Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

110 E Grove Street

Some houses just have misfortune connected with them and such was the case of 110 East Grove Street in the 1940s.  The house is a nicely built brick house on a corner lot.  It was built by Dr Howard LeCates for his business and his residency.  Half of the house was his office and practice and the other half was where his wife, Jean, and he lived.  They did not have children.  Dr LeCates practiced in Delmar for about 26 years until in 1945 he decided to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train.  His mangled body was carried by the train for about 500 feet after impact.

In 1946 Edmond Shinn purchased the house from Joan Reid Lecates, Dr leCates widow.  Ted Shinn, his wife Juanita Ruth Williams Shinn, their three children; Edmond, Richard and Thomas, and his father Edmond W. Shinn lived in the house.  Ted Shinn had a “Tom’s Roasted Peanuts” franchise sales route. 

Ted Shinn (Edmund Hedges Shinn) was born in Pennsylvania in 1904.  His father and he had lived in Roanoke, Virginia and in 1933 he married Juanita Ruth Williams, daughter of Alva and Rose Williams of Cumberland Maryland. Ted Shinn was unique in that he was Heterochromia meaning he had one eye that was blue and the other was gray. 

In the first part of 1947 Ruth Shinn became ill and died at the house. 

above March 4, 1947 Wilmington Morning News

Two months later Ted Shinn was still despondent over the lost of his wife and he committed suicide at the house. 

above May 8 1947 Wilmington News Journal

Before his death he had sold the house and had offers for the business

After the house was sold I believe the remaining family moved back to Cumberland Maryland. 

The house due to it’s size and interior arrangement which lend itself well to a duplex building ended up being purchased for rental property and over the years deteriorated until recently when it was purchased and fixed up and seems to be maintained now.   


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Supporting the Right of women to vote 1916

March 20 1916 letter to Senator H duPont from Mrs H B James - Delmar Delaware
Mrs H B James was Cassie M Elliott (1863-1948) wife of Harvey B James (185-1934)

Sunday Dinner at The New Coffee Shop Laurel DE 1936

The New Coffee Shop in Laurel Delaware was started by Anne Studley Blades about 1934 in the Robert Sidney Studley barbershop on Central Avenue.    Anne Studley was a secretary for the electric company.  She had as her Assistance Manager, Garland Russell.  By 1936 they had moved to what was then Lindberger Avenue in the house that had been Dr Joseph Hitch.  The restaurant/Coffee Shop was a short lived affair and it probably closed up about 1938. 

1936 ad from the State Register

Anne Mary Studley (1898-1991) was the daughter of William J Studley and Clarissa Elliott Lloyd Studley.  Mr Studley had a grocery store on 6th street.  Anne sisters were; Pearl and Edna.  The Studley family was a very old New England family who came to Laurel when Epiphalet Studley moved there and was one of the first tailors in the town.  Epiphalet was also a civil war veteran. When Anne died she donated the Studley house to the Laurel Historical Society.  Anne was married in 1933 in Elkton Maryland to Mr William A. Blades but by 1940 was living with her parents unemployed and divorced.

1934 ad State Register

Garland Thomas Russell (1908-1979) was from Parksley, Virginia.  He was the son of William Thomas Russell and Effie Winfred Lewis.  Prior to working at the New Coffee Shop he had worked at The Georgetown restaurant in Georgetown Delaware.  In 1936 he married Kathleen Coulbourne Lyons of Seaford.  She was the daughter of Leon Lyons and Lelia Mulligan Lyons.  In 1936 he convinced a syndicate of men to construct a restaurant in Seaford on Arch Street and he would manage it.  The restaurant was called the Monticello Restaurant.  In 1938 E I DuPont built the nylon plant in Seaford and everything changed.  Shortly afterwards WW2 started and Garland Russell went off to war.  When he got back he went to work for DuPont as a purchasing agent. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Little About Uncle Dan Foskey

Daniel Henry Foskey (1846-1937) referred to as “Uncle Dan” was a long time Delmar businessman.  Born over in Whitesville in 1846 to Daniel Foskey (1814-1869) and Sallie W. Mills Foskey (1814-1869) he farmed for awhile and then moved to Laurel.  While there he married in 1873 to Annie M Connaway (1848-1924) daughter of Minos Tyndell Talbot Connaway (1811-1894) and Mary Ingram Short (1812-1889),  They had a son, Marion Foskey, born 1875 while in Laurel.  By 1880 he was in Delmar and was associated with Foskey, German and Elliott brick works in town.  He also was running the Grange store in Laurel, Delaware.  The Grange store was one of those cooperative stores popular after the civil war.  It was part of the Laurel Grange or Patrons of Husbandry.  The store in Laurel was in operation from about 1875 to 1887.  Over Mr Foskeys life he seems to always have a store or some business in Delmar.  He was a true Republican and voted his entire life Republican starting with Grant and ending with Hoover.   In 1884 the Foskeys had a second son; Daniel Connaway Foskey born in Delmar.  With nine years between births we can assume there were other children who did not live and whose names are unknown.

Both sons would move from Delmar and take jobs in Philadelphia.  Marion Foskey would work as a teller for the Haddington Title and Trust Company.  The Haddington Title and Trust Company would close it doors in the Great depression but before then Marion went to Atlantic City and in 1906 he married Ferda Grassler,  a 30 year old bookkeeper from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  The marriage did not last and in 1909 Ferda was in Reno filing for a divorce on grounds of non-support.  Little was heard from Marion Foskey after that. 

Daniel Connaway Foskey also went to Philadelphia.  He worked for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co as a chief car inspector. In 1908 he married Rena Wolfersberger (1883-1959) of Philadephia.  This marriage did not work out and they were divorced in 1929.  Later in 1929 he married Annie (Nansi, Nancy) M. Evans of Willamsport, Pennsylvania.   Daniel moved to Buffalo, New York where he worked for the International Street car company. In 1950 he died of a heart attack.

Neither son had offsprings so this Foskey branch of the family tree died off when they died.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Edgehill Winners 1992

1992 December The Leader and State register  Pauline Parker, Mary Lee Pase and Margaret Carey

1942 Shattergard



Thursday, March 26, 2020

1931 Drum and Bugle Corp

1931 item
George L Long, James R McLernon, Samuel N Culver, Arthur L Godfrey, J. Grayson Elliott, Glen T Hastings and J P Miller

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Caboose and railroad People

from the 1959 Delmar Centennial Program

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

James D Phillips

James D. Phillips, for forty-three years in the employ of the Deiaware railroad, and probably one ofthe best-known and most popular men in the service, died yesterday morning about 7 o’ clock Of pneumonia. He was in his 67th year. His funeral will take place on Wednesday afternoon at 2.30 o'clock. services will be held at his late home, No. 611 King street and will be conducted by the Rev. R  K. Stephenson, pastor of Scott M E Church. Interment will be made in Silverbrook cemetery.

Mr. Phillips was a conductor of the Delaware road, and was the oldest employee of the company in point of service. For sometime he ran trains to New Castle. In four years he would have been retired. His death is indirectly an outcome of the recent wreck at Delmar.

He had been feeling ill for several months and a few days before that wreck he had gone to Delmar to visit relatives for a short vacation. The night of the wreck he hurried to the, yards and worked about the scene with the other railroad men, giving what assistance he could, he stood around on the wet ground until he contracted a heavy cold, and on Monday last pneumonia developed.

Mr. Phillips was known to hundreds of people all through the state, and especially to those who travel frequently on the road. His jovial manners and pleasing personality won for him a host of friends who will no doubt mourn his death. He had been in the railroad service for nearly half a century, but he had made a record of which any one could well be proud.

He never had a man to be killed by the train on which he was working and he was never involved in any wrecks, except one when his train ran into the draw near Laurel. He was recognized by his employers as a competent and trustworthy railroad man.

Mr. Phillips is survived by his widow and two daughters, Mrs. Edward Barton of Hartford, Conn., and Mrs. John Harris of Harrisburg, Pa. He was a member of duPont Post, G. A. R. and the Order of Railway Conductors.

Above from the Morning News 08 March 1909

Mr Phillips was working as a ship carpenter in Baltimore when the civil war broke out.  He enlisted in the Union Army 3rd Regiment Maryland Volunteers.  He was born in Maryland in 1842.

About 1865 Mr. Phillips started work for the Delaware railroad as a brakeman.  He was assigned to Laurel, Delaware initially but by 1868 he was living in Delmar, Maryland.  In 1870 he was made a conductor.

While in Laurel James D Phillips married, about 1867, to Theodosia W. Johnson daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Melson (or Morris) Johnson.  Her father was a Railroad agent. She had a brother named Caleb R P Johnson.  They were from Little Creek hundreds.  She was born in 1852.

James and Dosia had as children; Elizabeth, Lillie, Howard, Mary, Kate, Walter and an unknown named son.  They were all born in Delmar.

On Sunday January 26 1873 his second child Lillie M. died at age two and was buried in Delmar.

In 1884 he was transferred to Wilmington.  There he became very well known and, for a freight conductor, his name appeared in the Wilmington papers often. In 1889, He had made the comment to Senator Higgins that with all the ministers to foreign countries being appointed he would like to be minister to Gumboro as he could speak three languages; New Castle, Kent and Sussex.   There after the newspapers would refer to him as the United States minister to Gumboro.

While in Wilmington his children grew into adulthood.  Elizabeth (Lizzie – born 1869) became an accomplished elocutionist speaking, with her mother, in a number of church halls. In 1891 she married William File. The marriage did not work and in 1905 she obtained a divorce and married John Harris.  Mr Harris was a jeweler in Trenton New Jersey and they lived in Trenton.  In 1926 Lizzie died and is buried in Silverbrook cemetery Wilmington Delaware with her sister Mary, brother Howard and father.

James Howard Phillips born 1874, became an advance man for various circuses.  In 1906 while he was in Boston he went insane.  He was removed from the State insane Asylum in Westboro Mass. And put in the Delaware State Hospital in Farnshurst.  He died at Farnshurst in 1907 and is buried at Silverbrook cemetery Wilmington Delaware with his father. 

Mary D. Phillips (Mamie) born in 1876 would marry Edward Tappen Barton in 1894.  He was born 1874 in New York, moved to Hartfield Connecticut at an early age and was an insurance agent.  He was the son of Charles Thomas Barton  and Anna Tappen Barton.  Mary would die in 1924 and is buried at Silverbrook cemetery Wilmington Delaware with her father, brother and sister.  She had one child; Victor Alvin Barton (1895- ).  He would become an electrician and marry Myrtle Fern Coleman.  They would move to California prior to world war two.  He had a son named James Howard Barton (1916-2000).  The son appears to be named after his mother’s brother.  This is the only line of James D. Phillips that may still exist today.  Edward T. Barton would remarry to Edith Olmstead and they would move to the San Francisco area.  He would die in 1953 and is buried in Oakland.

Kate C Phillips born in 1879 would marry at 19 years old to James Hendrixson son of George Washington Hendrixson of Wilmington.  She would have two children.  The first she would name after her brother-in-law William File Hendrixson and the second is currently an unknown name.  Both would be under the age of three and would die within hours of one another in 1898.  The effect of their death caused Katie to die a couple of months later in 1899 at age 21.  She is buried at Wilmington and Brandywine cemetery with her two sons. James Hendrixson would remarry in 1919 to Fannie Goslin.   He would die in 1938.

Walter Carey Phillips born in 1880 would die in 1888 of typhoid fever.

An unnamed son who would die in 1882.

After the death of her husband, Theodosia W. Johnson Phillips,  would go to live with her daughter and son-in-law in Trenton New Jersey.  Currently it is not known of the date of her death nor where she is buried.

At the time James D Phillips died three sons and three daughters had died.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Part of 1862 Johnson Delaware and Maryland Map

Close up of 1862 Johnson map of Delaware and Maryland one of the first maps to show Delmar on it.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Dinner At Crawfords

Crawfords was a small restaurant that operated from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s.  It was next to DP&L on Rt13.

The restaurant was run by Crawford Clayton Williams and his father-in-law Roscoe King.  It was very much family as even his mother, Lavenia Williams,  worked as a waitress.  The Williams and Kings were from the Eldorado section of Dorchester county.   His brother, Winfield Williams, ran Winfield's restaurant on Isabella street in Salisbury.  Crawford Williams would die of a heart attack in 1965.  Roscoe King would die in 1959.  After Mr Kings death they had an auction of the property (the restaurant continued in operation) and below is the restaurant property, which shows the size of the restaurant.

I believe DP&L eventually purchased the property and tore down  the restaurant and house that was there to give them an open front yard.

1958 ad

the 1959 ad from the Delmar Centennial program

1977 The Year of Hair

from 1977 Delmar High School Yearbook

Saturday, March 21, 2020

1899 Edward F Hearn

26 Oct 1899 The Wilmington Morning News  - Edward Frank Hearn, Dr. Hooker

1887 Dan Neal

March 1887 The Salisbury Advertiser - Dan Neal, W L Sirman, Dr. Wright

St Stephens cemetery 1901

June 22 1901 the Salisbury Courier  M H German

Friday, March 20, 2020

Emma Gordy

26 June 1950 The Wilmington Delaware News Journal

Delmar Army and Navy Store

1947 ad The Delmar Army and Navy Store  CHarles Rickenbach


According to census figures Delmar Delaware had a population of 530 in 1910, 444 in 1900 and 360 in 1890.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Gypsy Tours 1918

1918 ad Wilmington Evening Journal 18 April

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

1922 and 1931 Liquor Raid

above the Middletown Transcript 02Oct 1922
Charles E. Savage, Charles Mitchell

above salisbury Times 1931 March 25

Monday, March 16, 2020

John Gillis Smith, William Burton Elliott and The Salisbury Brick Company

In 1913 John Gillis Smith (1842-1923) was a farmer north of Delmar.  His farm was in the general area of Old Race Track Road and the Railroad tracks. 

He was the son of Marshall Smith (1817-1851) and Sally Ann Perdue (1810-1880).  In 1881 he married Genova Handy Waller (1858-1924), who was the daughter of  Jonathan James Waller (1813-1895) and Rachel Ralph Waller (1815-1891).  Genova and John had children;

1)Edna Smith (1882-1884) would die at age 20 months from a heart disease.

2)Minnie Ellen (1884-1974) would marry in 1912 Calvin Lee Oliphant.  They lived on the Whitesville Road.  Her husband would die in 1967, she would follow him in 1974.  They had two sons Russell and Roland.

3)John Hartland Smith (1889-1977) who remained single his entire life. He was a farmer.  He would die in 1977 at age 88 at the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically ill.

4)Rachel Alma 1891-1986) would marry in John A. Cordrey and they would live in Millsboro.  She would die in 1986 preceding her husband who died in 1949.  They had two sons; John S. and Richard S. 

John G. Smith, for a farmer, had a number of land transactions.  Because his land was close to the Railroad and the Laurel-Delmar highway (Bi-State blvd) he sold small pieces to the state to widen the road or to the railroad for sidings.  In 1912 he sold 25 acres to William B Elliott and in 1913 he sold 8 acres to the Salisbury Brick company for their new brick works.  William B Elliott also sold his 25 acres to the Brick works.

William Burton Elliott (1858-1950) in 1912 had closed his brick works in the town of Delmar.  At that time he was the bailiff of Delmar. Before that he was associated with Mitchell German and Daniel H Foskey brick works in Delmar.  

above 1880 ad
In 1913 William B Elliott sold the equipment from his brick works and 25 acres of land north of Delmar to the Salisbury Bricks Works. 

William Burton Elliott (1858-1950) was the son of William Elliott and Amelia Jane Gordy.  He would marry in 1880 Mary Ellen German (1860-1946) daughter of George W. German and Matadila Hastings.  They would have as children Albert Harlan (1881-1955), Walter Lee (1885-1951), Lilly Esther (1883-1885), William h, (1888-1889), Robert C, (1890-1890) and Hattie Ellen (1898-1973).
William Elliott, after he got out of the brick business, was a bailiff for the town of Delmar, a general store owner and contractor in Delmar. 

The Salisbury Brick Works was started by Joseph and Thomas H. Mitchell in 1900.  They had their brick works on the west side of Salisbury.  In 1913 they decided to expand into Delaware and purchased land north of Delmar.  Not that much is known about the operation.  It appears to have been in business from 1913 until the 1940s.  From newspaper articles we know it was designed to turn out 30,000 bricks a day.  It had machinery to dig the clay, an electric tram to haul to clay to the grinders, four kilns fired by coal, two drying sheds of one hundred feet length and a railroad siding.  It seems to have been plagued by lack of workers such as brick setters, burners, wheelers and shovelers. 

The sandy clay Salisbury Brick used was from the geographic Wicomico deposit formation that Delmar sits on.  The formation consists of loam, sand, gravel and a few scatter rocks.  The clay is good for common building bricks.  It was dug by pick and shovel, hauled to a pug mill ( basically a really big auger mixer) where the clay may have other material such as shale added to it. The pug mill also removes air in the clay.  The mixed clay was molded using the stiff mud process. The two molding methods used are soft mud and stiff mud with the amount of water mixed with the clay being the deciding factor.  Stiff mud uses a small amount of water in comparison to the soft mud method.  The stiff mixture of water and clay is extruded in a continuous column of clay through a die.  As the column exist the machine, wire cutters cut the clay into bricks.  Once the bricks could be handled the “greenware’ was hauled by electric tram to the dryer shed where once sufficiently dry would be moved to the beehive kiln on metal pallets.  There they were fired at 2,000 degrees.  Once removed from the kilns the bricks would take a week to cool down so they were placed back into the dryer shed.
above the drying shed at Dover Brick used as an example of drying sheds

 From there they were shipped by rail or truck depending on where the customer was. 

It is surprising how little is left of this operation. 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Dinner At The Pine Ridge

The Pine Ridge On RT 50 near Hebron, is not a restaurant today.  In the early 1950s it was known as Bunky's Pine Ridge Restaurant.  It was just a roadside dinner and bar.  In 1957 I worked at Springhill Memory Gardens cutting grass and other things you would give a fourteen year old to do for fifty cents an hour.  If I felt fush with money I would walk over to the restaurant and buy a sandwich.

The Bunky part of the name was the nickname of the Giordanos' daughter, Edna, who married Jerry Hopkins.  Over the years it has gone through a few owners from the Giordanos (Hopkins) to the Braughlers to the Pollitts to the Mozingos to the Vanderheidens to the day care that it ended up being.   I am sure I have got the sequence of ownership/management wrong but it was something along those lines.
above 1972 ad

above 1990 ad

1997 ad

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Friday, March 13, 2020

Delmar 1982

W J Fripp Comes To Delmar 1924

From the Morning News Wilmington 03 Apr 1924

1921 Germs

1921 Wilmington Evening Journal

Railroad trivia

The railroad ties under the track going through Delmar are spaced apart about 21" center to center that would make about 3,017 railroad ties per mile.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Beef and dumpling Dinner

We’re getting closer to the start of the caboose remodel!! With that comes a need to raise some much needed funds; so, join us for beef and dumplings on Sunday, March 29th!

Cancelled as everything else is due to the flu

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Joseph and Martha Turpin and Thomas Hearn

Some two weeks ago “Every Evening” chronicled the elopement of James Thomas Hearn of Delmar with his cousin Mrs. Martha Turpin, wife of Joseph Turpin, also of Delmar. It was supposed at the time that the guilty parties would strike for Virginia, and there reside,  On Wednesday last the guilty woman returned to her father's residence, near Delmar, and asked for shelter, which after a time, was granted her. It is supposed that she was afraid to continue longer with Hearn, as the expose of the affair, first given in the “Every Evening”, having been largely copied by the southern papers, made it unpleasant for them to continue their guilty relations together. When she sought admittance to her father s house he refused to recognize her, but, on her appealing for shelter "for two or three days until she could get a divorce," he admitted her. Her husband, hearing of her return, dropped his work and went to have an interview with her, at which she expressed no regret at her course and refused to recognize or return to him.   Hearn went on to Virginia. Before leaving Delmar he sold his home and lot, turning over the notes for deferred payments to a confidential friend to hold the same in trust, hoping thereby to defraud his creditors. The latter showed, however, the fraudulent nature of the transaction, and the balances due Hearn will now go to the liquidation of his debts.
Above from the News Journal 21 Jan 1885

Faithlessness and Loyalty.

Laurel, Del., Aug. 31.—Joseph Turpin has gone to Florida to bring back the body of his dead wife. Five years ago he married Miss Culver, and they lived happily until Thomas Hearn came that way.  He and Mrs. Turpin eloped.  A few days ago she dropped dead in Florida.

From the Daily Republican  31 Aug 1891

"'Ostler Joe " Turpin

A special from Laurel, Del., to the  New York World says “about five years ago Joseph Turpin married Miss Culver, the daughter of a neighboring farmer. They lived happily together until Thos. Hearn, a very smooth young man, made his appearance at the house.

 One day Turpin went home and found a letter from his wife, stating that she could not live with him any longer and had decided to elope with Hearn. The runaway couple went to Florida, where Hearn has an orange grove.   They lived together there as man and wife.

Thursday the relatives of Mrs. Turpin received a telegram from Hearn saying that she had dropped dead. Turpin has started for Florida to bring back his wife's body.

The aged parents of the dead girl are prostrated over the sad occurrence
Above from the Middletown Transcript 10 Sep 1891

“Ostler Joe” refers to a poem by George Robert Sims that was popular at the time this article was written.  In 1908 it was made into a movie.  It was also popular as a poem to read at “readings and lectures”
Martha Ellen Culver (1862-1891) was the daughter of John Burton Culver and Elizabeth Eleanor Hearn.  The article says Joseph Turpin went to Florida to pick up his wife’s body and she is buried in St Stephen cemetery under the name of Martha E Culver.  Joseph or Josephus A Turpin married Martha Culver in 1881. Joseph was the son of Luther and Mary Turpin.  In 1889 Joseph would remarry to Ida Florence Hearn and they would have two children Elsie and Luther.

C & P Telephone Call Center

By 1931 many homes and most businesses had telephone service. The Depression forced many subscribers to give up the convenience, but the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company responded by hiring teams of solicitors to call existing customers to convince them of the benefits of maintaining service. An average of 3,623 calls were made daily by each team. (FROM: Mame and Marion Warren, Maryland Time Exposures, 1840-1940)
SOURCE: Robert G. Merrick Archives of Maryland Historical Photographs, MSA SC 1477-1-4717

Monday, March 9, 2020

What Are These?

They are oil lamp chimney cleaners.  A cotton rag is placed in the tong ends and the tongs are drawn too.  The cotton rag is fluffed up and and dip in a container of soapy water and the chimney is cleaned.  It removed the soot built up in the glass chimney.