150 Years of Heroism: Meet Illinois' Oldest Volunteer Fire Department

  • Source: KMOV-TV CBS 4 St. Louis
  • Published: 11/26/2019 12:00 AM

The story begins in 1736, when Benjamin Franklin founded the Union Fire company. By 1871, a Union Fire Company was launched in Centreville, Illinois with 32 members. This is where the story gets a bit confusing, because the town 10 miles south of Centreville also named themselves Centreville. Incredibly, this went on for about 50 years before the southern Centreville realized they had a problem, so in 1890 they changed their name to Millstadt, and the Centreville Fire Department eventually evolved into the Millstadt Union Fire Company. Millstadt is a proud, historic town of German ancestry. German was taught in schools for many years. A drive through town will still take you past Wolfmeier Trucking, Reinrdhart's Lounge, and the Muskopf garage. As other fire departments came and went, Millstadt stayed the course. Today, the Union Fire Company of Millstadt is the oldest continuous volunteer fire department in Illinois.


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