Boonton Fire Department

Ladies Auxiliary

Ladies Auxiliary


Ladies Auxiliary



President: Sally Wainwright

Vice President: Jill Venturini

Treasurer: Rose Sullivan

Secretary: Cathy RODRIGUEZ


Ladies History

Prior to the organization of the South Boonton Hook & Ladder Company's Ladies Auxiliary in October, 1935, there was a Ladies Auxiliary of the South Boonton Hose Company and the South Boonton Hook & Ladder Company. The Auxiliary disbanded a number of years before 1935, so some records are not available. However, their silverware and linen were in the custody of Mrs. Hattie Smith, mother of Cliford F. Smith, and eventually turned over to the present Auxiliary.

In August or September of 1935, some of the former Ladies' Auxiliary members reminisced about the good times had at the famed South Boonton Oyster Supper on Washington's Birthday, the New Years Eve parties, and other social affairs. During October of 1935, the South Boonton Hook & Ladder Company's Ladies Auxiliary was organized by: Lillian Smith Zeltman, Ola Case, Marie Luccio, Rose Peer, Elizabeth Hinnershitz, and Jean Ackerman.

Frank Ackerman started the treasury with a five dollar donation. To raise funds, card parties were held in the South Boonton Firehouse. Sometime in 1939, membership was opened to the wives of the members of the South Boonton Hose Company. In the months that followed, requests for membership were received from wives of firemen belonging to other Fire Companies. A letter addressed to Deward B. Doremus, Chief of the Department, dated October 8, 1940, requesting permission to be known as the Boonton Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary.

In 1941, Rules and Bylaws were adopted, which open membership to wives, mothers, sisters or daughters of all fireman. Membership increased , but activity was curtailed due to World War II. After the War things returned to normal and the various Fire companies again resumed having celebrations, and the ladies were invited by the Fire Department to accompany them to a parade in Rockaway on September, 1947. For this occasion, Thomas Curtin drilled the Auxiliary in marching. He took an awful "ribbing" from some members of the Fire Department who had not yet relished having a Ladies' Auxiliary. His efforts paid off, and in later years, the Auxiliary received many prizes for "best Appearing Ladies Auxiliary.

Also, in September, 1947, the Boonton Ladies Auxiliary joined the State Ladies' Auxiliary and the following delegates attended a meeting at Trenton in October 1947: Rose Peer, Sally Bentley, Alida Shaw, and Jean Ackerman, alternate.

The Ladies Auxiliary is very proud of the fact that we have had two of our members elected President of the State Auxiliary; namely, Sally Bentley in 1953-54, and Rose Peer in 1972-73.

Over the years, the ladies' Auxiliary worked hard at fund raisers such as Spaghetti Dinners, Cakes Sales, Flea Markets, Chinese Auctions, and assisted the Firemen at the Labor Day Celebration. Other activities include hosting two state auxiliary meetings, and various activities at the State Firemens' home. As one of the primary functions, the ladies auxiliary served refreshments at fires when ever called upon.