January 15, 1904


“Our best friends are those who tell us of our faults and teach us how to correct them.”[i]

A thing, or place, appears good or indifferent as it may be considered, either concretely, or in the abstract. When we view Milton in the abstract, we see many things to condemn; and we have done so. Suggesting at the same time what we considered a remedy for the defect, or how, in our judgment, things might be better and more advantageously done. For this we have received the thanks of some wiseacres, who say we try to disparage the town. Common sense would teach anyone who knows us and who has read our writings, that this is untrue. We certainly are not egotist enough to claim what we do to be infallible; neither are we so conceited as not to see faults in ourselves as well as in the construction and works of our town. We try to show Milton’s adverse points simply that they be noticed more particularly and remedied. Knowing the personnel and caliber of Town Council we cannot expect it will set Milton “on fire” by any judicious system of work. The “thing” at the foot of Federal Street, made to facilitate the filling up of the Broadkiln, proves this. Hence some guardianship should be exercised over this august body. When we view Milton concretely we consider it the prettiest little town in lower Delaware, and taken with its suburban connections, one of the prettiest little places in the world. Is this saying too much? If the reader thinks so he should come here some time—the spring would be the most beautiful time, but any season will do—and take in the town, it’s pretty buildings, macadamized streets, pretty women, and polite men. And after having perambulated through the town, retire to the outskirts and look at the configuration of the country nearby; its level fields, rolling river, chattering rills, and lazy brooks, with Lavinia’s magnificent wood to the west and the placid waters of the beautiful Lake Fanganzyki lying between.

The steamboat feeling in Milton is a good deal like “Bob Acres’ Valor,”[ii] It will “come and go.” But the boat will come.[iii]

Since the holidays are over that general stagnation of business has supervened that invariable follows an over stimulus. Everyone knows that an over excitement must be followed by a period of corresponding reaction. Such is the period we are now going through; and when this shall have passed we shall again enter on our normal state. These excitements are natural, and must come. They also bring their results. And if we expect and partake of the advantages that these seasons of over-excitement bring, we must also be content to share in the reaction they produce.

It sure does look that the way timber is being cut and shipped from this locality that the forests will be exhausted at no distant day. All kinds of lumber that can be cut from the trees of the wood is being made or shipped to other parts to be manufactured. Hickory butts, cedar posts, piling, both pine and oak, and even bean poles are being shipped; portable saw mills are cutting the logs into any kind of lumber desired. Forests have been cut and burnt into charcoal and glades, or branches near town, that have had cypress growing in them have been decimated, and the lumber used for many purposes. A great deal of it is being shipped to other parts [as] the most of it is unsuitable for the [work] around the country. The present [cutter] has been splendid for the purpose [of] cutting the branch lumber, as the [beams] have been frozen most of the time.[iv]

Mrs. Mary L. Wilson and son, former assistant postmaster, have removed from Milton into Kent County.

The shirt factor of Messrs. Douglass & White resumed work on Monday morning after being closed for the holidays.

Prof. W. G. Fearing had both feet to slip from under him on Monday, and he came down “ker wack” on his lumbar vertebra. No bones were broken, and Mr. Fearing things his posteriors save d his life.

John Saxton Sanson died at the home of his son, Dr. F. E. Sanson at Ellendale on Monday morning of paralysis, aged 87 years, 6 months, and 17 days. Funeral services were held at the home of his son on Tuesday evening at 7:30 and the remains were shipped to Philadelphia the next morning. The Rev. J. A. Buckson conducted the funeral obsequies and the undertaking firm of S. J. Wilson & Son shipped the body.

Thursday morning was a morning that will long be remembered in Milton on account of the “more than more” display that was advanced by nature for the delight of the young ones of the town. The streets wore crystal, brought about by the rain of the preceding evening; and the boys and girls were skating and coasting. They had a merry time. Two girls about fifteen, getting tired with skates, pulled them off, and taking hold of a sled said: “Mr. Crusader, we’re gong to show you something.” They went to the top and came down. The sleigh capsized! The boys who were standing at the foot of the hill, looking up, can tell you the rest. Willie W. Conner fell early in the morning while going to his store. While no serious hurts are complained of he is yet “bad.”


[i] This is a passage from a collection of moral precepts used as a teaching text. One source is An Introduction to the English Reader, an instructional text for children compiled by Lindley Murray and published in Philadelphia around 1820. As a former primary schoolteacher, David A. Conner is certain to have encountered this text and perhaps used it in his classroom. The passage is also found in a book for beginning students of English by A. F. Van de Laar published in 1824, in Amsterdam.

[ii] Bob Acres’ valor is a reference to the play The Rivals, by Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (1751 – 1816), Irish playwright and poet. The Bob Acres character is a blusterer who talks a good game but whose courage leaves him when the moment of truth is at hand.

[iii] Another reference to the proposed steamship between Milton and Philadelphia that was under discussion for at least a year at this point, along with the trolley line from Seaford

[iv] The last few lines of this paragraph were partially obscured and some words have been guessed at (in brackets)