Statement of Morris Meyers Number 2

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81/2 x 14 in.


Second statement made by Meyers where he discusses his suspicion on who is the “fire bug.”




MS020, 1/1

Document Item Type Metadata


Second Statement of Morris Meyers
Made at Danbury, Conn. Sunday Jan 18, ‘91

In regards to who I suspect as being engaged in setting any of these fires, I am at a loss to say who I suspect; that the fires are a deliberate act is well known. I feel confident that no member of the Fire Dep’t is engaged in it and I would be greatly surprised if it would turn out that such should be the case. So far as I have been able to find out, and I have given it very close attention, the best feeling exists now the Dep’t one towards the other. As to who it was that first raised the question for the raise of salary, it was Clifford Taylor Capt of Hose No 2, he said he would not stay unless the pay was raised, and he got the men to get up the petition. Yet he was the very first to advocate waiting the month to see what the Council would do. He has always had a good reputation, he has quite a number of Brothers, five in number. His father is a Hat Manuf’r at Sturtevant Place. The family of boys consist of Clifford—Rollin—Samuel—Bernard and William. Rollin and William are employed at Opera House. Samuel does nothing much except get drunk, is at the Engine House at times and will sometimes run with Hose Company. [page break]

[Meyer Page 2]
I have had my suspicions at times raised in regard to this Sam Taylor and yet I have nothing to base my suspicions upon. I have also had some suspicions regarding a young man named Reinhart, an ex-member of Kohanza #2 and a great friend of Sam Taylors. As to Reinhart he always shows up after the fire has been in progress for some time. I remember seeing him at the Osborn fire; he was requested to help by one of the foremen, but he would not help at all. I did not see him at the Green & Beebe fire at all. I have watched all my men in action, but cannot in anyway see but what they work with a will and appear to want to save the property.
Frank Eastwood, the engineer, is a good faithful and efficient man. So far as position he occupies is concerned, he will spend all he earns, is one of the best and most practical men in the Hat business, is a little quick tempered.
Earnes Hieser [sp.], the Asst Engineer, is a man of exceptional character.
The Taylor boys are, as a rule, small and Sam in particular, small hands and feet. At time of J.M. Ives fire the person who got in to the room got in through a small space. It will be remembered the foot prints outside of the [page break]

[Meyers Page 3]
window were small and the hand prints on the window sash were the prints of a small hand. I at the time linked his name with that crime, but have never mentioned it, but have watched him at such times as I might see him, but never have got anything that would justify my using his name in connection with the fires. I know that he is a tough young man. On the night of the Chichester barn fire (I cannot now recall the date) I was in the Union barber shop on the 2 floor of building cor. of Ives and White St and Sam Taylor and Reinhart were standing under the window in company with one or two others that I do not remember. I saw them and listened to their conversation, the drift of which was regarding myself. They used the expression quite a number of times “d—the Chief.” That night July 6th Chichesters barn at 2:20 am was burned. The barn is the first barn on the left side of track going East Danbury after you cross R.R. and the fourth building from Taylors. Taylor lives on Balmforth Ave near North. Oil waste was discovered in this fire as building was saved. Waste was shoved up inside the manger[.] The alarm was given by track walker. Taylor was not seen by me that evening nor by anyone that I know of at the fire. [page break]

[Meyers Page 4]
I saw Taylor at Reed’s but not at Osborne fire. As regards what Ellwood said to me that there would be “Hell for me before I got through being Chief Engineer” he did say this.
John H. Ellwood is no longer President of the Kohanza Social Club, in his place is Mr. Isinge the one that the benefit is to be given on Jan 31.
Now I have never before mentioned my suspicions regarding Taylor and Reinhart, thinking that I might be wrong, but you ask me to give you any suspicions and I have done so. I will state that I have kept my eye upon these two men for some time past; as I told you before I am pretty well satisfied that we have seen the last of the fires after my invitation to the Kohanza Social Rooms. Stevens I consider a poor miserable insane fellow that would be better off [in] an insane asylum, but I will state that I have got permission from the Mayor to carry a gun as Stevens last week made the public threat that he would kill me the first chance that he got.
You have now got all that I know regarding the fires. I can positively say that I do not know who to blame these fires upon, but my suspicions that I have told you regarding Taylor I have [page break]

[Meyers Page 5]
never spoken to anyone. I can say that I do not believe that anyone in the dep’t would do this. as perfect feeling seems to exist there.




“Statement of Morris Meyers Number 2.” Pinkerton Detective Agency Danbury Fires Investigation Collection, MS020. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 18 Feb. 2020.


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