Fire Department - Brief History
On Sunday morning September 17, 1916, there was a major fire in downtown Benton which totally destroyed what was known as the H.S. Glenn stores and damaged adjacent property housing a laundry, Bennett’s Grocery and Mays 99 Furnishings. All were located on what is the present day South Market Street. Although the fire brigade was credited with protecting other properties from the conflagration, it was recognized that the brigade was in need of organization, training and equipment. What was given more credit than the fire brigade at stopping the fire was the newly functioning municipal water system which provided the struggling fire brigade with ample water.
During this period of time it was known the mayor and council had been in discussion about an organized fire department, but had not acted due to a lack of funding. So on Tuesday, September 25, 2016 an organizational meeting was held and Bob Ashby was appointed Fire Chief. A fund drive began with the Benton Hardware company donating the first $50.00 for the newly formed Fire Department.
So was born the Benton Fire Department.