Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of W. C. Metzner, 1886 July 27.

Volume K, 237-243, 7 p.
Metzner, W. C.
Stove repairman.

Direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Cross-examination by Captain Black. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Examined the damage to the street in front of his shop on Desplaines Street near the site of the bombing. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): weapons and explosives (vol.K 241).

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W. C. METZNER, a witness called and sworn on behalf of the People, was examined in chief by Mr. Grinnell and testified as follows:

Q What is your name?

A W.C.Metzner.

Q Where do you live?

A 125 West Randolph Street:

Q What is your business?

A Jobber in stoves and stove repairs.

Q Where?

A 125 and 127 West Randolph St.

Q In reference to Desplaines St., where is that store?

A It is on the northwest corner of Desplaines and Randolph.

Q Were you at the Haymarket square, and did you see any of the transactions on the night of the 4th of May?

A Very little of it.

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Q The next morning, did you make any investigation or examination of the street?

A Yes sir.

Q How early in the morning?

A Seven o'clock.

Q Did you see the bomb explode the night before?

A No sir.

Q You may step down here to this map and tell us where and what you found on the street the next morning?

Objected to.

The Court: He may state the condition he found the street in without expressing any opinion as to the causes.

The Witness: I found an opening in the pavement, located somewhat on the west side of Desplaines Street, slightly north from the alley.

Q What do you mean by north from the alley--- north from the north line of the alley or the south line?

A The south line.

Q Towards the west?

A Towards the west.

Q Describe what you saw?

A It was a hole about four inches in diameter at the top, and about three to three and a half inches deep, and another hole about an inch and a half to two inches, sort of egg-shaped, about a foot from the other.

Q What was the appearance of those holes as to whether they had been recently made?

A They had the appearance as though they were caused by an explosion of dynamite or

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The Court: (Q) What is the material of the surface there?

A It is a cedar block pavement.

Mr.Grinnell: (Q) Where was the wagon that night from which the speakers spoke?

A The elevation that the speakers stood on I could not see from the position that I was. I presume that the platform or wagon, whatever it was that they stood on was duly opposite the shop door of Crane Bros. factory.

Q Show it on the map, see if you can point it out on the map?

A (Witness here points on map.) Right there.

Q Nearly opposite those steps?

A yes sir, nearly opposite.

Cross Examination by
Mr. Black.

Q You examined the street I understand the next morning?

A Yes sir.

Q About what o'clock?

A About seven o'clock.

Q Now, will you tell me again what indications you found upon the street which attracted your attention?

A It was an opening into the pavement about four to four and a half or five inches across at the top, and kind of diamond shaped downwards to the depth of about three and a half to four and a half inches.

Q Was that in one of the wooden blocks, or in the interstices

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between the wooden blocks?

A It seemed to be between three blocks.

Q Where the filling had apparently been blown out?

A Yes sir.

Q How far from that principal hole that you found, did you discover any hole in the pavement?

A About one foot to the east.

Q One foot east?

A Yes sir.

Q What was the size or character of that hole or depression?

A That was about two inches across, about the depth of one inch.

Q Were these two holes that you found on opposite sides of one large block in the pavement?

A No sir.

Q How many blocks were between them?

A Probably two, two and a half, somewheres there abouts.

Q Did the two blocks that stood between these two depressions fit closely together, or were they separated to any extent?

A I misunderstood that question.

Q Did the two blocks or more that stood in the pavement between these two depressions that you have described, stand close together or were they separated?

A The rest of them, the outer surface from the main hole seemed to be perfectly natural.

Q The surface around the main hole seemed to be perfectly

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A The blocks on the outside of the hole.

Q How deep was the minor hole that you speak of that was to the east of the major hole?

A About an inch.

Q About how wide across the top?

A About two to two and a half inches.

Q What were the indication about that which led you to think it presented the appearance of a hole blown out by powder or dynamite?

A Well, from the appearance of wood which I saw before which was destroyed by powder and dynamite, I should infer such was the case.

Q Have you seen many instances or cases where wood or other material has been affected by the use of dynamite?

A Yes sir.

Q You have been familiar with its use?

A With powder?

Q I am speaking of dynamite.

A No sir.

Q This was your first observation of supposed dynamite?

A Yes sir.

Q You have been familiar with the explosion of powder, and this was like the explosion you seen with powder?

A Yes sir.

Q Were there others with you at the time you were attempting to locate the fall of the bomb or the position of the bomb?

A No sir.

Q You were alone at that time?

A Yes sir.

Q Had the wagons been passing back and forth over the

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street at the time you made your observation?

A There had been various wagons passing there at that time.

Q Had any passed in the immediate proximity of the place where you found these holes?

A That was difficult for me to say.

Q As to the location of these holes, I understand you it is a little west of the center of the street, and a little north of the Crane Bros. alley projection?

A Yes sir.

Q What was the condition of that pavement at that place?

A The condition was good.

Q Is that its condition now of the pavement along on your east front there, in good condition?

A Yes sir, that location.

Q There are holes in the pavement where it is broken down more or less, are there not?

A Some.

Q How many other holes, if you remember, did you find in the street near or within a few feet north or south from these two holes that you have spoken of?

A There was none.

Q None of this character, you mean?

A No sir.

Q These were two of a special description that attracted your attention? You were there trying to locate the position where the bomb fell?

A Naturally taking an interest.

Q You were trying to station yourself where the bomb fell?

A Yes sir.

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Mr. Black: That is all.

Mr. Grinnell: (Q) What was the condition of that hole that you examined there, as to whether it was smooth or ragged?

A It was a hole which had all the appearance as though there had been an explosion of powder.

Q Jagged?

A Jagged to a certain extent.

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