Age-Old Horsepower Fire Department
 Pumper Becomes Part of Scrap Pile

No longer will this age old horsepower pumper, which served the Warsaw Fire Department for many years, be utilized by the fire fighters, but will, instead, serve this country in the form of war implements.

During the first county-wide scrap harvest and junk rally held in Gallatin County, last Saturday, citizens from miles around brought in vital scrap material which was placed in a huge pile on the Courthouse Square.

Much enthusiasm was displayed by the contributors, who, after depositing their “precious” donations formed a parade, led by the Warsaw Fire Department, donors of the old pumper, and marched through the vicinity.

Jess Miller, costumed as Uncle Sam, in a ceremony following the parade, received the scrap as Mayor George Donnelly dedicated it to the “Scrap for Victory” drive.

Many of the older citizens of the county who attended the ceremonies reminisced of a day in 1890 when the old Remington fire engine, made by the Remington A. G. L. Co., Ilion, N. Y. with its windlass and sweeps drawn by two teams of sturdy horses, was the last word in fire-fighting equipment.

They recall the days when the town paid $5 for the first and $2.50 for the second team to arrive on the scene after the fire signal sounded, with the majority of the runs ending in a “photographic” finish.

Stories were told about incidents when man power was used for the sweeps when inclement weather delayed the arrival of the fire apparatus on the scene of a fire.

As late as October, 1933, the old pumper was put into use when the large residence of R. B. Brown, Warsaw, caught fire, the younger folks who gathered to listen to the stories added.

Since this is one of the oldest fire fighting apparatus of its kind in the country, a few years ago Leonard Hendrix of the Ford Motor Co. received a letter from Frank Campbell of the Ford Museum, Dearborn, Mich., inquiring about the old pumper and possibilities of adding it to the Ford collection.  “Not for Sale” was the reply.

A contest sponsored in 1890 by the Warsaw Independent, local newspaper, provided funds for the purchase of this old relic.

An address by J. Lyter Donaldson, highway commissioner of Kentucky, who appealed to the citizens of Gallatin County “as patriotic Americans, to face the necessity of selfless effort for ultimate victory,” was followed by a brief talk by Gen. Tandy Ellis, Kentucky Times-Star columnist during the Saturday ceremonies.  Lemuel Bledsoe Jr., chairman of the day, announced that the amount received from the collection of scrap, and other attractions, would approximate $400, that sum to be turned over to the USO.

The above picture shows the old pumper in action.  Dalton Jacobs is driver of the team.


from the Kentucky Times-Star, September 12, 1942