Ladies Aux.

2017 Officers

President: Carol Schofield
Vice President: Kathy Walsh
Secretary: Peggy Wilkins
Asst. Secretary: Beth Crawford
Treasurer: Carol Walton
Assistant Treasurer: Meggan Spitzer

Board of Directors:

Suzanne Talley
Michelle Worley Blue
Kathy Aiken

History of the Elsmere Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary

In March of 1921 after a widespread grass and brush fire threatened homes in the Town of Elsmere, residents began organizing their own fire company. At the same time, it was determined that the men of the fire company would benefit greatly from assistance. Mrs Frank Hoffecker, a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Volunteers Relief Association of
Wilmington, was asked to help organize such a group for the new fire company.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fairview Fire Company, soon after renamed the Elsmere Fire Company, held its first meeting in the home of Mrs. Nan Jefferis on New Road. According to records available today, those ladies attending that meeting were Mrs. Bassel, Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Cloud, Mrs. Hoffecker, Mrs. Jefferis, Mrs. Nicholas, Mrs. Rambo, Mrs. Touchton and Mrs. Wilkie. From among them, Mrs. Hoffecker was elected the first Ladies Auxiliary President. In 1931 the Elsmere Ladies Auxiliary joined the New Castle County Auxiliary Association. Any more complete records of the early history of the Ladies Auxiliary are believed to have been lost in the fire that occurred in 1946.

Once organized, the Auxiliary set out about the business of assisting the firemen, by providing food and drinks after serious fires. Following the devastating fire in 1946, the Ladies Auxiliary did everything it could to help the men get the company back on its feet. At the dedication of the “new” firehouse in 1951, Ladies Auxiliary President Esther Deakyne presented Fire Company President Frank Dobbs with a check in the amount of $1,000, the result of countless hours of hard work. Included in the new building were a small social hall and kitchen facilities on the second floor.

As the community and the fire company grew, construction of a large social hall and kitchen was undertaken. By 1964, the Paul B. Rambo Memorial Hall was dedicated.

From the $1,000 given at the 1951 building dedication, to statewide recognition as the top money-making fire company auxiliary in 1974, the Ladies of Elsmere always seemed to come through BIG when it counted. One of the most notable contributions was that of Engine 165, a 1975 Hahn equipped with a 1,000 gallon tank and chrome-plated deck gun. This apparatus, delivered the first week of January, 1975, was also the first in Elsmere’s history to be equipped with an automatic transmission.

Members of the Ladies Auxiliary have been active in the business of the fire service over the years as well. From helping to crew the ambulance, to participating in efforts to establish a statewide pension program for volunteer fire company personnel, to becoming involved in Critical Incident Stress Management, Elsmere’s ladies have contributed to the growth and betterment of Delaware’s volunteer fire service.

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