Sunday, May 30, 2021

Elliott School and Mr. Brill


Elliott School and Mr. Brill

As a general rule of thumb, one-room schoolhouses for White students were built no more than ten miles apart.  This would ensure a student would walk no more than five miles to school.

Most were built much closer, to five miles apart. The one-room schoolhouses East of Delmar on what is today Dorothy/Whitesville Road were about that distance apart.  Starting with Callaway’s School (public school number 87) to Morris School (public School number 39) at Smith Mill, to Elliott’s School (public school number 38), and finally to the Whitesville School (public school number 95 and 126). 

Elliott’s School was located at the intersection of Whitesville Road and Line Church Road.  The story of it and the other one-room schoolhouses in the Delmar School District is a work in progress.  Currently, a photograph of the schoolhouse has not been found nor a deed reference, so we can only guess that the schoolhouse followed the custom of being named after the family that donated the land for the School to be built. We also do not know when the schoolhouse was built, but online records start in 1914 when Effie E. Baker taught at the School for forty dollars a month.

The area had families with the last names of Elliott (with various spellings), Brumbley (with different spellings), Callaway, Figgs, Brittingham, Cordrey, Davis, Warren, Burton, Scott, Parsons, and Brill.

In 1921 Elliott School had 33 pupils.  It also had one of the worst records of days attended School by the pupils. Elliott was in the center of rural farming country, and when sweet potatoes are being dug, holly gathered for wreath making, and when strawberries are ripe, the students at Elliott had work to do. In addition, the roads were dirt and turned to mud at each rain, giving a student another reason not to walk to school.

Some of the teachers who taught at Elliott; 1914 Effie Baker, 1916 Oliver Collins, 1918 Jerdie D. Parsons, 1919 Mamie L Webb, 1921 Jennie Wells, 1923 Mable Hearn, 1924 Erma Ramson, 1929 to 1931 Lewis Brill.

Between 1915 to 1925, Delaware built "farm to market" roads throughout the state. Not only did Delaware see the need for stronger roads due to the motor truck, they realized that on a paved road, a farmer could haul a load of five to six thousand pounds with a pair of mules as opposed to a two thousand pound load on a dirt road. An improved road also increased the value of the farms on the road, this way increasing property taxes. Altho referred to as nine-foot roads, they were, for the most part, a road with two nine-foot wide lanes. One lane was paved, and the other lane was dirt. The dirt lane was intended for use in dry weather. The Whitesville road, until recent years, was one of those nine-foot roads and was called the nine-foot road. It was widened and paved its entire width in the 1950s.

With the paved roads, in 1925, there was a big push by the Delmar school to consolidate all the one-room schoolhouses into the Delmar School district.  The Delmar businessmen went to each School and promoted the advantage of a consolidated school (in Delmar, of course).  In spite of the vote in 1925 at Elliott School of seven “for” and eight “against” eventually (1931), Elliott was consolidated into Delmar.  The roads had improved to the point where school bus service could be dependable provided, and each school day, the Elliott school kids made a long ride from to Delmar.


above Mr. Lewis Brill

Lewis Henry Brill (1871-1933) was born in West Virginia, the son of William Brill and Eleanor C. “Ellen” Engle. About 1876, he was adopted by his Uncle and Aunt Lewis Hawkins and Margaret Cooper Hawkins.   In 1893 he married Alice M. Sirbaugh (1871- ).  The marriage did not work.  He married in 1895 Susan Taylor French (1877-1964) in Hampshire, West Virginia.  They had a family of five daughters; Katie, Alice, Mary, Marion, and Edna.  He worked as a teacher.  The marriage did not work, and he was divorced in 1912 due to adultery. He went to live in Blacksburg, Virginia.  In July of 1915, he purchased 86 acres for $2,692.50 on the road from Ward to Whitesville.  Today it would be at the intersection of Whitesville Road and Russell Road. Perhaps he moved here due to the strawberry boom, which was attracting out-of-state farmers to move to this area.   In the school year 1916/1917 he started teaching at the Whitesville school number 95 for $45 a month.  At the age of 46, he married a third time in 1917 to Minnie Elizabeth Jane Brumley (1890-1975).    She was the daughter of Isaac and Olevia Brumley of the Melson area.  Her sisters had married into the Elliott family. Lewis and Minnie had four daughters; Cora, Elias, Lena and Betty and one son, Arthur. He farmed, and he taught in the local schools.  It was unusual to have a male teacher, and besides Mr. Brill, there was Mr. Carmel Moore, who taught at the Callaway School. Mr. Brill would die in 1933.  He is buried in the Elliott Cemetery.  Mrs. Brill would move to the Wilmington area with her children and live there for many years.



Final Preparations

 US Chaplain Major Edward J. Waters conducts a service for US Army and Navy troops in the Weymouth Harbour Tramway, Custom House Quay, the day right before the D-Day landings in Normandy (June 5th, 1944). Chaplains and Catholic priests played an important role in providing essential spiritual and psychological guidance during the days and weeks that followed. Unarmed, they courageously put themselves on the front lines to say Mass, offer pastoral care for active and wounded soldiers, and provide last rites for the dying and prayers for those killed.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

1900 Plot of Delmar Delaware


From Deed Books 1900 Plot of Delmar Delaware

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Delmar News 7 Jan 1914


Boy Accidentally Shot While Walking in Woods. 

DELMAR, Del., Jan. 6. The local Jr. Order United American Mechanics will present a handsome American flag to Calloway's school, on Saturday. January 10th. Prominent speakers will be present when the presentation Is made. 

Although muskrat are reported as being very plentiful on the Eastern Shore, one would not think so from the price local dealers are charging for them. Heretofore they have always sold for ten cents each or three for twenty-five cents, but this year they are 15 cents each straight. 

While Walking through the woods; in the rear of Carroll Crockett's home, Lorin Sterling; aged 11 years was shot though not dangerously wounded. The shot was fired from the weapon of an unseen gunner and It Is believed that it was accidental. The bullet entered the breast but was soon removed by Dr. R. R. Norris.

above from The Morning News 7 Jan 1914

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Gumboro Liquors


Gumboro, Sussex County Delaware.  Started in 1935 by Howard Moore and his wife Elva May.  It has been on this corner for 86 years.          

Friday, May 21, 2021

relegation to profane use


Little Hill Church in Broad Creek Hundreds near Laurel Delaware was sold and was made into a private residence.  For a church conversion they did a nice job on it.  How many old people remember the church conversion in the movie "Alice's Restaurant"?  It was here in 1897 that James M Gordy crawled under the church to hide from lawmen hunting him for killing his wife.  He was hung.  In 1858 a colored woman by the name of Purnal who lived close to the church left for market leaving her six children at home.  The children killed the youngest one with an axe and chopped the body up.        

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Indian Mounds

 20 Indian Mounds Of Wicomico Are Found by Expert


DELMAR. Del.. June 21 William H. Aydelotte, IV, local archaeologist, has completed the first complete Indian mound survey of Wicomico county, Md., reporting twenty distinct Amerind (American Indian) mounds. Most of the mounds in the county are in the west side. There are, however, three very large ones in the eastern part of the county, Mentinzie, being one of them. While there are several other places that may be mounds, Mr. Aydelotte cites, until test pits are made, no definite conclusions can be drawn, concerning them.


Mr. Aydelotte has found that sometimes small and indistinct mounds often yield as much of historical interest as the larger, easily discernible ones.


 It is expected that the second Amerind mound survey will be completed about the last of September. Aydelotte will begin the excavation of an Amerind mound east of Delmar in the near future. Local men will be employed.

Above from the News Journal 21 June 1935


Delmar, Del. , May 24. (Special). Investigations made by William H. Aydelotte, IV, young local archeologist, following a report that there is an Indian mound on the farm of Roland LeCates, at Melson, Md, have shown the hill to be not man-made, but more likely an alluvial or glacial deposit


This was determined by making test pits in which no strata were encountered and by studying the long low outline of the formation.  If the hill was ever dwelled upon by Indians in all probability there would be a circle of very dark soil somewhere on the hill which would  have been caused by the accumulation of charcoal and ashes from the camp fire, says Aydelotte.


 The vegetation there presents no aspect of domestication, nor were there any fragments of flint or other materials used by Indians.

Above from the News Journal 24 May 1935


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

1917 Orchard Farms


From The News Journal Wilmington Del 18 April 1917

Sunday, May 16, 2021

John Ward of Ward

 John Ward of Ward

John Ward (1836-1918) was the oldest son of Benjamin Ward (1809-1865) and Sallie Ann D. Cathell (1808-1878).  He lived in Ward, a crossroads where Whitesville road and Pepperbox road intersects.  It is about five-miles East of Delmar.  He was a farmer and a recluse.

His brothers and sisters were; Mary P. Ward (1838-1847), wife of D H Boyce, Benjamin P Ward (1840-1863), William Ward (1842-1925), Joseph Ward (1847- ), Cyrus Ward (1847-1911), Dr. James Hoskins Ward (1849-1932), Thomas Bird Ward (1855-1929) and Lavina A. Ward (1844-1925 )wife of Rev John Bailey Jones.

Since the resurvey of the Maryland Delaware line, the Ward family had been in Sussex County, with James Ward (1758-1791) and his wife Catherine Donnally becoming entrapped in Delaware.

 In February of 1918, John Ward died at the age of 82 years.  He froze to death in his own home.  The winter of 1917-1918 was one of the most severe.  He had been one of the more affluent people in Little Creek Hundreds with an estate of over $100,000.   He was a bachelor and lived by himself and preferred it that way.  Until about 1912, he did not make use of banks to keep his money.  This was not that unusual as banks were not as convenient as today, and most of a day would be taken up with going to a town that had a bank and doing whatever transactions were required.  The Banks also were not insured as they are today.  As John Ward was quoted as having said, “ it was dangerous work to entrust your money to others.”  

In 1912 a few hundred dollars was stolen from his house.  However, the robbers feared John Ward and his relatives so much that they returned the money to the home.  Friends and relatives prevailed on John Ward to start using a bank.  For most of his money, he did use a bank. 

About five years after his death in 1918, the house he had owned (since sold) was being cleaned, and upstairs in a closet, a paint can was found by Mrs. Phillip R Hall.  Thinking it was more useless junk, she threw it into the yard, and it burst open, scattering bills and coins about.  Some of the coins dated back to 1811, and some of the bills were confederate banknotes.  The Halls admitted to finding only two hundred dollars.   The relatives of John Ward sued for the money.  It also touched off a minor treasure search in the area for the possible addition of hidden money.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

1955 Armed Forces Day


1955 Armed Forces Day

1943 Air Raid Drill at Delmar Md High School


1943 Air Raid Drill at Delmar Md High School 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

1917 Bicycles Out at Service in Delmar

 Bicycles Out at Service in Delmar. 

DELMAR. Del.. March 11. The town officials have decided to put a stop to the riding of bicycles or wheels of any description on the sidewalks, and as a result several have been fined during the past few weeks, and this has about put an end to the practice. Those who were in the habit of using the sidewalks have had to lay their wheels up owning to the muddy condition of the streets.

above from The Wilmington Morning Star 12 March 1917

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Free Mail Delivery for Delmar 1917

 Free Mail Delivery for Delmar

 DELMAR. June 17. Free mall delivery will be inaugurated In Delmar about July 1. The deliveries will be made each day and an additional collection made from the boxes about 4 p. m. Six boxes will be placed at convenient locations. The Town Commissioners will have the street names placed in addition.

above from The Wilmington Morning News 18 Jun 1917

1929 Delmar Maryland High School


Delmar Maryland High School 1929

Sunday, May 9, 2021



Delmar., Dec. 14. "Buddy"  Price, a twelve year old colored boy. was arrested here late Wednesday night and taken to the Jail at Georgetown by Officer Hearn. Tuesday night, a store operated by Cecil Kline, on Railroad avenue, was robbed and Kline suspected the boy. Wednesday night he waited for him in the darkness and as the boy ripped a board from across the lower part of the window, which had been broken when  an entrance had been forced on the previous night, Kline fired and chased him around the block. When "Buddy" was caught, he Immediately gave himself away by saying that he was not the boy who had robbed the store the night before.

He has been in Jail here before for fighting and residents on Jewel and First streets have been missing bottles of milk for some nights, last night, he was seen emptying one of the missing bottles, as he went along early in the evening. 

When tried before Magistrate Hearn. the little vagrant burst Into tears, but was told that he would have a better home In jail than he has here, where he has no parents, and lives with an aged grandmother, who is not able to care for him.

Above from The News Journal Wilmington Delaware Dec 14 1923

Saturday, May 8, 2021

GEM and George E Majors

 A few days ago George E Majors passed away.  George had a data processing business (GEM Data Processing) in Delmar for about 15 years, starting it in 1978 and closing it in 1993. He continued to do consulting work until his health became bad.  His business was in his home on Bi State blvd.  He sold IBM computers with canned software and custom software he created for the Hotel and Resort Reservation management Business and Utility Companies.

The Davis and Bryan Club


In 1924 John W. Davis, Former US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, was the Democratic Party candidate for President.  His running mate for Vice-president was Charles W. Bryan, Governor of Nebraska.  Davis was running against the Republican Party’s Calvin Coolidge and Charles Dawes.  Delmar Delaware was strongly Democratic.    It was also when people didn’t sit in their homes playing with the TV or computers. They displayed their interest in the Presidential campaign by going to Rallies and club meetings.  Delmar was the first or at least one of the first towns in Delaware to form a Davis and Bryan Club.  They had officers in the club, and there was a five-dollar fee to join the club.  They pledged to use all honorable means to elect Davis and Bryan.  Of the Davis and Bryan clubs in Delaware, Delmar had the most members. Obviously, it was a short-lived club as the elections were in November, and Calvin Coolidge was elected 30th president of the United States.

Besides the Davis and Bryan Clubs, there were other ways of spreading the word about them.  One way was the soda fountains came up with a Davis and Bryan soda drink.  The formula was to put one-half an ounce of grape juice into a glass and one-half ounce of lime juice.  Fill the glass with ginger ale and serve with plenty of fine ice.  The drink sold for 20 cents.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021



WSUX has been serving western Sussex county since 1951 when it started as an AM station.  In 1971 it added FM.  The station has been through a number of ownerships and formats.  Located on RT13 between Laurel and Seaford.

Spruce Up For Spring - 1948


Monday, May 3, 2021

Obituary for Cpl. Keith A. Heacook


Obituary for Cpl. Keith A. Heacook

Corporal Keith Andrew Heacook, badge number 913-10, answered his final call of duty on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Born on December 7, 1966 in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, he was the youngest of seven children. Officer Heacook graduated from Cape Henlopen High School and Sussex Tech with the class of 1986. Following his high school graduation, Keith earned his degree in Criminal Justice from Del-Tech Community College in Georgetown. The first four years of Keith’s career in law enforcement began at the Wicomico County Detention Center. On June 28, 1998, he joined the Delmar Police Department and proudly served his community for over 22 years.

He was a beloved husband, son, brother, father, and a friend to everyone he knew. The oath he took to protect and serve became more than just a job to him; it was a lifestyle. The members of the Delmar Police Department were Keith’s extended family. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for the citizens of his community and knew the absolute meaning of living life to the fullest. When not protecting the people of Delmar, he worked as an accomplished carpenter and counter top fabricator. Officer Heacook was happiest when making memories with family and friends. He was the biggest supporter and best friend to his 12 year old son, Matthew and would frequent his baseball games to cheer him on. He was also known for his unwavering commitment to his wife, Susan. The love they shared was evident to everyone they knew. He was also a dedicated son to his mother Anita, who he visited with daily and helped her in so many ways. He will be forever remembered for his contagious smile, happy go lucky attitude and his diligent work ethic.
Preceded in death by his father, Joseph B. Heacook Sr.; his brother, Joseph B. Heacook Jr.; and his sister, Bethann Heacook. Survived by his wife, Susan M. Heacook; his son, Matthew D. Heacook; his stepchildren, Michelle M. Colander, Clint M. Baker, and Chuck M. Baker. He is also survived by his mother, Anita C. Heacook; his sister, Maryalice Heacook Berrios and husband, Fernando; his brother, Thomas Heacook; his sister, Kathleen Heacook; and his sister, Anita Heacook Feaster and husband Dan.

A full police detail funeral will be held on Monday, May 10, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church, 217 Beaglin Park Drive, Salisbury, MD. The Reverend Christopher Labarge will officiate. Receiving will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Interment will be private. Arrangements are in the care of Short Funeral Home in Delmar. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Keith’s memory to support the Delmar Police Crime Prevention Fund, c/o The Delmar Police Department, 102 S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Delmar, MD 21875.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Saturday, May 1, 2021

1912 the Death of Mary Cooper

 Negro Girl Shot to Death. 

Delmar, Oct. 14. With a bullet through her head, the body of Mary Cooper, a negro girl, was found at midnight last Friday night in the kitchen at the home of J. H. Hastings. Mr. Hastings, in bed upstairs, had been awakened by a wrangle and later heard the report of a revolver. Coming down he heard some one running from the back entrance. He said that William Stewart, a negro, had been spending the evening with the girl, as he had often done before.

above from the News Journal Wilmington Delaware 14 Oct 1912

In February of 1913 William Stewart was sentenced to five years for the murder. 

1959 Delmar Centennial Headquarters


1959 Delmar Centennial Headquarters which was Delmar Maryland's town hall

1960 Wells Furniture Store


1960 ad