KENILWORTH VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY No.1, INC.
"The Kenilworth Driving Park flourished during 1905-1908. This interesting and stirring amusement Park was located on what is now the East side of Montrose Avenue in the Southwest section of the Town Of Tonawanda. The park and race course included all that parcel of land which was later purchased and subdivided by J. G. Satler and which now contains Grandview, Hawthorne, University, Lyndale, Kenilworth, Ford and Paige Avenues - which is still known in part as Kenilworth Park, "Duck Town."
In the year 1919 a group of men met in a house in this district and founded the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, Incorporated.
A charter for the Fire Company was applied for in that year and, after being returned twice by the State for more information, was received in 1920. And SO WAS BORN the Kenilworth Fire District:
A donated hose cart was our first piece of fire fighting equipment and it was kept parked in front of the old Kenilworth Inn. In winter, it had to be dug out of the snow and pushed or pulled to a fire. The first alarms were sounded by cranking a hand siren kept in Haygarth's store located on the southeast corner of Kenilworth Avenue and Hawthorne Avenue.
Christian Lang, the first Chief and a carpenter-contractor secured a note for $3000.00 from a lumber company and erected the original quarters of the Fire Company at 66 Hawthorne Avenue. The payments on the note were not met promptly and the Fire Company officers were taken to court. A young lawyer, Frank C. Moore, later Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York, interceded. and the Fire Company was given more time. Through fund raising activities, this note was finally paid off. Field days were begun in 1920 with as many as 1000 people attending from surrounding fire districts.
Housed in this frame building was the first mechanized piece of apparatus, a REO truck chassis purchased for $1100.00, on which chemical tanks were installed. Fire tax at that time was around $54.00 per $1000.00.
The Board of Fire Commissioners for this District #2 held their first regular meeting on June 30, 1922 in the frame fire hall. This first board was comprised of John Kullman, Chairman; John Caplick, Secretary; Gibson Fenton, Treasurer; Albert Obenauer, Joseph Weisner and Frank Miller.
Much of what has been accomplished her in District #2 not only firemattically, but socially as well â€“ has been due largely (then, as well as throughout the years and now) to the unselfish efforts of those men who have served and are now serving in this capacity. "Fire Commissioner" is an unpaid elective office; they must conform to all regulations under the State law.