January 29, 1909

The present winter is fine on the trappers of muskrats, and these animals are plentiful on the marshes of the Broadkiln. It is not an uncommon occurrence for a trapper to catch fifty a morning, and a wife of one of these men often brings one hundred dressed, into town at one time. The meat sells for 5 cents apiece, and the hides bring from 25 cents to 30 cents each according to quality. Some of the trappers on the Broadkiln are making $20.00 a day.

The aesthetic personalities of our town are loud in their praise of many of the girl pupils of the public schools. Some of these girls –not children—when around home are [slovenly] as [slovenly] can be, and when they are seen out on the street there is such a [metamorphosis] that one must be very intimate with them to know them. This is attributable to the influence of the schools on the pupils, for in many cases of which we write the parents are worse than the children. Let us not forget that soap and salvation, as well as “Soap and Civilization” go hand in hand.

A person’s thoughts, desires, and moral character are not always written on their countenances. Their words are often, if not always, and index to their minds and morals. This hold good in childhood, youth and maturity. A student of human character may pass along the streets, and to a certain degree read the minds of persons by the work they are doing. This holds good in trimming windows as much or more, than in other things. In these decorations one may read the aesthetic, the refined or the artistic. It depends, not altogether on the class of goods or trimmings, one may display but in the ornaments or pictures one may exhibit as a relief. These will indicate the refined, or the vulgar.

In the zenith of hotels’ reputations, the landlords were often at their wits’ end to know just what to do with the man who came into the reading room, read the daily papers, and went home with it in his pocket. The hotels are a thing of the past, but the man of the paper remains. And now he trespasses on the stores. Goes into a store, takes the merchant’s paper home to read and never brings it back. O, no! it’s not stealing! And the merchant don’t tell us about; but we know it nevertheless. None of our business! Certainly not! But that doesn’t alter the case.

In view of the above items many of our reads may think that this week, we are in a vein of acrimonious criticism. We will stop this line of thought, and say nothing about the fellow who thinks he “knows it all.”

That sidewalk of Chestnut Street leading from the colored church to the depot west side, is now in good condition. There is depression in the street about midway between the two points, and by the improvement of the sidewalks the water is thrown into the street. It is now the duty of your council to drain the street, as it has done farther down. Tunnel it to the branch. The town has plenty of money; and if it has not the people have.

Harry Robinson shipped several car loads of corn, on the cob, to Philadelphia and Baltimore last week.

Rev. G. R. McCready made a trip to Baltimore on Tuesday.

A young child of George E. Watson’s, colored, died last week, and was [interred] in the A. M. E. Cemetery near town, by J. R. Atkins.

The [gypsies] broke camp last week, and removed farther up the State. Their absence is not deplored.

Mrs. Alexine Collins has returned from a lengthy visit in New York.

John [Magee] has removed into his new building on “Pudding Hill.”

J. C. Clendaniel is building a modern two story dwelling house on Mill Street.

If there is anything more disagreeable to a congregation than another, it is the “springing” of a collection on that body, on a Sunday morning, when there are strangers or many members from other churches, present. It conveys the impression “it is always thus.” We know that the minister’s salary and the church expenses must be met; but cannot some other means be devised than the embarrassing way?

Rev. F. E. Tagg, D. D., Editor Methodist Protestant, preached at the M. P. Church on Sunday both morning and evening. In the evening the mortgage that had been hanging over the church for about two years, and was some weeks ago liquidated, was burned. Prothonotary N. W. White, one of the officials of the church, held the mortgage in one hand and with the other struck a match, and ignited the paper, and while it was burning, the congregation sang the doxology over and over again until it was consumed.

The W. C. T. U. held a “mother’s party” on Friday evening, at the home of Mrs. S. L. Black.

On Sunday evening after the church services were over, Miss Lottie Roach and Mr. Luther Veasey were united in wedlock, at the M. E. Parsonage by the Rev. A. C. McGilton. Both parties belong in Broadkiln.

Joshua Gray, rural mail carried, reports having handled 11,136 pieces mail matter on Route No. 1, during the three months ending December 31st, 1908.

Benjamin Palmer and wife of Camden, N. J., are visiting the former’s brother, Harold Palmer, who is quite sick at the residence of his father on Walnut Street.

Fred Carey, of near town, is very low with tuberculosis.

The electric lights were “on a lark” on Saturday night, and on Sunday. On the former evening they went out for about fifteen minutes; and on Sunday afternoon they were lighted for a while, about 3 o’clock. Presumably, work was being done on the plant.

Henry Warren is building a stable and carriage house, at his newly purchased property.

[…] Carey, of near town is improving in health.

The protracted meeting at the M. P. Church still continues.

George H. Warrington of Jefferson’s Cross Roads is visiting his brother-in-law, George […] in Philadelphia, also friends in Montgomery County, Pa.

Jersey Devil, Philadelphia Bulletin, January 1909

The “devil” that the daily papers of last week mentioned to have appeared in various parts of New Jersey, leave no doubt the same “devil” that visited Sussex County near the Drawbridge, about thirty-four years ago. This “devil” came down from New Jersey; but it had but one foot […]. It created great excitement at the time, and rendezvoused chiefly around Harvey Dutton’s hay stacks, and the old creek back of his residence. And it always roamed around at night when snow was on the ground and its tracks could be seen. The people of the neighborhood were frightened out of their wits, and were afraid to go to the woods, even in the day time. At that time we lived near the scene of this “devil’s” perambulations—for he never did any harm—but never saw him. Either did any other person and we were dependent on other people’s word is knowing he was about. This Jersey “devil” is the same one of course and he’ll be around the Drawbridge, the former scene of Harvey Dutton’s hay stacks, pretty soon to view his old familiar haunts. Look out for him, for if you see him you’ll do more than any one did thirty-four years ago. It is strange their weird animals, generally make their first appearance in New Jersey, and it is a State having a robust liquor law. Later: Since writing the above we understand the “devil has crossed the Delaware and arrived at the Oyster Rocks on the Broadkiln. We are also informed that Pete Donovan, who has had some experience in shooting at spooks, has cleaned up his family spook gun and is ready to “go on the trail.”[i]


[i] The Wikipedia has a full article on the Jersey Devil, stating that newspapers of the time reported hundreds of supposed sightings of the creature between January 16 and January 23, 1909 – the time frame of this Milton News letter. There is also an interesting blog post by the Village Green Preservation Society of Woodbury, N. J.