Monday, November 7, 2011

"Buddy" Fire Dog

We often receive donations of historical photgraphs, but most tend to be of people or places. A recent donation, however, provided a portrait of a dog proudly posed on a stool. On back of the photograph was written:

"Buddy" Fire dog -- Always got on the truck in Crawfordsville. Taken in the late 1800's.

That is all the information we had...until an alert staff member saw an article while looking through the microfilm of old newspapers from 1904. On August 27, 1904, the Sunday Star included a small article on "Buddy" and on his unfortunate demise:

The little black dog, called "Buddy" and owned by Harry Swan, and which was always on hand when the fire bell rang, is dead. It made no difference where the dog was, he would go when the bell rang. If he was shut up in the house, he would race around, barking and awaking the people, so he could go to the fire. On Thursday evening, when the bell sounded the dog was up near the school house, and started towards the engine house. He met the team at Pike street, and in trying to turn around got under one of the horses and received a kick which caused his death. He would jump upon every dog which happened to be on the street as he was going to a fire, and he was almost the same as an attachment to the fire wagon. The fire boys are very sad over the death, and gave him a burial worthy of his place in life.

Buddy may have been forgotten for more than a century -- but he will now live on in our Local History archives.

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