Greenville Fire Department's Historic Collections
Greenville, Texas

The Greenville Fire Department expertly restored "Jerry", a 1916 American LaFrance pumper, purchased new by the department when they changed to motorized apparatus in the years 1916-1917. Jerry was named after the last horse the department owned.
A Fire Department is Born
Excerpted from "A Brief History of the Greenville Fire Department" by Belinda McQueary,

"[Greenville Texas was founded as the county seat of Hunt County] on a donation of 100 acres of land deeded to the county for the purpose of building a town. In 1852 the population of Greenville was 50.

"In 1880 Greenville had two hotels. In 1881, when the railroad came through, Fred Ende decided to build the first three story brick hotel in Greenville. During the night of April 7, 1883, the Ende Hotel caught on fire and was totally destroyed. Thirteen people lost their lives and twenty-seven miraculaously escaped. The mayor telegraphed the Sherman Fire Department for help. A special train run was organized to bring fire apparatus to the scene. The trip set a record time of fifty-five minutes. Unfortunately it was too late".

"Just one month later a meeting of citizens was called for the purpose of organizing a "Fire Company".

And thus was born the "Dick Hubbard Fire Company" the predecessor of the Greenville Texas Fire Department of today. --- Read the full text of the above history Here.

Visit the Greenville Fire Department home page.

This bell, cast in 1890 of solid brass by the L.M. Rumsey Mfg. Co, of St. Louis, MO, was purchased by the city of Greenville to alert firefighters of a fire. It was mounted at the Central Fire Station at the intersection of Pickett and Johnson streets. The bell was rung once to indicate a fire in the downtown area, twice for the South Hill area, and three times for the West Hill area. The fire station was moved in 1939, two years later the bell, too, was moved. During the war years the bell was used for civil defense purposes. The bell is now on display in front of the Greenville City Hall.

All photos on this page © 2003 David McNabb

Hydrant Collection

Although the hydrants in the photos below are "still in service", they are slated to be preserved through the efforts of the Greenville Fire Department. One hydrant will go to the American Cotton Museum, and the other will be on display in the Greenville FD Administration building.

  John McLean of New York City - Flip Lid Style Hydrant
Identifying Characteristics: Flip lid style hydrant, a design dating from the mid 1800s
  • "Operating Nut" atop the bonnet merely releases a catch for the hinged lid.
  • Hydrant mainvalve is operated by the "T" handle as shown in the photos.
  • The side of the barrel is marked with the letter "D" at the level of the outlets, on both hydrants.

  • 2007
    Nozzles: 2x 2.5"
    Date: 1870s

    Nozzles: 2x 2.5"
    Date: 1879
    Marked H.W.W. on the lid, possibly this hydrant was purchased through the city of Houston Water Works.

    Back to Hydrant Collections

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