September 23, 1904

The child that enters life comes not with knowledge nor consent,
So he who enters death must go as little children sent.
Nothing is known, but I believe that god is overhead,
And as life is to the living, so death is to the dead.[i]

Andrew Jackson Pettyjohn, who died in Milton last week, was noted as much for his eccentricity as for his erratic disposition. He was a wanderer from early youth. Perhaps it may not be out of order to call him a cosmopolite, as he was at home in every land. He had wandered in both hemispheres, he had traveled in the Orient as well as in the Occident, and had sailed almost around the globe. A few years ago he had a small book written, entitled, “17 Years Away From Home,” which depicted in an epitomized form some of his escapades, hair-breadth adventures and sufferings. He had been in the navies of several countries, as well as that of his own. At one time he walked across South America, from Santiago, Chile to Bahia, Brazil, where he shipped in a vessel engaged in the slave trade and went to the coast of Africa. His life had been romantic, and he appeared to have enjoyed it. His disposition, though erratic was genial and kind, and he would sit hours at a time relating the incidents of this eventful life to interested listeners. His memory was good, and his reversals were always entertaining. After all these years of wandering, and when life’s chances were growing dim, he eventuated to “his native heath,” where he lived on a pension granted him by the government. He was well cared for by Edward bailey and wife, to whom he gave his pension in consideration of a home. On Monday, the 12th inst., nature succumbed; and on Wednesday, the tired worn-out body was laid to rest beneath the soil of his own fair land, until the last bugle shall sound. His age was 86 years.

“Thus ‘neath their parent turf they rest,
far from the gory field,
Borne to a Spartan mother’s breast
On many a bloody shield.
The sunshine of their native sky
Smiles sadly on them here,
And kindred eyes and hearts watch by
The hero’s sepulcher.”

A heavy storm struck Milton on Wednesday night about 12 o’clock, blowing things around generally. On Thursday morning the streets were strewn with broken limbs and leaves from the trees. A large mulberry at S. J. Wilson & Son’s undertaking establishment was blown down, and another one split in twain. Another large mulberry in the yard of Handy Prettyman was blown down, scaring the family considerably. A roof was blown off a porch on Chestnut Street, and Federal Street was impassable until the debris was cut out of the way.

Milton Steamer Schedule in September 1904
Milton Steamer Schedule in September 1904

The steamer Mary M. Vinyard [ii] left Philadelphia on Wednesday at 5 o’clock: on the afternoon of that day Captain Davidson, anticipating the storm, put into Mahon’s Rriver, and lay there during the gale which came that night. The vessel arrived in Milton at 4 o’clock on Friday afternoon in good condition.

Miss Hettie Reed is having her residence built on Union Street, north. The building is now enclosed.

Nathan Williams is building an addition to his property at Stevensonville, and making other improvements.

Mrs. John Thompson, of Harbeson, fell one night last week and fractured one of her hips. Dr. R. B. Hopkins performed the necessary surgical assistance.

The numerous whistles that attract the attention of our people are a prestige of the business condition of the town. There are many, and the little urchins of the street know each one by its own peculiar “holler.”

The Draper Cannery, of Prime Hook, has been shipping canned tomatoes during the past week, via Queen Anne’s Railroad.

Thomas Douglass has purchased of the Rev. H. S. Johnson the property on Union Street, north, now occupied by John Megee, the barber.

On Friday morning the steam yacht Ralph Welch caught on the banks, but was soon bailed out, and in an hour steam was up and she was gliding down the Broadkiln.

The peach season is about over hereabouts. Tomatoes are yet coming in and selling for 7 cents a basket.

A new curbing has been put down in front of the Fisher lot on Chestnut Street.

Prof. Fearing has been repainting the ornamental work on Dr. J. A. Hopkins’ house and front porch.

On Saturday there were 346 persons registered at Milton. There are now 438 voters on the registered list. There are many yet to register as there are over 600 voters in this district.

Billy Robinson has repainted this boat. The seats and other parts of the interior are painted in national colors—red, white and blue. Billy is not only imbued with a spirit of patriotism, but also has an eye for the beautiful.

The storm did not entirely deplete the pear orchard of Thomas Spencer on the Chandler Farm of its fruit. Many of the pears were blown off, but enough remain for a fair crop.

Isaac W. Nailor of this town, has been awarded by the government to build “Quarters A.” at United States Navy, Charleston, S. C. The contract price is $20,990 and the work is to be completed in seven months. Mr. Nailor leaves this week to begin the work.

John Millby is nursing a sore hand.

G. W. Atkins left on Monday for Pocomoke City and Cape Charles, in the interest of the shirt and overall business.

J. B. Mustard of Philadelphia, is visiting his mother and will remove his family to Milton, provided he can obtain a dwelling.

Mrs. Peter Welch is spending a few weeks at Atlantic City.

James Markel of Shrewsbury lo Pennsylvania, senior partner of the “Big Store,” and wife, are visiting Mr. Hartman and wife. Mr. Markel drawn from his home in Milton, a distance of 136 miles. He did this in order to see the country. Leading his home on Thursday he arrived in Milton on Sunday afternoon.

Alfred H. Manship, ex post master, the lies dangerously ill, and his death is expected at any time. He is now unconscious. His children have been summoned and are now with him.

S. J. Harrington of Harbeson is spoken of as a candidate for representatives in the general assembly. Mr. Harrington is a fine man and would do his duty to the state in any position he may be placed by his constituents.

Lydia W. Colson died at the home of her Father David Lawson, Tuesday of brain fever, aged 21 years for months and 25 days. Funeral at Zoar Church, Thursday afternoon; burial at brotherhood cemetery, Millsboro. S. J. Wilson & Son undertakers in the boulders. The deceased lived in Indian River hundred near of Zoar.


[i] Conner quoted the same two poets – Mary Mapes Dodge and Theodore O’Hara –in the April 25, 1902 Milton News letter. On that occasion, it was the death of John E. Walls that he was eulogizing.
[ii] Despite what the illustration shows, the Mary M. Vinyard was a screw-propeller vessel, not a side-wheeler.