November 5, 1897 at his home in Milton, Delaware, James Ponder, stricken with
paralysis yesterday, has died.
The Honorable James Ponder was born in Milton, Sussex county, Delaware , on
October 31st, 1819, the son of the Honorable John Ponder. He had received a good education
in the academies of Milton, Lewes and Georgetown , completing his studies by 1838. That year
he became a clerk in his fathers store in Milton, and the 1st of January, 1843, he was admitted as a partner into his fathers mercantile business and became engaged in shipping produce, grain, wood,
bark, lumber and had a hand in the ship building industry at Milton. He also had a considerable ship dealership, buying and selling vessels world wide. In 1850 they erected a large steam mill for sawing lumber and ship timbers , also the manufacture of quercitron bark, which was located on the south side
of the Broadkill river. He continued with the very large business until the death of his father when the mercantile business was relinquished and he devoted himself to the shipping of grain, lumber, ship timbers, bark . He was one of the largest land owner of Sussex county and very interested in the
agriculture business. His thousands of acres, many bought by him but some, the Ponder Homestead, were patented by his great grandfather, John Ponder, were divided into farmsteads and were very productive, especially with peaches.
The former Governor Ponder was always deeply interested in public affairs and was active in the Democratic party. 1856 saw him elected to the Legislature. 1864 he was elected to the State Senate and by 1867 was chosen the House Speaker . He was elected Governor in 1870 by a large majority over his Kent county competitor. He filled the office with great honor to himself and to the general
satisfaction of the people of the state.
He was a life long member of the Protestant Episcopal Church as was the family for many generations.
He married Sallie Waples, daughter of Gidion Waples of Milton, July 1851. His surviving children were Ida, John, James W., and a deceased son at age 7.
His funeral service was held in St. John the Baptist Church in Milton.
Source: Wilmington News Journal , Friday , November 5, 1897.