Buffalo in 1910: Popular First Ward fireboat lieutenant is dead

By Steve Cichon

Lt. Simon O’Donnell, a native of Ireland, lived at 268 Elk St. — which today would be 268 South Park Ave., if it were still standing. And, if still standing, the building would be across South Park from the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino.

O’Donnell was assigned to the Ohio Street Firehouse and to the fireboat George R. Potter — one of three fireboats working in Buffalo at the time.  When he died 105 years ago this week, in July, 1910, he was one of the city’s most popular firefighters.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.