When the Gong Rings
A Fire History of Charleston, Illinois
352.  FIRE LOG          1985                
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Also go to: 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361

Partial Fire Log for the Year
By Chief Taylor, until he finally Retire
d, 1985


January 21- Trailer fire at Country Manor Trailer Park, 2 miles E. of Charleston

March 26— Former fireman John Butler dies, funeral held

May 6— Former fire captain Leonard Ward dies, funeral held

June 6-9- Fire College at U. of I.

July 18- Dale Price appointed chief of Mattoon Fire Department

July 23- Fire Chief Leslie Hickenbottom retires; Thomas Watson appointed acting fire chief

August 16- Chemical explosion at Charleston Water Treatment Plant, 3 injured



September 30- Retirement dinner for Les Hickenbottom at Charleston Moose Lodge

October 9- Tom Watson officially appointed as permanent chief of CFD

October 30- Mel Taylor's Inspector job eliminated

November 20- Mayor Choate (cost-cutting-cutting mayor) in controversy over expensive office furniture

November 21- Central Illinois Fire Chief's Meeting at Kankakee

November 26- Retirement dinner for Wayne Hampton at Station #1

December 21— Retired fireman Russell Rogers qualifies for heart transplant


        "When the Gong Rings," stops with the year 1985. The Taylor Historical file stops at this year. Melvin Taylor lived until 1990, but after his release as Fire Inspector he evidently lost interest in maintaining the file. He was still interested in the CFD and kept track of its activities. He attended Pension Meetings, retirement dinners and some special occasions. The CFD is still under the leadership of Tom Watson, Chief as of this writing (1994). Perhaps Tom will come out with his official History of the CFD in the future and fill in the story through the present and even beyond. My history effort was for fun, and a motivator for future writing of original children's books about fire service, trucks and fire-horses.

         I hope you enjoyed this series of Charleston Fire Logs.  Check out my book, "When the Gong Rings" at the Charleston Public Library for details with tons of pictures, names and descriptions.   I can now understand the concept of retirement.  I just retired after nearly 35 years of public school teaching, and have re-entered the field as part-time gifted education teacher for Charleston.  I thought I was through, but actually I've not quit yet. As of 2014, I have moved to the state of Mississippi and have started painting pictures, updating my huge Learning On-Line website, and being with family.  I still sub for our county schools, but not much.  That would make me in my 41st year of some kind of teaching.
 Howard Taylor, Author

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