Fighting Fires With Horses

Submitted by Ann Bruce.

Using airplanes to fight the California fires has brought back memories of a time when my great uncle, Martin Wicker, was a “teamster” and used a horse-drawn wagon to fight fires for the town of Pinehurst. Born in Moore County on October 27, 1879 to John A. Wicker and Margaret McKenzie Wicker, he married Anna Maude Kelly in 1908.  In the 1910 census he was an engineer at the Power House in Pinehurst, which will soon become a brewery. By 1920 he was the Pinehurst fire chief.

Wicker Piinehurst Fire ChiefThis old picture of Martin was recently featured in The Pilot newspaper with the caption:



In the spring of 1899, an electric fire alarm system with 15 boxes was completed in Pinehurst.  The Power House was equipped with a pressure hydrant system, hose wagon, and huge pump.  Shown in the photo is Chief Wicker with a fire extinguisher and a hose cart, both horse-drawn.  The equipment was kept in the basement of the department store.

Martin Wicker died in 1963 and is buried at Culdee Presbyterian Church at West End.