Fire and police departments of Minneapolis

What a happy surprise I had this morning while surfing the ‘net! The topic of Joe Buggy’s February 4th blog posting: the fire and police departments of Minneapolis.

Buggy writes about a book, History of the Fire and Police Departments of Minneapolis, which was published in 1890 and is now digitized and readable online.

Fireman Patrick Hickey, abt 1930

Mpls fireman Patrick Hickey, abt 1930

If you have any family members who were firemen or policemen in Minneapolis during the late 19th century (or early 20th century), you will want to look at this extraordinary resource.

Admittedly there seems to be more coverage regarding the history of the fire department. In fact, 233 pages of the 336-page book are devoted to the fire department, and the digitized version available on Internet Archive ends prematurely on page 324. Nonetheless, this is a gem! The book lists the names of fire/police employees and their positions in 1890 as well as age, country of birth and prior occupation. There are also details about “requisite qualifications,” “the life of a fireman,” and “reminiscences of ye olden times.” shows copies of the book, authored by Augustine E. Costello, are held by 25 libraries across the country – in case those last 12 pages are critical to you.

This book struck a chord with me because my husband’s grandfather, Patrick Hickey (pictured at left), was a Minneapolis fireman for 32 years. I believe Patrick began his career with the fire department in about 1900. Two of Patrick’s brothers also served the city of Minneapolis –  Michael as a fireman and William as a policeman. Their brother-in-law, George Kehoe, was Minneapolis fire chief when he died in 1908. Even though none of their names appear in the book, I found it to be an exciting and valuable discovery.

Read Buggy’s article with a link to the digitized book:

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