Department History

The La Marque Fire Department was organized on January 26, 1944 through the effort of civic-minded members of the community at a meeting held in the red schoolhouse located at Ross and Oak Street on the site of the current Galveston County Health Unit. Homer Lawrence was elected La Marque's first Fire Chief; Frank D. Donaldson, Secretary; Lester Ingram, Treasurer; Tony Bogatto, George Keefer, and Dr. William T. Anderson, Trustees; E.B. Jones, Fire Marshall; H. Rilat, Assistant Chief; Frank Florian, Roseo Calhoun, George Miller, and Bill Zulch as Captains.
The newly formed department began with a pick-up truck owned by Bogatto Motors and some wet sacks. Later, the Texas City Volunteer Fire Department contributed a trailer pumper and a number of five-gallon water-pump cans. The trailer was pulled to the scene of a fire. The equipment was stored at the city garage (which was the A.L. Bogatto Filling Station), now the corner of First and Oak (or Hwy. 3).
Since most of the volunteers were shift workers in the Texas City Industrial area, a list of the available firefighters was drawn up each month and furnished to the chief, his assistants and the captains. In the event of a fire, a phone call was made to the city garage, which in turn notified the chief, who relayed the location of the fire to the captains, each in turn notified the man assigned to him.
This system again improved with the installation of a fire alarm siren on the top of the water tower. When a fire call was received, the chief would sound the siren. The firefighters assembled at the alarm box and proceeded to the fire. In anticipation of the continued growth of La Marque, and the need for more adequate firefighting equipment, the fire department started a fund raising campaign. Donations from the citizens of the community and from the Industry in Texas City were sufficient to purchase the first fire truck for the department, a 1945 Mack 500 gallon per minute pumper.
The problem for housing the new fire truck was taken care of with the purchase of a large plot of ground at Laurel and Second Street. The first Fire Station was built with volunteer help. With the continuous growth of La Marque, it became more difficult to raise funds, so the people of the district adopted a 50-cent per month charge on each water tap for the operation of the department. The department then purchased a 1942 Mack 750 gallon per minute pumper (Unit 602).
In order to simplify the procedure for alerting the volunteers, a telephone was installed in Bostick's Cafe and was manned by Mr. Frank Bostick and his employees 24 hours a day, with an extension placed in the fire station. The employees at Bostick's Caf