On Wednesday, December 22, 1897, a group of Bartlett citizens gathered together for the purpose of forming a volunteer fire department. Twenty-six men, all over sixteen years of age, signed the by-law and constitution of the new fire department which were drawn up by George Struckman.
Mr. A.C. Schick was elected the first chief to the department at the first meeting on January 10, 1898. From that time on the department functioned well according to records, even though the chief was known to report at meetings, "that the engine was in working order, but leaks worse than ever."
The department continued its operations until the middle of 1901, when it apparently disbanded. It was reorganized on July 11, 1910 with many of the same men as members. This organization apparently continued until sometime in 1915, there are no records documenting this after November 7, 1911.
A third and final reorganization of the deparment came on November 16, 1925. At this time twenty-nine men became members of the department, many of them are well known in town today. H.C. Thurnau was elected Chief of the new department.