Plans to form the Good Will Hose Company were developed in the Tailor Shop of Joseph H. Weibley on North Hanover Street. The Goodwill Fire Co. held it’s first meeting on May 4th, 1855. At this meeting, it was reported that a committee of collections had raised the sum of $450.00. An apparatus committee consisting of Robert Allison and Joseph H. Weibley were appointed to travel to Philadelphia and secure serviceable apparatus. The committee returned with a hose cart formerly owned by the Good Will Hose Co. of Philadelphia at a cost of $251.00. At a meeting on November 10th, 1855 the company passed a resolution of thanks to the Borough Council for a generous donation of $25.00 for the year 1856.
The company began its existence by meeting in the Arbitration site selection committee reported that they had located a 20 X 120 lot suitable for construction of a hose house on the south side of East Pomfret Street adjoining the Second Presbyterian Church which could be obtained for $150.00. The first meeting on the company in the new hose house was February 28th, 1857.
At a meeting held January 28th, 1859, the company decided it would be appropriate to secure a “hand engine.” They solicited contributions which amounted to $889.00. A committee was appointed to travel to Philadelphia to procure an engine which they did for the sum of $1171.58. This engine arrived on Saturday February 12th, 1859.
On August 12th, 1859, the Good Will men traveled to Shippensburg with their new engine and the Carlisle Barracks Garrison Band for a Fireman’s Parade. The men wore high black hats, white shits and black pants. The day would result in a sad ending as the Secretary of the Company; James B. McCartney was run over by the cars on the return trip and died the same evening.
The Civil War years saw a slowdown in meetings held by the company due to many of the members serving in the Union Army. among the 4 companies of the Carlisle Fire Department for a fine silver horn. The Good Will won this prize and it is now on display at the Carlisle Fire & Rescue Services Museum.
At a meeting held on November 7th, 1865, a committee was appointed to purchase a new steam fire engine. The engine was delivered on Saturday September 22nd, 1866. The manufacturer’s plate for this steamer is on display at the CFRS museum. The “American Volunteer” newspaper said:
“The splendid new Steamer purchased by the Good Will Hose Company, of this place, from the Gould Machine Company of Newark NJ arrived on Saturday. In the afternoon the firemen turned out, in a body, to receive it. A procession was formed at South Hanover and Pomfret Streets, embracing the members of the Good Will, Empire, Cumberland and Union Fire Companies with their respective apparatus which proceeded through the different streets. Col. William M. Penrose acted as Chief Marshall assisted by J. W. Ogilby of the Good Will, James Sterrett of the Empire, martin Kuhn of the Cumberland, and George Sheaffer of the Union. The Good Will was preceeded by the Garrison Band while the Union was preceeded by the Carlisle Band. The Steamer was drawn by four beautiful black horses and both engine and horses were subjects of universal admiration along the route of the procession. After the parade had concluded the trial of the engine was made at the public square and subsequently at the Letort Spring. The engine cost the company $6200.00”
At a meeting on August 15th, 1868 it was agreed to raise funds and purchase a new hose house on South Hanover Street. This transaction cost the company $3000.00 and the building was occupied in January 1870.
On January 26th, 1882, the company voted to enter into a contract for the purchase of a new steamer engine from the Manchester Locomotive Works of New Hampshire for a third class Amoskeag Steam Fire Engine. The Good Will’s second steamer was delivered on June 10th, 1882 and was tested at the Courthouse and Letort Spring. The manufacturer’s plate for this steamer is on display at the CFRS museum.
A fire struck the Good Will Fire House in 1891. The fire originated in the first floor furniture storage room and did considerable damage. The fire insurance company paid the Good Will $960.65 for damage to the building and $280.00 for damage to fire hose.
On May 28th, 1894 the company voted to purchase a pair of grey fire horses from Mr. W. M. Fink of Mechanicsburg for $350.00. These were the first fire horses in the Carlisle Fire Department. They saw their first service at a fire on July 4th, 1894.On September 24th, 1894 the company purchased a hose carriage for $300.00 from the Vigilant Hose Co. of York, PA. This was 2nd and last hose carriage owned by Good Will. The company purchased a 3rd horse to pull the hose carriage in January 1895.
To help defray the overhead expenses associated with the keeping of horses, the company purchased a street sprinkler from which a revenue was generated. The Borough of Carlisle purchased the Amoskeag Steam Fire Engine from the company for $1600.00 on January 14th, 1898. Unfortunately, these measures were not enough to satisfy the debts of the company. The Good Will was forced to sell the fire house for $12,000 on January 18th, 1908 and move the steamer to the rear of No 36 South Hanover Street.
The company recovered from these troubles and purchased the F.C. Bosler property located at 161 West Pomfret Street for $4050.00. The company held their first meeting in this three story brick building on June 17th, 1913.
On December 15th, 1914 a committee of Charles F Humrich, David R. Thompson, Joseph T. Smith, Fisk Goodyear, William Ogiliby, Edward Eyler, and Arthur Casey were appointed to meet with Borough Council to discuss the topic of the purchase of a motorized fire apparatus. That committee selected an Ahrens-Fox Model K-3 pumper which was delivered on June 21st, 1915. The company later received a 1937 Seagrave Model 66E pumper which was later sold to the Good Will Fire Co. of West Fairview, PA. This unit was then sold to a private owner and is currently owned by Mr. T. Cosgrove Jones.
The company replaced the 1937 Seagrave with a 1963 Mack C95 model 1000 GPM pumper. This engine was sold to McAdoo, PA in 1985. In 1966, the Good Will Fire Co. moved from 161 West Pomfret Street to a new two bay fire station at 102 West Ridge Street. Good Will expanded this building to 4 bays in 1980.
In 1970, the company began offering rural fire protection services using a 1941 Buffalo Pathfinder engine. The Buffalo was later sold to the South Middleton Twp. Fire Co. The Buffalo was replaced by a 1955 Model B85 Mack. This unit saw service until being replaced by a 1980 Mack MC model. The 1980 Mack was later sold to the Friendship Hose Co. of Newville.