September 25, 1908

“Tis the last rose of summer all blooming alone,
Her lovely companions are faded and gone.”[i]

And we think the last Rose left Milton this week. Not that “cold black rose”[ii] that Col. J. C. Darby used to sing so much about, years ago, in Frederica, but a rose that turns up annually in Milton, where peculiar aromatic fragrance is a delight to the aesthetic sensibilities of the favored ones who come with the radius of the Rose’s attractive charm. “Gone!” did I say? Yes, the Rose is gone! And while there is no belligerence on the part of the inamoratos “the tears of regret will intrusively awell”[iii] when fond memory reverts to the many attractions of the Rose. Sad hearts and swollen eyes are the fate of life. Yes there are, often, the reactionary results of over stimuli. The Rose is gone! “Requiescat in pace” fond and loving hearts.[iv]

Rev. W. Kay Lord, agent for the Delaware Children’s Home Society, an auxiliary of the New Jersey Children’s Home Society, visited the Milton members last week, and was most cordially received, and membership fees paid, by all but two ladies. We are informed, these two ladies be it said, to the discredit of Milton, treated the gentleman, to say the least, most unladylike; refusing to pay their fees, and withdrawing from the association.

A few days since a man came into town with his wagon on fire and was obliged to stop at the iron bridge, get a bucket of water and put it out. He remembered that while loading his wagon at home, to have laid his pipe on the front projection of the wagon. It is supposed a spark caught in the wagon, while the blaze fanned ad produced the result—a large hole burned in the wagon.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel McDowell and daughter, Miss Jean, and Mrs. Mattie Morris, of Lansdowne, Pa., have been visiting their grandmother, Mrs. Emma Morris.

J. Polk Davidson has commenced to build barge No. 2, at Carey’s Landing.

Arch Deacon Turner, of Lewes, met the vestry of St. John Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, regarding the location of the church tower. It is said nothing can be done until the Bishop acts. We have nothing in this muddle! But it looks to a sensible community, that an intelligent body of men might do something to their own interest and allay unnecessary town gossip.

If ground alum salt will save Milton we are in a good state of preservation. A carload of several tons has been received by the merchants.

Dr. W. J. Hearn and family, of Philadelphia, with their many guests, have left their cottage on Broadkiln Beach and returned to the city.

John Magee[v], a former barber of Milton, but now of Scranton, Pa., is spending a week in town. It is thought Mr. Magee will return to Milton next year.

It is hardly necessary for us to contradict the story of “a riot in Milton” published in the Philadelphia Record of last week. The people are getting to believe nothing that paper publishes. But this story casts a blot on the character of the town and Council should investigate it.

Walter Argo, of Prime Hook, while going home from town recently, lost his pocketbook containing $81.00. It was found by David Postles, an egg buyer, and the money returned to Mr. Argo.

The trustees of the M. E. Church having become tired of the lukewarm condition of that building during the winter, have had installed furnaces, pipes, radiators and other necessary paraphernalia to heat it by steam, and prepare to have a comfortable time the coming winter. The […] cost $700.

Mrs. Alena Richardson, of Dover, has been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Atkins.

Several of our citizens went to Harrington on Thursday to hear the ever available Democratic candidate for the presidency tell how triumphantly he will be elected. They all came home sober and think there is no doubt about it.

Miss Effie Lambert, a well0known exponent of temperance, from New York, will lecture on her fad at the m. E. Church on Friday evening the 26th.

G. B. Atkins has completed painting the residence of G. W. Atkinson on Mulberry Street.

The colored schools of North Milton opened last week, with Miss Josephine Fisher as principal and Miss Nedie Robinson, assistant. Both of WiImington. It is the intention to enlarge the colored school house. The contract to do this has been once taken, but the contractor gave up the job. The Milton carpenters have got the strange idea into their heads, that they don’t want to work for nothing, and find the […].

Grant Collins and family, of Philadelphia, are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Eli L. Collins.

On Wednesday evening the 16th, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Reed, near Waples Mill, Miss Delena W. Reed was united in matrimony with Mr. Hiram J. Outten, of Pocomoke City, Md. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. A. C. McGilton. The wedding was attended by a host of relatives and friends who did ample justice to the refreshments that were furnished for the occasion. On Thursday afternoon the bride and groom took the […] at the home of the groom, where they […].

John Conoway, who suffered a stroke of paralysis several weeks since, was able to be in town on Saturday, and walk around with the aid of a crutch.

Schooner John A. Lingo has been sold by her Milton owners to M. B. Foster, of Wilmington, Del.

There were 216 voters registered at Milton on Saturday, making 638 now registered in the First Election District of the Tenth Representative District.

Burton M. Robinson, a former Milton resident, but now of Kensington, D. C., is visiting friends.

Milton is now putting on city airs, and entertainments galore are nightly on the tapis. Last Saturday evening it was moving pictures at School Hall and a public concert by Firemen Band in the front porch of the Ponder House.

Prof. W. H. Welch left on Monday to become principal of the Ellendale Public Schools.

The gutter on the right side of Union Street has been enlarged.

Harry Dutton, white, and John Simpler, colored, got into a fight on Saturday evening. It is said, the white man commenced the fuss and got the worst of the bargain. It cost each $3.00.

L. J. Coverdale, a school teacher of this town, has for several days been abnormally garrulous and […]. On Sunday morning Drs. Wilson and Hopkins held a consultation in regard to his sanity, and it was decided he is non compos mentis. On Monday morning he was taken to Farnhurst by S. J. Wilson. This is a subject which words should be few and impressions deep. We give the regrettable fact as an item of news without further statement, or comment.

The Milton schools will open on next Monday [the] 28th.

Schooner William B. Rambo is at our dock being caulked.

Firemen Band will give another open air concert in front of the Ponder House on next Saturday evening, the 26th.

Officials at the local customs office were notified that the schooner Frederica, owned by David T. Dutton, of Milton, was sunk early Thursday morning in Slaughter Creek, near Milford, The boat left New Jersey on September 14, and the next day encountered a severe gale, during which the boat sprung a leak and a short time later went to the bottom. The crew escaped.


[i] Quotation from the poem The Last Rose of Summer, by the Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779 – 1852), written in 1850. According to the Wikipedia article, this tremendously popular poem has been set to classical and popular music innumerable times, right up until very recently when the musical group Celtic Woman recorded it.

[ii] The most likely reference here is to a folk song popularized by performers in minstrel (blackface) shows in the late 1820’s. The title is “Coal Black Rose,” not “Cold Black Rose.” The lackadaisical proofreader of Conner’s Milton News letter could easily have mistakenly read or heard “coal black rose” as “cold black rose.” Source: Wikipedia article.

[iii] Quotation from the poem The Old Oaken Bucket, by Samuel Woodworth (1784 – 1842). This poem was anthologized numerous times in the 19th century, and was included as a selection in Everyday Classics: Fifth Reader, edited by Franklin Thomas Baker and Horace Thorndike. It is likely that Conner encountered this anthology or a similar collection when he worked as a schoolteacher.

[iv] This is one of the more enigmatic paragraphs written by David A. Conner, who is often requires his readers to find meaning between the lines. Given his self-imposed restraints on what he deemed suitable to say in print, and the prevailing social mores of the time, it is hard not to read this paragraph as an allegory, where “Rose” is a woman that Conner and others were attracted to. Who was she? Had she died or left town? What was her social standing in Milton of those years, and most importantly, what was her relationship with David A. Conner?

[v] In the original newsprint, Magee is spelled Megee. This is one of the innumerable instances of confusion between the spellings of Megee and Magee. It is known for certain that John Magee was a barber in north Milton and left on an extended visit when his daughter Viola had her first child in Philadelphia.