Crosbyton’s Volunteer Fire Department’s 100th birthday celebration was held on December 14th at the “Christmas in the Barn “.
In 1926, the Crosbyton Volunteer Fire Department made the courageous move and ordered the very first fire truck from the Seagraves Company, located in Ohio. The Seagraves Fire Truck came on the rails as far as Ft. Worth, Texas. The request was made to the Crosbyton Fire Chief, by the Seagraves Company, to send a representative from the Crosbyton Volunteer Fire Department to come to Ft. Worth and pick up the truck. Just imagine the road conditions between our small community and Ft. Worth in 1926! There were few paved roads, gasoline availability along the way was few and far between, and tires would have gone flat often.
Calculating the road conditions of today, the time it takes to drive the distance between Ft. Worth and Crosbyton of 252 miles at 19 miles per hour (mph) it would be approximately 13 yours of nonstop driving. However, over the dirt terrain, it can only be estimated that it took several days to make the trip. Just imagine the crowd that gathered as the Seagraves pulled into the small community of Crosbyton. Can’t you just hear the whoops and hollers? This valiant first fire truck served in countless fires, saving both property and life. When the Seagraves had to be retired, she was missed by all, as one would miss a good friend.
What happened to the Seagraves next was tragic. She was being stored in a local barn when a tragic fire struck in 2008. Earlier, someone had been welding in the attic of the barn and a spark ignited. It’s chilling to listening to the firemen of today, talking about the shouts that could be heard when the call came out that this particular barn was on fire, “Hurry! Save the Seagraves!” This thought was on every fire fighters mind. Dale Stegall, a fire fighter then and who still serves on the force today, donned oxygen and entered the smoke-filled burning building and had to feel his way towards the area where the Seagraves was parked. He felt the front, knowing from memory the exact curvature of the forward body. His heart sank when he realized the workhorse had sustained harm to its body. Quickly removing the Seagraves from the burning barn, the group noted the damage. The fire department is hoping in the near future to restore the Seagraves to its original beauty.