1947: Students Sell Blood to Defray Expenses of Injured Grid Star

Middletown, Ct., Dec. 20–(UP)–Coming to the aid of an injured football player, Wesleyan students today are ready to sell their blood to meet the mounting hospital expenses of Stavros Demopoulos.

Laid up in Hartford Hospital with a spinal injury, Demopoulos is faced with at least six more months of treatments, with an expected medical bill of at least $9000.

Ten students a week are pledged to sell a pint apiece, bringing in a total of $250. A college spokesman said that since most of the 1000 students show “a great enthusiasm for the move,” and since each can donate every two months, Demopoulos is assured of more than enough to pay his hospital bill.

From The Boston Traveler (Boston, Massachusetts), Saturday, December 20, 1947.

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.

November 16 – Middletown 366


From the ‘Casual List’

Middletown (Connecticut) Nov. 16. Last Thursday, Miss Lucy Gill, of this city, fell into the river, where it is supposed she lay 15 or 20 minutes before she was discovered; when she was taken up, apparently a corpse, but, happily, soon recovered.

From the Salem Mercury (Salem, Massachusetts), Tuesday, December 2, 1788.


Sells Wife and Sues Buyer for $100,000

Aged Husband Says It Was All a Joke, But Purchaser Has Bill-of-Sale.

Middletown, Conn., Nov. 16.–(A.P.)–A 74-year-old man, who signed away his young wife for $10,000, was in court today and told Judge Alyn L. Brown and a jury it was a “joke.”

The document was offered in evidence. Josiah B. Stocking, Rocky Hill, is suing William Suda, Essex, for $100,000, the value of Mrs. Stocking’s affection as set in the papers alleging alienation of this affection.

The document was as follows:

“I promise to give up all claims on my wife, Mabel P. Stocking, to William Suda for the sum of $10,000.”

Stocking signed the document on October 23, 1925.

A previous suit was settled when Stocking received an automobile from Suda several months ago.

In 1926 Stocking advertised in a matrimonial agency paper for a wife while he was yet married, but he claims his wife knew all about it.

From the Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania), Thursday, November 17, 1927.


Brownies to Play Middletown Eleven

Agawam, Nov. 16.–The Agawam Brownies will seek their fifth victory Sunday afternoon when they play the Middletown Sons of Italy at Middletown, Conn. The game is scheduled at Municipal Field at 2.

Agawam has won four, lost two and tied one this year. It is pointing for its Nov. 25 game with the Greenfield Lions at Greenfield.

From the Springfield Union (Springfield, Massachusetts), Saturday, November 17, 1951.

1896: Trinity Beaten By Wesleyan

A Game That Was Witnessed By More Than a Thousand

Middletown, Conn., Nov. 15.–Over 1,000 persons witnessed the Wesleyan-Trinity game yesterday. Wesleyan scored the first touch-down in three minutes on long runs around the ends and double pass plays. Henry of Wesleyan and Langford of Trinity were put off for slugging, and Yale and Stirling substituted. Wilson kicked both goals. Trinity, by successive short runs, secured two touch-downs and goals in this half.

The second half was characterized by sharp tackling by Wesleyan, and Rymer’s series of gains through Trinity’s end. Wesleyan secured two goals, and, by sharp work, Trinity prevented her gaining two more goals when the ball was on the one-yard line. Rich of Trinity was injured, and Beecroft substituted. The line-up:

Trinity. Position. Wesleyan.
Rich, Beecroft Right end Young
Langford, Capt. Right tackle Williams
Ingalis Right guard Sibley
Lord Centre Wade
Cogswell Left guard Hayes
Sutton Left tackle Henry
Ellis Left end Young
Clasebrook Quarter back Wilson (Capt.)
Little Right half back Raymond
Woodle Left half back Rymer
Burchard Full back Wing

Score–Wesleyan, 24; Trinity, 12. Umpire–Judd of Yale. Referee–Dr. Farrand of Wesleyan. Timekeepers–Grodon and Hubbard.

From the New York Times (New York, New York), Monday, November 16, 1896.

1945: Prof Contends Athletes Have Better Grades

By Lou Black

Middletown, Conn., Oct. 29.–(AP)–Prof. Hugh G. McCurdy of Wesleyan claims today that the stout-hearted lads who do or die on the athletic fields are better students than the boys who confine their exercise to hitting the books.

To prove his point, the professor tosses out the results of an investigation of records of Wesleyan athletes from 1926 through 1940, and by golly he’s convincing.

He sums up his survey by asking two questions:

  1. Do non athletes win more scholastic honors than athletes?
  2. Does intercollegiate sport take so much time and energy that the players do not have enough left to excel scholastically?

His answer to both, of course, is an emphatic “no.”

The be-spectacled, slight McCurdy, associate professor of physical education and coach of soccer, swimming and tennis here, reveals that the knights of the gridiron, hills and dales, and gyms are heroes, too, in general scholarship and Phi Beta Kappa competition.

The best marks are turned in by the cross-country and soccer boys, with golf, swimming, tennis, track, football, baseball, basketball and wrestling not too far behind.

Soccer and golf turn in the best material for Phi Beta Kappa keys with swimming, cross country, track, baseball, football, wrestling, basketball and tennis somewhat off the pace.

The professor, who discloses his results in the current issue of the Wesleyan Alumnus, offers no explanation why cross-country and soccer is so stimulating to the brains.

That’s a fact, and so is it fact that Wesleyan, a member of the “Little Three” with Amherst and Williams, has a fine athletic record.

From the Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona), Monday, October 29, 1945.


1961: Joey Jay Pitches Complete Game

On this day, Middletown native Joey Jay of the Cincinnati Reds pitched a complete game four hit 6 – 2 victory against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in Game 2 of the World Series, the only game that the Reds won. Jay won 21 games that season. In a career that lasted 13 years with the Milwaukee Braves, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Atlanta Braves his record was 99 – 91 and he had 999 strike-outs and an ERA of 3.77. He was the first former Little Leaguer to make the majors and was one of the first “bonus babies”.

Contributed by Deborah Shapiro.

September 29 – Middletown 366


Which Stevenson?

It will be remembered that a dispatch from Middletown, Conn. recently was made public setting forth that in 1862 the Savage Arms company of that place shipped 2,000 revolvers to the Knights of the Golden Circle at Columbus, O., and that “Gen.” Stevenson was one of those who stood responsible for the arms and was recognized as the agent of the K. of G. C. in the conduct of the business. The Tribune at the time of this publication suggested to the Democrats the advisability of finding out who this “Gen.” Stevenson is, and if he happens to be their “Gen.” Adlai E. Stevenson, to explain what he as a lawyer wanted of 2,000 revolvers and what he was at as an agent of that disreputable organization known as the Knights of the Golden Circle. Nearly a week has elapsed and no answer has come. The Tribune, therefore, with added emphasis begs the Democrats to investigate this matter. If it were some other Stevenson they certainly should clear Adlai’s skirts, for the suspicion is a damaging one, and silence will be construed as giving consent. Adlai’s Bloomington organ should be especially alert in finding what Stevenson it was; and Adlai himself, if he can spare the time from Howling about the defunct force bill in the land of his forefathers, ought to make a categorical statement about those 2,000 revolvers, either proving that he was not the Stevenson who ordered them, or, if he were, stating why he needed such an intolerable number of revolvers in the pursuit of his duties as a lawyer. It is a serious piece of business, and time presses. Will Adlai, or some one for him, explain?

From the Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday, September 29, 1892.


No More Rugby

On Account of a Fatality, Middletown, Conn., Boycotts That Game.

Middletown, Conn., Sept. 29.–The Athletic Association of the Middletown High School has passed a resolution that no more football games shall be played this season. Games already scheduled have been cancelled. This action is due to the death of Thomas Kelly, a member of the football team, who died at Meriden Hospital from injuries received in the game with the Meriden High School team on Saturday last. Similar action is expected on the part of the Meriden High School.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri), Sunday, October 1, 1899.

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.


September 4 – Middletown 366


Bankers’ Nine Win!

We’re not sure what they won, though …

The Bankers' Nine
The Bankers’ Nine


The Bankers' Nine - back of photograph
The Bankers’ Nine – back of photograph


Poisoned at a Wedding Feast

Middletown, Conn., Sept. 4.–Death may be the result of a wedding feast that was given here yesterday. Twenty-five persons were poisoned, and one, a woman, is still in a critical condition.

It was a social event of importance, the marriage of Harry Fisher and Miss E. Parmlee. The principal people in town were there. After the ceremony a large reception was given at the home of the bride’s parents. There were congratulatory speeches and good things to eat and drink.

It may have been the ice cream caused the trouble. If so the discovery will relieve the affair of all disquieting mystery. Tyro-toxicon, or ice cream poisoning, is an established danger entirely independent of evil intent. Prof. Atwater of Wesleyan college, who is learned in the chemistry of articles of food, has taken the remains of the cream for analysis.

From the Leader-Democrat (Springfield, Missouri), Tuesday, September 5, 1899.

1899: Marshall Taylor Wins Cycling Championship

"Taylor-Marshall 1900". Licensed under PD-US via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Taylor-Marshall_1900.png#/media/File:Taylor-Marshall_1900.png
“Taylor-Marshall 1900”. Licensed under PD-US via Wikipedia

On this day, Marshall W. “Major” Taylor won the World One-Mile Track Cycling Championship in Montreal, Canada besting riders from around the world. On July 29 he had set a world record one mile time of 1:22 2/5. Taylor was only the second African American to win a world sports championship (after bantamweight prizefighter George Dixon). He worked as a machinist at the Worcester Cycle Company on Hamlin Street and did his training here at the beginning of his professional career. He was a world celebrity, despite the difficulties posed by racism and Jim Crow laws in America. Taylor raced extensively in France where he is still revered.

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.