Harry A. "Dutch" Rapp Memorial


Life and Times



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Copyright 1999 Teri A. Brown, Walter Brown and Assoc. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 31, 2001 .

This web site is dedicated to my grandfather, Harry A. "Dutch" Rapp, who believed that every individual could make a significant impact on their surroundings.  Dutch was born, raised and lived all of his life in the Borough of Sharpsville, in Mercer County, Western Pennsylvania, near the Ohio border.

He served on the Sharpsville Volunteer Fire Department for almost five decades. The Fire Department had been organized for 29 years and had recently purchased its first motorized vehicle when Dutch joined in 1928.  During the 1940s, he became a paid fireman and was elected Assistant Fire Chief.  He first became fire chief in 1955, and by 1957, he began organizing a firefighter's training school for Mercer County. Then he set out to train volunteer fire fighters throughout Pennsylvania. He belonged to many local, state and badge.gif (3517 bytes)national fire chief's associations and even served on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania State Fire School.  Dutch traveled throughout the United States several times a year attending conventions and conferences. 

Long viewed as "the Dean of Firefighters" in the Western Pennsylvania area, Chief Rapp toured fire fighting equipment manufacturing facilities and was instrumental in making changes to the fire fighting equipment used in the 1960s and 70s.  His design of a 1971 Hahn Pumper truck was built for the Sharpsville Volunteer Fire Department.  

Chief Rapp's last ride on that pumper truck, his funeral on February 16, 1976, was the largest in the history of Sharpsville and was the first fireman's funeral in Mercer County.

Sharpsville Fire Dept  Web Page


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Sharpsville High School Class of 1924 Memorabilia


  Dutch Rapp's family album, ancestors and descendants


Shenango Furnace Workers and other Mercer County old  photos


Princess, the Firedog, Sharpsville Fire Dept mascot of the 1950s