San Jose Fire Chief Engineer

 BIO-Pen Pictures

            San Jose possesses a deservedly high reputation for the excellence of her public works, and for the efficiency with which the different departments of her civic government are carried on.  One of the most important of these is the Fire Department, of which James Brady is the Chief Engineer.  He has been connected, for the last thirty years, with the fire departments of the principal cities of the Union, including Baltimore, Washington, and New Orleans, and for the past twenty-two years continuously occupying a position in connection with that department in San Jose.

            A few words about that department, which has been largely built up by his assistance, will be in point.  It has forty-one men on its pay roll; has two steam fire-engines; one patent Hayes’ truck, second-class; one hand truck in reserve; six hose-carts, carrying an average of 800 feet of hose apiece, and one hose-cart in reserve, carrying 650 feet.  The pay of the Chief is $50 per month; of assistant engineers, $20; engineers who run engines, $100.  Drivers own and feed their horses at their own expense, and receive $100 per month.  There are 127 fire-plugs belonging to the city, and two belonging to the State, located in the Normal School grounds.  There are also four large water cisterns in central locations, three of them supplied from the city water works, and the other from an artesian well.

            Chief Brady was born in Ireland, in the famous County of Cavan. His parents died when he was very young, and he came with his sisters to the city of Baltimore when eleven years of age, and there served his time as a painter, working at his trade in Washington and New Orleans.  Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned to Baltimore and enrolled himself in the loyal Maryland militia, being soon called actively into service in defense of the lines before Washington and Baltimore.  The memorable battle of Gettysburg was one in which Chief Brady took part.  He returned from the army after the establishment of peace, and in 1866 came to California, making his way at once to San Jose.  Here he followed his profession of painting, immediately joining the Fire Department, with which he has been ever since connected.

            Chief Brady was married in April, 1886, in San Jose, to Miss Nellie Owens, a native of this city.  He is now reaping a well-merited reward for his continuous labors and close attention to both public welfare and private business; is the owner of considerable choice real estate, and is esteemed and valued in all circles of society.  He is a member in good standing of Knights of Labor, San Jose Lodge, and also of Enterprise Lodge, No. 17, of the A. O. U. W.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 358-359
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy