In 1874, the first fire fighting force was established to protect the community of Newton, Iowa. Known as the Newton Hook and Ladder Company and initially consisting of 20 members and growing to 45, the Department was described by then founding president S .J. Moyer as “well equipped with trucks, hooks, ladders and buckets” and “could be relied on to do all that good health and vigorous muscle could accomplish.”
In 1880, Rescue No. 1 was formed in competition. Records do not show what happened but by the turn of the century, the only company record was listed as “Newton Rescue Hose Company”. The Department was shown to be equipped with:
- Four-wheel cart with leather water buckets
- Four-wheel cart that carried hoses and ladders and a 60 gallon soda and acid tank that operated much like a fire extinguisher
- Carts that were drawn by local horsemen
Picture taken May 31, 1914 in front of the old fire station. Members pictured in front row from the left: (first man unidentified), Floyd Grant, James Davidson, Fred Lattimer, Glenn Wheeler, Jerome Cotton, J.H. Wallace, Orval Lowery, and John Nelson. On the seat: Frank Baker, George Stickle, Asa Meredith, I.O. Nichols and Peter Helphry. Atop the truck (from the left): (first man unidentified), L.G. Weaver, M.L. Lewis, Laurence Spohn, Bruce Sattele, William McKeever and Thomas Dennis.
The first motorized truck, a Kissell fire truck, was purchased in 1914 and was in service for 24 years.
The Newton Fire Department was staffed with volunteers until approximately 1930 and has been staffed 24 hours per day ever since.