C1880's Austin Texas Fire Department Washington 1 Sterling Pin Badge
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c1880's Austin Fire Department Washington 1 Sterling Pin badge. Extremely raresmall pin badge from the last quarter of the 19th century to the very early 20thcentury at the latest. As stated below the Washington 1 Station closed in 1916.The Washington 1 was the first fire station in Austin as quoted below. This wasrecovered by me in Austin in a bag including the letter I'm also including. Ipurchased a large percentage of this estate from a family I know has been in thesame home since the 1920's. The Volunteer firefighter who wore this was a mannamed John F Westlund (1858-1945) or there's a smaller chance it could have beenLee Wesley Westlund (1891-1970) at a very young age. There's an Austin Firemuseum which I have not yet made it to that could likely confirm one of these.Measures approx 1.25 x 5/8", marked sterling on reverse side. It has enamellettering with overall wear but is extremely rare & important.The Central Station No. 1 wasn't the first fire station in downtown Austin. In1868 Washington Fire Company #1 was established on 6th Street. The first fireengine, pulled by hand, was replaced by a steamer, which in turn was abandonedwhen the water company changed to the Holly system in the early 1880s. Theengine company then was converted to a hose company.Austin Fire Department: Volunteers to Professional Fire FightersAustin Fire Department began in the 1870's with a very formal volunteer program.The success of the volunteer organization actually delayed the need for a careerdepartment until 1916. It was Austin's businessmen & merchants who mainlycomprised the volunteer rosters. Many devoted their lives to the firedepartment. in the spring of 1916, the citizens of Austin voted in support ofthe creation of a paid, municipal fire department. Overnight, the departmentwent from more than 200 volunteers to 27 paid firefighters, working six 24 hourshifts per week.The first paid Fire Chief appointed by Austin city administrators was C.F.Millett. Under Millett's direction strict fire ordinances were passed & theywere effectively enforced by the dedicated volunteers. By 1874 the city councilestablishing a fire department with a chief, assistant chief, recorder, firecommissioners, & fire police. By 1880s Austin Fire Department included bothvolunteer & paid firemen.In June 1916, Clarence Woodward was appointed Fire Chief. The volunteer firecompanies disbanded & the fire department renumbered its fire stations andrenamed its apparatus which is still in effect today.Washington #1 closed its stationAustin Hook & Ladder #1 became Truck Co. 1, Engine 1Colorado #2 became Hose 1 at Central Fire Station 1Protection #3 became Engine 2 at Station 2, & Truck 2 was createdEast Austin #4 became Engine 5 at Station 5South Austin #5 became Engine 6 at Station 6North Austin #6 became Engine 3 at Station 3West Austin #7 became Engine 4 at Station 4Tenth Ward #8 became Engine 7 at Station 7And Rescue #9 became Engine 8 at Station 8 C1880's Austin Texas Fire Department



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