May 15, 1903

Spring, bashful maiden, was chary with her favors during the first months of her young life. She lingered long in the “lap of winter” hiding her face behind so more clouds and anon peeping out with tantalizing hilarity, to return again amid dismal gloom, chilling blast and pouring rain. But now the once little maiden grown almost to be a woman, has thrown away her bashfulness, has removed the veil from her handsome countenance, and gazes forth in admiration upon the splendor she has unconsciously produced during the days of her pouting and bad humor. She now looks forth at the beauty that clothes the greensward on every hand, and which mortal man delights to admire and almost to worship. Beneath Spring’s smiling rays, vegetation is shooting forth; and the spontaneous productions of this old earth are dressed in May attire. The honeysuckle is flowering, the rhododendron is budding, and all the congenital wild flowers are pretty in the woods, and by the ravines, in the grottos, in the dells, and along the riverbanks. The oak is sending out its young shoots, and the sturdy old hickory is being dressed for its summer life. The cedar is so lovely in its perennial garb, and the pine forests are as fragrant as they ever were in days of yore, before the “woodman’s axe” had played havoc with the soughing boughs of the surrounding timber. This new birth, this beginning of a new existence, or reviviention of the old, comes so oft and with such appointed regularity, that we accept it, and are not disappointed. The seasons may be late but we notice that the flowers will bloom, the seeds will germinate, and the trees will put forth their buds at the appointed time; they may be backward and unhealthy in appearance, but they will come when the time arrives.

The men who have been pessimists for the last two months are now beginning to think all is not lost, that there is yet time to raise a crop, and that starvation and ruin will not be the fate of the good farmers around Ellendale and Milton. We have tried to keep this conclusion before the people during the part months, and they get mad and say, “You know nothing about it!” Well, we know that we don’t; but we have believed, and our belief is now reality.

In regard to the prospect for fruit, opinion is varied. There are many who think there will be a half crop of peaches, others less.

William Chandler, at present of Scranton, Pa., has a farm, part of which is within the town limits. On this land there are 800 pear trees of the Keffler variety. Last year the crop of fruit on these trees were phenomenal. The morning after the freeze in April, I visited this orchard. I then though all the buds were frozen. I went to the orchard two weeks ago, and again last week, and found there are a few pears on the trees. The tenant, Mr. Spencer, estimates the present outlook to indicate not more than one-fifth of a normal crop. Mr. Chandler’s peach orchard presents a poor prospect for many peaches, while in the gardens of town many trees are quite full of young fruit, and these trees—many of them –are in very bleak places. So we see the weather and the fruit trees have their breaks as well as individuals.

The “teachers’ examination,” held here on Thursday and Friday of last week, was poorly attended. There were eighteen candidates in all—eight teachers and ten others who want to become such; some of the latter but little more than children, and should they be fortunate enough to get certificates, which is not at all likely, and enter a schoolroom as teacher, the first little difficulty that occurred they would go out at one of the windows, if they could not find the door, Bosh! The old teachers are dropping out of the ranks, and many of the younger ones, too, at least around Milton, on account of the difficulty of the examinations and the study necessary in making preparation for them. This is the reason, “Only this, and nothing more.[i]

Miss Edna Johnson was married on Tuesday, the 5th, to Mr. Charles Moore, of near Waples Mill., The ceremony was performed at Nassau. A reception was held on Friday evening at the home of the groom’s parents, Captain and Mrs. Joseph Moore, at which a real old Sussex County party, of long ago, was duplicated with all of the modern improvements of ice cream, bananas, and other foreign foods.

On Thursday while papering with the stairway of William Mears’ dwelling, Wesley Coverdale fell from a temporary scaffold to the bottom of the stairs, a distance of about ten feet. He was badly shaken up, a little scared, and somewhat bruised, but is now at right again, Mr. Coverdale is old enough to know how to be careful in making his stages, but when a thing is done and over, we always can tell how it was done.

Edwin Johnson, engaged in railroad work at Prince, West Virginia, is at home on a temporary visit.

J. B. Welch came near having a fire in his drug store some nights ago. He was called up after having retired by a man who wanted some medicine. The man was smoking a pipe which he handled carelessly. After having obtained the medicine the man left the store and Mrs. Welch prepared to retire to his room., As he ascended the stairs, he looked back and saw a light in the store; returning he found fire from the man’s pipe in the chair in which he is accustomed to sit, and near a lot of inflammable material. Had he retired without returning to the store, the conditions might have been different.

The Milton colored school closed on Monday, the 4th inst.

The mail sacks that come to the Milton post office are dirty and nasty, and when opened emit an odor that is by no means pleasant. They are dragged around in the mail cars and on the station platforms, until they are actually unfit to carry into a decent office. Possibly they are never cleaned, and from their appearance and stench, mist be infectious. As the government is up-to-date to other hygienic matters, it should turn its attention to the cleansing of the mail sacks.

On Sunday morning, the 17th, the Broadkiln Hundred Bible Society will hold its annual meeting at the M. E. Church for the election of delegates to attend the annual meeting of the Sussex County Bible Society, which convenes at Ellendale on the 21st of the present month, The M. P., Church will elect its delegates for the same purpose on the evening of the same day.

The anniversary of the Epworth League of the M. E. Church will be held on the evening of the 17th.

The 71st anniversary of the Milton M. E. Sunday School was held on Sunday evening. Captain S. R. Bennett read a paper bearing on the subject, and presented the present school with one of the Bibles used in the first one.

On Monday the mail arrangements of Milton were again changed for the worse, The former noon mail arrives now at 6.25 p. m., and the evening mail at about 7.30; about one hour difference in the time. More of this in a future communication.

Captain Scull is again at work building roads, grading and making other improvements at Mount Ararat.

Mrs. Elizabeth H. Griffith died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. James Clendaniel near Milford, Tuesday morning, May 11thm 1903, of paralysis[ii], aged 91 years, 6 months and 13 days. Funeral at Union M. E. Church at 3 o’clock Wednesday. Interment in the cemetery adjoining the church. Rev. J. A. Buckson officiating, Samuel H, Wilson & Son, funeral directors.

After an extended visit to his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Tomlinson, to Wilmington, Mr. J. C. Hazzard returned to Milton on Monday.


[i] Excerpt from the poem The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe.

[ii] Paralysis is now commonly called stroke.