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In that year, Ava Rural Fire Department was the closest fire department to Squires.
Seeing the need for a closer fire department, several citizens, with the cooperation from Ava Rural and the local Missouri conservation department, organized the volunteer department.
The very next year, Fred Spurlock had a dream to re-create the “Squires Picnic” that was a popular community event from 1900 to the 1940s.
The Independence Day picnic and celebration started in June of 1983 as a “thank you” for the community that supported the volunteer fire department.
“We have always looked at this event as a member and community appreciation night,” said Randy Spurlock.
A group of ladies helped with many of the first Independence Day events, along with building the firehouse and community building.
The ladies auxiliary of the Squires Volunteer Fire Department was organized on Sept. 22, 1983.
Twelve members attended the first meeting, including Theta Porter, Martha Goodrich, Kathy Potter, Estalee Culvey, Pat Brazeal, Betty Droessler, Claire Ehrhardt, Avon Farrow, Mary Lucas, Ruth Nalley, Zola Phillips and Debra Porter.
In December of 1983, the newly-formed auxiliary netted $912 toward the construction of a firehouse at a pie supper.
An advertisement for the 1984 Independence Day event proclaimed that a BB shooting contest would be held.
Other attractions included helium-filled balloons, an ultra light plane show by Kasperwing, a dunking booth, a balloon busting contest and a horseshoe pitching contest.
According to a Herald article in December of 1984, the firehouse was nearing completion.
The volunteer department had about $6,000 into materials for the 32-by-80 cement building, and nothing had been paid for labor, which was all by volunteers.
The volunteer fire department is member-driven with an annually-elected board of directors.
“The directors are elected annually by the membership to direct and guide local volunteer fire protection for the membership,” Spurlock said.
The board of directors also helps direct the annual Independence Day Celebration.
This year’s event will be Saturday, July 3.
Events start at 5 p.m., and will include games, drawings and live local music.
Musicians will include Rolla Swofford and Cindy Smith, Spring Creek, Hunter Creek and the Heritage Singers.
A donation of $2 will be accepted for parking.
If there is rain on Saturday night, the event will be moved to Sunday, July 4.
Food will be served, including burgers, hot dogs, nachos, soda, popcorn, cotton candy and homemade ice cream.
A cake walk will also be part of the event.
Reflections is a weekly column exploring the history of Douglas County. This summer, we will be exploring local wedding destinations, fireworks celebrations and day trips. If you have an idea for an article, please call 417-683-4181 or e-mail email@example.com