September 10, 1909

During the Civil War after a terrible disaster to the Federal Army, Major General, later President James A. Garfield, in a public speech at Philadelphia, exclaimed: “God reigns and the government at Washington still lives!”[i] Our hearts are sad over the terrible work of destruction that has been done in our pretty town, and yet we had not one cent to lose the great loss that has been the lot of many. Our hearts are sadder still over the affliction that disease has brought upon our friends and those whom we love. And yet, we would not cast a damper on the hearts of others by any pessimistic forebodings. For we believe that “God reigns” and everything will turn out right in the end. A “Scourge on Milton for its sins” is it? We don’t believe God scourges individuals for the sins of a municipality. The “Man of Oz”[ii] was wrong when he said: “Shall we receive good from the hands of God and not evil?”[iii] We don’t believe that under the Christian dispensation God brings evil upon a man. We may say en passant the Devil may. If we are not mistaken, in the colloquy between God and the Devil, regarding Job, God said unto the Devil “He is in your hands. Do what you will, but spare his life.” So it is possible Milton may be in the hands of the Devil! If it is there is a limitation to his power. “Thus far shalt thou go and no farther.” Our life must be spared. It is well for us to remind ourselves, “There is no effect without a cause we cannot reason a priori to end the effect; but having the effect we must reason a posteriori to find the cause.” Are we doing this? It is said, two detectives were in town last week, collecting material for the latter reasoning. There are many rumors on the air; about this, that, and the other; but business men appear to be yet, in a fog regarding their future. They are seldom consulted about town affairs. It is the irresponsible who do the “blowing” and who try to force the responsible into their way of doing business. Town Council met on Saturday evening and reaffirmed a previous resolution: That no buildings for business purposes shall be built in the recent burnt district except of brick, stone, or concrete. This is putting it heavy upon people whose fortunes are already decimated. $100,000 is estimated to have been destroyed by the recent fire. Only approximately, $30,000 insurance was carried. Therefore, $70,000 has gone up in smoke, and down in ashes. Brick or concrete buildings would look nice, but it takes money to build them. And to build such as the astute Milton Town Council would make these unfortunate losers in the late catastrophe build, would require the genie of Aladdin’s lamp. Some of these men are badly crippled, financially; and to try to compel them to build beyond their means is to virtually compel them to abandon business in this locality. Perhaps that is the object, as there are some men of finance in Milton who no doubt would like to own the town. And they can do it with the assistance of Town Council. The honorable members of this board have not one cent at stake and probably will not have; it, therefore looks in bad taste to try to compel men to invest their all in a building, or drive them out of business. The writer has nothing to gain, and like some of the members of the Town Board, not a d—d cent to lose by “Blowing,” yet we say let justice and fairness be done “though the heavens fall.” And when any intelligent, sensible man views the personnel of the Milton Town Council and its actions he would forfeit all right to the appellation of the above adjectives if he did not do some strong talking.

All tickets were sold at the Milton Station on Wednesday of last week for the excursion to Tolchester. The train was behind time from Lewes to Milton; and is said to have broken her coupling twice before arriving here; and the morning being foggy the regular train came near running into her. When she arrived at Milton she appeared to be crowded yet all of these passengers were crammed on. Should an accident occur on an excursion of this kind, there would be an “investigation” ordered. But why not limit these trains, in numbers to their seating capacity, before an accident occurs and an investigation needed.

William Maull has improvised a granary on the dock at the foot of Federal Street for a blacksmith shop, and is conducting the business there. Captain James Conwell has had the pavement in front of his property on Mill Street taken up and relaid.

Schooner Rambo arrived last week with a cargo of bituminous coal for the canneries.

The property of Nancy Lindle, deceased, that was sold at public sale some time ago and purchased by Henry Barker, of Millsboro, was subsequently sold to William T. Barker of New York, who has now sold it to Somerset Reed of near town.

On Tuesday evening of last week, the elite of Milton were gathered together at a watermelon feast, given by John Ponder, at his Woodland farm near town. It is useless to individualize the astute readers know whom they are.

Superintendent Frank Searvey of the firm of Latia & Terry, who have the contract to stone the jetty at the mouth of the Broadkiln River, has arrived with his wife, and are stopping in Milton. The naphtha launch White Elephant arrived in Sunday night to convey the workmen and supplies to and from work.

Major John U. Jones has purchased of Len Hartman the yacht Irma and will study navigation.

Columbus Welch has been engaged as teacher for the Cave Neck School, the coming term.

R. R. Porter, U. S. immigration Inspector station at St. John, New Brunswick, is the guest of his daughter, Mrs. John U. Jones.

Mr. and Mrs. George Collins, of Philadelphia, and Mrs. Ella Carey and children of Camden, N. J., are visiting their parents, Squire and Mrs. E. L. Collins.

On Tuesday evening the 31st the woods known as the Jackson property, and lately purchased by banker W. W. Conwell, was discovered to be on fire. The fire occurred in that part of the woods just across Lake Fanganzyki, from Milton and near Point Desolation. It being early in the evening a posse of men and boys went from town and soon extinguished the flames, which are thought to have originated from that omnipresent companion of many me—a pipe. The damage is inconsiderable.

On Wednesday morning the writer, while passing the colored camp ground, discovered a firestand on fire. With a little yelling we got a man out, who hallowed for others, who put it out. There is not enough care taken with fire by those colored people; perhaps for this reason this may be the last camp meeting they will hold on this ground.

The Milton Public Schools will open on Monday the 20th.

The Board of Education on Friday evening re-elected H. P. Morgan janitor of the school building.

Rev. A. C. McGilton is cultivating a moustache. It […] well too.

Rev. Hudson of […], Del., will preach at […] M. E. Church, Sussex County on Sunday the fifth inst, on the subject of “Temperance.” All those who do not know the […] by Sussex County are invited to attend.

Mason & Davidson have […] of their place of business on north Union Street.

The Second Quarterly Conference of this Conference year will be held in the M. E. Church on Friday […].

The colored camp ay Lavinia Wood will be [….] Sunday.

[…next two paragraphs illegible…]

James B. Virden died near Harbeson on Wednesday of paralysis, aged 78 years, 11 months and 25 days. Funeral services were held at Coolspring Presbyterian Church on Friday afternoon by the Rev. Henderson of Georgetown, and sepulture made in the adjacent cemetery by S. J. Wilson & Son.

Mary H. Pettyjohn, relict of the late George W. Pettyjohn, died in Georgetown on Saturday, aged 73 years, 11 months and 11 days. Funeral services were held at Sand Hills on Tuesday afternoon and interment made in the adjoining cemetery by S. J. Wilson & Son.

Captain Charles Cannon of Camden, N. J. has been a Milton guest.

Captain Frank Lacey has made some repairs to his property on Federal Street.

Rev. J. D. Smith, M. P. minister, wife, and wife’s mother left on Tuesday for a visit of ten days in Canada.


[i] The full quote would be “Fellow-citizens! Clouds and darkness are round about Him! His pavilion is dark waters and thick clouds of the skies! Justice and judgment are the establishment of His throne! Mercy and truth shall go before His face! Fellow-citizens! God reigns and the Government at Washington still lives!” Garfield is supposed to have uttered these lines to calm an angry New York mob on April 15, 1865, after the assassination of President Lincoln. This story has been discredited; Garfield was in Ohio on that day.

[ii] “The Man From Oz” is actually the Old Testament figure Job, who was from Uz. Conner draws a long analogy between the sufferings of Job and the plight of Milton.

[iii] Old Testament, Job 2:9.