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Bloomington Yesterday: The first fire chief

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published January 27, 2023
Updated on January 27, 2023
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A community relies on resident participation for its success, and Bloomington residents are among the most engaged. Arnold Friendshuh, pictured on the above, is one such example. In 1947, when Lyndale Avenue was still a dirt road, community members gathered to plan for a volunteer fire department and elected Friendshuh as Bloomington’s first fire chief.

Born and raised on a farm in Bloomington, Friendshuh worked at the C.H. Carpenter Lumber Company at 94th Street and Lyndale Avenue for 59 years. He served as the fire chief for 25 years. He also served six years on the Bloomington City Council, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Bloomington Lions Club and the Bloomington Businessmen’s Association.