November 22, 1901

The death of Russell Hobbs, which occurred at Georgetown last week, removes from the county a man of eventful history. I remember him, when a boy, as a workman for my father, engaged in making rush bottom chairs and painting the same. I recall that he left Frederica and went away; after a long absence he returned, and said he had been in the English army, and had been to India in the Sepoy war. While boarding with Mr. Hobbs at Harbeson some years ago, he related to me many of his exploits and escapades, a summary of which I published at the time in the Chronicle. Perhaps his greatest adventure was his last. He was a confederate sailor on board of the privateer Alabama, when that vessel was sunk off the harbor of Cherbourg, France, by Captain Winslow of the U. S. ship-of-war Kearsarge. He, with others, was picked up by the English yacht Deerhound and carried to Liverpool, or some other port of the British Isles. From thence he obtained passage to New York. While on his way to Sussex County, he was arrested on the Delaware railroad, near Dover, and taken to the prison ship then lying off Philadelphia. After serving twelve months imprisonment he was released, and returned to Sussex County. While on his way down the State, the writer who was driving from Frederica to Drawbridge, met Mr. Hobbs in Milford and brought him to Milton. One of his old friends–Jackson Pettyjohn—now resides in Milton. Some years ago the two, after a separation of years, met in New Zealand and had a “good time.” This can be vouched for by Mr. Pcttyjohn, who is often wont to relate the circumstance. During his later years, when able to work, he has followed his avocation as a painter-and he was a good one.

The Town Council met last week and elected Mr. C. H. Davidson chief of the fire department. A fire company was organized with a membership of twenty-six, and the books yet open for more. On Saturday afternoon the company turned out for drill. While preparing to go on the street an alarm of fire was given, which proved to be in the rear of J. C. Hazzard’s office. Leaves were being burned and the fence caught fire, and the office was scorched. This was quenched by a few buckets of water before the engine arrived. The engine left Ponder’s corner and made for the river, a distance of about 150 yards, and from the time of leaving this point and making the river, and stretching the hose and starting the stream on the old Academy and surrounding buildings, was just three and a-half minutes. The boys did well for beginners and the engine did all that is claimed for it. Later in the afternoon they went out on Milton Lane, and when returning on the down grade on Union Street the engine got away from them, and with no brakes down it was making things howl, when it ran against the lamp-post in front of the M. P. Church and upset, scattering the buckets helter-skelter over the street. No one was hurt; and after getting the engine straightened up, it was found that the only damage was a broken tongue, a bent axle and some mashed buckets. This accident must be considered as only a part of the education in the business of firemen. Now we have a fire engine Lewes wants to fall in line with us. She thinks that Lewes and Milton fire-fighters should practice together, and that Milton and Lewes only twelve miles apart, should establish a stronger bond of friendship. This has the right ring, and we think so, too: She calls us “sister,” and invites us to give us your hand, Miss Milton.” This is loving and generous, and we are in favor of doing it. We believe in reciprocation.

On Wednesday morning of last week, Mr. J. B. Welch was awakened by a tap, tap, tap. Arising and looking around the house, he found the noise came from the organ. Upon further investigation, he discovered a rabbit within the organ. How it got there is a mystery he cannot solve.

The subject of “wasps” is now engaging the attention of the stewards of the M. E. Church. Every time the auditorium is heated, these disagreeable little insects make their appearance numerically strong, and to the disgust of the congregation. They have not yet made any assaults, but it is feared they may. How to get them out is the question.

Miss Maggie Ellingsworth has resigned her position as saleslady at C. H. Atkins’ store.

Mr. G. W. Atkins left the first of the week, on a business trip to New Castle County.

Mrs. D. A. Conner, who has been confined to her home for seven weeks, is slowly improving.

Prof. Fearing is repainting and repapering the M. P. Church at Beaver Dam.

Dr. W. J. Hearn, of Philadelphia, spent a portion of his time at his cottage on Broadkiln Beach last week.

Oscar Carpenter, of near Harbeson, butchered a hog last week, between nine and ten months old, that weighed 458 pounds. The hog had become so fat that it could not see and could scarcely breathe, and he was forced to kill it this early.

Captain Frank Lacey is home with his family.

The flour department of the mill of Wagaman Brothers broke down on Friday. The extent of the damage is not yet known.

Rev. Frank Holland, M. P. minister at Harbeson, has been quite ill for some time. He is reported to be convalescing.

Presiding Elder Baker preached at the M. E. Church on Sunday morning.

The platform at the railroad station, which has been in a dangerous condition for some time, has been repaired.

Miss Sallie R. Donovan died at the home of her parents at Harbeson, on Thursday of consumption, aged 20 years, 3 months, and 5 days. Funeral services were held at Beaver Dam M. P. Church on Sunday by the Rev. Mr. Brynn, of Georgetown, and interment made in the cemetery adjoining. S. J Wilson funeral director. Milton Lodge, Daughters of America, of which the deceased was a member, was present to pay its last respects to its fallen member, and donated a wreath of enameled metallic flowers to her memory. The wreath was placed upon the grave and will remain there indefinitely. The pall-bearers were ladies of the lodge, viz – Miss Edna Johnson, Miss Fanny Leonard, Miss Emma Clendaniel, Miss Lucinda Stevens, Miss Hessie Argo, of Milton, and Miss Eliza Wilson, of Harbeson. Miss Maggie Fowler was marshal, and Miss Hettie J. Conner was chaplain, and read the burial services of the Order at the grave.

The three-year-old child of Robert Nailor, living near Milton, was burned to death on Saturday afternoon. The facts in the case are few and meagre. The mother had gone from the house fora short time, and when she returned she found the house filled with smoke and the child lying on the door dead, completely baked. This is all that is known. How the child caught fire will always be one of the mysteries of the unknown. The funeral services were held at Zion M. E. Church on Monday afternoon. The Rev. Jesse Taylor officiating, and the remains were inhumed in the cemetery adjoining. S. J. Wilson funeral director.

Joseph Morris fell from a scaffold while working at the bank building on Saturday morning and struck aside the bearer of a lower scaffold injuring himself quite seriously. His daughter has been summoned from Camden, N. J.

On Friday the Rev. L. P. Corkran was summoned to attend the funeral of a relative at Preston, Md. He left on Saturday morning accompanied by Mrs. Corkran.

We reported last week that Messrs. Lingo & Hazzard had purchased the mercantile business of James H. Warrington. These gentlemen after the invoice, took possession of the store. After one or two days a technicality arose over the bargain and the purchasers retired from the store, giving to Mr. Warrington the keys; and, placing the goods in the hands of a middleman. Since then no adjustment of the difficulty has been arrived at, and the sale on Monday was declared off; and each party remains “in statu quo,” minus the cost of the invoice.

Captain James Darby left on Tuesday to visit his wife, who is very low with typhoid fever in Camden, N. J.

Justice-of-the-Peace Eli L. Collins, and D. A. Conner, attended Georgetown on Tuesday as witnesses before a Court of Inquisition held on the property and lands of the Delaware Hardware Company, located in and around Milton.