Fire Station No. 6 was originally named Mechanic No. 6 because the team of volunteer firefighters was primarily made up of mechanics. When the wagons of No. 6 hit the road, they expected all vehicles and pedestrians to give them the right of way, even other firefighting teams.
“Rough and Ready” Firefighters
The toughness of the men shines through in the earliest photos. Their aggressive nature earned the men of Fire Station No. 6 the nickname “Rough and Ready,” a label that followed them and the station well into the 20th century.
Many men had come from the railroads, and all had to have some kind of mechanical skill or to have been a mechanics apprentice. From the early days into the 1920s, they were known for two things:
- They loved to fight fires.
- They loved to have fistfights, especially with the men from Stonewall No. 3.
Stories circulated that these men often fought other fire companies on the way to a cistern and usually won. If the other company put up a heavy resistance, the “Rough and Ready” bunch was known to overturn its rig.
Shortly after it was organized, Mechanic No. 6 set a record at the State Fair in 1878 for a competition to get water flowing through a nozzle after dragging a pumper 250 yards and connecting two lengths of hose and a nozzle. It took the 21-man team from No. 6 only 46 seconds to complete the race, timed against teams from across Texas.
The record still stands.