Highland Park’s Snazzy New Fire Engine — 1914
by Paula Bosse
Chief McGoldrick behind the wheel of HP’s new fire engine (click for larger image)
by Paula Bosse
Above, Ed McGoldrick — who was both police chief and fire chief for Highland Park — sits behind the wheel of HP’s new fire engine. It even had a name — “W. O. O’Connor,” after the mayor. Seated next to Chief McGoldrick is most likely Capt. Scott Hughes of the Oak Lawn fire station. The engine was tested, deemed satisfactory, and accepted into service on June 4, 1914 on the day the new Highland Park City Hall was officially opened. (Click article below to see larger image.)
Dallas Morning News, June 5, 1914
J. E. McGoldrick was apparently something of a peace officer renaissance man. He was an officer on the Dallas Police force from about 1902 to 1912, and then became head police and fire honcho in Highland Park from 1912 to 1917 (where he was also the Street Superintendent). At the same time he was serving as HP Chief Peace Officer, he was also appointed to head the Game Commission of Dallas County. In 1917, he resigned his position in HP to accept a job at SMU where he “would have charge of buildings and grounds” (DMN, June 6, 1917). In 1924, he was appointed Chief Peace Officer of University Park.
That SMU move seems like a bit of a weird detour for a career policeman, but even weirder is the following sentence, which appeared in the blurb about his University Park appointment:
“[McGoldrick served as the chief peace officer of Highland Park] until 1917 and then undertook confidential duties for the United States Government. During the past two years he has been connected with Sanger Bros.” (DMN, Oct. 5, 1924)
James E. McGoldrick died in October, 1927 when he suffered a heart attack while eating his lunch in a drugstore at Main and Lamar. He was 54. His obituary mentioned that he had been “connected with a meat market” in his post-public-service life.
But back to the photo. It’s great. There’s nothing quite like the smell of a new fire engine. And Chief McGoldrick looks very proud.
Photo from a postcard issued as part of the Park Cities Bank “Heritage Series” in the 1970s; the credit line on the postcard reads “Donated by the Town of Highland Park.” Thanks to the Lone Star Library Annex Facebook group for use of the image.
Newspaper clipping as noted.
Click photo for larger image.
Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.
McGoldrick’s role at Sanger’s sounds like that of store detective. Perhaps during the period he was doing security work at SMU he was also keeping his eye out for Bolshies on campus. Or maybe the person writing up his new job for University Park conflated one job at SMU with a follow-up for the federal government during the war and Red Scare.
I’d like to think he was doing something at Sanger’s that was as far away from police work as possible. Like selling children’s shoes.
What an interesting person and a jack of all trades it seems. I suspect that fire engine was state of the art for small engine company duties. It does look new! Very interesting topic Paula. Thank you.
they did as a town incorporate in ro round 1913….there are 3 Highland park areas by 1925, this is the original area that the community came too exist in around, gosh i dont have my maps here…..meanwhile the Joseph Sartor Gallery was in that area in the 1930s…and the C.F.Newtons were in that area by 1918, Love Field was beginning too exist as was S.M.U and so it was a town in a suburban garden by the Turtle Creek area… while the 1907 area was at blackburn and preston…..it is home too several thing ….protection ….wealth…..
On the distinctly off chance anyone wondered what car tires looked like back in the early days when the principal reinforcing filler for rubber was zinc oxide instead of carbon black this photo is just what you need to check out. Zinc oxide is, of course, white and when added to rubber compounds it makes them some shade of gray. Carbon black, ZnO’s successor, on the other hand, is dark as midnight and makes rubber black. Here the gray tires seem really to go well with Highland Park’s new fire engine.
Well, you learn something new every day.
Oak Cliff on Bishop, that is a pretty good example of a Fire House that has been restored while the Old Firehouse on 10th street is all boarded up….the fire house is a unique icon of the community….it has always been the tradition of the firehouse as image I am aware as community was once a place safe too live in also….