Chief Adolphus J. Thompson

On June 6, 1893, just a couple of months after the resignation of Chief William Wilson, Adolphus Jonah Thompson became the second man to hold the position of Chief. In 1894, he would see the end of the two year feud between the James Graham Hook & Ladder and the West Haven Hook & Ladder as well as the construction of a state of the art Town Hall (which, ironically, would catch fire shortly before it was scheduled to be occupied). In 1895 Chief Thompson would see the formation of North End Hose Company #3 as well as Seaside Hose Company #4 (later known as Savin Rock Hose), expanding our department to five independent volunteer companies. On March 17, 1898, Chief Thompson would tender his own resignation. Upon his resignation, William Wilson stepped into the role of Chief once again thus becoming the only man to hold the position twice. Chief Thompson resigned so he could run for the position of Warden which would be similar to what the Mayor of West Haven is today. He ran against a man named James Peck and he lost. In 1899 William Wilson stepped down and Adolphus Thompson would run for the position again. Although the Chief was “officially” appointed by the Warden and Burgesses of the borough, the firemen would first vote themselves and then inform the Warden of their choice. At this time a man by the name of Andrew B. Wilkinson decided to run against Thompson and a very tight race it was. Andrew Wilkinson was a very popular man and was Captain of the James Graham Hook & Ladder for five years running. In the end, Wilkinson would become the third man to be Chief of our department and Adolphus Thompson would fade into obscurity.