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Burnet Volunteer Fire Department
Officially Organized 1932

Source: Burnet Bulletin
Transcribed by JoAnn Myers, January 2011


Burnet Bulletin, 4 February 1932

Last Wednesday night a fire company was organized at this place.  The following officers were elected:

J. H. Olney, President
L. C. Clark, Vice-President
O. A. Riggs, Secretary
R. A. Simmons, Treasurer
Herman Schnabel, Fire Chief

Mr. Schnabel will appoint his assistant chief, drivers, men to handle the hose and ladders, etc.

For the next few weeks the organization will hold meetings every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.  The truck siren will blow at 7:15 reminding the members of the meeting.  The purpose of those meetings will be drill and to become familiar with all details of the week.

This organization was formed following a purchase of a fire truck by the city a few days previous.  With organization of our fire company and some additional work, a considerable reduction in Burnet's fire insurance rate will be brought about--in fact, sufficient to pay for the truck and other equipment.

It is the plan to build a fire station in the near future, and details for this part have not as yet been worked out.
See minutes of this first meeting and the year of 1932.

Burnet Bulletin, 30 June 1938

Above is a picture of the Fire Hall and trucks of the Burnet Volunteer Fire Department.  This organization was formed January 27th, 1932, with the following present:

Bunk Gibbs, Herman Schnabel, O. A. Riggs, John Olney, John Tarver, Jim Tarver, Robert Simmons, Boxie Marx, Columbus Yonnie, Leon Shilling, Lee Clark, Regan Russell, Melvin Kincheloe, Clement Kincheloe, Ed Craddock, Bill Chamberlain, Clarence Hullum, J. W. Scott, W. C. Galloway and Fred Craddock.

At this meeting the following officers were elected:

John Olney, President
Lee Clark, Vice-President
O. A. Riggs, Secretary-Treasurer
Herman Schnabel, Chief.

Since its organization there has been only one change in the official family of the fire department, that of President.  John Olney served in this position until his death, when Ross Johnson was elected to the place, which he still holds.

Active Members 1938

Following are the active members at the present time:

Herman Schnabel, Frank Nichols, Ross Johnson, O. A. Riggs, Bunk Gibbs, Boxie Marx, Ren Nichols, Leon Shilling, Clement Kincheloe, Bill Chamberlain, Clarence Hullum, Mac Bradley, A. B. Sample, Rufus Tucker, Karl Piehl, John Kroeger, Bill Kroeger, Joe Kroeger, J. K. Williamson, B. Pogue, Winnie Zimmerman, Gene Clements, M. D. Mowrey, Ray Wingren, Stanley Glimp, Asa Howell, John Sparlin, E. W. Greele, George Belsey, F. Zoeller, J. E. Hester, Jim Tarver, and Don McFarland.

Non-Active Members

Melvin Kincheloe, Ed Craddock, Cecil Humphries, Bert Debo, R. J. Knox, H. H. Galloway, Tom Ferguson, L. Parks, R. U. Frazer, H. A. Barnett, R. D. Williams, Vernon Greer, Doran Cornelius, Roy Fry, C. W. Craddock, Hubert Dickens, W. H. Smith, Tommie White, Lee Clark, L. C. Chamberlain, and Clen Shilling.


The company first started out with a Ford truck, which had a booster tank holding 380 gallons of water and pump with a pumping capacity of 55 gallons per minute, and 250 feet of 1 1/2 inch  hose.  They next secured 350 additional feet of 1 1/2 inch hose and a tanker truck, with 500 gallons capacity, to carry extra water for the small booster truck.  Last summer the city purchased for the department a new Chevrolet truck, with latest Seagraves equipment, with a small booster tank and 100 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose, and equipped with a pump capable of pumping at high peak about 850 gallons of water per minute.

Hard Road to Travel

When the boys first organized they had to meet out in the open, and until they proved their value, the department did not meet with a great deal of encouragement.  Through the driving power of Chief Herman Schnabel, the department finally built itself the two-story concrete fire hall that is shown in the picture.  The members did a great deal of the work themselves in the erection of the building, taxed the members for the funds and with the help of a few donations from the city and individuals, got the job done.

For current information about the Burnet Volunteer Fire Department,

See their Web Page


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