Loren E. Harvey for nearly ten years has been chief of the fire department of Coffeyville. No municipal service has been more highly developed in efficiency and equipment than that for fighting fires, and none is of greater usefulness to the property and welfare of citizens. Mr. Harvey is one of the veterans of the fire department of Coffeyville, and by his leadership among his men and also his influence in equipping and keeping up the best standards of service, is performing a most valuable part in the life of that city.
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Though he was born at Sheldon, Missouri, November 21, 1880, he has spent most of his life in Coffeyville, and attended the public schools there until he was fifteen years old. In the meantime he had acquired some experience helping his father, and at the age of fifteen took upon himself the responsibilities of earning his own way, and for the next four years worked in a grocery store. In earlier years Mr. Harvey was well known among professional baseball circles. He played baseball with the Western Association, and for several seasons was catcher for the Pittsburgh and Iowa teams.
It was in August, 1901, a little before his twenty-first birthday, that Mr. Harvey joined the Coffeyville fire department. After six years in the ranks and with a record of capable performance at every call to duty, he was elected chief in 1907, and it is a tribute to his leadership and also to the general efficiency of the department that in the past ten years Coffeyville has had only one serious fire. That was in 1912 when the Lewark livery barns were destroyed at a loss of $25,000, and but for the prompt and hard work of the department the fire would have spread to adjoining buildings and entailed a much greater loss. Coffeyville has now two fire stations. The Central Station, built in 1904, at Seventh and Union streets, is the headquarters for Chief Harvey and he has eight paid firemen under his supervision. The equipment consists of one automobile hose wagon, equipped with chemicals and other implements, and carrying 1,000 feet of 2½ inch hose; an automobile ladder service truck, with 210 feet of ladder, with life net, chemicals, electric wire cutters, tin roof cutters and other implements; and a chief’s auto, carrying two thirty-five gallons of chemicals and 150 feet of chemical hose. Station No. 2, at 507 West Twelfth Street, has a team and hose wagon, with chemicals, small ladders and 1,000 feet of hose. In the years since he entered the fire department of Coffeyville Mr. Harvey has allowed no other interests to interfere with strict and regular performance of his duties.
His Harvey ancestors were pioneer settlers of Kentucky. His grandfather was a native of Kentucky, but went as an early settler into Missouri, lived for a couple of years with his son in Kansas, but then returned to Missouri and died on his farm near Sheldon. One of his sons, Thomas Harvey, served as a soldier throughout the Civil war and died in Sedalia, Missouri.
Samuel Harvey, father of Loren E., was born in Kentucky in 1845, but grew up near Sheldon, Missouri, where he married. As a boy he had some extensive experience as a cowboy in Kansas, Texas and Indian Territory. He was about sixteen years of age when the war came on and though eager to enlist was prevented until toward the close, when he went out and was with the army for the last three months of the war. While living at Sheldon in Missouri he was a deputy sheriff, and in performance of his duty was shot by a horse thief, being severely wounded through the arm and hip, and the bullet he carried to his grave. He was only twenty years of age when this occurred. In 1883 Samuel Harvey moved from Sheldon, Missouri, to Anthony, Kansas, where he followed farming and also conducted a hotel. In 1887 he came to Coffeyville, and during the early days following the development of the first gas wells, was in the plumbing business. In 1912 he retired and moved to Nowata, Oklahoma, where he died January 3, 1913. He was a republican in politics and a member of the Baptist Church. Samuel Harvey married Nannie Dungan, who was born in 1863 and is now living at Nowata, Oklahoma. Their children were Loren E.; Emmett, who was a traveling saleman for the Carey Commission Company and died at Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in July, 1912. Fred, who served for three years ten months under his brother Chief Harvey at Coffeyville, and for the past four years has been chief of the fire department at Nowata, Oklahoma. Floyd, in the laundry business at Nowata.
In politics Mr. Harvey is an independent republican, and his fraternal affiliations are with Lodge No. 775 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, No. 305, Fraternal Order of Eagles, No. 1193 Loyal Order of Moose, and Lodge No. 104 of the Homesteaders, all of Coffeyville. His home is at 514 South Walnut Street.
In 1904 at Cherryvale, Kansas, he married Miss Carlie Casort, daughter of Charles and Sarah Casort. Her mother is now deceased and her father, who is a molder in the Coffeyville foundry, lives with Mr. and Mrs. Harvey. They have one child, Lawrence, born November 24, 1907, and now a pupil in the public schools.