Retired firefighter opens Haskell museum

Warren Kuhn stands among the numerous items in the Station 4 Fire Museum. Kuhn said the museum contains more than 1,000 toy fire trucks. SARAH PERRY/The Saline Courier
Sarah Perry
Staff Writer

A museum that was once a dream for a Saline County man and longtime firefighter has now become a reality with the recent dedication of the Station 4 Fire Museum in Haskell.

Warren Kuhn fought his first fire with the Salem Volunteer Fire Department in 1974 — when he was only 14 years old.

“I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a firefighter after that,” he told a crowd attending the dedication ceremony.

He later would work as a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force and for the Haskell Fire Department. He recently retired from the Bryant Fire Department after 14 years.
Throughout his life, he has collected fire memorabilia from his career, as well as toy fire trucks.

In 1990, a person told Kuhn he should start a fire museum and that has been a dream for him ever since.

“This museum has really been a dream come true. I hope when kids come through they smile. I hope when some of the adults come through they smile,” Kuhn said.

Kuhn, who said he began collecting toys fire trucks around 1984, added that more than 1,000 toys are on display in the museum.

“I got toy fire trucks for Christmas and toy fire trucks for birthdays. Every time we went out somewhere there’s always a firetruck there and we had to have it,” Kuhn said.

Also featured in the museum are items he collected while in Germany, Sadia Arabia and the Philippines.

The Haskell museum has been in the works since October, according to Emaline Stroud, president of the Haskell Historical Society.

After approaching the group, Kuhn also had to receive approval from the Haskell City Council.

Kuhn has always wanted to find a way to leave his mark on the world.

“This is a great way to do it,” Kuhn said.

Kuhn received memorabilia and support from several individuals and organizations to make his dream come true.

He expressed appreciation to his father and family, Christy Brewer and her family, Misty Kuhn and her family, and Jerry and Emaline Stroud.

Individuals who donated items for the museum include the family of Patsy Kuhn, Brian Cotten, the Haskell Fire Department, Jim Wells, Glen Westbrook, the family of Susie Opperman, Robin Ward, Seth Hardwick, members of the 1980s

Haskell Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, Arla Baker in memory of Paul Baker, and Betty Baker, in memory of Hal Baker.

The Haskell Fire Department was created in 1978. The first fire truck purchased was a 1949 Ford, which was parked at the home of a charter member. The truck was used until 1987 when a new FMC pumper was purchased.
Since it’s creation, the department has had three chiefs.

The Station 4 Museum will be open, along with the Haskell Historical Museum, the third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The museums can also be opened by appointment. Individuals wanting to visit the museums should contact Stroud at 501-303-0384.

If she does not answer, Stroud asks that individuals leave a voicemail or send her a text message.