003Joseph J. Crotty 1934-1993Charles H. Bechtel 1920-1993Joseph A. Lomando 1966-1998John H. Hunchar 1925-1999Eugene Cranston 1933-2007Richard Fancher 1928-2010I. James Oatman 1947-2012Bernard Brown 1922-1995
Section 26
Leon A. Latak 1932-1994
Fairview Cemetery
Wilbur A. Jones 1881-1916Clarence Ringer 1854-1906Frank Fay 1876-1903Frank Oyer 1882-1961Ralph Parsons 1919-2003
St. John Catholic Cemetery
George Knopf


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2013-06-12 | 10:22:05
springville past members
Robert D Wilkey was not on that list he was buried in the Sadinia cemetery birth 1934 and death 2009
2014-03-17 | 14:19:32
George Goodemote
George Goodemote was born in 1885 and lost his leg by a train in Springville on the Weeden property coming back from fishing in the Cattaraugus Creek in 1895. His leg was buried with his grandparents Nick and Mary Mead in Maplewood. He was killed by a train in 1941 and buried in Franklinville, N.Y.
2014-03-17 | 14:22:01
George Goodemote
Cy Goodremote
2014-03-19 | 18:50:15
George Goodemote
I made a mistake. George Goodemote's leg is buried in section 4. George Goodemote born in 1895 is not the George Goodemote born in 1885. Sorry. Cy Goodremote
2014-03-19 | 18:56:27
George Goodemote
I made a mistake. George Goodemote's leg is buried in Section 4 by his grandparents. The George Goodemote born in 1895 is not the George Goodemote born in 1885. Sorry.