Thomas Peasley

Distinguished Service Recipient 1997.
Thomas Peasley sever in on of the pioneer fire companies of San Francisco before coming to the Comstock. He organized the state’s first engine company, Virginia Engine Company No. 1, and it’s first ladder company, Nevada Hook and Ladder Company No.1 both in 1861. He helped organize the first fire department in Nevada, the Virginia Fire Department, in 1861. In addition to serving as foreman of both Virginia Engine Company No. 1 and Eagle Engine Company No. 3, Peasley also served as the first chief engineer of the Virginia Fire Department, making him Nevada’s first fire chief. He served as a local police officer in Virginia City and served the Nevada Legislature as its Sergeant at Arms. During the Civil War, Peasley led several other Comstock firefighters in a fisticuffs battle against Southern Sympathizers who had attacked a small Union Army recruiting group on Virginia City’s main street. He was killed in a gunfight in Carson City’s Old Corner Saloon at the Ormsby House on February 2, 1866. His assailant was Martin V. Barnhart, an expelled member of Carson City’s Warren Engine Company No. 1.