The primary training room in the headquarters for the Iowa Department of Public Safety is now named in honor of Iowa’s first State Fire Marshal.
Ole O. Roe became the first State Fire Marshal in 1911. He kept the job for eight years and established the first fire reporting system in Iowa. Some of his relatives were on hand for Thursday’s dedication ceremony.
David Roe of Fort Dodge has studied-up on Ole, his great-great uncle. “The more I learned about him, the more I realized that his life was just about learning and the betterment of Iowa,” Roe said. “Safety and serving Iowa was first and foremost in his life.”
Ole O. Roe was a principal of the Story City schools, a lawyer, and worked for the state auditor’s office before becoming Iowa’s first State Fire Marshal.
“I believe his life was filled with learning and tirelessly serving Iowa,” David Roe said. “In many forms, I truly believe he made Iowa a better place to live.” The State Fire Marshal’s office was the first division of the current Iowa Department of Public Safety. The agency’s headquarters in Des Moines, the Oran Pape State Office Building, now houses the Ole O. Roe Learning Center.
Oran Pape was among the 50 original members of the Iowa Highway Patrol, established in 1935. The 32-year-old Pape was killed just eight months after landing the job when he shot by a burglary suspect in Muscatine County.
Audio: David Roe Comments on Ole. 7:37