Morris Monson constructed this brick building in 1916 for the sale of new cars to residents in and around the Webster County town of Harcourt. When his business was shuttered, it was converted to an auto repair shop, operated under monikers including Miller’s Garage and Ted’s Garage. In the late 1970s, the building was converted into Harcourt’s town hall and fire department.
A chemical fire engine marked the first piece of fire fighting equipment ordered for the Crawford County town of Ricketts. At the same time, fire alarm boxes were purchased, and one was given to each member of the fire department. The first engine house was constructed in 1905, with a tower and fire bell added in May 1908. Water mains were laid in 1908, and the first Ricketts community fire truck was purchased in 1930. The present Fire Station and City Hall building was constructed in 1971.
The first fire department in the Taylor County town of Gravity consisted of a small tank and hand pump mounted to a two-wheeled cart, pulled to fires either by hand or by horse. The original fire signal was sounded via a hand-rung bell mounted in a tower on the center of Main Street. The cart gave way to a truck in the late 1920s, while the bell was replaced by an electronic bell mounted by the fire station. The current fire station was constructed in 1969; the city hall was originally housed within the building where the smaller garage stall is now located.
The Delaware County town of Dundee saw its first fire station constructed in 1930. The small brick building featured a single-stall garage, a small amount of space for equipment, and a jail cell. In the late 1980s, Dundee firemen began a campaign to solicit funds for a new fire station and community center building. Construction began in June 1987, with firemen doing most of the construction work to minimize costs. The building continues to serve the town today.
In September 1954, Mingo resident Forest Maxwell met with the city council to discuss the possibility of starting a volunteer fire department for the Jasper County community. The enthusiastic Council moved quickly on the project, approving the department’s by-laws and appointing the first fire chief by the end of the year. In 1955, a fire siren was installed and the following year marked construction of the current fire garage. The 30′ x 48′ concrete block building originally included space for a city office and later the public library. Those offices have since relocated a block south, and the building now exclusively houses the Mingo Volunteer Fire Department.