HISTORY OF ASTON-BEECHWOOD VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY
In 1682 Aston was settled as a municipality and was finally incorporated as a townsh ip in 1688. Edward Carter, who was the constable of the township, changed the name from Northley to Aston in remembrance of his old home in Oxfordshire, England. In 1906, Aston became a first class township.
Along the West Branch of the Chester Creek there were many mills in the early
part of the 19th century.
Among them were:
- Tyson’s Mill, also known as Llewelyn Mills or Rhodes Mill at Aston Mills
(Current site of Station 72)
- The Old Forge at Rockdale
(which today is King’s Mill)
- The Lenni Mills on Lenni Road
(later known as Aldon Rug Mill)
- Crozerville Mills
(later was known as Yorkshire Worsted Mill and today is Container Research)
- Wes Branch mills
(later was operated as Victoria Plush Mill then Aldon Rug Mill. Today it is the Rockdale Industrial Center)
Further down Chester creek to Bridgewater was the Pennelton Mill
(later American Rendering Plant)
Over the years, these mills produced cotton, wool, paper, with gristmills grinding wheat and corn grown in the localarea.
The Llewellyn Mills on the Western Branch of the Chester Creek trace back to a pre-Revolution grist mill. By 1798, a saw mill existed on the site, and by 1802 an oil mill had been constructed. Most of these original structures were destroyed during the flood of 1843. The Mill was operated until 1913 when it was abandoned. A fire on January 8th1932 brought companies from all over the county, the closest of which was Lenni Heights.
The History of Aston-Beechwood begins in 1941. Ed Cordell, who was an engineer and builder, built his home in the Beechwood Park section of Aston (approximately the current site of Alysons Concrete).
Ed Cordell set out to gather the interest from his neighbors in Beechwood Park of the prospect of starting a fire company. As interest grew, fundraisers were held, many of which were in his back yard with Mrs. Cordell cooking.
A slate of business officers was named and member’s funds were used to purchase 2 lots for a fire station and plans were made to buy equipment. It was tough going and interest began to wane. It is said that at one meeting only Cordell and one other member were present and Ed was reported to have spent his own money on the merchandise for a raffle in order to keep interest going. The project seemed lost.
Just when things looked darkest, Harold Eusden and Thomas Fisher arrived to join Cordell. A meeting was scheduled and it was decided that they should draw on the Aston Mills section of Aston for more interested manpower.
First mention is made in the minuets of a meeting for the creation of a Ladies Auxiliary.
September 3, 1947
25 men met in Cordell’s backyard and established the following slate of officers:
President: Ed Cordell
Vice President: Howard Poore
Treasurer: Harry Miller
Financial Secretary: Harold Eusden
Directors: Thomas Fisher, Jesse Cullison, Harry McClyment, Ben Gamble
The members traveled to Hadden Heights, NJ and purchased a 1923 Hale Pumper with a 500 gallon tank for $1,500 using the money that they had raised.
February 13, 1948
Charter Granted and the following were established:
Fire Chief: Jim Smith
Assistant Chief: James Martin
Total membership: 68
The truck was housed and held their meetings in a garage type building on Cordell’s property. They organized Corn Boils, Turkey and wild Game suppers, picnic, dances, and raffles to raise funds. As a result, the company became a center of social activity.
Members bought the land for the station’s current location in 1949. The original building was relocated from Cordell’s property to the top of the present driveway by James (Guff) Goodale and several other firemen on the back of a Goodale’s Beer Distributor truck.
The first cinder block building was erected on the site of what is now the lower end of the current structure.
A resolution was passed on May 3rd for the establishment of a Ladies Auxiliary. The Ladies ran a Coffee Wagon and at one time had two in service having paid $600 for their last one in 1970. The Ladies Auxiliary was active until around 1974.
A second truck was purchased. A used 1929 Hale Pumper
A New truck was ordered for $14,500
The company took delivery of a new American LaFrance GMC.
A used 1947 Buffalo was purchased from the Garden City Fire Company.
A new addition was put on the existing building which added a large bay and a kitchen.
A New International Hahn was purchased from Scatolini Motors of Chester
An additional truck was purchased from the Eddystone Fire Company, a used L Model Mack for $600.
The Aston-Beechwood Fire Company went into the ambulance business with the purchase of a Pontiac Wagon from the West Grove Fire Company. A new Chevy Modulance was ordered and put into service later in the year.
During the Bicentennial, the bell which sits at the entrance to the station was dedicated after being donated by the Franklin Hose Company of Chester. Also, a third ambulance was purchased from Dick Shumacker, a used Dodge Van which had previously served with the Milmont Fire Company.
A B Model Mack was purchased from Hanley Hose of Chester for $600 which was used as a Pumper/Rescue truck. Between Aston-Beechwood and the Aston Business and Professional Assoc. helped raise $9,280 to purchase the "Jaws of Life."
A new Braun Ambulance was purchased for $59,635 and placed in service.
By way of a vote from the Township residents, the Fire Tax was increased to 3mills. This provided an essential increase in income to both companies in Aston.
The company took delivery of a new KME Pumper/Rescue at a cost of $217,000. Another new Braun Ambulancewas placed in service at a cost of $79,964. A new engine bay was also dedicated and put into operation at a cost of $130,000
Aston-Beechwood celebrates 50 years of service to Aston Twp.!!!Official hosts of the Delaware County Fireman’s Assoc. Parade and 92nd Convention. A brand new station was dedicated at a cost of $675,000. A 1995 LuvernePumper was placed in service at a cost of $220,000. Also, a Chevy Tactical Pickup with a slide unit for $26,000 and a 1997 Freightliner Ambulance for $126,000 were purchased and placed in service.
The Ambulance becomes professionally staffed.
A used Pierce Arrow Rescue Truck goes in service to replace the KME.
A new Chevrolet Tahoe Command Unit is placed in service. It is designed to serve as a mobile
A 2003 Ford/Horton Type III Ambulance is placed in service.
A custom Pierce Hawk Pumper aka “Tac 72” was purchased and delivered. This is a valuable addition to our response capabilities as it can serve as a brush piece as well as function as an engine.
In November the ambulance goes in service as MEDIC 72-7 as it is now staffed 24hrs in partnership with Crozerparamedics.
A Ford/AEV Type III Ambulance was purchased and placed in service.
The company purchases a John Deere Gator XUV 850 aka “The Gator” officially known as 72-8. It is designed to provide access to patients in places where traditional means of transportation is not possible. It is outfitted with a slide in patient transport unit which allows a patient to be removed from a remote area while an EMS provider can still care for the patient. The Gator is typically used at the Sun Valley and Neumann athletic fields and the wood areas throughout Aston and neighboring towns.72-8 is also capable of handling fire suppression duties in the same remote areas where typical fire apparatus cannot.
Aston-Beechwood hosts the Delaware County Fireman’s Assoc. Parade and 104th Convention. A 2009 4Guys Rescue/Pumper is delivered and placed in service.
Aston-Beechwood celebrates 65 years of service to the residents of Aston Twp. And neighboring communities!!!
Aston-Beechwood voted to merge with the Green Ridge Fire Department on January 2015.
On January 1, 2015 at 0800 hours the Aston-Beechwood Fire Company was placed out of service by Chief Jeffery Kane. Chief Michael Evans placed the Aston Township Fire Department, Station 17 in-service.
PAST CHIEFS OF 72 LEGACY
Rolly Walker III
Rolly Walker Jr.
Ray Russell Jr.
Ray Russell Sr.
PAST PRESIDENTS OF 72 LEGACY
Jack Betzal Jr.
Ray Russell Sr.
J. Scott Goodale
PAST LIFE MEMBERS OF 72 LEGACY
Jack Betzal Jr.
Ronald Walker Jr.
J. Scott Goodale
Ray Russell Jr.