This collection contains records of the Little Rock Fire Department dating back to the 1860s. Multiple ledger books and photographs are the highlight of this collection.
The fire department in Little Rock started as an all-volunteer operation in 1839 with the formation of the city’s first fire company and purchase of a fire engine. This earliest fire company did not have an easy task. It was difficult to maintain the engine and get enough water to successfully fight the fires. In 1847, the Little Rock Fire Company was formed due to the unorganized and ineffectual original company. By 1867, four volunteer fire companies operated in Little Rock, including a hook and ladder company. It was also around this time that the city purchased its first steam engine and employed an engineer to operate it.
The first salaried position was officially added to the department in 1885, and in 1888, a salaried chief engineer position was also added. Finally, in 1892, the city passed an ordinance to create the fully-paid Little Rock Fire Department.
A detailed history of the Little Rock Fire Department can be found in Box 2, Item 1.
Box 5, Item 16
Box 5, Item 17