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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Pharr in Hidalgo County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Pharr Volunteer Fire Department

 
 
Pharr Volunteer Fire Department Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 27, 2021
1. Pharr Volunteer Fire Department Marker
Inscription.  

In July 1916, the same year voters incorporated the City of Pharr, a large fire laid waste to an entire downtown city block. As a result of the blaze, the community lost Pharr Lumber Co., Pharr Mercantile Co., Folsum Hardware Co., National Theatre and several other businesses.

During that same era, National Guard troops were stationed in the area to combat incursions from revolutionary forces in Mexico. When the troops left at the beginning of World War I, they left behind hose reels that the community adopted as its first fire equipment. Judge L.J. Polk, Sr. and D. "Chief" Simmons led local residents in loosely organizing a group of 10 to 12 volunteers, and they directed citizen efforts in fighting fires. During the winter of 1921, the Pharr Volunteer Fire Department officially formed with J.E. Rogers as chief.

During the next 10 years, the number of volunteers grew and the department organized into three companies: engine, chemical and hose. In 1928, the city comissioned Assistant Fire Chief O.C. Brown to build the first fire station; a room in the rear of the building briefly served as city jail. Two years later, the
Pharr Volunteer Fire Department Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 27, 2021
2. Pharr Volunteer Fire Department Marker
fire department received a state charter.

In the 1980s, as population grew in the Pharr, San Juan and Alamo area, a control room in the station enabled volunteers to respond to tri-city fire alarms. Citizens worked to preserve the original fire station when it faced demolition in 2001, and the city later built new facilities for the fire department.
 
Erected 2006 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13233.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 26° 11.554′ N, 98° 11.105′ W. Marker is in Pharr, Texas, in Hidalgo County. Marker is on West Cherokee Avenue 0.1 miles west of South Cage Boulevard (U.S. 281), on the right when traveling west. The marker is located on the old Fire Station building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 114 West Cherokee Avenue, Pharr TX 78577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. City of Pharr (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Historic Pharr (about 600 feet away); Old Pharr City Hall (about 700 feet away); Kiwanis Club of Pharr (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Pharr School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buell School
The old Pharr Fire Station and Volunteer Fire Department Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 27, 2021
3. The old Pharr Fire Station and Volunteer Fire Department Marker
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Guadalupe Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Paris Gum Factory (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pharr.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 2, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 2, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 8, 2021