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James N. Nellis, Fire Marshall and Fire Chief

One of Arcadia’s longest serving officials was Jim Nellis. He began his service to Arcadia in 1923 as a volunteer fireman; he became Fire Marshall in 1935, was appointed Fire Chief in 1938 and resigned as Fire Chief in 1958.

In 1923, Arcadia was an all-volunteer fire department, one that was organized by City Marshall W. T. Bush in 1912. These volunteers were trained periodically and responded to a call of a whistle.

Arcadia’s volunteer fire department was disbanded in July of 1947 and Jim Nellis had the privilege of organizing Arcadia’s Fire Department. He supervised the training programs and obtained proper equipment. For twenty years he directed the force with care and concern.

Jim and his wife lived in Arcadia and were both active in Arcadia’s organizations. Jim was a 50-year member of the Arcadia Rotary Club. Jim passed away in 1960.


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