Old City Hall

West Plains Fire Department

The high incidence of destructive fires led to the modernization of the fire department. A 25 x 60 foot brick building was constructed on Washington Avenue in 1917, and a new fire engine was purchased to replace the horse-drawn fire wagon which had been used for many years. Records show the first officers were Gus Jolliff, chief; Jake Palmer, assistant fire chief; Bert Woody, secretary; Chris Smith, treasurer; and Joe Martin, captain. Gus Jolliff was the only full-time fireman at this time. Records show that Jolliff would drive the fire truck during the day and on Saturday and Sunday nights. Bert Woody was appointed driver of the apparatus for five nights during the week. Floyd Amhart was appointed the mechanic and as the relief driver. Firemen were paid $2 per fire call.

From the West Plains Fire Department Website.

Missouri Humanities Council Logo

Funding for the Schoolcraft Journey project on Unlock the Ozarks has been provided by the Missouri Humanities Council.