Thursday, May 31, 2018

Roller Skates

above 1925
Why E. N. Robinson would have 125 pair of roller skates is unknown.  My guess would be they came from the Coliseum see below.  E. N. Robinson was Edward Nelson Robertson (1903-1975) from the Whitehaven area.  He married Katherine Phillips of Delmar about 1926 who was the daughter of Grover C. Phillips and Roxie A Hastings. By 1930 Nelson and Kate would be living in Baltimore.  He worked as a streetcar conductor. Nelson and Kate would have as children; William E. Robertson (1926 ) and June Carolyn Robertson.  The marriage would end about 1935.  Kate would marry in 1936 David R. Brady, 20 years her senior. Nelson would marry Julia J. Dreyer who would die in 1953.  Next he would marry Johanna Wegert.  

South of Delmar, about where the current IBEW Union building is today, stood The Coliseum. The Coliseum was the largest dance hall on the Eastern Shore until 1942 when it burnt. The road we now call Bi State Boulevard was than called the Delmar Road and it went from the overhead bridge in Salisbury into Delmar. It was a popular strip for beer joints, night clubs, dance halls and tourist cabins. The most popular was the Coliseum. It started life known as the Chatterbox Night club and was later converted to the Coliseum Roller Rink. It seem to have been built by a Thomas Philips and was later owned by a Mr. Harvey M. Ruble. Mr. Ruble also owned the Pier Ballroom in Ocean City.

The Coliseum had roller skating, square dances, banquets, amateur boxing, big band orchestras and 24 hour walkathons, anything to make a buck. On a Friday night in July of 1940 it held an amateur boxing match that drew over 700 fight fans to it. I think the real draw was they had Jack Dempsey as the referee and Red Burman, a protege of Dempsey, was in the audience. Some of the Bands and singers of the era at the Coliseum were the Larry Clinton band, Will Osborne and his Slide orchestra, Rudy Vallee, and Don Bestor. The 24 hour walkathons seem to have been the equivalent of a 24 hour dance marathon and were described as controversial in the newspaper, apparently because of the large crowd that they drew.

When it burnt at the end of November 1942 a Mrs Annie Jackson, 82, died in the fire. She is believed to be the mother of Mrs. Ruble and lived at the Coliseum. The flames were reported to be 150 feet high and the smoke could be seen in downtown Salisbury. Winds whipped the fire around sitting fire to the surrounding bushes and grass in the area.  

Waiting On The Train To Delmar

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ayers Diner

1947 Charles C. Ayers (1908 -1983) with his wife (Mary Cicatelli Ayers) and children (Paul, Charles and Margaret) opened the Ayers Diner at North Salisbury Boulevard and London Street in Salisbury, Maryland.  It had a capacity for about 44 people.

1949 they had a new dining room (22x36 block and stucco) added to the diner that could seat 66 people.  It almost doubled the capacity of the restaurant.  The Dining room was constructed by Ed Wainwright, who would later construct and operate the State Line Motel, Restaurant etc complex at the State Line in Delmar.  

In 1952 Mr. Ayers replaced the old diner with a new stainless steel Mountain View Diner made in New Jersey (see above).  It was moved from the factory in Singac, New Jersey to Salisbury at 12 miles an hour.  The new diner at a cost of $75,000 was 66 by 17 feet and seated 102 people. It is the diner most people associate with Ayers Diner due to the postcard images. Mr. Ayers chose a light rose color scheme inside the diner and the 12 waitresses wore uniforms that reflected that color scheme. The restaurant was open 24-hours a day.  The light rose color is also the color reflected in the postcards of the diner. A block and stucco addition was added later.

The Mountain View Diner Company would cease operation in 1957 after making about 400 diners over its 20 year history.  They were makers of the classic prefabricated stainless steel diner with a formica counter and bolt down stools, tile or terazza floor, and formica tables.  

In 1952 the businesses that were around Ayers Diner were E. S. Adkins, The Star Laundry, Pete’s Amoco, Sweetheart Bakeries, Peninsular Roofing, Frank Mohler Atlantic, and the North End Esso,

In 1956 he opened a second Ayers Diner in Easton, Maryland.

1961 Mr Ayers leased the restaurant in Salisbury and moved to Easton where he operated the second Ayers Diner.

As you can tell from the 1952 photograph above there was very little front space for parking.  Up until 1963 parking was allowed on each side of Salisbury Boulevard and the businesses on RT13 didn’t have to have a parking lot or at least not a very large parking lot. In fact when Charles Ayers moved the new diner in to the spot in 1952 he moved it 12 feet closer to Salisbury Boulevard.   In 1963 Mayor Frank Morris did away with on street parking on RT13.  This led to a lot of protest from business owners particularly Charles Ayers, but there was no longer parking on RT13.

By the late 1960s maybe early 1970s the restaurant shutdown.  In 1975 the diner had been moved from its London Street location to the Stateline motel on RT13 a few block south of its original London street location, to be used as a diner. The location and whereabouts of the diner is unknown after 1975.

Above the present building on the property where the diner stood.

Select Delmar Items From The Newspapers

George McNelia and Miss Florence White were married at the M. P. parsonage, Wednesday evening by the Rev. J. L. Straughm.

Above Feb18 1899

Harry H. Hearn has been receiving congratulations this week on his appointment to a position in the main office of the Pennsylvania Railroad, at Wilmington.  The position pays $86 a month and he was chosen from thirty or more applicants.  Mr. Hearn was only recently promoted to the position of ticket agent at Delmar.  His successor at Delmar has not been appointed.

Above 1904.

On Friday last 540 cars of perishable, 300 cars of slow moving freight, and 48 empties were moved north from Delmar yard

Above 1913

WANTED – Responsible Lady not over 35 years to keep house on small farm three miles from Delmar.  One in family.

C. A. Besey

Delmar, Del

Above 1917

It is reported that Delmar will have two canneries this season.  One owned by H. N. Messick & Co. will be located near German’s brick yard and will can the product of 200 acres of tomatoes in addition to other vegetables and fruits.
The Delmar Canning Company will have a big plant.  They have one building 60X100 feet, and another 40x54, also a number of sheds.  They will have two 50 horse power boilers and the machinery throughout will be the best.  The P. W. & B. R. R. Co. will run their tracks to the building .  The Company will have a financial rating of $100,000 to $200,000.
Above April of  1898

Monday, May 28, 2018

Harry Neil - boxer 1938

Salisbury Times January 1938

Dan Neils Station 1930 Delmar Delaware Bi-State Blvd

Monday Wash Day

and remember men helped also

Benjamin William Ward Class of 1912

Benjamin William Ward (1886-1970) graduated Delaware College (today it is University of Delaware) in 1912.  He was the son of Cyrus and Mattie Ward.  His father was a farmer and lumber dealer.  Shortly after graduation he married Agnes Lindsay Miller  (1894-1951) daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Lindsay Miller of Newark.  Benj. Ward would end up in Kentucky where he taught and was superintendent of schools. 

The 1892 Delmar Fire

What a great find, a drawing of the dwellings that burnt and who occupied them in 1892
From the Morning News 18 August 1892 Wilmington Delaware

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Delmar Steam Bakery

Delmar has had a number of bakeries over the years but there have only been two that tried to service an area larger than just Delmar.  The more recent is the William Freihofer Baking Company that in 1949 built their new bakery on Bi-State Boulevard.  The Freihofer Bakery was originally in the old Delmar Steam Bakery building off North Second Street between State Street and Grove Street.  The Delmar Steam Bakery seems to have caused it many owners trouble and woe. 
Located in an odd location that seemed to have been the backyard of two separate building lots, it was torn down in the 1950s.  In the photo above is the empty back lot it stood on.

The above Sanborn fire insurance map shows it (shaded building indicating masonry construction) was a one story building the main part of it was brick with frame porches and loading docks. 
Throughout the many sales of the bakery the house in front of it on Second Street was always included.  It seems to date back to 1910 or so.

The building for the bakery was originally built about 1910 by Herman Oelrich (a baker in Seaford) and it was immediately sold at a sheriff sale to the Doody brothers of Salisbury who sold it to Isaac Watson and Joseph Ellis in 1912.  So after a rugged start it was in operation as a bakery, a steam bakery, at the time it was built the term “steam bakery” was used often it usually meant that the ovens were heated by steam pipes to 500 degrees, and that it was more sanitary then a coal or wood oven of that time.  
Isaac Watson (1850-1923) was a baker and he had over his 70 years of life managed and owned bakeries from Bridgeville to Delmar.  At the time he purchased the Oelrich bakery in Delmar he also purchased the Oelrich bakery in Laurel and sold it to Harry Raake. When he purchased the Delmar bakery he was running a grocery store in Delmar that he also sold.  His house was burnt in the Delmar fire of 1892.  In 1895 he had a small bakery in Delmar and made the news by being attacked by Levin Hastings a merchant in Delmar with an axe handle.  He was severely beat about the head and there was concern he might not live.  In 1900 his son, Harry, was shot in the foot by Orin J. Willey in Bridgeville and Isaac went to Bridgeville with a gun where he was arrested for threatening to shoot Willey.  After he went bankrupt with the Delmar bakery he would move to Seaford about 1919 to run another bakery and would die in 1923 at age 76 of Brights disease.  He was the son of George Watson and Mary Jane Rust Watson.  He was twice married; his first wife was Lizzie P. Watson (1851-1889). His second wife was Sarah Elizabeth Ellis ( -1940).  Isaac and Sarah had as children; Lelia who in 1910 eloped with Hoyt Wainwright and Jessie, the youngest, who would marry Hugh Thomas Morrow.  Children by Isaac and Lizzie were; Their son Harry (1883- 1970) married in 1924 in Washington State to Alice Estella Sanders. He would stay in Washington State.   Other children of Isaac and Lizzie were Lizzie P (1889-1889), Frank J (1885-1888), Clifford (1876- ), Edwin W. (1886-1887), and Rachel (1897-1966 )
Isaac Watson would go bankrupt and lose the Delmar steam bakery.
Next Samuel Frederick Krause (1879-1925) would run the bakery. Mr. Krause had lived in Delmar since about 1900 after he moved here from Princess Anne where he had another bakery. He purchased the Bakery for $4,000 in 1919.  After his wife died in 1923 he became despondent about raising his son and two daughters and it reached a head in 1925 when he cut his wrist and inhaled illuminating gas, killing himself. His brother, Clinton Krause was a business man in Salisbury and in 1908 Clinton owned the Salisbury Baking Company.  It would later be named the Sweetheart Bakeries and be located on Olive Street in Salisbury. His other brother Albert was a miller at the Cohn and Block mills in Princess Anne. 
He was the son of Owen and Rosa German Krause. He was born in Pennsylvania.  Samuel’s wife was Annie Parker (1883-1923). They married in 1907.  They had as children; Aline (1908-1986), Albert Samuel (1910-1991), and Nancy Ellen (1916-1988). All would become successful people in Salisbury, where they were taken to live with their uncle Clinton D. Krause after their father’s death. Aline would become a school teacher and marry Charles S. Hayman and after his death she married harry L. Harcum.  Nancy would marry Boyd McLernon.  Albert “Dutch” Krause would become a barber in Salisbury.
Next in 1925,  Eugene “Gene” Raleigh Wilson (1900-1975) would buy the building and equipment from the estate of Sam Krause for $9,000.  He had worked at the bakery. He would run the bakery until 1932 when he filed for bankruptcy with liabilities of $19,997 and assets of $12,918.  He was the son of George Edgar Wilson and Pauline Verdin Messick Wilson.  His father would die in a railroad accident in 1930.  He would marry Madelyn Phillips.  He would serve in the Navy in WW2. His work career after the bakery would include being a men’s clothing salesman, running the Red Apple Restaurant in North Carolina and working for the Maryland Department of Employment Security.
Charles H. Wahl, an employee at the bakery, would die in 1929 at age 70.
In 1930 the Scaler of Weights and Measures for Sussex County, Dallas M. Rogers, had a Delmar Steam Bakery truck stopped and it’s loafs of bread weighed.  They were found to be less than 16 ounces per loaf.  Earl Smith, the driver of the truck, was arrested as the representative of the Delmar Steam Bakery.
Next, in 1932, Edward Levin Hitchens (1885-1962) and Earl “Benny” Wootten bought the building.  They had at the time a small bakery in the Whayland Building on Railroad Avenue.  Most of the Wilson equipment had been sold off in the bankruptcy auction.  They started to operate it but for whatever reason sold to Carroll Elliott in late 1932. E. L. Hitchens worked for the railroad and I would guess he put up the money and Benny Wootten was the baker. Benny would go on to be a baker at other bakeries and end up running a grocery store with his wife, Mildred Anne Phillips Wootten, in Fenwick Island. 
Carroll Martin Elliott (1894-1950) ran the bakery from 1932 till 1939.  He would expand it with more routes for his bread sales and make improvements to the machinery. Again they seem to have routes that went to Pocomoke, Seaford and bay to Ocean. About nine men work for the bakery, which included the delivery men.  Mr. Elliott health started to fail and he sold the bakery in 1939 to Mr. Rugeriis.  He would remain in poor health for the next 11 years and would die in 1950.  He was the son of Elijah Martin Elliott and Bertha Elliott. He was married to Anne Belle Otwell.  They would have two daughters; Annabelle Otwell Elliott and Glennella Elliott.

Next, In 1939, Guiseppe De Rugeriis of Philadelphia would buy it.  The name would become The Delmar Baking Co. He would build a the new bakery on Bi-State.  He would employed 12 men.  The bakery was owned by Guiseppe De Rugeriis, with Antonia  De Rugeriis, Joseph Bellefonte, all of Philadelphia and Larry Horseman of Delmar.  The Rugeriis and Bellefonte were indicted for price fixing in 1943 with 11 other Philadelphia bakery officials.  Guiseppe De Rugeriis and Carmello Bellefonte ran the A. B. C. Baking Company started in 1919.

Mr. Rugeriis was sold the bakery in 1943 to Freihofer Bakery of Philadelphia

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Blue Star Flags and Highways

above flag picture from the Harrington Historical Society

During World War II these flags were hung in the front windows of homes those with sons in the military. If the son died during the service of his country, the blue star would be changed to gold. 
You can still order from the American Legion blue Star flags to put in your window if you have a family member serving in the military
From the blue star flags the blue star memorial highways came to be when in 1944 a New Jersey Garden Club beautified, by planting dogwood trees, on a section US Rt22.  In Delaware RT13 is a Blue Star Memorial Highway and in Maryland it US Rt 301.

WHEREAS, over 40 years ago the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. established The Blue Star Memorial Highway program as a living tribute to the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States; and
WHEREAS, designation of a highway as a Blue Star Memorial Highway includes erection of a marker planted with flowering trees or shrubs; and
WHEREAS, many states have embraced the Blue Star Memorial Highway program and the system of highways designated as Blue Star Memorial Highways now extends thousands of miles across the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii; and
WHEREAS, Route 13 from Dover to the Maryland state line was designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway in 1981 at the request of the Seaford Spade and Trowel Garden Club; and
WHEREAS, the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs has requested that the section of Route 13 from Dover to the Pennsylvania state line also be designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway to extend the Blue Star Memorial Highway completely through the State of Delaware; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting that this memorial to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces encompass the full length of our state.
BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 139th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, with the approval of the Governor, that Route 13 from Dover to the Pennsylvania state line is hereby designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Transportation is hereby authorized and directed to take the appropriate action essential to implement the provisions of this Act.
Approved April 9, 1998

Friday, May 25, 2018

Conley’s Dry Cleaners

In 1930 Conley’s Dry Cleaning was located in the W. W. Whayland Building (The Old Hotel).  It was run by Jerome Gilmore Conley who in 1930 would move his dry cleaning business to Salisbury on West Church Street.  By August of 1930 the 30 year old had died of typhoid fever.   His 25 year old wife Bertie Gertrude Voight Conley would attempt to run the dry cleaning business but could not succeed with the lost of her husband.  In 1931 she sold the business to Edward W. Davis and J. Wilmore Shockley.  She took her daughter, Bettie Jane, and returned to North Carolina where she had been born.  She would later marry Robert Emmett Russell in North Carolina. Conley Cleaners continues in Salisbury today with Todd Bailey as the owner.

Susie Lee Spriggs

above Salisbury Times 12 April 1932

Susie would marry Howard Newton German

above the Evening Journal 26 May 1930

Robert L. Toback

Robert Lewis Toback (1943-2013) would return to Troy, NY to teach.  He would marry Mary Anne Arcesi.

above newspaper clipping 1966 Bi State Weekly

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Death of Raymond Brown 1907

Raymond Brown, a young brakeman employed on a N. Y. P. and N. freight fell between two cars here this morning and was ground to pieces.  Both legs and one arm were cut off and his body forced into the roadbed in such a manner that it was necessary to remove three ties to extricate it.  The unfortunate man, who was but 23 years old, was resident of Delmar, where he is survived by a widow and one child.

Above from the Evening Journal 20 Feb 1907

His death occurred as the train started across the Pocomoke River bridge and scaffolding had to be built under the bridge so the body would not fall into the river as they removed it by cutting ties.  His body was taken to Marvel Funeral home in Delmar.

Raymond A. Brown (1883-1907) is buried in St. Stephens cemetery.  He was the son of Noah James Brown (1857-1937) and Louisa Alice Oliphant Brown.  Several of his brothers worked for the railroad.  In November of 1904 he married Lois Amanda Phillips, daughter of William Phillips and Nettie Phillips.  Raymond and Lois had a son in 1906; William Byard Brown.   After Raymond’s death Lois continue to live in Delmar on Chestnut street. In 1909 her son accidently drank a glass of lye that Lois had left on a pump bench while she did other chores.  He died.  He is buried in St Stephens cemetery alongside his father.  Lois left Delmar and went to Philadelphia where she became a nurse.  Sometime between 1930 and 1940 she married a Mr. Kenney.  The marriage must have ended under unfortunate circumstances as Lois in 1940 was living on a farm on Jersey road outside of Delmar by herself.  She had retired from nursing.  In 1943 she decided to end her life and hung herself from the rafter of a chicken house on her property.  Her body was found by her brother.  Samuel J Phillips was made the executer and her possessions and property was auctioned off. She is buried next to her first husband and son in St Stephens cemetery.

The Mardela Garage

Mardela Garage at end of Sharptown Road, G. D Evans, Prop. (George D)   burnt in the 1949 Sign pointing To Salisbury, and advertising Tires, Tubes, soft drinks, Free Air and Water.  From Westside Historical Society,

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Good Nickel Cigar

Again we come back to this photo of State Street and Railroad Ave about 1910.  On the right is a sign for Sen Auben.  No doubt the cigars were sold in George Willis Hudson's Billard Parlor and tobacco store.  This was in a period in which cigars were manufactured in the larger towns.  Salisbury certainly had their cigar makers although Sen Auben was a Wilmington cigar maker.  All of them seem to use girls for cigar makers in their factories. 

Sen Auben was a brand of cigars manufactured for and by S. H. Durstein in Wilmington Delaware.  They were distributed in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

in 1911 they opened their new factory at second and walnut in Wilmington 

Samuel Henry Durstein (1859-1918) distributed them from the late 1890 until His son, Ralph, sold the company in 1942. Ralph Keck Durstein, jr, the grandson of Samuel, would work in Salisbury as a salesman for Atlantic Refining Company before moving to New York State and died in 1968


below is an ad for 200 girls in Salisbury to make cigars in 1920

above 1918

1931 Layout of Delmar Delaware school

1931 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of the Delmar School  Since it purpose is to provide fire insurance information it highlights things like a metal projection booth and boiler and coal bin location.

Sanborn had a sophisticated set of symbols that were in color to tell about the buildings on their maps since most of my images came from microfilm at the Delaware State Archives they are in black and white

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gas stations, Motels, Restaurants, Italians and the Marando family

In the first half of the 20th century the availability of the automobile and the truck changed the business world.  People started to travel more often for pleasure and the trucking industry took off.  This produced a classic business on Bi-State Boulevard in Delmar that catered to travelers.  It was a gas station, a restaurant and sometimes a motel or tourist cabins combination business.  After all you needed to fill up the tank, get air for tires, water for the radiator, go to the bathroom, eat and maybe buy some beer and or basket of apples to take with you on your travels.  Other items, from gifts to postcards to gambling machines, were usually also there.  The logic was the same as one stop shopping department stores today – have the essential and then they buy things they didn’t know they wanted.  At that time Bi-State Boulevard was Route 13, the main road down Delmarva, so all vehicle traffic traveled the road.  The gas station part of the business was usually two pumps and a small repair shop, with a small restaurant, sometime a larger restaurant, was attached to it and sometime there was a two story house converted to a rooming house or actual tourist cabins behind the station. Almost all of them sold beer and some would advertise themselves as a bar or nightclub/gas station/ restaurant. They catered to the traveler and locals.

above 1952

above Washington Hotel Delmar Maryland about 1920 Sinclair gas, restaurant, zoo, rooms


At that time there was a small but influential group of Italian-Americans that lived in and around Delmar.  A number of them came here by way of working for the Railroad.  Some were farmers that bought land in the area when the strawberry boom was going on Delmarva in the 1920s.  They were obviously harassed and made fun of by the natives born here.  Some time they Americanized their last name as in the case of Guiseppe Coladonato becoming Joe Nichols and his son, Carmine, becoming Charlie Nichols.  They tend to marry within the Italian-American families that were in the area or marry Italian families from the Wilmington/Philadelphia area.   

Some of the family names were Tamburrino, Triglia, Marando, DeFelice, Nero,and  Coladonato

1966 a Tony Triglia business

One family was the Ernest Marando family.  Ernest was born in Italy about 1891 spent time in New York where he married Mildred R Guida about 1925 and they had two children in New York; Thomas Carmello Marando and Mildred E. Marando.  By 1937 they were in the Delmar area.  They opened a combination restaurant, gas station, and tourist cabins operation about two miles north of Delmar on Bi-State Boulevard.  Variously called Empire State Inn, Empire State Restaurant, and Empire State Tourist Court. The operation would continue through the 1950s

above 1937
above 1948
match book cover from ebay

As can be seen from the ads large dances were held there plus beer sales.  Liquor was harder to get but since Ernest had been arrested for bootlegging one can assume it could be obtained.  In 1949 Mildred applied for an alcohol license that would allow alcohol to be sold for use on premise and off premise.

above 1949 Bi State Weekly Newspaper

In the 1960s they had stopped the old RT13 operation and had opened a 14 unit Motel on the “new” Rt13 about two miles south of Laurel called the Empire State Motel.   Mildred would pass away in 1964.  Ernest would remarry to Minnie E. Shores in 1966.  In 1972 he put the motel up for sale for $16,000.  Ernest would die in 1977. 

Ernest and Mildred’s son, Tom, was a Delmar high school football champion earning a high school letter in football. He graduated in 1943 and worked for the railroad before going into the Army.  He was capture by Germans in Belgium and became a POW and was not released until 1945.  He went to the University of Delaware and graduated with a civil engineering degree In 1950.  He worked and lived in the Wilmington area. He married Angeline and they had three sons and two daughters.

1938 Delmar Football Team

Ernest and Mildred’s daughter, Mildred “Randy”  E. Mirando was born in New York in 1930 and graduated Delmar High School in 1948 as valedictorian.  She moved to Baltimore became a nurse, married Joe R. Riggs, was a public health on the western Shore. They had a son and a daughter.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Queens Dress

Since the only thing you could see on TV yesterday was the Royal wedding let me make this observation, the Queen was wearing an outfit of green, white and purple.  It happens that these are the same colors the suffragettes in England wore in the 1910 period. They used the colors as a code on their dresses to show they supported women right to vote. So was it just an coincidence (Probably) or was there some kind of statement?

The Aftermath of a 1909 Accident

On the morning of February 22nd 1909 a train wreck occurred in Delmar.  A clear signal had been given for the right a way on the track to a southbound train but the train ran into two engines sitting on the track.  The first couple of train cars behind the engine exploded into fire. Seven people were killed of which four were clerks working in the mail car. Also Princess Trixie, a performing vaudeville horse, was killed.   One of the clerks, John W. Wood from Wilmington, would be cremated in the wreck.  The accident is a story in its self but this post is about the aftermath of the accident that affected John Wood. 

One well written version of the accident can be found here

Even in 1909 there were personal injury lawyers and Josephine Wood, ex-wife of John Wood, filed a damage law suit against the railroad.  John had married her in 1901 and they had a son in 1902 by 1906 she had moved out and was living with someone else over in Baltimore, a divorce proceeding was started on grounds of adultery and a divorce was granted in November 1908 but it had to wait a year before it was final, the accident occurred before the year was up.  Josephine’s lawyers had the divorce degree set aside.  

In the court case it was determined that John made about $1,100 a year as a mail clerk. The lawyer tried to prevent the divorce degree being entered into the record.  Several railroad people from Delmar were called to testify in the case. 

In May of 1910 the court awarded Josephine $2,000 from the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington railroad company.  In July of 1910 Josephine Wood and John Harper filed for a marriage license in Baltimore. The son, John Thomas Wood, would live with his Aunt Eliza and her husband, George Johnson, in Washington DC for a while but by the 1920 census he was living with his Mother and John Harper in Baltimore. 

There is no newspaper indication any other lawsuit was filed on behalf of the other accident dead. If the details of the settlements were made known it might well be the settlement for Princess Trixie, the horse, exceeded the amount paid to all the families of the seven dead.

Some history on the main players;

John W. Wood (1878-1909) was the son of Captain Thomas David and Rachel Taylor Wood. Captain Thomas David Wood was Dockmaster for Harlan and Hollingsworth in Wilmington.  John would marry Josephine R. Simpson (1884-  )in 1901.  They would have John Thomas Wood in 1902 when she was 17 years old. 

Josephine R Simpson was the daughter of Edward Simpson and Rebecca Simpson.    Edward A. Simpson would die in 1896.  Rebecca Simpson would later marry William Clark.

After the accident the son, John T Wood was placed with his Aunt Eliza T. Johnson of Washington DC she was the Administratrix of John Wood Estate which included a $1,900 life insurance policy.

Josephine and John M. Harper, ages 25 and 27 respectfully, filed for a marriage license in July of 1910.  In April of 1929 a divorced was given the couple and she was allowed to resume using the name Josephine R. Wood. 

On December 23rd 1932 Josephine’s mother died.  Josephine’s sister, Mary Simpson Robinson would also die in 1932. Josephine’s brother Oliver L. Simpson had died in 1923.  After 1932 it is unknown what happened to Josephine.

John Thomas Wood (1902-1961) would marry Dorothy I. Sparks ( -1987) about 1925, they would live in Baltimore where he was a metal salesman.  They had one daughter Dorothy Ann Wood (1927-2003).  John would die at age 59 in 1961. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

1966 Arbor Day At Delmar Elementary School

1966 Bi State Weekly 
Kaye, Christine, Miss Annie - Annie Beach, Alvin Elliott Jr, Mrs Frank Bonsell, Mrs Evelyn Thorne Principal 

above Evelyn G Thorne's retirement in 1979