It was just after World War II when the town founders realized there was a need for better protection against the threat of fire. Prior to 1947, the Town of Landis had a contract with the Town of China Grove to provide fire service. The service that China Grove provided was all volunteer and had a long delay when responding to Landis.
Throughout the early years, the Linn Mill and Corriher Mill provided some fire protection for the town using hand-pulled hose reels and a small hand-pulled chemical wagon. These two pieces of equipment were mainly used as fire protection within the mills but were used in town on occasion.
In early 1947, L.A. Corriher, Mayor of Landis at the time, decided a new piece of firefighting equipment should be purchased, a new fire station should be built, and volunteers should be organized to form the new Landis Fire Department.
It is said that Mayor Corriher always purchased the best, so he met with a representative from American LaFrance Company to discuss ordering a new fire engine. Mr. Corriher told the American LaFrance representative that he “didn’t care about what kind of truck we get or how much it cost, as long as it was better than China Grove’s fire truck.” The site for the new fire station located on North Main Street right beside City Hall. A metal building with a sliding front door was built to house the town’s first fire engine and firefighters. The search was on to find the first person to serve as Fire Chief. It did not take long, as Harry Brown was picked for that position. Mr. Brown had some firefighting experience and was more than willing to help serve his community. Some of the first drivers of the fire department were Rufus Honeycutt, Will Beaver, Cleat Daugherty, and Robert Alexander.
Since the Linn/Wright Funeral Home was the only business in town where someone had access to a telephone 24-hours a day, it was decided that the funeral home would take the calls for the fire department. After the call was received the fire siren would be set off by someone at the funeral home, and when the firefighters arrived at the fire station, they would have to call the funeral home on the telephone to find out where the fire was located. The Linn Mill and the Corriher Mill would blow a horn “66” when the fire alarm sounded to let the firemen in the mills know to go to the fire station.
In the early days, much credit was given to the Salisbury Fire Department for their assistance with training and organization. Some of the ones that helped from Salisbury were Chief Charles Burkett, Marvin Yost, Bernard Penly, Chief Fred Shipton, and John (Poss) Poole.
The first structure fire call for the new Landis Fire Department was to the old Hinson house on East Ryder Avenue. It was a large two story, wood frame structure. A fire in the upstairs had started around the chimney. The structure was saved. However, all the calls for the fire department were not confined to the town. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the fire department would answer calls West and East to the county line because at that time, Landis and China Grove had the only fire departments around.
The firefighters also had a need for a place where they could meet and hold social gatherings. So, around 1950, land was acquired near the intersection of South Beaver Street and East Mills Drive. Mr. Lotin Corriher, Mayor at the time, told the firefighters to go and build it, do all the work they could, and let him know what was left on the bill. Alton Patton was drafted into the fire department so he could do the carpentry work for free (if he were a fireman, they would not have to pay him!). The firefighters got together to cut all the wood for the Fire Hut, and it was dried and stored behind Cleat Daugherty’s house until it was ready for building. After the Fire Hut was finished, a balance of $2500.00 remained. The bill was split three ways and paid by the Town of Landis, the old Linn Mill, and the old Corriher Mill.