May 22, 1903

The present mail arrangements at Milton are a source of discontent, disadvantage and discomfort, to the businessman and the reading community. What we once called our “noon mail” now arrives, or is scheduled to arrive, at 6.16 p. m., and this via Lewes, and our evening mail at 7.22, only a little over an hour apart, in changing its time schedule. The Queen Anne’s Company might have run fifteen minutes behind what it does, and given to Milton the mail at noon, as is right. But it appears that “excursions” are all that this road is working for. Milton is the best station it has on its route, both for freight and passengers, and the way this railroad serves Milton is scandalous, to say the least. Milton should not patronize their excursions, the Baltimore ones being gotten up by Baltimore merchants, and drawing every penny from all persons who patronize it, to the detriment of their town and country merchants. The majority of those who go to Baltimore to but will save every cent for that time, g here and spooned their money, return to their homes, get in want of something to eat, and go to their country merchants to get “trusted.” Isn’t this true? It is possible that some arrangement may be made to have the daily papers from Philadelphia sent via Baltimore. This has been done, and may be done again. Another inconvenience is with passengers: no connection of trains being made at noon, no passengers who mat come on the D. M. & V. road to Ellendale on the 11 o’clock train can get to Milton without walking or hiring a private conveyance. Therefore the only way to get to Milton by train is of an evening, except on Saturday. On Saturday you can’t get here at all, except you walk, drive, or come in a balloon. Persons from a distance who contemplate coming to Milton had better make a note of this, as it is for such persons it is written.

Quite an excitement was created one night last week, in the minds of those who are interested in the business block of the town. About 11 o’clock, after most of the stores were closed, a smell as of something burning was noticed by the persons who were out, and an investigation was instituted. James Mason, who had not gone home examined his store and found it all right; Clarence Welch, of the “Big Store,” was sent for, he sent the key of the store in advance, and himself followed; Charles A. Conner pronounced his stores all right; W. T. Wilson had previously been sent for—postmaster’s assistant—who pronounced his office clear as he had burned a quantity of paper in the stove, and had seen that the fire was out before leaving, and knew where the smell came from. During this time the fire ladders were gotten out, and an ascent made to the top of the chimney of the post office. Nothing was discovered, but the peculiar smell was in evidence. Mr. Wilson was again sent for, who to relieve the anxiety of the watchers, got out of bed, came down, opened the office, likewise the stove, where the ashes of burnt paper were visible, and the stench almost nauseating, but no fire. This ended the adventure of the evening, and the watchers retired to their homes satisfied.

There is a certain team of girls who are nearly always on the street—their appearance has become so familiar that the general remark as they pass is, “There they go!” A gentleman who was raised in this town, but now lives elsewhere, visited here last week, and while at a certain place this “team” passed and re-passed several times, until at last the gentleman said, “Have these girls nothing to do at home?” And someone answered, “No.”

There were nine passengers who went on the excursion to Baltimore on Thursday.

Carrying cabbages from the town into the country to sell to farmers may be considered an anomaly of the worst kind, yet it is now being done.

Erasmus Jones and wife celebrated their golden wedding on Wednesday evening of last week. The family, and a few acquaintances were present, one of whom attended the original wedding fifty years ago. A pleasant time is said to have been enjoyed by all, and we have no doubt of it.

The Jr. O. U. A. M. have bought a new safe, and purchased new chairs for their lodge room.

Mr. John F. Sipple, president of the Lewes National Bank and cashier of the Third National Bank of Baltimore, has been visiting Mr. W. W. Conwell, of the Milton National Bank.

There is lots of jobbing in the paper hanging line, as the housewife in “clean […],” find the rents on the walls. Prof. Fearing last week did some of this work for G. A. Bryn, J. J. […] and Mrs. Mary Morris.

G. W. Atkins left his team at Queenstown last Thursday on account of the heavy sand and came to Milton by train. He returned to Queenstown on Monday and resumed his business.

Captain William Pettyjohn has his new residence ready for the plasterers.

A. H. Manship, postmaster is able to be out again.

Mrs. John Torbert, of Lewes, has opened a ladies’ furnishing store in N. W. White’s storehouse on Union Street.

Dr. Hames A. Hopkins has a new dwelling completed on his farm near town.

Captain H. P. Burton has three Belgian mares, which he prizes highly. His object is to propagate this species of animal. He has a fine warren in which they play and run around, much to the amusement of the many who take the trouble to visit them.

C. H. Atkins has had the loafing bench[i] removed from near his store, and now the men of leisure will be obliged to loaf somewhere else.

Theodore Primrose has the prettiest garden we have seen in Milton. He has within almost every variety of vegetable indigenous to this climate with much pride he cultivates, and is amply rewarded not only with the yield obtained, but also with the realizing sense of pleasure it presents to the eye.

William Megee fell from the top of a barn on Saturday and was considerably hurt by a quantity of lumber falling on him and striking across his loins. He is thought to be injured internally; but to what extent is not at present known.

The Broadkiln Hundred Bible Society held its annual meeting on Sunday morning in the M. E. Church. Captain George E. Megee and Captain S. R. Bennet were elected delegates to the County Convention to be held at Ellendale on Thursday, of the present week. $20 was raised, and Mrs. G. E. Megee, and Mrs. Mary Cade, were made life members of the Society. The M. P. Church held its meeting on Sunday evening. Mrs. Martha Mustard[ii] was made a life member of the Society. No delegates were elected to represent the church. The presiding officer told me: “I didn’t know we had to elect any.”

The anniversary of the Epworth League was commemorated at the M. E. Church on Sunday evening.

Chippewa Tribe, No. 28, I. O. R. M.[iii], and Winona Tribe Degree of Pocohontas[iv], attended the M. P. Church on Sunday morning, when the Rev. H. S. Johnson delivered a good address. Referring to the primitive times which their orders represent, he though the followers of today might live on […] pudding and corn husks, and he ladies need not be so particular about dress as Pocohontas was innocent of all adornments whatever.

An effort is being made to have Decoration Day observed with proper ceremonies.


[i] It is hard to imagine that Milton once had an abundance of idle persons who at times created a nuisance by blocking sidewalks or entrances to businesses. This is paradoxical when one considers that there was a chronic labor shortage in the Douglass & White Shirt Factory, the canneries, and other businesses in and around town.

[ii] Martha Hickman Mustard (1840 – 1925) was the widow of John Hammond Burton Mustard (1835 – 1898). He was a trustee of the M. P. Church and a stained glass window in that church was dedicated to his memory.

[iii] The Improved Order of Red Men traces its origin to certain secret patriotic societies founded before the American Revolution, among them the Sons of Liberty, the Sons of St. Tammany, and later the Society of Red Men. Their rituals and regalia are modeled after those assumed to be used by Native Americans

[iv] The female auxiliary of the I. O. R. M.