Engine 27 was organized February 1, 1873 at 1913 W. Oxford Street.
The original members were as follows:
Joseph C. Doyle – Foreman
Thomas J. Hickey – Engineman – badge 347
William Stagart – Fireman – badge 348
Joseph Dougherty – driver – badge 349
David Brooks – hoseman – badge 342
Adam Movel – hoseman – badge 355
William Getman – hoseman – badge 351
William Smith – hoseman – badge 356
Andrew Mannal – hoseman – badge 353
Robert K. Abel – hoseman – badge 357
Charles H. Wilkins – hoseman – badge 354
John Maguire – hoseman – badge 350
The company made their first box run at 9:00 AM on February 5, 1873 to Box 156, Manayunk, for a fire a
Joseph Heft’s woolen mill. Companies responding on the box were Engines 9, 12, 16, 19, 27 and Truck A.
During 1873, Engine 27 moved to a new station at 2202 W. Columbia Avenue. They would remain here until 1952 when the company moved to a new station at 1913 W. Oxford Street. You can say they went full circle.
Ross B. Davis was appointed to Engine 27 on March 9, 1895. Promoted to Assistant Foreman on January 24, 1901, he was transferred to Engine 46 at Water and Reed Streets. Davis was promoted to Foreman on February 1, 1906 and assigned to Engine 8. On August 3, 1908, Davis was transferred to Engine 27 as the Foreman. Ross B. Davis would eventually rise to the rank of Chief Engineer on December 23, 1920. He retired from the Bureau of Fire on January 1, 1941. During his tenure as Chief Engineer, he would complete motorization of the Bureau and open a number of new companies in areas of the city experiencing population growth. His plans to expand the department would be stymied by the Great Depression. He would also become embroiled in political in-fighting that would hinder his management of the Bureau.
Photo taken during World War I. The banner in the middle, with five stars, indicates five members of Engine 27 were away in the military serving their country. Gold stars on the banner indicated one of the servicemen were killed in action.
At far left is Deputy Chief Engineer Ross B. Davis. Battalion 3 1916 Ford.
Engine 27 1895 Holloway wagon and an 1890 Silsby 2nd size steamer rebuilt in 1908 by American LaFrance.
Have an interesting story about Engine 27 that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you. Use the comment form below.
Looking for interesting Philadelphia Fire Department Merchandise? Visit our store for great patches and much more.
My grandfather, Michael (Mike) J. Miller, was a fireman at Engine 27 @19th & Oxford in the 50s until 1967 when he retired. That’s the year I was born, (one day after his birthday Jan 2.)
My father (77) just told me a story about my grandfather’s time there at #27. He and I were wondering if you have any photographs that include Mike? He was a regular grey shirt guy. Not ranked high enough for a white shirt. 😉 He loved being a fireman.
Thank you for any information/assistance.
Suzie (as he called me)