August 1, 1902

At an adjourned meeting of the Milton School Board, held on Thursday evening, the 24th, Prof. (?) C. B. Morris[i] was elected principal as per schedule laid down. There were other candidates who presented first grade certificates, but Mr. Morris was elected on A COPY OF A SECOND GRADE CERTIFICATE, signed by Prof. Leon Davis, without date. The word “COPY” is written diagonally across the copy. What a shame! What an insult to the intellect of Milton! That a graded school should be taught by a principal with a second grade certificate—and that of inferior quality—while the first assistant has a first grade. “Tell it not to Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askalom, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice; lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.” It has been said, “It is useless to cast pearls before swine,” and “If the blind lead the bling they will both fall into the ditch.” It is left for the considerate reader to draw his own conclusions.

The road leading from Milton to Lavinia’s Camp has been nicely cleared of the grass that has been growing along the sidewalks. A splendid walk is now assured on both sides of the way to the camp. The walk to the railway is also attractive. The trains will stop on schedule time, to let off and take on passengers.

Among the Milton friends of the deceased, who attended the funeral of Miss Emma Burton, daughter of Joshua Burton, at Lewes, on Wednesday, were: Mrs. Sallie Ponder, Mrs. C. H. Atkins, Miss Ida Ponder and Miss Clara Vaughan, J. C. Hazzard, Esq., Capt. C. H. Atkins, and Mr. John Ponder, and probably others whom we did not recognize.

Captain Denney was here last week looking after those people who are interested in the summer traffic of a steamboat from Milton to Lewes and Philadelphia. He visited Drawbridge. It is thought the Pokanoket will be here soon. This steamer is well adapted to this river, and the Denny Brothers are men who know how to run her. The experience of three years ago proves this. Bu all means let the Pokanoket come.

The canning manager were here last week getting ready for business.

In Lewes last week we met Mr. J. L. Mulford, of West Point, Va. As soon as Mr. Mulford became acquainted with the writer, through an introduction of Mr. Elijah Register, and found out I am from Milton, he questioned me much about the decline of ship building in our town, asked me if I remembered the bark Fenomore that was built in Milton, and of Capt. Charles Megee, who was at one time her captain; and told me he was one of that vessel’s owners. He questioned me about the mechanics of our town, and of our contractors; said he was then en route for Cape May, and had one vessel building in New Jersey. He wants ship carpenters who can work from models, and told me he would be in Milton soon to see what he could do there in the way of securing a good contractor. Mr. Mulford appeared to be a fine man, and I believe he is. His knowledge of Milton and several of the vessels that have been built here prove to me that he knew of what he was talking.

Charle H. Howard, of Lewes and Rehoboth Hundred, is a candidate for coroner on the Republican ticket.

The Misses Hettie, Elizabeth and Mamie Conner spent a portion of last week at Rehoboth.

Dr. W. J. Hearn’s naptha launch is being repainted, repaired, and glass lights put into the sides of the hurricane, by Capt. J. A. Betts, her commander.

There is more trout in the market at present, than at any other time during the season. Five or six small loads a day.

Lafayette Brittingham was stung by a spider while in a water closet of the shirt factory on Wednesday morning. In a short time the wound became painful, and the abdominal system was swollen to an abnormal size. Two physicians were in attendance on Wednesday after administering antidotes. Late in the evening the patient became easy. The swelling has since subside, and he is improving.

Last week Charles Hutson’s hog gobbled up 17 goslings and 14 biddies, belonging to Christian Jensen, living near Milton. Mr. Jensen brought suit before Squire Collins for damages. The defendant asked for a referee trial, which was granted. Verdict for Jensen, $2. The cost of the suit was about $5, making the defendant out of pocket $7. Rather dent poultry, and so young, too.

Mr. Henry Carter, formerly of Frederica, but now of South Carolina, has been spending several days with friends in Milton.

Dr. Leonard proposes to elucidate his ideas on the Calvinistic doctrine of “child punishment” at a future meeting of the Milton Sorbonne.

The statistician of “Canineology”—if the reader cannot find this word in Webster’s lexicon, he may kindly give the writer credit for it—has failed to report the number of dogs that have “bit the dust” under the recent order of Town Council.

Mrs. Jane Emily Jones, of whom we wrote last week as being stricken with paralysis, died on Wednesday morning. The funeral services were held on Saturday at Lewes. Solemnized by the Rev. Mr. Turner, and sepulture made in Lewes. The deceased leaves three children—Dr. Roland Jones, of New York; Mrs. Nettie Wright, of New York, and Mrs. Mein Marsh, of Sussex County—the home of her nativity.

Lots of dogs running the streets without muzzles. It is said the bailiff is allowing this, to get them unwary, then he will gobble them all up at one fell swoop.

The “cloud burst” that visited this hundred on Friday, was the worst we have seen for years. And be it remembered that just thirty years ago, on the 25th of July, was the storm that stuck so many houses in Milton, blew the tin roof from the Ponder House, struck the residence of W. B. Tomlinson, and “kicked up the devil” generally. There are persons in Milton who remember it. In Coolspring, at the residence of Henry Virden, he was compelled to go to the stables with water half way up his rubber boot legs. This, we mean, was on last Friday.

Mr. Wesley Coverdale and sister went to Cape May on Saturday.

Mr. Rufus Ellingsworth, of Broadkiln, informs us he is a candidate for State Senator from the Fifth Senatorial District, subject to the nomination of the Democratic convention. Mr. Ellingsworth is a good man; and it will be remembered that only a few years ago he was a candidate for coroner on the same party, but was defeated in convention.

James P. Calhoun died at the home of Charles Vaughan near Cowgill’s Corner, on Monday, of stricture of the bowels, aged 68 years, 9 months and 21 days. S. J. Wilson, of this town, was phoned for and went to that place on Monday, returning the same evening with the corpse. This was placed at the home of his son, where the funeral services were held on Tuesday afternoon by the Rev L. P. Corkran, and the remains deposited in the M .E. Cemetery, under the direction of the above named undertaker.

Monday was an eventful day in Milton’s history: In the afternoon an automobile made its appearance in town, going through and coming back; in the early evening the melodramatic notes of a steam thresher scared the bull frogs from the lagoons nearby, and at about 5.30 William Lofland attempted suicide by shooting himself.[ii] The facts of the latter case are briefly summarized as follows: Mr. Lofland has been, like many another good man, in a state of inebriety for several days. He has been engaged for some time at the Hart House, but was discharged a few days ago. He has been in a state of despondency for some time; having no particular home. On Monday afternoon, he deliberately shot himself in front of E. Wise Warren’s place of business. He was conveyed to his quasi home, and Dr. R. B. Hopkins summoned. The diagnosis of the doctor revealed the fact that the bullet had passed entirely through the body, penetrating the left breast below the heart, or between the heart and the diaphragm. On Tuesday morning, after a night of extreme suffering, he sat up. At 6.30 the writer came from the home; scarcely any pulse, the heart slow, and cannot take any nourishment. The physicians in attendance think he is better now.


[i] C. B. Morris was Charles B. Morris, born in 1858 in or near Milton. His occupation on the U. S. Census was given as “schoolteacher” starting with that of 1880.

[ii] This, in my opinion, is easily one of the best sentences ever penned by David A. Conner. In a few words, he provides a snapshot of Milton in 1902, suspended between its rural past and the advances of the future which would leave some of its citizens behind, in despair.