German Immigrant Ancestors
in Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York


Fayette Firefighters Memorial Park
Syracuse, New York

Photos by M. Stone 2004
Eckel monument

Eckel monument

Eckel monument
"Come on, boys!" --must've been his rallying cry
to his fellow soldiers and firefighters

Eckel monument
The new plaque on the front of the monument reads:

Chief Philip Eckel

On May 2, 1979 this statue was moved to
Fayette Firefighters Memorial Park
through the efforts and donations of the following:

City of Syracuse
Lee Alexander, Mayor

Syracuse Kiwanis
S. Whitbread, President

Boone Crane Rentals
Carpenter Rigging Corp.
Joseph A. Militi Construction
Onondaga Ready Mix Co.
Haylor, Freyer & Coon Insurance

Eckel monument
Philip Eckel

Born Aug. 11, 1827
Died June 1, 1886

(Note the megaphones and fire plugs)

Eckel monument
Inscribed on the rear base of the monument:

Executive Committee

Hollister E. Hessler, Louis House,
George Schlosser, Jacob Grassmann,
Adam Young, Leonard A. Saxer,
Pankratz Drescher, Jacob Kohl,
Henry J. Abbott

Eckel monument
Erected A.D. 1900,
By His Friends

Eckel monument
Shield on the back of the memorial reads,
"Chief Of Volunteer 4"

Eckel monument
In his frock coat uniform with horn under his arm
and pigeons close at hand

Philip (Philipp) Eckel was one of Syracuse's prominent German pioneers. He was born 11 August 1827 in St. Julian, Rheinbaiern (in the region of Kusel in today's Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany), the son of Peter and Elisabeth (Schneider) Eckel, and emigrated with his family in the summer of 1840. He was a volunteer fire-fighter in Syracuse from an early age, beginning as first assistant to the "Empire" Company No. 4 which was established in 1848 with its fire house on Division Street. It was he who suggested, when the Civil War broke out, that the Syracuse Germans form a military company of volunteers to be led by fellow immigrant Nicholas Grumbach, and he distinguished himself as First Lieutenant under Captain Grumbach in the resulting Company B, 149th New York Infantry Regiment. After the war he served as Captain of the No. 2 volunteer fire company of Syracuse (again, made up mostly of Germans). He was later made Syracuse Fire Chief and died on 1 June 1886 when thrown from a horse-drawn vehicle while on his way to fight a blaze.

This monument was designed by Carrick Brothers, a Vermont-based firm that opened a branch office in Syracuse in the 1890's. Carved from granite in Vermont, this memorial was funded by contributions raised by Syracuse firefighters and policemen.

Old photos show this monument in a different location. At its 22 August 1900 dedication it was installed at the corner of North Salina, Butternut, and State Streets, in the midst of Syracuse's north side German community. Later (in 1959?) it was moved to the intersection of North Salina and Pearl Streets (Ashland Park?). Construction of Interstate 81 forced its final move downtown. The monument was moved to its present location in Fayette Park at the same time the park was renamed Fayette Firefighters Memorial Park, on 2 May 1979. In the last few years all of the monuments in this park and the park itself have been restored to a pristine condition that does Syracuse proud. Fayette Firefighters Memorial Park also contains the 1905 Hamilton White Monument, the Collins Block Fireman's Memorial, dedicated in 1939, a bell tower (1979) and a restored antique cast-iron fence. The park, a public green area since 1839, can be found bordered by North Townsend, East Fayette, North State and East Genesee Streets in the heart of the city.

Link to an old postcard of the Eckel Monument at an earlier location in Syracuse

Link to a similar old photo of the Eckel Monument circa 1904

Link to Philip Eckel's obituary and gravemarker

BACK to Monuments Page