1886 - CHARGED WITH ARSON. FIRES IN WALLINGFORD WHICH GOT A YOUNG MAN INTO TROUBLE.
WALLINGFORD, Conn., March 16. - Early this morning Constable Roger S. Austin, tired and dusty after a long trip, reached this town, bringing with him as a prisoner Frank H. Morse, one of the best known young men in this neighborhood. An hour later young Morse was taken before Justice Bartholomew to answer to the charge of arson. There were two counts against him, and the case was continued to March 29, his father, Emory H. Morse, giving bonds for him in the sum of $5,500. To say that the whole town is excited over the affair would be putting things mildly. The Morses are among the most prominent people of the place. They are old residents. They have always taken a great interest in public affairs, and they have been active in business and social circles. The elder Morse is counted among the rich men of Wallingford. To his townsmen the arrest of young Morse was a perfect surprise, and they have rich food for gossip in the story of the detective work which led up to the capture. One night nearly three years ago two buildings belonging to Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co., and used by Frank H. Morse as a glass shop, were discovered on fire and were burned to the ground. There was not doubt that the fire was of incendiary origin. The night watchman was found drugged near the building. Suspicion pointed to Morses, but he proved he had been at home all evening before the fire broke out.
Agent Hall, who placed the insurance on the buildings first burned, accidentally discovered a few weeks ago that a number of glass founts, supposed to have been destroyed and on which he had paid $1.300 insurance were stored in four places in Wallingford Plains. This aroused his suspicions, and three weeks ago Constable Austin was put on the case at the instance of the insurance companies, it is supposed. It is reported to-night that the officer has an affidavit from one Gus Bossman that Morse hired him to fire the buildings. At all events Austin went to Western New York a few days ago, and yesterday afternoon arrested Morse in Rochester. Morse to-night refused to say anything about the charge against him. He is married and has one child. His wife left Wallingford to-night. The watchman who was found drugged after the first fire, it is now recalled, left town quietly a few days after the occurrence.
The New York Times
New York, New York
March 17, 1886
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