Silas Steen “Spider” Smith was born on January 27, 1913. Prior to becoming a firefighter Steen Smith was a carpenter and brakeman for the railroad in Brownwood, TX from 1942-44. Steen was appointed hoseman to the Austin Fire Department on 8/23/1944. He spent his first year between Hose Co. 1 and Engine Co. 2. In 1945 he was assigned to Engine Co. 5. Steen was promoted to Driver in 1952 and assigned to Engine Co. 12. In 1959 Steen attained the rank of Captain I and went to Truck Co. 2. In 1968, when the Captain I rank was re-classified as Lieutenant, Steen’s rank was modified to Lieutenant. He retired in 1974 after 29 years of service. In the 1940′s Steen, along with several other firefighters, led in the organization of the Austin Firefighter’s Association. Steen got the nickname “Spider” for his lanky 6’1″ 155lb frame. As of just a few years ago, well into his 90′s, Steen often stopped by fire stations to say hello and visit with us.