Historically Speaking: Minden’s first fire station

By Jessica Gorman

In June 1926, the voters of Minden passed a $30,000 bond issue to fund improvements to the fire department. At their first meeting, the newly elected mayor and city council began taking action to purchase a fire alarm system and fire truck, build a fire station, and make necessary improvements to the water system.

This new city administration was composed of 23 year old Mayor Robert Floyd Kennon, and councilmen J. Ronald Murph, Will Burnett, Richard Garrison, Sr., Will Life, and S.H. McCrary, Sr. Robert Floyd Kennon was Minden’s youngest mayor. He would go on to become Louisiana governor. 

By September, the new fire engine had arrived, the fire alarm system was being installed, and a lot had been purchased on which to construct the fire station. This lot, on the corner of Pearl and Monroe Streets and the site of the old Baptist parsonage, was purchased for $5,000. Based on its size, shape, location, and the fact that all the surrounding streets were paved, it was considered an ideal location. 

The following month, the parsonage was sold to R.H. Lee for $200, torn down and moved. The plans for the new fire station were reviewed by the city council. 

In December, the contract for construction of the fire station, at a cost of $18,550, was awarded to F.C. McClanahan. Work was to start within ten days and be completed in ninety days.

This building was completed in April 1927. It not only served as the fire station, but provided a new home for the city offices, previously located in the courthouse. A dedication ceremony was held on Friday, 22 April 1927.

(Jessica Gorman is the Assistant Director and Archivist for the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum in Minden and is an avid genealogist.)