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Indian River Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware

This hundred is located south of the central part of Sussex County and borders on two arms of the Atlantic Ocean, called Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay, which have a common inlet. The upper part of the latter sheet of water bears the name of Indian River, from which the hundred takes its title. This stream is wide and shallow at low tide, and has been so much filled up that but a small part of its length remains navigable. It forms the southern boundary of the hundred, separating it from Baltimore and Dagsboro' Hundreds. On the west and north are Georgetown and Lewes and Rehoboth Hundreds. Separating it from the latter are Bundick's Branch and Love Creek, which empty their waters in Rehoboth Bay. Extending from the southern part of the latter is a large arm, into the upper part of which fall the waters of Middle and Herring Creeks. These arms or indentures of the bays give the eastern shore a very irregular appearance and form a number of necks and islands. Of the latter, Burton's Island, near the Indian River Inlet, it the largest. Above it is the Long Neck, whose main characteristic is ex-pressed by its name. It contains some fine lands. Angola Neck, northwest of Rehoboth Bay, has also a large acreage of good lands, whose possession was much desired by the early settlers. The general sur-face of the hundred is level, much of the soil being of a sandy nature, and, consequently, the lands are not as fertile as those of the contiguous hundreds. Yet, with careful cultivation, they can be made fairly productive. And there are some fine farms, with good improvements, many of the latter being the results of intelligent labor in recent years. A large area remains covered with original forests and, in ether sections are the growths of trees, principally pines, on lands once under cultivation, which have been abandoned or turned out as commons. In later years much of this has again been cleared up, the wood being converted into charcoal, which has become a profitable industry. This work and ordinary agriculture constitute the chief occupation of the in-habitants of the hundred, who numbered eighteen hundred and thirteen according to the census of 1880.

One of the first patents for lands in the hundred was for a tract of six hundred and eighty acres, upon Indian River and Rehoboth Bay. It was designated as "Cruder's Neck," and was granted to Captain Nathaniel Carr, October 28, 1667. "Avery's Rest," on King's Creek, out of Rehoboth Bay, was patented to John Avery July 1, 1676. A part of this tract was transferred to John Morgan in 1702.

In 1677 William Burton received a warrant from Governor Andross for the survey of one thousand acres, called the "Long Neck," of which he sold five hundred acres to Thomas Bagwell, October 9, 1679. This tract, at a later day, became the property of Bagwell Burton. William Burton had eleven sons, whom he settled along the Indian River, principally on '' Long Neck," where the family owned thousands of acres of land. From them have descended the numerous Burtons of the county, and to each generation belonged a number of John Burtons, there being at one time more than thirty persons bearing that name in the hundred. On the Indian River was built the ancestral home of one line of Burtons, which became widely known as the "White House," and for more than a century it was owned by successive John Burtons. In 1887 it was the property of Mrs. John M. Houston, a daughter of the late John Robert Burton. The main part of the house is of brick, one and a half stories high, and was whitewashed; hence its name. It is believed that the house was built as long since as 1722. This home farm embraced two hundred and sixty acres in 1887, and was one of the best-known landmarks in the hundred.

Some of the Burtons became eminent in the affairs of the State, Dr. Wm. Burton being the Governor at the breaking out of the Civil War. Robert Burton, another well-known member of the family, was born near St. George's Chapel in 1772. He was a man of unusual sound judgment and purpose to benefit the public. Through his efforts the general act was passed by the Assembly to ditch the low lands of Baltimore Hundred. But this measure was at first so violently opposed by some of the citizens, who claimed that it would produce oppressive taxation, that they threatened to do him bodily harm, if he should appear in their midst. Yet most of them lived to see time justify his wisdom. That system of drainage has made the lands of the hundred the most productive in the county. He died at Lewes in 1849, having rounded a good and noble life.

In 1684 the "Brothers' Patent," containing six hundred acres of land, adjoining those of "Long Neck," were warranted to Thomas and John Jones, but were resurveyed to William Burton, June 16, 1736.

In 1685 the tracts called "Timber Hill" on the south side of Mill Creek, and "Spring Ford," on the south side of the Great Kill, were warranted to William Clark, eleven hundred and fifty acres in all. In 1687 "Maiden's Plantation," ''Batchelor's Lott," and "Farmers' Hall," all on the "creeks proceeding out of Rehoboth Bay," were located to parties who sold them within a few years. "Bradford Hall" twelve hundred acres on the south side of Rehoboth Bay, was located in 1688, and warranted to Nathaniel Bradford. Part of this tract was sold to Roger Corbett, of Lewes, who transferred three hundred acres of the same, situate along Love Creek, to Woodman Stockley, Sr., in 1706. John Stockley had purchased five hundred acres of William Clark in 1691. Another part of the Bradford tract was conveyed to Richard Paynter and the land was divided in 1691

John Barker became the owner of "Lancaster" a tract of one hundred and fifty acres on the north side of Indian River, in 1698, and the same year two hundred acres of "Farmers' Hall" passed to Jacob Kollock.

In 1701 "Kinney's Adventure," seven hundred and twenty acres in the bottom of Angola Neck, was resurveyed to Robert Burton. In 1702 John Gibbs purchased four hundred and seventy-four acres along Love Creek, and in 1705. James Drake became the owner of two hundred acres on what is now Herring Creek, at that time called Fishery or Goldsmith's Creek.

In 1706, Richard Hinman purchased of John Paynter three hundred and forty-four acres on Angola Neck; and the same year Anderson Parker and Matthew Spicer purchased "Good Hope," six hundred acres in all, on the south side of the Marshes Creek.

In 1715 Richard Bundick became the owner of twelve hundred acres of land at the head of Love Creek (hence the name of that part, Bundick's Branch), but soon after sold the most of it to Thomas and John Jones and John Pettijohn. In 1818 the latter disposed of some of his purchase to John Allen and George Dodd. "Bottle & Oakes'' three hundred and forty acres at the head of Long Neck was di-Tided, in 1716, between William Hanzer and Thomas Geese. A part of the former's land became the property of John Lingo, November 10, 1761, and from that date the Lingo family became identified with Indian River Hundred. Henry Lingo purchased land in Slaughter Neck as early as 1748. The descendants have become a large and influential family. E. M. Lingo, a leading farmer of Angola, is a member of this family.

The settlement of the Robinson family in the hundred was much earlier. In March, 1693, Wm. Robinson, a tanner, purchased four hundred and fifty acres of land in Angola Neck, called "Robert his fortune," which had been patented as early as 1677. Subsequently this estate was enlarged by other purchases, and remained for many years in the hands of the Robinson family. As the property of Benjamin Robinson, it was subdivided among his sons, William, Benjamin, Parker, John and Peter. The upper or William's farm of one hundred and thirty-eight acres, and the improvements thereon, became the property of Peter R. Burton, who was the owner in 1887. In 1763 Thomas and Peter Robinson, merchants, bought of Elizabeth Flemming two hundred and thirty-two acres on the north side of Herring Branch, which had been warranted to Christopher Topham in 1718. Soon after Thomas Robinson settled in the vicinity of St. George's Chapel, where he opened a store. During the Revolution he was a Tory and in 1779 his property was confiscated. He then returned to England and later to Canada, but after peace was declared again took up his abode in Indian River Hundred, where he lived until his death; His son, Peter, born in 1776, became a lawyer and jurist of distinction, and his son Thomas was a member of the Legislature. Peter Robinson, the brother of Thomas, the merchant, lived at the head of the Angola tracts where he was well-known as a business man. He was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court in 1793. The site of the farm of Thomas A. Joseph, of Angola, is a historical tract. He is a descendant of the old Josephs family, which was prominent in the early history of the State and large tax-payers in 1785.

On the Indian River, above the White House and below Millsborough, a settlement was made by the Waples family on a farm which was once part of a large tract of land called "Warwick," consisting of three hundred acres, which was bought by Peter Waples of John How, September 8, 1693. He had bought three hundred acres of John Barker November 10, 1692, and on April 24, 1694, bought of William Clark four hundred acres. These lands were adjoining on the Indian River. It is supposed that his home was at the narrow part of the river, now known as 'Terry Landing." On the 2nd of September, 1696, he petitioned court for license to keep a ferry across the river from his house, for greater convenience for travelers to and from Maryland, which was granted. The road from Lewes, which was the principal settlement at that time, came to St. George's Chapel and down to the river, and in later years was joined near that place by the road from the upper part of the State. Before 1750 a town was laid out on this tract on the river, which was called Warwick, and May 7th of that year lots in the town were sold as the property of Woolsey Burton.1

The name of "Ferry Billy" Burton is still remembered by older citizens as the ferryman at this place. For a further account of this ferry, reference is made in the article on ''Internal Improvements" in the general history. Peter Waples also owned land on the south side of the river in Dagsborough Hundred in Pine Neck. He had three sons, William, Peter and Paul, from whom the family in his State have descended.

The first representative of the Frame family, who settled in the hundred, was named George, who early located a large tract of land on the upper part of Indian River. From him the property passed to his son George, whose son Robert was the next owner by right of primogeniture. Breaking through the custom, the latter divided the land with his brother Paynter, who deceased in 1812. In addition to his being a farmer, the latter carried on a store and distillery in the neighborhood of the old Presbyterian Church, which was built on the Frame tract. Near the fruit distillery was one of the largest and oldest peach orchards of this part of the State. This tract of land is yet mainly owned by Henry C. Frame, while his brother Paynter owns another part of the large estate in the northern section of the hundred.

The latter tract of four hundred acres includes ''Black's Savannah," of twenty-five acres, which was originally bare of trees. Here are the head-waters of numerous streams, which attracted much game to the locality, and it was also a favorite resort of Indian hunters. Many relics and a few Indian graves have been found. Next above this land was the "White Horse" tract of Joseph Warrington, the ancestor of that numerous family in Sussex County.

Paynter Frame has given this section local celebrity by growing on his farm some of the finest melons and fruit ever produced in Delaware. He has also propagated new species of fruits and vegetables.

The first American ancestor of the old Delaware family of Frame was George Frame, who emigrated from England at an early period, and patented several thousand acres of land in what is now Dagsboro', and Indian River Hundreds. Several of his children subsequently immigrated to Ohio, where they were among the earliest settlers in Pickaway County, in that State. George Frame, son of the emigrant, married Elizabeth Paynter, aunt of Gov. John Paynter, who bore him two sons, Robert and Paynter Frame.

Robert died at the early age of thirty-four. His widow, whose maiden-name was Mary Vaughan, first married a Mr. West, and bore him one child, Elizabeth. After his death she married Wm. Burton, and had four children, Dr. William Burton, late Governor of Delaware; John Hammond, a well-known surveyor; Lydia and Carolina. After the death of Mr. Burton, she became the wife of Mr. Frame, and bore him three children, Elizabeth Paynter, who married James Anderson, of Georgetown; George, the father of the subject of this notice; and Robert Frame, who later became Attorney-General of Delaware. Mrs. Frame died soon after her husband, and the children were reared by their uncle, Paynter Frame, who had no children ef his own.

George Frame, son of Robert, when he arrived at the age of fourteen years, was bound as an apprentice to Baxter & Bird, hardware merchants of Philadelphia, and remained with that firm until he attained his majority. In 1819 he made a journey to Havana, but returned soon after, and settled in his native county of Sussex, devoting himself to the improvement and development of the four hundred acres of land he had inherited from his father's estate. He manifested great energy, industry and executive ability, and added greatly to his landed estate; was a skillful surveyor, and owned about one thousand five hundred acres of fairly productive and well cultivated land at the time of his death. He was active in political affairs; was elected to the Legislature of his State in 1831; served as sheriff of Sussex County in 1834, and was a popular candidate for gubernatorial honors in 1840. He died September 13, 1845, in the forty-ninth year of his age. His wife was Elizabeth Jefferson, daughter of Joseph and Ann (Jefferson) Warrington, and a distant relative of President Thomas Jefferson. She bore him twelve children, of whom eleven grew to years of maturity, namely: Robert, Mary Vaughan (wife of Manlove Wilson) Paynter, Ann J. (wife of R. H. Davis) Henry Clay, Elizabeth West (wife of Nathaniel Williams), George W., (deceased), Thomas Jefferson, Rev. Clement T., (of the Baptist denomination), Jennie W., and Thalia H. M. Frame. Mrs. Frame led an exemplary Christian life, was possessed of remarkable energy and business ability, as well as a high order of intelligence, and it is said of her that she read the Bible through thirty times in course. She died January 5, 1879, in her seventy-seventh year.

The subject of this sketch was born in the house where he now resides, in Indian River Hundred, on October 21, 1826. He attended the public schools of his neighborhood until he was fourteen years of age, and then enjoyed academic instruction in Georgetown, Seaford and Millsboro' until past the age of twenty. The last year of his attendance at school he paid his own tuition in gold, derived from the sale of rabbits which he had caught. After completing his educational career he remained with his mother, on the family homestead, at her request, and assisted her in the care and management of the undivided estate of his father. He never married, but has proved an enthusiastic farmer, paying special attention to the grafting and improvement of fruit. He owns over five thousand peach trees, also pear and apple trees in abundance, as well as numerous varieties of small fruits. He owns several tracts of land, and raises large quantities of wheat and corn, his fences being lined with the choicest varieties of grapes grafted onto the wild vines. He is widely known in connection with the growth of watermelons, having also originated several excellent varieties, such as the "Iron-Clad," and the "Prize," and frequently preserves this luscious fruit during the winter. He has also recently developed a peach of great merit which he has named "Frame's Favorite."

In 1876 he was one of the nine commissioners appointed to represent Delaware at the Centennial Exhibition, and served effectively as a member of the Committee on Agriculture, and as chairman of the Committee on Horticulture. He was also appointed by Governor Hall a delegate to represent Sussex County in the National Agricultural Convention, which met in New York City, in December, 1879. At that session the American Agricultural Association was formed, of which organization he is a member.

He has frequently been selected to fill positions of trust and responsibility, and acted as the executor of the estate of his uncle, Peter Warrington. He is part owner of a vessel trading between Milton, Del., and Philadelphia and New York. Like his father, he has always taken a deep interest in politics, and in 1854 was the nominee of the Democratic Party for the State Legislature, but was defeated. He was elected, however, in 1856, and served with credit and acceptability; and was again chosen to represent his party in 1866 and in 1874. He has, with but few exceptions, been a delegate to every convention of his party in the country for the last thirty years. He has also been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, and much of the time has acted as trustee and steward. He was a delegate to the Peninsula Convention of all denominations in 1860, and has long been identified with the Sussex County Bible Society, and has served as its vice-president. He was made an Odd Fellow in 1850, a Mason in 1852, became Master of the lodge in 1854, and a member of the Royal Arch in 1858. He was a delegate to the General Grand Convocation of Royal Arch Masons in Baltimore in 1872, and is Past Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of the State of Delaware. He was a prominent candidate for Governor in 1870, and again in 1872. He is of an agreeable and social temperament, popular and respected, and one of the foremost farmers of his county.

In the hundreds of Indian River, Lewes and Rehoboth and Dagsborough are a numerous class of colored people commonly called yellow men, and by many believed to be descendants of the Indians which formerly inhabited this country. Others regard them as mulattoes and still others claim that they are of Moorish descent. From the fact that so many of them bear the name of Sockum, that term has also been applied to the entire class of people. Of their genealogy, Judge George P. Fisher said:

"About one hundred and fifty years ago a cargo of slaves from Congo River was landed at Lewes, and sold to purchasers at that place. Among them was a tall, fine-looking young man about five and twenty years. This man was called Requa, and was remarkable for his manly proportions and regular features, being more Caucasian than African. Requa was purchased by a young Irish widow, having red hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. She afterwards married him. At that time the Nanticoke Indians were still quite numerous at and near Indian River. The off-spring of Requa and his Irish wife were not recognized in the white society, and they would not associate with the Negroes, and they did associate and intermarry with the Indians.

"This statement was made on oath of Lydia Clark, at Georgetown, in 1856, in the trial of the case of the State against Levin Sockum for selling, contrary to law, powder and shot to one Isaiah Harman, alleged to be a free mulatto. The question upon which the case turned was whether Harman really was a free mulatto, and the genealogy of that race of people was traced by Lydia Clark, then about eighty-seven years of age, who was of the same race of people.

"The court was so well convinced of the truth of Lydia's testimony that. Sockum was convicted of the charge preferred against him.

''This race of people are noted as peaceable, law-abiding citizens, good farmers, and are known as Moors, but without any foundation. The name Requa or Regua is now handed down as Ridgeway.''

The exclusiveness spoken of continues to the present time. This class of people maintains its separate social life (so far as it is possible to do so) seldom intermarrying with the Negroes or mulattoes, and support separate churches. The number in the county is diminishing, owing to removals and natural causes but enough remain to make it a distinctive element.

In 1785 a List of Taxables in the hundred.

In 1822 there were three hundred and ninety-eight Taxables in the Hundred owning real estate and personal property.

The Business Interests

Business Interests of the hundred are confined to a few small trading points and the operation of mills by the feeble water-powers of the sluggish streams, flowing into the Rehoboth and Indian River Bays. On the Middle Creek, at the head of Angola Neck, the Robinson family had one of the first mills, different members owning it until 1843, since which time Peter R. Burton has been the proprietor. The saw-mill was abandoned many years ago, but the grist-mill is still operated in a limited way. Higher up the same stream and on Herring Creek, prior to 1825, the Robinson family also had mills, suited to the demands of those times, which have passed out of existence so long since that scarcely a trace of them can be seen. In 1797 Woodman Stockley was authorized to erect a mill-dam across Rood's Creek, probably where was afterwards the Ennis mill. That site was vacated by order of the court, on account of the overflow caused by the dam. In 1806 an act was also passed to enable Joshua Jones to remove his mill and erect a dam on Swan Creek, one hundred and seventeen perches down said creek, and two acres on the west side of the creek were condemned for a mill-site. On this steam Samuel Lockwood operated a mill as early as 1816, which did quite a heavy business for those times. The channel of the stream permitted boats to be loaded below the mill so that flour was shipped from here direct to Philadelphia. Higher up the stream, Robert and Cornelius Waples had a mill, which has also gone down.

On the Deep Branch of the Indian River the Pool Mill did good service for the settlers after 1800, and as the power is constant the mills have since been continuously operated, being later known as the property of Burton Morris. Several miles below, the Frame family had a saw-mill, near which the Presbyterian meeting-house was afterwards built, and which circumstance of locality gave rise to the name "Saw-mill Church." Later, Col. Wm. Waples improved a power, lower down the stream, the breast of the dam being used as a causeway for the road across the river. This became locally known as the Doe Bridge, one of these animals having been killed near this spot. The grist-mill put up became widely known as the property of Col. Waples and later of Robert Morris; but since 1864 it has been known as the property of Benjamin B. Jones. The latter was, also, in 1887, the owner of the mills at Millsboro'. That power was improved at an early day by Elisha Derrickson, and was first made to operate but a small mill; this gave place to a large mill, having two water-wheels on the outside of the building. There was a kiln for drying corn, and much grain was ground, which was loaded upon vessels coming up to the mills. The property was destroyed by fire in 1839, while owned by Col. William D. Waples and while being operated by Henry C. Waples, whose residence near the mill was burned at the same time. The present mill was built in 1840, and soon after became the property of Gardiner H. Wright. In 1852 it was remodeled and has been enlarged within more recent years as the property of Benjamin B. Jones. It has a strong and constant power. The usefulness of a large saw-mill on the Dagsborough side of the stream has been superseded by many portable steam saw-mills, located in the forests of the hundred, among the principal ones being those of J. A. Lingo, near Warwick, and R. Lingo, on the Long Neck.

Villages

Millsboro' is located in both Indian River and Dagsborough Hundreds, but had its beginning as a business point in the former. The furnace store connected with the furnace and grist-mills at this place was opened near the mills, on the Indian River side, about 1820, and as the furnace alone had about seventy employees, it had a large trade until its removal to the Dagsborough side (which was then known as Washington), about 1840. The store was supplemented by an inn, kept by Philip Short and later by Burton Waples and Thomas Hayworth, and as this place was also the headquarters of Colonel Waples' stage line across the Peninsula, there was much business activity. The inn was closed to the public many years ago, but stores have been pretty continuously kept at the old stand until the present time. In 1887 Derrick B. Morris was in the trade and there were, besides the mills and the store, half a dozen residences in the Indian River part of the village, the general business being confined to the Dagsborough side, where is also the railway station.

At Angola the Robinsons had a store prior to the Revolution, the building in which they traded being on the side of the present barn of Peter R. Burton, who was a merchant of more recent times. In a still more recent period James Maull opened another store, and for the past ten years D. D. Burton has been in trade, also being the postmaster of the office established about thirty years ago. A small hamlet has grown up at this place.

At Warwick Landing was formerly a store, which has long since been discontinued, but at the head of Long Neck a business stand was established many years ago by Levin Sockum, where afterwards traded Henry Groome and, since 1873, John A. Lingo. Lower down the Neck a store, kept by Captain Baylis, has been discontinued.

At Johnson's Cross-Roads (St. John's Church) Peter Parker had a small store as early as 1830. Here later merchants were John T. Burton and James W. Lynch. East from this place, in a locality known as Holleyville, Burton C. Prettyman opened a store, about 1842, which is still continued. The post-office is of more recent origin. It receives its mail from Harbeson station, and also supplies the Angola office.

Nearer the central part of the hundred is the new hamlet of Fairmount, which consists of the Unity Church, store, shops and a few houses, nearly all the buildings being new and presenting an attractive appearance. The business interests at this point are solely the creation of Daniel C. Townsend, who their engaged in trade in 1879. Since that time he has succeeded in making it a good business centre. A Grange Hall, in this neighborhood, is a two-story frame building, in which public meetings are also held. The membership of the Grange was small in 1887.

In the vicinity of St. George's Chapel there were, besides the mills, already mentioned, about eighty years ago, two taverns and a small store, the latter kept by the Robinson family as early as the Revolution. Nearer Lewes was a race-course and a bullet path; the latter was a sort of bowling alley, only they used large bullets and rolled on a firmly-beaten path. Half a century ago that was a popular pastime in rural sections. All the foregoing have long since disappeared, leaving the chapel as the sole interest in that community.

Religious Matters

The St. George's Chapel (Protestant Episcopal) is the representation of the earliest organized religious effort in the hundred. As early as May 8, 1706, Roger Corbett "made over to the public, for a religious place of worship or church, one acre of land situate on the south side of Love's Branch, to have and to hold the same for ye use aforesaid, with war-rants from him, his heirs and assigns forever, by deed of gift." It is said that about this time a small log church was built on this tract of land, but the account appears to be purely traditionary. In a report of the missionary, the Rev. William Beckett, October 11, 1728, is an authentic statement of the chapel as follows: "In Indian River Hundred, nine miles from Lewes, was raised in December, 1719, an oak frame, twenty by twenty-five feet, and twelve feet high. The walls and roof were covered with red oak boards, and so remained until 1725, when fifteen feet were added to the length of the building, but this part was not finished. In the old part was the pulpit, gallery and floor. In 1728 it was proposed to cover the whole building with cypress shingles and otherwise improve the appearance of the chapel. About two hundred people steadily attended the services of the chapel."

In subsequent years this building was further repaired, and was used until about 1792, when it was destroyed by fire, the flames being communicated from a burning building nearby. In 1794 the present edifice was erected of bricks burned near the church. It was built two stories high, having double rows of windows and galleries all around the church. The pulpit was tulip-shaped and was supplied with a sounding-board. In this condition it was a well-kept place of worship for nearly a hundred years; but the walls becoming badly cracked, it was deemed unsafe, and, in 1882, it was determined to rebuild the church. The height of the building was cut down, the galleries being removed, and the architecture was changed to Gothic style. These repairs were completed in April, 1883, at an outlay of seven hundred and fifty dollars. At this time William C. Burton was the junior warden and much of the work was done under his direction. In 1887 the building presented a plain but not unattractive appearance.

St. George's Chapel was for many years a part of the parish of Lewes, and had, consequently, the same rectors as St. Peter's Church, these being, after 1820, the Revs. Daniel Higbee, Charles C. Pleasants, George Hall, the latter being ordained a priest at St. Mark's, Millsboro', October 8, 1848.

The Rev. William Wright became the rector of St George's Church and the Chapel of the Holy Comforter, December 1, 1855, and continued until September, 1860, when the Rev. J. Rambo was appointed to take charge of these churches, serving in the capacity of missionary until June, 1863. Since that time the rectors, in connection with other churches, have been the following: 1867, the Rev. John A. Parsons; 1868-73, the Rev. John L. McKim. From July, 1873, until the fall of 1887 the minister of the Episcopal Churches in the hundred was the Rev. George W. Johnson. The membership is not large, many of those formerly belonging having removed. In December, 1887, the communicants at the church and its chapel did not exceed thirty. The vestry of the former was composed of D. D. Burton and William C. Burton, wardens; Alfred Joseph, M. B. Marvel, Thomas W. Turner, Thomas W. Burton and John E. Burton, vestrymen.

The Chapel of the Holy Comforter was consecrated May 25, 1847, and was erected for the convenience of members of St. George's residing in the lower part of the hundred. It is a frame building, twenty-eight by thirty-eight feet, with a chancel added, and was placed in good repair in 1880. In its ecclesiastical relation it has always been a part of St. George's Parish, the two places of worship having a common place of burial at the old church.

The cemetery at the old St. George's Chapel (now Church) has been kept in a good condition. A fine brick wall was built around it in 1857, and a neat iron fence separates it from the public highway. The location is a good one, being on a sandy knoll. There are some fine monuments in the yard, and among the headstones noted were memorials to members of the following families: Kalloch, Lingo, Robinson, Der-rickson, Phillips, Baylis, Dodd, Stockley, Wilson, Prettyman, Cary, Long, Collins, Hill, Turner.

The Indian River Presbyterian Church. This body has passed out of existence, leaving no record of its early history. The organization of a congregation near the "Head of Indian River" antedated 1750, and it may have been as early as 1730 or soon after the organization of the congregation at Cool Spring, with which some of the Presbyterians residing in the hundred would naturally have been first connected. Soon after 1750 a dissension arose in the Indian River congregation, between the "Old and New Light" members, which prevented their agreeing upon the Rev. Matthew Wilson, of the Lewes Church, as a suitable pastor, and on the 12th of October, 1754, the "peace was preserved" by electing the Rev. John Harris as the first separate pastor of whom any account has been preserved. The congregation retained him in that office until 1759, when it confessed its inability to pay his salary any longer, and the pulpit became vacant. After it was supplied a short time by the Rev. Moses Little, a union was again effected in 1767, with the churches at Lewes and Cool Spring, and the Rev. Matthew Wilson then became the pastor, serving the three congregations until his death. In 1788 these congregations were incorporated under the provisions of the act of 1787, with the name of "The United Presbyterian Congregations of Lewes, Cool Spring and Indian River." All their temporalities were thus united, and for a number of years "they called and paid their pastors in the name of the trustees of this Directory."

In 1800 the ruling elders of the congregation were Robert Houston, Benjamin Prettyman, David Richards and Jacob Burton. In 1811, Edward Hall and William Rodney were elected, and in 1836 the session was composed of Dr. S. K. Wilson, C. Waples, P. Marvel, Aaron Marvel and Peter Waples. At this time the communicants numbered sixty-eight, and the Rev. Cornelius H. Mustard was the pastor. In 1811 the membership was still stronger, there being seventy-four communicants. After the latter period the congregation appears to have declined very rapidly, and was soon so weak that no regular minister could be maintained, the Rev. Henry Fries being the last to serve in that relation. The Civil War still further disrupted the church, which has not had an active existence since that time.

The place of worship of the congregation was in a meeting-house erected on the Frame farm, one and a half miles about Millsboro', an acre of land in a fine grove having been set aside for this purpose. The first building was replaced by a better frame structure in 1794, which was well finished, the interior being of heart pine, in panel work, while the entire outside was covered with cypress shingles. In 1838 it was repaired for the last time, and after 1866 was practically abandoned. In 1887 the frame of the building was still standing, but most of the lumber entering into the construction of the building had been carried away, and the cemetery was no longer used.

The Methodist Episcopal Church has had an active, aggressive membership in the hundred for more than eighty years, and in 1887 it was stronger numerically than all the other denominations combined. An account of its work in this division embraces the history of five white and three colored churches. Of these, "Zoar" and "Unity" both appear to have been built in 1810; but the organization of the classes occupying them, as parts of old Lewes Circuit, was undoubtedly a number of years earlier.

Zoar was incorporated November 5, 1810, with fifteen families represented, among them being those of William Ennis, Asa Johnson, Jeremiah Joseph, Thomas Grice, Peter Mayer, John Sharp, Spencer Lacy and Isaac Atkins. A frame, shingle-covered meeting-house was built, on the main road, several miles north of Millsboro'. This house was a regular place of worship many years, but it now stands neglected. Its further regular use was made unnecessary by the changes in population and the building of Bethesda Church, in Dagsborough Hundred, to accommodate most of the members formerly attendants at Zoar. On the church lot is a small burial lot, and the building is yet occasionally used for funerals and other gatherings.

The Unity Church was built on sixty square perches of land deeded September 22, 1810, to Trustees Selick Hazzard, David Hazzard, Perry Pool, James Lingo and Thomas Mcllvaine, by Arthur Milby. The original house was rebuilt in 1842, and this, in turn, gave place to a new church, in the fall of 1887. It is a frame house, thirty by forty feet, with eighteen feet posts, and was erected by a building committee composed of Daniel C. Townsend, John H. Prettyman, Robert Burton, Joshua Burton and Rev. Robert Rowe. It was finished plainly and cost one thousand dollars. The church has a central location at the hamlet of Fairmount.

St. John's Church is in the northwestern part of the hundred, at Johnson's Cross-Roads, and has a pleasant site in a well-kept cemetery which is enclosed by a substantial brick wall.

The church is a frame building, which was erected during the ministry of the Rev. John Hough, on the Georgetown Circuit, of which it still forms a part. Prior to its occupancy meetings were held at the houses of James Johnson, John Walls and the school-house. John Walls was still living in this locality in the fall of 1887 at the age of eighty-eight years, and was one of the earliest Methodists in this part of the county.

The church was plain but not unattractive, and had these trustees Albert J. Johnson, John Walls, Josiah Simpler, Paynter Frame, G. S, Walls, K. D. Wilson, Joseph W. Wimbrown, Peter P. Dodd and Peter W. Rust.

Connelly's Chapel is at the head of Angola Neck, and was built in 1837, largely through the efforts of the Rev. Connelly, who was a carpenter by trade, and who did much of the work himself. In re-cognition of his services the first chapel was named for him, and when the present house was built, in 1876, the title was retained. It is a plain frame, with sit-tings for about one hundred and fifty people, and the surroundings are neatly kept by the community. In 1887 the trustees were William Hopkins, John A. Marsh, Peter Walls, Joseph Walls. Wm. S. Robinson and Peter R. Burton. The appointment is a part of the Nassau Circuit, while the Unity Church and the Central Church belong to Millsboro' Circuit. The latter was built in the upper part of Long Neck after 1867, several years elapsing before it was completed. In 1887 it was enlarged and repaired, making it an attractive country place of worship.

The colored people of the hundred maintain churches which bear the names of "Friendship," "Harmony" and Johnson's Meeting-House. The latter was built in 1879. The former has been in use more than fifty years. The churches are plain wooden structures, having good seating capacity.

Footnotes:
1. May 8, 1746, Wm. Burton, father of Woolsey Burton, sold to the latter the place called "Warwick," including the ground-rents, which implies that the town had already been laid out and some lots sold.

List of Taxables, 1785| List of Taxables, 1822 | Sussex County

Source: History of Delaware, 1609-1888, Volume I, by J. Thomas Scharf, L. J. Richards & Company, Philadelphia, 1888.

 
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