History

Creation of Fire Department


It happened in 1896. The exact reason isn't recorded, but it happened in 1896. Was it caused by a rash of fires? Perhaps.

Was it prompted by a death or serious injury in a fire? Maybe. The Village of Grafton had incorporated on the third of March.

Was that the driving force, since it seemed to be a logical follow-up? We don't know.
old group photo

Committee Approval


A group of concerned men met on June 26, 1896 in a hall owned by R.E. Schnabel. The R.E.Schnabel Hall was located on the corner of 11th and Bridge or what is now the rear of the Grafton Bowl building. A committee was formed to draft a Constitution and By-Laws.

On July 1, 1896, they again met to approve and adopt the Constitution and By-Laws. The Village of Grafton and the surrounding area finally had a fire department.

Evolution of Department


Over the years, the department has evolved from what today might be considered a "rag-tag" outfit with its 64 members using crude tools, into a Fire and EMS department with its membership now using the very latest in modern firefighting equipment.

The department with its fully trained EMS personnel, also provides full rescue capabilities for the village and town.

Service & Membership


Striving to maintain its ability to provide full service to the community, the department is constantly seeking new members who have the will and desire to serve their fellow citizens.
barn apparatus
The History of Grafton Volunteer Fire Department Chiefs
William Weber*
July 1, 1896 to July 14, 1899
C. C. Doctor
July 14,1899 to July 13, 1900
Joseph Sphen*
July 13, 1900 to Sometime in 1903 or 1904
William Weber*
Sometime in 1903 or 1904 to July 8, 1904
Joseph Sphen*
July 8, 1904 to July 13, 1905
August Ploeger
July 14, 1905 to July 13, 1906
Gust. Clausing
July 13, 1906 to July 12, 1907
William Weber*
July 12, 1907 to July 14, 1911
M.P. Hollrith
July 14, 1911 to July 11, 1913
William Weber*
July 12, 1907 to July 14, 1911
Otto Just
July 13, 1917 to July 9, 1920
Charles Tillman
July 9, 1920 to November 11, 1921
William Weber*
November 11, 1921 to July 11, 1924
Henry Wegner
July 11, 1924 to August 12, 1924
William Weber*
August 12, 1924 to July 10, 1925
C. O. Melkers
July 10, 1925 to July 9, 1932
William Weiss
July 9, 1932 to July 8, 1938
William Hilgart
July 8, 1938 to July 12, 1961
Carl Wegner
July 12, 1961 to December 9, 1987
Richard Bulgrin
December 9, 1987 to December 14, 1995
Lawrence Williams
January 1995 to December 12, 2002
David Harvey
December 12, 2002 to 2010
John Place
2010 to 2013
William Rice
2013 to Present
* Served multiple times as Chief