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 Broadkiln Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware

Early Settlements Assessment List, 1785 Religious Matters
Schools Mills and Manufactories Villages and Post Office
.. Milton ..

This Hundred situated in the northeastern part of Sussex County is bounded on the north by Prime Hook Creek; on the east by Delaware Bay and Cool-Spring Branch; on the south by the same Branch and Georgetown Hundred; and on the west by Georgetown Hundred. Its name is derived from the creek of the same name, which flows through the central portion of the Hundred and is navigable as far as Milton. By means of this creek large quantities of grain and lumber have been and still continue to be shipped annually to the Philadelphia and New York markets. About three-fifths of the land in this Hundred is in a state of cultivation, and produces the usual cereals and small fruits in abundance. The soil is well watered by numerous small streams which rise and flow within its boundaries.

The population is equally distributed, and with the exception of Milton, no village of any size is found in this Hundred. In addition to the facilities for shipment by water, additional advantages for shipping and travel are afforded by the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Railroad, which runs through the southern portion of Broadkiln Hundred.

Early Settlements

One of the earliest persons to take up land in Broadkiln Hundred was Hermanus Wiltbank, who settled at Lewes previous to 1673. A more complete history of him will be found in the Chapter on Lewes. He and his son Cornelius took up and purchased large tracts of land on the coast and inland before 1680, some of which are now in the possession of their lineal descendants, John and David Wiltbank of Milton. In September 1695, Cornelius Wiltbank presented a petition to the Court of Sussex County, setting forth that "he hath designe to build a water-mill in this county on that branch or creek of the Broadkiln, called Mill Creek, (Beaver Dam Branch), if ye Crt will grant him the same and land which is customary adjoining to the same." The petition was duly considered and it was agreed that "The Crt grant him the said stream provided he build the said mill thereon within fifteen months from hence forward, and attend and mind the same, and doe grind the grain well, and in due course as it comes to mill without Respect to persons at ye eighth part Poll for wheat, and sixth for Indian corn." It is very probable that this mill was never built, as two years later a mill was built on this stream by Jonathan Bailey, who was an early settler at Lewes, and in 1676 owned a grist mill at Pilottown. He was Sheriff of the county at several different times. His descendants both of the name Bailey and Art still live in Lewes.

A warrant for six hundred acres of land in this Hundred was granted by the Whorekill Court to Thomas Hassold. The tract was surveyed July 24, 1682, and was known as Hassold's Fortune. It was described as being on the west side of Delaware Bay, and on the south side of Prime Hook Creek, and joined land of Thomas Moulson, Philip Morris and Hermanus Wiltbank. The most of this land is now owned by William A. Hazzard, James T. Reed, David Argo and the heirs of Eli Collins.

The family represented by John H. Wiltbank traces its genealogy to a very early period in the history of this country, and for more than two hundred years has been identified with its growth and development.

The original ancestor was Halmanius Wiltbank, who emigrated from Sweden about the year 1650. Tradition says that the vessel in which he had embarked was wrecked off Cape Henlopen and that be saved himself by swimming to the shore, carrying in his pocket a silver watch that has since been handed down from father to son in the family and is still in the possession of his descendants. Halmanius resided for the remainder of his life near Lewes, Id Sussex County, where a number of the family still reside. At his death he left three sons, Cornelius, John and Abraham. John became a man of considerable prominence and served as one of the associate judges of the court held at Lewes, in 1755. One of his sons, known as Parson Wiltbank, was a noted preacher in his day and the father of John Wiltbank, who was a prominent physician and a professor in one of the medical colleges of Philadelphia. The mother of the late Chancellor Harrington was also one of the daughters of the Parson.

Cornelius, the oldest son of Halmanius, was born about 1660 and died in 1730. He received one of the original patents from William Penn for a tract of land, comprising two hundred and fifty acres, lying on the north side and along the Broadkiln River, about three miles from Delaware Bay, which has continued to be held by his male heirs to the present date, 1888. He left one son, Isaac, who was born about the year 1705 and at his death left two sons, Cornelius and Samuel. The former, Cornelius, was born in 1731 and died in 1803. He married Rachel, daughter of John Hazzard, and passed his life as a farmer on the family tract on the Broadkiln River. He was known as a staunch patriot during the trying scenes of the Revolution. At his demise he left two sons, Cornelius and David, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who became the mother of Judge John W. Houston. David was born in 1789 and died in 1865. He was a farmer by occupation and also resided on the home tract. He was an ardent Whig and served as a volunteer in the war of 1812-15, participating in the defense of Lewes in 1813. He married Sarah G. Morris, and left two sons, John H. and David A. Wiltbank.

John H. Wiltbank was born on the homestead tract of his family, June 9th, 1823. His youth was passed as farmers' sons usually grow up, acquiring a fair education while rendering what assistance he could upon the farm. He has devoted the greater part of his life to agricultural pursuits and fruit growing, and led an honest, earnest and industrious life. He is a Republican in politics, and during the War of the Rebellion was a sincere and active Union man, and did what he could to sustain the General Government in the effort to preserve the national integrity.

He married Martha A., daughter of John T. Hudson, a prominent farmer of New Castle County, and with this truly estimable lady now resides in the town of Milton, where both are enjoying the happy fruits of a well-spent life and the merited respect, confidence and esteem of many Mends.

William Clark, of whom so much has been said in the history of Colonial times, and in Lewes, was also the owner of considerable land in Broadkiln. On March 6, 1684, there was granted to him, by William Penn, a tract of five hundred acres, lying between Cool Spring Branch and the main branch of Mill Creek (Beaver Dam Branch). This tract, known as "Penn's Manor of Worminghurst," was confirmed to him April 2, 1686, by Thomas Lloyd, James Claypoole and Robert Turner. On November 21, 1717, it came into the possession of Preserved Coggeshall. On the day of the confirmation of "Penn's Manor of Worminghurst," there was patented to Clark, "Mill Plantation,'' a tract containing eight hundred acres. Of this he sold two hundred acres to Mathew Osborne, who also had surveyed for himself on April 25, 1722, a tract of land, warranted to Robert Lodges on December 18, 1718 and now owned by Mrs. Theodore Carey. "Mill Plantation" is now in the possession of George A. Bryan, the heirs of Nathaniel Veasey and the heirs of Mrs. Eliza A. Fisher.

On February 9, 1686, Clark sold to Thomas Fisher three hundred acres of land on the south side of Broadkiln Creek. Thomas Fisher was the son of John Fisher, who came to this country with Penn in 1682. Thomas was also the owner of "Stretcher's Island," containing one hundred and seventy-five acres, and surveyed January 29, 1701, by Jonas Greenbank. On April 11, 1711, he purchased one hundred and fifty acres adjoining this tract, which was granted to Robert Murdock on November 5, 1690. These two tracts are now owned by William A. Hazzard and Peter B. Jackson. Some of the land purchased by Thomas Fisher is now the property of James Fisher and the heirs of John Fisher, lineal descendants of Thomas.

Clark, as administrator of Henry Bowman, was also the owner of ''Rich Farms," containing six hundred and fifty acres, which were warranted to Thomas Tilton on August 5, 1687. Clark sold this tract to John Hill, a merchant, on December 5, 1696.

John Clowes settled in this hundred at an early date, on the "Dreams" and "Green Branch" of the Nanticoke. His son John also purchased lands in the vicinity on September 7, 1672, of William Danters and William Boucher, which had been warranted by William Shankland December 19, 1743, as Spring Garden. Dr. Peter Clowes, brother of John Clowes, Sr., also settled in the vicinity, on land now owned by Jesse E. Dodd. On land now in the possession of David Conwell, is a family vault, about eight by twelve feet, walled up with brick, which at present contains no remains. Nearby are several graves, three of which are marked by headstones. One is "In memory of John Clowes, who departed this life February 24, 1790, Aged 69 years 3 months & 19 days." Another is to the memory of Sarah, wife of John Clarke, who died December 19, 1790. The third is in memory of Mrs. Aletta Clark, who died May 11, 1852. The John Clowes here referred to is, doubtless, the son of the early settler John.

On October 25, 1713, John Ponder purchased of John Howe one hundred acres of land on the north side of Broadkiln Creek, which was part of an eight hundred-acre tract, formerly the property of Thomas Pemberton, from whom Pemberton's Branch takes its name. On February 1, 1717, he purchased two hundred acres more of this tract, which was surveyed January 23rd of same year, by Robert Shankland. Abram Parsley and Peter Lucas were chain-bearers and Samuel Dickarson was marker. John Ponder also obtained other land in this hundred. The house in which he lived is now occupied as a residence by a tenant of John Ponder. It is a hip-roofed structure, built of cedar logs and weather-boarded. John and James have been the names peculiar to this family. Hon. James Ponder, of Milton, ex-governor of the State, still retains much of the land originally purchased by his ancestor, John Ponder, and has added to it many acres.

On October 14, 1738, Thomas Harrison sold two hundred and fifty acres of a tract known as "Maiden Plantation," containing nine hundred and seven acres, to James Hood. It was situated south of "Mill Plantation," and is now owned by John Sherman, George A. Bryan, Joseph Hunter, and the heirs of Robert Hood, Jr.

The Paynters have owned land in Broadkiln Hundred for nearly two centuries. Samuel, the grand-son of Richard, began the purchase of lands here in 1732, on February 8th, of which year he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of Thomas Stockley. Other lands were soon afterwards purchased by him, some of which still remain in the family. On the land early acquired. Gov. Samuel Paynter was born.

On September 16, 1735, there was surveyed or re-surveyed for John and Thomas Penn, by William Shankland, a tract containing one thousand acres of marsh land. This is now owned by William A. Hazzard.

"Come by Chance," a tract of two hundred and fifty acres, was warranted to Jacob Skilpman on June 8, 1737.

"Ralph's Delight" and "Walker's Folly," now owned by Mrs. Theodore Curey, were resurveyed March 5, 1742.

"Reed's white mould" was warranted to William Mollineaux on June 11, 1750, and patented for one hundred and twenty-three acres to Edmund Reed, by Governor Clayton on December 4, 1794. It was part of a larger tract originally granted to David Coursey by the Court of Deal (now Sussex) on April 11, 1682, for three hundred acres.

"Stretcher's Hall," a tract of five hundred acres, was originally granted to Henry Stretcher, and by him sold to James Standfield and James Thomas. It was later known as the "Jersey Tract" and is situated on the south side of Cypress Branch of Prime Hook Creek. Hon. James Ponder is the present owner.

Christopher Topham was the owner of a six hundred acre tract called "White Oak Neck," previous to 1742. In that year he deeded six acres of it to the Friends. It was situate on Cool Spring Branch. He also owned four hundred acres of forest land, known as "Green Meadow."

The Assessment List of Broadkiln Hundred for the year 1785 contained the following names: (429)

Religious Matters

At a Monthly meeting of Friends held at Duck Creek (Smyrna) on the 22d of the Sixth Month, 1720, Caleb Offly reported that the Quarterly Meeting gave consent for a place of worship to be settled at Cool Spring, until further orders. It is unknown whether a meeting-house was erected previous to 1742. On February 1, of that year, Christopher Topham conveyed to the Society of Friends Murderkill Monthly Meeting, six acres of land for the use of a meeting-house and burial place. On this a one-story frame building, about eighteen by twenty-four feet, was erected and used for many years as a meeting-house. It has long since disappeared, and none but the oldest residents remember when meetings were held there. In 1839 the main portion of this six acres was purchased by Samuel Paynter. A small plat for the burial of the dead is still enclosed, and cared for by the family of James Fisher. Among the later Friends who worshiped here were members of the Ford, Bobbins, Wright and Rowland families.

On March 11, 1818, Aletta Clark granted to Bevens Morris, Sr., Samuel Cade, John T. Connell, Jonathan Hevaloe and Thomas Draper, trustees, a lot of land in Broadkiln Hundred containing three thousand six hundred square feet A one-story frame building, eighteen by twenty feet, known as the Zion Methodist Episcopal Church, was erected the same year. Services were held in this structure until 1848, when it was enlarged so as to accommodate the growing congregation. In 1873 it was found necessary to erect a new building. An adjoining lot of land containing one acre was conveyed by Hevaloe Morris to the trustees, who at that time were J. T. Conwell, Robert Morris, John Morris, Sylvester H. Rust, Hevaloe Morris, Daniel R. Burton and James C. Robbins. The new one-story edifice, 35 by 50 feet, was completed and dedicated January 25, 1874. The church has a present membership of forty. It has been connected with the Lewistown, Milton and Nassau Circuits. A flourishing Sunday-school connected with the church is under the superintendence of John M. Robbins.

White's Methodist Episcopal Chapel was erected on one-fourth of an acre of land, donated in 1838, by Samuel Paynter to David Robbins, Peter C. Lank, Robert Russell, John Lank and James Lank. The chapel received its name from Henry White, a presiding elder. The first building was a one story-structure eighteen by twenty four feet. Previous to this meetings were held in an old school-house. Services were held in the first church until 1872, when the present edifice was erected at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars. It is a one-story frame building, thirty by forty-five feet. Services are held once in two weeks. The church has been connected with the same circuits as Zion.

A flourishing Sunday-school of seventy members is under the superintendence of Mrs. Anna Fisher.

The present board of trustees is composed of the following persons: James Lank, Myers Fisher, David Robbins, James Fisher, Henry White, Peter Lank, Absalom Rust.

Cave Neck Churches. In 1886 the Methodists of Cave Neck formed a class and met in a school-house for a short time. A lot of land was donated to them by the heirs of Jacob Coffin, and a neat frame church building erected. This was used by the Methodist Protestants for about a year, and then a dispute arose and the church was finally set apart for the services of [the Methodist Episcopal denomination. The membership and attendance is very squall.

The Methodist Protestants withdrew from the church and again held services in the school-house. A lot of land was deeded to them by B. F. Brockson, and a new church erected this year. It now has a membership of thirty-four, and is connected with the Milton circuit. The present board of trustees is composed of George Prettyman, Samuel Palmer, G. Dutton, T. H. Arterbridge, John E. Johnson, Charles H. Sharpe, John Carpenter and Nathaniel Hood.

Services were held by the Methodist Protestants of the, southern part of the hundred in private houses, a short time previous to 1844. In that year land was donated to the society by Barclay Wilson, and the Beaver Dam Methodist Protestant church erected. It was a one-story frame building, about twenty-eight by thirty-two feet. Services were held in it until 1885, when additional land was donated by Harbeson Hickman, and the present one story frame structure, thirty by forty feet built. The church has now a membership of fifty-four. It has been connected with the Milton circuit since the organization of that circuit, and previous to that had no regular pastor. Silas M. Warrington is the superintendent of the Sunday-school, comprising about forty members. The present board of trustees of this church are: William H. Prettyman, Thomas W. Walls, Peter A. Dodd, James A. Coulter, Silas M. Warrington.

In 1870 a church building was erected by the Methodist Protestants at Pender's Mills. While the dedicatory services were being performed by the pastor, on December 25, of that year, the building caught fire and was entirely consumed. Services were then held in a school-house until July, 1872, when the present building was dedicated to the worship of God by Rev. Charlton. It is a one-story frame structure, twenty-two by thirty-five feet. Since its erection the church has been connected with the Milton Circuit, and the pulpit has been filled by the ministers in charge of that circuit. The membership of the church at the present time is forty-nine.


Previous to 1829, there were private schools in various parts of the Hundred. When they began is not known, but nearly all closed at the adoption of the common school system of education. Among the teachers of these pay schools are remembered the names of Nehemiah Dorman, Gilbert Poole, Daniel Drain, John Davis, Archibald Fleming and Mitchell Lank.

For common or free school purposes, the Hundred was divided into the following districts:

District No, 7, in Broadkiln Neck, at the mouth of Primehook Creek and the Delaware Bay, thence running up said creek to Smith's Mill, thence up stream to mouth of Ingram's Branch, up the said branch to public road leading from hence through Broadkiln Neck to the Delaware Bay, thence along said public road to the western end of Simpler's Lane, thence with a straight line to a point on Broadkiln Creek called Heavilon's Landing. There was one school in this District 8, including North Milton in Broadkiln Hundred, beginning on Broadkiln Creek, at a place called Heavilon's Landing, a comer of No. 7, thence to the western end of Simpler's Land to a public road, thence along the public road, leading near the dwelling-house of George Conwell, a line of No. 7 to Ingram's Branch, thence up and with said branch to where the old country road, as formerly used, crosses the same, thence with a straight line to an old mill-dam, called the fulling mill dam below the mill, formerly owned by Isaac Clows, now by Arthur Nulby, thence down the stream to Joseph Maull's mill dam to the head of Broadkiln Creek, there to place of beginning, store of Hazzard and Barratt, in Milton.

District 9. Begins at the mouth of Ingram's branch where it enters Sow Bridge branch, on a line of Cedar Creek and Broadkiln Hundreds, thence up and with said Sow Bridge and Hundred line to the head thereof, where it is crossed by the road leading from New Market to the Riley Road, a comer of No. 6, thence with straight line to the west of the house of Johnson Riley, where Jonathan Massey now lives, and thence to a bridge on Riley Road.

District 10. In Coolspring Neck, in Broadkiln Hundred. Begins at mouth of Coolspring Greek where it enters Broadkiln Creek, to mouth of Mill Creek, thence to Elisha Holland's mill, thence with stream to old dam for saw-mill, thence with road to Cool-spring branch, where the road curves the same passing near Presbyterian Meeting House, thence to mills of Samuel Paynter, Esq., at head of Coolspring Creek One school in district

District 11. Cave Neck in Broadkiln Hundred, up to Broadkiln to mouth of stream called Roundpole branch, near Milton.

District 12. Including South Milton to ferry where Joseph Maull's bark manufactory is situated. Then was once an Academy in said district.

District 13. Adjoining 12, 8 and 9. Suitable places for holding school were provided in each of these districts. As the number of pupils increased, sub-divisions of the districts were made. Comfortable and commodious school-houses supplied with careful and competent teachers are now found throughout the Hundred.

Mills and Manufactories

On March 1, 1694, John Haynes purchased of Jacob Waring three hundred acres of land in Broadkiln Hundred. On January 20, of the following year he also obtained from William Wolfe, two hundred acres on the west side of Mill Creek. This land was sold by his attorney Nehemiah Fields to Jonathan Bailey, on February 10, 1697. On it Bailey erected a water-mill, which he conveyed with the land on June 9, of the next year to Abraham Potter, in whose family the land still remains. After the death of Potter, the property vested in his daughter who was the wife of William Stewart. The estate was next inherited by a daughter of Stewart, who married William Stevenson. Their son John was the next owner, and came into possession about 1773. He had additional land condemned for mill purposes and soon afterwards died, when the property vested in his sister who was the wife of John Holland. William Holland a son afterwards came into possession of the mill and in 1811, it vested in Elisha Holland, the present owner of the land. The mills were rebuilt several times. In 1826, Elisha Holland added a saw-mill, which was in operation until about four years ago. The grist- mill was abandoned about twelve years ago.

At an early date there was a ship-yard about three fourths of a mile from Holland's mill, on land now owned by Herbert Reynolds.

The next mill on Beaver Dam branch above Holland's mill is a saw-mill, owned and operated by James Hunter. It stands on the site of a mill, at one time owned by William Perry. The present mill was built about 1832, as in 1831 there was an act of Assembly passed enabling Robert Hunter, to erect a mill-dam across the head waters of Mill Creek, a branch of Broadkiln. After the death of Robert Hunter, the mill was inherited by his son James, the present proprietor.

On February 8, 1758, Benjamin Chipman, executor of James Chipman, sold to John Talbot, the one-half part of a grist-mill and fulling-mill on Pemberton branch together with one-half of the utensils. The mills were situated on the north side of the stream, about a mile west of Milton, on land now owned by the heirs of Noble Ellingsworth, and have long since passed away. In 1851, several excavations were made around the foundation walls by an unknown person, which led to the belief that some hidden treasure had been removed.

Grist and saw-mills and a cotton factory were erected on Pemberton Branch at an early date by John Clowes. In the vicinity he planted poplar and willow trees eight feet apart and made preparations as if to start a powder manufactory. This, however, was never effected. In 1809 the mills were owned by Isaac Clowes and soon afterwards came into the possession of Arthur Milby. They were sold by him to Gideon Waples who operated them until his death when they vested in his son Gideon B. Waples. While in his possession the mills were repaired. After his decease they were sold, September 17, 1864, by his executor, Hon. James Ponder, to J. G. Betts, the present owner. The saw and grist mill are still in operation, but the carding factory was abandoned.

In 1809 Joseph Tam was the owner of a grist and saw-mill and twenty-seven acres of land in Broad-kiln Hundred. The mills were on the southwest branch of the Broadkiln Branch and were operated many years by Tam, and finally passed into the hands of Benjamin McIlvain. They next came into the possession of George Davis, by whom they were sold to Nathaniel Ingram. While in his possession the saw-mill was abandoned and the grist-mill was repaired and next purchased by James Coulter, who conveyed to G. P. Johnson, the present owner.

In 1809 Zadock James was the owner of a saw-mill on the same stream. It was last operated about 1838 by Aaron Marshall, whose heirs are the present owners of the site.

On Cool Spring Branch was a grist-mill owned in 1750 by Samuel Paynter. It was retained in the family many years and was known as the "Paynter or Red Mill." Nearby was a carding factory built by Samuel Paynter and abandoned about fifty years ago. The Red Mill was finally sold by John Paynter to Elijah Register, by whom it was improved and enlarged. Robert Hammon, the next owner, was in possession when it was destroyed by fire in 1885.

The grist and saw-mills on Prime Hook Creek, owned in 1809, by Nathan Reed, were sold by him to William McIlvain. They next came into the possession of Roderick Reynolds, and at his decease became the property of his son, Silas M. Reynolds. By him they were sold to Hon. James Ponder, the present owner. The mills are still in operation.

Robert Stephenson inherited from his father, James, a grist-mill, on the south side of Prime Hook Creek. This he sold in 1775, to John Ingram, and in 1816, it was in the possession of his son, Anthony Ingram, together with three hundred acres of land. On November 26, 1823, it was purchased at sheriff's sale, by Arthur Milby, by whom it was conveyed, January 26, 1827, to Hester, wife of John Ponder. While in her possession it was abandoned, about 1845.

In 1886, Jeffrey O. Bentley and Moses A. Walsh formed a co-partnership and established a chemical works on the south side of Broadkiln Creek, about two miles east of Milton. The main productions are wood alcohol, granulated charcoal and tar. Employment is given to ten men.

Villages and Post Offices

Drawbridge is a small hamlet on Broadkiln Creek, about three miles east of Milton. It contains a store which was con-ducted many years by Governor Samuel Paynter, his children and grandchildren. In 1857 it was purchased by W. V. Coulter, who ran it until 1859, when Wm. B. Tomlinson became owner. He sold to Burton & Dorman in 1866. In 1878 they dissolved partnership, Dorman retaining the store. It also contains three dwellings, four granaries and a wheel-wright and blacksmith shop. There is a landing place here, and one boat plies regularly between here and Philadelphia, and two between Drawbridge and New York. About 2,500 cords of wood, and 30,000 bushels of grain are shipped annually. The name is derived from a draw-bridge, which crosses the Broadkiln at this place. A post office was established here about 1880, with Samuel R. Paynter as postmaster. It was changed for a time to Houston, but again moved to Drawbridge. J. B. Dorman, the present incumbent was appointed in January, 1879.

The Hon. John B. Dorman was born in Broadkiln Hundred in the County of Sussex and State of Delaware, on the 19th day of August, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and forty-three. His early life was passed upon his father's farm, and in the freedom of rural life he early laid the foundations of that physical vigor and ruddy health which so peculiarly distinguished him, and which experience has shown to conduce so much to success, and to be so essential to the true enjoyment of life.

He acquired the rudiments of his education in the public schools of the neighborhood, but at the age of sixteen was sent to the academy at Milton.

As the years advanced and it became necessary tor him to choose a vocation, he followed a natural bent and selected a mercantile life. In order to prepare himself thoroughly for the occupation he had so wisely chosen, he completed his preparatory studies at Crittenden's Commercial College of Philadelphia, but upon the death of his father his entrance into commercial life was delayed and he was called upon to take charge of the ancestral farm.

In 1866 when his presence was no longer required on the farm, he formed a partnership with Captain David Burton in the mercantile business at the Drawbridge. This partnership was dissolved in 1878, and since that time Mr. Dorman has, with eminent success, conducted the business in his own name.

Mr. Dorman was married in 1873 to Miss Hetty J. White, daughter of Mr. Benjamin White, a farmer of Broadkiln Hundred.

The Drawbridge is a small hamlet, situated at a landing on Broadkiln Creek, a few miles below Milton.

It is a point of considerable mercantile and commercial activity; has always been a political centre of importance, and has furnished one Governor to the State. The importance of the hamlet has by no means diminished since Mr. Dorman has been its leading spirit. Not only has he largely extended the trade of the place and given it a wider influence in business circles, but he has also fully maintained its political prestige. In 1886 he was elected to the State Senate by the Democratic Party, of which he and his ancestors have always been consistent and honored members. In his political life Mr. Dorman has displayed the same sagacity and good sense, and the same honesty of purpose which had already characterized him in his business transactions.

But perhaps Mr. Dorman's most distinguishing trait is the social bonhommie and kindness of heart which he carries into all relations of life. With him sympathy with the poor is ever a controlling thought, and it is said of him that no indigent and worthy debtor ever suffered from him the extremity of the laws.

In the new social, intellectual and industrial life which is coming to his native county Mr. Doman will prove to be one of the foremost and ablest leaders.

The land on which Harbeson stands was at one time owned by Barclay Wilson, but is now principally in the possession of Harbeson Hickman, from whom it received its name. The establishment of a railroad station here in 1869, was the origin of the village. T. R. Burton was appointed station-agent and post-master in that year. He filled both positions until 1885 when he was succeeded by S. A. Jarvis, the present incumbent. The village contains two stores, a church, school-house, station, blacksmith-shop, and about ten dwellings.

In 1870 a station was located near Cool Spring Branch, and named Cool Spring. W. M. Mcllvain was appointed station agent. In the following years post-office was established here, and he became post-master. He was succeeded in both these positions in 1872, by James M. Martin, the present incumbent. No village is laid out as yet. Large shipments of lumber and charcoal are made from this point.


Harbeson Circle, No. 10, B. G. C, was instituted at Harbeson, June 10, 1887. The first and present officers are as follows: G. W., Thos. R. Burton; C. W., Paynter Frame; C. J., Joseph B. Lingo; C. F., Jos. W. Wimbrow; C. K., B. O. Vaughn; H. R., Henry Prettyman; H. T., Silas J. Warrington; W. D., Robt S. Watson; W. M., Chas. A. Isaac. These with N. T. Roach, Wm. Walker. Walton Thompson, John T. Watson and Thomas A. Joseph composed the charter members. The present membership is thirty-five. Meetings are held every Wednesday night in the lodge-room over T. R. Burton's store.

Assessment List | Town of Milton | Sussex County

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

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