April 11, 1902

We have many times been led to ask ourselves the question: By what authority, human or divine, do undertakers assume the right to work on the Sabbath day. The Divine Law requires us to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” and the Statute laws of our State, as well as of our Alma Matre [sic], the general government, whose laws are supposed to be predicated on the Laws of God as set forth in the Bible, presuppose on the part of civilization and require of all a proper observance of the Sabbath. This, in general, is done in our little towns and villages: but we have noticed, not only in this town, but elsewhere, as custom among undertakers to work, on occasion, on the Sabbath. Where this is necessary, of course the end justifies the menus. But is it not often done when it is unnecessary and uncalled for? We have known circumstances like the following: An undertaker receives a call to perform the last mechanical duties to a fellow being. The unfortunate man has died on Friday or Saturday, and his sepulture will be made on Tuesday; the undertaker receives the order, and goes to work on Sunday to trim the casket; and puts his help at work on the grave, digging it and bricking and cementing it. In many cases that we have known, all of the work has been done on the Sabbath, and the intervening time to the funeral is spent at other work. Now could not these undertakers, whose natures and dispositions are chronic on the subject of funerals, do their work on the working days of the week and respect the Sabbath? Certainly, we know, there is a desire to advertise their business, and there is no more effective advertisement than to display something unusual; and working on the Sabbath is an unusual act, and-people are bound to notice it. But, with all of the elaborateness and finesse of the undertaker’s advertisement, the public, nor the individual will be likely to call for their services unless they are needed. There are times when it may be necessary to work on Sunday, for undertakers and many others, on such occasions, and at such times, “the end justifies the means.”

While walking down Union Street last week, near the bridge, I was accosted by a fine looking gentleman with the familiar “hello! Isn‘t that you?” “Certainly, but you have the advantage of me!” “Indeed! Don’t you know me? Edward V Hendrixson?” “Assuredly I do now; but should have not had I met you elsewhere.” The compliments of thirty years were soon passed, when I inquire why that vessel at the dock is displaying her bunting. “Well.” Replied Captain Hendrixson, “this is the first time my vessel has ever been at Milton and I thought I would show my colors.”

The schooner Edward V. Hendrixson, named in honor of her captain, came to Milton on Thursday with a load of fertilizer consigned to David Wiltbank, and reloaded with a cargo of grain—4500 bushels—for Philadelphia. Years ago Captain Hendrixson and the writer were very familiar; the former was then a photographer, and the latter an amateur in education. “Things do change.”

Mrs. Harriet Ruth, an accomplished and up-to-date dress-maker from Georgetown, has removed to Milton and occupies a favorable location on Federal Street.

Large quantities of white oak piling, white oak botis[i], and cedar posts, are being hauled through town to the depot, and shipped to various points. In connection with the above, Captain Carey Palmer, one of the principal shippers of this lumber, informed the writer last week that it is impossible to get laborers to do his work. Said he, “I traversed the town over on Thursday to get men to load a car, and only found two who would work.”

Perhaps, the fishing season may explain this. There are many men in our town engaged in this business: and they expect to make enough out of their business in the spring to live upon the remainder of the year. The fabulous prices at which fish are offered, would go far to justify their ideal could the finny things be caught; but they are scarce. There are not enough seined to supply home demand at any price. We are persuaded that the fishermen earn all that they can get for their catch, but the persons who eat them, often find it inconvenient to pay the price.

Coulter Avenue and a portion of Chestnut Street, have recently been improved by new fences; inclosing Dr. J. A. Hopkin’s lot, and the lot of Mr. George Carpenter.

The Sussex Safe, Title, Trust and Deposit Company Bank, has had a pump put down in the rear of the bank, and will enclose it-with a brick surrounding.

John Barker has had his dwelling, lately damaged by fire, repaired. It is prettier now than before the disaster.

John Bailey, who was in the lockup last week for beating his wife on the street, says, “No more rum for me. I don’t know what possessed me to strike my wife. I never, did it before. We have always lived happy together, and will do so again.”

David Postles, formerly of near Frederica, lately purchased the Dodd farm, near Milton, and will make extensive repairs under the supervision of Stephen Palmer, a proficient carpenter of Milton. Among the many, he will build a barn 16×25 feet on the latest style of architecture.

Rev. Nehemiah Bennum passed through Milton on Thursday, on a dog cart drawn by a nag by no means young. We are inclined to think there is an affinity that attracts the Rev. gentleman to this town; and while we don’t think it is a case of reciprocity, it is all the same to Bennum. We might have said he was en route for Lewes.

Henry Messick, lately removed to Camden, N. J., is now visiting Milton, and will attend Georgetown this week to settle the estate of his deceased wife, of which he is administrator.

The Delaware railroad I company has forbidden the loading of any cars across the main (county) road at Harbeson in the future. Apropos of this, the George E. Megee company has erected a crane (at great cost) to facilitate the shipment of their piling industry. When not in use by the company, other parties can load their lumber with-it by the payment of a nominal sum.

In our communication of last week, we made an error in stating that the beautiful residence of Mrs. Emma Megee was being repainted, etc. It should have been Mrs. Emma Hazzard. The work is being done by W. F. Smith & Son, who are adepts in the artistic line.

Peas, onions, and early plants are peeping through the ground, although the weather of April, thus far, has been unpropitious.

Perhaps Mrs. James Jester has more daffodils in her garden than any other person in town. They are nicely arranged-along walks, and at this time present a pretty appearance.

Meeting Mr. Cornelius Waples on the Street on Saturday, said he: “Bet you can’t guess what I had to eat this morning?” Certainly not,” said I. “What?” “A piece of cake from my niece, who has been married in Iowa.” “Indeed! I am going to publish that.” “All right.” Mr. Waples left Lewes and Rehoboth hundred thirty years ago, and emigrated to Iowa; he there married, lost his wife, and with a daughter returned to Delaware and to Sussex county, where he again married; and the lady he first courted. This might be made the subject of a romance. “Truth-is often stranger than fiction.” However, we may expatiate at another time, when space is not so complicated.

George Atkins, traveling salesman for the shirt business, left on Monday for a business trip in Maryland and Virginia.

Elias Lofland, of this town, but now engaged in business at Harburton, Va., is visiting friends in Milton. He will return to his occupation on Saturday.

At the reorganization of the juvenile Missionary Society, at the M. E. Sunday School on Sunday, W. S. Lack was elected president; Charles Atkins, 1st vice-president; 2nd vice-president, William F. Wilson; secretary, Miss Stella Davidson; treasurer, Miss Letitia Black. The collection amounted to about $8. After the services at this Sabbath School, the members and congregation were invited to attend the M. P. Church and listen to a lecture to be delivered by Mrs. Helen T. Rice, National Secretary of the W. C. T. U. This they did, and were much edified by the lady’s discourse. In the evening Mrs. Rice addressed the congregation at the M. E. Church.

Mr. John Harper, of Milford, has been canvassing Milton for the sale of a patent fire kindler. Presumably, he has done well at his business.

Messrs. Carey and Robinson on Monday butchered an ox that weighed 1250 pounds. This ox is the remaining one of the two bought by this firm a few weeks ago and which—the pair—weighed 2500 pounds.

T. D. Conner and wife of Frederica, after visiting Lewes last week, came on the train on Monday morning and stopped over at Milton, with Mr. Conner’s brother, until Tuesday.

Robert D. Clendanlel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Clendaniel, died in Slaughter Neck on Saturday of whooping cough, aged 18 months and 28 days. Funeral at Reynold’s M. P. Church on Sunday afternoon, the Rev. L. P. Corkran. M. E. minister officiating, and the remains deposited in the adjacent cemetery. S J. Wilson funeral director.

As we write, a tremendous storm is raging. All of Monday night the rain descended in torrents. On Tuesday the storm was continued, and accelerated by lightning and thunder, and it was the worst rainstorm known in this locality for years. The bridging at the crossings of the streets were taken up to facilitate the passage of the water; the lightning flashed, the thunder-rolled, people were, naturally, excited, and amongst all the melee Jester’s monkey broke a “looking glass.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the citizens-on Federal Street were startled by an unlooked for symphony. Music galore; the elders ran to their doors, the little children crouched themselves in corners. All was attention. Someone more adventurous than the rest, creeped out and espied the cause. Polk Jefferson was going through town with an ungreased axle to his wagon, and the entertainment was appreciated by the boys, though at first the little children thought the Russian cavalry had made a daring exploit.


[i] No suitable definition for “botis” can be found; we can go on the assumption that this is a typo, and that Conner meant to say “posts” or “poles” or some other similar term.