November 1, 1901

It is an axiomatic principle in science and philosophy that nobody can move or be put in motion, without being acted upon by some force either material or immaterial. What is this, that comes across me permeating my frame; and walks out on these beautiful hazy days of October? I go out in the woods and get something. When I am thus perambulating I’m not looking for a “lost cause;” yet there is something within me that lifts me up. What is it? Metaphysics tells me it is the power of “Mind over Matter;” Huxley[i] tells me it is “Electricity,” Darwin says, “Galvanism.[ii]” My early education endowed me with an idiosyncrasy that has never been forgotten, and perhaps never will be. Metaphysics may have its place; Huxley may sleep beneath the waters of the Rhine, and Darwin on the “Survival of the Fittest,” may have its run and be admired, but there is a principle inbred within man that looks not only for an after cause, but the grand cause of the beginning. If I by some means could pump the oxygen from the hydrogen in our oceans, they would burn the world up by their own spontaneity. If I could pump the nitrogen from the oxygen in our air carbonic, acid gas would be the result, and we should die of over inflation. This is my idiosyncrasy: there is a just head to all causes, you may call it electricity, or galvanism, or you may call it the power of mind over matter, but the cause remains; digest it if you can. Tom Paine wrote his “Age of Reason” to whip Christianity. What did he come to? Voltaire, one of the smartest men France ever produced, died a comparative imbecile. See my idiosyncrasy?

Rev. J. A. B. Wilson, on his way from London to his home in San Francisco, stopped over in Milton——his old home–and preached on Sunday morning. Quite a large congregation was present, and $200 was raised to assist in liquidating the debt against the Conference Academy. Mr. Wilson also lectured in the evening to an admiring audience. Presiding Elder Baker was present, and assisted in the exercises. Mr. Wilson left Milton on Monday morning.

There are grape vines in town that are putting forth leaves for the second time this year.

The falling of the decaying leaves from the shade trees of the town, keep the industrious housekeeper busy at this season. All over the town on Saturday morning the ladies were busy sweeping leaves into little piles and burning them. As it was calm, the town was filled with smoke, and on Sunday morning there were apparently as many leaves on the streets as ever. Someone said, “that is the result of having shade trees along the streets.” Give us the trees, and let the leaves take care of themselves, we say.

A force of bricklayers from Baltimore arrived in Milton on Saturday, and on Monday work began in earnest on the bank for the Sussex Safe Title and Deposit Company. Mr. Nailor will push the work rapidly, provided the loafers who hang around the building, can be kept out of the way.

Mr. Clement Hart has been doing some painting around his building during the past week.

Prof. W. G. Fearing is repairing the porch at Captain Frank Carey’s.

Joseph Fields is building new stables on the property lately leased by him, on Magnolia Street.

Paynter’s old mill, recently purchased of the Wagamon Brothers, has been torn away, and a new one on modern principles will be erected on the old site.

The old drying factory of Atkins & Tomlinson, on Magnolia Street, is in a state of “inocuous desuetude.” Dilapidation has doubtless claimed the old building as its victim.

Mr. David Dickerson is repairing the sidewalks to his property, lately purchased from the Batson heirs.

There has been it great amount of tiling and excavating of late in various portions of the town for the purpose of drainage. The refuse water is mostly thrown in the mill race.

It is a lamentable fact that there are little boys in town between the ages of six and eight years old, who are seen on the streets smoking cigarettes; and when questioned, “little boy, do you smoke?” will reply, “Yes sir, I smoke, sir; and chew sir, too.”

Joshua Bailey is having a fence put around his front yard.

Mrs. Jane Sharp is visiting her children at Camden, N. J.

Prof. C. B. Morris’ school lyceum was well attended on Friday evening. Prominent speakers addressed the members of the meeting, and an enjoyable time as well as a little treat, was had. As this is a new feature in connection with school work in Milton, we have no doubt it will be so successful as it will be interesting.

We are glad to note that “Paul Pry”[iii] has so far recovered his vision as to be able to write again. We hope the improvement is permanent and will remain so.

“Kind words are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.”[iv]

At least we have always found the above quotation true.

Mr. John Wilson went to Buffalo on Tuesday to visit the Pan-American Exposition. He will return in a few days.

Mr. W. H. Warren this week attached a gold, silver and nickel-plating machine to his already growing business, in the Burton Block.

Emma, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jehu Clifton, living along the shore of Rehoboth Bay, died on Friday of cholera infantum, aged 6 months and 9 days. Interment and funeral services at Reynolds’ M. P. Church on Sunday. The latter conducted by the Rev. H. S. Johnson; the former supervised by S. J. Wilson.

Dr. A. W. Lightbourn, of Easton; Md., delivered a lecture to Academy Hall on Tuesday evening. Subject: “The Sunshine and Shaddow of Hindo Life.” As Mr. Lightbourn is so well known throughout the county, it would be useless for me to make comments on the address. However, we must say that the orator on this occasion has not depreciated in eloquence from the young man of fifteen years ago. If the writer is any judge of oratory or rhetoric, the reader will believe us when we say the lecture was didactic, abounding in food for an intellectual mind. lt was like pearls falling upon the calm surface of a crystal lake, sinking below, but leaving the beauty of their true vision behind them. In medieval history it is claimed that Horace was a witty man; Aristotle a learned man, and Cicero an eloquent man; would it be too much for us to say that in modern history. Mr. Lightbourn combines the qualities of the three above named.

R. C. Beardsley & Co. shipped on Tuesday two carloads of bricks to Lewes to be used on the public improvements of that town. The reputation of Beardsley & Co. as brick makers is becoming generally known, as their many orders from different parts of the county will testify.

The season for buying tomatoes at the Milton Station is now closed. No more will be received. Conwell & Co. have bought over 80,000 baskets at an average of 23½ cents per basket, thus paying to growers $11,750.00 This has also furnished freight to the railroad, exclusive of the above amount; and given employment to many, which must be included in the amount. Tomatoes have been a paying business this year to the growers and this has been brought about partly by the skill of the buyer in drawing the trade to this point.

A newspaper correspondent cannot be ubiquitous, whatever may be said-to the contrary. If it had been possible for the writer to have been present at what he has called—in another part of this communication, “Prof. C. B. Morris’ School Lyceum,” he would not have written it thusly. He would have called it the “Thespian Society of the Milton Public Schools,” and would have added that Miss Mamie Conner was elected president, and Miss Letitia Black secretary. Possibly this may not be exactly right; if not, send us a correction.

Quite an excitement occurred about three o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, by the cry of “fire.” People rushed to the home of Mrs. Hazzard, across Union Street west from the Burton block. The fire was discovered in a clothes press and extinguished without much damage. We might elaborate on this occurrence, and say what might have been; but we, on account of the length or our letter, will only state facts as they are.


[i] The Huxley referred to here is probably English biologist Thomas Huxley (1825 – 1895), grandfather of Aldous and Julian Huxley. Thomas Huxley was nicknamed “Darwin’s bulldog” for his tenacious support for and promotion of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection.

[ii] The Darwin referred to here by David Conner is Erasmus Darwin Erasmus Darwin (1731– 1802), grandfather of Charles Darwin. He was a natural philosopher, physician, and poet, and conducted experiments on “galvanism,“ through which he sought to demonstrate an electrical basis to life. His conversations with the poet Shelley on this last matter were noted by Mary Shelley in her prologue to the novel “Frankenstein.”

[iii] “Paul Pry” was the nom de plume of the Milford Chronicle correspondent in Ellendale.

[iv] Exceprt from the poem Lady Vere de Vere by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 – 1892) published in 1832.