Gaffney Fire Department History-From The Beginning Till 1925
Information on our History come from old newspaper clippings, Fire Insurance Maps from the early 1900's and City Records.
In October 1899, the concern for the life safety and property conservation became apparent when the citizens of Gaffney met to discuss a fire department for their City. In March of 1900 the newly organized Gaffney Fire Department met for the first time to train with their new equipment, which was housed adjacent to the old city hall at the intersection of Limestone and Meadow Streets.
Gaffney Ledger 11/24/1899
A meeting was held this evening at the courthouse for the purpose of organizing a volunteer fire department for Gaffney. Captain S. S. Ross was made chairman of the meeting and Ed H. DeCamp Secretary. A motion was made be Col. T. B. Butler to the effect that the city council and the board of public works petition the people for funds to buy apparatus prevailed.
Gaffney Ledger 1/12/1900
The hose for the fire department arrived and the reels are on the road and will be in Gaffney soon. We are now ready to organize three fire companies and it is desired to have two companies composed of White men and one of Colored men. We hope that the Colored company will elect that famous fire fighter and hero of many fire battles, Dick Corry as its captain.
Gaffney Ledger 3/6/1900
W. S. Hall Jr., fire chief in Gaffney, called an evening meeting at the courthouse to form three fire companies in the city: two White and one Colored. The following persons have signified their willingness to become members of the fire department: C.T. Lipscomb, Julian Lipscomb, Fletcher Smith, Joe McArther, Judson Sarratt, J.F. Fincken, Walter Baker, B. Clary, W.O. Johnson, Henry Ross, E.L, Eison, A.C. Pridmore, Harry Byars, B.S. Lipscomb, B.L. Holmes, Rus Sparks, Lucian Hopper, Bob Beason, Gus Abernathy, S.L. Hobbs, and a list of men in the possession of John Smith.
Gaffney Ledger 4/24/1900
The fire whistle in Gaffney was satisfactorily tested today.
Gaffney Fire Department was a volunteer department with 3 hose reels with 500' 2-1/2" Cotton Hose each. One was stationed at the Pumping Station (where the Fire Department is now), One was stationed at the Corner of Limestone St and Race St, One was stationed at Limestone St and Mills St.
Gaffney Ledger 3/31/1905
A fire was discovered on the cotton platform near the freight depot by Officers Henry Lockhart and D.E. Lemmons at half past four oclock in the morning. They secured the assistance of the night operator at the depot and getting the hose reel, had the fire under control in a very short time. Sixteen bales of cotton belonging to J.A. Carroll and twelve bales belonging to Dudley Jones were greatly damaged. No train had passed since 1:30, and, as it had been only about thirty minutes since one of the patrolmen passed around before the fire was discovered, it is supposed that the fire was the deed of an incendiary.
Gaffney Ledger 12/8/1905
The fire department met in the city hall Wednesday night and re-organized. A.W. Doggett was elected captain of hose company #1. There are twelve members of this company which is a White company. Hose company #2 is a Colored company. John Smith was elected captain. There are also twelve members in this company.
The Gaffney Fire Department was a Volunteer Department with 4 Companies of 12 men each. 4 Hose Reels with 500' 2-1/2" Hose each.
Herald-Journal September 8, 1912Gaffney Orders Auto Fire Truck
Gaffney Town Council authorized building rooms and a stairway in the City Hall for its firefighters and installed a fire bell in the Courthouse.
Gaffney Fire Department has a Chief, 2 Paid Men, 15 Volunteers, 1 Auto Truck with 40 Gal chemical Tank, 1200' 2-1/2" Hose, 200' 3/4" Hose, 1 Wagon 800' 2-1/2" Hose, 2 Hose Reels 200' 2-1/2" Hose Each, 1 Hook & Ladder, 1000' 2-1/2" Hose in reserve.
Gaffney's Fire Truck Lost Herald Journal January 22, 1913
Gaffney's automobile fire truck and the fire wagon recently purchased by the city council, have been lost in transit and a tracer is now after them. The firefighting apparatus was to be delivered in Gaffney on January 10, and the shipment was made from the factory in Michigan in plenty of time to reach Gaffney by that date.
P. V. Gaffney, chairman of the fire committee, acting Fire and Police Chief, T.H. Lockhart, will shortly begin the organization of an up-to-date department in Gaffney. The firemen will be equipped with the latest coats and helmets and be prepared to fight the flames. With a well organized department and the new apparatus for fighting fire, Gaffney will be better protected than she ever was before.
Gaffney Ledger March 13, 1917
Fire at the Gaffney Cafe on Limestone Street did considerable damage about 2:15 O'clock Saturday morning. The blaze originated in the kitchen. It was discovered by Policeman B. B. Byars, who turned in the alarm. The fire department responded promptly and soon had the situation under control.
Gaffney Ledger May 1917
Roy Northey, a member of the local fire department, has been attending the state fireman's meeting in Spartanburg this week. Chief D. E. Lemmons has been attending also.