Leesburg has had a fire department since the days before incorporation. The Leesburg Fire Department began in 1875. The earliest fire department was composed of neighbors, and fires were fought by bucket brigades. But by 1885, the town council was considering “modern” firefighting equipment for Leesburg. At the November 6, 1885 town meeting, they talked about the fire engine recently discarded by the City of Jacksonville. It was too small for Jacksonville but just the right size for Leesburg. The engine was later rejected because it wasn’t in perfect working order.
On December 6, 1885, the council voted to issue script to those citizens, who would subscribe, to buy the fire engine, hose, and to build an “engine house”. In January 1886 the council voted to build the multi use structure.
Firefighting took a big step toward modernization in Leesburg at the April 15, 1886 Town Council meeting. Town leaders approved the proposal of the Silsby Manufacturing Co. of Seneca Falls, N. Y. to build a Silsby steam fire engine that could be pulled by horses or men at a cost of $2,425.00 and could be paid in three installments, the final one coming by May 1, 1889.