The Muskegon County Firehouse
A Page dedicated to our Muskegon
ancestors that risked all to keep others safe from fire. Do your family
roots have a connection to a Muskegon firefighter? Email me to have your
Do you have old picture of firefighters,
or firehouses in Muskegon County? I would like to hear from you!
Our first Hero Family-
The Frederick Ridout Family
of Muskegon Heights
Submited by Walt
Both Fred & Harry Lester (usually called
Lester) were fire chiefs in Muskegon
Fredereick Edwin Ridout
(Stephen Henry, Samuel Rideout, Joseph) was born
21 Apr 1867 London UK & died 15 May 1942
Muskegon,MI. Married Mary Holland 19 Jul 1893 in Muskegon. Mary was born
1865 in Notinghamshire, UK. She died 29 Apr 1904 in Chicago, IL. Fred then
married Ida Willman 19 Oct 1905 in Muskegon, MI. She was born 15 SEP 1869
Oatergotland, Sweden and died 06 Dec 1943 in Muskegon MI.
Fred & Mary had 2 children.
Harry Lester Ridout b. 26 Nov 1894.
d. 10 Jun 1984 Muskegon, MI. Harold Ridout
b.1897 Muskegon. d. 09 Oct 1901
Grand Rapids, MI.
Frederick married Ida Willman
October 19, 1905 Fred & Ida had 2 children.
Laverne Ridout, b. 20 May 1907 Muskegon,
MI. d. April 1979 California.
Ethel Ridout b. 04 Jan 1911 Muskegon Hts.
Fred was the first fire
chief of Muskegon Heights and Harry Lester better
know as Lester was the 2nd chief.
I am looking for more information
on Thomas Henry Ridout (Stephen Henry, Samuel Rideout, Joseph). Thomas
did live in Muskegon. He was married to
Isabelle Chapelle and they had two adopted
children Theodore & Harriet. I have
heard that he divorced Isabelle possibly changed
the spelling of his last name and remarried. That's the rest of what I
do not know.
Pictures from Walt Ridout-
(For larger view and info click
Click for full view
|In response to this picture, I heard from
Chuck Neal.-"I found a picture of my father and other firemen on an old
(1920's) fire truck in front of the very same fire station that you have
on your web-site. The fire station was the main station located on Jefferson
st. between Western ave. and Clay ave. And they pulled the fire-wagons
with horses in those days. This of course was before the "Central Station"
was built on Walton ave." Thanks Chuck!
Chuck sent me some pictures of
his hero firefighting family from Muskegon.
Details on his family below.
This is a 1920's American LaFrance Pumper in
front of the Muskegon Central Station with my father (Charles Neal) at
My father is second on right,
in front of same station.
The Charles Neal Family
of Muskegon, MI
Submitted by Chuck
Neal born March 9,1892 Muskegon, Michigan..... He was one of seven sons,
and six daughters, of William and Anna (Fuller) Neal.
Married Kate Jenkins August 7,
1925. One son, Charles David Neal (Nov. 9, 1928).
Chad entered the Muskegon Fire
Dept. Company No. 1, Jan. 9, 1916.
Promoted to Lieutenant
of the Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, Jan.1, 1928.
Promoted to Captain of
the No. 4 Firehouse, June 7, 1935.
Capt. Neal died Jan. 12,
1937 (44) unexpectedly at Hackley Hospital, death was attributed to a heart
problem, which many firemen experienced.
Chuck Neal also sent me these
informative pictures about the Muskegon Fire Department. They have descriptive
information printed on the back of them. Click on the picture to see the
information printed on the back.
Picture ca. 1892
Picture ca. 1894
John Theiman of Montague
Our next hero comes from
Johnson, her great-great grandpa, John Thieman, was a member of the
Montague fire department for 52 years and served as fire chief from 12
to 14 years. He was born in Montague on Feb 19, 1880, to Mr. and Mrs. William
Frederick Thieman. He married Nellie Hall on June 29, 1904 in Montague.
He died Dec 7, 1956 at his home in Montague. He and his wife had
5 children. They are: Katherine Ruth Thieman, Una Martha Thieman,
Anna Lucille (Sally) Thieman, William Hall Thieman, and an unknown baby.
William is the only one living today. There was a big write up in
the June 23, 1954 edition of "The Muskegon Chronicle" about him and his
wife celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. He was active in
the Montague Methodist church as a Sunday School teacher and a member of
the church board. He has been a member of the Montague city council
and the board of education. He was a member of the board of directors
of the Hackley Union National Bank, Montague branch, for many years.
Prior to becoming a construction contractor, he worked as a blacksmith
for 10 years. He retired in 1953, but continued some work until 1956.
Picture from Sarah with caption-
|Chief John Thieman, who remembers well the
hand-drawn hose carts of yesteryears, sits at the wheel of one of the modern
trucks of the Montague fire department. Chief the past twelve years, he
has been a fireman in the community for 50 years. (Photo by Bervin Johnson)
hero comes from Sharon Holzhausen.
I'm sending information
about my great, great, great grandfather James Nobes. He was a volunteer
fireman in Muskegon (I think the Lakeside area firehouse). The Muskegon
Chronicle wrote an article about him because of his horrible death while
serving as a fireman.
This was a brief summary;
James Nobes was killed in
a accident in Muskegon, MI. He was a volunteer fireman and died in
the line of duty . Someone opened the firebarn doors early (before
he had finished hitching up the horses), and the horses bolted, dragging
James across the street and pinning/smashing him against a tree.
He was 43 years old and it was recorded in the Muskegon Chronicle that
his funeral was one of the largest in Muskegon at that time. His death
occurred on Dec. 30, 1874. He left a wife and children while serving
If you have information to add to this page-