Thursday, January 17, 2019
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Andrew and Marie Edwards of Stanton welcomed the first baby of 2019 at St. Joseph Mt. Sterling. Canaan Andrew Edwards was born at 4:41 p.m. Jan. 1. Photo submitted.
Items sought for new local fire service museum
By Brianna Stephens
Advocate Staff writer

Montgomery County Fire Chief Mike Mosbey is asking for the community’s help to uncover the dept.’s history through an upcoming museum.

Although several locals are connected to the fire service through the members and volunteers who served, Mosbey said much of the dept.’s history is unknown.

With the museum, he said he hopes to tell the history of the fire service through chronicling the dept.’s local history and featuring unique items and pictures.

The museum will be located in the dept.’s Station 2, 805 Indian Mound Drive.

“We are trying to uncover our history because the fire service has a proud history of serving the community. It’s a big thing,” Mosbey said. “Everything about the fire service is tradition. ... It’s just who we are as a whole in the fire service. The fact that we don’t know our own history in this dept. is troublesome to me.”

For the past six months, Mosbey has done in-depth research and has kept a notebook of important dates, events, equipment and members/fire chiefs.

He has spent much of his time reading through Mt. Sterling Advocate editions from the 1890s and, so far, to the 1910s to learn more about the dept.’s early years.

A Mt. Sterling Advocate edition from Nov. 13, 1894, featured an article that discussed local buildings and businesses. One picture features city hall, and in that picture Mosbey spotted a steam engine being stored in a neighboring building.

It has been common belief that the dept.’s first location is where the Montgomery County History Museum site resides today. Through his research, however, Mosbey determined one of the dept.’s first firehouses was actually just a few steps away from where the history museum site would later be built in 1897. The dept. later moved to that site (history museum) to better accommodate its engines and hose wagon in the bay areas of the building, Mosbey said.

Mosbey also discovered what he believes to be the first fatality of a local firefighter in a Jan. 6, 1904, edition of the Advocate.

The man was trapped under rubble, Mosbey said, and the dept. worked for hours to free him. When only his leg was still trapped, he stopped breathing and died.

The fire reportedly burned a block of downtown Mt. Sterling, he added, and also killed a civilian helping to fight the fire and injured another firefighter.

Mosbey was able to verify the man who died was a firefighter here. He also found his headstone.

Through his research, Mosbey said he was also able to identify the dept.’s vehicles and located its second motorized fire engine.

“It’s whole lot of stuff that we’re going to be doing and putting out as we work our way through this,” Mosbey said. “There is a lot of history that’s rich in this community with the fire service and we just want to share it with people.”

Anyone with old pictures, items or information about the dept. is encouraged to visit Station 2 or call 498-1318. The dept. will make copies of any pictures or documents to use in the museum unless the item is donated.

Some items have already been collected for the museum, Mosbey said.
As an avid collector of fire service materials and a third generation firefighter, Mosbey will be donating a few of his items to show in the museum. Although some of the items are not local, they still show history of the service, he said.

“We’re going to proudly display our history,” Mosbey said. “ ... If people have things they would want to share with us, we could display and give proper respect to them. That’s what we want to do.”
The area for the museum has been undergoing repairs and renovations, Mosbey said, but he looks for it to be completed and ready for displays by the end of the month.

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