Betsy, the 1923 Seagrave Fire Engine
Arrival in ValparaisoBetsy was shipped by rail car, and was side-tracked behind the Smith-Nuppnau Planning Mill west of McGill’s office building; today’s Dodrill’s Plumbing and Heating. Betsy had not yet been tested as required by the insurance companies of the day, and could not go directly into service when unloaded. Betsy had to remain in that location until it could be tested.
The only fire apparatus owned by the city was a 1920 chemical truck that replaced the old horse-drawn units three years earlier. Motorized fire engines were in their infancy, and there were no trained fire truck mechanics in the area, leaving the fireman to undertake all repairs.