Middletown is a city located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles (26 km) south of Hartford. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Indian name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653. In 1784, the central settlement was incorporated as a city distinct from the town. In 1923, the City of Middletown was consolidated with the Town, making the city limits of the city quite extensive. Originally a busy sailing port and then an industrial center, it is now largely a residential city and college town, home to Wesleyan University. From the creation of Middlesex County in 1785, until the elimination of county government in 1960, Middletown was the county seat. In 1910, 11,851 people were residents of the city. In 1940, 26,495 people lived here. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 43,167.