Harvey, the Friendly Ghost

E. E. "Kid" Harvey
  E. E. "Kid" Harvey

The first fire department in Hillsboro was founded in 1883.  The "Hook and Ladder Company" consisted of a hook and ladder truck, pulled by men, containing 36 buckets.  It was located at the same place where the current Hillsboro City Library is located. In 1891, a steam engine was added.

Hillsboro fireman  E. E. "Kid" Harvey  was one of the youngest,   and well-liked, members of the department in 1906 when he was killed in an accident while on duty at the station.  He loved his job at the fire department, which was cut short too soon.

So, Harvey decided to stick around.  When the new fire station opened, he made his home on the second floor, where the firemen tended to hang out.

Hillsboro Fire Truck  

Upstairs was a dormitory-like room where the firemen sleep overnight when there was a lull in activity.  One night, as the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night, one of the firemen pretended to be sick.  After his co-workers had left to fight the fire, Harvey stopped by and slapped him on the face, leaving a red mark.  That fireman never missed another call after that!

City Hall Dedication
  Hillsboro City Hall Dedication, 1909

Another time, a police officer was working alone in her office upstairs.  She had set her keys down in the middle of the desk, and the next thing she knew, the keys went flying off the desk.  Harvey had stopped by again, to say hi. 

Recently, two firemen were alone in the building setting up the Christmas tree. While one remained working, the second went to the men's restroom, and there someone put their hand on his shoulder. When he returned to help with the tree, the first fireman said that a heavy rack of chairs had mysteriously begun moving across the room on its own while he was gone.

Harvey still stops by periodically, day and night, just to let people know he’s still around and keeping an eye on things.

True Texas Tales of the People, Places, and Events of Hill County, Texas