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  New Hampton has an organization that may be classed as unique in the way of a volunteer fire company,  an organization that has had an existence for about forty years,  and its members have not only served without salary or other compensation,  but  have by their energy and enterprise given to the city two of its finest public edifices.

1877 - The organization had its inception as a hook and ladder company.

1880 -  An engine company was organized.  For some time they had their equipment and place of assembly in a little frame building on the courthouse square.

1878 - An idea of a erecting a permanent building large enough to accommodate the fire department and provide  for an auditorium with the capacity for public entertainments was decided by members.

1878 - With a view of securing funds to carry out the enterprise,  the company began, to give dances and other entertainments.

1896 - The hook and ladder company   and the engine company were combined and incorporated.

1897 - A fund sufficiently large had been obtained   to justify the contemplated undertaking. The ground was secured and the contract let  for the erection of the auditorium, a two-story edifice, with annex for housing the fire department equipment,  consisting of a hook and ladder wagon,  two hose carts, and a chemical apparatus.  The auditorium  capable of seating at least 3,000 people  now occupies that greater part of the ground floor.  It had reception and office rooms below and office rooms above. The seats in the auditorium were sufficient to handle every man,  women,  and child in New Hampton and a few from other townships.  The building was completed leaving the company a debt of $11,000, which was in due time liquidated.

1898 - The equipment of this volunteer fire department is all handled by hand power,  and the company is so well organized that they are capable of doing efficient work.  The present membership as of  year 1919 is 90 volunteers.

1916 - From same source of  revenue,  the New Hampton Fire Department decided to build an opera house. Work began and was completed in 1916.

1917 - The Firemen's Theater,  opened in the early part of 1917.  It is one of the most complete in all its appointments to be found in any town of the state. This building was constructed at a cost of $40,000.

Note: For Pictures of the Firemen's Auditorium and the Firemen's Theater, Click Here.

History of Chickasaw and Howard Counties (1919) Vol. 1, Chapter 14, Pages 284 to 287
Synopsis of Pages Transcribed by Lookup Person,  Leonard Granger