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February 16, 2019
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St. Paul Firefighters Who Paid The Ultimate Price

The road to making the memorial a reality was a long one. It began in 1987, when artist Douglas O. Freeman created the familiar sculpture of a firefighter holding a young child, which was placed in a public space near the baggage claim areas at the Minneapolis –St. Paul International Airport.

Through the years the desire to create a larger, more accessible and interactive memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol increased, and in the spring of 2011 two critical developments occurred: World-renowned architectural and design firm Leo A. Daly offered to design a fitting and proper memorial space and Twin Cities public relations agency Bellmont Partners offered to lead a communications campaign to build awareness and drive funding – both on a pro bono basis.

The MN Fire Service Foundation began the process of building a MN State Fallen Firefighter Memorial on the State Capitol grounds. They successfully raised $720,000 to fund the memorial through donations from the public, Minnesota businesses and, primarily, from the state’s firefighting community in order to fund the project by December 31, 2011. It became a reality when the completed structure was dedicated on September 30, 2012. The names of 207 firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty are inscribed on the memorial which is located on the south side of the State Capitol grounds.

An annual service is held on the last Sunday in September, which has been designated as the state’s official day to honor Minnesota’s fallen firefighters. This year it will be held on September 27.

In the spring of 2014, a Saint Paul firefighter presented an idea to the Saint Paul Fire Foundation (a collection of business leaders and firefighters, established in 2010 with the mission of finding ways to fund projects that benefit St. Paul Firefighters and the citizens they serve) about having permanent markers placed around the city in order to further memorialize our Line of Duty Deaths (LODD) in a way that is more informative and historical.

There have been 63 LODD since the St. Paul Fire Department was established in 1856, the first recorded in 1882. In 2010, Chief Tim Butler assigned the task of compiling the history of those deaths to his secretary, Josette Bradley, and office manager Cindy Mentes. They searched history books and newspaper clippings, and contacted family members of the deceased in order to put together all the facts. The firefighters were memorialized at the dedication ceremony on the Capitol grounds in September of 2012. Now a much more personal and informative tribute is in the works. Street signs or wall mounted signs will be placed near the site of the LODD and will include the Maltese Cross which is the symbol of the fire department, the person's name, and the date that they gave their life in the line of duty. There will also be space on the Honor Guards website for anyone's name who wishes to sponsor a memorial sign for a minimum donation of $100. Go to to make a donation or to become a sponsor. Donations to the St. Paul Fire Foundation will also be accepted. A listing of the firefighters' names, the history behind their LODD, and site locations in driving or biking tour order can also be found on the Local 21 website.

Fred Guion
Engine 3
August 1882

George Wells
Pipeman, Engine 2
May 9, 1884

M.H. Maloney
Lieutenant, Ladder 2
February 26, 1885

Peter Okerman
Truckman, Ladder 1
October 17, 1886

Bill Cuniff
Stoker, Engine 6
November 4, 1887

John Strapp
Pipeman, Engine 8
May 23, 1900

John Conroy
Captain, Engine 3
September 29, 1892

Mike Cloonan
Lieutenant, Engine 8
August 16, 1893

William Irvine
2nd Assistant Chief
October 21, 1900

Francis Edey
Lieutenant, Engine 13
October 21, 1900

Bertram Irish
Pipeman, Engine 13
October 21, 1900

Louis Wagner
Driver, Engine 13
October 21, 1900

Andrew Johnson
Pipeman, Engine 9
October 21, 1900

Patrick Fleming
Truckman, Ladder 1
August 23, 1903

Edward Low
Captain, Engine 10
September 14, 1907

Michael Kane
Captain, Engine 3
June 7, 1911

Stanley Manning
Superintendent of Fire Alarm Bureau
July 18, 1911

John Thome
Lieutenant, Engine 9
February 19, 1912

Michael McGarry
Squadman, Squad 1
April 4, 1912

John Flaherty
Pipeman, Engine 19
May 21, 1916

Patrick Murray
May 23, 1916

Daniel Campion
Truckman, Ladder 10
March 18, 1919

Louis Kieger
Captain, Engine 9
May 28, 1919

Al Godette
Pipeman, Engine 22
December 19, 1921

George Brown
Firefighter, Engine 22
April 10, 1927

Patrick Flaherty
Firefighter, Engine 11
March 20, 1932

Louis Literski
Firefighter, Ladder 3
December 17, 1932

Joseph Foley
Firefighter, Engine 14
February 10, 1933

William Kellerman
Firefighter, Ladder 7
September 30, 1939

James Seery
Firefighter, Quad 10
February 20, 1941

Frank Minogue
District Chief
January 9, 1942

Thomas Kell
Captain, Squad 1
January 9, 1942

Russell Hunt
Firefighter, Squad 1
January 9, 1942

John Nelson
District Chief
October 16, 1943

Millford Holm
Firefighter, Engine 1
June 4, 1945

John Weimar
Captain, Squad 1
January 28, 1947

Philip Ewald
District Chief
April 15, 1948

Edward Novak
Chief of Department
June 8, 1949

Frank McMahon
Assistant Chief
June 8, 1949

Harold Barck
District Chief
June 8, 1949

John Dillion
Captain, Engine 5
November 24, 1949

Ernest Kellerman
Engineer, Ladder 10
February 21, 1950

Sam Jurgensen
Firefighter, Engine 10
December 26, 1950

Emmett O'Connor
Pipeman, Engine 24
October 30, 1951

Myron Longeway
Firefighter, Ladder 1
January 12, 1952

Harold Bowman
Captain, Engine 19
October 26, 1952

Merlin Meyers
Captain, Engine 17
October 25, 1954

Ed Bednar
Firefighter, Ladder 6
March 14, 1956

Walter Rose
Firefighter, Engine 13
January 14, 1957

John Zasada
Firefighter, Engine 4
September 4, 1959

Emmett Mulcrone
District Chief
January 5, 1963

Samuel Ricci
District Chief
March 3, 1963

Robert Berthiaume
District Chief
August 17, 1966

Herman Schmalz
Firefighter, Engine 7
January 25, 1967

Francis Conway
Engineer, Engine 24
June 20, 1968

Wallace Abbott
Firefighter, Engine 5
February 22, 1972

John Kill
Captain, Engine 18
September 4, 1972

John Zilliox
Firefighter, Engine 7
November 25, 1973

Warren Clasen
Firefighter, Engine 11
February 18, 1976

George Aker
Captain, Ladder 3
December 14, 1976

Gary Skoglund
Captain, Arson
September 16, 1989

Ramon "Ray" Hain
Firefighter, Engine 24
November 14, 2009

Shane Clifton
Firefighter, Engine 14
August 31, 2015


Page Last Updated: Nov 13, 2017 (17:46:51)
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