AN ACCOUNT OF TRADE, PLACE OF BUSINESS AND PERSONS ENGAGED IN IT. Chapter 3.
We have not been able to find the date of the opening of the first store but suppose it was soon after the opening of the village in 1899.
Previous to this time the few citizens of the neigghborhood had their place of trading at Jacksons Wharf near a mile down the river and just below the point of land called 'Penknife'. In those remote times North Street to Water Street to the foot of what is now Pine Street then up the hill to what is now High Street and down what was then Cedar Lane and along the river to Jacksons Wharf was the county road leading thereto.
So far as we have been able to learn, Henry Adams, was Seafords first merchant with a store at the corner of Front and Water streets, just below the B. Stokely residebc. We suppose he was a Marylander as he was a brother of Minus Adams who lived and died in the Fork District of Dorchester county and a trade partner with him at one time. I have seen theeir 'day book' and therefrom got the status of 'temperance' then in Seaford, as among the items charded there was often a pint or quart of whisky or rum. We suppose he was successful in trade as we have heard preceeding his death he gave his brother Minus all of his estate in amount of $10,000.
We think Aaron Swiggert and George Hazzard were the next to engage in the merchantile business . Swiggert came came to Seaford from Kent county Maryland and George Hazzard came from Lewes, Delawatr. Swiggert must have moved to seaford early in the second decade of 1800 as a deed was excuted to him January 6, 1813 and he had also purchased some lots sold by Sheriff Tindale. September 19, 1818 as a company with Hazzard was bought Lot #13 at the foot of North Street, south of Water Street where they engaged in merchantdising. Records show that they paid $475 with the building. Two years later Swaggrt bought from Susan Fountain seven lots , which by an oversight had not been named in a deed given by James Hooper and were probably the lots on the corner of North and Water streets, the property where the Swaggert Hotel was located. Swaggert died at this property and left four children , William, Eliza Anne, Cornelie and Sarah Anne. The Swaggert name has been obsolete in Seaford and the county for many years now. The only descendents of the family are the chidred of of Major Allen who had married Eliza Anne.
George Hazzard married Nancy Hazzard from near Lewes and moved to Seaford in the first or second year of the second decade. Swaggert & Hazzard Company did not exist mant years as George Hazzard, early on, bought lots where Mrs Eresoene Hazzard and Jacob Hill now reside, where Hazzard had a business at the site of the Hill home and was very successful. On the lots which extended to the river, he established a tanyard and carried on the tanning business including shoe maker and merchandising. Hazzard was very enterprising but not in good health. He died in middle age and left nine children , William, David, Henry, Samuel, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth, Jane, George, and John. The Hazzard name also became somewhat obsolete. David lived past 80 in Indiana and William, who was known for his conscientious scruples and eccentricities was killed in his 70th year at Cannon by a railroad train accident. About Seaford, the chilfren of Ralph Prettyman and Henry Hopkins, are the only descendents.
Jacob Hazzard came to Seaford from Milford about 1818 and was learned inthe tanning and shoe maker business. He took charge of the Seaford Tannery and Shoe business for George Hazzard. He married Sarah boyce of Concard, Delaware. He established a tanyard adjoiningthat of George Hazzard and remained in that busines until his health broke down and compelled him to discontinue. He was a prominent citizen, noted for good character and Christian integrity in the Methodist Episcopal church. Sarah and he reaised eight childern which only three still are living. Myself, Robert Boyce, the author of this book, William M. of Norwood, Pennsylvania and Benjamin in Bridgeville. He died in 1839 after a long, lingering illness. There has not been a descendent of this famly living in Seaford for the last sixty years.
Rhoades Hazzard, long a valuable citizen , came to Seaford from near Lewes in 1826. He bought property on the northwest corner of Market and Second streets. where the residence of Mr. Jacob Wallace was located. This tract included the field betwee Market and Pine extending well out towards the county road. He was engaged in blacksmithing. Rhoades was a man of sterling integrity and good business qualifications and acquiried a good reputation. Living in Seaford near a half century and was a leading and efficient member of the Methodist episcopal Church. He had married twice, first to miss White who died several years after the marriage, and second to Miss Lucinda Houston, a cheerful and helpful mate. This family consisted of sux children, three sons by the first wife and three daughters of the second.
We see in the case of these three families how transient the stay of mortals in any one place, out of three, comprising fourteen sons, not one of them or their male descendants live in Seaford.
Dr. Henry Little was one of the first settlers in the village but unlike the others so far referred to he lived near Seaford previous to its survey and plotting. His old homestead was three miles from the village near what was known as Little School House. He moved to Seaford where he occupied the property on the northwest corner of Front and East streets for many years. While there he held the office and discharged the duties of 'Justic of Peace' for several terms. In 1835, when the Thompsonian System of practicing medicine came about, he studied and practiced and became very successful, continuing until age and its infirmities compelled him to stop. He was also a prominent official member of the Methodist Episcopal church, fervent in prayer and extortation , his shouts of 'haalelujah' could be heard from one side of Seaford to the other. A man of sssterling integrity, blameless in his life and highly esteemed, he died in 1863. He left but one child, a daughter, who married Asbury Prettymsn and moved to Philadelphia some fifty years ago. No one bears his name in Seaford now.
Robert Hopkins was another early citizen and came to the village from the east side of the county. He married Mary Little, sister of Dr. Henry Little. Hopkins engaged in Carriage manufacturing and also shoe making. At that time, there was no patent canvas for carriage tops or its side curtains and I remember well his tops and curtains bring made of muslin and hung to the outside of his shop for painting and drying. since most of the traveling was done by horse back, he made saddles for the village and the country around. Robert and Mary had a large family of children, most of whom settled and remained in Seaford. Henry died just past his seventieth year. His children, Hester Annc married James Darby, Harriet, married John Laws and died a few years after the marriage, A son William went to Baltimore when a young man and lived to be an elderly man. Jane was the wife of Dr. Shipley and Elizabeth, the youngest daughter, became the second wife of Loxley Jacobs of near Bridgeville. Robert Hopkins, like many men of that period, died a bit past middle age, at forty four years, and his wife survived hm but a few years. Their dust, like many of those referred to, lies in the old Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery.