1885 Longview Fire Company
The Longview volunteer fire company was organized in 1885. Their first fire engine was purchased in 1895 for about $6,000 including the freight. It was a horse drawn hook and ladder engine that was bought during the administration of W.G. Northcutt. The old fire station was located where the present day fire station is, and under the station was a large cistern from which the water was pumped for fire fighting in the proximity of the station. Kindling wood saturated with alcohol was used to start the fire in the engines boiler. This was done in order to obtain a very hot heat in a short amount of time. After the fire was going good, coal was added from time to time until the necessary amount of heat was raised. When there was 25 pounds of steam in the boiler, a 200 pound pressure was available. With this, four streams of water could come from the engine. The motto was "Ever Ready". Original members were:
Left to Right on Engine:
Left to Right Standing:
Dollie Northcutt, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. W.G. Northcutt,
was the first sponsor of the Volunteer Fire Company. The fire
engine was christened "Dollie" in her honor. She later married
a member of the Fire Co., Mr. S.C. Forman.
When G.A. Bodenheim was elected mayor in 1902, one of his first
official acts was to purchase a 60 gallon chemical tank. It had
2 wheels and was pulled with a rope. He next purchased a hook
& ladder wagon and organized the fire department with John
Cook, Jr. as fire chief. In 1905 the city purchased two horses
and a large wagon to haul the 2500 feet long hose, which was purchased
after the waterworks were installed. This wagon was called the
"Gracie B". Next came the automobile fire engine. Longview bought
the very first automobile pumping fire engine in the state of
Texas, the cost being about $8,500. A committee consisting of
L.D. Lacy, Judge J.M. Campbell, and others took a trip to Elmira,
NY to inspect the automobile engine and to make the purchase.
The citizens of Longview blasted Mayor Bodenheim when he disposed
of the old faithful horses, saying that the town would burn to
the ground before they could start the new fangled motor-drawn
engine. Once Longview had the engine, city officials from San
Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and other large Texas cites came here
to inspect the engine.
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