February 8, 1901

“God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform
He plants his footstep on the sea
And rides upon the storm.

“His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour
The burl may haven bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower. “[i]

The above stanzas are called to my remembrance by certain things that have happened of late. It will be useless for me to quote the psalmist: “If I ascend to heaven, thou art there; if I descend to hell, thou wilt find me.”[ii] etc. The above, to the casual reader, and to one unacquainted with our town, may seem absurd, and so it is. However, while we may not develop things, at present, we shall hold to the doctrine of William Cowper:

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.

Mrs. Sarah J. Messick died at her home on Saturday evening of paralysis. It was Mrs. Messick’s intention to remove shortly to Philadelphia and live with her son Mr. Theodore Messick, an epitaph writer and former editor and proprietor of the “Milton Times,” but her life was unexpectedly cut short while in the midst of her anticipations. The deceased was about 40 years of age.

Miss. Maggie M. Hood, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Hood, died at the home of her parents, in Long Neck, on Monday, February 4th, 1901, of consumption, aged 18 years, 5 months and 14 days. Funeral services at the Presbyterian Church in Rehoboth, Thursday, at half past 2 p. m., February 7th. Interment in cemetery adjoining the church. Rev. Mr. Wainright officiating.

Angelina, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles O’Neill, died at the home of her parents at Ellendale on Wednesday, of pneumonia, aged 4 years, 2 months and 22 days. Funeral services at McColley’s Chapel on Friday. Rev. Mitchell, of Ellendale, officiating, and S. J. Wilson conducting the funeral.

John Davis A. Collins, who was said to have been left to die near Donovan’s schoolhouse, did die on Saturday, and his burial services were solemnized on Monday. Mr. Davis leaves a wife and two children. The circumstances of his situation was known in Milton last week when a fund of over three dollars was subscribed and the necessaries of life were sent to the starving family. Under the efficient management of Mr. Wesley Workman, the latter part of the man’s life was made as comfortable as possible. They gave him a good and comfortable place to die, and doubtless his wife and little ones will be cared for. A case of this kind is certainly one that appeals to us all. We may bury them -—the heroes -—in the trenches on the battlefield; but when we come to the bedside of a dying one—well, I had rather not be there.

Miss Thalia H. Frame, sister of the Hon. Paynter Frame, of Indian River Hundred, and also of Mrs. Robert Davis, of Milford, and other relatives of whom I am not informed, died at her residence on Saturday, aged 58 years and 11 days. Interment on Wednesday at St. John’s M. E. Church, Springfield X Roads. Rev. J. H. Wilson, of Georgetown, conducted the obsequies, and S. J. Wilson, of Milton, directed the funeral. The habiliments of the burial were, perhaps, never exceeded in Sussex County; and were carried out in conformity with the will the deceased had left. The casket was made with square ends and columned corners, and covered with silver gray satin. The extension handles were of silver gray, as was also the plate. Every detail was intended to match. The deceased was robed in a shroud of white satin, with white satin slippers to correspond. The cask was enclosed in a case of polished chestnut with silver mountings. The mausoleum was finished with cement and appeared to have been excavated from a solid rock. Taken altogether, this appears to have been the most gorgeous funeral ever conducted in this part of the State.

Mrs. Jane Lekites was married to Mr. John Smith Wednesday evening of last week. Mrs. Lekites was the widow of Captain Lekites. Supposed, and every circumstance proves, him to have been drowned a few years ago off Hatteras.

The nuptials of Miss Sallie W. Johnson and Mr. John Leverage were solemnized at the home of Mr. William Reed, near Waples Mills, on Wednesday of last week. The ceremony of marriage of the former two weddings, was performed by the Rev H. E. Nelson, of the M. P. Church, of Milton.

At .1 meeting of the official board of the M. E Church, held on Friday evening, the following were elected as trustees of said church for the coming conference year: J. H. Davidson, C. K. Atkins, Dr. R. B. Hopkins, S. J. Martin, J. T. Ellingsworth, Frank Outten and S. R. Bennett. Rev. W. Jr DuHadway, who has filled this pulpit for three years, declines to return, and he has a more fruitful field in view; this, however, is subject to the decree of the Wilmington Conference. The people of Milton may go at great way further, and get no one half so good as Mr. DuHadway.

Mr. R. C. Beardsley has purchased the boiler of the late burnt canning factory. Mr. Beardsley has had it repainted, and will use it.in a prospective business enterprise. Whether or not mere will be another canning factory built in Milton is a question of the unborn future. Developments progress slowly.

Detective Witsil was in town on Tuesday, presumably looking for the man who struck Billy Patterson.

Mr. W. B. Tomlinson is quite sick with pneumonia. Mr. Tomlinson has an excellent constitution, but even a man of 72 years is not cast iron against the weather of the last three weeks.

Mr. Anson Wright, of New York, is home for a few days with his wife.

“Ground Hog Day” was pretty, and we tried to scare up some of the “hogs.” Possibly they were “pigs” as they didn’t come out. I suppose he saw his shadow. The weather since has demonstrated the truth of the aphorism.

Schooner Lydia and Mary, Capt. Scull, has been lying at the mouth of the Broadkiln for four weeks, waiting for a run. A part of the time there was not enough water to float the vessel over the bar, and when there is water enough the wind is “ahead.” Such is generally the case on the western shore.

Mrs. Pfiffer has opened it school for tuition in French and German. She has quite a respectable class, as the writer witnessed, by special invitation.

The Milton shirt factory closed down at 2 P. M. on Monday. Consequent sickness amongst the operators. If the operators are well, it will resume operation on Monday, if not, it will be closed indefinitely.

Mr. Roland Lynch returned to the city on Monday.

It is understood that parties from Frederica are negotiating for the purchase of the Hart House in this town.


[i] The verses quoted here were written by English poet and hymnodist William Cowper (1731 – 1800), and set to the music of a hymn by Dundee in the Scottish Psalter (1615).

[ii] Psalm 139 in the Old Testament