East New Market

Historic Sketches

1928 - Clarence L. Saxton

Unpublished manuscript
by Clarence L. Saxton

[The early history described in the first two paragraphs is not accurate.]

East New Market
by Clarence Saxton

The section of Dorchester County of which East New Market is a part, was originally owned, through a grant, by the Ennals.  The first of this family, Bartholomew Ennals, came to this county from Virginia between the years 1660-1670.  The grant extended from Showell Creek to Secretary Creek.

No building can be traced back with any accuracy to the earliest settlement of East New Market.  However, four old brick buildings and one frame building reach into history as far as 1690.  The Jacobs House, in town was originally the property of Dr. E.V. Edmondson.  It is an old house, but the date or period of its building is unknown.  It is of more recent date than the others.  The Hooper House, also in town, a frame building has been renovated and is not owned by W.T. Hubbard.  Its date also is not known.  The Brick Hotel was built by Major Anthony Manning between the Revolutionary War and 1800.  The Rose Hill House and Hicks House are tied up with the earliest history of the community.  Clement O'Sullivan purchased 387 acres of land for $600.  The western boundary of his land was the Creamery Road by the High School.  The land he purchased was known as New Market.  He built what is now called the Hicks House about 1690.  Shortly after Mr. O'Sullivan purchased New Market, Mr. Mitchell purchased a tract of land west of Creamery Road which was known as Carthaginia.  About 1700, he built the brick house on Rose Hill farm.  The remains of another brick house, probably built in the same period have been found in the field directly in the back of the home of John Parker.

By the records of the U.S. Post Office, we find that in 1827 a post office was opened in the town.  The name was changed to East New Market to avoid confusion with the New Market of the Western Shore.  Prior to the establishment of this post office, money and mail was brought to this vicinity from Baltimore by sailing vessel.

In 1884, the town of East New Market was incorporated.  Dr. George P. Jones was president of the first board of town commissioners.  Shortly after the incorporation, the sidewalks were laid with brick.  For its time, this was a great improvement over the muddy foot path.
In the several talks made by parties from the different districts prior to this time, they have failed to mention any mistake made in the past.  I naturally suppose that none had been made.  Why these districts have not been Paradises long since, I cannot imagine.  I intend to mention several cases of poor judgment and errors that have been made in our section because I believe that much can be learned from mistakes.

In the first case, let us consider the position of the Cambridge & Seaford Railroad.  This was built in 1868.  It first proposed to run through the town.  Several citizens of the community purchased stock.  It was through the influence of some of these that the bed of the road was located so far from town.  About one-half mile below the town begins a curve in the road, which take the road one-half mile out of town.  This has always been a handicap to the town's future.  Most of the influence which caused this change came from one large stockholder who wished to prevent the road running through his farm.

Another instance of short-sightedness was the opposition to the Eastern Shore Railroad.  About 1889, a delegation representing the Corporation which later built the Eastern Shore Railroad, now known as the B.C. & A.R.R. (a part of the Pennsylvania System) came to East New Market for the purpose of securing the right of way for the railroad.  It met with a cold reception especially from a prominent merchant who was also the owner of the land through which the road would have to run to get to town.  The resident stockholders of the Choptank Steamboat Company also filed serious objections.  At that time the steamboat company was operating a line between Baltimore and Secretary.  The outcome of the matter was the discovery and the making of Hurlock.  If out citizens had looked to the future as it now seems they should have done, I doubt if there would have been much Hurlock today.  This should be a lesson to the businessmen of today and the future, never to stand in the way of progress even though it may seem to work against you financially at the same time; for in all cases in which the party makes the sacrifice, eventually he is paid back ten fold.
I do not wish to censure these men of the past because they were all noble men, and I am sure they did what they thought best for the time.  I simply desire to show what there things have cost the town in operating against its growth.

On December 6, 1914, a $50,000 fire swept the business section of this town.  The hotel, three stores, one barber shop, on drug store, and the post office were destroyed.  Five other buildings were damaged.  The hotel was a three story structure of forty rooms.  A community building which is a credit to the town, replaced the hotel building.  This however, did not make up for the loss of the hotel.  The hotel was well known and patronized by the general public and was considered the equal of any on the shore.  With the going of the hotel came the loss of business of the traveling public.

On entering the town, one readily observes that all the roads are State Roads.  In fact, this observation has brought forth criticism from other sections of the County.  Some of our friends in other sections feel that some preferment has been shown us.  The presence of the President of the Board of County Commission as a citizen of our town has created the impression that we are attended to before all others.  Mr. Baker, however, is like the most of us in that the urgent calls away from home tend to make him forget the needs of his own home.  The State Roads happen to be there.  No one in the town made a special effort to get them.  The town is so situated that one has to go through it to get anywhere.  Thus for the convenience of the whole county, these roads were built through the town.  On the other hand, our lateral roads are not as well cared for as similar roads in other parts of the county.
The town of East New Market has eight stores, two canning houses, one box factory, one potato house, one pickle house, one bank, the high school, and four churches.

The town owns and operates a water system.  This system was built in 1917 as a result of the anxiety caused by the fire of 1914.  It is ample for all purposes and is especially a protection in case of fire.

In 1908, electricity was placed at the disposal of the town.  The streets and homes are thus well lighted.

We have four churches in the town.  You cannot enter the town without passing one, not go through town without passing two.  This should be a good influence on the visitor.  The churches represented are the Methodist Episcopal, the Baptist, the Lutheran, and the Protestant Episcopal.  The Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1848.  The Baptist congregation is worshipping in a new building erected in 1923.  This congregation was first organized at Cabin Creek in 1875.  Later it moved into town and erected a building in 1885.  The Lutheran Church is of more recent date and a short time ago was abandoned and sold.  The Protestant Episcopal Church was built in 1893. Prior to that date the congregation worshipped in the old church which stood where the high school now stands.  The date of this old church is not known.  Around this old building was a small cemetery which contained the bodies of some of the earlier settlers of this section.  It is to be regretted that more care was not used in the taking up of the grave stones for the building of the high school.
The school in the town has the elementary grades and four years of high school.  It is an accredited high school of the eleven grade system.  Seven regular and two special teachers carry on the work of the school which has about two hundred eighty pupils on the roll.  There is a playground of about four and one half acres.  Since 1923 a very active P.T.A. has raised about $1600 which has been spent for the improvement of the purchase of grounds, library, piano, and numerous other things for the benefit of the school.  About three hundred dollars remain in the treasury.  Besides the money raised and spent, the spirit of the town is shown in that the patron and friends put about $800 of volunteer labor on the school ground just before the County Meet of 1925.  I do not think that an community has done as much along this line as East New Market.  It has been said that this school is managed as well if not better than any in the county.

We have a box factory which produces annually about 125,000 boxes, crates, etc.  Consisting of cantaloupe, asparagus, and berry crates.

One of the outstanding features of the development and progress of our town is that of the East New Market Bank, a branch of the Eastern Shore Trust Company.  The establishment of this bank has been a great stimulus to the business interests and a benefactor to its patrons in this town and community.  Its founder, the late Samuel L. Webster, was a man of sterling character, full of business enterprise and energy.  He early envisioned the advantages to be derived by having a bank located in our town.  On June 24, 1907, the East New Market Bank was opened for business and began to serve the public of this town and community and was located on one of the outside rooms of the first floor of the Chesadel Hotel.  This hotel was destroyed by fire on December 6, 1914.  Associated with its founder, who was its first president, was a son, Charles Webster as vice-president, together with Clark W. Demott, Charles H. Willis, John Phelan, W.S. Tilghman, and R. Hurst composing the Board of Directors with C. Edwin Bell as Cashier.

On January 1, 1909, Marion C. Smith, who is now a Cashier of the Citizens Bank of Hurlock, Maryland, was appointed assistant cashier and bookkeeper.  On October 1, 1920, he was succeeded by Leon Brandshaw who is still with the bank.

The bank's business soon outgrew the room in the hotel and on April 19, 1909, a lot was purchased from the late Wm. E. Johnson, Agent of the late Mrs. Maggie Johnson, upon which to erect a bank building.  The contract was let to Arthur O. German of Hurlock, building contactor, for an up-to-date banking house.  When this building was completed on June 1, 1911, the bank was moved from the Chesadel Hotel.  The bank is equipped with a modern fireproof vault, manganese steel safe, whish is burglar proof, and safe deposit boxes.  All the original officers and directors have passed on to the great beyond, except its first vice-president, Charles Webster, who has become the president and C. Edwin Bell, the Cashier.  S.J.T. Smith and George W. Gale were elected directors in 1919 and Daniel M. Webster and Thos. J. Taylor in 1926.  Deposits $10,000 first week now over $325,000. 

The section, as you know, is primarily occupied with farming.  The land for the most part is of highly productive soil.  Almost anything can be grown on it.  However, I must limit my remarks to the main crops.
Wheat - Every farm grows more or less wheat.  Five farms on the edge of the town produce annually and average of 2000 bushels each.  Other farms average from 200 bushels to 1000 bushels.
Corn - About the same amount of corn is grown in the Section.
Tomatoes - At one time, more tomatoes were produced than in any other part of the county.  Although this crop has fallen off some in the last two years, the section is still a large producer of this commodity.  In fact, this is our greatest money crop.
Cantaloupes - This crop is very heavy and at times brings in considerable money to the farmer.
Peas, beans, potatoes, hay, strawberries, blackberries, cucumbers, watermelons, peppers, and greens are generally grown.
In a small way, the farmers grow some fruit for market.  The next speaker will dwell upon the berry growing.