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Cedar Creek  Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware

Early Settlements Assessment List, 1785 Schools
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Cedar Creek was so named on account of the abundance of cedars on its banks, and from the stream the hundred takes its name. Originally all of the land in this hundred north of the creek formed a portion of St. Jones County, but in 1683, upon the change of name of the counties St. Jones and Whorekill to Kent and Sussex, Mispillion Creek was substituted for Cedar Creek, as the line dividing the two counties. The hundred is the most northern in Sussex County, and is bounded on the north by Mispillion Creek, on the east by Delaware Bay, on the south by Prime Hook Creek and Georgetown Hundred, and on the west by Nanticoke and Mispillion Hundreds. The land is well watered by numerous small streams, and that which is in a state of cultivation produces largely the usual fruits, grains and vegetables. Cedar Creek, which nearly separates the northern and southern parts of the hundred, is navigable as far as the brick granary, and affords facilities for shipping to those living in the vicinity. The mouth of this stream was often filled with sand, impeding navigation. To remedy this, an act was passed February 2, 1793, for cutting a canal to begin at or near Lewis' Ditch in Cedar Creek and to run into the Delaware Bay or Mispillion Creek. Nothing, however, was done till 1848, when George R. Fisher was instrumental in digging a canal from this point to Mispillion Creek. In 1869 the Cedar Creek Navigation Company was incorporated, and the present channel dug.

Like facilities for shipping are afforded to those in the northern part by the Mispillion Creek, which is navigable to Milford. The Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Railroad, running north and south through the central part of the hundred, affords excellent advantages for travel or shipment by rail. Well-constructed and numerous highways make travel through the different parts of the hundred easy and convenient.

Early Settlements

A tract of land one thousand by four hundred and eighty perches, containing three thousand acres, and lying be-tween Prime Hook and Slaughter Creeks, was patented June 21, 1671, by Governor Lovelace to Richard Perrott, of Virginia, concerning whom more information will be found in a letter from him to Governor Lovelace in the "General History of Sussex County.'' The large tract obtained by Richard Perrott in part descended to his grandson, Richard Parrott, who conveyed his interest to Berkley Codd, who was a descendant of Perrott, on October 29, 1718. With the exception of the lands resurveyed for John and William Bellamy, re-conveyance were made to the owners by Codd. At his decease the property vested in his widow, who devised it to her great-grandson, Thomas Till, whose widow afterwards married George Read, of New Castle, signer of the Declaration of Independence. For George Read and Gertrude, his wife, the land was resurveyed and the following land conveyed: In 1773, to Nathan and Robert Young, five hundred and seventy-five acres of land and two hundred and sixty-seven acres of marsh, being a part of "Pleasant." This portion is now owned by Mark Davis, George H. Draper, Joseph H. Draper, Nehemiah D. Draper and Thomas E. Draper.

"Pleasant," a tract of one thousand acres, bounded on the north by Slaughter Creek and on the east by "Marsh Patent," was resurveyed for John Bellamy, May 30, 1684. "The Fancy," containing one thousand acres, situate west of "Pleasant" and also touching Slaughter Creek, was resurveyed for William Bellamy at the same time. These tracts were all situated partly within the Parrott grant. On the 14th of February, 1684-88, two thousand and ninety-four acres of marsh and upland, known as "Marsh Patent," was granted to Luke Watson, Sr. This was situate partly within and partly without the above tract. In the same year there was resurveyed for Henry Smith a tract of six hundred acres, called "Delight," adjoining "Marsh Patent," and bounded on the south by Prime Hook Creek. The next tract to the west was "Fairfield," containing six hundred acres, warranted to Luke Watson, November 16, 1683, which also touched Prime Hook Creek on the south. To John and Samuel Watson there were warranted on the same date six hundred acres of land situate west of "Fairfield."

To Charles Draper, in 1773, two hundred and thirteen acres of land and two hundred and twenty-one acres of marsh, which are now owned by the heirs of William Russell.

At the same time there was conveyed to Mark Davis four hundred and sixty-one acres of land and one hundred and ten acres of marsh of the tracts "Pleas-ant" and "The Fancy." This land is now in the possession of Joseph M. Davis and Thomas J. Davis.

At the same date one hundred acres of "The Fancy" was sold to John Ricketts. It is now owned by Yerkes. An additional five hundred and fifty-eight acres, resurveyed at the same time, is now the property of the heirs of H. B. Fiddeman and Benjamin F. Waples.

The tract "Fairfield" is now owned by the heirs of Benjamin F. Waples, who, together with Robert Roach and the two daughters of Robert H. Carey, are the possessors of the larger part of the "Marsh Patent."

"Delight" is owned by John B. Smith, of Milford a lineal descendant of Henry Smith, the patentee.

In 1773 John Cirwithin was in the possession of sixty-seven acres of fast land and the body of Cypress Swamp, which he claimed as a part of the original survey of John and Samuel Watson. Their land is now in the possession of David Coverdale and the heirs of Benjamin F. Waples.

On November 1, 1723, Caleb Cirwithin purchased of Berkley Codd three hundred acres of the John and Samuel Watson tract. The other three hundred acres were sold August 10, 1698, to Luke Watson, Jr., by Wm. Pyle, who purchased the entire tract from the Watsons.

"Cullin's Purchase," a tract of five hundred acres on the southeast side of Mispillion Creek, was warranted to George Cullin on May 27, 1680.

On January 5, 1681, Thomas Skidmore, a planter of St. Jones' (Kent) County, conveyed to Wm. Clark, merchant, of Deale County (Sussex), a plantation of four hundred acres on the north side of Cedar Creek, near its mouth and crossing over the land near t branch of Mispillion Creek, as by survey of Cornelius Verhoofe, and granted to Skidmore by the Whorekill Court.

Four hundred acres of land on the south side of Cedar Creek was surveyed for John Dickarson in October, 1686. It adjoined land of Henry Penington and John Outon, and descended to John Dickarson, son of the patentee.

On December 29, 1677, Governor Andros patented to Robert Hart nine hundred acres on the north side of Cedar Creek, known as "Hart's Range." Robert Hart was chief of surveyors, and on the 15th of November, 1681, there was warranted to him by the court of Kent County nine hundred acres of land, which was surveyed for James Louter, who assigned his interest to Robert Hart, Sr., from whom it descended to Robert Hart, Jr. "Hart's Delight," t tract of six hundred acres on the north side of Cedar Creek, adjoining his other lands, was warranted by the Whorekill Court and surveyed April 6, 1680. The Hart land lay between the Cedar and Mispillion Creeks and extended eastward to the bay. It is now principally owned by George R. Fisher, Henry Carter, Miles Mills, Joseph Jackson, Henry Pierce, C. S. Watson, Mrs. Dr. William Marshall and the heirs of William Pierce.

"Mount Holly," a tract of four hundred and ten acres, was also granted to Robert Hart by the court of St. Jones, by warrant bearing date November 16, 1681. It is situated on the north side of Cedar Creek and soon afterwards was conveyed to Henry Molleston, who, on the 1st of November, 1687, conveyed the tract to John Richards. On July 20, 1704, William Clark, attorney for John Richards, sold the land to Thomas Stapleford, in whose family it remained until 1825, when it was purchased by Joshua Deputy. "Mount Holly" is now owned by James H. Deputy of Zachariah, R. G. Smith and Mrs. Eli Hammond.

On a warrant bearing date December 9, 1684, there were surveyed for Dennis Brown and William Townsend four hundred and fifty acres on the north side of the north branch of Cedar Creek. It remained joint property until February 19, 1716, when it was divided and resurveyed.

On August 9, 1690, there was conveyed to Henry Bowman, by special warrant from the commissioners of property, a tract of land known as "Little Graves End." It was formerly owned by Thomas Skidmore and Thomas Williams, to whom it was warranted as four hundred acres. On the re-survey made for Bowman, with the vacant land, glades and marshes then taken in, it was found to contain nine hundred and thirty-three acres. Henry Bowman also owned other lands in the hundred, and after his death a portion was inherited by his son, Henry Bowman, Jr., and the remainder was sold by his administrator, William Clark. Among the sales made by Clark, as administrator, are the following : On the 20th of November, 1694, to John Nutter, of Maryland, a tract called "Prog's Rock;" on December 5th of same year, to Thomas Davis eight hundred acres adjoining the above and near Cedar Creek; on June 1, 1697, to the same, a tract called "Davies' Farm," a part of a larger tract called "Bowman's Farms," situate on the north side of Slaughter Creek adjoining Indian Branch and Alexander Draper's land; June 14, 1698, to Thomas J. Kingston, one hundred and nineteen acres on south side of Mispillion Creek; January 24, 1699, to Comfort Goldsmith, widow of William Goldsmith, one hundred and thirty acres on the north side of Cedar Creek, known as "Goldsmith's Hall; " January 25th of same year, to Nicholas Granger, two hundred and fifty acres in Cedar Creek Neck, and on July 25, 1704, to Dr. Charles Haynes, two hundred and fifty acres lying on a branch on the north side of Cedar Creek.

On April 4, 1702, Thomas Davis sold one hundred and twenty-seven acres of his land to Thomas Tilton, and July 26, 1704, five hundred acres adjoining Alexander Draper's land to Mark Manlove.1

On December 5, 1694, Justice Joseph Booth conveyed to Peter Goyle two hundred acres of land lying on the south side of a creek called Mispillion, and adjoining the tract known as "Little Graves End." The two hundred acres were part of a tract containing four hundred and seventy-five, laid out for Robert Hudson in 1682, and by him sold to Henry Bowman, June 4, 1693. Booth purchased of Bowman on September 6th of the same year.

On December 5, 1694, James Booth, administrator of William Couthy, sold to Thomas May five hundred acres of land, being part of a larger tract called "Josey's Choice," and afterwards "Spencer Hall." This tract adjoined land belonging to Robert Hart.

On March 4, 1700, William Fisher conveyed to John Bennett a tract of three hundred acres, binding on Cedar Creek.

"Cedar Town," a tract of six hundred acres, was laid out for William Carter, who sold the same to William Clark. Three hundred acres of it was sold to James Brown, who, June 6, 1699, sold his portion to Richard Manlove. The tract is described as being by the marshes of Mispillion Creek.

Arthur Johnson Vankirk, of Sussex County, on June 25, 1704, conveyed to Thomas H. Lymans two hundred acres of land on the south side of Mispillion Creek.

"Strife," a tract containing two hundred acres, on the east side of Somerset Beaver Dam and the head of Nanticoke River, was surveyed for Abraham Ingram in 1718. The tract is now owned by Isaac F. Warren, H. C. Warren and William Smith.

On a warrant of February 17, 1725, there were surveyed for Henry Bishop two hundred and five acres of land on the northwest side of Herring Branch of Mispillion Creek. This land is now in the possession of George W. Risler and the heirs of Bethuel Watson.

On June 24, 1735, there were surveyed in "Musmellon Neck," between Mispillion and Cedar Creeks, ten thousand two hundred and forty acres of land known as "Penn's Manor." The tract was west of the King's Road, leading from Milford to Milton, and was intersected by Bowman's and Herring Branches.

On June 17, 1717, one hundred and fifty acres of this land was assigned to Charles Polk. The principal owners of the manor at the present time are Peter Lofland, A. S. Small, Henry Austin, Wittington Williams, James B. Deputy, Houston Hudson, Samuel Hudson, Henry W. Stewart, N. Jefferson, James Stewart, Philip Griffith, Edward Walton, B. F. Woodel, George H. Hall, Wm. P. Corsa and the heirs of Joshua Truitt.

"Spittlefield," a tract of four hundred acres north of the land taken up by Henry Bishop, was patented to Benjamin Truitt in 1741. It is situated near the present site of Lincoln, and is now owned by James Houston, Curtis Houston and the heirs of Joshua Truitt.

In 1743 three hundred acres of land on the south-east side of Cedar Creek was taken up by Jonah Webb. It is now in the possession of Curtis Watson, Clement Houston and the heirs of John Shew. In the same year William Moore took up three hundred acres of land south of Cedar Creek. This tract is now owned by James B. Shepherd, Michael Millman and Willard S. Dickarson.

West of the land taken up by Jonah Webb is a tract of three hundred and seventy-two acres granted to William Lofland in 1743. This land is now owned by S. C. Horton, Edward Betta and Mrs. William Betts.

A tract of two hundred acres lying west of the present site of Ellendale, and adjoining land of Jonah Webb, was taken up about 1750 by Edward Calloway. It is now in the possession of William Millman and Willard S. Dickarson.

John Webb, in 1747, took up a tract of four hundred acres on the northeast side of the land of Jonah Webb. It is now owned by Isaac E. Warren, Mrs. Jane Benson and the heirs of Stephen Warren.

"Porter's Folly," a tract of three hundred and nine acres on the east side of Bowman's Branch of Mispillion Creek, was owned by Levin Crapper in 1768.

The Assessment List of 1785 contained the following names: (393)

John Abbott
Alexander Argo
John Argo
Benjamin Aydelott
Joseph Aydelott
Samuel Barnet
John Barns
Boaz Barrows
Puruel Batman
Wm Batman
Levin Benton
Benj Black
John Black
Mitchell Black
Isaac Beatham
Robert Bell
Thomas Bell
Wm Bell
Joseph Bennett
Joshua Bennett
Nehemiah Bennett
James Bevins
George Black
Wm Black
Richard Bloxham
Wm Bloxham
Jesse Bradley
Wm Bradley
Elisha Broughton
Jonathan Brown
Israel Brown
Thomas Brown
Bennett Bryan
Sheppard Bryan
Edward Buckworth
Solomon Buckworth
Thomas Buckworth
John Buns
Wm Burrows
Sampson Calhoon
John Campbell
Nehemiah Carey
Thomas Carey
Pemberton Carlisle
Wm Carlisle
Zacbariah Carlisle
Nepthalla Carpenter
John Chance
John Clendaniel
Nathan Clifton
Nathan Clifton
Wm Coffin
Hancock Collins
John Collins
Wm Collins
Jacob Coventer
George Cowan
Joseph Couch
Coverdale Cole
Richard Coverdale
John Clifton
Avery Clendaniel
Bunwick Conwell
Luke Clendaniel
John Crappen
John Carlisle
Joseph Collins
Caleb Curmither
Thomas Collins
John Collins
Warner Collins
John Clifton
Hiller Crappen
Wm Chambers
Thomas Carey
Amos Carey
Thomas Carlisle
Sheppard Collins
Draper Coal
Wm Crappen
Edward Cox
John Draper
Alexander Draper
Nathan Deputy
Sylvester Deputy
Vester Deputy
Jesse Deputy
Joshua Deputy
Chas Deputy
Wm Daniel
Selby De Pray
Peter Davis
Levin Davis
Avery Draper
Henry Draper
Solomon Deputy
Wm Deputy
Mark Davis
Nehemiah Davis
William Davis
Joseph Draper
Charles Draper
Samuel Draper
David Davis
Paul Davis
Thomas Dingee
Thomas Daniel
Polly Draper
Henry Davis
Jehu Davis
Thomas Evans
Joseph Flummer
Samuel Fountain
Andrew Fountain
Thomas Fisher
Joshua Fisher
Thomas Fleetwood
Gerome Griffith
David Gault
Joseph Gray
Daniel Godwin
Robert Hill
Reuben Haveloe
Henry Hudson
Jehu Hudson
Benjamin Hudson
Audrear Haledger
Nathaniel Haledger
Philip Haledger
John Hudson
Wm Hickman
Major Hudson
Jacob Hickman
Nathan Hill
Robert Hill
Isaac Hammer
Samuel Haveloe
Benjamin Hart
Richard Hays
Nathaniel Hays
Robert Houston
Richard Hudson
John Hickman
Isaac Hickman
Joshua Hickman
Wm Hinds
Wm Hazard
Wm Hickman
Joshua Hayes
Purnel Houston
Albert Hudson
Richard Hays
John Holston
Richard Jones
Elias Jones
Wm Ironshires
Francis Johnson
Samuel Ireland
James Johnson
Joshua Jones
Baker Johnson
David Jester
Isaac Killow
John Killow
Wm Kendrick
John Killingsworth
Luke Killingsworth
Nathan Lofland
Wm Lofland
John Lofland
George Lofland
Gabriel Lofland
Simeon Lewis
Luke Lewis
Jesse Lewis
Francis Lindry
Jacob Linnet
Alexander Layton
Joseph Layton
Zadoc Lofland
Brannar Lofland
Joshua Lofland
Dorman Lofland
Belitha Laws
Rachael Lofland
Wm Laws
Alexander McCay
John Metcalf
Robert Miller
Jonathan Manlove
John Mullener
Wm Moore
Thomas Mugs
George Morris
Wm Malliner,
Chas McLain
Mary Melman
Israel Mulliner
Stephen Mitchell
Joseph Morgan
Daniel Murphy
Israel Murphy
Peter Melman
Records Mills
Wm McCay
John Moore
Stephen Morris
John Nutter
Nathan Nicolson
Christopher Nutter
Andrew Norwood
Isaac Oyston
Aaron Owens
Levi Oliver
Benj Oliver
Samuel Owens
Thomas Ogburn
Giledas Oliver
Nathl Paynter
Wm Pierce
Jonathan Pierce
John Postlea
Thomas Pursels
Ephraim Polk
Alexander Parramon
Thomas Pullitt
Ephraim Polk
Joseph Polk
Edmond Potter
Thomas Postlea
Shadrach Postlea
John Pearson
Wm Purnels
Ruth Paynter
Nathaniel Paynter
Ratcliff Paynter
Thomas Paynter
Wm Polk
John Polk
Oliver Pride
Wm Paynter
Mary Porter
Luke Pride
Edmond Polk
John Robinson
Edward Roberts
Burton Robinson
Francis Robinson
Wm Records
John Records
George Records
Joseph Richards
Spencer Richards
John Richards
Wm Riley
Lawrence Reiley
Jesse Reed
John Records
James Rench
Peter Riggs
Esekiel Riggs
Levi Riggs
Daniel Rogers
Thomas Roes
Wm Rom
Alexander Riggs
Noah Spencer
Allen Smith
Labar Sturgis
Joshua Spencer
Luke Spencer
Jesse Smith
Azael Spencer
Samuel Spencer
Wm Shockley
Richard Simpson
Elias Shockley
David Smith
Ebenezer Spencer
Carter Stockley
Levin Stockley
Thomas Smith
John Smithe
Burton Smith
James Sturgis
Wm Stafford
Joseph Stockley
Isaiah Spencer
Shadrach Sturgis
John Shaver
Nathan Spencer
Aaron Sowden
Wm Smith
John Sturgis
Job Smith
Nathanial Stockley
Edward Stapleton
Ann Shaver
William Sullivan
Jesse Spencer
Daniel Sturgus
Joshua Sturgus
Richard Stockley
Donavan Spencer
Thomas Stapleton
Levin Shaver
Elizabeth Smith
David Simmons
Luke Townsend
Solomon Truitt
John Truitt
Zadock Truitt
Stephen Townsend
Zachariah Tharp
Levi Turner
Sydenham Thorne
Jacob Townsend
Littleton Townsend
Wm Townsend
Joseph Truitt
Solomon Townsend
Joseph Truit
Benjamin Truitt
Collins Truitt
Boaz Truitt
Isaac Townsend
Silas Townsend
Wm Tharp
Joseph Tharp
George Van Kirk
Solomon Veach
Wm Veach
Elias Veach
Thomas Vinson
Bennett Van Kirk
Levin Vinnin
Thomas Vinnin
Andrew Vight
Thomas Veach
Levin Willey
David Williams
Benjamin Whittington
Isaac Watson
Thomas Wilson
David Watson
John Wilson
George Watson
Wm Watson
Luke Walton
Wm Willery
George Walton
Wm Woods
Joseph Watson
Jesse Watson
Jonathan Williams
John Williams
Richard Watson
Thomas Watson
Wm Wheeler
Lemuel Williams
Moses Williams
John Wheeler
Wrixham Warren
David Warren
Levi Warren
Bernard Warren
Alexander Warren
Absalom Warren
Joseph Williams
Wm Winslow
Wm Williams
Charles Williams
Jacob Webb
Sylvester Webb
Eli Wharton
John Webb
Dorman Webb
Hewitt Wharton
Robert Walker
David Walton
Benjamin Wynkoop
Luke Watson
Robert Watson
Bethuel Watson
Anslow White
Aaron Williams
John Walton
Joseph Walton
Nathaniel Young
Robert Young
Mary Young
John Young
Benjamin Young


There were subscription schools held in the several parts of the hundred previous to the adoption of the free-school system. A few of these pioneer teachers were Stephen B. Lofland, Solomon Truitt and Eliazer Gorham. In a few places the schools were held in regular school houses and in others in improvised buildings. When the common schools came into use the buildings which were suitable were converted to that use.

The commissioners, George R. Fisher, Ebenezer Walter, Henry Bacon and Thomas Jacobs, appointed to apportion the county, in 1829, separated the hundred into six districts. District No. 1 lay on the bay, between Mispillion and Cedar Creeks, and extended westward to Peter F. Causey's mill-dam, on Herring Bun, and to the Brick Granary. District No. 2 included South Milford and extended from No. 1 to "Shawnee Bridge." District No. 3 began at "Shawnee Bridge, on road leading from Milford to St. Johnstown; thence along public road leading to Smith's meeting-house to Shovel Branch; thence up said branch to the main branch of Cedar Creek, at Clement Hudson's mill; thence down said branch to David R. Smith's mills, at the head of Cedar Creek; thence down the creek to No. 1. District No. 4, in Slaughter Neck, on the bay, from Cedar Creek to Slaughter Creek and west to David R. Smith's mills. District No. 5, in Prince Houk and Slaughter Necks. District No. 6, in western part of hundred.

These districts have subsequently been sub-divided and now retain very little of their original shape. Well-built and commodious schoolhouses, under the supervision of competent teachers, now afford excel-lent advantages for pupils of all classes in this hundred.

Religious Matters

At Matthews Episcopal Church. The first church was in process of erection in 1717, and was mentioned by Rev. George Ross, when at Lewistown in that year. He wrote "There are two houses of worship, one sixteen miles from Lewes, the other in the upper part of the county, not finished." This church was built on what was called Church Creek, a branch of Cedar Creek, which empties into it at Coulter's mill. No vestige of the old church now remains. On March 13, 1769, there was conveyed by bond from David Thornton to Isaac Watson, Stephen Townsend and Levin Crapper, a tract of land on the south side of Cedar Creek, near Draper's old mill-pond. This was "surveyed and divided off for two acres and five and a half square perches of land the tenth day of April, 1770, by Caleb Cirwithen, together with a church-house thereon erected."

On June 16, 1788, Nehemiah Davis, Thomas Evans, Isaac Beauchamp, George Walton, Jacob Townsend, Bethuel Watson and Mark Davis were incorporated trustees of the church, and on October 28th of the same year, the property was conveyed to them as trustees. In 1805, the trustees were Bethuel Watson, Isaac Wattson, Ratliff Poynter, Nathaniel Poynter, William Davis, John Bennett and Lawrence Reiley. Services were last held in this church in 1854, by Rev. J. L. McKim. In 1858, the building was sold to John Ingram and the land leased to him. In 1864, the building was purchased by Hiram Barber, moved to Milford and used as a saw-mill until Dec, 1871, when it was burned. The land is still owned by the society, and in the old grave -yard, surrounded by cedars, stand tombstones erected to the memories of the following persons: Sarah, wife of Samuel Draper, who departed this life in 1775; "Nelley Draper, who departed this life April 17, 1790, aged 14 years;" Reynear Williams, who died April 2, 1773, aged 26 years and 7 months; Abigail, wife of Sylvester Webb, who departed this life 17th December, 1785, aged 25 years.

Slaughter Neck Zion Methodist Episcopal Church was formerly known as Hickman's Meeting-House. The first members were;

First Members
Mored Draper
Thomas Draper
Nehemiah Davis
Swan Goden
Daniel Godwin
Joseph Hickman
William Hickman
William Kendrick
Selutha Lewis
Thomas Metcalf
Noah Morris
John Riley
Eli Shockley
William Shockley
Homer Smith
Linford Truitt
Nathan Young

On July 26, 1810, they met and elected William Shockley, William Kendrick, Daniel Godwin, Nathan Young and Eli Shockley the first trustees. On October 7th, the trustees purchased of William Hickman, seventy square perches of land "where on the said meeting-house is built." The first church was a frame structure twenty-five feet square, with a gallery on three sides. The church was originally connected with the Mil ford Circuit and for many years services were held on Wednesday. The old church remained until 1855, when an acre of land was purchased of Lemuel Draper, and a new two story building, twenty-five by thirty-five feet, near the old site, was erected at a cost of one thousand and fifty dollars. The building committee was Thomas J. Davis and John Bennett. In 1852 the church was transferred to Lewis Circuit and afterwards to Milton Circuit, and now forms a part of the Lincoln Circuit.

It is in a very prosperous condition. The present Board of Trustees is composed of the following persons: J. M. Davis, J. H. Draper, L. W. Davis, J. Calhoun, T. R. Wilson, Robt. Rooche, J. W. Bennett, J. A. Argo, Wm. J. Hickman.

On June 29, 1821, David Smith conveyed to Joseph Hudson, Curtis Shockley, James Butler, Lowder Layton and Walter Sipple, a tract of eighty perches about six miles from Milford, on the road from Milford to Concord, known as the "Townsend Road." On this land was erected Smith's Chapel. It was a one-story frame-building, twenty-six by thirty feet, and remained till 1873. In that year it was removed and the present edifice begun. The corner-stone was laid December 14, 1873, and the new building dedicated May 3, 1874, as the Union Methodist Episcopal Church by Rev. Enoch Stubbs. It is a one-story frame structure, thirty by forty feet, and was built at a cost of one thousand, three hundred and fifty dollars. The building committee was Jehu H. Clendaniel, James B. Deputy and Solomon I. Betts. There are at present thirty communicants. A Sunday-school under the superintendence of John H. Deputy is connected with the church. The church has been connected with the Ellendale Circuit since the organization of that Circuit in 1873, and has been served by the following pastors: Rev. James Conner, Rev. D. W. C. Mclntyre, Rev. A. A. Fisher, Rev. Valentine Gray, Rev. A. P. Pretty man, Rev. N. McQuay, Rev. I. D. Johnson, Rev. D. F. McFall, Rev. J. M. Collins, Rev. Wilmer Jaggard, Rev. J. T. Prouse.

Ellendale Methodist Episcopal Church
On July 16, 1873, William McColley granted to Alfred Heavelow, William Short, James M. Jester, Bevans Morris and Alfred Short, a tract of land for a church, parsonage and school. A school and parsonage costing five hundred dollars were soon after erected. The church was commenced in 1882, and dedicated December 31st of the same year by Rev. Jonathan S. Willis. The building committee composed of Elias B. Reed, Alfred Short and Benjamin E. Jester, erected a neat frame edifice thirty by forty-four feet, at a cost of twelve hundred dollars. The membership now consists of twenty-five communicants. There is in connection with the church a Sunday-school, containing twenty scholars, under the superintendency of James H. Jester. The church has always been connected with the Ellendale Circuit, and the pulpit has been filled by the pastors of that circuit.

The First Methodist Church in Cedar Neck was built on land now owned by Stephen M. Ellis. It was a one-story frame building, which many yeare afterwards was moved to a place near the site of the present church. In 1875, Curtis C. Watson donated an acre of land to the trustees, and on it the present church was built at a cost of eleven hundred dollars. It was connected with Milford Circuit till 1872, when it became a part of Lincoln Circuit. The pastors connected with these circuits have served this church. It has a present membership of about thirty-five. The present board of trustees is composed of Miles T. Mills, Jno. W. Potter, Henry Pierce, Isaac Cirwithin, John Tease and William Townsend.

The Methodists in the immediate vicinity of Lincoln first held meetings in a private house, and after a hall was built in the village, resorted to that. Sabbath-school was held regularly, and occasionally preaching services were conducted by the clergymen of adjoining churches. In 1869 it was decided to build a church, and J. Houston, J. B. Tracey, David Stout, A. S. Small and B. VV. Truitt were appointed a building committee. The corner-stone was laid October 10, of that year, by Revs. S. L. Gracey and E. Stubbs. The building was completed and used as a house of worship till 1885, when the present structure was erected. The church is in a flourishing condition, and connected with it is a prosperous Sabbath-school, under the superintendence of B. M. Cain. The present board of trustees is composed of James Houston, B. W. Truitt, A. S. Small, A. W. Small Elias Shockley and J. N. Lecompte.

The following pastors have ministered to the congregation: Rev. J. A. B. Wilson, Rev. John E. Smith, Rev. I. N. Foreman, Rev. G. S. Conoway, Rev. E. L Hubbard, Rev. I. N. Foreman, Rev. Edward Davis, Rev. J. M. Collins, Rev. I. L. Wood.

The first Methodist Episcopal Church, at New Market, was erected at an early period. Dr. Wallace, of Ocean Grove fame, was once stationed in charged the circuit with which this church was connected. In a recent article, he characterized its members as "shouting Methodists." The old building remained until 1881, when it was replaced by the present structure. It formerly was connected with Milton Circuit, but now forms a part of Lincoln Circuit The church is in a good condition and is well attended. The Sunday-school is in charge of James Warren.

The present board of trustees comprises the following persons: P. K. Johnson, Geo. H. Fisher, Geo. H. Welsh, Wm. Short, Isaac Worrell, Stephen Warren, Jr.

Through the influence of Rev. H. J. Gaylord the erection of a Presbyterian Church at Lincoln was begun in 1869, on land donated by A. S. Small. It was dedicated in January of the following year, by Kev. Richard Mallory, of Mil ford. The first trustees were Dr. Townsend, D. R. Stewart, G. W. Risler, Geo. L. Stevens and Erastus Arnold. Rev. Mr. Gaylord officiated as pastor of the church until 1871. Since that time the pulpit has been filled by stated supplies from Milford, among whom were Revs. R. Mallory, Chas. F. Boynton and H. L. Bunstein. At the present time no regular services are held. The present trustees are Erastus Arnold, George Morrison, G. W. Risler and Frank Shew.

In May, 1867, an effort was made to organize a Baptist Church at Lincoln, but failed. The effort was renewed however, and on April 28, 1869, a church was constituted with twenty-one members, by Revs. O. Flippo and Purinton. Rev. W. H. Spencer became the pastor, and upon his death, A. M. Webb, the former clerk of the church was licensed to preach, and continued until 1873, when the church was merged into the Milford Church.


The earliest and, in fact, the only industries of this hundred, consist of grist and saw-mills, some of which were erected at an early date and have not been in operation for many years. Cedar Creek afforded the best advantages for mill seats, and consequently more mills were built on it than any other stream in the hundred. The oldest grist-mill on this stream is situated near Cedar Creek village, and is mentioned as early as 1769 as Draper's mill. It was later inherited by Mary Draper, who married Hon. Joseph Haslett. After his decease it passed to his heirs, who conveyed the mill to David Smith, on July 12, 1825. He retained possession until December 18, 1829, when he deeded it to his son, David R. Smith, who on May 21st of the following year sold it to Jacob B. Dutton. Lemuel B. Shockley became the owner March 23, 1838, and remained in possession till Oct. 17, 1838, when he sold to Wm. B. Coulter. In 1839 the mill was burned, and the present one immediately erected a little east of the original site. In 1852 a saw-mill was erected, but is no longer in use. The property was retained by Wm. B. Coulter and his son, Thomas J. till 1885, when it became the property of H. L. Hynson and J. H. McColley. It is now owned by Dr. J. S. Prettyman. The grinding is done by burr, and consists mainly of custom work.

The next mill above was, at an early date, owned by John and William Draper, and by them sold to Lemuel B. Shockley, by whom it was rebuilt in 1819. John C. Davis was the next owner, and after his death it was sold by his heirs to Hitchcock. He retained possession a short time and then sold to Hiram Barber, by whom it was conveyed to C. M. Miles. It next came into the possession of Mr. Dubois, by whom it was sold to Mark L. Davis and Bevens Cane. Mark L. Davis & Son, the present owners and proprietors, succeeded Davis & Cane. In 1885 the roller system of grinding was adopted. The mill is run by water-power, and has a capacity of one and a half-barrels per hour.

About 1780, Bethuel Watson erected a grist-mill on Cedar Creek. After his death it was inherited by his daughter Sarah, who married Lawrence Riley. After the decease of Riley, the mill came into the possession of Trustan P. McColley, by whom it was sold in 1848, to Lemuel B. Shockley, and in 1860 it came into the hands of Elias Shockley, the present owner. The old mill was burned in 1880, and in the following year the present building was erected. The grinding is done by burr, and is mostly custom work.

The next mill above was early owned by Benjamin Hudson and later passed to his son, C. H. Hudson. In 1871, he sold to Jehu H. Clendaniel, the present owner. The mill was rebuilt in 1878. It consists of a mill for grinding corn and a saw- mill. At the opposite end of the dam an old saw-mill formerly stood.

The last mill on this stream was a saw-mill, owned in 1830, by William Deputy. After his decease, it was inherited by his daughter Elizabeth, who married Isaac Betts. It next came into the possession of William Betts and Samuel Clendaniel, and was last operated about sixteen years ago.

The mill in this hundred, on Prime Hook Creek, was erected at an early period by Caleb Cirwithin. On May 29, 1759, it came into the possession of John Cirwithin, probably a grandson. In 1816 it was owned by John Smith. At a later period it became the property of Henry Smith, by whom it was sold to Benjamin F. Waples, and is now owned by his heirs. In 1869 a saw-mill was built, which has been abandoned for the past eight years, on account of the scarcity of water.

In 1884 the present gristmill was built, and has since been operated by Charles J. Waples. The grinding is done by burr, with a patent-process attachment.

On Herring Branch are a grist-mill owned by Dr. William Marshall, and a saw-mill of Chas. Harrington.

In 1829, Peter F. Causey was the owner of a grist and saw-mill on Herring Branch, which later came into possession of Daniel Curry. On December 10, 1851, he sold the property to Mrs. Mary E., wife of Gen. A. T. A. Torbert, who sold the mills to Delos and Caleb Griffin on May, 1, 1865. They retained possession till December 9, 1871, when they sold to Dr. Wm. Marshall, the present owner. On October 6, 1884, the mills were burned. The erection of the present mill was immediately commenced, and on February 10, 1885, the first grinding was done. The mill is a three-story building thirty by fifty feet, and is fitted up with a full roller system. The capacity is two barrels per hour.

A saw-mill was built on this branch at a very early date by Beniah Watson, Sr, After his death, it passed into the hands of Beniah Watson, Jr., who operated it till his death, when it was inherited by Bethuel Watson. The mill is now owned by Charles Harrington, who married the daughter of Bethuel Watson, and thus became the owner. The mill has not been operated very much for the past few years.

In 1840 William Johnson was the owner of a grist-mill on Bowman's Branch. About the year 1848 it became the property of Nathaniel Johnson, and at his decease was inherited by his sons Richard and William. By them it was sold in 1870 to John A. Nickerson, whose heirs still own it. The grinding is done by burr. The mill has been operated for the past four years by Z. Nutter.

In 1868, T. R. Smith and F. A. Whitehead erected a steam saw and shingle mill at Lincoln. The mill was operated by them two years, and then Whitehead's interest was purchased by William Hiscock. The business was conducted by Smith and Hiscock, until 1879, when the mill was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt by Smith who has been the sole owner and proprietor since. In addition to sawing there is a special department for manufacturing baskets and boxes for canned goods. The capacity is twelve thousand boxes and twenty thousand baskets per week. When the entire manufactory is in full operation employment is given to fifty hands.

In 1870, B. E. Jester & Brother erected a steam saw-mill at Ellendale. It was operated by them for ten years and then sold to E. B. Reed & Son, who ran the mill till 1882, when the present firm of S. E. Reed & Brother was established. The mill has a capacity of three thousand feet per day. In 1886, a basket factory was added with a capacity of two thousand baskets per day. In both departments twenty-two hands are employed.

A. S. Small erected a steam saw-mill and planing-mill at Lincoln in 1871. Shortly afterwards a basket factory was added with a capacity of four hundred thou-sand baskets per season. In the basket factory employ-ment is given to sixty-five operatives. The saw-mill does both merchant and custom work, and to operate it ten men are steadily employed. A canning establishment was also erected by him. It was operated by him till 1885, when it was burned. A new building was then erected and the canning of fruits and vegetables commenced on a larger scale. It is now operated by A. W. Small, and has a capacity of twenty-five thousand cases per season, during which time seventy-five hands are employed. A brick-yard was also opened in 1875, and in that year one hundred and fifty thousand bricks were manufactured. The yard is operated five months per year. Twelve men are employed and four hundred and fifty thousand bricks manufactured.

In 1884, Caleb Lee moved a steam saw-mill to the Brick Granary. Since its establishment there the mill has been in operation but a short time.

In 1886 Jester & Reed erected a canning establishment at Ellendale. They can tomatoes principally, and during the season pack three thousand five hundred cases, which are shipped to Philadelphia. While in operation forty hands are employed.

Considerable attention is paid to evaporating peaches in this hundred. When there is a good crop of peaches the evaporators are extensive operators. Among the persons engaged in this business are Mark H. Davis, Joseph M. Davis, Geo. H. Draper, Ham-mond & Wheelbank, Ferryman & Short, Wm. R. Phillips, William Prettyman, Fox & Webb, Frederick Wiswell and E. B. Reed & Co.

Henry D. Macklin began to manufacture bricks at Ellendale in 1872. The yard is open three month per year, and fifty thousand bricks manufactured.

In 1881 Henry Stuart erected a steam saw and grist-mill. The grist-mill was operated one year, and the saw-mill three years.


Cedar Creek village, situated near the centre of the hundred, and containing a grist-mill, saw-mill and three residences, is but the skeleton of its former self. It was at one time the most important village in the hundred, and within its bounds were St. Mathew's Church, a store, a hotel, the mills above mentioned and about a dozen dwellings. For many years the voters of the hundred assembled here to express their views in regard to national and local affairs by their ballots. In 1812, at the call of Governor Haslett, the troops centered here for the defense of Lewes. He resided here during his gubernatorial term, and at his death was buried nearby, on land now owned by Thomas J. Coulter. Over his grave is erected a monument with the following inscription;

"In Memory of Joseph Haslett. He was son of Colonel John Hulett, who fell at the battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 "a gallant officer and gallantly seconded by Delaware troops "leaving a widow, who in a few days died of grief, & several small children. Joseph, the subject of this epitaph, was reared under the guardianship of William Killon, chief Justice and afterwards chancellor of the State. After arriving at age he removed from Kent County & established himself a farmer in Cedar Creek Hundred (Sussex). He was elected Governor of the State in 1812, and with credit discharged the functions of his office, the burden and responsibilities of which were greatly enhanced by the war of 1812. Is 1822 he was elected Governor the second time, the only case of a second election to that office in the State. He died during his second tern June 28, 1823.

"An honored name, gratefully remembered by the General Assembly of Delaware, directing by their resolution of February 21, 1861, the erection of;

This Monument;
Also first and second wife of Joseph Haslett
Mary Draper
Rachel Hickman."

The village of Ellendale, is situated in the southern part of the hundred, on a tract of three hundred and twenty-two acres, known as "Bennett's Pleasure,'' which was taken up by Stephen Bennett, on a warrant bearing date August 6, 1740. The tract afterwards, came into the possession of William S. McCaulley, late of Wilmington, and while owned by him the village was laid out in 1867. Dr. J. S. Prettyman the authorized agent superintended the laying out and named the village in honor of his wife Ellen. The village is well located and has railroad facilities. It has gradually grown and at present contains two churches, two stores, a school-house, a post office, a canning establishment, an evaporator, a brick yard, two saw-mills and basket factories and one hundred inhabitants.

In 1865 A. S. Small, became the owner of six hundred and ninety-six acres, of land including the present site of Lincoln. The favorable location of the land and its proximity to the proposed railroad running through the State, suggested the founding of a town. Under the supervision of A. T. Johnson, the land was laid out in seven hundred and seventy-four building lots, and preparations made for the growth of the town. Lots were sold and buildings erected and on October 11, of that year the Lincoln Herald was started by Johnson. It was published a few months and then discontinued. The village increased quite rapidly and the construction of the railroad to this place on September 1, 1867, gave Lincoln an additional boom. Since that time the growth of the village has been steady and permanent.

At the present time Lincoln contains two churches, three stores, a school-house, a canning establishment, two saw-mills and basket factories, a brick-yard and about five hundred inhabitants.

Post Offices

The first post-office in the Hundred was established at Lincoln in 1865, with Jas. J. Jackson as the first postmaster. He was succeeded by his wife, Lucy Jackson, A. W. Small and F. C. Shew, the present incumbent, who received his appointment, January 15, 1886.

The post-office at Ellendale was established in December, 1867. The office was opened in January of the following year with W. P. Short in charge. He was succeeded in 1872 by W. F. Short, who continued till 1876, when J. W. Short was appointed. Alfred Short, the present incumbent, received his appointment in 1880.

Waples' post-office was established in March, 1887. C. J. Waples, the first postmaster appointed, still continues in charge.


At the request of Jonas Dawson for the privilege of holding a lottery, to raise three thousand dollars, for "the erection of a building for the purpose of keeping a permanent light at the mouth or entrance of Mispillion Creek, near the Delaware Bay," an act was passed January 14, 1803, for that purpose. Jonas Dawson was to build, and after the completion of the building and the establishment of the light, he was to receive from the commander of every sloop, or vessel whose draft is three feet or over, twenty-five cents; six feet and over, thirty-seven cents. He was to keep and maintain a sufficient light thirty feet above water. The lantern was to be four feet in diameter, in which was to be placed an Argand lamp, with a flame one inch in diameter, placed in the focus of a well-polished, concave tin reflector, three feet in diameter. It is probable, that this light-house was never erected, as no evidence of it has been obtained. About 1829, however, a light-house was erected on the Hart Tract, on land ceded by Charles Polk and Benjamin Potter. Owing to the encroachment of the water, this site is now in the bay. Thos. Carlisle was the first commissioner, and James Hilliard the keeper. Charles Hamm succeeded them, and filled both positions. William Jacobs succeeded Hamm, and a new light-house was built nearby. His successor was Geo. M. Davis, who was succeeded by James Bell. While under his supervision it was abandoned, in 1865. The building was moved to Milford, and is now used as a store-room by Geo. H. Hall. The present light-house was built about 1870, and James Bell appointed keeper. He was succeeded by Henry Spencer, the present keeper.


As early as 1794 there was a hotel at Cedar Creek Village, which was then kept by Daniel Rogers. It was afterwards owned by James Ward, Jesse Walls, Isaac Carpenter and William B. Coulter. While in the possession of the last, it was last con-ducted as a hotel in 1861, with Robert D. Roberts as proprietor. The building still stands and is now occupied by Thomas J. Coulter as a residence.

At an early period there were two hotels in operation in Fleatown, afterwards called Federalburg. The proprietors were Milloway White and Samuel Warren, and the hotel of the former was the scene of many a midnight revel. At the death of White the property was purchased by Warren and closed. The building has since been removed. The hotel belonging to Warren was not licensed after his death which occurred in 1843. It is now owned and occupied as a residence by Greenberry Benston.

A hotel standing at Thorn Point was destroyed by an ice freshet in 1831. In the following year a company composed of Elijah Hudson, William D. Williams, Joseph G. Oliver and William E. Jester erected another one. Thomas Carlisle was the first proprietor. The company owned the hotel for about twenty years and then sold it to Thomas Clark. It was destroyed by fire about 1872, while in the possession of W. N. W. Dorsey. The present hotel was commenced by H. J. McColley and completed by A. S. Small of Lincoln in 1887.

A building standing at Cedar Creek Village was purchased by Joseph G. Morgan about twenty years ago and moved to Slaughter Beach, where it was opened as a hotel. Morgan sold to Charles Todd, of Indiana, who ran it a short time and then sold it to J. S. Short. It next came into the possession of Joseph Hearn the present owner and proprietor. The beach has become a summer resort and there are now there about half a dozen cottages.

1. On a portion of the Bowman land, now owned by Joseph Shephard, is a tombstone bearing the following inscription,  Here Lies the Body of Lainor Sykes, who departed this Life Ye 14 day of November, 1711, Aged 14 years.

Sussex County

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

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