Danbury News - May 1891 - Events Surrounding the election of John H. Ellwood as Chief of the Fire Department; to succeed Morris Meyers

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Danbury News articles:

May 7, 1891
THE ALDERMANIC MEETING.

May 8, 1891
HERE'S ANOTHER HITCH. -- Alderman Cuff to Contest the Legality of the Meeting Wednesday Night.

May 9, 1891
(Personal News and Gossip)
Legal circles agree; meeting may have been illegal.

May 11, 1891
(Personal News and Gossip)
Mayor asks Meyers to continue as chief in light of the contested legality of meeting in which new appointments were made.

May 12, 1891
MEETING OF THE ALDERMEN. -- They do the Work of Last Wednesday all Over Again

May 16, 1891
It's Chief Ellwood Now.


Date

1891-05

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Text

[Danbury News, May 7, 1891]

THE ALDERMANIC MEETING.
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All the Appointments Confirmed with the Exception of Police Surgeon – A Hitch in Sewer Inspector.
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The new board of aldermen was called to order last evening at 8:15 o’clock by the mayor. Only the republican members were present, Alderman Cuff being out of town. The board for the most part simply concurred with the action of the councilmen of the previous evening, and their deliberations ran as smooth as water down a decline, in fact everything was unanimous…
…The appointments came next. In each case the three ballots were cast for the appointee, and the result shows that the appointments of the councilmen were confirmed. The result:
…Fire Chief – John H. Ellwood.
First Assistant Fire Chief – Thomas A. Lounsbury.
Second Assistant Fire Chief – C.L. Taylor.
[END EXCERPT RE: Fire Department]


[Danbury News, May 8, 1891]

HERE’S ANOTHER HITCH.
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Alderman Cuff to Contest the Legality of the Meeting Wednesday Night.
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Alderman Cuff came up from New Haven yesterday afternoon to attend an aldermanic meeting last evening. Of course there was no aldermanic meeting – it having been held Wednesday night – and hence he did not attend any. When he was told that the meeting took place the evening previous, he addressed the following to Mayor Peck:
DANBURY, May 7, 1891
C.S. Peck, Mayor – Dear Sir: -- I came home this afternoon to attend the meeting of the board of aldermen on the regular night of meeting. I learn to my surprise that there was an unauthorized meeting last night. I desire to say that I will be at the City Hall to-night at the usual hour to attend the meeting, and to say further, that I shall contend that the doings of alleged meeting of Wednesday night were void and without force.
Very respectfully,
J.P. Cuff.
To this the mayor made the following reply:
Alderman Cuff – Dear Sir: -- The meeting was called by the mayor according to the charter and advertised in the daily paper, and if I remember aright when the old board adjourned it was without date. Trusting that this will be satisfactory, I am,
Yours,
C.S. Peck, Mayor.
Alderman Cuff met Mayor Peck at City Hall last evening and argued the matter with him. Mr. Cuff will contest the legality of the meeting. His reasons for protesting are these: The regular meeting night of the board is on Thursday evening – at least it was so last year and has been made so this year. As far as he is concerned, he says he had no knowledge the first meeting was to be Wednesday evening. Section 18 of the charter reads: “Said common council shall not be specially convened to meet within twenty-four hours of notice given by the mayor, unless notice is given to all the members of said common council by some proper officer.”
The ordinances make Mr. Cuff’s point clearer. Section 5, under head of city council meetings: “All meetings of the common council shall be warned by a written or printed notice, signed by the mayor or acting mayor, and left with or at the usual place of abode, or place of business of each member of common council.” The section further states what the notice shall say and how served.
In a word, Mr. Cuff maintains that he has not received proper notice of the meeting of Wednesday night, nor did he know that it would be held on that night, hence his protest.
[END ARTICLE]


[Danbury News, May 9, 1891; Personal News and Gossip column]
It is held good in legal circles that the aldermanic meeting was illegal and hence the new appointees will have to wait till their appointments are confirmed by the aldermen.
[END]

[Danbury News, May 11, 1891; Personal News and Gossip column]
Alderman Barnum called on Chief Engineer Meyers, of the fire department, Saturday afternoon and said that in view of the fact that there is a question as to the legality of the aldermanic meeting which confirmed the appointment of Chief Meyers’ successor, it is the wish of the mayor and fire committee that Chief Meyers and his subordinates serve in their respective capacities until further notice.
[END]

[Danbury News, May 12, 1891]
MEETING OF THE ALDERMEN.
-------------------
They do the Work of Last Wednesday all Over Again – Something About the Duties of the Old and New Appointees.
-------------------
The board of aldermen met last evening and did the work of Wednesday night all over again. The appointments are now legal and have got the most improved red tape stamped upon them…
The following appointments were balloted for, it being a strict party vote in each case. The result:
…Fire Chief – John H. Ellwood.
First Assistant Fire Chief – Thomas A. Lounsbury
Second Assistant Fire Chief – C.L. Taylor
…Mr. Cuff was on the interrogative and next questioned about the chief of the fire department, stating that the present chief, Morris Meyers, had received his salary up to the 15th of June. Would the new chief, if taking his position before that time, draw a salary too?
Mayor Peck answered, no. He considered Mr. Meyers chief yet and should Mr. Ellwood take office before that time it would be to simply get in harness but he could not draw salary until Mr. Meyers’ time expired…
[END EXCERPT RE: Fire Department]

[Danbury News, May 16, 1891]
It’s Chief Ellwood Now.
----------------------
John H. Ellwood took the oath of office of chief engineer of the fire department yesterday afternoon and Chief Meyers immediately turned over to his successor the department property. Chief Ellwood’s assistants, Thomas B. Lounsbury and Clifford L. Taylor qualified last evening and the new board of engineers is now in full command.
Chief Elwood said last evening that at present there would be no change in the working of the department and things will be conducted as they have been. The chief will have an office in the Library building, with the superintendent of public works, where he may be found from seven to nine o’clock each evening.
[END ARTICLE]

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Citation

“Danbury News - May 1891 - Events Surrounding the election of John H. Ellwood as Chief of the Fire Department; to succeed Morris Meyers.” WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 22 July 2019.

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