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First fire department in Boro hires chief, assistants
Bulloch History
roger allen
Roger Allen

Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at events in the history of Bulloch County.

Part I

The Bulloch Times of March 30, 1905 published an article on “Our Fire Department.” It reported on “the impromptu fire brigade at Sunday morning’s fire.”

It added, “Statesboro will be prepared to cope with a fire when the department is thoroughly organized...Arrangements have been underway...toward the organization of a volunteer fire department.”

The Herald article went on to state, “In fact, the walls of the burned building as they stand bear witness that veteran fire fighters in any city could have done no better.”

It revealed, “Seven hundred and fifty feet of three-inch hose have been bought.” Then, it added, “negotiations are on for a hand reel which will soon be received, after which a volunteer fire brigade will be organized.”

The Bulloch Times of April 13, 1905 announced the city was “Preparing to Fight Fires,” declaring, “Statesboro is shortly to be put on a fire-fighting basis.”

And, “The fire department...will be supplied with two hand reels, and sufficient hose for almost any emergency. One of the reels has already been shipped...The other has been bargained for and will be here in due time.”

Another article was published in the same Times. It reported that the “City Solons’ ... (discussed) A Paid Fire Department to be Employed and Volunteer Assistants...Called For.”

Continuing, at "The regular monthly meeting (of) Mayor Johnston…The matter of a paid fire department was discussed and a committee was appointed to perfect arrangements looking to that end.”

Also, “It tendered the position of fire chief to W. D. Davis.” The Times reported, “The to employ ten regular firemen, who shall be paid a nominal fee, say 50 cents, for an hour’s practice.”

In addition, “To co-operate with these volunteers will be asked for. An increased fee, say $1, will be paid the firemen for each fire attended, and a premium of $1 to the first man at the reel after an alarm is given.”

Then, the Statesboro News of Sept. 29, 1905 revealed “Fire Department the court house Tuesday evening, September 26, and listed the personnel of that new Department.

The Officers were: Chief W.D. Davis, First Assistant Chief W.B. Moore, and Second Assistant Chief B.P. Maul. W.B. Moore was elected Secretary, and was to buy a record book for the Fire Company at the city’s expense.

Members were: W.M. Hagins, W.M. Proctor, D.B. Turner, W.G. Jones, M.L. Glisson, D. Barnes, Ed Cartledge, J.W. Forbes, Morgan Waters, and J.H. Donaldson.

The Fire Company will be known as Hose Company #1 until “until (name is) name taken away by more (a) effective (fire) company.” The Company “will be required to practice 1 ½ hours twice-a-month.”

That means every “1st and 3rd Tuesday in each month, or such time as may be fixed by the Chief. Members required to be at court house at practice hours, and to receive 60 cents each.”

In addition, the “first man at hose house to receive $1 extra, and each man doing duty at fire to the satisfaction of the Chief to receive $1.” The article proclaimed “Mr. W.M. Davis will make an ideal Chief.”

It revealed that “Mr. W.B. Moore...served 12 years on the Rome Georgia Volunteer Fire Department (and) Mr. W.G. Jones has also seen service in fighting fires (and) Mr. W.B. Maul, too, has some experience.”

Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email him at

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