April 28, 1911

It now appears that Thomas A Edison, said to be one of the best informed men in America on the production of gold, and has done more to practical the use of electricity than any other living man, has now discovered a process whereby gold may be extracted from common clay: and that it will assay at least a dollar a ton.[i]  This may be of no material interest to us: but when we remember the large quantities of clay George Warrington has shipped from Black’s Landing to Philadelphia, it appears to us that Mr. Warrington has lost a stupendous amount of money. For Mr. Warrington’s clay is of a superior quality and used only in the manufacture of porcelain, and may, probably assay much more a ton than the lowest estimate made by Mr. Edison. But Mr. Warrington has plenty more yet. Enough, if Mr. Edison’s discovery proves practical, to make him a rich man. While inventor Edison has done much for science, his “remarks on immortality and the soul constitute a surprising revelation of his mental limitations.”  He is quite sure there is no such thing as the soul. Somewhat analogous is the case of Darwin to whom the world is indebted for the pleasing theory that man, instead of being a little lower than the angels, is only a little higher than the monkey. Darwin’s twenty-two years amongst the waves that beat upon the shores of the Malay Archipelago, studying the habits of mollusks, the biography of bugs and the ancestry of monkeys, gathering material, collating and colligating minutiae for the Origin of Species and the Descent of Man, appears to have made him callous to all other things. It is said, toward the close of his life, Darwin admitted that he had lost quite al the power of understanding or enjoying the esthetic productions of the human mind. Nevertheless, music and poetry still exist, although Prof. Darwin and Prof Edison may not know it. Edison has done a great deal for the world that is appreciated but his denying the existence of the soul will not do with the Christian world. While we are loathe to believe all that Prof. Darwin has written a glance backward at the history of ethnology, leads us to believe there is something in his theory. In writing an apostrophe to the soul, Addison thus poetically expresses it:

“The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age and Nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth
Unhurt amid the war of elements,
The wreck of matter and the crash of worlds.”[ii]

On Wednesday evening the 19th inst. Miss Hattie Conner, fourth daughter of D. A. Conner, and Hamilton K. Wagamon, were united in the holy bonds of matrimony. The ceremony took place at the home of the bride’s sister Mrs. Edwin P Johnson, on Federal Street, and was performed by the rev. W. O. Hurst. The married pair will reside in Milton, on Federal Street

From the Washington National Tribune we glean the following: “Secretary of the Navy Meyer has called a halt on “hello’ at the telephone in the Navy Department. He has ordered that the clerks must give their first names, and then the name of the division when they use the telephone; and the telephone girls, instead of using ‘hello’ when that department is called, will at once say ‘Navy Department.’ Secretary Meyer thinks that ‘hello’ is unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and he is going to cut it out.”

The Bailey burial lot in the Presbyterian Cemetery has been enclosed with a wire fence and it would be creditable if the friends of those who lie buried in the cemetery would put some kind of a fence around it. Its condition at present is dilapidated, and really a disgrace to those who expect to make it their future resting place.

Henry Carter, formerly of Frederica, and later of Virginia was the guest of Milton friends recently.

John H Davidson is building a house for Walter Atkins in lower Broadkiln.

Nancy Wilson. 83 years of age, is quite ill at her home at Stevensonsville.

Firemen Band went to Milford on Friday to help the Dixie Realty Company dispose of some surplus land in that town. This is a new fad—or a twentieth century innovation—selling land with a traveling menagerie and a brass band. The purchaser of the land pays the bill.

Firemen Band serenaded Mr. and Mrs. H K. Wagamon on Monday evening at their home on Federal Street.

The W. C. T. U. and Y. held a social at the home of Miss Virgie Mason Tuesday evening. A silver offering was taken at the door to defray the expenses.

Mrs. May Blizzard, of Wilmington is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B Welch.

Mrs. Francis E Wilbur, widow of the late John Wilbur, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John Lecount in Lincoln, on Thursday. April 20. 1911, of general debility, aged 83 years. 8 months and 8 days.

Mrs. Annie E. Mossburg died at the home of her daughter and son-in-law in Prime Hook Neck, Tuesday April 25th 1911, of general debility, aged 85 years. 2 months and 23 days.

Miss Cassie Pettyjohn, daughter of the late Abel Pettyjohn, died in Philadelphia. Tuesday April 25th, aged about 33 years. Her remains will be brought to Milton on the noon train on Thursday and taken to the home of her mother in North Milton.

[i] The report that Edison had a machine that could do the transformation of clay to gold was a hoax that Edison was a party to. In 1876, the New York Graphic published a report that Edison had invented a machine that could turn dirt from his basement into meat, fruit, and even wine. At the end of the article, the writer “awoke from a nap,” revealing that the story was a dream fantasy. However, much of the American public took it at face value, and many American newspapers reprinted the story. In a follow-up article titled “They Bite,” the editors of the New York Graphic gleefully admitted to the con and shook their heads at the gullibility of the public who did not read the full story to its end. David A. Conner was fooled by this as well, although his sources were probably second-hand. Edison played along with this hoax with his add-on report of the clay-to-gold machine.

[ii] Joseph Addison (1672 – 1719) was an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician