Beginnings of the Hampton Fire Department

History of the Hampton Fire Department

A tradition of service, courage and pride

Courtesy of Atlantic News & Advertiser

January 10, 1984

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For history is dated, so was it's recording. It has been found that the ravage of fire was a part of every century. While stories were told about the damage and lives fire consumes, little was mentioned of its extinguishment. As we learned from the recordings of Joseph Dow, in his book, "History Of The Town Of Hampton New Hampshire 1638-1832," no public means of extinguishing fires existed prior to the Fire Company organized in 1833. It has been best assumed that the use of buckets and wells were mainly depended on in case of fire. Many fires have been recorded from the early 1699's thru 1800, but the reward for their battles goes unknown

The first to receive any compension for efforts toward the prevention of fire spread, on behalf of the Town of Hampton's concern was recorded in the first annual Town Report dated 1875. R.T. & C.D. Delancy were both paid $4.00 for watching a fire one night. A description of "watching a fire" was unfounded.

For many years to follow, the Town Reports listed payment for fire watch. This was a miscellaneous expense.

R.P. & C.D. Delancy - for watching fire one night: $4.00

Jacop T. Godfrey - $1.50 watching beach fire
George W. Godfrey - $1.50 wataching beach fire.

O.L. Blake - watching fire at Mrs. Godfrey's: $1.00
John A. Moulton - watching fire at Boar's Head: $2.00

Clarence T. Brown - $2.00 watch fire on R. Marston lot
Fred J. Greenleaf - $2.00 watch fire on R. Marston lot
Norman Sanborn - $2.00 watch fire on R. Marston lot

John A. Moulton - watch fire at beach: $4.00
S. M. Towle - teaming fire Engine: $10.00
W. T. Jones - teaming fire Engine: $5.00
E. S. Elkins - watching fire: $12.00

Fred C. Willy - watch fire at bakery: $2.00
John I. Dow - watch fire at bakery: $2.00

Charles W. Ross - watching fire at beach: $2.00
Thomas H. Nudd - watching fire at beach: $2.00
Oscar Jenkins - watching fire at beach: $2.00
Fred C. Willey - watching fire at beach: $2.00
Everett G. Shaw - watching fire at Mrs. Ward's lot: $1.50
William Flanigan - for Exeter Fire Engine: $20.00

Howell M. Lamprey - watchers of fire at beach: $16.00

Stephen M. Towle - carting hose from Exeter at time of fire at beach: $15.00
N. J. Norton - watching fire: $2.25
J. M. Lamprey, Jr. - fighting fire in woods: $2.00
Frank A. Lamprey - fighting fire in woods: $2.00
George W. Redman - fighting fire: $1.00
Herbert E. Lamprey - fighting fire: $3.75
A. M. Trefethen - for use of horses and steamer at time of fire at beach: $6.00

Charles E. Page - watch fire at J. B. Brown's: $2.00
Charles A. Towle - Watch fire at M. E. Parsonage: $2.00
Lucian W. Cook - Watch fire at both Brown's and Parsonage: $4.00
William E. Lamprey - fighting fire in woods: $2.00

Lucian Cook - watching fire Dec. 25: $2.00
Ernest Fogg - wataching fire Dec. 25: $2.00
Frank Mace - watching fire Dec. 25: $2.00
Horace Hobbs - watching fire Nov. 15: $4.00

Charles M. Robinson - watching fire: $2.00
R. S. James - watach fire: $2.00
S. P. Brown - watch fire at beach: $2.00
Charles W. Ross - watch fire at beach: $4.00
Thomas Hobbs - watch fire at beach: $4.00
[Hampton and Hampton Beach were taxed separately for fires.]

A report of the Annual Town Meeting held March 9, 1909 stated: VOTED - That one thousand dollars ($1000) be raised and appropriated for fire precinct which shall contain all the territory of the town except that part included in the Hampton Beach Fire Precinct and that said committee be continued with power to carry this vote into effect.


Town Warrant - to see if the Town will vote to build a building for the chemical wagon and raise money therefor. VOTED - That the matter of caring and housing the chemical wagon be left with the Selectmen.
In 1913, it was the first time that the Fire Department became an expenditure, it was no longer considered a miscellaneous order. For the year ending February 1, 1913, the first annual report of the Fire Chief for the Fire Department was submitted. It contained a full and complete list of the officers and members, condition of apparatus, number of fires and the cause. In it's closing remarks, Fire Chief Elmer C. King stated "I would say that this fire department started during July, 1912. We had a few drills in August and got the company well organized. We have a bell signal system." As far as we can tell, this was the official organization of the Hampton Fire Department, but only as a volunteer company.
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