July 5, 1901

“Some take their bliss in action, some in ease
Those find it pleasure, and contentment these.”[i]

We have just returned from our Sunday morning walk; we have roamed through the woods and perambulated along the water courses; we have worshipped in a temple grander than ever fashioned by human hands, and admired a sermon more eloquent than ever fell from human lips. The pleasure and the inspiration engendered by the quietude of these natural surroundings of wood and streamlet, lift one’s heart from the sublunary things of earth to an anticipated realm.

“Where brighter suns dispense serener light, and milder moons imparadise the night.”[ii]

In strange contrast to the solitude and solemnity of the wood is the bacchanalian revival that for a part of two days last week held carnival in Milton. It began on Thursday by the discharge of two Irishmen from the lime barge Rambo, who got on a drunk which was participated in by several Miltonians. On that day the Irishmen paraded Federal Street and went to the depot, returning by way of Chestnut Street.

Lime barge William B. Rambo
Lime barge William B. Rambo

Their manner on this day was quiet and unassuming, although their condition attracted considerable attention from lookers-on. On Friday they became boisterous and noisy, and an attempt was made to arrest them. One of them escaped and has not been seen in Milton since. The other was captured, and in default of payment of fine and costs, was committed to Georgetown jail. This, it is said, he resisted and tried to escape from the officer having him in charge. After deputizing several men, the “guardian of the law” again captured the prisoner and tied him in the carriage. Then, with his deputies, he carried the offender to Georgetown. There has been much criticism made by our citizens over the treatment of the man and the manner of his arrest; some claiming he was treated in a brutal manner, other that his treatment was only the natural result of his own actions. As we were not present, we refrain from comment on the conduct of the officers.

At the school election held on Saturday, David A. Wiltbank, Dr. R. T. Wilson, and Wm. H. Welch were elected commissioners; vice E. W. Warren, Geo. A. Bryan, and Joseph R. Atkins, time expired.

Mrs. Susie B. Davidson[iii] returned top Wilmington last week.

Mr. Edwin Johnson[iv] returned to Washington on Saturday.

The shirt factory of Douglass & White is closed for a couple of weeks.

Wheat cutting is on; and many loads of clover are being hauled through town for the use of private parties.

William Maull, the blacksmith, has erected an upper platform in front of his wheelwright and carriage shop, for the use of Mr. Stevens, carriage repairer and painter.

Joshua Carey has the largest onion patch of any we have seen near town.

David M. Conwell lost a large sty hog on Saturday night. Cause unknown. The hog was apparently well enough when last seen on Saturday, but was found dead on Saturday morning. The remains were conveyed to the usual repository for dead animals near Milton.

The camp meeting at Lavinia’s Woods will commence on August 17. A grand social time is anticipated. Sam Jones will not be there, and the patrons of the camp need not come expecting to be disappointed, Other preachers, however, will be on the ground, who, while they may not contain as much wind as Sam, will deliver better sermons and respect the sacredness of their calling in a higher degree than does Mr. Jones.

Harry L., infant child of Mr. and Mrs. John Hellons, died on Saturday, near Chaplin’s Chapel of cholera infantum, aged 5 weeks. Funeral services at Chaplin’s Chapel on Sunday afternoon, and interment in the Hellen’s Cemetery, S. J. Wilson funeral director.

Mr. James Mathisen and wife, of Laramie City, Wyoming, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Atkins. The visiting lady is a niece of Mrs. Atkins.

Mr. Ralph Seligman is visiting Mr. Clarence Welch.

Mr. S. B. Darby, of Frederica, is in Milton at present in the interest of the piling business, which has become a great source of revenue to owners of pine timber and hailers thereof. At the present rate of cutting for piling, and burning for charcoal, it looks as though the supply in Sussex would soon be exhausted. And the sooner the better. Undoubtedly Sussex County would be in a more flourishing condition today had there never been a stick of pine timber in it. For years past tenants have rented land merely for the pine wood they could get from it. They tilled but little of the ground, and raised barely enough to support their families, with the help the pine wood brought. The landlord got no rent, and expected none. Happily, this is in a great measure changed. But little pine wood is now taken at the stores; the wharves are generally bare, but not all; a few persons yet deal in that currency because they are forced to do so. When the pine forest of Sussex are a thing of other days, then will the farmer improve his land and make it yield abundantly. A few are doing so now, but not all. Many of them are yet bound to the traditions of their fathers they believe in signs and wonders; in the phases of the moon and the east wind; that potato bugs are a special visitation from God, and the happiest man in the world is he who has the most pine timber. This set of people may be right, at least they are happy in their belief; but we believe that a young man of thirty years ago, should he live thirty years longer, will look back in his remembrance to his boyhood days and to the customs then prevailing and wonder what manner of people lived during the closing years of the nineteenth century and the initial years of the twentieth.

On account of the hot and sultry day few persons attended the churches on Sunday, preferring to take their ease within the shade of home, where the balmy breezes could fan their brow, and sleep, quiet, invigorating, forgetful; sleep, would banish all care from their mind.

Miss Hettie J. Conner[v] returned from a visit to Wilmington on Monday.

Abel Pettyjohn, town bailiff, is having his dwelling painted, as is, also, Captain Frank Outten his front fence.

Captain John Fisher, Jr., spent Sunday in Milton.

Contractor I. W. Nailor made a trip to Baltimore on Monday.

Schooner Golden Rule has arrived at Milton dock with a cargo of crushed stone for the streets. The supervisor is having it hauled and applied to localities where needed.

The hot, dry, and dusty weather was superseded by a welcome change on Tuesday afternoon; the thermometer in thirteen minutes, fell 28°, and a gentle rain did much to revive the parched and dying vegetation. During the electric storm, the display of which was quite vivid, in mid-afternoon, the fuses in the telephone at C. H. Atkins’ store were burned out. No other damage was done.

Miss Edna Johnson is visiting in Washington

[i] Pope, Alexander: Essay on Man

[ii] Montgomery, James: Our Own Country, ca. 1853. James Montgomery was a Scottish-born minor poet in the first half of the 19th century whose work was very frequently anthologized in Victorian inspirational readers.

[iii] David A. Conner’s daughter

[iv] David A. Conner’s son-in-law, Susan’s husband

[v] David A. Conner’s daughter