Schools

Ocean Springs Schools

19th Century White Education

 

With our highly respected public school system of today in place, it is appropriate to reflect into the past and observe how education evolved at Ocean Springs from its conception in the 19th Century.  This article investigates the white educational system only, as the public schools were segregated in Mississippi, until the late 1960s.  Several articles, “Early Black Education in Ocean Springs”, were presented in this column on November 16 and November 23, 1995.  It also will not relate about the parochial school system developed in the Roman Catholic Parish of St. Alphonsus de Liguori.

            Ever since Mississippi became a State of the Union in December 1817, public education has been an important part of legislative matters.  During the term of Governor Albert Gallatin Brown from 1844-1848, whose personal platform advocated the “establishment of schools in which every poor white child in the country may secure, free of charge, the advantages of a liberal education”, the first effective common school law was enacted.(Dabney, 1936, p. 344)

It was educator Frederick A.P. Barnard (1809-1889), a native of Massachusetts, who was a professor, president and chancellor of the University of Mississippi from 1854 to 1861, that evoked the doctrine that in order to have adequate common schools, an educational system must first develop good colleges.

           The Civil War disrupted Barnard’s promising career in improving Mississippi’s educational attitude, but he went on to become president of Columbia College at New York City.  Barnard College, the woman’s undergraduate division of Columbia College, was named for him in 1890.(Ibid., p. 350 and The Columbia Encyclopedia, 1963, p. 167) 

During Reconstruction, the Mississippi legislature passed a comprehensive school law on July 4, 1870, which established a state superintendent of education, local school boards, and county superintendents of education.  This statue also stated : “All the children of this state, between the ages of five and twenty-one years, shall have, in all respects, equal advantages in the public schools.”  Thus Black children were granted the right to a common education which they had been denied prior to the Civil War.(Ibid., p. 353)  By 1875, there were 89,800 black and 78,400 white students attending public schools in the Magnolia State.(McKee, 1995, p. 119)

            The public education system in place today was established by James Rhea Preston (b. 1853), an educator from Virginia.  He came to Mississippi in 1875, and taught in north Mississippi schools until his election as State Superintendent of Education in 1885.  Under Superintendent Preston, the State school system was vastly improved, especially as regards to white teacher education and examination. (Dabney, 1936, pp. 354-355)             

 

1850

            The 1850 Federal Census at Ocean Springs indicates that there were two teachers residing in the vicinity of Ocean Springs.  They were Herman Bailey (1822-1850+) of New Hampshire and Samuel Thompson (1805-1850+), a native of New York.  It appears that they were living between Gautier and Ocean Springs and one of them may have been associated with common school held at the Tidewater Baptist Church near Davis Bayou, which had been organized circa 1832, by Elder George Davis and Thomas C. Hunt. (Schmidt, 1972, p. 82)

 

1855

            The Ocean Springs Gazette, a local journal of which one issue from March 1855 survives in the public library, related that there were two boarding schools here at this time.  They were the Ocean Springs Academy for males and the LaFontaine Hill Seminary for girls.  E.K. Washington, the editor of The Gazette, was also the principal of the Ocean Springs Academy.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 36)

 

1860

            The 1860 Federal Census at Ocean Springs indicates that Hortense Tiffin (1841-1870+), a Louisiana born teenager, was a teacher here.  Miss Tiffin was the daughter of Belle Miller Conklin Tiffin (1824-1900) and Dr. Clayton Tiffin (ca 1784-1859) of New Orleans.  The Tiffins were the proprietors of the present day Shearwater Pottery parcel, and they made their summer residence in the Ashley home fronting Biloxi Bay.  Later, Hortense Tiffin married Jean M. Delavallade of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 19, 1995, p. 18)

            Another 1860 educator, L.A. Ward, was probably at the Tidewater Baptist Church educational facility as he resided with Samuel Davis (1804-1879) near the Stark family.  Samuel Davis was the husband of Elvira Ward (1821-1901).

 

1870-1880

Information concerning the public school system at Ocean Springs, during this decade is scarce.  The 1936-1937 WPA survey of Jackson County relates that initial efforts to educate the youth of Ocean Springs were given to Harry Herrin (1842-1880+), a native of Georgia.  He was married to a Mississippi lady, Mary Herring (1847-1880+), who was the mother of their infant son, Edwin Lee Herring (1869-1870+).   Mr. Herrin conducted a three-month school on Washington Avenue in a small wooden structure.  His pupils sat on back-less benches and worked from crude desks, which were long pine planks fastened to the walls.(1870 Federal Census-JXCO, Ms.  and WPA For Ms.  Historical Data-JXCO, Ms.: 1936-1937, p. 277)

Professor Jones educated classes here for three months in 1872.  No school session was held at Ocean Springs in 1873 or 1875.  Judge Harry H. Minor (1837-1884) taught in 1874 and 1876 under the same primitive conditions.  Some of the students during this pioneer era were: Charlotte Franco Cochran (1864-1939), Marie Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1939), A.J. Catchot (1864-1954), and John J. Franco. (1859-1935). (WPA For Ms.  Historical Data-JXCO, Ms.: 1936-1937, p. 277)

 

1874

            In October 1874, the local citizenry became incensed with Jackson County elected officials, primarily the County School Superintendent, Tax Collector, and Treasurer.  At a large public meeting held in late October, it was alleged that these officials were misappropriating and not providing Ocean Springs with its equitable share from the County School Fund.  An organization to take control and manage local school funds was formed.  John Egan (1827-1875) was elected permanent chairman, M.S. Park (1846-1880+), secretary, and Joseph Simmons (1824-1886) and Alfred Ryan (1827-1880+), vice presidents.  Chairman Egan appointed a two-man committee, H.H. Minor and William Ames (1848-1922), to draft resolutions expressing the sentiments of the people, which demanded of the County, its portion of the School Fund and the accountability of those County officials in charge of the school money.(The Star of Pascagoula, November 7, 1874, ,p.2)

 

The Tidewater Public School

It is known with a high degree of certitude that the Tidewater Public School existed in the vicinity of Davis Bayou in the 1870s.  It was situated three miles east of Ocean Springs and was held in the Tidewater Baptist Church.  In 1871 and 1872, a four-month school session was taught here by Miss Martha Bradford (1842-1887) and Sherwood Bradford (1838-1922) respectively.  They were the children of Lyman Bradford (1803-1858) and Cynthia Davis (1813-1887).  E.S. Davis (1859-1925), the proprietor of  E.S. Davis & Sons, the successor to The Davis Brothers’ mercantile store on Washington Avenue, was a student here at this time.(WPA For Ms.  Historical Data-JXCO, Ms.: 1936-1937, pp. 277-278)

In the spring of 1875, classes were held here under the auspices of Captain A. C. Burton (d. 1875), a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Burton was a new arrival here, but unfortunately passed on in November 1875.  His wife was in Bolivar County, Mississippi, at the time of his demise.(The Star of Pascagoula, November 20, 1875, p. 4)

Closing ceremonies were held at the Tidewater Public School in early May 1875.  Jenny Clark was honored as May Queen.  Her royal court consisted of: Mary Watson, Evie Clark, Nancy Moore, Isabella Armstrong, Addie Clark, and Josephine Morris.  Other students participating in the final school year program were: Edward Ward, Olivia Clark, Frank Ayres, and William Bilbo.  Colonel Redmond, M.S. Park, and J.E. Clark assisted Captain Burton with the program which included a picnic and baseball game.(The Star of Pascagoula, May 8, 1875, p. 2) 

 

1880-1890

            It appears that during this decade, education at Ocean Springs became more consistent.  The modus operandi of the public school system was to have at least a winter term of four months.  Teachers could operate private schools at their discretion.        

 

1880

The 1880 Federal Census taken at Ocean Springs indicates that there were         forty-seven students in school here.  Their family names were: Brassert, Catchot, Cessor, Dunlap, Eglin, Franco, Galle, Huke, Illing, Mathieu, Poitevent, Rickey, Ryan, Seidenstricker, Sheldon, Staples, Taylor, VanCleave, Webb, and White.  The teacher could not be ascertained.

 

1881

     In 1881, a Mrs. Emma P. Young came to Ocean Springs from Edwards, Mississippi, to operate a private learning facility.She was a graduate of the Central Female Institute at Clinton, Mississippi.  Mrs. Young planned to open her school on September 25th, 1881.  Her credentials related that she was well qualified to teach all branches of English, music, Latin, French, and higher grades.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 23, 1881, p. 3)

     Mrs. Young advertised in The Pascagoula Democrat-Star on September 30th, 1881, as follows:

 

OCEAN SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL

            The undersigned, a regular graduate, and a successful teacher of several years experience in some of the best schools of the State, would respectfully announce to the general public that she has opened a school at Ocean Springs, Miss., where instruction will be given in all the branches usually taught in our schools, together with music.  Students may also receive special instruction in penmanship.  It will be the aim to make it a first-class school in every respect.  Ocean Springs is a healthy place, and board as reasonable as at other schools.

 

1882

No information.

 

1883

            The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced in late February that Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Forstall are in charge of the four months public school for white children.  Last year the Negroes had access to this educational opportunity.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 23, 1883, p. 3)  In September 1879, Mr. W.H. Foster is the Sunday School superintendent at Seashore Camp Ground.(The New Orleans Christian Advocate, September 25, 1879)

            Emily Foster McCall lost her husband, educator C.R. McCall, Professor of Languages at the State Normal in Troy, Alabama, in August 1898.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, may 19, 1899, p. 3)

 

1884

            Leon Dieschbourg (1842-1880+), a native of Holland, was the teacher at Ocean Springs in the spring of 1884.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 16, 1884, p. 3)  He had previously been a school master in Harrison County, where he taught at the Oak Ridge School (1878), Howard Creek (1879), and Back Bay-Big Ridge (1879-1880).

(HARCO School Register 1874-1885, pp. 18-35)

 

1885

No information.

 

1886

            In the winter term of 1885-1886, D.D. Cowan, principal and Mrs. L.Y. Westerfeldt, assistant taught classes in the free white school at Ocean Springs.  Average attendance for these daily sessions was sixty-five pupils.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 19, 1886, p. 2)

 

1888-1889

            In the winter term of 1888-1889, Decatur D. Cowan (1850-1929) taught 65 students at Ocean Springs: forty-one male and twenty-four female.  There were 200 educable children here at this time.(Ocean Springs School Register, Winter 1888-1889, JXCO, Ms. Archives, Pascagoula, Ms.)  In 1892, Mr. Cowan would  become the first Mayor of Ocean Springs.  He also served as School Superintendent of Jackson County from 1896-1905.

 

1890-1900

            The last decade of the 19th Century saw much progress in education at Ocean Springs.  The student population increased rapidly during this period.  A schoolhouse erected in 1891, had to be replaced by a larger structure in 1900.  Some of this growth was the result of students from outlying areas who boarded in the community to acquire an education.  Private schools and summer school sessions were common.

            The Ocean Springs School District was known as No. 43 in the County nomenclature.  Its geographic area encompassed Sections 19, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 33, 34, and 37 of T7S-R8W.

School registers maintained by teachers during this period, indicate that some of the families who sent their children to the public school during this decade were: Ames, Armstrong, Baird, Beaugez, Bellman, Benezue, Beyer, Bird, Bishop, Bland, Boes, Bradford, Breakfield, Buehler, Burton, Byrd, Carco, Carver, Carter, Casey, Catchot, Chusman, Clark, Cochran, Colligan, Collins, Colvin, Cooley, Covington, Cowan, Cox, Cubbage, Culver, Davis, Delcuze, Dick, Dolbear, Domning, Dunden, Eagan, Eglin, Ellis, Evans, Fayard, Franco, Freeman, Friar, Garic, Gilly, Goodier, Gwartney, Haviland, Heitzman, Hellmer, Hopkins, Hopper, Hultzman, Illing, Jenkins, Joachim, Johnson, Joiner, Ladnier, Lowd, Madison, Maxwell, McClure, McDaniels, McKie, Miller, Moore, Mons, Morris, Motor, Myer, Newcomb, Nill, Orrell, Pabst, Partridge, Phelps, Phillip, Putter, Ramsay, Raymond, Redmon, Reed, Reus, Richards, Rippy, Rooney, Rosambeau, Roquevelt, Russell, Ruta, Ryan, Seaman, Seymour, Siegerson, Smith, Soden, Soule, Starks, Thomas, Tillman, Toche, Turner, VanCleave, VanCourt, VanHoven, Vaughan, Walker, West, Westbrook, White, Wickay, Wilson, Wiggington, Witt, Woodcock, and Young.     

 

A 19th Century Classroom at Ocean Springs

(courtesy of Jack Gottsche from the Gottsche family archives)

 

1890-1891

            Miss Fernanda Wolff, was the principal and teacher.  When her tenure here was completed, she left Ocean Springs and went to live at Boston, Massachusetts, with her sister, Miss Minna Wolff.  Minna Wolff studied medicine at Boston in the mid-1890s.  When Minna returned to Boston in September 1895, to resume her medical education, she sailed to New York from New Orleans on the S.S. Louisiana.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 13, 1895, p. 3)

In November 1894, John F. Muller, Miss Fernanda’s nephew, visited with her, her mother, Mrs. C. Wolff, and the other Wolff siblings at Ocean Springs.  Young Muller had just returned from the goldfields of Nicarauga and was in transit to his home at San Antonio, Texas.(The Pascagoula Democrat Star, November 23, 1894, p. 3)

In October 1898, after Fernanda Wolff had left for Boston, she and Minna Wollf were joined by their mother and sister, Miss Lou Wolff, reuniting the family once again.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 30, 1898, p.3)

            In 1925, Fernanda E. Wolff, a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, donated two items to the St. John’s Episcopal Church.  They were: a sterling silver alms box and a sterling silver bread box.  These memorial to her mother, a founder of the 1892 church, were to be dedicated on All Saints’ Day, November 1, 1925.(The Daily Herald, October 27, 1925, p. 1)

The winter term of 1890-1891 commenced in November 1890 and ended in February 1891.  There were fifty-three students in attendance-26 male and 27 female.  At this time, Ocean Springs had 213 children eligible for an education, indicating that only 24% of the educable children were in the classroom.(1890-1891 School Register, JXCO, Ms. Archives, Pascagoula, Ms.)         

 

1891-1892

            Professor D.D. Cowan returned to Ocean Springs for the winter term of 1891-1892.  Among the subjects he taught his ninety students were: arithmetic, composition, geography, grammar, history, reading, physics, and spelling.  The educable student population here this school year was 198 children.  Mr. D.D. Cowan closed the term of the public school on March 4, 1892, with a successful entertainment.(1891-1892 School Register, JXCO, Ms. Archives, Pascagoula, Ms. and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 11, 1892, p. 2)

 

THE 1891 PUBLIC SCHOOL

In mid-March 1891, The Biloxi Herald in its “Ocean Springs” news column related that civic leadership was needed to organize the citizenry and erect a schoolhouse for the coming school year at Ocean Springs.  It admonished the town to get an immediate start and utilize the resources and assistance of the summer residents.(The Biloxi Herald, March 21, 1891, p.5)

 

Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1 Land Donation

In late April 1891, the membership of the Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1 was persuaded by George W. Davis (1842-1914) to donate a lot in the rear of their firehouse for the construction of a schoolhouse.  Their firehouse was situated in Block 3-Lot 18 of the Clay Strip on the eastside of Washington Avenue.  Lot 18 had a 100-foot front on Washington Avenue and ran east for about 225 feet.  The Senior Citizens building is situated here today.  The firehouse of Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1 and several residences, including the Vahle House, a small hostel on the northwest corner of Washington and Calhoun, were destroyed in the Great Fire of November 1916, when it swept down Washington Avenue from Porter Street to the southwest corner of Calhoun.(The Jackson County Times, November 18, 1916, p. 1)

On May 9, 1891, Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915), president of Fire Company No. 1, conveyed to George W. Davis, David W. Halstead (1842-1918), and Newcomb Clark (1836-1913), Trustees of the Ocean Springs Public School, a lot of land from the eastern end of their property to erect a public school building for white children.  The donation parcel was 100 feet wide and 70 feet in length.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, pp. 397-398)

In addition to Joseph Kotzum, other officers of Fire Company No.1 were: James Colligan (1855-1905), vice pres.; F.M. Dick (1857-1922), sec.; William Lorenzen (1844-1910+), treas.; George H. Tardy (1839-1902), foreman; I.W. Simmons (1867-1919), 1st asst. foreman; Frank Franco (1871-1935), 2nd asst. foreman; and Daniel J. Richards (1857-1892), steward.  Active members of the company were: George Birdrow (1865-1923), Richard White II, E.S. Davis (1859-1925), Joseph A. Catchot (1861-1927), Eugene Davis, Beauregard Ryan (1860-1928), J. Trosclair, Jacob Martin (1844-1926), A.P. Kotzum (1871-1916), E.M. Westbrook (1858-1913), John Beaugez (1857-1913), Jules Rupple, Andrew Buehler (1859-1939), Louis Westbrook, Frank De Bourgh (1876-1954+), and Antonio J. Catchot (1864-1954).  Exempt members were: Leonard Fayard (1847-1923), Louis Dolbear (1855-1919), Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912), L.C. Cooley, John D. Minor (1863-1920), D. Seymour, Narcisse Seymour (1849-1931), Antoine Ryan, Louis Ryan (1837-1909), Joseph De Bourgh (1841-1940), and Edmond Mon (1843-1920).  Honorary members were: George W. Davis (1842-1914), W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901), F.M. Weed (1850-1926), Jules Galle (1843-1922), and R.L. Phelps.(The Biloxi Herald, April 25, 1891, p. 1)

 

The Public New School

            With the land donation in hand, aspirations for a public school building at Ocean Springs were high.  Miss Fernanda Wolff who had taught the public school at Ocean Springs in the winter of 1891, in a highly accomplished and efficient manner, raised funds for the school house, by giving “entertainments” to augment private donations for the building.  The “Reporter” for The Pascagoula Democrat-Star related that “Miss Wolff deserves great credit and has thanks of our community for her untiring efforts to make her entertainments financially successful for the benefit of the school house fund”.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 15, 1891, p. 2)

            In early September 1891, patrons of the public school elected Joseph Bourgh (pronounced Bush) (1845-1940), H.F. Russell (1858-1940), and George H. Tardy (1839-1902) as trustees for the new scholastic year.  There was a large turn out at the polls, and the ballots cast for school trustees was the largest ever, which demonstrated an awakening of interest in education at Ocean Springs.  L.N. Bradford (1851-1894) was awarded the contract for the construction of the new school and planned to have it ready for the winter academic session.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 11, 1891, p. 2)

Work on the new schoolhouse progressed intermittently in the fall of 1891.  By mid-November, it appeared that construction would be completed before Christmas 1891.( The Pascagoula Democrat-StarNovember 13, 1891, p. 2)             

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced in early January 1892, that, “The new school house has been occupied by a full school, and Ocean Springs is proud of it”.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 8, 1892, p. 2)

            The 1893 Sanborn Insurance Map of Ocean Springs indicates that the completed 1891 school building was a rather simple, two-story frame structure with an area of approximately 2000 square-feet.(Sanborn Insurance Map, 1898-Sheet 2)

 

1892-1893

            At their Special Meeting of May 16, 1893, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided to use the Public School building as the Town Hall of Ocean Springs.  The Mayor’s court and board meetings were also scheduled to be held here.  In September1893, the Public School house was rented by the Town Board to Professor D.D. Cowan for $2.50 per month for private school instruction.(TOS Minute Book Sept. 19, 1892 to Dec. 11, 1899, p. 39 and p. 47)

            Professor Decatur D. Cowan (1850-1929) taught the winter school term at Ocean Springs.  He was assisted by Florence Morrow (1868-1936) and Celeste Delmas of Scranton.  The local school system had one hundred-twenty eight pupils-66 male and 62 female.  There were 245 students eligible for a public education here at this time.  Mr. Cowan lectured primarily on these subjects: arithmetic, composition, geography, grammar, history, physics, reading, and spelling.(Ocean Springs School Register 1892-1893, JXCO, Ms. Archives, Pascagoula, Ms. and Ellison, 1991, p. 46)

 

Teacher Spotlight

Dwight Decatur Cowan

            Decatur Douglas Cowan (1850-1929) was born July 2, 1850, at Handsboro, Harrison County, Mississippi.  He was the son of Irish immigrant, Robert Clifton Cowan, and M.A. Greaves, a South Carolinian.  At Handsboro, Robert Cowan owned a mercantile store.  Before the Civil War, he donated land to Harrison County where Cowan Road was built.(Ellison, 1991, p. 43)

            Young Decatur D. Cowan was educated at Handsboro High School, and received a teaching certificate from Mississippi College also at Handsboro.  His first teaching post was in a one-room public school in the Woolmarket community.  According to his daughter, Elizabeth Cowan Grishman (b. 1914), Mr. Cowan would run from Biloxi to Woolmarket each day.  While an instructor in the Harrison County public school system, Cowan was elected to the state legislature.  He served during the 1884-1888 term. (Grishman, April 26, 1994 and The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 174))

             At Woolmarket, D.D. Cowan met Lillian Louise Grayson (1862-1892).  She was the daughter of Thomas William Grayson (1825-1904) and Anne Hyde (1832-1906).  Grayson was a merchant and had named the Biloxi River community in which he resided, "Woolmarket", because of its activity in the raising of sheep and the shipping of wool.  Thomas Grayson would become the fourth Mayor of Ocean Springs in 1897.  D.D. Cowan married Lilly Grayson on August 31, 1879.(Ibid. p. 174)

             Circa 1891, the Cowans moved to Ocean Springs where Mr. Cowan taught school and was elected the first Mayor of the recently incorporated town in December 1892.  He became known as "Professor D.D."  At this time there were five Cowan children:  Robert C. Cowan (d. 1945), Mary Ella C. Holman, Desiree C. Shepherd, Carrie Thorne C. Lang (1890-1978), and Decatur D. Cowan II (1891-1965).  Sadly, Mrs. Lilly Cowan died here in July 1892.  Her remains were interred in the Thomas W. Grayson family plot in the Evergreen Cemetery.(Ibid., p. 174)

             

The 1895 Election

            In the July 6, 1895 Democratic primary, Dwight D. Cowan faced Samuel H. Shannon of Cross Roads and R.L. Bullard for the position of Jackson County Superintendent of Education.  He garnered 770 votes out of the 1719 cast, but did not gain a majority, which forced a run-off election with Mr. Shannon in late July 1865.  Professor Cowan defeated his opponent in the second Democratic primary and had no opposition for the office in the general election held on November 5, 1895.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 12, 1895, p. 2 and November 15, 1895, p. 2)

            Before taking office in January 1896, Mr. Cowan managed the mercantile store of M.D. Russell, a land speculator from Iowa.  His father was Doctor D.P. Russell, a veterinarian, who resided at Belle Fontaine.  They were involved with Colonel W.R. Snyder (1864-1918) of the Fruitland farm on Old Fort Bayou in local land speculation.  The three men were alleged partners in the sale of the A.E. Lewis Estate, a small portion, which had been the St. Cyr Seymour homestead, to the John B. Lyon (1829-1904) family of Chicago. A portion of the A.E. Lewis tract became known as the R.W. Hamill Farm in the Fontainebleau area.(JXCO, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 413, "Snyder v. Russell", June 1890)

 

A New Family

In 1902, at Scranton, D.D. Cowan married Mary Hermina Jonte, the daughter of Joseph H. Jonte and Mary Harriett Delmas.  Five children were born of this union: William M. Cowan, Morris J. Cowan, Walter G. Cowan, Mary Elizabeth C. Grishman (1914-2002), and Isabella Cowan who died as an infant.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 174)

                       

A New Career

Professor Cowan resigned his position as Jackson County School Superintendent on May 5, 1905.  He returned to his childhood haunts of Mississippi City-Handsboro and became employed with the Equitable Life Insurance Company.  Cowan's work took him to many small South Mississippi communities such as, Bond, Caesar, and Sumrall.  He once was an employee of the Dantzler Lumber Company.     In 1916, D.D. Cowan returned to the field of Education.  He served as the principal of the Advance Consolidated and Fernwood Schools, and taught at Mississippi City and Handsboro.(Ellison, 1991, pp. 58-59)

            Our first elected Mayor, Decatur Douglas Cowan, throughout his long life continued to show an interest in good government and politics.  He passed on at Mississippi City on January 23, 1929.  Mrs. Cowan died in January 1930. Both were interred at Gulfport, Mississippi.

 

1893-1894

The school term at Ocean Springs in 1893-1894 was held from November until late February.  D.D. Cowan was in charge and was to be assisted by Miss Florence Morrow and Cleo Witt.  Unfortunately, Miss Witt was tardy for her board examinations and did not qualify to teach.  Miss May Skehan (1863-1922) was appointed to replace her.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 3, 1893, p. 3, November 10, 1893, p. 3, and November 17, 1893, p. 3)

Initial attendance at the public school was seventy-two regular pupils, which would increase to one hundred twenty-one by the end of the school term.  Of the final enrollment, there were 79 male and 42 female.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 10, 1893, p. 2 and Ocean Springs School Register 1893-1894, JXCO Archives, Pascagoula, Ms.)

            Professor Cowan completed his enumeration of eligible white students in the Ocean Springs School District in late November.  His survey indicated just over three hundred children who should be in the public school.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 1, 1893, p. 3)

            When the school term was completed, D.D. Cowan opened his private school in early March 1894.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 9, 1894, p. 3)

 

1894-1895

            Of the 298 educable children at Ocean Springs in the winter term of 1894-1895, which ran from November until February, one hundred and thirty-three pupils were enrolled.  Of this student population, seventy-four were male and fifty-nine were of the female gender.  Mr. D.D. Cowan and Miss May Skehan were their teachers.  The public school commenced in mid-November with seventy-five scholars in attendance.(Ocean Springs School Register 1894-1895, JXCO, Ms. Archives, Pascagoula, Ms. and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 16, 1894, p. 3)

            In mid-March 1895, when the public school session recessed for the year, the teachers and students rejoiced and enjoyed a pleasant picnic at “Spanish Camp”.  The Coronet Band played for the festive occasion.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 22, 1895, p. 3)

At the cessation of his private school activities in late April 1895, Professor Cowan and his pupils celebrated the occasion with a picnic on the Tchoutica Bouffe (sic) River.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 10, 1895, p. 3)

Miss Fernanda Wolff had also taught a graded school which closed on May 31, 1895.  The scholarship medal was presented to Lillie Cochran (1881-1961); Jessie L. Carter was awarded the deportment medal; and honor roll recognition was obtained by: Abie Seymour, Florence Catchot (b. 1884), and Florence Richards.(The Pascagoula Democrat Star, June 7, 1895, p. 3)

 

1895-1896

            On September 16, 1895, Miss Fernanda Wolff opened her graded school, which must have been a private entity.  During the Yule Tide, she entertained them at her home.  The Christmas tree was the highlight of the festive gathering.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 13, 1895, p. 3 and January 3, 1896, p. 3)

The Ocean Springs public school opened on November 3, 1895 with Miss May Skehan (1863-1922) in charge.  She was assisted by Florence Canty.  The school population at this time was one hundred forty-80 male and 60 female.  This large enrollment necessitated the search for a second teaching assistant for Miss Skehan.  The curriculum consisted of: arithmetic, geography, grammar, history, language, Mississippi History, reading, and spelling.(Ocean Springs School Register 1895-1896, JXCO, Ms Archives, Pascagoula, Ms. and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  November 29, 1895, p. 3)

Additional school news for 1895, found that Miss Susie Vaughan had returned to her home at Ocean Springs from the Ebenezer School at Vancleave where she had been teaching the summer session.  She returned to take charge of a public school at Vancleave for the winter term of 1895-1896.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 13, 1895, p. 3 and November 8, 1895, p. 3)

            The School Trustees in Ocean Springs at this time were: J.L. Clark, F.M. Dick, and E.M. Westbrook.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 13, 1895, p. 3)

            The 1895-1896 public school year ended on May 26, 1896.  The citizens of Ocean Springs were pleased with the progress of their children in the public school.  Professor Beeman was the principal and Miss Susan Vaughan his able assistant.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 1, 1896, p. 3 and  June 5, 1896, p. 3)

 

1895-1896 Teacher Focus

Mary Agnes May Skehan

            Mary Agnes Skehan (1863-1922) was known as May to her family and friends.  She was born at Anamosa, Iowa, one of the five daughters of William Skehan (d. 1877) and Esther Hunt Fisher (1833-1918).  May Skehan was the sister-in-law of Franklin Sumner Earle (1856-1929), the son of Parker Earle (1831-1917) and Melanie Tracy (1837-1889).  Frank Earle ran the agricultural experimental station for Mississippi A&M College (now Mississippi State University) on the north bank of Old Fort Bayou.  He also worked with his entrepreneurial father, and brother, Charles T. Earle (1861–1901), on the large Earle Farm, which became later the Rose-Money Farm.  

            When Miss Skehan’s widowed mother, Esther, left the agrarian landscape of southern Illinois in 1889, to reside with her daughter, Susan Bedford Skehan Earle (1864-1891), at Ocean Springs, May Skehan came with her.  The F.S. Earle family lived in Gulf Hills in close proximity to the present day clubhouse.(The JXCOT, April 27, 1918, p. 5)

In an Earle family history titled, “The Ingredients To A Brave New Life Entering A Confused World”, by Melanie Earle Keiser (1889-1970), the following was related concerning her aunt, Miss May Skehan:

 

            Auntie May Skehan never married.  She was considered a fine primary teacher.  Many of the Back Bay Creoles of Ruth’s and my generation learned English from Auntie May.  The gentlest of women-but her eyes could turn to steel if her principles were concerned.  She had a most unyielding conscience.  She was merry, loved a joke, and lived her somewhat sterile life gaily.  A born reporter, she never made a trip to town that she did not see and hear remarkable things, which she dressed up on dramatic, spicy style and completely without malice.  She was so innocent a woman that she saw no evil.(Keiser, p. 4)

           

            Prior to Ocean Springs, Miss Skehan taught at the Big Ridge School situated in the SE/4 of the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 11, T7S-R9W.  Parker Earle had donated one acre of his real estate for this educational facility, in November 1890.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 13, p. 378)  The present day site of this former school is situated on Big Ridge Road about .78 miles west of its intersection with North Washington Avenue.

            After her mother passed in 1918, Miss Skehan resided with Lillian Staples Ryan (1850-1928+), a widowed teacher.  May Agnes Skehan left this world at Meridian, Mississippi on April 11, 1922.  Her funeral service was conducted at St. John’s Episcopal Church with burial in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, April 15, 1922, p. 8)

 

1896-1897

            The 1896-1897 school year saw 186 potential scholars enroll in the Ocean Springs Public School, which ran from October 1896 until April 1897.  Of these pupils, 104 were male and 82 female.  They occupied three classrooms designated A, B, and C.  Principal John C. Leger was in charge and ably assisted by Cassandra “Caddie” Ramsay Lowd (1867-1937), Florence Morrow, and Susie Vaughan.  Subjects taught were: Arithmetic, civics, composition, geography, government, grammar, history, Mississippi History, physics, reading, and spelling.(Ocean Springs School Register 1896-1897, JXCO, Ms. Archives, Pascagoula, Ms and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 25, 1896, p. 3)

            Olive Keith (1866-1896), a widow, who came to Ocean Springs from Illinois, joined the faculty after the term had commenced expired on November 20th.  Her spouse had passed at Biloxi circa 1891.  Mrs. Keith left two sons.  Her corporal remains were interred at Biloxi.  A school holiday was declared in respect to her memory.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 27, 1896, p. 3)

 

1896-1897 Teacher Highlight

Cassandra Ramsay Lowd

Cassandra “Caddie” Ramsay Lowd (1867-1937) was the daughter and eldest child of Enoch N. Ramsay (1832-1916) and Nancy Holder.  She was born at Georgetown, Alabama on August 13, 1867.  Miss Ramsay married Benjamin Franklin Lowd.  They had three children: Ethel Lowd (1889- 1978), Charles Ramsay Lowd (1891-1967), and Joseph Lowd.  Circa 1900, the Lowd family relocated from the Bayou Puerto area to Biloxi settling on Main Street.(The Daily Herald, August 18, 1937, p. 2)

            Miss Caddie Ramsay also taught at the Bayou Puerto School, which was located on a small lot (24 feet by 96 feet) in the northwest corner of Governmental Lot 3 of Section 13, T7S-R9W.  The present day site of this former school is on the south side of Le Moyne Boulevard about 350 feet east of Bayou Pines Drive.  William A. Seymour (1863-1939) donated the land for the Bayou Puerto school to the Jackson County School Board in March 1907.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 32, p. 280)

 

19th Century

 PRIVATE SCHOOLS

 

THE W. G. KENDALL SCHOOL

            William Gray Kendall (1812-1872) came to Carroll County, in north central Mississippi circa 1835, from Gallatin County, Kentucky where he was born on January 12, 1812.  After a basic frontier education, he matriculated to Transylvania University where he received a law degree in 1834.  At Carroll County, Mississippi, Kendall soon became active in law, politics, and community.  He was elected County attorney and colonel of the local militia.(NOLA City Directory, 1854, p.     ) 

In 1835, W.G. Kendall married Mary Philomela Irwin (1817-1878), the daughter of John Lawson Irwin and Martha Mitchell (1793-1831).  Mr. Irwin was at one time Speaker of the House of the Mississippi State legislature.  Mary P. Kendall was born on February 5, 1817 at the Puck-shonubbee Plantation, her father’s home, in Carroll County, Mississippi.  She died at Ocean Springs on January 17, 1878.(The Louisiana Historical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4, April 1946, pp. 292-293)        

William Gray Kendall and his wife were the parents of nine children:  John I. Kendall (1841-1898) married Mary E. Smith; Anola Philomela Kendall (1843-1899); William Gray Kendall II (1847-1885); Kate Emma Kendall (1849-1897); Mary Lusk Kendall (1851-1902); Robert David Kendall (1853-1877); Sigur Lusk Kendall (1857-1877); and Benjamin G. Kendall and Catherine Anne Kendall who died in childhood.  Little is known of their lives except that they resided at New Orleans after reaching maturity and never married with the exception of John I. Kendall, who married Mary E. Smith.(The Louisiana Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, No. 2, April 1946, p. 293) 

In January 1846, W.G. Kendall, while a resident of New Orleans, purchased a fifty-acre tract of land at Ocean Springs, Jackson County, Mississippi in Section 30, T7S-R8W with 800 feet fronting on the Bay of Biloxi from A.H. Donaldson.  On this beautiful, high ground facing Deer Island to the south, he built a residence, icehouse, small cemetery, and school.  In 2006, this property is divided and owned primarily by G. Dickey Arndt, William Mitchell, John White, and Donald Scharr.  It is bounded on the north by Shearwater Drive on the west by the Shearwater Pottery, and the south by the Bay of Biloxi and on the east by the Blossman Estate.

            In order to educate his children and probably those of his neighbors, Kendall built a schoolhouse just northeast of his residence.  According to George .E. Arndt Jr. (1909-1994), who resided on the former schoolhouse lot, the octagonal shaped building had a hewn log base with each side about eight feet in length.  The structure was twenty feet across the middle.  In 1938, Arndt added a bedroom and kitchen, and lived in it until he built his present edifice in 1950.  Hurricane Camille destroyed the Kendall "schoolhouse" in 1969.  The George E. Arndt Jr. place was destroyed in late August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina when possessed by G. Dickey Arndt, the son and heir of George E. Arndt Jr.

 

THE SHANNONDALE SCHOOL

            In the springs of 1886, S.L. Boyers Jr. taught a private school at Shannondale, the large stock and fruit farm of Dr. A.H. Shannon, which was situated east of Ocean Springs, in Sections 21 and 22, T7S-R8W.  Mr. Boyers received a salary of about $20 per month..  The Shannondale school was attended by the four children of Dr. A.H. Shannon (1831-1906) and Lucy Irwin Shannon (1838-1909+);            

lucy Irwin Shannon was the daughter of John Larson Irwin II (d. October 22, 1867) and Lucy W. Irwin (1803-1884).  Her paternal grandparents were John Larson Irwin and Martha (Patsy) Mitchell (1793-1831) who wedded in May 1819.  John Larson Irwin was Speaker of the Mississippi Legislature and is remembered for his acrimonious encounter with Seargent S. Prentiss.(JXCO, Ms. School Records-1886, JXCO, Ms. Archives-Pascagoula, Ms. and The Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 1946, pp. 292-293) 

           Fountain E.P. Shannon (1836-1883), Dr. Shannon's brother, and L. A. Matthews Shannon (d. 1883), his spouse, also resided at Shannondale.  They had come to Ocean Springs from their family homestead five and one-half miles north of Nashville, Tennessee several days prior to Thanksgiving Day of 1882.(Shannon, 1953, p. 1) 

           Mrs. L.A. Shannon was the daughter of the Reverend H. Matthews of the Tennessee Conference of the Methodist Church.  It was only natural that they become ardent members of the local Methodist community.  Mr. Shannon was the steward trustee and Sunday school superintendent, and was proactive in the erection of a public hall use by a Lodge of the Knights of Honor and Temperance.  Unfortunately, he and his wife died within twenty-four hours of each other on August 2nd and 3rd, 1883, following a brief illness.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 17, 1883, p. 1)           Fountain E.P. Shannon’s six children were: Lizzie M. Shannon (1872-1899+), Ida L. Shannon (1874-1899), Harry L. Shannon (1878-1899+), Lucy I. Shannon (1879-1899+), Mary K. Shannon, and Louis F. Shannon ?(see JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 693-March 1897).

 THE LYNCH ACADEMY

 

Lynch Academy and sign

          Lynch Academy and marker-The Lynch Academy, a private school, was located on the northwest corner of Jackson Avenue and Porter Street.  James Lynch (1852-1935), an Irish schoolmaster, lived here, taught school, and also managed a dry goods and grocery store.  Mr. Lynch served as an Alderman and later Town Clerk from 1917-1929.  In the image, note the US Highway 90 sign.  In September 2006, workmen in the employ of Brad Lemon, a resident of 509 Ward Avenue discovered a small concrete marker with the designation: LYNCH ACADEMY 1890-1916 inscribed into its surface.  The Lemon house was built circa 1928 by P.J. Wieder (1887-1985).  It is not known who made the Lynch Academy marker or how it got to the Wieder home on Ward Avenue.  Courtesy of  Ray L. Bellande Historic Ocean Springs Archives (HOSA).

  

Wieder House and the Lynch Academy marker

            In September, I received a telephone call from Brad Lemon, retired businessman and former City alderman.  Brad and spouse, Terri Ginn Wyser Lemon, reside at 509 Ward Avenue in the 1928 Philip Jacob Wieder House.  Brad was excited to relate to me that after McClain Tree Service had removed a four-foot diameter, pin oak felled during Katrina of late August 2005, that Johnny Harris and Billy Ray Dunning, while refurbishing his shed damaged by the fallen oak tree, had discovered a small, concrete marker buried within its shallow root system.  Upon washing the soil from the marker, clearly visible was: LYNCH ACADEMY  1890-1916.  The Lynch Academy marker is 21 ¼ inches in length and 15 inches wide.(Brad Lemon, September 20, 2006)

          Brad Lemon acquired the P.J. Wieder House in October 1996, from H. Michael Stockman Jr.  The home had been in the Wieder family until August 1959, when P.J. Wieder (1887-1985) conveyed it to Frances Fried.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1099, p. 209 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 191, pp. 43-47)

Philip J. Wieder was the son of Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899) and Dora Armbruster (1848-1924).  His parents were both born in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France-Germany and arrived at Ocean Springs circa 1875.  The Wieder children were: Joseph A. Wieder (1877- 1960), Adolph Wieder (1879-1931), Frank Wieder (1881-1954), Philip J. Wieder (1887-1985), Mrs. Henry (Mary) Hovelmeier (1890-1986), and Mrs. I.P. (Lena) Carver (1875-1931).

Circa 1925, Philip J. Wieder married Mary Choyce Groves Rouse (1895-1952) of Vancleave.  Their children were:  Philip J. "Jackie" Wieder Jr. (1926-1993) and Dixie Ann W. Gautier (b. 1929).  P.J. Wieder came from an industrious family of carpenters and tradesmen.  In addition to his building skills, he was one of our pioneer auto mechanics.  He and Claude M. Engbarth (1893-1967) built and opened a Ford sales and motorcar repair garage, known in recent times as Mohler’s Tidy Car, on Government and Cash Alley in 1920.  In April 1922, Wieder and Engbarth dissolved their partnership, but P.J. Wieder continued his garage and repair business on Government Street and Cash, until September 1926, when he built a small gas station and associated garage building just west of his original garage.  The new operation was called the Weider Service Station.  Mr. Wieder sold Texaco products.  Phil Wieder also had a coal yard on the property.  The Jackson County Times of September 18, 1926, announced that:

           

Phil Wieder has opened his new auto repair and oil station near his former business place.  He carries a line of auto accessories and tires.  Phil is a good mechanic and should do well in his new place. 

 

The old Wieder Art-Deco garage is extant at 1019 Government Street and owned by Silvergirl LLC, a Jeff and Sibyl G. Sauls enterprise.  They acquired the property from Sam Cvitanovich in March 2006.  During the summer of 2006 refurbishment began, but has since been halted.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1406, p. 763) 

It is not known, if Philip J. Wieder attended the Lynch Academy, but he was the appropriate age to have been a student there.  Did Mr. Wieder make the Lynch Academy marker or rescue it from the property after it was demolished?   It with other local artifacts should be kept for the future City Museum, which will be created someday from a designated space on the second floor of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center.

 

The Lynch Academy

Old timers still remember when Irish immigrant, James Lynch (1852-1935), had a small mercantile business and private school on the northwest corner of Porter and Jackson Avenue.  To the south, on the opposite corner, was the charming 1890s Artesian House, which was erected by Alfred E. Lewis (1862-1933), who earned the moniker, “The Artesian Prince”, for his generosity in providing free water for fighting fires and public drinking fountains, from his private water system, the first at Ocean Springs. (Bellande, 1994, p. 76)  

           

James Lynch

            In early December 1896, James Lynch advertised his private school in The Ocean Wave follows:

 

Preparatory School

To the general school instructions already offered, I will add a course of elementary classics and French, Algebra and Geometry, Stenography and Typewriting, as a preparatory for college or commercial studies. 

For particulars apply to James Lynch,

Jackson Avenue

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

           

            James Lynch (1852-1935), the schoolmaster, was himself Irish, probably a native of County Cavan, Eire. He and his mother, Mary Murphy (1807-1897), lived on the northwest corner of Porter and Jackson in close proximity to another family of Hibernian origin, eastern neighbors, the Jerimiah J. O’ Keefe (1859-1911) family.  Mrs. Murphy, a native of County Cavan, Ireland, expired during a yellow fever breakout during the summer and fall of 1897.  Her death was recorded as August 21, 1897.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 27, 1897)  

Mr. J.J. O’Keefe’s daughter, Mary Cahill O’Keefe (1893-1980), who would establish herself as an excellent educator of the French and English languages in the school systems of Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana, and at Biloxi, and Ocean Springs, Mississippi, was an attendee of the Lynch Academy.  Miss O’ Keefe became Superintendent of public schools at Ocean Springs in 1929, and held this position until 1945.  She was also the first woman appointed to the Board of Trustees of Perkinston Junior College.(The Daily Herald, April 6, 1945, p. 3, c. 6 and Charles L. Sullivan, October 28, 2006)

In the 1890s, Mr. Lynch, in conjunction with The Lynch Academy, was also vending “Dry Goods, Notions, Fancy Groceries, Etc.” from this location.   James Lynch was described as thin and with a long, white beard.  He lived a frugal life and took powdered snuff as one of his few corporal pleasures.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 69)

            Former Mayor and local historian, C.E. Schmidt (1904-1988), paints a vivid image in his description of Master Lynch’s teaching methods, which follows:

 

His curriculum was grounded in the fundamentals of language and ciphering, that is, reading, writing, parsing, and constant drilling tables; addition, multiplication and division, up to the 19th.  Informality was the order. When a lesson was learned, it was “heard”.  If satisfactory, the pupil was advanced; if not he was set down to study it again.

            Discipline carried over from a past age; a slap on the head with a closed book restored order.  The old man’s explosive expletives were something to be avoided.  A wrong answer as to the product of 13 times 16 would draw a thunderous “balderdash”, or if the pupil failed completely, he would likely be assessed as a “confounded mope”.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 69)

           

            Before Mr. Lynch came into possession of this property, it belonged to an Irish lady, Margaret Foy, who may have been his aunt.  Mrs. Foy had acquired it from George A. Cox (1811-1887) in February 1855.  It was described as Lot 10 of Block 26-Culmseig Map of 1854.( Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 1, pp. 184-185) 

            The 1900 Federal Census of Jackson County, Mississippi, indicates that Lynch had an Irish immigrant, Maria J.Galligan (1854-1900+), residing with him.  She was a housekeeper.  It also relates that his birthplace was Louisiana of Irish parentage.  This conflicts with his obituary and other sources which tell of an Irish origin for Mr. Lynch.(The Jackson County Times, July 6, 1935, p. 1)

 

Geiger-Friar House

In 1901, James Lynch was elected alderman from Ward II.  Ironically, his 1903 replacement in this municipal position was Peter Geiger (1858-1923), a German immigrant.  Mr. Geiger was the builder of the Geiger-Friar house, which was originally located on north Washington Avenue, and now rests very near the site of Lynch’s former schoolhouse and store at present day 611 Jackson Avenue.  Mr. Lynch returned to political office in 1917 as city clerk.  He served consecutive terms until replaced by Oscar Joachim (1904-1955) in 1929.(Schmidt, 1979, pp. 133-135)

After James Lynch passed intestate in June 1935, local undertaker, Jeremiah J. “Ben” O’Keefe (1894-1954), who would bury the old school master in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou, was appointed executor of his estate.  Ben O’Keefe was the father of Jeremiah J. O’Keefe III (b. 1923), who with the guidance of HOSA, saved the Geiger-Friar house from demolition in the late 1980s and had it removed it to Jackson Avenue where Bruce Tolar, local architect, restored the graceful Queen Anne structure to its present glory on the northwest corner of Jackson and Porter.(Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 5706 and The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 302)

            In September 1936, Mr. Ben O’ Keefe sold the old Lynch property to Lulie Mae Lockard (1894-1960) andAnnie Kate Lockard (1902-1960) for $525.  They were the daughters of James E. Lockard (1862-1951) andCatherine Thompson Lockard (1868-1954), early 20th Century settlers of Vancleave.  Mr. Lockard had come to Vancleave with his family in 1901, to work in the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company commissary.  Intelligence, hard work, and good fortune rewarded young Lockard, and he soon became a very prominent citizen of the Bluff Creek region and Jackson County.  He was active in local commerce and had extensive timber land and turpentine holdings.  Lockard, once owned several coastal schooners active in the New Orleans-Vancleave charcoal trade.(Lockard, August 1998 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 69, p. 364)   

            Lulie May Lockard was born at Meridian, Mississippi.  She taught school at Birmingham, Alabama for over thirty years.  Miss Lockard expired here in November 1960.  Her remains were returned to Vancleave for internment.(The Daily Herald, November 26, 1960, p. 2)

By 1947, Miss Annie K. Lockard had married a Mr. T.P. Lord and resided in Spring Hill, Alabama.  She sold her one-half interest to her sister, Lulie Mae Lockard, in June 1947.  A week later, Lulie Mae Lockard  conveyed the northwest corner of Porter and Jackson, a lot with 200 feet fronting on Porter and 144 feet on Jackson to Neville Byrd(1892-1971).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 97, p. 157 and Bk. 98. p. 102) 

            Conversations with several senior citizens reveal that the two-story Lynch residence cum store and school were demolished shortly after his demise in the late 1930s.  It is very probable that during the final years of the Great Depression, the lumber was sold for a profit and property taxes reduced with the absence of a structure.(J.K. Lemon and Magaret Seymour Norman, August 1998)

 

Susie Vaughan

 In June 1897, Miss Susie Vaughan requested the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to rent her the upper floor of the public school, for the purpose of teaching a private school.  Her request was declined, but a counter proposal was made Miss Vaughan by the Board to let the first floor of the school for $2.00 per month.(TOS, Minute Bk. Sept. 19, 1892 to Dec. 11, 1899, p. 162)

 

1897-1898

Trustees of the Ocean Springs Public School met in early June 1897, to establish a permanent high school.  The trustees declared that Q.D. Sauls of Purvis, the principal of the school will be graded, a charter obtained, and the school made ready for opening in September.( The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", June 4, 1897).

 

             The 1897-1898 school session faculty was composed of: Q.D. Sauls, principal; Lulu Haviland Clark (1880-1972), Florence E. Morrow (1868-1936), and Susie Willis Vaughan (1869-1962).

 

The Ocean Springs High School under the management of Professor Q.D. Sauls was lauded as “one of the most through and efficient schools in this section.  The best  method of teaching are observed and the course of study embraces a teacher’s course and a business college department.  The school opened on September 6th and closed May 22, 1898.(The Biloxi Herald, July 31, 1898, p. 8)

The 1897-1898 public school year at Ocean Springs began in crisis.  Ocean Springs and the immediate area were under quarantine due to an outbreak of fever.  The infectivity had started at Ocean Springs in August 1897.  It was initially believed that the more than five hundred cases at Ocean Springs were dengue fever and that it had originated at Ship Island.  Dr. Olliphant, president of the Louisiana Board of Health, in his official report declared the contagion as a mild type of dengue fever.  His declaration was later reinforced by Colonel R.A. VanCleave (1840-1908), who was quoted by The Pascagoula Democrat-Star on September 17, 1897, as follows:

 

     I have been through the yellow fever epidemics of 1875 and 1878 and according to my experience and observation, no yellow fever exists or has exited in Ocean Springs.

 

In Jackson County, two facilities were established for quarantine purposes.  A detention camp, called "Camp Fountainbleau", was built nine miles east of Ocean Springs, and the Round Island Quarantine Station off Pascagoula was designated a place to receive refugees arriving from infected places.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 27, 1996, p. 16)

      Naturally, the Yellow Fever paranoia delayed the commencement of the school year at Ocean Springs.  In mid-October 1897, the Ocean Springs High School management announced that the facility would open soon.  A month later the public school remained closed, although the private schools of the town were operating efficiently.  By late November, preparations to open the public school had commenced and on November 26th at 9:00 a.m. with 119 pupils in attendance.  Professor Q.D. Sauls (1870-1909+) was established as principal with Miss Florence Morrow (1868-1936) and Miss Susie Vaughan (1869-1962) as assistants.  R.A. VanCleave (1840-1908) was president of the School Board and was ably assisted by trustees:  F.M. Dick (1857-1922), B.F. Joachim (1853-1925), F.J. Lundy (1863-1912), and E.M. Westbrook (1858-1913).(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 15, 1897, p. 3, November 12, 1897, p. 3, November 26, 1897, p. 3, December 3, 1897, p. 3)  

By the Christmas Holiday of 1897, the Ocean Springs High School faculty had made a favorable impression on the community with their efforts to improve academic standards in the classroom.  Almost 150 students were at school for the Yule Tide recess.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 24, 1897, p. 3)

Enrollment in the Ocean Springs High School reached 160 pupils in mid-January 1898.  Mr. Sauls was active in recruiting scholars from areas outside of Ocean Springs.  L.R. Bond, a resident of Bond Station on the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad, was one of these students.  Professor Sauls also acquired a janitor for the school buildings at this time.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 14, 1898, p. 3 and January 28, 1898, p. 3)

With the rapidly increasing school population, Professor Sauls hired Miss Lulu Haviland (1880-1972).  She joined the faculty in January 1898.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 28, 1898, p. 3)

By the end of January 1898, school enrollment had reached 180.  Miss Florence Morrow had to relocate her class to one of the Westbrook cottages across the lawn from the schoolhouse.  The student population was approaching two hundred by early February and reached two hundred in March 1898.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 28, 1898, p. 3, February 11, 1898, p. 3, and March 18, 1898, p. 3)

The closing exercises for the 1897-1898 Ocean Springs High School were held   mid-June 1898.  There were seven grades in the school from which representative scholars gave recitations and essays.  Both the morning and evening functions were very well attended indicating that a larger meeting hall was necessary for public assembly.  Attorney W.H. Maybin, Biloxi’s noted poet and public speaker, addressed the audience after his introduction by R.A. VanCleave (1840-1908), School Board president.  Mrs. Minor was in charge of all music programs at the affair.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 17, 1898, p. 3)

Professor Sauls held a summer session at Ocean Springs, in July 1898.  He was highly solicited by the town to teach summer classes.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 24, 1898, p. 3)

 

1896-1897 Teacher showcase

Florence E. Morrow

            Florence E. Morrow (1868-1936) was born at Enterprise, Clarke County, Mississippi on May 24, 1868, one of four children of William Morrow and Sarah Bull (1844-1916).  Mrs. Sarah B. Morrow was a native of Millidgeville, Georgia.  Some of Miss Morrow’s siblings were: Maud Ozell Morrow (1874-1952) and Percy Morrow, an employee of the L&N Railroad.(The JXCOT, August 5, 1916 and Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Records Bk. 22, p. 260)

Miss Morrow and Alice Bull (d. 1895), probably a cousin, came to the Mississippi coast as schoolteachers from Grand Bay, Alabama.  The young educators may have taught at Pascagoula in 1887-1888, as they interviewed for positions here in early September 1887.   Miss Bull was the schoolmistress at the Mt. Pleasant School in 1894.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 9, 1887, p. 3 and The Biloxi Herald, May 26, 1894, p. 1))

            Florence E. Morrow began her teaching career at Ocean Springs in the early 1890s.  She taught primarily the kindergarten and first grade classes.  Miss Morrow was living in the cottage next to the Fire Hall in December 1893.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 8, 1893, p. 3)  By April 1915, she was a resident of Jackson Avenue where she raised delicate, lovely roses of various colors in her front yard.(The Ocean Springs News, April 29, 1915, p. 3)  One of the highlights of the school year for her young pupils was the promenade to the local drugstore for an ice cream treat shortly before summer recess began.(The JXCOT, May 28, 1921, p. 3)

            Miss Florence Morrow retired from the classroom circa 1933.  She expired on July 20, 1936, the result of a cerebral hemorrhage.  Her corporal remains lie in the Bull-Morrow family plot at the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The JXCOT, July 25, 1936, p. 1)       

 

1898-1899

            Opening exercises for the Ocean Springs High School were held in early September 1898.  The children sang and Jackson County School Superintendent D.D. Cowan, School Board president, R.A. VanCleave, and Principal Sauls addressed the pupils and audience.  Professor Quilla D. Sauls was endowed with a school staff composed of: Florence Morrow, primary; Clara Robbins, asst. in the grammar school; Leila May Smith, asst. in primary and special elocution; Daisy Allen, librarian; Mrs. E.I. Switzer, special art courses, drawing, oil painting, crayon work, and photography; Mrs. H.H. Minor, music instructor in piano, mandolin, and guitar; and James Clark, janitor.  School trustees in attendance were F.M. Dick (1857-1922) and F.J. Lundy (1863-1912).  Miss Clara Robins and Miss Leila May Smith were boarding with Mrs. E. Bradford on Porter Avenue.(The Pascagoula Democrat Star, August 12, 1898, and  September 9, 1898, p. 3)

            One of the salient features of Professor Sauls school system was the daily morning assembly held in the Firemen’s Hall adjacent to the schoolhouse.  “America”, the national song, was usually sung.  The opening assembly of the 1898-1899 school session was very special to Mr. Sauls as the student body represented by Josephine Joachim (1884-1927) presented him with a silver water pitcher.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 16, 1898, p. 3)

            By mid-October 1898, one hundred ninety-five students were in attendance at the Ocean Springs High School, which caused Quiila D. Sauls to find additional classroom space in the Knights of Pythias Hall on Washington Avenue.  Professor Saul was lauded for his determined efforts to continuously increase enrollment.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 7, 1898, p. 3 and October 14, 1898, p. 3)

Several students from the area north of Fort Bayou boarded in town for the fall term.  Lyman Bradford (1884-1906), son of Sherwood Bradford (1838-1922) of VanCleave, resided with Mrs. Carter on DeSoto Avenue.  Minnie Richardson of the Fort Bayou community stayed at Mrs. Wilcox’s place on Porter.  In mid-October 1898, Miss Richardson was selected to replace Miss Daisy Allen as librarian, when Miss Allen relocated to Scranton.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 16, 1898, p. 3, October 7, 1898, p. 3 and October 14, 1898, p. 3)

 

Professor Quilla D. Sauls

Quilla D. Sauls (1870-1909+), former Superintendent of the Purvis High School,  came to Ocean Springs in 1897, the same year that he married his spouse, Belle Caraway, the daughter of W.A. Caraway (1834-1909) and Rosanna M. Caraway (1838-1903) of Purvis, Lamar County, Mississippi.  The Caraways were married in April 1856, and had parented eleven children.  Mrs. Saul’s brother was Dr. C.H. Caraway, also of Purvis.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 1, 1898, p. 3 and April 6, 1900, p. 3, and June 4, 1897, p. 3)

In July 1897, Professor Sauls was lauded as one who “combines energy and business capacity with high qualifications as a teacher, and success is a natural result of his efforts”.(The Biloxi Herald, July 31, 1897, p. 8)

In December 1897, the Sauls family rented the Arndt Cottage, on Jackson Avenue.  Here their daughter, Lucille Sauls, came into the world in March 1898.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 3, 1897, p. 3) 

C.E. Schmidt in Ocean Springs French Beachhead, wrote that "Q.D. Sauls was a man of vision, possibly far ahead of his time.  He had a broad concept of a city high school and looked beyond horizons for the student body.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 65)

At the time of Professor Sauls advent here, the public school consisted of a two-story red frame building located at the rear of the firehouse operated by the Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1, on the east side of Washington Avenue between Porter and Joseph Street.  He was industrious and aggressive in his campaign to educate the children of this region.  From an enrollment of 114 in 1897, Sauls saw the local school population explode to 384 students by the 1900-1901 school session.(ibid., p. 65)

In November 1898, hosted the Ocean Springs High School literary society.  Walter Clark, president, Mamie Davis, vice president, and Sadie Davis, secretary.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 14, 1898, p. 3)

During the summer recess, Professor Sauls was involved with teacher education.  In July 1899, he taught at the State Normal held in Biloxi where he delivered lectures in history and geography.  Miss Florence E. Morrow (1868-1936) attended the session and was the house guest of Dr. E.R. Bragg and spouse, former residents of Ocean Springs.

(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 30, 1899, p. 3)

In the summer of 1900, Quilla D. Sauls planned a similar training session at the Ocean Springs High School after the cessation of the Winter Term.  He advertised his intentions as follows:

 

TEACHERS’ TRAINING COURSE OF

OCEAN SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL

            Opens annually with the close of the winter term of the county public schools, prepares teachers for the Spring examinations, gives to those who have a certificate a review in the higher branches and commercial classes, and aids teachers, generally, in obtaining licenses for teaching and securing better schools and higher salaries.

            We are prepared to duplicate prices of board and tuition offered by other institutions, and we offer special advantages in library and laboratory facilities and commercial courses.

            For further information, full particulars and large catalogues, address to Q.D. Sauls, Ocean Springs, Miss.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 19, 1900, p. 3)

 

Professor Sauls and his family moved from their cottage on Porter to reside with some of the school boarders at the Artesian House during the 1900-1901 school term. The Artesian House was situated on the southwest corner of Jackson and Porter diagonally opposite the J.J. O’Keefe boarding house. The Sauls rented their Porter Street home to H.H. Richardson (d. 1906) and his spouse of Chicago who were wintering here.  Mr. Richardson had Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899) erect his cottage at present day 605 Porter in 1895.  He sold it to Belle Caraway Sauls (1877-1904+) in May 1898.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 9, 1900, p. 3 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 19, p. 75)

In 1904, when the Sauls family was selling their house on Porter, it was advertised in The Progress as follows:

 

FOR SALE

The Richardson Cottage

Q.D. Sauls-Arcola, Louisiana

One of the neatest and best built cottages in town, on a large lot bounded by Porter and Martin Avenue in a desirable locality of Ocean Springs.

 

William Sheppard VanCleave (1871-1938) purchased the house from the Professor Sauls in May 1904.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, pp. 115-116)  Mr. VanCleave, a local merchant, had married Eudora Casey (1876-1950) in a double wedding ceremony at the Ocean Springs’ Methodist Church on December 28, 1897.  Miss Sara (Sallie) VanCleave (1876-1934), his sister, married Dunkling Felix Reid.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 7, 1898, p. 3)

The Sauls family relocated to Arcola, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana.  By 1909, Q.D. Sauls was in the long leaf yellow pine business as a manufacturer and dealer.  He was located at Saw Mill, Old Camp on the Natchez, Columbia & Mobile R.R. near Norfield, Lincoln County, Mississippi. 

 

Fred W. Norwood

Norfield, a sawmill town, was named for Fred W. Norwood (1840-1921) and C.S. Butterfield.  Mr. Norwood, a shoe salesman in Chicago, became involved in the yellow pine lumber business. Circa 1884, he commenced one of the first retail lumberyards in Chicago to merchandise southern pine.  The Norwood-Butterfield outfit contracted to supply Marshall Field of Chicago with enough pine lumber to erect a large warehouse in Chicago.  Their mills south of Brookhaven manufactured the lumber and by 1890, the Norwood-Butterfield Company was one of the largest yellow pine suppliers in Mississippi.(Hickman, 1962, p. 60)

             In June 1896, when James Charnley of Chicago marketed his East Beach home east of his friend, Louis H. Sullivan (1850-1926), the great Chicago architect and writer, Mr. Fred Norwood and spouse acquired it.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 17, pp. 390-391) 

           

1899-1900

             In September 1899, the school trustee met and decided that the 1899-1900 public school term at Ocean Springs, would have a duration of eight months and commence on the first Monday in October.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 1, 1899, p. 3)

             The Board of Mayor and Aldermen had budgeted $1752 for the operation and maintenance of the public school.  Itemized, the financial appropriations were scheduled as follows: salaries for white teachers-$1200; salaries for black teachers-$400; Superintendent Cowan’s commission-$62; janitor and supplies-$40; and probable coal bill-$50.(Town of Ocean Springs, Minute Bk. (Sept. 1892 to Dec. 1899), p. 357)

Again, Professor Q.D. Sauls was principal of the Ocean Springs High School.  His assistants were teachers: Florence Morrow, Clara Robbins, and Lelia May Smith; Minnie Richardson, librarian; Mrs. E.J. Switzer, art; and Mrs. H.H. Minor, music.  Mademoiselles Robbins and Smith were boarding with Mrs. Bradford.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 6, 1899, p. 3, October 13, 1899, p. 3,  and May 25, 1900, p. 3)

            Miss Susie Vaughan, who had taught in past years at Ocean Springs, found employment at McHenry, Harrison County, Mississippi.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 8, 1899)

Miss Morrow had fifty-five pupils in her class and by mid-November 1899, the school enrollment was approaching 200 students.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 13, 1899, p. 3, and November 17, 1899, p. 3)

 

Featured Teacher

Minnie Richardson

Miss Minnie Richardson (1879-1952+) lived in the Fort Bayou Community.  She was the daughter of William Richardson (d. ca 1888) and Mary Witt Richardson (1849-1927), a native of Lynnville, Tennessee and the postmaster at Fort Bayou from 1888-1891.  Minnie Richardson married Junius P. VanCleave (1879-1945+), a local merchant, in the Methodist Church at Ocean Springs on August 16, 1904.  They relocated to Laurel, Mississippi in 1914, and eventually settled at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where his brother, Richard S. VanCleave and Robert A. VanCleave II were successful developers.

           

THE 1900 PUBLIC SCHOOL

School Bonds

In early March 1899, the School Trustees asked the town government for $5000 to erect a new public school.  Their request was approved and in mid-April 1899, the Town Council authorized a bond issue worth $5000 for the new public school.  In early May 1899 bond bids were received from Duke M. Farson, the New 1st National Bank of Columbus, Ohio, and the F.R. Fulton Company of Chicago.  The Fulton Company bought the school issued bonds.(TOS Minute Bk.1892 to1899, p. 298, pp. 322-323 and The Pascagoula Democrat-StarApril 14, 1899, p. 3)

 

School Site 

            On April 14, 1899, the citizenry met en masse to select a school building site selection committee.  Ernest E. Clements (1861-1922) was chosen as chairman and Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912) was selected as secretary.  Committee members were: George W. Davis (1842-1914), Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915), Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904), E.M. Westbrook (1853-1913), Thomas R. Friar (1845-1914), and Ross A. Switzer (1875-1914+).  May 1, 1899 was the last day that sealed proposals for the school lot would be received by the committee.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 21, 1899, p. 3)

The site chosen by the selection committee for the new Ocean Springs Public School consisted of just over 2 acres of land on the northwest of Porter and Dewey Avenue.  The school tract was acquired by the Town of Ocean Springs, in two purchases.  In June 1899, Joseph Bellande (1819-1907), conveyed a lot for $850, which was 350 feet x 100 feet and bounded on the east be Dewey Avenue and north by the Catholic Church lot.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Book 20, p. 131) 

Also in June 1899, the Bishop of Natchez was paid $300 for the Catholic Church land, the former site of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, on the northwest corner of Porter and Dewey Avenue.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 20, pp. 128-130)      

 

1900 Public School

 

The Building

The 1900 Ocean Springs Public School was designed by D. Anderson Dickey of New Orleans.  He was selected by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in June 1899 and paid $85 for his plans and specifications.(TOS, Min. Bk. 1892 to 1899, p. 333)

     In July 18, 1899, bid contracts for the new schoolhouse were submitted to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, by: T.J. Pittman-$5165; Frank Bourgh-$4995; John Stone-$5872; and W. Markel & Son-$4650.  These bids were rejected by the town council.  New bids were submitted on July 21, 1899, as follows: Frank Bourgh- $4785 and Wm. Markel & Son-$4900.  The final bid of Mr. Bourgh was $3760.  It was accepted in late July 1899, utilizing the architectural plans of Anderson Dickey, with modifications and changes made by a Mayoral appointed building committee, composed of George L. Friar (1869-1924 ), Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912), and H.F. Russell (1858-1940).  Some of the changes from the original consideration, were that shingle would be substituted for slate; the interior of the building would not be painted; and all hardware furnishings would be bronze.(TOS, Min. Bk. 1892 to 1899, p. 341-345 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 28, 1899, p. 3)

            In their regular meeting held in late July, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen set the construction bond of schoolhouse contractor, Frank De Bourgh, at $2000.  It was supported with the signatures of the Davis Brothers, Jerry O’Keefe (1859-1911), and Narcisse Seymour (1849-1931).  B.F. Joachim, Fred Dick, and Oren Switzer were appointed to supervise the construction of the new school.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 4, 1899, p. 3)         

 

Frank De Bourgh

The contractor, Frank De Bourg (1876-1954+), was a native of New Orleans and the son of Joseph De Bourgh (1845-1940) and Jane McKay (b. 1853), also from he Crescent City.  Frank followed his father’s trade, carpentry.  He was one of seven children of which four survived into the 1950s: Miss Agnes Mary De Bourg (1878-1954) Leonie De Bourg Lema (1882-1954+), the spouse of Frank W. Lema, and Mae De Bourg Ehlers (1898-1954+), the spouse of Lawrence Ehlers (1898-1954+).(The Daily Herald, April 5, 1954, p. 14)

While Bourg and his crew were erecting the new public school building, work was also taking place on the new Methodist church on Porter and Rayburn.( The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  November 3, 1899, p. 3)

            In early April 1900, the school building inspection committee reported to the town council that the structure was complete with the following exceptions: the front entrance and portal were not painted; the auditorium was not ceiled; the gallery floor had not been laid; the baluster rail for the gallery had not been installed; there was no facia board on the building, nor on the front of the stage; the teacher’s room and laboratory were not ceiled; and some molding was absent from the stairs.   When Frank De Bourg presented the Board a bill for $829 for his work on the public school, it was unanimously rejected.  Alderman Friar motioned that a committee confer with Board Attorney Ford to resolve the situation with Contractor De Bourg.  G.W. Davis, bondsman for Mr. De Bourgh, agreed to complete the school per plans and specifications and present the Mayor and Board of Aldermen with the keys shortly.(TOS Minute Bk. 1900 to1907, pp. 19-21)

            In early May 1900, Mr. De Bourg reported to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen that he had completed the new public school.  He was paid his final fee and released from the contract.(Ibid., p. 28)

 

Completed Building

            In early April 1900, the new public school house on Porter and Dewey was visited by a journalist for The Pascagoula Democrat-Star.  His description of the new structure follows:

 

            The citizens of Ocean Springs can feel proud of their new public school building, which is not surpassed by any in the State.  Each room is well ventilated and lighted, the desks and seats are all of the most comfortable kind, and the blackboards are really a temptation to children to do the most assiduous work in arithmetic and exercises of all kinds.  In addition to the classrooms there is an Odeon built expressly with stage and seats for all school entertainments. The building is three stories frame, with large study hall and wide galleries for use in inclement weather, and has many exits for escape in case of any danger to the little folk.

 

            In 1915, Principal Benjamin H. Ashman described the school building as follows:

                       

            “centrally located on ample grounds.  The classrooms are large and well lighted and are fitted with individual desks.  The assembly room, which was furnished with opera chairs last year, can accommodate about 300.  Five stairways minimize fire dangers.  There are large, well-ventilated toilets and washrooms.(The Ocean Springs News, November 24, 1915, p. 3)

 

The School Bell and other gifts

            In early January 1900, Herman John Nill (1863-1904), a native of New Orleans, who came to Ocean Springs in the late 1880s, with his family and opened a pharmacy on the northwest corner of Porter and Washington, donated a bell for the new public school.  With five children to educate, Mr. Nill had a vested interest in the quality of the local public school system.  A notice of his gift was sent with a missive to the Town Council.   

A portion of his letter related the following:

 

            “feeling interested in the progress of our town school and being in hearty sympathy with its wants and realizing the necessity of a good school bell for the new building, I have hauled there today a 24 inch, 225 pound, steel alloy bell with fixtures complete which I tender to you with the compliments of the day”.(TOS, Minute Bk. 1900-1907, p. 2)

           

In October 1900, the Reverend William C. West (1848-1915), the local Presbyterian minister, and his wife, Harriet N. Day West (1851-1931), requested of the Town Council and were granted the privilege of furnishing the library room as a memorial to their recently departed daughter, Laura T. West (1882-1900).  Miss West passed in early March, the victim of typhoid pneumonia.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 26, 1900, p. 3 and March 9, 1900, p. 3)

In May 1911, Theo Bechtel (1863-1931) gave the Civic Federation a flagpole for the school grounds.  An American flag was planned as a later donation.(The Ocean Springs News, May 20, 1911, p. 5)

            In September 1911, Mrs. Mary F. Field, a wealthy, winter resident of East Beach, presented the Ocean Springs public school with a sanitary drinking fountain.  It was placed in the schoolyard in memory of her late husband, Rushton H. Field (1838-1908), a Chicago hotelier. The drinking fountain was the first of its kind to be installed in South Mississippi.  The Civic Federation planned to place one in Marshall Park.(The Ocean Springs News, September 16, 1911, p. 5)

           

1900-1901

In 1900, there were fifty-five school districts, fifty-nine school teachers, and 4,325 educable children in Jackson County.  Superintendent Cowan was paid $687 per year for his efforts.  In 1904, the State legislature passed a bill, which set the remuneration for the County Superintendent of Education at 5% of the total school funds per annum.  His salary could not exceed $1200, nor be less than $700 each year.(WPA, 1936-1937, p. 280)

            The Ocean Springs public school trustees met in June 1900 and appointed Q.D. Sauls, Florence Morrow, and Lelia Mae Smith for the 1900-1901 school term.  Miss Clara Robbins resigned and went to teach in the Biloxi Public School system.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 29, 1900, p. 3 and September 21, 1900, p. 3)

 

The 1900 Football Team

            The 1900 football team, which was probably the first organized gridiron squad at the Ocean Springs Public School, was composed of the following players: Fred Turner, center; Horace Culver, quarterback; Walter Clark, left half; Walter Weatherby, fullback; Clyde Madsen (1881-1948), right half; ends-Walton Davis and Ted Helmuth (1884-1975); guards-R. Ramsay, George Pabst (1881-1949), E. Iler, and Morris McClure (1884-1940); tackles-Ernest Pabst (1883-1927) and Arthur Westbrook (1884-1945). 

They beat the Biloxi team on Thanksgiving Day 1899, and soundly defeated a Moss Point squad on the Scranton pitch in mid-January 1900.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 8, 1899, p. 3 and January 26, 1900, p. 3)

            At the first “Turkey Bowl” in Ocean Springs, the Biloxi football squad arrived with their fans wearing the colors of their team, on the 1:34 p.m. train.  Ocean Springs was victorious winning the game 10-2.  The correspondent withThe Biloxi Daily Herald who witnessed the contestrelated in his journal that the Ocean Springs team was older, taller, and weighed more than Biloxi’s squad.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 30, 1899, p. 8 and December 3, 1899, p. 8)

The Ocean Springs eleven met Biloxi again on Christmas Day 1899, on the pitch of Gulf View Park, an equine racing track, in Biloxi.  After their setback, Biloxi planned to strengthen their team and best Ocean Springs before their home crowd.  Although no score for the contest was found in the Biloxi newspaper, the inference was that Biloxi won by a narrow margin.  Ocean Springs went on to soundly defeated a Moss Point squad on the Scranton football turf in mid-January 1900.  C.N. Travours of Edwardsville, Illinois presented them with a Spaulding football after the contest.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 3, 1899, p. 8,  and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 26, 1900, p. 3)

            In the fall of the 1900-1901 school term, the Athletic Club at the Ocean Springs High School unanimously selected Fred Turner, Ernest Pabst, and Walter Davis as officers of the organization.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 19, 1900, p. 3)      

 

Old Schoolhouse relocated and School Land returned

            In September 1902, B.F. Joachim, Thomas R. Friar (1845-1914), F.J. Lundy (1863-1912), F.M. Dick (1857-1922), and O.L. Bailey (1870-1938), trustees of the Ocean Springs Public School, conveyed the 1891 public school house lot back to the Ocean Springs Fire Company No.1.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 25, p. 308) 

In 1902, the “little” red schoolhouse was moved by E.W. Illing (1870-1947), to a site on the public school land at the northeast corner of Dewey Avenue and Joseph Street.  In February 1902, Mr. E.W. Illing was awarded the moving contract by the Board of Aldermen, after his successful bid of $90.  The former schoolhouse was utilized as a school annex, Town Hall, and City Court until about 1928.(TOS, Min. Bk.1900 to1907, pp. 131-132 and Schmidt, 1972, p. 65)

 

REFERENCES:

Books

Charles William Dabney, Universal Education in the South, Volume I, (The University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, N.C.-1936).

 

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), pp. 43-

 

George H. EthridgeMississippi-A History, (The Historical Record Association: Jackson, Mississippi-?).

 

Melanie Earle Keiser, The Ingredients To A Brave Life Entering A Confused World, (Keiser: Bandera, Texas-ca 1960?)

 

Nollie Hickman, Mississippi Harvest: Lumbering in the Longleaf Pine Belt (1840-1915)(The Paragon Press: Mobile, Alabama-1962)

 

Dr. Jessie O. McKeeMississippi, A Portrait of an American State, (Clairmont Press: Montgomery, Alabama-1995).

 

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1972), pp. 92-94.

 

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, “Cowan Family”, (The Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989).

 

WPA FOR MISSISSIPPI HISTORICAL DATA-JACSON COUNTY, (State Wide Historical Project: 1936-1937).

 

Journals

The Biloxi Herald, “Vancleave News’, May 26, 1894.

The Biloxi Herald, “Latest City News”, July 31, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, November 30, 1899.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, December 3, 1899.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Spings”, April 15, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs Shows Growth”, October 27, 1925.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Cassandra Lowd Dies”, August 18, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Bourg Buried”, April 5, 1954.

The Jackson County Times“Mrs. Sarah Morrow Dead”, August 5, 1916.

The Jackson County Times“Fierce Fire Does Heavy Damage”, November 18, 1916.

The Jackson County Times“Asleep In Jesus”, April 27, 1918.

The Jackson County Times“Local and Personal”, May 28, 1921.

The Jackson County Times“Miss Florence Morrow Taken By Death”, July 25, 1936.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, May 20, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 16, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, April 29, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Schools Here Are Doing great Work”, November 24, 1915.

The Ocean Wave, “Preparatory School”, December 5, 1896.

 

1870

The Star of Pascagoula“Public Meeting of the School Patrons of Ocean Springs”, November 7, 1874.

The Star of Pascagoula“May Day at Ocean Springs”, May 8, 1875.

The Star of Pascagoula“In Memoriam”, November 20, 1875.

 

1880

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs High School”, September 30, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Meeting of Jackson County Teachers”, May 16, 1884.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 19, 1886.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local News”, September 9, 1887.

 

1890

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 15, 1891.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 11, 1891.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 13, 1891.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 8, 1892.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals, March 11, 1892.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, November 3, 1893.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, November 10, 1893.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, November 17, 1893.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, December 1, 1893.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, December 8, 1893.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, March 9, 1894.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, November 16, 1894.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, November 23, 1894.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Local News”, March 22, 1895.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 10, 1895.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 6, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, May 10, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, July 5, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Jackson County Democratic Primary Election”, July 12, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 13, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 8, 1895.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star “Jackson County (Official) Election Returns”, November 15, 1895.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 15, 1895.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 29, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, December 13, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 3, 1896.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 1, 1896.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 6, 1896.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 25, 1896.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 27, 1896.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", June 4, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 15, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 12, 1897.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 26, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals, December 3, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals, December 24, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 7, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 28, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, February 11, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, March 18, 1898.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 1, 1898.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 17, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 24, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 9, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs High School”, September 16, 1898.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 16, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 30, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 7, 1898.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 14, 1898.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 14, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 14, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", May 19, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 30, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, July 28, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 21, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, August 4, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 1, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 3, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 3, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 17, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  “Ocean Springs Locals”, December 8, 1899.

 

 

1900

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 19, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 26, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, March 9, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 6, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 13, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 25, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 29, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 26, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 9, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 30, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 21, 1901.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 19, 1901.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 1, 1901.

 

Personal Communication:

Elizabeth Cowan Grishman - April 26, 1994

20th Century School Teachers

 

Agnes Grinstead Anderson

Estelle Chatelain

William H. Cole

Lucille Magee Dennison (1895-1961)

Merrick J. Chatelain (1908-1986)

Albert O. Garr (1909-1981)

Mamie Gordon

Hilda Friar

Newton Perry Gautier (1926-2009)

Katherine Hadley

Alice Emily Hague

Rita Johnson (d. 1926, see The Jackson County Times, March 20, 1926, p. 6)

Olive Keith (1873-1903)

Lucretia Money Parlin (1910-

Florence E. Morrow (1868-1936)

Mary Cahill O’Keefe

Inell Orrell

Marie Louise Ratelle Preis (1911-1965)

Amy Quick (1904-2-21-1994 at Hattiesburg, Ms.) this is Amy Z. Quick and may not be her.

Elinor Wright Scharr (1913-1953)

Ruth Dickey White Scharr

Francesca Spencer Howard (1911-1971)

Mildred Swim (1914-1985)

N.E. Taconi

Terry Thibodeaux (1935-1992)

Katherine Varnado

Edith Graham Wall (1909-2001)

Sibley S. Wall

W.H. Wood

May Belle Oakes Woods

 

 

William H. Cole

            William H. Cole came to Ocean Springs from Hillsboro, Illinois.  In the summer of 1929, he attended the University of Michigan before arriving in Ocean Springs as the guest of A.P. “Fred” Moran.  Mr. Cole had accepted the job of principal at the Moss Point, Mississippi high school.(The Jackson County Times, August 31, 1929, p.3)

            Football coach.  Acquired for $1472, Lot 7-Block C from H.L. Girot in  September 1926.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 59, p. 536)  Cole married to Clarabel Day Cole, a native of Marshall, Michigan.  They lived at present day 1108 West Cherokee in the first house in Cherokee Glenn other than that of H.L. Girot and Emil A. Granitz.  Left Ocean Springs probably for Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona in 1936.  Sold home for $2100 cash to Elmer A. Rehnberg in late June 1936.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 39, p.  66)

 

Lucille Magee Dennison (1895-1965)

            Lucille Magee Dennison was born on December 15, 1895, at Collins, Mississippi.  She married Minter J. Dennison (1886-1945).  Mrs. Dennison began her teaching tenure at Ocean Springs in 1942, and later became principal under S.S. Wall.  She left the Ocean Springs Public School circa 1949.  Lucille M. Dennison also taught at D’Iberville.  She was survived by a son, James C. Dennison, and two sisters, Mrs. M.H. Thompson of Collins and Mrs. Christine O’Cain of Jackson.  Mrs. Dennison expired on May    1961 at the Baptist Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi.  Her corporal remains were passed through the Belle Fontaine Baptist Church and interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, May 26, 1961, p. 2)

 

Hilda Friar (1911-1987)

            Graduated from Mississippi State College in June 1934, and joined the Ocean Springs Public School Faculty in September 1934.(The Daily Herald, June 1, 1934, p. 3)

 

Albert O. Garr (1909-1981)

            Albert O. Garr was born on April 12, 1909, probably in Louisiana.  He married Julia Garr (1909-1995) also from Louisiana.  Mr. Gaar taught and coached football at the Ocean Springs Public School in the early 1930s.  In 1950, he resided in Atlanta, Georgia where he was employed by the Carroll Dunham Smith Pharmaceutical Company of New Brunswick, New Jersey.  A son, C. Gaar (1932-1988), was born at Ocean Springs on July 6, 1932.  He entered college in the fall of 1950.(The Gulf Coast Times, October 6, 1950, p. 1)

            Coach Gaar died at Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia in February 1981.  His son passed on November 15, 1988, while Mrs. Gaar died on January 22, 1995.(SSDI)

 

Newton Perry Gautier (1926-2009)

           Newton Perry Gautier (1926-2009) was born March 16, 1926 to Gautier and     at Gautier, Mississippi.

 

 

Mamie Gordon

            Married S.I. Martin and was residing in Sacaton, Arizona in 1928.  Came to Ocean Springs to visit Mr. and Mrs. Theo Bechtel in June 1928.(The Daily Herald,

June 26,1928, p. 12)

 

Katherine Hadley

            Daughter of Mrs. L.M. Hadley of Montreal, New ?  Taught school here in 1926. Sister, Annie Hadley.(The Daily Herald, November , 1926, p. 3)

 

Alice Emily Hague

            Alice Emily Hague may have been married to a Mayne.  From Pascagoula.  Teaching at Lihue, Kanai, Hawaii in 1949-1950.  Went to Europe in the summer of 1950 with Gloria Parrott of Richland, Minnesota.  Visited England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France.(The Gulf Coast Times, August 25, 1950, p. 5)

 

Olive Keith (1873-1903)

            Olive Keith came from Chicago to teach at Ocean Springs.  She passed here after only two months in the classroom.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 27, 1903, p. 3)

 

Lucretia Money (1910-199

Lucretia Money was born in Washington D.C.  The Money family moved to the Rose-Money Farm, north of Ocean Springs before 1920.  Lucretia was an outstanding scholar at Biloxi High School where she graduated with the Class of 1925.  She matriculated to Mississippi State College for Women at Columbus where she majored in English.  Lucretia was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Freshman Class.  (The Jackson County Times, October 24, 1925, p. 3 and The Daily Herald, April 26, 1930, p. 9)

 Miss Money was involved in drama and journalism serving as the editor of the Spectator while at MSCW.  Upon graduating from college in 1928, she attended school at Asheville, North Carolina taking a special scholarship course.  In the fall of 1929, Lucretia taught English at Ocean Springs High School.  She was elected by a unanimous vote to be the sponsor of the Senior Class of 1929-1930 at the high school.  In this capacity Miss Money advised and directed the class on all occasions as well as directing the senior class play.

             Lucretia Money pursued her education at Columbia University in 1936.  After graduation from the New York City University, she taught school at Meridian, McComb, and Lafayette, Louisiana.  Miss Money married Henry Grady Parlin (1912-1984) of Ocean Springs on July 5, 1946, at San Francisco.  Parlin was born at Mobile, but was reared in Ocean Springs.  After serving as a flight officer in the glider corps of the Ninth Air Force in the European Theater during WW II, he worked as an accountant in the San

Francisco Bay area for the DNE Water Company.  They resided initially at 2211 Van Ness Avenue.  The Parlins retired to Modesto, California in 1954.  The widow Parlin still resides at Modesto, California.

 

Florence Morrow

            Florence E. Morrow (1868-1936) and Maude O. Morrow (1875-1952) visited brother, Percy Morrow, at Birmingham, Alabama during Christmas 1930.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1931, p. 2)

 

Marie Louise Ratelle Preis (1911-1965)

            Marie Louise Ratelle Preis was born at Ocean Springs the daughter of Albert Paul Ratelle (1870-1920) and Maria Josephine Faessel (1877-1946) of New Orleans.  She attended the Sacred Heart Academy at Biloxi and was a graduate of the Class of 1930.  She studied music there.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1930, p. 5)

            Attending Dominican College at New Orleans in December 1932.(The Daily Herald, December 29, 1932, p. 2)

Marie Louise Ratelle married Edward Jacquet Preis (1913-1996), the son of Dr. Emily Preis, of New Orleans in February 1939, at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, February 18, 1939)

 

 

Francesca Spencer Theriot Howard (1911-1971)

            Francesca Spencer Theriot Howard, the daughter of Pennsylvanian, Stewart Courtenay Spencer (1867-1959), and Ethel Griffiths (1871-1945), like her mother, was a native of Louisville, Kentucky.  The Spencer family arrived at Ocean Springs circa 1920.  Here Mr. Spencer

Matriculated to Randolph-Macon College at Lynchburg, Virginia in September 1929.(The Daily Herald, September 16, 1930, p. 2)  Graduated in 1933 with a degree in

            Began teaching career at the Ocean Springs Public School in the fall of 1934.  She had taught at the rural Daisy-Vestry school in northwest Jackson County before coming to Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, May 31, 1934, p.3)

Attended summer school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the summer of 1936.  Came home with Mrs. J.L. Dickey and daughter, Dorothy Dickey.(The Daily Herald, July 31, 1936, p. 7)

Married Numa Theriot circa 1942.  Divorced 1946?  One daughter, Francis Spencer King (1942-1963), the wife of Thomas L. King. 

            Francesca Spencer resigned her position at the Ocean Springs Public School in May 1948, to teach English at St. Martin High School.  Mrs. Spencer had problems with School Superintendent, S.S. Wall.  She had aspired to be named principal of the school.  When Mrs. Spencer approached Mr. Wall with this request, she alleged that he rejected it in an “intolerably rude” manner.(The Jackson County Times, May 14, 1948, p. 1)

 

 

Inell Orrell

Miss Inell Orrell left the faculty at the end of the 1924-1925 school term and returned to her home at Holly Springs, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, June 16, 1925, p. 7)

 

Amy Quick

Taught from circa 1924 until 1932.

In the fall and winter of 1951 and 1953 respectively, Miss Amy Quick visited at Ocean Springs with Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Jordan.  She was assistant principal at Bogalusa High School.(The Gulf Coast Times, October 18, 1951, p. 2 and December 31, 1953, p. 3)

Elinor Wright Scharr (1913-1953)

Eleanor Wright (1913-1953), a native of Whittier, California, was the daughter of John C. Wright (1879-1941) and Florence Hunt (1875-1961).  In January 1940, she married Orwin J. Scharr and taught English in the Ocean Springs public school.  She wrote the script for the 1699 Pageant in 1949, the 250th anniversary of the D'Iberville landing.

 

Ruth Dickey White Scharr

 

Mildred Swim

            Mildred Swim (1914-1985) was born in 1914, the daughter of George A. Swim (1878-1958) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Taught at Ocean Springs from              to                      .  Miss Swim was at Birmingham, Alabama in April 1958.  Step-aunt, Mrs. T.O. Peters, lived in Biloxi.  Expired at Birmingham in January 1985.(The Daily Herald, April 23, 1968, p. 2 and SSDI)

 

Nolan Edward Taconi (1910-1971)

Nolan Edward Taconi (1910-1971) a native of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, came to Ocean Springs in the fall of 1950, as Superintendent.  He was a 1935 graduate of Mississippi Southern University.  Taconi’s previous experience was as a coach, principal, and superintendent in Hancock County, Vancleave, and St. Martin schools.  Taconi married Expired in his office on March 1971.(The Gulf Coast Times, April 7, 1950, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, March 9, 1971, p. 1)

 

Terry Thibodeaux (1935-1992)

            Terry Thibodeaux was the son of Joseph Wilson Thibodeaux (1911-1972) and Ruth         .  Terry’s father was a native of Youngsville, Louisiana and came to Biloxi in the 1930s.  Terry was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on January 16, 1935.  Expired at Ocean Springs on December 17, 1992.  Evergreen Cemetery.

 

Katherine Varnado

            Miss Varnado was from Gloster, Amite County, Mississippi.  She taught at Ocean Springs in the 1920s.  In 1927-1928, she was on the faculty at Mississippi College at Clinton.(The Daily Herald, June 26, 1928, p. 12)

 

Edith Graham Wall (1909-2001)

            Edith Graham was born at Dixon, Newton County, Mississippi.  She married S.S. Wall.  They were the parents of Martha Wall Russell and Joseph H. Wall.  Came to Ocean Springs in July 1945, from Pascagoula.  Taught school at the Ocean Springs Public School and Howard II Elementary in Biloxi.  Member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs.  Expired at Ocean Springs on April 6, 2001.  Buried in the Decatur Cemetery at Decatur, Mississippi.(The Sun Herald, April 9, 2001, p. A-9)

 

Sibley Sylvester Wall (5/1916-2/1978?)

            In July 1945, when he was elected as School Superintendent of the Ocean Springs Public School, Sibley S. Wall and his family were residence of Pascagoula.  Mr. Wall was born at Decatur, Newton County, Mississippi and completed his high school education here.  He matriculated to Mississippi Southern College where he was conferred a B.S. degree.  Mr. Wall had attended the University of Texas and Alabama summer sessions.  S.S. Wall’s previous experience as a school superintendent was seven years at Beulah-Hubbard and Vancleave High Schools.  He also had four years as an athletic coach.(The Jackson County Times, July 28, 1945, p. 1)

 

May Belle Oakes Woods

            May Belle Oakes Woods was a native of Glenwood, Arkansas.  She was the daughter of  Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Oakes and.  Miss Oakes came to Ocean Springs in 1925 to teach Spanish.  She had matriculated to Henderson-Brown College in Arkansas where she was an honors graduate with an educational degree.  May Belle Oakes married John Albert Woods on July 7, 1927.  He was a graduate of Union College, New York.  During WW I, he enlisted in the British Army and was a veteran of WW I.  Mr. Woods came to Ocean Springs from New Orleans where he represented Jungle Gardens.  His assignment was to act as the landscape architect for Gulf Hills.  Woods left the company to operate his own architectural landscaping firm headquartered in Ocean Springs.(The Daily Herald, July 9, 1927, p. 2)

 

W.H. Wood

            W.H. Wood arrived at Biloxi, Mississippi in Harrison County in 1908.  Taught at schools in Ocean Springs, Vancleave, and Woolmarket.  In August 1915, W.H. Wood ran for the office of Harrison County School Superintendent.  Some controversy about him being qualified because of permanent residency in Harrison County because of his teaching career in Ocean Spring and Vancleave in Jackson County.(The Daily Herald, August 2, 1915, p. 1)

            Professor Wood was appointed Harrison County Superintendent of Education in August 1915, by the Harrison County Board of Supervisors when J.J. Dawsey resigned the position to move to principal of the Lamar County Agricultural High School.(The Daily Herald, August 12, 1915, p. 1)

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

The Daily Herald, “W.H. Wood”, August 2, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Dawson Resigns; Wood Qualifies”, August 12, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 16, 1925.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, July 9, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs News Paragraphs”, June 26, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs Plans Senior Class Play”, April 26, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 31, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs News”, July 4, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs News”, September 16, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs News”, January 6, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 31, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 1, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, July 31, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Spencer Dies”, December 31, 1945.

The Daily Herald, “George A. Swim”, April 23, 1958.

The Daily Herald, “Stewart C. Spencer”, May 11, 1959.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Lucille M. Dennison”, May 26, 1961.

The Daily Herald, “Woman Stricken While Swimming Dies Suddenly”, June 8, 1963.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Marie Ratelle”, January 13, 1965.

The Daily Herald, “Francesca S. Howard”, January 12, 1971.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Returns From Europe”, August 25, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Rev. Hetrick leads heroic fight to save matrons life”, April 19, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Former Coach Visits Here”, October 6, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Personal Items”, October 18, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Personal Items”, December 31, 1953.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 24, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, August 31, 1929.

The Jackson County Times, “Preis-Ratelle”, February 18, 1939.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. S.C. Spencer Funeral Held Sunday”, January 5, 1946.

The Jackson County Times, "Parlin-Money", June 13, 1946.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. Spencer Quits School”, May 14, 1948.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Mrs. Francesca Howard Dies”, January 14, 1971.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Pauline S. Loper”, March 2, 1972, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Estelle Hire”, March 9, 1972, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Patricia Quave”, March 16, 1972, p. 9.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Jo Ree Pennell”, March 23, 1972, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Millie Clark”, March 30, 1972, p.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Necia Rivers”, April 13, 1972, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Inez Galle”, April 20, 1972.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Linda McKay”, April 27, 1972, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Jane Wade”, May 4, 1972, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Barbara Powell”, May 11, 1972, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Judy Thomas”, May 18, 1972, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Patricia Drake”, June 1, 1972, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Hermanell Barnett”, July 6, 1972, p. 10.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Mildred S. Richard”, July 20, 1972, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Julia Hardison”, July 27, 1972, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Bobbie Thibodeaux”, August 3, 1972, p. 10.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Harriet E. Tremmel”, August 10, 1972, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Faye Newland”, August 17, 1972, p.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week- James M. Harrison”, August 24, 1972, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Richard Walker”, August 31, 1972, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Allen T. Curry”, September 21, 1972, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Billy G. Hubbard”, October 5, 1972, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Hugh L. Pepper”, October 12, 1972, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Former Ocean Springs Teacher To High Post”, October 12, 1972, p. 1. (Dr. Jack Gunn)

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Don Brown”, October 19, 1972, Sec. II, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Dwight L. Moody”, October 26, 1972, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Charles W. Hardin”, October 26, 1972, Sec. II, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Ted Batson”, November 9, 1972, Sec. II, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-James O. Cawley”, November 16, 1972, Sec. II, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Angela Saratsopolus”, November 23, 1972, Sec. II, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Mrs. George Canaga”, November 30, 1972.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Mrs. Julia Platt”, December 7, 1972, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Elizabeth S. Smith”, December 21, 1972, Sec. II, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Martha Stringfellow”, Deember 28, 1972, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Jane McCarty”, January 4, 1973, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Anna Cullefer”, January 11, 1973, Sec. II, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Sarah Jackson named top young educator”, January 25, 1973, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-John L. Ross”, January 25, 1973, p. 9.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-Vivian W. Dailey”, February 1, 1973, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-

The Ocean Springs Record, “Teacher of the Week-

The Ocean Springs Record, “Repercussions from the past (Terry Thibodeaux)”, January 27, 1983, p. 11.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Terry Thibodeaux”, December 24, 1992.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 27, 1903.

The Sun Herald, “Edith G. Wall”, April 9, 2001.

The Sun Herald, “Newton Perry Gautier”, April 3, 2009.

20th Century, Classes Teachers & Superintendents

20th CLASSES, SCHOOL TEACHERS and SUPERINTENDENTS

1899-1900

Q.D. Sauls, principal; Florence Morrow, Clara Robbins, and Lelia May Smith of Hattiesburg.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 6, 1899)

 

1900-1901

Q.D. Sauls, principal;

 

Faculty

Clara Robbins, Kate Robbins, and Leila May Smith.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 13, 1900)  In late June, Miss Robbins withdrew her name for reappointment by the school board.  She found employment in the Biloxi School system.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 29, 1900, p. 3 and September 21, 1900, p. 3)

The fourth session of the Ocean Springs High School began in early September.  Enrollment was about the same as the 1899-1900 session.  Some boarders are attending school and more are expected.  The Public School opens in October?.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 7, 1900, p. 3)

Miss Leila Mae Smith, an assistant at the Ocean Springs High School, returned to town from Bolton, Mississippi where she had spent her summer holiday.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 28, 1900, p. 3)

The school term began with 151 students in attendance.  Board of trustees adopted Johnson’s series of readers, histories, and spellers.  By late November it was nearly 200.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 5,  1900, p. 3 and November 30, 1900, p. 3)

Miss Anna McDowell will continue her elocution class at the High School.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 26, 1900, p. 3)

Dr. William C. West (1848-1915) and wife, Harriett Newell Day (1851-1931), proposed to the school board that they would outfit the new library room as a memorial to their recently deceased daughter, Laura T. West (1882-1900).  Proposal accepted.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 26, 1900, p. 3)

 

1901-1902

 

Professor Lackey, principal

Mr. Lackey was principal of the school in the 1901-1902 school session.  He came to Ocean Springs from Crystal Springs, Copiah County, Mississippi.  Lackey was lauded as an educator.  (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 1, 1901, p. 3  and May 30, 1902, p. 3)

 

Faculty

Lee Smythe, Susie Vaughan, and Mary Lee Woodruff. The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 30, 1902, p. 3)

Commencement exercises at the Ocean Springs Public School were  held in late May 1902.  Superintendent Cowan spoke to the attendees at the morning program.  The evening festivities were highlighted by an opera, Little Red Riding Hood.  Relatives, friends, and interested parties filled the large school hall.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 30, 1902, p. 3)

 

1902-1903

Hamilton G. McCowan, principal

The new school principal, Hamilton Gordon McGowan (1876-1918+), and wife, May Gilmore McGowan (1879-1918+) arrived in Ocean Springs, in late September.  They found temporary quarters in the Dunn Cottage on Rayburn Avenue.  In October, they will maintain their residence in the Dr. Ross A. Switzer home on Porter.  The McGowans were from Shubuta near Quitman, Clarke County, Mississippi and had a small daughter, Mary Ellen McGowan.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 26, 1902, p. 3 and June 2, 1905, p. 3) 

 

Faculty

The 1902-1903 school term began on October 6, 1902.  The faculty consisted of the principal and his three assistants: Florence Morrow, Leila May Smith, and Susie Vaughan.  Miss Smith from New Orleans stayed at the Shanahan House.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 19, 1902, p. 3 and October 10, 1902, p. 3)

On the first day of school, there were one hundred eighteen pupils in attendance. 

The school had been furnished with new desks and the floral decorations added a uniqueness and pulchritude to the interior of the structure.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 10, 1902, p. 3)

 

1903-1904

 

H.G. McGowan, principal         

The 1903-1904 school term began tragically when widowOlive Keith (1873-1903), who had come from Chicago to teach at Ocean Springs expired.  She had been in the classroom for only two months.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 27, 1903, p. 3)

In mid-January 1904, near the end of the first term, Alice Martin, Frances and Brownlee Hubble, and Katie Starks enrolled in class.  Professor McGowan thanked those of the Ocean Springs who assisted with the art exhibit.  Although not a financial success, McGowan felt the venue was important to the community.(The Progress, January 16, 1904, p. 4)

The second school term commenced on January 25, 1904.  After about one month the enrollment at The OS Public School was 157 pupils.  Three students, Paul and Ruth Randall and Lowell Ferguson, of Benton Harbor, Michigan returned to their Midwestern home.  Charcoal sketching was taught in grades seven through nine.  A display of the finest drawing were to be exhibited at the close of the school term.  Although some manual training had been planned for all grades this school year, no materials had been acquired for instruction as funding had not been procured.(The Progress, February 20, 1904, p. 1)

Professor McGowan’s prophetic words applicable today: We would urge all parents having boys and girls in the advanced grades to make them do some homework in their studies.  It keeps them employed and it tells in their daily grade work.  Pupils who study regularly at home are always doing creditable work.  The lack of interest of parents about the school work of their children is one of the greatest obstacles in our way in keeping boys and girls toward a higher life, morally and mentally.(The Progress, February 20, 1904, p. 1)

Professor McGowan’s winter term class of 1903-1904, consisted of thirty-three pupils, twelve males and twenty-one females, ranging in age from seventeen to fourteen.  Willie Pabst had the best attendance record.  He changed the curriculum which proved of great interest to his students.(Register of enrollment 1903-1904, JXCO, Ms. Archives, Pascagoula, Ms. and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 14, 1905)           

School closed on May 27, 1904.  The 7th through 9th grade classes gave a garden party, which was well attended.  Mrs. McGowan will not teach next year.(The Progress, May 28, 1904, p. 4)

 

 

Faculty

Faculty, Professor H.G. McGowan, Alva McGowan, Olive Keith,

 

 

1904-1905

 

H.G. McGowan, principal

Enrollment for 1904-1905 was 161 pupils.  The High School department had an acute need for laboratory apparatus for the Botany, Zoology, and Physics courses.  David Fairchild, a visitor from the USDA at Washington D.C., commented that the scholastic work in Botany and Zoology was satisfactory and that schools such as this sent great men into the world.  Professor McGowan changed the curriculum which proved of great interest to his students. (The Progress, October 1, 1904, p. 1 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 14, 1905, p. 3)

 

Faculty

Alva McGowan, Florence Morrow, and Ethel Gordon.  Miss Alva McGowan (b. 1878) was the sister of Principal McGowan.  In April 1905, she and H.G. McGowan went to Pascagoula to sit for the agriculture examination given by Superintendent D.D. Cowan.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 28, 1905, p. 3)

Miss Annie Eglin of Ocean Springs, passed the teachers examination at Scranton and will teach school this winter.(The Progress, September 3, 1904, p. 5)

 

 

Class of 1905

(only identified: top row-Professor H.G. McGowan, fourth from left; bottow row-Etta Clark, eleventh from left)

(Courtesy of Lurline Schrieber Clark of Letohatchie, Alabama)

 

Class of 1905

Mamie Ramsay Vickery, valedictorian; Etta Clark Schrieber (1888-1978), salutatorian.  Irene Bland, Carrie Cowan, Alberta Dick, William Pabst, and Hazel Russell Robinson (1890-1920).

 

Gulf Coast School of Railroad Telegraphy School

J.C. Tucker opened a railroad telegraphy school at Ocean Springs in December 1904.(The Progress, December 3, 1904)

 

1905-1906

 

H.G. McGowan, principal

H.G. McGowan of Quitman was principal.  The 1905-1906 school session commenced  in mid-September 1905, with an enrollment of 120 students.  Miss Alva McGowan returned from Quitman with her brother, Thomas Talmadge McGowan (b. 1888), who became a student in the high school this fall.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 22, 1905, p.3)

Sister, Susie McGowan, of Quitman here for visit in May 1906.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 11, 1906, p. 3)

In January 1906, the High School library was the recipient of a new four volume encyclopedia.  Although donor remained anonymous, there is a high degree of certitude that it was Martha Lyon Holcomb.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 26, 1906, p. 3)

 

Faculty

Alva McGowan, Florence Morrow, and Ethel Gordon.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 22, 1905, p.3)

 

Class

Jack Verhoeff, Maggie Ramsay (Vickery) (1887-1976), Rosalie LeCand (Collins), George Davis Maxwell (1888-1951), Lissie Clement (1893-1923+), and Bessie Bland.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 7, 1968, p. 4)

 

1906-1907

H.G. McGowan, principal

 

Elementary grade 1906?

[probable people: Front row on steps L-R: Willie Dale [dark complexion] third from left; Edward A. Bellande, eight from left, last boy with shoes!  Second row: a Westbrook, tall boy with gray or brown coat and black shirt.  Top row: Karl Case Maxwell ?, first boy from left.  Courtesy of Patricia Maxwell Letort, October 2008]

 

1907-1908

H.G. McGowan, principal

 

1908-1909

H.G. McGowan, principal

Professor Hamilton G. McGowan left Ocean Springs after the 1908-1909 school year for Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi where he was also the principal.  In the summer of 1910, H.G. McGowan was appointed a professor in the agriculture and horticulture department at Mississippi A&M, now Mississippi State University, at Starkville, Mississippi.  By 1918, the McGowans had relocated to Columbus, Mississippi where he made his livelihood as a farmer and operating a private business.(The Ocean Springs News, July16, 1910)

McGowan Oaks

At some time during his tenure of the Ocean Springs Public School, Professor McGowan planted eight oak trees on Dewey Avenue, which at the time was called Goos Avenue.  The trees were a tribute to the first graduation class of the school and each student had a tree named in their honor.(Norton C. Haviland (1891-1982) in The Ocean Springs Record, October 16, 1975, p. 9)

1909-1910

Otho T. Harper, principal

Professor Otho T. Harper (1876-pre-1930) was elected by Board of School Trustees for the 1909-1910 school year.  Mr. Harper was an efficient educator and the school system prospered under his management.(The Ocean Springs News, May 15, 1909, p. 1)

Otho T. Harper was born at Scott County, Mississippi to Hiram H. Harper (1852-1880+), a Blacksmith, and Lizzie Harper (1851-1880+), a native of South Carolina. Circa 1905, he married Mary E. Foster (1880-1930+).  They were the parents of five children: Mary E. Harper (1906-1920+); Hiram H. Harper (1909-1930+); James Harper (1916-1930+); Nell Harper (1918-1930+); and O.T. Harper (1922-1930+).    It appears that the Harpers left Ocean Springs circa 1911 for Daleville, Lauderdale County, Mississippi.  He was awarded $1000 in damages by the Circuit Court of Hancock County, Mississippi in the spring of 1911.  Professor Harper had sued the L&N Railroad for the injuries that he had allegedly incurred while boarding their train at Fontainebleau in the fall of 1910.(The Ocean Springs News, April 1, 1911)

In August 1916, O.T. Harper became involved in a criminal action at Lauderdale County, Mississippi.  He had several indictments against him in the trial of John R. Ellis, former School Superintendent of Lauderdale County.  Professor Harper was an educator in the Daleville School.  He was accused of cashing school warrants made out to teachers that never existed.(The Jackson County Times, September 2, 1916, p. 5)

By 1920, Professor Harper was back in the classroom at Quitman, Clarke County, Mississippi.  He and his spouse were both teaching in the public school system.  Prior to Professor O.T. Harper had expired.  A son, Otho T. Harper Jr. was born circa 1922.  In 1930, Mrs. O.T. Harper and children were residing at Quitman with William H. Foster, her brother.  They were both school teachers.  Mary E. Foster taught music.  No further information.(1920 and 1930 Clarke County, Mississippi Federal Census T625_872, p. 7A, ED2 and R1141, p. 1B, ED 2)

1908-1909 Gulf Coast Basketball Champions

(Only positive identification is Elizabeth "Queenie" Barbara Joachim Potin (1891-1932), the young lady on the right end of the image.  Other probable members of the basketball squad were: Rosa Green, Ada Wasson, Louise Wasson, and Manelle Dibble.  The gentlemen is probably Professor O.T. Harper with his child and the image was probably made by Roy L. Bland)

 

Class 1909

Ada Wasson, valedictorian; Louise Wasson, salutatorian; Queenie Joachim, historian; Manelle Dibble, poet; Rosa Green, prophet; and George Steele, orator; (The Ocean Springs News, May 15, 1909, p. 1)

 

1909-1910

 

J.S. Vandiverprincipal

Mr. Vandiver was from Ackerman, Mississippi: Florence Morrow, Alicia W. Dickson, Rosalie LeCand, Mrs. J.S. Vandiver.(The Ocean Springs News, June 25, 1910, p. 1)

 

1910-1911

John W. Loch

John W. Loch (1885-1911+), the principal, was from Magnolia, Pike County, Mississippi.  He was the son of Daniel H. Loch (1858-1920+) and Mary Loch (1866-pre-1920).  Daniel H. Loch was a cobbler at Magnolia.  His parents were German immigrants.  Daniel's mother, Elizabeth Loch (1830-1910+), lived with this family at Magnolia.  By 1910, John W. Loch was teaching in the public school at Magnolia with his sister, Bessie Loch (1888-1910+).  Prior to entering the education field, he helped his father in the shoe shop.(1900, 1910, and 1920 Pike County, Mississippi Federal Census T623 825, p. 20B, ED 115; T624_755, p. 11B, ED 109; and T625_891, p. &A, ED 103)

John W. Loch resigned as principal of the Ocean Springs public school after the 1910-1911 school year and matriculated to the University of Mississippi to study Law.(The Ocean Springs News, June 17, 1911, p. 5  and September 23, 1911, p. 5)

In mid-April 1911, the Civic Federation Public hosted an Easter Egg hunt and spelling bee at the Ocean Springs Public School.  Miss Beryl Bailey was the champion speller followed by Miss Ruth Dick.(The Ocean Springs News, April 19, 1911, p. 5)

Theo Bechtel donated a flag pole for the school.(The Ocean Springs News, May 20, 1911)

 

Faculty

Alicia W. Dickson, Florence Morrow, and Ida Ober?

 

Class of 1911

At the graduation of the Ocean Springs High School on May 29, 1911, the following were awarded diplomas: Agnes “Missy” Bland Beh (1895-1975), valedictorian, Mary Leigh Bransford (1892-1978), Eula Catchot Simpson (1892-1982), Lloyd Netto (1895-1980), Earl Robinson, Blance von Rosambeau (1892-1982), Robert Rupp (1894-1958), Mamie Starks, Mary Starks (1895-), and Orey Young (1892-1986).(The Ocean Springs News, June 10, 1911, p. 1)

Parties for the class were given by Miss Blanche von Rosambeau, a surprise party was given for Miss Mary Lee Bransford at her family home on Porter, and Miss Agnes Bland hosted an assembly of classmates at her father’s New Beach Hotel.(The Ocean Springs News, June 10, 1911, p. 5)

Three male graduates of this class, Lloyd Netto, Earl Robinson, and Orey Young, enrolled at Mississippi A&M College at Starkville in the fall of 1911.(The Ocean Springs News, September 23, 1911, p. 5)

 

Whitmal Harlston Wood

[from The Gulfport Advocate January 1, 1916, p. 3]

1911-1912

W.H. Wood, principal.

William Harlston Wood (1882-1972) was born on March 21, 1882, probably at Summit, Pike County, Mississippi.  His career was people oriented as he was a school teacher, school principal and superintendent, and later a real estate salesman.  W.H. Wood married Fannie Toler (1889-1930+) and their were the parents of three children: Ardry Wood (1910-1930+); Willena Wood (1911-1930+); and William H. Wood (1920-1930+). 

W.H. Wood was a resident of Harrison County, Mississippi before coming to Ocean Springs as high school principal in 1911.  He had moved to Gulfport in 1908 and had just lost in the primary for Harrison County Chancery Clerk to F.S. Hewes of Gulfport.(The Daily Herald, August 18, 1911, p. 8)

In August 1915, W.H. Wood was elected Superintendent of Education of Harrison County, Mississippi after J.J. Dawsey resigned to go to Purvis, Mississippi to become principal of the Lamar County Agricultural High School.  Mr. Wood took office on January 1, 1916.(The Ocean Springs News, August 12, 1915, p.3 and The Gulfport Advocate, January 1, 1916, p. 3)

W.H. Wood was later elected State Senator from Harrison County.  In May 1920, he was arrested for alleged stealing about $2500 from the State common school fund while Superintendent of Education of Harrison County, Mississippi.  Mr. Wood pleaded guilty to this crime and was sentenced in the Circuit Court of Harrison County, Mississippi by Judge Graham to ten days in the County jail and fined $250 and one year in the State penitentiary.  His sentence was suspended and he was pardoned by Governor Lee M. Russell (1875-1943) in July 1921 and he never went to the penitentiary.(The Jackson County Times, May 8, 1920, p. 1, The Daily Herald, December 14, 1920, p. 4 and July 14, 1921, p. 4)

By 1930, Professor Wood and family had relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma where he made his livelihood as a real estate salesman.  He expired here in January 1972.(1930 Federal Census Tulsa Co., Oklahoma R1934, p. 18B, ED 78)

 

School notes:

In late August 1911, Professor William Noel Wood of Bond, Mississippi spent several days at Ocean Springs with his brother, W.H. Wood.(The Ocean Springs News, September 2, 1911, p. 5)

Mrs. Fannie Woods had a baby girl [Willena Wood], which she delivered at their home on in early October 1911.(The Ocean Springs News, October 7, 1911, p. 5)

The schoolteachers and parents of the pupils organized The Mother’s Club, a precursor to a PTA. The salient objective of this organization was the welfare of the Ocean Springs Public School and the learning environment for the students and their instructors.  Elected officers were: May B. Ames (1886-1926), president; Jessica W. Bechtel, (1869-1946) vice-president; Emma J. Illing (1869-1958), treasurer; and Miss Ida Ober, secretary.(The Ocean Springs News, October 11, 1911, p. 5)

Ida Ober and A.W. Dickson attended summer classes for school teachers at Wiggins, Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs News, August 26, 1911, p. 5)

The Rushton H. Field memorial sanitary drinking fountain installed.  First to be set up in south Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs News, September 16, 1911)

           

Faculty

Ida Ober.

 

1912-1913

 

1913-1914

T.F. Crowley, principal

 

Class of 1914

L. Gladys Davis, valedictorian, and Thelma Reel, salutatorian, were the only graduates the Class of 1914, from the Ocean Springs Public School.  At the ceremonies held on June 15, 1914, perfect attendance medals were awarded to Leo Dale, Victor Collier, and Alphonse Abraham.  Local jeweler, J.L. Raines, provided the awards.  Judge James H. Neville of Gulfport spoke to the audience about Education.(The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1914, p. 5 and  June 20, 1914, p. 5)

Miss L. Gladys Davis, the daughter of E.S. Davis, left Ocean Springs and entered Soule’s Business College at New Orleans.  She studied shorthand and typewriting.  In July 1915, Miss Davis graduated first in her class of sixty students.  Her father had a position for her in his mercantile store on Washington Avenue.(The Ocean Springs News, July 8, 1915, p. 1)

 

1914-1915

Luther F. Sumrall

(from The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1914, p. 1)

Luther Franklin Sumrall (1885-1920+), the son of John H. Sumrall (1850-1900+) and India A. Sumrall (1850-1900+), was born on June 27, 1885 in Jones County, Mississippi.  By 1910, he was teaching public school in his native Jones County.  On July 12, 1912, Professor Sumrall married Annie May Denson (1891-1981) in George County, Mississippi.  She was also born at Jones County, Mississippi.(1900 and 1910 Jones Co., Mississippi Federal Census T623 813, p. 14 A, and ED 60 and T624_745, p. 5B, ED 74) 

L.F. Sumrall came to Ocean Springs as school superintendent with his wife and baby, LaVerne Sumrall (b. 1914) from Wiggins, Mississippi.  He had been at the high school there since 1912.  Professor Sumrall’s salary was budgeted at $1000 per year, while his five teachers, Florence Morrow, Zoe L. Hann of Biloxi, Lillian Miles of Newton, Maud James of Decatur, Norma J. Lowey of Terry, made $450 per year.  All were new teachers to the Ocean Springs School District with the exception of Miss Morrow.(The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1914, p. 5 and September 5, 1914, p. 1)

Faculty

Zoe L. Hann, Norma J. Lowey, Maud James, Lillian Miles Russell, and Florence Morrow.

 

Class 1915

Professor Sumrall when interviewed by the local journal after the completion of the school year related that he was enthusiastic about the progress at the school.  He said that "the attendance has been larger than ever; with students interested in the work; and finances in splendid condition.  The weakness of the system is the yearly change of teachers, rendering consistent and uniform grading and advancement impossible;  the lack of home study; and irrelevant criticism; which he thinks has done more to hinder than benefit.  L.F. Sumrall concluded his statement with a request for a course in Domestic Science.(The Ocean Springs News, May 6, 1915, p. 1)

xxx

 

Class of 1915

(bottom row, l-r: Professor L.F. Sumrall)

Class of 1915

The Class of 1915 had the distinction of being the largest ever to graduate from the Ocean Springs Public School.  Principal Sumrall journeyed to Gulfport in early April 1915, to arrange for Congressman Pat Harrison to address the class.  In mid-May, Harrison spoke to the class at their commencement exercises.  Diplomas were awarded to: Bemis Oscar Bailey (1898-1969), Richard Mason Baker, Gertrude Louise Dick, Martha Bolling Hicks, Malcolm Hodges (1899-1932), Atley Horne, Violet Ann Horton, Marion Emma Illing Moran (1899-1993), Mark Enos Lee (1898-1990), Ouida Lucille Lowry, Timothy Vincent Regan, Jesse Walton Roberts, Ethel Virginia Russell Moran (1899-1957), Mary Aline Tillman, Hattie Adele Westbrook (1898-1919).  The valedictorian of the 1915 Class was Malcolm Hodges while Richard M. Baker took salutatorian honors. (The Ocean Springs News, May 13, 1915, p. 1)

Class Honors:  Valedictorian-Malcolm Hodges (1899-1932); Salutatorian-Richard M. Baker; Class Historian-Violet Horton; Class Essay-Ethel Russell; Class Prophet-Timothy Regan; Class Poem-Hattie Westbrook; Class Will-Bemis O. Bailey; and Class Orator-Jesse Roberts.(The Ocean Springs News, May 6, 1915, p. 1)

Class Officers: Richard Mason Baker, president; Mark E. Lee (1898-1990), vice president; Ethel V. Russell Moran (1899-1957), secretary; Bemis O. Bailey (1898-1969), treasurer.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 6, 1915, p. 1)

Class Play: 'A Strenuous Life'.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 6, 1915, p. 1)               

1915 Graduation

In early April 1915, Luther F. Sumrall went to Gulfport to request Representative Pat Harrison to address the graduating class of 1915.  Graduation was held in the school house on April 30th at 8:00 p.m. with Pat Harrison delivering the commencement address.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 8m 1915, p. 1 and p. 3)

According to Professor Sumrall, the Class of 1915 had the highest scholastic average that he had ever seen.  It outperformed his Wiggins class, which had broken records for that institution.  For the 1914-1915 school session, Atley Horne recorded a 98 for the highest average while the lowest was only 81 2/7th.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 13, 1915, p. 1)

Miss Norma Lowry and Miss Ouida Lowry attended college at Columbus, Mississippi in June 1915.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 17, 1915, p. 3)

 

Post-Ocean Springs

Luther F. Sumrall and family left Ocean Springs and in 1918 were at Senatobia, Tate County, Mississippi where he taught in the public school.  By 1920, Professor Sumrall was teaching at the Oak Grove Consolidated School, Beat 2, Perry County, Mississippi.  Annie May Denson Sumrall expired at Ellisville, Jones County, Mississippi in May 1981 at the age of ninety.  No further information.(1920 Perry Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T625_889, p. 12A, ED 130)

 

1915-1916

 

  

Principal Benjamin H. Ashman (1892-1983) and Mildred D. Ashman (1890-1975), Asst. Principal

 

Benjamin Hamlin Ashman, principal-

The 1915-1916 school year began at Ocean Springs with a new principal.  Benjamin Hamlin Ashman (1892-1983) and his spouse, Mildred D. Ashman (1890-1975), who had just joined the faculty of the Ocean Springs Public School.  Benjamin H. Ashman was born at Pennsylvania the son of George H. Ashman (1858-1930+), a native of Three Springs, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and Mary “May” Hamlin Ashman (1861-1945), also from Pennsylvania.  Circa 1917, Professor Ashman married Mildred D. Ashman, a native of Indiana.  They were the parents of: Helen Ashman (1918-1930+); Marian Ashman (1920-1930+); Stephen Ashman (1922-1930+); Margaret Ashman (1924-1930+); and Thomas Ashman (1925-1930+).  With the exception of Helen who was born in Indiana, the other Ashman children were born in either Kenosha or Dane County, Wisconsin.(1920 Kenosha Co., Wisconsin Federal Census T625_1991, p. 3A, ED 3 and 1930 Dane Co., Wisconsin Federal Census R2566, p. 27A, Ed 6)

 

Ocean Springs

Dr. George H. Ashman and spouse arrived at Ocean Springs in April 1914.  They relocated here from Sanford, Seminole County, Florida and acquired a farm near town.  The Ashman farm was situated in the W/2 of the NE/4 Section 1, T7S-R8W.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 56, p. 341 and The Ocean Springs News, April 14, 1914)

In 1900, before arriving at Ocean Springs, the Ashman family had lived in the Samuel Mills District of Albemarle County, Virginia.  Here George H. Ashman farmed and with May H. Ashman reared their two sons: Richard Ashman (1890-1970) and Benjamin H. Ashman (1892-1983).  They had married in 1887.(1900 Albemarle Co., Virginia Federal Census T623 1698, p. 1A, Ed 8)

In 1910, before Benjamin H. Ashman had married, he resided on Hicks Street at Brooklyn, Kings Co., New York.  Here he made his livelihood as an auditor.(1910 Kings Co., New York, Federal Census 624_955, p. 23A, ED 4)

 

Shearwater

In September 1914, May Hamlin Ashman acquired the DePass place on Biloxi Bay at Ocean Springs from Hattie DePass Hall (1882-1926+), of Chicago for $4500.  It had been owned by New Orleans denizens, Ada Weeks DePass (1851-1909) and spouse, David Albert DePass (1850-1926).  Several years after the demise Mrs. Ada Weeks DePass, Hattie Depass Hall (1882-1926+), her daughter, sued her father for a forced heirship sale.(Jackson County, Ms. Chancery Court, Cause No. 3280-March 1914). 

Hattie D. Hall bought the Biloxi Bay front property from the court appointed commissioner and conveyed it to May Hamlin Ashman (1861-1945) in September 1914 for $4500.  Mrs. Hall was residing at Chicago when the conveyance was made.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 40, pp. 591-592)

The Ashman family remained here until they sold their estate to Annette McConnell Anderson (1867-1964) in May 1918.  Mrs. McConnell called her Ocean Springs tract “Fairhaven”.  After her son, Peter Anderson (1903-1984), commenced his Shearwater Pottery here in 1928, this property has become ubiquitously known as “Shearwater”.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 528-529) 

New Orleans

In 1930, George H. Ashman and spouse were residing on Joliet Street in the Crescent City with their son, Richard Ashman (1890-1970) and his wife, Cora Ashman (1891-1984), a native of New York, and their four sons: Hubert C. Ashman (1918-1930+), Richard C. Ashman (1922-1930+), Lawrence Ashman (1924-1930+), and Teddy Ashman (1927-1930+).  All the Ashman children with the exception of Hubert C. Ashman were New Orleans natives.  Hubert was born at Illinois.

Richard Ashman had come to New Orleans before 1920 probably from Illinois to work as a University Professor.  They resided on Calhoun Street at this time.  By 1930, Richard Ashman was an assistant professor at a medical school in New Orleans.  His mother expired there in April 1945.

Richard Ashman died at New Orleans in February 1970.  Cora Ashman expired there in April 1984.(SSDI)  

Public School

Professor Ashman must have been a recent college graduate before taking the position as Principal in the Ocean Springs Public School, as he and Richard Ashman, his brother, were at college in the fall of 1914.(The Ocean Springs News, September 12, 1914)

Professor Ashman found the school building with many new improvements and large classes.  It was anticipated that this year’s graduates would be able to enter the State university without taking an examination because of its affiliation with the institution of higher learning.(The Ocean Springs News, September 9, 1915, p. 1)

Principal Ashman’s salary for the 1915-1916 school year was $111.11 per month and his wife, Mildred D. Ashman, assistant principal received $66.67 per month.  The remainder of Professor Ashman’s instructors were paid $55.00 per month.(Town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi Minute Bk. December 3, 1907 to January 4, 1915, p. 295)

The Board of School Trustees submitted their 1915-1916 Ocean Springs Public School budget to Aldermen Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954), Tom N. Murphy (1892-1966), George L. Friar (1869-1924), and John Duncan Minor (1863-1920) and Mayor W.T. Ames (1864-1954) in September 1915 as follows:

 

White School

Principal’s salary-$1000; Five assistant’s salaries-$2670; Janitor’s salary-$90; Coal-$50; Fat wood-$6; Incidentals-$200.  Total $4016.

 

Colored School

Principal’s salary-$450; Assistant’s salaries-$225; Coal-$10; and Incidentals-$10.  Total-$695.

Alderman Friar motioned that the school budget be received and filed.  All present approved the motion.(The Ocean Springs News, September 16, 1915, p. 4)

Benjamin H. Ashman supervised the education of his students with the precept that: school is an opportunity and education is the present employment of the student that must be performed in a business-like manner as any future occupation.  At this time, the curriculum in the High School consisted of courses in mathematics, science, English, Latin, and history.  The small school library operated on the regular card system.  The primary grades followed the state guidelines and included raffia basket-weaving.  Cultural aspects of the public school included music in the form of a school chorus and a drama play.  The school was a member of the Jackson County Athletic association.(The Ocean Springs News, November 25, 1915, p. 3)

Professor Ashman may have been the first to have night classes in Ocean Springs.  Many of the after hours students were adults learning to read and write, although grades from primer and higher were taught.  No fee was imposed upon the learners and the regular day teachers from the high school assisted in the classes held on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week.(The Jackson County Times, November 4, 1916, p. 5)

Another Ashman achievement was to create an 11th grade curriculum, which allowed graduates to matriculate to a college without conditions or entrance examinations.

In addition, he added a Physics class and advanced studies in Latin, English, and Mathematics were introduced.(The Ocean Springs News, March 16, 1916, p. 1)

The Ashmans were given a surprise Halloween Part at their home by their students.  A large number in attendance and appropriate games were played.(The Jackson County Times, November 4, 1916, p. 5)

 

1981 Letter to Ocean Springs

In December 1981, Benjamin H. Ashman in his ninetieth year wrote a letter from Madison, Wisconsin addressed to the Postmaster of Ocean Springs.  A copy survives today and reads as follows:

 

2107 Waunona Way

Madison Wisconsin 53713

December 18, 1981

 Postmaster Ocean Springs.

Dear Sir:

During the school years 1915-1916 and 1916-1917 my wife and I taught the High School classes in Ocean Springs.  That first year the school had been only a 3 year H.S. and we suggested that it should be a regular 4 years H.S. so the graduates could get into college if they wanted to go.

Dr. Bailey was the town doctor and operated the drug store.  “Gottsches” was the only grocery store.  The second (1916-1917) period a Miss Bland (I think) took over the Latin and some other subjects and I started a class in Physics.

During the summer of 1916 my wife and I were at Columbia University N.Y. City.  While there, I made arrangements to get two or three hundred children’s books.  During the school year 1916-1917 Rebecca McEwen or her sister became our Librarian.  A number of people in the town give novels etc. for our little library.  Rebecca lived 2 or 3 miles out in the country and walked to town two or three times a week to open the library.

All of this started when, I recently found the enclosed photograph and thought you could post this card where people could see themselves as they were 50 years again or maybe post it in the library and let the present city Librarian (Rebecca I hope) have it on display.

Professor Benjamin H. Ashman expired at Madison, Wisconsin in January 1983.  Mildred D. Ashman preceded him in death expiring there in February 1975.(SSDI)

Father Irwin planned to open a Catholic school in September 1915.  Under the care of the Sisters of the Holy Cross of New Orleans.  Owned Beltran property at the foot of Jackson Avenue.(The Ocean Springs News, July 29, 1915, p. 1)

________________________________________________________________________________________________

CLASS 1916

Top Row l-r: Otis F. Smith (1902-1977), Walter B. Holloway (1900-1965), John Hyman, Charles J. Faure (1900-1956), W. Sheppard Van Cleave (1899-1947), Robert Morris (1902-1970), A. Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974), Willie F. Dale (1899-1990) m. Ethel Sophia Endt (1900-1978), S. Chester Davis (1900-1973); and Edward A. Bellande (1897-1976) m. Mollie Lamont (1911-2000).

Middle Row l-r: Mildred Ashman (1890-1975); Elizabeth Regan; Mary Irvine; Clothilde Bailey (1901-1995) m. Dr. Edward S. Campbell; Lorena Mitchell, Rebecca McEwen (1898-1968) m. Leslie B. Clark (1898-1979); and Benjamin H. Ashman (1892-1983).

Bottom Row l-r: Lizzie McKay, Margaret Sears, Cecelia Wieder (1902-1956) m. Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963), Pearl Larson, Mildred Bland (1902-1987) m. Harry Lucas (1901-1951); Salome Bailey (1902-1962) m. Mr. Watkins, Henrietta McEwen (1900-1978) m. Horace Gladney (1894-1975), and Lucille McKay

"No graduates this year."(The Ocean Springs News, March 16, 1916, p. 1)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1916-1917

 Benjamin Hamlin Ashman, principal-

Faculty

Mildred D. Ashman (1890-1975), Agnes Bland (1895-1979), Lenora M. Hann, Florence Morrow, Shell Phillips, and Marjorie Watkins.(The Jackson County Times, November 18, 1916, p. 1)

 

Agnes Bland (1902-1987) was called "Missy" was the daughter of Dr. Jasper J. Bland (1850-1932), ) a native of Deasonville in Yazoo County, Mississippi, and Agnes Elizabeth Edwards (1868-1936) of New Orleans.  The Bland family moved to Ocean Springs from New Orleans in 1906.  In addition to his medical practice at Ocean Springs, Dr. Bland was the proprietor of the Beach-New Beach Hotel from 1899 to 1918.  He also became active in the social and political affairs of the community.  In 1909, Dr. Bland endorsed a municipal bond issue for the benefit of the schools and improvement of streets and sidewalks.  Dr. Bland was appointed to the School Board for one term in April 1910.  He ran for Alderman from Ward 4 in 1914 losing to former mayor, John Duncan Minor (1863-1920). 

"Missy" Bland taught Latin and other higher grades at the Ocean Springs High School during the 1916-1917 school term.  She was admired by her students and rated excellent by her peers.  During the summer of 1917 she studied Spanish and advanced Latin at Tulane University in New Orleans.  Agnes Bland married Urban Beh (1899-1990) in 1923.  They resided at Los Angeles.  Their children are: Jean Beh Beek (b. 1925) and Richard Beh (b. 1927).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1917-1918

Principal

Homer E. Warren, principal, was born at Thaxton, Mississippi.  He attended the University of Mississippi, and came to Ocean Springs from Mississippi City where he was also the principal and teacher.   Warren had nine years experience as an educator. (The Jackson County Times, May 12, 1917, p. 5 and September 15, 1917)

Faculty

Agnes Bland (1895-1979) married Urban Beh (1899-1990), asst. high school; Mrs. F.A. Murphy, asst. high school; Ida Ober, grades 7 and 8; Shell Phillips, grades 5 and 6; Mable Tardy, grades 3 and 4; and Florence Morrow, primary.  Mrs. Murphy had been teaching at Logtown while Miss Tardy had been teaching in the country schools.  Misses Bland, Morrow, Ober, and Phillips had taught previously at Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, September 15, 1917, p. 1)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Class of 1918

The Senior Class consisted of: Mary Harmer Irvine, Rebecca Ellen McEwen Clark (189-1968), Samuel Chester Davis (1900-1973), Albert Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974), and Robert Ernest Morris (1902-1970).  Graduation was held in the school auditorium on the evening of May 31, 1918.  The Class of 1918 chose the following themes: Motto- “Launched but not anchored” .  Color-Old Gold and Purple.  Flower-Rose.(The Jackson County Times, June 8, 1918, p. 5 and Class of 1918 invitation)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1918-1919

A.H. Shannon, principal-before becoming principal at Ocean Springs Public School, Professor Shannon had taught English at Mississippi A.&M. College (now MSU).(The Jackson County Times, September 9,1916, p. 5)

Faculty

Caroline Gilbert [high school]; Ida Ober [high school]; Mable Tardy [6th and 7th grades]; Iris Johnson [4th and 5th grades]; Irene Dickson [2nd and 3rd grades]; and Florence Morrow [primary].(The Jackson County Times, July 13, 1918, p. 5)

Class of 1919

Salome Bailey, Henrietta McEwen, and Cecelia Wieder.(The Jackson County Times, May 24, 1919, p. 5)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1919-1920

A.H. Shannon, principal

Class of 1920

[image courtesy of Roy Baker via Charles Lawrence Galle]

Eleanor May Baker [front row-first lady from left], Isabelle Hodges, and Ethelyn Phelps.(The Jackson County Times, May 29, 1920, p. 5)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1920-1921

W.H. Lewis, principal

Faculty

Carolyn Gilbert, Ida C. Ober, Mabel Tardy, Beatrice McEwen, Alicia Dickson, and Florence Morrow.(The Jackson County Times, May 29, 1920, p. 5)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1921-1922

C.R. Talbot, principal;  Father of Arlete Talbot and V.G. Talbot of New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, May 13, 1922, p. 5)  Mrs. Talbot of Algiers, Louisiana at the Nill Cottage on Porter in July 1899.(The PD-S, July 7, 1899, p. 3)

           

Future Ocean Springs Teachers awaiting train at Gulfport? for Hattiesburg, Mississippi and the Normal School

[L-R: Mabel Tardy, Beatrice McEwen (1891-1984), Mr. Goff, and Rebecca E. McEwen Clark (1898-1968).  Courtesy of Rebecca Clark Bishop, Forts Lake, Mississippi]

In May 1921, the local school board met and elected the following teachers for the 1921-1922 scholastic year:  Professor Campbell of Blackshire, Alabama, principal; Ida Ober; Miss Wilkerson of Pelahatchie, Mississippi; Alicia Dickson; Henrietta McEwen Gladney (1900-1978); Beatrice McEwen (1891-1984); Leah Jermyn of Handsboro, Mississippi; and Florence Morrow.(The Jackson County Times, May 7, 1921, p. 3)

Kreutz Medals

At the commencement of the school year, local jeweler, Phillip N. Kreutz (1869-1934) donated two silver medals to the scholars posting the highest marks in the Ocean Springs public high school and grammar school.  For the 1921-1922 school term, Donald Benefield had an average of 96, while Stanford Williams with an 86 was the leader in the lower grades.(The Daily Herald, June 5, 1922)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1922-1923

Professor T.A. Sewell, principal

Thomas Addis Sewell (1886-1925+) was born June 11, 1886 at Troy, Grenada County, Mississippi.  The family relocated to Springville, Pontotoc, Mississippi before May 1917.  Thomas A. Sewell was elected principal of the Ocean Springs Public School in July 1922.  He had been at the Mississippi Normal College at Hattiesburg as early as May 1917 where he was a 'special police'. When hired for the job as principal here, Professor Sewell was teaching manual training and penmanship at the Normal College.  His salary was $1800 for nine months.(World War I Draft Registration R1683135 Pontotoc, Mississippi and The Daily Herald, July 4, 1922, p. 2)

Faculty

Florence Morrow, Mary Irvine, Alicia Dickson, Henrietta McEwen, Beatrice McEwen, Ida Ober, and Beryl Bailey.  Elizabeth Smith Keys was elected principal of the colored school and Doris Paige, assistant.(The Jackson County Times, June 24, 1922, p. 5 and The Jackson County Times, May 5, 1923, p. 5)

Class

The graduating class was composed of only two students, George McEwen, and Curtis Wright.  Dr. S.P. Powell of Long Beach, Mississippi addressed the Class of 1923.

There were sixteen pupils who graduated into high school from the eighth grade.(The Jackson County Times, May 26, 1923, p. 5)

 

1923-1924

Professor T.A. Sewell, principal

The $65,000 bond issue for new school failed at a special election held in late September 1923.  Light turnout of voters 129 against and only 68 for the project.(The Jackson County Times, October 6, 1923, p. 5)

Senior class officers: Arlene White, president, Rebecca Danenhower, v.p., and John P. Edwards II, secretary.(The Jackson County Times, September 29, 1923, p. 5) 

Class of 1924

Five graduates: Rebecca Danenhower, John P. Edwards II, Bernard “Bennie” P.  Seymour (1907-1969), Ellen Scharr Clarke Easton (1906-1996), and Arlene White (1907-2000).  Class flower-the rose; Class colors-pink and green.(The Jackson County Times, June 14, 1924, p. 5)

Rebecca Danenhower and Arlene White both finished their fine academic careers with identical scholastic averages and were dually awarded gold medals for their efforts.  Phil Kreutz, local jeweler, provided one and the public school gave the other.  Miss Danenhower also received the Lincoln medal.  John Edwards earned two medals-one for the most organized English notebook, and the other as a prize presented to him at the Coast field meet where he received the highest honors in Current History.  Stanford Williams was presented a gold medal given by the Ocean Springs State Bank for the best scholastic average in the grammar school.(The Daily Herald, May 27, 1924, p. 2)

Shortly after graduation, Miss Ellen Scharr left for the Normal School at Hattiesburg, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, June 7, 1924, p. 5)

 

1924-1925

Miss Inell Orrell left the faculty at the end of the 1924-1925 school term and returned to her home at Holly Springs, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, June 16, 1925, p. 7)

Students from Ocean Springs who graduated from Biloxi High School in May 1925: Lucretia Money, Roger Holloway, James Garrard, and John Edwards.  Miss Money and James Garrard had parts in the class play.(The Jackson County Times, May 30, 1925, p. 3)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1925-1926

S.A. Chandler, principal

Sterling Albert Chandler Jr. (1899-1983) was born on November 13, 1899 in Clay County, Mississippi.  In September 1918, he was a student domiciled at 21 East Broad Street  in West Point, Clay County, Mississippi.  Mr. Chandler married Sarah W. Chandler (1897-1983) circa 1926.  He left Ocean Springs and settled at Columbus, Mississippi, which is near West Point.  Sterling A. Chandler made his livelihood in Columbus as an accountant.  He expired here in February 1983.  Mrs. Sarah W. Chandler followed closely her spouse in death also at Columbus, Mississippi expiring in August 1983.(WW I Draft Registration R 1682707-Clay County, Mississippi, 1930 Lowndes Co., Mississippi Federal Census R1157, p. 1A, Ed 17)

Faculty

Elizabeth Barbee, Eva Croft, Belle Gough, Mary Gough, Frances Jolly, W.H. Lewis, Florence Morrow, Mable Oakes, Amy Quick, Bertie Swearengen, and Virginia Thompson.  Salaries-principal, $175 per month.  Teachers, $75 -$100 per month.  Black principal-Ruth Keys-$75 per month; black teacher-Rosalie Bethea-$45 per month.(The Jackson County Times, November 7, 1925, p. 3)

In the summer of 1926, Amy Quick and Elizabeth Barbee attended Tulane.  Belle Gough, Mary Gough, and May Belle Oaks retuned to their homes in Arkansas, while Virginia Thompson and Francis Jolly went to Batesville and Holly Springs respectively.(The Jackson County Times, June 12, 1926, p. 3)

Basketball

Boys team composed of: Dudley Brumfield, Tony Catchot, Henry Endt, Ambrose Fayard, and Bernard VanCourt.  The girls’ squad was made up of: Edna Green, Emily Ryan, Sarah Stuart, and Georgine Voivedich.(The Jackson County Times, November 21, 1925, p. 5)

 

Class of 1926

Arlene M. White (1907-2000) and Margaret Heath Schmidt (1908-1983).

Stanley Armstrong, Alfretta Newcomb (1904-1932), and Marion Westbrook graduated from Biloxi High School.  George Lemon and Gordon Van Cleave finished at Harrison-Stone-Jackson A.H.S. while Amelia Seymour graduated from the Sisters Convent at Biloxi.(The Jackson County Times, June 5, 1926, p. 5)

Alforetta Newcomb (1904-1932) was a member of the 1926 Class of Biloxi High School where she carried the moniker “Tattletale”.  The “Oracle of Delphi”, the 1926 graduating class prophet, related that, Alforetta would resign her position as lady Mayor of Ocean Springs and become the first woman president of the United States.”  Alforetta Newcomb married Leo B. Dale (1905-1954).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________          

1926-1927

S.A. Chandler, principal; Florence Morrow, asst. principal.

         

Faculty

Elizabeth Barbee, Eva Croft, Mary Gough, Frances Jolly, W.H. Lewis, Florence Morrow, May Belle Oakes, Amy Quick, Bertie Swearengen, Virginia Thompson, and Fanny Wise (Yazoo City).(The Jackson County Times, September 11, 1926, p. 3)

Professor Chandler was remunerated $250 per month while teachers salaries ranged from $112 to $75 per month.(TOS Minute Bk. Jan. 4, 1916 to December 27, 1928, p. 420)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

1927-1928

S.A. Chandler, Superintendent;

 

Faculty

Salome Bailey, Elizabeth Barbee, Cora Belle Cole, W.H. Cole, Margaret Dunshie, Catherine Hadley, Irene Hunter, Frances Jolly, Virginia T. Lee, W.H. Lewis, Corrine McClure, Florence Morrow, Mary C. O’Keefe, Amy Quick, and Fannie Wise.  Mrs. Stockard was in charge of the cafeteria.(The JXCOT, September 10, 1927, p. 1 and March 17, 1928, p. 1)

 

Miss Mary Cahill O'Keefe

(image made circa 1924 when Miss O'Keefe was Chair of Modern Languages at the Biloxi Public High School.  From The Beacon Glow, 1924, p. 17.  The Beacon Glow was the Biloxi High School Annual)

 

The first faculty

Professor S.A. Chandler, a native of West Point, Mississippi, was the first principal of the new school.  His faculty consisted of the following educators: W.H. Lewis, Miss Barbee, Miss Amy Quick, Miss Margaret Dunshie, Miss Francis Jolly, Miss Mary Cahill O' Keefe (1893-1980), Miss Salome Bailey (Watkins), Miss Florence Morrow (1877-1936), Miss Irene Hunter, Mrs. Virginia T. Lee (1901-1986), Miss Hadley, and Miss Fannie Wise.  Miss Corrine McClure (1887-1961) was the music teacher and Mrs. Stockard ran the cafeteria.(The Jackson County Times, September 10, 1927, p. 1)

 

Girls basketball team

Dale, Davida Davidson, Meyers, Sarah Stuart (sic), M. Small, and I. Small.

 

The 1927 football team

The 1927 Ocean Springs High School football squad was called the Panthers.(The Jackson County Times, October 15, 1927, p. 3, c. 3)   When they reported for training in September 1927, Coach William H. Cole related to the press that his gridsters were light of weight, but heady and fast.(The Jackson County Times, September 4, 1927, p. 5, c.3)

The Ocean Springs Panthers' starting eleven was composed of: Frank C. Beuhler (1909-1985), LE; Theo Bechtel Jr. (1909-2003), LT; Judlin H. Girot (1912-1970), LG; Leroy White, C, Schuyler Poitevent (1911-1978), RG; F.J. Lundy, RT; Henry Endt (1910-1989), RE; Carl 'Mexi' Dick, LH; Elwin Friar (1910-1970), RH; Bernard VanCourt (1910-1976), FB and Captain; and Richard Hrabe (1910-1979), QB.(The Jackson County Times, October 29, 1927, p. 2, c. 4)

 

The 1927 football team, in addition to its small size, was handicapped in that they did not have a home field to play their games.  Their record was 2 wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties.  Victories came at Pascagoula (7-0) and Escatawpa (24-6) while the teams' only defeat was by the Long Beach squad (0-6).  Hard fought ties were in contests against Bay St. Louis (0-0) and Biloxi (12-12).(The Jackson County Times, October 1, 1927, p. 3, c. 5; October 8, 1927, p. 2, c. 2; October 29, 1927, p. 2, c. 4; and November 5, 1927)    

 

 

Class of 1928

Sarah Stewart, Leroy White, Seth McEwen, Theodore Bechtel Jr., and Frank Buehler.  Frank Buehler was the class valedictorian and Sarah Stewart, the salutatorian.(The Jackson County Times, June 2, 1928, p. 3)

 

The first graduation class-May 1928

On May 31, 1928, the following graduates were awarded diplomas from the Ocean Springs High School by School Board member, Louis Jean-Baptisite Mestier: Theodore Bechtel Jr. (1909-2003), Frank C. Beuhler (1909-1985), Seth McEwen (1909-1986), Sarah Stewart, and Leroy White.(The Jackson County Times, June 2, 1928, p. 3, c. 3)  Although two others students in the 1928 graduation class had the same scholastic average as Frank C. Beuhler, he was named Valedictorian of the class since he had a better attendance record.  Local jeweler, Phil N. Kreutz (1869-1934), donated two gold medals to the public school.  One was awarded to Beuhler as Valedictorian and the other to Catherine Carver, a third grader, for her perfect attendance record.(The Jackson County Times, May 26, 1928, p. 2, c. 4)

 

In April 1928, several members of the Senior Class had distinguished themselves at the Literary Field Meet in Biloxi.  Theo Bechtel Jr. won second place in Biology and Frank Beuhler was awarded forth place in English and Rhetoric.  Ocean Springs High School placed third among the competing educational institutions of the Gulf Coast.  Lower classmen, Francesca Spencer (1912-1963) and Schuyler Poitevent (1911-1978), won gold medals for their knowledge of American History and Current History.(The Jackson County Times, April 28, 1928, p. 2)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1928-1929

 

Faculty: Salome Bailey, Amy Quick

 

Class of 1929

Top L-R: Richard A. Hrabe (1910-1979), Davida Davidson Hrabe (1911-1996)Tressie Hudson, Lillie Mae Van Court Fayard, Rachel Schrieber Wright Pettus (1911-1968), and Schuyler Poitevent (1911-1978). Bottonm L-R: Louise Ladner Blackmon, Lillian Ryan, Lucille Amy Scharr Webb (1910-2001), Bernadette Armstrong Cavanah (b. 1909), and Francesca Spencer Howard (1911-1973).[from The Ocean Springs Record, August 7, 1980]

 

Class of 1929

The 1929 Senior Class consisted of: Davida Davidson, Francesca Spencer, Lillie Mae Van Court, Bernadette Armstrong, Tressie Hutson (sic), Louise Ladnier, Rachel Schrieber, Schuyler Poitevent, Lucille Scharr, Lillian Ryan, and Richard Hrabe.  Davida Davidson, was valedictorian and Francesca Spencer, salutatorian.  Class officers-Lucille Scharr, president; Davida Davidson, vice-president; Richard Hrabe, secretary-treasurer.(The Daily Herald, June 3, 1929, p. 2 and The Jackson County Times, May 25, 1929, p. 3)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1929-1930

 

Mary Cahill O’Keefe (1893-1980), principal-$225 per month; Gerald Hause, asst. principal-$150 per month;

 

Faculty

Amy Quick-$130 per month; W.H. Lewis-$128.63 per month; Florence Morrow-$115 per month; Lucretia Money-$115 per month; Annie F. Jones-$115 per month; Marie Arndt-$115 per month; Mildred van Kamp-$115 per month; Frances Jolly-$86. 25 per month; Mary Irvine-$80 per month; Mary Joachim-$76.66; Floy Watson-$74.75; Dorothy B. Manning-$40.25; and Elizabeth Barbee-$38.35.

 

Colored School-Elizabeth Keys-$70 per month and Nellie Thompson-$50 per month.  Helen Granitz-$60 per month.(TOS, Ms. Minute Book (11-1-1929 to 11-6-1934), p. 48)

 

Faculty

Mary C. O’Keefe , principal and French teacher; Lucretia Money, English; Amy Quick, History; Annie Fay Jones, Latin; Mildred von (sic) Kamp, Commercial subjects; Gerald Hause, General Science and Coach; Marie Arndt, Junior High English; Frances Jolly, 4th Grade; Elizabeth Barbee, 1st and 2nd Grades; Mary Irvine, 3rd Grade; Florence Morrow, Primary; and W.H. Lewis, Junior High Mathematics.(The Jackson County Times, August 17, 1929, p. 3)

In June 1929, Dewitt Pendleton of Vernon, Alabama was elected as coach of Ocean Springs High School for the 1929-1930 school term.  Pendleton was expected to use the Wade System of Coaching, which was developed at the University of Alabama.(The Daily Herald, June 13, 1929, p. 2)

 

1930 Class

Class: Katie May Cox Bolton, Henry Joseph Endt (1910-1989), Hilda Elizabeth Friar (191-1987), Judlin H. Girot (1912-1970), James Frederic “Boots” Hoffman (1912-1937), George Herman Granitz (1909-1981), Sara Kirkpatrick Lemon (1910-2007), Frank Jefferson Lundy, Inez Camille Ryan, and Ila Rae Small.  Hilda Friar was the valedictorian and Ila Rae Small, the salutatorian.  George H. Granitz received the Interstate Bank & Trust Company Medal for his essay, “Navigation on the Mississippi River and Its Tributaries”which was deemed the best.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1930, p. 2)

 

1930 Jr. High Graduation

Those receiving diplomas for their graduation to the ninth grade were: Anna Mae Beaugez; Beverly Dalgo; Charles Engbarth; J.K. Ladnier; Louis Mestier; Doris Michael; Audrey Young; Henry Weyerstall, George Shell; Edna Pearce; Vera Madsen; Sue Richards; and John Mitchell.(The Daily Herald, May 30, 1930, p. 8)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1930-1931

Mary Cahill O’Keefe (1893-1980), principal-$225 per month; Gerald Hause, asst. principal-$150 per month;

 

Faculty

On September 6, 1930, a general meeting of the faculty was held at the OSHS.  The faculty at this time consisted of: Mary C. O'Keefe, Superintendent; Marie Arndt Alexander (1905-1994); Elizabeth Barbee; Irene Hunter; Mary Irvine; Annie Fay Jones; Frances Jolly; Florence Morrow; Amy Quick; Mildred von Kamp; Gerald Hause; Joe M. Rash, and Wilma Huntley.(The Daily Herald, September 1, 1930, p. 2)

Amy Quick-$130 per month; Marie Alexander-$115 per month; Irene Hunter-$115 per month; Wilma Huntley-$115 per month; Annie F. Jones-$115 per month; Florence Morrow-$115 per month.(Town of Ocean Springs, Ms. Minute Book (11-1-1929 to 11-6-1934), p. 106)

In December 1930-January 1931, Amy Quick spent the Christmas holidays at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.N. Quick, of Collins, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1931, p. 20

Katherine Boyette of Slidell, Louisiana joined the faculty in March 1931 to replace Marie Arndt Alexander.(The Daily Herald, March 21, 1931, p. 2)

In the fall and winter of 1951 and 1953 respectively, Miss Amy Quick visited at Ocean Springs with Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Jordan.  She was assistant principal at Bogalusa High School.(The Gulf Coast Times, October 18, 1951, p. 2 and December 31, 1953, p. 3)

 
1931 Class

Class: Mathilda Elizabeth 'Betty' Bradford Milsted (1913-2009), Clifton Lee Davis (1912-1976), Carl H. “Mexi” Dick (1909-2000), Myrle “Sally” Girot Williams Staley (1913-1961), Flossie Heath, Jessie Hoffman Williams (1912-1989), Rita Brown Honor Friar (1913-1985), Margaret Lewis Lemon Halstead (1913-1999), Bernice Pabst Mitchel Esche (1913-2011), Ralph Siebert, William C. Richards (1914-2004), and Elinor Wright Scharr (1913-1953).  The Junior-Senior banquet was held at the French Hotel.(The Daily Herald, May 27, 1931, p. 2)

 

Graduation

Graduation ceremonies were held on May 29th in the school auditorium.  Those honored were: Ralph Siebert, valedictorian, who also won the Interstate Bank and Trust Medal and a Tulane scholarship; William Richards, salutatorian, and a University of Virginia scholarship; and Bernice Pabst and Elizabeth Bradford, scholarships to Draughn's Business  School.  Mrs. John B. Honor opened her home for a post-graduation party which featured dancing, refreshments, and exquisite floral arrangements.(The Daily Herald, June 2, 1931, p. 7)

 

1931 Class favorites

In April, the results of the annual popularity contest were announced:  Prettiest girl and handsomest boy-Sue Richards and Harry Rehage; Best dressed girl and boy-Virginia Bradley and Carl H. Dick; Most athletic girl and boy-Beryl Girot and Roy Riviere; Wittiest girl and boy-Margaret Lemon and J.K. Lemon; Best all around girl and boy-Brown Honor and Henry Parlin; Dignified Senior-William Richards; Jolliest Junior-Elinor Coates; Sophisticated Sophomore-Bobbie Davidson; Greenest Freshman-J.K. Ladnier; Flossie Heath-vamp and Everett Busbee-the Sheik.(The Daily Herald, April 11, 1931, p. 6)

 

In January 1931, the following Ocean Springs students were attending college: Morris Baker, Clarence Williams, and Harry Schmidt-Tulane; Clista Newcomb, Elwin Friar, Frank Buehler, and Bernard Van Court-Perkinston; Francesca Spencer-Randolph-Mason; Davida Davidson-Virginia Intermont; Hilda Friar-Whitworth; Tim Simpson-GCMA; and Jim Garrard-Michigan.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1931, p. 2)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1931-1932

Mary Cahill O’Keefe (1893-1980), principal.

 

Faculty

A.O. Gaar, Nettie E. Akin, Katharine Boyett, Nash K. Burger, Dorothy Daspit, Ethel Goodman, Mary Irvine, Frances Jolly, Ruth McAulliffe, Ruth McCullough, Florence Morrow, and Mildred von Kamp.(TOS, Ms. Minute Book (11-1-1929 to 11-6-1934), p. 194) 

In September 1931, Miss O’Keefe announced that the school faculty for the coming year was composed of: Florence Morrow, who has taken Extension work with the University of Chicago during the past summer; Miss Ruth McAuliffe, B.A. Agnes Scott; Miss Mary Irvine, who has been attending Detroit Teachers’ College;  Miss Frances Jolly; Miss Katherine Boyett, B.A. MSCW; Miss Ruth McCullough, B.A. Woman’s College; Miss Nettie Elizabeth Aiken, B.A. Peabody College, who has attended Peabody during the summer; Miss Mildred von Kamp; A.O. Garr, B.A. Louisiana College; N.K. Buyer, B.A. Sewanee University; Miss Dorothy Daspit, B.A. Newcomb College; Miss Ethel Goodman, B.A. MSCW, summer work at the University of Virginia.(The Daily Herald, September 9, 1931, p. 3)

The commencement of the 1931-1932 school year saw seven new teachers join the faculty of Miss O’Keefe.  They were: Ruth McCullough, English; Nettie E. Aiken, history; Dorothy Daspit, mathematics; Ethel Goodman, Latin; Ruth McAuliffe, 2nd grade; A.O. Gaar, coach and science; Nash K. Burger, Junior High English and history.  In addition a group of students from the St. Martin community were attending the school.(The Daily Herald, September 26, 1931, p. 5)

In April 1932, Ocean Springs competed academically against other Class B schools in the Gulf Coast Field, Track, Literary, and Platform meet.  Winners were: Katherine Snyder, first place in 1st Year Algebra; Joyce Davidson, second place Ancient History; Virginia Bradley, first place in American History; Winifred Carver, first place in Chemistry; Katherine Lundy, first place in Typewriting.(The Daily Herald, April 18, 1932, p. 5)

 A.O. Garr (1909-1981) was also the football coach.  In 1950, he was residing at Atlanta, Georgia where he was employed by the Carroll Dunham Smith Pharmaceutical Co. of New Brunswick, New Jersey.  His son, C. Gaar (1932-1988), was born at Ocean Springs on July 6, 1932 and entered college in the fall of 1950.(The Gulf Coast Times, October 6, 1950, p. 1)

Eleanor Bradford Lemon relates that Lucretia Money taught her English in her senior year.(Lemon, January 7, 2002)

       
   
Class of 1932

(standing: l-r: George "Fritz" VanCourt; Orwin Scharr; Oscar Seymour; Charles L. Snyder; Henry Parlin; and J.K. Lemon (1914-1998).  (sitting: l-r: Evelyn Ramsay; Della Bare; Eleanor Coates; Bernice VanCourt; Dorothy Pearce; Laura Zettel; Eleanor Bradford Lemon; and Katheryn Lundy.

 
1932 Class

The Class of 1932 was composed of Della Bare, Eleanor Bradford Lemon, Elinor Coates, J.K. Lemon (1914-1998), Kathryn Lundy Howland (1914-1978), Henry Parlin (1912-1984), Dorothy Pearce, Evelyn Ramsay Seymour (1915-1974), Orwin Scharr (1914-2002), Oscar L. Seymour (1912-1964), Charles L. Snyder (1914-2000), Bernice VanCourt Williams, George Van Court (1913-1984), and Laura Zettel.(The Daily Herald, April 26, 1932, p. 2)

Katheryn Lundy was the valedictorian.  In the fall of 1931, Beryl Girot and Andrew Westbrook were elected cheerleaders for the year. 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

1932-1933

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent.

Faculty

                                                                             1933 Class

The Class of 1933 was made up of Wilford Beaugez (1913-1994), Margaret Benton, Standish J. Bradford (1914-1992), Winifred Carver, Iris Cobb, Dolores “Bobby” Davidson Smith (1916-1997), Beryl Girot Riviere (1916-2011), Pauline Hoffman, Elizabeth Parlin, Elizabeth Ryan, Ruth Ryan, Louise Van Court, and Andrew Westbrook.(Beryl Girot Riviere, March 16, 2002)

In their Junior year, Billie Hrabe was elected class president.  Mary Louise Brander served as v-p, while Bobbie Davidson was selected as sec.-treasurer of the class.(The Daily Herald, September 26, 1931, p. 5)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1933-1934

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent.

Faculty

Nettie E. “Polly” Akin (New Hampshire?, Tennessee); Kathryn Boyett (Slidell, Louisiana); Dorothy Daspit (Houma, Louisiana); Mary Elizabeth Eley (Moss Point); Ethel Goodman (Ocean Springs); Mary Irvine (Ocean Springs); Frances Jolley (Batesville, Mississippi); Mildred von Kamp (Atlanta, Georgia); Coach L.M. LeCroy (Collins, Alabama); and Ruth McCullough (Florence, Mississippi).  New teachers were: Mary Elizabeth Eley and Coach L.M. LaCroix.  Misses Goodman, Akin, Jolley, McCullough, and Coach LeCroy were in residence at the French Hotel, while Misses Boyett, Daspit, and von Kamp found quarters in the Eglin House on Washington Avenue.(The Daily Herald, September 13, 1933, p. 8)

In December 1933, Coach LeCroy, teacher and coach, at the Public School resigned to take a job to work in the research department of the Standard Oil Company at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.(The Jackson County Times, December 9, 1933, p. 3)

In June 1934, Miss Nettie E. Akin of Havenshire, Tennessee who taught history since the 1931-1932 school year, resigned her position to return home.(The Jackson County Times, June 2, 1934, p. 3)

Also in June 1934, Katherine Boyett married John Baltar of Biloxi in the home of Lawrence Fabacher at Biloxi.  She was the daughter of R.B. Boyett of Slidell, Louisiana.  He was the son of Mrs. W.W. Baltar.(The Jackson County Times, June 9, 1934, p. 3)

 

1934 Class

The 1934 Class had their commencement ceremonies on May 24, 1934.  Members o f this class were: Edna Asher, Anna Mae Beaugez, Ernest Busbee, Albert Holmes, Mary Alice “Billie” Hrabe Rehage, J.K. Ladnier, Louis Mestier (1916-1994), Edna Pierce, Harry John Rehage (1914-1999), Henry Weyerstall (1913-1987), and Audrey Young Sterken (b. 1917).  Audrey Young was the Valedictorian and Anna Mae Beaugez, the Salutatorian.  Miss Young received a four-year scholarship to L.S.U. at Baton Rouge and Louis Mestier was awarded the Tulane scholarship.(The Daily Herald, June 1, 1934, p. 3)

The Ocean Springs High School girls basketball team won the Mississippi Gulf Coast Championship defeating Escatawpa 49-32.  Team members were: Vertalee Bradford Van Cleave, (The Daily Herald,  February 26, 1934, p. 2)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1934-1935

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent.

 

When the Ocean Springs Public School opened on September 3, 1934, there were about three hundred-thirty students enrolled.  Superintendent O’ Keefe welcomed them in the auditorium and related her plan for the school term.(The Jackson County Times, September 8, 1934, p. 1)

Faculty

Merrick J. Chatelain, Dorothy Daspit, Davida Davidson, Ruth Dickey, Mary E. Eley, Hilda Friar, Mary Irvine, Ruth McCullough, Francesca Spencer, and Mildred von Kamp, and Mary Kate Westfall.(The Jackson County Times, August 11, 1934, p. 3 and September 8, 1934, p. 1, The Daily Herald, May 2, 1935, p. 1)

 

 

Class 1935

Isabelle Asher, Vertalee Bradford VanCleave (1916-2004)Merlin Beverly Dalgo (1917-2003), Lucille Fayard Hefner, Naomi Friar, Mary Joachim, Bliss Lemon Pinkerton (1917-2001), John Mitchell (1915-1963), Sue Richards Hardy, Roy J. Riviere (1914-2000), Louise Seymour, Norita Seymour, Georgia Shell Mitchell (1917-2015), Katherine Snyder.  Katherine Snyder was Valedictorian and Mary Joachim, Salutatorian.(The Daily Herald, May 23, 1935, p. 1)

In the 1934 state literary examinations, three of the six honors won by the schools of the Gulf Coast Region were awarded to students of the Ocean Springs public school.  Katherine Snyder place 1st in American History; Bliss Lemon garnered 3rd place in English; and in Algebra II, Louis Mestier was 3rd.(The Daily Herald, October 13, 1934, p. 8)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

1935-1936

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent and M.J. Chatelain, principal.

Faculty

Davida Davidson Hrabe, Dorothy Daspit, 

Class 1936

Helen Armstrong, Paul Bennett, Catherine Bourgeois Ryan, Margaret Bradford Chastain, Joyce Davidson, Marcelle Dessommes, Gladys Fayard, George Girot Nicholson (1918-1998), Dorothy Hunt Applegate, George McEwen, Lucille Mestier Morgan, Julia Miller, Nina Miller, Edward J. Riviere (1917-1968), Rita Seymour, Marie Thomas, and Margarita Weyerstall.(The Jackson County Times, June 6, 1936, p. 3)

Joyce Davidson, Valedictorian; Margarita Weyerstall, Salutatorian; Marcelle Dessommes, Giftorian; Julia Miller, Prophet; Dorothy Hunt, Historian; and Paul Bennett, Class Will.(The Jackson County Times, June 6, 1936, p. 3)

Girls basketball team

Captain: Eileen Benton, who played guard.  Team members-Centers: Catherine Bourgeios, Julia Miller, George Girot, Ellie Maxwell, and Joyce Miller.  Forwards: Nina Miller, Dorothy Hunt, Anita Williams, Evelyn Van Court, and Helen Rupp.  Guards: Mary Alice McEwen, Lucille Mestier, Rita Lema, Eileen Benton, and Margaret Brou.(The Jackson County Times, February 1, 1936, p. 3)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1936-1937

 

Mary C, O’Keefe, superintendent and Dorothy Daspit, principal.

Faculty

Merrick J. Chatelain, coach and science; Ruth Dickey, English; Dorothy Daspit, mathematics; Clara Eley, intermediate geography and mathematics; Hilda Friar, commercial; Nancy Milner, study hall; Bama Phillips, primary; Marie Louise Ratelle, 2nd and 3rd grades; Francesca Spencer, Latin and intermediate English; Rose Helen Walker, 3rd and 4th grades, and Elinor Wright, history.(The Daily Herald, September 5, 1936, p. 2)

Class 1937

Joseph Barker, Lucille Basque Boone, Eileen R. Benton, Katheryn Carver Mathedias, John A. Catchot, Beryl Dalgo Woodruff, Curtis Fountain, C. Dickson Hodges Jr. (1919-1941), Dorothy Hovelmeir Borries, Raymond Jackson, Ruth McClure McGraw, Clifford G. Nelson, Clay M. Parlin (1918-1969), Leah Schrieber Thayer, Lurline Schrieber HallMyrna Ramsay Meyers, Roy J. Sousley, Earle R. Taylor, Juanita Webb Talianich, Frederick L. Westbrook Jr. (1919-2001); E. Frasier Wilkerson (1920-1987).

            Teachers: Dorothy Daspit, Davida Davidson (Hrabe), Coach Chatelain, Estelle Chatelain.

Class 1937

Front Row left to right: Raymond Jackson, F. L. Westbrook Jr., Joe Barker, Roy Sousley, Clay Parlin, Curtis Fountain, Earle Taylor, Frazier Wilkerson, A. J. Catchot, Clifford Nelson, and Dickson Hodges.
Second Row left to right: Aileen Cox, Juanita Webb, Ruth McClure, Katheryn Carver, Eileen Benton, Dorothy Hovelmeir, Lucille Basque, Dorothea Nelson, Myrna Ramsey, Beryl Dalgo, and Leah Schrieber.
Back Row left to right: Willie Lemon and Ruth Dickey. [identifications by Earle Taylor in December 2007]
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1937-1938

Coach M.J. Chatelain

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent and M.J. Chatelain, principal.

Faculty

Merrick J. Chatelain, coach and science; Ruth Dickey, English; Clara Eley, intermediate geography and mathematics; Hilda Friar, commercial; Thelma Jenkins (Hattiesburg); Nancy Milner, study hall; Genevieve Morris (Pascagoula); Bama Phillips, primary; Marie Louise Ratelle, 2nd and 3rd grades; Francesca Spencer, Latin and intermediate English; Rose Helen Walker, 3rd and 4th grades, and Elinor Wright, history.(The Daily Herald, September 5, 1936, p. 2 and  August 14, 1937, p. 5)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1937-1938

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent and M.J. Chatelain, principal, Ruth Dickey, Francesca Spencer, Hilda Friar, Eleanor Wright, Wilma Goad, Bama Phillips, Marie Louise Ratelle, Rose Helen Walker, Corinne McClure, Nancy Milner, Thelma Jenkins, and Genevieve Morris.(The Daily Herald, August 14, 1937, p. 5 and September 10, 1937, p. 5)  

Miss Daspit did not return from the last year faculty.  Genevieve Morris of Pascagoula and Miss Thelma Jenkins of Hatteisburg were new teachers at the Ocean Springs Public School.(The Biloxi Herald, August 21, 1937, p. 6)

Seventy-five students from the Lyon Consolidated School at Hilda, near Gautier enrolled.  There was an increase of 18 per cent enrollment over the past year.  Four school buses operating to transport rural students to the facility.  Sixteen seniors in the Senior Class.(The Daily Herald, September 10, 1937, p. 5)

[from the Thomas Handy Collection courtesy of Kim Handy]

CLASS 1938

Frank Davis, Louise Davis, James H. Edwards (1920-2000), Marguerite Holmes, Arthur Hunt, Anna R. Kolb Schrieber, Sidney Maxwell, Mary Alice McEwen Johnson, Lillie Miller, Charles Parlin, Margaret Rupp, Esther Ryan, Milton Seymour, Lillian Slay, and Anita Williams.  Class Valedictorian honors were shared by Louise Davis and Anita Williams while Anna R. Kolb was Salutatorian.(The Daily Herald, June 4, 1938, p. 1 and p. 5)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1938-1939

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent and M.J. Chatelain, principal,        Chatelain, E.W. Coker, Hilda Friar, Wilma Goad, Nell Heidelberg, Velma Jenkins, Nancy Milner, Bama Phillips, Francesca Spencer, Marie Ratelle Preis, Elinor Wright, and Audrey Young.  In May 1939, Miss Heidelberg resigned to pursue a Masters Degree at LSU, while Elinor Wright expected to go to Texas to teach in the fall.(The Jackson County Times, May 20, 1939, p. 1)

Faculty

E.J. Coker, Hill? , Wilma Good, Velma Jenkins, Nancy Milner, Genevieve Morris, Bama Phillips, Marie L. Ratelle, Francesca Spencer, Elinor Wright, Estelle Taylor (Starkville) and Nell Heidelburg (Lafayette, Louisiana).(The Jackson County Times, September ?, 1938.

Class of 1939 Graduation
[image courtesy of David Perryman Drake]

top row, l-r: John Richards, Adrian Ryan, Arthur Webber, Edward C. 'Tiny' Johnson, Bruce K. Mohler, Robert Mohler, Thomas Handy, Emmett Gordon, E.J. Richards, and Arnold Van Court.

middle row, l-r: ?, ?, ?, Elizabeth Lemon Roberts, Dorothea Nelson, Alice O'Keefe Sebastian, and ?

bottom row, l-r: Alice Perryman Drake, Norma Richards, ?  Webber, Eula Webb Switzer, ?, Thelma Dale Christopherson, Elaine Lemien, Evelyn Van Court, and Lois Seymour.

 

8th Grade-March 1935

[image courtesy of Patricia Maxwell Letort]

top row: l-r: Mamie Keebler; ?; Mary Catherine Riddle; May Webber; Joyce Miller; Mary Alice Perryman; Rita Lema; Elizabeth Lemon; Dorothea Nelson; and Lucille Russell.

middle row: l-r.  Rebecca Guice; Evelyn Van Court; and Thelma Dale.

bottom row: l-r.  Tom Handy; Edward C. 'Tiny' Johnson; Bradley Thomas; Arthur Webber; Robert Lynd Maxwell; and E. John Richards.

 

CLASS of 1939

(top row, all girls, l-r: Elizabeth Lemon Roberts; Rose Webber; Dora O'Neal; and Rita ?             

(2nd row, all girls: Joyce Miller (seated); Lucille Russell; Thelma Dale; Marguerite Brou; Evelyn Van Court, Mae Reeves; Elaine Lemien; Alice O'Keefe Sebastian; May Weber; Lois Seymour; Dorothea S. Nelson; Dorothy Flucker; Norma Ruchards; and Eula Bullock

(3rd row, all boys seated, l-r: Adrian Ryan; Carl Byrd; Emmett Gordon; George Fluker; Arthur Webber; Arnold Van Court; and Bruce K. Mohler.
(bottom row, all boys seated, l-r: Robert C. Mohler (1921-2016), Ed Matheny; Edward C. 'Tiny' Johnson; John Richards; Edward Brou; Eugene Beaugez; E.J. Richards; and Thomas Handy.

 

CLASS 1939

On June 2, 1939, the following students received their diplomas: Thelma Dale Bradford Christopherson (1921-2008), Emmett Gordon (1920-1976), Rebecca Guice, Thomas Handy (b. 1922) , Edward C. Johnson, Elaine Lemien, Elizabeth Lemon Roberts (1921-2002), Joyce Miller, Bruce K. Mohler (1919-1948), Robert Mohler (b. 1921-2016), Dorothea S. Nelson, Alice O’Keefe Sebastian (1922-2011), Dora O’Neal, Mary Alice Perryman Drake (1919-2007), Mae Reeves, E.J. Richards, Norma Richards, Adrian Ryan, Lois Seymour, Arnold Van Court, Evelyn Van Court (192?-2006), Eula Webb Switzer, Arthur Webber, May Webber, and Rose Webber.  Dorothea Nelson was the Valedictorian of the class, while Elizabeth Lemon and John Richards shared the Salutatorian honors.(The Jackson County Times, May 27, 1939, p. 1)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

1939-1940

 

Mary C. O’Keefe, superintendent and M.J. Chatelain, principal

 

Faculty

Velma Jenkins, Francesca Spencer, Wilma Goad, Mrs. M.J. Chatelain, Mrs. J. Preis, Bama Phillips, Audrey Young, Nancy Milner, and E.W. Coker.(The Jackson County Times, May 20, 1939, p. 1)

In May 1939, Nell Heidelberg resigned her position to attend L.S.U. to pursue a Masters Degree.  Miss Elinor Wright went to Texas to teach.(The Jackson County Times, May 20, 1939, p. 1)

Margaret Benton, James W. Bishop, Estelle Chatelain (1891-1985), Margaret Colmer, Hilda Friar, Josephine Leavenworth, Nancy Milner, Bama Phillips, Marie L. Preis, Francesca Spencer, and Elinor Wright.(The Jackson County Times, September 9, 1939)

Football lettermen 1939 season

New Blue and Gray sweaters were presented to the following OSHS football players: Orion Baker, Donald Beaugez, Karl Byrd, Barney Dessommes, Lowell Davis, Donald Edwards, Harold Eley, Frank Haviland, Eugene Hill, Bob Hodges, Donald Mohler, Donal Snyder, Richard Steelman, and Jack Williams.(The Daily Herald, February 12, 1940, p. 3)

Class of 1940

 

Class 1940

Laurie Verner, valedictorian; Mildred Eley, salutatorian; Elise Zettel, class prophet; Harold Eley, class historian; Rosalie Todtenbier, class giftorian; and Betty Page Seay (1922-1998), class poet.  The class roll: Orion Baker II, Eugene H. Beaugez (1921-1992), Geraldine Byrd, Karl Hesey Byrd, Kenneth Carver, Alice Davidson Hire (1921-2004); Lowell Davis II, Harold Eley, Mildred Eley, Beryl Fayard Seymour(1919-1972), Frank Moss Haviland (1923-1994), Robert Hodges, Thomas Johnson, Ellie P. Maxwell Klein (1919-2007), Robert Lynd Maxwell (1920-2008), Margaret Miller Mohler, Charles I. Scharenberg (1922-1991), Donal McMullin Snyder (b. 1923), Franklin R. Snyder (1921-2003), Robert Van Winkle, Mae Nell Ryan Zanca (1921-1977), Betty Page Seay (1922-1998) m. Louis F. Singley, Rosalie Todtenbier Snyder (1922-1998), Laurie Verner (1922-1960), Elsa Weyerstall Sorby, and Elise Zettel Webber.(The Jackson County Times, May 25, 1940, p. 1 and Ocean Springs Chatter Book-1940)

Class Colors-Blue and White; Class Flower-Red Rose; Class Motto- “tis not fashion, form, or state, but git up and git that makes one great”.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1940-1941

M.C. O’Keefe, superintendent; M.J. Chatelain, principal.

New teachers: Elizabeth Barbee, Louise Engbarth, and Corinne McClure.(The Jackson County Times, September 14, 1940, p. 1)

Class 1941

Evelyn Louise Beaugez, Patricia C. Beaugez, Philip Edmond Brou, Clara Lucille Coates Rising, Beryl Ethel Fayard, Mary Lou Gordon, Marge Kennedy Guice Learned, Eugene Sydney Hill, Harry Hill (1921-1996), Frances A. Hovelmeier, Harold Ivon Illing Jr. (1922-1989), Frances Mae Manning, Margaret Ada McGregor Bolton (1922-2007), Beatrice Elinor McEwen, Donald Earl Mohler (1924-1989), Claudine May Orange, Helen Pauline Rupp, Curtis Michael Seymour, Edwin Mathews Snyder, Walterine “Sis” Verner Redding (1923-2005), and Jack Eugene Williams (1922-1981).

Clara Lucille Coates, Valedictorian; Philip Brou, Salutatorian.  Honor graduates: Clara Lucille Coates-Scholarship to Newcomb; Philip Brou; Claudine Orange; Donald Mohler; and Edwin Snyder.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1941, p. 7)

Class Motto-Tonight we take off—where shall we land?  Class Colors-Blue and Gold; Class Flower-Red Rose.  Graduation was on May 30, 1941 in the school auditorium.

1940-1941 Football Team

[The Ocean Springs Record, September 30, 1971, p. 11]

_______________________________________________________________________

1941-1942

M.C. O’Keefe, superintendent; M.J. Chatelain, principal.

 

Faculty

Elizabeth Barbee, Margaret Benton, Estelle Chatelain, Margaret Donohoe (Hattiesburg), Hilda Friar, Josephine Leavenworth, Corinne McClure, S.V. Mason (Hurley), Gladys Marie Meyer, Betty Phillips (McComb), and Francesca S. Theriot.(The Jackson County Times, September 6, 1941, p. 1 and The Jackson County Times, September 13, 1941, p. 1)

Faculty: Elizabeth Barbee, Margaret Benton, Estelle Chatelain, Margaret Donohoe, Hilda Friar, Mary Joachim, Josephine Leavenworth, Virginia Lee, Sam V. Mason, Gladys M. Meyer, Corinne McClure, Betty Phillips, Martha Sanderson, and Francesca Theriot.(TOS, Minute Bk. December 1937 to December 1941)

CLASS 1942

Class motto: “Our ship is at sea, where shall it anchor?”

 

Annette Saxon O'Keefe (1924-1998) was valedictorian of the OSHS Class of 1942 with a GPA of 96.  Miriam Eley was class salutatorian with a 92 GPA.  Annette also won the American Legion award and the DAR award.(The Daily Herald, June 1, 1942, p. 3)

Robert Baker, Donald Beaugez, Jesse May Clifford, Doris Crysell Durbin, Mickey Davis Ames, Donald Edwards (1924-1982), Miriam Eley Karns, Mary Esther Handy Lemon Wilson, Rita Martin Steelman, Hulda Milner, Jo Mary McGowen Bickham, Annette Noble, Verne Pabst (b. 1924), Ione Park Purcell, Annette Saxon O’Keefe (1924-1998), Charlotte Rose Schrieber Blanchette, Lavone Scott, Eula May Tillinghast Patridge, Winona Webber Rather, Ben Wimberly, Elaine Young Mieheve (1922-2008).(The Daily Herald, June 1, 1942, p. 3 and The Ocean Springs Record, July 6, 1972, p. 6)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1942-1943

M.C. O’Keefe, superintendent; Hilda Friar, principal. 

 

Faculty

Elizabeth Barbee, Dorothy Cade, Allie Ruth Chatham, Lucille M. Dennison (1895-1961), Alice Emily Mayne, Mildred A. Jones, Corinne McClure, Betty Phillips, Mary Constance Therrell, Frances S. Theriot, and Ruth Dickey White.(The Jackson County Times, September 12, 1942, p. 1)

Faculty: Elizabeth Barbee, Dorothy Cade, Lucile Dennison, Nadine Flippo, Allie G. Geibel, Alice E. Hague, Mary Joachim, Virginia T. Lee, Sally Hemphill, C.R. Martin, Corrine McClure, Mrs. C. Snyder, Connie F. Thoms, Ruth D. White.(TOS, Minute Bk. 4, p. 109)

Bus Drivers: Norman Rouse, Houston Rouse, and Aubrey Webb.  Janitor: Helen Granitz.(TOS, Minute Bk. 4, p. 109) 

CLASS 1943

Elaine Beaugez, Mary Alice Brumbaugh. Katherine Campbell, Charles Fayard, James Guice, William Hoeffer, Mary Alice Hovelmeier, Duncan Moran (1925-1995), Marshall Hefner, Clark Snyder, Junior Voivedich, Fred Ward, and June Williams, valedictorian. Charles Fayard was named most outstanding student in the Senior Class.  Mrs. Granitz retired after seventeen years of faithful service.(The Jackson County Times, June 5, 1943, p. 1)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1943-1944

M.C. O’Keefe, superintendent; Lucille M. Dennison, principal. 

Faculty

Francesca Spencer, Dorothy H. Cade, Ruth Cooper, Martha Gardner, Ruth Geibel, Henrietta Gladney, Alice Emily Hague, Mary G. Joachim, Mildred A. Jones, Ena B. Knipple, Virginia T. Lee, Corinne McClure, Miriam Munroe, Ruth Painter, Louise T. Snyder, Ruth Dickey White.

CLASS 1944

[1st Row L-R: Joyce Beaugez; Francesca Spencer (1911-1971), Class sponsor?; Dot Ryan; Melba Lovet; Adrienne Illing Finnie; Oral Mae Ryan Senseney.  2nd Row L-R: Robert Forde; Bruce Edwards; Connally McGinty; and Gordon A. Ryan.  3rd Row L-R: H.P. Flateau (1888-1955), School Board; Mary Cahill O'Keefe (1893-1980), Superintendent; and an Army Air Corps chaplain?]

Class 1944

Joyce Beaugez, Bruce Edwards (1925-2003), Robert Forde (1927-2004), Adrienne Illing Finnie (1925-2002), Melba Lovitt, Connally McGinty (1927-1995), Doris Ryan, Gordon A. Ryan (1927-2002), Oral Mae Ryan Senseny, and Archie Tootle (1925-1975).  Doris Ryan was valedictorian.(Hi Memories-1944 and The Jackson County Times, June 1, 1944, p. 1)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

1944-1945

 

           Mary C. O’Keefe resigned and S.S. Wall appointed in July 1945.

 

Class 1945

            Nell Baker, Glen Buckingham, Jean Carver, James Dennison* (USCG), Betty Eglin Fallo (1927-2004), Peggy Eglin, Marion Forde, Eugene W. Illing Jr., Jeanne King, Duane Lloyd, Charles Ray May* (USN), Billie McDaniels* (US Army), Betty Noel, Patricia Richards, Muriel Snyder, Evelyn Ora Ward, and Margie Westbrook Edwards (1927-2008).  Evelyn Ora Ward and Margie Westbrook (1927-2008) were Valedictorian and Salutatorian respectively.(The Daily Herald, June 4, 1945, p. 7)

* graduated in abstention as they were serving in the US Armed Forces during WW II.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Silbey S. Wall (1905-1963)

1945-1946

Silbey S. Wall, superintendent, Lucille M. Dennison, principal.  Faculty: L.D. Dunnaway; Henrietta Gladney, Winnie C. Golding; Alice E. Hague, Thomas Handy; Mary G. Joachim; Mildred Jones; Ena B. Knipple; Mrs. Ohio Knox; Corrine McClure; Francesca Spencer; Mrs. S.S.Wall, and M.C. O’Keefe, consultant.(Hi Memories-1946)

Silbey S. Wall (1905-1963) was born October 11, 1905 at Decatur, Newton County, Mississippi.  Mr. Wall came to Ocean Springs in the fall of 1945 from Pascagoula, Mississippi where he had been since 1942.  He was a graduate of Mississippi Southern College and had coached and was previously Superintendent at Beulah-Hubbard and Vancleave High Schools.  Mr. Wall resigned in 1950 to accept position with the New York Life Insurance Company.(The Jackson County Times, July 28, 1945, p. 1, The Pascagoula Chronicle Star, August 4, 1945, p. 1 and The Gulf Coast Times, April 7, 1950, p. 1)

Ena B. Knipple was the spouse of John Knipple.  He was with the Maritime Service in Pascagoula.  She left Ocean Springs before October 1946, to reside at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(The Jackson County Times, October 12, 1946)

Class 1946

Oswald Beaugez, Fred Lemon, Durant Williams, Kathryn King, Louise Lynd, and Ernestine Zettel.(Hi Memories-1946)

 

1946-1947

S.S. Wall, superintendent, Lucille M. Dennison, principalFaculty: Helen Clark (Seminary); Flossie Davis (West Point, Ms.); Mary G. Joachim, Edith Wall, Mrs. Joe T. White (Hattiesburg), Mrs. John Mosley (Hattiesburg), Ann Hunnicut (Meridian), James Bell (Mobile), Mildred Jones (Newburg, S.C.), Francecsa Spencer, Mrs. W.E. David (Perkinston), Corinne Mc Clure, and Lucille Dennison.(The Jackson County Times, August 31, 1946, p. 1)

Faculty: Margaret Brou, Helen Clark, Inez Ackridge Galle, Florence Gambill, Vivian Girot (substitute), Mary G. Joachim, Mildred Jones, Virginia T. Lee, Corinne McClure, C.E. Roberts, Francesca Spencer, Edith Wall, F.L. Westbrook.( Hi Memories-1947, p. 3)

Class 1947

Hazel Beaugez, Robert 'Chubby' Beaugez, Harriet Blue, Mildred Butler, Eugene Catchot, Charles “Duke” Davis, Jack Dessommes, Robert Endt, Frances Esary, Katherine Farris, B.E. Flanangan, Gloria GayHobgood, Shirley Gray, Jerold Hayes, Robert Henry, Malcolm “Bud” Hodges, William Hodges, William Hayes Holmes, Charles Hutchinson, Virginia Lee, Shirley Lloyd Baker, Bruner Martin, Cecil Maxwell, Phyllis Murray, Bette Noel, Charles Rouse, Ronald Steelman (1929?-2002), Harvey Tootle, Jacqueline Voivedich, Eleanor Wasmer, and Betty Williams.(Hi Memories-1947, pp. 6-9)

1947-1948

Evelyn Avery from Pascagoula, Sally Beck, Mrs. Brandt from Pass Christian, Addie Gordon Cain, John Fletcher from Georgia, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Schwartz from Hattiesburg?.

Sally Beck did not return to the faculty in 1948-1949 school year as her husband, a civilian employee at KAFB, was transferred to Oklahoma, their former home.(The Daily Herald, June 7, 1949, p. 7)

Francesca Spencer resigned in May 1948, citing she could not tolerate conditions existing in the school.  Particularly incensed because her seniority had been ignored in regards advancement.  Went to St. Martin School for 1948-1949 school year.(The Jackson County Times, May 14, 1948, p. 1)           

Class 1948

Luther Basque (1930-2008), Joan Bethel, Peggy Carver Deshommes, Marilyn Davis, Tillie Davis Roberts, Beverly Perryman Drake, Edgar Wallace Edwards (1927-1996), Estelle Gay Williams Reese, Horace Gladney, Edgar P. Guice II (1928-2007), Edward King, Morris Kolb, A. Lynd Gottsche II, Richard H. Mohler, Walter Murphy, Jackie Richards, Joseph Ryan, Pete Steelman, Dot Storie, Aubrey Webb, and Benney Williams.  Marilyn Davis was valedictorian and Richard Mohler was salutatorian.(The Daily Herald, May 29, 1948, p. 10)

1948-1949

Class 1949

Michael Anderson, Jerry Bunch, Martha Essary, Virginia Forde, Dorothy Fountain, Paul Gattis Jr., Mara Lou Guice, Charles Hosey, Harold Hutchinson, Sharon Maurer, Stanley H. Mohler (1931-1988), Anna Ross, Jerry Webb, Milton Webb.  Stanley Mohler was valedictorian and Paul Gattis Jr., the salutatorian.(The Daily Herald, June 7, 1949, p. 7)

1949-1950

S.S. Wall, superintendent, Clay Boyd, principal.  Faculty: Agnes G. Anderson; Evelyn Avery, Mary E. Brandt, Wilhelmina Cockerham, John Fletcher, Florence Gambill, Thomas Handy, Joan Kennedy, Virginia T.Lee, Catherine Morris,Addis Pickett, Antoinette Swim, Edith Wall.(Hi Daze-1950, p.3)

Class 1950

Helen Bauman Guice, Charles Beaugez, Gwendolyn Beaugez Harry (1932-2005), Leona Cherry, Cecelia Fink Comeaux (1932-2001), Ann Joachim, Ferdinand Kiernan, Lloyd Lee Thompson, Graham McBryde, Anne Mathieu, Enid Mestier Richards (1933-1990), Graham McBryde, Jayne Nixon, Casmer Mathieu, Trixie Mullin Urie, Joy Smith Luckie, Otho Ray Spiers, Larry Williams, and Betty Wood.(Hi Daze-1950,pp. 5-7)

1949-1950

Coach Clay Boyd

Clay Boyd (1911-1974), principal and acting superintendent after S.S. Wall resigned; Clay Boyd, principal; Mrs. Mary Ellen Brandt, Agnes G. Anderson (1909-1991), Virginia T. Lee (1901-1986), Mrs. Addis G. Pickett, Mrs. Kathryn Morris, primary grades; Joan Kenndey-commercial department; John Fletcher-band director; Mildred Swim-home economics; Francesca Spencer (1912-1963)-English; Mrs. Opal Taconi (1915-1980) and Mrs. Pauline N. Loper-primary; Betty West Oliver-elementary; and                        ?, mathematics.(The Gulf Coast Times, April 7, 1950, p. 1)

 

1950-1951

Nolan E. Taconi

Nolan Edward Taconi (1910-1971), superintendent-a native of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, came to Ocean Springs in the fall of 1950, as Superintendent.  Graduate of Mississippi Southern University in 1935.  Previous experience was a coach, principal, and superintendent in Hancock County, Vancleave, and St. Martin schools.  Expired in his office on March 1971.(The Gulf Coast Times, April 7, 1950, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, March 9, 1971, p. 1)

Faculty: Clay Boyd, principal; Agnes G. Anderson, Ann C. Auer, Mary E. Brandt, John Fletcher, Mrs. L.D. Henderson, Virginia T. Lee, Pauline S. Loper, Kathryn R. Morris, Marjorie O’Briant, Mrs. M.S. Pickett, Erma P. Shields, Francesca Spencer, Mildred Swim, and Opal F. Taconi. (Hi Memories-1951, p. 2)

Faculty that attended PTA reception for school teachers: Virginia T. Lee, Ann C. Auer, Pauline Loper, Agnes G. Anderson, Mary E. Brandt, Luther Henderson, Addie G. Pickett, Katheryn Morris, Mildred Swim, and John Fletcher, and Clay Boyd.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 29, 1950, p. 1)          

1951-1952

Nolan Edward Taconi (1910-1971), superintendent; Clay Boyd, principal; Agnes G. Anderson, 1st Grade; Mrs. Ann C. Auer, Mathematics; Tommy Glass, Mrs. Jimmy R. Hughes, Harry J. Kanady, Virginia T. Lee, 4th Grade; Pauline Loper, 5th Grade; Addie G. Pickett, 3rd Grade; Josephine Phillips, Nancy Schubach, Francesca Spencer, English Department, head; Mrs. Emma Shields, 3rd and 4th Grade; Miss Mildred Swim, Home Economics; Mrs. Opal Taconi, 2nd Grade; and Miss Lucille Young.(Hi Memories-1952, p. 2 and The Gulf Coast Times, September 6, 1951, p. 1)

New faculty members were: John Glass (sic), social sciences and coach; Miss Lucille Young, commercial; Mrs. Jennie Hughes, English-Junior High; Harry J. Kanady, band director.  During the summer vacation, the school grounds and building were refurbished to permit the successful operation of the plant during the new academic year.             (The Gulf Coast Times, September 6, 1951, p. 1)

Former School Superintendent, Sibley S. Wall, who had replaced Bryan Bilbo, on the school board, resigned from his office in late January 1951.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 26, 1951, p. 1)

1952-1953

Nolan Edward Taconi (1910-1971), superintendent; Clay Boyd, principal; Agnes G. Anderson, Inez galle, Tommy Glass, J.P. Holcomb, Francesca Howard, Harry J. Canady, Virginia T. Lee, Pauline Loper, Miss Margaret Moore, Grace Neal, Marilena Penton, Mary Anne Sessions, Maybelle Smith, Miss Ivey Lou Storie, Mildred Swim, Opal Taconi, and Thelma Yeager.(Hi Memories-1953, p. 2)

Faculty: Eight new teachers-Ivye Lou Storie, Marilena Penton, Grace Neal, May Belle Smith, Mary Ann Sessions, Josie Ramsey, Selma C. Yeager, and Margaret Moore.

Clay Boyd, coach and social studies; Thomas Glass, asst. coach and social studies; Mrs. Francesca Spencer, English and Latin; Mildred Swim, home economics and science; Harry Kanady, band; Mrs. George Penton, Junior High English-Library; Mrs. Grace Neal, Junior High math and science; Mrs. May Belle Smith, math and science; Mrs. Mary Ann Sessions, commercial; Mrs. Josie Ramsey, 5th grade; Mrs. Thelma C. Yeager, 6th grade; Mrs. Virginia Lee, 4th grade; Mrs. E.M. Loper, 3rd grade; Mrs. Margaret Moore, 3rd and 4th grades; Mrs. N.E. Taconi, 2nd grade; Mrs. Agnes Anderson, 1st grade; and Ivye Lou Storie, 1st and 2nd grade.  Workshop instructor to be named later.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 8, 1952, p. 1)

Senior Class Officers

Donnie Mitchell, class president; Herbert Beaugez, vice-president; Donald Catchot, secretary; Charles Redding, treasurer; Raymond Beaugez, sergeant-at-arms; Francesca Spencer, class sponsor.(The Daily Herald, October 9, 1952, p. 14)

 

1953-1954

In January 1953, Mr. N.E. Taconi introduced several replacements and an addition to his educational staff: Martha Hays of Long Beach replaced Mary Ann Sessions as the Commercial Teacher; Mrs. Clarence Galle took the place of Josie Ramsay, the 5th grade teacher, who entered welfare work; and Mrs. Holcomb of Hattiesburg, a high school and junior high school mathematics teacher joined the staff.  At this time, the enrollment of the school was 570 students compared to 470 who had registered in May 1953 (sic).(The Daily Herald, January 7, 1953, p. 7)

 

Class of 1954

Thomas J. Bellman (1935-2007)

 

Class 1955

In this photo there are pictured 25 students and Mrs. Howard the class sponsor. Fifteen girls and ten boys are in the group. In the senior class individual photographs there are only twenty four students, ten boys and fourteen girls. All of the boys are accounted for in the group photo but there is one more girl in the group snapshot than appears in the individual class pictures. The young woman who can not be identified is sitting in front of Chester Estes and behind Jean Cherry. Of note, in the group shot, all the male students are wearing ties and some are attired in very fashionable shoes and socks.  Front row, sitting, left to right: Edwina King (kneeling,) Kathryn McMurtray, Jean Cherry, Joan Ryan, Helen Beckum (sitting forward), Jo Fiebelkorn, Carolyn Holmes, Thomas Seymour, Ray Mallett ( on second step.)   Second row: Mrs. Francesca Howard (class sponsor,) Ann King, Nell Johnston, UNKNOWN FEMALE STUDENT, Peggy Williams, Jackie Williams, Nancy George, Sue Garland, Glenn Ryan, Glen Brune.  Back row: Chester Estes, Ronald Benezue, Helen Tardy, Ed Dorrah, Roger Troups, Stanley Sanders, and Wilfred Beaugez.  Courtesy of Gerald Porter, Ellisville, Mississippi-November 2008.

Class 1956

Standing front, left to right: Henry Paul Beaugez Jr. (1937-2013), Janell Michel, Bobby Mitchell, Ida Sims, Bobby Catchot. Sitting left on steps, left to right: Billy Goff, David Clifton. Standing in middle, left to right: Shirley Broome, Dot Poole, Wilda Mallette. Assembled on right, sitting, front to back: Betty or Bobbie Smith (twin), Janet Beaugez, Barbara Steelman. Standing at top, left to right: James Reed, Bobby O'Neal, Dwain Webb, Dickey Ardnt, Bobbie or Betty Smith (twin, standing in back),  Edna Williams, Anne Seymour (standing in back), Evelyn Beaugez, Doris Stewart, Virginia Milller, Sue Mitchell.  Not Shown but with individual class photos: Brad Lemon, Campster Mathieu, Pat Bunch, Toni DeFrank, Bill Fayard, Billy Grady, Joe Rivers, and Malcom Williams. *(James Reed does not have an individual class photo).  Courtesy of Gerald Porter, Ellisville, Mississippi-November 2008.

Class 1957

[L-R: 1st row: Glenda Seymour; Frances Jermyn; and Jackie Hall.  L-R: 2nd row: Curtis Marsh; Faye Adams; Sally Ann Staley; and Lynn Benezue.  L-R: 3rd row: Rita Hight; Jonne Gay Pollina; Nolan Edward Taconi II (1939-1998); and Herb Clifton.  L-R: 4th Row: Thelma Marino; Charles 'Charlie V' Voivedich; Betty Boyd Endt (1938-1999); Thomas Byrd; Horace McCarty, and Dickie Chambers.  L-R: 5th row: Joy Rouse; Pat Broome Rivers; Myra Mitchell Kittle; Charlotte Byrd; and Leroy Carroll.  L-R: 6th row: Eugene Bauman; Jerry Seymour; David Harris; and Hodges Gowdy.  Not pictured: Joe Cherry and Jo Hall Anderson.  Courtesy of Gerald Porter, Ellisville, Mississippi-November 2008.

 

1957 Class Officers

Nolan Edward Taconi II (1939-1998), president; Joy Rouse, vice-president; Sally Ann Staley, secretary; Herb Clifton, treasurer; Myra Mitchell, reporter; and David Harris, sergeant-at-arms.

Class 1957

Faye Adams, Jo Hall Anderson (1939-2003), Lynn Benezue, Bettie Boyd Endt (1938-1999), Eugene Bauman, Pat Broome, Charlotte Byrd, Thomas Byrd, Dickie Chambers,  Joe Cherry, Herb Clifton, Leroy Carroll, Jonne Gay, Hodges Gowdey, David Harris, Frances Jermyn, Jackie Hall, Horace McCarty, Myra Mitchell Kittle, Rita Hight, Thelma Marino, Curtis Marsh, Joy Rouse, Glenda Seymour, Jerry Seymour, Sally Ann Staley, Nolan Edward Taconi II (1939-1998), and Charlie Voivedich.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

CLASS 1958

The following is the identification of the group photo of the class of 1958, Ocean Springs High School. The photo is taken from "The 1958 Greyhound."  Assembled on left side, front to back: David Seymour, Jesse Tanner, Anthony Brune, Arnold Parker, Max Jordan.  Assembled on right side, front to back: Robert Benezue, Jimmy Catchot, Mildred Gibson, Frank Evans, Clara Scharr,Henry Brune, Lois Barrilleaux, David Fink.  Sitting, front row, left to right: V.C. Bryan, Curtis Lloyd, Gerald Van Court, Jane Boyd, Robert Beaugez, Sharon Sanders, Alice Rehage.  Second row, left to right: Jimmy Dorrah, Julie Gavins, Ronald Hall.  Third row, left to right: Donald Park, Richard Carsen, Larry Galle, Judy Ryan, Jo Beaugez.  Back row, left to right: Wilton Gilley, Billy Anderson, Johnny Norman, Oliver Latil, Patricia Endt, Neil Rodriguez, Charlotte McVay, Elmyra Mitchell, Billy Jordan, Judy Speed.  Pictured in the yearbook with this class but not shown in this group photograph: Katherine Butler Catchot Suarez, Donese Dunnaway, Harry Laughran, Elsie Lovell, Helen Lovell, Donald Myers, Doyle Parker, Bobby Schrieber, Ronald Seymour, Lafay Vernon, and Judy Webb.[coutesy of Gerald Porter, Ellisville, Mississippi-November 2008]
 

1958 Class Officers

Curtis J. Lloyd, president; James Robert Dorroh, vice-president; Patricia Endt, secretary; and Gerald VanCourt, treasurer.

Class 1958

William Wade Anderson, Lois Ann Barrilleaux, Jo Ann Beaugez, Robert Beauzez, Robert E. Benezue, Jane Boyd Beaugez, Anthony Brune, Henry C. Brune, V.C. Bryan, Katherine Butler Catchot Suarez, Richard Carsen, James Catchot, James R. Dorroh, Donese Dunnaway, Patricia Endt Latil, Frank L. Evans, David Fink, Charles Lawrence Galle, Julie Anne Gavins, Mildred Mae Gibson, Thomas Wilton Gilley, Ronald 'Bo' Hall, Billy R. Jordan, Max Jordan, Oliver Latil, Harry Laughran, Curtis Lloyd, Elsie Lovell, Helen Elizabeth Lovell, Charlotte McVay, Donald Henry Meyers, Myra Mitchell Ross, Johnny Norman, Donald Edward Park, Arnold Parker, Doyle Parker, Alice Rehage, Neil Rodriguez, Judy Kay Ryan, Sharon Sanders, Clara Kay Scharr, Bobby Schrieber, David Charles Seymour, Ronald Seymour, Judy Anna Speed, Jesse W. Tanner, Gerald VanCourt, Lafay Vernon, Judith Jones Webb.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

CLASS 1959

First row front left to right: Peggy Snowden, Linda Stanford, Virginia Clifton, Joyce Seymour, James Harris, George Perry.  Second row, left to right: Dorothy Brumbaugh, Sharon Pavolini, Mary Boyd, Virgie Goodman, Tye Bowles, Linda Gavins, Judy Seymour, Karen Allman, Kimball Hawkins, Herman Seymour.  Third row, left to right: Nancy Vernon, Betty Stewart, Laura Turner, Phil Dunnaway, Barbara Williams, Fran Spencer, Nancy Loper, Billy Harris, Sharon Wilson, Diane Lemon, Alfred Bennett, Robert Benezue.  Fourth row, left to right: Faye Parker, Vicky Burrell, James Goldmeyer, Dempsey Levi, David Scharr, Eugene St. Andrie, Ernest Steelman, Billy Moore, Donald Bennett, Thomas Stephens.  Firth row, left to right: Frankie Seymour, Irving Cox, Roy Baker, Wayne McMurtray, Walter Ryan, John Dudley, James Williams, Larry Rubenstein.  Not pictured in the group: Mike Fox, Jerry Goff.  [image and identification courtesy of Gerald Porter, Ellisville, MIssissippi-November 2008]
 

Principal-Newton Perry Gautier who also taught Commerce.

Teachers elected for the 1958-1959 school year were: First Grade- Mrs. Agnes Anderson; Mrs. Josephine Hunter; and Miss Ruth Dean Dawkins.  Second Grade – Mrs. N.E. Taconi;

1959 Class Officers

Irving Cox, president; Phil Dunnaway, vice-president; Nancy Loper, secretary; and Alfred Jay Bennett, sergeant-at-arms.

Karen Kay Allman, Roy Baker, Robert Benezue, Alfred Jay Bennett, Donald Bennett, Tye Bowles, Mary Ellen Boyd, Dorothy Brumbaugh, Vicky Burrell, Virginia Clifton, Irving Cox, John Dudley, Phil Dunnaway, Mike Fox, Linda Gavins, James Goldmeyer, Jerry Goff, Virgie Ann Goodman, James Harris, William Stockman Harris, Kimball Hawkins, Diane Fredrica Lemon Cuicchi, Dempsey Levi, Russell Long, Nancy Loper Martin Wilson, Wayne Allen McMurtray, Billy Moore, Faye Jean Parker, Sharon Nell Pavolini, George Shelburn Perry Jr., Walter J. Ryan, Larry Rubenstein, David Scharr, Frank Ramsay Seymour, Herman Lloyd Seymour, Joyce Seymour, Peggy Jeanette Snowden, Francesca Spencer, Eugene St. Andre, Linda Stanford, Ernest Steelman, Thomas Stephens, Betty Jean Stewart, Laura Turner, Nancy Vernon, John White, Barbara Williams, James Williams, and Sharon Wilson Balius.(The Greyhound,1959)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

CLASS 1960

Toxey H. Luckey was hired as principal in June 1960.  Mr. Luckey had a Master of Science and Masters of School Adminstration from USM.  He had taught mathematics at USM and been an electronics instructor at KAFB.  Toxey had also worked for Sperry Gyroscope Company as a technical writer.(The Ocean Springs News, November 12, 1964,p. 1)

Front row, left to right sitting: Ed Wilson, Reid Belton, Dennis Bartenbach, Alfred Speed, Doug Herzog, Wayne Westbrook, Anne Clark, Henry Campbell, Kay Hunter [Duda-Richards] (1943-2011). Second row sitting: Carolyn Gilley, Sondra Lowe, Elizabeth Dutt (leaning) Gay Catchot [Lemien], Kay Pettus, Helen Ryan. Third row sitting: Nettie Robertson, Anne Gum, Lajuan Webb, Maybelle Synder, Sharon Walters, Carolyn Durbin. Fourth row seated: Kay Latil, Harry Williams, Lind Coburn, Alverda Williams, Norma Hight. Fourth row standing: Charlie Hutson, Gerald Porter. Fifth row standing: Gerald Barlow, John Bond, Bette Halstead, Sandra Rector. Last row standing: Clifford George, Patricia Connor, Howard Glass, Jan Frederick Foretich (1941-2003), Patt Pope, George Tanner, Doug Trevett, Edwin Mike Matheny (1942-2009), Robert Tardy, Rose Miller, Gary Henderson, James Ward, John McLean, Jim Anderson. (Not shown: Cecil Deas, Meagan Johnson, John Dudley).  [image and identification courtesy of Gerald Porter, Ellisville, Mississippi, November 2008]

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

CLASS 1961

Toxey H. Luckey, principal 

[The Ocean Springs Record, "Class 1961 reunion", July 2006]

 

1961-1962

Toxey H. Luckey, principal

 

 

1962-1963

Toxey H. Luckey, principal

1963-1964

Toxey H. Luckey, principal.  Mr. Luckey resigned and Newton Perry Gautier became principal in November 1964.(The Ocean Springs News, November 12, 1964, p. 1)

 

1964-1965

N.E. Taconi, Superintendent; Newton Perry Gautier, Principal.  Faculty: Mrs. Roland Barnett, MSU-guidance counselor; Chester Breazeale, USM-social studies; Mrs. C.A. Breazele, Belhaven-math-English; Don Brown, USM-social studies; Mrs. Edward Bryant, USM-English; John Bullock, USM-MSU, math-science; Clay Caston, USM-industrial arts; Eddie Joe Chism, MSU-Spanish-English; Harlon D. Crim, USM-business education; Joseph G. Ello Jr., Loyola & LSU-band director; Robert Endt, UM-math; Aurine Gallaher, College of Charleston & Lenoir Rhyme-English-French; Thomas H. Glass, USM-history; Jack Gunn, USM-science; Isaac D. Harris-workshop; Francesca A. Howard, Randolph-Macon & Tulane-English-Latin; Billy Hubbard, USM-music director; Anglelyn F. Hubbard, Delta St.-math; Mary E. Kanady, piano; Charles F. Mayhall, MSU-social studies; Mrs. Sam L. Newland, E. Tennessee St., English; Mary B. Oglesbee, MSCW-home economics; Marilena Ramsay Penton, USM-librarian; Hugh Pepper, USM-physical education; Ruth Redmann, Ball State-English, speech, journalism; C.B. Richardson, USM-math-science; Daphne Sudduth, William Carey-physical education; Bobbie Sprayberry. USM-librarian; Bonnie Sprayberry, MSCW-home economics; Earle R. Taylor, USM-science; and Harriet Tremmel, USM-business education.

 

 

1965-1966

Newton Perry Gautier (1926-2009), principal

 

1966-1967

N.E. Taconi, superintendent, Allen T. Curry, principal.

 

 

1971-1990

ALLEN T. CURRY

Allen Truman Curry

 

Opposed the purchase of three computer labs by the OS School Board.  Robert Endt was president of the school board.(The Sun Herald, January 19, 1989, p. C-1)

(see The Daily Herald, April 22, 1971, p. 2)

 (see The Ocean Springs Record, May 31, 1990, p. 1)

1990-1999

DEWEY L. HERRING

Dewey L. Herring

Dr. Dewey L. Herring was selected Superintendent of the Ocean Springs School District in February 1990 and began his tenure on July 1, 1990.  Dr. Herring was born at Pascagoula, Mississippi, but was reared in Marion County, Mississippi and completed his high school education at Columbia High School.  It was from the Columbia School District that Dr. Herring was hired for the Ocean Springs position.  Dewey L. Herring served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps and held the rank of Colonel in the Marine Reserves.  Dr. herring received his Doctorate degree in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.  His Masters degree in guidance and specialist degree in educational administration were earned from Mississippi College.

Dewey L. Herring married Sylvia Fortenberry of Columbia and they are the parents of: Dawn Herring (b. 1974); Wendy Herring (b. 1977); and Clay Herring (b. 1978).(The Sun Herald, February 14, 1990, p. C2)

Dr. Herring's contract was renewed in January 1993 as a reward for his outstanding performance.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 14, 1993, p. )  

1999-2006

ANNA P. HURT 

Anna P. Hurt 

Anna P. Hurt was born at Prentiss, Mississippi circa 1950.  1972 USM graduate with a B.S. in Elementary Education.  Taught elementary and junior high school in the Orleans Parish School District at NOLA.  At NOLA, she met Edward Hurt, Chevron employee at Pascagoula refinery for more than 25 years, and married him in the summer of 1974.  Two children: Jana Hurt and Jessica Hurt both born at Ocean Springs.  She taught at Magnolia Park Elementary from fall 1974 until 1986.  Masters Degree in EE from USM in 1978.  In 1989 Specialist Degree from USM.  Master's degree from William Carey College.(The Mississippi Press, November 5, 2003, p. 1 and The Ocean Springs Record, May 4, 2006, p. A1)   

Anna Hurt was named as the outstanding young citizen of Ocean Springs by the Jaycees in late January.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 22, 1990, p. 2)     

Anna Hurt resigned from the Ocean Springs School District superintendents position on June 30, 2006.  In May 2006, Mrs. Hurt was named executive director of the Mississippi Association of School Administrators.  She was named Mississippi Superintendent of the Year in 2004.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 4, 2006, p. A1)   

Mrs. Hurt continued to work for the Mississippi Association of School Administrators through November 2011.  Ed Hurt retired from Chevron in 2009 and the couple travel to see their duaghters and grandchildren.  She also had three meetings at various venues in the United States that she attends as director of MASA.(The Sun Herald, November 20, 2011, p. A17)

                                                                      

2006-2012 

ROBERT HIRSH

Robert Hirsch-May 1990

Hirsh Performance Center OSHS-November 2013

Robert Hirsh (b. 1951) was born in Korea and adopted at the age of five years by a peripatetic, American military family. On the move, young Hirsh attended 10 schools in 12 years.  He was Principal of the Ocean Springs High School before he was selected as School Superintendent by the Ocean Springs School District on June 13, 2006.   Hirshbegan his term on July 1, 2006. Six people applied for the position and four were selected for interviews. 

Robert Hirsch attended Univeristy of Nebraska and Cameron University at Duncan, Oklahoma where he was educated to teach Social Studies and French. He then went on to get his Masters at Southern Mississippi and his doctorate at Nova Southeastern University in For Lauderdale, Florida.  In 1980, he located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and began his career here at Mercy Cross High School [Biloxi] as assistant principal and school disciplinarian.  In 1984, he came to the Ocean Springs School District to the Junior High where he taught French and became head of the Foreign Language Department.  Mr. Hirsch was selected as 'Teacher of the Month' in May 1990 while at the OSJH School.  He was named  principal of the Ocean Springs High School in 2000.  Mr. Hirsh's first task as School Superintendent was to replace himself as Principal of the OSHS.  David Baggett, former principal of the OS Middle School, was appointed interim principal of OSHS and Scherrine Davenport, an assistant principal of OS high School, was named interim Principal of the OS Middle School by Robert Hirsch.(The Sun Herald, June 14, 2006, p. A3, The Ocean Springs Record, May 31, 1990, p. 13, and June 15, 2006, p. A1, The Gazette, April 13, 2012 p. 1)  

In January 2008, Robert Hirsch began a weekly column about education in The Ocean Springs Record. Dr. Hirsh announced that he would retire in June 2012 after forty years as an educator.  Mayor Connie Marie Moran related that: "He (Hirsch) is amazing.  He knows every one of those high school kids and he has for four years.  He connects with young people and makes them believe in themselves.  He is a true leader." (The Sun Herald, November 12, 2011, p. A2

2012-2015+

BONITA COLEMAN-POTTER

 

Bonita Coleman-Potter was named Superintendent of the Ocean Springs School District in mid-June 2012. She came to Ocean Springs from the Prince George County, Maryland where she was assistance superintendent in a large school district which had 215 schools and 123,000 students. Ocean Springs has about 6000 students. Mrs. Coleman-Potter is an alumnae of Jackson State University and a Mississippi native. She commenced her duties in Ocean Springs on July 2nd.(The Sun Herald, June 12, 2012, June 15, 2012, July 1, 2012, and July 5, 2012, p. A1 and P. A7)

On August 1, 2012, Superintendent Potter and Chandler Potter (b. 1998), her son, were given a warm welcome to Ocean Springs in a reception at the OS Public Library.(The Sun Herald, August 2, 2012, p. A3)

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

Books

Cyril E. Cain, Four Centuries on The Pascaoula, (

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, 2nd Edition,  (Lewis Printing Company: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1991)

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Company: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1972)

Town of Ocean Springs Minute Book, (Ocean Springs, Mississippi-Dec. 7, 1937 to Dec. 22, 1941.

Town of Ocean Springs Minute Book 4, (Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1941-1951)

High School Annuals

Chatter Book-1940(Ocean Springs High School: Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1940).

Hi Memories-1951, (Ocean Springs High School: Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1951).

Hi Memories-1952, (Ocean Springs High School: Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1952).

Hi Memories-1953, (Ocean Springs High School: Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1953).

 

The Tide 1957, (Ocean Springs High School: Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1957).

The Greyhound 1958(Ocean Springs High School: Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1958).

The Greyhound 1959(Ocean Springs High School: Ocean Springs, Mississippi: 1959).

 

Journals

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, August 18, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “W.H. Wood”, August 2, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Dawsey resigns; Wood qualifies”, August 12, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “W.H. Wood to run for State Senate”, February 5, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Sentence passed on W.H. Wood”, May 29, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Court imposes a penitentiary sentence of one year on W.H. Wood”, December 13, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Russell pardons Superintendent W.H. Wood”, July 14, 1921.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs School To Open”, August 31, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 13, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 5, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, July 4, 1922.

The Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs does many big things", December 8, 1923

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 27, 1924.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 28, 1924.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 7, 1924.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 16, 1925.

The Daily Herald, “11 Graduate In Ocean Springs”, June 3, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 13, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs-Junior High Graduation”, May 30, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Ten Graduate From Ocean Springs High”, May 31, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “School opening Sept. 8”, August 22, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, September 1, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, January 6, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, March 21, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Popularity contest at Ocean Springs Hi”, April 11, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Commencement Program”, May 27, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 30, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 2, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Announces Teachers”, September 9, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Elect Cheerleaders At Ocean Springs”, September 26, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Regional Meet won By Biloxi High School”, April 18, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs Commencement”, April 26, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, September 13, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 1, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “O.S. High Scores”, October 13, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Rev. DeMiller Will Be Ocean Springs Speaker”, May 23, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, September 5, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”

The Daily Herald, “School Opens Sept. 9”, August 14, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs School Opens September 9”, August 21, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “School At Ocean Springs Begins Term; Gain In Enrollment”, September 10, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “15 Graduate at Ocean Springs”, June 4, 1938.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs gives 21 diplomas”, June 1, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs High Graduates Class of 28”, May 31, 1942.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs Honors Miss O’Keefe”, June 4, 1945.

The Daily Herald, “School Notes”, May 29, 1947.

The Daily Herald, “20 Graduates at Ocean Springs High”, May 29, 1948.

The Daily Herald, “Fifteen Seniors Graduates From OSHS”, June 7, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs News Paragraph”, June 7, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs News Paragraph”, September 9, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Class Officers Elected”, October 9, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “PTA Honors Faculty”, October 9, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Additions To Faculty”, January 7, 1953.

The Daily Herald, “Educator Taken By Death”, March 9, 1971.

The Daily Herald, “Curry Heads Schools”, April 22, 1971.

The Gulf Coast Times, “S.S. Wall Resigns; Coach Clay Boyd Appointed Superintendent For Remainder of Term”, April 7, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Ocean Springs Public Schols to Begin 1950-51 Session Next Thursday”, August 25, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Annual Reception For School Faculty Held Monday”, September 29, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Former Coach Visits”, October 6, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “School Needs Stressed At Meet”, January 5, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “S.S. Wall Resigns As School Trustee”, January 26, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Students Register For New School Term Today”, September 6, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Local News”, October 18, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Taconi Announces School Faculty”, September 8, 1952.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Local News”, December 31, 1953.

The Gulfport Advocate "Wood starts his term", January 1, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, September 2, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, September 9, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, November 4, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Proceedings of Mayor and Board of Aldermen”, November 18, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, Local News Interests”, May 12, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, May 26, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “School Will Open Monday Morning”, September 15, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, January 26, 1918.

The Jackson County Times, “School Closes With Appropriate Exercises”, June 8, 1918.

The Jackson County Times,                                      July 13, 1918.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, May 24, 1919.

The Jackson County Times, “Public Schools Will Open Monday Morning”, September 13, 1919.

The Jackson County Times, “Former Teacher Here Charged With Crime”, May 8,1920.

The Jackson County Times, “School Board Elects Teachers For Next Year”, May 29, 1920.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, May 29, 1920.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 7, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Closing Exercises of High School”, May 28, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, June 24, 1922.

The Jackson County Times, “School Faculty Endorsed”, May 5, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 26, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, September 29, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “More Endorsements Of School Bond Issue”, September 29, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “W.H. Lewis Opposes Bond Issue”, September 29, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 6, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, June 14, 1924.

The Jackson County Times, “Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen”, November 7, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 30, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, Public School Basketball Teams Win Games”, November 21, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, June 5, 1926.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, June 12, 1926.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, September 11, 1926.

The Jackson County Times, “School Faculty Largest Ever”, September 10, 1927.

The Jackson County Times, “Facts About Schools of Jackson County”, March 17. 1928.

The Jackson County Times, “Graduation Of Five Ends High School Term”, June 2, 1928.

The Jackson County Times, “School Notes”, May 25, 1929.

The Jackson County Times,                   March 17, 1928, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, “School To Open Monday Sept. 9”, August 17, 1929.

The Jackson County Times, Local and Personal”, June 2, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Baltar-Boyett”, June 9, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Ocean Springs Public School To Open September 3”, August 11, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Ocean Springs’ Imposing School Building”, September 8, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Local Girls Basket-Ball Team Good”, February 1, 1936.

The Jackson County Times, “1936 School Term Brought To A Brilliant Close”, June 6, 1936.

The Jackson County Times,

The Jackson County Times, “30 Students Receive 8th Grade Certificates”, June 4, 1938.

The Jackson County Times, “Ocean Springs High Begins ‘38-’39 School Year”, September ?, 1938.

The Jackson County Times, “Miss O’Keefe Is Re-elected Head of Local School”, May 20, 1939.

The Jackson County Times, “Largest Class in O.S. High to Graduate”, May 27, 1939.

The Jackson County Times, “Largest Class of O.S. High gets diplomas”, June 10, 1939.

The Jackson County Times, “Twenty-Four Seniors To Be Graduated”, May 25, 1940.

The Jackson County Times, Local School Opens Door Friday a.m.”, September 14, 1940.

The Jackson County Times, “School Starts On C.S. Time Monday A.M.”, September 6, 1941.

The Jackson County Times, “Local School Opened Monday; Enrollment Is Largest In History”, September 13, 1941.

The Jackson County Times, “O.S. School Has Large Registration”, September 12, 1942.

The Jackson County Times, “Senior Class of 1943 Awarded Diplomas”, June 5, 1943.

The Jackson County Times, “High School Has Commencement On Thursday Evening”, June 1, 1944.

The Jackson County Times, “S.S. Wall Elected Superintendent of Local Public School”, July 28, 1945.

The Jackson County Times, “School to Open September 5th; Faculty Announced”, August 31, 1946.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 12, 1946.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. Spencer Quits School”, May 14, 1948.

The Mississippi Press, “Hurt Will Lead Ocean Springs Schools”, ?

The Mississippi Press, “The Ocean Springs Press”, ‘Hurt takes pride in her schools’, November 5, 2003, p. 1.

The New Orleans Christian Advocate, “Ocean Springs”, September 25, 1879.

 

The Ocean Springs Gazette, "An education according to Dr. Hirsch", April 13, 2012, p. 1.

 

The Ocean Springs News, “Prof. Harper Elected for Another Year”, May 15, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, “Graduating Exercises a Brilliant Success”, May 15, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, “Teachers Elected for Coming Year”, June 25, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, July 16, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, April 22, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, May 20, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “History of the Class of 1911”, June 10, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, June 10, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Will of Class of 1911”, June 10, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News Interests”, June 17, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, August 19, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, August 26, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 2, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 16, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 23, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, October 7, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, April 14, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News,  “Local News”, June 24, 1914.

 The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, April 25, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Next Year’s Principal Of Ocean Springs High School”, May 30, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, May 30, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Commencement Exercises”, June 20, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “School Opens Sept. 14th, September 5, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Board of Aldermen?”, September 5, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Town Council Proceedings?”, September 15, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Fifteen will be graduated here", April 8, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, April 8, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Largest Graduating Class in its History”, May 6, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Class Play is Brilliant Affair”, May 6, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Improvement is Shown”, May 6, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Graduating Class Breaks Record”, May 13, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Largest Graduating Class in its History”, May 13, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, June 17, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Leads Her Class”, July 8, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Catholic School Here Next September”, July 29, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, August 12, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “School Opens”, September 9, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Town Council Proceedings”, September 16, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Schools Here Are Doing A Great Work”, November 25, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Ocean Springs School Scholarship Raised.  It’s Graduates Enter College”, March 16, 1916, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Program Marks The Closing of School”, May 19, 1916.

The Ocean Springs News, “Congressman Colmer…”, July 10, 1958, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs News, "School Faculty For The School Year 1964-1965", May 28, 1964, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Luckey resigns Gautier hired", November 12, 1964, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Class 1906”, November 7, 1968.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Class celebrates 20th Anniversary”, July 15, 1971, p. 19.

The Ocean Springs Record, “OS Class of 1961 to Celebrate”, August 2, 1971, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Class of 1961 Celebrate 10th Anniversary”, August 12, 1971, p. 16.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Allen T. Curry announces faculty", August 20, 1971, p. 16.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Class of 1942”, July 6, 1972, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Class Reunion”, July 6, 1972, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, "To know the score you don't have to be young [Norton C. Haviland]", October 16, 1975, p. 9

The Ocean Springs Record, “Gautier Candidate For Superintendent”, May 31, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ocean Springs top young citizen picked", February 22, 1990, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Farewell to Allen Curry, Retires After 19 Years”, May 31, 1990.

The Ocean Springs Record, “OSJH teacher of the month [Robert Hirsch] for May chosen”, May 31, 1990.

The Ocean Springs Record, “OS Assistant Superintendent Resigns in Favor of New Job”, July 19, 1990, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Fairley is New OSJH Principal”, August 16, 1990, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Hope , Fears”, (photo of Dewey Herring), October 25, 1990, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Herring gives views on School  System", December 25, 1990, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Herring contract extended", January 14, 1993, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Hurt decides to retire as school chief", January 26, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "OSSD moves to replace Hurt", January 26, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Hurt to head MASA", May 4, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Gathering celebrates Hurt's school service", May 18, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Hirsh to take helm", June 15, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "New School chief's first task is to fill his OSHS job", July 7, 2006, p. 1A.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Class 1961 reunion", July 2006.

The Ocean Springs Record, "A word from OS Superintendent [Robert Hirsch]", January 31, 2008, p. A8.

 

The Pascagoula Chronicle Star, “S.S. Wall named Head of Schools In Ocean Springs”, August 3, 1945.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, September 23, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, September 30, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs High School”, September 30, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 6, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Items”, February 23, 1883.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Meeting of Jackson County Teachers”, May 16, 1884.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, May 15, 1891.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, September 11, 1891.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs News”, November 13, 1891.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, January 8, 1892.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, March 11, 1892.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 17, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 6, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 13, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 29, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 7, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 21, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 28, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 5, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 26, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, November 30, 1900.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, November 1, 1901.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 30, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 19, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 26, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 10, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”,

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 27, 1903.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 14, 1905.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 21, 1905.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, April 28, 1905.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 2, 1905.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 26, 1906.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 11, 1906.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”,

The Pascagoula Democrat Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 20, 1905.

The Progress, “School Notes”, January 16, 1904.

The Progress, “School Notes”, February 20, 1904.

The Progress, “Local News Items”, May 28, 1904.

The Progress, “Local News”, September 3, 1904.

The Progress, “School Notes”, October 1, 1904.

The Sun Herald, “Ocean Springs school board favors buying computer labs”, January 19, 1989.

The Sun Herald, “Ocean Springs hires superintendent", February 14, 1990, p. C2.

The Sun Herald, “Superintendent: ‘Time to graduate", January 19, 2005, p. A5.  

The Sun Herald, “Education leader's [Robert Hirsh] job off to busy start", July 17, 2006, p. A4.  

The Sun Herald, “Newton Perry Gautier", April 3, 2009, p. A4.

The Sun Herald, “Chief of OS schools [Robert Hirsh] announces retirement", November 12, 2011, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, “Ocean Springs retired schools head [Anna Hurt] is still in education", November 20, 2011, p. A17.

The Sun Herald, “Ocean Springs names new school s superintendent”, June 12, 2012.

The Sun Herald, “Two Coast districts searching for superintendents” June 15, 2012

.The Sun Herald, “Ocean Springs’ new superintendent starts Monday”, July 1, 2012.

The Sun Herald, “New O.S. superintendent right at home, ready to work", July 5, 2012, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, “Community welcomes O.S. superintendent", August 2, 2012, p. A3.

Early Black Education

Black education at Ocean Springs was in place as early as early as 1877, as indicated by the Jackson County School Enumeration of that year.  It can be determined with a high degree of certitude that Alfred Stuart (1862-1928) and his sister, Violet Stuart Battle (1863-1925+), the children of Tempy Burton (1821-1925) attended school at Ocean Springs in this year.

At the meeting of the Mayor and Board of Alderman on September 9, 1909, Alderman W.T. Ames made a motion "that a suitable building be erected for a school building for the colored people for a sum not to exceed $450 and that a commission of three be appointed to receive bids and have the same built according to plans and specifications adopted by the Board of School Trustees with power to act.  Said building to be erected on land purchased by the Negroes for a school site, and same to be deeded to the town".(Town of Ocean Springs Minute Book (1907-1915), pp.

The motion passed unanimously.  Aldermen George L. Friar (1869-1924), J.O. Whittle, and W.T. Ames (1880-1969) were appointed by Mayor F.M. Weed (1850-1926) to the commission to build the colored school house.  Before the first black school building was built on Vermont Avenue (M.L. King, Jr. today) in September 1909, school for black children was held in the colored church or in a home.  In November 1891, there were sixty-six black students (forty females and twenty-six males) at Ocean Springs.  W.L. Murphy, the teacher, was paid $55 per month while his assistant, Annie Andrews, was remunerated $20 per month.  In 1891, the colored school trustees were:  Charles Satcher (d. 1913), C.W. Washington, and Thomas I. Keys (1861-1931) .

Other early teachers at the Ocean Springs colored school were: L.D. Fairley and L.B. Fairley (1888), E.L. Howze and Lottie Fairley (1889), and W.H. Hardy and Martha Harding (1893-1894).  Additional trustees were: Jules Seymour (1855-1894+), O.R. Bradford, A.B. Stuart, W. Lyman, H. Blount, and E. Keys.

The City of Ocean Springs paid rent for the building where the colored school was held.  It was decided that money could be saved by constructing a building on City property.  A site for the school was chosen on Vermont where the M.L. King, Jr. park is now located.

The first black school consisted of a wood frame structure with an area of 1000 square feet.  It cost $450 to erect, and was heated by a coal burning stove.  John Burr (1875-1916), a native of West Virginia, was the building contractor.  Burr built his home on the site of the old First Baptist Church on Desoto and Church a few months before he built the Negro school.

FRANKLIN M. NICHOLS

Professor Franklin Marshall Nichols (1878-1945) was one of the first black teachers here.  He taught at the Ocean Springs school from 1910 to 1916.  Franklin Marshall Nichols was born on a farm near Decatur, Newton County, Mississippi.  His father was a preacher.  Young Nichols attended grammar school held in a rural church.  He attended high school at Collinsville and Meridian, Mississippi.  Nichols received a B.S. degree in Agriculture from Alcorn College, and a Master's degree from Atlanta University.  He also studied at the Meridian Baptist College, and the Virginia Theological College at Lynchburg.  Nichols taught for forty-seven years.

Professor Nichols married Fannie Birch (1894-1982), the daughter of Thomas Peirson Birch and Ella Campbell of Kemper County, Mississippi on January 28, 1914.  She finished high school at the Baptist Seminary in Meridian, and got degrees from Rusk College and the Tuskegee Institute.  She taught school at Ocean Springs in 1915-1916. 

The Nichols moved to Biloxi in 1916, and taught there for many years at the black school on Nixon Street.  This school was also constructed in 1909.  Prior to this the City of Biloxi rented a house from the colored Baptist Church as a classroom for $17.50 per month.  The street and middle school at 340 Nichols Drive in Biloxi dedicated in 1959, are named in honor and respect of Professor Franklin Marshall Nichols.

During the tenure of Professor Nichols, black children of the following families were being educated at Ocean Springs:  Rochon, Carter, Green, Satcher, Williams, Ramsay, Bradford, Smith, Jones, Mayfield, King, Huff, Stuart, Thomas, Vincent, Seymour, Keys, Ford, Byrd, Washington, Stewart, Jenkins, Brown, Douglas, Malasham, McInnis, Jassell, Lyman, and Filassa.

After the departure of Professor Nichols in 1916, E.M Nichols (1891-1920+) was appointed principal.  Elizabeth Smith (later Keys), was his assistant.  Other black educators who taught here in the 1920s and 1930s were:  Doris Louise Paige (1898-1933+), Ruth O. Keys, Elizabeth H. Keys (1892-1976), and Nellie Jeanine Thompson (1904-1931+). 

Miss Doris Paige (1898-1933+) was the stepdaughter of Edward Watson and Kate Paige Watson.  She was educated at Tuskegee Institute and began teaching in 1922.  It is believed that Miss Paige later moved to Gary, Indiana.

Nellie Jeanine Thompson (1904-1931+) was probably reared at Lucedale.  She began teaching in 1925, and came to the Ocean Springs school in 1928.  Miss Thompson received her education at the Alabama Normal School (Montgomery), Alcorn, and the Hoven Institute (Meridian).

Elizabeth H. Keys (1892-1976) was born at Vossburg, Jasper County, Mississippi.  She was educated at the New Orleans University (now Dillard).  Keys initiated her career in education at Ocean Springs in 1917.  Elizabeth H. Keys, nee Smith, married Marshall H. Keys (1895-1963), the son of Postmaster and businessman, Thomas I. Keys (1861-1931), and Amelia Kinler (1867-1899).  Marshall Keys is credited with saving the school land from developers after it burned.  The Martin Luther King Jr. City Park is located here today.       

Eureka Lodge

It is believed that the Vermont Avenue colored school was abandoned in the 1920s, after a fire destroyed it.  The children were then educated at the Eureka Lodge No. 4884 Grand United Order of Odd Fellows Hall on the northwest corner of Desoto and State Street.  This structure was built in November 1909, on land sold to the Lodge by Joseph Kotzum in June 1903, for $100.  The two-story lodge room and hall cost over $2000 to erect.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 35, p. 67)

           1927 Black school

Black education continued at the Eureka Lodge until 1927, when a new school was built on 3.68 acres of land in the SE/4, SW/4 of Section 20, T7S-R8W.  This school tract, known as Lot 1 of the Nelson Grove Subdivision and located on School Street, was donated by Gus R. Nelson (1886-1970) to the Ocean Springs Municipal Separate School District in May 1927, for the purpose of erecting and maintaining a school for children of the Negro race.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 60, pp. 367-368)

The trustees of the School District accepting the Nelson gift were:  Louis J.B. Mestier, C.D. Hodges (1893-1958), E.C. Brou (1896-1949), Schuyler Poitevent (1875-1936), and Henry L. Girot (1887-1953).  Mr. Nelson granted the land title subject to the following conditions:  (a) construction of a school building should begin on the property within six months from the date of the delivery of the deed; (b)  regular school term shall be maintained in said school for at least five months each year;  and (c)  if the school building is accidentally or destroyed by wind, water, or fire in whole or part, it shall be rebuilt in a reasonable time.      

Gustav R. Nelson

Philanthropist and horticulturist, Gus R. Nelson, was born at Uppsala, Sweden.  He came to the United States in 1911, settling at Anderson, Indiana.  Nelson arrived at Ocean Springs in 1915, with his wife, Karin Georgii (1888-1962), a native of Eksjo, Sweden, who had immigrated to the America in 1909.  They had married at Indiana in 1914, and were the parents of two children: Clifford G. Nelson and Dorothea S. Nelson. 

In January 1923, Mr. Nelson bought 85 acres of land in the SW/4 and SE/4 of Section 20, T7S-R8W between the J.C. Wright and Carl Lindstrom farms from H.F. Russell (1858-1940) for $7000.  The Nelson tract ran north-south from the L&N right-of-way to Fort Bayou.  Here Gus Nelson cultivated oranges, lemons, grapefruit, pecans, and limes. He also raised poultry and livestock.  Nelson platted the land in April 1927, as the Nelson Grove Subdivision.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 53, pp. 263-264 and Jackson County, Mississippi Plat Book 4, p. 46)

In 1928, Gus R. Nelson was appointed as a trustee of the Ocean Springs Municipal Separate School District.  He served twenty-three years holding the offices of president and secretary during his tenure.

In 1939, Gus Nelson grew a lemon that weighed 2.75 pounds.  It was .50 pounds heavier than the one listed as the largest in the world by Robert Ripley's, "Believe It or Not".  In 1924, Mr. Nelson developed the technique for protecting delicate plants from freezing by spraying the fruit and trees with water during a cold wave.  The water froze over the trees and created a protective coating of ice, which protected the plant from more severe frigid weather.

Mr. Nelson also had azaleas, camellias, palms, giant bamboo, live oaks, fishponds, and a fountain pool, which he called collectively, Nelson's Tropical Gardens.  In August 1964, he sold eleven acres to the Treasure Oaks Country Club.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 265, p. 232)

In mid-January 1926, Ruth O. Keys, Principal of the Ocean Springs Graded School, wrote a letter to The Jackson County Times

1927 Colored School

In 1927, the Colored School on the Nelson lot was constructed with the lumber from the demolished Ocean Springs High School, which had been built in 1900, on the northwest corner of Porter and Dewey.  It was a five room building heated by pot-bellied coal burning stoves.  In addition, the facility included a cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium.  The only athletic program was basketball.  The team wore Kelly green and white and called themselves the "Baby Bengals".

Initially, the Ocean Springs Colored School had only eight grades.  Graduates to advanced grades went to high school at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School on Division Street in Biloxi.  By 1943, there were twelve grades at the Ocean Springs black school.  Mrs. Elizabeth Keys was the principal, and Miss Mary Cahill O'Keefe (1893-1981) was the superintendent of the Ocean Springs Public School District, the first woman in Mississippi to hold this position.

The white public school at Ocean Springs was replaced by the 1927 Ocean Springs High School located at 1600 Government.  In recent years, this structure served as the Administration Building for the Ocean Springs Public School System until a new building was erected for this purpose on the southeast corner of Government and Holcomb Boulevard in 2003.  The old structure was refurbished in 2004 and was dedicated as the Mary C. O’Keefe Arts and Cultural Center in 

This school building was constructed by Berry & Applewhite for $80,000 in February 1927.  School commenced here on September 12, 1927.  Many residents complained that it was "to far out of town and on Highway 90 too".         In May 1927, Alderman H. Minor Russell (1892-1940) made a motion that passed unanimously.  It read as follows: 

"The School Board be given the authority to demolish the present school building (Dewey and Porter) upon completion of the school term and use all available material therein for the construction of the colored school".

R.T. Vaughn was awarded the contract to demolish the Dewey Avenue school building.  He received $485 for his efforts, and began demolition on June 3, 1927.  By mid-June, the demolition work was progressing rapidly.  The old school building was believed to have been the largest wood frame edifice on the Mississippi coast when it was built in 1900, by Frank Bourgh (1878-1954+).  The wooden structure had been erected with very fine materials.  At this time, the remuneration for the principal of the black school was $70 per month.  The janitor was paid $10 per month.

In March 1946, the black Ocean Springs girls basketball team was the champions of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Led by Geraldine Williams, Bertrice Williams, Gloria Smith, and Annie Mae Ellis, this team though small in stature (average height less than five feet) defeated Gulfport, Biloxi, and Bay St. Louis.  The boys team lost to Biloxi (Our Mother of Sorrows) 34 to 33 in overtime of the championship game.  Ocean Springs was led by Long, Robinson, Gibson, and Williams.

The wood-framed Colored School on School Street was probably torn down in the early 1950s.  Gus R. Nelson quit claimed the property to the Ocean Springs Municipal School District in July 1952.  The lumber from the building was utilized to build a home for his daughter, Dorothea S. Nelson.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 126, p. 385)

In 1948, local realtor, Wendell Palfrey, was vending lots in the rear of the Colored School.  They could be acquired for $125.  Palfrey financed them with a $25 cash down payment and $5 per month.(The JXCOT, May 14, 1948, p. 6)

The 1952 Negro School

In 1952, the old wooden building was replaced with a modern brick structure, and dedicated in the spring of 1953, as the The Negro School. The building was designed by Claude H. Lindsley (1894-1969) and built by Peyton & Higgison of Mobile for $80,000, which was coincidentally the

same cost as the Government Street 1927 white high school.  It consisted of eight classrooms and a combination cafeteria and assembly hall, which were heated by panel rays.  Professor W.L. Herd, who came to Ocean Springs from Smith County, was the principal of the new school.  Lee Jordan was chairman of the School Board and N.E. Taconi (1910-1971), Superintendent of Schools.  The first graduation was held in the school auditorium in May 1953.

The faculty for the 1953-54 school year was: W.L. Herd, principal; Aline Herd, home economics; James H. Lockett, Jr., math, science, and coach; Clara Mae Gilner, English and music; Ada Breaux, first grade; Sadie Mae Johnson, second grade; Johannah Jackson, third and fourth grades; and Mattye Shaw, fifth and sixth grades.  The old gymnasium was removed to the back of the school lot and remodeled.  The black athletic teams at this time were known as the Ocean Springs Lions.    

Elizabeth Keys High School

In 1958, an addition to the Negro School was completed on the School Street site.  It was called the Elizabeth H. Keys High School.  W.R. Allen, Jr. (1911-1985) was the architect and Fred T. Hobb, building contractor.  At this time, C.H. Rouse (1901-1959), was the president of the Board of Trustees and N.E. Taconi (1910-1971), School Superintendent.

After the integration of the Ocean Springs public school system in 1968, Elizabeth H. Keys became the Ocean Springs Junior High until 1975, when the new Junior High School was built on Government Street.  The Elizabeth H. Keys Vocational Tech School was established here in 1980.  Slaughter & Allred were the architects and Starks Contracting Company, the erector.  Dr. Charles E. Thompson, was president of the Board of Trustees and Allen Curry, School Superintendent.

A word of sincere appreciation to Alcidia Rochon who inspired this research and Ira Lee Mobley and Clarence Maurice who shared their knowledge and experiences.

JXCOT-Colored school mothers club purchased for $500 the Jennie Satcher homestead in the Weed and Davis addition adjoining the old school. 9-25-1925.

 

REFERENCES:

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), p. 97.

Murella H. Powell, "An Interview With Fannie Birch Nichols", (Biloxi Public Library:  Biloxi, Mississippi-1976), pp. 1-4.

Stephanie C. Richmond and David Alfred Wheeler, The Growth of the Biloxi Public School System, (City of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1979), p. 7, p. 10, and pp. 13-14.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "Gus R. and Karin Nelson", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), pp. 299-300.

Minute Book of the City of Ocean Springs, (December 3, 1907 to January 14, 1915), pp. 76-77.

Mississippi School Register, "Ocean Springs, Mississippi", (1930, 1931, and 1932), Jackson County Archives, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Journals

The Daily Herald"Lemon Grown in Ocean Springs Larger Than World's Largest", April 28, 1939, p. 7.

The Daily Herald"Prof. M.F. Nichols Taken by Death", January 26, 1945, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"Mrs. Karin Nelson", March 19, 1962, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"Gus R. Nelson", December 19, 1970, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"Mrs. Elizabeth Keys dies", February 6, 1976, p. A-2.

The Daily Herald"Fannie Nichols", August 4, 1982, p.

The Gulf Coast Times"New School and Gym ready early part of January", December 4, 1952, p. 6.

The Gulf Coast Times"Expect formal dedication of new Ocean Springs school during April", March 26, 1953, Section 1, p. 1.

The Gulf Coast Times"Colored School slates graduation tonight; U.S. Hunt is guest speaker", May 28, 1953, p. 6.

The Gulf Coast Times"Ask bids for removal Negro gymnasium", July 9, 1953, p. 1, c. 4.

The Jackson County Times"Local News Interest", September 15, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “A School Building Is The Need of Negroes of Ocean Springs”, January 16, 1926.

The Jackson County Times"Proceedings of the Board of Alderman", May 14, 1927, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", June 4, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", June 18, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"New Public School Building Nearing Completion", August 15, 1927, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times"School Board fixes budget for 1927-1928", September 24, 1927, p. 1, c. 1.

The Jackson County Times"Local Colored Girls Basketball Team Gulf Coast Champs", March 20, 1946, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, “Lots For Colored”, May 14, 1948, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs News"Local News", June 16, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News"Local News", August 28, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News"Local News", September 18, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, November 27, 1909, p. 1.

US CENSUS-Jackson County, Mississippi (1920).

Personal Communication:

J.K. Lemon-September 1995.

Clarence Mercer-October 1995.

Regina Hines Ellison-October 1995.

Dorothea Nelson-October 1995.

Ira Mobley-October 1995.

The 1927 Ocean Springs Public School

 

The 1927 Ocean Springs Public School (abstract)

Post WW I growth in the Ocean Springs community, a spillover of the Florida land boom of the 1920s, dictated that a new public school be erected in 1926-1927.  Land for the building on Government Street, at the time a part of US Highway 90, the Old Spanish Trail, was donated by Daniel J. Gay (1870-1949), a local entrepreneur in naval stores, banking, and real estate.  Mr. Gay’s three granddaughters graduated from the school in the 1940s and 1950s.

Charles T. Nolan, an architect from New Orleans, designed the new public school for Ocean Springs, in Jacobethan-English Renaissance style.  The design is typical of the buildings of this era having ornamental castings and parapet copings in load bearing masonry.  This structure is a two-story, T-shaped, flat-roofed, masonry building of approximately 20,600 square-feet.  The low bid for the construction of the edifice, which cost approximately $80,000, was submitted by general contractor, Berry & Applewhite of Columbia, Mississippi.  Local craftsmen who labored on the school building were plumber, Charles E. Engbarth (1885-1962) and Jack Shilling, a plasterer.  Some building materials for the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School were vended by J. O’Keefe and A.P. Moran (1897-1967) of The Ocean Springs Lumber Company.

During the Depression Era, two WPA art commissions for the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School were granted to local artists, Walter I. Anderson (1903-1965) and his brother, James McConnell Anderson (1907-1998).  They respectively created two artistic scenes, “Ocean Springs: Past and Present”, a six panel oil on canvas, and “The Fish and Bird Mural”, a tile mural constructed in four sections.  Both works of art are extant, although Walter I. Anderson’s paintings were removed from the school’s auditorium in 1989, and placed in the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in 1991, were they hang permanently.

In May 1965, the last senior class of the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School graduated.  The high school population moved to its new plant on Holcomb Boulevard.  The Ocean Springs School District Superintendent and his staff have occupied the old public school building since 1974.

In 1987, the 1927 Ocean Springs Public school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This designation came when five historic districts of Ocean Springs were accepted by the Mississippi Department of Archives & History.  By 1998, the building had began to demolish by neglect to the extent that it was designated as one of “the ten most endangered historic buildings in the State” by the Mississippi Heritage Trust.  The Friends of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education was formed in February 1999, from alumni and concerned citizens to preserve the structure by raising funds to refurbish it. 

On October 9, 1999, the building was dedicated as The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education by the City of Ocean Springs.  Miss Mary C. O’Keefe (1893-1980) was School Superintendent of Ocean Springs Public Schools from 1929 until her retirement in 1945.  In this capacity, she was the first woman in the State to achieve this status.  During her tenure as School Superintendent, she instilled in the community the value of education, and raised the level of learning in the public schools to a higher level.

A preliminary estimate for a complete refurbishment of the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School is $3,174,000.  This cost is summarized as follows: Exterior repair-$312,000; Auditorium-$450,000; Roof $150,000; Interior remodeling-$1,612,400; Mechanical-$250,000; Electrical- $275,000; and Plumbing-$125,000.

 

1927 OCEAN SPRINGS PUBLIC SCHOOL

After decades of demolition by neglect, one of this city's most venerable landmarks is receiving the attention and long overdue respect.  Thanks to a loyal alumni core and the support of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, there is finally an attempt to preserve the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School, which has been called in recent times the School Administration Building.  It currently houses the administrative offices of the Ocean Springs Municipal School District.

In November 1998, the Mississippi Heritage Trust recognized this building as being one of "Mississippi's 10 Most Endangered Historic Places".  Its image will be in the traveling portfolio of photographs of the other at risk Mississippi structures that will be exhibited across the State and in Washington D.C.  The aim of the traveling exhibit is to focus attention on the diverse architectural heritage of Mississippi and for people to be aware of the need to preserve our architectural treasures.(The Mississippi Press, November 29, 1998, p. 8-A)  Funds from the City treasury as well as the O'Keefe Foundation are providing the finances to arrest the slow destruction of this hallowed structure.  With more community interest and the influx of money, it appears that it is only a matter of time, before a complete restoration of the edifice will be accomplished.  Fund raising committees have been formed thusly initiating the process of acquiring capital for improvements to the seventy-two year old, former educational facility.

1927 Ocean Springs Public School

Early history

The Ocean Springs Public School, which was built in 1926-1927, at present day 1600 Government Street between Ward and Magnolia Streets, by general contractor, Berry & Applewhite of Columbia, Mississippi, replaced the 1900 "Big White School House" on Porter and Dewey.  In May 1926, Architect, William T. Nolan, of New Orleans designed the Jacobethan Style edifice.  Nolan also designed the Bay St. Louis Junior High School and when with the firm of Nolan & Torre, he designed the 1912 Biloxi Senior High School.(Miss. Dept. of Archives & History, Historic Site Survey, 1985 and The Daily Herald, July 5, 1912, p. 8)

The necessity for a new school had been dictated by the influx of new families into Ocean Springs. The 1920s Florida land boom had spread westward as far as Ocean Springs, and the Public High School on Porter was becoming very crowded.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 70)

1923 bond issue

In late September 1923, the electorate of Ocean Springs in a modest turnout defeated a proposal by the Trustees of Ocean Springs Public School to issue $65,000 in municipal bonds to construct and outfit a new public school.  Sixty eight citizens were for the indebtedness, while one hundred twenty nine opposed erecting the educational facility.(The Jackson County Times, October 6, 1923, p. 5)

Proponents of the school bond issue argued that the old school was a fire hazard, unclean, and over crowded.  In addition, some local students were attending Biloxi High School, a modern facility.(The Jackson County Times, September 29, 1923, p. 1)

W.H. Lewis, a former principal of the school, led the opposition to the new bond issue.  His major complaint was the tax increase to the citizenry.  Mr. Lewis expressed this opinion and countered the firetrap issue of the proactive movement in a letter published in the local journal.(The Jackson County Times, September 29, 1923, p. 1)

The bond election

On May 18, 1926, a referendum was held at Ocean Springs to determine if the citizenry would support a bond issue to finance the construction of a new public school estimated to cost $80,000.  Election commissioners, H.M. Russell (1858-1940), L.J.B. Mestier (1883-1954), and J.B. O’Keefe (1894-1954) reported that the proposal passed with 118 votes of the 202 cast or 58% in favor.(The Jackson County Times, May 29, 1926, p. 1)

The Minute Book of the Town of Ocean Springs reflects that 160 citizens were in favor and only 42 opposed.  The Chemical National Bank of NYC bought the 5.5% school bonds.( .(Town of  Ocean Springs Minute Book 1916-1928, p. 369 and p. 383)

In June 1926, a scheme was proposed to move the “Big White School” to the rear of the public school lot, which was situated on the corner of Porter and Dewey.  A new structure would be erected on the footprint of the former building.  It was aspired that work would commence before the start of the September school session.(The Daily Herald, July 1, 1926, p. 10)

This plan did not come to fruition.  Inertia from the school project could not be overcome until May 1927, when Alderman H. Minor Russell (1892-1940) made a motion that passed unanimously.  It read as follows: "The School Board be given the authority to demolish the present school building upon completion of the school term and use all available material therein for the construction of the colored school".(The Jackson County Times, May 14, 1927, p. 1)

The mid-January 1926, pleadings of Ruth O. Keys (1903-1988), the principal of the Ocean Springs Graded School, were instrumental in awakening the White city fathers to the need of the Black community in regards education.  In a letter published in The Jackson County Times to state her grievances and concerns in regards to public education for her race, she related that since moving to the Odd Fellows Lodge the teachers and pupils had been exposed to an unsanitary environment that required teaching seventy to seventy-five pupils in eight grades in one large room.  This solitary room was heated with a lone wood stove, which had to warm cold air entering the space through barn-like portals.  There were no shades on the windows allowing light and heat to make a warm day almost intolerable in the classroom.  Additional handicaps to learning in the Odd Fellows Lodge were the absence of blackboards, maps, and other educational tools destroyed in the fire and had not been replaced.  Also, pupils had to sit on fourteen benches and had the use of only six writing tables.  The old piano in the building was not available to the students.(The Jackson County Times, January 16, 1926, p. 6)

R.T. Vaughn was awarded the contract to demolish the Dewey Avenue school building.  He received $485 for his efforts, and began demolition on June 3, 1927.  By mid-June, the demolition work was progressing rapidly.  The old school building was believed to have been the largest wood-framed edifice on the Mississippi coast when it was built in 1900, by Frank Bourgh (1878-1954+).  The wooden structure had been erected with very fine materials.(The Jackson County Times, June 4, 1927 and June 18, 1927)

Architects

On May 24, 1926, Orey A. Young (1892-1986) and L.J.B. Mestier representing the Board of Trustees of the Ocean Springs school district recommended to Mayor A.J. Catchot (1864-1954) and the board of aldermen present, L. Morris McClure (1884-1940), Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966), and F.E. Schmidt (1877-1954), the new school design of William T. Nolan, a Canadian born architect and engineer, domiciled at New Orleans.  Other submitting plans were J. Usner of New Orleans and Carl Matthes (1896-1972) of Biloxi.  The board with the exception of Alderman Frank E. Schmidt were in favor of the Nolan concept for the new educational facility.(The Jackson County Times, May 29, 1926, p. 1)

The disputed Daniel J. Gay donation

The concept for this school building began in controversy.  The location of the new educational facility was the primary concern of many citizens.  It appears that the Board of School Trustees composed of Orey A. Young, president; Schuyler Poitevent (1875-1936), secretary; Charles E. Engbarth (1885-1962), and L.J.B. Mestier were united in their contention that the new school be built on the land donation of the Gay Realty Company.(The Jackson County Times, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

On December 7, 1926, Daniel J. Gay (1870-1949) of the Gay Realty Company had donated Lots 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, and Lot 2 and Lot 3 of the Colonel W.R. Stuart Subdivision in Section 30, T7S-R8W to the City of Ocean Springs.  This land contribution fronting on US 90 or Government Street, was made for the specific purpose of a school building site.  Stipulations in the grant from Mr. Gay authorized a return of the donation to the grantor if the land were not used for a school within ninety days.  It was further specified by the donor that it was to be an educational facility for the Caucasian race only.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 60, pp. 348-349)

Daniel Judson Gay was born in Emmanuel County, Georgia.  In 1902, he found his way to the Mississippi Gulf Coast via the turpentine industry from Florida.  Mr. Gay settled at Biloxi and made his livelihood in banking, real estate, and naval stores production.  He also taught school.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 28, 1998, p. 20)  His son, John Champlin "Champ"Gay (1909-1975), resided at Ocean Springs where he was active in the business community making his livelihood in naval stores, retail hardware, banking, and real estate.  Champ Gay was elected Mayor of this city for three terms (1953-1961 and 1965-1969).(The Ocean Springs Record, June 29, 1995, p. 20)  The three daughters, Gloria G. Hobgood, Estelle G. Williams, and Jonne G. Pollina, of  Mayor Gay and his wife, Jennie Tucker Heiss "Tuck" Gay (1909-1996), are graduates of the 1927 Ocean Springs High School.  They finished the institution in 1947, 1949, and 1957 respectively.  

Many citizens of Ocean Springs believed that the Gay school site gift was to far from town.  It was also located on a busy thoroughfare, US 90, the Old Spanish Trail.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 70)   Probably as a result of the popular support for the old school site, on January 5, 1927, the city government ordained that a new school be erected on the site of the former high school, which was situated on East Porter, by passing Ordinance No. 186.(Town of Ocean Springs Minute Book, 1916-1928, p. 433) 

Orey A. Young, president of the Board of School Trustees, and fellow board members went forward with their decision to build the new school on Government.  In a letter presented to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at the recess meeting of January 12, 1927, Mr. Young explained that since a contract with Berry & Applewhite had been signed and construction had commenced at the Government Street school site, any change in the location of the school would increase the cost to the taxpayer and delay the opening of the new school.(Town of Ocean Springs Minute Book 1916-1928, p. 436)

At its council meeting of January 24, 1927, the Board of Aldermen authorized the city attorney to file an injunction against the School Board and contractor to halt construction of the new school.(Town of Ocean Springs Minute Book 1923-1934, p. 435)

The 1927 Ocean Springs High School site controversy was finally settled on February 1, 1927, when the town council rescinded Ordinance No. 186 by unanimously passing Ordinance No. 187, allowing the Government Street school facility.(Town of Ocean Springs Minute Book, 1916-1928, p. 441 and The Jackson County Times, February 5, 1927, p. 5, c. 3)  

The Mayor of Ocean Springs at this time was Antonio J. Catchot (1864-1954).  There were four wards led respectively by aldermen: Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954), Ernest G. Pabst (1883-1927), Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), H. Minor Russell (1892-1940), and Thomas N. Murphy (1882-1966), Alderman at Large.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 135)     

The new school building

When classes began on September 12, 1927, students entered a symmetrical, T-shaped, two-story masonry structure covered by a flat roof hidden by a parapet.  In the opinion of Brian Berggren, who surveyed the 1927 Public School in the 1980s, for the Mississippi Department of Archives & History, the building is architecturally significant as an example of the architectural eclecticism of the 1920s, and as a manifestation of the continuation of the bond between the city of Ocean Springs and New Orleans into the Twentieth Century.(Miss. Dept. of Archives & History, Historic Site Survey, 1985) 

The 1927 Public School, when completed, had fifteen rooms to accommodate both the elementary and high school students.  Two of these rooms served as a science laboratory and library.  In addition to offices for the principal and his assistants, there was a large auditorium for general assemblies and entertainment.  With balcony, the auditorium could seat five hundred and fifty people.  A stage and projecting room afforded opportunities for theater and visual education in this assembly hall.  A cafeteria provided lunches for those pupils who desired to eat on the premises.(The Jackson County Times, September 10, 1927, p. 1, c. 5)

The "1900 Big White School" on East Porter was demolished by R.T. Vaughan for $485 in June 1927.(The Jackson County Times, June 4, 1927, p. 5, c. 1)   At the time, it was reputed to be the largest wood-frame building on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and built with fine materials.  The lumber salvaged from this edifice were utilized to erect a new Black school.(The Jackson County Times, June 18, 1927, p. 3, c. 1)

General contractor, local artisans and building material suppliers

General contractors, Ben B. Berry and I.C. Applewhite, of Silver Creek, Mississippi, were awarded the contract by the school board to erect the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School over eleven competitors.  Bids ranged from their low of $63,549.16 to the high bid by the Stewart Lumber Company of $75,200.(The Daily Herald, July 30, 1926, p. 2)

Although the offices of general contractor, Berry & Applewhite, were situated at Columbia, Mississippi, several local craftsman and building suppliers worked on the building and provided construction materials.  In January 1927, Charles E. Engbarth (1885-1962) was awarded the plumbing and heating contract.  His bid of $6590 was $110 lower than local competitor, James Colligan (1888-1951).(The Jackson County Times, January 15, 1927, p. 1, c. 6)   

Jack Schilling and son, Herbert Schilling, masons of Shreveport , Louisiana performed the interior plaster and exterior stucco work on the structure.  They finished all the school rooms in white plaster, which in contrast to the walnut woodwork gave a most pleasing result.(The Daily Herald, May 9, 1927, p. 4 and The Jackson County Times, September 10, 1927, p. 1, c.5)

Local building materials suppliers who furnished construction materials for the new high school were: J. O'Keefe-cement, lime, plaster, gravel, and sand and the Ocean Springs Lumber Company (A.P. Moran, manager)-lumber, brick, and lime.  Out of town vendors were: The Hammond Brick Company-Baton Rouge and Hammond, Louisiana; Acme Building Supply Company of Meridian, Mississippi-millwork; and the Hamilton Brothers Company of Gulfport-roofing materials.(The Jackson County Times, September 10, 1927)

The first faculty

Professor S.A. Chandler, a native of West Point, Mississippi, was the first principal of the new school.  His faculty consisted of the following educators: W.H. Lewis, Miss Barbee, Miss Amy Quick, Miss Margaret Dunshie, Miss Francis Jolly, Miss Mary O' Keefe (1893-1980), Miss Salome Bailey (Watkins), Miss Florence Morrow (1877-1936), Miss Irene Hunter, Mrs. Virginia T. Lee (1901-1986), Miss Hadley, and Miss Fannie Wise.  Miss Corrine McClure (1887-1961) was the music teacher and Mrs. Stockard ran the cafeteria.(The Jackson County Times, September 10, 1927, p. 1, c. 3)

Affiliated school

By June 1923, the graduates of the OS Public School were accumulating enough credits to enter college without taking entrance examinations or taking remedial courses of instruction.  This is an affiliated school.(The Daily Herald, June 6, 1923, p. 5)

The 1927 football team

The 1927 Ocean Springs High School football squad was called the Panthers.(The Jackson County Times, October 15, 1927, p. 3,)   When they reported for training in September 1927, Coach William H. Cole related to the press that his gridsters were light of weight, but heady and fast.(The Jackson County Times, September 4, 1927, p. 5)

The Ocean Springs Panthers' starting eleven was composed of: Frank C. Beuhler (1909-1985), LE; Theo Bechtel Jr. (b. 1909), LT; Judlin H. Girot (1912-1970), LG; Leroy White, C, Schuyler Poitevent (1911-1978), RG; F.J. Lundy, RT; Henry Endt (1910-1989), RE; Carl Dick, LH; Elwin Friar (1910-1970), RH; Bernard Van Court (1910-1976), FB and Captain; and Richard Hrabe (1910-1979), QB.(The Jackson County Times, October 29, 1927, p. 2, c. 4)

The 1927 football team, in addition to its small size, was handicapped in that they did not have a home field to play their games.  Their record was 2 wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties.  Victories came at Pascagoula (7-0) and Escatawpa (24-6) while the teams' only defeat was by the Long Beach squad (0-6).  Hard fought ties were in contests against Bay St. Louis (0-0) and Biloxi (12-12).(The Jackson County Times, October 1, 1927, p. 3, c. 5; October 8, 1927, p. 2, c. 2; October 29, 1927, p. 2, c. 4; and November 5, 1927)       

The War Memorial

In the front yard of the 1927 Ocean Springs High School building, there is a 1927 War Memorial.  It was erected, by American Legion Ladnier Post 42 to memorialize the communities' efforts during WW I, especially those of Emile Ladnier Jr. (1894-1918).  Ladnier gave his life on a battlefield in France on November 7, 1918 while a member of the US Army.  A committee composed of T.N. Murphy (1892-1966); Edward Brou; Oscar Davis; and J.B. 'Ben' O'Keefe, was selected to get the project completed.  Architect William T. Nolan of New Orleans designed the monument.(The Daily Herald, August 25, 1927, p. 3 and September 17, 1921, p. 1, c. 7)

The War Memorial was unveiled on Armistice Day [November 11th] 1927.  Captain Ellis Handy (1891-1963), Commander of Legion Post 42, headed up the program.  Featured speaker for the solemn occasion was Captain F.J.V. Le Cand (1841-1933), a prominent citizen and Civil War veteran.  Prior to the dedication ceremony on the high school grounds, the Biloxi Boys’ Band led a large parade of Legionnaires, Coast Guard officers and sailors, the local fire company, Boy Scouts, and hundreds of automobiles from the L&N square to the school grounds.(The Jackson County Times, November 12, 1927, p. 3)

In the 2004, the Ladner Plaque was removed and cleaned by the Ocean Springs Public Works Department.  It was reinstalled in October 2004 with members of Legion Post 42 in attendance.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 21, 2004, p. A1)

Fatal Accident

In late December 1927, A.G. Foster (1863-1928) expired from injuries, which resulted from a fall from the second story of the school building.  Foster, a native of Iowa, had been cleaning windows.  He had sold peanuts in town for many years before going to work for the school.(The Daily Herald, January 2, 1928, p. 2)

Landscaping

In late February 1928, local landscape architect, James S. Bradford (1884-1963), donated his labor and time to supervise the planting of decorative shrubbery on the grounds of the new public school.  He acquired the plants from the Brodie Nursersy at Biloxi and sold them to the school board at his cost.  The school board admonished the local citizenry that “any cattle found on the school grounds will be promptly impounded and the owner held strictly accountable for any damage done to the plants and shrubbery growing thereon.” (The Jackson County Times, March 3, 1928, p. 3)

1928 Chautauqua

In the afternoons and evenings of April 19-21, 1928, the Radcliffe Chautauqua presented lectures, plays, magic, and music at the Ocean Springs Public School.  Dr. Anton Hrabe (1881-1943) and Stuart C. Spencer (1867-1959) spearheaded the cultural event.(The Daily Herald, April 16, 1928, p. 16)

The first graduation class-May 1928

On May 31, 1928, the following graduates were awarded diplomas from the Ocean Springs High School by School Board member, Louis Jean-Baptiste Mestier: Theodore Bechtel Jr. (b. 1909), Frank C. Beuhler (1909-1985), Seth McEwen (1909-1986), Sarah Stewart, and Leroy White.(The Jackson County Times, June 2, 1928, p. 3, c. 3)

Although two others students in the 1928 graduation class had the same scholastic average as Frank C. Beuhler, he was named Valedictorian of the class since he had a better attendance record.  Local jeweler, Phil N. Kreutz (1869-1934), donated two gold medals to the public school.  One was awarded to Beuhler as Valedictorian and the other to Catherine Carver, a third grader, for her perfect attendance record.(The Jackson County Times, May 26, 1928, p. 2, c. 4)

In April 1928, several members of the Senior Class had distinguished themselves at the Literary Field Meet in Biloxi.  Theo Bechtel Jr. won second place in Biology and Frank Beuhler was awarded fourth place in English and Rhetoric.  Ocean Springs High School placed third among the competing educational institutions of the Gulf Coast.  Lower classmen, Francesca Spencer (1911-1971) and Schuyler Poitevent (1911-1978), won gold medals for their knowledge of American History and Current History.(The Jackson County Times, April 28, 1928, p. 2)

The indigenous educator, Miss Mary Cahill O'Keefe

Who else to instill in the local populace the importance of education than a native daughter, Miss Mary C. O'Keefe (1893-1980), who was born on the northeast corner of Porter and Jackson in 1893.  Her grandfather, Edward O'Keefe (1815-1874), an Irish immigrant, settled at Ocean Springs in the late 1850s.  Miss O'Keefe attended local elementary schools and was a 1913 graduate of Newcomb College at New Orleans.  In the pursuit of knowledge and her love for travel, she took additional courses during the summer months at the University of Chicago, Columbia University (1925 and 1929), and the Sorbonne (1924) in Paris.  Before returning to Ocean Springs in 1927 to teach English, Miss O'Keefe had lectured in French and English at high schools in Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana and at Biloxi.         

Mary C. O'Keefe was elected Superintendent of Education at Ocean Springs in 1929, the first woman in Mississippi to be honored.  Her charge was the elementary, high school, and Black schools of the local public school system.  In this capacity, Miss O'Keefe was able to awaken the community to her philosophy that education was the key to a better life.  She was also able to raise the academic standards of the public school system to higher accreditation levels.

By 1933, Miss O’Keefe had raised the academic standards at the Ocean Springs Public School that its elementary department achieved the highest score in the State.  It made a score of 1063, when 1000 was considered perfect.(The Daily Herald, February 21, 1933, p. 6)

Elizabeth Lemon Roberts, a former student, remembers Miss O’Keefe with great respect and gratitude for creating the atmosphere, which was present in the school building and on the playgrounds.  It could never be misunderstood or forgotten: to learn was the purpose for being in school.(Roberts and Lemon, 1996, p. 138)

In March 1930, Miss O’Keefe was honored with membership in Delta Kappa Gamma, a national honorary educational fraternity.  A salient qualification for membership in Delta Kappa Gamma was extraordinary achievements in the field of education.  Miss O’Keefe had demonstrated outstanding leadership as during her short tenure as School Superintendent, the Ocean Springs Public School had: increased enrollment; the elementary school had been reclassified from B to A; the high school had become fully accredited; and the school district had also been enlarged.  At this time, Mary C. O’Keefe held memberships and offices in the following organizations: Jackson County Teachers Association, vice-president; Harrison-Stone-Jackson Junior College, trustee; Jackson County High School Accrediting Commission, member; Examining Board of Jackson County, member; Newcomb Alumnae Coast Club, president; Junior Red Cross of Jackson County, chairman.(The Jackson County Times, March 30, 1940, p. 4)

Miss O’Keefe retired from her career as an educator prior to the fall academic session of 1945.  She remained in the Ocean Springs community maintaining her residence on West Porter until she sold it to the Catholic Charities Housing Association in February 1970.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 371, p. 506)  Her remaining days were spent as a tenant of the Villa Maria.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 24, 1980, p. 3, c.1)

S.S. Wall from Decatur, Mississippi replaced Miss O’Keefe as School Superintendent.  He came from Pascagoula.(The Jackson County Times, July 28, 1945, p. 1)

The Anderson family art works

 Although the Great Depression of the 1930s wrought economic woes upon the citizenry of America, the New Deal programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) promoted work for the masses and gave hope for better times.  One of the positive effects upon the Ocean Springs Public School were two Public Works of Art commissions granted to Walter Inglis "Bob" Anderson (1903-1965) and his brothers, Peter Anderson (1901-1984) and James McConnell "Mac" Anderson (1907-1998). 

Between 1933 and 1934, Peter and Mac Anderson labored on the "Fish and Birds", a tile mural created in four sections.  It is extant and situated in the foyer of the building.(The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, 1992, p. 7 and The Jackson County Times, June 9, 1934, p. 1)

Contemporaneously, Bob Anderson created his mural, "Ocean Springs: Past and Present", in the school's auditorium.  The six panels composing the oil on canvas mural were painted in Anderson's highly stylized mode.  They were glued to the plaster walls of the auditorium and removed in 1989, by a professional art curator.(The Jackson County Times, June 9, 1934, p. 1 and The Ocean Springs Record, January 18, 1989)

"Ocean Springs: Past and Present" was placed on oaken, canvas stretchers and relocated to the Walter Anderson Museum of Art on Washington Avenue for opening day in May 1991.(The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, 1991, pp. 2-3)

            It is interesting to note that Agnes “Sissy” Grinstead Anderson (1909-1991), the spouse of Bob Anderson, taught first grade in the Ocean Springs Public School system for twenty-three years.  She retired in May 1970.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 21, 1970, p. 16 and The Mississippi Press, March 8, 1991, p. 3-A)

The Lyon Consolidated School students

The 1937-1938 school year commenced with the addition of seventy-five students from the Lyon Consolidated School at Hilda, a small community west of Gautier on the Old Spanish Trail.  The eastern boundary of the Ocean Springs School District was set at the underpass on the Old Spanish Trail.  Four school busses were utilized to transport pupils from rural areas into Ocean Springs.(The Daily Herald, September 10, 1937, p. 5)

WWII

In March 1943, the students of the Ocean Springs Public School with the ninth grade being the vanguard raised $2811.80 for the war effort.  Three jeeps were purchased by the school and donated to the government though the sale of stamps and bonds by the student body.(The Jackson County Times, April 10, 1943, p. 1)

1949 additions

In October 1949, a building was acquired from Camp Shelby through the War Assets Administration program.  The lumber in the former Army structure was valued at approximately $10,000 and cost the public school only $150.(The Daily Herald, October 20, 1949, p. 5)

The 1952 additions

As the population of Ocean Springs increased during and after WWII, the 1927 Ocean Springs School building was insufficient to serve the increased student enrollment.  It was apparent that refurbishment and a modern gymnasium for the school plant and a new elementary school and Colored School were essential to the community.  The enrollment in the White school in 1945 was 388 while the Black student population was 127.  By 1959, these numbers had increased to 1125 and 275 respectively.(The Ocean Springs News, August 20, 1959., p. 1)

In 1952, the “annex”, now the oldest portion of the Taconi School, adjacent to the 1927 School, was commenced as a one-story masonry and steel building with six-classrooms and a cafeteria.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 31, 1952, p. 1).  It was later named for Nolan Edward Taconi (1910-1971), who became superintendent of the of Ocean Springs school system in September 1950, after S.S. Wall resigned in April 1950.(The Jackson County Times, April 7, 1950)  Mr. Taconi expired in his office on March 8, 1971.  He was a native of Bay St. Louis and had earned his masters' degree from Mississippi Southern College.  Mr. Taconi was married to Opal Faulkenberry (1915-1980).  Mrs. Taconi also taught in the Ocean Springs school system.  Their son, N.E. Taconi Jr. (1939-1998) was a graduate of Ocean Springs High School and Mississippi State University.(The Daily Herald, March 9, 1971, p. 1, c. 3 and p.  2, c. 5)

Also at this time, the 1927 Ocean Springs High School received additions.  They consisted of a two-story, masonry and wood gymnasium (now called the Taconi Elementary Gym), shop building-band room, and new cafeteria.  In addition, a one-story masonry and wood school building for the Black community was erected.  (The Gulf Coast Times, January 31, 1952, p. 1)  The Colored School was later named for Elizabeth Smith Keys (1892-1976), a long time community educator.

In 1993, fund raising began to renew the Taconi Elementary Gym.  It was refurbished in 1995 with community raised funds.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 20, 1993, p. 1)

The 1927 Ocean Springs Public School closing

After the 1927 Public School closed in May 1965, with former Jackson County School Superintendent, Perry Gautier, as its principal, upper level students attended the new public high school situated on Holcomb Boulevard.  It was funded by a $630,000 school bond issue, which had been approved in 1963.  The new high school's, award winning design was created by local architect, William R. Allen Jr. (1911-1976).  Oden Construction Company of Hattiesburg, Mississippi was the General Contractor.  The building was first viewed by the public on August 22, 1965.(The Ocean Springs News, August 19, 1965, p. 1

The 1927 Public School served the 9th grade and became the Junior High School until a new one was built in 1974 on Government (now the North building of the Ocean Springs High School).  It was designed by Slaughter & Smith of Pascagoula with W.F. Mosley as general contractor.(school dedication plaque)  The original completion date was agreed to be August 15, 1974.  After much delay and controversy with School Board, the building was completed in late 1974.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 21, 1974, p. 1, cc. 1-4)

1970 Bond issue

In December 1970, a $1.5 million school bond issue was put to the ballot.  If passed, it would have demolished the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 3, 1970, p. 1)

The National Register of Historic Places

In November 1987, the Mayor of Ocean Springs was notified by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History that the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service of the Department of Interior.(letter to Mayor Chester MacPhearson dated November 3, 1987)  The structure was later made a Mississippi Landmark.(Alice P. Duckett, August 16, 1999)

Gone but not forgotten

A glimmer hope for the salvation of the old structure appeared in late 1988, when The Historic Ocean Springs Association (HOSA), a business oriented civic group, which was founded in 1989, to enhance and protect the character of Old Ocean Springs, became interested in the preservation of the 1927 Public School in late 1988.  Wynn Seaman, executive director and others from HOSA, flew to Starkville, Mississippi to observe the restoration of the old high school there.  Lagniappe from this trip was that John McRae, dean of the architectural school at Mississippi State University, suggested that some of his architectural students come to Ocean Springs and survey the old public school.( (The Ocean Springs Record, September 22, 1988, p. 1 and January 5, 1989, p. 2)

The New City Library proposal

In 1992, there was some popular support from the Library Board for refurbishing the 1927 Ocean Springs School and utilizing it as a new city library.  The Board of Aldermen was given an estimate of $2.1 million dollars to renovate the structure for this purpose.  The City government decided to enlarge the existing library on Dewey Avenue while keeping expenditures on the project under $500,000. (The Ocean Springs Record, October 1, 1992, p. 1)

Demolition by neglect and recent relief

Years of neglect, especially that of the roof, has caused major damage to this old structure.  It appears that neither the School Board nor City of Ocean Springs took responsibility for the general maintenance of the building since classroom instruction was suspended in 1973.

Damages to the structure in the wake of Hurricane Georges in late September 1998, has been the catalyst for current activity.  On October 13, 1998, Carl Germany, a local architect and former student of the Ocean Springs Public School system, was hired by the City government to assess the condition of the old school building, which currently houses the Ocean Springs Public School Administration.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Bk. 26, p. 279)  

Mr. Germany concluded from his survey that running water has been the primary source of physical harm to the structure.  Leaks from the roof, gutters, and downspouts have permeated the edifice and caused widespread damage especially in the auditorium.  There has been a major structural failure on the southwest corner of the building as the piers have subsided from massive amounts of water coming from the roof through vents and downspouts.  The Saucier Brothers of Biloxi, a roofing contractor, were hired to place a temporary patch on the roof.  This project cost $22,000 and was funded with insurance money paid from the Hurricane Georges damage claim. A new roof will cost approximately $150,000.(Germany, April 22, 1999)

In early November 1998, The O'Keefe Foundation awarded the City of Ocean Springs $10,000 for the repair and refurbishment of the old school building.  On December 1, 1998, Mayor Ainsworth presented The Board of Alderman with the O’Keefe grant.  It was placed in an escrow account.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 319)  Also in November, Alice P. Duckett, Chairperson of the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Commission, requested that the City government apply for a Certified Local Government (CLG) grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 351)  This grant for improvement to the 1927 Ocean Springs School/School Administration Building were awarded in March 1999, and announced at the meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on April 6, 1999.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 592)

The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education

In recent years, efforts of local citizens led by Elizabeth Lemon Roberts, who with other former students of their venerable school had appreciated Miss Mary C. O'Keefe's leadership and guidance while obtaining a fine education, began lobbying for the preservation of their former school building.  They also wished the old educational facility to be named for Miss O'Keefe.  Mrs. Roberts circulated a petition espousing this and collected over a thousand signatures from the community.

Ms. Roberts and Betty Magee of the Ocean Springs Art Association presented the petition and request to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on December 15, 1998.  Alderman at Large Jalanivich made a motion, which was approved by the all aldermen present to name the 1927 Ocean Springs School building in honor of Superintendent Mary C. O'Keefe.(The City of Ocean Springs Minute Bk. 26, p. 394)

      Citizens respond

“Concerned Citizens For the Restoration of the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education” was organized in February 1999 under the leadership of Ward 4 Alderman Larry Cosper and Alderman-at-large Dan Jalanivich.  This group meets the 3rd Monday of each month in the old school building on Government Street.  Its membership is composed of people from the Ocean Springs Art Association, Ocean Springs High School alumni, Main St., HOSA, the Chamber of Commerce, Walter Anderson Players, the Ocean Springs school administration, YMCA, the Ocean Springs  Historic Preservation Commission, and genuinely interested citizens.  The restoration group has appointed the following chairpersons: grant writing-Jean Erickson; public relations-David Clark; and fund raising-Sue Willoughby.(Cosper, April 22, 1999)

Recent happenings

In early April 1999, the Mississippi Heritage Trust held their annual meeting at Biloxi.  The 1927 Ocean Springs Public School had been named in late 1998, to its list of “the ten most endangered historic buildings in the State”.  During the April assembly of the Mississippi Heritage Trust chose the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School as the site to open the their Biloxi conference.(The ocean Springs Record, April 15, 1999, p. 1)

As of late, with the survey of the structure by Mr. Germany complete, the City government has began to approve funds for primary repairs.  Bids to advertise for the removal of asbestos from steam pipes and the crawl space beneath the main flooring were proposed by Alderman Cody in March 1999.  Carl Germany, AIA, was to develop the necessary specifications for the asbestos abatement project.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 520)  Power Management of Jackson, Mississippi has been retained for $32,000 by the City to do the design work for this environmentally sensitive task.(Germany, April 22, 1999)

Dedication

On October 9, 1999, building named Mary C. O’Keefe Center of Art and Culture

The 1952 additions

As the population of Ocean Springs increased during and after WWII, the 1927 Ocean Springs School building was insufficient to serve the increased student enrollment.  It was apparent that refurbishment and a modern gymnasium for the school plant and a new elementary school and Colored School were essential to the community.  The enrollment in the White school in 1945 was 388 while the Black student population was 127.  By 1959, these numbers had increased to 1125 and 275 respectively.(The Ocean Springs News, August 20, 1959., p. 1)

In 1952, the “annex”, now the oldest portion of the Taconi School, adjacent to the 1927 School, was commenced as a one-story masonry and steel building with six-classrooms and a cafeteria.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 31, 1952, p. 1).  It was later named for Nolan Edward Taconi (1910-1971), who became superintendent of the Ocean Springs school system in September 1950.  Mr. Taconi expired in his office on March 8, 1971.  He was a native of Bay St. Louis and had earned his masters' degree from Mississippi Southern College.  Mr. Taconi was married to Opal Faulkenberry (1915-1980).  Mrs. Taconi also taught in the Ocean Springs school system.  Their son, N.E. Taconi Jr. (1939-1998) was a graduate of Ocean Springs High School and Mississippi State University.(The Daily Herald, March 9, 1971, p. 1, and p.  2)

Also at this time, the 1927 Ocean Springs High School received additions.  They consisted of a two-story, masonry and wood gymnasium (now called the Taconi Elementary Gym), shop building-band room, and new cafeteria.  In addition, a one-story masonry and wood school building for the Black community was erected.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 31, 1952, p. 1)  The Colored School was later named for Elizabeth Smith Keys (1892-1976), a long time community educator.

In 1993, fund raising began to renew the Taconi Elementary Gym.  It was refurbished in 1995 with community raised funds.

Desegregation Plan

(see The Ocean Springs News, August 12, 1965, p. 3)

The 1927 Ocean Springs School closing

After the 1927 Public School closed in May 1965, with former Jackson County School Superintendent, Perry Gautier, as its principal, upper level students attended the new public high school situated on Holcomb Boulevard.  It was funded by a $630,000 school bond issue which had been approved in 1963.  The new high school's, award winning design was created by local architect, William R. Allen Jr. (1911-1976).  Oden Construction Company of Hattiesburg, Mississippi was the General Contractor.  The building was first viewed by the public on August 22, 1965, with over four thousand persons in attendance.(The Ocean Springs News, August 19, 1965, p. 1 and August 26, 1965, p. 1) 

The 1927 Public School served the 9th grade and became the Junior High School until a new one was built in 1974 on Government (now the North building of the Ocean Springs High School).  It was designed by Slaughter & Smith of Pascagoula with W.F. Mosley as general contractor.(school dedication plaque)  The original completion date was agreed to be August 15, 1974.  Much delay and controversy with School Board.(The Ocean Springs Record,November 21, 1974, p. 1)

The National Register of Historic Places

In 1987, the 1927 Ocean Springs School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This designation was made when five historic districts of Ocean Springs were accepted by the Mississippi Department of Archives & History.(Alice P. Duckett, May 17, 1999, and City of Ocean Springs Historic Resources Survey-Update, 1996, p. 16)

Mississippi Landmark

In April 1989, Elbert Hilliard, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History announced that the 1927 Ocean Springs Public School had been designated a Mississippi Landmark by the Permit Committee of his organization.  This honor is only given to State properties that are salient to the history of Mississippi because of their architecture or cultural and or historical significance.  An edifice that is a Mississippi Landmark is protected from demolition or alteration by the Antiquities Laws of the State.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 13, 1989, p. 2)

The New City Library proposal

In 1992, there was some popular support from the Library Board for refurbishing the 1927 Ocean Springs School and utilizing it as a new city library.  The Board of Aldermen was given an estimate of $2.1 million dollars to renovate the structure for this purpose.  The City government decided to enlarge the existing library on Dewey Avenue while keeping expenditures on the project under $500,000. (The Ocean Springs Record, October 1, 1992, p. 1) 

Demolition by neglect and recent relief

Years of neglect, especially that of the roof, has caused major damage to this old structure.  It appears that neither the School Board nor City of Ocean Springs took responsibility for the general maintenance of the building since classroom instruction was suspended in 1973.

Damages to the structure in the wake of Hurricane Georges in early October 1998, has been the catalyst for current activity.  On October 13, 1998, Carl Germany, a local architect and former student of the Ocean Springs Public School system, was hired by the City government to assess the condition of the old school building, which currently houses the Ocean Springs Public School Administration.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Bk. 26, p. 279)  

Mr. Germany concluded from his survey that running water has been the primary source of physical harm to the structure.  Leaks from the roof, gutters, and downspouts have permeated the edifice and caused widespread damage especially in the auditorium.  There has been a major structural failure on the southwest corner of the building as the piers have subsided from massive amounts of water coming from the roof through vents and downspouts.  The Saucier Brothers of Biloxi, a roofing contractor, were hired to place a temporary patch on the roof.  This project cost $22,000 and was funded with insurance money paid from the Hurricane Georges damage claim. A new roof will cost approximately $150,000.(Carl Germany, April 22, 1999)

In early November 1998, The O'Keefe Foundation awarded the City of Ocean Springs $10,000 for the repair and refurbishment of the old school building.  On December 1, 1998, Mayor Ainsworth presented The Board of Alderman with the O’Keefe grant.  It was placed in an escrow account.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 319)  Also in November, Alice P. Duckett, Chairperson of the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Commission, requested that the City government apply for a Certified Local Government (CLG) grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 351)  This grant for improvement to the 1927 Ocean Springs School/School Administration Building was awarded in March 1999, and announced at the meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on April 6, 1999.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 592)

The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education

In recent years, efforts of former students of the 1927 school, led informally and spiritually by Elizabeth Lemon Roberts, who with classmates of her generation, that had appreciated Miss Mary C. O'Keefe's leadership and guidance while obtaining a fine education, began lobbying for the preservation of their old school building.  They also wished their venerable educational facility to be named for Miss O'Keefe.  Mrs. Roberts circulated a petition espousing this and collected over one thousand signatures from the community supporting the O’Keefe nomenclature.

Ms. Roberts and Betty Magee of the Ocean Springs Art Association presented the petition and request to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on December 15, 1998.  Alderman at Large Jalanivich made a motion, which was approved by the all aldermen present to name the 1927 Ocean Springs School building in honor of Superintendent Mary C. O'Keefe.(The City of Ocean Springs Minute Bk. 26, p. 394)

Citizens respond

“Concerned Citizens for the Restoration of the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education” was organized in February 1999 under the leadership of Ward 4 Alderman Larry Cosper and Alderman at Large Danny Jalanivich.  This group meets the 3rd Monday of each month in the old school building on Government Street.  Its membership is composed of Ocean Springs High School alumni, Ocean Springs Art Association members, Main St., HOSA, the Chamber of Commerce, Walter Anderson Players, the Ocean Springs school administration, YMCA, the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Commission, and genuinely interested citizens.  The restoration group has appointed the following chairpersons: grant writing-Jean Erickson; public relations-David Clark; and fund raising-Sue Willoughby.(Larry Cosper, April 22, 1999)

Recent happenings

In early April 1999, the Mississippi Heritage Trust held their annual meeting at Biloxi.  The 1927 Ocean Springs High School had been named in late 1998, to the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s list of “the ten most endangered historic buildings in the State”.  During the April assembly of the preservation group, the 1927 Ocean Springs School was selected to open the conference.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 15, 1999, p. 1)

As of late, with the survey of the structure by Mr. Germany complete, the City government has begun to approve funds for primary repairs.  Bids to advertise for the removal of asbestos from steam pipes and the crawl space beneath the main flooring were proposed by Alderman Cody in March 1999.  Carl Germany, AIA, was to develop the necessary specifications for the asbestos abatement project.(City of Ocean Springs Minute Book 26, p. 520)  Power Management of Jackson, Mississippi has been retained for $32,000 by the City to do the design work for this environmentally sensitive task.(Carl Germany, April 22, 1999)           

Fund Raising

            Life members ($1000): Dr. Thomas Handy and Jane Handy, spouse; Eula Webb Switzer; and Mr. and Mrs. Jeff O’Keefe.

Year 2000*

$500,000-VA/HUD thru Senator Trent Lott

$300,000-Dept. of the Interior match grant thru Senator Lott

$100,000-JXCO, Ms. Board of Supervisors

$75,000-OS Municipal School District

$75,000-City of Ocean Springs

$20,000-City of Ocean springs-asbestos removal

$10,000-O’Keefe Foundation

$5,000-MDHA matching grant

$5,000-City of Ocean Springs matching grant

$3,000-Life memberships

$1,093,000 Total*

* Britt Sandblom, Treasurer’s Report (undated)

 

2001

Le Bal au Chocolat I

A fund raiser for the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center was held at the Ocean Springs Civic Center on May 5, 2001.  Music by the Biloxi Jazz.  Coast restaurants were to compete in five categories of chocolate creations: cookies, cake, candy, bar, and fantasy.(The Mississippi Press, April 25, 2001, p. 4)

Ocean Springs School District Administration Building

Located on the southeast corner of Government Street and Holcomb Boulevard.(see The Bay Press, March 29, 2002, p. 3)

2002

In early January 2002, city aldermen approved the design of Carl Germany, AIA, for the renovation of the auditorium to a modern performing arts center.  Construction bids for the project will be advertised shortly.  The Mary C. O’Keefe fund raisers have secured $1.4 MM in State, Federal, and local grants.(The Sun Herald, January 6, 2002, p. A-2)

In March 2002, the Board of Aldermen pledged an additional $300,000 to the O’Keefe Cultural Center.  This money with the $50,000 already budgeted for the project will greatly assist in acquiring matching grant funds, especially from the US Department of Interior.  Approval was also granted to Donovan Scruggs, city planner, to apply for a CAP, Capital Improvement Revolving Loan, through the auspices of the Mississippi Development Authority.  CAP loans applicants may receive up to $500,000 repayable in twenty years at 3% interest.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 14, 2002, p. 1)               

Phase I

In April 2002, Fletcher Construction Company of Pascagoula, Mississippi was awarded the contract for Phase I of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center.  The building contractor will focus on renovating the school’s auditorium and converting it into a community theatre at a cost of about $1.635 million dollars.  Monies secured for the project to date are: CAP Loan-$500,000; HUD Economic Development Initiative-$500,000; Department of the Interior Save America’s Treasures-$299,000; Mississippi Arts Commission Building for the Arts-$250,000; Jackson County, FYI 2002-$50,000; Jackson County, FYI 2003-$50,000; O’Keefe family funding-$10,000.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 4, 2002, p. A-1 and A-3)

 

Le Bal au Chocolat  II

Held at the Ocean Springs Civic Center on April 5, 2002.  Music by Gerald O’Neil and The Today Band.

Construction

Began in early June 2002 with demolition of the old stage portion of the school’s auditorium.                           (The Ocean Springs Record, June 6, 2002, p. A-1)

Opening

Planned for September 5, 2003.(The Bay Press, July 25, 2003, p. 1)

Official Dedication

 

Administrative Assistant

Candice du Plessis hired in August 2003.  1997 Ocean Springs High School graduate. BFA in theater from William Carey College at Hattiesburg, Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs Record,, July 31, 2003, p. C1 and The Bay Press, August 22, 2003, p. 2)

 

REFERENCES:

Books

Elizabeth L. Roberts and J.K. Lemon, Ocean Springs: The way we were, 1900-1950, (Ocean Springs Rotary Club: Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1996).

Charles E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1972).

Pamphlets

City of Ocean Springs Historic Resources Survey-Update, (Kemp Associates, Ltd.: Meridian, Mississippi-1996).

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Walter Inglis Anderson, (Dolphin Press: Long Beach, Mississippi-1991).

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, James McConnell Anderson, a retrospective exhibition, (Gulf Printing & Advertising: Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1992).

Journals

The Bay Press, “New central office connects past to present”, March 29, 2002.

The Bay Press, “Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center to open Sept. 5”, July 25, 2003.

The Bay Press, “Featured artist: Candace du Plessis”, August 22, 2003.

The Daily Herald, “Will Rush Work On New School”, July 5, 1912.

The Daily Herald"Body of Soldier Arrives Home", September 17, 1921.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 6, 1923.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, July 1, 1926.

The Daily Herald“Ocean Springs School Bids”, July 30, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 9, 1927.

The Daily Herald, "Dedicate Ocean Springs School", August 18, 1927.

The Daily Herald, "School nears completion", August 18, 1927.

The Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs", August 25, 1927.

The Daily Herald, "Dedicate Ocean Springs School", September 17, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Fatal fall From Window”, January 2, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs to Have Chautauqua”, April 6, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, February 21, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Coast Artists Are Painting Scenes For PWA Art project”, February 2, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “School At Ocean Springs Begins Term; Gain In Enrollment”, September 10, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Plans For Ocean Springs School”, October 20, 1949.

The Daily Herald"Ocean Springs", September 9, 1952.

The Daily Herald"Educator Taken By Death", March 9, 1971.

The Gulf Coast Times"New School Bids Asked: Building Ready September", January 31, 1952.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Architects Drawing of New Ocean Springs School Buildings", February 28,1952.

The Gulf Coast Times"Name Successful School Bidders: ready For Sept.", March 13, 1952.

The Gulf Coast Times"Will Occupy New School This Week", January 8, 1953.

The Jackson County Times, “More Endorsements of School Bond Issue”, September 29, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “W.H. Lewis Opposes Bond Issue”, September 29, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 6, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Many bidders seek Ocean Springs bonds", December 26, 1925, p. 3.

The Jackson County Times, “A School Building Is The Need Of Negroes Of Ocean Springs”, January 16, 1926.

The Jackson County Times, “Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen”, May 29, 1926.

The Jackson County Times"Citizen Opposes Changing School Site", August 7, 1926.

The Jackson County Times"Local Plumber Gets School Plumbing Contract", January 15, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", February 5, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Proceedings of the Board of Alderman", May 14, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", June 4, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", June 18, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", September 4, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Early School Days Recalled", September 10, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"New School Building is One of Mississippi' s Finest", September 10, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"School Faculty Largest Ever", September 10, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Ocean Springs Football Squad Holds Bay St. Louis", October 1, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Ocean Springs 12, Biloxi 12", October 8, 1927.

The Jackson County Times, "School Notes", October 15, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Football Team Wins Game At Pascagoula", October 29, 1927.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", November 5, 1917.

The Jackson County Times“Large Crowd Attends Unveiling Of Memorial”, November 12, 1927.

The Jackson County Times, “Beautify School Grounds With Plants and Shrubbery”, March 3, 1928.

The Jackson County Times“Ocean Springs Wins Third Place In Literary Meet”, April 28, 1928.

The Jackson County Times"Public School Pupils Receive Gold Medals", May 26, 1928.

The Jackson County Times, "Graduation Of Five Ends High School Term", June 2, 1928.

The Jackson County Times“Local Artist Highly Praised By Officials”, June 9, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Miss Mary C. O’Keefe School Superintendent Honored By Fraternity”, March 30, 1940.

The Jackson County Times, “O.S.H.S. Over The Top With Three Army Jeeps”, April 10, 1943.

The Jackson County Times, “S.S. Wall Elected Superintendent of Local Public Schools”, July 28, 1945.

The Jackson County Times“S.S. Wall resigns; Coach Clay Boyd appointed Supt. for remainder of term”, April 7, 1950.

The Mississippi Press"Sissy Anderson earns place in local history", March 8, 1991.

The Mississippi Press"Springs building added to endangered list", November 29, 1998.

The Mississippi Press"Heritage Trust working to save historic buildings", April 9, 1999.

The Mississippi Press, “Arts Center work moves ahead”, February 20, 2001.

The Mississippi Press-Ocean Springs Press”,  “Renovate the building –eat chocolate”, April 25, 2001.

The Mississippi Press, “Springs aldermen OK $350,000 for O’Keefe center”, March 13, 2002.

The Mississippi Press, “Center Stage”, September 3, 2003, p. 1-A.

The Mississippi Press, “O'Keefe group seeks funding”, August 30, 2004 p. 1-A.

The Ocean Springs News“Near One-Half Million School Construction To Be Dedicated In Two Ceremonies Saturday”, August 20, 1959.

The Ocean Springs News“Desegregation Plan”, August 12, 1965, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs News"New Facility to be Shown to Public This Sunday", August 19, 1965.

The Ocean Springs News, “Four Thousand Attend Open House at New High School”, August 26, 1965.

The Ocean Springs Record“Three Teachers to Retire”, May 21, 1970.

The Ocean Springs Record, “1.5 million dollar bond issue Saturday”, December 3, 1970.

The Ocean Springs Record"Supt. Taconi funeral today", March 11, 1971.

The Ocean Springs Record"School Board Views Facilities", August 26, 1971.

The Ocean Springs Record"School Board Accepts New JH", November 21, 1974.

The Ocean Springs Record“Mary C. O’Keefe”, January 24, 1980.

The Ocean Springs Record"Alumni Keep Spirit Alive", November 1, 1984.

The Ocean Springs Record“Historic Old High School May Be Restored”, September 22, 1988.

The Ocean Springs Record“Plans Begin to Restore Old High School”, January 5, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record, Landmark Named”, April 13, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record“Aldermen agree to expand current library building”, October 1, 1992.

The Ocean Springs Record“City-wide flea market raises funds for Taconi Gym”, March 18, 1993.

The Ocean Springs Record“Taconi Project continues”, May 20, 1993.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", June 29, 1995.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", May 28, 1998.

The Ocean Springs Record"Old high school named to most endangered list", April 15, 1999.

The Ocean Springs Record-Independent“Old high school might make grade”, January 11, 2001.

The Ocean Springs Record, Aldermen add $300K to O’Keefe center fund”, March 14, 2002.

The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Keefe project to start”, April 4, 2002.

The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Keefe project takes shape”, June 6, 2002.

The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Keefe work on schedule”, July 18, 2002.

The Ocean Springs Record, “du Plessis named to run O’Keefe center”, July 31, 2003.

The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Keefe center opening set”, July 31, 2003.

The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Keefe project gets blessing”, August 8, 2002.

The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Keefe center to open”, September 4, 2003.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ladner Plaque", October 21, 2004.

The Sun Herald“Workers to remove asbestos from building”, July 26, 1999.

The Sun Herald, “O.S. gives cultural center OK”, January 6, 2002.

The Sun Herald, “Spadework”, July 28, 2002, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald, “Pro repertory Company ready to return to Coast”, July 28, 2002, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald, “O.S. arts center plans groundbreaking ceremony”, August 5, 2002, p. A-6.

The Sun Herald, “Ocean Springs defies endangered status”, August 6, 2002, p. C-2.

The Sun Herald“Mary O’Keefe center opens doors, August 31, 2003, p. H-1.

Personal Communication:

Ted Bechtel, April 21, 1999.

Carl Germany, April 22, 1999.

Larry Cosper, April 22, 1999.

Arlene White, April 29, 1999.

Alice P. Duckett, August 16, 1999