By CHRIS EVERSOLE
Arlon Hadlock, Mustang’s first full-time fire chief, was named to the Mustang Hall of Fame at the Mustang Chamber of Commerce annual banquet last week.
“It was a nice surprise,” he said. “I didn’t expect because I had retired so long ago.”
Hadlock and his family moved to Mustang in 1965, and he worked as an auto mechanic at Bus Horton Ford in Oklahoma City.
In 1969, he and his father, Herman “H.L” Hadlock, opened Hadlock Garage and Auto Supply at 1419 E. State Highway 152.
While continuing to run this business, he became a volunteer with the Mustang Fire Department in 1971.
He was promoted to part-time fire chief in 1975, and he became the first full-time chief in 1977.
Hadlock served as acting city manager in 1978 and 1987.
As fire chief, he helped raise money for the first lifesaving Hurst tools for extracting victims from car accidents.
Hadlock promoted a bond issue for fire trucks in 1976 and a bond issue to build the current fire station and buy a new ladder truck, engine, rescue squad vehicle, two brush trucks and other equipment in 1988.
“We would have open house so show the problems we were having, and we ran articles in the newspaper,” he said.
He started the city’s first sanitation department while continuing as fire chief. This work included purchasing sanitation trucks, converting to carts for customers and managing employees. The service previously had been run by a private contractor
Hadlock was appointed as acting public director in 1991, and he served in that role as well as fire chief.
While acting public works director, he supervised the construction of the first wastewater plant for the city, which allowed Mustang to disconnect from Oklahoma City for wastewater treatment.
Additional water wells and transmission line in Mustang’s well field, located in Oklahoma City, were added during this time.
The new downtown water tower and a water tower on the county line were added.
He retired as fire chief in 1992.
After the city contracted with a private company for public works services, Hadlock became the project manager for the contractor, Public Services Group, and he served in this capacity until 2001.
Many projects were competed during his tenure, including improving the water, sewer and drainage infrastructure, repaving all section line roads and paving interior streets for the first time.
Other improvements included park improvements and developing the dam, bridge, pavilion and walking trail in Wild Horse Park.
“I grew up around construction, so I knew about water, plumbing, electric and other aspects of it,” Hadlock said.
“I was very flexible, but I never like to toot my own horn.”
Hadlock, who is 76, continues to maintain his commercial and residential rental property.
He and his wife travel in their motor home for six to seven months a year.