June 11, 1909

In the latter part of April ex-State Treasurer Charles H. Atkins went to the Pennsylvania Hospital, and returned to his house in Milton accompanied by one of the hospital attendants, on June 1st. During the five weeks of his enforced stay at this institution, he underwent an operation for abdominal troubles, a malady that had afflicted him for many months, perhaps years. He now thinks he is perfectly good but is yet week and somewhat emaciated, the result of his long confinement, but his naturally robust form and strong constitution will soon gain strength under the balmy air and recuperative powers of the Sussex climate. Mr. Atkins thinks the last five weeks has been the most awful and harrowing experience of his life. Necessarily under confinement his thoughts were of his business, of his home, and of all the people of Milton. He said “I believe I thought of every person in Milton whom I ever knew.” Yet under all the disadvantageous circumstances with which he was surrounded, the suffering he endured both in body and mind, his attendants did their duty; and there was an ameliorating feature in the fact that he was not forgotten b his Delaware friends in Philadelphia. Dr. J. W. Hearn, Captain George Kimmey, Peter Faucet, and others, formerly of Milton, cheered his heart and were attentive in their ministrations to his comfort, in an intellectual as well as physical manner. To [these] friends Mr. Atkins desires to express the best wishes of his heart for their future long life and happiness, remarking that while his hospital experience was the most awful of his life, the memory of their kindness under the ordeal is engrafted on his mind and stamped upon his heart and will be remembered not only as a bright episode of that awful time but as one of the most pleasing reminiscences of his existence. The many friends of Mr. Atkins were so glad to hear of his return that he has been overcrowded with company and congratulations; too much of which is by no means conducive to improvement. However, in a few days he expects to be out, and able to attend to business.

William Donovan, formerly of near Smyrna, has been paying Milton friends a visit, after an absence of about thirty-five years.

On Thursday afternoon and evening a Christian Endeavor Rally Service will be held in the M. P. Church. The State president, the Rev. W. P. Roberts, will be present and other visiting speakers will address the meetings.

The Draper Canning Company of Slaughter Neck shipped more canned tomatoes last week.

J. J. Daily of Wilmington was a Milton visitor last week.

Miss Mary Megee is visiting friends in Philadelphia.

Mrs. J. D. Smith, wife of the M. P. pastor, has returned from a visit to her parents at Chincoteague.

Mrs. Robert Morris is making additions to her property on Union Street, north.

C. E. Bacon has his new building ready for the plasterers.

The latter part of last week was a propitious time for putting out plants; and those having such work to do, did it.

“Keep off the Bridge!” is the latest town order. This has been a town ordinance “from away back.” Is it possible that this ordinance is going to be put in force? We shall see!

It is said, “there are more dogs than hogs in Milton.” Possibly this may be true; for there’s no accounting for taste—but there is for smell.

On Friday Charles Shear[i] brought suit against his brother-in-law, and wife, for fifteen dollars including a watch, alleged to be due him on a business transaction. The case came before Squire Collins and was postponed until Saturday afternoon. At that time the plaintiff and his wife, the defendant, and his wife—all Jews—appeared, and with them three other little Jews, one very small. The case began and all wanted to talk at once; and it was almost impossible to understand the case by their broken English. All at once the little girl began to cry in Hebrew, and there being no Hebruist [sic] present who understood it, the mother took it from the room. The jargon continued, one party swearing to his account, and the other denying it. There were no witnesses to the case, and it was dropped with the remark “somebody is lying.” “Yes,” said the defendant, “somebody is lying.” But he did not say who it was. The plaintiff paid the cost and asked for a new trial when he would have summoned some witnesses. It was granted, and appointed to take place next Wednesday. Subsequently the plaintiff dropped the case altogether.

To mark the last resting places of those whose memory is dear to him, William A. Vent has had five tombs put into the burial ground on the William Vent farm near Gravelly Hill—to his father, his mother, two brothers and one sister.

The Milton baseball team went to Lewes on Saturday afternoon and played with the Lewes team, and were beaten by a score of 18 to 11. Charles Burris, aged about fourteen years, one of the Milton members, while running fell, and dislocated his shoulder blade. Dr. J. S. Hopkins of Milton, who was in Lewes, rendered assistance and came home with the boy on the train. He is all right now.

The sidewalk in front of the colored church in north Milton is in a very bad condition in wet weather. On Sunday it was miserable, and the new minister here too! Why is it not repaired?

Mrs. Florence Johnson is having her property on Broad Street repainted.

The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was administered at the M. E. Church on Sunday morning and two members admitted in the church by certificates.

Children’s Day will be observed at the M. E. and M. E. Churches on next Sunday evening the 13th.

Owing to the high tides and continued wet weather, with the consequent washing and caving, the work on the public wharf has been protracted and made more difficult. It will take some time yet to finish the job.

Mrs. P. P. Welch, who has been spending the winter at Passaic, N. J., has returned to Milton.

J. H. Markel is having his residence on Federal Street repainted.

On Monday the furniture was removed from the M. P. Church and the carpet taken from the floor, and a general “cleaning up” begun.

Since the introduction of violins and cornets into the M. E. Church choir, that body has become most scientific. A collision of notes occurred on Sunday evening. The next morning one of the members said, “there is not so much science as there is noise.”

In the U. S. Court at Wilmington on Thursday the schooner Rambo, which was libeled on a claim of Captain James B. Scull, was released; bong having been given for the payment of the claim. The vessel is still at Milton dock, a question of ownership being in dispute.

Goodwin Bros. & Conwell shipped another load of canned goods this week by steamer Marie Thomas.

The Milton Public Schools closed on Tuesday. In the evening the program as published last week was rendered.

The lemon that Miss Hettie J. Conner has been growing in a warm room fell from the tree, on Tuesday. It is now on exhibition in pone of the front windows of W. T. Starkey’s drug store. Its longitudinal circumference 13½ inches; its latitudinal circumference 12½ inches; its weight 17 ounces.


[i] The Charles Shear referred to in this paragraph is likely to be an Austrian-Polish immigrant to the U. S., whom the U. S. Census lists as a farmer; his wife’s name was Esther. Their language was not “Hebrew,” as the modern version of that language was in the process of being re-invented by Zionist pioneers in Palestine and would not have been in common usage anywhere in Europe or North America in the early twentieth century. The plaintiff and defendant, as well as their families, would have been far more likely to be speaking Yiddish or possibly German, given their origins. Conner’s description of the proceedings reinforces the popular stereotype of the loud, chaotic, quarrelsome Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe fighting over a pittance, without overtly indulging in the more virulent forms of anti-Semitism that would also have been shared by many at the time. The story is also notable for being one of only a handful of instances when Conner mentions Jews at all in the Milton News letter. Most Jews in Delaware were concentrated in Wilmington, numbering about 4,000 by 1920. Their number would not increase significantly in Sussex County until the 1990’s.