The Pleasantville Fire Department was organized in 1894. Pleasantville did not become incorporated for another three years. Like many of the other communities in Westchester during that time period, the Village was just beginning to grow and making efforts to improve quality of life. There were no streets, paved roads, municipal water, sewer, or other services. One resident who was particularly interested in community growth was William H. Jahne, the man behind the organization of the Fire Department.
Pioneer Engine Company was formed in 1894, with 63 charter members. Since a fire district had not yet been formed and taxes didn’t pay for equipment, buckets filled with water were used to extinguish fires. Joseph Huff was the first Fire Chief of the Department and served from 1894-1897.
On July 11, 1895, Department members William Jahne, Albert See, Henry Forshay, and S. Wood Cornell submitted a petition to the Board of Supervisors of the County of Westchester to form a fire district. The total value of the property submitted was $165,000 and covered an area considerably larger than what was to become the Village of Pleasantville.
On July 22, 1895, the Pleasantville Fire District was established by the County Board of Supervisors. Authority was given to the voters of the Fire District to elect a Board of Fire Commissioners. It was decided that the Board would consist of three members serving 1,2, and 3-year terms, respectively, with a new Commissioner, elected each year for a 3-year term. The first Commissioners were William H. Jahne, C.H. Scholerman, and Henry S. Forshay, along with a Treasurer appointed by the Board.
The Village of Pleasantville was incorporated in 1897. It is interesting to note many of the names that appeared on the original incorporation notice were listed as firemen.