Fire Protection District History

Back To The Roots of 1883

Not until 1883 did Marengo have an organized method of fighting fire. In that year, on October 29, the Marengo Fire Crops was organized by H.B. Smith, J. Temple and A. W. Kelley, with charter members of the corps numbering 52.

The city at this time purchased to chemical engines, which were pulled with ropes, at an expense of $1800. The engines were under the control of the fire corps whose duty it was to keep them in good working order and place them on the grounds ready for action as soon as possible after the alarm of fire was given.

A fire-limit ordinance was adopted by the city on September 25, 1883, which set the limits as “being between Railroad and Main streets and between Taylor and Ann streets extending to Railroad street.”

Twelve rubber fire buckets were purchased for the use of the fire company in November, 1883.

Get Supply Tank


The committee on fire apparatus was instructed to provide suitable water supply tank for the engines on December 7, 1889.’’

One-Horse Engine

It was voted on December 21, 1897, that the city make a proposition to the Fire Extinguisher Manufacturing Co. to exchange the two old chemical engines for a one horse engine. On the first of March in the following year, 1898, it was voted that the second chemical engine bellowing to the city be changed from a hand to a horse machine at the expense of $25.00.

The committee on police and fire was instructed on June 27, 1905, to lease a building for storing the fire department apparatus, to be erected in the east part of Mrs. Rider’s property on Prairie street providing they could do for a cost not exceeding $100.00 per year for land and building.

Install Alarm System

It was agreed on December, 19, 1905, to accept the proposition of the Ganwell Fire Alarm Telegraph Co. for installing a fire alarm system in the city of Marengo for the sum of $350.00.

On September 19, 1911, in consideration of the building and construction of the water main system in the city, the Public Service Co. agreed to install a suitable fire alarm whistle at the power house and connect it with the Public Service Co. power house. The whistle was to be maintained without expense to the city until the first of January 1922.

The city purchased 500 feet of hose on August 1, 1916.

Rubber boots and coats for the use of the firemen were purchased on January 1, 1918.

A Ford-Boyer triple combination fire engine was bought from the Boyer Fire Apparatus Co. of Logansport, Ind., on April 30, 1929.

The fire committee was instructed to purchase a new hose for the special purpose of cleaning sewers in August 1929.

Collision, property damage, and public liability insurance was taken out on the Marengo Fire truck on July 2, 1930. At this same time the Fire Marshall was instructed to see that proper fees were collected and turned into the city treasury for all country fires among non-members, where the city fire truck was used.

Seven raincoats for the fire department were purchased in April 1932.

The fire department was instructed not to attend a country fire unless the owner of the farm at which the fire occurs has a fire department clause attached to his fire policy or is a member in good standing of the Marengo Fire Truck Association.

On November 7, 1933, the city paid $25.00 toward the erecting of a fire whistle tower on the city hall.