Statement of Howard Stevens Number 2

Dublin Core


81/2" x 14"




MS020 1/2

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Statement of Howard Stevens Made to J.T. McM.
Danbury Jan. 22, 1891
I promised to call here yesterday, but did not get into the town before 8 pm and I met Holmes and some of the boys and got drunk, but I have done the best that I could.
I want to speak of Bill Freeland a friend of Carlton Hack; he is an old broken down horse Jockey and is mean enough to steal a horse if he got a good chance. I saw Freeland with this man that I described to you yesterday. The day Tomlinson’s barn was burned, they were both standing on the depot platform at Hawleyville. I was there on business the same day they both had been drinking some. A freight stood on side track just waiting to pull out. This was train known as 76. I heard this Freeland say. “I must go over to see Carl.” I drove back to my house and then walked over to depot and caught the train that gets here at about 11:15 pm. On my arrival here I met officer Sullivan. I asked him to go to Engine house to see if Hack was in. Sullivan would not go claiming that he had been on day duty and would not do anymore that night. Not long after I saw Freeland drive past the Wooster house. I was standing on Wooster house veranda at this time. This strange man was with him; they were driving west. It was then time for train No. 76 to have arrived here and be on side track at Fair Grounds quite close to the barn that
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was burned about one hour after I saw them. I know Ed Jennie- he was formerly living in Chicago four years ago- and I met him while I was at Fireman’s convention there. Now there is a man that I have brought his name prominently before the public for the place now held by that “[Sherney];” he is one of the most prominent men in that line and would make one of the very best of men in such a place; he was formerly connected with the Patrol on La Salle St., Chicago, but left for some cause I do not know what; if he could get the place I will get a place under him. John H. Elwood is also one of the “whitest” men in the city and ought to be chief in the Fire department. I could also get a place, as I told you yesterday I believe this trouble comes part from the inside and part from the outside of the department, and the one on the is inside is Carlton Hack. I perhaps ought not to say this for I do not know that he is the real one but I know this much that he made a very strange remark when he said one day in the Engine house about “more fires, more pay” and he always acted very funny to me when I have seen him working at fires that I have been at. I may be wrong in all this matter but I do not think that I am. I do not think that Ed Lofdel ever had anything to do with any of these
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fires; he is not that kind of man. If there is any of the department engaged in it, it is Hack and Freeland. I am very intimate with Hack and saw him last night; in fact was speaking to him; if the proper person were to get in with Hack, a great many things might be got out of him; he is very easy to lead; while I am speaking of this I want to tell you of a little affair that you no doubt have heard of and that is, the murder of young Walton last Summer- the Sunday night of the Ives court fire when the body of the man was found in the ruins. Nick Grier, Ed O’Donnell, Mick McCay, Dave Walton, Picolo Jack and Yaco Murry were all standing in passage way between Engine house and Danbury house[;] they had a war of words between them. I was in the Engine house working about my engine, I heard Mic McCay say to Walton, “If you ever give up what you know I will kill you.” Walton was found dead sometime after, and I have always had the impression that McCay did it; he was arrested for it but the state could not make out a case and he was discharged.




“Statement of Howard Stevens Number 2.” Pinkerton Detective Agency Danbury Fires Investigation Collection, MS020. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 23 Sep. 2019.


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