Fireman Andrew C. Schenck

I recently found myself at an Association for Gravestone Studies convention in Schenectady with a few hours of free time, and decided to head over to the New York State Museum in Albany for a visit. Headed in–quite an exhibition on the September 11 attack–video of a fireman who lost all of his fellows, a badly damaged FDNY truck, and much more.

In the next room was a display of firetrucks used in New York during the last two hundred or so years. And on the wall was a 19th century marble memorial to Fireman Andrew C. Schenck. He was a volunteer with the Mutual Hook and Ladder Company Number One of the New York City Volunteer Fire Department, and, according to the plaque, “At the sound of the alarm, he told his fiancee, “I will go to this fire, and this is the last fire I will go to.” When the William T. Jennings clothing store at 231 Broadway in Manhattan collapsed, Schenck and ten other firemen and helpers were killed. The marble carving on the wall had been placed in the firehouse, but, according to the sign, Schenck’s colleagues, who described him as “Prompt, faithful and energetic as a Fireman, Frank and generous as a Friend, Uniformly urbane and cheerful as an Associate, A man in whom there was no guile.” According to the text on the wall, Schenck’s fellow firemen erected a monument over his grave at . . . you guessed it . . . Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. So, here’s his Green-Wood monument.

If you are interested in a contemporary account of this fire.

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