Duke, the guardian of the Penn Street hose house and long time companion to many, was killed by an automobile while following his masters to a fire in the north end of town after dark. When the boys on the big fire truck looked back and saw Duke under the wheels of another machine it was too much for some of them. Several jumped off and went to the old fellow’s rescue. Duke breathed his last when carried to a grassy lawn nearby. After the other firemen extinguished the blaze, the truck was brought back to the scene and tender hands lifted the dog into the vehicle and took him to the fire house. The dog was given a public burial by the firemen. Duke did not occupy the grave of an ordinary dog. A mound was dug at the Pastime bathing beach and the firemen purchased a marker for the grave.
Duke was a bird dog first owned by Brown Latimer as a puppy. Latimer helped organize the first Volunteer Fire Department. When his dog began wondering into the fire house, the fireman took a liking toward him and Duke became a permanent resident for nearly 15 years. He refused to leave except to venture out to greet the mill men when they changed turns or to rub his noise against the children who grew to love and play with him on their way to and from school. During his years, Duke saw the big Follansbee mill built. He saw the town laid out into lots. He saw the boardwalks constructed and later torn up and replaced by brick and concrete. As a tribute, the firemen had Duke’s collar riveted to the fire truck. Their wish was that Duke’s last run would be remembered as long as Follansbee has a fire department.
- Steubenville Herald Star, “Duke,” City Mascot and Fire Dog Killed………” October 1, 1920, p. 18.
- Steubenville Herald Star, (Follansbee Section), October 4, 1920, p. 9.