March 17, 1911

If the few years ago when vessel building was at its height in this town, and three or four vessels were on the stocks at a time, if there was any dearth of the news in any other departments of town industry, a newspaper for spawned and had the shipyards to fall back on.  We could always get news from them.  But now as they have become them obsolete, when we are hard up for news we must fall back on the weather.  Marches as peculiar in its idiosyncrasies as are some of the people.  Only last week we had a snowstorm, which rendered traffic so difficult that the operatives could not get to the shirt and overall factory, and hence, that establishment was closed for the day.  The next day was as mild as the climate of Florida, and the next: well it was a rainstorm in the morning and so on.  And the herring that were caught on Thursday were not caught in the snowstorm, but on the day after.  And to catch ahead at this season of the year is no unusual thing, for I well remember that when I was a boy, I knew of them being caught in February well up old Spring Creek near Frederica.  “Three cents apiece!” Well that’s rather a big price, we must admit, but it has been the price on their first coming, since the time to which the memory of the writer runneth back.  But they will soon be down to one cent apiece — and that is as much as they are worth after the first “mess” or two—and later on to fifty cents a hundred, and—well they are poor provender, anyway.  But as to the shipyards becoming obsolete, that is not of necessity, but while the docks and wharves where vessels were once built are now occupied by buildings and other encumbrances, there’s plenty of room farther down the river where vessels of large draft have been built, and where others may be built, if contracts can be made for such.  It is useless for contractors to bemoan the want of a suitable place to build a vessel.  It is here, as it always was.

Charles Wilson of near town, while sawing wood with a circular saw, had his hand badly mashed.

Charles G. Waples has bought a portable sought mill boiler and engine, and will soon commence to convert into lumber the tract of timber he owns near Waples’ Mill.

The social held by the ladies of Reynold’s M. P. Church at Chase’s Mill was a grand affair and participated in by a few of the ladies of Milton.

It is reported a Teacher’s Institute will be held somewhere in Milton, on Saturday the 18th inst.

Charles King, who has secured a position in Philadelphia recently, has been taking a vacation in Milton with the mumps. He returned to the city on Monday.

The snow of last week furnished but transient sleigh riding. There were several out, but the snow was so wet the runners cut through to the ground, and that was so soft that the business was early abandoned.

Henry Atkins is quite ill at his home on Walnut Street with diabetes.

Mrs. Viola Walls was taken to Jefferson Hospital on Wednesday to undergo an operation for intestinal troubles.

The last session of the Board of Trade didn’t meet. Our citizens do not jump with avidity at the Board of Trade’s possibilities. Apparently the good old way is good enough for them.

There was a peculiar boat here of late. Peculiar for us to look at. It was called a “cat boat.” [i]And we didn’t know what it was for nor why it was so named. Dr. Leonard said boats o that kind were used to convey cats and white mice from the shore out to battles ships, and that settled it.

The concrete pavements are often a disgusting sight of a morning, particularly on Sabbath morning, from the expectoration of tobacco saliva the previous evening. This is notably true in the business part of town. It is not only disagreeable and disgusting to the owners of the property, but extremely nasty looking to passes along those streets. Persons not acquainted with the cause might think one or more persons had on the previous evening been attacked with hemorrhage of the lungs in that particular locality. Much is expected of the present Town Council. Cannot it pass an ordinance preventing the expectoration of tobacco spittle on the sidewalks or pavements and attach a heavy penalty to it? Make it operative or don’t pass it. If people will use the nasty stuff, and cannot be prohibited in no other way from spitting on the pavements, compel them to wear a cataplasm[ii] over their mouths while on the street.

We notice in our Washington paper that Commissioner of Pensions Davenport contemplates inaugurating a system to do away with the present voucher system, in using pension checks. Instead, a pension check will be mailed to every pensioner in an envelope, which will have on the outside, directions for the postmaster to deliver only to the pensioner, or to some immediate member of his family. If dead, the envelope is to be returned to the agency. The check inside will have a slip attached, which must be signed by two reputable witnesses, who will certify that the receiver is well-known to them to be the person for whom the check is intended. This certificate will be returned to the office, and be a voucher that the check was properly delivered to the person indicated. This, as it is said, will do away with the annoyance and expense to the parishioner of having their voucher attested by a notary on a given day, and will save the government a great deal in postage and in clerical labor. Commissioner Davenport hopes to have the system perfected so as to put it into operation July 1st of the present year.

Miss Liilian Cade is confined to her home with [….Milton News letter is cut off at this point and ends…]

[i] Wikipedia describes a catboat as a sailboat with a single sail on a single mast set well forward in the bow. Most have a shallow draft, with centerboards, although some have a keel. One source claims that the “catboat” was so named by fishermen having to shoo away from the boat all of the cats who were after the dead fish.

[ii] Poultice