February 21, 1908

Fig. 3.2 - Capt. Charles Franklin Lacey
Capt. Charles Franklin Lacey

News reached Milton on Monday, of last week, that the four-mast schooner, Edward J. Berwind, which left New Orleans, lumber laden, for Philadelphia on January 13th, was sighted at sea by the steamer Maraval, waterlogged and abandoned. The Berwind was commanded by Captain C. F. Lacey, of this town—familiarly known as Captain Frank Lacey. This sad intelligence cast a gloom over the town. It was believed and hoped that the captain and crew had been taken off by a passing vessel, yet the gravest fears were apprehended for their safety; and this apprehension became intensified every day, y. a. every hour, until on Tuesday afternoon Mrs. Lacey received a telegram from the vessel’s agents, C. F. Megee & Co., of Philadelphia, stating that a cablegram had been received and Capt. Lacey and his crew had been taken off their vessel by a steamer and were then at Queenstown, Ireland.[i] Captain Lacey is highly respected and beloved by the people of Milton, and the news of his fortunate escape from a watery grave is received with joy and gratitude to Him who careth for them “who go down to the sea in ships.” Captain Lacey and crew are now homeward bound across the Atlantic and he is expected to arrive in Milton this week.

The fourth, and last Quarterly Conference of this conference year was held in the M. E. Church on Friday afternoon. Routine business was attended to and HJ. H. Davidson, G. E. Megee, Josiah Culver, John Ellingsworth, Luther Black, W. T. Starkey, W. W. Davidson, E. T. Davidson, C. C. Davidson, Charles Davidson and A. T. Bryan are now the stewards. The last three named succeed Dr. J. C. Wiltbank, J. M. Lank and James Mason. The stewards at Zion are: A. H. Lank, Robert Nailor and David H. Reed. The following language is said to have been used during the meeting: “No matter what the preacher does you must not say anything about it.”

On Thursday evening Captain G. E. Megee was elected lay delegate of the M. E. Church to attend the Wilmington Conference which convenes in Wilmington on March 18th.

William J. White has had a very pretty monument erected over his parents and family in the M. E. Cemetery[ii]. William Clemmens has had marble coping put around his burial lot in the same cemetery. W. V. Sipple & Son, of Milford, did the job.

J. H. Davidson, of Philadelphia, representative of the A. O. C. W., has been spending several days in town in the interest of that order.

David Dickerson has been appointed town supervisor, bailiff, etc. to fill the unexpired time of Hohn Robinson, who lately thought he got a better job.

F. B. Carey, E. W. Warren, W. H. Welch, W. H. Stephens, J. M. Lank, A. E. Jefferson, J. C. Lank and F. B. Pepper are in Wilmington this week as representatives from Enterprise Council to the State Council Jr. O. U. A. M.

Robert Morris, of Dover, is visiting his parents and other friends.

School hall has been wired for electric lights which will materialize this week.

Presiding Elder Morgan filled the M. E. pulpit last Sunday morning. Rev. R. T. Coursey preached at Nassau on the same morning and at Epworth in the afternoon.

The general conference of the M. P. Church will meet in Pittsburgh on May 15th.

The W. C. T. U. and Y’s held services commemorative of Mrs. Frances E. Willard’s “home going” at the M. E. Church Monday evening[iii]. The large auditorium was handsomely decorated with pot flowers and exotics, indigenous to other climes. The speeches were many, varied and interesting, eulogistic to the work of Mrs. Frances E. Willard. At the close of the service, the organization presented Rev. R. T. Coursey with twenty-five dollars in gold, in appreciation of his never-to-be-forgotten work in Milton, The presentation speech was made by Mrs. Josiah Culver, and responded to by the recipient.

William H. White is quite sick with intestinal troubles.

J. K. P. Jefferson is convalescing from a short illness.

Thomas Ingram is confined to his home with a complication of diseases.

Postmaster Black and wife visited Lewes last Sunday and Monday.

The Draper Cannery, of Prime Hook, is again shipping canned tomatoes, via Queen Anne’s Railroad, and receiving a large quantity of box material.

Sickness is quite prevalent in this district and several deaths have occurred during the past week.

James Tolbert Roach died at his home in North Milton on Wednesday morning, aged 71 years and 2 months. Funeral services will be held at his late home on Saturday morning by the Rev. G. R. McCready and interment made in Zion Cemetery by S. J. Wilson & Son.

Mrs. […] J. Purnell died at her home near […] Church on Monday morning, of dropsy, aged 78 years, 5 months and 22 days. Funeral services will be held at her late residence this (Friday) morning by the Rev. G. R. McCready and sepulture will be made in Odd Fellows Cemetery, at Milford, by S. J. Wilson & Son.

Albert H. Wilson died at his home at Stevensonville on Wednesday, of pneumonia, aged 22 years, 9 months and 8 days. Funeral services were held at Sand Hills on Friday, by Rev. Thomas of Georgetown, assisted by Rev. G. R. McCready and burial made in the nearby cemetery by S. J. Wilson & Son.

Robert D. Moore died near Harbeson on Saturday of paralysis, aged 61 years, 7 months and 6 days. Funeral services were held at Zoar on Tuesday and the body inhumed in Brotherhood Cemetery, at Millsboro, by S. J. Wilson & Son.

Thomas Banning died near Oakley on Saturday, of dropsy, aged 67 years, 8 months and 29 days. The funeral was held at Oakley M. P. Church, by Rev. Dryden, of Greenwood, on Monday afternoon and the remains interred in the adjacent cemetery by S. J. Wilson & Son.

Theodore M. Megee, while driving a team near town on Monday morning, was stricken with paralysis and fell from his wagon. He was taken up by parties who saw the occurrence, and taken to his home, where he lay in a helpless condition until night, when he died, aged 64 years and 1 day. Funeral services were held at Sand Hill M. E. Church on Thursday afternoon, by Rev. G. R. McCready and he body deposited in the cemetery nearby. The deceased leaves two sons: Clarence A. Megee, of Milton, and Walter W. Megee, of Philadelphia, and one daughter, Mrs. Maggie H. Walls, also of Philadelphia.


[i] The abandoned schooner was found 470 miles east of Charleston, SC by the Maraval. The crew was rescued by the British steamer Mercedes de Larrengenda. A more detailed account can be found in the supplement to this news letter.

[ii] William J. White was the son of Jacob M. White, a shipbuilder who was memorialized in one of the stained glass windows of the Milton M. P. Church. In all probability, it was William J. White who funded that window, a few years before improving the family plot in the M. E. Cemetery.

[iii] Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard (1839 –1898) was an American educator, temperance reformer, and women’s suffragist. Her influence was instrumental in the passage of the Eighteenth (Prohibition) and Nineteenth (Women Suffrage) Amendments to the United States Constitution. She became the national president of Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1879, and remained president for 19 years.