Milling Around

Bettye Key

Hurrah for Morgan Mill!

It will be Pie and Cake Auction and BBQ supper time soon. The second Saturday in November, the twelfth, is the date to help out the Morgan Mill Volunteer Fire Fighters.

According to Gene Williams in his book, Hurrah for Morgan Mill; “One of the most significant assets to the well-being of the Morgan Mill community is the volunteer fire department. On Jan. 25, 1969, the Morgan Mill Volunteer Fire Department held its initial organizational meeting. The following people were elected officers for the fire department: Robert L. Wood, President; J.J. (Jakie) Laughlin, Vice President; Ben Tidwell, Secretary; Eugene Adams, Treasurer; Floyd Dean Harmon, Fire Chief; Jack Knight, Assistant Fire Chief.

In April 1969 the fire department purchased the Eldon Sewell Laundromat Building from L.D. Piper and converted the building into a garage to house the fire truck that was bought later in 1969. The property bought by the fire department was the site of the old Crid Stigler store and the old two-story Roquemore store.”

Gene continues, “In March 1976, the volunteer fire department bought the Earl Stigler store building from Albert Yancy. The interior of the building was remodeled as a place for community events to be held.” The old Earl Stigler store was the original Morgan Mill Community Center until the new one was built in 2004.

In 1989 the original fire department garage was torn down and a modern metal and steel building was erected to house the three fire trucks that were in use then. Since then the station has been enlarged twice to accommodate more trucks and provide a training room. The only way that the VFD can make physical improvements or buy new equipment is through the generosity of the amazing citizens of Morgan Mill or from a very limited number of grants. The $500/month that is received from the county basically goes for insurance and utilities.

The VFD has been fortunate enough this year to get a new “large brush truck” that was funded by a $200,000 grant from the Forest Service (our first completely new truck since 2001) and $25,000 from our citizens. It will be used in not only fighting fires, it will provide critical protection in working almost a wreck per week on Highway 281. Visibility is very important in working wrecks.

The other big event this year was a $100,000 gift from one of our citizens to go toward building a much-needed new 2000 gallon tanker truck.

Since there are only two fire hydrants from Stephenville to the county line, this tanker will essentially be the main source of water for structure fires, major grass fires, and will provide additional “blocking” and visibility for major car wrecks. Additional fire protection will hopefully be used to lower our fire rates in the future.

The trouble is that the VFD does not have enough money to complete this tanker at this time. The total cost will be right at $175,000. With a very good fund raiser on November 12, we should be close to the $35,000 that is still needed to build it. Very nice custom reflective house number signs will be given to donors that contribute $500 or more. All of our $100 donors will get a MM purple “Supporter” ball cap.

All of our donors (regardless of size) will get the satisfaction that they are helping their fellow citizens have a safer life.