Lipan: When the Laundry Truck Was Rigged to Fight Fires

Hood County News – 1 November 1997

Lipan Smoke Signals by Winnie Moore

In later years (early 50s), Herman Howard owned a laundry in Lipan. Back then there was no sewer system so he owned a tank truck to carry the used water from the laundry. Butler Ives and Clarance Light helped Herman rig the truck with a pump and hose so it could be used to fight fires because the nearest fire department was in Granbury.

Later they obtained an old Hood County fire truck and a group of men here got together to repair the truck and form a volunteer fire department. Those men, in addition to the three already mentioned, were Foyce Arthur, Donald Rippetoe, Gent McPherson, Curtis Ives, James Howard and Tommy Williams. They met in the old W.O.W. Hall that was located above the present city hall.

Glen (Poker) Smith had a filling station/garage in town and he let the fire department use an unused portion to park the tucks.

The surviving members of the VFD are Tommy Williams, James Howard and Gene McPherson.

Donations from city businesses, townspeople, ranches and the surrounding area supported this early fire department.