Molly, By Golly!

Francis A. Gregory Library

Molly, By Golly!

Molly, by Golly!Molly, By Golly! The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter, by Diane Ochiltree, tells the story of Molly Williams, the first known female firefighter.  Molly Williams was a cook for the New York City's Fire Company 11. One day, when many of the volunteer firefighters were ill with the flu, Molly jumped in to stop a house from burning down. Molly’s bravery earned her the undying gratitude of the fire company men, along with the nickname, "Volunteer No. 11."

This book also gives detailed descriptions on how fires were fought during the 1800s. The book is written for a young audience, and many of the details about Williams's life are left out of the actual telling of the story.

In the author's notes, it mentions that Molly was an African American slave for one of the volunteer firefighters.  These details and additional resources can be explored by parents and educators with children to make Molly's tale more enriching and to promote discussion.