February 22, 1901

“Green be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days,
Few knew thee but to love thee,
Few named thee but to praise.[i]

The death of john B. Dorman, late Clerk-of-the-Peace for Sussex: county, which occurred at Georgetown at four o’c1ock on Monday morning, removes from the county and from the state a man prominent in the annals of our late political history.

After the Civil War had closed, I came into Sussex County, and first became acquainted with J. B. Dorman. He was then a young man, of a jovial disposition, and fine entertaining qualities, as many of his companions, who are yet living, can testify. His father had recently died leaving him a good estate, and a considerable amount of money. Sometime in the 60’s, he purchased the half-interest of William B. Tomlinson in the mercantile business, of the firm of Tomlinson & Burton, at the Drawbridge, and later on he bought the remaining interest of his partner, D. R. Burton. The dates of these occurrences have escaped my memory. During the interim of his purchasing the half-interest of the mentioned firms, and buying the remainder, he married Miss Hettie J., daughter of the late Benjamin White and sister of ex-Attorney-General R. C. White. Mr. Dorman was classed among the best business men of the county; and, perhaps, no better set of books are kept in the county than were kept by the deceased. Mr. Dorman continued in business at the Drawbridge until he was appointed Clerk-of-the-Peace for this county, when he removed: to Georgetown. Socially, he was all that a community could desire, and his generosity has been the means of causing unfavorable comment on his subsequent actions. Personally, the writer never had a better friend. I was for fifteen years intimately associated with him and never asked him for a favor but what I received it. There are others who can say the same. I have nothing but good to say of J. B. Dorman, and I hope that our loss is his eternal gain. Perhaps there is no one who knows his financial standing, but it is supposed he has left a considerable estate. He has never had any children, and his widow alone survives him. There are no very near relations; the relationship is just far enough off to produce litigation, if it be true that he has left no will. The deceased was 57 years, 5 months and 29 days old. The funeral services were held in the M. E. Church at Milton, Thursday afternoon, the Rev. Adam Stengle, M. E. minister of Georgetown, officiating, assisted by the Rev. J. H. S. Ewell, M. P minister of Georgetown, and the W. J. DuHadway, M. E. minister of Milton. Sepulture made in the M. E. Cemetery of this town, under the supervision of S. J. Wilson, funeral director and embalmer.

On Saturday at noon Miss Lillie Robbins, of this town, was united in wedlock with Mr. Howard Megee, of Bridgeport, Conn. The ceremony was performed at the home of the bride’s mother by the Rev. W. J. DuHadway. Mr. Megee is the second son of Captain William H. Megee, of No. 937 North 42d Street, Philadelphia. The wedded couple were conveyed to the station and at the comer of Union and Federal Streets, as is usual in the case of nuptial parties, were given a shower of rice from many hands, and “God-speed” from many thoughts. They boarded the 2.51 train for Philadelphia, and left Milton with the benediction and good wishes of all for their future happiness. They spent Sunday in Philadelphia, and on Sunday evening took the 8 p. m. train for Bridgeport, Conn., where the groom is employed as chief engineer by a large and successful business firm.

Mr. David Roach has received from Department at Washington, the contract for carrying the mail from Waples to Milton, a distance of four miles.

Postmaster Manship has received orders from the post office department to weigh all mails coming in and going out of the office, after the 20th inst., and until further notice. There is considerable trouble attached to this innovation, and the officer hopes the weighing will not be for long.

Mrs. Martin Pettyjohn, of near town, experienced a very painful accident on Thursday of last week. The lady went to the pump to get water and had a clothespin-in her mouth; while pumping, the handle flew out of her hand and struck the clothespin which severed the lingual artery (under-the tongue). There was no one at home at the time, and she was compelled to walk about a mile to where her husband was at work at a neighboring farm. When her friends first saw her she was covered with blood and her mouth so swollen that she could scarcely articulate. After washing out the blood, she was able to make them understand what had happened. Dr. J. A. and Robert Hopkins were immediately summoned, and were obliged to take nine stitches to hold the artery back in place. It is a painful wound, but the lady is resting as comfortably as can be expected.

During last week we experienced the coldest weather of the winter. On Tuesday and Thursday morning the thermometer registered 19° and the wind blew a miniature blizzard.

Notwithstanding the inconveniences under which workmen labored; the icehouses have been filled for summer consumption. Remarkable forethought was shown by the ice gathers, in that when they began cutting on the lake opposite the houses, they commenced some distance from the shore and out towards the land. Having exhausted the supply in shore they were in a dilemma. The wind blew so hard that the part cut over failed to freeze again during the week. There was plenty of ice beyond the water but they could not get it to the land, and were compelled to go to the pond above for the remainder of their pack, and haul it a distance of half a mile. They will doubtless know better another time.

We have several times during the cold snap been accosted with “Hello going a skating! I’ll loan you my skates if you want them!”—-“No, thank you, I put on a pair of skates once, and after a little episode I got them off as soon as possible. I have not had on a pair since, nor do I intend to ever put on another pair. You won’t be bothered with me in the skating match.”

Mr. Culver, Queen Ann Railroad ticket agent, has removed the phone from its former location to the drug store of W. T. Starkey, in the Burton block.

Mr. J. M. Smith of near town, will dispose of his farming utensils on the 20th, and remove to the home of his bride in Milton.

Whereas, we unintentionally omitted the age on the deceased, in our death notice of Mr. William Prettyman, last week; and, whereas, his age as published by others is wrong. Therefore, we will state for the information of inquirers, that Mr. Prettyman was 85 years old last November, as we learn by inquiry.

Dr. John Corey and wife left Milton on Saturday for Philadelphia, en route for their Western home – Cheyenne, Wyoming.

At the same time Mr. R. Davis Carey and sister left town for their home in Philadelphia.

Mr. W. W. Conwell, manager of the Lewes National Bank, of this town, will leave on Thursday to visit Dover, Philadelphia, and other points.

Mrs. Wagamon, mother of the Wagamon Brothers, owners and operators of the Milton flour mill, died at Dagsboro on Sunday, aged about eighty years. Interment at Dagsboro on Tuesday.

The eight months-old child of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Maull, died in Philadelphia on Sunday, and was brought to this town on Tuesday and interred in the M. E. Cemetery.


[i] The quoted verses come from the poem “On the Death of Joseph Rodman,” by Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790 – 1867). This poem is probably his best known to 19th century readers. In the June 22, 1997 edition of the New York Times, John Frey writes: “…Halleck was a 19th-century New Yorker who composed poetry ranging from the incomprehensible to the awful…”, “…the only American poet in the Central Park pantheon…”. “The poet’s greatness becomes apparent only when you study his life. Halleck was a visionary on the New York literary scene just as the city was becoming America’s publishing capital. Long before book parties, publicists and expense-account lunches, he understood exactly what today’s editors and agents mean when they talk about ”developing relationships.” He knew that with the proper social skills in Manhattan, you could be a literary lion without writing well — in fact, without writing much at all.”