Middletown, CT Wesleyan College Explosion, Feb 1889


Nelson C. Hubbard, Son of W. P. Hubbard, Badly Wounded by an Explosion.

At an early hour yesterday morning Mr. W. P. Hubbard received a telegram from New Haven, Conn., conveying the alarming intelligence that his son Nelson had been seriously wounded by an explosion in Westmann [sic] College, at Middletown, Conn., and that it had been necessary to amputate two fingers of his right hand. The telegram also stated the patient had been removed from Middletown to a hospital at New Haven, six miles distant.

A short time later another telegram stated the injuries were more serious than was at first supposed; that the young man had been injured in the abdomen, and that the wounds were of such nature that it was advisable for Mr. Hubbard to come on at once. Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard accordingly left on the 1:35 p. m. Pan-Handle train for New Haven.

During the afternoon an Associated Press telegram gave the following particulars of the accident:

NEW HAVEN, CONN., September 22.---Nelson C. Hubbard, of Wheeling, W. Va., a Freshman at Westmann [sic] College, at Middletown, was severely injured at the institution last night and was brought to the hospital in this city. He, with several friends, was celebrating in honor of Washington's birthday by firing off fire crackers in their rooms. Some one threw a large cracker into Hubbard's room and he picked it up, when it exploded in his right hand. The hand was badly mutilated and the first two fingers were amputated.

A later telegram was as follows, being probably more correct as to details:

NEW HAVEN, Ct., February 22.----The Union's special from Middletown shows that the explosion at Wesleyan College last night was caused by dynamite instead of cannon crackers. The special says: About midnight last night the inmates of the north college building at Wesleyan were aroused by an explosion which shook every beam and rafter in the old building and called to mind the blowing up of the Park Central Hotel 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 students on the fourth floor of the building. It shattered doors and windows, tore a hole down through two floors and knocked out two yards of plastering. In Observatory Hall the

Continued on page 2