June 21, 1907

In the last issue of the Chronicle we were handicapped in publishing remarks we wished to give relative to a man whom we much admired, as the readers of this paper have every reason to know. For the want of data and information, our account was at that time necessarily optimized. Through the courtesy of relatives we are this week enabled to give a more elaborate statement of the career of the deceased. Robert Davis Carey, of Philadelphia, where interment took place in the M. E. cemetery at Milton on Thursday of last week, was in every sense a Delaware man. Though he left Milton, his native town, on the approach of early manhood, he never, to the time of his death, lost his affection for the home of his nativity, and Delaware people. So strong was his sentiment in this regard, that he always said that when the time came, he wanted to be buried in the soil of Delaware. His visits to Milton, when in health, were frequent, ever taking a keen interest in the people of the town and its affairs. He knew much of the unwritten history of Sussex County and of Delaware. His mind in this respect was a storehouse to gather from and retain. These qualities with his sense of humor made him most attractive in conversation. Mr. Carey was a successful business man, perhaps, as much so as any other, who has left Sussex County, and there have been many. In boyhood, he attended the old district school in North Milton, and the old academy, which overlooked—at that time—the cemetery in which he is laid to rest. Between his schools he attended his father’s country store, and besides learned to so all kinds of farm work. In 1858 he went to Philadelphia to attend school, but he had a mind even at that age—when he was ambitious—to be a worker for himself. He, on his own seeking, after a short time at school, obtained a situation in a book and stationery store, soon transferring to Sower Barnes & Co., a then large and successful concern. He only remained with this firm one year, when he entered co-partnership with the late Jacob Hollowbush, and with the firm name of Hollowbush & Carey. He had every quality needed for the work—ambition, integrity, and business sense—but no capital. But when he arrived, or before he arrived at his majority, he was the junior member of a successful business, which grew rapidly. Early in the eighties the later brother of Mr. Carey—Theodore C. Carey—became a member of the firm. Mr. Hollowbush retired in 1883. After this Theodore C. Carey became an equal partner with his brother. Subsequently the Careys took into their firm the late Wm. H. Grevemeyer, and the firm became Carey Brothers and Grevemeyer. In 1887 the Careys retired, entering the book and stationery business, and devoted themselves to the manufacture of wall paper; a business which they had previously established. This business soon became of the largest of the kind in the country. Previous to the death of Theodore C. Carey in 1895, the Carey Brothers had determined to retire from business. Subsequently things over which the elder MR. Carey had but small control, prevented him from carrying out his intention, and the company of which he was president at the time of his death, known as the “Carey Brothers Wall Paper Manufacturing Company,” is one of the largest establishments of its kind in existence in this or any country. In addition to the above Mr. Carey has long been interested, with his brothers, ex-U.S. Senator Joseph H. Carey and Dr. John F. Carey, both of Cheyenne, Wyoming and doing business in the Dakotas in the cattle and sheep business.[i]

Carey Bros. Wallpaper Fragment
Carey Bros. Wallpaper Fragment

“Davis Carey,” as everyone hereabout called him, “was every inch a man of kind heart.” He never lost or gave up a friend. He lived an exemplary life. He had no resentments. It was a common saying that he never discharged an employee, and that for their delinquencies he always had an excuse. Mr. Carey never married. Few families have [ever kept] closer together than the “Carey family.” The four brothers and two sisters, living at their father’s death nearly twenty years ago, decided that their home of their childhood and of Robert H. Carey, their father, and of Susie, Sallie, and Davis Carey, their brother and sisters, should always be read to be opened on the coming of one or all of the family. This idea has been carried out, and probably will be until the last one of them passes away. The remains of Mr. Carey were brought to Milton in a special car on Thursday, attended by relatives, friends and loving associates. The services at his late home were largely attended. Those at the cemetery were conducted by the Rev. J. L. McKim, of the P. E. Church. Mr. Carey leaves a large estate for a Delaware man—estimated at from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000, and by many persons at more. Besides the immediate relatives of Mr. R. Davis Carey who were in attendance at the funeral, Mr. Fred Davis, of Wheatland, Wyoming, an interesting gentleman, whom we are proud to know—and many others of whom we have not the honor of an acquaintance, were there.

The bulletin boards of Milton are now emblazoned with the double headlines: “Catch Thief! Catch Thief!!” and Constable Barsuglia says, “I’m going to get him!” The last was on Saturday night when S. J. Wilson had a cushion stolen from a carriage and a pair of reins, recently sold, cut. Mr. John Crouch has had stolen two pairs of martingales.[ii]

Under the above heading we may add by authority that the “Holiness Camp Meeting” will not begin until that at Lavinia’s shall have ended—or until about the 20th of August.

Eggs have already gone up. Parties wish to keep them on hand, and get them in a condition to “pop.”

Mrs. Leah Jefferson died at Jefferson’s Cross Roads on Saturday, aged 73 years, 7 months and 27 days. Funeral services were held on Monday afternoon at Slaughter Neck Church by the Rev. Cochran, and interment made in the adjacent Cemetery by S. J. Wilson & Son. Deceased was the relict of the late William P. Jefferson, and a sister to Thomas R. Ingram, of this town.

James B. Deputy, aged 76 years, died at his home near Union Church on Sunday. Sepulture was made in the Union Church cemetery and funeral conducted in that church on Tuesday afternoon. S. J. Wilson & Son funeral directors.

S. J. Wilson was in attendance on the Heptasoph convention held at Atlantic City last week as representative of Milton Conclave, No. 44. Mrs. Wilson accompanied her husband.

Mr. Charles Virden and wife of Philadelphia are the guests of the latter’s mother, Mrs. Jane Sharp.

Children’s Day exercises were held at both the Methodist Churches on Sunday. $46.81 was raised at the M. E. and M. P. Churches.

Mr. John Megee, one of Milton’s efficient barbers, went to Philadelphia on Sunday to visit his daughter, Mrs. Viola McMullin, nee Megee.

The army worms are said to be plenty in lower Broadkiln, while the potato bugs are beautifully scarce. Farmers and others, having vegetation growing, have been ploughing around their fields to keep the worms off.

The three-mast schooner and steamboat lost her bowsprit last week up the Delaware by an accidental collision with the tug having her in tow. We might have said the vessel is the Marie Thomas, we supposed everyone knows this.

The work in the shipyard, which was temporarily delayed last week, has been resumed.

Captain William Carey died at the home of his sister, Mrs. William Plummer in Coolspring on Tuesday, aged 61 years. Funeral services and interment took place at Lewes on Wednesday. S. J. Wilson & Son conducted the burial.

The Misses Mamie and Sara Banning, of Milford, Mr. Harry Pettyjohn, Arthur Derrickson and Allison Blizzard were the guests of the Misses May and Lottie Welch on Sunday.


[i] Further details on the Carey family business history can be found at the University of Delaware Library; the index entry to the many business records of the family contains some detailed information about the business.

[ii] A strap, or set of straps, attached at one end to the noseband (standing martingale) or reins (running martingale) of a horse and at the other end to the girth. It is used to prevent the horse from raising its head too high.