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Little Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware

Part on Maryland Assessment List
Little Creek Mills Little Creek Churches
Secret Societies Town of Laurel

This hundred, situated in the southeastern part of the State, is bounded on the east by Gumboro' Hundred and West by the State of Maryland. Before the establishment of the State lines all of the territory embraced in this hundred formed a part of Somerset County, Maryland. The excellent facilities for manufacturing afforded by the streams in this vicinity were an incentive to the early erection of numerous mills, some of which are still in operation. The surface is level and unbroken by any elevations of any considerable height. The soil is light and easily tilled, and is especially adapted to the growing of small fruits. It is also favorable to the cultivation of the cereals. Shipping facilities by boat are afforded by Broad Creek on the north. The Delaware Division of the P. W. and B. Railroad, which runs north and south through the centre of the hundred, offers another outlet to market. The numerous roads afford safe and convenient routes tor traveling through the various portions of the hundred.

The supposition that the land in Little Creek Hundred belonged to Maryland led to its settlement under warrants and patents granted by the proprietaries of that State.

One of the earliest to take up land in this vicinity was Caldwell, who, on April 5, 1680, received a grant for a tract of five hundred acres called "The Desart" situated on Tusseky Branch. A portion of it in 1780, was owned by Wm. Polk. John Caldwell was a son of Robert Caldwell, and obtained warrants for several large tracts in this and adjoining hundreds, from Charles Calvert, Proprietor of Maryland and Avalon and Lord Baron of Baltimore. One of these tracts called "Vinson's Choice," containing one hundred and twenty-five acres, situate on the west side of Tusseky Branch, was patented to James Vinson on June 15, 1757. On May 4th of that year, he received a grant of twelve hundred acres on Tusseky Branch. Of this he assigned five hundred acres to George Oliphant, to whom they were patented on September 10th of the same year, under the name of "George's Chance." John Caldwell also assigned to John Moore one hundred acres on Little Creek, for which he had received a warrant on February 25, 1728. This tract was patented to Moore on June 10, 1734, under the name ''Pick and Cull." It was situate on the north side of an eastern branch of Little Creek. In 1776 it was resurveyed for William Polk, and three hundred and seventy acres of vacant land added. The name "Nonsense" was assigned to the entire tract. It is now owned by Thomas Bacon, John Game and W. W. Dashiel. On April 1, 1780, Caldwell was granted another thousand acres of which he assigned one hundred acres to John Cannon, to whom it was patented June 4, 1734, as ''Cannon's Discovery."

On April 15, 1746, there was granted to Day Scott five hundred and fifty acres of land on the west side of Little Creek. Of this he assigned fifty acres to John Calloway, to whom it was patented as "Calloway's Venture."

"Stephen's Addition," a tract containing two hundred and ninety-nine acres, was granted to Joseph Forman March 7, 1776. It also included an improvement purchased of Joseph Day, "on which there is a small log-house with a brick chimney." The tract adjoined "Ricket's Delight," and was to the south-ward of Tusseky Branch Bridge and to the eastward of a road leading from Broad Creek to Gillis Ferry on Wicomico River. It is now owned by Martin Ellis, and the heirs of Isaac Giles.

Isaac Giles, the son of William and Ganard (Williams) Giles, was born the 29th day of February, 1804. Blackwater in Wicomico County, at that time included in Somerset County, Maryland, near the dividing line of the two States. He was baptized in Spring Hill Church, a venerable structure built by the English during the reign of Queen Anne. His parentage was English. His father died leaving him at an early age to the guardianship of his mother. He was unable to attend school, not receiving in his entire life over fifteen days schooling. At the age of fifteen he removed to Millsboro, Delaware. Here he apprenticed himself to a blacksmith, and followed this trade until his twenty-fourth year. He then engaged in merchandizing at Bull's Mill in Broad Creek Hundred, six miles from Laurel, for two years. He removed to Hitch's Mill at the end of this time and entered into partnership with the late William Hitch, and continued here for six years. At the age of thirty-two, August 20, 1836, he was married to Miss Sarah Stone Hosea, of Philadelphia, but a native of Laurel, the daughter of Rhoda and Matthew Hosea. Rhoda Hosea was the daughter of Shedrick Short. Matthew Hosea was the son of Arthur Hosea, who was born in England. During his entire life, he was sober, honest and upright in his dealings with men, creating for himself a name which followed him through life; ever a friend to the friendless, and a counselor for all in need of advice. After one year of married life, the partnership with Hitch was dissolved, Mr. Giles purchasing a farm of Isaac and Perry Moore, five miles below Laurel, and which ever afterwards was known as Maple Grove and Giles' Store. He removed to this farm and continued in the mercantile business, besides building vessels and cultivating land, until he lost his eyesight at the advanced age of seventy years. Mr. Giles was a busy, stirring man, and the fruits of his labors were well defined in the rapid growth and improvement of his lands in which he took great pride. In the early days of his married life he and his wife labored unceasingly with a great desire to accumulate something for their children. There were eleven born, but only seven, five girls and two boys arrived at age of maturity, all of whom are married except the youngest Thomas B., the oldest son, was for four years State Treasurer, and now lives on a large farm near Seaford, Delaware, engaged extensively in fruit-growing. The two daughters live in Laurel, one near that place, one in Alabama and another in Baltimore. Isaac, the youngest son, lives near Seaford, and is engaged in milling and agriculture. The subject of this sketch, was an active politician, serving unswervingly the Democratic Party, always in the battle's front in the fiercest of the fray, giving liberally, both mentally and financially, that his party might win the laurels. He labored unceasingly, and even when his great affliction was on him and the sight of the world denied him, he was carried to Laurel on each Election Day, and cast his vote to help make his party victorious. He was Levy Court commissioner of Sussex County, and was appointed prothonotary by Governor Ross, filling the office with great ability. He and Governor Ross were always on the most intimate terms with each other, and the families spent much time together.

Mr. Giles was a slaveholder up to the emancipation proclamation of President Lincoln, but relinquished this part of the estate without a murmur. He was in sympathy with the South, and made many a Southern soldier's heart glad by his liberal donations to them in their gloomy prison cells. He was ever ready to lend a helping hand to the needy, and could truly be called the widow's friend. The old store that had so long been the business place was burned, the work of an incendiary, and he built a more commodious one in the yard, which was afterwards occupied by his, youngest son, from the time of his father's blindness, until the latter's death. The younger man being in many respects similar to his father, Mr. Giles, lost his eyesight in 1875, and he was forced in a great measure to give up his business. He bore his great affliction without a murmur, submitting with meek resignation to his Master's divine will. He was quite feeble during the last years of his life, rarely leaving the old homestead which had become dear to him by years of association. He died March 17, 1888, and was buried in the Episcopal Church-yard in Laurel, Rev. Mr. Fitzpatrick performing the last burial rites. A fitting monument marks the spot where he is buried. No words can express an appropriate eulogy upon the life, character and work of so estimable a man. He was missed everywhere, but his memory is engraved upon the mind of his friends.

Another tract of land in Little Creek Hundred known as "Liberty Plain," and containing two hundred and ninety-three acres, was granted to Forman on the same date. It was situated on the west side of Tusseky Branch, and included a saw-mill and other improvements. The mill was on the site of a mill last operated about twenty years ago by James Ellis, and stood on land now owned by Mrs. Zedekiah Goslee.

On May 25, 1776, Charles Morris assigned to Forman, "Gorden's Choice," a tract of three hundred acres, on the east side of Little Creek, on Holly Branch. Two days later it was surveyed for him. It is now in the possession of A. J. Horsey.

"Horsey's Inclosure." One hundred and fifty-five acres were granted to Isaac and William Horsey on March 8, 1776. It was on the south side of Broad Creek, and northeast of a tract called "Lodsgate Hall," also the property of the Horseys.

On the same date there was patented to Isaac Cooper a tract of four hundred and ninety-nine acres, known as "Nutter's Anglum." The former name of this tract was "Intention," under which name it was originally granted to John Kilpatrick, April 18, 1754. It was on the south side of Broad Creek, near a tract called "Providence," surveyed for Joseph Marshall.

Also on March 8, 1776, "Puzzlewit," a property of four hundred and fifty-four acres, was granted to Joshua Moore, to whom it previously belonged, under the name of ''Advantage." It was on the east side of Tusseky Branch, near the land of Jacob Vinson.

"Lost Conclusion," a tract of three hundred and ten acres, formerly known as "Dublin," was granted to John Polk, Sr., on March 14, 1776. Another tract, called "Bee Island," containing seventy-five acres, was granted to him on the same date.

On November 4, 1795, Dr. John Polk owned one hundred and sixteen acres of land on the east side of the county road, leading from Broad Creek to Salis-bury. It was known as "Polk's part of King's Venture," being a part of a resurvey granted to Robert King in 1771.

John Freeny received a grant of fifty-eight acres, known as "White Oak Swamp," on April 18, 1776. It lay "between where said Freeny now lives and John Gordy's land," near the western line of Little Creek Hundred.

"Coxe's Discovery," a large tract now owned by W. W. Dashiell, J, Turpin Moore, Nathaniel Horsey and Thomas Bacon, was taken up at a very early date. The representatives of the early settlers are found in the assessment list of the taxables of this hundred for the year 1785, which is annexed. On it will be found the names of many whose descendants' today constitute the principal part of the inhabitants of the hundred.

Assessment List - 1785

Anderson, Daniel.
Anderson, John.
Bacon, Belby.
Bacon, John.
Bacon, Levin.
Badley, Dean.
Badley, Gideon.
Badley, James.
Badley, Samuel.
Badley, Thomas.
Badley, Wm.
Bailey, David.
Bailey, George.
Bailey, Jonathan.
Bailey, Samuel.
Bailey, Stephen.
Balding, Caleb.
Beach, Jonathan.
Benson, George.
Bevins, James.
Bevins, Wm.
Bevins, Wm.
Binnett, Joshua.
Boadley, John.
Booth, John.
Brown, Anthony.
Brown, Wm.
Calhoon, Samuel
Callaway, Aaron.
Callaway, Anna.
Callaway, Clement.
Callaway, Ebenezer.
Callaway, Ebenezer.
Callaway, Eli.
Callaway, Elisha.
Callaway, Hoses.
Callaway, James.
Callaway, Levin.
Callaway, Mary.
Callaway, Mathew.
Callaway, Nehemiah.
Callaway, Thomas.
Callaway, Wm.
Calloway, Isaiah.
Cannon, James.
Carmeen, Jaconias.
Carmeen, Lowden.
Carmeen, Moses.
Carmeen, Robert.
Carmeen, Wiggins.
Carmeen, Wm.
Carter, Littleton.
Carthill, James.
Carthill, Jonathan,
Carton, Isaac.
Christopher, Elijah.
Collins, Benj.
Collins, John,
Collins, Jonah.
Collins, Joseph.
Cooper, Isaac
Cooper, James.
Cordray, Belby.
Cordray, John.
Creigh, Edward.
Crouch, Esekiel
Crouch, John.
Culvier, George.
Culvier, Jesse.
Culvier, Mons.
Culvier, Thomas.
Culvir, Aaron.
Davis, Elisha.
Deem, Wm.
Durkey, Wm.
Edge, Obadiah.
Elay, John.
Elay, Wm.
Ellia, Jesse.
Ellia, Stephen.
Elliet, Daniel.
Elliot, Nelson.
Elliot, Samuel.
Elliott, Joseph.
Ellis, Benj.
Ellis, John.
Ellis, Joseph.
Ellis, Joshua.
Ellis, Levin.
English, James.
English, Wm.
Evans, Benj.
Figgs, Thomas.
Figgs, Henry.
Floyd, Aaron.
Forman, Jose
Freeny, John.
Freeny, Thomas.
Game, Betty.
Game, Levi.
Garley, George.
Giler, Wm.
Givens, John.
Goddard, Frank.
Goddard, John.
Gordy, Aaron.
Gordy, Jacob.
Gordy, John.
Gordy, Mons.
Grau, Thomas.
Green, George.
Green, James.
Green, John.
Green, Wm.
Haine, Ephraim.
Hall, Elijah.
Hall, John.
Hall, Peter.
Hall, Samuel.
Hall, Shadrach.
Handys, George.
Hardy, Joseph.
Harrey, Isaac
Hasting, Aaron.
Hasting, Elijah.
Hasting, Henry.
Hasting, Obadiah.
Hasting, Robert.
Hastings, Coulbourn.
Hastings, John.
Hastings, Joshua.
Hastings, Solomon.
Heam, Jonathan.
Heam, Lowther.
Heam, Samuel
Henderson, Abraham
Henry, George.
Hitch, Isaac.
Hitch, Levin.
Hitchens, Garet.
Hoeey, Jonathan.
Hogskin, Jonas.
Holt, Wm.
Honor, John.
Hosey, John.
Howard, David.
Howard, James.
Jackson, Elihu.
Jones, Isaac
Jones, James.
Jones, Thomas.
King, Ephraim.
King, George.
King, John.
King, Levi.
King, Robert.
King, Wm.
King, Wm.
Kinneckin, Daniel.
Kinneckin, Matthew.
Kinney, Elijah.
Kinney, John.
Kinney, Joshua.
Kirwell, William.
Knowles, Charles.
Knowles, Edmond.
Knowles, John.
Knowles, Richard.
Knowles, Richard.
Knowles, Thomas.
Knowles, Zachariah.
Levatt, Nathaniel
Lord, Thomas.
Lord. Wm.
Lowe, James.
Lowe, Ralph.
Lowe, Wm.
Lynch, John.
Lynch, Michael.
Maddox, Wm.
Maddox, Zachariah.
Maddox, Zachariah.
Marine, Charles.
McDaniel, Bennett.
McDowell, John.
McDowell, Joshua.
McGee, Peter.
McGee, Wm.
Melson, Daniel.
Mifflin, George.
Mifflin, Meshack.
Mifflin, Thomas.
Moore, Charles.
Moore, Charles.
Moore, George.
Moore, Horatio.
Moore, Isaac.
Moore, John.
Moore, John.
Moore, John.
Moore, Joshua.
Moore, Joshua.
Moore, Newbold.
Moore, Risdan.
Moore, Robert.
Moore, Shiles.
Moore, Thomas.
Moore, Thomas.
Moore, Wm.
Morris, Grace.
Morris, Hezekiah.
Morris, Nehemiah.
Morris, Obadiah.
Nellums, Jehu.
Nicholls, Nehemiah.
Nicholson, Hoffington.
Oglesby, Thos.
Owens, Aaron.
Owens, Isaac.
Parker, Jenkins.
Parraman, Wm.
Phillips, Elijah.
Phillips, Isaac.
Phillips, Joshua.
Phillips, Richard.
Phillips, Wm., Jr.
Phillips, Wm., Sr.
Polk, John.
Polk, Wm.
Pritchett, David.
Pritchett, John. ,
Ralph, George.
Ralph, Wm.
Rayfield, Charles.
Readys, John.
Records, Alexander.
Records, Wm.
Redding, Michael.
Rhoads, John.
Robbins, John.
Rogers, Custer.
Rose, John.
Shaw, Wm.
Sirmon, Job.
Sirmond, Louther.
Smith, George.
Smith, Marshall.
Townsend, Barkley.
Tredham, James.
Tully, James.
Turpin, Wm.
Vance, James.
Vaughn, Betty.
Vaughn, Mary.
Vincent, Daniel
Vincent, George.
Vincent, Isaac
Vincent, Newbold.
Walker, Charles.
Walker, Charles.
Walker, Elisha.
Walker, Emanuel.
Walker, Ephraim.
Walker, James
Walker, James.
Walker, John.
Walker, Jonathan.
Walker, Michael.
Walker, Richard.
Walker, Thomas.
Walker, Wm.
Walker, Wm.
Walla, George.
Walter, George.
Walter, Wm.
Ware, James.
Wars, Joseph.
Watler, Jesse.
Well, Israel.
Whaley, Wm.
Whaley. Isaac
Willey, Jarrett.
Williams, David.
Williams, Ebenezer.
Williams, John
Williams, John.
Williams, John.
Williams, Samuel.
Winzor, James.
Winzor, Samuel.
Wooten, Elijah.
Wooten, Isaac.
Wooten, John.
Wright, Boas.
Wright, Charles.
Wright, Ezekiel.
Wright, Jesse.
Wright, Levin.
Wright, Wm

Secret Societies

Wicomico Tribe, No, 13, I. O. R. M., was instituted at Delmar June 24, 1874.

The first officers were: Prophet, Samuel H. Ker; S., W. A. C. Williams; S. S., Nehemiah B. Lecatts; J. S., William S. Hearn; C. of B., William N. Hastings; K. of W., W. S. Hitchens.

The additional charter members were Benjamin W. Parker, Joseph K. Waller, Caldwell J. Morris, Samuel T. Hearn, William N. Hearn, E. M. Lowe, William S. Hastings, Philip A. Hearn and G. Lecatts. The tribe increased rapidly in numbers, and at one time numbered eighty. The present membership is forty-five. Meetings are held every Wednesday night, in Red Men's Hall, in W. S. Hitchens' building. At present the tribe is officered as follows;


Prophet, B. M. Smith
S., T. A. Melson
S. S., J. D. Mills
J. S., E. W. Biggins
C. of B., J. G. W. Perdue
K. of W., W. S. Hitchens

Sinnepuxent Tribe, No. 16, I. O, R. if., was instituted at Whitesville, February 12, 1879, with these officers:

Prophet, Jesse T. Wells
S., Joseph G. White
S. S., M. H. Brittingham
J. S., William P. Parsons
C. of R., Eli N. White
K. of W., Benjamin S. White

These, with Garretson H. White, Solomon G. Truitt, Samuel M. White, James B. Foskey, Elijah J. Workman, James H. Calloway, Isaac T. Hearn, John H. Phillips, W. H. Smith and Joseph M. Cannon, were the charter members. In 1884 a two-story frame building was erected by the order at a cost of three hundred and thirty dollars. The first floor is used as a storage-room by J. G. White & Sons, and the second story is used for lodge purposes. The lodge meets every Thursday night. The present membership is twenty-five, and the officers are:

Prophet, M. H. Brittingham
S., J. J. Cordry
S. S., W. W. Ennis
J. S., W. T. Short
C. of B., E. N. White
K. of W., S. J. Truitt

Little Creek Grange No. 23, Patrons of Husbandry, was instituted in Little Creek Hundred on October 22, 1875. The first officers were as follows:

M., W. B. Records
Over., W. G. Hearn
L., J. H. Adams
S., G. W. Walson
Ass't. S., D. W. Ralph
Chap., Joseph Ellis
Treas., Nathaniel Horsey
Secretary., Geo. S. Records
G. K., E. P. Ellis
Ceres, Mrs. S. E. Horsey
Pomona, Mrs. Julia J. Collins
Flora, Miss Lizzie E. Records
Lady Assistant Steward, Miss M. E. Ellis

There were in all twenty-three charter members, and at the end of the first year there were thirty- four members. The present membership is thirteen. Meetings are held the second Thursday in every month in a hall on W. B. Henry's farm, about four miles from Laurel. The present officers are:

M., Nathaniel Horsey
Over., D. W. Ralph
L., J. H. Adams
S., T. C. Pritchard
Ass't. S., W. B. Henry
Chap., E. P. Ellis
Treas., S. E. Horsey
Secty., W. B. Horsey
G. K., J. H. Henry
Ceres, Mrs. H. Workman
Pomona, M. P. Ralph
Flora, Mrs. S. E. Horsey
Stewardess, M. E. Adams

Red Cross Lodge, No, 17, K, of P., was instituted at Delmar April 10, 1886, with the following officers:

P. C., Fay S. Furman
C. C., William S. Hitchens;
V. C., William B. Elliott;
P., Charles W. Hill
M. of E., Sheppard J. Hitchens;
M. of F., William T. Gillis;
K. of R., and S., William T. Sirmon;
M. A., I. J. Hastings.

The other Charter Members

I. J. Wilkinson
W. E. Jerman
W. F. Vincent
Monroe W. Ellis
M. M. Hill
E. M. Dunn
G. A. Vincent
L. B. Lowe
E. J. Melson
James B. Venables
William S. Henry

Meetings are held every Monday night in the Red Men's Hall. The present membership is thirty-one. The officers are:

P. C, M. M. Hill
C. C, Rev. C. E. Baker
V. C, E. J. Melson
P., W. E. Jerman
K. of B. and S., William T. Sirmon
M. of F., William T. Gillis
M. of E., William S. Hitchens

  Sussex County

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

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