Before There Was Amazon Prime

The photograph in this post was obtained from the Delaware Public Archive, and includes “traveling salesman” and “Milton” in the digital file name. The subject is Jonathan Fox Lofland (1870 – 1955), the son of Milton residents David and Caroline Lofland. According to a report in the Milford Chronicle of July 31, 1896, he bought the store goods of J. L. Black & Co. around that time and began doing business in town.

Although the DPA refers to him as a “traveling salesman,” the wagon in the photograph is much too small to be that of an itinerant merchant; it is more likely to have been a delivery wagon. As to the location of Jonathan’s place of business in Milton, there is no information available as of this writing.

Married in 1895 to Eleanora Attix of Wilmington, they had two children: daughter Eleanora in 1897, who did not survive infancy, and son David John in 1898.

Jonathan Fox Lofland ca. 1896 (Delaware Public Archive)

Sometime around 1906, Lofland left Milton for Wilmington and became a meatcutter for the Herman Glanding Company; he remained on their payroll for the rest of his working life. His wife and son had more difficulties adjusting to life in the big city, however.

Eleanora listed herself in the Wilmington city business directory in different years as a haircutter, manicurist, masseuse, and dressmaker. By 1930, she and Jonathan were divorced, and one year later she died of appendicitis.

Son David was arrested in 1914 for making off with someone’s automobile; the case was remanded to Juvenile Court, with no report of its ultimate disposition. By 1918, David had left home and was working as a porter in Philadelphia, after which nothing more is known about him other than he outlived his father.

2 thoughts on “Before There Was Amazon Prime

  • William Post

    Amazing photo……I appreciate all of your professional work for the town of Milton. William Post

  • Jamie Brown

    Jimmy Lofland owned and operated Lofland’s Service Center where the Historical Society’s grassy parking area is now. I used to take my vehicle to him for service and repair after we purchased what became our retirement home here in Milton five or six years later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.