The History Of The Coshocton Fire Department


In early 1906, the City of Coshocton was stricken with two factory fires very close together. The first was the Pope Gosser plant on January 29, 1906 and the second of those two blazes was February 06, 1906 and partially destroyed a basket factory that was located on North Fifth Street. This fire caused a stir in the community. It appears, the then fire chief of the Coshocton Volunteer Fire Department, Chief Lightell, missed the basket factory fire and that brought about the discussion by Coshocton business members for the need of a paid fire department.


On February 14, 1906, the Coshocton City Council took action for a modern fire department.



On March 14, 1906, Coshocton City Council made the decision to purchase the George Senft property at the intersection of 8th and Walnut Streets. The cost was $3000.


 On June 12, 1906, Council passed an ordinance that assured a complete fire system, to include:complete building, alarm system and equipment.


On November 21, 1907, the first paid firefighters for the City of Coshocton were hired.

 This is how the Walnut Street Fire Station looked when it was built.

 Harry Fink resigned as chief in 1910 and James Tracewell took over. This is a photo after Chief Tracewell took over as Chief, the photo in the circle is Chief Tracewell.


  Gamewell Fire Alarm System


 Fire alarm boxes were placed on poles at intersections around Coshocton.


  The box had instructions to break the glass and turn the key to open the box and pull down on the hook once.


  Each box had a number on the front of the box, there were run cards that were posted in the station and at each firefighters house. When the box that is displayed would be pulled, it would ring the bell six times then pause and then ring two times. The bell shown hung in the original Walnut Street fire station. There was a large bell in the bell tower that also rang, so off duty and volunteer personnel would know the location of the alarm.




The Men Who Have Served As Chief


Coshocton’s First Fire Chief
Harry W. Fink
11/21/1907 – 10/31/1910
(No Photo Available, if anyone has a photo of Harry Fink, please contact us)




 Chief James Tracewell

11/01/1910 – 3/31/1935




Chief William “Billy” West

04/01/1935 – 03/14/1948




 Chief Walter Weaver

 03/14/1948 – 11/10/1963




 Chief Richard D. Farver

11/10/1963 – 11/01/1980




Chief Charles A Turner Jr.

11/01/1980 – 01/10/2004



  The current Fire Chief is Michael L. Layton.