Fire Station No. 3

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John N. Turner, one of the most successful businessmen in Grant County, was born on October 26, 1828 in Wayne Co. IN. His parent’s names were Samuel and Laddie (Starbuck) Turner. Samuel was of Welsh-English descent and was born in North Carolina. His parents moved to Grant County when he was ten. John received primary schooling in Wayne and Grant Co, and at the age of twenty-one he graduated from Franklin College, then Turner spent two more years at the State University in Bloomington. John N. Turner made his wealth through the grain business in the 1800’s. (Marvelous Marion) John Turner’s first job was a dry goods clerk in James Sweetser’s store for four years, when he became Sweetser’s partner for an additional seven years. Turner then became partners with George N. Winchell. After five years of partnership with Winchell, they included the sale and trade of grain into their business. (Marvelous Marion)

After Turner retired from the store and business with Winchell, he still continued in grain trade with James Sweetser until 1883. (Marvelous Marion) One year earlier in 1882 John N. Turner ran for the office of County Auditor and won the majority vote by 200. (Marvelous Marion) John N. Turner was wed to Adelia Vermilyea on July 3, 1867 and she stood by his side until his death on January 17, 1893. (Marvelous Marion) Adelia Turner was left with the property on the corner of Fourteenth Street and Branson Street that she sold to the city of Marion for a total of $1000. (Secure Station Site) The city thought that the location on the corner of Fourteenth Street and Branson Street would offer a good driveway for the fire station because both Fourteenth Street and Branson Street were both bricked streets. (Secure Station Site)

The former fire station #3 was at Thirteenth and Branson and was condemned because it was beyond repair. The city said the station was not fit to become more than a blacksmith shop but not even that worked. The lot was triangular shaped and there was no rear entrance to the station. The old fire station was sold as a sacrifice. (Secure Station Site) Old fire station #3 on Thirteenth Street consisted of one paid man, two minute men, one horse, 600 feet of hose, and one push cart. The driver was named Jake Scott, the names of the two pipemen were Oscar Boyd (former fire chief) and Charles Nelson, and the name of the horse was Chick. (Fearless Driver and His Mascot)

The new fire station on Fourteenth Street and Branson Street had two large bays that could house two wagons. The doors faced Fourteenth Street and it was a two-story building. (Fearless Driver and His Mascot) The Marion Fire Department held the State Convention of firemen on August 20, 1919 through August 21, 1919. Firefighters from all over the state came to the convention. This celebration included many guest speakers such as Rev. John C. White of the First Methodist Church and Alfred Hogston. There were also tours through the city showing the more interesting sights that Marion had to offer, including fire station #3. One fireman won a trip over the city in an airplane to get a bird’s eye view of what Marion had to offer. (Banquet and Smoker)

Fire station #3 remained operating and open until the city closed it down on October 1, 1984. The station was then used as a city maintenance garage. The fire station was closed to put more manpower and equipment in the other fire stations. The former fire chief Bud Moore said that the closing of fire station #3 would delay response times by a small margin but those small margins would not make a difference. The extra manpower that the other stations will be bringing to the fire would more than offset the small increase in reaction time. (Townsend) Some of the firefighters lost their jobs in budget cuts. For the reason of closing the fire station #3, response times increased by a small margin, causing mayor Henry to put in another fire station (Station #5) on Kem Road in his term served from 2000-2004. Fire station #5 was completed in 2000. The old fire station at 300 E. Fourteenth Street is still standing in very good shape. One of the bays still holds one of the antique fire trucks built by the Indiana Truck Company.

Works Cited

  • Banquet and Smoker. (1919 Aug. 20). “State Convention of Fire men Starts in City this Morning.” Daily Leader, p.5-7.
  • “Fearless Driver and his Mascot.” (1909 March 8) The Marion Chronicle.
  • Grant County, Indiana Index of Names of Persons and of Firms. Works Progress Administration of Indiana. P.679-680. Vol. III.
  • Marvelous Marion. (1940) Indianapolis: Indiana State Library.
  • “Secure Station Site.” (1910 March 3) Daily Leader.

Souvenir of the Daily and Weekly Leader. (1982). Marion. P.57-58.

  • Townsend, Gail. (1984 October 21) “No. 3 Closing Puts More Men at Fires.” The Chronicle Tribune Section C p.7.


Mike Browder submitted this paper during January 2004 for Mr. Munn's AP US History class at Marion High School.