May 6, 1910

Senator Owens of Oklahoma, sometime back, introduced a bill in Congress creating a department of health[i], with a cabinet officer at its head. During the latter part of March in a speech in support of the bill, he declared “There are 600,000 lives sacrificed annually because of ignorance and neglect of sanitary and health laws.” In addition to the 600,000 cases of fatal illness annually, he asserted “that an average of 3,000,000 persons were constantly sick with preventable disease.” He further declared “that with proper attention to the prevention of contagion and to the protection of the population against the use of polluted drinking water and impure and adulterated food, human life could be greatly extended and that the average might be increased to the extent of 27 years within the century.” On account of the opposition of many Senators, the bill is not likely to become a law, yet we all know, who observe the differences in the health of the people of Sussex and Kent Counties, than what it was thirty or even twenty years ago, Beyond these periods it was a common thing to see men and women during the autumn and other seasons going around, drawn up, with apparently no blood within them. “What’s the matter?”—“o, I’ve got the chills and fevers!” We scarcely see any of this nowadays. “What’s the reason?” “Better drainage?”—“Partly, but not altogether!” Drive wells is the great factor, that give pure water and wards off disease. I have seen wells in the lower part of this county, and they may still exist, where one could stand and dup the water out of the well after a moderate rain, for the use of the family and the family was compelled to use it. It had no other. I now recall one well in particular situated on a pound for the use of the cattle and horses and during and after a rain, the water was colored with the sediment collected from this pound. This the cattle drank and the family used the milk. Could anyone expect good health from such use? That condition may exist in that locality yet. But conditions are not so in Broadkiln, and Broadkiln has fairly good health attributable to drive wells and better drainage.

Last week we were through the district where a great fire raged three weeks or more ago. There are hundreds of acres of burnt timber, mostly pine, that are blackened by the fire. This region is very sombrous in appearance. It must have been a harrowing time to the people who were hemmed in by that fire. They say it was. There are three houses that we saw which to look at now, seem miraculous that they should have escaped destruction. Their salvation was due to the Herculean efforts of those who were fighting for their homes. The roof of one home was on fire several; times, and although the roof was partly burned, was saved. There is now an immense quantity of timber presumably killed, but if got soon, may probably be utilized for some of the many purposes to which lumber is applied. The pine, if left standing long, will become so tough that it cannot be split for cord wood, and doubtless hundreds of cords of wood will rot on the ground already covered with the blackened fallen branched from the trees. During this great conflagration, which raged several days and could be plainly seen from Milton, the people were terrified and had but little egress for escape, yet providentially no lives were lost; yet many frightened people, who were then in danger, may live to recall this event in the years to come. Much of this timbered land belongs to the Carey brothers and sisters, of Glenside, Pa., and Cheyenne, Wyoming and ex-Judge Joseph Carey of the latter city was down last week to negotiate for the disposal of the timber. His sister Miss Susie D. Carey of Glenside, Pa., was also here. The sale of the timber is at the disposal of the latter.

Throughout the southern and southeastern parts of Broadkiln Hundred, the wheat presents a yellow sickly appearance. The farm of Dr. James A. Hopkins, near town and tenanted by “Bill” Hitchens, has the finest fields we have yet seen in our ramble. It is very thick and of a pretty green appearance. Hitchens is a good farmer, works well, attends to his business, and sees that everything under his charge is in a proper state of being. Wish we could say this of everyone.

There are lots of the old-fashioned “worm fence” in Broadkiln yet. This fence is also called “stake and rider fence I believe. Through some portions of the heretofore unexplored—by us—regions, we found much of this kind of fence, old, of course but having been […] this spring, particularly for enclosure, for cattle pasture, and by the way all of the practices of half a century ago are not obsolete. Last week we saw women and girls in the fields dropping corn and covering it with hoes. Also […] old fashioned “ship jack” was at work. But there are with all these old fashioned relics the modern improvements in agricultural work. The improved planter is visible in many fields as well as many other modernities.

There was quite a frost on Friday morning, and potato tops that are peeping through the ground bear evidence to this fact.

Miss Ida Ponder and niece Miss Sarah Ponder are visiting Milton and are stopping at Hotel Jester.

Miss Laura M. Conner represented the M. E. Sunday School as delegate at the State Convention held in Wilmington last week, after which she visited her sister in Philadelphia, returning home on Monday.

Mayor John L. Jones real estate agent, sold on Saturday the old ex-Gove. Ponder mansion house at public sale. The building and lot was bud off by […] Hazzard for $890.00, and a building lot adjoin was stuck off to the same person for […].

Milton was represented at the W. C. T. U. County Convention held at Lincoln on Thursday of last week by Mrs. George Waples, Mrs. […] Black, Mrs. Carrie Hurd, Miss Lillian Cade, Miss Sally Lofland, Miss Maggie Holland, Miss Lizzie Davidson, Miss Lillie Davidson, Miss Sarah Atkins, Miss Mary Robbins and Miss Hettie Conner.

On Friday Justice-of-the-Peace Eli. L. Collins lost one of his valuable horses by some disease.

Edward Calkerin is building an annex to his dwelling on Chestnut Street.

Rev. C. A. Behringer’s naphtha launch is ready for launching.

Carpenters and plasters will soon have one of the rooms of the Palmer block ready for Maxon & Davidson to remover their store goods therein.

William H. Warren the baker has a little lot of three hundred young chickens weighing from one to two pounds each.

David A. Wiltbank has set out several young maple trees in front of his residence on Federal Street.

Noble Ellingworth, who has been confined to his home by rheumatism, is able to be out again.

Dr. Leonard is rusticating among the mountains of Pennsylvania.

William M. Crouch having secured a position in Wilmington, left last week for that city.

“Reynolds Mill” owned and operated by Captain Thomas Chase, and which was destroyed by fire on Monday night a week ago, is supposes to have been struck by lightning, as there was no fire in or near the building on the previous day. Captain Chase was in town on Sunday and informed us he had an insurance of $2,000 on the mill and as it was paying him well he will probably rebuild.

Isaac W. Nailor is putting the counters and shelves into that part of the Mears building to be used by W. T. Starkey, as a drug store; and it will soon be ready for occupancy.

A reception was held in the M. E. Church on Monday evening by the ladies of the congregation in honor of their new pastor, Rev. I. K. Lusk.

William Cord Burton died at his home in Long Neck Saturday April 30, 1910, aged 87 years, 9 months, 14 days. Funeral was held at St. George’s Chapel May 3rd at 1 o’clock, and interment made in the adjoining cemetery, Rev. Gateson of Georgetown officiating. Mr. Burton was a well-known and prosperous farmer and highly respected citizen. Four sons survive him. S. J. Wilson & Son funeral directors.

Mrs. Mary C. West, wife of Thos. A. West, died at their home near Georgetown Sunday May 2nd 1910, of side pleurisy, aged 58 years 9 months and 10 days. Funeral St. John’s M. E. Church Wednesday, interment in adjoining cemetery, Rev. G. S. Thomas officiating, S. J. Wilson & Son, funeral directors.


[i] This measure failed; it was not until 1953 that a cabinet-level Department of Health, Education and Welfare was established.