When the Gong Rings
A Fire History of Charleston, Illinois
 
178.  FIRE LOG 1973       
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Also read: page 179,   page 180,   page 181,   page 182,   page 183,   page 184,   page 185,   page 186,   page 187,   page 188,   page 189


GRAPHIC WARNING OF THINGS TO COME, FEB. 13, 1973

 

CHARLESTON'S NEW FIREHOUSE IS CLOSE TO CONSTRUCTION

       1973 was a busy and controversial year for Charleston. Louise Taylor (wife of CFD Captain, Melvin) would announce her candidacy for mayor of Charleston. She would run against Leonard Durham and Bob Hickman. Jim Pelton would later run as a write-in. Several City Council positions were open. The new firehouse was located at 1510 A St. (now next to and behind the Charleston McDonald's restaurant). The old Charleston Swimming Pool was where the restaurant is now, during 1973. It would be moved also. The cartoon shows (probably Capt. Taylor) leisurely answering an alarm. The caption says, "Sorry, the fire is out of the District." This cartoon describes the attitude of many people of Charleston and the area when the Charleston Fire Department would refuse to fight a small house fire at the Dr. Henry Taitt residence on S. 4th St. Several homes and much  property  was  lost  before  the  Taitt residence.

SEVERAL HOMES LOST SINCE 1959


       Fireman Delbert McDivitt recalled some of these fires, "This is not the first house to burn outside the city limits. Within the last 2 years, Dale Hildebrand's house was burned, approximately 1 1/2 miles outside the city, Bill Shafers' house, 2 miles, Everet Horn, 1 mile, Jerry Rardin, 1/2 mile, just to mention a few. The Taitt family suffered greatly and Capt. Melvin Taylor would suffer greatly, but both brought a problem to a head. Unprotected properties around Charleston would finally organize. Opponents would not rule as in 1959. Many new area leaders would take control of fire protection. The history of Lincoln Fire Protection District will be covered in a special section of this book. Right now let's read about the Taitt fire.

The Eastern News was one of my father's favorite newspapers.  He loved EIU, and the Taitt fire was a difficult event.  . 

The Eastern News (Eastern Illinois University, Charleston) quite often keeps notice of Charleston activities.
Dr. Taitt's disastrous fire was sad and upset all in Charleston.  If the fire served any purpose, it served to help area country residents to finally do something about fire protection. 


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