1798: To the Inhabitants of Middletown

A number of us have agreed to devote the Evenings of Tuesday’s and Friday’s in each week, and sometimes the evening of Sunday, to acquire knowledge and perfection in Psalmody. A general invitation is given to persons of both sexes, and of all persuasions to join with us in the object expressed. No expense will arise; our association is voluntary, and the services of those acquainted with the art of singing will be free, happy in uniting their endeavors, to cultivate the taste and perfect the practice of their fellow citizens in the attainment of an object; both pleasing and important. It may not be useless to mention that a building for public worship will soon be completed, and that this ought to animate us in our exertions, for the acquisition of some degree of perfection in Psalmody,–a most beautiful and interesting part of divine service.

It is expected that the Ladies and Gentlemen of this place, will not only give a countenance to our object, but will personally join us, with their talents, on this occasion. Nothing will so effectually assist our endeavors, as the patronage of those persons of both sexes, whose example will lead to imitation, and this can alone be done efficaciously, by their punctual attendance on our Evening Schools.–Those, whose ears are deaf to the charms of music, it is charitably hoped, will not cast any impediments in our way, by soliciting or occasioning the absence of any who would otherwise attend with us.

The singing Schools generally will be shut against spectators,–at least, until some proficiency is made in the attainment of skill and power to entertain them.–When any considerable advances are made to this point, their attendance will be admitted.

Particularly we would solicit parents, and those who have the government of families, to advise such of their children or friends as have talents for music, to join the proposed school.

As an inducement to persons in general, to begin with us, on the Evening of Tuesday, December 4th, when the school will open, they are informed, that some attention to the rules of music will be given, previous to much practice.

Inhabitants of Middletown.

From the Middlesex Gazette (Middletown, Connecticut), Friday, November 30, 1798.

1906: Engineer Easton on Trial

Claims He Had Been on Duty Nearly 24 Hours When Yalesville Wreck Occurred.

The trial of Harry W. Easton, 28 years old, of Middletown, an engineer, charged with manslaughter in causing the wreck on the Consolidated road on November 29, which resulted in the death of Conductor William A. Leahy of West Springfield, was begun in the police court at Meriden, Ct., yesterday morning. Easton pleaded not guilty. The hearing will last two days. Easton was running two locomotives coupled together and going backward from New Haven to Springfield with rush orders, and crashed into the tail end of a regular freight train coming to Springfield from Harlem river. The state charges Easton with running by a banjo signal set against him.

The defense claims that the young engineer had been on duty for nearly 24 hours; that the engines had the right of way over second-class trains; that the Harlem river train was an hour late and should have been on a branch switch at Hartford instead of near Yalesville; that the engineer was necessarily on the wrong side of the engine to see banjo signals; that he could not see ahead of him because of a strong wind blowing coal from the tender in his eyes and it was bitter cold; that the freight train was slowed down to six miles an hour and no flag or torpedo signals were given. Weather Observer L. M. Tarr of New Haven was called as a witness.

From the Springfield Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts), Tuesday, December 11, 1906.

November 28 – Middletown 366


Presidential Candidates

News.–The following letter containing the important intelligence, that three-fifths of the people of Connecticut are Clintonians, is taken from the New-York Statesman of the 10th inst. This may be set down as news indeed, for we doubt very much whether any of our readers ever before heard of Mr. Clinton’s popularity in Connecticut. The fact is, the people of this State are the firm supporters of the able Administration of Adams. Neither Mr. Clinton nor Gen. Jackson can get three-fifths nor one-fifth of the votes of Connecticut. In this section of the State, where the writer professes to have received his information, the people are, with a very few exceptions, the friends of the present administration, and we have no apprehension that they will abandon Mr. Adams for any other candidate. The author of the letter was most egregiously deceived, when the informant palmed himself upon him as “an Adams man, possessing opportunities of knowing” what is not true, and had he remained a sufficient time in the place, he could have ascertained its falsehood. Here is the letter.

Extract of a letter to the Editors of the Statesman, dated Middletown, Ct. Nov. 10, 1827.

The friends of Mr. Clinton are numerous in Connecticut. A respectable politician, (himself an Adams man and one possessing opportunity of knowing,) told me, that if Mr. Clinton were set up, even in opposition to Mr. Adams, he would receive three-fifths of the votes of Connecticut. The opponents of Mr. Adams would, of course, vote for him in preference to Mr. Jackson. Should they see the necessity of abandoning Mr. Adams New England would go for him almost unanimously, notwithstanding the Editor of the Post has expressed a wish that “he shall hear no more” of this.

From The Evening Post (New York, New York), Thursday, November 29, 1827.


Ending of a Drunken Debauch

Five Persons Burned to Death.

Three Men and Two Women Cremated In a Tobacco Barn at Middletown, Conn., Saturday Night.

By Associated Press.

Middletown, Conn., Nov. 28.–Three men and two women were burned to death here Saturday night in a tobacco barn owned by John Hubbard. The victims were a party of umbrella menders seen near there before the fire. It is supposed that they were drunk and set fire to a small amount of hay, the only contents of the barn. The building was totally destroyed, the fire companies being unable to reach the structure in time.

From the Harrisburg Daily Independent (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Monday, November 28, 1892.

1925: Wesleyan Opens an Outing Clubhouse

Middletown, Ct., Nov. 27–Wesleyan university has opened an outing club on the west bank of the Connecticut river four miles below Middletown. This club, called “The House in the Field,” made its formal opening Wednesday afternoon and evening when 10 undergraduates and three professors gave a party there.

The club house is located in the village of Laurel and was secured largely through the efforts of Dr. Edgar Fauver and Prof. William G. Chanter, who have been advocating the establishment of such a place for some years.

The house will be under the direction of the Wesleyan University Christian association and under the particular control of E. L. Hubler, ’27, of Gordon, Pa., chairman of the committee in charge of the club.

From the Springfield Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts), Saturday, November 28, 1925.

1945: Waino Fillback’s Middletown H. S. Goes to Florida

Middletown, Conn., Nov. 26.–The Middletown high school football team, coached by Waino R. Fillback of Fitchburg, Mass., will play a post-season game in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 7, facing the winner of Thanksgiving day’s game between Robert E. Lee high and Andrew Jackson high of Jacksonville.

The name of the winning club has not been forwarded here yet. But the Middletown team has been invited to play in the contest and has accepted.

This season, Middletown high has won eight out of nine games, losing only to Mt. Pleasant high of Providence, R. I., 14 to 12. In this contest, Middletown scored another touchdown, but had it called back because of a penalty.

Wins have been racked up over Woodrow Wilson high of Middletown, 7 to 0; Robert E. Fitch high, 47 to 13; Bristol high, 31 to 0; West Hartford high, 32 to 12; West Haven high, 19 to 13; Manchester high, 25 to 12; Meriden high, 38 to 6; and Leavenworth high, 39 to 0.

One of Coach Fillback’s backfield men, Bob Daley, also a co-captain, has been eyed by John “Ox” DaGrosa, for a Holy Cross scholarship.

From the Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts), Monday, November 26, 1945.

1885: Held For Concealing Evidence

Hartford, Ct., Nov. 25, 1885. Thomas O’Connell of Middletown has been held in bonds of $1000 for concealing from the United States deputy collector a cask of liquor which had been seized. The cask is a part of the evidence in the United States case against Peter Chute, who has been violating the revenue laws in this city.

From the Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), Thursday, November 26, 1885.

1969: Dead Man Found in Middletown Was on FBI List

Middletown, Conn.–(UPI)–Police have identified the frozen body of a man found shot to death in a field as that of George J. Kallmeyer, 25, wanted by the FBI on charges of interstate car theft.

A hunter found the body Saturday in an open field off Long Hill Road. Kallmeyer, who had been missing since Nov. 12, had been shot four times in the stomach.

Police said Kallmeyer had been scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston Nov. 17 on charges of interstate car theft. He was also being sought on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

From the Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Connecticut), Monday, November 24, 1969.

1931: Two Slightly Injured in Plane Crack-Up

Springfield Pilot Makes Forced Landing in Ct. as Motor Fails.

[Special Dispatch to The Herald]

Middletown, Ct., Nov. 22–Edward H. Spooner, pilot for the Axtman Spooner Flying Service, of Springfield, Mass., made a forced landing here today when the motor of his plane stopped at 200 feet. Spooner and four passengers escaped serious injuries when the plane turned over after the wheels struck soft earth. The lower wing and propeller were broken.

John Karatkewicz and his daughter, Dolores, received slight cuts and bruises and were treated at the Middlesex Hospital. The other two passengers were Stanley Kolinowski and Theodore Lozinski, neither of whom were hurt.

Spooner came from Springfield yesterday for a week-end of passenger carrying here.

From the Boston Herald (Boston, Massachusetts), Monday, November 23, 1931.

1884: Suing For Libel

The Coroner For Middlesex County Seeks to Vindicate His Reputation.

Middletown, Conn., Nov. 22.–P. Hanscomb of Cromwell was arraigned in the city court charged with publishing a criminal libel against Lovell Hall, the county coroner, in the Middletown Daily Herald of Nov. 18, of which paper Mr. Hanscomb is the editor. The paragraph concerning which complaint is made reads as follows:

In one investigation, which was entirely uncalled for, Lovell Hall charged the state about $600. It is time that this extravagant and entirely useless branch of the service was cut off.

The facts are stated to be as follows: Mr. Hall was appointed county coroner in June of 1883. During the eighteen months he has attended, as the law requires, 51 cases of sudden death, seven of which he investigated by suggestion of the medical examiner, and one by advice of the state attorney. In two other cases he spent one day for each in adjusting claims and accounts. For the remaining 41 cases he made no charge for time. The whole amount charged by the coroner for services and personal expenses on the 51 cases is $407.29. Silas A. Robinson appeared in court as counsel for Mr. Hanscomb, and at his request the case was adjourned until Saturday the 29th.

From the New Haven Register (New Haven, Connecticut), Saturday, November 22, 1884.

1816: Attacked by Foot-Pads

Middletown, Nov. 21.

On Monday evening last between 7 and 8 o’clock as Mr. Samuel Allison of this city was returning from Durham, he was attacked by three foot-pads, on the turnpike, about three miles below the city, who first capsized the waggon, then knocked him down several times, stripped him to his shirt, and then demanded his money!–he gave them his pocket book which contained but about five dollars and assured them it was all he has as they might have seen. Finding the booty so small, they returned him his pocket book and money, helped him on with his clothes and into his waggon, gave him the reins, cursed him, and told him to go about his business. The probability is, Mr. Allison was not the man they were lying in wait for. They had with them a sword, pistol and dark lantern. As our country is full of such characters, it would be well for people to be cautious about travelling in the night.

From the Dedham Gazette (Dedham, Massachusetts), Friday, November 29, 1816.