History of Halsey-Shedd RFPD


Halsey Rural FD est. in March of 1938 and operated off of donations.

First Volunteer Fire Chief was Frank Gansel 1938 to 1952.

Frank Gansel

First paid Fire Chief was George Jamison in 1985

1st run took place on 7/9/38 at 2pm. It was a grass fire, at this time their trucks had no pumps or hoses yet, so they used buckets and burlap bags

March of 1952 the Halsey FD merged with the Shedd FD. Combining the two districts into one large rural fire protection districts

Halsey-Shedd RFPD Best in the state in 1995

                                         Bottom left Guy Miller bottom right Randy Lepard top left Jeff Kropf top left Skip Smith

The Day Halsey Burned 1903 fire.

Halsey has had other serious fires, but none with the destructive force and disaster of the big fire of 1903.The blaze was discovered about 5:30 pm,July 31 1903 in the roof of the J.L. Bishur Creamery by morning two dozen warehouses and businesses and one home burned to rubble. Lacking a fire department, local citizens ( nearby communities) battle the fire with water soaked blankets (socks) and with bucket brigade. Albany answered the call for help by sending 100 volunteers and the city fire engine by rail car, by the time they show up it was to late. Linn County's most disastrous fire up to that time.    

                                                                                                                                                                   source unknown


Ralph Bjerke August 1969




1970 F 900



Where was the first American Fire Department?

The first American (volunteer) fire department company is often credited to Ben Franklin, around 1736, in Philadelphia. This started as a "club" or co-op, to protect each other's homes in the event of a fire. But there were organizations resembling firefighting "clubs", also known as "Mutual Fire Societies" in Boston prior to this. Boston also had "Firewards" as early as 1711. As early as 1678, Boston had some fire fighting equipment and a paid crew to maintain it and respond to fires. In 1648, New York, and a few other cities, had a volunteer "rattle watch" who patrolled the streets. If a fire was discovered these people would sound an alarm and help organize bucket brigades. As early as 1731 there is a record of the City of New York purchasing fire apparatus. This was a hand pump/brake bar engine. There is a photo of this engine on the FASNY Fire Museum website.

 A little Fire Apparatus History.
The first pump designed for fire fighting may have been created by Ctesibius of Alexandria around the second century BC. The technology was subsequently lost, when Alexandria burned, and reinvented in Europe during the 1500's.

Thomas Lote built the first fire engine made in America in 1743, although some hand pump units were imported from Europe prior to that time.

John Ericsson is credited with building the first steam powered fire engine.

The first self propelled steam engine (pumper) was built in New York in 1841. It was the target of sabotage and scorned by fire fighters and it's use was discontinued. Self propelled (motorized) fire apparatus did not gain acceptance until after 1900.

In 1853, Alexander Bonner Latta invented the first practical fire engine, a "steam" engine. Built and tested in Cincinnati, Ohio, it's main feature was a boiler made of two square chambers: the inner fire box and the outer one for water and steam. That same year, Cincinnati became the first American city to replace volunteers with the horse-drawn steam fire engine and to form a paid fire department.

                                         One of the first motorized pumpers for Dallas, Texas. circa 1915


                                      Hose tender and steam pumper, East Dallas FD, circa 1886 
                                      (Annexed by city of Dallas, 1889.)


Philadelphia Fire Department Engine - C 1905      from Pinterest

DETROIT 1911    from Pinterest

1913, and shows the New York City Fire Department with one of its first motorized firetrucks

from Pinterest

Boston's Engine Co. 3 Horse-drawn Horse wagon in 1900

Boston Fire Historical Society

Boston Ladder Co. 1 Horse-Drawn Ladder Truck 1890

Boston Fire Historical Society