Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do You Know Dave Zearfoss?


A news article in the July 26, 1914 Philadelphia Inquirer, Sussex County Snapshots secton, tells that a fire destroyed a garage at the cottage of David Zearfoss, baseball player, in Rehoboth Beach, which totally damaged two automobiles with the value of $3000.

Dave Zearfoss, baseball player? Never heard of him? OK, here is a bit about David William Tilden Zearfoss, according to the “Baseball Almanac”, Wikipedia and, He was born in Schenectady, New York on a Wednesday, January 1 1868, the fifth born child to David R. , 31 years of age and Adeline Bradley Zearfoss, age 28, who resided in Whitpain, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Whitpain is just a little north and east of Norristown, Pennsylvania. All other data list David W. T. as being born in Pennsylvania, but who is to argue with the “Baseball Almanac”? His father, David, was listed as a farm laborer.
Zearfoss was a graduate of Washington College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and was their star catcher while in attendance. On the 17th of April, 1896, he entered Major League Baseball with the New York Giants, a catcher, until 1898, and retired July 8. 1905, after catching for the St. Louis Cardinals for two years. He was a friend and co-player with Homer W. Smoot, another Delaware baseball player of note who was a center fielder with the Cardinals. Some of the pitchers Zearfoss caught were Amos Rusie , Jonett Meekin, Vie Clark of Dover and Eddie ‘Farmer” Wilson of Middletown.. Zearfoss also played ball with a San Francisco team , a Butte, Montana team in 1902 and 1903, as well as a Dover Delaware team. His career batting average was .244

At 1 o’clock the afternoon of November 30, 1899, in the First Baptist Church in Dover, the Rev. J. R. Pierce, the minister, assisted by the Methodist Protestant minister, Rev N. O. Gibson, married David W. T. Zearfoss, age 30, and Miss Mary Moore, age 20, daughter of Joseph Moore and his wife, Narfarete, of Dover, Delaware. Mr. Moore was a carpenter and building contractor of the area. I believe that David and Mary had one daughter, Margaret, born in 1902. Adeline, his mother died at her home, 2743 West York Road, Philadelphia, age 59 on 15th July 1898.

David Zearfoss died in Wilmington, Delaware 12 September 1945 , at age 77, and was buried in Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

More of Chapter III - History of Seaford

In 1826, James Darby , one of Seaford's best citizens came here from Milford and opened a tailoring establishment which continued for fifty years or more. With him came Rhodes Hazzard and no two other men came here that were of more value to the village. Soon after his arrival he married Hester Ann Hopkins, eldest daughter of Robert and Mary Hopkins. His wife died rather young nut he lived to be eighty five and his family, children and grandchildren have remain citizens of Seaford.
The Horsey family were another who figured largely in commercial enterprise. In the fourth decade Josiah, a carpenter was first but soon began a plain goods and grocery establishment on the corner of Water and Market, near the bridge. His wife was the daughter of the oldest Jacob Kinder and he died after but a few years and left two sons, John P. and George W., who removed to Baltimore. William horsey came next, married Eliza Ann Stokely, also engaged in merchandising and was a most enterprising business located on the northwest corner of Market and High Street. This family left but a few children who do not remain here. An older brother who came here late in life, Nathaniel, was also a merchant, his place of business was on the south side of Water Street between North and Market. None of his family remained in town.

The Stokely family were one of the first settlers to the village, Captain Job Stokely and his wife, who was a Miss Hinds, came from near Milton. They had three sons, Benjamin, Jacob and Job. Capt.Job died in his middle age. Benjamin, who became well known to Seaford citizen, engaged in the boating business and acquired considerable property, died an honorable old man at his home on Front Street. He and his wife left no children. The other son, Jacob, married and moved right away to Baltimore. Job married a Miss Collins, but died young, A sister married Jermiah McNeely, a tailor and postmaster. Their names have become obsolete in the town.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Samuel Laws and George P. White: Third decade Seaford residents:
Another of Seaford's early citizens was Samuel Laws whose family had but three children. They were William, Catherine and John. Samuel did not remain in Seaford long as he bought the Curtice Jacobs farm at Horsey Crossroad and moved to it. He did live to an old age and died in Bridgeville, None of the children ever lived in Seaford and have been deceased many years.
George P. White, also a citizen of Seaford in its third decade, was a very worthy Christian young man and highly esteemed. He became associated with Mr William Cannon, who later became Delawares Governor, in the commercial business in Bridgeville.
The Wright's:
Brothers Terpin, Jacob and Charles figured pretty largely in the business enterprises of third decade of the history of Seaford, came about 1826 from their old homestead down the Nanticoke near State Line. They built and operated vessels, hauling corn and lumber; They kept a general supply store,and did not neglect a stock of rum and whiskey. As their place of business was on the corner of North and Water Street, near the residence of my father I well remember the demoralizing scenes witnessed almost every day.
At that time there was little temperance sentiment outside the churches and all merchants, except conscientious Christians and strict moralists, sold intoxicants under the regular county and state license,
Jacob Wright married the daughter of Curtis Jacobs and built a house on Water Street and lived there all the time he lived in Seaford. This house is also known as the John Scott house.
Terpin and Charles married sisters from Georgetown. Terpin built the house now standing midway between the corners of West and Market Streets. It was considered the finest dwelling in or about Seaford. He later bought and moved to Oyster Shell Point farm in Dorchester where he died at an old age.
Charles lost his first wife about a year after they married and remarried Sophia Martin and moved to a farm he bought a mile above Seaford which was poor land and the common gazing ground for Seaford. There, he built a home and brought the land to a high state of cultivation. He died there and his wife survived him many years.
Jacob Wright engaged in the Negro Trade in 1836, buying them like cattle around the country and shipping them to Georgia. Many were the tears around Seaford that year because of the cruel separation of husbands and wives, parents and children, for the Negros ha feeling even if they were chattels. After this he soon moved to Talbot county Maryland, had one son, Joseph. No one lives now to perpetuate his name.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This is something a bit special. Yesterday I received a letter from Lee Myung-bak,the President of Republic of Korea. I am sure all KWVA member also received this message. But, it told me he and his country 'salute' the veterans of the Korean War and want to pay tribute for our protection of liberty and freedom of his coutry.
Usually , we vets of Korea receive, every year or so, a Medal, with a ribbon to add to our VFW and Legion Caps, which are already full of such. But to me, this time, this letter dug deeper, it said the Koreans had promised to build a prosperous county, to uphold peace and freedom. He says he is proud to say they have managed to do just that. That, those words, give me the 'feeling' that my two years of life, there in Korea, were not in vain. Thank you, Lee Myung-bak, for my renewed pride in America.