Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 05:05:14 :
The Marin Journal
January 4, 1900
The Well Know Citizen of San Rafael
Gone to His Last Resting Place
Ex-chief Harding who died at St. Mary’s Hospital Sunday, January 7th, 1900, deserves more than a passing notice. The Fire Department loses one of its most faithful members. George never missed a fire in twenty years. It mattered not if there were twenty horses waiting to be shod, at the tap of the bell he would drop all thoughts of business and respond to the call and was always at the front with a stream. His death brings to memory all the notable fires in the history of San Rafael.
Harding was chief of the fire department in 1883. Many are the brave deeds that could be related of him; how he would face dangers of fire, smoke and water, how, with the aid of old Fitzroy, he reached a roof without the aid of a ladder. His repeated acts of bravery doubtless, in a great measure, assisted in laying the foundations of the disease which cut his life short. His work as a fireman was done on the night of August 19 when he led the first stream to quench the fire on the roof of Vannings house on Fifth avenue.
His daring feats are not alone to be remembered for he was generous and kind-hearted and many times assisted those who were in need. When a house painter by the name of Evans fell from a roof and broke both his legs, George, knowing of the poor circumstances of the unfortunate man, raffled a silver mounted saddle, raised $200 and took it to Evans to help him out of his difficulty.
A benefit given by the S. R. F. D. for an aged widow netted $640 and George was so elated that the next day with some friends he drove to San Quentin. The buggy in which he and his friends were riding was run down by the B. G. Rail Road and two of the men were killed, George receiving injuries from which he never fully recovered. Happy days forsook him, one misfortune followed another until three months ago he found himself in the St. Mary’s hospital.
He was a native of England, aged sixty years, and leaves a widow and two children. He was a member of the druids and the Foresters.
Funeral of Geo. Hardy
On page 8 we give an account of the death of George Harding. The funeral occurred Wednesday morning.
The active members of the San Rafael Fire Department made a fine display as in uniform and large attendance they escorted the remains of their former loved chief to the grave.
The services were held at St. Raphael’s Church, conducted by Father Riordan, ending at the Catholic cemetery. Nearly all the firemen and many visitors from Petaluma and the city and many citizens of San Rafael accompanied the cortege attesting their regard for one who proved a true friend to so many.
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