November 15, 1907

Vox populi; vox dei![i] From Tuesday November 5th, a new epoch will be dated in the history of Kent and Sussex counties. Perhaps the coming historian may call it the “year one of the new era.” Be that as it may prognostics point to a reformation that will be drastic in many ways. It will be remembered that after Constantine saw the “Cross in the Sky” he went forth to his work to “Conquer by this.”[ii] It appears that often, the universe, and the elements fight against wrong. The night before Waterloo the elements put out the “last camp fire of Napoleon,” and it would appear the elements have been rejoicing or showing their displeasure at the result of Tuesday election. On that occasion, to use the parlance of the day it went “dry.” The next day it was extremely “wet,” in more ways than one. On that night there was a severe storm accompanied with lightning, thunder, and hail and since, the weather has been moderately fine. While the temperance people have credit of urging the passage of the “Local Option Bill” by the legislature, and of doing their utmost to carry the election against license, it must be admitted by any reasonable man that the credit of the victory belongs—at least in Broadkiln Hundred—to the men who had been whiskey drinkers. They had become tired and disgusted with the liquor regime and enough of them gave their votes against license to produce the change. What the new regime, or temperance reign will produce remains to be seen. Can the future be worse than the past?

On Saturday afternoon three wagons came in town, gaily decorated with flags and bunting and partly loaded with tots and women. The object was a parade. They were joined by a few women and children of the town, and a very few men. The cortege was pretty but tame. A drizzling rain prevailed; there was but little music and the parade lacked interest. It was without the support of the populace. Nearly all of those who voted against license thought the demonstration ill-advised and out of place. The liquor men are hurt bad enough over the destruction of their business; and it is a mark of cowardice to gloat over the downfall of one’s opponent.

W. R. Bush and wife of Annapolis, Md. are visiting their daughter Mrs. L. Roberts whose husband is supervising the building of the jetty at the mouth of the Broadkiln. They are all being entertained by Mrs. L. M. Fearing.

The trees are nearly denuded of their leaves, and the streets are comparatively clean. The busy housewife, and children were much in evidence last week, raking these leaves together and burning them, or relegating them to the hog pens, and stables in the rear.

A party of ladies went to a woods, north of town, last week, after hickory nuts. They were quite successful; though nearer to town the nuts and acorns are scarce.

[…] chicks are plentiful on the lakel and a young man, on Saturday morning, was throwing shot at them, with the usual success.

A part of the effects of the late Sallie Ponder were sold at public sale on Saturday by her daughter Miss Ida.

Isaac W. Nailor of Philadelphia was in town on Saturday and Sunday.

John [..] Jones, who recently removed from Baltimore to Milton, has purchased the John Hall property on Chestnut Street, near the railroad station.

Martin Chandler is enlarging his residence on Lavinia Street.

John H. Davidson has the frame of Mrs. J. A. Collins’ house raised, on Union Street, north.

Thinking, perhaps, that last Saturday night was “the last night of the voyage” in the whiskey line, several drunken persons engaged in free fight, about, and after, midnight. Pandemonium reigned, and some of the participants were badly mauled. On Tuesday a hearing was instituted before Mayor Stephens, but, on account of the absence of some of the parties implicated, the case was postponed.

G. W. Atkins came home on the evening after the day of the election and drove into his pound, took off his overcoat and hung it on the fence; ungeared his horse, and went into the house. The next morning Mrs. Atkins discovered the coat on the fence where it had been all night, in the terrible rain of that evening. Did the people not know George’s temperance proclivities they might think he had gone daft over the election of that week.

Thomas P. Taylor of Wilmington, grand recorder of the A. O. U. W.,[iii] visited Milton Order No. 30, on Wednesday evening the 6th inst.

The machinery for building the jetty at the mouth of the Broadkiln has been brought to Milton by rail, and is now on the dock for shipment to the beach.

Trusten P. Lofland has sold his interest in the A. H. Lofland & Bro. Brick Works, near Milton. His brothers Alfred H. and P. Causey Lofland, were the purchasers.

Last Tuesday while Lee Smith, a young man helping to load a car at the Station, the cast-hook he was using slipped and he fell from the car to the ground. He was severely although not seriously injured about the head.

David A. Ellingsworth died at the home of his brother Jones Ellingsworth, on Wednesday morning the 6th, aged 63 years, 8 months and 5 days. The funeral was held at New Market, on Friday morning by Rev. Kelso, and interment made in the cemetery nearby, by S. J. Wilson.


[i] Vox Populi, Vox Dei was a radical Whig tract of 1709, which was expanded in 1710 and later reprinted as The Judgment of whole Kingdoms and Nations. The tract basically argued that man was free to choose whatever form of government he liked. In the context of the first paragraph of this Milton News letter, this phrase is less about the people picking the kind of government they wanted and more about making their voices emphatically heard. Because of the Local Option law in effect in the state of Delaware, New Castle County and the City of Wilmington voted to remain “wet,” and Kent and Sussex Counties went “dry,” well in advance of the Volstead Act

[ii] The Roman emperor Constantine I supposedly saw a cross of light above the sun with the Greek words “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα,” translated to the Latin In hoc signo vinces, or “In this sign you will conquer”. It is treated as historical fact by Christian theologians, and more of a legend by other historians. For more information read the Wikipedia article.

[iii] Ancient Order of United Workmen, a fraternal benefit society established after the Civil War.