1889: Students and Dynamite

Middletown, Conn., Feb. 23.–“About midnight Thursday the inmates of the North College building at Wesleyan were aroused by an explosion which shook every beam and rafter in the building and called to mind the blowing up of the Park Central at Hartford. The report could be heard in every quarter of the town. The explosion was caused by a dynamite bomb thrown by some foolhardy student on the fourth floor of the building. It shattered doors and windows, tore a hole down through two floors and knocked out several yards of plastering. In observatory hall the same outrage was perpetrated, only with greater effect. The halls of both buildings are filled with plaster, wood, glass, etc., in such quantities that it seems impossible a dynamite cartridge could have made such havoc.

The worst feature of it all is the accident to N. C. Hubbard, son of ex-Congressman Hubbard of West Virginia. After the explosion in North college, young Hubbard ventured out of his room to ascertain the cause of the racket. He was no sooner in the hall than he saw a small missile lying on the floor near the door and picked it up. It was a dynamite cartridge or bomb and it immediately exploded in his hand. The palm of his right hand was terribly lacerated, his eyes badly cut and pieces entered his abdomen. It must have exploded with terrible force, as it threw fragments of his flesh all around. When the injury to Mr. Hubbard became known several physicians were summoned and they deemed his condition so serious as to warrant his removal to the hospital at New Haven, where four fingers of the injured hand were amputated. It is barely possible that his hand may be saved.” –From The Council Grove Republican (Council Grove, Kansas), March 1, 1889.

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