1901: Further Talk of Plots

A Connecticut Lawyer Gives Information to Secret Service Men.

Middletown, Conn., Sept. 21.–Eugene Culver, an attorney of this city, has placed in the hands of the Secret Service officers at Washington, D. C., all the facts that have been given to him regarding a plot to assassinate McKinley here last June had he visited Wesleyan University then, as was planned.

The news leaked out through a drunken man’s talk in a saloon. This man, whose name is Cyzak, or something like it, came here, it is said, from Paterson, N. J., several months ago. He was seen by his fellow-workmen to be very jubilant when news was received of the shooting of the President. He and his companions acknowledge that they are anarchists. What Cyzak said was this:

“I’m glad McKinley is dead. He would have been killed here last June; I know that, for all plans had been made.”

The shooting was to have been done at the parade or at the reception. When asked where plans were made, he replied not here, but elsewhere. Then he seemed to realize that he had said too much and he got out of sight as soon as possible and has not been seen since.

George Coles, a New York school book agent, came here yesterday on business. He notified the prosecuting attorney that a resident of South Farms told him that he had heard a man say he would as soon shoot Roosevelt or any other ruler as he would a skunk. This man was a Pole. Mr. Coles stated that he was positive that the man had made this threat.

From The Washington Times (Washington, D. C.), Sunday, September 22, 1901.

1779: Schooner Eagle Captured

The Connecticut Privateer schooner Eagle was commissioned under David Brooks of Chatham, Connecticut on May 28, 1779. The schooner had a crew of forty-five men, including many from Middletown. The first lieutenant was Shubael Brainerd.

On September 20, 1779, HM Frigate Daphne led by Captain St. John Chinnery captured the Eagle. The Eagle was then sent into New York and the crew of forty-four men aboard was turned over to prison ships at New York on October 2, 1779. The schooner was condemned later that same year.

Story contributed by Kimberly Singh.

1906: The Annual Reunion of the 24th Conn. …

General Samuel Mather Mansfield
General S. M. Mansfield

… was held at Middletown, Conn., Sept. 19, with about 50 members of the regiment present. The old officers were re-elected: Gen. S. M. Mansfield, of Boston, Mass., permanent President; Lieut. A. H. Conklin, of East Hampton, acting President, and George N. Moses, of New Haven, Secretary and Treasurer. It was voted to hold the next Reunion in Middletown. The regiment did excellent service and has a fine record. There are about 149 of its original members living today. Seven deaths since the last meeting were reported.

From The National Tribune (Washington, D. C.), Dec. 6, 1906.

1898: The Boat Was Upset

Three Persons Drowned in the Connecticut River Off Moramus

Middletown, Conn., Sept. 18.–Three persons were drowned in the Connecticut river off Moramus this afternoon, the victims being Patrick Kelly, aged 25; William Kelly, aged 24, and William Gorman, aged 18. Three young men with John Hines rowed up from Moramus this morning to attend services at St. John’s church in this city. They were on their return and had almost reached home, when a sudden squall came up and in the storm the boat was upset. The accident occurred in sight of Gorman’s home and was witnessed by members of the family. As soon as possible a party went out to assist the men, but they had all disappeared except Hines, who was picked up exhausted.

From The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Monday, September 19, 1898.

1862: General Mansfield Falls at Antietam

General Joseph MansfieldOn this day, Major General Joseph King Fenno Mansfield was mortally wounded leading his men at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Having been raised in Middletown, and entering West Point just several months shy of his 14th birthday, Mansfield spent 14 years building Fort Pulaski in Savannah, was wounded at the Battle of Monterey in the Mexican War, and rose to become Inspector General of the entire US Army. At the outbreak of the war, President Lincoln placed him in charge of the defenses of Washington, DC and he later participated in the battle of the ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimac from the shore batteries.

On September 15, 1862, he arrived in Sharpsburg to assume command of the 12th Corps of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by General George McClellan. After his death the day after the battle, his body was returned to Middletown accompanied by his son Samuel who had just graduated from West Point. He is buried in Indian Hill Cemetery.

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.

1910: Talented Young Lady Carried Away in Auto

Middletown, Conn., Sept. 16.–Miss Electra Warner, eighteen years old, an accomplished musician and organist at the Baptist Church in Cromwell, was mysteriously spirited away from the town by two men in an automobile after being enticed from the church, where she was attending a rehearsal of the choir.

The family of Howard Broadman, with whom she has made her home, believe she has been kidnapped, and they are anxiously seeking news of her whereabouts.

Miss Warner came to live with the Broadmans six years ago. Her mother, who was poor, was unable to care for the child, and she was pleased to give her into the care of Mr. and Mrs. Broadman. Since coming to the Broadmans Miss Warner has been well educated.

Mrs. Broadman was with her at the Baptist Church Saturday night when a well dressed stranger came in and told the young women there was a man outside who wished to see her. Miss Warner was surprised and demurred at going, but the man laughingly told her she would know the person outside when she saw him.

Persons outside the church say they saw two men seize Miss Warner and force her into an automobile, which was driven away at a rapid pace, the girl struggling with her captors. Mr. Broadman refused to discuss the case tonight, but from the neighbors it was learned the girl had been corresponding with her mother, who had been trying unsuccessfully to get Miss Warner to return to her. It was said that Mr. Broadman had found a letter from the girl addressed to her mother in Bridgeport, and that he had been there, but could get no trace of Miss Warner.

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Santa Cruz, California), Saturday, September 17, 1910.

1788: Account of a Hurricane

Middletown, Sept. 15.

William Van Deursen
William Van Deursen

On Thursday last arrived here the Sloop Hannah, William Van Deursen, master, 27 days from Martinico, but last from St. Eustatia. He informs that he was blown out of Martinico the 14th of August, in a heavy gale of wind. The gale came on in the morning of the 14th, the wind at N.E. with very heavy squalls of rain–at 11 A.M. the wind back’d to N.N.W. and began to blow fresh–at one P.M. it blew a hard gale. Capt. Van Deursen then went out of the road, being the second vessel out, a great sea beginning to heave in. The wind then haul’d to N. and kept increasing, so that he could not show any sail, till 7 P.M. when it blew a violent hurricane, the wind veering from N.N.W. to N.E. till 11 P.M. when it shifted suddenly to S.W. and blowed with redoubled violence till one A.M. when the gale broke. Capt. Van Deursen then found himself to close aboard the land that if the gale had continued half an hour longer he must have lost his vessel. He then bore away for St. Eustatia, where he arrived on Saturday the 16th. Between St. Kitts and St. Eustatia he fell in with the Sloop Dolphin, dismasted, Hiram Coffin, Master, belonging to Casco-Bay, having been upset under Dominico in the hurricane, and lost one man, and his decks all torn up;–the master and one man came passengers with Capt. Van Deursen.–Arrived at St. Eustatia on the 17th, Sloop—–, Israel Bishop, master, belonging to New-Haven, blown out from Martinico, lost one anchor, cable and long boat, under command of the mate, Capt. Bishop being left at Martinico. He informed Capt. Van Deursen that when he left St. Pierrs-Road, Schooner ——, John Paddack, master, belonging to this port, and three other vessels, belonging to the Eastward, were drifted almost on shore, he thinks the vessels must have been lost. Arrived, also at St. Eustatia, Sloop —— Phillips, master, belonging to Boston, blown out from Martinico, who on his passage down fell in with a Ship and a Brig, dismasted.

The Shipping at St. Eustatia put to sea, but had no very hard blow, but a very heavy sea from the Southward, heaving into the Road.

On Sunday preceding the hurricane at Martinico, they had a light shock of an earthquake.

There was no account at St. Eustatia of the damage done at the windward, when Capt. Van Deursen left there.

From the Middlesex Gazette (Middletown, Connecticut), Monday, September 15, 1788.

1931: Detroiters Set Outboard Marks

Jack Wood and Aleck Neal Break Records in East

Middletown, Conn., Sept. 14–(AP)–Ollie Mullenbach, of Ravinia, Ill, today raced his outboard motorboat in Class A at 32.291 miles per hour over a nautical mile in the Eastern Divisional Outboard Motorboat Championships on the Connecticut River here to break the European record of 28.8. Three other European records also were bettered.

Others in Class A who bettered the European mark were Miss Hilda Mueller, Bay City, Mich., who drove her craft 32.057; Warren Harris, of Millbury, Mass., 31.354, and Tommy Thyson, Chestnut Hill, Pa., 31.035.

Harry Roberts, of Hartford, broke the Class B European record of 36.2 by racing his boat at 36.886 miles per hour over the course, while Jack Woods, of Detroit, bettered the Class C European record of 41.8 by driving his outboard craft at 42.823.

The Class D European record of 41.5 was shattered by Dick Neal, of Detroit, at a speed of 42.859.

From the Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan), Tuesday, September 15, 1931.


1958: Deposited in Jail

Middletown, Conn.–(UPI)–A few minutes after Mrs. Mabel Hajek of the Middletown Savings Bank finished reading a notice to be on the lookout for John Olson, an accused bad-check artist, in walked Olson asking to open an account.

Mrs. Hajek had another worker call police, who arrested him.

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Fairbanks, Alaska), Saturday, September 13, 1958.

1892: Powerful Search-Light

Middletown, Conn., Sept. 12.–The Schuyler Electric Co. here have just received an order from the Government for the largest and most powerful search-light in the world. It is destined for the statue of Liberty in New York harbor, and will be visible for 100 miles and capable of transmitting messages that distance. It will be 50,000 candle-power, and will cost about $4,000.

From the Vancouver Daily World (Vancouver, British Columbia), Monday, September 12, 1892.