(Photo Courtesy of NLRFD Capt. (Retired) Jim Dancy)
This 1939 Seagrave was the first closed cab apparatus in the history of the North Little Rock Fire
Department! It seated seven firefighters. Access to the rear seating was gained from a split rear hosebed.
This is an incredibly significant photo. The photo is obviously very old.
Captain Dancy told me that the story he heard was that the pumper was delivered on the Washington Avenue Platform, which would have been the Rose City Team Track and Platform of the Cotton Belt Railroad. (My Dad was the Freight Agent for Cotton Belt in NLR from 1952-1971, so I am quite familiar with that property.)
The people from Seagrave thought the truck was supposed to go to Little Rock, and consequently first drove it to Little Rock, where this picture was taken outside the old L.R.F.D. Central Station at Markham and Arch Streets.
Evidently this pumper was repainted at some point and time, because I always remembered it as solid red, including the radiator grill. (See photo below) Captain Dancy remembered the same, even when this truck was at Station 2. (1947-51) This was a really great looking pumper when it was new.
The Company Designation "4" did not show that the pumper went to The Rose City Station. It wasn't even built yet! The 1947 Underwriters Report of the NLRFD showed that the pumper running out of Central was
"Company 4," while the BRAND NEW Seagrave Aerial was "Company 5." ( Co. 1 was the Reserve Pumper-
the 1925 Seagrave!)
The Arkansas Democrat reported on July 27, 1939 that "a seven-passenger cab-type fire truck" was to be
purchased by North Little Rock from Seagrave Corporation for $7,275. The announcement was made shortly
after 12 noon on July 27, 1939 by NLR Mayor Neely. NLR considered bids on fire trucks with and without
cabs. This was thought to be the only fire engine of its kind in Arkansas in 1939.
This pumper had a 500 GPM pump and a booster tank. The '39 Seagrave was the Engine Company that ran
out of Central from 1939 until 1947. It was known as "Company 4" according to the Fire Underwriters' Report
of 1947. This report further stated that "Company 1" was the "Reserve Pumper." (This must have been the
'25 Seagrave.) "Company 2" was a 750 GPM Pumper at East 3rd and Linden (the '32 Mack). "Company 3"
was a 500 GPM Pumper at 15th and Pike. (The '36 Ford) The '46 Seagrave Aerial Truck was delivered in
February, 1947 while the underwriters were making their inspection. It became "Company 5." The pumper at
Levy was "Company 6" and the Park Hill Pumper was "Company 7."
When the Rose City Station opened in 1949, the pumper there was known as Company 4 and the pumper at
Central again was Company 1. The Aerial Truck became Company 1A and Park Hill became Company 5.
Two 750 GPM American La France pumpers were purchased by the city of NLR in 1947. LRFD Capt, Bobby
Franklin (a former NLRFD Fireman) tells me that the '39 Seagrave then went to Station 2. The '39 Seagrave
went to Station 4 (Rose City) in 1951 when the new '51 Seagrave 1000 GPM pumper went to Central. The '47
ALF which had been at Central then went to Station No 2.