Grungy Paper



The Butler Volunteer Fire Department was organized with Ed Cavanaugh appointed as Fire Chief by the Village Board.


The first piece of apparatus acquired was an American La France two wheel, 70 gallon Chemical cart. 


With Dick Hazeltine as Chief, the Department purchased a 135 gallon Model T Ford Chemical. 


The chemical apparatus was transferred from the Model T Ford to a 1922 Nash purchased in 1925 from the Burlington Fire Department.


The Department was reorganized as a corporation in 1940 and with Stanley Johnson as Chief and 28 members in good standing, undertook the task of raising funds to purchase modern fire fighting equipment.


Part of the Department's goal was realized with the purchase of a 1937 Diamond T Truck. 


The equipment from the old Nash Truck was transferred to the Diamond T.


The Department furthered their goal with the purchase of a 500 gallon Tank Truck.  The same year, Chief Johnson was called to military service and was succeeded by Assistant Chief Joe Doherty.


Joe Doherty was elected Chief.


The day after the Firemen's picnic in July 1944 when tragedy in the form of lightning struck the ball diamond, killing 3 players, the Department purchased an Emerson Resuscitator and inhalator unit for the formation of a First Aid Emergency Squad.


The equipment was removed from the Diamond T and replaced by an Allis Chalmers Centrifugal Pump and a 250 gallon tank.


A 500 watt auxiliary lighting unit was added, which was the Department's first auxiliary lighting unit.


Butler acquired its first real Fire Truck in 1946 with the purchase of a 750 gallon pumper from War Surplus at Fort Sheridan and added a 500 gallon tank to it.


Construction started on the Firemen's Hall.


Construction was finalized on the Firemen's Hall.

The Village Board purchased and turned over a 300 gallon portable pump to the Department to be used as an auxiliary pump and to aid in pumping out flooded basements.

The Department's dream of having a place to host community events became a reality when the School Board donated a barracks building to the Department.  This building was moved to 127th and Eggert and remodeled into a modern Community Building and was the Department's pride and joy.


The department began to realize its dream of a brand new truck when they purchased a 1953 For F-8 Chassis.  Next, a 1000 gallon tank was purchased and installed, along with a 750 gallon per minute Darley 2 stage pump.  This pump was equipped with an auxiliary 3rd stage producing pressures up to 800 pounds per square inch.  With hard work and planning, a modern truck was built at the cost of approximately $7000.

That summer, the Butler Lions Club purchased and donated a fully equipped 1938 La Salle Ambulance to the Department.

Two days before Christmas that year, the Department received a Christmas present from the Village of Whitefish Bay.  This was a 1930 Seagrave Quad Fire Truck boasting a 500 gallon centrifugal pump and 200 feet of ladders.


In the spring, the Department saw the addition of 3 new Homelite 1400 watt light generator plants to be used for auxiliary lighting.

Equipment owned at the time:

    1    1931    USA Truck with a 750 gpm pump and 500 gallon tank

    1    1938    La Salle Ambulance

    1    1952    Ford F-8 with a 750 gpm pump and 1000 gallon tank

    1    1930   Seagrave Quad with a 500 gpm pump, 200 foot ladder, and a 100 gallon tank.

    1000' of 2 1/2" hose

    1200' of 1 1/2" hose

    4    generator light plants 500 to 1400 watts

    1    300 gpm Homelite portable pump

    3    M S A self contained oxygen masks

    1    Emerson Resuscitator and Inhalator

    2    Birrel type gas masks

    300' of ladders from 8 feet to 45 feet

    A collection of nozzles, foam appicators, fog nozzles, pike poles, door openers, hose clamps, axes, wet water, stretchers,

    lights, canvases and numerous other appliances along with an assortment of picnic games and supplies.