The case for Herbert Kuemmel
A simple question, a stray remark, or a 32-year-old newspaper article–anything can open the door for a research project. Take the case of Herbert Kuemmel. Herb was a firefighter for the City of Rochelle from 1928 until his death in 1954, the final twelve years of his career he was a fulltime member and engine driver. It is his death which caught my interest.
In January of 1979 Ken Wise interviewed Walter (Squeak) Vierke for an article in the Rochelle News. As a former Fire Department Chief, Vierke related many tales about the growth of the fire department and the changes he had seen in his years as fire chief. Toward the end of the article, Vierke mentioned that he had lost two members during his time as chief, one at the Hornsby Variety Store fire and one to smoke.
For the complete article see the 12-11-2012 issue.
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