Interesting Things

By Ray L. Bellande

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Doctors, Mayors & Aldermen

 

MEDICINE MEN OF OCEAN SPRINGS

The first "physician" to arrive at Ocean Springs came in the winter of 1700, with Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1661-1706).  With discovery of the mineral springs along the south bank of Fort Bayou in the 1840s, doctors at New Orleans began to take a look at this area, then called East Biloxi, as a possible spa.  As today, the curative power of mineral laden water was very attractive as an elixir for various ailments.  Disorders such as dyspepsia, indigestion, and insomnia were treated with the local spring waters, which contained small amounts of iron, sulphur, and magnesia.

 

After Dr. William Glover Austin (1814-1894) built the Ocean Springs Hotel in 1852-1853, the village adopted the name, Ocean Springs, from his hotel.  As the population grew, the demand for medical care increased.  With all the doctors in town today, it is difficult to imagine that for the most part, Ocean Springs, through it long history had no more than three doctors in town at one time until the 1950s.  The completion of the Ocean Springs Hospital in 1967, and steady population growth through the decades has brought the number of practicing physicians at Ocean Springs to over thirty today.  Many other doctors reside here, but practice medicine at other coast cities.

 

The chronology of medicine is fascinating.  In its course through time, medicine has evolved from a primitive art to a high technology art.  In the coming weeks, I will present brief biographical sketches of our medicine men with some anecdotal information where relevant.  A brief history of the medicine men who made an impact on the history of Ocean Springs from the time of Iberville until the 1950s follows.  Please enjoy.

 

PIERRE CAVE (ca 1670-1700+)

In January 1700, Pierre Cave (ca 1670-1700+) came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast with the second expeditionary force of Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d' Iberville (1661-1706) as Surgeon-Major aboard the French frigate, Renommee.  When Iberville returned to France in May 1700, he left Surgeon-Major Cave at Fort Maurepas.  His salary was thirty livres (francs) per month.  In 1748, at Canada, a chicken sold for slightly less than a franc while one could but a two hundred pound hog for fifteen francs.

 

In the early 18th Century, surgery was beginning to disassociate it self from the ancient trade of barbering.  The fact that Pierre Cave was listed as a staff officer of Le Moyne indicates that he had achieved some social status. Surgeon-Major Cave may have performed the first surgical procedure in the Louisiana Colony as Iberville reported on March 1, 1700, that one of his soldiers had been wounded in the arm and severely injured.  About the arm, Iberville wrote, "was amputated by my surgeon with a saw made from a knife".

 

When Bienville abandoned Fort Maurepas in January 1702, Pierre Cave does not appear to have been among those who relocated to Massacre Island (now Dauphin).  He probably died at Fort Maurepas in 1701.

 

CLAYTON TIFFIN (ca 1788-1859)

Dr. Clayton Tiffin (ca 1788-1859) may have never practiced medicine at Ocean Springs, but his family played a role in the areas early development.  Tiffin was probably born in Ohio.  He distinguished himself as a surgeon at Fort Erie during the War of 1812.  Dr. Tiffin married Bellila "Belle" Miller Conklin (1824-1900) of Columbus, Ohio.  They moved to New Orleans in 1850.  Here Dr. Tiffin became a prominent physician.

Before 1860, Mrs. Belle Tiffin purchased a tract of land on the Bay of Biloxi at Ocean Springs, which we know today as the Shearwater Pottery.  It cannot be determined with any degree of certitude who built the Greek Revival vernacular cottage which rests here today.  Its erection date has been estimated by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to have been circa 1850.  Deed records indicate that Hanson Alsbury (c. 1805-1851+) may have been the first white inhabitant of Shearwater as he acquired the tract in February 1837.

The Tiffins had two daughters: Hortense Delavallade (1841-1870+) and Alice Rousseau (1854-1900+).  Their French son-in-law, Jean M. Delavallade, who was a druggist at Plaquemine in Iberville Parish, Louisiana held several deeds of trust on the property from Mrs. Tiffin.

In June 1885, Mrs. Tiffin sold her estate to Joseph Bowling (1827-1894) of New Orleans.  She died in the Crescent City on June 11, 1900.

 

JOSEPH FIELD (1802-1860+)

Joseph Field (1802-1860+) was born in Mississippi.  His wife was named Julia Joseph (b. 1815).  She taught school.  The Fields resided at Ocean Springs in 1860.  No further information.    

 

DAVID M. DUNLAP (1803-1880+)

Dr. David M. Dunlap (1803-1880+) was born at South Carolina.  His wife, Mary T. Dunlap (1830-1880+) was a native of Georgia.  Their children all born in Mississippi were: James (1858-1880+), Mary or Matty (1864-1880+), and Edward (1868-1880+).  The Dunlaps probably arrived at Ocean Springs in the late 1860s.  They purchased over three acres of land bounded by Washington Avenue and Jackson Avenue between Porter and Desoto (Lots 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8 of Block 27- Culmseig Map of 1854).  Here they built a large home near the present day Lovelace Drugstore.            

 

Drowning

In the spring of 1870, Dr. Benjamin Sorsby Davis (1837-1870) came from Clarke County, Alabama to reside with the Dunlap family.  He had served in the Civil War and attended medical school after the conflict.  Dr. Davis was engaged to be married.  On August 24, 1870 he expired by drowning at Ocean Springs.(Joe Davis, Bay Minette, Alabama, February 19, 2004)

Benjamin Sorsby Davis, M.D., was born October 14, 1837, in Clarke County, AL, and drowned August 24, 1870, in Ocean Springs.  The Davis family moved from NC to AL at the end of 1836, and Ben was born the next October in 1837.  His wealthy Uncle Norphlet Davis died in 1839 leaving Ben 1/4 of his estate.  Ben began medical school at the Alabama School of Medicine in Mobile, but the Civil War began and the school closed.  Ben joined the Army and was wounded several times, at least once in the leg--perhaps the reason for his drowning.  The school re-opened in 1869 and Ben completed his degree in March of 1870 and then moved to Ocean Springs to work before drowning in August.  There were several years between the time Ben left the Army and the Medical School re-opened.  I don't know what happened to Ben during those years.  The old Plantation in Clarke County had been sold.  His dad died before the War, and all his brothers were killed in the War except for one, and he had lost one leg.  So, the plantation was sold during the War and shortly before Ben's mother died; the remaining family moved into Mobile.  Most likely, Ben's family brought his body back to Mobile and buried him with his family in the Jones Cemetery at Choctaw Bluff in Clarke County.  The cemetery basically has been abandoned for years and has suffered many vandals.  Many headstones are broken or missing, and many graves have been dug into. So, there is no headstone to find; no one could afford elaborate headstones after the Civil War. The family brought back personal effects of Ben, including the trunk and medical degree that I have. I wish someone had recorded how he died and where he was buried.

In October 1872, Dr. D.M. Dunlap advertised an efficacious balm:

 

 

Dr. D.M. Dunlap’s Great Remedy

The Balm of Gilead

Is a certain and speedy cure for Neuralgia, Toothache, Sick Headache, Rheumatism, Chilblains, Colds, Coughs, Chills and fever, Inflammation of the Kidneys, Burns, Sprains, Scalds, Cholera, Morbus, Colic, fresh cuts, and snake bites, etc.

The evidences of the carative qualities of this new remedy are overwhelming, and they are constantly increasing.

D.M. Dunlap

Sole Proprietor

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

April 15, 1872

The Handsboro Democrat, October 5, 1872

 

In January 1882, Dr. Dunlap sold the property to Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904) of Harrison County.  Grayson would move to Ocean Springs and become a Justice of the Peace, and the fourth Mayor of Ocean Springs (1897-1898).

 

In 1878, Dr. Dunlap also owned two acres on the northwest corner of Washington and Ocean.  He sold it to Mary Ann Drabble Wing (1823-1894) of New Orleans in 1883.  A portion of this tract would become the site of the First Presbyterian Church, which was built in 1886.  It appears the Dunlaps departed Ocean Springs in 1882.

                    

DANIEL STANFORD (1805-1850+)

Daniel Stanford was born in Georgia.  His wife was Mary Ann Stanford (b. 1807).  They were at Ocean Springs in 1850.  No further information.

 

ANDREW B. DODD (1806-1850+)

Andrew B. Dodd and his wife, Lucy B. Dodd (b. 1812), were from Kentucky.  At Ocean Springs, the Dodds probably resided on the front beach on the Andre Fournier tract west of Bayou Bouzage (now Inner Harbor).  They were in the area before 1850.

In addition to his duties as a physician, Dodd was involved in real estate and manufacturing.  He conveyed a large tract of land east of present day Dewey Avenue to Jean Baptiste Seymour in September 1849.  Also in 1849, Dr. Dodd was active in the brickyard at Back Bay (D'Iberville) with fellow Kentuckian and neighbor, William G. Kendall (1812-1872), and others.

Dr. Dodd was a contemporary of another Kentucky born physician, William H. Tegarden (1797-1870+).  Tegarden built the Tegarden Hotel at Mississippi City, which featured a lighthouse and a 2400-foot wharf.

The Dodds appear to have left the Ocean Springs area before 1860.

 

WILLIAM GLOVER AUSTIN (1814-1894)

Dr. William Glover Austin (1814-1894) was born at Somerset County, Maryland.  His father was Dr. John Austin of Loudon County, Virginia, a man who had achieved notoriety in the sciences. Young William G. Austin did his undergraduate work at Kenyon College in Ohio, and received his medical degree from the Washington University of Baltimore in 1836.  After his academic education was completed, he moved to Yazoo County, Mississippi to practice medicine.

In 1839, at Mississippi, Dr. Austin met and married Martha E. Porter (1818-1898), a young lady from a notable Giles County, Tennessee family.  They reared a family consisting of at least six children:  John E. Austin (1840-1878), Martha Austin (1842-1910+), Louisa Austin (b. 1846), William M. Austin (b. 1849), Willie (Willamena?) Porter (b. 1854), and Thomas Austin (1855-1855).  Circa 1850, the Austins moved to New Orleans from Yazoo County.  Here Dr. Austin established himself as an authority on epidemic diseases, especially yellow fever.

In the 1840s, Mrs. Austin began acquiring property at Ocean Springs.  Her brother, William L. Porter (b. 1811), was a merchant here while her uncle, Thomas C. Porter, was tax collector for the port of New Orleans from 1853-1857.  The Porters owned much land on the beach at Ocean Springs acquiring Lots Two and Three of the Widow LaFontaine tract from Robert B. Kendall in 1850.  Porter Avenue is named for this Tennessee family.

The Austins owned the "Many Oaks" property from 1853-1854.  The Ocean Springs Hotel, which gave its name to the small village on the Bay of Biloxi, called Lynchburg Springs at the time, was built by Dr. Austin in 1853.  When New Orleans fell to Federal forces in 1862, Dr. Austin was superintendent of the Charity Hospital.  He went to the front lines and saw active service.  In the post-war years, Austin was appointed to the Board of Health by Governor Nicholls.  He received license No. 1456 in June 1882, to practice medicine in Jackson County, Mississippi.  In 1889, Governor Nicholls appointed Dr. Austin resident physician at the Mississippi Quarantine Station.

In his latter years, Dr. Austin was described as a witty and clever talker and a type of the old school gentleman.  He was mentally and physically active into the last years of his life.  Dr. Austin passed on at New Orleans.

 

DON CARLOS CASE (1819-1886)

Dr. Don Carlos Case (1819-1886) was born at Albany, New York on December 27, 1819.  He attended the University of Missouri Medical College at St. Louis.  Case was issued a license (No. 1425) to practice medicine at Jackson County, Mississippi on June 8, 1882.  He began practicing medicine probably at Missouri in 1847.

Dr. Case married Martha A. Thomas (1823-1902) who was born at Bouie County, Kentucky.  Her father was a native of Virginia while her mother was also a Kentuckian.

The Cases had three children: May Jane Case Emery (b. 1860), Francis "Fanny" Shiloh Case Leftwich (1863-1947), and Charles T. Case (1867-1896).  The girls were born at New Madrid, Missouri.  It is believed that the Case family left New Madrid for New Orleans during the Civil War.  Charles T. Case was born in the Crescent City.

 

May Jane Case

May Jane Case married the Reverend Charles F. Emery (1855-1943) on July 24, 1878.  He was a graduate of Duke University.  Circa 1890, Case became an ordained minister.  He served as the pastor of the Methodist churches at Columbia, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Brandon, Meridian, Vicksburg, Natchez, Hattiesburg, Waynesboro, Tylertown, and Fayette.  They had at least two sons: Charles Franklin Emery (1879-1950) and Don Carlos Emery (1880-1907).

Charles Franklin Emery practiced law.  He died at Corpus Christi, Texas on February 13, 1950.  Don Carlos Emery named for his grandfather, Don Carlos Case, died at Brandon, Mississippi.  Both are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs in the Case Family plot.

 

Fanny S. Case

In 1881, at Ocean Springs, Fanny Shiloh Case married Jesse Bion Leftwich (1857-1923), a native of Florence, Alabama.  Leftwich was the son of Jessie George Washington Leftwich (1823-1906) and Agnes Pollock Leftwich (1831-1915).  They were natives of Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee and Ohio respectively.  In May 1877, Agnes Leftwich purchased the John H. Brown house on Fort Bayou (now 810 Iberville) from George A. Cox (1811-1887).  Here J.G. Leftwich made his livelihood as a sugar planter.  In September 1887, the Leftwich family sold their Ocean Springs property and moved to Mobile. 

Jessie B. Leftwich and Fanny Case had five children:  Alma Fullton (b. 1882), Velma Lassiter (b. 1882), Beulah Norquist (b. 1884), Jessie Bion Leftwich (1890-1892), and Jess Harold Leftwich (b. 1896).  In 1902, the family resided at 811 Dauphin Street in Mobile, Alabama.

Charles T. Case married Roberta Staples (1864-1928) on July 10, 1886.  She was the daughter of L. Gordon Staples of Greensboro, North Carolina and Adeline A. Ferell (1829-1902) of Covington, Louisiana.  The Staples resided at New Orleans and owned property on Fort Point at Ocean Springs.  Roberta Case had the following sisters:  Lou Staples, May Poitevent (1847-1932), Lillian Ryan, Margaret Lewis, Volumnia H. Davis, and Stella Staples (b. 1871).  Her brother was Frederick Staples (1852-1897).

Charles and Roberta Staples Case had three sons: Carl Theodore Case (b. 1888), Gordon Staples Case (b. 1890), and Frederick Staples Case (d. pre-1924). 

In October 1896, Charles T. Case died at Nashville, Tennessee where he worked as the private secretary of the Superintendent of the Southern Express Company. His widow, Roberta S. Case, was residing at 1109 Rokeby Place at Nashville, in 1902.  She moved to Ocean Springs before 1920, and resided on front beach with her sons, Carl T. Case and Gordon Case, a medical illustrator.  Circa 1911, Carl T. Case had married Edwina Lynd (b. 1892) of New Orleans.  Her father, Thomas B. Lynd (1862- 1915), was an affluent cotton broker.

In March 1893, Thomas B. Lynd had purchased a 9.67 acre estate on front beach west of the present day Inner Harbor from Caroline Nill.  He called it "Lyndhurst".  When Lynd's son-in-law, Carl T. Case, resided here, it was known as "Case Villa".  The Lynd-Case home burned in 1922, when owned by the Parlin family.  Alice Austin Martin and spouse, Gay Marton, resides on the site today.

 

Case-Russell Home

At Ocean Springs, the Dr. Don Carlos Case family lived at the southwest corner of Porter and Washington Avenue.  In December 1880, Mrs. Case had purchased lots 9 and 10 of Block 34 (Culmseig) from Margaret Anderson of Round Island (Jackson County Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 16-17).  The lots combined had an area of 1.36 acres.

At this excellent location, the Cases built, commencing in January 1881, a large neo-colonial style home costing $2000.  The two-story, wood frame, home had over 5000 square feet of living area and a 500 square-foot front gallery.  The small office of Dr. Case was attached to the northwest corner of the house and faced Porter Avenue.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 4, 1881, p. 3)

In September 1905, the property was sold for $3300 to Ocean Springs entrepreneur, Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940), by Charles F. Emery and J.B. Leftwich, the executors of the estate of Mrs. Case (Jackson County Land Deed Bk. 30, pp. 203-204).  The Jeremiah J. O'Keefe home, which was built in 1906, on Porter Avenue was an architectural replication of the Case-Russell home.  The Russell home burned in the late 1920s.

Descendants of the Case-Leftwich families residing in Mobile today, relate that Dr. Case treated patients afflicted with skin cancer by focusing natural sunlight (ultraviolet radiation) with two cobalt vases.  The "cobalt radiation" was directed to the cancerous tissue.

Another tale involved one of the yellow fever epidemics, which struck the area.  Dr. Case was called to the home of a sea captain struck with the virus.  The delirious seaman told Dr. Case that he knew he was going to die and wanted to clear his conscious.  As a youth, the captain had been a pirate.  The motley crew had come ashore near Ocean Springs and buried a treasure.  The dying man gave Dr. Case exact directions to the location of the interred valuables.  Because of the man's condition, Dr. Case disregarded the tale as a dying man's hallucination.

Several weeks later Case was near the purported treasure site and recognized some of the landmarks described by the deceased sea captain.  When he approached the exact site, Case found a gaping hole in the earth.  There was a family living nearby.  Dr. Case asked them if they knew about the hole.  "Yes", they replied.  "Several weeks ago a small ship dropped anchor in the bay.  A dinghy came ashore.  The sailors left in a jolly mood"

Dr. Don Carlos Case died at Ocean Springs on January 7, 1885.  Martha T. Case passed on at Waynesboro, Mississippi on April 22, 1902, while at the C.F. Emery residence.  They and many of the Case-Leftwich Family members are interred at the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.

Many thanks to Velma Croom, Francis Danley, and Laura Lee Norquist of Mobile who generously shared their time and knowledge of the Case-Leftwich Families with me.

 

DANIEL NEWCOMB (1829-1908)

Dr. Daniel Newcomb (1829-1908) was born at Fayston near Montpelier, Vermont.  His mother was Harriet Newcomb (1805-1903), and he had a brother, D.C. Newcomb, who was residing at Atchison, Kansas in 1903.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 3, 1903 and May 22, 1903)

In September 1851, Dr. Daniel Newcomb married Calista Helen Smith (1830-1909), a native of Cabot, Vermont.  She was the daughter of Daniel Smith and Fanny Smith.(The Ocean Springs News, February 20, 1909)

In February 1891, Dr. Newcomb came to Ocean Springs from central Wisconsin to make preparations for moving his family here in the fall.  He was undecided as to whether he would practice medicine at Ocean Springs.(The Biloxi Herald, February 15, 1891, p. 1)

Dr. Dan Newcomb attended the New York City College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Vermont Medical College, the Berkshire Medical College, and the Chicago Medical College.  He began the practice of medicine in 1853.  On April 13, 1892, Dr. Newcomb was issued license No. 711 to practice medicine at Jackson County, Mississippi.(Rodgers, 1990, p. 31) 

Dr. Newcomb maintained an office in the Herman Nill Building, which was situated on the northwest corner of Washington and Porter.  Dr. Newcomb was an Episcopalian and a charter member of McLeod Lodge No. 424 F&AM.  It was organized at Ocean Springs in 1892.  He was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in 1866 or 1867 at Palatine, Illinois.(A History of McLeod Lodge No. 424, 1995) 

Dr. Newcomb owned 100 acres of land on Heron Bayou in what is now the Magnolia Bayou Subdivision.  He probably resided here.

Dr. Dan Newcomb expired at Ocean Springs on July 12, 1908.  His corporal remains and those of Calista S. Newcomb are interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.

           

A. HARVEY SHANNON (1831-1906)

Dr. Harvey Shannon (1831-1906) was born at Sumner County, Tennessee in January 1831.  He was a graduate of the Reform Medical College of Georgia and the New Orleans School of Medicine.  Shannon was issued license No. 307 to practice at Jackson County in April 1882, while residing at Vicksburg.  He was married to Lucy Irwin (1838-1909+) probably a native of Vicksburg.  Her parents were John L. Irwin and Lucy W. Irwin (d. 1884).  Mr. Irwin had served in the War of 1812 as a lieutenant and had received bounty land for his participation.

The Shannon children were: A. Harry Shannon (b. 1875), Lucy Shannon (1877-1910+), Alice Shannon Warwick of Augusta, Georgia; Will P. Shannon (1878-1910) of El Centro, California and Irwin A. Shannon of New Orleans. 

 

Shannondale

In November 1882, Dr. Shannon bought 340 acres in Sections 21, T7S-R8W from W.H. Gill and 240 acres in Section 22, T7S-R8W from James A. Watt.  He called his estate Shannondale.  Here Harry Shannon developed commercial orchards.  In July 1891, Parker Earle & Sons, local entrepreneurs, purchased Dr. Shannon's pear crop.  The Earles shipped the pears to northern markets.  Shannondale was sold by his widow, Lucy I. Shannon, to Wylie E. Thibodeaux of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana in July 1909.  At the time of the sale, Mrs. Shannon resided at Nashville, Tennessee.

Shannondale became the property of George E. McEwen (1865-1961) who came to Ocean Springs from New Orleans circa 1910.  Here he had a citrus orchard composed of over three thousand grape fruit and Satsuma oranges.  The Fort Bayou Estates Subdivision is located here today.

 

Shannondale School

The Shannondale School was established as early as January 1886, by Dr. Harvey Shannon.  In the spring of 1886, S.L. Boyers Jr. taught the private school.  It was attended by the nine children of Dr. A.H. Shannon (1831-1906) and his brother, Fountain E.P. Shannon (d. 1883), at Shannondale, the large stock and fruit farm of Dr. Shannon situated east of Ocean Springs, in Sections 21 and 22, T7S-R8W.  Mr. Boyers received a salary of about $20 per month.  The children attending the Shannondale School were: H.L. Shannon (b. 1869); A.H. Shannon (b. 1870); Irwin Shannon (b. 1871); Harry L. Shannon (b. 1874); W.P. Shannon (1878-1910); Lizzie M. Shannon (b. 1872); Ida L. Shannon (b. 1874); Alice Amanda Shannon (b. 1873); and Lucy I. Shannon (b. 1877).JXCO, Ms. School Records-1886, JXCO, Ms. Archives-Pascagoula, Mississippi)

 

Will P. Shannon

Will P. Shannon (1878-1910) left Ocean Springs for California after the turn of the 20th Century.  He expired at El Cento, California from heat prostration in July 1910.  His survivors included his mother, and sisters: Mrs. Charles H. Warwick and Miss Lucy Shannon of Nashville, Tennessee.(The Ocean Springs News, July 30, 1910)

 

Professor A.H. Shannon    

Dr. Shannon's son, Professor A.H. Shannon, achieved national fame in the academic world.  He attended Milsaps College (1895-1898), Vanderbilt (1901), and did post graduate work at the University of Chicago.  Shannon taught at Hendrix College (Arkansas), Milsaps, Columbus College (Oregon), Wesleyan College (Kentucky), Mississippi A&M, and Imperial College (Japan).  He was a licensed Methodist Episcopal minister and served as chaplain of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Jackson).  Shannon spent his retirement years on a farm north of Ocean Springs.

 

In 1898, Dr. Shannon occupied the Nill Building on Washington and Porter.  No further information.

 

REFERENCES:

The Jackson County Times, "Shannon Tract Being Cleared For Development", May 29, 1926.

The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", July 30, 1910.

he Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Death of Mr. and Mrs. Shannon", August 17, 1883.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Death of Dr. H.H. Shannon", May 18, 1906, p. 3.

 

ERNEST A. PORTIS (1840-1903)

Dr. Ernest A. Portis (1840-1903) was born at Suggsville, Clarke County, Alabama.  He was reared in a pioneer family of the area.  The Portis family of Clarke County were merchants and lawyers.  Young Portis studied medicine at the University of Louisville and the University of Louisiana.  He moved to Jackson County circa 1881 and settled at Vancleave.  Dr. Portis was probably the first physician of that community.  He was issued license No. 1308 to practice medicine in Jackson County on June 1, 1882.

Dr. Portis began acquiring land in the Vancleave area in 1882.  He received a land patent on the NW/4 of Section 11, T6S-R7W, and purchased 80 acres in Section 10, T6S-R7W from Edward Bang in June 1882.  Land at Vancleave sold for $.50 to $1.25/acre at this time.  The Portis homestead was probably located on Woodman Hill on the north side of Poticaw Road about 3/4 miles southeast of Highway 57.

Although married, Dr. Portis had no children, and his wife died before 1900.  At the time of his demise on June 20, 1903, Dr. Portis owned 560 acres of land in the Vancleave area.  In his obituary reported by The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of June 26, 1903, it was related that Dr.

Portis was thought to be the oldest physician in the county, and that he was a man of considerable means.

Dr. Portis died intestate and his estate was adjudicated and assigned to Elizabeth Page (1855-1903+) and Emile Bigot (1883-1947).  Page, a cook, and Bigot, a farm hand, both

Creoles, along with Sylvester Waltman (1882-1951) lived with Dr. Portis.

An anecdotal story concerning Dr. Portis survives to today in Requiem (Volume 3), a book about Jackson County cemeteries.  The tale is related as follows:  Dr. Portis operated a turpentine still nearby and was supposedly buried on his property.  As time passed, the road changed and now the gravesite is a little difficult to get to.  He was never married (sic).  Dr. Portis practiced medicine in the area and made occasional trips to New Orleans.  On one of these trips he became acquainted with a young French boy named Bacot (Bigot or Bacot) about 14 years of age.  On a subsequent trip he brought the boy back to his place near Vancleave and reared him as his own.  His housekeeper was a Creole woman of this area.  The boy later married a Creole when he grew up, and continued to live with or near the old Doctor.  He cared for him until he died and he was buried near the house.  His tomb was made of brick laid on a metal base, slightly recessed into the earth and was about four or five feet high.  The coffin was placed into this tomb.  A stone marker was placed at one end and a concrete bench at the other.  The area was surrounded by a fence and a cedar planted at each corner.  The Doctor was reputed to be wealthy and his gold was said to have been entombed with him.  Some time during the past 15 years, some person or persons, removed the brick and stacked them at on end of the site, but left no other indications of the burial place, except two casket handles.  Today only the metal base remains to mark the spot and one cedar continues to live.  Even now the brick and marker are gone.

Dr. Portis left a sister at New Orleans, Mrs. J.H. Lewis, and two siblings at Suggsville, Alabama, Ira D. Portis and Mary R. Portis.

 

LANGDON CHEVIS TEBO (1846-pre 1925)

Dr. L. Chevis Tebo was born at Virginia.  The Tebos were probably of Huguenot decent, and the original spelling of the name may have been Tebault.  L. Chevis Tebo attended the Charity Hospital Medical College at New Orleans and was graduated from the University of Louisiana circa 1881.  Tebo commenced his career at New Orleans probably as a pharmacist.  Soards' 1876 New Orleans Directory lists Tebo as a pharmacist on St. Charles Avenue at Carrolton.  He was married to Amelia Prague (1849-1925), a native of Louisiana.  They had at least three children:  L. Chevis Tebo, Jr. (1874-1892), Rosina Tebo (b. 1877), and Edwin B. Tebo (b. 1885).  Mrs. Tebo passed on at New Orleans on August 16, 1925, while at resident of the St. Anna Episcopal home on Prytania Street.

On April 13, 1890, Dr. Tebo, who was a resident of Gloster, Mississippi at that time, was issued license No. 491 to practice medicine at Jackson County, Mississippi.  The Tebo family moved to the Mississippi coast from Amite County circa 1891.  They lived at Biloxi on Main Street near the beach.  Amelia N. Tebo purchased the property from C.F. Theobald in October 1892. (Harrison County Land Deed Bk. 28, p. 291).

In the early 1890s, Dr. Tebo operated a drugstore at Ocean Springs.  He was issued license No. 800 to sell medicines in Jackson County in March 1893.

In January 1892, a tragedy occurred at the Tebo drugstore in Ocean Springs.  L. Chevis Tebo, Jr. (1874- 892), was found shot to death in his bed.  Young Tebo ran the pharmacy for his father who was away at New Orleans at the time.  The incident was ruled an accident as there was no foul play or suicide indicated.  The Biloxi Herald reported on March 19, 1892, that after an absence of about one year, Dr. Tebo has returned to Biloxi to practice his profession.  Tebo rented the Cooper Cottage on Reynoir Street.It is believed Dr. Tebo returned to the Crescent City where he expired before 1925.

 

JASPER J. BLAND (1850-1932)

Dr. Jasper J. Bland (1850-1932) was born at Deasonville, Yazoo County, Mississippi. He attended the University of Tennessee and graduated with valedictory honors in 1878.  After practicing medicine at Pickens, Mississippi, Bland relocated to New Orleans.  Here he attended the University of Louisiana (Tulane), and received his Louisiana state medical license in 1882.  Dr. Bland commenced a distinguished medical record in South Louisiana initially serving the wealthy sugar planters and their households near Houma.

In 1891, Jasper J. Bland married Agnes Elizabeth Edwards (1869-1936) of New Orleans.  She was the daughter of James Daniel Edwards (1939-1887) who owned the James D. Edwards Iron Works.  Edwards manufactured sugar machinery as well as copper, brass, and sheet iron at his South Front Street foundry.

Dr. Bland discovered Ocean Springs in the 1890s, as he would come for visits to the Daniel Edwards House located on front beach.  Mr. Edwards purchased the house from Sarah Margaret Richardson Hansell, the widow of Henry Holcombe Hansell, for $2800.  In February 1899, Dr. Bland took a lease from the Edwards' heirs and opened a hostelry, which he appropriately named the Beach Hotel.  He bought the property in August 1899, in a forced heirship sale from Special Commissioner, Frank H. Lewis, for $5500.

Dr. Bland maintained his medical practice at New Orleans during the early years of the hotel's operation.  In 1906, he moved his family, which by now included young daughters Agnes and Mildred to Ocean Springs.  Agnes, called "Missy", taught Latin and other higher grades at the Ocean Springs High School during the 1916-1917 school term.  Agnes Bland (1895-1979) married Urban Beh and resided at Los Angeles.  Mildred Bland (1905-1987) married Harry Lucas (1901-1951) and lived at Beaumont, Texas.

At Ocean Springs, Dr. Bland became active in the social and political affairs of the community.  In 1909, he heartily 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).

In 1916, Dr. Bland closed his New Beach Hotel.  He and the family relocated to Vinton, Louisiana.  Dr. Jasper J. Bland passed away at Beaumont, Texas on March 30, 1932.  His exemplary career as a pioneer in the field of modern medicine spanned fifty years during which his reputation as a surgeon, yellow fever, and influenza authority was lauded in Louisiana and Texas.

 

WILLIAM A. PORTER (1850-1921)

Dr. William Porter (1850-1921) was born in November 1850, at Rochester, Pennsylvania.  He was a graduate of the Westminister College of Pennsylvania (1869) and the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia (1872).  In 1872-1873, Dr. Porter worked at the London Hospital and took special training at medical facilities in Berlin, Paris, and Vienna. 

Porter commenced his medical practice at St. Louis, Missouri in 1874.  He carved an outstanding career here serving as physician and medical director on the staff of various hospitals and university staffs.  Dr. Porter became an authority on tuberculosis.  Through his efforts a sanatorium was built at Mt. Vernon, Missouri, and the Mt. St. Rose Hospital at St. Louis instituted.  Porter also specialized on the eye, ear, nose, and throat.

William Porter was married to Pearl E. Porter (1861-1943).  In 1915, when his health began to fail as the result of years of strenuous toil, Dr. Porter retired to Ocean Springs from St. Louis.  The Porters resided on Lovers Lane in a home called "While-A-Way Lodge". 

At Ocean Springs, Porter was always engaged in charitable and civic work.  He was president of the local Red Cross Chapter and was active in the Liberty Bond drives during WW I.  In the last months of his life, Porter was actively promoting the West Jackson County Fair at Van Cleave.

The Porters were Presbyterian and worked long and hard in the church.  Mrs. Porter, affectionately called "Auntie Pearl", had a room added to the west side of the Ocean Avenue church.  It was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Porter.  She taught adult Bible class here.  Pearl Porter was very knowledgeable in that Holy Book.  Dr. William A. Porter died in November 1921.  Pearl Porter lived on until 1943.  Both are interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.

 

JOHN JASON HARRY (1854-1950)

  

EVERETTE J. FITCH (1858-1920+)

Everette J. Fitch was born at Canada.  His mother was also Canadian while he father was from New York.  Fitch immigrated to the United States in 1879, and became a U.S. citizen in 1883.  At Ocean Springs in 1920, as a medical doctor.  No further information.

 

REFERENCES:

 

US CENSUS-1920 Jackson County, Mississippi Federal Census.

 

ETHAN ALLEN RIGGS: (1861-1903)

Dr. E.A. Riggs was born at New Iberia, Louisiana.  He was educated at the University of Mississippi and graduated from the Medical Department of Tulane with distinction in 1896.  In May 1898, Riggs was licensed to practice medicine at Jackson County while he was a resident of New Orleans.  By June 1900, he had established an office in Nill's Drugstore at Ocean Springs. 

Dr. Riggs resided on Jackson Avenue where his sister, Eleanor Riggs, the talented editor of the Outlook magazine would visit him often.  He left Ocean Springs for New Orleans probably in the Fall of 1900.  The peripatetic Dr. Riggs moved to Biloxi in January 1901 and made his office in the Hagan Building.  He remained at Biloxi until about July 1902.  When his health began to fail, the young physician went to Texas to seek a cure for his ailment.  In September 1902, Dr. Riggs returned briefly to Biloxi and resumed his medical practice.  He relocated to Covington, Louisiana before moving to New Orleans where his residence was on Carondelet Street near Upperline.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 4, 1901, p. 8 and September 25, 1902, p. 6)

Dr. Riggs died at New Orleans here on May 26, 1903 of tuberculosis.  His remains were interred in the Greenwood Cemetery at New Orleans.  Dr. Rigg's cousin, Reverend Samuel Riggs of the Tchoupitoulas Methodist Mission, officiated at his service.

 

EDWARD RENEAU BRAGG: (1862-1916)

Dr. Bragg was born at Newton County, Mississippi.  His parents were Dr. William David Bragg (1833-1891) and Mary Birchett (d. 1912).  Dr. W.D. Bragg was born at Alabama.  He studied medicine at the University of Louisiana.  With his wife Mary Birchett Bragg, five children were reared in the Pascagoula-Moss Point area.  His oldest daughter, Gertrude Bragg (1866-1948), married Frank H. Lewis (1865-1930), who was sheriff of Jackson County from 1888 until 1895.

Edward Reneau Bragg studied medicine at Tulane University.  He was supervised by his father, Dr. William Daniel Bragg (1833-1891) of Moss Point.  Dr. E.R. Bragg was issued medical license No. 379 to practice medicine at Jackson County on April 8, 1889.  He resided at Moss Point at the time.

Dr. Bragg married Emma Hyatt.  They had two children: Edward Bragg and Mary Bragg.  Edward was killed in an auto wreck in Mobile on Christmas Eve and never married.  Mary Bragg was an old maid school teacher who taught chemistry at Mobile.

Dr. Bragg was a violinist.  Known to have played “Little Fishermaiden”, and some opera numbers.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 1, 1892, p. 2)

At Ocean Springs, E.R. Bragg officed in the Nill Building on Washington and Porter.  The Biloxi Herald of April 25, 1891, announced:  Dr. E.R. Bragg has put in a magnificent silver patent revolving tumbler washer, which is a valuable addition to his soda water department.  This is the only one between New Orleans and Mobile and as a novelty is well worth seeing.

The Braggs moved to Biloxi in the late 1890s.  Dr. E.R. Bragg ran this advertisement in The Biloxi Daily Herald on October 9, 1900:

 

Dr. E.R. Bragg

Biloxi, Mississippi

Residence corner Main St. & Beach

Telephone 55

Office 2nd floor Dukate's Theater

Howard Avenue

Telephone 11

 

 

Dr. Edward Reneau Bragg died at Biloxi on May 12, 1916.

 

REFERENCES:

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, April 1, 1892.

 

 

HENRY BRADFORD POWELL: (1867-1949)

           

Henry Bradford Powell (1864-1949)

Dr. Henry Bradford Powell was born at Whitby, Ontario, Canada of American parentage.  He was educated at Pickering College and the University of Toronto.  Powell did post-graduate work in surgery at Berlin and Vienna in Europe.  He married Emma Rudd (1860-1936), probably the widow of Curtiss Rudd, at Chicago. 

 

Like other Midwesterners, the Powells discovered Ocean Springs in the 1890s.  They owned a bay side home, "Three Oaks".  In 1901, Dr. Powell located to Ocean Springs permanently.  He set up a surgical and medical practice with dispensary in the Masonic Building.  Powell also entered into a lease agreement with F.J. Lundy (1863-1912) for the Ocean Springs Hotel the same year.  The Powells introduced the widower Lundy to Mignon Courson (1877-1957), a charming, talented, Iowa born violinist, who they had met at Chicago.  Cupid struck and F.J. Lundy married Miss Courson.

 

In 1906, opened a sanitarium on Washington Avenue at Fort Bayou called Dr. Powell's Sanitarium.  It later became a hostelry, known as the Bayou Inn, which operated until the early Depression years.  The Aunt Jenny's Catfish Restaurant occupies the old Franco-Powell edifice today.

In addition to his medical practice and business ventures, Dr. Powell was very active in the local community.  He served on the commission, which supervised the construction of Marshall Park in 1911.  Powell, an avid golfer, was a founder of the Ocean Springs Country Club north of the Rose Farm in 1914.  He was a founder and leader of the local Lions Club, and served as deputy district governor in 1929.  Dr. Powell promoted tourism from the Midwest with his "Magnolia Route", the most direct automobile connection with Chicago.

 

During WW I, Dr. H.B. Powell saw active duty in France with the US Army 139th Field Artillery.  He returned from Europe in 1919, attaining the rank of Captain.  After his wife died in 1936, Dr. Powell married Mildred Franco Theriot Petrie (1896-1969).  They resided on Government Street in the Gillespie Place.  Dr. Powell passed on in May 1949.  His remains were interred in the National Cemetery at Biloxi.

 

OSCAR LEE BAILEY: (1870-1938)

 

Oscar Lee Bailey (1870-1938)

 

Dr. Oscar L. Bailey was born at Conehatta in Newton County, Mississippi on January 12, 1870.  His parents were John B. Bailey and Josephine Day.  John B. Bailey was a Senator and leading physician at Newton County.  Dr. O.L. Bailey attended the Alabama Medical College and was a graduate of the St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons (1892).

 

The Baileys came to Ocean Springs from Lake, Scott County, in 1897.  Dr. Bailey's first office was in the Nill Drugstore on Washington Avenue and Porter.  In January 1900, he moved his office to the Catchot Building (now Lemon Building) on Washington at Desoto.  In addition to his duties as a general practitioner and family doctor, Bailey was the L&N Railroad physician for forty years, and a medical examiner for large insurance companies.

 

Dr. Bailey was also active in real estate and business at Ocean Springs.  In 1905, he helped organize the Ocean Springs State Bank and was its first president, an office he held until his demise.  The Inn, a hotel built by R.A. Van Cleave (1840-1908) in 1880, on the southeast corner of Washington and Robinson Avenues, was purchased by Dr. Bailey in November 1905.  He leased it to Mary Shanahan who operated the Iberville Hotel here until March 1906.  Bailey sold the edifice in 1909, to Fred Cristina of New Orleans. 

 

Dr. Bailey built a large building on Washington Avenue in 1926, called the Bailey Building.  Our first "supermarket", a Jitney Jungle, opened here in north half of the building in August 1928.  O.L. Bailey ran a drugstore, the Ocean Springs Drug Store, here with his daughter, Beryl.  We know this edifice today as the Lovelace Drugstore.

 

Dr. Bailey retained many fine homes at Ocean Springs.  From 1905 to 1925, he resided at 810 Iberville, which was the home of Delores “Bobbie” Davidson Smith (1916-1997).  The Frank H. Bryan home at 406 Jackson Avenue was owned by Dr. Bailey from May 1925 until 1937, when he conveyed the residence to Thad Bryan (1907-1994) and Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1915-1999), the sons of Frank H. Bryan (1872-1936).  Dr. Bailey may have lived at 801 Iberville (now Hudek) overlooking Fort Bayou from 1926, until the time of his demise in 1938.

 

Dr. O.L. Bailey was a member of Presbyterian Church, a Scottish Rite mason, and belonged to the Hamassa Shrine of Meridian.  He was a charter member of the local Rotary Club, a member of the Coast, State, and American Medical Associations.  Bailey also served as town chairman of the municipal Democratic Executive Committee.

 

The Baileys reared four children at Ocean Springs:  Beryl Bailey Parker Wood (1896-1986), Bemis Bailey (1898-1969), Clothilde Bailey Campbell (1901-1995), and Salome Bailey Watkins (1902-1962).

 

After the death of Mrs. Birdie Bailey in 1925, Dr. Bailey married Maude Holloway (1901-1980) of North Biloxi on February 9, 1926, at Gulfport.  They resided on west Iberville Drive.

 

Dr. Oscar Lee Bailey died on June 21, 1938.  In his obituary from The Jackson County Times, Dr. Bailey was eulogized as follows:  His life as the typical country doctor and family physician with the entire population practically in that family, would certainly furnish invaluable material for a book to rank with best sellers.  Ocean Springs will miss him sorely.

 

After the demise of Dr. Bailey, Dr. George C. Jones (1876-1938+), a physician and surgeon and native of New York, relocated his office from Biloxi to the Ocean Springs State Bank Building.(The Jackson County Times, July 30, 1938, p. 1)    

 

ESTELLE BABENDREER: 1871-1958)

Dr. Estelle Babendreer was born Estelle Turner at Mobile, Alabama on July 28, 1871.  Her father was a native of North Carolina while her mother was a French speaking Swiss national.  Estelle Babendreer attended Plute Medical College, which may have been in Kentucky.  She graduated in March 1896, after completing four courses in allopathic medicine.  Her experience as a physician was with Dr. J.E. Million of Kentucky.  She practiced in the Blue Grass State for thirteen years. 

Estelle Babendreer was married to another physician, Charles Albert Irving Babendreer (1867-1938).  Albert Babendreer was a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  They had two children:  Eleanor Sophia Moore (1901-1984+) and Eric Babendreer (1903-1975).  The children were born at Kentucky.

The Babendreer family is believed to have come to Ocean Springs in late 1906.  They had retired from their respective medical practices.  In January 1907, the Babendriers bought thirty acres of land in east Ocean Springs.  Here they built a large home on Pine Hills Road (now John F. Vallor at 601 Pine Hills Road).

In July 1922, Estelle Babendreer reentered the medical field when she was granted her license to practice medicine at Jackson County.  She gained a reputation as a healer of skin disorders and allergies.  Dr. Babendreer was reputed to prepare her own medicines from plants and herbs grown locally.  Many people at Ocean Springs, were treated for poison ivy and sumac by Estelle Babendreer utilizing oral liquids, salves, and lotions.

The Babendreers are buried on their property in a unique tomb.  It may have been built by Fred Bradford originally as a storm shelter for the good doctors, but when Albert Babendreer died in 1938, he was buried here.  Estelle Babendreer passed on in March 1958.

 

DR. ROSS ADAMS SWITZER: (1875-1945)

Ross A. Switzer was born at Rochester, New York, the son of Oren Switzer (1837-1921) and Esther Pethbridge Switzer (1841-1920+).  His parents were Canadian who immigrated to the United States in 1848 and 1867 respectively.  Oren and Esther Switzer were married in 1868 and parented four children.  Three of their progeny were extant in 1900.(1900 Jackson Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T623 812, p. 14A, ED 45)

On October 6, 1897, at the home of H.F. Russell (1858-1940), her brother-in-law, Ocean Springs, Ross A. Switzer married Ada Frances Minor (1875-1914), a native of Mississippi.  She was the daughter of Judge Harold Henry Minor (1837-1884) and Virginia Doyal (1844-1908), natives of Louisiana.  Her brother, John Duncan Minor (1863-1920), served as Sheriff of Jackson County (1902-1904) and Mayor of Ocean Springs (1911-1912).(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 15, 1897, p. 3)

 

Oren Switzer

Oren Switzer was born April 1837 at Clarendon, Ontario Canada, the son of Mathew Switzer and Mary P. Card.  He came to the United States as a child, probably settling in Seneca County, New York. Circa 1858, he married Esther S. Pethbridge, also Canadian.  In 1870, Oren and Esther Switzer were domiciled at Syracuse, New York where he made his livelihood as a newspaper agent.  Two New York born children were in the household: Charles J. Switzer (1859-1880+) and Frances Switzer (1868-1880+).(1870 Onondaga Co., New York Federal Census, M593_1063, p. 434, Ward 7)

By 1880, The Switzer family had gone West and were farming in the the Martinsville precinct area of south central Nebraska. Two children, Fred Switzer (1872-1880+) and Ross A. Switzer (1876-1945), were born before they arrived in Nebraska.(1880 Hall Co., Nebraska Federal Census T9_749, Ed 134)

Before his move to Ocean Springs, Oren Switzer was domiciled at Pass Christian.  In March 1892, he acquired a large lot (100 feet by 223 feet) on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Porter, from Amelia Prague Tebo (1849-1925), the spouse of Dr. Langdon Chevis Tebo (1846-pre-1925), of New Orleans.  The consideration was $1300 cash for the land, designated as Lot 19 of Block 3, of the Culmseig Map of 1854.  Here Mr. Switzer planned to erect an edifice and photographic studio.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 18, 1892, p. 2 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 13, p. 372)

Switzer’s studio opened in late April 1892.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 3, 1892, p. 2)

By November 1910, Oren Switzer was a resident of Seneca Falls, New York.  He was a minister.  In 1920, he and Esther were still at Seneca Falls, New York. Oren had retired from the ministry and spent his time as the caretaker of the church.  Oren Switzer expired at Seneca Falls, New York in 1921.(The Ocean Springs News, November 19, 1910, p. 4 and 1920 Seneca Co., New York Federal Census T625_1266, p. 15B, ED 120)

 

Mary Witt Richardson

It is appropriate to note that by 1911, Mary Witt Richarson, a native of Lynville, Tennessee, and the wife of William Richardson (d. ca 1888), who was postmaster at the Fort Bayou community from 1882-1888, owned over one thousand acres of land southwest of Vancleave.  Mrs. Richardson succeeded her husband as postmaster until 1891, when she was replaced by Mary Senter Hill (1827-1916), the mother of Mrs. Sardin G. Ramsay, Lula Hill Ramsay (1861-1949).(Miss. Coast History & Genealogical Society, Vol. 13, No. 1, June 1977, p. 19) 

Mrs. Richardson’s acreage was primarily in Sections 19, 30, and 31 of T6S-R7W.  In August 1877, she began procuring tracts from Napoleon Davis in this area.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 13, p. 47)  Her only child, Minnie Clayton Richardson (1879-1952+), married Junius Poitevent Vancleave (1877-1945+) at Ocean Springs in August 1904.  He was the son of R.A. VanCleave, the gentleman for whom Vancleave was named.  Mrs. Richardson farmed her lands with the assistance of Henry Webb (1829-1900+) and probably the advice of Theo Bechtel (1863-1931), the well-known, pecan nurseryman, who resided at Ocean Springs.  Circa 1910, she moved to Ocean Springs and resided on Washington Avenue south of Porter, but later moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to be with her daughter, Mrs. J.P. VanCleave.  Mrs. Richardson expired on April 3, 1927, at Philadelphia.  Her remains were sent to the family burial ground at Lynville, Tennessee.(The Daily Herald, April 28, 1927, p. 7, c. 3)  

 

Porter Street cottage

In January 1898, Gregorie Wieder & Sons were building a fine cottage for the Switzers on Porter.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 21, 1898, p. 3)  The Ross A. Switzer lot was purchased from Oren Switzer in January 1900, for $800.  It fronted forty-five feet on Porter, just west of the new Ocean Springs Public School (now City Hall) property,(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 20, p. 603)

Dr. Switzer sold the Porter Avenue house to Oscar and Louise Carver in October 1910, for $750.  The H.F. Russell Agency handled the matter.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 36, p. 193 and The Ocean Springs News, November 19, 1910, p. 4)

In 1898, Ross A. Switzer made his livelihood as a photographer.

 

Ross A. Switzer

Artist & Photographer

Copying and enlarging a specialty

 

 

 

The 1900 Federal Census indicates that the Switzers were at Ocean Springs.  Here Mr. Switzer made his livelihood as a general merchandise salesman.  Switzer was also a musician.  He played at the "Allegro Dance Club" which operated upstairs in the Van Cleave Store on Washington Avenue. 

Ross A. Switzer attended lectures in allopathic medicine at Atlanta College of R & S, Sewanee Medical College, and was a graduate of the Chattanooga Medical College.  He studied under Dr. Ethan Allen Riggs (1861-1903) for three and one-half years at Biloxi.  Ross Switzer was issued a license to practice medicine in Jackson County on May 22, 1902.  He was a resident of Daisy in northwest Jackson County at the time.(Clark, 1990, p. 84)           

 

Pascagoula, Mississippi

By April 1904, the Switzers had relocated from Daisy to Pascagoula.(The Progress, April 30, 1904)

 

McHenry, Mississippi

It is believed that in 1906, the Switzers moved to McHenry, Harrison County, Mississippi, which is south of Wiggins.  At this time, McHenry was led by Captain H.B. Bostwick, Mayor.  The Bacon Lumber Company was awarded a contract to provide the community with electricity and lighting.  The McHenry Improvement Company was boring an artesian well and was also planning to create a public water works system.  An ice factory and laundry were also envisioned for the growing area.(The Biloxi Herald, September 17, 1903, p. 6)

 

Land at Niles City (McHenry)

In March 1906, Dr. Switzer acquired the N/2 of Lot 7 and 8 in Block 14 of the Hamilton & Hemphill Survey, in Section 12, T4S-R12W, from Mrs. C.R. Frees, the sole owner of Frees Drug Company, for $250.(Stone Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. K, p. 41)

In August 1908, Switzer sold the N/2 of Lots 7 and 8 in Block 14 of the Hemphill & Hamilton Survey, in Section 12, T4S-R12W, to J.D. Minor for $2000.(Stone Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. K, p. 110 and HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 87, p. 295)

In March 1910, J.C. Hickman conveyed to Ada Minor Switzer for $275, the N/2 of Lot 5 and Lot 6 in Block 14 of the Hamilton & Hemphill Survey, in Section 12, T4S-R12W.(Stone Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. L, p. 242)

In December 1912, Ada M. Switzer sold to Minnie L. Tisdale for $260, the N/2 of Lot 7 and Lot 8 in Block 14 of the Hamilton & Hemphill Survey, in Section 12, T4S-R12W.(Stone Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. N, p. 260)

In May 1928, R.A. Switzer and Virginia Switzer sold the N/2 of Lot 5 and Lot 6 in Block 14 of the Hamilton & Hemphill Survey, in Section 12, T4S-R12W, to P.E. Bond.(Stone Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 6, p. 53-54)

 

Birth

Virginia “Esther” B. Switzer was born at McHenry, Mississippi in 1906.

 

Death of Ada Minor Switzer

Mrs. Ada Minor Switzer died at Ocean Springs on November 17, 1914, at the home of H.F. Russell.  She had been residing at McHenry with her husband and child.  An illness, probably tuberculosis, struck Mrs. Switzer, which required treatment at a New Orleans sanitarium.  When her recovery was in doubt, she came to Ocean Springs to die.  J.D. Minor was her surviving brother.(The Ocean Springs News, November 21, 1914, p. 5)

 

Re-marriage

On March 14, 1916, in the Crescent City, Ross A. Switzer married Annie Lydia  Gowins (1890-1963), a native of Mississippi.  She was the daughter of Leonidas P. Gowins (1865-1924) and Lydia Gowins (1861-1928), also Mississippi natives.  In 1900, the Gowins were domiciled in Ward 6 of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana.  Here Mr. Gowins was employed in a sawmill as a sawyer.  The Gowins later relocated to Stone County, Mississippi where Leonidas P. Gowins continued to labor in the local sawmills.  He and Lydia expired before 1930.  He passed on October 22, 1924 and she died on November 1, 1928.  Both were interred in the Switzer family plot at McHenry.(1900 Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana Federal Census, T623 583, p. 21B, ED 93)

Ross and Lydia G. Switzer had a daughter, Nell Switzer (1916-1930+).(Strickland et al, 2001, p. 221 and 1930 Stone Co., Mississippi Federal Census R1161, p. 7B, ED 4) 

 

Marriage

On January 4, 1936, Virginia Switzer (1908-1945+) married Glenn S. Mustin (1912-1936+) in Stone County, Mississippi.  They were the parents of Glenn Switzer Mustin.(Stone Co., Ms. Marriage Record Bk. 3, p. 343)

 

Death of Dr. R.A. Switzer

Dr. Ross A. Switzer expired at his home in McHenry, Mississippi on May 1, 1945, while serving as president of the Stone County Board of Supervisors.  He was Supervisor for District 3, the McHenry for twenty-eight years.  Lydia Gowins Switzer died on May 2, 1963.  Their corporal remains were interred in the McHenry Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, may 1, 1945, p. 1)

 

REFERENCES:

Betty Clark Rodgers, Miscellaneous Records of Jackson County, Mississippi, Volume I, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1990).

Jean Strickland and Patricia Edwards, Stone County, Ms W.P.A. Manuscript and 1920 Census, (Strickland: Moss Point, Mississippi-2001)

1898 Ocean Springs Business Directory

 

Journals

The Biloxi Herald, “McHenry Booming”, September 17, 1903.

The Biloxi Herald, “Personals”, November 16, 1903.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, November 19, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News"Death of Mrs. Ada M. Switzer", November 21, 1914.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, March 18, 1892.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, May 3, 1892.

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

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 21, 1898.

 

PERCY P. HASLITT (1880-1969)

Dr. Percy P. Haslitt (1880-1969) was born at Marshall, Illinois.  He attended United Brethern College, Northern Illinois Business College, the University of Illinois, and Physicians and Surgeons' Medical College (Chicago).  Haslitt did post graduate work at John Hopkins Hospital.

In 1917, Dr. Haslitt enlisted in the Army and served as a captain in the medical corps during WW I.  He spent most of his career in government service with the Veterans Administration serving at post in Hines, Illinois, Murfreesboro and Johnson City, Tennessee, Chicago, Biloxi, and Dallas, Texas.  In May 1950, after thirty years, Haslitt retired from federal service.

In 1951, Dr. Haslitt moved to Ocean Springs and began a private practice.  His office was located in the Young Building at 624 Washington Avenue.  Haslitt retired from medicine in 1959.(The Gulf Coast Times, March 29, 1951, p. 1)

Percy P. Haslitt married Martha Gagen (1883-1943) also a native of Marshall, Illinois.  She died at New Orleans on February 5, 1943.  They had four children:  Beulah Clower (Biloxi), Mary Jane Pasquier (Shreveport), J.E. Haslitt (Houma), and Bernard P. Haslitt (Biloxi).

At Ocean Springs, Dr. Haslitt resided in the Manuel Courts at 706 Porter with his wife, Gladys.  He died on May 19, 1969, and is buried at the Southern Memorial Park in Biloxi.

 

GEORGE C. JONES (1876-1938+)

 George C. Jones (1876-1938+) was born in New York in November 1876.  Circa 1898, he married Delia I. Jones (1850-1910+), also a native of the Empire State.  Dr. Jones was educated at the University of Buffalo, New York and did post-graduate studies at Tulane and Columbia University.  In 1900, the Jones were domiciled at Dansville, New York.  Here Delia I. Jones worked as a governess.  By 1910, they had relocated to Hart, Yazoo County, Mississippi and had adopted two girls, Ruth Jones (1900-1910+), born in Arizona and Gladys Jones (1902-1910+), a native of California.(1900 Livingston Co., New York T623 1071, p. 11A, ED 35 and 1910 Yazoo Co., Mississippi T624_764, p. 4B, ED 89) 

In 1917, Dr. Jones was the first commissioned officer in Yazoo County.  He mustered the first National Guard unit into Federal service in July 1917.  Dr. Jones arrived in Biloxi in January 1938 to practice medicine and surgery.  Delia must have passed by this time, as his wife at this time was the mother of two young daughters, Alice Anna Jones (b. 1927) and Helen Lee Jones (b. 1933).  In July 1938, Dr. Jones opened an office in the Ocean Springs State Bank Building.  He planned to acquire a home in Ocean Springs.  Dr. George C. Jones was a fine musician and the family worshiped at St. John's Episcopal Church.(The Jackson County Times, July 30, 1938, p. 3)

 

REFERENCES:

The Jackson County Times, "Dr. Geo. Jones Locates Office in Ocean Springs", July 30, 1938.

 

RILEY W. BURNETT (1891-1973)

Dr. Riley Wilson Burnett was born March 8, 1891, at Ackerman, Mississippi.  He attended high school at Wiggins and in 1915, graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  Dr. Burnett commenced his medical practice at d'Lo, Mississippi.  He moved to Biloxi in 1926.

At Biloxi, Dr. Burnett opened an office in the Peoples Bank Building on Lameuse Street advertising as a physician and surgeon.  He and his wife, Marie (Matty) Lee Hornsby (1893-1975), resided at 131 Suter Place and later 2854 West Beach Boulevard.  In 1969, the family home was destroyed by Hurricane Camille. 

Mrs. Burnett, a native of Trenton, Tennessee reared two daughters at Biloxi:  Mrs. Joseph C. Walter (Sun City, Arizona) and Mrs. Nick Stuart (Biloxi).  

Dr. Burnett had many patients at Ocean Springs.  He would drive here arriving at Matt Huber's drugstore in the Farmers & Merchants Bank Building after lunch.  During the day, Huber would collect messages for the good doctor.  With his information in hand, Dr. Riley Burnett would make house calls throughout town usually arriving home at Biloxi after dark.  If a patient were seriously ill or required surgery, Burnett would admit them to the Biloxi hospital where he once served as chief of staff.  He retired from his medical practice in 1963.

Dr. Burnett was also active in civic and business affairs.  He served four consecutive terms as president of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce, and was a former president of both the Biloxi Rotary, and Coast Counties Medical Association.  Dr. Burnett was also among those cited for his efforts in securing Keesler Field for the Mississippi coast.

As an entrepreneur, Riley Burnett helped organize the Home Milk Products, a local creamery, and was a director and vice president of the First Federal Saving and Loan Association.  Dr. Riley W. Burnett was a Presbyterian, a 32nd degree Mason, and a member of the Wahabi Shrine Temple.  He died on February 14, 1973.  Mrs. Burnett passed on May 25, 1975. They are both interred at the Southern Memorial Park at Biloxi.

 

FRANK O. SCHMIDT (1902-1975)

           

Frank O. Schmidt (1902-1975)

(Courtesy of Dr. Frank E. Schmidt, NOLA)

 

Frank Oliver Schmidt (1902-1975) was born at Ocean Springs on November 16, 1902.  He had the distinction of being the first native son to practice medicine here.  Schmidt was the son of local baker and former Mayor, Frank Ernest Schmidt (1877-1954) and Antoinette Emma Johnson (1880-1956), of Algiers, Louisiana.  He was reared on Washington Avenue just north of the First Baptist Church with his brothers, Charles Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988) and Harry Johnson Schmidt (1905-1997). 

As the Anderson brothers of Ocean Springs made their mark in the art world, their contemporaries, the Schmidts, were leaders in medicine, engineering, and civic responsibility.  Young Frank Schmidt attended local schools.  His primary education was at Lynch's Academy and St. Alphonsus Catholic School, both situated on Jackson Avenue.  Schmidt was a graduate of Spring Hill High School and in 1925, completed his B.A. degree from Spring Hill College at Mobile.  In the summer of 1929, he worked at the Alabama State Insane Hospital at Mt. Vernon, Alabama.  In 1930, Frank Schmidte merged from the rigors of the Tulane University School of Medicine at New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, September 3, 1929, p. 4)

Frank Schmidt interned at the New Orleans Charity Hospital for two years. In 1932, he commenced his medical practice at Ocean Springs opening an office on the northwest corner of Washington and Desoto.  His first child delivered at Ocean Springs was Helen Goff, the daughter of M. Lynn Goff (1892-1966) and Viola Seymour Goff (1895-1964).  Dr. Frank asked Mrs. Goff the honor of naming her baby for his wife, Helen Richard (1905-1959), a native of Plaquemine, Louisiana and the daughter of Dr. John A. Richard and Irene Pope.(Ina Goff Arguelles Clarke, December 29, 2004)

Frank and Helen R. Schmidt had two children: Frank Ernest Schmidt and Mary Jane Schmidt Kopal.  Like his father, Frank E. Schmidt became a physician.  He practices medicine as a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon in New Orleans.  Mrs. Donald Kopal resides at New Canaan, Connecticut with her family.

After Helen Richard Schmidt died in 1959, Dr. Schmidt married Maria Rosario Crowe Bailey (1920-2001).  Rose Schmidt was a native of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.  Her education was acquired at Immaculata College and St. Francis de Sales School of Business, both in Pennsylvania.  Rose had two children by a prior marriage: Jonathan A. Bailey of Charlotte, North Carolina and Robyn Cawthon of Albany, Georgia.  She expired at Ocean Springs on January 25, 2001.(The Sun Herald ,January 26, 2001, p. A-9)

In November 1941, Frank O. Schmidt bought a lot (100'x 276'x 127'x 242') on Jackson Avenue north of his parents home from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.(Jackson County Land Deed Bk. 78, pp. 484-485).  This had been the site of the old Bellande-Heath home which was removed during the Depression.  Here at 509 Jackson Avenue, in the 1950s, Frank Schmidt built a medical clinic on the east 101 feet of this lot.  Dr. Schmidt assigned an undivided one-half interest in the property to his brother, Harry J. Schmidt, in October 1956.(Jackson County Land Deed Bk. 161, p. 583).  The tract and improvements were sold by his heirs in October 1982, to John S. Tomsik, a local dentist.  This structure is now utilized by Family Counselors Affiliated.(Jackson County Land Deed Bk. 749, p. 150).            

In 1949, Dr. Schmidt with his brother, Dr. Harry J. Schmidt, founded the Schmidt Clinic at Biloxi.  Dr. Harry retired years ago, but his sons, Harry J. Schmidt, Jr., Richard C. Schmidt, and Robert J. Schmidt (1937-2000) carry on the family medical tradition at 121 Lameuse Street.

In 1968, Dr. Frank went into semi-retirement and limited his medical practice to Ocean Springs.  He retired in 1971.  At the 39th Doctors Appreciation Day on March 30, 1971, Dr. Schmidt was the special honored guest at the Ocean Springs Hospital.  He related to the group present about his career:  I loved medicine, everything about it, and though the days sometimes weren't long enough, it was my life work.  It was satisfying and if I had to choose today, I would choose medicine.  If I had my wish, it would be that I was starting out again.  It is always fascinating to read the great strides in the medical field.  It is a challenging time for a doctor. (The Ocean Springs RecordApril 1, 1971, p. 14)

Dr. Frank O. Schmidt died on February 25, 1975.  He is interred in the Schmidt family burial plot at Evergreen Cemetery.

 

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, September 3, 1929.

The Daily Herald"Dr. Frank Schmidt dies", February 25, 1975, p. A-2, c. 1.

The D’Iberville-Biloxi Press, “Dr. Robert J. Schmidt dies at the age of 62”, April 12, 2000.

The Ocean Springs Record"Dr. Schmidt honored", April 1, 1971.

The Sun Herald, “Maria Rose Schmidt”, January 26, 2001.

 

JAMES H. WADDELL

 

Dr. James H. Waddell (1925-2005) was born at Chatom, Washington County, Alabama on October 11, 1925.  He served in the U.S. Army Air Force during WW II as a B-25 pilot.  After the war, he attended the University of Alabama and received a B.S. degree in 1948.  Waddell went to New Orleans to attend the LSU School of Medicine.  He completed his education there in 1952, and reported to Mid-State Baptist Hospital at Nashville, Tennessee for his internship. 

The Waddells came to Ocean Springs in 1953.  Here Dr. Waddell opened his office at No. 17 Porter Avenue (now 822 Porter) as a general practitioner and performed minor surgery in July 1953.  He remained here until 1958. 

George F. Smith became associated with Dr. Waddell in July 1958.  Smith came to Ocean Springs with his family, Mr. and Mrs. George K. Smith, in 1946.  They resided on Sunset Drive.(The Ocean Springs News, July 24, 1958, p. 1)

Dr. Waddell trained in anesthesiology from 1958-1960 at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.  He then began working as an anesthetist at the Howard Memorial Hospital at Biloxi and other coast hospitals.  In 1975, while at a anesthesia seminar in New York, Dr. Waddell became aware of acupuncture and auricular therapy.  In 1980, he was further educated in auricular therapy by Dr. P. T. H'Doubler, a Midwest specialist.  Dr. Waddell opened a new office situated at 1520 Government Street to succor to those suffering with chronic pain.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 21, 1981, p. 18)             

James H. Waddell was married to Virginia Thompson of Yarbo, Alabama.  They had three children:  Carolyn W. Bohnenstiehl, Dr. James H. Waddell Jr., and Dr. Karen Faye W. Gilbert.  The Waddell children have pursued careers in medicine and education.  Mrs. Waddell died in 1965.  In 1966, Dr. Waddell later married Miriam Robinson Strickland of Mobile, Alabama. 

James Waddell has been zealous in public life at Ocean Springs.  He acted as president of the Ocean Springs School Board for nine of the ten years he sat on that important body.  During Waddell's tenure, three new schools were built here, and the foundation for the present high level of secondary education was established.

Dr. Waddell has been engaged as president of the Rotary Club, and was a charter member of the Ocean Springs Jaycees.  He is now very active in the McLeod Lodge No. 424  F & AM.  Dr. Waddell ran for Mayor in 1965.

After forty years, Dr. Waddell retired from his medical practice in January 1993.  He says it was an experience that he would gladly do again, but with some modifications that he learned through the initial experience.  Dr. James H. Waddell expired at Ocean Springs on April 8, 2005.  His corporal remains were interred in the Crestlawn Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Sun Herald, April 10, 2005, p. A9)

 

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald, "Dr. Waddell opens office on Coast", July 7, 1953, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Dr. James Waddell opens auricular therapy office in Ocean Springs", May 21, 1981, p. 18.

The Sun Herald, "James H. "Doc" Waddell, M.D."April 10, 2005, p. A9.

 

Richard T. Furr (1929-2006)

 

RICHARD T. FURR

In September 1958, Dr. Richard Theron. Furr (1929-2006) and his wife, Rosemary Scanlan Neill Furr, arrived at Ocean Springs with their two daughters, Margaret Moss Furr Barnett and Rebecca Furr Ivester.  Before he hung his sign at his Washington Avenue office (now Miner's Toys), which had been formerly occupied by attorney, Amy Burkett, young Dr. Furr had a patient.  His medical practice has remained secure ever since.  Richard Furr had come from Fort Sill at Lawton, Oklahoma where he served two years with the U.S. Army Medical Corps. 

As a young girl, Rosemary Neill would leave her father's Mississippi delta cotton plantation near Leland, Mississippi for visits with relatives at Ocean Springs.  She became totally enamored with the area, and suggested it as their first permanent home.  They had resided previously at Atlanta and New York City. 

In Georgia, Dr. Furr spent two years (1956-1958) as an internal medicine resident at Grady Memorial Hospital under the auspices of Emory University Medical School.  Prior, Furr had completed two years (1954-1956) of clinical medical studies at the Cornell University Medical School in Manhattan.

These locales were surely foreign to a young man who had grown up in rural northeast Mississippi.  Richard T. Furr was born on October 19, 1929 at Aberdeen, Mississippi, the son of Esta S. Furr and Lottie Winnared Hansell.  Dr. Furr jokingly says his birth caused the infamous stock market crash a few days later which lead into the Great Depression of the 1930s.  As a lad, Furr had an attack of appendicitis.  During his recovery, he was touched by the care and concern of his physician and nurses and decided to pursue medicine as a career.  Matriculating to the University of Mississippi in 1947, Richard Furr commenced his education studying chemistry and psychology.  He graduated in 1954 from the Ole Miss Medical School.

Dr. Furr has been active in the community since his arrival.  In the exercise of running for Mayor in 1961, the Furrs commenced the Republican Municipal Executive Committee.  The Grand Old Party has prospered here ever since.  A supporter of Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988) in that election told Furr that, "we're going to run you out of town".  The man later became a good patient.  In addition, four Furr children were born at Biloxi: Theron Furr, Sara Furr Schatz, Sam Furr, and Henry H. Furr.

In 1966, Dr. Furr built an office-clinic building at 1800 Government Street.  It opened for patient care in January 1967.(The Ocean Springs News, January 5, 1967, p. 1)

In 1967, Richard Furr was instrumental in getting the original, thirty four bed Ocean Springs Hospital built, and hiring Doctors Louis Cowsert (1921-1970) and Frank Garbin.  He had years earlier organized the first county wide oral polio vaccine drive.

Today, at age sixty-five Dr. Furr robustly continues to practice family medicine at his 1800 Government Street office.  With his sons, Sam and Henry, he is engaged in several local building projects.  Most notably is the recently completed Magnolia Court Office Park at M.L. King Jr. and Government Street.  Artist Margaret Furr Barnett of Branson, Missouri designed and crafted the mosaic tile magnolia motifs on the building's facade.

In progress is the refurbishment of the Furr family apartment building at 1111 Bowen.  The Young-Shanteau Garage remodeling and improvement project at 1202 Government is planned for 1995.

           

Retirement

In 2005, Dr. Furr's health began to decline.  After almost fifty years in medical practice at Ocean Springs, he chose to close his office permanently in July 2006.  Dr. Furr was given a key to the City of Ocean Springs on October 6th by Mayor Moran.  He was recognized for his forty-eight years of service to the community.  Dr. Furr an avid sailor was a charter member of the Ocean Springs Yacht Club.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 20, 2006, p. A5 and The Sun Herald, October 12, 2006, p. A5)

Dr. Richard Theron Furr Sr. expired at Ocean Springs on October 18, 2006 from congestive heart failure.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 26, 2006, p. A1)

This completes the Medicine Men of Ocean Springs (1699-1994).  These men have brought us from the days of leeches, blood letting, and other primitive medical practices to modern high tech medicine.  Regardless of how far we have technologically progressed, basic communication between the physician and his patient will always be the salient ingredient in the diagnosis and cure.

 

REFERENCES:

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande:  Ocean Springs-1994),  pp. 4-6, pp. 56-57, pp. 97-104, pp.114-120.

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, Second Edition, (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), pp. 31-32.

Andrew Gallup and Donald F. Shaffer, La Marine, The French Colonial Soldier in Canada (1745-1761), (Heritage Books, Inc.:  Bowie, Maryland-1992), pp. 202-203.

Jay Higginbotham, Fort Maurepas, Birth of Louisiana, (Griffice Printing Company:  Mobile-1960), p. 83. and p. 87.

John J. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (Dixie Press:  Gulfport, Mississippi-1936), p. 154.

Rudolph Matas, History of Medicine in Louisiana, Volume 1, (Louisiana University Press:  Baton Rouge-1958), pp. 13-14.

Betty Clark Rodgers, Miscellaneous Records of Jackson County, Mississippi, Volume 1, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1990), p. 9, p. 12, p. 19, p. 31, p. 52, p. 69, p. 76, p. 84, and p. 95.

 

Leftwich-Turner Families of Virginia and Their Connections, (J.W. Fergusson & Sons:  Richmond, Virginia-1931), pp. 107-110.

WPA Jackson County, Mississippi (1936), pp. 357-358, pp. 456-457..

Duke Alumni Register, "Reverend C.F. Emery, 73 Oldest Alumnus, Dies at his home in Houston, Texas, April 25, 1943", (June 1943), p.    .

Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, "Moran-Kendall Brickyard", Volume 28, No. 3, October 1992, p. 86.

Coast Magazine, "Dr. William H. Tegarden", September-October 1994, p. 59 and 87.

 

R.A. Sterling, Biloxi City Directory (1940-1941), (Peerless Press-New Orleans-1941), p. 43.

Chancery Court Causes

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 736 (Petition of Lucy Irwin Shannon), March 1897.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 28,734 (Estate of Dr. F.O. Schmidt), March 1975.

 

Journals

The Biloxi Herald"Ocean Springs", April 25, 1891, p. 1, c. 6.

The Biloxi Herald"L. Chevis Tebo, Jr. Obit", January 30, 1892, p. 1.

The Biloxi Herald"Dr. L. Cheves Tebo Advertisement", January 30, 1892, p. 1.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City Items”, September 25, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald"Dr. Riggs Dead", May 29, 1903, p. 1.

The Daily Herald"Dr. E.R. Bragg Obit", May 12, 1916, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Dr. Wm. A. Porter Dies Suddenly", November 14, 1921, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Dr. O.L. Bailey Died Last Night", June 22, 1938, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Mrs. P.P. Haslitt Dies in New Orleans", February 5, 1943, p. 5.

The Daily Herald, "Dr. H.B. Powell Obit", May 30, 1949, p. 7.

The Daily Herald"Dr. Jason Harry, Coast Pioneer, Dies At Handsboro", September 12, 1950, p. 1,

The Daily Herald"Dr. Haslitt Former VA, Doctor Dies", May 20, 1969, p. 2.

The Daily Herald,"Biloxi surgeon (Dr. Burnett) dead", February 15, 1973, p. A-2.

The Daily Herald"Dr. Frank Schmidt dies", February 25, 1975, p. A-2.

The Daily Herald, "Mrs. Mattie Lee Burnett", May 26, 1975, p. A-2.

The Gulf Coast Times, "Dr. Haslitt to open office Ocean Springs", March 29, 1951.

The Jackson County Times"Dr. William Porter Obit", November 19, 1921.

The Jackson County Times"Bailey Building to be credit to town", December 12, 1925, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times"Bailey-Holloway", February 15, 1926, p. 5.

The Jackson County Times, "A.H. Shannon will leave for Washington D.C.", March 17, 1928.

The Jackson County Times, "Jitney Jungle advertisement", August 11, 1928, p. 3.

The Jackson County Times, "Col. Powell Prominent in Lion Club", May 11, 1929, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times"Dr. O.L. Bailey Passed Away Tuesday Night", June 1938.

The Ocean Springs News"Mrs. Dan Newcomb Obit", February 20, 1909, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News"Death of Mrs. Ada M. Switzer", November 21, 1914, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs News"Newcomer (Dr. Porter) to Ocean Springs", May 20, 1915, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs News, “Dr. George Smith”, July 24, 1958, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, "Dr. Waddell Mayoral Candidate", May 6, 1965, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs News,  "Shannondale Orchards", March 17, 1966, p. 1

The Ocean Springs News,  "Dr. Richard Furr opens office", January 5, 1967, p. 1

The Ocean Springs News, "Dr. Schmidt honored", April 1, 1971, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Dr. and Mrs. Furr, a real team", August 21, 1980, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Dr. James H. Waddell opens auricular therapy office in Ocean Springs", May 21, 1981, p. 18.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", July 29, 1993, p. 17.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", November 25, 1993, p. 14.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", October 6, 1994, p. 18.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", October 13, 1994.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Dr. Richard Furr", April 20, 2006, p. A

The Ocean Springs Record, "Furr honored for commitment to OS", October 19, 2006, p. A4.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Heart failure claims doctor [Richard T. Furr]", October 26,  p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Richard Theron Furr, Sr.", October 26, 2006, p. A3.

 

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, Ocean Springs Items”, February 4, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs News", July 17, 1891, p. 2.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, July 15, 1898, p. 3.

The States Item"Bellila Belle Miller Tiffin", June 12, 1900, p. 3.

T

he Sun Herald, "Dr. Richard Furr, Sr.", October 22, 2006, p. A14-A15.

 

Personal Communication:

 

J.K. Lemon-October 1994.

Margaret Seymour Norman-October 1994.

Travis Norman-1994.

Mrs. Dunn-October 1994.

Dr. Richard T. Furr-December 1994.

Dr. James H. Waddell-December 1994.

______________________________________________________________________________

MAYORS of OCEAN SPRINGS

 

Decatur Douglas Cowan - born July 2, 1850 at Handsboro, Mississippi.  Died January 23, 1929 at Mississippi City. Mayor 1893-1894.  School superintendent.

James Benjamin Wigginton - born August 18, 1823 at Louisville, Kentucky.  Died April 3, 1895 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1895.  Alderman-at-Large 1893-1993.  Justice of the Peace.

Dr. Milton Clay Vaughan - born March 4, 1832 at Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  Died June 10, 1903 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1895-1896.  A dentist.

Thomas William Grayson - born July 18, 1825 at Paulding, Mississippi.  Died March 4, 1904 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1897-1898.  Justice of the Peace.

Frederick Mason Weed - born April 1850 at Hinesburg, Vermont.  Died December 3, 1926 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1899-1910.  L&N agent, banker, and realtor.  Buried at Milton, Vermont.

John Duncan Minor - born March 16, 1863 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Died May 5, 1920 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1911-1912.  Alderman Ward 4 from 1913-1920.  Sheriff Jackson County in 1896-1898 and 1902-1904.  Lumber dealer and public servant.

William Thomas Ames - born July 1880 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Died September 27, 1969 at Algiers, Louisiana.  Mayor 1913-1916.  Alderman Ward 1 (1905-1910).  Manager Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph.  L&N Railroad at Selma, Alabama.

Antonio John Catchot - born January 29, 1864 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Died August 11, 1954 at Handsboro, Mississippi.  Mayor 1917-1932.  Alderman-at-Large 1911-1916.  Railroad bridge and wharf builder of note.

Lewis Morris McClure - born September 1884, at New Orleans, Louisiana.  Died October 22, 1940 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1933.  Alderman-at Large 1925-1926.  Merchant, bank cashier, and postmaster.

Charles Rice Bennett - born January 7, 1884 at Trenton, New Jersey.  Died March 19, 1971 at Moss Point, Mississippi.  Mayor 1933-1934 and 1939-1942.  Pecan grower, baseball manager, and sporting goods salesman.

Francis Ernest Schmidt - born 1877 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Died May 26, 1954 at Mobile, Alabama.  Mayor 1935-1938.  Alderman Ward 1 from 1915-1922 and 1925-1929.  Baker.

Albert S. Westbrook - born November 11, 1900 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Died October 8, 1980 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1943-1950.  Alderman Ward 1 from 1930-1932 and 1939-1940.  Railroad clerk.

Robert C. Miller - born January 15, 1887 at Prentiss, Mississippi.  Died March 25, 1953 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1951-1953.  Marshall 1941-1950.

John Champlin Gay - born 1909 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  Died July 22, 1975 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1953-1961.  Alderman-at-Large 1949-1953.  Real estate, timber, turpentine, and hardware merchandiser.

Charles Ernest Schmidt - born 1904 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Died January 14, 1988 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1961-1965.  Alderman-at-Large 1947-1948.  Mechanical engineer and historian.

Donald L. Connor - born June 21, 1912 at New Orleans, Louisiana.  Died April 30, 1982 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mayor 1969-1973 and 1977-1981.  Insurance auditor.

Thomas Lamar Stennis - August 1935 at Dekalb, Mississippi.  Mayor 1973-1977.  Retail merchant and attorney.

Chester Marvin McPhearson - born October 1, 1924 at Heidleberg , Mississippi.  Mayor 1981-1989.  Alderman Ward 4 1953-1961.  Clothing merchandiser.

Kevin Alves - born July 22, 1949, at Biloxi, Mississippi.  Mayor 1989-1997.  Chief of Police.

Seren Ainsworth-born February 13, 1953, at Lucedale, George County, Mississippi.  Alderman at Lucedale, George County, Mississippi in 1981.  Mayor 1997-2005.  Former Jackson County, Mississippi Solid Waste Coordinator and BFI marketing representative.

Connie Marie Moran-born May 18, 1956, at New Orleans, Louisiana.  Economist, former Jackson County, Mississippi economic developer, and public servant. 

 

THE MAYORS OF OCEAN SPRINGS:  1892-2005

In 1892, the population of Ocean Springs had reached 1200 people.  By demographic definition of the Mississippi state legislature, Ocean Springs qualified to be called a town.  At this time, the citizens of Ocean Springs gave a petition for incorporation to Mississippi Governor John M. Stone.  Stone accepted the application, and proclaimed the Town of Ocean Springs on September 9, 1892.  He also appointed provisional officers to set up the city government and to arrange for municipal elections. 

An election for city officers was held in late 1892, which resulted in the following:

 

Mayor-D.D. Cowan (1850-1929)

Alderman-at-large-J.B. Wigginton (1823-1895)

Ward 1-Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915)

Ward 2-Jerry O'Keefe (1859-1911)

Ward 3-B.F. Joachim (1853-1925)

Ward 4-Louis Ryan (1837-1909)

Treasurer-E.S. Davis (1859-1925)

Marshal-George Tardy (1839-1902)

 

If you have an interest in the formation of the Town of Ocean Springs, Regina Hines Ellison has a well researched and detailed account in her book, Ocean Springs, 1892

    

DECATUR DOUGLAS COWAN (1850-1929)

Decatur Douglas Cowan (1850-1929) was born July 2, 1850, at Handsboro, Harrison County, Mississippi.  Cowan 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.

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 at the Woolmarket community.  According to his daughter, Elizabeth Cowan Grishman (b. 1914), Mr. Cowan would run from Biloxi to Woolmarket each day.            

 

Decatur D. Cowan (1850-1929)

 

At Woolmarket, 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.

While an instructor in the Harrison County public school system, Cowan was elected to the State legislature.  He served during the 1884-1888 term.

 In 1892, the Cowans moved to Ocean Springs where Mr. Cowan taught school and was principal.  He became known as "Professor D.D."  At this time their were five young Cowans:  Robert C. Cowan, Mary Ella Cowan Holman, Desiree Cowan Sheperd, Carrie Thorne Cowan Lang, and Decatur Douglas Cowan, Jr. (b. 1891).  Sadly, Mrs. Lilly Cowan died here in 1892, as was interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.

 Professor Cowan was elected Mayor in late 1892.  Some city ordinances passed during Cowan's administration were:

 

"all dogs running at large shall be taxed one dollar, for which a license shall be issued"; "unlawful to hitch horses to any ornamental tree under eight inches in diameter growing on the streets of Ocean Springs"; and "the weight of a 10-cent loaf of bread offered for sale shall be not less than three pounds and a five-cent loaf not less than one and one-half pounds, unless the price of flour exceeds $4 per barrel".

 

            In 1894, Cowan's term as mayor ceased.  He was elected Superintendent of Education of Jackson County in January 1896, and moved to Scranton (Pascagoula).  His children remained at Ocean Springs with their grandparents, the Thomas Graysons, who owned a large home on Washington Avenue where Lovelace Drugs now exists.

             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 Grishman, and Isabella Cowan who died as an infant.

             Cowan resigned his position as Jackson County School Superintendent on May 5, 1906.  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.

            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.

 

 

REFERENCES: 

 

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

 

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

 

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "Cowan Family", (Jackson County Genealogical Society:  Pascagoula-1989), p. 174.

 

WPA For Mississippi Historical Data-Jackson County, Mississippi, (State Wide Historical Project:  1936-1937), p. 280.

 

Personal Communication:

Elizabeth Cowan Grishman - April 26, 1994

 

 

JAMES BENJAMIN WIGGINTON: (1822-1895)

Judge James B. Wigginton (1822-1895) was born near Louisville, Kentucky on August 18, 1822.  He was the second elected Mayor of Ocean Springs.  Wigginton died in office on April 3, 1895.  Governor Stone appointed local dentist, Milton Clay Vaughan (1832-1903), to his vacated position.  His son, Robert Dunbar Wigginton (1872-1958), was designated Justice of the Peace by the Governor.

 

J.B. Wigginton came to Mississippi as a boy.  His family settled in Jefferson County where he later held important positions in the county government.  Wigginton was deputy clerk, tax collector, and Sheriff of Jefferson County until 1857. 

           

On December 8, 1857, Wigginton married the widow of James T. Miller (d. 1855), Eliza Jane Burch Miller (1831-1907).  She was the daughter of Washington Stowers Burch and Adeline Dunbar.  J.B. Wigginton became a cotton planter until the Civil War interrupted life in the South. 

           

After living at Franklin, Louisiana for three years, the Wiggintons settled at Ocean Springs in 1885.  He served the first city government of Ocean Springs as Alderman-at- Large (1893-1894), and was also Justice of the Peace representing Beat Four for seven years. 

           

The Wigginton children were:  Barbara Miller Tessero (1852-1910+), Winnie Wigginton McAlpin (b. 1858), Nannie W. Campbell (1860-1876), Mary Adeline Wigginton (1862-1863), Elizabeth Flora Wigginton (1863-1947), Alfred B. Wigginton (1867-1867), James G. Wigginton (1868-1870), Robert Dunbar Wigginton(1874-1958), Albert Wigginton (d. 1879), and Isaac Benjamin Wigginton (1877-1896). 

           

Judge Wigginton owned Lots 9, 10, 11, and 12 in Block 35 (Culmseig Map of 1854) on Calhoun Avenue.  They were on the north side of Calhoun near Russell.  His residence and office were located on Lot 9.  Wigginton also owned land in Section 16, T7S-R9W.

           

Widowed son, attorney, Robert Dunbar Wigginton (1874-1958), married Maude Elizabeth Dale (1884-1968) of Pineville, Harrison County, Mississippi on August 3, 1927, at the Presbyterian manse in Long Beach.  They resided at Biloxi on Porter Avenue and later on Menge Avenue at Pass Christian.  He was a member of the Harrison County Bar Association in 1949.  In 1958, R.D. Wigginton made his office at 301 The Hewes Building in Gulfport.  He died on at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport on January 22, 1958.  He and spouse were interred in the Courtenay Cemetery at Pass Christian, Mississippi.

           

Daughter, Elizabeth Flora Wigginton, was born at Houston County, Texas on April 25, 1863.  She remained single and was a newspaper correspondent at Ocean Springs in 1910.  Miss Wigginton was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery on March 6, 1947.

           

Judge Wigginton was a Presbyterian.  He was also an honorary member of Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1 and the Order of Odd Fellows.  He was probably interred at the Evergreen Cemetery.

 

REFERENCES:

 

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892 (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), pp. 46-48.

 

The Biloxi Herald, "Death of Judge J.B. Wigginton", April 6, 1895, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, August 4, 1927, p. 6.

The Daily Herald, “R.D. Wiggington, Coast attorney, dies; Rites set”, January 22, 1959, p. 2.

The Pascagoula Democratic-Star, "Death of Judge Wigginton", April 12, 1895, p. 3.

 

Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 687, "Will of J.B. Wigginton".

 

US CENSUS - Jackson County (1910).

Personal Communication:

Henry L. Wiginton (Gulfport)-August 1993.

US CENSUS - Jackson County (1910).

Personal Communication:

Henry L. Wiginton (Gulfport)-August 1993.

 

 

MILTON CLAY VAUGHAN (1832-1903)

 Milton Clay Vaughan was born at Hopkinsville, Kentucky on March 4, 1832.  After serving with McLaurens Calvary of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, he married Miss Fanny Thornton (1840-1875) at Harrison County, Mississippi on June 28, 1866.  This union produced four children:  Thornton Vaughan (1868-1898+), Susie Willis Vaughan (1869-1962), Milton Clay Vaughan, Jr. (1873-1923) and Fannie Thornton Vaughan (1873-1965).

           

Circa 1874, Milton Clay Vaughan and family moved to Ocean Springs were he practiced dentistry.  On October 15, 1893, Dr. M.C. Vaughan ran this advertisement in the Biloxi

Herald:

 

 

M.C. VAUGHAN, DENTIST

Will attend calls at any point on the Coast.

Post Office Address-Ocean Springs, Mississippi

 

 

 

The veracity of this announcement was corroborated in The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of June 30, 1893, when it reported that "Dr. M.C. Vaughan was in town (Pascagoula) to attend to the dental work of his patients".

M.C. Vaughan was appointed the third Mayor of Ocean Springs by Governor John M. Stone after the death of Judge J.B. Wigginton.  Wigginton had expired on April 3, 1895

while serving as Ocean Springs second mayor.  Vaughn's mayoral term ended in December 1896.

           

M.C. Vaughan had a brother, Dr. E. E. Vaughan, of Louisville, Kentucky.  He spent the Winter of 1892, at Ocean Springs.  Another possible Vaughan relative, Henry A. Vaughan, of Louisville, Kentucky built a Queen Anne residence on the southeast corner of Kotzum and Bowen circa 1896.  H.A. Vaughan purchased the lot from Joseph Kotzum

1842-1915).  This home is now the domicile of Mr and Mrs. Larry Platt.

           

Milton Clay Vaughan, Jr. worked as a cashier in the Harrison County Bank at Biloxi.  He married Lucy Macklin Kimbrough on June 4, 1907.  They were the parents of two children.  M.C. Vaughan, Jr. died in Jackson, Mississippi on November 11, 1923.

           

Thornton A. Vaughan (1868-1933) made his livelihood here after the conflict as a carpenter.  He served in the Spanish American War (1898) with the 5th Infantry Immunes.  Thornton expired in late December 1933.  Vaughan’s remains like the remainder of the M.C. Vaughan family are interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Daily HeraldJanuary 1, 1934, p. 2)

           

Susie Willis Vaughan taught school for 56 years in Jackson County.  She was teaching as early as 1900, and ran for Jackson County Superintendent of Education in 1927.  Miss Vaughn lived many years with her sister, Fanny Vaughan, south of Vancleave.  She died at Jackson.

           

Fanny T. Vaughan worked in the public school system with her sister, Susie Willis Vaughn, in Jackson County.  She was the last charter member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs, and also died at Jackson.  At Ocean Springs, the M.C. Vaughan family lived on Goss Avenue (now Pershing).  Milton Clay Vaughn died June 10, 1903, and is interred in the Evergreen Cemetery with most of his family.

 

REFERENCES:

 

The Daily Herald, Obit, June 11, 1903, p. 6.

The Daily Herald, June 4, 1907, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"M.C. Vaughan Jr. Obit", November 11, 1923, p. 7.

The Daily Herald“T.A. Vaughan Buried”, January 1, 1934.

The Ocean Springs Record, " The Vaughan-Hire House: 1112 Bowen (1895-1999)”,

August 26, 1999, and September 2, 1999.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Local News", March 11, 1892.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, Obit, June 12, 1903.

 

 

THOMAS WILLIAM GRAYSON (1825-1904)

 Thomas William Grayson was born at Paulding, Jasper County, Mississippi on July 18, 1825.  His father, Samuel Grayson, a Virginia native was a pioneer settler of Central Mississippi.  The elder Grayson was a land surveyor and was an organizer of Jasper County.  For fourteen years, Thomas Grayson served the people of Jasper County as the Clerk of the Chancery and Circuit Courts.  After the Civil War in which he served with the Mississippi Volunteers 16th Regiment, Company F, Thomas W. Grayson and his wife, Ann Hyde (1832-1906), who he had married in 1847, settled at Shubuta.  In Clark County, Grayson was engaged in the mercantile business.

           

The Graysons moved to Ocean Springs in 1872.  They remained here for two years and then relocated to Stonewall, now Woolmarket, in Harrison County.  Grayson was a merchant there until 1881, when he moved back to Ocean Springs.  His brother, George Grayson, had settled at Stonewall when the saw millers and woodcutters were actively exploiting the virgin, longleaf, yellow pine forest after the Civil War.  George Grayson, himself a merchant, sold his store to Captain Joseph Stiglets.  Stiglets deepened the lagoon to the Biloxi River and created a landing for his five coastal schooners.  This site became known as Stiglet's Landing.

           

At Ocean Springs in January 1882, Thomas W. Grayson bought the home of Dr. David M. Dunlap (1803-1882+).(1)  The property had two-hundred twenty feet on Washington Avenue south from Desoto and ran west to Jackson Avenue.  Grayson had slightly over three acres in the heart of town.  Barber and realtor, Edwin Martin Westbrook (1858-1913),

would acquire a portion of this property later.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 615-616)

           

Thomas W. Grayson became a Justice of the Peace and notary.  He served as Mayor of Ocean Springs in the term 1897-1898.  At the time of his demise on March 4, 1904, he was Justice of the Peace for Beat Four.  E.W Illing (1870-1947) was elected to his vacated office. Loren H. Whitney wrote the following after the death of Judge Grayson:  "Suppose the whole world of people were like him. What then!  There would be no more locking of doors at night.  There would be no more jails or penitentiaries.  The world would be transformed.  Young men of Ocean Springs, study Judge Grayson's life and follow it, for it is worthy of all honor and praise.”

 

Judge Grayson was a Methodist and high-ranking Mason.  He was a Mason for over fifty years. Thomas W. Grayson and Ann Hyde had thirteen children.  The following are currently known:  Lillian Grayson (1862-1892) married D.D. Cowan  (1850-1929); Mrs. F. (Mary) Sandoz (d. 1915) of Mobile; Mrs. W.L. Owen of Alexandria, Louisiana; Walton G. Grayson (1870-1947); George W. Grayson (1870-1943) married Mamie Pol (1873-1951); Ella Grayson (b. 1875);Deliah Grayson (1885-married Clement G. Lang; Sallie Grayson (b. 1889) married John C. Orrell; and Thomas W. Grayson Jr.

           

Judge Grayson's corporal remains were interred at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Mrs. Grayson died in early January 1906.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 12, 1906, p. 3)

 

REFERENCES:

 

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs 1892 (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), p. 45.

 

Mississippi Gulf Coast Yesterday & Today (1699-1939), Federal Writers Project in Mississippi Works Progress Administration, (Gulfport Printing Company:Gulfport-1939), p. 136.

 

The Biloxi Herald"Necrological", March 5, 1904, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Long Illness Is Fatal To Mrs. Geo. W. Grayson At Biloxi", November 19, 1951, p. 8.

The Pascagoula Democratic-Star"Local News", October 12, 1883, p. 3.

The Pascagoula Democratic-Star"T.W. Grayson", March 12, 1904, p. 4.

The Pascagoula Democratic-Star"Ann Hyde Grayson", January 12, 1906, p. 3.

The Progress"Thomas W. Grayson", March 12, 1904, p. 4.

The Progress"Honor Judge Grayson", March 12, 1904, p. 1.

 

US Census - Jackson County, Mississippi (1900)

 

 

FREDERICK MASON WEED (1850-1926)

Frederick M. Weed was born at Hinesburg, Vermont in April 1850.  His father was Judge F.A. Weed of Burlington, Vermont.  As a young man Weed went to Texas to work on cattle and sheep ranches.  The climate and labor weren't to Weed's taste, and he returned to the coolness and greenery of New England.  In 1874, Weed married Alice A. Lyon (1853-

1928), a native of St. Albans, Vermont.  Her father was Henry A. Lyon (d. 1901).

 

Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926)

 

The Weeds came to Ocean Springs in 1877.  Fred Weed had found employment with the L&N Railroad, and he was sent here as the railroad and express agent by that organization.  He and spouse, Alice A. Lyon (1853-1928), a native of St. Albans, Vermont, settled on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and Iberville Drive on Lot 12-Block 20 (Cox Map) with improvements that they purchased for $300 in November 1879, from Robert A. VanCleave (1840-1908), Special Commissioner of the JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court.  The parcel had formerly been the domicile of Barney Thomas (1807-1878) and Roxy Ann Best Thomas (b. 1816), both natives of Anson, North Carolina.  Mr. Thomas and family had relocated to Ocean Springs from Jasper County, Mississippi.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, p. 91-92 and The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 367)

 

The Weeds lived on East Beach and called their homestead there "Island View Place".  They later resided on Iberville Drive on Old Fort Bayou.  A brother, Frank M. Weed (1852-1917), lived with them.  He died in 1917, and was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery.

 

F.M. Weed was known as an uncompromising Democrat.  He was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Convention comprising Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties.  As early as 1891, Weed was spoken of as, "one of the most promising men in political circles in Jackson County".  A bright political future was predicted for him.

           

In 1899, F.M. Weed was elected Mayor of Ocean Springs.  In December 1904, he defeated Hiram D. Cudabac receiving 76 votes to Cudabac's 35 markers.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 14, 1904, p. 5)

 

Mayor Weed served six consecutive terms until 1911, when John Duncan Minor (1863-1920) assumed office. 

            

Mayor Weed was known for his high character, unselfish public spirit, and rugged honesty.  During his administration, the public school on Dewey Avenue was built, the old jail (steel cages which today sit on the Chamber of Commerce lot) obtained from Pascagoula was enclosed in a building, an Evergreen Cemetery Commission was formed, and water rates were cheapened to $6 per year!

           

Mr. Weed retired from the railroad circa 1910, and accepted the position of cashier with the Ocean Springs State Bank.  Weed was a member of the founding board of directors of the bank when it commenced operations in January 1905, with Dr. O.L. Bailey (1870-1938) as president.  Weed served as assistant cashier and board of director after he retired from the Ocean Springs State Bank circa 1924.  Held an official position in the Knights of Pythias.

           

F.M. Weed was also very active in local real estate.  He owned much property in the Marble Springs area, and named "Vermont Street" in east Ocean Springs for his home State of Vermont. 

           

Frederick Mason Weed died on the night of December 3, 1926, at his Iberville Avenue home.  His body was accompanied to Milton, Vermont by H.H. Beeman, who would later

purchase the property from Alice Weed.  Mrs. Weed moved back to New England and settled at Milton, Vermont.  She passed away there on April 26, 1928.

 

REFERENCES:

Goodspeed, Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Vol. II, 1891, p. 1006.

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, Second Edition, (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), pp. 27-30.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, "City News", December 14, 1904, p. 5

The Jackson County Times"Major Weed Passed Away Last Night", December 4, 1926, p. 5.

The Jackson County Times"Major F.M. Weed", December 11, 1926, p. 4.

The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal”, (Mrs. F.M. Weed Obit), May 5, 1928.

 

 

JOHN DUNCAN MINOR (1863-1920)

John Duncan Minor (1863-1920), called Duncan, was born March 16, 1863, at Ocean Springs.  His parents were Judge Harold Henry Minor, Sr. (1837-1884), a native of Tennessee, and Virginia Doyal Minor (1844-1908) who was born at New Orleans.  Mrs. Minor had seven children of whom the following are known: Harold Henry Minor Jr. (1862-1905), John Duncan Minor (1863-1920), May Virginia Russell (1866-1910), Philip Theophile Minor (b. 1870), and Ada Frances Switzer (1875-1914).  Only four children were living in 1900.

Duncan Minor began his working life on the railroad.  He later was a carpenter (1892) and got into the building materials business about 1894.  Minor accumulated real estate throughout the city.  A lot on the northwest corner of Government and Russell adjacent to the Kotzum Subdivision was know as the "Duncan Minor Lot".

J.D. Minor's brother-in-law was Hiram Fisher Russell (1858-1940).  Russell married May Virginia Minor.  Their daughter, Ethel Virginia Russell (1899-1957), married A.P. "Fred" Moran (1897-1967) in 1923.  One of their sons, Duncan Moran (b. 1925), was named for John Duncan Minor.

H.F. Russell came to Ocean Springs in 1881, from Yazoo City, Mississippi and took a position with R.A. VanCleave (1840-1908).  In 1888, he commenced a real estate and insurance business.  Russell quite the entrepreneur also sold furniture, stationary, sewing machines, and was the local agent for several New Orleans newspapers.  He served as postmaster (1885-1889), and alderman from the First Ward (1895-1902).  Russell also developed the Russell "paper

shell" pecan.

Duncan Minor's first foray into the political arena began with his appointment as Sheriff of Jackson County by Governor McLaurin in 1896.  The resignation of Frank Lewis of Pascagoula precipitated the appointment.  The people of Jackson County elected Minor to that office in 1902, and he served them two more year as sheriff (1902-1904).

In 1906, J.J. Kuhn of New Orleans sold his artesian waterworks, which supplied Ocean Springs with potable water to the People's Water Works for $3180.  Duncan Minor acted as the first president of that organization.  He also built fine shell roads when he was the Road Commissioner.

In late August 1909, Duncan Minor was appointed by Governor Noel to his second five-year term on the Mississippi Oyster Commission.  The Oyster Commission functioned to protect and preserve natural oyster reefs and bedding grounds in the Mississippi coastal waters. 

In early September 1909, the Oyster Commission met at Gulfport and also reelected Duncan Minor president of the commission.  His selection was considered logical and natural because of his long identity with that body.  Minor served continuously on this commission until 1919.

The civic duties of Duncan Minor included serving as Mayor of Ocean Springs (1911-1912), and Alderman from Ward 4 (1913-1920).

John Duncan Minor never married.  He died on May 5, 1920 after an extended illness.  In his obituary, Minor was described as: “a man of rugged honesty and high ideals.  He took a stand on all questions of public policy.  He left the impression of his character on every work in which he engaged.  His type is none too plentiful in this day and generation, and the loss to the commission will not be easily replaced.”

Duncan Minor was a member of the Biloxi Elks Lodge and  Woodmen of the World  He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery under the auspices of the Catholic Church.  F.H. Bryan, Dr. O.L. Bailey, A.J. Catchot, A.T. Veillon, George L. Friar, and W.S. VanCleave acted as pallbearers.

 

REFERENCES:

Cyril E. Caine, Four Centuries on the Pascagoula:  History, Story, and Legend of the Pascagoula River Country, Volume II, (The Reprint Company:  Spartanburg, South Carolina-1983), p. 12.

Charles L. Dyer, Along the Gulf, "Ocean Springs", (reprint by Women of the Trinity Episcopal Church:  Pass Christian, Mississippi-1971.  Originally published circa 1895).

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1972), pp. 51, 133, and 135.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, "Minor", (Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi-1991), p. 227.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "A.P. (Fred) Moran", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), pp. 291-292).

Mississippi Coast History and Genealogical Society, "Postmasters", Volume 13, No. 1, (June 1977), pp. 22-23.

 

Journals

The Biloxi Daily Herald"Minor Reappointed Oyster Commissioner", September 7, 1907, p. 1.

The Biloxi Daily Herald"Minor Heads Commission", September 10, 1909, p. 1.

The Biloxi Daily Herald"Minor Reappointed Oyster Commissioner", September 10, 1909, p. 3.

The Daily Herald"Prominent Ocean Springs Resident Dead", May 6, 1920, p. 3.

The Jackson County Times"Prominent Citizen Claimed by Death", May 8, 1920, p. 5.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, January 5, 1906.

US Census - Jackson County, Mississippi (1880, 1900).

 

Personal Communication:

Fred Moran - June 1993.

_________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM THOMAS AMES (1880-1969)

William T. Ames (1880-1969) was born at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on September 4, 1880.  His father, Jeremiah Ames (1852- circa 1920) was a first generation American of Irish parentage, and his mother Louisa Monti (1856-1925) from Bay St. Louis was the daughter of Giacomo Monti (1820-1891) and Rosa Lendre Bacchi.  Jerry Ames made his livelihood initially as a merchant (1880) and later with the L&N Railroad as a bridge builder (1900).  Mrs. Ames had eight children of which six were living in 1900.  They were: Theodore J. Ames (1876- 1927), Helen Rose Ames (b. 1878), William T. Ames (1880-1969), Emma Louise Ames (b. 1882), Floyd Ames (1885-1969+), Allen Ames (b. 1888), Westley Ames (b. 1890), and Mabel Veronica Ames (b. 1896).  Mr. Jeremiah Ames died at Ocean Springs prior to 1922.  One daughter married Will Sigerson of Bay St. Louis.   

 

William Thomas Ames (1880-1969)

[Courtesy of Anne Martin-Pensacola, Florida]

As a young man William T. Ames was worked as a typesetter for The Progress, an Ocean Springs journal, from 1900 to 1903 and listed his occupation as manager of an electric company, probably the Mississippi Coast Traction Company, in 1910.  Ames was also a  musician in the famous turn of the century Ocean Springs Brass Band. 

 
It is known that W.T. Ames went to Nashville, Tennessee and took a course in telephone work and was appointed manager of the Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company at Ocean Springs in 1904. In April 1909, Manager Ames announced that the phone company was going to rebuild the local phone exchange because the company was unable to supply the demand for telephones at Ocean Springs.
 
Marriage and family
W.T. Ames married a widow, H. May Tardy Bertolotti of Mobile on September 11, 1909. Her first husband, E.A. Bertolotti, was the local manager of the Biloxi Railway & Power Company. He was a first class electrician. His company specialized in wiring buildings, burglar alarms,desk fans, ceiling fans, and electric door bells. The Bertolottis lived at Ocean Springs in 1904, and had a daughter, Mary L. Bertolotti Baehler (1904-1984). 
 
In May 1915, a daughter, Elizabeth Ames Estalote (1915-1995), was born to the Ames at Ocean Springs. W.T. Ames Jr. (1913-1964), their first child,  had been born May 1, 1913.  He married Mary T. Little.  Elizabeth expired November 2, 1995 in Arlington, Virginia where Edward A. M. Estalote Jr. , her son, resided at that time..
W.T. Ames was frequently transferred temporarily by the telephone company and was sent to Hattiesburg in 1917. He returned to Ocean Springs and resigned his position as local manager of the Cumberland Telephone Company, and head of the Gulf Coast Traction Company. Eugene W. Illing succeeded Ames of the affairs of the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Company which furnished electric lights to Ocean Springs.
 
In January 1918, Ames accepted a government job with the sanitation department at Hattiesburg. He was in charge of the sanitary works and garbage collection of that city. Evidently this opportunity was short-lived as The Jackson County Times reported Ames back with the phone company. In March 1918, W.T. Ames went to New Orleans. 
 
In July 1918, he was made manager of Cumberland Telephone Company at Crowley, Louisiana. In October 1918, at Covington, Louisiana in charge of the telephone exchange.(The Jackson County Times, October 26, 1918, p. 5)
 
It is believed that Mrs. Ames and the children remained at Ocean Springs during these times.  William T. Ames officiated as Mayor of Ocean Springs (1913-1916), and alderman of Ward One 1905-1910. He was known for his faithful attention to his duties both as mayor and alderman. This was reflected by his almost perfect attendance at all public meetings.
 
After leaving Louisiana circa December 1918, Ames relocated to Pascagoula where he was the manager of the Pascagoula telephone exchange. He joined the Mississippi Bottling Works at Pascagoula as manager in March 1919. The company made pop, ginger ale, and other soft drinks. In Pascagoula as late as September 1919.
 
The Ames relocated to Selma, Alabama where he was employed by the L&N Railroad as an electrician. They resided at 519 Lamar Street until Mrs. Ames death on May 26, 1926. Her body was sent to Mobile for burial. She was survived by three children. When his mother, Louisa Ames, died in August 1925, she was living with Dr. Allen Ames in Pensacola. Her other surviving children were: Mrs. Will Sigerson of Bay St.Louis, Floyd and Wesley Ames of Hattiesburg, and W.T. Ames of Selma, Alabama.
 
W.T. Ames later moved to 226 Franklin Street at Selma and remained here until his retirement in 1964. He relocated to Algiers, Louisiana to be near his daughter, Elizabeth Ames Estalote and expired there on September 27, 1969. Mr. Ames funeral was under the auspices of Mothe Funeral Homes, Inc. with internment at Westlawn Memorial Park, Gretna, Louisiana.  He was survived by Floyd Ames, a brother, at Hattiesburg, Mississippi; step-daughter, Mary Bertolotti Baehler; and Elizabeth Ames Estalote, his daughter.(The Times-Picayune, September 28, 1969, Sec. I, p. 24) 

 

REFERENCES:

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, "Ames", (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 4.

The Daily Herald"W.T. Ames Goes to Hattiesburg", January 14, 1918, p. 4.

The Daily Herald"Mrs. Willie Ames Obit", May 26, 1926, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times"W.T. Ames Goes to Hattiesburg", January 12, 1918, p. 5.

The Jackson County Time"Local News Interest", March 16, 1918.

The Jackson County Times"Local News Interest", July 6, 1918.

The Jackson County Times, "Local News Items", October 26, 1918.

The Jackson County Times"Local News Interest", March 29, 1919.

Jackson County Times"Mrs. Louisa Ames Buried Here", August 15, 1925, p. 4.

Jackson County Times"Local News Items", October 1, 1927.

The Ocean Springs News"The Weekly Roundup", April 17, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News"Ames-Bertolitti [sic]", September 18, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News"W.E. Wilson in the Race for Mayor", September 26, 1914, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News"Mayor Ames a Candidate for Reelection", October 24, 1914, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs Record"Obituary", October 9, 1969, p. 8.

The Progress, "Local News", July 2, 1904, p. 4.

The Selma Times-Journal"Ames Remains Carried To Mobile For Burial", May 27, 1926.

US CENSUS - Jackson County, Mississippi (1880, 1900, 1910).

_________________________________________________________________________

ANTONIO JOHN CATCHOT (1864-1954)

Antonio John Catchot, called Captain Tony, was born on January 29, 1864, at Ocean Springs in a small cottage on the former W.B Schmidt estate at Front Beach.  Recently deceased, Roswell Kimball, Jr. (1921-1995), resided here on a part of this large manor.  Tony Catchot's father, Jose' Catchot (1823-1900), was born near Mahon on the island of Minorca in the Balearic Islands off the eastern coast of Spain.  His parents were Jose' Catchot and Eulalia Derany.

Jose' Catchot came to America in 1842.  He married Julia A. Smith (1823-1903), herself an 1847 immigrant from Limerick, Ireland.  Catchot owned a schooner fleet and before the Civil War was engaged in trading along the Gulf Coast.  During the conflict, he was a blockade runner importing food and supplies to Southern ports.  Union naval forces captured Jose'Catchot in 1864.  He was released because he promised to leave the United States.  The Catchot family settled at Matamoros, Mexico returning to Ocean Springs in 1870.

Jose' Catchot's two brothers, Antonio Catchot (1828-1885) and Arnaud Catchot (1836-1910), would marry Elizabeth Hoffen (1838-1916) and Adele Ryan (1844-pre 1880) respectively, and have many progeny at Ocean Springs.

           

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)

 

Tony Catchot was reared on the Fort Point Peninsula in western Ocean Springs.  As a boy he fished, hunted, and collected artifacts, especially Native American projectile points.  In 1880, Captain June Poitevent (1837-1919), a neighbor of the Catchots, brought young Tony Catchot to St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana to work on the East Louisiana Railroad, a narrow-gauge logging road, which was being constructed in the Honey Island swamp area.  An elderly Quaker gentleman from Philadelphia, who was his foreman, taught Catchot to use the T-square.  Soon he was framing bridge timbers like a veteran.

On October 1, 1882, Tony Catchot joined the L&N  Railroad.  His first job was unloading coal cars for 90 cents per car.  Catchot soon joined the bridge and building department on the Mobile and New Orleans Division of the L&N.  He spent most of his sixty-four years with that railroad building and maintaining the bridges and trestles on the 140-miles of track between New Orleans and Mobile.  Catchot had to contend with the teredo worm, hurricanes, rivers and swamps, and the "prairie tremblante", that unstable, silty organic clay which underlies coastal marshes.  Catchot served the railroad as its bridge and building superintendent for thirty-six years.

A.J. Catchot's engineering abilities were so impressive that in October 1894, he was sent to Pensacola, Florida to assist in building the Muscogee wharf, the docks at Commandancia and Tarrangona Street, and a coaling station for U.S. Steel.  In 1900, the L&N loaned him to the U.S. Navy to rebuild the docks at Warrington, Florida.  He then went to the Dry Tortugas to construct wharves and a condensing plant.  Catchot was also loaned to the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad to erect the piers at Gulfport in 1901.  He was aboard the first ship piloted into the new harbor at Gulfport.

Tony Catchot returned to the L&N Railroad in 1902, and was promoted to Superintendent of the Bridge and Building Department of the New Orleans-Mobile Division in 1907.  He remained as this prestigious post until 1943.  A.J. Catchot had bought the old Louis Darring property on the southeast corner of Washington and Desoto in 1897.  He built a new structure here commencing in February 1897.  It served as a saloon until it closed in April 1899, leaving George Arndt's Paragon Saloon the only one in town.  Catchot later rented the structure to various merchants.  It is believed that Albert C. Gottsche (1873-1949) operated a feed store here before he built his retail grocery establishment across the street on the southwest corner of Desoto and Washington in 1913.  James K. Lemon (1870-1929) later ran a furniture and house furnishings establishment here.  He sold furniture, china, glassware, carpets, stoves, etc.

Captain Catchot lost the building during the Depression.  It served during these dour days as a distribution center operated by Miss Lily Thomas who dispensed food staples and other commodities to the needy.  J.K. Lemon acquired the property in 1937, and has operated here through the years in the real estate and insurance business.  Lemon Insurance & Real Estate occupy the old Catchot Building today.

On January 15, 1887, Captain Catchot married Florence Victoria Clark (1862-1933) of Mobile, Alabama.  She was the daughter of William Clark and Elizabeth Cochran.  This union produced five children of which three survived: Edward C. Catchot (1888-1946), Matthew William Catchot (1890-1891), Mary Julia Catchot (1892-c. 1892), Eula Catchot Simpson Gill (1892-1982), and Sadie Anna Catchot Hodges (1894-1973).  After his wife died in 1933, Catchot married Georgia Gordon in the 1940s. 

In 1911, Tony Catchot began his long political service for the citizens of Ocean Springs in 1911, when he was chosen Alderman-at-large.  He officiated in this office until 1917, when he began sixteen years of continuous service as Mayor.  Morris McClure (1884-1940) replaced Catchot in 1933.  The "new" Ocean Springs High School was erected on Government in 1927, during the Catchot mayoral reign.  His son-in-law, Calvin Dickson Hodges (1893-1958), was a member of the school board at this time.

Captain Catchot owned property in the Porter-Rayburn area of town.  He probably built several rental houses on the south side of Porter (700 block) with his daughter, Eula Catchot Simpson, which later became known as the Manuel Courts when Teddy Manuel (1878-1960) bought them in July 1938.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 71, pp. 232-233) 

The Catchot family home was on the northeast corner of Porter and Beauregard Lane.  This street was originally named for Beauregard "Burry" Ryan (1860-1928), but it is believed that Catchot's daughter, Sadie Hodges, who was the city clerk for many years, had the name changed to Catchot Place.  She probably named Mosely, which intersects Catchot Place for the Charles J. Mosley family of New Orleans.

On December 18, 1914, the Catchot home at present day 703 Porter burned to the ground.  Elizabeth Clark Nolan (1839-1914), A.J. Catchot's mother-in-law, was killed in the conflagration.  The inferno was sourced from an exploding oil heater in her room.  The Catchot home was rebuilt in January 1915, and is owned today by John and Sherry Kendall.

Tony Catchot was almost killed at Biloxi in November 1918, when the railway hand car he was riding with Frank Catchot (1871-1943) and Henry Ryan (1860-1936) was hit by a Ford truck at the Oak Street crossing.  Catchot broke his leg and suffered multiple contusions.  He was sent to Touro Infirmary at New Orleans to recover.

Through the years many honors and awards were bestowed upon Captain Catchot.  He was a board member of the Farmers and Merchants State Bank in 1915, and elected president of

the bank in September 1925.  In May 1925, Catchot formed the Superior Oil Company of Ocean Springs with J.J. Kennedy and F.B. Royster.  The purpose of this $15,000 capitalized company was to market gasoline and oil in the area.

Tony Catchot was elected president of the L&N Veterans Club for the New Orleans- Mobile Division in the late 1920s.  In 1929, he reigned as King d'Iberville of the Coast Mardi Gras Association.  Catchot was a charter member of the Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1 joining in 1880, and serving as its fire chief for nearly sixty years.

Antonio John Catchot retired from the L&N on January 1, 1947, after sixty-four years of loyal and meritorious service to that organization.  He died on August 11, 1954, at Handsboro, Mississippi.  Catchot's remains were interred at the Evergreen Cemetery on Fort Bayou.

 

REFERENCES:

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1972), p. 70.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, "Catchot", (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi-1991), pp. 53-55.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Captain A.J. "Tony" Catchot", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), pp. 155-156.

Volunteer Fire Companies of Ocean Springs, Mississippi"Miss Sadie Tells of "Early Days", (1960).

The L.& N. Employees' Magazine, "He Masters Nature's Menaces", July 1944, pp. 4-6.

The L.& N. Employees' Magazine, January 1947, pp. 26-27.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 21, 1899, p. 1.

The Daily Herald"Catchot, former Mayor of Ocean Springs expires", August 11, 1954, p. 6.

The Gulf Coast Times"Know Your Neighbor", July 29, 1949.

The Jackson County Times“Local News Items”, November 15, 1918.

The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal", May 30, 1925.

The Jackson County Times"A.J. Catchot Heads Farmers & Merchants", September 5, 1925, p. 3.

The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal", September 21, 1929.

The Ocean Springs News"Mrs. Nolan Succumbs To Injuries Received When Residence Burns", December 24, 1914, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", January 21, 1915, p. 3.

The Pascagoula-Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs News", January 29, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs News", February

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LEWIS MORRIS McCLURE (1884-1940)

Lewis Morris McClure (1884-1940) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in September 1884.  His parents were Marstella E. McClure (1852-c. 1889) and Corrine E. Lundy (1854-1930). 

M.E. McClure was from Bainbridge, Georgia and Corrine E. Lundy, a native of Mobile.  They married at Mobile in 1868, and started a family there.  The following McClure children:  Clarence McClure (b. 1870), Arthur McClure (1871-1928), John S. McClure (b. 1874), Nannie McClure

Anderson (1877-1898), and Escambia McClure Baker Pabst (1880-1947), were born at Mobile. 

             

Lewis Morris McClure (1884-1940)

 

The McClures moved to New Orleans circa 1881.  At this time, Marstella McClure made his livelihood as a photographer.  He owned and operated McClure's Paragon Art Gallery at 131 Poydras Street.  Son, Lewis Morris, called Morris, was born here in 1884.

            The family moved to Ocean Springs circa 1887.  They settled on Ames and Reynoir Street north of the railroad. Here two daughters were born, Helen McClure Dees (1885-1937) and Corrine "Cody" McClure (1887-1961).  Marstella McClure died at Ocean Springs circa 1889.

            Morris McClure grew up in an entrepreneurial environment.  His uncles, F.J. Lundy (1863-1912) and Louis Alexander Lundy (1876-1941), were prominent businessmen in the Ocean Springs community.  The elder Lundy owned a mercantile store on the southeast corner of Washington and Government.  L.A. Lundy built the first icehouse (circa 1900) and shrimp factory (1914) at Ocean Springs.

            In 1895, at the age of eleven McClure commenced his business career probably in the dry goods business at the Lundy Store on Washington Avenue.  He earned his education at night, after working all day, in the mercantile store of his uncle, F.J. Lundy.

            In January 1909, Morris McClure was operating as the L.M. McClure Mercantile Company in the Francis Building on Washington Avenue.  He bought the Washington Avenue located

Bargain Store of J.C. Tucker on January 25, 1909.  Tucker retired to his farm north of Fort Bayou.  C.E. Dees, his brother-in-law, was a partner in the venture.  Dees sold his livery stable on County Road to D.C. Toler of Kiln.  Dees lived at the Meyer Cottage at this time (Probably on

Church Street near Bobbie D. Smith).

            McClure must have joined with his uncle, F.J. Lundy, in 1911, as there are advertisements for F.J. Lundy and McClure.  He sold his mercantile business to Hiram D. Cudabac (1874-1947) in April 1914, to become a broker representing New Orleans feed, produce, and grocery houses

who did business at Ocean Springs.

            In April 1922, The Daily Herald indicated that McClure owned the Lundy Building, which was undergoing repairs.  It was occupied by William Mingee, who ran a billiard hall on the premises.

            McClure entered public service for the first time in March 1915, when he became Postmaster at Ocean Springs.  He held this position until February 1925, when he was replaced by John P. Edwards.  McClure served as Alderman-at-Large between 1925 and 1926 when A.J. Catchot

(1864-1954) was Mayor.  He was employed by the Ocean Springs State Bank as a cashier from 1919 to 1933.  When F.M. Weed (1850-1926) tendered his resignation in October 1924, McClure was named cashier of that bank.

            McClure was appointed city water rent collector by the Board of Aldermen in February 1927.  Water rent was due on the first day of January and July and was payable in advance.

            Morris McClure became the eighth mayor of Ocean Springs in 1933.  He resigned his mayoral office to return to the postal system where he remained as Postmaster until his sudden death on October 22, 1940.  Mrs. McClure assumed the duties of postmaster in November 1940, and remained at this post until Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963) replaced her in April 1943.

 

On April 18, 1933, McClure wrote the following letter to his board of alderman:

 

Gentlemen:

It is with sincere regret that I tender this as my resignation as Mayor to take effect immediately but due to my appointment to the office of postmaster it is necessary.

 I also take this occasion to thank each of you gentlemen for your wholehearted cooperation during my brief term of office.  I can only say that I have performed my duties to the best of my ability and my hope is that your accomplishments will stand the Town in good stead in these times of financial distress.

            May I also, at this time, solicit for my successor the same goodwill and cooperation you have shown me.  I am sure that if he obtains the help, confidence and effort that I have that our Town will soon feel the effects of the Council's efforts and be the thriving and growing community

that it's natural resources and citizenry intend it to be, and that each and every citizen will have faith and confidence in their governing body and in their Town.

            It is also my desire to merit your goodwill and cooperation in the future that I have in the past and that you consider me at your service at all times in any matter in which I can be of assistance.

     Hoping that you will accept this resignation in the same spirit in which it is tendered, regretfully, I am,

     Your very truly,

 

 

 

     L.M. McClure (Signed)

            Gertrude McClure succeeded her husband as Postmaster at Ocean Springs. The life of Morris McClure was marked by service to the Ocean Springs community.  He was a charter member and past president of the Ocean Springs Rotary, Chairman of the Jackson County Red Cross, a Methodist, and a Mason.

            Morris McClure was married to Gertrude Wattlesworth (d. 1971) of New Orleans.  Her sister, Alberta May Wattlesworth (1885-1962), had married Louis A. Lundy, his uncle. The McClures resided at present day 208 Washington Avenue and were childless.  They are buried at the Metairie Cemetery in Metairie, Louisiana.

 

 

REFERENCES:

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "Lewis M. McClure", (Jackson County Genealogical Society:  Pascagoula-1989), p. 282.

Minute Book of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, (January 1, 1929 to November 6, 1934), p. 256.

The Daily Herald"Ocean Springs News", April 29, 1922, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, “Morris McClure Obit”, October 24, 1940, p. 9.

The Jackson County Times"L.M. McClure New Cashier of Ocean Springs State Bank", October 4, 1924, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, February 12, 1927, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs News"The Weekly Roundup", January 30, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News"McClure Store Changes Hands", April 14, 1914, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News,  "McClure Gets Postmastership", December 17, 1914.

 

 

Personal Communication:

Orion Stroud Baker-October 1993.

 

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CHARLES RICE BENNETT (1884-1971)

Charles Rice Bennett (1884-1971) was born on January 7, 1884, at Trenton, New Jersey.  As a young man he played professional baseball in New Jersey.  Bennett's position was second baseman and shortstop.  This experience enabled him to manage and coach the Ocean Springs Cubs to the championship of the Mississippi Coast Amateur League in 1929. 

 Charles R. Bennett married Lillian S. Bennett (1894-1973) probably at Crosswicks, New Jersey, her birth place.  They has a son, Howard B. Bennett (1914-1976), who was born at Yardville, New Jersey.  The family moved to Chicago, Illinois where Charle R. Bennett made his livelihood in the filing business.  The Bennetts also lived at Detroit, Michigan for a period before moving South to Ocean Springs in 1925.  Bennett once owned a Richkenbacker automobile.

     

Charles Rice Bennett (1884-1971)

 At Ocean Springs, Charles R. Bennett purchased a tract of land from John M. and Coralie Gehl on May 6, 1925.  This land was known as the "Veillon Place" and was located in the southeast corner of Section 19, the Ames Tract, north of the L&N Railroad.  The Bennett home was located near present day Germaine's Restaurant on Bienville Boulevard.  Here Bennett made his livelihood as a pecan farmer, and became involved in baseball as a manager.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. Book 55, pp. 219-220)

C.R. Bennett was president of the Ocean Springs Rotary Club in 1929.  He was succeeded by V.G. Humphrey in June 1930, and also resigned as manager of the baseball club in June 1930.(The Daily Herald, July 4, 1930, p. 3)

Charles Bennett ran for the Ward One alderman seat in the 1933 election year and won.  While Bennett was acting as alderman, the then mayor, Morris McClure (1884-1940), resigned his mayoral office to become postmaster.  Bennett replaced him in 1933.  Bennett also replaced Ward One alderman, Charles Scharenberg, upon his demise in 1935.  He was elected Mayor of Ocean Springs in 1939, and served two terms completing his civic duty in that office in 1942.

The Bennetts sold their fourteen-acre place to Theodore O. Bonell in June 1938.  They moved to Pascagoula probably during World War II.  Here he became employed as a safety engineer at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation.  Bennett later was a salesman at the Sportsman's Center until his retirement in the late 1950s.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 71, p. 208)

At the time of his demise, Bennett resided at 1012 Rollins Street in Moss Point.  He was preceded in death by his son, Howard Bennett (1914-1967), and daughter-in-law, Ivon Cecile "Billie" Krebs (1911-1964).  He was survived by his wife, Lillian, and a grandson, Richard Thomas Bennett, who lived with them. 

In December 1965, Howard Bennett became Jackson County's first full-time civil defense director.  He worked at Ingalls prior to this position.  Bennett played semi-pro baseball for the Wayne Lee team of Pascagoula.  His wife, Billie Krebs Bennett, had a distinguished career in nursing.  She was employed for over thirty years in this profession serving as head nurse, supervisor, and assistant superintendent at the hospital.  Mrs. Bennett was an anesthetist at the time of her demise.

Charles Rice Bennett was a Baptist and life member of Pascagoula Masonic Lodge 419 F&AM.  He also was a member of the Scottish Rite Order and Moslem Temple of Detroit.

Mr. Bennett’s corporal remains were interred at the Machpelah Cemetery at Pascagoula with other members of his immediate family.

 

REFERENCES:

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1972), pp 135-136.

The Chronicle"Mrs. Bennett's Funeral Today at OLV Church", March 2, 1964, p. 1.

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

The Daily Herald"Charles R. Bennett", March 19, 1971, p 2.

The Daily Herald"Mrs. Lillian Bennett", March 19, 1973, p. 2.

The Jackson County Times"Charles Bennett Resigns as Club President", June 29, 1929, p. 2.

The Jackson County Times"Coast League Pennant Winners", (photo), September 7, 1929.

The Mississippi Press"CD Director Dies Today", September 7, 1967, p. 1 and p. 26.

 

FRANCIS ERNEST SCHMIDT (1877-1954)

Francis Ernest Schmidt, called Frank, was the son of Charles Ernest Schmidt (1851-1886) and Laura Coyle (1857-1931).  The elder Schmidt of German ancestry came to Ocean Springs from New Orleans in the 1870s.  At Ocean Springs, he met Laura Coyle, the daughter of Menorcan immigrant, Francisco Coyle (1813-1891), and Magdalene Ougatte Pons (1813-1904).  C.E. Schmidt married Laura Coyle in 1874.    

Charles E. Schmidt was known as "Handsome Charlie".  He owned the White House (1877-1911), a bar and rooming house, on Robinson Avenue south of the L&N Depot.  In November 1879, Schmidt opened a family retail grocery in addition to his other enterprises.  Unfortunately in 1886, Schmidt met an untimely demise at the age of thirty-five.  He left widow, Laura Schmidt, with five young children: Euphemia Magdalena Beyer (1876-1954+), Francis Ernest Schmidt (1877-1954), Theodore Charles Schmidt (1879-1954+), Louis Victor Schmidt (1880-1953), and Magdalene Joachim (1882-1971).  Another daughter, Emilia Dolores Schmidt (1884-1884), preceded Schmidt in death.

Laura Coyle Schmidt married Michael J. Brady (1838-1919), a farmer, in June 1895.  They had a daughter, Mary Agnes Brady (1896-1974) who married Oscar Mitchell (1893-1964).  They are the progenitors of the large Mitchell family at Ocean Springs.

Young Frank Schmidt worked as an oysterman circa 1900.  In January 1901, he took a lease from the F.J. Lundy Company on the Illing Bakery property located at 78-80 Washington Avenue.  Circa 1900, Schmidt married Antoinette Emma Johnson (1870-1956) of Algiers, Louisiana.  Her father was a Danish sea captain, Frederick Oliver Johnson (Jenson) (1851-1938), and mother, Henrietta Hedman (1855-1922).  Mr. Johnson ran a grocery store on Washington Avenue in 1910.  Mrs. Schmidt's sister was Carrie Ann Johnson (1886-1968) who was married to Joseph B. Garrard (1871-1915), and Alexander Fleet Everhart (1881-1957).  Mrs. Everhart was in the hardware business, grew citrus fruit, and dealt in real estate at Ocean Springs.

Frank Schmidt bought the Illing Bakery Lot from H.F. Russell (1858-1940) in December 1903.  Here for the next thirty-five years Schmidt and Harry Hill (1896-1968) baked fresh bread, cakes, rolls, pies, and cookies.  In the early years deliveries were made twice daily using a horse drawn bread wagon with the product selling for a nickel a loaf.

The Frank Schmidt's started their family in 1902, with the birth of their first son, Frank Oliver Schmidt (1902-1975).  Two additional sons followed, Charles Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988), and Harry Johnson Schmidt (b. 1905).  With this growing family, Schmidt had the impetus to tear

down his residence and build a larger one.  He also built a bakery shop separate from his residence.  This building still stands at 504 Washington Avenue and is owned by the First Baptist Church of Ocean Springs.  Le Croissant, a French bakery, operates in the old Schmidt store.

Frank Schmidt served Ocean Springs as Ward One alderman (1915-1922 and 1925-1930) and Mayor from 1935-1938.  He ran unsuccessfully for the Jackson County Beat Four Supervisors post in 1929, seeking the seat vacated by the death of James K. Lemon (1870-1929).  He lost to Alfred P. "Fred" Moran (1897-1967).

Frank E. Schmidt sold his bakery to Harry S. Hill (1896-1968), his former employee, in December 1938, and retired to No. 45 Jackson Avenue on the northwest corner of Jackson and Cleveland.  Here the Schmidts watched the progress of their sons who were very successful in their career endeavors. 

Frank Oliver Schmidt was the first native son to practice medicine at Ocean Springs.  His son, Frank E. Schmidt, is a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon at New Orleans.

Ernest Schmidt was a mechanical engineer who invented the hydrolevel and other technical devices.  He also wrote the only comprehensive history of Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, which he published in 1972.  He also served as the fifteenth mayor of Ocean Springs.

Dr. Harry Johnson Schmidt resides at Biloxi in retirement.  He practiced internal medicine at Convent, Louisiana and Biloxi for decades.  Several of his sons are physicians at Biloxi.

After an illness of several months, Frank Schmidt died

at Mobile, Alabama on May 26, 1954.  He was a Roman Catholic practicing his religion at the St. Alphonsus Church.  Schmidt was a Knight of Columbus and member of the Holy Name Society.  He was interred in the Schmidt Family plot at the Evergreen Cemetery.

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, "The White House", (Bellande:  Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1994), pp. 45-46.

 

The Daily Herald"Former Mayor Ocean Springs Dies In Mobile", May 26, 1954, p. 1.

The Gulf Coast Times"Louis V. Schmidt dies suddenly at Pensacola", October 29, 1953, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", November 25, 1993, p. 14.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", December 2, 1993, p. 18.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", December 29, 1994, p. 18.

 

US Census-Jackson County, Mississippi (1880, 1900, 1910)

 

ALBERT S. WESTBROOK (1900-1980)

            Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980) was born on November 11, 1900, of an Ocean Springs pioneer family.  He was the youngest child of Edwin Martin Westbrook (1858-1913) and Harriette Clark (1857-1927).  His grandparents were John Westbrook (d. pre-1870) and Caroline Matthew (1830-1895), a native of Louisville, Kentucky.

            Albert Westbrook's father, Edward Martin Westbrook, a barber and Realtor, married Harriette Clark (1857-1927) in 1880.  They settled on Washington Avenue just north of present day Lovelace Drugs (The Bailey Building).  Here the Westbrooks reared ten children:  Edmund James Westbrook (1881-1943), Henry Charles Westbrook (1883-1883), Arthur Effris Westbrook (1884-1945), William Joseph Westbrook (1886-1913), George Lamar Westbrook (1888-1935), Frederick Louis Westbrook (1889-1963), Alonzo Sheldon Westbrook (1892-1919), Harry Ferdinand Westbrook (1894-1933), Hattie Adele Westbrook (1898-1919), and Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980).           

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980)

Albert S. Westbrook attended Public School at Ocean Springs.  At the age of seventeen, he joined the L&N Railroad and worked for that organization until his retirement in 1963.  Westbrook's career with the railroad took him to Biloxi (chief clerk), Pascagoula, and Bay St. Louis, but he always lived at Ocean Springs commuting daily to his post on the New Orleans to Mobile route of that rail carrier.  In August 1931, Albert was transferred to Biloxi as Freight Agent.  His like position at Ocean Springs had been eliminated. (The Daily Herald, August 11, 1931, p. 2)

Westbrook was elected alderman of Ward 1 several times.  He served his constituents in this capacity between 1931-1932, 1939-1949, and 1969-1973.  His mayoral term was the years 1943 through 1950.  As Mayor of Ocean Springs, Westbrook saw the city get natural gas service and the first paid fire department.

Albert S. Westbrook was a very popular mayor.  In his last reelection campaign in August 1948, he defeated his opponent, H.H. Hayden (1881-1954), by an almost 4 to 1 margin.  In the Third Ward, which at this time was the largest in the city, Westbrook polled 83 per cent of the vote.

Albert S. Westbrook was a member of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, and a charter member of the Ocean Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

In 1923, Westbrook married Lucille Theresa Tonnelier at the Church of the Nativity at Biloxi.  They lived at 1108 Washington Avenue in the old Westbrook family home, which was legated to him after Mrs. Westbrooks death in 1927.

They had a daughter, Margie Westbrook, who married Bruce Edwards.  Mr. Edwards parents, James Henry Edwards (1893-1950) and Amelia Schubert (1893-1979), owned and operated the French Hotel-Edwards House on the beach at Martin Avenue from 1921 until 1969.  Albert S. Westbrook died on October 8, 1980, and is interred at the Biloxi Cemetery.

REFERENCES:

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande: Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1994), p. 92.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Volume 1, "Westbrook", (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi-1991), pp. 357-358.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Albert S. Westbrook", (Jackson County Genealogical Society:  Pascagoula-1989), p. 392.

The Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs", August 11, 1931.

The Jackson County Times, "Westbrook, Hodges Are Reelected; Ald. Schmidt Loses To J.C. "Champ" Gay", August 20, 1948, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Albert S. Westbrook Obit", October 30, 1980, p. 3.

 

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ROBERT C. MILLER (1887-1953)

Robert C. Miller, known as "R.C.", was born near Prentiss, Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi.  He was the eldest child and only son of the ten children born to William R. Miller and Anna Tyrone of Covington County, Mississippi.

R.C. Miller married Maude E. Bass.  Before her demise in 1915, she bore him four children:  Robert L. Miller (1909-1975), Herbert L. Miller (1911-1974), infant Miller boy (1910-1910), and Eula Nee Twining (b. 1913).  Miller later married Lydia Polk (1901-1990) of Jefferson Davis

County, Mississippi.  Their children were:  Lillie N. Renfroe (b. 1919), Margaret E. Mohler (b. 1921), Mary Katherine Miller (1927-1928), and Bruce B. Miller (b.1934).  Margaret and Bruce Miller were born at Ocean Springs.

           

Robert C. Miller (1887-1953)

 

            The Millers began their permanent residency at Ocean Springs in 1927.  The family initially resided in a Fred Westbrook rental house on Desoto near Jackson.  The home was later demolished to erect the First Federal Savings and Loan building at 819 Desoto Avenue.

Before he was elected town marshal and tax collector in 1940, R.C. Miller was a constable and deputy sheriff for Jackson County.  He was also the local sales representative for The Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.

In February 1942, Miller purchased a small cottage at 1209 Government Street from Annie Washington Carter (1867-1942+), the widow of John Hilton Carter (1877-1920+).  Carter had built the structure in 1900.  The Miller Family possessed the property until June 1993, when Bruce B. Miller and Margaret M. Mohler conveyed it to Marilyn Y. Lunceford.  Ms. Lunceford is the proprietor of the immensely popular, "Favorites", a book and art shop which she operated from the former Carter-Miller cottage.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 79, pp. 79-80 and 1018, p. 670)

Six months before he was elected Mayor in 1950, R.C. Miller experienced a partially paralyzing stroke.  He had faithfully served the people of Ocean Springs as marshal, street commissioner, and tax collector until the end of 1950.  In late March 1953, Mayor Miller had a severe coronary attack prior to a special meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.  He departed life at the Biloxi hospital on March 25, 1953.  Miller's remains were interred at the Evergreen Cemetery.

R.C. Miller was a very popular mayor and an ardent sports fan.  He worshiped with his family at the First Baptist Church.  Miller was a Rotarian, member of the American Red Cross, and active in the Tennessee Peace Officers Association.

 

REFERENCES:

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "Robert C. Miller", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), p. 289.

 

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JOHN CHAMPLIN GAY (1909-1975)

 

John Champlin Gay (1909-1975), called Champ, was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on February 9, 1909.  His father, Daniel Judson Gay (1870-1949), was a native of Emanuel County, Georgia.  D.J. Gay came to Biloxi in 1902, from Florida.  He married Lee B. Champlin (1884-1964) on December 8, 1903.  She was the daughter of Judge Zachary Taylor Champlin (b. 1847) and Virginia White of Handsboro, Mississippi.

           

John "Champ" Champlin Gay (1909-1975)

 

D.J. Gay was an entrepreneur at Biloxi.  He was active in banking, real estate, and naval stores.  Gay built the Gay Building on Lameuse Street at Howard Avenue in 1913, which now houses the Peoples Bank.  He was president of this bank for many years.  D.J. Gay was a partner with Charles Brooks Elarbee (1861-1917) of Waycross, Georgia in the naval stores industry operating as Gay & Elarbee until 1912.  He then joined with R.W. Hamill of Chicago to commence Gay-Hammill, an organization which operated turpentine stills and orchards in South Mississippi for many years.  In the early 1930s, D.J. Gay went international when he commenced naval store operations near Durango, Mexico. His brother, Edward C. Gay, ran the company’s operations from San Antonio, Texas.  Mr. Gay died at Tampa, Florida in December 1949.  Mrs. Gay lived until February 1964.  Both are interred at the Southern Memorial Cemetery at Biloxi.

 

Champ Gay grew up on the beach front at Biloxi with his siblings:  Louise Gay Dantzler Duncan (b. 1904), Daniel J. Gay, Jr. (b. 1906), Edna Gay Jenkins (b. 1910), and Katherine Gay Farrar (b. 1915) .  The Gay home was near the Biloxi Lighthouse and east of the Dantzler House.  His education consisted of attending the Baylor Military Academy (Chattanooga), University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee, and the University of Mississippi (Oxford).    

 

Tuck Gay

In 1927, Champ Gay married Jennie Tucker Heiss (1909-1996) of Gulfport.  She was the daughter of John Louis and Estelle B. Heiss.  Mrs. Heiss graduated from college at the amazing age of ?  (see The Ocean Springs Record, August 7, 1972, p. 7)

The young couple eloped and had to walk across the railroad bridge from Gautier to Pascagoula to get married as the West Pascagoula highway bridge at Gautier was out of commission.  Their family consists of three daughters:  Gloria Gay Hobgood (Calhoun, Ga.), Estelle Gay Williams Reese (Calhoun, Ga.), and Jonne Gay Pollina (Ocean Springs).

In 1927, D.J. Gay sent Champ to Oliver, Georgia to run their turpentine operations.  He returned to the Missis-sippi coast after a brief stay.  Gay moved to Ocean Springs in 1932, to assist his father in their turpentine operations here.  In 1931, the elder Gay had built a still to manufacture rosin and turpentine from the sap of pine trees.  His operation was located on Government Street across from the "new" 1927 Ocean Springs Public School.  The business was a boon to Ocean Springs employment during the depression years, especially for local black families.

 

Circa 1942, Champ Gay built a home at 505 Cleveland Avenue.  Some of the lumber utilized in erecting the Gay House was taken from the W.H. Westfall mercantile store at Vancleave.  The Gays moved to Cleveland Avenue from the front beach where they had resided in the present day Charbonnet House at 513 Front Beach. 

 

In 1925, Mr. D.J. Gay had purchased the old Joseph Bellande and later Robert A. Friar home site on the beach east of Washington Avenue.  He sold this property to R.H. Holmes and Rene F. Cazaubon (1883-1970) in 1941.  Champ and Tuck Gay built their present home at 797 Iberville on Fort Bayou in 1963.

 

Champ Gay was an avid sportsman.  He participated in baseball, football, and golf while at Ole Miss.  When Ocean Springs needed a football facility in the late 1940s, he worked diligently to get Freedom Field built on Porter and Pershing.  As Mayor, J.C. Gay staffed the recreation department, and hired a lifeguard for the Community pier.  His name lives on in the sporting and recreational culture as the Gay-Lemon Park on Deena Road was named in the memory of Champ Gay and the Lemon Family.

 

As an outdoorsman, Gay experienced a wild, winter, water wet adventure.  In mid-February 1950, he and five fishing companions, Joe Catchot, Don Eglin, Wallace Edwards, Pat Murphy, and Michael LaMacchi, left Ocean Springs aboard his 27-foot cruiser, Jonne, for an outing to the Chandeleur Islands.  Near the island, the boat struck a reef and began to take on water.  The vessel was beached near the old abandoned lighthouse.  With a twenty-foot high surf running, the group huddled cold and hungry in the sanctuary of the shelter.  Fortunately, they were rescued by a Coast Guard cutter from Biloxi after their two and one-half day ordeal on the island.  When the tired hungry survivors arrived at the Biloxi Community House pier on St. Valentine's Day, they were warmly welcomed by relatives and friends.  Champ Gay said, "People kissed me who had never kissed me before".

 

After the turpentine operation closed in the late 1940s, Champ Gay opened a hardware store, Champion's Hardware, on Washington Avenue.  He was also active in the timber land business, and local real estate with his good friend, J.K. Lemon.  Gay was a founder of the First National Bank of Ocean Springs (1967).  The bank was bought out by the Metropolitan National Bank, which merged with the Hancock Bank in 1990.

 

J.C. Gay entered Ocean Springs politics in 1949, and was elected Alderman-at-Large.  He served in this capacity until 1953.  Champ Gay was elected mayor in 1953, 1957, and again in 1965. 

 

Champ Gay's eight years at the helm of the city were very positive and progressive.  He commenced modern accounting practices in the public sector regarding accounts and records; placed City Hall on a full time service to the public; modernized, enlarged, and built new schools; and with the assistance of the Ocean Springs Woman's Club established permanent library facilities. 

 

In August 1968, he proposed that Ocean Springs change its municipal government to the City Manager management style.  Mayor Gay believed that Ocean Springs had grown to large to be run by a Board of Aldermen.  Four hundred registered voters were needed to petition for a referendum to change the city government of Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County News, August 7, 1968, p. 1)

 

Champ Gay was active in the civic affairs of his city.   He was a past president of the Ocean Springs Chamber of commerce, a member of the Rotary Club, Boy Scout Committees, the Ocean Springs Athletic Association, Community Center, Mississippi Municipal Association, Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Association, and Coast Municipal Association.

 

The life and persona of John Champlin Gay are best expressed by the person who knew and loved him so well, his wife.  Tuck Gay wrote the following about her husband in The History of Jackson County, MississippiJohn Champlin Gay was known throughout the Coast as a businessman, family man, sports enthusiast, and city official.  Because of his keen interest in good government, perhaps his real love was politics.  The truth is that he was a man who was devoted to justice and progress.  He was not afraid of hard work, and has been described as a man who would fight for what is right.  Right or wrong, the people knew where he stood-behind them all the way.

John Champlin Gay died on July 22, 1975.  His corporal remains were interred in the Crestlawn Memorial Park at Ocean Springs.  Mrs. Gay passed on February 11, 1996.

 

Champ Oak

A two-year old Live Oak tree was dedicated to the memory of Mayor Gay at the L&N Depot, in May 1976.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 27, 1976, p. 2)

 

CHILDREN

 

Estelle Gay Williams Reese

Estelle Gay Williams Reese (1931-2015), age 84 years, of Ocean Springs, MS, passed away on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 in Ocean Springs.  Mrs. Reese was a former longtime resident of Ocean Springs and a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. She was also a member of The United Daughters of the Confederacy and a high school English teacher. Mrs. Reese taught for many years in the Terrebonne Parish Public Schools in Houma, LA. She was a former organist, teaching music for many years. Mrs. Reese attended the MS University for Women and graduated from Nicholls State University.  She is preceded in death by her husband, John Reese; her daughter, Mary Lee Williams Garrard; her son, George Williams; and her parents, John Champlin Gay and Jennie Tucker Heiss Gay.  Mrs. Reese's survivors include her daughters, Elizabeth (Richard) Cadle of Gulf Breeze, FL, Jennifer (Arthur) Williams of Santa Fe, NM and Jacqueline Gillman of Pensacola, FL; her sons, Walter L. Williams of Ocean Springs, MS and Ted Williams of New Orleans, LA; her sisters, Gloria Hobgood of Calhoun, GA and Jonne Pollina of Ocean Springs, MS; twelve grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.  A Memorial Service will be held at the Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm. Friends may visit from 2:00 pm until service time.(The Sun Herald, June 5, 2015)

 

REFERENCES:

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"John Champlin Gay", (Jackson County Genealogical Society:  Pascagoula-1989), pp. 215-216.

The Daily Herald"Ocean Springs Was In A Turmoil While Party Was Missing", February 15, 1950, p. 1.

The Daily Herald"Former mayor J.C. Gay dies", July 22, 1975, p. A-2.

The Jackson County News, Mayor Gay favors government shift", August 7, 1968, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News"Ocean Springs to Get First National Bank", July 5, 1967, p. 11.

The Ocean Springs Record"J.C. Gay Political Ad", May 17, 1967, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Family Members Celebrate with Graduates”, August 17, 1972.

The Ocean Springs Record"Death Claims Former Ocean Springs Mayor", July 24, 1975, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Champ Oak Dedicated in Springs”, May 27, 1976, p. 2.

The Sun Herald"Mrs. Jennie Tucker Heiss Gay", February 13, 1996, p. C-2.

The Sun Herald"Estelle Gay Williams Reese", June 5, 2015.

Personal Communication:

Richard Gay-April 1995

Mrs. J.C. Gay-April 1995

Jonne Gay Pollina-April 1995

 

__________________________________________________________________________

CHARLES ERNEST SCHMIDT (1904-1988)

When death came to Charles Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988) on January 14, 1988, the city of Ocean Springs lost its foremost historian, a brilliant inventor, and capable political leader.  Schmidt was known affectionately as Ernest and "Uncle Ernie".  He was the second son of Frank Ernest Schmidt (1877-1954) and Antoinette Emma Johnson (1870-1956).  Schmidt was born at Ocean Springs in 1904.  The elder Schmidt was a baker and served Ocean Springs as its eleventh mayor (1935-1938).

Charles Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988)

 

In May 1923, an adventurous C.E. Schmidt took employment on the freighter, Emergency Aid, which was sailing for London and Rotterdam, Holland.  Schmidt’s uncle who was a crewmember of the vessel was influential in his acquiring the position.(The Jackson County Times,

May 26, 1923, p. 5)

Schmidt matriculated to Tulane where he received a degree in mechanical engineering in 1928.  He attended Marquette University during the 1924-1925 school session.  His college roommate at Tulane was future heart surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey.  Schmidt's first employment was with the United States Corps of Engineers at New Orleans.  In 1934, he designed a successful pump utilized in the transfusion of blood for DeBakey while he was a surgery resident at Tulane and Charity Hospital.

The live oaks, gentle bay breezes, and his strong roots in the community drew Ernie Schmidt back to Ocean Springs in 1937.  Before leaving to serve in a Seabee construction battalion in the South Pacific and Alaska as a Naval Lieutenant during World War II, he operated a boat and bait business, and a restaurant, "The Bay-Bridge Tavern", on the front beach where the Ocean Springs Yacht Club now stands. 

In 1947, Schmidt entered the political arena at Ocean Springs and was elected alderman-at-large for one term.  He often battled Beat Four County Supervisor A.P. "Fred" Moran (1897-1967) over the best utility of the Ocean Springs Inner Harbor.  In the Spring of 1948, Schmidt resigned in a furor from his position as Secretary of the Commission for Sea Food Development.  He was an outspoken advocate for industrial development in Jackson County and wanted the harbor developed for commercial fishermen.  Supervisor Moran favored the inlet as a haven for pleasure craft and recreational sailors.

In August 1948, Ernest Schmidt lost a hotly contested race for his Alderman-at-Large post to J.C. Gay (1909-1975).  The Citizens Progressive League had been organized in the Spring of 1948, with the specific purpose of unseating incumbent Schmidt.  They vehemently opposed his platform of establishing a seafood industry at Ocean Springs, and his criticism of tax evaders.

Engineer, C.E. Schmidt, invented the hydrolevel in 1951.  The hydolevel, a fifty-foot tubing filled with a colored fluid, was used extensively in the construction industry to level walls and foundations.  His Hydrolevel Company, which occupied the old Parks residence on Church Street in 1973, sold more than 50,000 levels throughout the western hemisphere.

Schmidt served the city of Ocean Springs as its Mayor from 1961-1965.  As mayor, he promoted professional appraisal systems for the city and the school district.  Schmidt also strongly supported the City Planning Commission.

As a writer, Schmidt frequently published articles on the history of Ocean Springs and the surrounding area in local journals and historical society publications.  His greatest contribution as a historian was the publication of Ocean Springs French Beachhead in 1972.  This book is the only comprehensive history ever written about this historic city.  Schimdt also left a "scrapbook" in the Ocean Springs Library.  This gift of photographs and maps of the city is priceless and represents years of collecting local archival material.  Donated in March 1975, the book is enjoyed by all who take the time to review it. 

While mayor, C.E. Schmidt wrote a column in The Ocean Springs News titled, "Everyday is Election Day for your Business".  He dealt with civic and fiscal responsibility, taxes, and other governmental affairs in this weekly report.  In 1965, C.E. Schmidt ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Ward 4 alderman's seat.  His platform tenets were that the city needed a professional manager and the elimination of salaries for the mayor and aldermen.  Mary G. Joachim (1902-1978) defeated Schmidt in the Democratic primary.

In 1980, C.E. Schmidt filed litigation against the City of Ocean Springs alleging that it was in violation of State law for funding a salary for a "full time" Mayor.  He contended that the municipality was legally bound to a Council-Manager style government.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 7, 1980, p. 2)

Throughout his life, Ernest Schmidt loved and served the city of Ocean Springs.  He acted as city cemetery sextant and manager for many years finally retiring in April 1975.

Ernest Schmidt lived a simple, bachelors life at 505 Jackson Avenue.  His former house is one of the oldest standing in the city.  The Schmidt House is a one-and one-half story, five-bay facade, wood frame cottage with a side gable roof and undercut gallery.  Mrs. Laura Coyle Schmidt (1857-1931) acquired the house in February 1889, from Mr. and Mrs. D.A. McCall and Emily Foster.  It remained in the Schmidt Family until after the death of Ernest Schmidt in 1988, when it was conveyed to Patrick B. Mitchell in August 1990. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell were recently recognized by the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Commission for their outstanding efforts and craftsmanship in preserving and restoring the old Schmidt homestead.  The Mitchells were given the Progress with Preservation Award by the Commission.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 10, p. 102 and  Bk. 1003, p. 398.

C.E. Schmidt was a Roman Catholic and member of the St. Alphonsus Church and Knights of Columbus.  Schmidt is survived by his brother, Dr. Harry Johnson Schmidt (b. 1905) of Biloxi.  He was interred at the Evergreen Cemetery in the Schmidt Family plot.

  

REFERENCES:

Ocean Springs, Mississippi:  A Look at the Beautiful Past of a Beautiful City, "The Charles Ernest Schmidt House", (Ocean Springs Junior High School Eight Grade Enrichment Class:  Ocean Springs-1983), Deanne Stephens Nuwer, teacher-editor.

The Gulf Coast Times"C.E. Schmidt designs blood pump for Dr. Debakey", April 3, 1980, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 26, 1923.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal”, July 4, 1925.

The Jackson County Times"Schmidt Resigns from Sea Food Post; Blasts Supervisor A.P. Moran", March 19, 1948, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, "Alderman Schmidt Blamed for Loss of Funds", June 1948, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times"Westbrook, Hodges Are Reelected; Ald. Schmidt Loses to J.C. 'Champ' Gay", August 20, 1948, p. 1.

The Mississippi Press"City recognizes historic preservation", May 7, 1995, p. 2-C.

The Ocean Springs News"For Aldermans Post", April 8, 1965, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Schmidt Collection Given to Library", March 20, 1975, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"City Cemetery Manager Resigns", April 3, 1975, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Schmidt designed blood pump for now famous surgeon (DeBakey)", April 3, 1980, p. 12.

The Ocean Springs Record"Former official [C. Ernest Schmidt] challenges legality of Mayor's salary", July 3, 1980, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Schmidt will pursue law against City", August 7, 1980, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Barlow rules against Schmidt suit", February 26, 1981, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Schmidt offers proposal", July 30, 1981, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Drop the suit", July 30, 1981, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs Record"Former OS mayor, historian dies", January 21, 1988, pp. 1-2.

The Ocean Springs Record"C.E. Schmidt Obit", January 21, 1988, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record"Hydrolevel house restored, filled with beauty", October 19, 1989, p. 10.

Personal Communication:

Dr. Harry Johnson Schmidt-July 1992.

   

 DONALD L. CONNOR (1912-1982)

Donald Lawrence Connor (1912-1982), called Pat, was born at New Orleans, Louisiana in 1912.  His parents were Lewis Sylvestor Connor Sr. (1884-1934) a native of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Eudolie Una Perrin (1850-1957) of New Orleans.  Pat Connor had two brothers, John Perrin Connor and Lewis S. Connor, Jr.

 Like many before her, Mrs. Eudolie Connor had heard of the medicinal qualities of the water at Ocean Springs.  She suffered with a renal condition, and found relief from the artesian water obtained from a deep well near the L&N Depot on Robinson Street.  It is believed that these subsurface waters contained mineral salts, which were found to be deleterious to the boilers of steam trains, which they were produced for.  Serendipitously, the well water was found to have salubrious effects on those with physical ailments who imbibed regularly.           

In September 1924, Mrs. Lewis S. Connor bought the Alonzo D. Sheldon cottage on Lovers Lane and the Bay of Biloxi at Ocean Springs for $5500 from the Heirs of Charles B. McVay. A.D. Sheldon (1832-1903) and his wife, Ellen M. Sheldon (1834-1912) were natives of New York State.  Sheldon was the L&N Railroad agent here in 1880, preceding Frederick M. Weed (1850-1926), the fourth mayor of Ocean Springs, in this position.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 54, p. 314)

The sunken French freighter discovered in the Bay of Biloxi in September 1892, by Eugene Tiblier, Jr. was situated about 1/4 mile from the Sheldon home.  French Colonial artifacts, especially cannon balls, have been recovered in this area of Lovers Lane in recent times corroborating the fact that Fort Maurepas (1699-1702), the French beachhead in the lower Mississippi River Valley, was located here.

In 1973, the Connors demonstrated their love for the history of Ocean Springs, when they allowed archaeologist from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to trench across their fabulously landscaped property.  This reconnaissance search was unsuccessful in finding Fort Maurepas. 

Mrs. L.S. Connor called her Queen Anne cottage and surroundings "Conamore", which integrates a portion of their surname, "Connor", and "amore", Italian for love.  The Connors have truly loved their exquisite home and grounds, as well as Ocean Springs, since their first glimpse in the 1920s.

 In 1941, Pat Connor married a New Orleans born widow, Ethelyn Lucille MacKenzie Shaffner (1916-2013).  Pat Connor, Phillipe "Phil" Shaffner (1908-1936), and Ethelyn MacKenzie had been friends during their college days in New Orleans.  Pat Connor attended Loyola University where he studied business administration and played football, basketball, tennis, and swam.  At this time, Pat Connor made his livelihood as an insurance safety engineer and casualty insurance payroll auditor for U.S.F.& G. 

Pat and Ethelyn Connor had three children born in the Crescent City: Ethelyn Patricia Joachim Sustendal (b. 1942), Ethel Bertheaud Connor (1944-1944), and Donald L. Connor, Jr. (1945-2013).  With her two sons from Phillippe Schaffner, Phillip M. Schaffner (b. 1934) and Charles H. Schaffner (b. 1936), the Connor-Schaffner family moved permanently to Ocean Springs in June 1946.  They purchased Conamore from Mrs. Joseph E. Blum in May 1946.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 93, pp. 424-425)

At Ocean Springs, Connor continued his employment with U.S.F.& G. at New Orleans until 1950, when he became an independent insurance payroll auditor.  He was a charter member of both the New Orleans and Southwest Louisiana Insurance Auditors Association.

In 1963, Pat Connor began his active civic life when he was appointed to the Ocean Springs Planning Commission.  He later served on the Jackson County Planning Commission (1967) and Gulf Regional Planning Commission (1967).  Connor became Ocean Springs first full time mayor upon his election in 1969. 

During his first term as mayor, Pat Connor led the citizens of Ocean Springs through some of their darkest days while recovering from the fury of Hurricane Camille (August 1969).  He lost a bid for a second mayoral term in 1973, by sixteen votes to Tom Stennis. 

Mayor Connor served another successful term as chief executive of the city from 1977-1981).  Unfortunately, Ocean Springs experienced Hurricane Frederic (September 1979) during this time.  Connor continued to support the historical aspects of Ocean Springs by appointing a historic preservation commission and securing a Federal grant to build the Marble Springs replication on Iberville Drive.  Mayor Connor was very vocal about the results of the 1980 Federal Census count for Ocean Springs.  Their preliminary report suggested that there were 14188 people here.  Pat Connor felt that the local population was closer to 15,600 people.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 31, 1980, p. 1)

Pat Connor was very active in civic affairs.  He was a member of the following organizations:  Gulf Coast Municipal Association (president), Optimist Club (charter member-president), Rotary Club, American Legion, 1699 Historical Committee (charter member and vice-president), Ocean Springs Jaycees (honorary member), Friends of Walter Anderson, Walter Anderson Players (charter member), Boy Scout Troop 210 (treasurer), Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra Association, and the Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church. 

Among the many awards received during Connor's life were:  Ocean Springs Intra Club Outstanding Adult Citizen Award (1973-1974), Grand Marshall Firemen’s Day Parade (1978), Jaycette President's Award (1979), and first Grand Marshall of the 1699 Historical Committee Parade (1982).

Pat Connor died on April 30, 1982, while trimming leaves in his yard at Conamore.  Six days earlier, he had been the first grand marshal of the 1699 Historical Committee Parade. 

Mayor Pat Connor has been memorialized by several organizations in the city.  The Ocean Springs Police Association donated an oil portrait of him to be hung at City Hall.  A plaque at Marble Springs Park set by the Ocean Springs Garden Club states the following about Pat Connor:    "A man whose enthusiasm and dreams for preserving Ocean Springs history and heritage were only overshadowed by his faith that it could be done".

Many of Mayor Connor's civic endeavors in historic preservation and environmental concerns have been perpetuated by his loving wife, Ethelyn, and daughter, Patricia.

Ethelyn died at Ocean Springs on July 21, 2013.  She had become the ‘Queen Mother” of Ocean Springs supporting Live Oak and historic preservation her adopted City.

Much of the information for this article was gleaned from The History of Jackson CountyMississippi (1989).  Joanne G. Anderson wrote the interesting history of the Connor-Shaffner families in this publication for all to enjoy. 

 

REFERENCES:

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Mayor D.L. "Pat" Connor", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), pp. 53-54.

 The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"D.L. "Pat" Connor", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), pp. 169-170. 

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Ethelyn MacKinzie Connor", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), pp. 170-171. 

The Ocean Springs Record"City Candidates Announced-D.L. "Pat" Connor", April 19, 1973, p. 1 and p. 10.

The Ocean Springs Record"D.L. (Pat) Connor Will Run For Mayor", March 17, 1977, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Former official [C. Ernest Schmidt] challenges legality of Mayor's salary", July 3, 1980, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Mayor protests Census count", July 31, 1980, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Schmidt will pursue law against City", August 7, 1980, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Barlow rules against Schmidt suit", February 26, 1981, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Schmidt offers proposal", July 30, 1981, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Drop the suit", July 30, 1981, p. 4.

The Sun Herald,  "Ethelyn Lucille MacKenzie Connor", July 23, 2013, p. A4.

The Sun Herald, "Connor was a green Ocean Springs", July 23, 2013.

The Sun Herald, "Donald Lawrence, Jr.", , December 8, 2013, p. A13.

Personal Communication:

Ethelyn M. Connor-July 1995.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

THOMAS L. STENNIS: (b. 1935)

Thomas Lamar Stennis was born on August 10, 1935, at Dekalb, Kemper County, Mississippi.  He is the son of Thomas Lamar Stennis (d. 1935) and Lucille Kelly (1906-2004).  Tom Stennis attended Newton County Public Schools, graduated from Starkville High School, and matriculated to Mississippi State University where he graduated with a Business Administration degree.           

Thomas Lamar Stennis (b. 1935)

At Starkville, he met and married Mavis Critz.  They are the parents of four children:  Ginger Pitalo, Lamar Stennis, Janet Stennis, and Karen Stennis.  Mr. Stennis bought the Western Auto Store on Washington Avenue on June 19, 1965.  He came to Ocean Springs from Starkville where he was manager of the Oktibbeha County Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Foundation (1960-1965).  At Ocean Springs, the Stennises resided at 399 Maginnis Avenue.

In February 1970, Stennis announced he would open the Wayside Furniture Company on Highway 90 opposite the V.F.W in a 9600 square-foot building.

Tom Stennis was elected Mayor of Ocean Springs in 1973.  He served one four-year term defeating incumbent, Pat Connor (1912-1982), by sixteen votes.  After completing his service to the people of Ocean Springs in 1977, Stennis attended the Mississippi School of Law and earned a Juris Doctorate degree.  Returning to Ocean Springs, Stennis entered into the private practice of law.  For five years, he served the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, Port Authority, Planning Commission, Airport Authority, Sheriff's Department, and Jackson County Youth Court as attorney.

In March 1993, Stennis was named assistant director of the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association (NMIDA) headquartered at West Point, Mississippi.  NMIDA is the economic development department of the TVA power distributor in twenty-nine counties in Northeast Mississippi.  While at Ocean Springs, Thomas Stennis was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Shrine Club, First Baptist Church, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and Lt. Governor of the Mississippi Toastmasters International.  He is a licensed commercial pilot.

In 1995, Tom and Mavis Stennis resided at Starkville, Mississippi.  His mother, Lucille Kelly Stennis Montgomery (1906-2004), a native of Plantersville, Lee County, Mississippi, lived at Ocean Springs.  Lucille Stennis expired at Starkville on June 5, 2004.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Pinecrest Cemetery at Dekalb, Mississippi.  She had married Tom Montgomery after the demise of Thomas Lamar Stennis.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 29, 2004, p. A5)

 

REFERENCES:

 

The Daily Herald, "Stennis is apparent winner", Section II, May 9, 1973, p. 1.

The Mississippi Press"Former supervisor attorney takes over post in West Point", March 15, 1993, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Western Auto Store", November 18, 1965, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Tom Stennis to Open Wayside Furniture Co.", February 19, 1970, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"City Candidates Announced-Tom Stennis", April 26, 1973, pp. 1-2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Stennis Views Job Ahead", May 17, 1973, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Mayor Stennis cites organizational improvements", March 25, 1976, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Mrs. Lucille Stennis-Montgomery”, July 29, 2004.

Personal Communication:

Mrs. Lucille Kelly Stennis Montgomery-July 1995.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CHESTER M. McPHEARSON JR. (1924-2006)

Chester Marvin McPhearson, Jr. is the son of Chester M. McPhearson Sr. (1883-1969) and Willie Mae McPhearson (1888-1968).  He was born at Heidelberg, Jasper County, Mississippi on October 1, 1924.  Chester M. McPhearson, Jr. was reared at Heidelberg and Meridian were he completed his high school education. 

In 1944, the Senior McPhearson relocated to Ocean Springs.  At Heidelberg, he had owned a business and was mayor of the small community.  Here, Chester M. McPhearson, Sr. opened a general merchandising business on Washington Avenue called, M & M Supply Company.  His son, William M. McPhearson (1913-1963), was a partner in the venture.           

Chester Marvin McPhearson (1924-2006)

Chester Marvin McPhearson Jr. (1924-2006) came to Ocean Springs in 1946.  He had recently been discharged with the rank of sergeant from the U.S. Army, following active duty service in the European theater during World War II.  At Ocean Springs, Chester joined the M & M Supply Company, a general merchandising business on Washington Avenue, owned and operated by his father and brother, William M. McPhearson (1913-1963).  Their motto was ‘Everything but Groceries”.(The Gulf Coast Times, April 1, 1949, p. 10 and The Ocean Springs Record, June 5, 1969, p. 9)

Chester had been born the son of Chester M. McPhearson Sr. (1883-1969), a native of Frost Bridge, Mississippi, and Willie Mae McPhearson (1888-1968) at Heidelberg, Jasper County, Mississippi on October 1, 1924.  He was reared at Heidelberg and Meridian where he completed his high school education.  In 1944, Chester M. McPhearson Sr. relocated to Ocean Springs.  At Heidelberg, he had owned a business and was Mayor of the small community.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 5, 1969, p. 9)

Chester M. McPhearson Jr. met Mary Jane McCormick (1925-1990), a native of Bastrop, Louisiana, at Biloxi.  She was reared at Biloxi.  They were married on May 9, 1948.  From this marriage were born:  Mary Louise M. Cheek (b. 1954), Linda Joyce M. Walker (b. 1957), and John Richard McPhearson (b. 1961). 

In November 1952, Mr. McPherson was nominated by Governor Hugh White and appointed by James Henderson, Director of Rent Stabilization, to the Biloxi-Pascagoula Rent Advisory Board.  Chester M. McPhearson Jr. began his nascent political career in 1953 when he was elected alderman to represent the people of Ward 4.  He served in this capacity until 1961.(The Gulf Coast Times, November 6, 1952, p. 1)

In February 1957, Chester M. McPhearson was named manager of Crestlawn Cemetery.  In the interim, he founded McPhearson's Mens Wear in 1958 after the M & M Supply Company was sold.  He was elected Mayor of Ocean Springs in 1981, on the Democratic ticket, and served two terms retiring from office in 1989.  When Mayor McPhearson took office in 1981, the City had a deficit of $180,000 and he refused a pay raise.  In 1982, the Board of Alderman approved that the salary of the Mayor be set at $24,000 from $17,796.  Even at this pay scale, McPhearson made less than the City Engineer and only $2000 more per year than the highest paid city department head.(The Ocean Springs News, February 7, 1957, p. 4 and The Ocean Springs Record, August 19, 1982, p. 1)

Mayor McPhearson’s philosophy for managing the Ocean Springs municipal government was to operate it is as a business in a fair and dignified manner and bring good business management with a sound fiscal policy to the position.

 A quote from him corroborating this philosophy follows:  I’m conservative, I do watch my money.  I can’t spend what I don’t have; I’m trying to run it in a business like way.  To be Mayor you’ve got to have a business head on your shoulders.  You’ve got to have a management background to run a city of this size.  You have got to represent the City in several ways: the public relations part, the business part and to manage it.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 29, 1983, p. 2)

In retirement, Chester M. McPhearson resided at 513 Rayburn Avenue in Ocean Springs.  He acquired this home in February 1951, from Colonel G.R. Johnson.  The McPhearson moved here from an apartment leased to them by Mrs. Hugh Saxon on Jackson Avenue.  Mayor McPhearson expired on August 3, 2006.  His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery next to his spouse who had died in early December 1990.(The Gulf Coast Times, February 22, 1951, The Ocean Springs Record, August 10, 2006, p. A1, and The Sun Herald,December 4, 1990, p. C2)

Chester M. McPhearson Jr. Community Pier

[April 2009]

Chester M. McPhearson Jr. Community Pier

An integral part of the 2009 Fort Maurepas Park master plan on Front Beach, the Mayor Chester M. McPhearson Jr. Community Pier, a concrete fishing and recreational venue,was completed in February 2009 by Brown and Mitchell Engineering of Gulfport.  It was dedicated on March 21, 2009 and named in memory of Chester M. McPhearson Jr., who served the City as its Mayor from 1981 to 1989 and Ward IV Alderman from 1953-1961.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 19, 2009, p. 4)             

Bids for the proposed pier were opened in July 2008 and the contract was let to construct a new, 650-foot pier with concrete pilings, lighting, a pavilion mid-way between the foot of pier and the T-head area at the head of the wharf.  An area to clean fish which included running water was included in the design package.  By mid-October 2008, the $722,000 water front structure was under construction with piles being set and a projected January 2009 completion date.  The Department of Marine Resources will build an oyster reef at the termination of the pier to enhance fishing and rework the old reef off of the Katrina destroyed and abandoned Martin Avenue Community Pier to the west.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 10, 2008, p. A1)

 

REFERENCES:

 

The History of Jackson County Mississippi"McPhearson Family", Jackson County Genealogical Society:  Pascagoula-1989), pp.

285-286.

The Gulf Coast Times, “O.S. Supply Co. to get radio salute”, April 1, 1949.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Personal Items”, February 22, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “McPherson New Member Rent Advisory Board”, November 6, 1952.

The Jackson County Times, “M & M sore and automobile robbed Monday night”, March 27, 1949.

The Ocean Springs News"C. McPhearson is manager of Crestlawn", February 7, 1957.

The Ocean Springs News"Clothing store in new home", November 19, 1959.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Chester M. McPhearson Sr.", June 5, 1969.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Mayor will get hefty pay raise". August 19, 1982.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Profile: Mayor will get hefty pay raise". September 29, 1983.

The Ocean Springs Record, "McPhearson then and now", February 28, 1985, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Mayor raps Kaufman", September 22, 1988, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Chester M. McPhearson, Jr.”, August 10, 2006.

The Ocean Springs Record, "McPhearson, former mayor, remembered", August 10, 2006.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

KEVIN V. ALVES SR.

Kevin V. Alves Sr. was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on July 22, 1948.  He is the son of August "Ducky" George Alves Sr. (1915-1979) and Phala Vierling (1921-1978).  August G. Alves Sr. was born at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He made his livelihood as a seismic boat captain.  Alves worked in offshore oil exploration in foreign waters for many years.  Mrs. Phala V. Alves was a native of Gulfport.

 

Kevin Alves Sr. [image made July 1993]

The August G. Alves family came to Ocean Springs in 1959, from Biloxi.  They resided at 27 Holcomb Boulevard.  Their other children are:  August G. Alves, Jr. and Kay Alves DeSilvey. 

Kevin Alves Sr. was educated in the Ocean Springs and Jackson County school systems.  After serving in the United States Air Force, Alves joined the police department of the City of Ocean Springs in 1976.  In 1983, he became police chief here.

In the 1989 city elections, Republican contender, Kevin Alves Sr., was successful in his first venture into the political arena when he bested former Ward 1 Alderman, Democrat Gene Copeland (1933-1992), to become the first elected Republican Mayor of Ocean Springs.

During the tour (1989-1993) of Mayor Alves, his administration presided over or witnessed such historic local events as: the 1990 U.S. Census taken, Martin Luther King, Jr. Street named (1990), the Historic Preservation Ordinance passed (1990), Fort Maurepas replica donated to the City and the Fort Maurepas Nature Preserve created (1991), Walter Anderson Museum opened (1991), Ocean Springs Centennial (1892-1992) celebrated, curb side recycling initiated, eastward City annexation plans announced, and the commencement of the effects to Ocean Springs of dockside gaming in Harrison County.

In 1993, Mayor Alves easily won the mayoral office again, and is now midway in his second term as mayor.  He is married to Lynn Belle Speed, and they are the parents of two children:  Shannon Lyn Alves (b. 1972) married Andrew Williams; and Kevin Alves Jr.  The Alves family resides at 100 Red Wing Cove.

Kevin Alves lost his post in 1997 to Seren Ainsworth.  He opened a Super Eight Motel on US 90 on the Davidson Park property, which is better known for the 1976 Crooked Feather monument of Peter Toth.  He ran unsuccessful campaigns for Mayor of Ocean Springs in 2001 and 2005.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Kevin Alves sold his motel on U.S. 90 and relocated to Atlanta, Georgia.

 

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald"Mrs. Phala Alves", December 4, 1978, p. A-2.

The Mississippi Press"Supervisor, mayor chosen for leads in d'Iberville fest", April 13, 1994, pp. 1-A and 8-A.

The Ocean Springs News, February 7, 1957, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs Record"August Alves, Sr.", May 31, 1979, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record"Police Chief to run for mayor", March 30, 1989, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Alves announces re-election bid", February 18, 1993.

The Ocean Springs Record"Aves sets bid for third term", March 13, 1997, p. 12.

The Ocean Springs Record"Deja vu: Ocean Springs city elections Alves and Lemon take another look at political office ", March 22, 2001, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Alves-Williams", October 28, 2004, p. A6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Alves runs for mayor’s post”, February 17, 2005, p. A3.

Personal Communication:

Sue Mitchell Ray-July 1995.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SEREN AINSWORTH

Seren Ainsworth was born on February 13, 1953 at Lucedale, George County, Mississippi. He was the Jackson County, Mississippi solid waste coordinator and marketing representative for BFI before being elected Mayor of Ocean Springs in June 1997.  Ainsworth defeated incumbent, Kevin Alves, and contenders, Ross Dodds, and Arlon “Blackie” Coate.  He suffered a cardiac event during the election for which he was hospitalized.  Alderman “Chic” Cody was also ill at this time.           

Seren Ainsworth

Seren Ainsworth married Angela Hogan.  They are the parents of two sons: “Ren” Ainsworth (b. 1990) and Britt Ainsworth (b. 1992).  The Ainsworth relocated to Ocean Springs in 1986.  In the early 1980s, Mr. Ainsworth had served a term as an Alderman in Lucedale, Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 11, 1999, p. 1)

At Ocean Springs, Mr. Ainsworth's first venture into politics was unsuccessful.  He ran for Alderman Ward II in 1993.  He lost to Matt McDonnell in the May 1993 election receiving 253 votes of the 579 votes cast.(The Sun Herald, May 18, 1993, p. A8)

Mayor Ainsworth’s first four years saw improvements in the aesthetics of the city, as Andre Kaufman, head of the Public Works Department, was very effective.  The proposed sports complex on the east end of Ocean Springs caused much controversy as much of the acreage was declared “wetlands”. 

Mayor Ainsworth was re-elected in June 2001, in a five-man race. His opponents were Kevin Alves, Ross Dodds, Joe Garrard, and Arlon “Blackie Coate.  There was no Republican primary, which led to a winner take all contest, in which Seren Ainsworth dominated by receiving 51% of the 3954 votes casts for mayoral office.(The Mississippi Press, June 6, 2001, p. 1 and The Ocean Springs Record, June 14, 2001, p. 1)

Mayor Ainsworth began studying in 2001 for certification from the Mississippi Municipal League, which includes courses in municipal land use, law, organization and finance.  He received his certification with the second graduating class on June 30, 2004.  Mayor Ainsworth was elected second vice president of the Mississippi Municipal League the same day.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 8, 2004, p. A1-A3)

In the 2005 Mayoral contest, Travis Norman (b. 1943) narrowly won the four man Republican primary that also included former Mayor Kevin Alves Sr. and Fred "Chic" Cody, Ward III Alderman.  Travis Norman got 32.5% of the vote and Mayor Ainsworth 31.7%, which forced a runoff election that was won by Travis Norman 1527 votes to 966 votes for Seren Ainsworth.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 5, 2005, p. A1 and May 19, 2005, p. A1 and The Sun Herald, May 4, 2005, p. A8)

It is generally believed that Mayor Ainsworth lost his bid for a third term because of his failure to complete the proposed recreation complex on the eastern perimeter of the city.  Although never brought to fruition, this project was very costly in terms of mitigation lands, consultant fees and legal expenses.  Seren Ainsworth will be remembered for his "hands off" management style, which led to autonomy by city department heads. 

 

REFERENCES:

The Mississippi Press, “Ocean Springs”, June 6, 2001.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Who will play the next d’Iberville”, March 11, 1999.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ainsworth crushes field to win second term", June 14, 2001, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Courses, network pay off for Ainsworth”, July 8, 2004.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Voters narrow municipal field”, May 5, 2005, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Norman, Hagan win in runoff”, May 19, 2005, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, “McDonnell wins in Ocean Springs", May 18, 1993.

The Sun Herald, “Slim margin puts Norman, Ainsworth in runoff”, May 4, 2005, p. A8.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

CONNIE M. MORAN

Connie Marie Moran was elected Mayor of Ocean Springs on June 7, 2005, when she defeated Republican nominee, Travis Norman (b. 1943).  Connie is the first woman Mayor of Ocean Springs and the first Democratic Mayor since Chester McPhearson Jr. (1924-2006) retired from the office in 1989.  Ms. Moran was born on May 18, 1956.  Her parents were John Duncan Moran (1925-1995) and Shannon Fountain Moran (b. 1928).  Connie comes from a political inclined family as her grandfather, Alfred “Fred” Peter Moran (1897-1967), served the citizens of Jackson County, Mississippi as Beat 4 Supervisor from 1929 to 1967.  Duncan Moran was Alderman-at-Large from 1953-1965.  Her family home in Ocean Springs is situated at 405 Cleveland Avenue.

Mayor Moran has been married twice.  In January 1977, she married Douglas Jordan Kirpatrick of  Bethesda, Maryland in St. Alphonsus Catholic Church at Ocean Springs.  Ms. Moran tied the knot with John R. Henry Jr. of Columbus, Mississippi on February 24, 1990 at the Nativity of the BVM Cathedral at Biloxi, Mississippi.  They have Magdalene Henry, a daughter.  John R. Henry is an attorney and has worked as a special assistant to the Attorney General of Mississippi and the Department of Marine Resources.  In 1990, the newly weds were at home in Jackson, Mississippi where Connie was project manager of the Mississippi Department of Economic Development.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 20, 1977, p. 11 and and February 29, 1990, p. 6)

Connie Marie Moran

 

Early education

Connie M. Moran was born on May 18, 1956 at New Orleans.  She was adopted by Moran her parents.  In her youth, Connie attended elementary school at St. Alphonsus in Ocean Springs.  In the spring of 1968, she competed in the poetry competition for Division I, 5th and 6th grade students, sponsored by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior Forensic League.  Connie won first place in the finals, which were held at Gulf Park College in April 1968.  She gave her interpretation of “Casey at the Bat”, the well-known Ernest L. Thayer (1863-1940) baseball poem published in 1888.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 14, 1968, p. 6 and April 11, 1968, p. 1)

 

Miss Teen-Age Mississippi

In March 1973, Connie Marie Moran entered the Miss Teen-Age America contest.  She was sponsored by The Ocean Springs Record, Ferson Optics, E.R. Moore Company, and the First Federal Savings and Loan.  On May 19, 1973 at Jackson, Mississippi, she won the State title with over sixty-six participants competing for the title.  Miss Moran included among her hobbies: the flute, guitar, and sailing.  She was welcomed to the State Capitol by Governor William Waller in June 1973.  The Miss Teen-Age America pageant was held at Atlanta, Georgia in September 1973, and Connie placed in the top 15 of the fifty-one young ladies competing.  Over three thousand young ladies had entered the national competition in March.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 22, 1973, p. 1, May 24, 1973, p. 1 and p. 12, June 14, 1973, p. 3, August 16, 1973, p. 9, and September 6, 1973, p. 2)

 

High School

Connie M. Moran graduated from Ocean Springs High School in May 1974.  She was very active in school activities during her four years.  Connie served on the Student Council for four years and was elected president of this representative body for her senior year.  She was a band member for four years as well as a football cheerleader.  In her sophomore year, Connie was interviewed by the local journal and suggested that the school add boys to the cheering squad to add spirit.  Connie captained the cheering quad as a senior.  She was also a Beta Club member and selected as an Outstanding American High School Student.  Miss Moran was presented as a debutante in December 1974.(Greyhound 1974, Vol. 42, p. 176 and The Ocean Springs Record, March 2, 1972, Section II, p. 1 and The Ocean Springs Record, December 12, 1974, p. 2)           

 

University and beyond

After graduation, Connie M. Moran matriculated to Georgetown University at Washington, D.C., where she studied Economics and Finance.  While an undergraduate, she was also a volunteer intern for the Congressman Trent Lott from 1974 to 1976.  Upon receiving her B.S. degree in 1978 from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Services, Connie entered graduate school at Georgetown and completed her M.A. degree in International Commerce in 1981.  She was selected a J. William Fulbright (1905-1995) Scholar in 1982, which allowed her to further her education in international commerce at the Institute for World Economics in Kiel, Germany.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 12, 1987, p. 4)

 

Germany

Connie M. Moran resided in Germany for many years.  After her Fulbright studies were completed, she found employment with Die Ziet, the German weekly journal respected for its influence on German political and economic policy.  In 1986, Connie as a member of the German delegation attended the European Community Trade Talks at Geneva and toured the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc nations.  She was named a Robert Bosch Fellow in 1987.  This allowed her to continue her business and educational experiences in Germany.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 12,1987, p. 4)

From 1991 to March 1996, Connie M. Moran was managing director of Mississippi’s European office in Frankfurt, Germany.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 22, 1999, p. 1)

 

1999 Board of Supervisor Campaign

In July 1999, Connie M. Moran announced her candidacy for District 4 Board of Supervisor.  She ran as an unopposed Democrat and met Franklin Leach, the winner of the Republican primary, in November 1999.  Mr. Leach defeated Ms. Moran by 20 votes in the general election of which 5732 ballots were cast.  Mr. Leach would become antagonistic towards Ms. Moran after her election as Mayor of Ocean Springs in 2005.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 22, 1999, p. 1 and The Sun Herald, November 5, 1999, p. A-1)

 

Economic Consultant

Connie Marie Moran commenced Moran Consultants in March 1999.  She signed a one- year contract with Gautier, Mississippi in January 2002, to function as the city’s Economic Development Consultant.  It was aspired by the Gautier City Council that her services could halt a decline in the city’s tax revenues.  Ms. Moran was given incentives to acquire new commercial businesses for the community, as well as, a fixed monthly retainer of $3250.  Gautier paid her travel expenses to trade shows and to visit prospective clients.(The Mississippi Press, January 23, 2003, p. 2-A)

Ms. Moran’s contract with the City of Gautier was renewed for one year in December 2002.  At this time, she was lauded by Councilman Johnny Jones for her efforts in acquiring new businesses for Gautier.  City manager, Jim Allan, commented that Moran “has been very effective in getting some of the large chain stores to come down and take a look at us.”(Gautier Independent, December 19, 2002, p. A1)

 

2005 Mayoral campaign

Connie Moran: "Good evening.  I would like to thank the Citizens for Progress for having this get together this evening.  It's a pleasure and opportunity for all of us, including the candidates, to hear what each other has to say.  My name is Connie Moran, I'm running for mayor of Ocean Springs.  Please allow me the opportunity to tell you a little bit about my background working with youth.  My family roots are here in Ocean Springs and have been for quite a few generations.  I'm very, very proud of that.  I'm always oriented towards Ocean Springs wherever I go.  I have gone to Ocean Springs high school myself and even had the opportunity as serving as a cheerleader for football and basketball.  So recreation and sports have always been very important to me.  I went to college at Georgetown University.  I had the opportunity to serve our state, the State of Mississippi in economic development.  I represented our state in Europe as the managing director of the State of Mississippi European office.  After that, I was able to come here and serve as Jackson County economic development director.  For the past five years, I've been a consultant in economic and community development for utility districts, cities, and private entities.  I did a lot of community service; I served on the board of trustees for the Walter Anderson Museum of Art.  I'm a member of the Ocean Springs Rotary Club, and I'm very proud, also, to serve on the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors and helped to bring a facility here in Ocean Springs.  Will I support recreation and the bond issue, you bet I will.  My family has always supported all school bond issues and issues that the city has come before the tax payers and the voters.  This   is a quality of life issue, it's an economic development issue, it's a community development   issue, it's about our children, it's about each one of us, and what makes Ocean Springs special.  The mayor and other candidates have already said our school districts really set us apart in the State of Mississippi, everybody knows Ocean Springs has the finest school district.  It is true that we have ignored recreation for much too long.  Our children are our greatest assets.  I am a mother.  I have a beautiful nine-year-old daughter.  She has special needs and probably won't be playing softball to the extent a lot of   your children do or engage in other recreational activities, but we also have here in Ocean Springs   the New Hope Center and very dedicated school staff and physical therapists at Singing River Hospital who have given their all to help my daughter achieve what she can and become included and mainstreamed with her normal peers and playmates.  That's very, very important to me, and I will go to bat for her services, just as you fight for what you're here tonight, for recreation for your children, and I will stand by you and support you every bit of the way.  I will vote for that bond issue personally.  It's not a very popular thing to say when you're a candidate to vote for an increase in taxes, but also, I'm convinced the public safety facility is also a necessity, including improvements to the facility behind city hall.  I did have the opportunity to hear the presentation by Chief Hare and Chief Belk, and when the fire chief tells that you during Hurricane Ivan it's safer to bring the fire trucks out in the open than to keep them in the  building for fear they may collapse, it's time for a new building.  Plus, it is true, we stand to lose a million dollars in grants for equipment for the new facility building as well as toward equipment for the police force.  And again, we're throwing good opportunities right out the window if we don't act and bite the bullet.  So I am in favor of that.  What would I do, what would be the plan, well, first of all, of course, the voters have to speak, we'll see what kinds of funds will be available.  The property there at Hole 19 has been identified. I'd like to review the site, the appraisals, the easements, access, and so on, but it is environmentally sound, it is immediate use, so I would like to, of course, get input as mayor from the Board of Aldermen as well as all the city department heads.  One thing I'd like to see more of is better communication, even within the city, and I would personally welcome the recreation director to all staff meetings, which is apparently not done at the present time.  If we could communicate together more and act as a team, a lot more could be accomplished.  And think secondly, communicate that better to the public and get their input.  I'm an economic developer, I understand the permitting process, and I have a good relationship with all the permitting agencies.  I  know people in this process, I have friends and colleagues.  I can use my abilities to further the strategic plans of the city.  You can count on me to plan the work, aid the public input, and work the plan, no surprises.  And I think that it will be all be to the benefit of the people in Ocean Springs to give them, finally, the facilities that we deserve.  Funding, I would also be interested in looking at potential recreation districts long-term if more funds are needed to develop Highway 57.  I don't think it's feasible to develop the entire acreage, but it's probably not going to happen.  I think there are preliminary plans for soccer fields out there, and of course we just have to wait and see what is actually feasible while at the same time reviewing other sites that might become available in the meantime. Again, if I am elected as your mayor, I will bring openness, I will bring new energy to city hall, I will do my best to invoke a sense much teamwork among the aldermen and gain public input.  It will be my privilege to serve the people in Ocean Springs.  This is my home, where my family is. And again, thank for you your consideration and please vote June 7th.  Thank you."

 

Sworn in

June 30, 2005, Connie Marie Moran was sworn in at the Ocean Springs Community Center, as the first woman Mayor of the city.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 30, 2005, p. A1)

 

Hurricane Katrina

Mayor Moran's stamina, patience, and critical decision making were challenged after Ocean Springs was hard hit by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005.  For many weeks following this devastating tempest, the City had to overcome many obstacles to restore itself.  Among them: removing debris from streets; maintaining and restoring safe water, sewage, and fire protection; restoring communications and electricity; working with and assisting Federal, State, and U.S. Military authorities, the Red Cross, and multiple volunteer organizations from many regions of America; and coordinating food and clothing distribution.

 

The new bridge and rebuilding

In mid-October, 2005 The Mississippi Renewal Forum, a team of national architects, planners, and public officials met in Biloxi with their local counterparts, to “redesign” the severely damaged and partially destroyed Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Andres Duany and James Barksdale oversaw the meetings at the Isle of Capri Hotel and Resort.  Mayor Moran and her board with local architects, Henry Hansell Furr and Dennis Cowart, were an integral part of these planning sessions.(The Sun Herald, October 17, 2005, p. A1)

 

When the planning sessions began to rebuild a new US Highway 90 bridge across Biloxi Bay to reunite Ocean Springs with Biloxi, Mayor Moran had extensive discussions with MDOT (Mississippi Department of Transportation) to assure that certain aesthetic and safety issues were met.  Her goal was for "a signature bridge,....beautiful, one that can be used for Ocean Springs postcards or the next 60 years."  Following one conference, Mayor Moran quoted that MDOT's first plans for rebuilding the bridge would have meant that "we ended up with a lot of concrete spaghetti on our beach, and that was not acceptable."  Ms Moran persuaded MDOT to add a protected pedestrian-bike lane, a promenade from the Ocean Springs Yacht Club to pass beneath the structure, decorative concrete and lighting, and landscaping.(The Sun Herald, November 8, 2005, p. A4)

 

On December 6, 2005, Wayne Brown, MDOT Southern District Commissioner, announced that MDOT would erect a six-lane, one hundred twenty-eight foot wide, bridge across Biloxi Bay.  Mayor Moran opposed this plan and favored a smaller, four lane span.  Ocean Springs was the only coast city to oppose the bridge because of its scale and fact that it was counter to a plan by New Urbanists to down size US Highway 90 to a pedestrian boulevard.  In support of Mayor Moran, the Board of Aldermen of Ocean Springs voted 4-3 to draft a letter to the Federal Highway Commission voicing opposition to the larger bridge.(The Sun Herald, December 7, 2005, p. A1 and p. A8)

 

In late December 2005, Mayor Moran wrote the Federal Highway Administration requesting MDOT's scheme for erecting a six-lane bridge across Biloxi Bay rather than a smaller span preferred by the City Council of Ocean Springs.  MDOT Executive Director Butch Brown replied to Moran's request: "I think it's unfortunate that Mayor Moran has taken this bridge  issue when indeed her community is actually in better shape than most on the Coast.  Her historic area and district are largely unaffected by the bridge.  She's tried to use the bridge to get other concessions."  The Biloxi City Council, Harrison County Board of Supervisors, and voted unanimously to erect the six-lane bridge.  Mayor Moran even lost support of her own county leaders as the Jackson County Board of Supervisors supported Brown's six-lane bridge.  she was lauded by the Board's president for extracting concessions from MDOT in the form of a bike path, decorative concrete, and unique lights.(The Sun Herald, December 23, 2005, p. A1 and p. A9 and The Sun Herald, December 29, 2005, p. A1)

 

In early January 2006, Mayor Moran met with Federal and State officials to continue her campaign against the six lane span across Biloxi Bay.  She addressed the issue of the projected growth rate of traffic flow used by MDOT as the basis for the large structure.  Moran's consultants argued that MDOT had incorrectly interpreted the rate of increase by changing the traffic flow data, especially for the year 2004, when the daily traffic count on the U.S. 90 bridge actually decreased.  Another factor not previously considered in the bridge study was the fact that a drawbridge would be needed to allow large vessels built at the Trinity Yacht shipyard on the Industrial Seaway at Gulfport to gain access to the Gulf of Mexico via Biloxi Bay.  MDOT's plan for the new bridge called for no draw, but an 85-foot clearance for boats.(The Sun Herald, January 4, 2006, p. A2)

 

In late January 2006, Mayor Moran was the keynote speaker at the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet hosted by Gulf Hills.  She outlined the city's recovery from the effects of Hurricane Katrina and recited her own limerick in response to Highway Commissioner Wayne Brown's poem about her vision of a new span across Biloxi Bay.(The Sun Herald, January 25, 2006, p. A12)

 

Moran’s decorative accents rejected

At a meeting called by MDOT and held in Biloxi on July 26th, Mayor A.J. Holloway of Biloxi; Frank Leach, District Four Supervisor-Jackson County; Bobby Eleuterius, District One Supervisor-Harrison County; and Donovan Scruggs, City Planner for Ocean Springs, and Mayor Connie Moran’s surrogate, to vote on accents for the $338.6 million dollar span across Biloxi Bay, Ms. Moran’s ideas for decorative elements on the bridge abutments was rejected 3-1.  Mayor Moran commented that Frank Leach had, “thrown Ocean Springs under the bus” for voting to have the abutments finished plain.  The options for decorative accents were a raised Fleur de Lys and several boat designs.  Donovan Scruggs commented post-vote that the choice to select none of the decorative proposals would create, “a nice concrete bunker.”  The group selected olive as the color for the exterior beams of the bridge and an off-white color for the bicycle-pedestrian path.  Mayor Holloway commented that Mayor Moran, “wants her way all the time.  She got her way on the walking and bicycle path, which cost us I don’t know how much more than to leave off, and I don’t think anybody will use it.”(The Sun Herald, July 27, 2006, p. A1)

In a press conference held two days after her proposed aesthetics for the new Biloxi Bay bridge were rejected by Mayor Holloway and Supervisors Leach and Eleuterius, Mayor Moran related that all of her design proposals were in the budget and that they would not retard the scheduled completion date.  Mississippi Transportation Commissioner, Butch Brown, had told Moran that he would consider her ideas on the Ocean Springs side of the span.(The Sun Herald, July 29, 2006, p. A1)

 

The Gold Sheet

Mayor Moran made a public statement in early August 2006, relating that the City of Ocean Springs had negotiated with MDOT as early as September 2005 in regards the aesthetics of the new Biloxi Bay span.  A compromise was made between the two entities and the resulting design description was written on what became known as "the gold sheet."  The Gold Sheet was presented to to perspective bidders on the project, thus including the compromised aesthetic improvement requested by Ocean Springs in the budgeted bridge.  Moran was not particularly disturbed by the negativity of Mayor A.J. Holloway et al.  She told the public that, "The gold sheet as we are told time and time again, is really carved in stone.  That's what we negotiated on the front end that we were assured would be included in the bridge design project."  MDOT's Wayne Brown, Southern District Commissioner, stated that, "Ocean Springs got a great deal in the negotiations on the bridge.  They got an attractive.  It's going to have decorative lights.  It's going to have down lighting.  It is going to have a bike and pedestrian pathway.  It's going to have see through rails.  it will have an under trail where you can walk under the bridge.  The bridge was brought down to the ground at water's edge.  So Ocean Springs has been well treated by MDOT and also the Federal Highway Administration." (The Ocean Springs Record, August 3, 2006, p. A1)

 

By late August, the aesthetics of the planned Biloxi Bay span appeared to be solved, as Butch Brown, MDOT executive director and former Mayor of Natchez, agreed that MDOT would erect a wall on the Ocean Springs side of the structure that would surround the bridge abutment from the shoreline to the span.  This wall would be the locus for local artists to create a mosaic or some other creative design.  Mr. Brown said, "This is going to be the damnedest, most beautiful bridge you have ever seen.  Connie Moran is going to run up and give me a hug."(The Sun Herald, August 19, 2006, p. A3)      

 

Clean and Green

In mid-February 2007,  Mayor Moran and Kerry Belk, Chief of Police, announced that a zero tolerance attitude would be taken by the OSPD in regards littering on City streets.  Mayor Moran related that when she observes trash leaving a moving vehicle that she stops, picks up the debris, and follows the perpetrators until they stop.  She then hands the trash back to them!  On April 20-21, an Earth Day clean up will occur at Ocean Springs.  Five thousand saplings donated by the Mississippi Forestry Commission will be given away at the Ocean Springs Civic Center on March 3rd.  The Mississippi Coastal Plains Land Trust gave the City sixty mature trees, which include red maples, red buckeyes, and Live Oak.  These are to be divided among the six City wards and the Aldermen of each ward will decide the optimum location to plant their trees.  Other participants in future tree planting campaigns at Ocean Springs are the OS Garden Club and the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

In addition, the Pat and Ethelyn Connor Tree Canopy Award was created to recognize people or businesses that have made a contribution to preserving the City's tree canopy.(The Sun Herald, February 10, 2007, p. A3)

 

State of the City-2007

Mayor Connie Moran presented a public address at the Mary Cahill O'Keefe Cultural Center at 1600 Government Street, on July 24, 2007.  Her talk, "Two Years Review and Ahead", reviewed the progress of the City during her two years as Mayor.  Mayor Moran explained to her attentive audience that the City budget continues to grow and that despite Hurricane Katrina of late August 2005, many goals and priority have been reached.  Many millions of dollars are being received into the city coffers from grants.  In particular she related that a $115 million dollar grant to fund streetscape projects, sewerage improvements, improvements to the Ocean Springs-Vancleave Road, additional road and street repairs, and many miscellaneous projects, has been received by the City.  Other salient visions for Ocean Springs, the Fort Maurepas  Park and new Community Pier, are progressing satisfactorily.  The proposed two-cent tax to be levied on restaurant and lounges to fund a public safety and recreational facilities is still viable.(The Sun Herald, July 25, 2007, p. A6)

 

Bridge dedication

 

Two cents makes sense

On December 11, 2007, the voters of Ocean Springs went to the polls to vote on a 2% tax on food and beverages.  The levy passed.

 

SECOND TERM: 2009-2013

Mayor Connie Marie Moran was re-elected Mayor of Ocean Springs on June 2, 2009.  She defeated Republican Scott Walker in a squeaker 2509 votes to 2413 votes.  Mr. Walker asked for a recount which corroborated Ms. Moran's victory.  Mayor Moran was sworn in for her second four year term on July 1, 2009.

 

SALARY INCREASE

 

STATE TREASURER

In 2011, Mayor Moran announced as a candidate for State Treasurer.  She was the only Democrat to declare for the office.  Her rival in the November 8, 2011 election was Republican Lynn Fitch (b. 1961), a native of Holly Springs, Mississippi and University of Mississippi graduate in Business Administration and Law School.  Ms. Fitch defeated two male opponents in the primaries.  Lynn Fitch defeated Connie Moran and Shawn O'Hara garnering 59% of the approximately 823,000 votes cast on the November 8th election.  Mayor Moran received 38% of the vote and O'Hara 3%.(The Sun Herald, October 20, 2011, p. A1,October 27, 2011, p. A1 and November 9, 2011, p. A9)

 

REFERENCES:

 

Books

Greyhound 1974Vol. 42, (Ocean Springs High School Class of 1974: Ocean Springs, Mississippi).

 

Magazines

Gulf Coast Woman, "Connie Moran", Vol. 7, Issue 1, November-December 2005, p. 14.

 

Journals

The Bay Press, "OS Mayor Connie Moran speaks at Rotary", August 26, 2005, p. 1.

The Bay Press, "Our Town-a progress report"-"A few questions with Mayor Moran", April 20, 2007, p. 5.

Gautier Independent, “Council votes to renew Moran contract”, December 19, 2002, p. A1.

Gautier Independent, “Mayor seeks closure in Moran contract squabble”, February 12, 2004, p. A1.

The Mississippi Press, “Gautier tabs Moran as economic consultant”, January 23, 2002, p. 2-A.

The Mississippi Press, Ocean Springs leaders to focus on infrastructure”, June 30, 2005, p. 1-A.

The Ocean Springs Record, “In forensic finals”, March 14, 1968, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Connie Moran wins”, April 11, 1968, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Greyhound cheerleaders seek support, appreciation", March 2, 1972, Section II, p. 1

The Ocean Springs Record, “Connie Moran enters State Teen-ager pageant”, March 22, 1973, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Connie Wins”, May 24, 1973, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “We’re proud of you”, May 24, 1973, p. 12.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Photo with Governor Waller”, June 14, 1973, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Connie Moran to compete in Atlanta”, August 16, 1973, p. 9.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Miss Teen-Ager Pageant-Connie Places”, September 6, 1973, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “OS Debutantes to be presented", December 12, 1974, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Connie Moran to wed Douglas Kirkpatrick”, November 18, 1976, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Connie Moran becomes bride of Douglas Kirkpatrick”, January 20, 1977, p. 11.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Pre-nuptial parties fete Miss Connie Marie Moran”, January 20, 1977, p. 12.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Former Ocean Springs woman receives grant to study in West Germany", October 7, 1982, p. 9.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Residents travel to Europe”, August 18, 1983, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Good Ole Boys”, ‘An import from Ocean Springs shines in West Germany’, February 12, 1987, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Moran-Henry", February 29, 1990, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Moran announces for Jackson County Supervisor District 4”, July 22, 1999, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Moran makes bid for mayor’s post”, May 19, 2005, p. A3.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Vote to decide mayor, three other races”, June 2, 2005, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Moran, Weaver apparent winners”, June 9, 2005, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Changing guard”, June 30, 2005, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "MDOT not listening to OS bridge issues, mayor says", November 10, 2005, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Moran tout's city's progress since Katrina", March 30, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Leach says city, county must talk", March 23, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "City gets keys as thank you", April 20, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Mayoral mishap lands OS man in hospital", September 7, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Moran rules out supervisor bid", January 4, 2007, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "State of the City", July 26, 2007, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Celebrate Christmas in our hearts and town", December 6, 2007, p. A3.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Baywalk and watch", April 24, 2008, p. A4.

The Ocean Springs Record, "The Biloxi Bay Bridge and all things considered", May 21, 2009, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Moran wins by slim margin over Walker in recent record turnout", June 4, 2009, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Public Safety Building breaks ground", June 4, 2009, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Is the election for Ocean Springs Mayor over", June 11, 2009, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Mayor gets four percent pay increase", October 8, 2009, p. 1.

 

The Sun Herald

The Sun Herald, “Connie Moran to lead economic development”, February 8, 1996.

The Sun Herald, “Byrd will replace Sheriff Pope”, November 5, 1999.

The Sun Herald, “Moran, Warr win”, June 8, 2005, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, “O.S. voters elect Moran as mayor”, June 8, 2005, p. A8.

The Sun Herald, “Mayor Moran promises openness”, July 1, 2005, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "Moran: Ocean Springs, MDOT must unite", November 8, 2005, p. A4.

The Sun Herald, "Moran, Holloway meet on MDOT bridge plan", November 23, 2005, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "New Mayors remain optimistic", November 28, 2005.

The Sun Herald, "'We can proceed' MDOT: Cities agree on bridge plan", December 7, 2005, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Moran to oppose bridge in letter", December 7, 2005, p. A8.

The Sun Herald, "O.S. Mayor battles six-lane bridge, "December 23, 2005, p. A1. 

The Sun Herald, "Jackson County Supports 6 lanes, "December 29, 2005, p. A1. 

The Sun Herald, "He's (Wayne Brown) no poet, and he knows it, "December 29, 2005, p. A3. 

The Sun Herald, "Moran to meet about bridge", January 2, 2006, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "U.S. 90 bridge project still in limbo", January 4, 2006, pA2.

The Sun Herald, "Bridge design may not fly", January 4, 2006, pA2.

The Sun Herald, "Moran waxes poetic at banquet", January 25, 2006, p. A12.

The Sun Herald, "Katrina Cottage speaks for itself But Mayor Moran is often asked to sing its praise", March 11, , 2006, p. A4.

The Sun Herald, "O,S. mayor sees a jewel", March 24, 2006, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, “‘None of the above’ wins out on bridge”, July 27, 2006, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, “Moran presses her case for nicer bridge", July 29, 2006, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Moran, MDOT agree on pretty bridge", August 19, 2006, p. 3.

The Sun Herald, "Mayor won't be ticketed", September 7, 2006, p. A5.

The Sun Herald, "Victim draws a blank", September 8, 2006, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Ocean Springs-Man hit by mayor back in hospital", September 14,  2006, p. A12.

The Sun Herald, "Moran again vetoes demolition", October 26, 2006, p. A12.

The Sun Herald, "Pro-clean, pro-green campaign set", February 10. 2007, p. A3.

The Sun Herald, "Moran reports on State of the City", July 25, 2007, p. A6.

The Sun Herald, "City settles with man hit by car", November 11, 2007, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "Moran: City's needs are great", December 6, 2007, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Moran wins", June 3, 2009, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Walker asks for recount", June 4, 2009, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Moran keeps win in recount", June 5, 2009, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Walker concedes O.S. mayoral race", June 6, 2009, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Lawyer: O.S. results should stand", June 10, 2009, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Board OKs second raise for Moran", October 7, 2009, p. A10.

The Sun Herald, "Moran says experience is key", October 20, 2011, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Fitch; No learning curve for me", October 27, 2011, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Statewide, regional and legislative results", November, 9, p. A9.

The Sun Herald, "Charges dropped against alderman in O.S.", December 1, 2012, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Candidates trade barbs", May 1, 2013, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Connie Moran wins re-election", June 5, 2013, p. A1.

The Villages Daily Sun (Florida), Mayor Moran Expresses Gratitude", April 14. 2006, p. A1.

 

 

 

 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

 ALDERMEN 1892-2013

 

2013-2017 Elected officials

Connie Marie Moran*-Mayor

Robert 'Bobby' Cox-Alderman-at-Large

John Gill-Ward 1

Matt McDonnell-Ward 2

Fred “Chic” Cody-Ward 3

Greg Denyer- Ward 4

Jerry Dalgo- Ward 5

Michael Impey- Ward 6

 

2009-2013 Elected officials

Connie Marie Moran*-Mayor

Troy Ross**-Alderman-at-Large [elected Beat 1 Jackson Couny Supervisor in 2011]

Robert 'Bobby' Cox elected to replace Troy Ross, Alderman-at-Large,  on February 7, 2012***

John Gill-Ward 1

Matt McDonnell-Ward 2

Fred “Chic” Cody-Ward 3

Greg Denyer- Ward 4

Jerry Dalgo- Ward 5

James R. Hagan- Ward 6

* first woman Mayor.

** Troy Ross was elected Jackson County District 4 Supervisor in November 2011.

 

2005-2009 Elected officials

Connie Marie Moran*-Mayor

Julia Weaver**-Alderman-at-Large

John Gill-Ward 1

Matt McDonnell-Ward 2

Curtis Lloyd-Ward 3

Greg Denyer- Ward 4

Jerry Dalgo- Ward 5

James R. Hagan- Ward 6

* first woman Mayor; **first woman Alderman-at-Large

 

2001-2005 Elected officials

Seren Ainsworth-Mayor

Danny Jalanivich-Alderman-at-Large

Curtis J. Lloyd-Ward 1

Matt McDonnell-Ward 2

Fred “Chic” Cody-Ward 3

Joe Carvin-Ward 4

Jerry Dalgo-Ward 5

John Gill-Ward 6

 

1997-2001 Elected officials

Seren Ainsworth-Mayor

Danny Jalanivich-Alderman-at-Large

Joseph B. Garrard II (1939-2011)-Ward 1

Matt McDonnell-Ward 2

Fred “Chic”  Cody-Ward 3

Larry Cosper- Ward 4

John McKay*-Ward 5

John Gill-Ward 6

*elected to the Jackson County Board of Supervisors District 5 and replaced by Greg Denyer.

 

1993-1997 Elected officials

Kevin V. Alves-Mayor

Stephen M. Robinson-Alderman-at-Large

Joseph B. Garrard II (1939-2011)-Ward 1

Matt McDonnell-Ward 2

Fred “Chic Cody”-Ward 3

Kirk Halstead-Ward 4

John McKay-Ward 5

John Gill-Ward 6

 

1989-1993 Elected officials

Kevin V. Alves-Mayor*

Stephen M. Robinson-Alderman-at-Large

George Wavra-Ward 1

Mike Williams-Ward 2

Greg Montjoy-Ward 3

Philip Harvey-Ward 4

John McKay-Ward 5

John Gill-Ward 6

*first Republican Mayor

 

 

1985-1989 Elected officials

Chester M. McPhearson-Mayor (1924-2006)

Andre Kaufman-Alderman-at-Large

Gene Copland (1933-1992)-Ward 1

Glenn Young Sr. (1925-2008)-Ward 2

Clarence Hamilton Jr. (1930-2009)-Ward 3

Philip Harvey -Ward 4

Stephen M. Robinson-Ward 5

John Gill-Ward 6

 

1981-1985 Elected officials

Chester M. McPhearson (1924-2006)-Mayor

Brad Lemon-Alderman-at-Large

Jesse L. Trotter (1925-2010)*-Ward 1

Madison “Matt” Cox-Ward 2

Clarence Hamilton Jr.(1930-2009)-Ward 3

Fred “Chic” Cody -Ward 4

Stephen M. Robinson-Ward 5

Helen O’Neal-Ward 6

*first elected Black alderman

 

1977-1981 Elected officials

Donald L. Connor-Mayor

Joseph B. Garrard II (1939-2011)-Alderman-at-Large

Gene Copland-Ward 1

Glenn Young Sr. (1925-2008)-Ward 2

Andre Kaufman-Ward 3

Briley Richmond* -Ward 4

* replaced by Thomas L. Stennis

 

1973-1977 Elected officials

Thomas L. Stennis-Mayor

Brad Lemon-Alderman-at-Large

Joseph B. Garrard II (1939-2011)-Ward 1

William F. Dale Jr. (1926-1979)-Ward 2

Curtis J. Lloyd-Ward 3

Larry Gartman -Ward 4

 

1969-1973 Elected officials

Donald L. “Pat” Connor (1912-1982)-Mayor [first full time Mayor]

Robert Cox-Alderman-at-Large

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980)-Ward 1

Brad Lemon-Ward 2

Alvin Endt-Ward 3

Thomas Reynolds -Ward 4

 

1965-1969 Elected officials

John Champlin “Champ” Gay (1909-1975)-Mayor

Robert Cox-Alderman-at-Large

Herbert Miller-Ward 1

Horace Gladney (1894-1975) -Ward 2

Alvin Endt-Ward 3

Mary Gough Joachim (1902-1978) -Ward 4

 

1961-1965 Elected officials

Charles Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988)-Mayor

J. Duncan Moran (1925-1995)-Alderman-at-Large

Edwin L. Matheny (1920-1987)-Ward 1

Samuel Leo Zanca (1921-1991) -Ward 2

Connely McGinty (1927-1995)-Ward 3

Edward Brou -Ward 4

 

1957-1961 Elected officials

John Champlin “Champ” Gay (1909-1975)-Mayor

J. Duncan Moran (1925-1995)-Alderman-at-Large

Hiram A. Turner (1885-1968)-Ward 1

John Park (1889-1970)-Ward 2

John H. Seymour (1923-1991)-Ward 3

Chester McPhearson -Ward 4

 

1953-1957 Elected officials

John Champlin “Champ” Gay (1909-1975)-Mayor

J. Duncan Moran (1925-1995)-Alderman-at-Large

Walton O. Tardy (1912-1970)-Ward 1

Lauren E. Farrell (1909-1966)  -Ward 2*

John H. Seymour (1923-1991)-Ward 3

Chester McPhearson -Ward 4

Resigned in February 1957, replaced by Samuel L. Zanca (1921-1991).(The Ocean Springs News, February 7, 1957, p. 1)

 

 

1951-1953 Elected officials

Robert C. Miller (1887-1953)-Mayor

John Champlin “Champ” Gay (1909-1975)-Alderman-at-Large

Hiram A. Turner (1885-1968)-Ward 1

Lester R. McGuire (1887-1965) -Ward 2

John E. Catchot (1897-1987)-Ward 3

Judlin H. Girot (1912-1970)-Ward 4

Wylie T. Broome (1903-1971)-Marshall

Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973)-City Clerk

 

1949-1950 Elected officials

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980)-Mayor

John Champlin “Champ” Gay (1909-1975)-Alderman-at-Large

Hiram A. Turner (1885-1968)-Ward 1

Joseph U. Scharr (1874-1954) -Ward 2

Cyril Walter Ryan (1912-1983)-Ward 3

Henry Terry (1890-1975)-Ward 4

Robert C. Miller (1887-1953)-Marshall

Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973)-City Clerk

 

1947-1948 Elected officials

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980)-Mayor

Charles E. Schmidt (1904-1988)-Alderman-at-Large

Clarence Hamilton (1902-1992)   -Ward 1

 Joseph U. Scharr (1887-1965) -Ward 2

John E. Catchot (1897-1987)-Ward 3

Oscar M. Mitchell (1893-1964)-Ward 4

Robert C. Miller (1887-1953)-Marshall

Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973)-City Clerk

 

1945-1946 Elected officials

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980)-Mayor

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Henry L. Armstrong (1874-1945)* -Ward 1

 Joseph U. Scharr (1887-1965) -Ward 2

Herbert W. Campbell (1899-1987)-Ward 3

Harry R. Lee (1903-1951)-Ward 4

Robert C. Miller (1887-1953)-Marshall

Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973)-City Clerk

* expired in office on October 10, 1945.  Replaced by Ralph Beaugez (1889-1966)

 

1943-1944 Elected officials

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980)-Mayor

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Henry L. Armstrong (1874-1945)*   -Ward 1

 Joseph U. Scharr (1887-1965) -Ward 2

Herbert W. Campbell (1899-1987)-Ward 3

Harry R. Lee (1903-1951)-Ward 4

Robert C. Miller (1887-1953)-Marshall

Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973)-City Clerk

 

1941-1942 Elected officials

Charles R. Bennett (1884-1971)-Mayor

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Ambrose Roch Fayard* (1906-1986) -Ward 1

 Iola Y. Davidson (1887-1965) -Ward 2

Albert A. Endt** (1902-1982)-Ward 3

Harry R. Lee (1903-1951)-Ward 4

Robert C. Miller (1887-1953)-Marshall

Oscar Joachim (1904-1955)*** Clerk

*replaced by Roy J. Sousley (1884-1942), who was replaced by Henry L. Armstrong (1874-1945).

** replaced by Herbert W. Campbell.

*** replaced by Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973).

 

1939-1940 Elected officials

Charles R. Bennett (1884-1971)-Mayor

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980) -Ward 1

 Iola Y. Davidson (1887-1965) -Ward 2

Albert A. Endt (1902-1982)-Ward 3

Harry R. Lee (1903-1951)-Ward 4

Arthur Webber (1887-1953)-Marshall

Oscar Joachim (1904-1955) Clerk

 

1937-1938 Elected officials

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954)-Mayor

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980) -Ward 1

 Iola Y. Davidson* (1887-1965) -Ward 2

William F. Dale (1899-1990)-Ward 3

George E. Arndt II (1909-1995)-Ward 4

Arthur Webber (1887-1953)-Marshall

Oscar Joachim (1904-1955) Clerk

*first woman Alderman

 

1935-1936 Elected officials

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954)-Mayor

William F. Dale (1899-1990)-Alderman-at-Large

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980) -Ward 1

 Cyril Slyfield (1907-1970) -Ward 2

Walter G. Armstrong* (1878-1945)-Ward 3

Frank Riviere (1909-1937)-Ward 4

Arthur Webber (1879-1941)-Marshall

Oscar Joachim (1904-1955) Clerk

 

1933-1934 Elected officials

L. Morris McClure* (1884-1940)-Mayor

 Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Charles R. Bennett (1884-1971) -Ward 1

John F. Hoffman (1886-1967) -Ward 2

Walter G. Armstrong (1878-1945)-Ward 3

John H. Edwards (1893-1950)-Ward 4

Arthur Webber (1879-1941)-Marshall

Oscar Joachim (1904-1955) Clerk

*replaced by Charles R. Bennett

 

1931-1932 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980) -Ward 1

John F. Hoffman (1886-1967) -Ward 2

Walter G. Armstrong (1878-1945)-Ward 3

George Arndt (1857-1945)-Ward 4

Arthur Webber (1879-1941)-Marshall

Oscar Joachim (1904-1955) Clerk

 

1929-1930 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

Adolph Wieder (1879-1931)-Alderman-at-Large

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954) -Ward 1

Henry L. Girot (1886-1953) -Ward 2

John R. Seymour (1879-1938)-Ward 3

H. Minor Russell  (1892-1940)-Ward 4

Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930)-Marshall

Oscar Joachim (1904-1955)-Clerk

 

1927-1928 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Alderman-at-Large

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954) -Ward 1

Ernest Ghem Pabst (1884-1927)* -Ward 2

Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960)-Ward 3

H. Minor Russell  (1892-1940)-Ward 4

Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930)-Marshall

James Lynch(1852-1935)-Clerk

*replaced by John R. Seymour (1879-1938)

 

1925-1926 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

L.  Morris McClure (1894-1940)-Alderman-at-Large

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954) -Ward 1

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Ward 2

Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960)-Ward 3

H. Minor Russell  (1892-1940)-Ward 4

Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930)-Marshall

James Lynch (1852-1935)-Clerk

 

1923-1924 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Alderman-at-Large

Chester Davis (1900-1973) -Ward 1

Theo Bechtel (1863-1931)-Ward 2

Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960)-Ward 3

H. Minor Russell  (1892-1940)-Ward 4

Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930)-Marshall

James Lynch (1852-1935)-Clerk

 

1921-1922 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Alderman-at-Large

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954) -Ward 1

Theo Bechtel (1863-1931)-Ward 2

Daniel B. VanCourt 1885-1943)-Ward 3

Karl C. Maxwell  (1894-1957)-Ward 4

Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930)-Marshall

James Lynch (1852-1935)-Clerk

 

1919-1920 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Alderman-at-Large

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954) -Ward 1

Theo Bechtel (1863-1931)-Ward 2

Walter G. Armstrong (1878-1945)-Ward 3

John Duncan Minor (1863-1920)-Ward 4

Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943)-Marshall

James Lynch (1852-1935) Clerk

 

1917-1918 Elected officials

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Mayor

John Duncan Minor (1863-1920)-Alderman-at-Large

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954) -Ward 1

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

George C. Pabst (1881-1949)-Ward 4

George W. Dale (1872-1931)-Marshall

Robert A. Friar (1878-1948) Clerk

*Resigned in January 1918 because of Army service.  Replaced by Theo Bechtel in February 1918.

 

1915-1916 Elected officials

William T. Ames (1864-1954)-Mayor

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Alderman-at-Large

Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954) -Ward 1

Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966)-Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

John Duncan Minor (1863-1920)-Ward 4

Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943)-Marshall

Walton G. Davis (1882-1916)-Clerk

 

1913-1914 Elected officials

William T. Ames (1880-1969)-Mayor

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Alderman-at-Large

Henry L. Armstrong (1874-1945) -Ward 1

William S. VanCleave (1871-1938)-Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

John Duncan Minor (1863-1920)-Ward 4

Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943)-Marshall

Frederick M. Dick (1857-1922 -Clerk

 

1911-1912 Elected officials

John Duncan Minor (1863-1920)-Mayor

A.J. Catchot (1864-1954)-Alderman-at-Large

Joseph B. Garrard (1871-1915- Ward 1

William S. VanCleave (1871-1938)-Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

Fred Semmes Bradford (1878-1951)-Ward 4

Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943)-Marshall

Frederick M. Dick (1857-1922)-Clerk

1909-1910 Elected officials

Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926)-Mayor

Joseph O. Whittle (1880-1925)-Alderman-at-Large

William T. Ames (1880-1969) -Ward 1

William S. VanCleave (1871-1938) Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

Hiram D. Cudabac (1875-1947)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

Augustin J. von Rosambeau (1849-1912)-Marshall

Frederick M. Dick (1857-1922)-Clerk

 

1907-1908 Elected officials

Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926)-Mayor

Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943)-Alderman-at-Large

William T. Ames (1880-1969) -Ward 1

William S. VanCleave (1871-1938) Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

Ernest E. Clements (1861-1922)*-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

Augustin J. von Rosambeau (1849-1912)-Marshall

Frederick M. Dick (1857-1922)-Clerk

*Replaced by Hiram D. Cudabac (1875-1947)

 

1905-1906 Elected officials

Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926)-Mayor

Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943)-Alderman-at-Large

William T. Ames (1880-1969) -Ward 1

John C. Orrell Jr. (1862-1917+)-Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

E.E. Clements (1861-1922)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

Samuel P. Starks (1860-1919)*-Marshall

*replaced by Augutin J. von Rosambeau (1849-1912)

 

1903-1904 Elected officials

Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926)-Mayor

Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915)-Alderman-at-Large

Albert C. Gottsche (1873-1949) -Ward 1

Peter Geiger (1858-1923)-Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

Augustin J. von Rosambeau (1849-1912)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

George W. Dale (1872-1953)-Marshall

Frederick M. Dick (1857-1922)-Clerk

*replaced by Augutin J. von Rosambeau (1849-1912)

 

1901-1902 Elected officials

Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926)-Mayor

George E. Arndt (1857-1945)-Alderman-at-Large

Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940) -Ward 1

James Lynch (1852-1935)- Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

Augustin J. von Rosambeau (1849-1912)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

George H. Tardy (1839-1902)*-Marshall

*replaced by George W. Dale

 

1899-1900 Elected officials

Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926)-Mayor

George E. Arndt (1857-1945)-Alderman-at-Large

Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940)-Ward 1

Harley F. Halstead (1869-1916+)*- Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

Augustin J. von Rosambeau (1849-1912)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

George H. Tardy (1839-1902)*-Marshall

*replaced by Edward M. Westbrook (1858-1913)

 

1897-1898 Elected officials

Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904)-Mayor

George E. Arndt (1857-1945)-Alderman-at-Large

Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940)-Ward 1

Ira W. Simmons (1867-1919)- Ward 2

George L. Friar (1869-1924)-Ward 3

Edward M. Westbrook (1858-1913)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

George H. Tardy (1839-1902)-Marshall

Frederick M. Dick (1857-1922)-Clerk

 

1895-1896 Elected officials

John B. Wigginton (1823-1895)*-Mayor

George E. Arndt (1857-1945)-Alderman-at-Large

Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940) -Ward 1

Herman Nill (1863-1904)- Ward 2

Charles E. Pabst (1850-1920)-Ward 3

Edward M. Westbrook (1858-1913)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

George H. Tardy (1839-1902)-Marshall

*replaced by Milton Clay Vaughan (1832-1903)

 

1893-1894 Elected officials

Decatur D. Cowan (1850-1929)-Mayor

John B. Wiggington (1823-1895)-Alderman-at-Large

Joseph Kotzum  (1842-1915)-Ward 1

Jeremiah J. O’Keefe (1859-1911)- Ward 2

Benjamin F. Joachim (1847-1925)-Ward 3

Louis L. Ryan (1837-1909)-Ward 4

Elias S. Davis (1859-1925)-Treasurer

George H. Tardy (1839-1902)-Marshall