Columbus firefighters paid tribute to a retired comrade as his funeral procession paused at Fire Station 1 for a final salute.

Following the funeral for retired firefighter and military veteran William “Bill” Ferguson on Monday, Columbus firefighters honored his service by escorting and transporting his casket in the department’s historic Stutz fire truck.

The truck, which is housed at Fire Station 1 at 11th and Washington streets in downtown Columbus, stopped at the station for a moment to allow firefighters on duty Monday morning to honor him as the funeral procession made its way to Daugherty Cemetery.

Military honors were provided at the cemetery by the Bartholomew County Veterans Honor Guard.

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The Stutz fire truck is used in funeral processions for active or retired members of the fire department at the family’s request, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Columbus firefighters also provided an honor guard as a tribute to Ferguson during visitation Sunday night and before Monday’s funeral, Wilson said.

Ferguson, 72, joined the fire department in 1970, serving the Columbus Fire Department for 36 years. He worked for Cummins Engine Co. for seven years before joining the fire department. One of the things he enjoyed in life was taking care of vintage cars and trucks, according to his obituary.

The Stutz fire truck was built in 1937 and was the first diesel fire engine in the United States.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.