Various philosophers have said “if you don’t know where you came from, you can’t know where you’re going.” In order that Newark knows where it came from the Post will be publishing Out of Our Past, as a companion to Out of the Attic. Content of Out of Our Past will be excerpts from the earliest city government records. These handwritten records frequently have questionable spelling and no punctuation. That’s fun to see, but for easier reading this deficiency has been rectified in the transcription by Barbara White. For our readers’ enjoyment this account from the past will be published every week and is being made available through the generosity of Pencader Heritage Museum.
Published: Jan. 3, 2014
Financing was sought: $25,000 for 8 years at 3½%, but there were no bids. Newark National Bank’s offer of bonds at 4% was accepted. A month later the bank withdrew its offer. The search was now on to find financing and a suitable place for a test well. There was much activity in coming months as to size of pipes and tanks, quality and quantity of water, as well as finding sufficient flow. An investigation of pumps and steam boilers to power them was undertaken.
Several test wells found insufficient water or struck too much rock. W. T. Singles was employed to dig a test well 4 ½ ft. in diameter on the Vandergrift property. An 1893 map of Newark shows Vandergrift property where the New Ark United Church of Christ now stands. The waterworks was finally built on this site.
Pipe was contracted for at $30.50/ton. Joseph Hyde of Wilmington won contract to lay pipe and set 5 fire hydrants. Hydrants cost $26.25 each. A checkbook for Water Department cost $8.75.
Bailiff Willis reported he needed equipment including handcuffs in his work. The cost was $11.12.
New London Ave. resident May Williams was given one of the old street lights providing she attend to lighting it.
Published: Jan. 10, 2014
Cost of installing town water was going up, so authorization was passed to raise debt limit another $5000. Sixty $500 bonds at 5% interest were sold to raise the $30,000 needed for water system construction. An iron water tank was under construction.
Settlement was made for $1500 for the Vandergrift property as the pumping station site.
Those who had water piped to their property would not pay a fee until January 1889. Ezeheil Truitt earned 17.71 for building fencing around the well.
With a water system, a fire company could now be organized. Fire companies in Smyrna and Middletown were looked to as models. Bids were accepted for hose, hose cart, hook and ladder truck. The truck was $280, hose cart $140, 75 cents per foot for 500 feet rubber hose, 55 cents per foot for cotton cover hose. Freight bill for hose cart, hook and ladder was $22.50. Committee for schools Number 39 & 41 offered to loan town $1000 at 5% for one year. Mr. Hart’s building on Depot Road was rented for $2.00 per month for storing the hose cart and equipment.
At the suggestion of Dr. Whistler of the Board of Health $2.00 was paid for a year’s subscription to the Annals of Hygiene. The Board also wanted an ordinance to control pig pens in town.
Published: Jan. 17, 2014
January 1889 - A day to celebrate completion of water system was planned and another 1000 feet of hose was ordered. The B & O Railroad requested to hook into the system at their expense to buy water for a maximum ten engines a day. Aetna Fire Co. took charge of fire equipment, which was not to be taken out of town except for fire fighting. Wm. Campbell and Basil Sears were paid $2.00 each as special policemen.
Tax collector Maikel Barton said he was unable to collect 1886 taxes from many people and asked to be relieved of part of his obligation. Joseph Willis was paid $100 for a year’s service as constable. The Misses Robinson settled for $25.00 damages regarding a ditch from the pumping station across their property.
With a water system in place, a citizens’ petition was put forth to have an electrical system uilt, owned and operated by the town. However, financing was a problem as additional money was needed to finish the water system plus new money found for an electrical system. Total cost of water works and fire protection was recorded at $37,522. R. M. Ennis was paid $2.50 for cleaning the hose and carriage.
1889 Members of Council were Messrs Wright, Fader, Donnell, Lutton, Curtis Armstrong and Dr. Kollock. Wm. Simpers was tax assessor and James Hayes superintendent of water works.
Published: Jan. 24, 2014
A motion that the constable’s pay be $100 per year failed, so his salary was set at $75. Salary for superintendent of water works was $50 per month. There were reservations among some citizens concerning how the water system money had been handled so an audit of Water Department books was ordered with results to be published at least twice in the Delaware Ledger. The accounts were found in good order.
Dr. T. R. Wolf was elected to the Board of Health and the Odd Fellows’ Lodge Room was made available for meetings of the Board at $1.00 per use. Permission was given to the B & O RR to make repairs, at company expense, to the street near their station. An Avondale company offered crushed stone at $1 per ton, delivered to Newark Center (now site of Newark Shopping Center) and 100 tons were ordered. The road between the town line and the water tank was ordered repaired after complaints.
In April 1889, 953,000+ gallons of water were pumped. Interest of $750 was coming due on the $30,000 water loan and Council had to borrow $600 for sixty days to pay it. In addition Council needed to borrow another $7000 to finish the water works.
A. J. Mote was elected constable replacing Joseph Willis who resigned. Wilbur Wilson, town surveyor, estimated $400 as the cost of draining Academy Street. Trustees of Newark Academy would be asked to share cost.
Published: Jan. 31, 2014
The 1889 tax rate was 75 cents per $100 with 40 cents for town use and 35 cents for fire protection and interest on bonds. John Mullen was elected Constable in place of A. J. Mote who had not come forward to be sworn in. The salary was $6.25/month. Trustees of Newark Academy agreed to do some paving and guttering around Academy property. Curbing from McClendan & Brother of Port Deposit would cost 55 cents/foot, 5 cents more than previously.
The Methodist Church was told they had to replace gutters and curbing subject to approval of Council, not reset the old. Surveyor Wilson had to OK any street work to maintain grade and large iron pins were to be inserted as center line. Sidewalks were to be 8 feet wide, 6 feet paved, 2 feet sodded for tree space.
Aetna Fire Co. was invited to march in Middletown’s July 4th parade and Council gave permission to take the hook and ladder equipment. Two extra men were hired, at $2.00 each, for police duty until midnight during Newark’s 4th.
Council assured the Knauff Organ Co. that the town would guarantee fire protection and a water supply should Knauff follow through on building in Newark. The Board of Health requested a town code regulating the building of cesspools in town. Bids were sought for an $800 fire insurance policy on town’s fire apparatus.
Published: Feb. 7, 2014
September 1889 - Wilmington Electric Light Co. submitted a proposal to construct an Edison Central electric light plant for street lighting, to burn all night, varying from 16 to 32 candlepower at $17 to $30 per lamp per year. The proposal was tabled because Knauff Organ factory was considering generating their own electricity and Council inquired as to buying from Knauff. A town meeting was held to get the taxpayers’ opinion on electric street lights. The Board of Health complained of a filthy gutter on Elkton Avenue fronting the Hill property.
Six tons of coal were used to pump 1,300,00 gallons of water. Since income from water sales didn’t yet cover interest on bonds, the interest would have to come out of general revenue. Council urged everyone to introduce water into their homes and businesses “thus contributing to the general prosperity and their own comfort.”
Farmers Mutual insured the fire apparatus for the requested $800, premium $2.50. The insurance agent was George Williams, secretary of Council
October 1889 - Knauff offered all night street lighting at a lesser rate than Edison Central, also offering residential and commercial lighting until 11:00 PM. Since electric streetlights were in the offing, the gaslight contract was renewed for only six months.
Repairs to Elkton Road from St. Thomas’s Church to town line cost $96.61. Any person, company or troup playing or holding an exhibit within the town must buy a license for $5.00.
Published: Feb. 14, 2014
W. Wade and Thomas Kennedy were paid $2 each “for taking a demented man to Wilmington.
Early 1890 – A petition was presented asking to have Delaware Avenue opened from Academy Street to the eastern town limits and Council agreed to meet on the proposed street to discuss the possibility. Petition signers were: Lockhard, King, Goldey, Herdman, McPike, Widdoes, Singles, Wright, Hossinger, Morrison, McKinsey, Hart, Curtis Miller, Whistler, Wilson, Colmary, Choate, some of whose surnames are still known in Newark.
B & O RR agreed to buy water @ $80 per month for 15 engines a day. Discussions commenced about building a fire house, inquiry to be made as to cost of lot on Academy Street. Council members after 1890 election were Dr. Kollock, Joseph Lutton, Alfred Curtis, Rankin Armstrong, Wilbur Wilson, S. Donnell. Pay for street superintendent and laborers was set at $1.25/day; superintendent of water works to be paid $50/month.
Water sales (or “rents” as they were called) and new permits brought in $133 during April. Even after newspaper advertising for bidders, only Knauff Organ Company bid on supplying electricity to Newark.
Note dated May 14, 1890: “Mr. Montgomery killed this evening on B & O RR.”
Council agreed to purchase 35 feet of land on Academy Street from Messrs. Walton and/or Pennington a $6 per foot to erect a “hose house.” Interest on the water bonds, $925, was due and Council borrowed $800 for one month toward that.
Published: Feb. 21, 2014
John Mullin was requested to turn over the constable’s badge and equipment belonging to the town. Property owners were ordered to have a covered drain for house drainage where it crossed the pavement.
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s offer to donate a fountain to town was accepted, it to be placed in front of the college and the town would furnish the water. Helen Potter was WCTU secretary. Council passed a resolution saying anyone damaging or dirtying the fountain, washing their hands or anything else in it or removing the drinking dipper could be fined $5 to $50 and immediately jailed for 20 days. Half the fine would go to the informer.
A petition signed by Messrs. Pilling, Whistler, Curtis, Wilson, McKinsey, Hossinger, Lewis, Hart, Haines, Caleb, Fader, Wright, Gregg, Herdmann Armstrong and Chambers asked for $500 toward building a hose house. The building committee, Councilmen Wright, Donnell and Wilson were to oversee construction of a brick building, with lockup, total cost not to exceed $2000. John Corbett had 2 weeks to finish paving in front of his property or the town would do it and bill him.
Nora Beltz, Delaware Avenue, contracted to furnish fuel and attend a streetlamp near her property for $1.50 per month. Newark Academy was charged $1 by town for cleaning gutter in front of the Academy. Street grading and paving were authorized in front the hose house.
Published: Feb. 28, 2014
Knauff Organ Company was to pay $35 per year for fire hydrants, when their new plant opened.
Every bill presented was authorized individually, example: H. B. Wright (hardware store at Main and Chapel) 2.97; Alex Perry for labor $2.50; stamps 50 cents. W. Simpers was paid $12 for his services as assessor for 1890. The tax rate for 1890 was 75 cents/$100.
A boiler, pipes and labor to install heat in new hose house were estimated to cost about $100. A secondhand boiler was available from John Wilson for $18. Negotiations were underway with Knauff Organ Company to provide at least 30 electric streetlights of 24 candlepower to Newark for $17 per year per lamp. The lights were to burn all night.
Mr. Mote was engaged to count the B & O trains passing through and how many stopped to take on water. Over 2 days 30 trains passed and 6 stopped for water. The railroad was told the crossing guard was not getting enough time to lower the gates when express trains passed at high speed and an electric bell was needed to sound when trains were within one mile.
January 1891 – A complaint was made that the railroad was filling more engines than the contract allowed, depleting the city supply so sufficient pressure to provide fire protection could not be maintained.
Hannah Walker and Thomas Potts each loaned the town $400 at 5% interest.
Published: March 7, 2014
1881 - Installation of electric streetlights was almost finished. Council authorized relocating a few lights.
The new hose house and contents were insured at $2000 for five years for $10. The heating system came in at $6.11 over estimates. Furnishings consisted of a 3’x6’ table with drawers, 24 large chairs, and one 2-light Electrolier. Council met for the first time in new Town Building on February 4, 1891. Each member of Council was to have a key. Cost of building was $2207 plus $160 for the tower equaling a total of $2367. An invitation was extended to the Board of Trade to hold their banquet in the Town Building at no charge.
Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company to have use of lower floor and front room on second floor rent free, provided they furnish heat for the entire building. Paving in front of Town Building required 1575 bricks.
Purchasing of water from Newark and selling of electricity to the town led to ongoing controversy between Knauff and the Council over the bills.
Water Department’s 1891 income was short of expenses by $937. Allowing a credit to the Department of $25 each for 36 fire plugs brought the deficit to $37.
A license to operate Caskie Hall was $5 per year with Council reserving the right to revoke the license if deemed in best interest of town. Repairs to College Road from Main Street to Dr. Raub’s residence were ordered.
Published: March 14, 2014
March 1891 – Thirty loads of gravel at 75¢ per load were ordered for Depot Road. Miller Barton and W. F. Miller were appointed judges for the town election to be held in April. The offices of president and 3 council members were to be decided. The Knauff Co.’s March bill for electricity sold to the town was 63.45, to be credited toward what the company owed Newark for water. A separate contract with Knauff covered electricity for the new hose house/Town Building. George Stone’s bill for 13 streetlights and 3 switches was 44.35. Since Council questioned the amount, it went back for “adjustment”. Frequently, when Council didn’t agree with any bill, they negotiated an adjustment. The Council secretary/treasurer was paid $100 for his year’s work. Since the Town Building was complete Joseph Lutton and Rankin Armstrong were chosen to audit the building committee’s accounts. The boilers at the water pumping station were inspected. Volume of water pumped in March was 1.5 million gallons. A. L. Fisher asked Council to extend water service to his house free of charge, since his well had failed. Council deemed it “inexpedient” to comply with his request. Apparently Mr. Fisher would have to pay costs.
Published: March 21, 2014
1891 - Knauff Organ Co. was asked to discount 50% the cost of electricity to hose house. Cost of tree trimming by 2 men was $11.25; freight on 28 tons of coal for the pumping station was $55.98; station superintendent’s salary was $50/month, 6 brooms cost $1.50; Mr. Donnell earned $100 for one year as Council Secretary/Treasurer.
After April elections the Council members were: James Hossinger, President; Samuel Wright, William Wilson, Samuel Donnell; Joseph Lutton, Alfred Curtis, Wesley Hart. George Williams was elected Secretary/Treasurer. Joseph Willis was voted Assessor, to be paid $20 for making a house-to-house assessment. The cost of 500 copies of the past year’s financial statement was $17.15. Posters announcing the recent election cost $3.00. Spring brought reactivation of the town water fountain. The B & O Railroad wanted a reduction in the cost of water bought from Newark. A motion was carried to change the name “hose house” to Town Building and a committee of three appointed to oversee its operation. A deadbolt was installed in the building and a dozen keys ordered.
Tax rate was $1/$100, 75¢ for town and water 25¢ for street and road tax.
Bid requests went out for 1500 feet of 5”x 22” curbing. Delaware College was ordered to place new curbing, pavement and guttering in front of the College. Council met on North College Avenue to establish width, grade and decide how to correct drainage at the Presbyterian Church.
Published: March 28, 2014
May 1891 – Town account overdrawn by $151.85. Curbing 5”x22” would cost 60¢/foot, delivered to Town Center station. Council toured the streets investigating work needed thereon. Street sprinkling was scheduled to start July 1. Council had to borrow $700 to pay interest due on water bonds. Council would meet June 8 to hear appeals on property assessments. On appeal several assessments were lowered and a number dogs stricken from list.
James Hayes, Water Works superintendent, was additional assigned as constable, to collect water bills, all taxes still due after August 1, keep town trees properly trimmed and “instruct a competent” deputy Hayes’s salary $50/month. County Constable, Thomas Colmary, was hired as a deputy town constable at $25/year with the right to use town lockup for county prisoners.
At the Street Committee’s recommendation North College Avenue from Main north was ordered graded and graveled. Cleveland Ave. from College Avenue to New London Road was to be “mended.”
The 1891 Board of Health was Drs. Wolf, Kollock, and Allmond, Joseph Caleb and William Simpers. George Stone wired the Town Building for $42.13 and the electric charges were $2.73 for March and April. It cost $6.50 to get the quarterly water bills printed. Alex Perry, new Street Supervisor, was authorized to immediately hire men for street cleaning.
In June 1891, the Port Deposit quarry was on strike so management didn’t mind that Newark’s order was cancelled because curbing was available 15¢/foot cheaper somewhere else.
Published: April 4, 2014
July 1891 – Newark was trying to get $200 of its 1890 tax dollars back from the White Clay Hundred Road Commissioners for town street repairs. Water pumped in June was 1.06 million gallons, using 4.7 tons of coal to create steam power, and water rents amounted to $38.88 (note: for many years in the minutes, money collected for sale of water was called “water rents”.) Council moved to purchase a “case of drawers” for its use. Curbing was ordered installed on south side of Main from Chapel to Choate. A preliminary move was underway to widen Main Street to a uniform 40 feet, between the curbs, from the eastern town limits to the Baltimore & Ohio RR tracks.
August 1891 – Newark Academy Trustees complained about the ditch behind Academy property and the ditch was ordered cleaned out immediately. Council paid $1400 on notes held by bank. Some names appearing as being due money from Council for labor or products are still heard around town: Corbett, Gray, Riley, Elliott, Widdoes, George, Wright & Curtis. The “case of drawers” approved in July was purchased for $13.00. It was 37” x 19” with 3 large and 4 small drawers, with locks to be added. The proposed 40’ width, curb to curb, of Main Street was to have 6’ sidewalks. The fire hydrant in front of Sarah Rhodes’s property was ordered moved to the curb line.
Published: April 11, 2014
The heirs of Benjamin Caulk complained the estate property had been damaged by widening Main Street. Council met on-site and agreed to replace a stone wall and fence, and repair lawn. Monetary damages of $1.00 were awarded. A revised plan of Main Street was ordered from J. T. Maxwell’s to the B&O RR
September 1891 - Bill for the “case of drawers” and its 3 Yale locks, ordered last month, came in at 16.75. Repayment of a $500 loan, plus interest of $29.17, was made to the local school district. Drainage behind the Presbyterian Church was an ongoing problem. Council requested an estimate for drainage piping from Main Street to Depot Road, going through James Hossinger’s garden.
A list of uncollected taxes for 1891 was to be given to the tax collector James Hayes, after he had provided his bond. Council met on College property, finalizing an agreement with Delaware College on setting new curbing at 9’ from an iron post at the College’s southeast corner running to North College Avenue, paralleling the property’s iron fence. Work was to begin at once. Mr. & Mrs. Elliot were concerned about this curb line but after a meeting with Councilman A. A. Curtis their questions were answered. The legality of the meeting of Council at the College property was later questioned. President Hossinger said it was a Special Meeting and therefore legal.
Published: April 18, 2014
The cost of laying new curbing in front of Delaware College came to $161.51, from surveying to hauling stone and sand. Payment for labor went to Messers Corbett, Riley, Perry, Bradley, Harrigan, Donnell, Bradley and Connell. Elliott, Lewis, Wilson, and Neeley furnished and/or hauled stone and sand. A. H. Raub was paid $6.50 for surveying the line. Total curbing ordered was 1203 feet at 50¢ per foot. Any unused curbing was ordered hauled to Delaware Avenue for storage until needed elsewhere. Mr. Zigler was paid $1.25 for cleaning the public water fountain.
James Hayes was bonded for $500 as Superintendent of Water Works, and collector of water bills and town taxes. His securities were James Wilson, Theo Armstrong and Joseph Lutton. Cost of drawing up the bond was $1 paid to Samuel Donnell. Lilly Gray presented a bill for $1.16 for telegrams to Dover concerning changes to town charter. Council paid White Clay Hundred Road Commissioners $300 tax for 1891.
Aetna Fire Company requested and received permission to take the fire truck to Wilmington and appear in a parade. In October 1891, water receipts were $191.73, tax collection was $122.50 and 1.01 million gallons of water were pumped. W. T. Colmary was ordered to pave in front of his property immediately.
Published: April 15, 2014
November 1891, saw bids requested for painting the Town Building. Bids ranged from $22 to $28 for one coat and $19 to $40 for 2 coats. J. T. Blest won the bid at $19 for 2 coats, he to furnish materials. Council would select the color. J. Kirk bid to paint the roof at 3/4 cent per square foot with 10% less for cash, but the bid went to R. Ennis at 1/2 cent per square foot and he to furnish oil and oxide of iron with a dryer. Mr. Ennis was also paid $3 to paint the water tank roof. Coal for the pumping station boilers was $1.10/ton. Interest on the water bonds, $925, due December 1 was paid. Street lighting bills came to $63.75 each for October and November.
Balance in town account January 1892, was $164.84. Attorney Charles Evans was paid $10 for handling sale of a lot to Baltimore & Ohio RR. Aetna Fire Company requested and received permission to use the Council room for 7-10 days in February for holding a fair and festival.
Freeholders Miller, Wright, McKinsey, Fisher, Goldey, Singles, Nields, Wilson, Fader, Pennington, Willis, Keely, Donnell, Bryson, Pattalina and Widdoes requested extending Delaware Avenue from Academy to the eastern town limits. James Wilson offered to deed a 16’ street to run from Main to the proposed extension, as it ended on his land.
Published: May 2, 2014
Regularly scheduled February 3, 1892, meeting was adjourned, there being no quorum.
February 8, 1892, Water pumped for previous month was 1.1 million gallons, using 6.9 tons of coal for steam. Charles Davis’s wagon was broken when his horse was frightened by overflowing city water tank. Water superintendent Hayes’s salary of $50.00 was docked $2.75 to pay for wagon repairs. Mr. Hayes, also responsible for streets, was ordered to trim trees subject to instructions of Council’s Street Committee.
A. Curtis, S. Donnell, and J. Lutton were appointed to audit the treasurer’s books.
The March 2 meeting was held at W. Wilson’s store, Aetna Fire Company’s festival being held in Council Chambers. Again no quorum, so the meeting was called for the next night. However, still no quorum March 3, so meeting was rescheduled for March 9.
A quilt for the lockup cost $1.62. Messrs Corbin & Goodrich were paid $25.00 for insurance and inspection of the water plant boiler. The town treasury paid the Water Department $900 for fire protection for 1891. S. M. Donnell was paid $100 for his services as town treasurer and secretary for 1891. Hannah Walker and Thomas Potts were each paid $20.00, a year’s interest on the $400 loan each had made to the town. Unpaid taxes were becoming a problem for the town. Town election scheduled April 12. W. F. Griffith and W. H. Russell were appointed judges to assist the town treasurer in holding the election.
Published: May 9, 2014
April 1892. The petition to extend Delaware Avenue was denied at this time, due to lack of exact location being cited. After the April election Council consisted of: President James Hossinger, Alfred Curtis, Wesley Hart, Joseph Lutton, Samuel Donnell, George Williams and Eben Frazer. W. Smith was appointed Alderman and W. Simpers appointed Assessor. Appointed to the Board of Health were James Caleb, W. Simpers, and Doctors T. Wolf, C. Allmond and H. Kollock.
Purchasing 1000 feet of curbing was ordered, with 750 feet installed on the north side of Main Street from Alfred Curtis’s property to Choate Street, provided it cost no more than 50 cents/foot. Improving drainage on Main Street from North College to Elkton Road was under study.
Income reported in June included $5.00 for licensing a merry-go-round, $501 in taxes, and $144 in water sales.
A 3 foot, yellow pine picket fence, with 2 gates and 2 coats of paint, was ordered installed at the water plant, cost not to exceed 40 cents per running foot.
Tax appeal board removed L. Handy’s cow from taxable property list and lowered the assessment for Newark Exchange and H. Wright properties. Tax rate was $1 per $100 assessment.
The B & O Railroad was ordered to adjust its drainage system to comply with town rules.
Authorization was given to hire 2 extra policemen for July 4th and to borrow $700 for 60 days to pay interest on water bonds.
Published: May 23, 2014
September 1892. Arthur Homewood and Richard Warpole were appointed to take charge of the electric and water plants, trim trees, serve as town bailiffs, collect taxes and water fees, dig trenches for tapping water mains and keep Council Room clean for $50 and $40 per month, respectfully. Water volume pumped in September was 1.03 million gallons, using 5 tons of coal to heat boilers. Freight on 26 tons of coal was $56. Road tax due White Clay Creek Hundred for 1892 was $300.
November 1892. New monthly electric rates set for commercial lighting, including hotels: less than six lamps .50 cents each; up to ten lamps 30¢ each; up to fifteen lamps 20¢ each; all over fifteen 15¢ each. A consumer with ten or more lights in one building could burn one light all night without extra charges. A new street light was ordered for Chapel Street north of Singles property. Aetna Fire Company was requested to test all hoses belonging to the town, but the fire chief’s recommendation to purchase 500 feet of cotton hose was tabled. Authorization was given to supply the electric plant with six fire buckets. Alice Dremmins’s porch and J. Maxwell’s steps were repaired by the town after being damaged when street grading was changed. The $11.73 bill for work on Mr. Ziegler’s porch and steps was tabled temporarily.
Published: May 30, 2014
December 1892. The Chester County Fire Insurance Co. offered to insure the electric and water plants for $2500 to $3000 at $1.20 per hundred. Aetna fire chief Wright recommended buying 500 feet of cotton hose, but action was postponed.
January 1893. A request was presented to State Legislature for an amendment to Newark’s charter enabling Council to borrow $5000 toward upgrading the electrical system. Sale of electricity in December brought in $199.95, associated expenses were $168; profit of $31.95.
Nathan Armstrong was paid 35¢/ton to haul 2 railcar loads of coal from B & O station to water plant on East Main Street. Jonathan Johnson was paid $9 for 1000 bricks to build new well at water station.
After approval by Delaware legislature 10 bonds of $500 each were sold to pay for upgraded electrical service.
March 1892. Aetna Fire Co asked and was granted free electricity for a fair they planned to hold in Caskey Hall.
B & O Railroad accepted Newark’s offer to furnish fourteen electric lights, six in the station and eight on the platform, for $9.50 per month. Ten lamps would burn all night and four until 11:00 PM. Cost of supplies and installation was $70.00.
Messsrs. Donnell, Frazer, Williams, King, Curtis, Hart and Hossinger comprised Town Council after the April 1892 election. Arthur Homewood was named superintendent of water works and electric plant, collector of water and electric fees and town bailiff at salary of $50.00.
Published: June 6, 2014
May 1893. Council investigated the merits of 2 companies’ stone crushers, apparently to use for street material. Two coats of paint were ordered applied to the town water tank. Arthur Wilson was paid $27.00 for the job.
The water and electric plants were insured for $5000, risk spread over 3 companies.
A motion to add curbing and gutters from Pomeroy Station to Chapel Street on the south side of Main was voted down. Curbs and gutters were ordered for the north side of Main from the Armstrong property to the B & O RR.
June 1893. The fire company was notified to test all fire hoses under pressure and all passed; 250 feet of new hose rated at 300 pounds was purchased at 60 cents/foot. An amendment to ordinances: bicycles without lights and bells were not permitted on streets and sidewalks after dark.
Newark again owed the road commissioners $300 as the year’s assessment. The mortgage on the Town Building was paid off. A. J. Mote was paid $2.00 for conveying Mr. Taylor to the hospital. Town streets superintendent was authorized to purchase a second-hand bicycle for his use. A broom, $1.75, was purchased for use at the electric and water plant. A $7.75 revolver was purchased, apparently for use of the bailiff. Aetna Fire Company was told Council would furnish electricity for the stairway and lower hall of Town Building but could not afford coal as the company had requested.
Published: June 13, 2014
November 1893. Council purchased seven funeral badges totaling $2.25 for use of members. Arthur Wilson was paid $1.50/day for trimming trees. In December Mr. Wilson got a raise of 25¢/day. Chad Henry was paid $3.00 for six months’ janitorial services in Council Chamber.
Forty tons of coal were used to pump 496,000 gallons of water in January 1894. Boilers at the pumping station were inspected regularly. Council paid a year’s interest on loans from private citizens Hannah Walker and Thomas Potts. Bank loans were renewed for 6 months. Arthur Homewood, superintendent of water and electric department, was paid $10.00 for providing shelter for tramps. A. Mote asked for $20.00 for aiding the bailiff in “attending” to tramps during the past year.
April 1894. After latest election Council was composed of James Hossinger, W. Hart, H Wright, E. Frazer and S. Donnell. Council elected Arthur Wilson Town Bailiff, but he declined to serve. W. W. Smith was elected Alderman.
Even in 1894 the citizenry of America occasionally marched on Washington, DC. A group called the Common Weal Army was on the move and Council was preparing for any trouble. Arthur Wilson was sent to their encampment on Shell Pot Hill north of Wilmington to learn their plans. He was paid $5.00 for wages and expenses.
May 1894. A petition was presented to Council purposing the extension of Delaware Avenue from Academy Street to Chapel Street, a distance of about 1200 feet.
Published June 20, 2014
May 1894. Council approved the extension of Delaware Avenue and hired Wilbur Wilson to survey the route and draw a plot. He was paid $15.00 for the job. The extension would incur damages paid to property owners under land condemnation proceedings. Dr. Haines and John Gregg were the only land owners to object to the extension of Delaware Avenue.
June 1894. The name is illegible but Council paid someone $2.00 for service rendered at the house and funeral of Manuel Beltz and wife.
Council said Mr. Mote’s request for $20.00 last month for aiding bailiff was too high, so they paid him just $5.00.
Estimated cost to lay 1100 feet of water pipe from northern town limits to the Fiber Works was $500.00.
The Board of Health reported “filthy condition” of ditch behind Smith’s and Dr. Haines’s properties. Council member Samuel Donnell requested higher poles in front of his property because trees were interfering with electrical wires.
Council accepted Aetna’s invitation to ride with the fire company on the July 4 and authorized hiring three men to act as policeman for the day at $2.00 each. The Water Station would be decorated with $5.00 worth of flags and bunting.
July 1894. The Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore RR (now Amtrak) wanted electric lines run to their station on Depot Road.
The town offer to sell water to the Fiber Works at 12 cents / 1000 gallons.
Published June 27, 2014
August 1894. Marshallton Iron Works was paid $3.00 for a carload of ashes which had been used on the streets in January.
Bailiff Frank Ennis collected a $5.00 licensing fee for a performance of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Leslie Hill and P. Riley were paid $1.50 for watching J. Sullivan for one night each. Extension of Delaware Avenue was tabled after dissenting property owners, Dr. Haines, John Gregg and Newark Academy Trustees, won substantial damages if the extension was to go through.
October 1894. George Medill ask $4.00 for damages to his carriage suffered while Aetna was testing water hoses. Council told him to present a bill. W. Colmary was paid $1.25 for guarding the lock-up. Mrs. Galish was paid 50¢ for a telephone message to coroner in the death of Mr. & Mrs. Beltz on Chapel Street. A new set of Town Ordinances was passed after receiving 3rd and final reading.
November 1894. The Presbyterian Church’s electric bill was reduced from $3.50 to $3.00 per month at their request. Council authorized building a shelf in the lock-up and agreed to pay Aetna 30.00 toward defraying coal cost for the Town Building.
December 1894. The balance in town’s treasury was $1003.97. A bench for the lock-up cost $1.75. St. Thomas P.E. Church requested a reduction in electric charges from $3.00 to $2.50/month. The new Town Ordinances were effective January 1, 1895, with fifteen copies posted in the most public places around town.
Published July 11, 2014
May 1895. Mr. Mote submitted a bill for $5.00 for locking up tramps during the past winter, but the request was tabled. Bailiff Ennis’s bill of $20.00 for the same endeavor was reduced to $10.00 by Council. The bailiff received 50 cents for each person arrested and convicted before the Alderman. Bailiff was also to lock up all tramps. The five telephones authorized earlier were to be purchased from Mr. McMullin at $14.00 each, provided they were guaranteed for 2 years.
The owners of a possible cotton factory to be built in town inquired into water service. Council offered maximum 15,000 gallons a day for $5.00 per year.
A tax of $1.00 a year was levied on all telephone and telegraph poles on town streets.
June 1895. Wiring for the town’s 5-telephone system came to $41.78. A few appeals for lowered tax assessments were successful, the largest being Ira McLaughlin’s assessed value lowered by $1000. Council met behind the Washington House and decided legal action was warranted against property owners who had obstructed the town drainage ditches behind Delaware Avenue properties. A medicine man at the Deer Park enriched town coffers by $14.00. Whether by fine or license fee is not stated.
August 1895. The town building required roof paint and new doors for the fire apparatus. The Catholic Church wanted a streetlight out front. Council would furnish wiring, but the church must buy the fixture.
Published July 18, 2014
August-December 1895. Negotiation underway with WCC Hundred Road Commissioners involving tiles and ditching along Academy Street and outside of town.
Town attorney C. B. Evans would not reduce his bill of $50.00 for services.
James Jeffers was appointed Tax Collector. Knauff Organ Factory was behind on their town and road taxes. The matter was referred to attorney C. M. Curtis for collection.
J. Willis was paid $2.45 for building new holding kennel for unlicensed dogs after the old one burned. Council billed Rev. George Ott for work done by the town in front of the Catholic Church.
Town properties were to be numbered if the owners agreed. If town water was used by citizens for street and lawn sprinkling, the limit was one hour a day.
Dr. Neal paid $5.00 to have a phone line run from Delaware College to his residence. A traveling circus paid $10.00 for a license to perform in town. A petition from some businesses in town to hire a night watchman was granted, the watchman to be paid by those businesses and allowed use of town lock-up.
The telephone company serving Newark asked to have the $1.00 tax per pole reduced but Council refused. Prof. Charles Perry negotiated sale of his Electric Magnet Switches to control street lights for $165.00 payable after a 2-month trial. Council agreed provided he guaranteed them for five years. The town was to install switches and wiring.
Published: Aug. 1, 2014
Newark Protective Association, continued excerpts from late 1894.
The secretary was to have assigned routes, etc. printed and distributed to members.
A question of insurance arose and was addressed in the by-laws.
In October a slate of officers was elected and a five member Board of Directors appointed:
An amendment to the Constitution was proposed: the Directors were forbidden to pay a reward to any member for the return of property or detection of a thief. Failure to appear at the annual meeting would result in a fine and unless dues and fines were paid, within 30 days, members would cease to be protected.
By October others including the first woman, Elizabeth Wilson, were being accepted for membership.
On December 1st a report came in of the theft of a wagon, horse, harness, bridle and saddle. Designated riders spread out: Pilling and McLaughlin to Oxford; Colmery and Widdoes to Delaware City and Odessa; Lutton and McKinsey to Brick Meeting House and Rising Sun; Dr. Neal to Wilmington and Philadelphia; Campbell and Lewis to Elkton and Steele to West Grove. Telegrams were sent ahead to Philadelphia, Wilmington and West Grove. About noon a telegram was received from Stanton saying the thief was captured and horse recovered.
In January 1895, joining with other towns’ groups was found to be unfeasible. However, names of men in other towns were gathered who would receive telegrams in timely fashion.
Published: Aug. 8, 2014
Newark Protective Association excerpts continued. October 1895, as the first anniversary approached it was decided to hold a supper at the annual meeting to keep members involved and recruit new members. Cost of supper was not to exceed fifty cents.
On October 21st a horse and vehicle described as a “dead wagon” had been stolen from James Maxwell. The next day word came that the wagon had been “exchanged” for a dearborn. Today a dearborn would be recognized as the buckboard in old Western movies. Later, word was received that a horse and dearborn matching those stolen had been located on Willard Avenue in Philadelphia. Ira McLaughlin and County Constable Mote were sent to investigate. Apparently the horse and dearborn were not recovered because much time in the next month was devoted to discussion of hiring a detective. August 1896 is the next mention of theft, horse from Arthur Atwell, wagon and harness from Jno. Worth. Word was received from W. Cummings of Port Deposit that horse and wagon had crossed the river, so members took the train to Aberdeen, chased the thief for 20 miles, caught him at Churchville, and returned him to Newark jail. Mr. Cummings of Port Deposit was paid twenty dollars reward for his aid. Constable Mote later reported the thief had escaped on the way to county jail at New Castle when Mote stopped to pick up a pocket knife he saw lying in the road.
Published: Aug. 15, 2014
Newark Protective Association, continuing from September 1896. The horse thief whom Constable Mote let escape was recaptured and offered back to Newark for a reward of $50.00. The Society said he escaped through the negligence of County Constable Mote and Mote should pay the $50.00. Mote advised the Society to collect if from him if they could. The Society petitioned County Commissioners to fire Mote.
At the annual meeting in October those who had not posted meeting notices and filed description of their horses were fined, which brought $72.25 to the treasury.
In November Rankin Armstrong’s store was broken into with 3 overcoats and a man’s suit stolen. Return of goods and conviction of thief would result in $50.00 reward. Again in July 1897 Armstrong lost additional merchandise including a blue-serge suit and 2 plaid shirts. He was advised to go to Wilmington and report the theft to the Chief of Police and state detectives. Authorities in Elkton were notified and notices of $50.00 reward published in newspapers. A few weeks later John West, “formerly a cook at the race track”, was identified as the thief. West was convicted and the $50.00 reward paid. Newark’s Armstrong Family had nothing but bad luck. T. F. Armstrong lost shoes, clothing and jewelry from his store in August.
The Society’s treasury held $29.80 at the close of their year. A resolution passed “excusing” lady members from the annual meeting.
Published: Aug. 22, 2014
Newark Protective Association, continuing from August 1898 when membership stood at 80. No criminal activity affected members for the next year, apparently, as no problems were described.
At the Directors’ meeting in October 1899 a motion was passed to move their funds to Artisan’s Savings Bank, since “The Trust Company” had reduced their interest rate to 2%. Notice was given that an amendment concerning property rights of members in Association funds would be offered at the next annual meeting.
The calendar turned to the 20th century, Dr. H. G. M. Kollock was president and there was $244.31 in the treasury. A motion by Vice-President Joseph Cooch to have a supper at the annual meeting, paid out of the treasury was carried, cost not to exceed 50 cents per plate. For several years these suppers were held at Powell’s Restaurant.
In August 1901 theft of a horse and two sets of harness from estate of the late Byard Widdoes and a wagon from F. Strahorn were reported. The Association was staying active, but the only activity reported was their annual suppers. A few more women and businesses Continental Fiber and Curtis and Brother joined, the occasional member died or moved away. Riding committees were updated and furnished with a map and description of their assigned areas. Members were reminded being in arrears with dues for more than 30 days left them without the protection of the Association.
Published: Aug. 29, 2014
Newark Protective Association continuing from October 1909. There was payment of $6.20 to a Detective Wilsil on the McKee case, but there were no further details. The by-laws were amended to extend the radius of membership from 4 miles to 6 miles around Newark.
A James Spencer was tried and acquitted in Maryland and the directors were authorized to have him arrested in Delaware for having stolen goods in his possession.
At the annual meeting in 1911 the treasury stood at $492.87 and the annual dues continued at $1.00.
The annual supper was held at the Washington House, hosted by big league baseball star Victor Willis. Willis’s wife was actual owner of the Washington House.
The expense of phone calls was beginning to show up.
Thirty-three members enjoyed the annual supper at the Deer Park in 1912.
In 1914 and 1915 the Association made a $5.00 and a $10.00 donation respectively to Aetna Fire Co.
The 1916 annual supper was at the fire house.
America was at war in 1917 and the Association voted to buy $500.00 worth of government bonds.
By 1920 membership and interest had fallen to the point they were trying to make a decision as the future of the Association.
In 1921 the directors were asked to visit the New London Association to get ideas for reviving the Association and the cost of supper had risen to $1.00 per person.
Published: Sep. 5, 2014
Newark Protective Association, continuing from October 1923 when a motion to disband failed to pass. In 1928 and 1929 the Association made a donation of $10.00 to the Flower Hospital which stood at the southwest corner of Delaware and S. College Avenues. The 1929 meeting was one day before the stock market crash and beginning of the Great Depression. By 1933 the secretary’s salary was reduced to $5.00 and suppers were not to exceed 75 cents. Flowers were authorized for member Harry Brown in Wilmington General Hospital, cost not to exceed $2.00. William Wideman, confined to his home, was to have supper delivered to him. A highlight of 1935’s annual meeting was reading the obituary of Abe Buzzard the great horse thief who had died at age 84. Newark’s visiting nurse received $10.00 each year to aid in her work in 1936-1938. In 1940 a motion was carried to buy flowers for a deceased member but his name is not given. With war again in 1942 the Association bought another $500.00 in War Bonds. Music and a magician entertained at the annual supper in 1944. The College Inn, which was in the building still standing at the northwest corner of Main and N. College Avenue, was the site of supper in 1945. Entertainment in 1948 was music by family members of President Hitchens. The Glass Kitchen saw the disbanding of the Association in 1961. The treasury was emptied, $100.00 donated to Aetna and $323.90 to Ebenezer Church.
Published: Sep. 12, 2014
December 2, 1895, The town treasury held $1663 with $925 interest due on water bonds.
Any tramp picked up in town was to be taken before the Alderman then committed to jail at New Castle.
A $25 reward was offered for the arrest and conviction of anyone found guilty of burglary, arson or murder in the town.
January 3-6, 1896, The Keely, Potter, Bennet estate and Olivates properties had liens filed against them for back taxes.
Council wanted location of the new house being built by Miss Lou Wilson reported to the town surveyor.
The B&O Railroad paid $69 in December for water for their steam engines.
A total of $57.52 in premiums for $5000 insurance on the electric & water station was spread among three insurance companies.
Blankets for the “lock-up” cost $2.75.
Curbing in front of the Elliott property was ordered moved nearer the sidewalk, lest it interfere with horses moving on the street.
C. M. Curtis, Council’s attorney submitted a bill for $105.25 for various legal actions taken.
Bids were requested for 400 metric tons of Jackson Mine or other Georges Creek coal delivered to the water & light station. These were the types of coal Council preferred.
At a special meeting on January 10th John Lewis was ordered to return the curbing he had removed from the Elliott property within 24 hours or Council would do it at his expense.
Published: Sep. 19, 2014
February 1896, Boilers at the pumping station were condemned and had to be replaced immediately with a 100 horsepower boiler at a cost of $1500. Proceedings were authorized against Tax Collector Mote and his bondsman for taxes not turned over to town coffers.
March 1896, no quorum was present for scheduled Council meeting, apparently due to a performance of the Henry Troup at Caskey Hall (later named Newark Opera House). Council met 3 days later in regular session. Bailiff Perry was paid $25 for a year’s services. George Williams earned $100 for a year’s services as town secretary and treasurer. Delaware Avenue in front of the Beltz and Fader properties was repaired with cinders and ashes. The drain on Academy Street was extended with 150’ of 12” terra cotta pipe. Election day was set for April 14th from 1:00-5:00 PM.
April 1896, After the election Council consisted of Dr. Allmond, Alfred Curtis, Joseph Lutton, James Wilson, Samuel Donnell, Eben Frazer, and James Hossinger. Interestingly, these names showed up, in various combinations, repeatedly on Council for years before and after 1896. James Dean was elected Alderman. Professors Bishof and Chester, Dr. Butler, H. Campbell and John Pilling, Jr. constituted the Board of Health. W. Russell was elected Assessor to be paid $20 for making the assessment and preparing 2 copies. According to Arthur Homewood, Water and Electric Light Department superintendent, a scanty water supply made pumping twice a day necessary.
Published: Sep. 26, 2014
May 1896, The impending bankruptcy sale of Knauff Organ Company was causing unease in Council, since Knauff furnished electricity for town streetlights. Investigation into purchase cost of new or used dynamos to power the lights was begun. Council borrowed $1000 from resident Sallie Lumb at 4.5 % toward cost of new boilers at pumping station. Inspection of all streets for needed repairs was ordered. Purchase of one or two cars of crushed stone for street repairs was OK’d, cost not to exceed $1.25 per ton.
June 1896, John Miller requested a new streetlight on Delaware Avenue. Councilman Donnell was granted his request for 2 taller poles in front of his property to raise electric lines over trees. Water for Mr. Purdy’s Oil Works on the town’s north side would cost him $10 per year, he to pay cost of connecting with water main. Appeals granted to lower the 1896 tax assessment included: Alfred Curtis, stone house from $7000 to $6500 and poll taxes were lowered by $100 for Harry Roark, Arthur Homewood and W. Kelly. C. Steel, W. Lovett and F. Lovett were added to the poll tax list at $200 each. Joseph Cooch, Samuel Wright, A. Mote and J. Lewis had their requests for re-assessment turned down. The tax rate was to be $1.00 per $100.00 evaluation. Council was considering buying the lot on the north side of town building.
Published: Oct. 3, 2014
July-October 1896, John Lewis was paid $1.00 for cleaning the “lock-up”. The Light Committee was authorized to hire “an expert electrician” to study upgrading the street lighting system. Town well was failing and users were notified to reduce usage or their service would be cut off. For at least the third time in 1896 Council business was postponed in August for a few days due to lack of quorum. Newark National Bank was paid $1000 toward a loan. Cleaning and repair of gutter on West End of town was ordered. Three carloads of crushed stone were received from quarry at Port Deposit, cost 59.22 plus $25.10 freight. W. T. Colmary was paid $1.50 for “watching lock-up”. At a later date Mr. Colmary became a member of Council. John Elliott sued to stop condemnation of some frontage of his property to widen the street. Under court order widening could continue, but Council was liable for damages as awarded by the court. The property owner was obligated to install a six foot brick sidewalk behind the formal curb line within thirty days, or the town would do it at owner’s expense. Delaware College inquired as to rate of charges for electric lights in and around the College. Council prepared to renew $37,000 in utility bonds coming due December 1. The Board of Health petitioned to have some cleanup done and a fire hydrant installed on New London Road.
Published: Oct. 10, 2014
November 1896, A heating stove was purchased for the second floor room in town building used by Fire Company and Council. Council would have right to hold meetings there until further notice. From general funds, the water account was credited with $900 for a year’s worth of fire protection and the electric account was credited with $833 for 49 street lamps for a year. The matter of rainspouts on the town building was left to House Committee’s judgment.
January-March, 1897, Cost of the new stove in Council Chamber came in at $41.63 after all connections were made. Aetna was paid $10.00 for coal and wood to keep stove burning. An extra policeman was authorized to help the bailiff on Saturday nights at $1.00 per night. The bailiff was ordered to remove the prisoner from lock-up due to extreme cold weather. In February a quarter million gallons of water were pumped using 38 tons of coal. Complaint was made about the noise made by release of steam at the pumping station and about the location of kennel where unlicensed dogs were kept until redeemed by owners. The water committee was to use their judgment about correcting the noise and moving the kennel. C.R.E. Lewis was charged with breaking the lock on the dog kennel and was to have law enforced against him. A night watchman for the town was to be employed “on as good terms as could be agreed upon”.
Published: Oct. 17, 2014
April 1897, C. Henry was paid $2.00 per month to clean Council Chamber. Jonathan Johnson was warned to keep his vicious dog off the streets. No action was taken on Supt. Homewood request to have a new coal bin built behind the pumping station. An order went out to the heirs of the late John Evans to have a tree removed from the sidewalk in front of his property or Council would proceed according to law. Jas. Hayes said he was capable of taking charge of Electric Light and Water Department and offered to do so for $1200 per year. Council took no action. Pay for Town Bailiff was set at $100 per year.
Extending the town limits was considered but no action taken. Additional money needed for street and road purposes was $1400, to be raised at 25 cents per $100 taxable property.
May 1897, a new book to record Council minutes cost $3.50. Cash to pay interest due on water and electric light bonds was borrowed. Use of water to wash carriages, sprinkle streets or water lawns with hoses was ordered stopped due to shortage. Those defying the order were subject to losing service. Council authorized research into increasing town water supplies. Thomas Harper of Jenkintown, PA was hired, at $2000, to dig an artesian well capable of providing 72,000 gallons of water per 24 hours. Council to provide steam power as required by Mr. Harper
Published: Oct. 24, 2014
May 1897, The assessment list was revised and ordered publicly displayed. A day for appeals was set. June’s regular meeting was postponed for two days due to lack of a quorum. When Council did meet, the wallpaper factory presented a complaint of unreliable water supply for their needs. George Medill was elected Alderman and charged with collecting unpaid taxes for 1895 and 1896. Having one town bailiff at $100.00 per annum was reconsidered and 2 were authorized at $25.00 each per year. Alex Perry and W. Colmary were elected bailiffs. Council members were authorized to each have a key to Council Chamber.
The gutter at the B & O RR station needed repairs. The town telephone at Newark Center was moved to Eben Frazer’s store. On appeal day Shanks, McLaughlin, F. Mote, Cornog, Lewis were refused lower tax assessments. Value of A. Mote’s horse was reduced, several Pilling properties were reduced, but John Pilling’s 9 houses kept their assessment of $4000. The tax rate remained at $1.00 per $100 valuation.
July 1897, Alderman Medill turned in $4.00 received in fines. The total cost was $3.50 for four extra policemen over July 4th. A few new poles and fixtures were purchased, totaling $67.00, for the electric street lights.
Overdue 1896 and 1897 license fees for Caskey Hall were ordered collected. The Board of Health reported bad gutters and drainage in several places, but no action was taken.
Published: Oct. 31, 2014
July 1897, At the request of 13 city freeholders Council undertook to widen and repair a portion of Main Street. Permission was granted to erect additional telephone poles in the town “to connect with Elkton and other places.” A tax of $1.00 per pole was levied on all such poles in town.
Street lighting at the west end of town was enhanced. Frank Steele appointed new superintendent of Water and Light Department at $50.00/month. Cost of repairing steam-operated water pump estimated at $25.00-40.00. Complaints were being received from users that water and electric bills were not being issued in a timely manner each month.
Eben Frazer was appointed collector of water and electric fees, he to receive a commission of 2 ½ % on collections. An electric light was ordered placed over the door of the lock-up. Posters were placed around town offering $25.00 reward for arrest and conviction of anyone robbing or attempting to rob any store or house in town. Water charges to the two schools in town were reduced to $17.00 per year from $22.00. Council inspected fencing around schools, but no record of action taken. E. McKee was paid $5.00 for burying a dead horse. Residents of the east end of town requested lights be installed at East Newark RR station. Problems were still arising concerning new wells needed for the town. In September 337,000 gallons of water were pumped, using 25 tons of coal.
Published: Nov. 7, 2014
October 1897, Council approved hiring George Murray as policeman and night watchman, but to be paid by citizens, not by Council. A motion to have a streetlight burn all night in front of Mr. Lilly’s store, at fifty cents a month, was turned down, then at a special meeting called for the purpose a few days later, the proposal was passed. George Medill was elected to collect back taxes. Bowen and Brother, Printers, asked for rates on 4 streetlights to burn two hours a night, five nights a week. Discussion was held on what rate to charge Delaware College for electricity and the matter referred to Council’s Water & Light Committee. Council requested the Fire Company to do a maximum 75-pound pressure test on their hoses immediately, given the hoses’ condition. Six months interest on the water bonds, $740.00, and $125.00 interest on electric bonds were due December 1st. Town Bailiff was authorized to shoot Jonathan Johnson’s dog if it continued to run at large. Superintendent of the water works was authorized to check all faucets for leaks and replace washers as needed. Whether this was just public faucets or also privately owned ones is not clear. Water works superintendent F. M. Steele was fired because he did not report to the water works at 7:00 AM as requested. Jacob Shew was hired as a replacement at $50.00 per month. The wallpaper factory’s request for a temporary water supply was turned down.
Published: Nov. 14, 2014
January 1898, Rankin Armstrong, chairman of Water and Light Committee, went against Council’s motion of last month and let the wallpaper factory have water temporarily until they could dig their own well. George Lott was paid 75 cents to clean the lock-up. Town attorney Evans was paid $15.00 for handling 2 cases. Boiler insurance of $5000 for three years cost $50.00. The license fee to hold shows in Caskey Hall, later renamed the Newark Opera House, was set at $2.00 per night. Messrs. Griffith and Russell were named judges for the April town election. Inspection of the town electrical distribution system and streetlights was made and several changes recommended. The Fire Company requested to exchange meeting rooms with Council, which was granted, giving the Fire Company room for a pool table. Persistent problems with drainage between the Presbyterian Church and the Waldo property were again investigated and a surveyor was hired to lay the proper level and grade. A Mr. Hyde offered to put up free street name signs if enough people signed up to have him put numbers on their houses. The Fire Company asked for new harness for their fire horses.
April 1898 – New Councilmen after the election were H. Wright, Ira McLaughlin and George Lindsay. Fourteen hundred dollars was needed for street work in addition to regular taxes. Stone was ordered from Wilson Quarry to put on Chapel Street. A. Mote was hired to collect back taxes.
Published: Nov. 21, 2014
May 1898, Scales in the floor of the water station were repaired in order to weigh and keep an accurate record of all coal used in the boilers. George Murray was hired to serve as town watchman every night and be available as bailiff whenever needed. His salary was $25.00 per month. Cash to pay water and electric bonds’ interest was borrowed for sixty days. The purchase of three wrenches for use on water mains was approved. Several local men were hired to haul stone from railroad siding to street sites. Delaware College was charged $35.00 per year to have fire plugs on college property. Water to the town fountain was ordered turned on at once. An electric meter was installed at the B&O RR station and a water meter at the college. Possibility of getting a new hose cart was raised and a new lawn mower was purchased. Tax appeal day saw Harden Steele’s property assessment reduced by $200.00, but six others appeals were denied. The Board of Health advanced some concerns about drainage in town and Council agreed to meet with the Board at designated sites to view the problems. A survey showed 54 utility poles in town. Bids to paint Town Building roof and gutters with two coats using lead and oil were sought. Nine lightening arresters were ordered for the town electrical system. Council authorized purchase of 100 feet cotton firehose, not to exceed 65 cents/foot.
Published: Nov. 28, 2014
August-October1898, A Merry-Go-Round visited town and paid a $3.00 fee to operate.
Another 450 feet of curbing for the south side of Main Street was ordered. Council requested the help of an expert from the factory to refurbish the dynamos at the electric station. An agreement was reached to furnish, free of cost, wiring and current to light a lot on Academy Street for the Aetna Football Club. Bailiff Murray was ordered to register all dogs per town ordinance, and 100 dog tags were ordered. Delaware College was in danger of having water service discontinued if Trustees didn’t pay the $35.00 annual fee for the fireplug. The water and electric superintendent was restricted from doing any work, except that required by the town. The bailiff needed an overcoat but the price had to be researched.
December 1898 - Councilman James Roberts died suddenly. Council prepared a commemorative resolution, attended the funeral as a group and ordered flowers, at $5.00, sent to his home. The resolution was included in the minutes, sent to his family, and to the Newark Ledger. An overcoat for Bailiff Murray cost $12.50.
January 1899 – Telegraph Company refused to pay tax on their 20 poles so the bill went to town attorney for collection. Council agreed to furnish the B&O RR water for six engines a day at $32.00 per month. Providing Delaware College installed it, Council would furnish a meter and charge 20¢ per thousand gallons.
Published: Dec. 12, 2014
This week begins a three-part look at classified advertisements in the Delaware Ledger newspaper, printed here in Newark. An announcement copied in its entirety: September 1883 “Newark Library Association. It is hoped that all the stock holders of the Newark Library Association will be present on Monday evening 1st October next, at annual meeting to be held in President Purnell’s room at the college. The increase in the number of books is such that the shelves are crowded and the librarian has put a portion of them in double rows. This is very inconvenient to those in search for particular books they wish to obtain as well as to the librarian himself. The question of how some better arrangement can be made to provide for the steady growth of the library and other matters of interest will have to be considered. The library as it is now, is a credit to our village, but a little more attention to growing wants and stronger interest manifested by our people in its welfare will result in making it a source of real pride to the town as well as profit and pleasure to those who take advantage of the opportunities it offers for self education and culture.”
J. Williamson & Son had notions, clothing, groceries, dinner and tea sets for sale. W. Griffith’s The Glass Front, offered sugar, coffee, tea, starch, canned goods, and Milwaukee Lager Beer, in bottles, 90 cents per dozen.
Published: Dec. 19, 2014
Continuing from The Delaware Ledger, February 1886: Rankin Armstrong wanted “A young industrious boy to learn the mercantile business. Must stay three years.” Joseph Dean offered for rent his “ice house, sitting along White Clay Creek…..to supply ice to the people of Newark.” D. Stanhope said he carefully cleaned and repaired “watches and clocks of every description.” J. Fisher, at Newark Depot, dealer in coal, bran and flour had recently put in a grist mill for custom work. Painting would be done by Abraham Scott with “neatness and dispatch.” W. Russell, at Main Street and New London Avenue sold “boots, shoes, dress goods and fine groceries.” It cost 75 cents to hear Rev. Henry Ward Beecher lecture on “The Reign of the Common People” at Caskey Hall (later named Newark Opera House). The Improved Order of Red Men rented Exchange Hall (now Klondike Kate’s) for a lodge room. Cooch’s Mill offered highest market price for wheat. S. Wright had for sale a corner store, “desirable Main Street location with stable and necessary outbuildings in excellent condition.” James Roberts calling himself a “Plain and Fancy Rag Carpet Weaver” would weave “just as you want them of best cotton and woolen yarns at low and reasonable prices.”
March 1886: Gypsies supposedly murdered William Green by fracturing his skull. A similar crime had occurred a year earlier when a man was murdered and thrown into the Elk River.
Published: Dec. 26, 2014
Continuing The Delaware Ledger, March 1886: Mrs. Whitcraft advertised dress making and plain sewing promptly done. One hundred building lots were sold on Cleveland Avenue.
Editorial comments in April 1886: “The band of gypsies who passed through town last week going toward Wilmington, passed through town Wednesday, heading west. This seems to be a very dissatisfied band.” “We pity the dwellers on the South side of Delaware Avenue, we among the number, because the mud at the crossing is three or four inches deep, and there is some wading done.” Charles Collins ran the Elkton Steam Laundry and came to Newark once a week to pick up clothes. Mr. Wade, after two years, gave up his store and started selling meat from a wagon. His store was taken over by Messrs. Steele and Hustler who carried on the meat business. After Theo. Armstrong’s store and dwelling burned, he erected a new store and house. Dr. Vandeventer was in his office two days a week. “All branches of the dental profession attended to. Gas administered for extractions. Prices as usual.” Washington House owner James Wilson advertised that he would apply for a liquor license. Messrs. Lutton, Thornley, Roberts, Casho, Herdman, Lowber, Osmond, Simpers, Wright, Morrison, Fader, McPike, Homewood and Vandegrift supported his request. Since people were complaining about problems getting their newspapers by mail, the Ledger said they could pick them up at the Post Office from now on.