Interesting Old Newspaper Bits
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I found an old yellowing newspaper in some possessions of an elderly cousin which had been passed on to me. It was a copy of the Snow Hill Democratic Messenger, Thursday, March 16, 1939. This paper was published in Snow Hill, Maryland, a town located about 20 miles south east of Salisbury, Maryland on the Pocomoke River.  It is the county seat of Worcester County and has been in existence since the early 1600's.

My first cousin twice removed (my grandfathers first cousin), Carolyn Bonneville saved this newspaper because it contained the obituary of her father, William Bates Lawrence Bonneville.  The newspaper is disintegrating as I read it and despite my being careful it most likely won't be around much longer. Those items of genealogical and historical significance are listed below.

LEST WE FORGET:  That in All Hallow's Episcopal churchyard at Snow Hill lies buried the moral remains of George W. Purnell, a lawyer and soldier of the Civil War.  Purnell, then 20, left his class at Princeton University in 1861 when the Civil War broke out and joined the Confederate Army.  He was quickly promoted to Adjutant under General Lee and fought with the South for 3 years until he was taken prisoner.  After Lee's surrender, Purnell refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Union and was held a prisoner until June of 1865 when he was released by pardon.  Returning to his native home in Snow Hill after the war, Purnell became a lawyer of note.  He died in May of 1899 at the age of 58 years.

WAY BACK WHEN: Ocean City folks were younger, a mountain sized iceberg, towering hundreds of feet in the air, blew its chilly breath over the Maryland Seashore resort.  Records show that on June 7, 1899 with the temperature above 90 degrees, a giant iceberg loomed into sight three miles offshore Ocean City in the Atlantic Ocean.  The iceberg remained in sight for several hours as it slowly floated southward and its proximity to shore caused the temperature at Ocean City to drop below the 60 degree mark.

Synepuxent Tract of 1,752 Acres Sold - Historic old Genezer mansion, once occupied by the English judge who sentenced King Charles I to death, has a new owner and is out of the Henry family of Worcester county for the first time in 255 years.
The mansion, along with 1,752 acres of land located on Sinepuxent Neck, southeast of Berlin, was taken over last week by the Sinepuxent Corporation of Salisbury, which will cultivate the land.
The tract sold is divided as follows: The Dirickson Farm, 530 acres; Sinepuxent woodland tract, 50 acres; the Robins farm, 196 acres; the Scarborough farm, 328 acres; North Beach property, 33.5 acres; and the Genezer far, 615 acres.
Large Transaction - The deal was the largest real estate transaction in this county in several years.  The corporation is reported to have paid the former owners - Mr. John D. Henry, Dr. Zadok P. Henry and Mrs. Ethan Allen Carey, all of Berlin - over $75,000,
The Mansion was constructed in 1684, according to historians, and later was occupied by Maj. Gen. Edward Whaley, the English judge who sentenced King Charles I to die and then fled to America when Oliver Cromwell was ousted.
Hand-Hewn Shingles - The Scarborough house, another old homestead on the property, is sheathed with hand-hewn cypress shingles and contains the handsomely carved original woodwork and mantles.
Dr. Zadok P, Henry, who has done much research work into the history of this section, believes the body of Major General Whaley was buried near an old apple tree on t he farm, but historians say the body is buried near New Haven, Conn.
Many of the judge's descendants live in this section and the community of Whaleyville, in northern Worcester county, was named for him.
Big Crew To Work - Representatives of the purchasing corporation said a crew of fifty men, with a half dozen tractors, will begin soon to prepare the land for cultivation.  Extension of electric and telephone lines form Ocean City, seven miles away is planned.
Land assessment records of Worcester County lists the six tracts as containing a total of 1,752 acres and as being assessed on the county tax books at a total of $24, 955.

Wm. Bonneville Passed Away Wednesday Eve  William B. L. Bonneville aged 81, for many years a leading contractor and builder of Snow Hill, died at his home here Wednesday evening.  Mr. Bonneville had been in failing health for several years and his death was not a surprise.  He was an upright christian gentleman and in his younger days was an enterprising energetic citizen.  He was a member of Whatcoat M. E. Church.  Mr. Bonneville is survived by one brother, Mr. George W. Bonneville of Snow Hill.  Funeral services will be held at the Bonneville home on Saturday afternoon, after which interment will be mad in the M. E. Cemetery.  Services will be conducted by Dr. D. W. Jacobs.

Mrs. Dennis, Native Of Snow Hill, Died; Buried Last Week -   Funeral services were held last week in Baltimore for Mrs. Lawrence M. Dennis, aged 45 years, who died in Johns Hopkins Hospital in that city.  The deceased was born at Snow Hill and was the daughter of William T. Hales.  Besides her husband, she is survived by two children, Miss Dorothy Dennis and Lawrence M. Dennis, of Baltimore; by her mother, Mrs. William T. Hales; by three sisters, Mrs. Elmer S. Matthews, Mrs. Harold W. Powell, and MRs. Clyde Shockley of Salisbury, and three brothers, messrs. John W. Hales, Reuben L. Hales and Herman R. Hales.

Five Years Ago - (from issue of March 16, 1934)
Samuel L. Causey, 84 native of Snow Hill, died at the home of his niece, Mrs. Charles M. Hudson at Snow Hill.
Mrs. Simmons Harmon 65, died at her home in East Berlin District after an extended illness.
Mrs. Rhoda Powell, 88, died of infirmities of age at her home near Ocean City.
Jesse Holland 43 year old farmer of St. Martin's, this county, passed away.
Mrs. William J. Armstrong, of Camden NJ, was buried at Snow Hill.  She was the former Miss Mabel Juckett of Snow Hill.
Son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Moore, of Snow Hill
Walden Richardson, 53, native and former resident of Snow HIll, died in a Sanitarium near Salisbury.
Isaiah C. Truitt, former Police Chief at Ocean City and a charter member of the Ocean City Fire department, passed away.
Daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Avery Tilghman of Salisbury.  Mrs. Tilghman, before her marriage, was Miss Doris Shockley of near Snow Hill.
Edward Beachboard, well known resident of Girdletree, fell and broke his hip.

Ten Years Ago - (from issue of March 16, 1929)
Betty Ann Shockley, 3 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Norwood Shockley of Snow HiIl, sustained  minor injuries when she fell from a moving automobile near Berlin.
Miss Bessie Davis and Jones Lyle Simpson, both of Ocean City, were married.
Julius Outten, aged resident of Melbourne, this county, died.
~~~be Collins, well known resident of Melbourne, suffered a stroke of paralysis.
Henry W. Callahan, 69, prominent business man of Pocomoke City, died at the Salisbury hospital.
~~~ Louis Baumann, 80, accomplished musician and resident of Box Iron, this county, passed away.

Fifteen Years Ago - (from issue of March 16, 1924)
Mrs. May Bethards, 19 wife of Earl Bethards, died at the home of H. R. Shockley of Whitesburg, this county.
Dr. Braxton B. Richardson, 62, native of Snow Hill, died at Staten Island, NY.  He formerly practiced medicine at Whaleyville
Herbert Smack, 30, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Smack, died at his home at Cedartown, this county.
Son was born to Mr. and Mrs. E. Pierce Myers of Chestnut Hill, Pa. Mrs. Myers is the former Miss Julia Jones of Snow Hill
Mrs. Robert F. Clarke, 43, passed away at her home in Snow HIll. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Shockley of Stockton.
Dr. Otho H. Mason of Berlin, was elected second vice president of the Eastern Shore Dental Association.
Taffy pulling party held at home of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Pilchard of Girletree, the occasion being in celebration of the birthday of their son, Milton Pilchard.

Forty Years Ago - (from issue of March 16, 1899)
Richard Hastings, well know resident of near Friendship, north of Berlin, died.
Infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Causey of Snow Hill, died.
Edward Hammond of Colbournes District drove and axe into his foot while cutting timber near his home.
Constable Benjamin Hearthway of Snow Hill, was ill with pneumonia.

March 1998, web page author George E. Richardson, III