LOUIS O. SPRING.
Defiance boasts of the most efficient fire department of any city of its size in Ohio, this fact being largely
due to the faithful chieftain, whose commanding personality, keen judgment, and unshaken confidence under trying
emergencies have won the confidence of the community.
With commendable foresight, Mr. Spring, who has been at the head of the department since 1888, has left nothing
undone which could prepare his corps of brave assistants for a struggle with the fire fiend, and the ringing of
the alarm bells lacks much of the old terror and apprehension to the citizens. A fire department should be like
a well disciplined army in the presence of a possible enemy. Alert, thoroughly prepared, ready for duty at any
moment, even at the hazard of their lives, each man is a necessary unit in the ranks, but the practical efficiency
of the entire force depends upon the general who directs it. If he be known as thoroughly qualified for his duties,
all under his command, from the private in the ranks to the highest subordinate officer, will follow his directions
with implicit confidence in his judgment. Should he call upon them to charge the enemy on "a forlorn hope."
they will respond with that unanimity and enthusiasm which can work wonders and wring victory against apparently
overwhelming odds. In Mr. Spring the Defiance Fire Department has such a leader, and under his capable direction
the men are prompt to respond and do valiant service whenever life or property is endangered.
Mr. Spring's experience in fighting fire dates back to 1881, when he became a member of the. Defiance department,
and in the seven years that intervened before his promotion to his present post his ability and courage were fully
tested. At present the force consists of seventy five men, three of whom are regularly employed at full salaries.
Seven are known as "minute men," receiving partial pay, and the others are volunteers. There are three
commodious brick buildings in different wards occupied by hose companies, and one central brick building where
is stationed a hose company, a hook and ladder outfit, three hand hose reels, and a large first class steam fire
engine, together with other apparatus belonging to a first class equipment. In this building is the headquarters
of the fire alarm system, and three men are always on duty there. About thirty five hundred feet of good hose is
available for use altogether, and the water supply is obtained both by direct pressure and from a standpipe system.
the steam engine being used only in case of a general alarm. The buildings cost in the neighborhood of forty thousand
dollars, exclusive of equipment.
The following brief history of the chief will be of interest: He was born February 7, 1860, at Marshall, Michigan,
the son of August and Bertha Spring. Both parents were natives of Germany, but they came to the United States about
forty years ago, and after residing for some time in Michigan located in 1870 in Defiance. They were devout members
of the Lutheran Church, and were held in high esteem among their associates for their excellent qualities of character.
As our subject was but a bay at the time of the removal to Defiance the greater portion of his life has been spent
there. His education was acquired in the common schools, and at an early age he was employed in the woolen mill.
At sixteen he began to learn the machinist's trade with the Defiance Machine Co., with which he was connected for
twenty two years. In November, 1896, he began in business on his own account, establishing a meat market at the
southwest corner of Clinton and Fourth streets, and this, with his official duties, occupies his entire attention.
Politically he is affiliated with the Democratic party. As a citizen he is highly respected, and his unfailing
courtesy makes him popular everywhere. In August, 1893, he was married to Miss Josephine Gottwald, of Defiance,
and they have one daughter, named Esther, and a son, Louis, Jr., born January 23, 1898. Mrs. Spring is a daughter
of Christian and Christina Gottwald, both of whom are now deceased. They came from New York City to Defiance about
1875. Mrs. Spring was born in New York City, and came to Ohio when a child. Her education was obtained in the public
schools of Defiance, where she has had her home nearly all her life.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Northwestern, Ohio Biographies
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