On September 2, 1920, an era ended for Evansville’s firemen. It was an emotional occasion as the public gathered at Hose House No. 3 to bid on the last of the fire department’s horses in an auction. Although the animals were specially trained, they were let go when the department’s vehicles were motorized. Horses had transported fire wagons around the city since at least the Civil War. When they were not working, the horses were housed in stalls in hose house basements and treated as pets. A local newspaper reported that firemen “sat around looking gloomy” the night before the auction. While some horses were sold to farmers, others entered a well-deserved retirement.