Rittersville - 1900 to 1920

Rittersville Fire Company

Dr. Robert Klotz was largely responsible for the organization that formed the Rittersville Fire Co.  He was chairman of the organization, and the fire company's president for the first five years.

Sufficient money was quickly raised and in 1906, a horse-drawn American-LaFrance chemical engine was received and installed in the blacksmith shop of John Roller, which was located on what is now the north side of Broad St., just east of  Grandview Blvd.

Rittersville Fire Company's First Engine

Later, a one-story confectionary building owned by James Smith and adjacent to Central Park, was rolled to the fire company's present location on the corner of Hanover Ave. and Trump St.  A 16' x 40' addition was built as a meeting room.

The First Rittersville Fire Co. Building

 

 

Then, as now, the Rittersville Fire Co. Ladies' Auxiliary played a critical role in raising money for the volunteer company.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 11, 1908 Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 11, 1908

RITTERSVILLE WOMEN HAD FAIR FOR FIREMEN --- During Past Three Years Nearly $5000 Has Been Raised by Similar Events

 

RITTERSVILLE, Pa., Oct. 10 Several hundred dollars were netted for the Rittersville Fire Company and the Ideal Band, of that town, through the efforts of the young women of that place, who conducted a successful fair today.  The Lehigh Valley Transit Company allowed the firemen, musicians and their feminine friends the use of Central Park, its summer resort, and its equipment and the hundreds who attended this fair had the time of their lives.

 

Although organized only three years ago the fire company, through similar fairs and cake walks, has raised nearly $5000, with which a chemical engine has been built and a temporary fire house built.  The latter was constructed almost entirely by the firemen themselves.

 

The Ideal Band, a credit to the place, has also shared in these affairs to the financial improvement of the organization.

 

Prominent in the success of this bazaar were Misses Lottie Hoehle, Bertha Weiser, Florence Beitler, Hattie Acker, Flory Florier [Flores], Anna Biegley, Jane Royer, Lizzie Minnich, Stella Schultz, Lillian Solliday and Jennie Roth.

T

he company had 50 members when it was organized and now had nearly 150.  The officers are: President, Dr. R. B. Klotz; vice president, M. W. Laub; financial secretary, R. T. Reichart; recording secretary, C. A Werst; treasure, Peter H. Bergley [Biegley]; chief of department, R. R. Minnich; foreman, H. T. Osenbach; trustees, Wm. Teuchel [Fenchel], M. Reichart, O. A. Welty. 

 

The Ideal Band is a decided credit to the town and among its members are its leading citizens.  The leader is John Meyers, and it is officered as follows: President, E. Osenbach; manager and vice president, H. Walter; secretary, R. Reichart; treasurer, Alfred Reichart.

 

ladies

officers

 

In 1913, this building was sold and removed, and a new modern fire house was erected.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 29, 1913

New Building - 1913

new fc

 

Following Rittersville's annexation by Allentown, the City Council gave the fire company recognition as Rittersville Fire Co. No. 13, and in 1921, installed a motor-driven combination hose and chemical truck. 

Rittersville Fire Company No. 13 - 1921

This fire company continued to serve the Rittersville community until 1953, when the new East Side Fire Station was built on Irving St.  Today, the Rittersville Fire Company is a social organization, and still located in the 1913 building.  By the way, the organization has four bowling alleys and has bingo on Saturday nights!

 

Rittersville fire truck in front of Ritter School

truck

 

 

2005, 2013 Robert M Reinbold Jr