History of the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department
The Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department was organized in August of 1931 following a series of fires that destroyed the Hillsville High School in 1930, which was only 2 or 3 years old at the time of the fire. When disaster occurred again, a large portion of the Downtown Business District was destroyed January 28,1931. The Thorton Hotel, a.k.a. Texas House, where the Family Shoe Store and Hillsville Dinner now stands, and the one-story frame building owned by Dr. Tipton was destroyed on the courthouse side of the street, the 1872 Courthouse also suffered damage but was saved. The Childress Hotel, Hillsville Hotel, Guynn Building, Masonic Lodge Building with a barber shop owned by Morrison and Cochran on one side and a barber shop owned by a Mr. Gardner on the other, Walter G. Howlett furniture store, W. D. Tompkins Building which contained the Busy Bee Restaurant owned by Arthur Underwood, the Nuckoll's Drug Company, and Hillsville Hardware with Dr. Glen Cox's office over it were also destroyed in the fire. The Farmer's Bank did not burn since it was a brick structure, however the 2nd floor dentist offices of Dr. C. B. Givens and Dr. W. R. Gardner suffered damage to equipment and records. The firebreak came in the form of the general store owned by B. O. and Arnold Quesinberry, saving the other structures. Fire crews from Galax and Mt. Airy, NC responded to combat the blaze since Hillsville had no fire department at the time.
On May 4, 1931, the Town Council entered into contract with the Howe Fire Apparatus Company of Anderson, Indiana for the purchase of a Ford Model HB-5 Combination Pumping Chemical and Ladder Outfit on a Ford AA chassis, which carried 200 gallons of water, for the sum of $2,950; with delivery in July of the same year and was received in August 1931, thus the birth of the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department.