History of Vancleave
A HISTORY OF VANCLEAVE, MISSISSIPPI
Vancleave, located in west-central Jackson County, Mississippi, is a small community which developed in the early to mid-19th Century, on Bluff Creek, a small tributary of the Pascagoula River, several miles north of the Mexican Gulf. It was known originally as Bluff Creek, until the postmaster in 1870, named it Vancleave in honor of a former merchant, Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908). Ocean Springs family historian, Vertalee Bradford Van Cleave (1916-1999), related that the progenitor of the Van Cleave family in America was Jan Van Cleef, a 1653 Dutch émigré to New York. It is interesting to note that there is a town called Kleve in extreme western Germany less than twenty miles from its present border with Holland. Could the first American Van Cleave been Jan van Kleve, i.e. John from Kleve? (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 376 and National Geographic Atlas Of The World, 1981, p. 152)
The first European settlement in the Vancleave area occurred in 1721, when French colonists settled the short-lived Chaumont Concession. With the creation of the Mississippi Territory in 1798, and the West Florida Rebellion of 1810, the United States rested Spanish West Florida from its Iberian masters. Jackson County was created and united with the Territory of Orleans in 1812, and joined the Union in 1817, with the State of Mississippi.
Even before Mississippi’s statehood, restless Americans in the Carolinas and Georgia began settling the southwestern frontier, which included the Vancleave region. They were subsistence farmers and hunter-gatherers who brought their Protestant religion to this predominantly Roman Catholic coastal section.
Charcoal wagon en route to the L&N Railroad at Fontainebleau?
By 1850, the virgin forests, predominantly pine, of the region along the tributaries of the lower Pascagoula River, began to be exploited for timber, charcoal, and naval stores. These activities created a commerce, which resulted in small trading posts being built on John’s Bayou and lower Bluff Creek. Shallow draft schooners loaded with charcoal, agricultural products, and naval stores sailed the "lake" waters of the Mississippi Sound to New Orleans and returned with tools, food staples, and mercantile goods to these riverine outposts. Black slaves, primarily from North Carolina, were brought to work the turpentine orchards. After the Civil War, they were emancipated and remained in the region to provide the primary labor force for the naval stores industry. Black families owned the high land northwest of Mounger’s Creek, which became the primary Vancleave settlement, after they sold out to white families and merchants in the late 19th Century. Black communities developed further north and west at Greenhead Creek.
Another group of people, locally called "Creoles", but probably indigenous, descendants of Muskogean speaking, Native Americans inhabit the Vancleave region. They made their livelihoods primarily as subsistence farmers and charcoal burners. When public education in the region commenced in the late 19th Century, Creole and Blacks were educated together, but by 1917, they were segregated and a separate school created, called Live Oak Pond, north of Vancleave. This aberration was unique in that it created three separate schools for White, Black and Creole children. The Creole people have slowly been assimilated into the local community through interracial marriages.
The early settlers brought sheep to the pine savannas and allowed them to forage on the open range. Soon Vancleave, with Woolmarket in Harrison County, became important exporters of wool. World War I enhanced the demand for wool and prices and production rose dramatically during the conflict.
At the turn of the 20th Century, the Dantzler Lumber Company began to exploit virgin timber stands away from the rivers. They utilized tram railways to penetrate deep into the woods to reach virgin timber passed over because of its remoteness from water borne transportation routes. This venture brought a population increase, which encouraged the erection of new schools, churches, a hotel, boarding houses, and dwellings. The timber boom and sheep-wool activities subsided dramatically by the1930s. The virgin timber was depleting rapidly and stock laws, which curtailed open range foraging, and foreign competition had a deleterious effect on commercial wool production.
Pecan orchards, tung nut trees, and some citrus were grown in the Vancleave vicinity before the Great Depression of the 1930s. Orchard men from the Midwest developed nut crops initially south of Vancleave on the Ocean Springs Road and to the southwest and west along Seaman and Jim Ramsay Roads.
The Great Depression furthered exacerbated the economic situation at Vancleave. The people of the area responded to this dour situation by erecting a canning plant for fruit and vegetables, a sewing factory, and a shuttle mill. Naval stores and a dying charcoal industry continued weakly, until WW II revived the national economy. Shipbuilding at Pascagoula and Mobile created many wartime employment opportunities. Pulp wood for paper manufacturing became important after the war.
In the mid-1950s, the Bluff Creek Canning Company was organized. It produced a fish-based cat food and was sold to the John Morrell & Company of Chicago. A short-lived attempt to can yellow fin tuna caught in the Gulf of Mexico was also commenced at a Bluff Creek site south of Vancleave in the 1950s. The continued growth of the chemical and petrochemical industries along Bayou Cassotte near Pascagoula, has provided stable, regional, employment opportunities through several decades. Pulp wood harvesting for the Moss Point paper mill has continued in the area.
The population and status quo in the Vancleave region remained fairly constant until the late 1980s and early 1990s. At this time, a steady and continuous migration of people from the lower coastal urban areas, seeking cheaper land, relief from high taxes, crime and industrial pollution, began to move into the Vancleave area. The expansion of the US Naval presence, conversion of deep-water oil and gas exploration drilling rigs, and continued shipbuilding at Pascagoula and environs, with the exponential growth of dock side casino gaming in nearby Harrison County, has continued to fuel the migration into Vancleave.
Currently, new commercial ventures and subdivisions blossom each day. A new elementary school and medical center are now under construction. Are incorporation and local government awaiting Vancleave in the New Millennium??
A Vancleave History
Vancleave, originally called Bluff Creek, as late as 1869, when Andrew W. Ramsay (1830-1916) was postmaster of this small village, is the geographic name of a community, which has existed in T6S-R7W of Jackson County, Mississippi for well over a century. The name Vancleave comes from the merchant, Robert Adrian Van Cleave (1840-1908), who established a trading post on Paige Bayou in the 1870s. In June 1870, when the US Post Office established a station in the SE/4 of Section 27, T6S-R7W, it was called Vancleave’s. R.A.Van Cleave, a Civil War veteran from Hinds County, later settled at Ocean Springs where he was a successful merchant, post master, and first provisional mayor of that town. (The Mississippi Press, July 18, 1988)
In June 1880, when a weekly mail route was established between Ocean Springs and Vancleave, Robert Adrian Van Cleave (1840-1908) was postmaster at Ocean Springs who was described as, "clever and good-humored". William Seymour carried the mail to the store of George W. Davis at Vancleave. The post office was named after R.A. Van Cleave. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 18, 1880, p. 3)
Today, Vancleave is the general geographic term used for that region of west central Jackson County within T6S-R7W and T5S-R7W. This is an area of approximately seventy-two square miles. Specifically, Vancleave is a rapidly developing unincorporated village in Sections 9 and 16 of T6S-R7W, flanked by Highway 57. Historically within the "Vancleave area", there have been many smaller settlements around public schools and churches, such as: Mount Pleasant, Greenhead, Ebenezer, Evergreen, Live Oak Pond, Dead Lake, and Fort Bayou.
Colonial Days 1699-1811
Assuredly, Native Americans hunted the forests and fished the streams in the Vancleave region, centuries before the first Europeans arrived. Their past presence is indicated on the Pascagoula River by several French cartographic sketches and charts of the period. The closest village to present day Vancleave was that of the Capinians, probably also called Moctobi. Its location appears to be about one mile south of the Wade Bridge. (Carte de la Louisiane by D’Anville-1732)
Jay Higginbotham, noted French Colonial historian and Archivist for the City of Mobile, relates that he has seen several "curios mounds" north and south of the Wade Bridge. He was unable to determine if they were constructed by the Amerinds. (Higginbotham, 1967, p. 15)
Jean-Baptiste Baudrau-First permanent settler in western Jackson County
Jean-Baptiste Baudrau (1671- ca 1762), dit Graveline, was born at Montreal in New France (Canada). In 1700, he landed with Pierre Le Moyne, d’Iberville (1761-1706) at Fort Maurepas in present day Ocean Springs. Iberville was a military commander sent by King Louis XIV (1638-1715) of France to establish and protect “La Louisiane”, the 1682 French claim of Rene Robert Cavalier de La Salle (1643-1687). French Louisiana was defined by La Salle as the watershed of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
In 1702, Jean-Baptiste Baudreau abandoned Biloxy, the region around Fort Maurepas. With his French cohorts, led by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, de Bienville (1684-1778), Baudrau relocated to Old Mobile. Circa 1718, Baudreau left Dauphin Island to return permanently to what is now Jackson County, Mississippi. He and his family resided on the west side of the Pascagoula River. (Adkinson, et al, 1991, pp. 95-98)
Initially Graveline managed a farm in the present day Martin’s Bluff section. He raised livestock, primarily horned cattle. Graveline utilized Negro and Indian slave labor to work the plantation and tend livestock. (Conrad, 1970, p. 2 and p. 50)
The descendant of Jean-Baptise Baudrau are numbered in the tens of thousands. From this French Canadian adventurer, some of the first families of the Mississippi Coast, which still exist today, Ladner, Bosarge, Fayard, Moran, Grelot (Gollott), Fournier, Ryan, Bang, and Seymour, can trace some of their lineage.
Jean Baptiste Baudrau dit Graveline had married an Indian woman who brought forth two children, Magdeleine Baudrau and Jean-Baptiste Baudrau II (d. 1757). Magdelaine married Pierre Paquet Jr. Circa 1758, their daughter, Marie Anne Pacquet (b. 1742) wedded Nicholas Ladner (b. ca 1736-1799) dit Christian. Of further interest in this line, Marie Angelique Baudreau (1776-1853), the daughter of Jean-Batiste Baudrau III (b. ca 1735) and Marie Louise Fayard (b. 1746), married Nicholas Ladner II (1759-ca 1793), son of Nicholas Ladner dit Christian and Marie Anne Pacquet. She married Jacob Bingle (Bang) after the demise of Nicholas Ladner II. (Cassibry II, 1988, pp. 700-704)
The brother of Nicholas Ladner II, Pierre Ladner (1764-1809+), settled on the Pascagoula River in 1809, on Claim No. 133, which was one of actual settlers who had no claim from either the French, British, or Spanish Governments. Pierre Ladner’s homestead was in Section 39, T6S-R6W about 1.5 miles east of the Evergreen community.(The American State Papers, 1994, p. 38)
Jean-Baptise Baudreau II (d. 1757) married Marie Catherine Vinconnau. Their daughter Catherine Louise Baudreau (1742-1806) married Joseph Bosarge (1733-1794) of Poitiers, France in June 1762. They are the progenitors of the large Bosarge family of coastal Alabama and Mississippi. (Atkinson, 1991, p. 23)
Another daughter of Baudrau II, Genevieve Baudrau, married Charles Leblanc in 1783. Their son, Joseph, born in 1788, became known as St. Cyr Seymour (1788-1845). His issue with Marie-Joseph Ryan (1786-1876) commenced the large Seymour family of our region. (Lepre, 1995 , pp. 54-61 )
The Seymour family has its roots on the north shore of Graveline Lake in Section 5, T8S-R7W. Here the children of St. Cyr and Marie-Joseph made their livelihoods as subsistence farmers and stockmen in the same manner as their great great grandfather, Jean-Baptiste Baudrau dit Graveline. They left their family homestead to settle at Biloxi Latimer, Fort Bayou, Ocean Springs, and North Biloxi. (The Ocean Springs Record, January 15, 1998)
The Chaumont Plantation
With the French beachhead at Fort Maurepas in 1699, and the subsequent founding of military posts at Mobile (1709), Nachitoches (1714), Natchez (1716), New Orleans (1718), and Nouveau Biloxy (1720) colonists of French and German origins began the settlement of French Louisiana. In late 1719, a 16,000-acre concession on the Pascagoula River, located about 40 miles up stream from the Gulf of Mexico, was granted by John Law ‘s Company of the West to a wealthy Parisian, Antoine Chaumont, honorary secretary to King Louis XV, and his wife, Marie-Catherine Barre, Madame de Chaumont.
Chaumont Plantation Locator Map
In 1721, French settlers with slave labor established the Chaumont Plantation, the first European settlement in the Vancleave region. It was probably located on the west side of the Pascagoula River, about one mile seaward of the Wade Bridge, probably in Section 19, T5S-R6W. Monsieur Revillion, the plantation manager, was able to produce one good wheat crop before departing the Pascagoula River farm for Paris in 1722. He had received no money or supplies from the Chaumonts and went to France to bring litigation against them. By 1732, the Chaumont Plantation had been entirely abandoned. (Higginbotham, 1974, pp. 353-362)
The French Mills and the Lewis Claim
In 1811, Edwin Lewis (1782-1830), a Virginia born lawyer, married Margaret Baudreau (1791-1865), the great granddaughter of Jean-Baptiste Baudrau dit Graveline. Her parents were J.B. Baudrau III (b. ca 1735) and Marie Louise Fayard (b. 1746). He immediately began to assert the claim that Graveline’s heirs were the rightful owners of the 40,000-acre Chaumont concession granted by the Company of the West. The land commissioner denied his request, but affirmed the Baudrau heirs claim of 1280 acres at Belle Fontaine. In a letter dated October 20, 1829, Edwin Lewis wrote:
…..the original claim filed by me for the heirs of Jean Bte. Baudreau de Graveline for 40,000 acres on the west side of the Pascagoula River at and including the old French mills, the former home of our ancestors…our claim is for 40,000 acres granted by the French Government to the Count Chaumont and the long residence of our ancestors never abandoned by the family but was evacuated only from the trouble of Indians against whom the Spanish Government afforded no protection and which land was never re-granted by the English or Spanish government or permits given to settle on it…I married the daughter of J.B. Baudreau directly after the Baton Rouge convention in 1811. The next day after which her father who was heir to half the land informed me that he gave my wife his half and that I might take possession of it when I pleased. I visited the place. I found two pretty extensive mill dams and part of the frame remaining. I found the place vacant but a log house was standing at a small distance from the mills and where our ancestors had resided before they were obliged to leave it by ? of Indians. I inquired who built the house. My father-in-law informed me one Durand, a Spaniard, from Pensacola who had a permit to settle on vacant land had built the log cabin to stay until he could select a place and that he had offered to purchase the land from him but he would not sell it as he had children to give it to…I moved my family between this cabin and the mills and had nearly finished building one of the mills when (Jonathan) Sulcer came there who had also made several offers to Baudro for the lands and brought a forcible entry and detainer against me which was dropped before Old Judge Toulmin who turned me and my family out of doors…(from the files of the Mobile Genealogical Library-Mobile, Alabama)
The location of the French mills from the above missive of Edwin Lewis is on the west side of the Pascagoula River in Section 24, T5S-R7W, east of the Magnolia Baptist Church on River Road. It known with a high degree of certitude that Jonathan Sulcer was here in December 1808, and that the original settler of this tract was Alexander Durant. This land is referred to, as Claim No. 170, in the list of actual settlers in the district east of the Pearl River, who have no claims derived from the French, British, or Spanish Governments. (The American State Papers, 1994, p. 38)
Interestingly and corroborating the above information, the description of French mills tract by Edwin Lewis is west of the indicated position of the 1721 Chaumont Plantation in Section 19, T5S-R6W. It appears that wheat grown on the plantation was ground into flour by the water-powered grist mills. The topographic nature of the high bluff on the west side of the Pascagoula River in Section 24, T5S-R7W is conducive for the construction of mill dams as there are several streams dissecting the bluff creating small but deep canyons here. (USGS Topographic Map, "Vancleave", 1982)
Alfred E. Lewis (1812-1885), the son of Edwin Lewis, settled on former Baudrau lands situated on the Mississippi Sound west of the Pascagoula River mouth. Here in 1845, he erected Lewis-Sha, a plantation home, which is extant at Gautier today and is known as Oldfields. (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, pp. 46-47)
Enter the Americans 1811-1861
The early years of the 19th Century were tumultuous for the old American Southwest, which included the Vancleave area. After the Mississippi Territory was created in 1798, American settlers, chiefly white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants, began a steady migration from the Carolinas and Georgia into the new frontier. Soon, these pioneers began crossing south of the 31st parallel into the longleaf pine belt of coastal Mississippi. As there were still Indian and Spanish claims in this region, these Americans were sensed as trespassers by the Spanish who possessed the area, including what would later become Vancleave, as a part of Spanish West Florida.
Before 1810, trails and primitive roads were penetrating the primeval forest of the longleaf pine belt in the Bluff Creek region. The pioneers who came here made their livelihoods by herding cattle and swine, hunting-gathering, and subsistence farming. They were independent, freedom loving and had a dislike for the Indians and the Spanish. At this time it was reported that there were eighteen families on the lower Pascagoula River and more upstream.
The 1810 West Florida Rebellion and the 1811 annexation of the of that portion of Spanish West Florida from the Mississippi River to the Perdido River into the Orleans Territory by Governor William Charles Cole Claiborne (1775-1817), brought the American settlers of this region into the United States. Jackson County of the Mississippi Territory was created in 1812, and it entered the Union with the State of Mississippi on March 1, 1817. (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 1)
On January 13, 1811, Dr. Flood of New Orleans, the representative of Governor W.C.C. Claiborne, landed at Pascagoula and raised the American flag. He appointed Captain George Farragut (1755-1817) as Justice of the Peace for Pascagoula Parish of the Territory of Orleans. Dr. Flood wrote the following to Claiborne on January 25, 1811:
Finding no one able to read or write in the Pascagoula settlement, and the inhabitants expressing great confidence in and attachment for Capt. George Farragut, sailing master in the Navy, on this station, I prevailed on him to accept the commission for the parish. Benjamin Goodin, the other magistrate, resides on the river twenty miles up…..The population of the Pascagoula Parish is about three hundred and fifty. (Claiborne, 1978, p. 307)
It is interesting to note that George Farragut, a native of Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, was the father of Union Admiral David Farragut (1801-1870). During the Civil War, Admiral Farragut’s fleet captured New Orleans (1862) and won the Battle of Mobile Bay (1864). He commissioned two local immigrant seaman, Martin Freeman (1814-1894) of Pascagoula and Antoine V. Bellande (1829-1918) of Back Bay, now D’Iberville, Mississippi as acting ensigns and pilots in the Union Navy. At Mobile Bay in August 1864, Freeman piloted the USS Hartford, Farragut’s flagship, while Bellande was aboard the USS Monongahela, which rammed the CSA Tennessee.
Land Offices and the Jackson County Courthouse
Soon after Spanish West Florida became a part of the United States, two districts to process and ascertain land claims was established. The Vancleave region was placed in the land district East of the Pearl River, which was managed from St. Stephens on the Tombigbee River in present day Alabama. In 1819, a land office for Jackson County was created at "Jackson Courthouse" which was probably at the residence of Surveyor, Thomas Bilbo. In 1822, the Jackson County land office was move to Augusta in Perry County. (Cain, 1983, Vol. I, pp.168-169)
The first courthouse at Jackson County was located in present day George County, near Benndale. By 1823, the seat of county government had relocated to Brewer’s Bluff, northeast of Vancleave, and then in 1826 to Americus, on the east side of the Pascagoula River, where it would remain until 1871, when what appears to be the permanent government base, was founded at Scranton (Pascagoula). The location of the county seat in the northern portion of Jackson County until 1871, reflects that this was indeed the focus of early American settlement. (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi 1989, pp. 10-12)
As previously noted, the coastline was the focus of early European settlement. These early colonists brought the French language and Roman Catholic faith. After nearly three hundred years, some cultural differences still exist between the descendants of the early Americans and those of European heritage.
Vancleave Region Pioneers
A study of the land claims, which existed in the District East of the Pearl River in the early 19th Century, reveals that the earliest settlers in the Vancleave region, homesteaded northeast and east of the future village. These pioneers chose the high bluff on the west side of the Pascagoula River as their place of settlement. Among the first of these homesteaders and their lands were:
Settler Date Settlement Original Settler
John Havens* 1802? Poticaw Bayou area
James Ware 1803 Section 12, T7S-R7W J.B. Baudrau
Benjamin Lanier 1807 Sec. 41, T5S-R7W and Sec. 22, T5S-R6W
Pierre Ladner 1809 Section 39, T6S-R6W John Haven
Laird Graham 1809 Section 38, T5S-R7W
Joseph Graham 1810 Section 37, T5S-R7W
Alexis Nicholas (Ladner) 1810 Section 38, T6S-R7W
Jonathan Selser 1810 Sec. 24, T5R7W Alexander Durant
George Farragutt 1811 Section 37, T7S-R7W
John Brewer 1812 Section 1, T5S-R7W
John Brewer Jr. 1812? Section 2, T5S-R7W
William Cates 1812 Sec. 38, T6S-R6W, Sec. 42, T5S-7W, Sec. 37, T6S-R7W
Joshua Cates 1812 Section 42, T5S-R7W and Section 40, T5S-R6W
John Haven 1812 Section 11, T5S-R7W James Haven
Minor W. Johnson 1812 Section 40, T5S-R7W
Perry King 1813 Section 39, T5S-R7W
From: (The American State Papers, 1904, pp. 9-10 and pp. 37-38)
John Havens-This is probably John Havens III (1775-1855) who was married to Susan Flurry (d. 1826), daughter of William Flurry.(Cain, Vol. II, 1983, p. 198)
The author can find no land claim for this man in 1802. C.E. Cain in Four Centuries on The Pascagoula states that John Havens, a Virginian, was the first American to settle in the Vancleave area. His claim dates from 1802, and settlement was on Poticaw.(Cain, 1983, Vol. 1, p. 78)
In 1811, William Flurry was residing with a John Haven and cultivating land in Section 42, T3S-R7W on Black Creek.(The American State Papers, 1994, p. 38)
It appears that John Havens first settlement was indeed in the Vancleave area and prior to 1809. His homestead was in Section 39, T6S-R6W, which is where Bayou Portico or Poticaw enters the West Pascagoula River. It can be inferred that John Havens relocated north to T3S-R7W. In 1809, Pierre Ladner settled the former land claim of John Havens.(The American State Papers, 1994, p. 38)
Early "Vancleave" on the lower Bluff Creek
It is envisioned that the Vancleave region developed with the longleaf pine timber and naval stores industries. As timber men and loggers cut deeper and deeper into the virgin pine forests they eventually worked their way up the Pascagoula River until they entered its west side branch, Bluff Creek. This probably occurred prior to the Civil War. Small trading posts were established on or near Bluff Creek’s lower tributaries, Sumrall Bayou, John’ Bayou, and Paige Bayou, to provide forest workers and sawmill laborers with food staples and other necessary provisions to exist in this undeveloped wilderness. It is believed that at the height of commercial activity in this area that there were possibly as many as five merchandisers here. Among them appears to have been R.A. Van Cleave (1840-1908), Willis Broadus (1834-1919), and William Martin (1838-1930). (Reddix, 1974, p. 42)
The terrain at the point where Bluff Creek enters the West Pascagoula River, with the exception of Martin’s Bluff, is for the most part marshland. This inhospitable condition exists for about six miles upstream where higher ground exists just above the point where Little Bluff Creek enters the main channel of Bluff Creek.
The earliest settler on the lower Bluff Creek was Alexis Nicholas (Ladner) who came to what is now John’s Bayou in 1810. It can be inferred from the historic record that the Holden, Graham, and Broadus families were also early inhabitants of this region. Other pioneers in this immediate area who made an impact and their approximate date of settlement were: George R. Benson (1857), David Sumrall (1856), Thomas L. Sumrall (1842), John "Dutch" Bobinger (1860), and William Page (1859).
It is known from the unpublished account of the George R. Benson family that Georgia native, George Roads Benson (1820-1891), and his brother-in-law, George Sumrall (1837-1860), built a sawmill at the mouth of Bluff Creek (probably present day Martin’s Bluff) circa 1857. Benson also had a store and corn mill at this site and possessed about fifty slaves. The G.R. Benson family quit Jackson County in 1861, for Crystal Springs, Mississippi and then settled at Texas in 1868. (Benson, 1928, p. 2, p. 4, and p. 12)
There is a high degree of certitude that David Sumrall (1808-1890) gave his name to Sumrall Bayou. He acquired the land which this small the bayou traverses (Section 40, T6S-R6W) from Harvey P. Holden, a resident of Rankin County, Mississippi, in May 1856. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 5, pp. 635-637)
His brother, Thomas L. Sumrall (1797-1865), arrived on the west side of the Pascagoula River possibly as early as 1842. (South-Western Farmer, September 16, 1842). Thomas L. Sumrall had married Margaret McRae (1795-1867), the sister of John McRae. In 1855, he was elected the first Worshipful Master of Moss Point Lodge No. 202 F&AM. (Giddens, undated, p. 1)
In 1851, Thomas Sumrall acquired the old James Ware Claim No. 46 in Section 3, T7S-R6W and Section 12, T7S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 38, pp. 131-134) Between 1854 and 1856, he acquired valuable tracts of land by State land patents on the south side of Bluff Creek opposite John’s Bayou in Section 36, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 24, pp. 299-302) It appears that Sumrall lived here and had access to the ferry landing on Bluff Creek in Section 36, T6S-R7W.
Probably in the 1820s-1830s, the ferry landing here was known as Holden’s Ferry. It may have later been run by the Moses Broadus (1794-1850+) family. (Broadus letter, 1926). Broadus Lake exists in the area today as well as Ferry Point Road.
John "Dutch" Bobinger (1815-1880+), a native of Bavaria, gave his name to John’s Bayou. He made his livelihood as a coal burner and farmer. Bobinger also sold iron to his neighbors. (Sumrall, 1855-1859, p. 18 and p. 23) In late 1870s and 1880s, four of Dutch Bobinger’s sons, Samuel Bobinger (1849-1883+), Fred Bobinger (1851-1900+), Alex Bobinger (1853-1889+), and Miguel Bobinger (1854-1886+) received Federal land patents in the NW/4 of T6S-R7W and the SW/4 of T5S-R7W.
Paige Bayou may have been named for William Page who had an 1859-1860 Federal land patent or Robert H. Page (1853-1900+) with an 1867 Federal land patent. Both land patents were located in Section 26, T6S-R7W. It was on the west side of Paige Bayou in the SE/4 of Section 27, T6S-R7W, that a short lived US Post Office was established by Hector Fairley, a former slave, in 1870. It was designated as Vancleave’s, as Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908), had operated a commissary in the vicinity here in the late 1860s. The name "Vancleave" soon attached itself to the entire region which had been formerly called Bluff Creek. (The Mississippi Press, July 18, 1988, p. 2-A)
The Outlaw-James Copeland
Vancleave, although not the natal home of James Copeland (1823-1857), was in the neighborhood of this mid-19th Century sociopath. Copeland was born in the piney woods on the eastside of the Pascagoula River, the son of Isham Copeland and Rebecca Wells. He soon made a negative impact on Jackson County and the Southeast for his unlawful behavior. Young Copeland’s first felony was the theft of some swine of a Mr. Helverson, a related neighbor. This crime was soon followed by the circa 1835, burning of the Jackson County courthouse at Americus, to destroy the evidence of his pig pilferage. (Pitts, 1980, pp. 32-34)
Soon, teenager, James Copeland, joined with Mobile bandits, Gale Wages and Charles "Preacher" Mcgrath. Their nefarious exploits, between1839 and 1848, took "The Unholy Three" and their comrades on a peripatetic crime spree from Mobile to Texas, Ohio, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Wages-Copeland clans’ criminal activities consisted primarily of the theft of slaves and horses, the looting and burning of houses and stores, counterfeiting, boat larceny, and murder. The violence ended temporarily in 1848, when James A. Harvey, a rival gang leader, killed Wages and McGrath. (Pitts, 1980, p. 114)
On July 15, 1848, James Copeland and his gang rode to James Harvey’s home on Black Creek in Perry County. They had been offered one-thousand dollars by Wage’s father, to revenge his death. Here the Copeland clan fought a blazing gun battle, which resulted in the death of Harvey and one of Copeland’s men. James Copeland met his Maker on October 30, 1857, when he was hanged in Augusta, Perry County, Mississippi. He had been incarcerated in Alabama and Mississippi penitentiaries from 1848 to 1857 for his crimes. (Pitts, 1980, p. 115 and p.119)
Before his death on the gallows, James Copeland made a full confession to Sheriff Pitts at Perry County. He detailed how his clan had buried some $30,000 in gold in a swamp near Mobile and later reburied the treasure in the Catahoula Swamp of Hancock County, Mississippi. (Pitts, 1980, p.100 and p.107)
The James Copeland legend lives today. Treasure hunters as late as the 1960s, had been searching sections of Pascagoula and Gautier for burial sites of the Copeland gangs stolen booty. (Higginbotham, 1967, p. 27)
Since a plantation economy did not exist in piney woods of the Vancleave region, there were few slaves here as compared to the agricultural areas of Mississippi. Slave labor was utilized in the timber and naval stores industries. A study of the 1850 and 1860 Slave Census of Jackson County reveals that the following persons possessed over eight slaves in the general vicinity of Vancleave:*
John Davis (11), A.W. Ramsay (9), John Davis (11), John Fairley (30), Godfrey Helveston (10), Archibald Fairley (21), and Pierre Quave (9). (1850 Federal Slave Census, Jackson County, Miss., pp. 6-8)
Daniel H. Ramsay (9), George R. Benson (31), Thomas L. Sumrall (35), James Pritchett (29), Mary Quave (9), John Davis (20), John Fairley (45), Godfrey Helveston (10), Neil Fairley (13), and Robert Burney (8). (1860 Federal Slave Census, Jackson County, Miss., pp. 481-484)
* (9) denotes total number of male and female slaves
First Black Settlement
It was also on lower Bluff Creek in the John’s Bayou area that an early Black settlement developed. Shortly after gaining their freedom, emancipated families from the lower Pascagoula River section, the Bilbos, Burneys, Caraways, Chambers, Fairleys, Shaws, and Taylors made their way to the John’s Bayou region. They found work in the naval stores, timber, and charcoal industries. (Reddix, 1974, p. 42)
As previously noted, Hector Fairley (1855-1900+), an ex-slave, was the first postmaster of "Vancleave", when that station was located on John’s Bayou.
The Civil War (1861-1865)
Although military actions were not fought in the Vancleave region, nor are there any records of Union occupation here during the Civil War, some of the local families, but the Ramseys in particular, made significant contributions to the Southern cause. "The Live Oak Rifles", Company A, 3rd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., were sworn into State military service on September 18, 1861, on the Sardin G. Ramsay (1837-1920) homestead and farm, south of Vancleave. 3rd Sergeant Sardin G. Ramsay was one of the seven member of the Ramsay family of Jackson County to serve in this military unit. (Howell, 1991, p. 59)
On September 18, 1861, Company A, "Live Oak Rifles", 3rd Mississippi Infantry Regiment CSA was sworn into State military service on the Sardin G. Ramsay (1837-1920) plantation, which is south of Vancleave in the SE/4 of Section 29, T6S-R7W.
Captain Abiezar F. Ramsay (1828-1864), who would die at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, and his brother, 1st Lt. Enoch N. Ramsay (1832-1916), were local leaders of this unit composed of men from Ocean Springs, Fort Bayou, Vancleave, and Pascagoula.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 5, 1995, p. 14)
Another brother, Thomas E. Ramsay (1845-1934), served in the Live Oak Rifles as a private. (Howell, 1991, p. 555)
Other blood-related Ramsay men to fight with the 3rd Mississippi Regiment were: 3rd Sgt. Daniel H. Ramsay, (c. 1833-1864); 4th Corporal James P. Ramsay (1837-1864+); and Private Andrew J. "Jeff" Ramsay (1840-1917). Daniel H. Ramsay would give his life for the Southern cause at Franklin, Tennessee, while James P. Ramsay was wounded there. (The Daily Herald, May 30, 1916, p. 3, c. 4 and Howell, 1991, pp. 385-386).
Andrew J. "Jeff" Ramsay was captured and incarcerated at Camp Chase, Ohio. He returned to Jackson County a’ pied when released. Jeff Ramsay was elected Sheriff of Harrison County after the Civil War and also served this County as a State legislature and two term Circuit Clerk. (The Daily Herald, August 21, 1917, p. 1, c. 7)
Other Civil War veterans known to have resided and died in the Vancleave region are: Samuel Devro, Co. E, 3rd Mississippi Infantry; John Jones (1845-1936), Co A, 3rd Mississippi Infantry; Sgt. Robert N. Murphy (1843-1914), Co. A , 42nd Alabama Infantry; Henry Webb, Co A, 3rd Mississippi Infantry;
Additional Vancleave area families who sent sons and fathers to this war were: Byrd, Davis, Cates, Quave, Bang, Ware, Lyons, Sumrall, Rice, Nobles, Gill, Webb, Bond, Herrington, Breeland, Fairley, Entrekin, Carroll, and Rogers.(Howell, 1991, pp. 553-556)
During this four-year conflict, living conditions at Vancleave were similar to those of other piney woods regions of the Southeast in that they were not as bad as those areas were military incursions and engagements had occurred. Slaves for the most part remained loyal. They helped farm, herded cattle, and performed the common labors necessary to sustain life.
In these desperate times, salt was obtained from the dirt floors of smokehouses. Cloth was made from cotton lint picked from the seed by hand, spun into yarn, and woven on home made looms. Dyes for wool and cotton fabrics were obtained from tree bark, leaves, and flowers. Shoes were fashioned from cured cowhide, while lye soap, beeswax and tallow candles, continued to be made in traditional ways.(WPA, ((1936-191938), p. 158)
Post-Civil War to 1900
The move north
As the timber and naval stores were depleted in the John’s Bayou region, the community in general moved north to where the main county road through western Jackson County crossed Bluff Creek near Mounger’s Creek. This site, at the head of navigation on Bluff Creek, retained the name Vancleave, as it remains today.
Land patents granted by the Federal and State Governments indicate that the early land owners in the sections in the vicinity of Bluff Creek and Mounger’s Creek in T6S-R7W were:
George Sumrall and G.R. Benson (1857)-160 acres in the E/2, of the E/2. Sold to Joe Elie in April 1858. (JXCO Deed Bk 3, pp. 32-33)
John Havens (1860)-160 acres in the W/2, of the W/2.
Henry Galloway (1875)-80 acres in the W/2, SE/4, of the SE/4.
Ben Carraway (1882)-40 acres in the SE/4 of the SW/4.
Kemp Reid (1882)-80 acres in the SE/4 of the NW/4 & the SW/4 of the NE/4.
Thomas C. Ruble (1895)-80 acres in the NE/4 of the NW/4 & the NW/4 of the NE/4.
Jack Greenwood (1914)-40 acres in the NE/4 of the SW/4.
Section 16 (School Land)
Pierre Cuevas (Quave) (pre-1872)-leased to Henry C. Havens the NW/4 and SW/4 in 1872.
Thomas Galloway (pre-1868)-leased to A.W. Ramsay the NE/4 and the SE/4 in 1868.
Henry C. Havens (1872)-leased to A.W. Ramsay the NW/4 and the SW/4 in1880.
It is interesting to note that three of Vancleave’s earlier land owners, Kemp Reid (1831-1880), Benjamin Carraway (1835-1900+), and Henry Galloway (1826-1880+) were former slaves and natives of North Carolina. They probably came here with naval store operators James Prichard and Thomas Galloway.
Merchants and Post Offices
As the timber men and forest workers moved northward up Bluff Creek prior to and after the War of the Rebellion, tradesman developed commissaries and stories to service their corporal needs. Some of the earlier retailers from the lower Bluff Creek section moved their establishments to the "new Vancleave" settlement, which was developing near the headwaters of Bluff Creek. It was common to have the US Post Office situated at a commercial site.
Thomas Galloway (1826-1874)
It appears that North Carolinian, Thomas Galloway, was among the earliest settlers and merchants in the Bluff Creek-Mounger’s Creek section. He and his slave concubine, Harriet Ann Galloway, came to Jackson County circa 1862 from South Carolina. In October 1865, Thomas Galloway acquired 320 acres from John Havens in Section 8 and Section 9, T6S-R7W. The Galloways had four daughters born in Mississippi: Mary Eliza Galloway (1868-1879+), Joanna Moore Galloway (1869-1879+), Sophia Pauline Galloway (1870-1879+), and Rachel Frances Galloway (1873-1879+). He had a sister, Eliza Swain, who resided at Smithville, North Carolina. Thomas Galloway expired on October 4, 1874, from yellow fever. He legated to his family a homestead, store, and about 800 acres of land in T6S-R7W. They were denied their inheritance because of their skin color. (Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 53, March 1879)
Reddix in A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (1974), states that Thomas Galloway operated a sawmill and turpentine still in the Brewer’s Bluff area about 1850. Later, James Prichard, also a Tar Heel, came to Brewer’s Bluff and became a business partner of Galloway. Both men were slave owners and brought the Galloway and Reddix families with them. After emancipation, both black families owned land and prospered in the Vancleave region. Henry Galloway and Abram Galloway (1830-1900+) erected the first interior sawmill in Mississippi. (Reddix, 1974, pp. 27-29)
Andrew W. Ramsay
Andrew Washington Ramsay (1830-1916) was one of the pioneer tradesmen at Vancleave. He was the son of Andrew Woodside Ramsay (1806-1861) and Nancy Holder. Returning from military service in the Civil War, Mr. Ramsay married Sarah Hurlburt (1846-1882) in June 1866. They were the parents of Alice R. Ruble (b. 1867), Willie P. Ramsay (1870-1963), Robert L. Ramsay (1871-1917+), John W. Ramsay (1873-1940+), Andrew N. Ramsay (1875-ca 1918), Nancy E. Ramsay (1876-1891), Hubert H. Ramsay (1879-1940+), Sidney C. Ramsay (1881-1903), and an infant Ramsay (1882-1882).
Andrew W. Ramsay (1830-1916) and Mary Bradford Ramsay (1853-1942) (circa 1884)
[Courtesy of Pat Vickery (1933-2012) from the Mary Ramsay M. Vickery (1887-1976) family archives]
In September 1882, Sarah H. Ramsay died in childbirth. A.W. Ramsay wedded Mary L. Bradford (1853-1942), the daughter of Lyman Bradford (1803-1858) and Cynthia Ward (1813-1887), in November 1883. Their children were: Albert E. Ramsay (1884-1886), Mary R. Morthland Vickery (1887-1976), Margaret R. McGinnis (1889-1942+), Clifton W. Ramsay (1892-1892), and Daisy R. Hoskins (1892-1942).
A.W. Ramsay began acquiring land in the vicinity of Vancleave in the 1860s. At the acme of his land holdings circa 1890, Mr. Ramsay possessed over 1800 acres centered primarily along and west of Bluff Creek, in Sections 16 and 21 of T6S-R7W. The A.W. Ramsay home site was located on a hill overlooking Bluff Creek, east of the Ramsay Cemetery (sometimes called Vancleave No. 2). An early Baptist Church was situated just south of the Ramsay Cemetery.
The Ramsay store was in the NE/4, NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. It was a two-story, wood frame structure with several associated warehouses. Since this A.W. Ramsay enterprise was placed near the confluence of Bluff Creek, Moungers Creek, and Woodman Branch, it was subject to flooding in any season. To thwart the deleterious affects of inundation, the Ramsay retail outlet was erected on piers, which elevated the main floor about four feet above ground level.
The A.W. Ramsay store served as a trading post and social center for the farmers, lumberjacks, raft men, teamsters, box chippers, and charcoal burners, who toiled in the immediate area. This was the period, when an active timber, naval stores, and charcoal industry flourished in the immediate area. In 1869, A.W. Ramsay was postmaster of "Bluff Creek", the only time that a postal station with this appellation existed.
The telegraph at the A.W. Ramsay store allowed communications for local business houses and with freight shippers whose schooners supplied the Bluff Creek region with staple goods and other supplies. Mr. Ramsay and his sons were honest and their weights and measurements were accepted with confidence by their patrons. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 22, 1892, p. 2)
In March 1896, and now at the age of sixty-six years, A.W. Ramsay sold a fifty-nine year lease on his three-acre store tract to Sidney J. Anderson (1867-1917) of New Orleans. In the warranty deed, it stated that Ramsay was conveying property to Anderson "on which the wharves and store houses formerly occupied by me are situated". (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 30, p. 478)
Andrew W. Ramsay expired on November 9, 1916. His remains and those of many of his family members are interred in the Ramsay Cemetery at Vancleave. Mrs. Mary L. Ramsay expired at Los Angeles, California on April 21, 1942. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the City of Angels. (The Jackson County Times, May 9, 1942, p. 2)
George W. Davis (1842-1914)
George W. Davis (1842-1914) was born east of Ocean Springs on Davis Bayou, the eldest son of Samuel Davis II (1804-1879) and Elvira Ward (1821-1901). He married Margaret Bradford (1846-1920), the daughter of Lyman Bradford (1803-1858) and Cynthia Ward (1813-1887, November 1868. Her grandfather, Stephen Bradford (1771-1825+), a native of Connecticut, was one of the early settlers on the Pascagoula River. In 1812, he settled in Section 38, T4S-R6W, just southeast of the county seat of Americus. The George W. Davis family consisted of six daughters: Cynthia D. Maxwell Gottsche (1869-1951), Jasmine Alvirah "Jessie" Davis (1872-1877), Mae D. Griffin (1874-1917), Sadie D.Young (1878-1950), Mamie D. Bland (1882-1965), and Georgia D. Whittle Weaver (1883-1946). (The Gulf Coast Times, November 4, 1949)
In 1873, George W. Davis commenced a mercantile business at Vancleave. He remained here until 1882. (The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1914, p. 1) G.W. Davis acquired about 166 acres in Section 9, T6S-R7W from Henry C. Havens for $800. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 31, p. 333)
His brother, E.S. Davis clerked in the store and James Reid (1865-1880+), a Black man assisted. The US Post Office was located on Federal Land in the SW/4 of Section 10, T6S-R7W. Mr. Davis was postmaster at Vancleave from 1880- 1882, succeeding Hector Fairley. In June 1880, William Seymour carried weekly mail to the Davis store from Ocean springs where R.A. Vancleave was postmaster. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 18, 1880, p. 3)
In 1883, George W. Davis relocated to Ocean Springs where he and his brother, Elias S. Davis (1859-1925) started another commercial venture, The Davis Brothers store, which became a landmark at Ocean Springs. It was originally situated on the eastside of Washington Avenue near County Road (Government Street), but moved in 1890, to the west side of Washington Avenue. The Davis Brothers dealt in dry goods, notions, groceries, hardware, tinware, and animal feed. George W. Davis retired from the mercantile business in October 1910. E.S. Davis, and his sons, Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963) and Chester S. Davis (1900-1973), continued in the business as E.S. Davis & Sons. (The Ocean Springs News, September 10, 1910, p. 1, c. 5)
In December 1882, before relocating to Ocean Springs, Mr. Davis had sold his 166 acres in Section 9, T6S-R7W to Willis Broadus for $1000. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 33, pp. 47-48).
Willis Broadus (1834-1919)
Willis Broadus, the son of Moses Broadus (1794-1850+) and Elizabeth Rogers (1804-1850+), was born in Mississippi, probably near Holden’s Ferry on lower Bluff Creek. During the Civil War, he served with the 15th Mississippi Infantry Regiment- Company H. Willis Broadus married Catherine Holland (1839-1897), a native of Lauderdale County, Mississippi. From this union three children were born: Mary B. Juan (1862-1946), James P. Broadus (1869-1932), and Joseph A. Broadus (1874-1926+). (Broadus letter, 1926)
Of the three Broadus children, only Mary Elizabeth Broadus (1862-1946), who in January 1878, married Francisco Juan (1843-1918), an immigrant Spanish schooner master, remained at Vancleave. Their children were: Josephine J. Ellis, Joseph Juan (1893-1918), George Juan (b. 1898), and Alphonse Juan (1900-1943). Juan Lane at Vancleave is named for this family. Mary B. Juan became known as Aunt Mary Juan to later generations at Ocean Springs. She is reputed to have lived like a gypsy and read palms and told stories. In the early evening, Mrs. Juan called her sheep home. (C.M. "Kipp" Dees, December 20, 1998)
James P. Broadus (1869-1932) married Edith Johnson in 1891. They were residing at Cedar Grove, Louisiana in 1920. He passed on November 7, 1932. His brother, Joseph Anthony Broadus (1874-1926+) married Sarah E. Tujaque (d. 1968) of New Orleans. In 1900, he was a clerk in his father’s store and also served as a representative to the State legislature from Jackson County. Circa 1904, J.A. Broadus relocated to Biloxi and became a real estate broker. He advertised with the motto, "Farm and Country Property a Specialty". In 1920, Mr. Broadus was brokering wheat at Fort Smith, Arkansas.
As mentioned previously, Willis Broadus acquired the store and lands of George W. Davis, when he quit Vancleave in 1882, and relocated to Ocean Springs. There is possibility that he was a merchant and ferry operator on lower Bluff Creek, before moving to Vancleave.
Willis Broadus conveyed land for two of Vancleave’s pioneer schools. In November 1902, he sold ¼ acre in the SE/4,NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W to the Trustees of The Vancleave Academy. (JXCO Land Deed Book 32, pp. 563-564) The Trustees of the Vancleave High School acquired one acre from Mr. Broadus in August 1907. This became the site of the oft-recalled "Old Vancleave High School" situated between Bluff and Mounger’s Creek. Its location was in the SE/4,SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 32, p. 564)
At the time of his demise on September 1, 1919, Willis Broadus possessed approximately 375 acres of land in Jackson County. He and several family members are interred in the Vancleave No. 1 Cemetery on Jim Ramsay Road.
Sherwood Bradford (1838-1922)
Sherwood Bradford was the son of Lyman Bradford and Cynthia Ward. He was born near Pascagoula. During the Civil War, young Bradford served as a Captain in the cavalry of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA. After this conflict, he married Eleanora Davis (1851-1938), the sister of George W. Davis. They were the parents of: Russell I. Bradford (1872-1956), Lyman Bradford, and Frederick S. Bradford (1878-1951). (The Gulf Coast Times, September 16, 1949)
In April 1882, Sherwood Bradford acquired 125 acres in NW/4 and SW/4 of Section 8, T6S-R7W from his brother-in-law, George W. Davis, for $150. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 31, p. 331). Before arriving at Vancleave, the Sherwood Bradford family resided east of Ocean Springs, where Mr. Bradford taught school at the Tidewater Spring School in the SW/4 of Section 27, T7S-R8W. The school was adjacent to the Tidewater Baptist Church, which had been organized in September 1832, by Elder George Davis. (The Gulf Coast Times, September 3, 1949)
At Vancleave, Sherwood Bradford served as postmaster from 1882-1888. The US Post Office was located in the SW/4 of Section 8, T6S-R7W. In addition to his governmental duties, Sherwood Bradford farmed and was in the construction business. His son, Frederick S. Bradford recalls that his father built the Vancleave Academy, the Vancleave Methodist Church and Ezell Lodge. In late May 1894, The Biloxi Herald related that "The magnificent new church building and Masonic Lodge is nearing completion. S. Bradford is the proprietor of the building". (The Gulf Coast Times, September 23, 1949 and The Biloxi Herald, May 26, 1894, p. 1)
Fred Bradford also became an excellent builder at Vancleave and Ocean Springs. Circa 1919, he erected the W.H. Westfall store at Vancleave. Mr. Bradford also built the Ocean Springs Community Center (1950), the New Beach Hotel (1909), the Baptist Church (1909), and many other local structures and edifices. (The Ocean Springs Record, December 14, 1995, p. 24 and December 21, 1995, p. 20)
Concerning 19th Century life at Vancleave, brothers, Russell and Fred Bradford, related the following to Captain Ellis Handy (1891-1963) in The Gulf Coast Times of September 23, 1949:
Everybody was busy doing something because there were many things to be done on a farm. We remember apples, peaches, and pears grown in quantity. There were winter apples that ripened in December and eating apples that ripened quickly after the skin was broken by the birds. There were large juicy Bartlett pears as well as those for cooking. After the original sweet oranges were killed (by cold weather), they never regrew and later the satsuma oranges did well for a while and then they died out.
Our father bought four La Compte pear trees from a man who promised great results. They were planted with the other trees, and grew to bring one big crop and then blight hit all the trees and there was no easy successful growth since.
I (Fred Bradford) went to school first under George Price who was nearly eighty years of age. I was also taught by Miss Florence Morrow (1877-1936) who later taught so many in Ocean Springs. When nearly grown, Miss Susie Vaughn (1869-1962) taught me. In order to get to town, we would ride horses or hitch them to a wagon. Sometime we would walk to Fontainebleau and catch a train to Pascagoula, Mobile, Ocean Springs, or Biloxi from the depot there.
In November 1903, Sherwood Bradford sold his property at Vancleave, to J.E. Porter. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 28, p. 240) He returned to Ocean Springs and resided on Porter Avenue across the street from the O’Keefe property near Jackson Avenue. In mid-February 1922, Sherwood Bradford, who at this time was the Fort Bayou Bridge tender, fell into the icy bayou water while opening the bridge for a passing barge. He was rescued by Karl C. Maxwell (1893-1958), but passed away one week later from complications which resulted from his fall into Fort Bayou. (The Jackson County Times, February 18, 1922, p. 1 and March 4, 1922, p. 1)
Henry C. Havens (1831-1912)
Henry Cooper Havens was a prominent citizen and patriarch of Vancleave. In addition to his commercial interests, he was a member of the Board of Supervisors, Justice of the Peace, first Worshipful Master of Ezell Lodge No. 426 F&AM, and sheep farmer. During the Civil War, Corporal H.C. Havens served the Confederacy as a Forage Master in the 15th Alabama Cavalry. While stationed in Santa Rosa County, Florida, he was granted leave to return to Jackson County to gather much needed wool for the Confederate Army. (Cain, 1995, p. 166)
Henry C. Havens married Josephine Bowen (1830-1879) and fathered: Arabella H. Breeland (1852-1917), Alfred L. Havens (1854-1919), Cornelia Havens (b. 1855), Hermenia H. Martin (1857-1932), Eunice Havens (b. 1860), Bruno A. Havens (1862-1881), Uncas C. Havens (1862-1947), and Eddie H. Havens (b. 1873). After her demise, he wedded Rebecca Smith Davis (1852-1891) in October 1882. Their family consisted of: Cooper Havens (1883-1889), Celia Havens (b. 1885), Thomas H. Havens (b. 1889), and Inman Havens (1891-1891). Widowed a second time, Judge Havens married Mary F. Cain (1862-1928) in January 1892. She was the daughter of William F. Cain (1818-1862) and Naomi L. Gibson (1826-1908). Their progeny were: Robert M. Havens (1892-1967), Esther Ramsay Holden (1894-1969), and Sallie H. Guillotte (1896-1982).
Henry C. Havens possessed large tracts of land primarily west of Vancleave along present day Jim Ramsay Road and Seaman Road. Circa 1900, his holdings in the vicinity of Sections 7, 17, and 18, T6S-R7W totaled about 1400 acres. In August 1880, Mr. Havens donated 5 acres in the NE/4,SW/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W to the Methodist Episcopal Church. (JXCO Land Deed Book 20, pp. 165-166)
In the spring of 1892, rumors circulating along Bluff Creek suggested that Henry C. Havens and his family were moving their business interests to West Pascagoula (Gautier). Judge Henry C. Havens expired at Gautier, Mississippi on February 7, 1912. A stroke had disabled him. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 22, 1892, p. 2 and The Daily Herald, February 9, 1912, p. 1)
Uncas Cleburne Havens (1862-1947)
Uncas C. Havens was known as "Cleave" Havens. He was the son of Henry C. Havens (1831-1912) and Josephine Bowen (1830-1879). Cleave Havens married Isabelle "Belle" Josephine Martin (1869-1952), the daughter of William Martin (1838-1930) and Nancy Sumrall (1847-1888). Their children were: Georgia H. Fluker (1889-1981), William Havens (1892-1986), Laura H. Fontenette (1893-1975), Emma H. Stojcich (1895-1985), Norman Havens (b. 1897), Josephine H. Cratte (1900-ca 1964), Howard Havens (1902-1966), Martin Havens (1904-1976), and Eunice Havens (b. 1909).
Cleave Havens served the people of Vancleave as postmaster from 1888-1892. He attempted to change the name of the local post office to "Lauraville", but it was rejected. During U.C. Haven’s tenure as postmaster, the bureau was located in the NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. His post office had private letter boxes and other comforts for postal patrons. (The Mississippi Press, July 18, 1988 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 22, 1892, p. 2)
Willie P. Ramsay (1870-1963), a son of A.W. Ramsay, succeeded Cleave Havens as Vancleave’s postmaster. Belle Matin Havens was postmistress of Gautier from 1914 to 1919.
Cleave Havens expired at Gulfport, Mississippi in February 1947. His remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery there after services at the Grace Memorial Baptist Church. (The Daily Herald, February 4, 1947)
William Martin (1838-1930)
William Martin was born in Portsmouth, Portsea Island, Hampshire County, England. He immigrated to America in 1849, with his father, Thomas Martin (1800-ca 1867) and brother, James Martin (1834-1890). A sister, Mary Jane Martin (1829-1920), united with them in 1867. The Martin family may have resided at Pass Christian, Mississippi before settling at Madisonville, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana prior to 1860.
In March 1859, at Madisonville, Louisiana, William Martin wedded Elizabeth Carroll (1841-ca 1863), a native of Pennsylvania. Her parents were Peter Carroll (1822-1850+) and Irish immigrant, Jane Carroll (1825-1850+). William and Elizabeth Martin were the parents of three children: Mary Louisa M. Sumrall (1860-1927), baby Martin (1861-1863), and baby Martin (1862-1863). Martin made his livelihood as an assistant ferryman on Lake Pontchartrain. His father was a ferryman.
During the Civil War, William Martin was mustered into Company E of Mile’s Louisiana Legion, CSA. He participated in the defense of Port Hudson in 1862. Martin family lore relates that Mrs. Elizabeth Martin and her babies were victims of starvation and disease as a consequence of that conflict, which was especially traumatic on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
After the War of the Rebellion, William Martin arrived in the Vancleave region in 1868. His brother, James Martin (1834-1890), who married Mary Sumrall, the daughter of David Sumrall (1808-1890) and Elcy Rodgers (1813-ca 1900), had arrived here earlier. Mr. Martin established a mercantile business in the John’s Bayou area. He was well educated and spoke with an accent resembling London Cockney. Martin was reputed to be particular adept with integers and mathematical calculations.
In April 1868, William Martin married Nancy Sumrall (1847-1888), the daughter of David Sumrall (1808-1890) and Elcy Rodgers (1813-ca 1900). Their children were: Isabella M. Havens (1869-1952), Laura V. Westfall (1870-1955), Charles W. Martin (1872-1922), Joseph J. Martin (1873-1909), Singleton I. Martin (1874-1930+), Frances Ruth Martin (1876-), Malcolm M. Martin (1878-1930+), Frederick Knox Martin (1880-1934), Cora M. Byrd (1882-1915), Walter L. Martin (1884-1967), and Nora M. Powers (1886-1955+), and baby Martin (1887-1888).
In the 1880s, it appears William Martin left the John’s Bayou section and moved his commercial enterprise north. Circa 1889, William Martin married Hermenia Havens (1857-1932), the daughter of Judge Henry C. Havens (1831-1912) and Josephine Bowen (1830-1879). Their children were: Houston W. Martin (1891-1976), James H. Martin (1892-1959), Mamie M. Martin (1894-1949), Edgar P. Martin (1896-1979?), Oscar H. Martin (1899-1960) and Bruner W. Martin (1903-1957).
1890s William Martin (1838-1930) Store and Post Office (image made August 1998)
Once situated on the southeast corner of Ms. Highway 57 and Ratliff Lane. Moved to Breeland Road.
In 1891, William Martin acquired 2 ½ acres in the NE/4,SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R9W from Henry and Charity Galloway for $50. Here on the southeast corner of Highway 57 (then called Mill Street) and Ratliff Lane (then known as Martin Street), Mr. Martin erected a store and house. He became postmaster of Vancleave in 1897 and remained so until 1927.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 15, p. 295)
William Martin, like most of the successful merchants at Vancleave, donated or sold land cheaply to Christian churches. In November 1910, he and Hermenia H. Martin conveyed two lots to W.K. Ramsay, T.E. Ramsay, S.G. Ramsay, Caradine Roberts, S.R. Byrd, S.R. Ratliff, M.W. David, G.W. Tootle, and J.H. Havens, Trustees of the Vancleave Charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. These lots appear to be on the same large tract that the Ezell Lodge No. 426 F&AM is situated. (JXCO Land Deed Book 36, p. 255)
John W. Westfall (1846-1928) and W.H. Westfall (1871-1939)
John W. Westfall was born at Macon, Illinois. His father was from Kentucky and mother, a Virginian. He married Margaret Clark (1836-1921), a Mississippian, and probably the widow of H.C. Ruble at the time of their nuptials. It appears that Mr. Westfall adopted her children who were: George Westfall (1855-1870+), Georgia Westfall (1857-1870+), Thomas Westfall (1859-1870+), and Charles Westfall (b. 1861-1870+).
John and Margaret Clark Ruble Westfall had a son, William Henry Westfall (1874-1939), who married Laura V. Martin (1870-1955), a daughter of William Martin and Nancy Sumrall. The W.H. Westfalls adopted William S. Byrd (1910-1982), the son of Louis Marvin Byrd and Cora Mae Martin (1882-1915), the sister of Mrs. Laura Westfall. In April 1933, William Byrd Westfall married Mary Kate Moore (b. 1909) of Philadelphia, Mississippi. They resided at Houston, Texas.
Like William Martin, Mr. Westfall’s initial commercial ventures were on the lower Bluff Creek. He was postmaster of Vancleave from 1895-1897. In July 1899, John W. Westfall purchased 120 acres of land in Section 8 and 9, T6S-R7W for $300, from Thomas C. Ruble (1859-1900+), the son-in-law of A.W. Ramsay. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 20, p. 191)
Westfall Stores ca. 1919
(l-r), Wallace Ramsay and Keeble Ramsay
J.W. Westfall and his son, William Henry Westfall were business partners. Circa 1900, they erected a mercantile store and two Queen Anne cottages north of Breeland Road and on present day Highway 57. The Westfall store was on the west side of Highway 57. It is gone, but the cottages are extant.
In November 1905, the W.H. Westfall schooner, William Martin, sank in Bluff Creek, near Vancleave after striking an object. The vessel was laden with about $3000 worth of commodities for their mercantile store. This riverine accident was investigated by Captain C.T. Irving, who was representing their insurance company. Most of the merchandise was salvaged from the wreck. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 1, 1905, p. 3)
Another tragedy struck the Westfalls in January 1908, when arsonists torched their large, charcoal warehouse. The structure held about nine thousand barrels of coal valued at $3000. The product was insured for $1000. Mr. Westfall employed a Pinkerton detective to investigate the conflagration. (The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 7, 1908, p. 1)
W.H. Westfall and his wife were very philanthropic with their fellow Vancleaveans. In September 1901, they donated three acres of land to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal South-Vancleave Circuit, and 4.79 acres to the New Light Baptist Church. The Methodist tract was located in the NW/4,NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W while the Baptist lands were in the NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 26, p. 359 and pp. 365-366)
Sidney J. Anderson
Sidney J. Anderson (1867-1917) and his brother, Julius Anderson (1863-1910) were among the last of the 19th Century entrepreneurs to establish commercial enterprises at Vancleave. They were outsiders from New Orleans and arrived in the community in 1895. In March 1896, the Anderson brothers acquired a fifty-nine year lease and the mercantile store and associated Bluff Creek warehouses of Andrew W. Ramsay (1830-1916). These structures were located on a three-acre parcel in the NE/4,NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 30, p. 478)
Since the Anderson operation was in the flood plain of Bluff Creek near the confluence of Mounger’s Creek and Woodman Branch, it was very susceptible to seasonal flooding. The Anderson store served the Vancleave community as a trading post and communications center for the farmers, lumberjacks, box chippers, teamsters and charcoal burners who toiled in the immediate area. This was the time when an active naval stores, timber, and charcoal industry flourished in the immediate area. A coastal schooner trade ferried charcoal, turpentine, rosin, camphene, lumber, and some farm produce to New Orleans. These shallow draft vessels returned up Bluff Creek with food staples, dry goods, hardware, and other essential merchandise to accommodate the sylvan-agrarian based economy, which existed in the region.
Ramsay-Anderson Store and Home (circa 1909)
Built circa 1870, this mercantile store situated in the flood plain of Bluff Creek, near an area called Schooner Landing, was an important trading center at Vancleave for many decades. Erected by Andrew Washington Ramsay (1830-1915), the Anderson brothers from New Orleans, Sidney J. Anderson (1867-1917) and Julius Anderson (1863-1910), acquired a long term lease in March 1896, from Mr. Ramsay on three acres in the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. Here they continued in the mercantile business providing the farmers and forest workers of the region with food staples, hardware and dry goods. Sydney J. Anderson was reared in a seafaring family and owned several trading schooners, which he utilized to ferry naval stores and charcoal from his Bluff Creek operation to New Orleans. The Anderson home adjacent to the store was built shortly after he acquired the Ramsay lease. The railroad tracks in the foreground were used by the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company rolling stock to transport logs from the surrounding forests to Bluff Creek where they were rafted to their Moss Point, Mississippi saw mill for processing into merchantable lumber. Note the telephone pole and Bell sign on the store (third post left-first floor)., which indicates that the telephone exchange was in place at the time that this image was made, circa 1909.
Circa 1905, Sydney J. Anderson brought the telephone to the Vancleave region. It operated out of his Bluff Creek store. Cliff Dees (1886-1963) purchased it from the Anderson family after his demise in 1917. Mr. Dees employed, Ray Havens, to climb poles and do electrical work. (Down South, March-April 1956, p. 27)
From a letterhead acquired from Betty Rodgers, archivist for the Jackson County Archives at Pascagoula, the Andersons advertised their Vancleave venture as follows:
ANDERSON BROTHERS GENERAL MERCHANDISE
Headquarters For Omega and Ballard’s High Grade Patent Flour
Wholesale Shippers of Pascagoula Charcoal
Highest Prices Paid For Country Products
Proprietors of the Vancleave Telephone Exchange
Sidney J. Anderson was born at New Orleans on April 24, 1867, the son of Charles Frederick Anderson (1822-1892) and Emma Werlein (1847-1907). His father was a sea captain, and young Sidney Anderson learned the ways of the sea from him. Before his twentieth year, he was master of the schooner, Maggie. (The Jackson County Times, October 6, 1917, p. 5, c. 3)
In 1890, S.J. Anderson married Caroline Gaspard (1873-1950), the daughter of French émigré, Eugene Gaspard, and Barbara Martiau (1852-1931). Miss Gaspard was a New Orleanian. They had two children born in the Crescent City: Malvina A. Bernard Cotter (1891-1971) and Frank S. Anderson (1894-1939). Mrs. Caroline G. Anderson’s sister, Annie Gaspard (1888-1971), married Charles F. Rehage (1890-1977). They resided at Ocean Springs where Mr. Rehage was a dairyman for many years.
In addition to his commercial ventures at Vancleave, Mr. Anderson was a popular businessman at Ocean Springs. In February 1900, he acquired the Artesian House, a small hostel, which was situated on the southwest corner of Jackson Avenue and Porter. (JXCO Land Bk 21, pp. 150-151) It may be of interest that Alfred E. Lewis II (1862-1933), the original owner of the Artesian House, erected the two-story, wood-framed structure circa 1891.
The Lewis his family relocated to Sections 23 and 24, T6S-R8W, southwest of Vancleave, about 1895. They called their country estate "Sweet Heart". The H.P. Davis family resides on a portion of the old Lewis estate today. (Bellande, 1994, pp. 75-78)
Circa 1904, the Andersons changed the name of their Ocean Springs inn to the Oak View Hotel. They advertised in The Ocean Springs News of November 1915 as follows: Rooms for light housekeeping. Apply at the Oak View Hotel or S.J. Anderson, Vancleave, phone 109-2.
Caroline G. Anderson sold her Ocean Springs hotel to her mother in April 1920. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 48, pp. 87-88) Mrs. Gaspard ran the business until July 1925, when she conveyed the structure to the Crescent Realty Company of New Orleans. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 57, pp. 93-94) They were represented at Ocean Springs by W.J. Hardke (1877-1932) and John Leo Dickey (1880-1938), both natives of Niles, Michigan. Mr. Dickey, a civil engineer, had purchased "Bay View", the Biloxi Bay estate of Christian Hanson (1845-1914), in June 1922. He renamed it "Shadowlawn", and it is now the home and bed and breakfast establishment of his granddaughter, Nancy White Wilson. (Bellande, 1994, pp. 80-81)
In addition to his hotel-apartment business at Ocean Springs, Mr. Anderson assisted in the 1905 organization of the Ocean Springs State Bank and served on the Board of Directors. Under the leadership of Dr. O.L. Bailey (1870-1938), the bank board and stock holders erected their building on the northeast corner of Washington and Government in 1910. Although the property has had multiple proprietorships through time, it has remained a fiscal institution. Today, it is owned by the Cornerstone Group, a financial planning–brokerage enterprise. (The Ocean Springs Record, June 17, 1993, p. 18)
Sidney J. Anderson was also president of the Ocean Springs Electric Light and Ice Company, which was organized in 1903. Louis A. Lundy (1876-1941), a partner of Anderson in the ice company, would organize the Ocean Springs Packing Company in 1915, with L.M. McClure (1884-1940) and Joseph Zaehringer (1881-1969). Both plants were located on the Bay of Biloxi, south of the L&N Railroad bridge. (The Ocean Record, February 15, 1996, p. 20)
At Vancleave, Mr. Anderson ran a small navy. His trading schooners plied the shallow "Lake" waters between New Orleans and Bluff Creek, often mastered by men of foreign origins. Spaniard, Vincent Fererer (1848-1910+) of the Ruby and David Burke (1848-1910+), a New Yorker, of Irish parentage, who commanded the S.J. Dixon, were some of these men. By this time, Francisco Juan (1843-1918), another Spaniard schooner master, had quit the sea and resided at Vancleave, where he was a merchant with his father-in-law, Willis Broadus (1834-1919).
Through the years, S.J. Anderson is believed to have owned the following schooners: Maggie, George Washington, Seven Brothers, Malvina S. Anderson, Frank S. Anderson, and theCaroline Anderson. Russell E. Barnes, a history professor at MGCJC (Perkinston) and authority on local watercraft, has provided the following information on several of these vessels:
Malvina S. Anderson-built at Handsboro, Mississippi in 1892, most probably by Matteo Martinolich (1861-1948), an 1883 Croatian-Italian immigrant. The forty-three ton schooner was 73.2 feet in length, had a beam of 23.3 feet, and had a hold depth of 4.3 feet. Mr. Anderson’s obituary relates that "he built the Malvina S. Anderson, the largest boat of that time, a charcoal carrier along the coast". (The Jackson County Times, October 6, 1917, p. 5)
Seven Brother-built on the Jourdan River in Hancock County, possibly by the Pavolina family. This vessel was twenty-four tons with a length of 54.9 feet, beam of 24.7 feet, and depth of 3.8 feet.
Maggie-built at Scranton (Pascagoula). This small boat was of only eight tons and length of 32.4 feet. I had a beam length of 12.6 feet and hold depth of 3.8 feet.I
It interesting to note that Mr. Anderson’s brother and business partner, Julius Anderson, once owned the Josephine
Mestier. This was another Martinolich schooner constructed at Handsboro, in 1893. Two New Orleans lumber merchants, J. Louis Mestier and his brother-in-law, Peter Judlin (1864-1917), contracted for this and an earlier vessel, the Mabel E. Judlin. Josephine Judlin Mestier (1862-1914), was the daughter of two European émigrés, J.B. Judlin (1831-1880+) from France, and Alice E. Vatter (1842-1880+) of Germany. The Judlin family resided at New Orleans, where Mr. Judlin was a grocer. (Fenerty et al, 1991, p. 261)
Josephine’s sister, Emma Judlin (1869-1958), married Eugene W. Illing (1870-1947) of Ocean Springs. Mr. Illing was a successful innkeeper and pecan grower, before entering the motion picture business circa 1904. His Illing Theatre was a landmark on Washington Avenue for many decades. (The Ocean Springs Record, October 5, 1995, p. 20)
A daughter of Peter Judlin and Henriette Monteverde, Mabel E. Judlin (1890-1953), married Henry Girot (1887-1953), a New Orleans tailor, who came to Ocean Springs circa 1923, where he helped organize the United Poultry Producers Association and develop the Cherokee Glen subdivision on the Fort Point peninsula. (The Gulf Coast Times, January 29, 1953, p. 1, cc. 4-5)
His only son, Judlin H. Girot (1912-1970), a former Alderman of Ward 4 (1951-1953), resided at Ocean Springs until 1953. (The Daily Herald, January 5, 1953, p. 6)
Mr. Girot’s daughter, Beryl G. Riviere, has been a long time resident of Cherokee Glen.
Miss Mabel Judlin was the namesake of another trading schooner, the Mabel E. Judlin. This vessel was constructed at Handsboro by Matteo Martinolich (1861-1934) in 1891, for J.L. Mestier & Company of New Orleans. Mabel E. Judlin, built in 1891. (Barnes, 1998, p. 15)
The Mabel E. Judlin was 67 feet long, had a beam of 22 feet, and hold depth of 4 feet. Her sails were constructed by A. Gerdes & Brother of New Orleans. (The Biloxi Herald, May 2, 1891, p. 4, c. 2) The Mabel E. Judland (sic) was reputed to be the fastest schooner in the entire Gulf and Caribbean. She hauled charcoal from the banks of Bluff Creek when owned by James E. Lockard (1862-1951) of Vancleave. The fledging United Fruit Company used the Mabel E. Judland (sic) as a model for their shallow draft fruit boats. (Down South, July-August 1960, p. 9)
In the Hurricane of October 1915, S.J. Anderson had a frightening experience. During the violent tempest, one of his schooners was anchored at the New Basin in New Orleans. With winds roaring at eighty-seven knots per hour, Anderson went to check on his vessel. He boarded the floundering boat and threw out double anchors to secure it. As Mr. Anderson was about to disembark his vessel, the wind hurled the roof of a cotton warehouse upon the wave tossed schooner, felling both masts and narrowly missing the anxious Anderson. The storm also claimed one of his traders in the Rigolets Marsh. (The Ocean Springs News, October 7, 1915, p. 2, c. 7)
In late September 1917, the Andersons went to Hot Springs, Arkansas, a renown health spa of the era. Mr. Anderson’s health had been failing, and it was believed that this holiday would revive him. Unfortunately, he expired at Hot Springs on October 3, 1917. His remains were sent to New Orleans for internment in the Greenwood Cemetery. The wake was held at the home of H. Moskan at 2713 Bienville Street. Mr. Moskan was the brother-in-law of Sidney Anderson. (The Daily Herald, October 5, 1917, p. 6, c. 4)
After the demise of her husband, Caroline G. Anderson relocated to New Orleans. She participated with her son, Frank S. Anderson, in a firm called the Orleans Advertisement & Street Guide Company, which was situated at 618 Commercial Place. In 1922, Mrs. Anderson moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, but returned to the Crescent City circa 1925. She passed on February 19, 1950, at El Paso, Texas. Her remains were sent to New Orleans for burial in the Greenwood Cemetery. (The Times Picayune, February 22, 1950, p. 2, c. 6)
The complete lives of the children of Sidney and Caroline Anderson are currently unknown. Daughter, Malvina A. Anderson (1891-1971), married after 1910, Emile L. Bernard (1889-1950). Mr. Bernard worked for S.J. Anderson as his bookkeeper. They are believed to have reared two daughters: Vivian and Margie Bernard. After the death of Emile Bernard, Malvina wedded a Mr. Cotter. She was a resident of Eddy County, New Mexico in 1954. Carlsbad is the County seat.
In February 1918, Frank S. Anderson married Katherine Usner of New Orleans, at the Usner home on East Beach in Ocean Springs. Deo F. Bertuccini (1893-1979) of Ocean Springs was his best man. (The Jackson County Times, Febraury 16, 1918, p. 5, c. 2)
The F.S. Andersons had a daughter, Catherine A. Buendia (1919-1999). After the child’s birth, the Andersons separated and he relocated to Texas. Here F.S. Anderson remarried and sired two children, Doris Jean Lewis and F.S. Anderson Jr. In 1954, these children were residing at Houston, Texas and Napa County, California respectively. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.146, pp. 243-244)
The final fate of the Anderson store and home are presently unknown to the author. It is believed that they were torn down in the 1920s. Some of the materials may have been utilized in the construction of the C.L. Dees Red Cash Store post-WWI.
Other commercial enterprises at Vancleave in the 1890-1900 period were: Chris Quave (1858-1900+)-barber; W.J. Taylor-liquor; Dr. E.A. Portis-drugs; and general store proprietors, John M. Breeland, George W. Smith, H.E. Woodman, Thomas Clark, R.H. Page, and Thomas C. Ruble. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 29, 1889 and The Mississippi Business Directory 1890, p. 15)
After the Civil War, the virgin, pine forests of southern Mississippi began to be exploited for timber, charcoal, and naval stores. Some of the timber, which was milled primarily on the eastside of the Pascagoula River, was shipped, via the Horn Island anchorage, to foreign ports. The earliest logging operations in the Vancleave region occurred along the rivers, creeks, and streams, since roads and bridges were scarce in the region. Water was the only efficient method for transporting logs to the sawmills. The hand hewn, rough, stock was floated and rafted or towed by steam tugboat to the mill sites, which were generally at Moss Point. In the late 19th Century, among the Vancleave area log rafters were: Alfred Broome (1854-1900+), Henry Lyman Havens (1874-1924), Dan Holden (1845-1900+), Beauregard Quimbley (1862-1905), William Groves (1859-1900+), and John H. Roberts (1879-1900+).
The Schooner Trade-Timber, Charcoal and Naval Stores
Three men killed in log camp. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 25, 1884, p. 2)
A charcoal trade also developed between Vancleave merchants and those of the city of New Orleans. The charcoal makers, called "coal burners", many of whom were former slaves, sold or bartered their forest products with the local merchants. Charcoal is a smokeless fuel, used primarily for cooking. It was made from the branches and other parts of the pine tree or hardwood trees, not suitable for lumber. This valueless timber was cut and stacked into teepee-shaped piles, called kilns, and covered with earth. The wood was heated in this oxygen poor environment until it was carbonized, resulting in charcoal. There were generally many kilns burning in the region which resulted in an almost permanent haze or smog in the local atmosphere.
Charcoal schooner New Basin Canal, New Orleans, Louisiana
The finished charcoal was placed in crocus sacks of standard "barrel" size and sent to the Crescent City via water. The price of a "barrel" of charcoal ranged from $11.5 cents in 1878, to $.25 cents per barrel in 1925. In the late 1920s, competition from natural gas and electricity in the Louisiana market doomed the charcoal industry at Vancleave. (The Jackson County Times, September 8, 1928, p. 1)
The schooner-William Martin
This is the only documented image of a schooner in Bluff Creek at Vancleave's 'Schooner Landing'. The elevated trestle in the background is the Dantzler small gauge railroad, which delivered logs to Bluff Creek for export. The W.H. Westfall schooner, William Martin*, sank in Bluff Creek in November 1905, after striking an object. The vessel was laden with about $3000 worth of commodities for their mercantile store. On the far left, Pat Ware is tentatively identified. The second image is the William Martin in the Tchefuncte River circa 1930 near Covington, Louisiana.[Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees and Russell Barnes-September 2007]
The shallow draft, coastal schooner was the primary vessel involved in this trade. They would sail, as far up the West Pascagoula River as the winds would allow, and then they would be towed by steam and later gas boats, upstream in Bluff Creek to a site at Vancleave, called Schooner Landing. Here, the vessels delivered their cargo of staple foodstuffs, machinery, tools, and mercantile goods. The schooners would return to New Orleans with 1800 to 2800 "barrels" of charcoal. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 6, 1893, p. 3)
In 1891, there were twenty-four schooners embarking from Vancleave, each month for the port of New Orleans, averaging two thousand barrels of charcoal per vessel. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 1, 1891, p. 2, c.3) In the last week of May 1904, three schooners, the Magnolia, Mable E. Judlin, and Stella arrived at Schooner Landing, corroborating the high density of watercraft in the Bluff Creek region at this time. (The Progress, May 28, 1904, p. 1)
In April 1897, Leon Corbeau of New Orleans had two large schooners at Vancleave ready to sail. He has observed that over 20,000 bushels of charcoal had been shipped from Bluff Creek in the last ten days.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 24, 1897, p. 8)
As previously mentioned, many of the captains of these schooners were of foreign origin. One in particular, Spaniard Francisco Juan (1843-1918), left an indelible mark on the chronology of the Vancleave community, as he wedded Mary E. Broadus (1862-1946), the daughter of pioneer merchant, Willis Broadus (1834-1919). Juan Lane is named for this family.
The naval stores industry, which produced rosin and turpentine from the distillation of crude pine gum, was contemporaneous and related to the other forest industries. It was worked almost entirely by the Black populous. The forest workers generally lived in isolated camps, toiling as box cutters, dippers, chippers, coopers, and teamsters in the vast turpentine orchards, where they worked the crop. Among the pioneer Black turpentine workers in the Vancleave section, were members of the Galloway, Reddix, Williams, Mayfield, Battle, Burney, Hamilton, Moore, and Riggs families.
Turpentine workers were paid in cash or company, minted currency or tokens, scrip, commissary check, or credit chits, which were valid at the commissary or company store. The metal tokens were called "brozines", "light money", or "jugaloo". The commissary supplied the forest worker with food staples, clothing, tools, and ancillary items, such as tobacco, snuff, matches, castor oil, and kerosene.
A church and school building were generally part of the turpentine camp. Teachers visited several camp schools during the week. Although six grades were provided, many children began working in the orchard at age seven to ten years as dippers, i.e. laborers who collected crude gum from the boxes or cups.
Saturday was a day of celebration for the camp workers. A meal of fresh pork and "corndodger" was followed by a dance. This was ensued by an all night crap game or card game called "skin", which was held by the light of a pine knot fire. It was common for "hustlers" to visit the turpentine camp when payday was approaching. Their purpose was to win the hard-earned wages of the forest workers in games of chance. In June 1911, an incident relating to "hustling" occurred at the camp of the Fort Bayou Turpentine Company. The body of Clarence Whistlehunt, a gambler, was found floating in Fort Bayou. Several Black men were incarcerated in the Pascagoula jail for his alleged murder.(The Ocean Springs News, July 1, 1911)
Crime in the forest also involved Caucasian management. Near Vancleave in the spring of 1904, W.N. Newberry, a wood rider, slashed N.W. Smith, a turpentine man, with a knife. Newberry was captured at Biloxi on December 28, 1904, while attempting to board an L&N train.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 29, 1904)
Occasionally, crime crossed racial lines. In Len Davis, a Black employee at J.H. Johnson's Still, situated in Section 33, T6S-R9W, north of Back Bay in Harrison County, took three shots at W.H. Marshman, wood rider for Mr. Johnson. Marshman retaliated and shot Davis in the head and face with a shotgun effecting only minor wounds. Len Davis was incarcerated for shooting with intent to kill. He had continuously refused to work and was heard saying that he "would kill some white man if he were not let alone." The Johnson still burned in June 1923.(The Daily Herald, May 28, 1912, p. 1 and June 14, 1923)
Although early turpentiner, Thomas Galloway (1814-1874), brought his slaves and the naval stores industry to the Vancleave region from North Carolina, during the Civil War, it was the Orrell family, also Tar Heelers, who arrived from southeastern Alabama in the late 1870s, that made the 19th Century Vancleave region a major gum producer. There were three Orrell brothers, John C. Orrell, Christopher C. Orrell, and Patrick H. Orrell. In the 19th Century, the Orrell family was practically the only local people involved in naval stores entrepreneurship, in western Jackson County. In January 1902, they sold 12,000 acres of pinelands for $18,000 to Anthony Vizard (1837-1908) of New Orleans. Of the lands Vizard acquired, 10,840 acres were situated in Jackson County. The remainder were in Harrison County. (JXCO Land Deed Book 24, pp. 45-46)
The sale to Vizard by the Orrells marked the entry of larger companies into the turpentine industry of western Jackson County. Soon other New Orleans and Florida companies began to exploit the local forests. It would be several decades into the 20th Century that Vancleave locals like, J.E. Lockard, C.L. Dees, and Luther S. Allen would become prominent in this industry. A brief history of the Orrell brothers follows:
John C. Orrell (1830-1917)
John C. Orrell was born in February 1830 at North Carolina. He wedded Desiree Rabby, also a Tar Heel. Their known children were: Nattie O. Adams, Maggie O. Pierson, Desiree O. Clarke, John C. Orrell Jr. (1862-1917+), Albert L. Orrell (1867-1937), and Christopher H. Orrell (1872-1900+). Albert and Christopher Orrell were born in Alabama.
On February 2, 1877, The Star of Pascagoula related: Mr. John Orrall (sic), probably the most experienced and successful turpentine man in the South, is now engaged with over fifty hands cutting boxes on Bluff Creek, in this vicinity. He will, by spring, have an extensive turpentine orchard opened, and under full headway, with a large still and all the necessaries thereto. He will ship his products down the river by steamboats and schooners. This is a move in the right direction, and will add much to the wealth of the county. (p. 1)
It is appropriate to note that a schooner laden with a cargo of naval stores might consist of 200 barrels of rosin and ten barrels of turpentine. (The Pascagoula-Star, October 6, 1893, p. 3) By 1883, the Savannah (Georgia) Board of Trade was the center of the largest naval stores market in the world. In July 1901, their quotes for a 500-pound barrel of high grade, rosin was $3.20 and $.53 for a gallon of turpentine. Turpentine was shipped in 50-gallon barrels or 55-gallon barrels. (Butler, 1998, p. 168)
John C. Orrell owned thousand of acres of pinelands in Jackson County. In November 1885, he donated six acres north of Vancleave in the NW/4,SW/4 of Section 19, T5S-R7W to the New Prospect Campground. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 7, pp. 597-598)
Later in October 1904, J.C. Orrell sold for $260 to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church South-Seashore District, W.W. Broom, J.H. Havens, D.G. Alexander, W.K. Ramsay, S.R. Ratliff, T.E. Ramsay, S.G. Ramsay, and T.Q. Roberts, 40 acres being the NW/4, SW/4 of Section 19, T5S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk 28, pp. 631-632)
John C. Orrell died on November 29, 1917, in Mobile, at the home of J.C. Orrell Jr., his son. He had relocated to St. Elmo, Alabama before 1914. Mr. Orrell’s remains were interred at Kipling, Alabama. (The Mobile Register, December 1, 1917, p. 8, c. 5)
He legated to his children over 4,000 acres of land in T5S-R7W, T5S-R8W, and T6S-R8W-Jackson County, Mississippi. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 48, pp. 157-160).
John C. Orrell Jr. (1862-1917+) had married Sallie Grayson (1865-1917+), the daughter of Judge Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904) and Ann Hyde (1832-1906). Judge Grayson served Ocean Springs as Mayor from 1897-1898. Circa 1890, J.C. Orrell Jr. and family acquired residency in Ocean Springs. He made his livelihood as a baggage master for the L&N Railroad. Post-1900, they relocated to Mobile, and were residing at 208 State Street at the time of his father’s demise. (The Mobile Register, December 1, 1917, p. 8, c. 5)
Another son, Albert L. Orrell (1867-1937), married Ida Ramsay (1873-1920+), the daughter of Sardin G. Ramsay (1837-1920), on September 26, 1900. Albert initially worked with his father in his turpentine enterprises, but later became a farmer. The A.L. Orrell home and pecan orchards are extant on the west side of Highway 57 in the NE/4 of Section 29, T6S-R7W, south of Vancleave.
Christopher C. Orrell (1834-1906)
Christopher C. Orrell was born in North Carolina. In 1874, he married Anna R. Orrell (1856-1943), also a North Carolina native. In 1900, they had ten living children: Rupert P. Orrell (1880-1944), John Toler Orrell (1880-1920+), Leo Orrell (1882-1941), Charles Orrell (1885-1940), Mrs. Leslie Williams, Louise Orrell (1886-1908+), Anna Orrell (1888-1908+), Keith Orrell (1890-1908+), Stanley A. Orrell (1894-1908+), and Sydney Orrell (1901-1908+).
It appears that the C.C. Orrel family eventually settled at Florala, a village, north of the Latimer community on the Daisy-Vestry Road. At this time, Florala had a post office, store, school, and turpentine still. C.C. Orrel may have operated a site known as the Double Still which gave its name to a road north of Latimer
Christopher C. Orrell died intestate on April 28, 1906. His corporal remains were interred at the White Plains Cemetery in northeastern Harrison County, Mississippi. After Mr. Orrell’s demise, a forced heirship legal action, Cause No. 1661
Mrs. Anna Orrell, et al v. Toler Orrell, was filed in the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Mississippi. A court appointedcommission composed of T.E. Ramsay, Wesley Cox, and Albert L. Orrell divided the Estate of C.C. Orrell into twelve shares of equal value. Names and numbers were drawn lottery style and 2,000 acres of land in T5S-R9W and 800 acres in the southern area of T3S-R7W, which is now in George County, was sold and the proceeds distributed to the respective heirs of Mr. Orrell.
Patrick H. Orrell (1838-1914)
Patrick H. Orrell was born at North Carolina. Initially, he worked with his brothers in their turpentine orchards in western Jackson County, but later moved to Americus, in eastern Jackson County, where he conducted his own naval stores operations. Mr. Orrell married Eugenie Lewis (1850-1932), the daughter of Alfred E. Lewis (1812-1885) and Ann R. Farrington (1821-1901), of the Lewis Sha Plantation (Old Fields) at West Pascagoula (Gautier). They were the parents of Maud Mary Walton Orrell (1875-1875) and Edwin DeVendel Orrell (1876-1940). In retirement, P.H. Orrell lived at West Pasagoula. (The Pascagoula Chronicle, October 10, 1914, p. 2, c. 3)
In May 1925, Eugenie L. Orrell acquired a house at present day 405 Ward Avenue in Ocean Springs, from Marc Kean (1856-1938). (JXCO Land Deed Book 55, p. 289) Her son, Edwin D. Orrell, expired here in December 1940. (The Daily Herald, December 24, 1940, p. 7) The Orrell cottage was built in 1913, by Hamilton Connor (1854-1929), a retired gunsmith, from Louisville, Kentucky. It is owned today by noted thespian and marine scientist, W. David Burke. Mr. Burke is renown for his interpretation of Samuel L. Clemens (1835-1910)
Mrs. Eugenie L. Orrell passed at Mobile in June 1932. Patrick H. Orrell and his family are all interred in the Lewis Family Cemetery at Gautier.
The L&N Railroad-Wool and Mail Delivery
In 1870, the New Orleans, Mobile & Chattanooga Railroad was completed between Mobile and New Orleans. By 1881, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad owned the tracks in this region. (Trains, January 1987, p. 42)
The railroad gave local producers a transportation outlet to export their agricultural and naval store commodities from the area. There were early railroad depots at Fontainebleau, Gautier, and Ocean Springs to service the piney woods settlers north of the coastal plain. Mail service to Vancleave also improved with the advent of rail transportation to the region.
The Anglo-Saxon pioneers to the Vancleave section had brought sheep with them as a part of their cultural heritage. These pineland sheep appear to have found the forests and savannas of the region a viable environment and prospered in these surroundings. Wool gathered by the Havens, Ramsay, Overstreet, Basque, Mallette, Holden, Tootle, Fletcher, Sumrall, Breeland, Krohn, and other local families was purchased by brokers from Ocean Springs, Mobile and New Orleans. This commodity was almost always shipped by rail.
At Ocean Springs in 1878, Colonel W.R. Stuart (1821-1894) was raising and breeding pure Merino sheep for sale. He had contacts with well-known sheep breeders in Tennessee. In promoting his ovine stock, Stuart demonstrated that pineland sheep which had no seasonal shelter, nor salt, or other nourishment, except natural forage, was inferior to a Merino half-breed. The Merino half-breed sheep in the same environment as the pineland sheep produced five to seven pounds of wool compared to 3.25 pounds for the latter. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 22, 1878, p. 1, c. 6)
The desire to improve their pineland flocks was demonstrated in August 1900, when Thomas E. Ramsay (1845-1934) of Vancleave bought two Shropshire bucks from Paris, Kentucky. They weighed 250 pounds each and were capable of producing 15 pounds of wool annually. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 31, 1900)
In January 1910, Mr. Ramsay circulated a petition to have legislation passed to protect sheep owners from dog killing sheep. He advocated a tax of $2 for female dogs and $1 for males. T.E. Ramsay felt the tax would rid the piney woods of hundreds of these worthless canines, who had the disposition to attack ovine flocks. (The Ocean Springs News, January 8, 1910) This was not a new idea in Mississippi. An 1881 editorial in The Brandon Republican commented on the subject as follows: Sheep and dogs will not prosper together. If the dogs are not killed, they will kill the sheep. Some dogs are valuable, and we do not blame people for wanting to keep them, but if they are valuable to their owners, they ought to be taxed like other valuable property. Nine-tenths of them are worthless, however, and owned by people who do not feed them and that is the class of hungry curs that kill the sheep. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 25, 1881, p. 4)
Wolves were also a predator problem for sheep, but not as acute as the canines. Until they were nearly hunted to extinction, eagles were troublesome to lambs. Wild hogs also ate many young sheep. In late October 1915, Joe Graham, who resided north of Vancleave, killed an eighty-five pound wolf near his home. The wolf was believed responsible for the many recent sheep deaths in the neighborhood. It was the second wolf killed in the region in the past few months. A picture postcard was made of the slain predator and it was shown in Biloxi by Henry Edwards of Larue.(The Ocean Springs News, November 4, 1915, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, Ocotber 28, 1915, p. 1)
Marks and Brands
Marks and Brands of Vancleave
Marks and brands were used to differentiate ownership pf livestock in Jackson County, Mississippi as well as elsewhere. The ears of animals, called a crop, were used for marks. The crop could be smooth, i.e. no markings. The marks used to denote ownership were described as follows: split, under square, over square, staple fork, swallow fork, sawset, overbit, underbit, and hole. The first ear referred to in a mark description was the ear on the marker's right, as the animal faced head on. For an excellent guide to local marks and brands, read Livestock Marks of Jackson County, (1989) by Bob Kennedy of Three Rivers, Mississippi. The animal drawings used in this illustration are bird's views.
Piney woods, sheep were generally never enclosed in pastures. The range was open to everyone and the stock animals of each owner were commingled. This necessitated marks and brands to differentiate ownership of the livestock. The Jackson County Archives at Pascagoula has several books containing the marks and brands of livestock owners. Some of the marks and brands used by Vancleave sheep and cattle owners in Marks and Brands- Book One, were as follows:
Jane Dees-Mark, crop and underbit in the right ear and upper square and crop in the left ear. Brand, "AX". Recorded October 8, 1877, p. 64. John J. Fletcher-Mark, split and underbit in the right ear and swallow fork in the left ear. Brand, "F". Recorded on June 5, 1891, p. 91. Henry C. Havens-Mark, swallow fork set in the left ear. Brand, "H ". Recorded on July 5, 1879, p. 67. J.M. Holden-Crop corner split and overbit in the right ear and smooth crop in the left ear. Recorded February 25, 1910. Charles Krohn-Mark, sharp and split in each ear. Brand, "C". Recorded on July 30, 1885, p. 78. David Sumrall-Mark, crop split and underbit in both ears. Brand, "S". Recorded on March 15, 1882, p. 70. G.W. Tootle-Mark, swallow fork overbit and underbit in the right ear and crop and split in the left ear. Brand, "G.T." Recorded on May 12, 1891, p. 90. H.T. Woodman-Mark, swallow fork and overbit in each ear. Brand, "H". Recorded on April 7, 1911.
Spring in the Piney Woods was marked by the stockowners’ "roundup". As the range was open, livestock of the numerous owners were commingled. Horse riding herdsmen drove the free ranging sheep to the "parting pens", which were located at a common meeting point. Here all the sheep were placed in one enclosure and the lambs separated from them. The ewes were put in the pen with the lambs. When the lamb recognized it mother, the two were caught and the lamb given its owner’s mark and placed in the pen of its owner. The individual flocks were then driven to its respective farm and shorn of their wool. (Bernard Basque, July 1996)
As early as 1881, Robert W. Lewis (1858-1886) of Ocean Springs was brokering wool for the William Mehle Company of New Orleans. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 22, 1881, p. 3)
Mr. Lewis was the son of Alfred E. Lewis (1812-1885) and Ann R. Farrington (1821-1901) of the Lewis Sha Plantation at West Pascagoula (Gautier). He married Mathilde L. Staples (1858-1928+), the daughter of Solomon G. Staples (1817-pre 1874) and Adeline A. Terrell (1829-1902) of St. Tammany Paris, Louisiana and Pass Christian, Mississippi. They were the parents of Ora M. Lewis Davis (1880-1911+), Lillian? Lewis (b. 1882), and Robert W. Lewis Jr. (1886-1904).
By 1892, the Davis Brothers at Ocean Springs, were purchasing wool from local farmers. When the shearing season ended in June 1892, they had shipped over 60,000 pounds of wool for which they paid about $.23 per pound. (The Pasacagoula Democrat-Star, June 1892) J.M. Breeland (1847-1903), a well-known sheep raiser in the region, shipped a car load of wool to Metzger Brothers of Mobile in October 1896. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 9, 1896)
By 1911, more than 40,000 pounds of wool were sold at Ocean Springs by sheep owners, who lived within a twenty-five mile radius of the town. Farmers received about $.18 per pound for their wool. Mobile brokers represented at the sale were H. Piser & Company and Metzker Brothers while Wm. E. Vouchel & Son came from New Orleans. (The Ocean Springs News, June 17, 1911, p. 1)
Demand for wool and mutton increased dramatically during WW I (1914-1918), as more than the entire wool production of America was utilized to make clothing for the US Army. (The Jackson County Times, January 12, 1918, p. 1) With this huge requisition for wool, the market price soared to $.58 per pound by the shearing season of June1919. Over 75,000 pounds of wool were sold by area farmers at Ocean Springs. (The Jackson County Times, June 28, 1919, p. )
After WW I, the demand for wool slowed and the price dropped accordingly. In June 1925, W.H. Westfall (1874-1939) and other merchants at Vancleave handled over 23,000 pounds of wool. It was marketed at Ocean Springs to J.C. Harvey of Mobile who paid an average price of $.50 per pound. (The Jackson County Times, June 13, 1925)
The decline of commercial sheep production in the piney woods section can be traced to the passage of Chapter 263-House Bill No. 91 by the Mississippi State legislature in 1926. This law was approved to prevent all livestock (cattle, horses, mules, jacks, jennets, sheep, goats, and hogs) from grazing at large upon the open range or unfenced lands. Stock animals were restricted to safe enclosure. The statute also sought to prevent the spread of Texas fever ticks. (General Laws of the State of Mississippi, 1926, pp. 374-374) In 1930, Bennett v. Brown (Case No. 28,288) tested the stock law in the Mississippi Supreme Court. The original cause had been filed at George County. (Southern Reporter, 1930, pp. 427-429)
In April 1932, the rural precincts of Jackson County voted to change the State stock law and allow an open range for stock animals outside of cities. The vote was 635 to 131 in favor of abrogation with approximately 50% of the eligible voters going to the polls. (The Daily Herald, April 5, 1932, p. 2)
C.L. Dees Wool Truck
[This circa 1948 vintage image is a shipment of Vancleave wool headed for Bill Breeland, a banker and wool broker, situated in Wiggins, Mississippi. C.M. 'Kipp' Dees drove the truck for his father at this time. Image made from the porch of the C.L. Dees store at Vancleave.]
At Vancleave, Clifton L. Dees (1886-1963) brokered local wool for Bill Breeland, an entrepreneur of Wiggins, Mississippi, who owned the Bank of Wiggins. Locally, Bob Havens, raised about 90% of the sheep in the Vancleave-Latimer-Gautier region. Others who engaged in this endeavor in the 1940s and 1950s were: Albert Ladner, Mrs. Simms, Ed Brodnax, George Cruthirds, Albert Taylor, and the Basque family on Old Fort Bayou. In the spring, the sheep were penned and sheared at the Bob Haven's place in Section 3, T7S-R7W, now the Bluff Creek Mobile Home Park, on Pine Grove Road, just off the Gautier-Vancleave Road. Lazelle Byrd was the sheep shearer. The clipped wool was packed in 6-foot long burlap bags for shipment. Each spring, Clif Dees and Mr. Breeland would wager a Coca Cola on who could pack the most weight of wool in a burlap bag. The wool was sent from Wiggins to markets at Chicago and Memphis. Rubenstein was a buyer in Memphis.(Kipp Dees-September 2007)
Prior to and after the railroad arrived in Jackson County, the US mail was probably brought to Vancleave by horseback rider or wagon from Ocean Springs, where it arrived there on the Bay of Biloxi, from New Orleans via steam packet. A US post office was established in the Crescent City in 1803 and at Mobile in 1813. (Cain, 1983, pp. 158-159) Another possibility is that letters and parcels were sent directly from New Orleans to Vancleave on trading schooners after the charcoal trade commenced. It is known that in November 1892, David Ramsay (1873-1947) was the mail rider at Vancleave. By March 1896, Ben Ramsay had replaced him. On one occasion, Ben Ramsay’s vehicle was overturned in a tempest and the contents of the jumper scattered across the countryside. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 25, 1892 and March 13, 1896, p. 3)
Other mail riders who made the Ocean Springs-Vancleave run were: Don Ramsay (1889-1929), a Negro named Finch, and Robert D. Wigginton of Ocean Springs, who became a successful attorney at Gulfport. (The Gulf Coast Times, September 23, 1949)
In May 1891, Uncas C. Havens (1862-1947) a former postmaster at Vancleave, wrote a letter to The Pascagoula Democrat-Star advocating daily mail service to Vancleave. Havens wrote as follows: Vancleave is the most flourishing point in Jackson County after leaving the coast and the great milling interest (Moss Point). There are some half a dozen large mercantile establishments that supply the country for some thirty or forty miles back…A small tug (boat) to carry the mail and passengers, and a barge to carry freight would be a most profitable investment. Large quantities of country produce would be shipped from here to Scranton (Pascagoula), and the daily travel to and from would be greatly increased and nearly every trip the tug would have a schooner or two going or coming. (May 1, 1891, p. 2)
In 1902, the mail was delivered every day to Vancleave, except on Sunday. The mail hack left Ocean Springs at 12:00 noon and arrived at the Bluff Creek community about 2:00 P.M. Passengers desiring transportation to Vancleave were charged $1.25 for the journey there on the mail hack. A buggy from the local livery stable (probably J. O’Keefe’s) for the same trip would cost two to three dollars. (Letter from Dr. E.A. Portis, June 12, 1905, found in Jackson County Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 1213)
(see Star of Pascagoula, May 29, 1875 and July 20, 1877)
(see Star of Pascagoula, October 17, 1874, p.1)
(see Star of Pascagoula, June 26, 1875, p. 2)
19th Century Medicine
Men Medicine in the middle-late 19th Century was progressing from the blood letting of the 18th Century to a somewhat civilized art form. People in the piney woods were often several days riding or wagon distance from medical care. They became self-reliant and naturally developed their own "home remedies", utilizing native plants, castor oil, coal oil, sulfur, turpentine, and liniments. Patent medicines, like quinine, creme of tartar, and paregoric were also purchased, for treating ailments and fevers. Malaria and yellow fever posed problems for Gulf Coast residents into the 20th Century. Midwives to assist in child delivery were ubiquitous throughout piney woods neighborhoods. Commencing in the 19th Century, the Vancleave region was fortunate to have had a trained medical doctor in residence, from the late 1870s until the middle 1930s. The earliest medicine man of record was Dr. E.A. Portis. He was joined at Vancleave in the 1890s, by Dr. Robert N. Murphy Jr. Curiously, both men were natives of southwestern Alabama. Although a late 19th Century or early 20th Century arrival to the region, Dr. Samuel R. Ratliff will be discussed in this section.
Dr. Ernest A. Portis (1840-1903)
Dr. Ernest A. Portis was born at Suggsville, Clarke County, Alabama. The Portis family was pioneer settlers of this area of southwestern Alabama. Well educated, the Portis men were primarily merchants, Methodist ministers, and lawyers. Prior to the Civil War, E.A. Portis attended Southern University (now Birmingham Southern). The national conflict interrupted his education and he was mustered into the 42nd Alabama Infantry Regiment, Company K, CSA, as a 2nd Lieutenant. Ernest A. Portis married Martha Maiben in Monroe County, Alabama on August 9, 1870. The marriage is believed to have ended in divorce and was without progeny. (Harris, January 17, 1985)
E.A. Portis studied medicine at the University of Louisville and the University of Louisiana (now Tulane). He was issued license No. 1308 to practice medicine in Jackson County, Mississippi on June 1, 1882. It appears that he arrived at Vancleave, circa 1878.(Rodgers, 1988, p. 11)
Stewart C. Broom (1882-1960?) in Rambling Ruminations of S.C. Broom (ca 1950), describes Dr. Portis as:
We had no doctor in the community. The nearest physician was Dr. Portis near Vancleave, but he never called on his patients. Some neighbor would ride down to Dr. Portis’ home near Vancleave and tell him the symptoms of the sick person, whereupon the Doctor would send some medicine for the patient. The people lived to a ripe old age then and seemed to get along very well. I have been told by modern physicians that Dr. Portis was a good physician. No doubt he was an educated man. (p. 7)
In his obituary from The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of July 3, 1903, Dr. Portis was described as follows:
He appeared as a man of commanding presence and superior intellect. His conversation brilliant and positive, but without a trace of self assumption as well as his affable and polished bearing, indicated a man of gentle breeding, joined to a liberal education matured by extensive reading, which seemed to have retained that was worth retaining. The outside world knew little of him or his work, but those among whom he lived and labored pay open and affectionate tribute not only to his successful career as a physician but also to the high personal honor and scrupulous integrity that has characterized his dealings with his fellow man. (p. 3, c. 7)
At the time of his demise on June 20, 1903, Dr. Portis was in possession of 560 acres of land in Jackson County. His remains were interred on his homestead, which was located on 200 acres, primarily in the NW/4 of Section 11, T6S-R7W, on the east side of Old River Road.
An anecdote, concerning the life of Dr. Portis, was compiled by V.B. Taylor and H.F. Vincent in April 1972. They related the following: 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 Bagot) 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 in 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. Sometime during the past 15 years, some person or persons, removed the brick and stacked them at one end of the site, but left no indications of a burial place, except two casket handles. Today, only the metal base remains to mark the spot and one cedar tree continues to live. Even now the brick and marker are gone. (Requiem III, ca 1973, p. 120)
The preceding story is corroborated somewhat in that the estate of Dr. Portis, who died intestate. It was adjudicated to Elizabeth Page (1855-1903+) and Emile Bigot (1883-1947). (Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 1443-October 1903) Page, a Black woman, was his cook, while young Bigot, a Black or mulatto, worked on the Portis farm. Emile Bigot married Rosie Waltman (1897-1971) on April 19, 1917. Sylvester Waltman (1882-1951), also resided on the Portis estate.
The Murphy Family
The Murphy Family Vancleave has been fortunate to have had two dedicated Murphy medicine men. Robert G. Cossey from Staten Island, New York, married into the Murdock Murphy family and has portrayed them for nine generations in his treatise, Murphy Family Genealogy (1760-1996). Cossey, a resident of Vancleave since 1958, relates in an interesting manner the Murphy family migration from Scotland to North Carolina, South Carolina, Clarke County, Alabama, and finally in the late 19th Century to Jackson County, Mississippi. A short biographical sketch, from which Mr. Cossey’s work has added much interesting detail, of these Murphy men, who unselfishly served their fellow citizens in the piney woods of Vancleave, follows:
Dr. Robert Neil Murphy Jr. (1843-1914)
Robert Neil Murphy Jr. was born in southwestern Alabama, the son of Dr. Robert Neil Murphy and Mary Elizabeth Murphy. His grandfather, John Monroe Murphy (1785-1841), a native of Robeson County, North Carolina, governed the State of Alabama from 1825-1829. As a very young man, R.N. Murphy Jr. marched off to war with Co A, of the 42nd Alabama Infantry Regiment, CSA, where he would attain the rank of Sergeant. He was severely wounded in the hip-thigh region of his leg, and the battlefield surgeon diagnosed immediate amputation. Murphy pleaded mercifully to be spared his limb. The request was granted when a sympathetic nurse volunteered to care for his shattered leg. By the grace of God, Murphy’s leg was salvaged, although he walked with a limp the remainder of his days.
It is very probable that R.N. Murphy Jr. met Ernest A. Portis during the War of the Rebellion. They were both southwestern Alabamans serving in the 42nd Alabama Infantry Regiment. After completing his medical studies, Dr. Robert N. Murphy Jr. worked as a physician at Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Castleberry, Alabama; Monroeville, Alabama; Biloxi, and Vancleave. Circa 1867, Robert N. Murphy Jr. had married Lydia E. Wiggins (1847-1924), of Burnt Corn, Alabama. Their children were: John Hails Murphy (1869-1944), Robert N. Murphy III (1872-1965), Thomas L. Murphy (1875-1959), Samuel Gaillard Murphy (1877-1943), and Annie Sue Murphy (1881-1974). Dr. R.N. Murphy Jr. was issued License No. 5 on May 1, 1893 to practice medicine in Jackson and Harrison Counties, Mississippi. He was a resident of Mobile at the time, and his medical recommendations to the licensing board came from Dr. V.P. Gains and Dr. S.S. Prigle of Mobile. (Rodgers, 1990, p. 54)
Dr. Robert Neil Murphy III. (1872-1965)
Dr. Robert N. Murphy III. was a veterinary surgeon. He was widely recognized as an authority on the diagnosis and treatment of livestock. (The Daily Herald, May 7, 1965, p. 2, c. 3) R.N. Murphy III, known as "Rob", was born at Monroeville, Alabama. In December 1900, he married Viola Mae Woodman (1872-1960), the daughter of Harry E. Woodman (1850-1929) and Mahala Carter (1854-1936) of Vancleave. Their children were: Robert E. Murphy 1901-1902), John W. Murphy (1903-1974), Annie M. Lockard (1906-1990), Mary M. Gerard (1908-1941), Myrtle Murphy (1910-1941), Florence M. Cossey (1912-2001), Walter N. Murphy (1914-2004), Clifford W. Murphy (1918-1943), Edyth A. Murphy (1923-1941), and Cecil C. Murphy (1926-1978).
In February 1901, Rob Murphy’s brother, Thomas L. Murphy, acquired the NE/4 of Section 5, T6S-R7W from Joe Garlic (Garec?). (JXCO Deed Book 23, pp. 38-39). This land northwest of Vancleave became the Murphy family homestead. Rob and Viola Murphy acquired their land in the NW/4, NE/4 of Section 5, T6S-R7W, from T.L. Murphy in April 1907. (JXCO Deed Book 36, pp. 442-443). They had resided on "Woodman Hill" prior to relocating to what is now "Bunker Hill" in 1907. Here they occupied a structure, which had once been an old store, but was remodeled as their residence cottage. As more children were born, additions to the R.N. Murphy III cottage were built. Bob and Flo Cossey reside here today.
Flo Cossey relates that "Bunker Hill" received its name in more recent times from neighbors who said that their children fought each other continuously and that their locale must have appeared like a "Bunker Hill". The historical "Bunker Hill" is a topographic high, north of Breed’s Hill on the Charlestown peninsula near Boston. Although American patriots fought the first major battle of the Revolutionary War against British forces in June 1775, on Breed’s Hill, Bunker Hill is often mistakenly credited as the site of this initial conflict.(Flo Cossey, November 5, 1998)
In 1915, Rob Murphy was licensed in Mississippi to practice veterinary medicine. Robert G. Cossey (1919-2009), his son-in-law, encapsulate his long career and love for farm animals as follows: His interest in horses and concern or their welfare led to a professional career that won him the trusted confidence of his clients over the next fifty years in Jackson County and surrounding areas. He was a skilled surgeon, who performed more than six-hundred emasculatory operations without damage to health nor loss of life to a single animal. He vaccinated dogs for Jackson County, inspected meat, and performed surgery while continually keeping abreast of new techniques and developments. His compassion for the suffering of animals prevented him from ever declining to go where needed. Often, in his early days, when his calls were made on horseback, a single call would keep him in the saddle for hours. If he couldn’t make it back before dark, he was sometimes forced to stay the night. And when times were hard, his fee was sometimes in the form of produce. On occasion, if the farmer’s crop was poor, he took no fee at all. He was a valued friend and counselor to neighbors miles around. (R.G. Cossey, 1996, p. 24)
Dr. Samuel R. Ratliff (1873-1936)
Samuel Rankin Ratliff was a native of China Grove, Pike County, Mississippi. His siblings were two brothers, Dr. Ford Ratliff and M.F. Ratliff, who resided at Lucedale, and two sisters, Bertha R. Lampton and Hattie R. Holmes, of Magee and Magnolia, Mississippi respectively. S.R. Ratliff embraced the Methodist faith. (The Daily Herald, September 16, 1936, p. 3, c. 2)
Dr. Samuel R. Ratliff House (image made November 1994)
S.R. Ratliff married Mamie Walker. She gave birth to two children who died in their infancy at Vancleave, in 1903 and 1906 respectively. A niece, Sarah Martha Gardner, lived with the Ratliffs. Dr. Ratliff attended Tulane University and was granted a medical license in Jackson County, Mississippi on May 20, 1901. In December 1900, he purchased two acres for $25, from Henry Galloway in the NW/4, of the SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. (JXCO, Ms. Deed Bk. 25, pp. 261-262)
Mr. Galloway conveyed for $80, another fourteen acres, to Dr. Ratliff in September 1903. This tract was contiguous and west of his original purchase.(JXCO, Ms. Deed Bk. 27, pp. 309-310)
Circa 1901, Dr. Ratliff erected a Queen Anne cottage on Martin Street at Vancleave. The street name was later changed to Ratliff Lane. At the time of his demise in September 1936, Dr. Ratliff, in addition to his residence, owned office buildings and 25 acres of land in Section 9, T6S-R7W. His remains were interred in the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1 on Jim Ramsay Road. (Jackson Co., Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 5811, October 1936)
19th Century Education
It is difficult for us today, as we boot up our lap-top, personal computers, to envision a 19th Century student sitting on a split log bench, in a one-room, poorly heated, log building with open gables and unsealed cracks. The 10-foot by 12-foot wooden structure may have had only one door and a window whose hinges and latches were constructed from cow or deer hides. School materials and books were scarce. The lap-top PC equivalent of this era may have consisted of only a piece of chalk and slate to write upon. This is generally the way it was in many of our Jackson County piney woods schools in the late 19th Century. (Broom, 1981, p. )
At this time, the school year generally consisted of two terms, Winter (November-February) and Summer (May-August). This allowed for children to assist their agrarian parents with the spring planting and fall harvest.
Some turn of the Century, school books used in Jackson County and their costs were: McGuffey’s First thru Sixth Reader ($.17 to $.85); McGuffey’s Revised Speller ($.17); Holbrook’s New English ($.65); Riley’s Mississippi History ($.75): and Robinson’s New Complete Arithmetic ($.75). (Official Notice of D.D. Cowan, County Superintendent of Education, dated November 1, 1900)
Before 1886, one had only had pass an oral examination given by the County Superintendent of Education to qualify as an instructor in the public schools of Mississippi. After this date, a two-year Normal Course was instituted to ready prospective teachers for the public school system. The Industrial Institute and College (now Mississippi University for Women) at Columbus, was the first institution in Mississippi to prepare teachers for the classroom. (Lucas, 1966, p. 16)
In 1910, South Mississippi got its first teachers college, when The Mississippi Normal College, now University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, was created by the State Legislature. (ibid., p. 18) In the 19thCentury, Black teachers were educated at the State Normal School at Holly Springs, Tougaloo College (private), and Alcorn A.&M. (Ibid. p.17)
Regardless of the austere conditions, which may have existed in the piney woods of the Vancleave region, the area schools produced some notable 20th Century educators. Among them were Cyril E. Cain (1883-1963), Dr. James W. Broom (1884-1926), and Professor Jacob L. Reddix (1897-1973). A brief biography of these dedicated men follows:
Cyril E. Cain
Cyril Edward Cain (1883-1963) was born in the Dead Lake community, the son of William Y. Cain (1859-1934) and Sarah B. Fletcher (1859-1948). He attended the Red Hill School, and in March 1904, he was granted a certificate to preach in the Methodist Church. In 1919, Cain matriculated to Mississippi State College and received a B.S. and M.S. degree. He graduated from Cornell University in 1928, with an M.A. degree in psychology. After teaching and principal positions at Dead Lake, Burns, and other small towns, C.E. Cain returned to Mississippi State College in 1929, to teach psychology and education courses. Cain retired from Mississippi State in 1953. He was active in the SAR and was president of the Mississippi Genealogical Society in 1954-1955. C.E. Cain will always be remembered in Jackson County for his two-volume, historical and genealogical, classic, Four Centuries on the Pascagoula. C.E. Cain married Annie R. Gray (1889-1970) in July 1911, at Montrose, Mississippi. They were childless. Both are interred in the Presbyterian Cemetery at Montrose, Jasper Country, Mississippi. (Cain, 1995, pp. 163-164)
James W. Broom
James Wesley Broom (1884-1926) was born near Daisy, in northwestern Jackson County. His parents were W.W. Broom and Sarah Jane Moore. Young Broom attended the Reuben Byrd School, which was later named the Broom School in his honor. (Broom, ca 1950, p. 23)
In 1905, J.W. Broom graduated with honors from Wiggins High School. He matriculated to Millsaps College at Jackson and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1912. James W. Broom married Patti Maud Batson of Wiggins in 1922. They were childless. Mr. Broom was superintendent of Lucedale and Ellisville schools before being named as Assistant State Superintendent of Education. When Delta State Teachers College (Delta State University) opened at Cleveland, Mississippi in September 1925, Broom was its first president. J.W. Broom became ill while in Quitman County and expired in the Baptist Hospital at Memphis, Tennessee, on May 17, 1926. (Gunn, et al, 1980, p. 14)
Jacob L. Reddix
Jacob L. Reddix (1897-1973), the son of Nathan Reddix (1837-1914) and Frances Chambers (1848-1930) was reared, the youngest of nine sons, at Vancleave. His early education was attained at the Bluff Creek Public School and the local Baptist Church. In 1907, Mrs. Reddix sent young Jacob and his brother, Eugene, to Miller’s Ferry Normal and Industrial Institute at Miller’s Ferry, Alabama. Reddix enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1917, and was discharged at Camp Shelby in 1919. He taught school in Birmingham until 1924, when he entered the Lewis Institute at Chicago. Reddix graduated in 1927, and joined the faculty of Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana. He studied Economics at the University of Chicago in 1939, before being appointed to a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. Jacob L. Reddix found his career calling when he was named the fifth President of Jackson College (now Jackson State University) in 1940. He served in this position until his retirement in 1967. Professor Reddix chronicled his life in A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (1974), which also gives an early history of Vancleave from the perspective of a Black man. (G.A. Sewell et al, 1984, pp. 199-204)
On December 7, 2001, Dr. Jacob L. Reddix was elected to the Mississippi Hall of Fame with Senator John L. Stennis (1901-1995), Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III (1911-1983), Owen Cooper (1908-1986), and Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894-1988). The Mississippi Hall of fame was created in 1902, by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to honor distinguished natives of the Magnolia State. The portrait of Dr. Reddix will hang in the Old Capitol Museum at Jackson. (Miss. History Newsletter, Vol. 44, No. 1, January 2002, p. 2)In May 2003, portrait of Reddix dedicated in the Old Capitol. (Miss. History Newsletter, Vol. 45, No. 5, May 2003, p. 2)
Bluff Creek Literary Society
(see The Pascagoula Democratic-Star, July 13, 1883, p. 3)
Early West Jackson County Schools
Abiezer C. Ramsay (1807-1891), the son of William Ramsay Jr. (1770-1833) and Elizabeth Huey (1787-1836), was an early educator and later Methodist circuit riding minister in Jackson County. He chronicles the County’s early history of education and religion in The Autobiography of A.C. Ramsey, School Teacher and Circuit Rider (1879).
According to A.C. Ramsay, the earliest schools in Jackson County were in the Benndale area, which is now in George County (created on March 16, 1910). Here as early as 1818, children of the Holland, Fairley, Bilbo, Ramsay, Parker, Dease, Cowart, Little, and Cochran families were in attendance. (Cain, Vol. II, 1983, p. 30)
Circa 1822, education reached the west side of the Pascagoula River when a school opened at Brewer’s Bluff, the county seat at that time. In 1857, a school was conducted in the Red Hill Church, which is near Brewer’s Bluff, by a Mr. Barnes. Children of the Fletcher, Carlisle, Goff, Broadus, Ramsay, Havens, Gray, Entrekin, Holden, Taylor, Dubose, and Dozier families attended this school. (Ibid., p. 31-32)
Public education in the Vancleave region was unique in that there were three separate school systems based on race: Black, Caucasian, and Creole. Jacob L. Reddix in A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (1974), states that the first public school in the Vancleave section commenced in 1880. It was a White school known as the Vancleave Public School (probably the Bluff Creek Free School). The Bluff Creek Public School, established to educate Black children, began in 1882. Both schools consisted of one-room structures with virtually no equipment, nor furnishings. Teachers received $50 per month as compensation for their services. A Creole school was not established until after WW I. (Reddix, 1974, pp. 52-53)
There is some indication in the Piney Woods that there was racial bias as to the value of educating Black children as late as 1904. At this time, a debate was held in Daisy, northwest of Vancleave, with the subject for discussion titled "Resolved, That the Negro Should Not Be Educated". (The Progress, May 28, 1904)
The Bluff Creek Public School (1880-?)
According to school records in the Jackson County Archives, there was a Black public school at Vancleave as early as 1880. Its location is not presently known, but by 1891, Black students were taught in a church, possibly the Good Hope or Newlight Baptist Church. The 1880 class was taught by Singleton Ferrill. Children of the Fairley, Burney, Carroway, Chambers, Reid, Goff, Bilbo, and Brown families were in attendance. E.L. Howze and Valena C. McArthur were educators in the Bluff Creek Public School in the 1888-1889 period. There classes included children of these Black families: Reddix, Mayfield, Thomas, Shaw, Payton, Taylor, Marshall, Page, Galloway, Jackson, and Gillum.
By 1891, the Creole families, Carroll, Bang, and Bobinger, Garic, were sending their children to the Black public school. In The 1892 Record of Educable Children in Bluff Creek, the combined male-female, student population is 73 Black and 67 Creoles. (p. 16)
The Bluff Creek Free School (1880-1893?)
There is a high degree of certitude that the Bluff Creek Free School is that institution referred to previously by Jacob L. Reddix, as the first public school organized at Vancleave. With the name "Bluff Creek Free School", there appears to be an allusion to an independent or private school. Betty Rodgers, local genealogist-historian and archivist for the Jackson County Archives at Pascagoula, discovered an instrument in the "loose papers" of the Archives concerning this school. The handwritten documents reads as follows:
Bluff Creek, Jackson County, Mississippi
December 6, 1879
At a meeting of the Citizens of Bluff Creek on Saturday Dec. 6, 1879 at "Ramsay’s Store", the following gentlemen were duly elected Trustees of School No. (left blank) , District No. 4 for the year 1880. H.C. Havens, A.W. Ramsay, John Flurry, Trustees. On motion of Mr. H.C Havens, A.W. Ramsay was appointed Secretary of the Board. We hereby respectfully submit our claim for a Free School at the new School House near "Little Bluff Creek".(signed) A.W. Ramsay
The W.K. Ramsay School (1888-1893)
The W.K. Ramsay School was a private educational institution, which existed from 1888 until March 31, 1893. It was very likely situated in Section 10, T74S-R9W, on the lands of Wesley Knox Ramsay (1852-1930) about twenty miles northwest from Vancleave, in what became known as the Dantzler Community. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 17, 1893, p. 3)
Mr. W.K. Ramsay was a farmer and stockman. In later years, he was the land agent for the University of Mississippi. Near his farm were some 25,000 acres of pinelands owned by Ole Miss. W.K. Ramsay was married to Julia Byrd Ramsay (1854-1940) in November 1879, at Perry County, Mississippi. Their children were: four sons-Andy K. Ramsay, James Byrd Ramsay (1884-1965), Inman W. Ramsay, and Lamar Ramsay; and three daughters-Mrs. Florence R. Ramsay, Mrs. Clara Leise R. Jeffrey, and Mrs. Julia Grace R. Holder. (The Daily Herald, December 10, 1929, September 9, 1930, p. 3 and September 10, 1930, p. 6)
Miss Leise Davis was the teacher at the W.K. Ramsay School. She was very accomplished at her profession, which was manifested in the ability of her pupils to read, write, speak, march, and sing. Among the students at the Ramsay school at its closing exercises in March 1893, were: James Byrd Ramsay, Lamar Ramsay, Andrew Ramsay, Florence Ramsay, Calvin Dees (1877-1954), Clifton Dees (1886-1963), Mendum Dees (1884-1949), N.B. Young, and Julia Thompson. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 17, 1893, p. 3)
The A.W. Ramsay School (1893-1907) This Ramsay School was located in the NW/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W, on a two-acre tract leased by A.W. Ramsay on September 9, 1893, to the Board of Trustees of the Ramsay School, W.J. Taylor (1863-1914), A.R. "Belle" Breeland (1852-1917), and Sydney Anderson (1867-1917).
When the The Ramsay School was discontinued circa 1907, because of County-wide, school consolidation, the two-acre tract and buildings thereon were sold to the Vancleave Cemetery Association for $90, by the Trustees of the Ramsay School, in accordance with an order by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors. The Vancleave Cemetery Association Trustees were: W.H. Westfall, W.J. Ellis, L.H. Havens, A.R. Breeland, and W.J. Taylor. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 33, pp. 475-476)
It appears that the Ramsay School was also a private institution. Miss Julia Ellis was the schoolmistress in 1904. (The Progress, May 28, 1904, p. 1)
The transfer of land from the Trustees of the Ramsay School to the Vancleave Cemetery Association was the commencement of what is now called the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1 on Jim Ramsay Road.
The Ebenezer School (1889-1898+)
It appears that the Ebenezer School was located in the SW/4,NW/4 of Section 13, T6S-R7W, near the Joe Ware home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Miss Susie Willis Vaughn (1869-1963) taught here from 1889-1896. Miss Vaughn was the daughter of Dr. Milton Clay Vaughn (1832-1903) and Fanny Thornton (1840-1875). Dr. Vaughn was from Louisville, Kentucky and practiced dentistry at Ocean Springs. He served as Mayor of Ocean Springs from 1895-1896. (The Ocean Springs Record, May 11, 1995, p. 20) Miss Susie Vaughn would teach in the Jackson County school system for fifty-six years. She ran for Superintendent of Education in 1927. (The Daily Herald, August 7, 1962, p. 2, c. 1)
Linda Taylor succeeded Miss Vaughn in 1897. Class size at the Ebenezer School ranged between thirty and fifty students with the sex ratio about equal. The following families were represented here between 1889 and 1898: Goff, Ware, McMillan, Rogers, Tanner, Roberts, Carter, Booker, Fairley, Sumrall, Nobles, Barnes, Taylor, McRae, McGill, Pearson, Garlotte, Rice, and Woodman. (Ebenezer School Records (1889-1898), Jackson County Archives)
Although there is high degree of certitude that the first European settlement in the Vancleave region, the Chaumont Plantation of the French, situated on the Pascagoula River, and established briefly in the 18th Century, was inhabited by people of the Roman Catholic faith, it would be Protestant religions that would predominate in the region, after white Anglo-Saxons arrived in the late 18th and early 19th Century. Roman Catholic influence dominated the coastal sections of the former French and Spanish Colonial region between New Orleans and Mobile. In fact, the Spanish government prohibited Protestant religions from being established in Spanish West Florida (which included Jackson County), as Anglo-Saxon, American settlers moved into their territory from above the 31st parallel. (Cain, Volume II, 1983, p. 22)
Parish of The Holy Spirit
It would be nearly three centuries after the first French settlement near Vancleave, that a Roman Catholic parish and church, The Holy Spirit, would be established here in April 1980. The Reverend John Izral, a Catholic priest of twenty-five years, was the first pastor of this new parish, which held its services in the Vancleave American Legion Hall. Father Izral commenced construction of the first Catholic in Vancleave in May 1981, on Jim Ramsay Road near Mississippi Highway 57. The new church, which was ready for use in November 1981, was dedicated on May 23, 1982, by Bishop Joseph L. Howze of the Diocese of Biloxi.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 68)
The Holy Spirit Catholic Church was built with lumber salvaged from the former Sacred Heart Church in Pascagoula. This building was constructed in 1883 as a school for Black children.(The Mississippi Press, May 1, 1981, p. 3-A)
Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church (image made December 2005)
4901 Jim Ramsay Road
In April 1998, with its congregation continuing to expand in the Vancleave region, Bishop Joseph Lawson Howze of the Biloxi Diocese, acquired 10. 1 acres of land in the NE/4 and SE/4 of Section 7, T6S-R7W from Little Bluff LLC for the Parish of the Holy Spirit.(Jackson County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1469, p. 881)
By the early years of the 21st Century, the Catholic population of Vancleave had outgrown its original sanctuary. A new church at 6705 Jim Ramsay Road was dedicated on March 27, 2004.(The Mississippi Press, May 12, 2004, p. 3)
In the United States, the Methodist Episcopal Church began just over 200 years ago with a Christmas conference of sixty circuit-riding preachers at Baltimore, Maryland. From this simple beginning, which was the formation of the first Christian Church in America, the United Methodist Church has grown to almost 10 million members. From this now famous, 1784 Christmas Conference, Bishop Francis Asbury and his horseback circuit-riding ministers took Methodism in the 19th Century, to the expanding American western and southwestern frontier. (The Saturday Evening Post, April 1984)
Prior to 1830, circuit riding, Methodist ministers had reached, the northeastern Vancleave region, where they ministered to the residents at Brewer’s Bluff, the County Seat from 1822-1826. They were part of the Leaf River Circuit which went north from Brewer’s Bluff in an arcuate track, through Greene, Perry, Wayne, Clark, Jasper, and Newton Counties, before it turned southward, returning to Jackson County, through Jasper, Covington, Jones, Perry, and Hancock Counties. (Sullivan, 1990, p. 50)
A chronology of the development of Methodism in the Vancleave region follows:
The Red Hill Methodist Church (Section 3, T5S-R7W)
In 1837, Henry Fletcher (1777-1857) and John Havens (1775-1855) founded the Red Hill Methodist Church about a mile from the old county seat at Brewer’s Bluff. This is the oldest organized Methodist Episcopal Church in what is now the Seashore District (organized in 1871). The first Red Hill Methodist sanctuary was a modest log structure. In February 1970, a new masonry building was consecrated, the fourth in the long history of this Methodist community. (The Ocean Springs Record, February 19, 1970, p. 17)
Families who have an enduring chronology in the Red Hill church are: Fletcher, Havens, Graham, Dubose, Rice, Entrekin, Tootle, Roberts, David, White, Holland, Cain, Carlisle. (The History of JXCO, Miss. 1989, p. 70)
The New Prospect Campground (Section 19, T5S-R7W)
New Prospect Campground
[Bottom image: The elevated 'fire stand' to the right of the tabernacle was the focus of social gatherings for the young folks at the camp meetings. Kipp Dees relates that a fire was lit and conversation took place around the fire stand.]
The New Prospect Campground is located in the SW/4 of Section 19, T5S-R7W, about 5 miles northwest of Vancleave on the east side of Cowpen Creek. It was commenced in October 1880, to provide several days for the spiritual and social gathering of the Methodist community in the Vancleave region. Initially, families came to the annual gatherings in wagons pulled by ox teams. Later as more people inhabited the area, horse and buggies were utilized. (The Daily Herald, October 12, 1923, p. 2)
The Salem Campground, founded in 1826, and the Mt. Pleasant Campground, established by slaves in 1858, were both located to the north of New Prospect. In Harrison County, the Palmer Creek Campground, north of Handsboro, opened in 1883.
In November 1885, a six-acre site, in the NW/4, SW/4 of Section 19, T5S-R7W, was provided to the Methodists faithful at New Prospect, by pioneer, turpentine operator, John C. Orrell (1830-1917). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 7, pp. 597-598) Perpetuity and growth of the Campground was secured in October 1904, when John C. Orrell conveyed 40 acres in the same area to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church South-Seashore District: W.W. Broom, J.H. Havens, D.G. Alexander, W.K. Ramsay, S.R. Ratliff, T.E. Ramsay, S.G. Ramsay, and T.Q. Roberts. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 28, pp. 631-632)
The New Orleans Christian Advocate of November 11, 1880, described the New Prospect Campground as having a new, large pavilion and five large tents. The meeting, held from October 21st to October 25th, saw, 25 conversions, 10 accessions, 5 adult, and 8 infant baptisms. The Reverends, Inman W. Cooper of Ocean Springs, J. Stewart Calhoun, and J.M. Weems, were in attendance.
By the October 1881 meeting, attendance on Sunday was estimated to be more than five-hundred worshipers. The pulpits were manned by the Reverends T.S. West, J.M. Weems, Biser Ramsay, D.M. Dunlap, Irvin and Randall Roberts, Gay Ellis, W.C. and Stewart Calhoun, and Wesley Evans. Their sermons resulted in forty-one conversions. Food and lodging were provided free. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 28, 1881, p. 3)
The New Prospect Campground has faced disaster in the form of fire and tropical tempests on several occasions. Three large conflagrations were recorded in 1902, 1907, and in 1948. (Down South, September-October 1956, p. 20)
The July Storm, the hurricane of July 5, 1916, demolished the tabernacle. It was rebuilt in time for the October camp meeting. The Mt. Pleasant Church, east of Vancleave, was blown off its foundation by the same hurricane. (Lindsey, 1964, p. 274)
Life during the camp meeting, then as now, was marked by prayer, singing, repentance, good fellowship, home-cooking, and family reunions. Originally for Methodists, persons of other Christian denominations, particularly Baptists, in recent years have become a large part of the New Prospect Campground experience. (Down South, September-October, 1956, p. 20)
Each tent usually had one or two Black cooks who were acclimated to the conditions. They prepared a table consisting of beef stew, onions, rice, chicken pie, pork and cabbage, cakes and pies. Tent owners invited family and friends to eat and spend the night. A public tent was also provided were meals can be purchased. There was only one collection made and that occurred on Big Sunday, before the 11 a.m. service. After the service, a get-together meal was served under the trees for the entire campground community. These preceding conditions for the most part prevail to the present. (WPA-Jackson Co., Miss.,1938, p. 242)
On May 15, 1986, the 37th Annual Ramsay Clan of South Mississippi and Alabama was held at the New Prospect Campground. Alan Thomas Ramsay of Yazoo City, Mississippi presided over the clan reunion.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 18, 1986)
The Shiloh Methodist Church (Section 25, T6S-R8W)
The Shiloh Methodist Church was located in the NE/4, NW/4 of Section 25, T6S-R8W, on the south side of present day Humphrey Road, about .4 miles east of Old Fort Bayou Road. In July 1886, farmer, Christopher Quave (1858-1905+), the son of Usant Quave (1834-1889) and Mamie Sarah Davis (1840-1908), donated one square acre in the NW/4 of Section 25, T6S-R8W, to the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
In the July 1886 warranty deed, which was unrecorded, it related that "as to make one square acre and being the same lot or parcel wherein Shiloh Church now stands and had stood for many years". This declaration implies that the Shiloh Church was founded some years prior to 1886. In April 1916, John P. Edwards granted a parcel of land measuring 165 feet by 210 feet directly east of the Quave donation. At this time, Mr. Edwards gift was received by the Trustees of the Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church: W.K. Ramsay, W.Y. Cain, Thomas E. Ramsay, Sardin G. Ramsay, Robert C. Roberts, Dr. S.R. Ratliff, Edward David, Reverend J.H. Havens, and S.R. Byrd. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 42, p. 439)
The land from J.P. Edwards may be the present site of the extant Shiloh Cemetery. Fort Bayou community family members from the Devereaux (Devro), Overstreet, Bellais, Holland, Noble, and Webb are interred here.
The Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church was merge with the Vancleave United Methodist Church several decades after the 20th Century commenced. (Marilena Penton, ca 1978, p. 1)
It is interesting to note that in June 1887, Usant Quave donated land for the formation of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church cemetery in the SE/4 of Section 26, T6S-R8W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 32, p. 311)
The Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church (Section 12, T6S-R7W)
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church (image made March 1999)
(l-r) Rupert L. Roberts (1922-2001) and Ray L. Bellande (b. 1943) leading the 1999 Vancleave Spring Tour.
The very early origins of the Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church community, can be traced anecdotally to ante-Bellum times through the family histories of Williams, Lyons, Dubose, Graham, Rouse, Flurry, O’Neal, Bonds, McMillan, Havens, Ware, Taylor, and Ramsay, who resided in the John’s Bayou-Page Bayou sections. Before the present Mt. Pleasant Church was established on Mt. Pleasant Road in the NW/4 of Section 12, T6S-R7W, their place of worship was located near the Joe Ware place in the SW/4 of Section 13, T6S-R7W. (The History of JXCO, Miss., 1989, p. 69)
In December 1904, Thomas Q. Roberts (1856-1916) conveyed three acres in the N/2, NW/4 of Section 12, T6S-R7W, which was known as the Mt. Pleasant Church land, to W.W. Broom, J.H. Havens, D.G. Alexander, W.K. Ramsay, S.R. Ratliff, T.E. Ramsay, Thomas Q. Roberts, and T.E. Holland, Trustee for the ME Church South for the Vancleave charge in the Seashore Distrcit of the Mississippi Annual Conference. There was a church building in the center of the conveyed lot. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 29, pp. 359-360)
Mrs. Wilma Goff relates that the present Mt. Pleasant tabernacle was designed and built by Charley Flemmings in 1907. It was the first to have an elevated floor. The Reverend G.P. McKeown preached the first sermon. (The History of JXCO, Miss., 1989, p. 69)
In late August 1936, the Reverend H.W. Van Hook of the Vancleave Methodist Church and Reverend A.B. Barry of Ocean Springs, held a six-day revival at the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church. About seventy-five church members pledge to tithe and approximately one hundred people either committed to renew their faith or were converted.(The Daily Herald, August 24, 1936, p. 2)
The Vancleave United Methodist Church (Section 9, T6S-R7W)
The magnificent new church building and Masonic lodge is nearing completion. S. Bradford is the proprietor of the building. (The Biloxi Herald, May 26, 1894, p. 1)
This Church was organized around Ezell Lodge No. 426 F&AM, which was chartered in February 1895. Master Masons living at Vancleave desired an organization closer to home as other Masonic Lodges were located at Pascagoula, Moss Point, Daisy-Vestry, and Ocean Springs. The first meeting of the lodge was held in August 1894, with Judge Henry C. Havens (1831-1912) elected worshipful master. Pioneer membership in Ezell Lodge was held by: G.W. Cooper, John M. Graham, W.P. Ramsay, William Martin, Jospeh Graham, J.W. Westfall, T.Q. Roberts, Walter R. Havens, and Thomas C. Ruble. (The Mississippi Press, April 30, 1995, p. 1-B)
On a site, known as Lot No. 1, acquired from Brother William Martin (1838-1930) in the SE Corner of the SW/4, NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, the Vancleave Masons erected their Ezell Lodge structure from native pine timber. The logs were rafted to Moss Point, where they were milled into lumber, and returned to Vancleave by barge. When the two-story, wood frame building was completed, the Methodist Church utilized the first floor for Sunday school services. The Masons met upstairs. After the congregation relocated in 1926, the first floor of the Ezell Lodge was utilized as a voting precinct for Beat 5. (Rupert Roberts, 1998)
Mrs. Alma Allen, former Church Historian, who came to Vancleave, as a teacher in the Vancleave Public school circa 1925, remembers the early Methodist church in the Ezell Lodge as follows:
There was no electricity or running water, not even, a well, so water had to be brought for baptismal services. There were no Sunday School rooms. The five classes met in the corners of the meeting room, with the adults occupying the center of the room. The church was governed by a Board of Stewards. Committees were elected when a need arose for one. Some of the spiritual leaders who supported the church financially and otherwise were: Dr. S.R. Ratliff, "Big Jim" Ramsay, J.E. Lockard, Willie Westfall, Lyman Roberts, and Uncle Jeff Havens. There were others. The pastor had one full Sunday a month at the Vancleave Church, as he also served Mt. Pleasant, Red Hill, and Bonnie Chapel churches.
Yes, there was a choir led by Mr. Lyman Roberts. Mr. Roberts was a man of many talents. He could sing, lead the singing, teach a Sunday School class, pray in public, serve as a lay teacher, and take the collection. He often served as a delegate to District Conference. The organist was Annie Mae Murphy Lockard. In her absence, Mamie Martin played. Both performed brilliantly on the old "pump organ".
New Church Cornerstone laid in early February 1925. Work will proceed as rapidly as possible. (The Daily Herald, February 6, 1925, p. 7)
In early October 1925, the church was nearing completion. Painters were working on the interior of the sanctuary. (The Daily Herald, October 2, 1925, p. 10)
In late March 1926, Pastor W.F. Baggett held the first services in the new Methodist church on Highway 57, west of the Ezell Lodge, which became known as the Baggett Memorial Church. He also participated in the construction and painting of the structure. The cost of the edifice was estimated at $5,000, which included the oak pews valued at $1300. In addition to the large auditorium, there were six large classrooms for Sunday school. The presiding elder, the Reverend Lyman L. Roberts, conducted the first Sunday night service. (The Chronicle-Star, April 2, 1926) At this time, it very probable that the congregation of the Shiloh Methodist Church in the Fort Bayou settlement was merged with this Methodist community at Vancleave.
During the tenure of Reverend L.A. Cumberland from 1968-1972, local architect, Robert G. Cossey, designed a new and larger sanctuary. It was located in front of the old church, which became the Educational Building for the parish. First services in the new sanctuary were held in August 1971. (The Ocean Springs Record, August 19, 1971, p. 2)
An annex building was completed during the pastorship of the Reverend Howard T. Lips, who served from 1977 until 1980. (Alma Allen, 1978, p. 2)
THE BAPTIST CHURCH-Early History
In 1780, during the Spanish Colonial period, migrants from the Pee Dee River valley of South Carolina came into the Natchez District of present day southwest Mississippi. They brought their Calvinistic Baptist religion with them. The journey was primarily by water as the pilgrims after crossing the Cumberland Gap into northeastern Tennessee floated down the Tennessee River to the Ohio River, and then into the mighty Mississippi to Natchez. (Jackson, 1982, p. 626)
The Baptist faith was the second Protestant religion to come to the area. Earlier in 1773, Samuel Swayze (d. 1784), a Congregational minister from New Jersey had come to Kingston in the Natchez District. His ministry ended in 1779, when the Spanish authorities forbade all religions, except Roman Catholicism. (Moore from Jones, 1866, pp. 13-14)
By 1791, the preacher, Richard Curtis Jr. from South Carolina, was conducting formal Baptist worship services in the Coles Creek region north of Natchez, Jefferson County of today. When Gayoso de Lemos governed Spanish Louisiana and West Florida from 1797 to 1799, his policy towards Protestantism was tolerance of private worship, but opposition to public services. (McLemore, 1971, p. 12)
The Baptist religion progressed eastward of the Natchez District on the Mississippi River toward the Pearl River country. By 1818, Calvinistic churches had been established as far east as the Leaf River. Another group of Baptist settlers from Georgia, led by Norvell Robertson Sr. (1765-1855) and George Granberry entered the Mississippi Territory via the Federal Road after the War of 1812. They established the Pearl River Association with the establishment of the Providence Church near present day Seminary, Mississippi, then known as Oaktoma. The Baptist faith reached Greene and Jackson Counties from the Leaf River Association, which was formed in 1829. (Jackson, 1982, pp. 626-628)
Prior to the Civil War, Blacks were a large part of the Baptist Church in Mississippi. After the conflict they sought separation and formed their own churches. In some areas, Black worshipers continued as members of white Baptist congregations for many years after the War of the Rebellion. (McLemore, pp. 200)
It is not known with a high degree of certitude when the first Baptist church was organized in the Vancleave region. It appears that in the 1890s, Black Baptists in the vicinity of what was then known as Greenhead or Lick Skillet in Section 2, T6S-R8W, organized and built a place of worship. An approximate chronology of the Baptist Churches in the Vancleave regions follows:
Antioch Landmark Missionary Baptist Church
by Shirley Martin Quimby [August 2011] with notes by Ray L. Bellande
Elder J.B. Gamblin organized the Antioch Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in 1870. Usant and Sarah Davis Quave deeded the cemetery property to the church on June 17, 1887.
Usant [Justin] Quave (1834-1889) and Sarah ‘Mamie’ Davis Quave (1840-1908)
Frank Martin and Missouri Davis Martin
James G. Davis and Nancy Carter Davis
Mr. and Mrs. O.F. Daniels
Mrs. Adeline Willis
Mr. and Mrs. C.N. Woodcock
Mr. John Noble (1848-1930)
The Antioch Missionary Baptist Church is situated in the NW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 26, T6S-R8W, Jackson County, Mississippi. The church is approximately 4 1/2 miles southwest of the Vancleave community.
The Antioch Baptist Church was established in Jackson County, Mississippi during the year of 1870. The land on which the church is located belonged to Pierre Quave (1808-1889) and Marie Ladner Quave (1810-1888) for many years. In February 1880, Pierre Quave conveyed the NE/4 of the SE/4, SE/4 of the NE/4 and the NW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 26 to his son, Usant Quave (1834-1889) (Jackson County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, p. 443).
The Antioch Baptist Church received the following lands from Usant Quave and his wife, Mamie Sarah Davis (1840-1908), on June 17, 1887, described as: one hundred feet east of the Church, one hundred feet north, south to the land owned by J.J. Dickson, and west to the lands owned by W.H. Nobles, all in Section 26, T6S-R8W.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 32, p. 311)
The first service was held in a building that did not have a roof. Each member was asked to bring a special offering of $.25 to go to the purchase of the roof. Antioch Baptist Church authorized Bailey Martin (1894-1973) to faithfully solicit funds for the purchase of a roof. Brother Holland was the pastor at the time. There was no electricity and lanterns were utilized to light the sanctuary when night services commenced.
Calvin [Bob] Seymour was the first church clerk because he was the only parishioner that was literate. Woodrow Martin, Josephine Tanner Atwell (1913-2008), and John Lynch would later become church clerks.
Mr. Armond Guillotte (1871-1957), Kell Martin’s grandfather, gave $500 to George Meaut, his son-in-law, to acquire the building materials for George to build the first pulpit for the church.
There were no cars in the early days of the church. People rode to church on a horse or in a hose drawn carriage [buggy]. Horses would be tethered to a tree. Model A Ford motorcars would later carry church goers. Mae Nobles Ulmer walked to church from present day Robert Walker Road. Fort Bayou Road crossed over to Antioch Road near where Kell Martin now resides.
Most of the preachers had to come from afar to preach God’s word. Church services were held once a month in order that the preachers could take turns delivering sermons at other churches. Most of the time, their families did not travel with them and the minister was put up by a church family. The economy was poor and most people didn’t have disposable income to donate for the preacher’s expenses, but the ladies would bake and cook for him in order that his family would have some food.
After people accepted Christ as their Savior and were redeemed, they were baptized in a small creek adjacent to Fort Bayou Road. If the weather was cold, baptisms would be postponed until warmer weather arrived, which could be as much as six months.
In the early days, a pot belly stove was used until gas heaters were available. Mrs. Mae Nobles Ulmer still has the pot belly stove that was used by her ancestors in the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
When it was hot and before fans were purchased for the church, services were held outside. The men would bring the benches and church organ outside and place them under the oak tree. That tree became known as the ‘Courting Tree’, as there was no other social activity in the area at the time other than attending church services. The men and young boys would meet their future brides at Antioch Baptist Church and propose marriage under the ‘Courting Tree’. As related by James K. ‘Snooks’ Mallette (1915-2006).
Once a month, the congregation met a Mrs. Tori Webb’s house to have Bible study. Later they would continue that tradition and have services at the home of Bailey Martin and Ophelia Martin, her sister.
James ‘Jim’ Martin (1879-1966) was the only deacon that Antioch Baptist Church had for many years. After his demise in 1966, Woodrow W. Martin (1913-1979) was elected to serve as deacon and Tony Shoemaker (1908-1989) would replace him. Tony Shoemaker’s favorite song was ‘Ten Thousand Angels’ and red his most like color. Woodrow W. Martin enjoyed singing ‘When I’ve Gone the Last Mile of the Way’.
When Amelia M. Nobles (1855-1928) passed at Fontainebleau in March 1928, the congregation of the Antioch Baptist Church was ministered to by the Reverend W.M. Stevens.(The Daily Herald, March 31, 1928, p. 2)
Brother George Boone and his wife would occasionally drive the Martin girls to church and allow them to ride in the back of his El Camino car. During this time, they would sing and Mrs. Boone would have them recite and memorize the following: John 14:1-3……‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God also believe in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so; I would have told you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also. And whither I go, ye know; and the way ye know also.’
Many church records were never recorded because at the time, there were few people that were literate. Some notes were also not recorded until after the church clerk got home. This resulted in some things forgotten by the clerk and not recorded.
When the Antioch Baptist Church was in its infancy, times were difficult. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the situation was dire as money was very scarce. However, the congregation had FAITH. It was the strong Christian faith of the charter members that has been retained and inherited by those that followed them. This faith in the Creator is the salient reason that Antioch Baptist Church is alive and well after one-hundred and forty years. This church has been a blessing not only to the families and individuals that have attended its services over the decades, but to the entire Fort Bayou Community.
The first Sunday school class was taught by Miss Louise Cochran outside by the ‘Courting Tree’. Her students were: Kell Martin, Mildred Martin, Dorothy Martin, and Clara Ellzey. Woodrow Martin taught Sunday school class to the young boys. He would sit them on the front row in the sanctuary. As related by Jimmy Dupree.
From circa 1946-1951, before there was a Sunday school room for children, Rae Martin (1920-1994) taught them outside the church. Her young pupils sat on wooden benches in front of the main cemetery gate. During inclement weather, they attended church services in the sanctuary with their parents. In 1951, a Sunday school room was built onto the sanctuary. Mrs. Teresa Cates was elected as Sunday school teacher with Mrs. Rae Martin as her assistant.
Brother Claude Walker and Florine Walker, his spouse, led the first singing school at Antioch Baptist Church. Members of the first church choir were: Dorothy Martin, Ruth Martin, Mildred Martin, Martha Seymour, and Clara Ellzey. This choir was directed by Orey Dupree and Martha Seymour played the piano. Today, she is ninety years of age and continues to play for church services. Blanche Ramsey played the organ. Her favorite tune to play was ‘How Firm a Foundation’.
Clarence W. Langley (b. 1917) would later direct the choir with Etta I. Langley (1917-1991), his wife, playing the piano. A girl’s choir was commenced with Faye Martin, Wanda Martin, Arlene Cates, Regina Cates, and Vina Dupree participating. Later Mary Jane Lynch and Marie Lynch, her sister, would join the choir. Vina Dupree, Wanda Martin, and Marie Lynch would eventually become the church pianist.
Clarence W. Langley would also allow some of the boys participate in leading the song service. Some of them were: Mike Martin, Bruce Martin, John Lynch Jr., and Ervin E. Cates (1926-1993). In the late 1960s, Mr. Langley’s attempted to start a children’s singing group but they were too bashful. These shy children were: Shirley Martin, Laura Mallette, Darla Mallette, and Harry Mallette. Clarence W. Langley’s favorite song was ‘Mansions over the Hilltops’.
The grandest tradition of the Antioch Baptist Church is the ‘Dinner on the Ground’ Revival which occurs on the first Sunday of July. This gala event signaled a new dress for the women folk and a new shirt for children. The church ladies would convene on the Saturday prior to the July Revival and clean the interior of the sanctuary. The men worked in the church yard and in the church cemetery to prepare for the event.
On church clean-up day, Arlene F. Cates (1947-2004), Faye Martin, Wanda Martin, and Vina Dupree would clean the wooden floors. During one of these occasions, they put too much detergent in the water and could not remove all the soap suds. Regardless, Josephine T. Atwell (1913-2008) and Teresa Cates came to their rescue.
Those that had family interred in the Antioch Cemetery would come on the Saturday prior to the ‘July Revival’, and clean their family burial plots and place fresh flowers on the graves of their loved ones. On that ‘Special Sunday’, families and friends would arrive at Antioch from the community and sometimes from a far distance. It was a fabulous time for fellowship and renewing acquaintances. Families brought a lunch and ate in the open air on the ‘Picnic Table’. Woodrow W. Martin, John Lynch, Ervin E. Kates (1926-1993), Howard C. Dupree (1880-1971), and others had built this community table. Unfortunately Hurricane Katrina of August 2005, destroyed the picnic table, but the memories remain of those that shared bread on these warm, nurturing, and uplifting occasions.
The sanctuary during that ‘Special Sunday’ in July, was so filled with people that school chairs had to be brought into the church and placed at the ends of the pews. Even with this measure, some folks were unable to get seating and had to stand during the service.
Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church (Black)
(Section 2, T6S-R8W)
This Church body was organized between 1890 and 1900 under the pastoral care of the Reverend C.S. English. The location of the first church building of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church is not known with a high degree of certitude. In an oral history interview in 1973, Charles Reed (1896-1989) and his wife, Ada K. Reed (1912-1987) related to Marilena Ramsay Penton that the original congregation began services circa 1890, in a sanctuary located very near the Grant Payton homestead. Churches here were destroyed by fire and the hurricanes of September 1906 and July1916.
Originally, church baptisms were performed in Bluff Creek, and later behind the C.L. Dee’s General Merchandise Store. Now every church in the area has a baptismal pool.(The Mississippi Press, August 29, 1988, p. A-2)
Old Good Hope Baptist Church (image made August 1993)
[This building was moved in 1997 to the northwest and destroyed by Hurricane Georges in 1998]
The two-acres in the SW/4,SW/4 of Section 2, T6S-R8W, upon which the present Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church is located, was patented to Wiley and Maggie Payton in December 1894. In July 1896, the Paytons sold their 80 acre tract in the W/2,W/2 of Section 2, T6S-R8W to Silas and Mary Jane Burney. It is believed that the old wooden church here was erected after the July Storm of 1916.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 32, pp. 595-596 and Bk. 17, p. 604)
Some of the ordained ministers and faithful deacons who served the early Church were: (Ministers)-Jerry Williams, Sam Kenny, Peter Worthan, Eli Daniel, and W.W. Flowers (1899-1969), (ministered for twenty-three years); (Deacons)-Joe Batson (b. 1881), Thomas Chambers, Matthew Burney (1872-1955), Grant Payton (1893-1968), Robert Burney, and Silas Burney (served for fifty-two years)
In 1971, Eliza Burney, Ella Bilbo, and Frances Pompey, the children and sole surviving heirs of Silas Burney conveyed two acres in the SW/4,SW/4 of Section 2, T6S-R8W to the Goodhope Baptist Church. (JXCO. Ms. Land Deed Bk. 419, pp. 166-168)
The Good Hope Baptist Church Cemetery is located north of the church in the NE/4, NE/4 of Section 3, T6S-R8W on Liz Payton Road. This early Black burial ground may be on the original Wiley Payton homestead. Here families who built the Greenhead community and worshiped at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church are interred. Among them are: Batson, Burney, Fairley, Payton, and Reed.
Rosa Batson Payton (b. 1914) told the author in June 2007, that she attended an elementary school circa 1920, which was held in the Good Hope Baptist Church on Jim Ramsay Road. Mrs. Georgie Burney, the teacher, would arrive at the church driving a horse and buggy with Sam Burney, Cleophus Burney, and Benjamin Burney, her sons. Rosa married Mr. Payton and bore him thirteen children, nine girls and four boys. There were two midwives at Vancleave during her child bearing period. She remembers a Mrs. Griffin who assisted with birthing nine of her infants. Rosa worked as a laundress for many years walking to the Fort Bayou community to work fro the Mallette and Shuler families. Her wages were $.75 to $1.00 per day.(Rosa Batson Payton, June 22, 2007 and June 25, 2007)
The First Baptist Church of Vancleave (White)(Section 16, T6S-R7W)
From about 1880 until 1898, the Baptists of the Vancleave community were ministered to on a monthly basis, by the Reverend Oscar duBose Bowen (1843-1920) of the Missionary Baptist faith. O.D. Bowen was born at Choctaw County, Alabama and reared in the Baptist religion as his father was the Reverend Philip P. Bowen (1799-1871), a native of Kershaw, South Carolina. The Bowen family migrated to Clarke County, Mississippi in 1844, and arrived at Ocean Springs in 1847. On Davis Bayou, Reverend P.P. Bowen led the Tidewater Baptist Church, arguably the oldest Baptist Church on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He relocated to Ocean Springs, where he engaged in the sawmill business on Fort Bayou with George Lynch (1835-1850+). Here, Reverend Bowen discovered the "mineral springs" which brought the village (now Ocean Springs), which in 1853, was called Lynchburg Springs, into regional prominence as a health spa. The Reverend Oscar D. Bowen was1st Sergeant of Co A, the Live Oak Rifles, 3rd Mississippi, CSA. (Ellison, 1991, pp. 93-94)
In July 1864, Sgt. Oscar D. Bowen was critically wounded at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek near Atlanta, Georgia. He was sent to a hospital at Barnesville, Georgia to die. Miraculously, Bowen survived his wound, and credited this experience with his conversion as a witness for Christ. (Howell, 1991, pp. 330-331) Captain Abiezar F. Ramsay (1828-1864) of the Live Oak Rifles gave his life at Peach Tree Creek and twenty-three of his men were killed or wounded in this fierce battle. (Ibid., p. 328)
The Reverend O.D. Bowen expired at Handsboro, Mississippi in early September 1920. He had served the Baptist ministry for over fifty years. (The Daily Herald, September 6, 1920, p. 1)
At the turn of the Century, the Baptist of Vancleave erected their first church building. The Reverend Boone, M.D. led the congregation composed of White and Creole membership. In 1908, it is very likely that the Creole membership commenced their own house of worship, the Beulah Landmark Baptist Church, with the purchase of two acres in the NE/4,SW/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W from Nathan and Francis Reddix. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 143, p. 218) This area of Vancleave was referred to in former times as Old Kansas.
The Baptist Church at Vancleave was severely damaged by the September Hurricane of 1906. Following this tempest, Andrew Washington Ramsay (1830-1916) donated a tract of land in the SW/4, NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W for a new tabernacle, which is now the home site of the Church’s Minister of Education. The new Baptist church was west of the A.W. Ramsay homestead and south of the Ramsay Cemetery (Vancleave No. 2). Misfortune came again as The July Storm of 1916, a hurricane, demolished the new church building.
The growth of the Vacleave Baptist Church was slow. From a 1909 membership of twenty-nine, the Church body had only increased too slightly over one hundred by 1948. World War II had taken many young men from the area. During this period 1942-1944, the sanctuary was utilized as school. The local high school burned in July 1942, and the church membership voted to allow the public school to operate here until a new school building could be erected.
The church began full-time worship services in September 1945, under the leadership of Pastor J. Ford Parker. Prior to this time they were held monthly, for a time intermittently, and then bi-monthly. Palmer G. Murphy (1916-1990), Edward Vaughn, and William Moore were the first Deacons of the church. Their ordinations occurred in the period 1944 to 1945.
In July 1952, the Vancleave Baptist Church acquired a 1.96 acre lot in the SE/4,SE/4,NW of Section 16, T6S-R7W from C.L. Dees (1886-1963). (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 126, pp. 11-12) In June 1953, a twenty-five year lease was granted to the Church by the Jackson County School Board on this location, which had a 285-foot front on Highway 57.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 133, pp. 123-125).
After much toil and sacrifice, a new sanctuary was dedicated here on May 25, 1958. In the early 1960s, an educational area was built to the rear of the sanctuary. The year 1969, saw a one-story educational building erected north of the sanctuary.
With the arrival of the Reverend W.F. Lescallette, a Virginia native, in August 1970, the church continued it dynamic growth. By late March 1971, a $60,000 renovation had been dedicated. These improvements consisted of doubling the seating area of the auditorium to accommodate three-hundred congregants. The choir space situated in the rear of the pulpit was expanded to allow thirty-five chanteurs. In addition, a new education building wing of 3600 square-feet was added to house ten Sunday School class rooms, a kitchen, and two toilet facilities. (The Ocean Springs Record, March 25, 1971, p. 13)
Reverend Lescallette (b. ca 1936) was born at Wachapreague, Virginia. He spent nine years in the US Coast Guard prior to matriculating to Louisiana College at Pineville, Louisiana where he graduated as a Bible major in May 1970. Lescallette had served The Lord at Juneau, Alaska and at the Pine Ridge Baptist Church in Ruby, Louisiana before his arrival in Vancleave. (The Ocean Springs Record, March 25, 1971, p. 13)
The early 1971 development and anticipated future growth resulted in the Church acquiring more land. In October 1973, the Vancleave Baptist Church purchased an additional 2.3 acres, north and contiguous with the original 1952 tract. Grantor was Ionia Mills Dees (1889-1975), the widow of Cliff L. Dees. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 483, pp. 78-79)
In August 1977, the congregation elected to change its name to the First Baptist Church of Vancleave.
During the tenure of the Reverend Randy C. Davis from September 1979 until March 1993, the First Baptist Church of Vancleave grew exponentially. A second story was added to the educational building. Church membership increased from 279 people to over 1000 people. Five additional full-time staff members were added to what was once a singular staff. The budget blossomed to over $400,000 per year. In February 1986, the church fellowship had voted to commence a construction program, which would include a new sanctuary, additional educational space, and fellowship hall meeting room. By December 1988, the new sanctuary was dedicated.
From its humble beginnings at the turn of this Century, the First Baptist Church of Vancleave has grown with the community. In addition to ministering to its own flock, the Church has reached out to assist foreign missions with missionaries and money.
New Light Missionary Baptist Church (Black)(Section 9, T6S-R7W)
On September 14, 1901, W.H. Westfall and his wife, Laura Martin Westfall, conveyed a tract of land containing 4.79 acres (594 feet by 351 feet) in the SW/4,NE/4,NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W to the Deacons of the New Light Baptist Church. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 26, pp. 365-366) In the warranty deed, the following was related: "together with all and singular the rights and privileges, and appurtenances therewith belonging or in anywise appearing to have and to hold the same with appurtenances (as long as it is used as a church and burying ground but to return to W.H. Westfall and Laura V. Westfall as soon as it is no longer used as such)".
The New Light Missionary Baptist Church cemetery, called Cedar Grove, is west of the church. It is the final resting place for the founding families of the area: Reddix, Burney, Fairley, Bilbo, Williams, Carroway, Galloway, and Mayfield. The structure was moved to the northwest in 1997, with plans to renovate and convert it into a meeting hall. Hurricane Georges in October 1998, flattened the aged building. The debris will probably be removed from the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church grounds soon.
Fort Bayou Baptist Church-Seaman Road
(l-r: old sanctuary, image made December 1998; new sanctuary, image made December 2005)
Fort Bayou Baptist Church
In May 1924, Marland Hart conveyed to The Fort Bayou Baptist Church ½ acre in the NW/4, SE/4 of Section 14, T6S-R7W. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 70, pp. 450-451)
In October 1948, the Fort Bayou Baptist Church was reorganized? Reverend W.R. Storie, Charles J. Steelman, and the Reverend Allen Steelman of Ocean Springs attened the all day event. Dr. Green of Clark College, Newton, Mississippi brought Pete and Ernest Steelman with him to the affair.(The Daily Herald, October 6, 1948, p. 10)
In March 1975, Hubert L. Mallette to the Trustees of The Ft. Bayou Baptist Church, George W. Nobles, Robert W. Day, and Odell H. Ulmer.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 527, p. 200)
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ Located in the Evergreen Community.
Albert Glifton Miller
Albert G. Miller(1883-1951), a native of Three Rivers, Jackson County, Mississippi, served as pastor from 1932 until his death in late March 1951. In 1912, Reverend Miller married Elizabeth Barnes and became the loving father of four children: Rogene M. Locke, Adger Miller, Gomer Miller, and David Miller. He was a charitable man who was self-educated in the Bible and religion. Albert G. Miller was independent making his livelihood with his small farm and working jobs. (The Gulf Coast Times, April 5, 1951, p. 2)
Poticaw Bayou Road [image made April 1998]
Baptisms on July 20, 2008 in Moungers Creek
[images by Ray L. Bellande]
Later Timber Boom (1900-1930)
The commencement of the 20th Century at Vancleave was to be characterized by a rekindling of the local economy via the timber industry. Prior to this time, pioneer woodsmen, cutting parallel, sinuous swaths of timber on both sides of rivers and creeks, due to its propinquity to water, had exhausted this easily harvested sylvan resource. Timber that could not be exploited because of its distance from water-borne transportation routes was reached by standard gauge railroads. From the village of Vancleave, situated near the navigable headwaters of Bluff Creek, loggers went to the northwest and penetrated the longleaf pine forests for great distances to complete their conquest of this majestic virgin woodland. From Bluff Creek, logs were initially rafted to the sawmills at Moss Point.
With this economic uplift, the Vancleave region saw a population increase. New schools and churches and a hotel were erected. Two families, the Lockards and Dees, arrived during the early decades of the 20th Century and would have a strong influence on the chronology and economics of the region to the present day.
The L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company
The L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company of Moss Point was among the first to begin to harvest timber away from the streams and primitive roads. Prior to their entrée into the Vancleave area, it appears that Adam Blumer (1839-1915), a Swiss émigré, operated a small sawmill on one-acre in the SE/4,SE/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W. He acquired this tract from S.R. Byrd in April 1893. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 15, p. 640)
Adam Blumer arrived at Moss Point in 1872, from Handsboro were he had resided since his return from the Civil War and a short stay at Whistler, Alabama. At Moss Point, Mr. Blumer was engaged in the foundry and mercantile business. (The Moss Point Advertiser, March 5, 1915, p. 1, c. 5)
In January 1900, the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company shipped a crew of laborers and their equipement to Bluff Creek from their Moss Point docks aboard the schooner, Malvina S. Anderson. Dantzler’s work party was to commence their logging road in the Vancleave region. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 19, 1900)
In the Vancleave section, the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company operated as the Vancleave Lumber Company. Mr. L.J. McLeod (1874-1915), a native of Noxubee County, Mississippi, was the manager. (The Moss Point Advetiser, March 26, 1915, p. 1, c. 4)
Tony Howe, a local railroad historian and artist, summarizes the Dantzler Lumber Comany’s activities in the Vancleave region as follows:
In 1880, the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company built a large sawmill at Moss Point. To supply this mill with logs, Dantzler Lumber Company acquired large tracts of timberlands. By 1900, Dantzler owned 65,000 acres of timberland from Vancleave into Harrison County and what is now Stone County. To bring this timber to the mill, a railroad was built in 1900 from Vancleave toward the northwest. The logs were dumped into Bluff Creek and rafted to the sawmill at Moss Point. At his time, Dantzler Lumber Company also built a general merchandise store in Vancleave that was managed by James E. Lockard. By December of 1902, the Dantzlers decided to build a sawmill at Vancleave to cut logs brought in over their railroad. This mill was completed and placed in operation in May 1903. On June 1, 1903, the Vancleave Lumber Company was incorporated by the Dantzlers with a capital stock of $50,000. By 1916, the Dantzler Lumber Company railroad at Vancleave was over 20 miles long, and reached into Stone County. This railroad was probably connected with the Native Lumber Company railroad running eastward out of Howison, which was also owned by the Dantzlers. The sawmill at Vancleave was closed after a few years of operation, but the railroad continued to function until October 1926, when the remaining timber was removed. Shortly thereafter, the railroad was taken up and the rails sold for scrap. (Howe, November1998)
During its aproximate thirty-five years of operation in the Vancleave vicinity, the L.N. Dantler logging railroad operation used the standard gauge, type B, Shay geared locomotive. This machine was maufactured by the Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Company. (JXCO, Miss. Chattel Deed Book 4, pp. 539-540).
The rail operation had the following among it skilled employees during the 1910-1920 period: Blacksmith: Will E. Daniel
Engineers: Thomas Brown, Charles L. Grady, Brock Carson, Elbert A. Ryals (1887-1953), and Thomas L. Murphy (1875-1959). Machinist: Robert H. Rouse; Section Foreman: George M. Edge
For twenty-seven years, Charles Reed (1896-1989), a resident of the Greenhead community, worked for the Vancleave Lumber Company as a track-layer, log loader, and sawer. Initially, while toiling on a log loading crew, he earned $1.50 per day. This wage was later changed to $.75 for every 100 logs loaded on the rail car. As a log sawer, he and another man would cut over 1000 logs each week. (Reed to Marilena Ramsay Penton, 1973)
The September 1906 Hurricane struck a severe blow to the South Mississippi timber industry. The L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company had 200 million board feet of timber blown down. Heavy rainfall fell for three weeks prior to the September tempest. This precipitation softened the earth and the strong winds of the hurricane blew down or uprooted the pine trees. Fortunately there was an early Fall in 1906, and the devastated timber was not further flawed by sap loss or worms. Dantzler’s employees led by Posey N. Howell saved a high percentage of the fallen timber by utilizing portable sawmills to cut the trees at remote locations. Those storm-downed trees that could not be cut quickly were stored in ponds, lakes, and streams until they could be processed. (The History of The Dantzler Company) The storm also overturned an engine and three log cars from the company’s tram railroad at Vancleave. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 5, 1906.
Posey N. Howell (1881-c. 1952) became known as the "Father of Mississippi Forestry". For fifty years, he toiled as the Forester and Land Agent for the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company. Howell would ride through the countryside posting signs to trees that read: "Leave This Tree"; "Mother Tree Bears Seeds"; or "Do Not Cut This Mother Tree". Circa 1926, he established the first private tree plantation in Mississippi. (Down South, January-February 1962, p. 5)
1922 tram accident
Josie Page killed and Scott Goff narrowly escapes injury.(see The Jackson County Times, January 28, 1922, p. 1)
The Telephone Arrives
In June 1899, the Board of Supervisors granted rights to operate and maintain telephone and telegraph lines in Jackson County to the American Telephone & Telegraph Company of Mississippi. (JXCO Bd. Of Supervisors, Minute Book 3, June1899, p. 345)
In December 1901, The Ocean Springs Progress announced: "that a telephone line will soon be established between Ocean Springs and Vancleave, and probably Daisy and Brewton. The telephone people are seriously contemplating the venture."(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 3, 1901)
In December 1911, the Fort Bayou Telephone Company, a cooperative composed of landowners and farmers, was organized at Ocean Springs. John H. Behrens (1848-1918), a German immigrant residing at Chicago, was the president, Ralph M. Spaulding (1876-1959), vice president, and S.C. Spencer (1867-1959), secretary. Mr. Behrens was also president of the Fort Bayou Fruit Company, which operated a citrus and pecan orchard south of Vancleave. Circa 1911, he built and maintained "Terrace Hill", his home on Martin Avenue at Ocean Springs. The Fort Bayou Telephone Company proposed to run a line north of Fort Bayou to the A.E. Lewis place and one east to Fontainebleau. There were ten subscribers to its service. (The Ocean SpringsNews, December 23, 1911)
Alfred E. Lewis (1862-1933), who founded the water system at Ocean Springs, resided at his country estate called "Sweetheart". It was located in Sections 23 and 24, T6S-R8W. The H.P. Davis family resides on a portion of the former Lewis place today. It is believed that circa 1912, the first telephone to reach Vancleave, was owned by Sidney J. Anderson (1867-1917), the proprietor of a large mercantile store on Bluff Creek. Cliff Dees (1886-1963) purchased the telephone system from the heirs of Sydney J. Anderson in 1917. (The Ocean Springs Record, January 12, 1995, p. 14) Annie Roberts (1890-1920+) was the telephone operator at Vancleave in 1920.
Modern dial telephone service did not reach Vancleave until early September 1950. The Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company laid a telephone cable, from Ocean Springs to connect with the telephone exchange there. At Vancleave, the dial switching equipment was housed in a new building erected near the American Legion home. About 160 people were expected to subscribe to the new telephone service (The Gulf Coast Times, August 4, 1950, p. 1, c. 7)
Upon completion of the new telephone system, a celebration was planned for September 1, 1950, in the Vancleave Consolidated School. A motion picture made recently of Vancleave and vicinity by Southern Bell was to be shown to invited guests. (The Gulf Coast Times, August 18, 1950, p. 1)
Inclement weather postponed the celebration to September 15, 1950. O.H. Longcoy, manager of Southern Bell at Biloxi, and A.P. Moran, president of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, spoke at the ceremonies. (The Gulf Coast Times, September 15, 1950, p. 1, c. 1)
Oil in them woods? Atlas No. 1 Woodman drilled in 1917. Reported show of natural gas and oil at a depth of 1000 feet. In July 1917. (The Daily Herald, July 7, 1917, p. 5)
James E. Lockard-Merchant and Farmer
With more people coming into the Vancleave region, James E. Lockard (1862-1951), the commissary manager of the Vancleave Lumber Company, recognized an opportunity and opened his own store circa 1917. In 1910, when he was employed by Dantzler, Willis Broadus, William Martin, W.H. Westfall, and Sydney J. Anderson were all active in the mercantile trade at Vancleave. The Lockard store was located about where Coles Corner is today, i.e. on Poticaw Bayou Road near Ms. Highway 57. In addition, Mr. Lockard acquired two trading schooners, the Excel and the Mabel Judlin, to use in the Vancleave-New Orleans charcoal trade. He also ran a turpentine still at Vancleave. (Jacob Lockard, December 1994)
James E. Lockard was born at York, Sumter County, Alabama. His father was a native of South Carolina, and his mother was born in Alabama. As a young man, J. E. Lockard worked in Meridian, Mississippi at a mercantile store, possibly that of Ross Swarthenburg. Here he met and fell in love with Catherine Thompson (1868-1954), an attractive young lady from Oxford. They married in 1893. The Lockards had six children: Lulie Mae Lockard (1894-1960), William E. Lockard (1896-1966+), Dr. James N. Lockard (1899-1966), Annie L. Lord (1901-1989), Amanda Lockard (1905-1908), and Jacob Lockard (1909-1998). (Ibid.)
Mr. Lockard began farming two hundred-twenty acres of land in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, but lost everything in the Panic of 1893. Circa 1901, he came to Vancleave when L.N. Dantzler wrote him a letter offering him a position in the company store of the Vancleave Lumber Company. In 1905, J.E. Lockard began acquiring land in the Flurry Hill area on Greenhead Road (now Jim Ramsay Road), west of Vancleave. Soon, he owned all of Section 1, T6S-R8W, except the NE/4, SE/4. (Ibid.)
The Lockard homestead was considered the 160-acres comprising the S/2 of the SE/4 and the E/2 of the SW/4 of Section 1, T6S-R8W. (JXCO Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 12417, March 1947) Their home is believed to have been the first in the Vancleave region to have had indoor plumbing. (Jacob Lockard, December 1994)
At his Flurry Hill farm, Mr. Lockard experimented with agricultural crops. In 1915, he grew cotton and winter strawberries. He wrote The Ocean Springs News in December 1915, describing his strawberries: "I am sending these not to boost or advertise, as I have no plants or berries for sale, nor do I have to have, as I have a market within my own household; but I noticed that your paper boosts the resources of our county more than any of the other county papers, therefore thought I would give you one more subject to show the advantages of our climate and soil. These berries were grown out in the open, without artificial protection. (The Ocean Springs News, December 16, 1915, p. 1)
James E. Lockard in addition to his entrepreneurship was highly responsible for improving the quality of the educational system at Vancleave. He brought in Beulah Cecile Hudnall (1890-1959), a teacher from Hattiesburg, to educate his children. In 1914, Miss Hudnall married James A. Ramsay (1883-1961), the son of Thomas E. Ramsay (1845-1934) and Eva C. Christian (1853-1899). (Marilena R. Penton, December 1998)
Circa 1907, the Vancleave Consolidated School District was created. In 1913, James E. Lockard designed the school building located in the flood plains of Bluff and Moungers Creek. He also donated half of the lumber utilized in its construction. Although it was destroyed by fire in 1942, "the Old Vancleave High School" is remembered with much affection by its former graduates. (The History of JXCO, Mississippi, 1989, p. 69)
James E. Lockard expired on June 9, 1951. His remains and those of Mrs. Kate T. Lockard were interred in the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1 on Jim Ramsay Road.
20th Century Schools
The Evergreen School (ca 1900-1916?)
The Evergreen School existed in the early part of the 20th Century in the John’s Bayou region east of Vancleave. It was very probably located in the SW/4 of Section 24, T6S-R7W, although in October 1912, Albert and Druisilla Goff sold for $2.00, to the Trustees of this school one-acre in the NE/4,SE/4 of Section 14, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 41, pp. 619-620)
In the 1900-1901 school session, Eunice Havens taught 31 students from the Ware, McMillan, Roberts, Barnes, Booker, and Noble families. She earned $25 per month. Other educators of the Evergreen School beteen 1902 and 1916 were: Fannie Maie Carter, Lena Phillips, Della Graham, Lula Graham, Mamie Farr, Helen C. Starks, Theresa Starks, Mary Starks, Laura Ott, Kate Pinson, E. Dickerson, and V. Barlow. Local families to send their children to this institution during its existence were: Rogers, Phillips, Wattson, Tanner, McMillan, Carter, Goff, Barnes, Carlander, Benson, Cochran, Ware, and Roberts. (Jackson County Archives, Pascagoula, Mississippi-Evergreen School open files)
The Vancleave Academy
In November 1902, Vancleave pioneer citizen, Willis Broadus (1834-1919), sold ¼ acre to the Trustees of the Vancleave Academy. This school tract was located in the SE/4,NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 32, pp. 563-564). School records in the Jackson County Archives at Pascagoula indicate that the Vancleave School of 1906-1907, was taught by Lena Carson. There were 31 students with over 30% of the children from the Juan, Broadus, Martin, and Lockard families. The others represented the families of Trehern, Morris, Havens, Rouse, and Frances. It is not known with a high degree of certitude if these two institutions, the Vancleave Academy and Vancleave School, were one and the same. No further information.
The 1st Vancleave High School (1907-1942)
In August 1907, Willis Broadus (1834-1919) sold one acre in the SE/4,SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W to the Trustees of the Vancleave High School. (JXCO Land Deed Book 32, p. 564) This site on the south side of Poticaw Bayou Road and just west of Moungers Creek became what is known today in the minds and hearts of most nostalgic, indigenous, senior citizens of the area, as the "Old Vancleave High School".
"Old Vancleave High School (image October 1966)
At the commencement of the 1907 school session, the Ramsay School in Section 16, T6S-R7W, was united with this school to form the Vancleave Consolidated School District. By 1913, three other area schools were closed and joined with the Vancleave school district. In the early years of the Vancleave High School, students were transported to class in horse-drawn wagons. School buses replaced wagons. (WPA for Miss. (1936-1938), p. 286)
Early Vancleave "school bus"
(far right-Norman W. Ramsay (1879-1936)
Initially, the Vancleave High School was a one-room structure. Circa 1913, James E. Lockard (1862-1951) designed an octagon-shaped building when the original building was refurbished. The Lockard design had the auditorium in the center and the classrooms radiating outwards like spokes from a wagon-wheel. George W. Noble (1877-1947) cut the timber and lumber for the structure. (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 69)
In the 1920s, with Victor G. Humphrey (1885-1942) as principal, Norman W. Ramsay (1879-1936), J.V. Carter, and George W. Noble as school trustees, and a dedicated staff of educators, the Vancleave High School made remarkable strides in educating the white children of the Piney Woods region, surrounding the Vancleave community. In 1925, the Smith-Hughes Agriculture and Home Economics courses were instituted at the high school. (WPA for Miss., (1936-1938), p. 286)
Agricultural teachers home
A home, known as the Smith-Hughes home, from a legislative act, which funded agricultural education, was erected for the agricultural teacher. The lot for this structure was probably acquired from the Dantzler Lumber Company. It was situated on the east side of Highway 57 in the SW/4,NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. The Vancleave Public Library occupies this site today. A study hall for the high school students, which was united by a breezeway to the teacher’s home, was added after the destructive1942 fire. When the library was erected in 1988-1989, the agricultural teacher’s home was moved to Breeland Road and is now the residence of Lewis Faulk.
In approximate chronological order, some of the former agricultural teachers at Vancleave High School were: Mr. Thomson, Leland R. Abel, Mr. Beechum, Solomon F. Davis, C.R. Brown, James L. Garner, O.K. Breland, and Mr. McClesky. (Kip Dees, December 14, 1998)
Vancleave Consolidated Vocational High School
By the mid-1930s, the Vancleve High school School was designated as the Vancleave Consolidated Vocational High School. The institution was the beneficiary of government aid in its vocational agriculture and home economics courses. Special instruction was given in household arts, domestic training, music, physical culture, shorthand, typing, and book keeping. Elementary, junior, and senior high classes were held in the same schoolhouse.
School children had teeth examined and cleaned by a representative of the Mississippi Health Department. Health nurse vaccinated pupils for typhoid fever, diphtheria and small pox. (The Daily Herald, March 9, 1929, p. 8)
The Reverend Hodge, pastor of the 1st Baptist Church of Biloxi, came to Vancleave in mid-May 1935 for a baccalaureate service for the Class of 1935: Eulys Tootle; Sula Mallette; Evelyn Bonham; Ivon Tootle; cat Vaughn; Minor Noble; Austin Graham; and Buck Carter. The Junior Class had entertained the seniors on May 11th.(The Daily Herald, may 16, 1935, p. 2)
The Vancleave High School had an excellent library for its pupil ratio. In 1936, there were over 3000 volumes. V.G. Humphrey and Miss Susie W. Vaughn (1869-1972) were leaders in this endeavor. They assisted in the formation of the Vancleave Library Association, which met monthly to promote the school and improve the library. It served as a surrogate for a Parent-Teachers Association which did not exist at the time. Extra curricular activities at the school consisted of drama and debate clubs, the Hi-Y, and the Girl Reserves. A cafeteria served W.P.A. lunches. (WPA for Miss. (1936-1938), p. 289)
Vancleave High School-Class 1941
[Top, L-R: Thelma Roberts; Polly Havens; Joyce 'Joe' Groves; Marion Roberts Capers; Louise Griffin; Joyce Parker; Carol Carter; Catherine 'Little Cat' Wilson; Johnson Ware; and Chillie 'Buck' Griffin.
Bottom, L-R: Charlie Ryals; Velma Graham; Odessa Rogers; Clifton Malachi 'Kipp' Dees; and Doris Hawley Davis.(Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees, September 2007)
The old Vancleave High School burned late in the evening of May 20, 1942. Arson was suspected. (The Jackson County Times, May 23, 1942, p. 1, c. 5)
W.C. Havens, the caretaker who resided on the school property, discovered the conflagration. Casualty losses were placed at $20,000, which included the school, garage, laboratory, and janitor’s home. State-owned schoolbooks, furnished to the lower eight grades and valued at nearly $1000, were also destroyed. School superintendent, S.S. Wall, and A.F. Megehee, County Superintendent of Education, estimated that $50,000 would be needed to replace the Vancleave educational facility. (The Chronicle-Star, May 22, 1942, p. 1)
From 1942 until 1947, classes of the Vancleave High School were held in the Vancleave Baptist Church, the agricultural teacher’s home, and an old WW II barrack moved in from Gulfport Field. This onerous situation was eliminated when a new high school was completed in 1947. (Ivan Ellis, December 11, 1998)
Billy Depriest, black janitor, lived on the hill behind Cole’s store. Cleaned school immaculately. (Fletcher, 12-22-1998)
The 2nd Vancleave High School (1947-1983)
In May 1939, The Jackson County Times announced that Vancleave was going to get a modern, 12-teacher school, which would cost $60,000. The electorate of the community voted 238 for and only 34 against a $33,000 school bond issue. PWA provided a $27,000 grant for the project. (The Jackson County Times, May 13, 1939, p. 1, c. 7)
This educational facility was located in the NW/4,NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, in a pecan orchard behind the Will Westfall store. (The Chronicle-Star, February 3, 1943, p. 1)
2nd Vancleave High School (image made December 1994)
Now Vancleave Junior High School
The land on which to erect the school was conveyed to the County by two parties, the Ocean Springs State Bank and Florence W. Humphreys (1883-1965+), the widow of V.G. Humphreys (1885-1942). In March 1943, the Ocean Springs State Bank for $925, conveyed to Jackson County the SE/4,SW/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W and all that part of the NW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W which lie south and west of Highway 59 (now Highway 57). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 95, p. 51)
The County acquired the NE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, except a portion sold to the Newlight Baptist Church by W.H. Westfall in 1904, from Florence W. Humphrey. (JXCO Land Deed Book 95, pp. 49-50)
Architects for new Vancleave High School were Carl Oschner and L.C. Winterton of New Orleans. (The Chronicle-Star, February 3, 1943, p. 1, c. 6)
O.H. Pittman and his son, Clifford Pittman, contractors from New Orleans, built the new school. Clifford Pittman married Renee J. Groves, the sister of Joyce Groves who graduated with the first class in May 1948. Other members of this class were: Roy Roberts, Clifton Davis, Edmond Jennings, Ivan Ellis, Marshall Roberts, Jimmy Flurry, Bob Roberts, L. Dean Faulk, Doris Tillman, and Clyte Olsen. ( Kip Dees, December 14, 1998)
There have been at least four additions to this facility through the years. Dates for three are presently known: a 1962 addition designed by W.R. Allen Jr. (1911-1985) and erected by W.L. Easterling, contractor; a 1969 addition to the Vancleave Elementary School, W.R. Allen Jr., architect, and built by general contractor, C.R. McClendon; and a 1970 addition also designed by W.R. Allen Jr. with C.E. Frazier, contractor.
The 3rd Vancleave High School (1983 to present)
The newest high school at Vancleave is located in the SW/4,NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. In December 1981, Arthur H. Quave, President of the Jackson County Board of Education and Trustees met at Pascagoula. They voted to erect this school and the land was conveyed to the Public in January 1982. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 732, pp. 21-24)
Architects for this project, which was completed in 1983, were Slaughter & Allred of Pascagoula. Advance Construction Company was the General Contractor. An addition to this modern facility was completed in 1997, by the Stewart Construction Company. Slaughter, Allred, & McNabb were the architects.
The Live Oak Pond School (1917-1967?)
The Live Oak Pond School, also called the Live Oak Pond Indian-Creole School, was created by the Jackson County Board of Education as an elementary educational facility to educate children of the "Creole Race". It was was sponsored by the Baptist Missionary Society. People, primarily of Indian descent, probably Muskegon in origin, who had intermarried with Colonial French, Spanish, or Black families, were called "Creoles" by the local populace. WPA writers during the Depression wrote that the Creole School at Vancleave was: "attended by the children of Indian, Spanish, French, and Negro blood, who are called by the misnomer "Creole". It is said that in some of this group still flows the blood of the Biloxi Indians; however, the percentage of Indian and Negro is small". (1699 to Present, WPA and The Daily Herald, February 2, 1932, p. 2)
In 1939, the Superintendent of the Jackson County Public Schools wrote Miss Mary C. O’Keefe (1893-1980), Superintendent of the Ocean Springs Municipal School, a letter concerning the Live Oak Pond School. It read as follows: The Live Oak Pond School was created for Creoles and people of mixed blood. The Vancleave White School and other white schools do not permit these people to attend their schools. It is unfortunate for the children, but of course you know that our race question is a social problem.
The original Creole School was located in the NW/4,SW/4 of Section 20, T5S-R7W on a one-acre tract conveyed to the Trustees of the Live Oak Pond School in May 1919, by Edward Bang. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Book 46, p. 550)
It was a wood-frame building costing $400. It was replaced in 1928, with another wood-frame structure built by patron labor for about $1000. This building had two rooms for elementary educational instructions. The larger space also served as an auditorium and for religious services, especially Sunday School. The rooms were ventilated by doors and windows. There was a water well and toilets. Class rooms were furnished with desks, maps, charts, globes, and limited equipment for home economics. Although more than two-thirds of the students lived more than two miles from the Live Oak Pond School, there was no transportation for them until the mid-1930s, when Tony Carroll was hired as a driver for $74.50 per month. (JXCO Archives, Live Oak Pond School, open file)
It is believed that the Reverend Benjamin Henry Ellis (1863-1947) was the first instructor for the Live Oak Pond School. He may have inaugurated classes here as early as 1917. Peter Dubois (1861-1920+), a French émigré who came to America in 1882, joined him in 1918. The 1918 class had 47 pupils (31 male and 16 female). Through the years, children of the following families were generally in attendance at this school: Bang, Ely, Waltman, Carroll, Forehand, Shoemaker, Moore, Ladnier, Tanner, Goff, Bagot (Bigot or Begeaux), and Belton. (Ibid.)
School records exist that indicate from 1920 to 1934, the Reverend Benjamin Henry Ellis (1863-1947) taught grades four thru eight at this Creole elementary school. His wife, Clara Cheever Ellis (1873-1932), assisted him until her demise in Febraury 1932. His daughter, S. Gwendolen Ellis, taught with Reverend Ellis during his final two years at the school. (Ibid.) She was educated at Clarke Memorial College in Newton, Mississippi. (The Chronicle-Star, December 24, 1926, p. 4)
Benjamin H. Ellis
Benjamin H. Ellis (1863-1947) was born at Himrod, Yates County, New York, the son of Martin Ellis and Sarah Carpenter. His brother, Edward Ellis, became a medical doctor in New York. Ellis was educated in Himrod and at Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties, in southern Michigan. Ellis attended elementary and middle schools in Lenawee County. He acquired two degrees from Hillsdale College, a Philosophy degree in 1883 and a Divinity degree in 1897. The Reverend Ellis also attended in the summers of 1923 and 1925 respectively, probably for special course work, the Mississippi Normal College (now USM) and Mississippi College. (Ibid.)
Reverend Ellis married Clara Cheever (1873-1932), the daughter of George Cheever and Margaret Chapin. She was a native of Osseo, Hillsdale County, Michigan. The Ellises were the parents of Ivan C. Ellis (1899-1978), B. Edward Ellis (1901-1983), George L. Ellis, Margaret E. Havens (1904-1984), S. Gwendolen E. Summers, Edna Ellis Hewitt Tisdel, and Anna Ruth E. Murphy (1914-1988). It is believed that the Ellis family came to Pascagoula from the Midwest in 1905, but didn’t relocate to the Vancleave region until 1921. Clara Cheever Ellis died at the Biloxi Hospital on February 1, 1932. She was prominent in Baptist missionary work and taught at the Live Oak Pond School with her husband.(The Daily Herald, February 2, 1932, p. 2 and Chronicle Star, February 5, 1932, p. 1, c. 6)
Ellis family lore relates that a Mr. DeFuniak of the L&N Railroad enticed Mr. Ellis to come South and sell railroad lands. Ellis later went to work for the City of Pascagoula where he was active in getting a channel dredged to Horn Island Pass which brought the Port of Pascagoula to the world’s shipping lanes. (Ivan Ellis, December 11, 1998)
Reverend Ellis was the pastor at the Vancleave Baptist Church from June 1912 until July 1916. He announced his resignation on December 5, 1915, and hoped to have a young man from Mississippi College replace him. (The Ocean Springs News, December 16, 1915, p. 5)
Benjamin H. Ellis expired at Meridian, Mississippi on February 2, 1947. Thus ended the life of this most special man who shared his life in ministering to and educating those less fortunate in the Piney Woods. His corporal remains and those of his wife, Clara Cheever Ellis, are interred in the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1. (The Chronicle Star, February 7, 1947, p. 1)
Ivan Ellis and spouse were foreign missionaries at one time in their careers. They spent the summer of 1926 at Detroit before obtaining their commission from the China Inland International Mission at Toronto. The Ellises departed Vancouver, British Columbia for China in the fall of 1926. (The Daily Herald, August 2, 1926, p. 3)
Until the mid-1940s, Creole children at the Live Oak Pond School were taught primarily by Cammie W. Wilson (1904-1969) and Nolle M. Carter. Compensation at this time was $65 per month for the principal teacher and $50 for the assistant instructor. Others educators at the Creole School during this era, were Austin and Audrey Graham, Fannie Flurry Mallette, H.M. Breeland, Mrs. Emily Davis, and Juanita Wilson. Luther F. Wilkerson and Ruth R. Fairly served the school for the remainder of the 1940s.
In 1950, the Live Oak Pond School was relocated to a 1.5-acre site on Woodman Hill just north of Poticaw Bayou Road in the SW/4,SE/4 of Section 10, T6S-R7W. The land for the new school was obtained from Eugene and Celeste Bang in January 1950. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 111, p. 311)
A concrete-block structure with two classrooms for grades 1-8, and a cafeteria, which seated twenty-five pupils was erected on the site. Among the educators at the new Creole School were: Ruth R. Fairly, Nolle M. Carter, Mrs. R.M. Roberts, Mrs. Willie Goff Rouse, Mary L. Havens, and Richard H. Campbell. Salaries at this time were about $170 per month for the eight-month school year.
It is believed that the Creole School closed and was integrated into the Jackson County Public School system after the school desegregation laws were implemented in the late 1960s.
The Vancleave Middle School (1990 to present)
This educational facility is located in Section 16, T6S-R7W adjacent to the new Vancleave High School. It was designed by the architectural firm of Slaughter & Allred of Pascagoula and built by general contractor, Fletcher Construction Company.
The Lower Elementary School
Vancleave Lower Elementary School
The newest building in the Vancleave School District is located in SE/4, NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. It is known as the Lower Elementary School because it will provide facilities for children in grades K thru 2. Construction here commenced in December 1997, with G.M. and R. Construction Company, Inc. of Bay St. Louis as general contractor on a 15-acre tract dedicated for the school site by the Jackson County Board of Education in November 1994.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 1057, p. 301)
The Pascagoula architectural firm of Slaughter, Allred, & McNabb designed the structure, which was completed in 1998.
An addition to this plant was under construction in the fall of 2005, with J.O. Collins of Biloxi as the builder.
The Automobile Arrives
Who had the first automobile at Vancleave? Unfortunately too much time has passed and little anecdotal history exists about this matter. Intuition would lead one to speculate that Dr. S.R. Ratliff, W.H. Westfall, Dr. Rob N. Murphy, and James E. Lockard were certainly among the first to own a horseless carriage at Vancleave. It is known that in 1915, Dr. James P. Kennedy, a native of Pinola, Mississippi and a physician working in the Vancleave area, owned a Donovan machine. (The Ocean Springs News, September 30, 1915, p. 1, c. 1)
Circa 1916, Eugene Reddix ran a taxi service to the New Prospect Camp Ground, Ocean Springs, and other places. He transported customers in a Model-T Ford. (Florence M. Cosey, November 5, 1998)
Cliff L. Dees also had a taxi service, which he established circa 1920, when he operated the Red Cash Store. Mr. Dees employed Roy Lee Martin, Bud Skinner, and Ray A. Havens (1901-1981) as chauffeurs. Skinner was a German who excelled at mechanical repairs while Havens was a telephone and radio expert. The Dees taxi service utilized two Model-T Fords and the taxi fare to Biloxi cost about $3.75. Cliff Dees personally drove a Studebaker. (C.M. "Kipp" Dees, December 20, 1998)
Cecile Hudnall Ramsay (1890-1959) is believed to have been one of the first female drivers in the region. (Marilena R. Penton, December 5, 1998)
The Jackson County Fair
In 1914, the Jackson County Fair and Mississippi Day Celebration commenced at Vancleave. The fair was held on the high school grounds. It promoted the agricultural, commercial, industrial, and social advantages of Jackson County, as well as encouraging better agricultural methods. This event allowed time for relaxation, recreation, and renewal of friendships amongst neighbors and newcomers alike. Premium ribbons were awarded to exhibitors in the following classes: agriculture, livestock, fruits, horticulture, poultry, culinary, flowers, fancy work, education, and better babies contest. (The Pascagoula Chronicle, November 25, 1916, p. 1, c. 6)
The Jackson County Fair moved to Pascagoula, but returned to Vancleave circa 1937 for one last time. It is believed that it has been held at the County seat, possibly with the exception of the WWII years, since this time. (C.M. "Kipp" Dees, December 20, 1998)
Pecans and Citrus
The late 19th Century development of pecan and citrus orchards that began at Ocean Springs, Fort Bayou, and Fontainebleau slowly moved northeasterly up the Ocean Springs-Vancleave Road. By 1910, pecan and some citrus crops were developing primarily south of Vancleave along Mississippi Highway No. 59 (now Highway No. 57). Some of the early pecan and citrus growers in the west Jackson County region south of Vancleave were: Mary Witt Richardson, H.S. Davis & Sons, Albert L. Orrell, The Fort Bayou Fruit Company-Behrens Pecan Orchards, Inc., and Victor G. Humphrey.
Cliff L. Dees bought and brokered pecans at his mercantile store on Highway 59. (C.M. "Kipp" Dees, December 20, 1998)
Frank H. Lewis (1865-1930), the "Pecan Man", from Pascagoula also bought pecans from Vancleave orchardmen. (Elsie Havens Fletcher, December 22, 1998)
Mary Witt Richardson (1849-1927)
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.
A May 1892, guest of Mrs. Richardson noted her Le Conte and Kiefer pear orhcards, young peach orchard, and hundreds of two year old trees for the next year market. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, may 20, 1892, p. 2)
In May 1906, Mary W. Richardson acquired the Oren Switzer home on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Porter for $1700. At the same time, her daughter, Mrs. J.P. VanCleave, bought the south half of Mr. Switzer’s lot on Washington Avenue for $1400. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, pp. 260-261)
Destroyed in the Big Fire of 1916. She later moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to be with the Junius P. VanCleaves. 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)
Henry Simeon Davis (1853-1917)
Henry S. Davis was the son of Samuel Davis (1804-1879) and Alvira Ward (1821-1901). He married Olena Ellis (1855-1928). Their children were: Hal P. Davis (1879-1959), Earl S. Davis (1882-1968), Howard W. Davis (1885-1966), Douglas O. Davis (1887-1970), Philip L. Davis (1890-1977), Clifton B. Davis (1891-1973), and Roy D. Davis (1895-1896).
In October 1888, Henry S. Davis bought the NE/4 of Section 20, T6S-R7W from his brother, George W. Davis. Here he farmed and had pecan orchards. The H.S. Davis place was called "Ingleside". (JXCO Land Deed Bk 32, p. 620)
In January 1901, H.S. Davis advertised "Ingleside" as "Headquarters for the HUNTSMAN and TOURIST. Boarding and Lodging By day, Week or Month. Those who are fond of hunting can exercise their delight because of the always quick supply of Quail and other birds. For further particulars, apply or address Henry S. Davis, Proproetor, Vancleave, Mississippi".
Before her demise in 1928, Mrs. Ollie P. Davis legated that her rural estate, which at that time, consisted of 140 acres of land in Section 20, T6S-R7W, was to be divided equally between her four sons: H.P. Davis, E.S. Davis, Doug O. Davis, and Clifton B. Davis. Philip L. Davis received $300 and H.W. Davis $100. H.W. Davis had been given 20 acres of land by his father before his demise in 1917. (Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 5522)
Curtis Lee Davis (1927-2012) resided on the former H.S. Davis place today on Highway 57 in south Vancleave.
Albert L. Orrell (1867-1937)
Albert L. Orrell married Ida Ramsay (1873-1936), the daughter of Sardin G. Ramsay (1837-1920) and Lula Ramsay (1851-1886). She began acquiring land in the NE/4 of Section 29, T6S-R7W in 1904. Her uncle, A.W. Ramsay, conveyed to her eighty acres, the NE/4 and the NW/4, in that quarter-section in March 1904. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 28, pp. 463-464) Also in March 1904, Sardin G. Ramsay, her father, sold Ida R. Orrell forty-acres, the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 29, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Book 28, p. 465)
The Daily Herald related in September 1926, that Albert Orrell had five acres of pecan trees, which were expected to yield 2500 pounds of nuts of the finer variety. Between the tree rows, there was a corn crop anticipated to produce 200 bushels of corn. The market value of this combined crop was $1000 or $200 per acre for the five acre field. The hay crop which would be cut later was lagniappe. (The Daily Herald, September 18, 1926, p. 7)
Before his venture into farming Mr. Orrell had worked in the Jackson County pioneer turpentine industry with his father, John C. Orrell (1830-1917). He was an accomplised land surveyor and was very familiar with the lands of the Vancleave region. Orrell ran for Beat 5 Supervisor in 1931. (The Chronicle Star, June 19, 1931, p. 1)
The Fort Bayou Fruit Company-Behrens Pecan Orchards, Inc.
This organization was founded by John H. Behrens (1848-1918), Parker A. Jenks, and John Vennema of Chicago in 1909, with the intent to raise and sell nuts, fruits, trees, grains and other crops in Mississippi. (The Ocean Springs News, December 18, 1909, p. 8)
John H. Behrens, the president of the company, was born in Germany. He married Agnes Sievers (1860-1920) and they parented five children: Frieda B. Hollweg, Louise Behrens (1885-1918+), George Behrens, Clara B. Boyd, and Martha B. Quin. The family resided at Highlands Park, Illinois. Mr. Behrens made his livelihood in Chicago as president of the Franklin Engraving and Electrotyping Company and the Chicago Colortype Company. (The Jackson County Times, July 27, 1918, p. 5, c. 3)
Upon retirement, he moved to Ocean Springs, and in May 1910, purchased the Austin place on Martin Avenue from Miss Mattie M. Austin (1842-1916), the daughter of Dr. William G. Austin (1814-1891) and Martha E. Porter (1818-1898) of New Orleans. (JXCO Land Deed Book 35, pp. 508-509) Dr. Austin erected the Ocean springs Hotel in 1853.
It is believed that circa 1911, Mr. Behrens built a home or seriously refurbished the old Austin place, which he called, Terrace Hill, at present day 415 Martin Avenue. It is now the Robert L. Hoomes (1924-2000) residence.
In February 1910, The Fort Bayou Fruit Company began to acquire acreage in Section 31, T6S-R7W, southwest of the A.L. Orrell place on Highway 59 (now Highway 57). Here 100 acres were purchased from Mary Witt Richardson (1849-1927) for $1000. (JXCO Land Deed Book 35, pp. 369-370).
Here on these cut-over timberlands abounding with tree stumps, Behrens with his strong Teutonic work ethic, converted the pine barrens to a money-making, agricultural venture. Pecans, oranges, grape fruit, persimmon, and fig along with corn, Irish potatoes, cowpeas, cabbage, tomatoes, melons, and cantaloupes were planted. In regards to pecans and citrus, J.H. Behrens cultivated 750 pecans of the best varieties, 2250 satsuma oranges, 350 grapefruit, and over 350 Japanese persimmons. Frank Flowers (1872-1931), a Kentucky native, was the working farm manager. (The Ocean Springs News, May 27, 1911, p. 1, c. 7)
The Behren’s farm won first prize at the Gulfport Fair in October 1910, for their white corn. Their fields yielded 80 bushels per acre of uniform, quality corn. (The Ocean Springs News, October 1910)
In December 1913, J.H. Behrens of the Fort Bayou Fruit Company bought additional acreage for $600, the NW/4 of the SW/4 of Section 32, T6S-R7W, from Isabella Johnson of Mobile County. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 39, pp. 634-635)
In July 1915, a windmill and pumping outlet were added to the Behrens’s farm to provide a steady supply of water for their livestock. (The Ocean Springs News, July 1, 1915)
After the demise of John H. Behrens in July 1918, the name of the Fort Bayou Fruit Company was changed to the Behrens Pecan Orchards, Inc. with his son, George A. Behrens, president and John Vennema, secretary. In May 1924 and April 1926, George A. Behrens personally acquired 80 acres, the SW/4 of the NW/4 of Section 32, T6S-R7W and the NW/4 of the SW/4 of Section 32, T6S-R7W, from Tony Mallette (1894-1957) and the Behrens Pecan Orchards, Inc., respectively. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 54, p. 49 and JXCO Land Deed Bk. 60, p. 626)
George A. Behrens called his south Vancleave farm, Twin Pines Ranch. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Behrens, Katheryn Jane Behrens, married Ulmer Wilson of Vancleave on August 14, 1935. They resided initially on the Behrens’s farm. (The Jackson County Times, August 17, 1935) No further information.
Victor Grant Humphrey (1885-1942)
Victor G. Humphrey was born at Pawnee, Nebraska, the son of George W. Humphrey, a New Yorker, and Ida Briggs, a native of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. He was married to Florence E. Waugh (1883-1965+). In 1912, Mr. Humphrey and Augustus B. Casey established the "Felicity Farm" with the purchase of 280 acres in the SE/4 of Section 19 and the SW/4 and the SE/4 of Section 20, T6S-R7W, just north of the A.L. Orrell farm and orchards. Land acquistions here were made from Henry P. Davis, Mary Witt Richardson, and A.L. Orrell respectively. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 38, pp. 125-126, Bk. 38, pp. 321-322, and Bk. 38, p. 452)
Mr. Humphrey was a graduate of the University of Nebraska law school. During WWI, he served in France where he received a divisonal citation for gallantry. After this conflict, he returned to Vancleave were he was principal of the Vancleave High School and a primary organizer of the school’s fine library. Mr. Humphrey joined the Ocean Springs State Bank in 1933, and became president of that institution circa 1939. Humphrey was active in the Ocean Springs Rotary Club and at the time of his demise was the president of the United Poultry Producers of Ocean Springs. His wife and sister, Miss Guess Humphrey (1881-1951), survived him. The corporal remains of Victor G. Humphrey are interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs. (The Daily Herald, January 26, 1942, p. 6, c. 7)
In the 1960s, Mrs. V.G. Humphrey sold the Felicity Farm to the Ramsay family. Humphrey Farms Inc., a land development corporation, headed by George J. Sliman Jr. (1934-1997) and W.C. Rhodes acquired the former Humphrey farm lands in 1971. They platted an 84 lot subdivision in the SE/4 of Section 19 and the S/2 of Section 20, T6S-R7W in September 1972. (JXCO Plat Bk 13, p. 42) The 1st Addition to the Humphrey Farm Subdivision, which consists of 14 lots, was opened by Sliman and Rhodes in May 1975. (JXCO Plat Bk. 14, p. 45)
NORTH VANCLEAVE GROWERS
Among the orchardmen who cultivated pecans in the north Vancleave region were: William Randall Havens (1870-1951), W.R. David (1869-1919) and Upton S. David (1908-1993), G. Anders Tootle (1891-1967), J. Lewis Tootle (1886-1957), R.J. VanHorn (1882-1963), Thure A. Palmquist (1883-1930), and William Z. Fletcher (1895-1973+). A brief history of their lands and lives follows:
William R. Havens (1870-1951)
The William R. Havens home, plantation and pecan orchards were located in the W/2 of the NW/4 of Section 27, T5S-R7W on the eastside of Old Kelly Road. W.R. Havens was the son of the Reverend Jefferson H. Havens (1846-1940) and Mary Jane Roberts (1853-1936). In September 1893, he acquired 120 acres in the NW/4 of Section 27, T5S-R7W from James Burney. (JXCO Land Deed Book 18, pp. 506-507) By 1920, W.R. Havens possessed 480 contiguous acres primarily situated in the W/2 of Section 27 and in the NE/4 of Section 28, T5S-R7W. (JXCO Land Roll Book 1919-1920, p. 388)
W.R. Havens married Anne Delorean "Dora" Seymour (1874-1965) of Latimer in September 1894. She was the daughter of Calvin Seymour (1850-1922) and Elizabeth Mulholland (1859-1936). They reared ten children on the Havens farm north of Vancleave: Ester H. Torres (1895-1981), William A. Havens (1897-1915), Calvin J. Havens (1898-1973), Mary E. Havens (1900-1902), Ira T. Havens (1903-1959), Annie H. Walker (1905-1989+), Lucille H. Flurry (1908-1989+), Yeul Harmon Havens (1911-1988), Elsie H. Fletcher (1913-1998+), and Inez H. Sims (1916-1959). (The History of JXCO, Miss. 1989, pp. 230-232)
A foster son, William C. Cates (1922-1998+), lived with the W.R. Havens family for several years. He was an outstanding basketball player and played at Moss Point High school. Cates resides in the central California city of Dinuba where he was a school administrator. (Ivan Ellis, December 11, 1998)
Elsie Havens Flectcher, who resides on Old River Road about 10 miles north of her childhood home, remembers that her grandfather, Calvin Seymour, told her mother, Dora S. Havens, to plant pecans in order that she would have money in her retirement years. Mrs. Fletcher picked and sold pecans for $.15 per pound. She recalls that their first indoor plumbing was purchased from Mr. C.L. Dees with money earned from the W.R. Haven’s pecan orchards. Frank H. Lewis (1865-1930) from Pascagoula bought their pecans. (Elsie H. Fletcher, December 22, 1998)
W.R. Havens, Dora Havens, and several of their children are interred in the Jeff Havens Cemetery in the SW/4 of Section 22, T5S-R7W. The old Jeff Havens place which consisted of 200 acres, the SW/4 and the SE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 22, T5S-R7W, was acquired by Mrs. W.J. Green in December 1937. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 70, pp. 483-484) Jim Kelly bought it from Mrs. Green in February 1943. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 82, p. 134)
W.R. David (1869-1919) and Upton S. David (1908-1993)
The David farm and orchards are located on 160-acres of land in the E/2 of the NW/4 and the W/2 of the NE/4 of Section 14, T4S-R8W, which is also the highest elevation in Jackson County. The pecan orchards are situated along the westside of Schoolhouse Road in the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 14. This is the former William M. Carter (1821-1895) place, which was acquired from Seaborn H. Bilbo in August 1895, by Carter’s wife, Sarah Ann Davis Carter (1850-1923). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 17, p. 47) The Carter home was sold to Abizer Havens in February 1902. In August 1904, he conveyed the old Carter place to William Ross David. (JXCO Land Deed Book 29, p. 13)
W.R. David was born at Dead Lake, and in 1897, he married Mary Carter (1873-1942), the daughter of William M. Carter and Sarah Ann Davis. The Davids had homesteaded a few miles from the Carter house and Mrs. David was delighted to return to her childhood home and farm. (The History of JXCO, Miss., 1989, p. 73) The Davids reared their five children, Elmon David (1898-1918), Edwina D. Haus (1902-1940+), Estelle David (b. 1907), Upton S. David (1908-1993), and Lydean David (1909-1989+), in the south Daisy community. In 1900, Mr. David was a mail carrier in Beat 5. Later he became active in local and State politics. He once was elected Supervisor of Beat 5.
In July 1918, William R. Davis bought "Case Villa", the beach front home at Ocean Springs of Edwina Lynd Case (1892-1918+) and Carl T. Case (1888-1918+). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 607-608) The Lynd-Case-David home burned on December 16, 1922, when owned by Elizabeth Mendenhall Parlin and Charles G. Parlin (1880-1940). The Parlins rebuilt their home, a Greek Revival bungalow, after the conflagration. It has been in the possession of the Albert B. Austin (1876-1951) family since June 1940. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 74, pp. 406-408)
At the time of his demise on May 23, 1919, Mr. David was residing at Ocean Springs and serving as a local Reperesentative in the Mississippi State legislature. In the probate of his estate, his only living son, Upton S. David, received the 144-acre farm and orchards in Section 14, T4S-R8W. (Jackson Co., Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 3939-April 1922)
Upton S. David attended Perkinston High School and Junior College. He retired from Teledyne-Irby Steel at Gulfport after thirty-four years of service. He was survived by his wife, Adeline Horn David, and a daughter, Priscilla O’ Reilly Lawrence of New Orleans. (The Sun Herald, September 3, 1993, p. A-2, cc. 1-2) Members of the Carter-David family are interred in the family cemetery south of the old David home.
G. Anders Tootle (1891-1967)
G. Anders Tootle was the youngest child of George W. Tootle (1844-1915) and Sarah Jane Dubose (1851-1934). In August 1914, he inherited his father’s farm which was situated in the E/2 of the NE/4 of Section 18 and the W/2 of the NW/4 of Section 17, T5S-R7W, near the westend of Busby Road (formerly Tootle Road). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 40, pp. 622-623) By 1920, Anders Tootle had also acquired 280 acres in Section 8 T5S-R7W. (JXCO Land Roll Bk. 1919-1920, p. 357) Mr. Tootle farmed and raised cattle and pecans on his lands.
George W. Tootle, whose father, Joseph Tootle (1820-1860+), had come to Jackson County from Georgia, patented his 160-acre farm in Sections 17 and 18, T5S-R7W, from the Federal government in December 1884. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 35, p. 106) It is interesting to note that in August 1904, Edwin M. Taylor (1837-1914) conveyed to G.W. Tootle one-half acre in Section 24, T5S-R7W which was described as the "Tootle Graveyard" at Pritchard Landing. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 42, p. 544) Circa 1870, George W. Tootle married Sarah Jane Dubose (1851-1934). Their children were: Joseph W. Tootle (1872-1940), Mary "Mollie" T. Fletcher (1874-1929), Henry L. Tootle (1879-1933), Laura T. Berry (1882-1910+), Daniel W. Tootle (1884-1968), J. Lewis Tootle (1886-1957), Napoleon B. Tootle (1888-1918), and G. Anders Tootle (1891-1967).
G. Anders Tootle married Lessie O. Bilbo (1894-1991) and they reared six children in the north Vancleave section: Ivon T. Roberts (b.1916), George G. Tootle (1918-1994), Cleo T. Taylor (b. 1920), Clara T. McBride (b. 1922), Archie W. Tootle (1925-1975), and Harvey Tootle (b. 1928). Before WW II, Anders Tootle left Vancleave for the Fontainebleau-Belle Fontaine Beach area where he raised cattle. In later years, he returned to farming off the Ocean Springs Road purchasing the Joseph Maumus horse stables and farm. He remodeled the old horse barn and finally built a house there. (Cleo T. Taylor, December 29, 1998)
The east half of the J. Anders Tootle farm in north Vancleave was sold to Willis C. Busby (1909-1976) in March 1948. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 100, pp. 245-246) The west half acquired by Clayton Stewart in November 1966. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 300, p. 528)
John Lewis Tootle (1886-1957)
J. Lewis Tootle was a farmer in the Red Hill community. He, like G. Anders Tootle, was a son of George W. Tootle and Sarah J. Dubose. Lewis Tootle married Nellie Beasy Bilbo (1887-1987) in October 1908. Their children were: George E. Tootle (1909-1949), Gwendolyn O. Tootle (1912-1987), Lewis O. Tootle (1914-1996), Meredith E. Tootle (1918-1986), Eron R. Tootle, Iron R. Tootle, Lloyd Bilbo Tootle (b. 1927), and Ouida Mae Larsen.
The J. Lewis Tootle farm and orchard were located in the NW/4 of Section 3, T5S-R7W on Tootle Road (now Busby Road). This tract was originally patented to the Roberts and Dubose families in the 1880s and 1890s. It came into the Tootle family in May 1916, when Napoleon Tootle (1888-1918) acquired it from T.J. Roberts. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 42, pp. 544-545)
Unfortunately, Napoleon Tootle died at Camp Union, New York during the pandemic, Spanish influenza episode in the winter of 1918-1919. He was a private in the U.S. Army. (The Jackson County Times, October 19, 1918)
In July 1919, J. Lewis Tootle for $950, purchased the 160-acre tract from Commissioner Fred Taylor. One acre in the NE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 3, T5S-R7W was reserved for a family cemetery. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 47, p. 49)
In July 1988, the Heirs of J. Lewis Tootle sold their family homestead, which now consisted of 110 acres, to William and Judith Lott. Mr. Lott is a pharmacist in Lucedale.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 920, pp. 15-16)
R.J. VanHorn (1882-1963)
R. James VanHorn grew up in an orphanage. He made his livelihood as an architectural draftsman, and served as a trustee of the Singing River Hospital from 1947 until his demise on February 15, 1963. Mr. VanHorn married Elizabeth Roberts (1893-1968). (The Chronicle, February 15, 1963, p. 1, c. 8) In April 1917, Jim VanHorn acquired 80 acres from Carridine Roberts in the SE/4 of Section 2, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 43, p. 317) He added to his farm and orchard lands in June 1923, when he bought 80 acres, the W/2 of the NE/4 of Section 2, T6S-R7W, from Dr. S.R. Ratliff. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 53. P. 74)
Thure A. Palmquist (1883-1930)
Thure A. Palmquist was a Swede, probably born at Vaxjo, in southern Sweden. He married Anna Louisa Andersson (1886-1941), also Swedish, and a native of Malmo in the Province of Kronoberg. She immigrated to the United States in 1914. The Palmquists came to Vancleave from Glen Alyn, Illinois, where Mr. Palquist was a civil engineer engaged in structural design. (The Daily Herald, October 20, 1941, p. 5, c. 2)
From July 1923 to October 1941, they possessed about 68 acres of land in the NE/4 and SE/4 of Section 2, T6S-R7W, acquired primarily from Mr. VanHorn. The Palmquist farm was situated on Old River just west of its intersection with the Mt. Pleasant Road. After the passing of Mrs. Palmquist, her legatees, a sister, Ebba G. Borgstrom, and nieces, Anna G. Ryden and Britten M. Schalin, and Waldemar Ryden conveyed the Palmquist farm to Edith Ware in November 1942, for $2000. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 81, pp. 555-556)
Circa 1928, the Palmquists built a home on their Vancleave property. (The Daily Herald, March 10, 1930, p. 2, c. 2) Upon their demise, they were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. (Cause No. 6506-Oct. 1941) d. 10-19-1941.
William Z. Fletcher (1895-1975)
The William Z. Fletcher farm and orchards were located on the Wire Road in Section 34, T4S-R8W. W.Z. Fletcher was the eldest of the nine children of Henry "Cap" Fletcher (1869-1951) and Mollie Tootle (1874-1929). The Fletcher children were reared on Wilson Road in the W/2 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T5S-R8W.
William Z. Fletcher married Lena Mae Groves (1893-1961) and they reared two sons, William Lauren Fletcher (1921-1993) and Gaston Cassel Fletcher (1923-1985), in the Bonnie Chapel community, northwest of Vancleave. In addition to farming, W.Z. Fletcher was a carpenter. His sons, Lauren and Cassel Fletcher, left Vancleave for Winchester, Virginia and Yazoo City, Mississippi, respectively. (The Daily Herald, December 5, 1975, p. A-2, c. 1)
In December 1917, Mr. Fletcher for $1000, acquired 120 acres, the S/2 of the NW/4 and the NE/4 of the SW/4 of Section 34, T4S-R8W, from S.C. Broom. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 77, pp. 330-331)
Here William Z. and Lena Mae Fletcher farmed and were active in the formation of the Bonnie Chapel United Methodist Church. When a new church was required in the late 1940s, Mrs. Lena M. Fletcher provided one-half acre at the corner of O’Neal Road and Wire Road for this purpose. (JXCO Land Deed Book 100, p. 540)
W.Z. Fletcher and Lewis Faulk directed the construction of the sanctuary which was dedicated in 1951. (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 68)
An additional .60 acres were deeded to the Bonnie Chapel congregation by the W.Z. Fletcher family in July 1973. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 476, p. 181)
Pecans and citrus
Pecan and citrus growers operating in the western Vancleave sections were: Thomas E. Ramsay (1845-1934) and James A. Ramsay (1883-1961), Ralph M. Spaulding (1876-1959), John W. Kelly (1873-1943), Marland Hart (1860-1926), and W.M. Griffin (1891-1958+).
Thomas Evans Ramsay (1845-1934) and James A. Ramsay (1883-1961)
Thomas E. Ramsay was the son of Andrew Woodside Ramsay (1806-1861) and Caroline Evans (1820-1898). After serving with Co A, the Live Oak Rifles, of the 3rd Mississippi Regiment, in the Civil War, he married Eva C. Christian (1853-1899) in 1871. Their children were: Alfred Ramsay (b. 1872), Clinton Hall Ramsay (b. 1875), Maggie C. Ramsay (1877-1898), James A. "Big Jim" Ramsay (1883-1961), and Bessie Pearl Ramsay Mallette (1889-1959). In the 1870s, the T.E. Ramsay family relocated to Manatee, Florida where he raised cattle. They returned to Jackson County in the 1880s settling initially in the Latimer area. Here, in June 1888, T.E. Ramsay was instrumental in organizing a Township School in T5S-R9W, with Raymour Seymour (1829-1911) and James T. Latimer. T.E. Ramsay outlived two other wives, Sarah Elizabeth Reed (d. 1930) and Mollie Cox (d. 1934). Neither bore him any children. (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 323)
In April 1893, Mr. Ramsay began procuring lands on Greenhead Road (now Jim Ramsay Road). He bought 160 acres in the SW/4 of Section 3 and the SE/4 of Section 4, T6S-R8W from Walter R. Havens. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 15, p. 184) By 1914, he had acquired and additional 560 acres from surrounding land owners and neighbors, Elijah Marshall (1851-1900+), Louis Cates, J.C. Orrell, Julius and Sydney Anderson, the Dantzler Lumber Company, and the Lyon-Hamill Company, giving him 720 acres in these two sections on Greenhead Road. In addition to his farm and pecan orchards, Mr. T.E. Ramsay was a well-known cattle and sheep rancher in the Vancleave region.
A nephew of T.E. Ramsay, William P. Ramsay (1870-1963) of Latimer, was also a pecan farmer and nurseryman. In 1916, he was selling grafted paper shell pecan trees to prospective growers of the region. (The Chronicle, November 16, 1916, p. 2)
In March 1930, T.E. Ramsay conveyed his seven-hundred plus acres in Sections 3 and 4, T6S-R8W, on Greenhead Road to his son, Big Jim Ramsay. In 1907, Big Jim had homesteaded near his father’s farm, acquiring the SE/4 of the SW/4 of Section 3, T6S-R8W from the Federal government. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 60, p. 495)
In June 1914, Jim Ramsay married Cecile Hudnall (1890-1959), a school teacher from Hattiesburg. In 1921, they adopted two small girls, Marie Odelle R. Fuller (b. 1914) and Marilena R. Penton (b. 1916). Mr. Ramsay made his livelihood as a forest ranger. During the initial years of WW II, he worked at Ingalls and later as a foreman in the German POW near Saucier. Ramsay was employed by International Paper Company in the post-War years, as a timber harvesting supervisor. (The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 322)
The road leading west from Vancleave to Latimer is named for Jim Ramsay.
Ralph M. Spaulding (1876-1959)
In September-October 1910, Ralph M. Spaulding, a native of Wisconsin, bought 80-acres on the westside of Old Fort Bayou Road, the E/2 of the SE/4 of Section 23, T6S-R8W, from A.E. Lewis (1862-1933) and Benjamin Garlotte (1868-1935) respectively. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 35, pp. 81-82) He had married, Ethel Corning (1878-1939), probably a native of Birnamwood, in northeastern Wisconsin. They reared their four children, Maude Spaulding (1902-1959+), Ruth S. Funches (1905-1959+), John E. Spaulding (1906-1920+) and Dorothey S. Buller (1913-1959+), at Vancleave.
Mr. Spaulding made his livelihood as a carpenter and farmer. During the early 1920s, the family left their Vancleave farm for Shreveport, Louisiana where Mr. Spaulding was gainfully employed for several years. Raymond Mallette (1899-1985+) took care of the Spaulding farm during their absence. (The Daily Herald, October 12, 1923, p. 2)
Mr. Spaulding was proactive in the Vancleave community. He helped organize the Ft. Bayou Telephone Company, served on the local school board, and was a director of the Farm and Loan Bank. Spaulding’s attendance record at the Methodist Church was exemplary. He expired at Jackson, Mississippi in January 1959. Daughters, Maude Spaulding, who had taught school at Escatawpa, and Ruth S. Funches, had relocated to Jackson. Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding are both buried in the Ramsay Cemetery at Vancleave.(The Chronicle Star, January 16, 1959)
Brusco N. Guillotte acquired the R.W. Spaulding farm in July 1956, from his heirs. (JXCO Deed Bk. 159, pp. 434-435)
John W. Kelley (1873-1943)
The John Wesley Kelley farm and orchards were located in NE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 22, T6S-R8W on the north side of Seaman Road about one mile southwest of the Fort Bayou Baptist Church. Between November 1917 and April 1921, Mr. Kelley acquired 160-acres in the E/2 of the NW/4, the NE/4 of the SW/4, and the NW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 22, T6S-R8W, from T.E. Ramsay, Jack Martin, Theo Borries, and Edward Brady. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 45, p. 113; Bk. 45, pp. 133-134; Bk. 45, p. 134; Bk. 45, p. 294; and Bk. 50, p. 549)
In addition to pecans, Mr. Kelley also cultivated oranges.
J.W. Kelley was born at Southport, Indiana, near Indianapolis, the son of Ellis Kelley and Della Clark. His father may have been an Irish émigré. John W. Kelley married Cora Jay (1880-1970), a native of Cambridge City, in east central Indiana, near Ohio. In addition to his agricultural pursuits, Kelley was a plumber.
The Kelleys had a son, James W. Kelley. In November 1943, Mrs. Kelley conveyed what remained of the Kelley farm, 210 acres primarily in the W/2 of Section 22, T6S-R8W, to James and Jennivee Kelley, her son and daughter-in-law, respectively. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 136, pp. 282-283)
Edward G. Minnemeyer-Highland Pecan Farm
Edward G. Minnemeyer (1846-1925+) was a resident of Chicago. He resided seasonally at Ocean Springs. In June 1920, he and son, Walter G. Minnemeyer (1872-1957) began acquiring lands in Sections 21, 28, and 29, T5S-R7W. (see JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 48, p. 206; 50, p.. 172-173; 50. p. 218; and 50, pp. 218-219)(see The Jackson County Times, April 25. 1925, p. 3)
Marland Hart (1860-1926)-W.M. Griffin (1891-1958+)
The Jackson County Times of November 14, 1916, reported that: M. Hart of Camos, Idaho is a recent arrival on his farm on the VanCleave Road. Mr. Hart has spent the last three winters and expects next year to remain here permanently.
In July 1919, Marland Hart, a native of Racine, Wisconsin acquired the SE/4 of the NE/4 and the NE/4 of SE/4 of Section 14, T6S-R7W from Alabama native, Henry L. Lantron (1860-1919+). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 47, p. 607) He lived most of his life in Wisconsin and Minnesota where his business interests were located. Mr. Hart was not content with a leisure retirement at Vancleave, but bought land and improved it. (The Jackson County Times, December 4, 1926, p. 4, c. 2)
Here on the west side of Old Fort Bayou Road, Mr. Hart farmed and cultivated pecans. Circa 1924, according to a document in his last will and probate papers, Hart’s pecan orchard was effectively destroyed by a fire. The 80-acre, Hart farm was enclosed by a fence and had a house. After his demise on November 25, 1926, the value of the Hart farm was estimated to be $1600, while his 259 acres of cut-over pinelands were worth about $2331. Marland Hart was survived by, a sister, Mrs. Jessie H. Senter (1867-1937) of Salt Lake City, a brother, Edward C. Hart of San Francisco, and C.F. Hart, an uncle at Chicago. (JXCO Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 4882, December 1926)
A few years prior to Marland Hart’s demise, Mrs. Clara Johanna Coburn Hart (1841-1928), his mother, and his aunt, Miss Emma Davis Coburn (1844-1935), both natives of Pelham, New Hamphire, came to live with him at Vancleave. They moved to Ocean Springs after his death and resided at 48 West Porter. Clara J. Hart died at Ocean Springs on December 13, 1928. Miss Coburn remained at Ocean Springs under the care of Mrs. Charles Thomas until her death on February 24, 1935. Both of their corporal remains were sent to Racine, Wisconsin for internment.(The Jackson County Times, March 2, 1935, p. 3 B-Ok Burial Bk. 15, p. 228)
William M. Griffin
In March 1928, Victor G. Humphrey, the executor of the Marland Hart estate, sold the 80-acre farm to William M. Griffin for $2000. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 61, pp. 339-340) W.M. Griffin, probably a native of Illinois, was married to Gertrude Anne Tisdale (1890-1967). They had three children: baby Griffin (1928-1928), Helen G. Davis (1928-1991), the wife of Curtis L. Davis, and J.B. Griffin.
W.M. Griffin must have replanted the orchards of the former Hart farm. He sold 30 acres, the northern ¾ of the SE/4 of the NE/4 of Section 14, to J.B. Griffin for $400, in October 1940. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 76, p. 585)
Son-in-law, Curtis Lee Davis, acquired 18 acres south of Seaman Road, in February 1951, from Mr. Griffin. Mr. Davis bought for $3000, an additional 32 acres north of Seaman Road from the Veterans Farm & Home Board, in February 1958. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 116, p. 258 and Bk. 175, p. 70)
Marland Hart legated his sister, Jessie Hart Senter (1867-1937), approximately 260 acres in Section 14 and Section 23, T6S-R8W was acquired in February 1944, for $10,000. From his son, W.A. Senter Jr.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 84, pp. 581-582)
Mr. Senter died at the home of his son in Cheyenne, Wyoming on May 13, 1943. In the purchase, H.L. Mallette received all buildings, sheds , houses, poultry equipment, farm tools, etc. It is interesting to note that W.A. Senter (d. 1943) was married to Jessie Hart (1867-1937), the sister of Marland Hart (1860-1926), the retired entrepreneur from Wisconsin. Like Hart, she was a native of Racine, Wisconsin, the daughter of Joshua Hart and Cynthia Cloggett. The Marland Hart farm and orchards were on Old Fort Bayou Road, north of the Senter farm. The Hart farm acquired by W.M. Griffin.(JXCO Chancery Court Cause No. 6938, August 1943)
Several large pecan orchards exist in the eastern Vancleave section, which are believed to have originated as follows:
Algot G. Carlander (ca. 1885-1944+)
The pecan groves located in the SW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 11, T6S-R7W are on lands originally patented in January 1904, to Dorman H. Ware (1851-1904). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 440-441). In July 1914, a decade after his demise, Mr. D.H. Ware’s heirs, Mrs. Susan W. McMillan (1876-1954), Mrs. Rency W. McMillan (1878-1936), Mrs. Emma W. Smith Parker (1881-1965), Samuel Ware (1883-1962+), William Ware, Lottie Carlander (1889-1962), Mrs. Zelamer Benson Wilkerson (1891-1946), Luther Ware, John Ware (1896-1962+), Mrs. Minnie Olsen, Ethel Ware, and Mrs. Julia Webb conveyed for $60, the 40-acre tract to Algot G. Carlander, the spouse of Charlotte "Lottie" Ware (1889-1962). (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 40, p. 600)
Algot G. Carlander was a Swede. In mid-October 1903, he and Miss Lottie Ware were married at Vancleave, by Johnson Ware, Justice of the Peace. (JXCO Marriage Record Bk. 7, p. 105) They had three children: Alvin G. Carlander (1908-1968), Cecil Carlander, and Lodel C. Frazier. The Carlanders sold their farm and orchard to J.M. Wilkerson and Zelamer W. Benson Wilkerson, the sister of Mrs. Carlander, in June 1944, while residents of El Dorado, Union County, Arkansas. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 85. Pp. 513-514) After Algot M. Carlander expired at El Dorado, Arkansas, Mrs. Carlander returned to Vancleave and married a widower, the Reverend Edward J. Lewis (1881-1962).
Dr. S.R. Ratliff (1873-1936)
The pecan orchard located in the SE/4 of the NE/4 of Section 11, T6S-R7W is believed to have been planned by local physician, Dr. Samuel Rankin Ratliff. The original land patent was granted to John McMillan in December 1894. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 301, p. 45) Dr. Ratliff acquired the 40-acre plot from Sam McMillan in November 1910. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 36, p. 255) This tract was later owned by Mrs. R.L. Dennis and Mack S. Inabinett (1897-1979).
Tung Nut Trees
Tung nuts are grown on a tree indigenous to China. The name of the tree is derived from the heart-shape of its leaves, as the Chinese word for heart is "tung". The tung nut tree reaches a height of about 25-feet and will produce approximately 20-25 pounds of nuts per season. The tung nuts are processed to produce a poisonous oil, sometimes called Chinese wood oil, which is sold as an industrial-use vegetable oil. (The Mississippi Press, ?, p. 3-A)
The refined tung nut oil was used extensively in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, enamels, pulp board, and as a waterproofing agent. Technological advances in the paint industry and damage to orchards severely reduced its demand and production until very recent times, when a revival for tung oil was ordained by new environmental regulations. Once again, tung oil is used in the paint and printing industry displacing petroleum distillate compounds which are deemed environmental hazards. (The Mississippi Press, November 24, 1996, p. 4-A)
In 1905, tung nut trees were imported from China and first cultivated in a cemetery at Talahassee, Florida. By 1936, more than half of the 50,000-acres of domestic tung nut trees were growing in south Mississippi. The well-drained, moist, slightly acidic soil of cut-over timberlands in the Gulf coastal plain of South Mississppi made this an ideal region for tung nut tree cultivation. (The Jackson County Times, August 22, 1936) Certain sections of Stone and Harrison Counties were sites of pioneer tung nut cultivation.
The Vancleave region was not a prolific tung nut tree region, but some orchards of the imported, Chinese tree were grown. William R. Havens (1870-1951) and T.E. Ramsay (1845-1934), who were introduced previously as a pecan farmers, and Hubert L. Mallette were among those known to have grown tung nut trees in the Vancleave area. Hubert L. Mallette (1900-1985) In 1935, Hubert Leroy Mallette (1900-1985), the son of George Lomas Mallette (1861-1947) and Cynthia Gill (1860-1948), began acquiring acreage south of Seaman Road in Section 13, T6S-R8W, with the procurement of the SW/4 of the SW/4 from his father, George L. Mallette. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 71, pp. 389-390)
By May 1946, he had amalgamated his holding in Sections 13, to about 300 contiguous acres, all south of Seaman Road. Most of H.L. Mallette’s lands were the former "Ratliff Farm" which Mallette bought in August 1944 and April 1946, from Nannie Walker Ratliff, the former widow of Dr. S.R. Ratliff (1873-1936), with two purchases, the SE/4 of the SW/4 (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 87, p. 79), and for $10,000, all of the S/2 of the N/2 and all of the N/2 of the S/2 of Section 13, T6S-R8W, south of Seaman Road. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 93, pp. 250-251)
In addition to the "Ratliff Farm", Hubert L. Mallette secured the "William Allan Senter Farm" consisting of approximately 260 acre in Section 14 and Section 23, T6S-R8W. In February 1944, for $10,000, W.A. Senter Jr. at Cheyenne, Wyoming conveyed to Mr. Mallette the S/2 of the SE/4 and the SE/4 of the SW/4 (except 1.5 acres) in Section 14, T6S-R8W, and the N/2 of the NE/4 of the NE/4, the NW/4 of the NE/4, and the NE/4 of the NW/4, and the SE/4 of the NE/4 of Section 23, T6S-R8W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 84, pp. 581-582)
Mr. W.A. Senter died at the home of his son in Cheyenne, Wyoming on May 13, 1943. (JXCO Chancery Court Cause No. 6938, August 1943)
In the purchase of the Senter place, H.L. Mallette received all buildings, sheds, houses, poultry equipment, farm tools, etc. It is interesting to note that W.A. Senter (d. 1943) was married to Jessie Hart (1867-1937), the sister of Marland Hart (1860-1926), the retired entrepreneur from Wisconsin. Like Marland Hart, she was a native of Racine, Wisconsin, and the daughter of Joshua Hart and Cynthia Cloggett. The Marland Hart farm and orchards were on Old Fort Bayou Road, north of the Senter farm. The Hart farm was acquired by W.M. Griffin.
Hubert L. Mallette was reared on a farm. He came from a large family consisting of the following siblings: Peter Mallette (1883-1975), Harry L. Mallette (1885-1942), Verta M. Campbell (1886-1978), George E. Mallette (1888-1959), Fred S. Mallette (1891-1978), Tony Mallette (1894-1957), Annie M. Delancey (1896-1966), Raymond Mallette (1899-1993), and Lester F. Mallette (1904-1988). H.L. Mallette married Celia Ulmer (1899-1995). He was a member of the Fort Bayou Baptist Church. (The Sun Herald, November 20, 1985, p. A-2, c. 4)
Muscadine grapes (Vitus rotundifolia) are indigenous to North America. The Scuppernong variety does especially well in the Southeastern U.S. In 1984, Dr. Jack C. Hoover, a Kansas native born in the Depression era who was reared in Starkville, Mississippi, began practicing viticulture on Paige Bayou Road at his Boggy Creek Vineyard.
BOGGY CREEK VINEYARD
A chronology of the Boggy Creek Vineyard, follows: Dr. Jack C. Hoover, a physician and gynecologist, residing at Pascagoula, is cultivating muscadine grapes at his Boggy Creek Vineyard on Paige Bayou Road. Before his retirement from obstetrics, Dr. Hoover brought a record 5434 infant children into the world between 1969 and 1996. He and his wife, Margaret Sykes "Peggy" Hoover, began land acquisitions at Vancleave in September 1972, by purchasing 60 acres, the NE/4 of the SE/4 and the S/2 of the SE/4 of the NE/4 of Section 22, T6S-R7W from Olin H. Davis (1914-1975) and Henry W. Davis (b. 1920). (The Sun Herald, November 15, 2005, p. A-4 and January 11, 2010, p. A4 and JXCO Land Deed Bk. 440, p. 318)
Twenty acres were added in June 1980, when Nell W. Davis conveyed to Margaret A. Hoover, the N/2 of the SE/4 of the NE/4 of Section 22, T6S-R7W. This purchase gave the Hoovers 80 contiguous acres to pursue their present avocation, viticulture. Prior to cultivating muscadine grapes in 1984, they planted pine trees and built a 20-acre lake at their Vancleave retreat. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 680, p. 108 and Coast Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 4, July-August 1996, p. 21)
Here on the east side of Paige Bayou Road, at an elevation between twenty and thirty above mean sea level, and on a gentle, southeast, dipping ridge with good drainage into Boggy Branch, Jack Hoover planted six acres in eight varieties of muscadine grapes (five are bronze and three are purple). The muscadine vines were procured from a Hattiesburg nursery and are indigenous, southern hybrids developed by the agronomy departments at the following Southeastern U.S., universities: Georgia, Mississippi State, and North Carolina. (Dr. Jack C. Hoover, January 6, 1999)
Dr. Jack C. Hoover was reared in an agricultural environment, as his late father, Dr. C. Dale Hoover, was chairman of the Agronomy Department at Mississippi State University. As a child, Jack Hoover, often traveled with his father to the various agricultural experimental stations throughout the state. This familiarization and knowledge about services available from the Mississippi State University agricultural extension service was invaluable when he formulated plans for a vineyard at Vancleave. Since he was a novice farmer, Dr. Jack realized that to become a success at viniculture he must educate himself in every facet of grape production. In time, he acquired a sound knowledge of grape varieties, soils, fertilizers, irrigation, pruning, plant diseases and pests, and crop spraying. (Ibid.)
The MSU agricultural service periodically checks the Boggy Creek Vineyard. Recently, they were at Vancleave to evaluate crop damage resulting from Hurricane Georges of early October 1998. Dr. Hoover lost half of his grape crop due to the high winds and heavy rainfall. In addition, trellising, vine poles, trellis lines, and over 50% of the plants were effected by this Fall tempest. Many of the muscadine vines were tilted 45 degrees from perpendicular and will require intensive, patience labor to return them to vertical. (Ibid.)
Boggy Creek Vineyard is capable in premier years of producing in excess of 120,000 pounds of muscadine grapes. The harvest season begins in late September and ends in mid-October. Most of the Hoovers’ fruit is sold to individuals who "pick" their own grapes. Dr. Hoover receives $.60 per pound from pickers. Some of the grapes are utilized by a local wine producer. Future plans for Vancleave’s Boggy Creek Vineyard may include processing of the grapes on site to make jams, jellies, and waffle syrup. (Dr. Jack C. Hoover and Margaret A. Hoover, January 6, 1999)
Dr. Jack Hoover retired from his medical practice on December 30, 2009. At this time, the Boggy Creek Vineyard was the largest muscadine vineyard in South Mississippi. In retirement, Dr. Hoover planned to develop his own wine from the large, sweet grapes grown in the fertile soil of Vancleave.(The Sun Herald, January 11, 2010, p. A4)
Dr. Jack Hoover's vineyards were hit hard by the hurricane force winds created by Katrina, a Category 4 tropical cyclone, which struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast in late August 2005. His entire grape crop, which was to be harvested in September, was destroyed. Dr. Hoover also had extensive damage to his Pascagoula home, which was flooded by Katrina's ubiquitous storm surge. The Hoover family found refuge at their Vancleave farmhouse and apartment.(The Sun Herald, November 15, 2005, p. A-1)
Other unusual agricultural crops to be grown at Vancleave, albeit in small quantities were cotton and sugar cane. At the turn of the Century, some cotton was grown in Harrison and Stone County, primarily on cut-over timberlands. Yields here were almost a bale of cotton per acre. Nearly 300 bales were sold at Wiggins and Bond in 1905. (W.A. Cox et al, 1905, p. 20)
At Vancleave in the Fall of 1915, J.E. Lockard grew cotton to demonstrate that it could be cultivated with some degree of success in Jackson County. (The Ocean Springs News, January 20, 1916, p. 1)
In September 1926, C.L. Dees commenced ginning cotton at Vancleave. His 60-saw gin was capable of processing six bales of cotton per day. It was anticipated that about 75 bales of cotton would be ginned by Mr. Dees at his Bluff Creek operation in 1926. At the time, the nearest gins were situated at Lucedale and in Stone County. (The Daily Herald, September 17, 1926, p. 8, c. 3)
It may be of interest to the reader that Hugo Ernestus Krebs (1714-1776+), a German immigrant, who settled at Pascagoula in the 1730s, is believed to have invented the cotton gin twenty years prior to that of Eli Whitney. Bernard Romans, a Dutch-born botanist and cartographer, in the employ of the British Crown observed the Krebs machine during his journey through British West Florida, which was made in 1771-1773. (The History of Jackson County, Miss., 1989, p. 250)
In the Piney Woods regions, sugar cane was raised ubiquitously in small patches to make cane syrup for family consumption. The cane was ground and the high fructose-laden, juice boiled in a long evaporating pan which was heated upon a dirt-furnace. In 1903, a farmer at Bond, Mississippi made 6,000 gallons of cane syrup from 15 acres of sugar cane. The cane syrup had a market value of $.50 per gallon. (W.A. Cox, et al, 1905, p. 21)
C.L. Dees Farm-"The Steele Farm"
"The Steele Farm", formerly the Jim Roberts farm of 360-acres?) (NE/4 and the SE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 22, T5S-R7W) located in Section 22 and Section 23 T5S-R7W. In January 1935, S.G. Gilfillan conveyed this tract to F.L. Steele. S.G. Gilfillan was the president of the Belfont Iron Works at . (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 66, p. 562 and The Ocean Springs News, July 22, 1915).
In July 1943, Frank L. Steele (Michigan or Indiana) conveyed to to C.L. Dees (Bk. 83, p. 369) S.G. Gilfillan was president of the Belfont Iron Works Company. Mr. Steele owned a bag plant at Pascagoula. Mr. Dees raised cattle and hogs here.(Kipp Dees, December 20, 1998)
"Bosarge Lane Farm"
Cattle, sugar cane, and corn on 80 acres, the S/2 of the SW/4 of Section 18, T5S-R7W. (Kipp Dees, 12-20-1998) Acquired from Mrs. Desiree O. Clark, the wife of Charles Clark, in January 1946, when Dees purchased the SW/4 of Section 18, T5S-R7W. He conveyed the N/2 of the SW/4 of Section 18 to Clarence Bosarge in February 1946. Vinnie Bosarge cooked syrup.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 92, p. 355)
" Hale Murphy Farm"
On Highway 57, just north of Hale Murphy Place.
Through the years the Vancleave section has been the provenance for some men who were elected as County officials, i.e. lawmen, judges, and clerks.
Those who have served Jackson County as sheriff from Vancleave are: Abiezar F. Ramsay (1828-1864), Enoch N. Ramsay (1832-1916), William P. Ramsay (1870-1963), Broxton Wilson (1884-1937), and Leo Byrd (1902-1980).
Justice of the Peace
Some of those citizens from Vancleave who were JPs are: J.M. Herrington . W.W. Groves (1858-1947), Henry C. Havens (1831-1912), Johnson Ware, John Hails Murphy (1869-1944), Samuel M. Ware, Leo Byrd (1902-1980), Henry H. Holden (1882-1954), Joe Berry Cunningham (1889-1971), Lee Entrekin, John Malcolm Alexander (1879-1971), and Judge Lovelace.
From about 1936 until the Justice Court system was introduced in the County, the J.P. at Vancleave had an office in the C.L. Dees General Merchandise Store. It was on the south end of the building in what was termed the Doctor’s office. Dr. Watkins had used the room for an office in previous years. (C.M. "Kipp" Dees, January 18, 1999)
W.C. "Bill" Havens (1887-1974) and Vertis G. Ramsay (1917-1993) are two former citizens of Vancleave to have been elected as the Circuit Clerk of Jackson County.
Night Officer Henry S. Taylor
Henry Steven Taylor (1869-1947) was reared in the Piney Woods northeast of Vancleave on the River Road. He was the second child of Edward M. Taylor (1837-1914), a Tar Heel, and Almyra Roberts (1848-1888+). His siblings were: Edwin E. Taylor (1866-1942), Louvenia T. Cooper, Eugene L. Taylor (1872-1920+), Mary T. Pilcher (1877-1960+), Melinda T. Graham (b. 1879), Clifton M. Taylor (1884-1960), Ida T. Mcaleer (1885-1963), Annie T. McRae Breland (1886-1960+), and Ernest Murdock Taylor (1887-1933). After the demise of Almyra R. Taylor, Edward M. Taylor married Margaret S. Cumbest (1854-1924). She bore him four children: Sarah T. Vaughn (1890-1972), Myra T. Graham (1892-1957), Leo Taylor (1895-1920+), and Valeda T. Newkirk (1896-1986) In December 1893, Henry S. Taylor (1869-1947) married Bessie Jane Carter (1876-1966). Their family consisted of Cinnie T. Carter (1894-1910+), Lola T. Templin (1897-1990), Sallie Taylor (1899-1920+), Edward Calhoun Taylor (1902-1920+), Stuart Preston Taylor (1903-1920+), Milton M. "Joe" Taylor (1905-1993), and Henry Otis Taylor (1908-1995).
In 1900, Henry S. Taylor made his livelihood at Vancleave, as a log chopper. About this time, Ocean Springs was being troubled with public disorder and arson. Several of the local youths there had formed a gang and an uneasy atmosphere prevailed on the normally quiet streets of the quiet seaside, resort village. The town officials at Ocean Springs decided to hire a special police officer for night duty to cope with this threat to the local peace and deter hoodlumism in the community. His initial salary was $40 per month. (Schmidt, 1972, pp. 114-115)
Henry Taylor was selected for the position at Ocean Springs because of his prior experience as deputy sheriff in Beat 5. In this position, Taylor had gained a reputation for his total lack of fear. (The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 10, 1905, p. 4, c. 5)
Taylor’s father had also been a deputy sheriff and was fearless in own right. In April 1900, Ed M. Taylor shot and wounded Ed Goff in front of Judge Johnson Ware’s courtroom. Goff had recently returned from Texas. He is reputed to have had a long-standing grudge against Taylor over an incident that had occurred when Mr. Taylor was deputy sheriff. When the two men met on the street at Vancleave, Goff allegedly insulted Taylor while exhibiting some motion to draw a weapon towards Taylor. Ed Taylor drew his pistol and fired at young Goff, his bullet hitting Goff in the left hip. The resulting wound was painful, but not life threatening. (The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 13, 1900)
In the Fall of 1905, Night Officer Henry S. Taylor was called to the Front Beach at Ocean Springs to quell a disturbance. He made several arrests, and the word spread through town that difficulty awaited him that evening in the city court. At Washington and County Road, Taylor was met by a young ruffian and became infuriated. In his pursuit, the scoundrel’s mates jumped on the policeman’s back and rode him violently into the dusty, shell road. In the ensuing scuffle, Taylor was able to fire his pistol and hit one of his assailants in the stomach inflicting a fatal wound. The others speedily fled the scene. (Schmidt, 1972, p. 115)
Officer Taylor was tried before Judge E.W. Illing for the murder of his antagonist, but he was immediately acquited on a plea of self-defense. (The Biloxi Herald, October 13, 1905, p. 4, c. 5)
For his heroism in quieting the disturbance and returning law and order to Ocean Springs, Henry Taylor’s salary was increased to $75 per month. (Schmidt, 1972, p. 115)
After a few years at Ocean Springs, Mr. Taylor returned to Vancleave and resumed his life there as a farmer. His exploits and heroism as night officer at Ocean Springs were passed on to successive generations. Henry Taylor is remembered today as being tall, rangy, wore a black suit, white shirt with a bowtie, and reminded one of the lawmen of the Old West. He drove a Model-T Ford and carried a 44-40 Colt revolver. (Robert Holden and Johnson Ware, January 13, 1999).
Marshall Taylor was described by J.B. "Abe" Abrams of Ocean Springs, as "six-feet four inches tall and weighed two hundred-fifty pounds and was strong as a bull and feared no one".(The Ocean Springs News, November 24, 1964)
Murder and Mayhem
In a devoutly Christian society, which has existed in the Vancelave region for well over a century, law and order are the norm. Occasionally, an aberration of sanity erupts and civility becomes mayhem. Such chaos was cast upon the community in July 1904, when three black men were shot at Vancleave. One man died and the wounded were sent to hospitals in New Orleans and Mobile on the night train. (The Progress, July 23, 1904) I
Crime in the forest also involved Caucasian management. Near Vancleave in the spring of 1904, W.N. Newberry, a wood rider, slashed N.W. Smith, a turpentine man, with a knife. Newberry was captured at Biloxi on December 28, 1904, while attempting to board an L&N train.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 29, 1904)
Incidents like this were infrequent in the Piney Woods, but Saturday night in the turpentine camps was rowdy with drinking, dancing, and gambling part of the celebration ending the six-day work week.
Another unlawful incident, a Wild West-type, shoot-out occurred northwest of Vancleave in September 1915, in the commissary of the Ell & Dee Turpentine Company, which also served as the Dantzler Post Office. George R. Sarvis (1878-1915), the manager of the turpentine operation at Dantzler and a native of South Carolina, died in the gun fight with Rufus Reeves, a young man from Harrison County. It was alleged that Reeves and four companions from the Ruble community in George County attacked Sarvis to settle a dispute, which had occurred between the two men in prior days. The coroner’s jury called by Judge J.H. Murphy (1869-1944) of Vancleave ruled that Sarvis was killed by one other than Rufus Reeves. (The Daily Herald, September 21, 1915, pp. 1 and 4)
The four accomplices of Reeves were arrested and charged with the murder of George R. Sarvis. They were acquitted of the crime after going to trial in October 1916. (The Jackson County Times, October 21, 1916, p. 5, c. 4)
In September 1915, J.L. Carter and his brother planned to open a cannery at Vancleave to preserve sweet potatoes in the winter. Mr. Carter had previously been associated with the Wesley House Ministry in Biloxi. (The Daily Herald, September 4, 1915, p. 2)
C.L. Dees-WW I
[Image at an Army Camp in Arkansas]
[Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees]
Willie Yawn of the Three Rivers community was the first citizen of Jackson County to die in France from wounds inflicted in combat. (The Jackson County Times, July 20, 1918, p. 5, c. 1)
Known young men from the Vancleave section who served in WWI were: Pvt. George W. Byrd (1893-1918), Sgt. William M. Cain (1886-1950), Sgt. Alvin B. Curtis (1899-1981), Pvt. Clifton B. Davis (1891-1973), Pvt. Douglas O. Davis (1886-1970), Pvt. C.L. Dees (1886-1963), Pvt. James A. Flurry (1894-1966), Pvt. A. Ray Havens (1901-1981), Pvt. William R. Holden (1894-1967), 1st Lieutenant Victor G. Humphrey (1885-1942), Pvt. Mack S. Inabinette (1897-1979), Cpl. Harry L. Mallette (1885-1942), Pvt. Charles H. Ramsay (1894-1960), Pvt. Frank E. Ramsay (1892-1970), 2nd Lt. Harry B. Ramsay (1897-1987), Pvt. Jacob L. Reddix (1897-1973), Sgt. Willie A. Rogers (1896-1961), Pvt. Samuel H. Seymour (d. 1918), Pvt. John R.C. Shoemaker (1894-1919), and Pvt. Napoleon B. Tootle (1888-1918)
At least three Vancleave area men, George W. Byrd, Samuel H. Seymour, and Napoleon Tootle, did not return alive from their military service during this European conflict. Pvt. George W. Byrd, the son of Samuel R. Byrd (1860-1929), enlisted in April 16, 1917 and was killed on July 15, 1918.(WPA, p. 191)
It was initially reported that Pvt. Byrd was missing in action in France and that he was probably a German prisoner of war. (The Jackson County Times, August 17, 1918, p. 5, c. 2) Pvt. Samuel H. Seymour, the son of Jean Pierre Seymour (1852-1938) and Pauline Basque (1860-1946), was a member of the 150th Infantry, A.E.F. He succumbed to influenza and expired at sea on his way to France. Young Seymour was given a naval burial in the North Atlantic. (The Jackson County Times, November 23, 1918, p. 5, c. 3) In October 1918, Pvt. Napoleon Tootle died of the Spanish influenza at Camp Upton, New York. His remains were accompanied to Vancleave by Private James Cox. (The Jackson County Times, October 19, 1918, p. 5)
The Dees Family
As the Ramsay family dominated the Vancleave region during the 19th Century, the Dees family was the most influential clan here in the 20th Century. Their patriarch, Clifton Leroy Dees (1886-1963), was born on August 17, 1886 at Grand Bay, Alabama. He was the youngest son of Archibald Dees (1844-1886) and Jane H. Ramsay (1853-1929). Archibald Dees was a timber contractor. The other Dees’ children were: Calvin Eugene Dees (1877-1954), Archie Dees Martiniere (1879-1964), and Mendum Horace Dees (1884-1949). A biographical sketch of C.L. Dee’s siblings follows:
C.L. Dees Home
(Ray L. Bellande image made December 1994)
[Ms. Highway No. 57-now the home of Peggy Dees Plunk. Water from Bluff Creek inundated the top floor during Hurricane Georges on September 28, 1998]
Calvin E. Dees (1877-1954) married Helen McClure (1885-1937) of Ocean Springs. She was the daughter of Marstella E. McClure (1852-1889) and Corrine Lundy (1854-1930). Their children were: Calvin E. Dees Jr. (1904-1965), Houston L. Dees (1905-1935), John Dees (1912-1989), Billy Jack Dees (1915-1976), and an infant Dees (1917-1917). The family resided at Ocean Springs until October 1911, when they relocated to Perkinston, Mississippi. Mr. Dees resigned from the firm of L.M. McClure & Company which he and his brother-in-law, L. Morris McClure (1884-1940), were partners. (The Ocean Springs News, October 7, 1911, p. 5, c. 2)
At Perkinston, C.E. Dees operated a general mercantile store and a funeral home at Wiggins. He was active in politics in Stone County, serving two terms in the State House of Representatives, one term in the State Senate, and a term as Supervisor District 1. Mr. Dees retired in 1946, but continued raising cattle. (The Daily Herald, August 24, 1954, p. 1, c. 6)
Archie Dees Martiniere (1879-1964) married John A. Martiniere (1877-1947), a native of DeSoto, Mississippi. They parented four children: John Martiniere Jr. (1909-1995), Charlotte M. Redhead, Dees Martiniere, and Jeanie Martiniere. J.A. Martiniere was a merchant at Shubuta and also had a home and business interests in Biloxi. He organized the Biloxi Chevrolet Company, which he sold to his brother-in-laws in 1926. Martiniere later commenced the Biloxi Motor Company and operated the Laurel Hoe Works Company. His corporal remains were sent to Shubuta.(The Daily Herald, February 7, 1947, p. 9, c. 6)
Mendum H. Dees (1884-1949) married Ernestine Boling of Flora, Mississippi. Their children were Horace Dees (1911-1975) and Gertrude D. Briscoe. After the passing of his wife, M.H. Dees married Miss Floy Mainer (1895-1978) in 1920. They had a son, Sterling Dees (b. 1928). In his youth Mendum H. Dees worked in the lumber and sawmill business in Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. He came to Biloxi in January 1926, and bought the Chevrolet dealership with his brother, C.L. Dees. Their car agency, Dees Chevrolet Company, Inc., also sold Oldmobiles and Frigidares including commercial refrigerators and air conditioners.(The Daily Herald, 1934 Golden Jubilee Issue, p. 45)
Clifton Leroy Dees (1886-1963) had arrived in Jackson County before WW I, from Millsaps College at Jackson. His roommate was a young pre-law, student from Webster County, Thomas L. Bailey (1888-1946), who would become the Governor of Mississippi in January 1944. Young Dees worked for the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company commissary at Vancleave until called into military service during the Great War. Cliff Dees returned to Vancleave following the conflict and began an entrepreneurial life, which would bring to him and his family financial success. Dees in addition to his skill as a merchant became involved in every facet of capitalism in the piney woods of western Jackson County. He could list among his Vancleave enterprises: the first and only movie house, the first and only cotton gin, a telephone exchange, a US Postal station, a Delco light plant, taxi and hearse service, a sawmill, three farms, sugar cane mill, feed-grinding mill, fertilizer plant, slaughter house, service station, garage, automobile dealerships, a restaurant, blacksmith shop, a turpentine still and associated naval stores appurtenances, thousands of acres of timberlands, a fleet of logging trucks, and a working interest in oil and gas exploration near Vancleave. (Down South, March-April 1956, pp. 27 –28.)
Colonel C.L. Dees (1886-1963)
[C.E. Dees was appointed and served from 1944-1946 as a Colonel on the staff of Governor Thomas L. Bailey (1888-1946). Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees]
Unlike his brother, C.E. Dees, Cliff never ventured into politics, although he was appointed a Colonel on Governor Bailey’s Staff during his tenure in the State capitol from 1944-1946. Mr. Dees was a founder-director of the Singing River Rural Electric Association (1937). He was active in the American Legion, Daisy Lodge F&AM, a patron of the Order of the Eastern Star, board of the Vancleave Methodist Church, Vancleave school board, and a director of the New Prospect Camp Meeting Association. (The Daily Herald, November 20, 1963, p. 1, c. 7)
In May 1927, when the Vancleave post office was closed, C.L. Dees was appointed mail clerk of the Vancleave Rural Station, a branch office of the Ocean Springs postal system. The Vancleave postal station was situated in the Dees Store. (The Jackson County Times, May 27, 1927, p. 5, c. 3)
Mr. Dees received $40 per month for his postal duties and eventually his remuneration reached $60 per month. After his demise, Kipp Dees ran the postal station from his business, "Southside Shopping" on Highway 57. (The Mississippi Press, July 18, 1988)
Although he would amass well over 10,000 acres of piney woods lands during his lifetime, Cliff Dee’s first land acquisition at Vancleave was only one-acre, located in the SW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, which he bought for $30, from W.P. Flurry in October 1921. The small tract situated near the intersection of Highway 57 and Poticaw Bayou Road became the site of the Dee’s mule barn.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 50, p. 600 and Kipp Dees, January 22, 1999)
Red Cash Store
[C.L. Dees seated with Arthur Burke shining his shoes; others L-R: Roy Lee Martin, Lat Hawley, Ray Havens, ?, ?, 'Old Man' Joe Fairley; A Ruble child and a Ramsay child, and Bud Skinner in the Studebaker] Mr. Dees ran a taxi service with three Model T Fords and the Studebaker. Roy Lee Martin and Bud Skinner were his 'chauffeurs'. Fee to Ocean Springs from Vancleave was $1.75 per person. Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees]
Red Cash Store [circa 1923]
[On porch, L-R: Vertis Glenn Ramsay (1917-1933), Roy Lee Martin; Lester Mallette; a Ruble; Bruner Martin; C.L. Dees, Schley Byrd, Bill Fairley?, Lat Hawley, Bill Fairley, and 'Old Man' Bill Fairley. Children on bottom, L-R: unknown, unknown, unknown, Wallace Ramsay. Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees]
Red Cash Store
In June 1924, Cliff Dees acquired 1.48 acres for $425, from Irving Lyons in the SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-RW. Here he built his first mercantile building, The Red Cash Store. Mr. Dees also erected his home here which is extant at present day 4801 Old Dees Place, the residence of his daughter, Peggy D. Plunk. The Delco light plant and turpentine still were also located on this land parcel. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 54, p. 69 and Kipp Dees, January 1999)
Red Cash Store
[L-R: William Fairley, Ray Havens, C.L. Dees, and Schley Byrd]
An additional 4 acres east of the Dees home, which was contiguous with the Vancleave Consolidated School lot, was purchased from Mary B. Juan for $296 in September 1936. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 69, p. 374)
In July 1939, Mr. Dees struck a deal with the Dantzler Lumber Company, his former employer, to acquire "our unexpired leasehold on certain lots in Section 16, T6S-R7W with all improvements thereon". Some of these Jackson County School Board leases have been conveyed to the First Baptist Church of Vancleave by the Dees family through the years for church construction and expansion.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 73, pp. 526-527)
C.L. Dees and Ionia Mills Dees
[Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees-September 2007]
In February 1924, Cliff Dees married Miss Ionia Mills (1889-1975), a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and resident of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Their nuptials occurred in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Thomas at Long Beach, Mississippi. The Reverend O.S. Louis of Biloxi officiated. Don Mills was best man and Eve Mills was maid of honor. Roland Mills, her brother, gave her away. Ionia's father, Monroe M. Mills, was an oyster merchant at Baltimore marketing Chesapeake Bay and Gulf Coast mollusks. Mr. Mills owned summer homes at New Orleans and Biloxi. Ionia Mills was employed by Steiff Jewelers in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She met Cliff Dees at a summer dance in Biloxi and won his love for life. They reared a family at Vancleave consisting of: Lysbeth D. Ramsay (1925-2000), Clifton M. "Kipp" Dees (b. 1927), Peggy D. Plunk (b. 1930), Betty Jane Dees (1930-1971), and Patricia Dees Hinton Jones.(The Chronicle-Star, February 22, 1924, p. 1 and Kipp Dees, January 25, 1999)
The Dees General Merchandising Store
C.L. Dees Mercantile Store (1926-1976)
[Courtesy of C.M. "Kipp" Dees and from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. 'Tex' Hamill Collection courtesy of Charles L. Sullivan, curator and Professor Emeritus.]
In 1926, C.L. Dees acquired the L.N. Dantzler commissary across the road from his Red Cash Store for $17,500 and renamed it The Dees General Merchandising Store. This large, wood-frame building was the landmark at Vancleave, until it was totally destroyed by fire on January 4, 1976. Here in the SW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, on the north bank and in the flood plains of Bluff and Mounger’s Creek, Mr. Dees became a legendary character of the Piney Woods supplying the farmers, orchard men, charcoal burners, loggers, saw millers, and naval stores workers of the Vancleave region with the goods and merchandise essential to their livelihoods. In the second image the Dees auto garage is visible, which was run by Boyd Gamblin and Blackie Gliden.(Down South, March-April 1956, p. 28 and from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. 'Tex' Hamill Collection courtesy of Charles L. Sullivan, curator and Professor Emeritus)
Dees General Merchandising Store (almost inundated by Bluff Creek)
[L-R: standing on the store porch-B.B. Taylor,Clarence Bosarge, Leo Byrd, Jacob T. Lockard, Blackie Glidden, C.L. Dees, George Mallette; and Kipp Dees (holding water ski) in boat (l-r)-Cliff Flurry (with water ski) and James L. Gardner, Vancleave High School agriculture instructor, in boat).[Courtesy of C.M. "Kipp" Dees]
The C.L. Dees store was 136 feet in length and 66 feet wide or nearly 9,000 square-feet in total area with a large gallery. It was elevated to prevent inundation during periods of high water. Built in 1904, by the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company, the wooden structure had attended the needs of Dantzler’s local subsidiary, the Vancleave Lumber Company, as a warehouse and commissary. Until the mid-1930s, the Dees store was supplied with food staples, dry goods, and hardware by trading schooners embarking primarily from the port of New Orleans. The imported, barreled flour, rice, beans, and sugar had to be packaged in paper bags prior to retail sale. Mr. Dees also sold hardware, meat, fresh produce, candy, medicine, shoes and clothes, bolts of cloth to make clothing and quilts, and even coffins. (The Sun Herald, January 10, 1976) In addition, he brokered wool and pecans from local farmers and operated a slaughter house on Mounger’s Creek which was managed by Clarence Bosarge. (Kipp Dees, January 25, 1999)
The C.L. Dees store was also the seat of justice in Beat No. 5. Here Justices of the Peace held court in what was called the Doctor’s office. A former country doctor had once used the room to see patients. Trials for pig stealing, whiskey making, cattle theft, disturbing the peace, and battery were held. Political speeches were delivered from the gallery by local and state polticos. Several former governors: Paul B. Johnson Sr., Thomas L. Bailey, Mike Conner, and Fielding Wright had spoken from the Dee’s front porch. (The Sun Herald, January 10, 1976)
Baseball greats, Dizzy Dean and Claude Passo, sometimes stopped in. (Kipp Dees, January 26, 1999)
Mr. Dees was a vital cog in the economy of the Vancleave region. He generally had 40-50 men employed in his various enterprises. Florian K. Breland (1891-1963), Alyce Havens Bourgeois (1895-1962) and Alvin Flurry (1894-1966), as well as the Dees children, were key store employees. Among his valued woods workers were Bernard Fairley (1917-1992) and Harry Burney (1883-1968) and his sons, Cleophus "Red" Burney, Ben Burney (1917-1987) and Sam Burney. Marvin Ely and Andy Thomas were turpentine and rosin makers while Charlie Kimbers performed his duties as woodsrider. (Kipp Dees, January 26, 1999)
After C.L. Dees expired in November 1963, the old Dees store was managed by his son, Kipp Dees. With the cessation of commercial operations in the late 1960s, Kipp Dees closed the doors of the C.L. Dees Merchanding Store forever. On July 17, 1969, he commenced business as Southside Shopping, a grocery market, in a new building on Highway 57, which is now occupied by J’s Discount Drugs. The Kipp Dees building also housed a barber shop, beauty salon, and washiteria. (Kipp Dees, January 25, 1999)
When the renown, C.L. Dees Merchandising Store was destroyed in a large conflagration on January 4, 1976, the flames rapidly devoured the many tons of wax placed there by the candle makers who let the building from the Dees family. The heart pine hewn from the piney woods surrounding the legendary structure added to the intensity of the blaze and accelerated it destruction as within two hours the building was reduced to ash. (The Sun Herald, January 10, 1976)
New Red Cash
In 1995, Jane Dees Gottsche opened the 'New Red Cash Store' south of Vancleave to use for her catering business. At the time, she and her husband, Jack Gottsche, owned and operate Germaine’s, an upscale eatery, in Ocean Springs. (see The Sun Herald, Jackson County, September 2, 1995, p. 1 and p. 4)
The C.L. Dees Children
The children of C.L. Dees, like their illustrious father, went out into the world and did well. Their careers ranged from ranching to news broadcasting taking them from Vancleave to large metropolitan areas and foreign lands thousands of miles from their piney woods home place. A summary of the lives of the children of C.L.Dees and Ionia Mills Dees follows:
Lysbeth Dees Ramsay
Lysbeth Dees (1925-2000) was born at Vancleave. She attended Whitworth Jr. College at Brookhaven, Mississippi in 1943, the University of Texas, and graduated from the University of Alabama with an English degree. Lysbeth married Wyeth T. Ramsay (1920-1992), the son of Norman W. Ramsay (1879-1936) and Etta Stewart (1883-1970). Their children were: Wyeth T. "Chip" Ramsay Jr., Alan Thomas Ramsay, and Dees Ramsay Faucett.
The Ramsays resided at New York City where Lysbeth was an interior decorator and asistant editor at McCalls Magazine while Mr. Ramsay was an executive with the Palmolive-Peet Company. In 1956, the Ramsays were at Caracas, Venezuela. (Down South, March-April 1956, p. 29)
They eventually settled at Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1957. Here they founded the Delta East West Ltd. Gift Shop. This venture took them to the India and the Far East to acquire merchandise for their store. At Yazoo City, Mrs. Ramsay was active in the Yazoo City Junior Auxiliary, Republican politics, and the First United Methodist Church. She expired at Jackson, Mississippi on March 28, 2000, from respiratory failure in St. Dominic’s Hospital. (The Sun Herald, March 31, 2000, p. A-7)
Mrs. Ramsay’s son, Alan T. Ramsay of Yazoo City, is well-known on the Mississippi coast for his leadership in organizing the annual Ramsay Family Reunion.
Kipp Dees water skiing in Bluff Creek
[Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees]
Kipp Dees and "The Van Cleave Special"
Clifton Malachi Dees (1927-2011), popularly known as Kipp Dees, was the only son of C.L. Dees and Ionia Mills. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a youngman, eventually managing the Dees operations in the Vancleave region. Kipp married Phyllis Mallette (1928-2007), the daughter of Raymond Mallette (1898-1993) and Hattie Pearson Mallette (1901-1940), and had seven children: Jeanie D. Hays, Clifton M. Dees, Jane D. Barq Gottsche Trotter, Clay Chi Dees, Pauline Dees Montague, Raymond Scott Dees, and Shauna A. Dees Doty.
In 1946, Kipp Dees and Cliff Flurry commenced what became known as "the buck-out", a public rodeo, on the "Steele Farm", the 240-acre C.L. Dees cattle ranch in Sections 22 and 23, T5S-R7W. Mr. C.L. Dees acquired this property from F.L. Steele in July 1943. Cowboys from Hattiesburg, Poplarville, Lucedale, and other south Mississippi communities would rope and ride on Sunday afternoon. Some of the local "cowboys" who participated in the "buck-out" were: Bilbo Tootle, H.P. Davis, Lawrence McCall, Jason Mallette, and Mosley Mallette. (Kipp Dees, February 1, 1999, The Sun Herald, March 13, 2007, p. A4 and JXCO Land Deed Bk. 83, p. 369)
Rodeos were still be held on the Steele Farm as late as August 1968. At this time the First Annual Vancleave Rodeo was held here. It was tri-state approved and featured bronco and Brahman riding; steer wrestling; calf roping; barrel racing; and clown and specialty acts. The Fontainebleau 4-H Club was charged with the concession stands.(The Jackson County News, August 14, 1964, p. 1)
Kipp and Phyllis Mallette Dees' Children
[top, L-R: Pauline Dees and Chi Dees; middle, Cliff Dees and Jeanie Dees; bottom, Scott Dees, Jane Dees, and Shauna Dees. Courtesy of C.M. 'Kipp' Dees]
Another creation of Kipp Dees was "the nut supper", an annual gathering also on the "Steele Farm" of local celebrities, to celebrate tax filing day, April 15th. Businessmen from Wiggins, including baseball great, Dizzy Dean, were often in attendance to dine on steak, "mountain oysters", and other bovine delicacies. (Ibid.)
The "Van Cleave Special" is a po-boy, which owes its origin to Kipp Dees and Vincent "Vitsie" Rosetti of Biloxi. Rosetti was the proprietor of Rosetti’s, a neighborhood café, located on "the Point" in Biloxi. The business is extant today on East Howard Avenue, but it is now owned by another and known as The Biloxi Schooner. In 1947, late one night, Kipp Dees and several amigos were completing an evening of partying and dancing at Sie’s Place in Biloxi. They developed a healthy appetite, the kind resulting from drinking beer. The Vancleavers stopped at Rosetti’s, a legendary eatery, best known for its roast beef po-boy, to satisfy hunger pangs before heading northeast to Vancleave. Kipp Dees ordered a crabmeat po-boy with cheese. In subsequent visits to Rosetti’s, Kipp, who was facetiously called "Vancleave" by Vitsie Rosetti, again ordered the crabmeat po-boy and requested cheese. Rosetti tasted Kipp’s concoction and was so delighted with the results that he placed the po-boy sandwich on his menu calling it "The Van Cleave Special", in honor of his friend "Van Cleave" Dees. At this time, Dee’s culinary creation costs a whopping $1.75 making it the most expensive sandwich in the house. In recent times, "The Van Cleave Special" has been observed on restaurant menus as far east as Miami, Florida. (Kipp Dees, January 6, 1999)
Kipp Dees has been a zealot in regards the spelling of "Vancleave". He justly maintains that it is a family name and should be two words, "Van Cleave". Colonel Robert A.Van Cleave of Ocean Springs whose appellation the community now carries used the two-word spelling. Case closed? Unfortunately, the 1870 US Post Office spelled it Vancleave and that variation of the name has remained through the years. (The Mississippi Press, July 18, 1988)
Jane Dees, Kipp and Phyllis' daughter, was selected by the 4-H Club to tour western Europe in 1965 for three weeks. Jane was their goodwill representative while in the British Isles and on the Continent.(The Ocean Springs News, April 8, 1965, p. 1)
(see The Sun Herald, August 22, 2003, p. 8)
Kipp Dees expired at Gulfport, Mississippi on June 16, 2011. Vancleave has lost a 'true son' of the Piney Woods and an excellent local historian. God Bless you my friend and thank you for your kindness and sharing.(The Sun Herald, June 19, 2011, p. A12)
The Toni Twins-Peggy and Betty Dees
Peggy Dees Plunk (1930-2010) and Betty Jane Dees (1930-1971), identical twins, were born at Vancleave on May 29, 1930. They attended Whitworth Jr. College, the University of Missouri and the University of Mississippi. At the Columbia, Missouri campus they were selected "Class Favorites". After winning the Louisiana-Mississippi-Arkansas section of the Toni Twin Contest in the spring of 1949, the Dees sisters won the national title and became known as "The Toni Twins" in the 1949 national advertising campaign for Toni Shampoo.(The Daily Herald, March 31, 1949, p. 7)
Peggy Dees married Henry Porter Plunk (1923-2006), a native of Bethel Springs, Tennessee, and the son of J. Frank Plunk. He was a fighter pilot with the US Army Air Corps during WWII serving in the European Theater. Retiring as a Major, Porter Plunk worked in the civil service at the Gulfport Naval Base. He enjoyed golf and was of the Presbyterian faith. Peggy and Porter were married in May 1954 at Biloxi, Mississippi in the First Methodist Church. They were the parents of three children: Betty Plunk McCarroll; Oney Plunk Reynolds, and Daryl Plunk. Peggy resided in the old Dees family home on Bluff Creek at Vancleave for many years. She expired on September 24, 2010.(The Daily Herald, May 15, 1954, p. 7, Peggy Dees Plunk, February 1, 1999, The Sun Herald, March 15, 2006, p. A8 and September 27, 2010, p. A6)
Betty J. Dees (1930-1971) commenced a career in broadcast journalism when she joined the cast of WLOX at Biloxi. She hosted "Dees ’N Does Report" on radio and "Just Coasting", a daily TV variety show, which ran from 1962 until late 1969. Miss Dees retired from her media career in December 1969, and toured Europe for several months.(The Daily Herald, August 11, 1971, p. 2 and The Ocean Springs Record, December 18, 1969, p. 1)
Patricia Dees Hinton Jones
Patricia 'Patsy' Dees was born at Vancleave. She attended USM and later married Sammie Hinton (1930-1977), a merchant in the feed and seed business at Bay Springs, Mississippi. Their children were: Dees Hinton, Don Hinton, and Patricia Grigsby. Her two sons played college football at Millsaps College in Jackson.(Kipp Dees, February 1, 1999)
Don Hinton coached football at Ocean Springs commencing in 1992. He continued his education after Millsaps receiving an MS degree in education at USM. Hinton as a graduate assistant, worked on the USM football staff under Coach Jim Carmody. Before arriving at Ocean Springs, he was head coach and athletic director at Northwest Rankin and Jackson Murrah High schools. Don Hinton later was principal and athletic director at Vancleave High School.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 12, 1992, pp. 1-3)
Patsy Dees Hinton married General Buck ? and resided in Ocean Springs. He expired on March 4, 2007.
The Hotel and Boarding Houses
Vancleave was never a spa like its neighbor to the northwest, Ramsay Springs, which was operated by A.W. Ramsay commencing in the 1890s. Tourists came here in what became the southeastern corner of Stone County to relax, to imbide the clear cool water, and occasionally to hunt and fish. Early visitors at Ramsay Springs were boarded for $.75 per day and their animals fed for $.25 each day. (The Biloxi Herald, March 27, 1897, p. 8, c. 5)
During the Vancleave lumber boom from 1900-1930, the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company maintained a "hotel" for their employees and business guests. As the village of Vancleave grew with the timber industry, young female teachers came to the area to instruct the local children. They found room and board at several local boarding houses. Many of these women married local men and reared families in the region. (The Gulf Coast Times, May 28, 1953, p. 1)
The L.N. Dantzler Hotel
The L.N. Dantzler Hotel was a three-story, wood frame, building located in the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. It was situated on a hill in the vicinity of the Ramsay Cemetery (Vancleave Cemetery No. 2) and faced Bluff Creek to the east. (Mississippi EPA News, October 1989, p. 9)
The Wisteria Inn
This well-known, boarding house was operated by Miss Lizzie Ware (1876-1949+), the daughter of Johnson Ware (1835-1900+) and Elizabeth Williams (1837-1933). It was the domicile for many of the local female schoolteachers and a respite for the occasional nomadic traveler who wandered into the outback of Vancleave. The wood frame structure was located on Highway 57 in the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W, just southwest of the hardware store of Johnson Ware which was in business from 1967 until 1995.
Originally built by the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company, the edifice sat on wooden blocks and had five rooms. Miss Ware acquired Dantzler’s 99-year lease and the house on one-acre in October 1929, for $250. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 69, pp. 588-589).
Miss Ware enlarged the Wisteria Inn during her proprietorship to include six-bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. Sold to Richard A. Steelman in February 1949? Johnson Ware demolished the derelict structure during his tenure in the hardware business. ((JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 105, p. 177 and Johnson Ware, January 13, 1999)
The Norman W. Ramsay House
Norman Wallace Ramsay (1879-1936) was the son of Sardin G. Ramsay (1837-1920) and Louisa V. Ellis (1851-1886). He married Etta Stewart (1883-1970) and they reared four sons at Vancleave: N. Wallace Ramsay Jr. (1910-1962+), Keble S. Ramsay (1916-1975), Vertis G. Ramsay (1917-1993), and Wyeth T. Ramsay (1921-1992). N.W. Ramsay made his livelihood as a mercantile salesman at Vancleave until May 1926, when he built his own general store on Poticaw Bayou Road which is now occupied by the present day Cole’s Service Station.(The Jackson County Times, May 22, 1926, p. 5)
Norman W. Ramsay Home
(Ray L. Bellande image made February 1999)
The Ramsays acquired their home and one-acre in the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, from Ella Munger in March 1926.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 60, p. 79)
Here, Mrs. Etta Ramsay began boarding young teachers and soon the community knew the Norman Ramsay place on Highway 57 as "the teachers home". Alma L. Allen, a local correspondent for The Gulf Coast Times, wrote an amusing article in May 1953, titled with the interrogative, "Love Bug Hides In Ramsay Wisteria?" She related how local men of the Ramsay, Mallette, Lockard, Havens, Allen, Byrd, and Tootle families had wedded tenants of the Ramsay house. (The Gulf Coast Times, May 28, 1953, pp. 1-8)
St. Elmo Mallette purchased the Ramsay home from the N.W. Ramsay heirs in September 1962.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 229, pp.8-11)
The Old Settlers’ Reunion
Commencing circa 1921, the Vancleave Library Association held a fundraiser to equip the local school library. Before the May 1942 conflagration, destroyed the Vancleave Consolidated School on Poticaw Road, its library was reputed to be one of the best on the Mississippi coast. Biloxi men are known to have borrowed books from the Vancleave athenaeum because of a paucity of books in that city. The local social affair was usually held in late July, at the Vancleave Consolidated School. It was called Old Settlers Day and honored the pioneer settlers of the region. (The Gulf Coast Times, July 22, 1949, p. 1)
It brought together hundreds of people. This annual reunion picnic featured singing, square dancing, women attired in ante-bellum dresses, political speeches, and prizes for the oldest male and female attendees. It lasted for many years. (The Jackson County Times, August 1, 1925, p. 3, c. 4, and July 26, 1935) The Old Settlers Reunion may have been suspended during WW II, but was held again in July 1949. At this time, Mr. J.C. Yocum (1864-1960+) and Aunt Maggie O’Neal were recognized the oldest settlers present while Roscoe Fletcher had the largest family at the gathering. Officals of the Southern Bell Telephone Company spoke of their progress in servicing the region. (The Gulf Coast Times, July 22, 1949, p. 1.)
Scouting at Vancleave
Scouting came to Vancleave in October 1916, when Mrs. Florence Waugh Humphrey, Norma Lowry, and Mrs. I.J. Slay organized a Girls Camp Fire Club. (The Jackson County Times, Ocotber 28, 1916, p. 8)
A local troop of the Boy Scouts of America at Vancleave, was commenced in January 1925, at the high school. Troy Thompson was the scoutmaster and V.G. Humphrey (1885-1942), assistant scoutmaster. Twenty-two young men signed up to join the organization. Among them were: Wallace Ramsay, Richard Waugh, Harry Ruble, Keble Ramsay, and Reed Waugh. (The Chronicle Star, January 23, 1925, p. 1, c. 6)
Industrial Diversification (1930-1941)
Like every region of America, the people of Vancleave suffered during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Living in a rural environment, food was available through gardening, farming, and hunting-gathering. Not surprisingly, it was during this period that several small industries developed here in the piney woods-a reflection of the ingenuity and determination of the local citizenry to improve their lot rather than to feel pity for themselves.
The Federal Government during the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), instituted programs, known as the New Deal, to resurrect America from its economic woes. The Works Progress Administration or WPA was a New Deal agency created in 1935, to assist the unemployed. Billions of dollars were provided by the Government to employ people in the construction of schools, parks, dams, bridges, airports, tree planting, and sewers. Unemployed musicians, artists, and writers were also put to work. After 1939, the agency was called the Works Projects Administration. It ceased operations in 1943. (The Random House Encyclopedia, 1983, p. 2745)
The WPA Sewing Center
This small, labor-intensive, cottage industry was created by the WPA to employ women in the Vancleave area. It was situated near the C.L. Dees store and employed about a dozen people. The ladies working here made grey flannel garments. Ruth L. Roberts (1897-1971) and Eva Havens are believed to have been among the local work force employed at the sewing center. (Kipp Dees, 1998)
The Shuttle Mill
This small mill was established in April 1935, by I.W. Thompson of Columbia, Mississippi. It produced shuttle blanks made of dogwood for spinning mills. The mill had a capacity of 25 cords of wood per day for which $11.00 per cord was paid. The plant had an initial employment of ten workers. (The Chronicle-Star, April 12, 1935) It was located in the J.L. Lockard mule barn on Poticaw Bayou Road where Cole’s Drive Inn exists today. The dogwood timber was cut into fourteen-inch long, rectangular blocks. A 2-inche portion of each end was dipped into melted paraffin and sealed. In later years, the Keen and Irwin families ran the shuttle mill. It lasted post-WW II. (Jacob T. Lockard, 1998)
Two daughters of Broxton Wilson (1884-1937) and Bertha O’Neal Wilson (1892-1956), Urla June and Ina Sue Wilson, married Dudley Keen and Jake Keen. They relocated to the Vicksburg area. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
The Canning Plant
In May 1936, a canning plant, located at Tupelo, was given to the Vancleave Processing Cooperative Association by the ERA. The plant, which consisted of a large boiler, nine retorts, packing table, "monorail", a large meat grinder, and 20,000 cans, was shipped to Vancleave by truck. The 30’x 50’ building to house the plant was to be built near the agricultural teacher’s home. The first project for the canning plant was the canning of the 1936 pear crop and syrup. It was anticipated that surplus and perishable agricultural products, such as meat, beans, vegetables, and fruit would be preserved by the canning process. The Vancleave Processing Cooperative Association was led by Will Rogers (1875-1971), president; Carl Roberts, vice-president; and Noll Carter, secretary. The board of directors was composed of: Leland R. Abel, L.E. Brown, Cliff Dees (1886-1963), Howard E. Jennings (1901-1953), and Will Rogers. (The Chronicle-Star, May 8, 1936)
In June 1936, the L.N. Dantzler Company quitclaimed a 1.7-acre tract in the SW/4, NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W to the Vancleave Processing Cooperative Association. It was a portion of their unexpired lease in the area. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 70, pp. 503-504)
The donated canning plant parcel was located on Highway 57 where the Vancleave Public Library is situated today. Local merchant, C.L. Dees, had a can label which read, "Grow Strawberries and Pay Your Bills". (Kipp Dees, 1998)
The Feed Mill
In February 1938, Wallace Ramsay, Robert Cochran, L.D. Roberts, Anders Tootle, Cliff Dees, and Leland R. Abel petitioned the Jackson County Board of Supervisors to acquire funds from the Mississippi Industrial Commission. These concerned citizens of Vancleave wanted to erect and operate a Letz feed mill, a Meadows grist mill, and a syrup plant modeled after the Laurel plant. The request also included a Farmall-20 tractor equipped with a disk and mower. These enterprises would create an increase in local agricultural production and additional markets for County farm products. (The Chronicle-Star, February 11, 1938, p. 1)
Another WPA project was outdoor latrine construction. Local men dug many holes for two-seater, domestic toilets. The cavity was lined with concrete to prevent caving. A wooden shed to cover the facility completed the latrine. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
Electrons flowing through wires is nothing new to most of us, but less than sixty years ago, the majority of piney woods citizens were using kerosene lanterns and/or candles to light their abodes each night. At Vancleave, C.L. Dees had a Delco battery light plant to provide DC current to his store and home. It was the US Government sponsored Rural Electrification Administration that saw to it that rural America, situated outside of power company administered areas, received electrical energy. Vancleave received electricity shortly before the advent of WW II.
The Singing River Rural Electric Association, which supplies the Vancleave region with electrical energy, was organized in August 1938. By late December 1938, J.E. Cole, a Lucedale attorney, was urging citizens of Jackson, George, and Greene Counties to join the Singing River Electric Power Association before January 1, 1939. The effort to bring electrical power to the region was known as "Mississippi 39 Jackson". The SREPA was assured of 100 miles of distribution lines in the three county area. (The Chronicle-Star, December 23, 1938, p. 1, cc. 1-2)
Electric current began flowing into homes at Vancleave on March 9, 1940, when the SREPA lines from Wilkerson Ferry to Vancleave was energized. Customer service on the east side of the Pascagoula River had been completed some time prior. An average of two houses per mile was essential for the energization of the power lines by the SREPA. (The Chronicle-Star, March 8, 1940, p. 1, c. 8)
C.L. Dees (1886-1963) of Vancleave was a pioneer director of the Singing River Electric Power Association. (The Daily Herald, November 20, 1963, p. 1, c. 7)
Although the naval stores industry was one of Vancleave’s and the surrounding areas earlier economic activities, the January 1902 sale of 12,000-acres of pinelands by the aging members of the Orrell family from North Carolina, John C. Orrell (1830-1917), Christopher C. Orrell (1834-1906), and Patrick H. Orrell (1838-1914), opened the portals for outsiders to enter the turpentine business in western Jackson County, Mississippi. Naval stores operators from New Orleans, Florida, and Alabama, as well as small Vancleave, operators came on the scene. (The Ocean Springs Record, May 14, 1998, p. 20)
Turpentine orchard wood riders
(Courtesy of C.M. "Kipp" Dees)
Most large turpentine orchard operations had a woodsrider. He was in charge of all turpentine workers in the orchards as well as in the turpentine camps. In many cases, the woodsrider had to assume the role of father confessor, chaplain, or physician to his sylvan personnel. In the long-leaf, pine forests, it was his duty of mark trees that workers missed and to ensure that daily tasks like dipping and chipping were properly and completely done.
By the late 1930s, there were two small turpentine distilleries still operating part time at Vancleave. James L. Lockard (1862-1951) and the F.V. Baldwin Company of Satsuma, Alabama in partnership with L.S. Allen had fire stills along Poticaw Bayou Road. They employed thirty men with an annual payroll of $6000. Cliff L. Dees (1886-1963) employed thirty workers in his orchard, but shipped his pine gum to the Gay-Hamill still at Ocean Springs for processing. His payroll was $6000 annually. (WPA for Jackson County-1937)
Local turpentine operator, Luther S. "Uncle Bud" Allen (1872-1949), was a native of Mt. Croughan, St. Carolina. He arrived at Vancleave in 1923, following the turpentine industry through South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama before finally finding a permanent home place in western Jackson Couny, Mississippi. In June 1901, Allen married Estelle Moseley (1882-1977), of Coffee County, Alabama. Their children were: Jane A. Mallette Morgan, Mary Sue A. Brock, Coy Allen (1902-1987), Joe Francis Allen, Flusch O. Allen (1906-1956), Wayland Allen (1907-1987), and William Allen (1919-1980). (The Gulf Coast Times, October 21, 1949, p. 1) Mr. Allen also operated a small store at the bifurcation of River Road and Poticaw Bayou Road. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
C.L. Dees' turpentine still, derelict, rosin barrels, and turpentine camp house
[L-R: January 1999 images of brick, still foundation and old rosin barrels by Ray L. Bellande; 1956 turpentine camp house from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. 'Tex' Hamill Collection courtesy of Charles L. Sullivan, curator.]
C.L. Dees' turpentine still and camp
In the 1940s, C.L. Dees commenced turpentine distillation activities at his fire still situated between his home on Highway 57 and the old Vancleave Consolidated High School on Poticaw Bayou Road. It burned during its first week of operation, but was rebuilt quickly. The forest laborers employed by Mr. Dees lived near the still in a tirpentine camp. Very recent deforestation on this tract in the SE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, has uncovered the old brick structure known as the "fire still setting." The kettle or still, usually a 20-barrel copper vessel, in which pine gum was placed for distillation, sat on this brick structure. A fire beneath the structure heated the pine gum in the still until distillation temperature was reached and the hot vapors condensed as turpentine. Several 55-gallon, steel, rosin barrels are situated near the derelict fire still setting. Timber cutters report hitting steel bands or hoops from wooden barrels while operating the slasher during timber removal. When C.L. Dees ceased turpentine distillation at Vancleave, he joined a naval stores cooperative at Pritchard, Alabama. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
World War II (1941-1945)
A number of local men and women went to war in Europe and the South Pacific. Although the list is long it is not complete. The following persons are believed to have been in the military during the WWII years: Captain James F. Alford (1913-1975), William Allen (1919-1980), Fred L. Ashford, John B. Ashford, Willie D. Ashford, Eddie W. Barnes (1924-1988), Pvt. Johney Belton (1907-1953), Willie L. Bilbo (1913-1971), S. Ceasor "Rat" (1916-1973), Charles S. Bilbo (1919-1999), Cecil N. Bilbo (1924-1984), Bennie Bohnam (1908-1989), Ernest E. Caldwell (1921-1974), Charles O. Calton (1920-1988), Brunner Colton Carter (1912-1980), Paul C. Carter (1922-1978), Davis A. Cook Jr. (1921-1974), Ellis E. Cowart (KIA), Curtis L. Davis, H.P. Davis, Henry Davis, Major Olin H. Davis (1914-1975), Sgt. Buster H. Day (1926-1981), Austin O. Delancey (1914-1995), Col. Ray W. Devereaux (1917-1978), Pvt. Thomas J. Dickson III (1923-1987), Commander Chaplin Ivan C. Ellis (1899-1978), Cliff Flurry, James Flurry, Pvt. Henry L. Harvey (1926-1988), Pvt. George E. Havens (1916-1969), Pvt. Hubert D. Havens, Sgt. Jessie V. Havens (1914-1980), Pvt. James W. Hinton (1920-1989), Donis Holden, Robert Holden, S.T. Holden, Pvt. John M. Hollingsworth (1924-1944), Lloyd Jennings, Sgt. William Alan Keebler (1914-1992), John A. Kite Jr. (1924-1985), James Landrum (1907-1993), Thomas B. Liscomb (1909-1989), Lt. USN Jacob T. Lockard (1909-1998), Conrad Mallette, Harry B. Mallette, Jason Mallette, Moseley Mallette, St. Elmo Mallette, J.W. McMillan, R. Curtis McMillan, Pvt. Huges C. McRae (1919-1960), Stone Moore, Clifford W. Murphy (1918-1943), C.E. Murphy, Omar Murphy, T.L. Murphy Jr. (1914-1996), Jack O’Neal, Pvt. J.L. Overstreet, Pvt. H.P. Overstreet, Pvt. W.E. Overstreet, John D. Parker Jr. (1918-1989), Frank Ramsay, Wyeth T. Ramsay (1920-1992), R.T. Ruble, SM 2/c Roy B. Roberts, Sgt. Nolle T. Roberts, Rupert Roberts, Pvt. Herman D. Stewart (1917-1991), Donald E. Taylor, Stover Tillman, Eron and Iron Tootle, Johnson Ware, Milton Walker, Col. Charles R. Vickery (1920-1991), Pvt. Harold F. Vincent (1908-1986), Richard R. Woodman (1922-1980), Pvt. Fred B. Ware, Pvt. Lee Wilson (1902-1970), and Margaret N. Young (1907-1978).
Post-War Years (1945-1960)
Young WW II veterans after voyages to many sectors of the globe, came home to the agrarian society at Vancleave with money in their pockets and the GI bill, which offered an opportunity to acquire a college education. In addition to farming, naval stores and timber, and clerking in local stores, the shipyards at Pascagoula and Mobile and civil service at KAFB in Biloxi offered economic opportunities for returning veterans. (Robert Holden, February 9, 1999)
Restaurants, Beer Joints, and Moonshine
At this time, a small eatery, the Coffee Pot, commenced business on Highway 59 (now Highway 57). Several beer joints or jooks existed near Vancleave, and a few native bootleggers provided locally distilled "moonshine or white lightning" to willing customers. Whiskey making, a distillation process similar to turpentine manufacturing, was pervasive in the piney woods with the Wire Road section producing a high volume of corn liquor. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
[l-r: Joe Berry Cunningham (1889-1971) seated at the table, ?, ?, and Benjamin E. Ellis (1901-1983)]
[From the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. 'Tex' Hamill Collection courtesy of Charles L. Sullivan, curator and Professor Emeritus.]
The Vancleave Cafe was operated by Hazel Barnes Entrekin from about 1944 into the early 1960s. She was open for hungry customers seven days each week from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and never closed. Lee Entrekin, her husband, was an electrician and opened an electrical office after he created a space by building a wall to separate his business from the Vancleave Cafe. Eventually, Mr. Entrkin was elected Justice of the Peace and held court in his electrical shop. The Vancleave Cafe was built on 16th Section land leased from Benjamin E. Ellis and situated about ten feet north of the Ellis garage. Mrs. Entrekin ran the Vancleave Cafe for over twenty years and closed the eatery after Mr. Entrekin passed.(Linda Entrekin Ellis and Ivan Ellis, January 2, 2007)
Cunningham's Grocery [circa 1953] with J.E. Lockard Store in the background and the Vancleave Bait Shop [November 1994]
[From the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. 'Tex' Hamill Collection courtesy of Charles L. Sullivan, curator and Professor Emeritus. Second image by and Ray L. Bellande]
This entrepreneurial venture commenced in 1942, when Joe Berry Cunningham (1889-1971) acquired the business of Walter Breland. Jacob T. 'Jake' Lockard (1909-1998) had run the store before Mr. Breeland. Mr. Cunningham and spouse, Clara Delancey Cunningham (1891-1957), initially vended gasoline and oil here at Poticaw Road and Bluff Ridge Road, then called Cunningham's Corner. As the Cunningham's business prospered, their building was enlarged and groceries vended. Upon the demise of Mrs. Cunningham in 1957, Joe Berry Cunningham closed the business.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 178 and Linda Entrekin Ellis and Ivan Ellis, January 2, 2007)
The Coffee Pot
Cliff L.Dees built the Coffee Pot, a restaurant, which was situated in a concrete block building in the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. He brought Cooper Gamblin (1912-1993) and Nell Gamblin from Philadelphia, Mississippi to operate the eatery. A hardy country breakfast, lunches, and dinners were served. Huron Harrell (1925-1992) and Daphine Harrell succeeded the Gamblins at the Coffee Pot. Dan Holden (1924-1967) aquired a lease here from Mr. Dees and continued in the restaurant business until his demise in 1967. Robert Holden bought the Dees school board lease and opened a grocery market, Holden’s, which closed in recent years.(Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
Madeline’s or Rat’s Place
Madeline Bilbo (1908-1991), the wife of Ceasor "Rat" Bilbo (1908-1991) ran a beer joint on Highway 59 (now Highway 57) situated in the SW/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W. The Bilbo’s was a social club for the Black community and featured fish fries, cold beer, and dancing on the weekends. White folks were welcomed. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
Flusch O. Allen (1906-1956) operated a beer joint in a shot-gun structure situated on the southside of Poticaw Bayou Road near its intersection with Tanner Road in the SW/4 of Section 11, T6S-R7W. Flusch’s catered to all races in the Vancleave region-Black, "Creole", and White. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
The Dixieland Theater
The Dixieland Theater
These 1940s-1950s wood, framed structures were situated to the northwest of his mercantile store on Poticaw Road. From L-R: Emile Ladner's grocery store, which became Wilson's Saw Shop; Arthur Burke's barbershop and home; and the Dixieland Theater, which was owned by C.L. Dees. The balcony was reserved for Whites only while Black folks and Creoles sat on the first floor. Blackie Gliden ran the theater for Mr. Dees.[From the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. 'Tex' Hamill Collection courtesy of Charles L. Sullivan, curator and Professor Emeritus]
Whiskey Stills and Bootleggers
In September 1947, agents of the Alcohol Tax Unit operating out of New Orleans, arrested several persons in the Graham’s Ferry area northeast of Vancleave. They were charged with operating one of the largest whiskey stills ever uncovered in Mississippi. The illicit, liquor-making, operation was capable of producing 200 gallons of moonshine each day from its 800-gallon still which was situated in densely forested terrain. Lawmen estimated that the rogue distillery had the daily potential of evading federal taxes in the amount of $2000. Constable William Gaston Groves (1888-1955) of Vancleave assisted agents from the tax unit. (The Jackson County Times, September 13, 1947, p. 1, c. 1)
Loud Burney, a local character who carried a wooden leg, was the most renown of the bootleggers operating in the vicinity of Vancleave. He sold illegal whiskey from his car in the parking lot at the C.L. Dees store. Burney was an outstanding citizen of Vancleave and always had money. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
Palmer G. Murphy-The Vancleave Pharmacy and other enterprises
In the late 1940s, Palmer G. Murphy (1916-1990) opened the first drugstore in Vancleave with George Clark, a pharmacist from Pascagoula. It was located in the Pharmacy Building across the Ms. Highway 57 from C.L. Dee’s Coffee Pot. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
M&M Lumber Company
[Post WW II, Palmer G. Murphy (1916-1990) commenced the M&M Lumber Company with his brother, T.L. Murphy Jr. (1914-1996). Their sawmill was situated in the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W on Miss. Highway 59 (now Miss. Highway 57). (Courtesy of Gale Murphy Hall)
Palmer G. Murphy and his brother, T.L. Murphy Jr. (1914-1996), were among the leading entrepreneurs at Vancleave in the 20th Century. Palmer married Mary Katherine Davis (1919-1976) of Grand Bay, Alabama. They had three children: Lorraine Gale Hall, Jenny Kathelena Cole, Patrick G. Murphy, and an infant son who expired in July 1940. After Katherine D. Murphy expired in July 1976, Mr. Murphy wedded Philomena Quarto.(Cossey, 1996, p. 14)
Possibly, P.G. Murphy’s first business venture in Vancleave was a small grocery store that he ran with his wife, Katherine. Shortly after WW II, Palmer G. Murphy accepted a Federal grant, which consisted of a large fleet of GMC trucks to be used in pulp wood transportation. They consisted simply of the cab and chassis. It was an impressive sight to see these mono-colored vehicles parked at the P.G. Murphy store on Poticaw Bayou Road where Cole’s Service Station is now situated. (Kipp Dees, December 20, 1998)
Then came the drugstore and later, a drive-in, which served refreshments. It was called "Dairy Dream". Other P.G. Murphy ventures followed like the "Frosty Inn", a hamburger eatery featuring frosted rootbeers and frozen custards, and a drive-in movie at Biloxi, located on Pass Christian Road. The culmination of his business activities was the bottling plant which distributed Mr. Murphy’s patented soft drinks. (Cossey, 1996, p. 14)
In September 1949, P.G. Murphy brought Dr. W.C. Rountree to Vancleave. The community had been without medical advice for about a year when Dr. Joffe had departed the piney woods. After the demise of Dr. S.R. Ratliff in 1936, Dr. Watkins practiced medicine out of the C.L. Dees General Merchandising Store for many years. (Kipp Dees, February 6, 1999)
Dr. Rountree was born and educated in Texas. After combat duty with the 1st Division, US Marine Corps in the South Pacific, he completed his medical education at the San Diego Naval Hospital and Tulane. P.G. Murphy met W.C. Rountree at his parent’s home in Gulfport. One of Vancleave’s natural assets attractive to Dr. Rountree was its freshwater fishing, which Mr. Murphy pointed out was the best in Mississippi. (The Gulf Coast Times, September 16, 1949, p. 1, c. 7)
Palmer G. Murphy was an outstanding citizen of Vancleave and Jackson County. His involvement and service to God and community brought him and association with the following organizations: Deacon of the First Baptist Church of Vancleave, board member of the Singing River Electric Power Association, board member of the Jackson County Airport Association, board member of the Gulf Coast Community Hospital, board member of the Home of Grace, and board member of the Metropolitan Bank. (The Sun Herald, December 28, 1990)
The Clifford W. Murphy American Legion Post No. 166
This local, military, veterans’ hall was named for Clifford Windford Murphy (1918-1943), the son of Dr. Robert N. Murphy III and Lydia Wiggins. C.W. Murphy was a 1942 graduate of Mississippi State University with a B.S. in Agronomy. He served in a US Army medical unit in North Africa, during WW II. Pvt. Murphy drowned during the invasion of Sicily in July 1943. (Cossey, 1996, p. 36)
The C.W. Murphy American Legion Post No. 166 meeting hall was erected in the summer of 1949, on the east side of Highway 57 about ½ miles south of the Bluff Creek bridge. In January 1949, the Dantzler Lumber Company had donated 1.5 acres of land for the site in the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 105, p. 368) Olin H. Davis (1914-1975) was post commander, heading a membership list of between 60 and 70 veterans. Associates of the organization built the Legion hall with materials donated by the U.S. Forestry Service et al. (The Gulf Coast Times, July 22, 1949, p. 1) Interest in the American Legion hall waned because it wasn’t a club and didn’t have a bar. (Johnson Ware, January 13, 1999)
The Korean War (1950-1953)
This conflict was fought on Korean soil shortly after the end of WW II. Many veterans were recalled to join UN forces pitted against the invading North Koreans and their ally, China. Some of those men from Vancleave who served their country during this discord were: Capt. James F. Alford (1913-1975), E.W. Stephen Burrows (1929-1986), William Edd Irving (1929-1970), BM/2c Robert Holden, Sgt. John D. Parker Jr. (1918-1989), Colonel Charles Ramsay Vickery (1920-1991), and Leonard H. Wallen (1930-1984).
Slash Pine Planting
In early January 1951, the St. Regis Paper Company of Pensacola, Florida commenced a slash pine tree reforestation program to restore over 17,500 acres of deforested lands in the Vancleave region. St. Regis had a paper mill at Pensacola, the second largest in the world, and they were erecting a new mill in Jacksonville, Florida. The paper company’s plans were to plant three million seedling each year for four years on their lands west of Vancleave between the L&N Railroad tracks at Ocean Springs and Latimer. It was anticpated that the crop of slash pines would mature in fifteen years and return their $30,000 investment in the form of newsprint, kraft, and other pulp wood products. T.L. Murphy Jr. (1914-1996) of Vancleave was the local wood dealer for St. Regis. (The Gulf Coast Times, January 19, 1951, p. 1, c. 8)
E.V. McGrath In March 1951, E.V. McGrath acquired the Guess Humphrey (1881-1951) estate on the Ocean Springs-Vancleave Road. He had come from California seeking a location for his small furniture plant. Concerning the site that he chose at Vancleave, amr. McGrath said, "This is the finest location I found in all my travels and I traveled pretty much over the globe. It is an ideal place for my home amd factory". Fred Moran (1897-1967) was partially responsible for McGrath relocating to west Jackson County. He planned to manufacture small furniture pieces and tables with a work force of about a dozen craftsmen. E.V. McGrath was anticipating marketing the plant’s work at department stores and gift shops. (The Gulf Coast Times, March 29, 1951, p. 1)
Guess Humphrey vended before her demise
C.L. Dees (1954)
[Courtesy of C.M. "Kipp" Dees]
In early 1950, Cliff Dees became active in oil exploration in the Vancleave section. Like Jackson County’s first wildcatters, O.H. de Lamorton (1848-1918) and Frank H. Lewis (1865-1930), Cliff Dees felt strongly that there was oil present beneath the pine and savanna lands of west central Jackson County. Mr. Dee’s interest was so strong that he invested a portion of his personal fortune to find the elusive "black gold". Dees participated in a 9,030-foot Lower Cretaceous test well in Section 28, T5S-R7W, just southeast of Spring Lake. Although abandoned as dry, the wildcat found shows of oil in the Tuscaloosa Formation, a prolific oil producing horizon in central and southwestern Mississippi. (The Ocean Springs Record, December 12, 1996, p. 24)
THOMAS L. MURPHY JR.
Thomas Lafayette Murphy Jr. (1914-1996) was the son of Thomas L. Murphy Sr. (1875-1959) and Lillie E. Armstrong (1893-1988). The Murphy clan led by Dr. Robert N. Murphy (1843-1914), a Civil War veteran who attained the rank of sergeant in Co A of the 42nd Alabama Infantry, arrived at Vancleave after an nomadic career which saw him practice medicine at Pensacola, Mobile, Castleberry and Monroeville, Alabama, and Biloxi. (Cossey, 1996, p. 9)
(l-r),Thomas Lafayette Murphy Jr. (1914-1996) and Unknown (image November 1956)
[Courtesy of Althea "Rete" Murphy Flurry]
T.L. Murphy Sr. was born at Castleberry, Alabama and made his livelihood as a charcoal dealer and railroad engineer, probably for the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad or the Illinois Central line. He married Lillie Elena Armstrong, the daughter of Lewis Wade Armstrong (1849-1914) and Jane Davis (1861-1933), the niece of Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), president of the CSA. The Armstrongs resided at Fontainebleau. The other children of T.L. and Lillie E. Murphy were: Palmer G. Murphy (1916-1990), Omar Murphy (b. 1917), Charles E. Murphy (b. 1922), Althea "Rete" M. Flurry (b. 1925), and Maudree M. Tootle (b. 1928). ((The Daily Herald, November 7, 1959, p. 2 and Althea "Rete" M. Flurry, February 21, 1999)
Thomas L. Murphy Jr., affectionately known as T.L., was an alumnus of the Vancleave Consolidated High School and Perkinston Jr. College. He was employed by the US Forestry Service for ten years, until he entered the US Army during WW II. (The Gulf Coast Times, October 27, 1950, p. 1)
While working at Adams County in the Civil Conservation Corps during the Depression years, he met Paula Ogden (1907-1994), a native of David, Panama, where her father was envoy to that Central American republic. Miss Ogden was reared at Natchez, Mississippi. They married in December 1936. Paula O. Murphy was a graduate of MSCW and attended LSU. She taught home economics in Adams, Walthall, and Jackson Counties. The Murphy couple were childless.(Althea "Rete" M. Flurry, February 20, 1999 and The Sun Herald, March 22, 1994, p. A-2)
In May 1937, T.L. Murphy Jr. was the public relations coordinator for the US Forestry Service at Jackson, Mississippi. (The Daily Herald, May 14, 1937, p. 11)
During WW II, Thomas L. Murphy Jr. served with General Patton’s Third Army in Europe as a combat engineer. He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery at Bastogne, a small rail junction in eastern Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Murphy also received two Purple Hearts for wounds acquired in combat against German forces. After the war, he remained in Europe at the University of Berlin where his expertise in forestry was utilized to plan for the restoration of the war ravaged Schwarzwald (Black Forest). Mr. Murphy spoke fluent German. (Cossey, 1996, pp. 12-13)
Returning to Vancleave from Western Europe, T.L. Murphy commenced the M&M Lumber Company with his brother, Palmer G. Murphy (1916-1990). Their sawmill was situated in the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W on Miss. Highway 59 (now Miss. Highway 57). At this time, T.L. Murphy was also in the gas utility business. (Cossey, 1996, p. 13)
In 1947, T.L. Murphy began developing his 240-acre farm, which was located in Section 22, T6S-R7W about four miles southeast of Vancleave. He had acquired the tract in 1939, but WW II delayed his development of fine pastures for his beef cattle, sheep, and dairy cows. Eighty-one acres of the Murphy farm where left in timber. Here 2500 pines trees for turpentine distillation were tapped for their gum utilizing the acid method of extraction. (The Gulf Coast Times, October 27, 1950, p. 1, c. 2)
One of the first Displaced Persons Families to arrive in America from war torn Europe were selected to work on the Murphy farm at Vancleave. A milk barn was erected, and the John Kobra family from Germany ran the Murphy dairy processing the milk of Holstein and other dairy cattle. (Althea "Rete" M. Flurry, February 20, 1999)
Bluff Creek Canning Company
T.L. Murphy Jr. was instrumental in initiating new industry in the Vancleave region. With timber and naval stores declining, he saw the need for new businesses in the community. Mr. Murphy observed that a plant at Pascagoula, making cat food from trash fish and meal, was very profitable. He got a job as a deckhand on a fishing boat working for this cat food operation and made observations of their operations while unloading their vessel at the plant dock. After Murphy had acquired a good working knowledge of the entire cat food factory, he decided to open a similar operation near Vancleave. (Ivan Ellis, December 11, 1998)
Bluff Creek Canning Company
[Courtesy of Althea "Rete" Murphy Flurry]
In July 1953, Mr. Murphy and his brother, Palmer G. Murphy (1916-1990), acquired a three-acre tract in the NE/4,SE/4,NE/4 of Section 28, T6S-R7W from the Woodman family. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 136, pp. 142-144)
By early September 1953, T.L. Murphy Jr., Paula O. Murphy, his spouse, and brother, P.G. Murphy, had incorporated the Bluff Creek Canning Company for $75,000. It was located on the east bank of Bluff Creek south of Vancleave. A fish-based, cat food was the initial product made here. The Murphys secured a contract with the John Morrell Co. of Ottumwa, Iowa to process and can the cat food. (The Gulf Coast Times, September 3, 1953, p. 1, c. 4) I
The Daily Herald related on February 25, 1959 that "three years later (1956) the Morrell Company bought out the plant and is now a subsidiary of the Morrell Company with Tom Murphy as president, W.A. Stowe, general manager, and Ivan Ellis, plant superintendent.(The Daily Herald, February 25, 1959)
In July 1961, The Bluff Creek Canning Company was sold to the John Morrell Company when W.M. McCallum was president. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 212, pp. 204-205)
In November 1956, Morrell with T.L. Murphy Jr., as plant manager, commenced a tuna canning operation adjacent to Morrell’s Red Heart cat food plant on Bluff Creek. It was marketed under the brand name "Golden Fin". Murphy stated that the plant was the first east of the Mississippi River to can tuna while his advertisements proclaimed it to be "America’s First Canners of Gulf Tuna". Yellow Fin Tuna was supplied to the plant by Cecil Drake owner of Marine Sales & Service of Pascagoula from the tuna boats, Sirrocco, Milmar, and Alphild. Each vessel had the capacity to load 25 tons of tuna fish and the average Gulf yellow fin tuna weighs approximatley 100 pounds. In 1958, the Bluff Creek Canning Company processed 1000 tons of tuna.It was anticipated that the tuna plant would process 10,000 pounds of raw tuna daily, when in full operation. (The Ocean Springs New, November 15, 1956, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, February 25, 1959)
Morrell sought institutional buyers, rather than family consumers for their canned fish products, which were trucked to their warehouse at Fontainebleau and shipped by rail freight to national markets. (Ivan Ellis, December 11, 1998)
In July 1958, T.L. Murphy revolutionized the fishing industry by installing refrigeration units aboard his vessels. Prior to this action, many fish catches were lost due to the inefficiency of the older icing method. (The Ocean Springs News, July 17, 1958)
John Morrell & Co. of Chicago sold the cat food plant back to T.L. Murphy Jr. in November 1963. He was residing in Wiggins at this time where he was involved with the Southern Paper Company and a wood preserving plant at Prentiss, Mississippi.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 252, pp. 473-474 and Cossey, 1996, p. 13)
In February 1964, T.L. Murphy Jr. sold the Bluff Creek canning plant to Bluff Creek Industries. This entity made ladies’ purses.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 252, pp. 475-476 and Ivan Ellis, December 11, 1998)
Bluff Creek Industries defaulted on a Small Business Administration loan and lost the plant and collateral lands to Pascagoula attorney, Otto Karl Wiesenburg (1911-1990), in April 1972. In October 1973, Mr. Wiesenburg conveyed the canning plant to Beverly Booker of Biloxi who owned Hygiene Frozen Foods.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 427, p. 190 and Bk. 480, p. 69)
Hygiene Frozen Foods
William Booker (b. 1922), a native of Frisco City, Alabama, who came to Biloxi circa 1940, ran the plant at Vancleave for about nine years, primarily packing crabmeat. He utilized a labor force of about 30 people, chiefly local Vancleave women to pick the meat from Mississippi Sound blue crabs, which were trucked from the coast to the Bluff Creek plant. On good days, the plant would run 3500 pounds of live crabs recovering about 500-600 pounds of raw meat, if the Pass Christian blue crabs were available. These crustaceans were more meatier than those from other coast localities. (Billy Booker, February 23, 1999)
Booker had an excellent market for his seafood product in New Orleans. Here he sold fresh crabmeat to four-star restaurants such as, Brennan’s, Arnoud’s, and the Court of Two Sisters. In addition to lump crabmeat and crab claws, Mr. Booker sold stuffed crabs, crab stuffing, crab pizzas, and other seafood items under the label, "Captain Bill’s Frozen Food". The Hygiene Frozen Foods operation ceased activity at Vancleave due to a shortage of labor. (Ibid.)
By February 1997, the SBA had again repossessed the Vancleave canning plant and it was purchased by W.H. Mitchell et al. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 1391, p. 879)
In later years, T.L. Murphy Jr. built a small office at Vancleave on Highway 57, in the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W, where he became involved in timber exporting. He expired at Biloxi on September 29, 1996.
The Wade-Vancleave Road, the east-west artery that joins Mississippi Highway No. 57, formerly No. 59, to Mississippi High Wy No. 63 at Wade was commenced in December 1950. For some reason the work at this time only accomplished grading and stump removal for the future road bed. It was not until June 1953, that funding for the $200,000 Wade-Vancleave was approved. In October 1953, construction commenced on the ten-mile route connecting present day Mississippi Highway No. 57 with Mississippi Highway No. 63.(The Daily Herald, December 12, 1950, p. 6, The Gulf Coast Times, June 25, 1953, p. 1 and November 5, 1953, p. 1)
In late August 1959, the Vancleave Lions Club was chartered at the Buena Vista Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mississippi Governor of the Lions Club, James Shuhardt of Long Beach, Mississippi, presented the charter with the following officers present: Jack Pennel, president; John Ware, vice pres.; Jacob Lockhart, 2nd vice pres.; T.L. Murphy, 3rd vice-pres.; Robert Cossey, sec.-treas.; Joseph Hawley, Lion tamer; John Kite, tail twister; and Directors: J.S. Tillman; Al Lee; John Lovelace; and H.P. Davis.(The Daily Herald, August 20, 1949, p. 8)
This period of Vancleave’s history is marked with rapid changes in growth and the coming of "the foreigners", as the natives call their new neighbors from other regions. Several of the local, landed families, especially the Heirs of C.L. Dees, who controlled many thousands of acres of pine lands near Vancleave, began to vend their property allowing residential development to progress. The economy of Jackson County was enhanced during this era with the growth of the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries at Pascagoula, especially during the Reagan years (1981-1989); the construction of the US Navy homeport at Pascagoula; and of late with the development of dockside gaming in Harrison County, and the construction of work boats and the refurbishment of offshore drilling vessels by Halter Marine Group, Ham Marine Industries, and Friede Goldman Offshore at Moss Point and Pascagoula.
The Vietnam War (1962-1973) It appears that no military personnel from Vancleave lost their lives during this long conflict in Southeast Asia. The remains of veterans of the Vietnam War, known to be interred, in local cemeteries are: Sgt. Michael L. Small (1946-1989) and Colonel Charles Ramsay Vickery (1920-1991).
The Bluff Creek Home of Grace-1964
On January 4, 1964, the Reverend Bill Barton (1924-2008), the former pastor of the Jackson Avenue Baptist Church in Pascagoula, commenced the Bluff Creek Home of Grace, “where miracles happen”, on a ten-acre site donated by Edward H. Bacot (1895-1976), to the faith based rehabilitation center for men. He had been inspired to develop a home for recovering alcoholics and addictive type people after accompanying thirteen men from his Pascagoula ministry to a Christian alcohol recovery center in Alabama. In March 1963, Mr. Bacot had acquired the S/2 of the SW/4 of Section 5, T6S-R7W for $5500, from Wilbur G. Dees, Special Commissioner for the Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court. This parcel was available for purchase following adjudication of JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 16344. In September 1964, E.H. Bacot donated that land to the Bluff Creek Home of Grace in the SW/4 of the SW/4 of Section 5, T6S-R7W “lying west and south of the meandering Bluff Creek being a part of the S/2 of the SW/4 of Section 5, T6S-R7W.”(The Ocean Springs News, March 3, 1966, p. 3 and The Ocean Springs Record, April 18, 2002, p. A1 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 236, p. 612 and Bk. 323, p. 420)
In March 1966, the following individuals were elected to the Bluff Creek Home of Grace Board of Trustees: J.C. Craft of Lucedale-president; L.B. Tootle of Ocean Springs-vice president; William E. Irwin-Ocean Springs-secretary; D.L. Lawrence of Pascagoula-publicity chairman.(The Ocean Springs News, March 3, 1966, p. 3)
Women's Home of Grace-1965
In 1967, construction had commenced on The Women's Home of Grace on its five-acre campus located in the Martin's Bluff section of Gautier, Mississippi. Demolished homes in Pascagoula were the source of building materials for the 9000 square-foot structure. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Crawford were the first in house counselors. Other to follow them were: Mrs. Otis Chesney; Mrs. Ontee Parmer; Mrs. Doris Wood; and Mr. and Mrs. Jo McNair. The recovery program for women reflects that of the men's in that physical, emotional, and spiritual issues are addressed to face addiction.(Home of Grace-"News from Home", October 2007, pp. 2-3)
Children’s Home of Grace
On August 15, 1971 the first of five cottages to domicile children from dysfunctional families was built on the Home of Grace campus. Known as “The Haven”, the children's homes were erected on a seven-acre site recently acquired for this purpose. John Ely was appointed as dean of the children's’ home.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 26, 1971, p. 11)
On February 25, 1979, the new forty-man, brick dormitory was dedicated on the Home of Grace campus. This modern structure replaced the old wooden cabins.(The Sun Herald, February 21, 1979, p. A5)
By 2005, the Home of Grace owned about 140-acres of land along Jericho Road in Section 7 and Section 8, T6S-R7W. As of January 2005, approximately 35,000 people had received assistance and education concerning their alcohol and drug addiction wracked lives at the Home of Grace and The Haven, which aided women. Reverend Barton is assisted in his biblical inspired educational programs by a staff of thirty- four and many volunteers. His staff at the Home of Grace includes his two sons, Billy Barton, executive director of the center since 1989, and Mike Barton, chaplain. Bill Barton’s grandson, manager Josh Barton, is a 2001 graduate of Mississippi College. The Home of Grace for Women, which is situated in Gautier, is under the supervision of Shellene Barton, the spouse of Billy Barton.(The Sun Herald, January 7, 2005, p. A6 and April 9, 2007, p. A2)
The original campus of the Home of Grace was situated within the floodplain of Bluff Creek. The incipient site has been flooded five times since 1964, which has led to the erection of new facilities to the south and out of the reach of the overflow waters of the creek. In the winter of 2005, it was anticipated that the final two cottages of seven to domicile men in the recovery addiction programs offered by the Home of Grace, would be completed. Future plans for the Home of Grace call for a new sanctuary and multi-purpose center. The old church, dining hall, and living quarters are situated on Bluff Creek and subject to flooding.(The Sun Herald, January 21, 2005, p. A-11)
[from: Home of Grace-"News from Home", July 2007, p. 2)
In early April 2007, the concrete slab for the two million dollar multipurpose, 20,000 square-foot building at the Home of Grace was poured. The structure will house administration and staff offices, a medical clinic, cafeteria, library, and computer room. In the fall of 2005, nine residential cottages were completed. Relocation from the old campus in the flood plain of Bluff Creek is continuing. Thirty-two residents still live in the low area. The chapel building will be the last building to be rebuilt on the high ground.(The Sun Herald, April 9, 2007, p. A2)
Reverend Bill Barton
In late July 2007, Bill Barton (1924-2008) announced his retirement as spiritual leader of the Wade Baptist Church. He will retire on February 3, 2008. Reverend Barton assumed the pastorship of the Wade church in February 1993. During his tenure here, Reverend Barton has built a new sanctuary, which was completed in 1996 and erected a two-story activity center, the Bill Barton Family Life Center, with classrooms, kitchen, and gymnasium. Oliver Cagle, an Evangelist and former US Marine, of Mobile was selected as interim pastor for the Wade Baptist Church. Reverend Bill Barton plans to minister at revivals and make hospital visits.(The Sun Herald, July 30, 2007, p. A5 and December 31, 2007, p. A2)
The Jackson County Board of Supervisors declared February 11th as Reverend William Barton Day. Since 1964, Reverend Barton had ministered to more than 40,000 men in the alcohol and drug rehabilitation at his Home of Grace. He also found time to serve thirty-two churches in South Mississippi as interim pastor.(The Sun Herald, March 12, 2008, p. C8)
Reverend Bill Barton passed on July 3, 2008 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He was born on August 25, 1924 at Abbeville, County, Alabama. Bill married Doris Jean Lester (1930-2014) and was the father of four sons: Manly Barton, Virgil Barton, Billy Barton, and Mike Barton. Upon his demise, Governor Haley Barber lauded Reverend Barton as : "Brother Barton was an exemplary leader who spent his time helping people who needed his help most. His passing is a great loss for the community and State. Marsha and I will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers." Bill Barton had ministered to the congregations of four churches for over three decades at Bay View Heights in Mobile; 1st Baptist Church of Satsuma, Alabama; Jackson Avenue Baptist Church in Pascagoula, Mississippi; and the Wade Baptist Church at Wade, Mississippi. Todd Trenchard, a bank official in Pascagoula, said of Bill Barton: "There will never be anyone like him in our life time. The man touched more lives than anyone in the County's history." Bill Barton's corporal remains were interred on July 5th in the Vancleave No. 1 Cemetery at Vancleave, Mississippi.(The Sun Herald, July 4, 2008, p. A1 and P. A4 and July 6, 2008, p. A4)
New Men's facility
Dedicated on March 3, 2009, the new men's facility was the dream of Bill Barton (1924-2008), founder of the Home of Grace. The 2008-2009 capital campaign aspires to raise $2.2 million to fund constructions projects. A new chapel is on the want list to replace the present structure located in the flood plain of Bluff Creek.(The Sun Herald, March 4, 2009, p. A6)
Doris Jean Lester Barton (1930-2014)
Doris Jean Lester Barton (1930-2014) expired at Lucedale, Mississippi on May 1, 2014. She was 84 years old. A loving wife and mother who always put God and her family first. Mrs. Jean stood by her husband as a pastor's wife for 60 years, as he served as a Pastor, Interim Pastor, and Founder of the Home of Grace, an addiction recovery program established in 1965. She loved serving the men and women who were helped through that ministry. Mrs. Jean is preceded in death by her husband of 60 years Rev. Bill Barton Sr. and daughter, Melody Ann Lester Barton-16 years old. She is survived by her four sons; Manly (Sarah) Barton of Hurley, MS, Virgil (Darlene) Barton of Charlotte, North Carolina, Billy (Shellene) Barton of Vancleave, Mississippi, Mike (Julie) Barton of Vancleave, Mississippi, eleven grandchildren; Jill (Mark) Chastant, Jeri (Doug) Hudson, Christy (Nathan) Barber, Michael (Lindsey) Barton, Jennifer (Cain) Roberds, Josh (Hailey) Barton, Nicholas (Jennifer) Barton, Lee Barton, Kennon (Callie) Barton, Paul Barton, Clay (Aimie) Barton, sixteen great-grandchildren; Jordan & Austin Chastant, Chase McCrory, Haley Bradford, Noah & Emma Barber, Trey, Melody and Brandon Barton, Jackson andFisher Roberds, Olivia, Hannah and David Barton, Evie Barton, Ladon Barton, and extended family; Cornel, Chica, Alexandra and Olivia Bucaciuc. Services will be at 2pm on Monday, May 5th, at Wade Baptist Church. Visitation will begin at 12 noon. Interment will follow in Vancleave Cemetery #1, Vancleave, Mississippi. Arrangements by Holder-Wells Funeral Home of Moss Point, Mississippi.(The Mississippi Press, May 4, 2014)
The Vancleave Public Library-1969
As previously noted, the Vancleave Consolidated High School had an outstanding library for a rural educational facility. This distinction resulted from the labor of V.G. Humphrey and Miss Susie Willis Vaughan. In October 1968, a public library at Vancleave was commenced in an old bookmobile called "Old Bessie". Director of the library system, Kathleen McIlwain, manned the bookmobile two afternoons each week. The bookmobile was abandoned in July 1972, as the library moved into one room of the C.W. Murphy American Legion Post No. 166 building on Highway 57. As the public library outgrew its one room, an addition to the Legion building was completed in November 1973. (Williams, 1990, p. 1)
In November 1988, Carroll L. Clifford III, Jackson County Board of Supervisor representative from Beat 5, recommended that the old Vancleave library be closed because of the precarious condition of the structure housing it. Since the library building was the property of the Jackson County School Board, it was their responsibility to declare it surplus and advertise for its removal. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 931, p. 695) At this time the library was moved to the Vancleave Volunteer Fire Station. (Williams, 1990, p. 1)
On February 11, 1990, the new Vancleave public library building was dedicated. It was erected by the J.O. Collins Contractors of Biloxi, from an architectural design by Thomas A. Habeeb Jr. of Pascagoula, on the former site of the American Legion Hall. Julie Williams was the first library branch manager of the new facility. (The Mississippi Press, February 12, 1990, p. 2-A, The Ocean Springs Record, February 8, 1990, p. 2, and The Sun Herald, February 10, 1990, p. 2)
The Stars Planetarium-1975
Mississippi’s first planetarium was erected at Vancleave in 1975, under the aegis of a Title III, ESEA grant. The facility taught Astronomy, Space Science, and Earth and Physical Sciences to students from grades 1 through 12 in the Jackson County School District. A Viewlex Apollo II projector presented a night or day sky on a 24-foot dome shaped screen. Students from other Mississippi and out of state school districts attended the Vancleave planetarium during the school year. The general public also used the planetarium which was open on an annual basis. (Down South, Volume 29, No. 1, pp. 13-14)
The Vancleave planetarium, which was located on Highway 57 in the NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, lasted about fifteen years. It was closed as operation costs exceeded income and funding. Interest had also diminished. (Quentin Flurry, February 22, 1999) In July 1992, the school district leased the Stars Planetarium building to the Cornerstone Church until June 1994. After the church quit the structure, school officials thought that a sale was in order. Instead, when State law directed that alternative schools be created, the 3600 sqaure-foot building was reconfigured to serve as the alternative school for the Jackson County School District at a cost of approximately $28,000. Previously, the alternative school was situated at Moss Point and the Vancleave Elementary school. Its enrollment averaged about fifteen pupils. (The Sun Herald, "Jackson County", December 17, 1994, p. 1. In 1997?, the structure was damaged by fire and was abandoned.
The Vancleave Journal-1976
Through the years, Vancleave has had several newspapers, but none have had any longevity. In late November 1976, Michael A. Williams published the first issue of The Vancleave Journal. Joanne Kleinpeter and Genevieve Kelley were key employees of the weekly journal, which was printed in Gulfport at the Dixie Press. The newspaper existed for several months in the former Richard A. Steelman Store building on Highway 57, before terminating business in the community. (Michael A. Williams, February 22, 1999)
The Jackson County VoTech Center-1983 (see The Ocean Springs Record, February 17, 1983, p. 11)
Recreation and Public Parks Dees Landing Boat Ramp-1975
In June 1975, the Mississippi Fish and Game Commission took a lease from the Jackson County Board of Supervisors on 2 acres in the SE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 538, pp. 215-219) Here at Dees Landing on Bluff Creek a concrete boat ramp was constructed for recreational boating and fishing enthusiasts. (Kipp Dees, February 21, 1999)
Bluff Creek Recreation Area-1984
Bluff Creek Water Park
This 72-acre recreational area was built by the Pat Harrison Waterway District in 1983-1984. Located on Jackson County, Mississippi School Board lands, transected by historic Bluff Creek, in the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W, the water park was closed in recent years and the lease agreement with the School Board terminated in 1998. Stewart Smith was the first park ranger. The Bluff Creek Water Prk is an important recreational asset to the County and serious consideration should be given to its refurbishment and use by the citizens of Beat Five.
The Bluff Creek Water Park was first proposed in 1973, by local citizens to preserve this pristine body of water, which was such an integral part of the early history of Vancleave. When officially opened in June 1984, the Bluff Creek Water Park was one of nine water parks built and maintained by the Pat Harrison Waterway District.(Conservation Conversation, May-June 1985, p. 1)
Bud Gerrard, executive director of the PHWD, promised the attendees at the dedication ceremony that it would "become the showplace of the South".(The Mississippi Press, June 3, 1984, p. 12-A)
In the early 1960s, the Pat Harrison Waterway District was created by the State legislature. It was named for Byron Patton "Pat" Harrison (1881-1941), a native of Copiah County, who represented the people of south Mississippi in the US House of Representatives (1911-1919) and US Senate (1919-1941).(Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1961, p. 1015)
Jackson County is one of fifteen counties in southeast Mississippi, which comprise the PHWD. Each member county collects taxes to finance the District. A twenty-five year lease was granted to the Pat Harrison Waterway District by the Jackson County Board of Education in May 1983. It consisted of 74 acres in the NE/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 763, p. 513)
Here, the Pat Harrison Waterway District constructed a walking bridge across Bluff Creek, a lodge, an open-air-pavilion, waterslides, wading pool, and picnic tables and grills. In recent years the Bluff Creek Water Park was closed because of high operating costs and annual damage associated with seasonal flooding. The lease was quitclaimed to the Jackson County Board of Education in 1998. (Stewart Smith, February 1, 1999)
Paul Overstreet welcomed home in 1988
Paul Overstreet (b. ca 1954) left Vancleave in 1973 to make a career at Nashville as a songwriter and singer. His career in the Country and Christian music genre has been very successful as follows:
In March 1988, the people of Vancleave welcomed Paul home with a parade in his honor.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 31, 1988, p. 8)
2011 Country Trail Marker
On June 7, 2011, Paul Overstreet was honored with a Mississippi Development Authority 'Mississippi Country Trail Marker', the first in Jackson County. It was placed on Mississippi Highway No. 57 in front of the Vancleave High School. Paul made is mark as a songwriter in Nashville and as a solo country music recording star. In its initial phase, the Mississippi Country Trail Marker program will feature artists as: Faith Hill, Charlie Pride, Jimmie Rodgers. Naturally, Elivis Presley, was the inaugural honoree.(The Sun Herald, June 8, 2011, p. A2)
The Vancleave Recreation and Public Park Facilities-1988
The Vancleave Recreation and Public Park Facilities is operated by the Jackson County Recreation Department from its new building completed in July 1998, at 5400 Ballpark Road. The recreational area is located in the NW/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W and the 47-acre school board tract was dedicated in October 1988. (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 931, p. 699)
The recreational complex consists of the Vancleave Community Center, baseball and softball diamonds, football field, horse arena, walking track, and tennis courts.
The Vancleave Post Office-1984
As previously related, since 1870, the Vancleave region, has had intermittent US Postal Offices. Discontinued on May 14, 1927 with nonagenarian, William Martin (1838-1930) as postmaster, it would be fifty-seven years before another post office was situated in the community. (The Jackson County Times, May 7, 1927, p. 5, c. 3)
In the intervening years, the US mail was handled primarily at the local mail station located in the C.L. Dees Merchandising Store and after its closure by Kipp Dees at his store, Southside Shopping. This mail station ceased activity in 1975. (The Mississippi Press, July 18, 1988)
In late October 1982, the US Postal Service begin advertising for land at Vancleave for a postal station. It required a lot of at least 160 feet by 180 feet in area to be situated on either side of Mississippi Highway 57 between Little Bluff Creek and Poticaw Road. A building with a minimum of 2320 square feet was also desired.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 28, 1982, p. 25)
In July 1983, the Jackson County Board of Education leased 1.2 acres of ground in the NE/4 of the SW/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W to the United States Post Office. The ground lease will expire in 2008. Here on Highway 57, a brick building was erected in 1984 to house the US Post Office at Vancleave, which is a branch of the Ocean Springs post office. Marvin Holland was appointed the first branch manager of the new facility.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 769, p. 437 and The Ocean Springs Record, December 6, 1984))
1990s Land Boom
The population of Vancleave has grown from less than 1,000 persons in 1970 to 3,214 in 1990. In October 1993, Vancleave post office branch manager, John Bellman, reported that his bureau had 2,500 mail stops and that 10 to 15 new families each month were arriving in the area. At the same time, Houston Walker, Jackson County Planning Manager, related that Vancleave and Gulf Park Estates, east of Ocean Springs, were the two fastest developing unincorporated areas of the county. (The Mississippi Press, October 6, 1993, p. 1-E)
Vancleave’s growth in the 1990s can be attributed to the excellent economy of the Mississippi coastal region. During this period, a steady and continuous migration of people from the shoreline urban areas and other sections are relocating to the former Piney Woods. Generally these "new comers" are seeking more land at lower prices; relief from high urban taxes; an environment with a paucity of crime and gang related activities; and no industrial or urban pollution. The expansion of the US Naval presence (Homeport), conversion and refurbishment of deep-water oil and gas exploration drilling rigs and production platforms, and continued shipbuilding and petrochemical-industrial activities in the Pascagoula-Moss Point area with the exponential growth of dock side casino gambling in nearby Harrison County, has continued to fuel the migration into the Vancleave community.
The 21st Century
So what will become of Vancleave in the next Century? Will incorporation arrive and a city government formed as Gautier did in 1986 and D’Iberville in 1988? Will Vancleave’s aggressive urban neighbors to the south seek to annex it in small increments as they move their city limits northward? When will Wal-Mart, and the fast food franchises arrive? Will the County create another Judicial District west of the Pascagoula River as this region grows even larger and will Vancleave become the site of this new government? Does anyone remember in 1964, when a new county, "D’Iberville County", was proposed for that region primarily in western Jackson County bounded by George County (north), the Range 7 line (east), the Mississippi Sound-Bay of Biloxi (south), and Highway 15 in Harrison County (west)?(The Ocean Springs News, July 23, 1964, p. 1)
Vancleave would have been the ideal location for the county seat of "D’Iberville County", if it had been created. Arguably, many of the same reasons for a new county in this region exist today. Perhaps in a more positive tone, when will the people of Vancleave get in touch with their roots and preserve some of their rapidly vanishing heritage? Is their reason to hope for a regional museum at Vancleave with exhibits of the timber, naval stores, and maritime trade industries on display for all to appreciate and enjoy?
2002 Land Boom?
Red Creek Land LLC led by Buddy Gunn and William Henry Mitchell acquired 50,000 acres from International Paper Company in October 2002. North and west of Vancleave. Plan to sell in small tracts. (The Ocean Springs Record, October 17, 2002, p. 1)
Borrowed $37.5 million dollars to acquire $50,000 acres from International Paper. Land cost more as personal money in it also. Selling to developers who plan to build subdivisions. (The Sun Herald, November 3, 2002, p. A-1)
On June 14, 2003, 3400-acres to be auctioned by J.P. King Auction Company at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, for the Kenny Smith and William H. Mitchell group. 2860-acres in Jackson County along Ms. Highway 57. 45 parcels ranging from 10.5 to 579 acres. (The Sun Herald, May 29, 2003, p. F-1)
The Shed BBQ
The Shed BBQ is an exciting relatively new business situated on Ms. Highway 57 on the grounds of the Camp Journey’s End Campground. Brad Orrison (b. 1977) and Brooke Orrison-Lewis, the children of Craig and Linda Orrison, proprietors of Camp Journey’s End, founded The Shed BBQ in 2002. Brad armed with a Bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Mississippi has utilized his book knowledge with Brooke's woman's intuition to launch a brother-sister combo that has found a winning formula uniting good BBQ with the ambience of “a shed” –a very simple to crude architectural surroundings. The original "Shed" had an area of 300 square-feet, but was enlarged to 450 square-feet and by 2007 had grown to 3600 square-feet. Live music on weekends only adds to the pleasure of dining with the real people of Vancleave and environs!
The Shed Barbeque (image made March 2002)
In February 2005, The Shed BBQ was presented the “Spirit of Barbeque Restaurant of the Year” 2004 National Award by the National Barbeque News Magazine. The Shed is the only BBQ restaurant in Mississippi to be placed on the list of “Best of the Best Barbeque Restaurants in America” by the National BBQ News Magazine.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 24, 2005, p. A6)
In late August 2005, the waters of Old Fort Bayou pushed by Hurricane Katrina inundated The Shed BBQ, and Orrison campground and surroundings with seven feet of water. As part of their grand reopening party scheduled for September 24, 2005, Brad and Brooke have booked the Steve Warren Band. The Shed will serve free sandwiches to those in attendance. (The Sun Herald, September 13, 2005, p. A7)
In early December 2005, Brad Orrison and Brooke Orrison-Lewis, proprietors, decided to close The Shed for one month in order that their employees could repair their Katrina damaged homes and celebrate the Yule Tide and New Year with their families. The Shed normally takes a two week Christmas holiday.(The Sun Herald, December 16, 2005, p. B6)
At the 'Pigs in the Park Barbecue' held at Lucedale, Mississippi in mid-October 2006, the Shed BBQ made an excellent showing against the competition. They capture first place in the sauce division; second in rib; second in whole hog; and fourth in shoulder.(The Mississippi Press, October 21, 2006, p. 10-A)
The Jackson County Community Service Coalition declared in February 2007 that the Shed BBQ was the first recipient of its MVP [Most Valuable Partner] Award. The Shed BBQ has not only shown much charity towards local Katrina victims, but has raised funds for the Girls and Boys Club and sent over $14,000 to Southeast Asia as aid to the suffering from the 2004 Tsunami disaster. The Orrisons have also held fund raisers at the Shed BBQ for cancer victims.(The Sun Herald, February 18, 2007, p. A6)
On September 30, 2007, the 2nd Annual Kids 1st Festival was held at the Shed BBQ. The all day event featured music and the good food of proprietor Brad Orrison. In 2006, over $2000 was raised at the first Kids 1st Festival.(The Sun Herald, October 1, 2007, p. A3)
In March 2008, Guy Fieri, the 'restaurant dude from California', and host of the Food Network TV show, 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and and Dives', visited The Shed and declared it 'Junkadelik'. His crew filmed The Shed for a future episode of a segment of his TV show called 'Triple-D'. Mr. Fieri commented that, "the people at The Shed do not just make their food, they live it. You have a gem here and if I live 100 miles from this place I would come and eat here at least once a week." "All Kinds of BBQ", featuring the Shed BBQ and Blues Joint was first aired on Guy Fieri's show on the Food Net Work channel on July 7th.The Ocean Springs Record, March 20, 2008, p. A1 and July 10, 2008, p. A1)
Shed BBQ Franchises
In late March 2007, the Shed Barbeque management announced that it had sold its first franchise. The initial franchise was acquired by Andy and Erin Davis of Colliersville, Tennessee. They will erect an eight thousand square-foot, 'Shed' at Oxford, Mississippi on 3.5 acres on Jackson Avenue West behind WalMart and near the rear athletic gate of Ole Miss. This venture failed to come to fruition when one of the business partners suddenly withdrew support for the joint venture.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 29, 2007, p. A4 and Linda Orrison, August 19, 2009)
In early January 2008, Linda Orrison, marketing director for the Shed BQ, announced that the second franchise for the organization had been sold to Allyson Brewer of Gulfport. She plans to open in March 2008 on five acres at 15094 Mills Avenue in Lyman, Harrison County, Mississippi, near Ms. Highway 53. Allyson Brewer opened on June 18, 2008. This was the first Shed franchise as the Oxford situation did not happen as anticipated.(The Sun Herald, January 2, 2008, p. 8B and June 18, 2008, p. B10)
The Year 2009 was one of growth for the Shed BBQ. In September, a Shed was being readied at Mobile near the USA campus and at Scott, Louisiana near Lafayette. Future sheds are planned for Destin, Florida and Panama City, Florida. By May 2011, the Orrisons had established 'Sheds' in Gulfport [Lyman]; Mobile; Scott, Louisiana; Hattiesburg; and Destin, Florida.(The Sun Herald, May 7, 2011, p. A2)
Shed wins it all in The Big Apple
In June 2009, The Shed's pulled pork sandwiched recipe qualified for the "Ultimate Hometown Grill Off" on the 'Live with Regis and Kelly', a nationally televised TV show, which aired on the ABC network. Co-proprietors of The Shed, Brad Orrison and Brooke Orrison Lewis, appeared on the Regis and Kelly production on June 18th to demonstrate their pulled pork sandwich. By mid-August 2009, the Shed's pulled pork sandwich had made it to the finals of the 'grill off' pitted against the Eureka burger from The Cutting Board at Eureka, Montana. The Shed was announced the winner on August 20th on 'Live with Regis and Kelly'.(The Sun Herald, June 12, 2009, p. B3, June 16, 2009, p. A1, June 18, 2009, p. A1, August 19, 2009, p. A9, and August 20, 2009, p. A1)
Brad Orrison was nominated for a 'Relly' Award, which is given to that individual deemed the "Best Real Person" to appear on ABC network's 'Live with Regis and Kelly'. Brad appeared on the show in August 2009 as a participant in "Live's Ultimate Hometown Grill Off".(The Sun Herald, September 5, 2009, p. B6)
World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest [Memphis, Tennessee]
In 2010, the SHED placed third in the Whole Hog Category at the World Championship BBQ Contest held in Memphis, Tennessee. The Shed was only three points behind the ultimate Grand Champion, Yazoo's Delta Q from Nesbit, Mississippi. In 2009, the SHED was ninth at the Memphis event where hundreds of teams compete for prizes valued at over $100,000 and ultimate bragging rights. In 2007, they placed ninth in the same competition.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 3, 2009, p. 2 and The Gazette, June 9, 2010, p. 5)
2011 Food Kudos
In May 2011, Brooke Orrison Lewis and Brad Orrison, her brother, appeared on the nationally cable televised Food Network on May 8, 2011 to compete in 'Best in Smoke', a contest which pitted them against nationally acclaimed pit masters. In early December, the Shed's patented, Poppa Jack's BBQ, sauce was selected the fourth most popular BBQ sauce on Earth by BBQSuperStars.com. Their sauces are made in Ocean Springs at The Saucery which is operated by Rene Patout and Craig Orrison and situated on Government Street.(The Sun Herald, May 7, 2011, p. A2 and December 8, 2011, p. B6)
THE SHED BURNS FEBRUARY 2012
The original Shed BBQ and Blues Joint venue on Mississippi Highway No. 57 was destroyed by a large conflagration in the early morning of February 12, 2012.With the charitable and kind assistance of Big Hoss BBQ, Blow Fly Inn, Half Shell Oyster House and F.E.B. Distributers Inc., Brooke Orrison Lewis and Brad Orrison, co-owners of the popular eatery, opened for business on February 17th with a festival-style setup and with food served from portable buildings.(The Sun Herald, February 13, 2012, p. A1, February 14, 2012, p. A2, February 15, 2012, p. A2, and February 18, 2012, p. A2)
2003 Traffic light
Two traffic lights were installed in September 2003. One at Mississippi Highway No. 57 and Jim Ramsay Road; the other at 57 and Mounger’s Creek Road?. Cost $500,000. (The Sun Herald, September 3, 2003, p. A-4)
Conrad Mallete Multi-Purpose Horse Arena
Built in 2003 and 2004, the Vancleave Arena, 68,000 square-foot covered complex situated at the Vancleave Family Park on Ballpark Road was dedicated on April 3, 2004. It was erected at a cost of $500,000. Jackson County Ole Time Festival and Mule Pull held in conjunction with the opening of the arena. (The Mississippi Press, March 31, 2004, p. 10)
In late September 2005, "Camp Vancleve" was organized here to house FEMA, Americorps, National Guard, Corps of Engineers, Salvation Army, various health agencies, and law enforcement groups. This groups had previously been situated at the Gautier High School to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina.(The Mississippi Press, September 28, 2005, p. 4-A)
In late November 2007, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors upon the recommendation of John McKay, Beat Five Supervisor, renamed the Vancleave Horse Arena, the Conrad Mallete Multi-Purpose Horse Arena. Conrad Mallete (1936-2007) was reared at Vancleave and was active in the community's civic and social affairs. He served his fellow citizens with vigor and integrity on the following boards: Pat Harrison Waterway District [finance director]; Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation Commission [director]; Farm Bureau Association [president]; Farm Service Agency; and Cattleman's Association. Conrad Mallette expired at Vancleave on July 14, 2007 from an accident while working with his cattle.(The Sun Herald, November 25, 2007, p. A6)
2004 "Titantic" land hoax?
Lonnie Morse, a New Hampshire developer, propsed to erect the world’s largest convention center featuring a replica of the ill-fated, ocean liner, Titantic. In February 2004, Morse was poised to place $50,000 in earnest money on a $27,000,000 contract to purchase 9300 acres west of Vancleave. Red Creek Land and Development owns the land formerly held by International Paper Company. The negotiations broke down when the landowners would not include their mineral rights in a land sale to Morse. The New Hampshire developer is now considering land options in Stone County, Mississippi. (The Sun Herald, February 10, 2004, p. A-1 and February 11, 2004, p. A-1)
2005 Hurricane Katrina
On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, a Category 4 tempest, struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast near Waveland, Hancock County, Mississippi. The Vancleave region was spared the storm surge, which severely destroyed and or damaged the entire coastline of Mississippi from the Pearl River to the Alabama State line. High winds in the Vancleave area did extensive damage to homes, businesses, and timberland. Fish camps and topographically low areas were particularly devastated. Electricity was also loss, as a result of the storm.(The Sun Herald, November 15, 2005, p. A-1)
Post Katrina Vancleave saw a growth increase in population and development. House prices increased about 15% after the August 2005 tempest. Nine subdivisions were being developed and parcels of land in the 1 to 5 acre size were not available. Rentals were difficult to find at best.(The Sun Herald, May 14, 2006, p. A2)
2005 Community Gazebo
In the fall of 2005, the Vancleave Merchants Association sponsors of the annual fall festival in their expansion plans decided to have a gazebo erected on the Vancleave High School grounds. This centrally located site is the natural gathering place of the community. Construction commenced in November by students in the vocational-technical department of the high school.(The Sun Herald, December 12, 2005, p. A2)
Vancleave bypass roads and future growth
In mid-February 2007, John McKay and Manly Barton, members of the Jackson County Board Board of Supervisors addressed the Vancleave Merchants Association and predicted much growth in the Vancleave region in the next ten to fifteen years. Fueling this development will be the Vancleave bypass. This four-lane artery will strike north from U.S. Interstate 10 up Gautier-Vancleave Road and cross Ms. Highway 57 near Humphries Road proceeding north to Jim Ramsay Road and terminate near Lake of Pines. When finished, this thoroughfare will open areas north and south of Vancleave for housing developments. Some of these potential subdivision projects could be as large as 2,800 homes. McKay stated that it could be ten years before the Vancleave bypass is commenced due to environmental studies and right-of-way acquisition.(The Sun Herald, February 13, 2007, p. A7)
Another bypass of note was under construction in June 2007 with completion anticipated by January 2008. This bypass artery was from Poticaw Bayou Road to Mississippi Highway No. 57. The new road will give residents coming from the south region of Vancleave a flood free route to Ms. Highway 57. When Bluff Creek and Mounger's Creek overflow, almost an annual event, the low-lying area in their flood plains near the present day juncture of Poticaw Bayou Road and Ms. Highway 57 flood and cause a detour of many miles to reach Highway 57. The project is estimated to cost about $2.8 million.(The Sun Herald, June 11, 2007, p. A2)
C.L. Dees Wildlife Trail marker
[image made October 25, 2008 by Ray L. Bellande]
C.L. Dees Wildlife Trail
The C.L. Dees Wildlife Trail was dedicated on October 25, 2008 at the Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge at Gautier, Mississippi.
Vancleave Link-Weekly journal
In the spring of 2010, Vancleave and Hurley area residents began to receive weekly news from the Hurley Link-Vancleave Link. This publication is owned and edited by Cherie Chesser.
Vancleave land use
On July 27, 2010, a plan and map for future land use in Jackson County was presented at the Vancleave Public Library. The current zoning ordinance was established in 1967 and revised in 1987. A new R5 zone [Rural Residential-Residential Estate] which permits lot sizes of 30,000 square-feet and up to two families per acre was introduced.(The Vancleave Link, August 4, 2010, p. 2)
Thanks very kindly to the following individuals who have contributed much information, time, and interest in this article: C.M. "Kipp" Dees, Jacob T. Lockard (posthumously), Marilena Ramsay Penton, Ann Penton, Rupert Roberts, Hazel Ramsay White, Betty C. Rodgers, Else Martin, Dudley B. Milton, Pat Vickery, Ivan Ellis, Lula Davis Moore, Robert Cossey, Florence Murphy Cossey, Bobby Holden, Johnson Ware, Joe Batson, Peggy Dees Plunk, Margie Ramsay Burroughs, Gale Murphy Hall, Stewart Smith, Richard and Kathryn Taylor, Tom and Sharon Harper, Stover Tillman, Althea "Rete" Murphy Flurry, Quentin Flurry, Cleo Tootle Taylor, Chuck and Bonnie Lippincott, Alva Goff Parish, Paulette Stagg, Carol Mars, Harry H. McDonald Sr., Erline C. Taite, and Katy S. Steen. If I have omitted someone, please forgive me.
Why would Ray L. Bellande, a Francophile, whose genealogy both paternally and maternally is so deeply rooted with French ancestry, be interested in the history of Vancleave? After seriously researching the chronology of the region, I decided not to attempt to interpret its history. My sincere feeling was that Vancleave’s people were not my people in a cultural sense, and that I could not get the "good vibrations" necessary to bring life to its history. I am also an urban creature whose life style is somewhat incongruous with that of those indigenous to the Piney Woods.
Regardless, as you have read patiently in this journal for the past twenty-five weeks, I did attempt this task anyway. My primary reasons for writing this article was my deep interest in Piney Woods culture and the uniqueness of Vancleave’s maritime trade with New Orleans. In addition there were several people among Vancleave’s "newcomers" that requested it. It also seemed to me that no one from "old Vancleave" was ever going to write its history in any more detail than a brief newspaper or magazine article. Possibly a native son or daughter will come forth and utilize my research as a foundation to write a more complete and animated chronology of Vancleave? It would please me greatly.
To the Black and "Creole" culture of Vancleave, I apologize for not researching and integrating your vital roles more thoroughly in creating probably one of the most diverse ethenic situations in America. My background is in earth science and not ethnography for which your interrelationship with the Caucasian race would make a classic study. Thanks to all of our Ocean Springs readers for your patience during the last six months. I hope that some of you found something entertaining in this essay.
Mary L. Adkinson, et al, Bouzage-Bosarge Family, 2nd Edition, (The Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991).
The American State Papers, Volume III 1815-1824 Public Lands, (reprint Southern Historical Press: Greenville, South Carolina-1994).
Russell E. Barnes, Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, Volume 34- No. 1, (1998), "From Handsboro to Mandeville: The Schooner Josephine Mestier and the Ethnic Compositon of the Coast’s Maritime Heritage".
Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande: Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1994).
Barry W. Benson, The Benson Family, (Benson: Pascagoula Library Genealogy Colection-1928).
Biographical Directory of the American Congress, House Document No. 442, (US Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.-1961).
Myrtle Broom, The Journal of Myrtle Broom, (Broom: 1981).
Stewart C. Broom, Rambling Ruminations of S.C. Broom Sr. (Broom: Jackson, Mississippi-circa 1950).
Carroll B. Butler, Treasures of the Longleaf Pines-Naval Stores, (Tarkel Publishing: Shalimar, Florida-1998).
Cyril E. Cain, Four Centuries on the Pascagoula, Volume I and Volume II, (The Reprint Company: Spartanburg, South Carolina-1983)
Winton B. Cain, A Cain Connection-Maryland to Mississippi and Beyond, (1686-1995), (Cain: Warner Robbins, Georgia-1995)
Nap L. Cassibry II, Early Mississippi Coast Families, The Ladner Odyssey, Special Issue No. 6, (The Miss. Coast Historical and Genealogical Society: Biloxi, Miss.-1988).
Facts About the Gulf Coast of Harrison County, Mississippi, (Harrison County Observer Publishing Company: Gulfport, Miss.-1905)
J.F.H. Claiborne, Mississippi as a Province, Territory, and State, (The Reprint Company: Spartanburg, South Carolina-1978).
Glenn R. Conrad, Immigration and War, Louisiana: 1718-1721 (from the Memoir of Charles Le Gac), (The University of Southwestern Louisiana: Lafayette, La.-1970).
Robert G. Cossey and Florence M. Cossey, Murphy Family Genealogy (1760-1996), (Cossey: Vancleave, Mississippi-1996).
Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, Second Edition, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1991).
Patricia A. Fenerty and Patricia W. Fernandez, The 1880 Census of New Orleans, Volume V, (Padraigeen Publishing Company: New Orleans-1991).
General Laws of the State of Mississippi, Chapter 263, (Tucker Printing House: Jackson, Mississippi-1926).
David Giddens, Moss Point Lodge No. 202, F&AM Research, (undated report at the Pascagoula Regional Library, Pascagoula, Mississippi).
Jack Winston Gunn and Gladys C. Castle, A Pictorial History of Delta State University, (University of Mississippi Press: Jackson, Mississippi-1980).
Nollie Hickman, Mississippi Harvest: The Longleaf Pine Belt 1840-1915, (The Paragon Press: Montgomery, Alabama-1962).
Jay Higginbotham, The Journal of Mississippi History, "The Chaumont Concession: A French Plantation on the Pascagoula River", Volume XXXVI, No. 4, Nov.1974.
Jay Higginbotham, The Pascagoula Indians, (Colonial Books: Mobile, Alabama-1967)
Jay Higginbotham, Pascagoula Singing River City, (Gill Press: Mobile, Alabama-1967)
W. Harrvell Jackson, By The Rivers of Waters, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1982)
The History of Jackson County, Mississipppi, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989).
Grady Howell Jr., To Live and Die in Dixie, (Chickasaw Bayou Press: Jackson, Mississippi-1991).
Bob Kennedy, Livestock Marks of Jackson County, Mississippi, (Kennedy: Three Rivers, Mississippi-1988).
Brother Jerome Lepre, Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, Volume 31-No. 2, (July 1995), "Solution To A Mystery? Leblanc, White, Moore, Zamora, Seymour", ).
J. Allen Lindsey, Methodism in the Mississippi Conference: 1894-1919, (Parthenon Press: Nashville, Tennessee-1964).
Aubrey K. Lucas, The Mississippi Legislature and Mississippi Public Higher Education: 1890-1960, (Doctrial Dissertation-Florida State University: Talahassee, Florida-1966.
Richard A. McLemore, A History of Mississippi Baptists: 1780-1970, (Mississippi Baptist Convention Board: Jackson, Mississippi-1971)
The Mississippi Business Directory 1890, (Lauderdale County, Mississippi Department of Archives and History).
Mississippi Gulf Coast-Yesterday (1699) and Today (1939), (Federal Writers’ Project In Mississippi, Works Progree Administration), (Gulfport Printing Company: Gulfport, Mississippi-1939).
Betty G. Moore, Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, from Reverend John G. Jones, A Concise History of the Introduction of Protestantism into Mississippi and the Southwest, (Mississippi Conference of the ME Church South: St. Louis-1866).
National Geographic Atlas Of The World, 5th Edition, (National Geographic Society: Washington D.C.-1981)
Dr. J.R.S. Pitts, Life and Confession of the Noted Outlaw-James Copeland, (University Press of Mississippi: Jackson, Mississippi-1980).
Abiezer C. Ramsay, The Autobiography of A.C. Ramsey, School Teacher and Circuit Rider (1879), (Jean Strickland, editor and publisher: Moss Point-undated)
The Random House Encyclopedia, (Random House: New York-1983).
Jacob L. Reddix, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, (University of Mississippi Press-Jackson, Mississippi-1974).
Requiem, Volume III, (The Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Miss.-Circa 1973).
Betty Clark Rodgers, Misscellaneous Records of Jackson County, Mississippi, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1990).
C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1972).
The Southern Reporter, "Bennett v. Brown", Cause No. 28288, (West Publishing Company: St. Paul, Minnesota-1930).
Charles L. Sullivan, Gathering at the River: South Mississippi’s Methodist Camp Meeting, (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Press: Perkinston, Mississippi-1990).
David Sumrall, The Diary of David Sumrall (1855-1859), (Sumrall family file in the Pascagoula Regional Library, Pascagoula, Mississippi)
WPA for Mississippi, Historical Data-Jackson County, Volume 30, (1936-1938).
Alma Allen, "Memories of Vancleave United Methodist Church", (unpublished-1978).
Marilena Ramsay Penton, "Brief History of the Early Days of Vancleave United Methodist Church", (unpublished-circa 1978).
Julie Williams, "History of the Vancleave Public Library", (unpublished-1990).
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Minute Books
JXCO Board of Supervisor’s Minute Book 3,
Chancery Court Cases
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 53, "Harriet Ann Galloway et al v. John E. Clark, Administrator", March 1879.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 346, "Rosa McVane et al, ex-parte, August 1889.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 1443, "Elizabeth Page v. Ira D. Portis et al", October 1903.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2008, "The Estate of Julius Anderson", November 1910.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 3811, "The Will of John H. Behrens", August 1918.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 4882, "The Will of Marland Hart", December 1926.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 5522, "The Estate of Mrs. Ollie P. Davis", August 1933.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 5811, "The Will of S.R. Ratliff", October 1936.
Jackson County Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 6938, "The Will of William A. Senter", August 1943.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 12417, "The Will of James E. Lockard", March 1947.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 20567, "J.W. Kelley, et al v. The Heirs-at-Law of J.W. Kelley, July 1968.
Coast Magazine, "The Legend of Boggy Creek", Vol. 4, No. 4, July-August 1996.
Conservation Conversation, "Bluff Creek-A Renewed Paradise", (Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District), Volume 7, No. 3, May-June, 1985.
Down South, "C.L. Dees Merchandise Store", March-April 1956.
Down South, "Camp Meeting Time in Vancleave", September-October 1956.
Down South, "Charcoal Capital of the Coast", July-August 1960.
Down South, "Mississippi-Where Money Grows on Trees", January-February 1962.
Down South, "Stars Planetarium Mississippi’s First Planetarium", 1979?
The Saturday Evening Post, "United Methodists: Freedom & Grace", April-1984.
Trains, "The railroad that walks on water", January 1987.
Mississippi History Newsletter, "Jacob L. Reddix", Volume 44, No. 1, (The Mississippi Department of Archives and History: Jackson, Mississippi- January 2002).
Mississippi History Newsletter, "Reddix Portrait Dedication May 9", Volume 45, No. 5, (The Mississippi Department of Archives and History: Jackson, Mississippi- May 2003).
The Biloxi Herald, "Mabel E. Judlin", May 2, 1891.
The Biloxi Herald, "Vancleave News", May 26, 1894.
The Biloxi Herald, "Health Springs Near Biloxi", March 27, 1897.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Latest City News", April 24, 1897.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "City News", December 3, 1901.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "The man who cut Smith", December 29, 1904.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs", October 10, 1905.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs", October 13, 1905.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "C.C. Orrell", August 29, 1906, p. 4, c. 4.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "$3,000 Fire At Vancleave, January 7, 1908.
The Daily Herald, "To Start Cannery", September 4, 1915.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", October 2, 1925.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave Pupils Have Teeth Cleaned", March 9, 1929.
The Chronicle, "R.J. VanHorn of Mt. Pleasant rites Saturday", February 15, 1963.
The Chronicle-Star, "Vancleave", February 22, 1924.
The Chronicle-Star, "Boy Scouts Spreads to Vancleave", January 18, 1925.
The Chronicle-Star, "Vancleave", December 24, 1926.
The Chronicle-Star, "Albert Orrell Runs For Supervisor", June 19, 1931, p. 1, c. 3.
The Chronicle-Star, "Death of Mrs. B.H. Ellis", February 5, 1932, p. 1, c. 6.
The Chronicle-Star, "Feed Mill & Canning Plant For Vancleave", February 11, 1938.
The Chronicle-Star, "Rural Electrification Sponsors Urge Citizens To Apply For Membership", December 23, 1938.
The Chronicle-Star, "Power For REA Line To Vancleave Turned On Today", March 8, 1940.
The Chronicle-Star, "Long Career of Rev. B.H. Ellis Ended By Death", February 7, 1941, p. 1.
The Chronicle-Star, "Vancleave", March 19, 1943.
The Daily Herald, “Judge Henry C. Havens Dead At Gautier, Miss.", February 9, 1912.
The Daily Herald, “Turpentine workman held under bond for shooting with intent", May 28, 1912, p. 1.
The Daily Herald, "Biloxians assist at Vancleave in dedication of school building", November 18, 1913.
The Daily Herald, "Two Die in Duel to Death at Dantzler Post Office", September 21, 1915.
The Daily Herald, "Wolf Is Killed Near Vancleave (sic)", October 28, 1915.
The Daily Herald, "In Memoriam (of E.N. Ramsay)", May 30, 1916.
The Daily Herald, July 7, 1917.
The Daily Herald, "A.J. Ramsay Called To Last Reward", August 21, 1917.
The Daily Herald, "Sidney Anderson, 50, Dead", October 5, 1917.
The Daily Herald, "Rev. O.D. Bowen Is Called By Death", September 6, 1920, p. 1.
The Daily Herald, “Fire Destroys Johnson Still”, June 14, 1923.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", October 12, 1923.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", November 7, 1924.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", February 6, 1925.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", August 2, 1926.
The Daily Herald, "Opens First Cotton Gin In Jackson Cotton", September 17, 1926.
The Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs", September 18, 1926, p. 7.
The Daily Herald, "Mary Witt Richardson", April 28, 1927.
The Daily Herald, "Mrs. [Amelia] Nobles dies", March 31, 1928.
The Daily Herald, "High water at Vancleave", March 20, 1929, p. 2.
The Daily Herald, "Celebrate 50 Years of Married Life", December 10, 1929.
The Daily Herald, "Thure Palmquist Dead", March 10, 1930.
The Daily Herald, "Former Vancleave Postmaster (William Martin) Dies", June 23, 1930.
The Daily Herald, "Wesley K. Ramsay Dies", July 9, 1930.
The Daily Herald, "W.K. Ramsay Interred", July 10, 1930.
The Daily Herald, "Mrs. Ellis dies", February 2, 1932.
The Daily Herald, "Jackson County Annuls State Wide Stock Law", April 5, 1932.
The Daily Herald, "Some Interest In Tung Trees", January 22, 1933.
The Daily Herald, "Death Of Miss Emma Davis Coburn At The Ripe Age Of 90 Years, 9 Months", March 2, 1935.
The Daily Herald, "Rev. Hodge preaches baccalaureate at Vancleave High School", May 16, 1935.
The Daily Herald, "Successful Revival", August 24, 1936.
The Daily Herald, "S.R. Ratliff", September 16, 1936.
The Daily Herald, "Norman Ramsay 53, Dies Suddenly", November 13, 1936.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", May 14, 1937.
The Daily Herald, "Orrell Funeral", December 24, 1940.
The Daily Herald, "Mrs. Palmquist Dies", October 20, 1941.
The Daily Herald, "V.G. Humphreys, President Ocean Springs Bank, Dies", January 26, 1942.
The Daily Herald, "Aged man (U.C. Havens) Found Hanging in Wooded area in Gulfport", February 4, 1947.
The Daily Herald, "Attend Fort Bayou Baptist Church organization", October 6, 1948.
The Daily Herald, "Peggy-Betty Dees [photo]", March 31, 1949.
The Daily Herald, "New Wade-Vancleave Highway underway", December 12, 1950.
The Daily Herald, "James Lockard Dies", June 9, 1951.
The Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs News Paragraph", January 5, 1953.
The Daily Herald, "Plunk-Dees", May 15, 1954.
The Daily Herald, "C.E. Dees, Sr., Retired Merchant of Wiggins Dies", August 24, 1954.
The Daily Herald, "Laura M. Westfall", April 2, 1955.
The Daily Herald, "Know Your Coast", 'Dees Store at Vancleave'. June 6, 1957.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave boast first tuna cannery on Gulf; Three boats in fleet", February 25, 1959.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave Lions to be chartered", August 20, 1959, p. 8.
The Daily Herald, "Thomas L. Murphy Sr.", November 7, 1959.
The Daily Herald, "Miss Susie Vaughan", August 7, 1962.
The Daily Herald, "C.L. Dees Dies At 77", November 20, 1963.
The Daily Herald, "Dr. Robert Murphy", May 7, 1965.
The Daily Herald, "Miss Fannie Vaughan", September 20, 1965.
The Daily Herald, "Dr. Lockard Dies, Funeral Rites Saturday", June 17, 1966.
The Daily Herald, "Mrs. Cora J. Kelley", July 21, 1970.
The Daily Herald, "Funeral Services Set Friday For Betty Dees", August 11, 1971.
The Daily Herald, "William Zibe Fletcher", December 5, 1975.
The Daily Herald, "Upton S. David", September 3, 1993.
The Chronicle, "R.J. "VanHorn of Mt. Pleasant Rites Saturday", February 15, 1963.
The Chronicle-Star, "Boy Scouts Spreads to Vancleave" January 23, 1925.
The Chronicle Star, "Vancleave Has New M.E. Church", April 2, 1926.
The Chronicle Star, "Vancleave Booms As Shuttle Mill Increases Force", April 12, 1935.
The Chronicle Star, "Canning Plant For Vancleave To Care Farmers’ Crops", May 8, 1936.
The Chronicle Star, "Vancleave Consolidated School Totally Destroyed By Fire Wednesday Night", May 22, 1942.
The Chronicle Star, "New Vancleave School to Be On Westfall Land", February 3, 1943.
The Chronicle Star, "Ralph M. Spaulding Dies in Jackson At Age Eighty-Two", January 16, 1959.
The Gazette [Ocean Springs, Ms.], "Vancleave No-kill Shelter needs community support", January 27, 2010, p. 10.
The Gazette [Ocean Springs, Ms.], "The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint wins 3rd place in International World BBQ Championship", June 9, 2010, p. 5.
The Gazette [Ocean Springs, Ms.], "Local BBQ ranked among best in the World, December 14, 2011, p. 1.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Old Settlers" Meet At Van Cleave Friday", July 22, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "VanCleave Legion Post Builds A Hall", July 22, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Dr. Rountree Practices in Vancleave", September 16, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Know Your Neighbor", September 16, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Know Your Neighbor", September 23, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Luther Allen Died At Home On October 4", October 21, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Know Your Neighbor", November 4, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Know Your Neighbor", November 11, 1949.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Service Date For Telephone Service in Vancleave Announced By Manager", August 4, 1950.The Gulf Coast Times, "Vancleave to Observe Completion of Rural Telephone Service", August 18, 1950.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Record Crowd Attends Telephone Dedication At Vancleave School Friday", September 15, 1950.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Vancleave Resident Shows How farming Can Pay-Off", October 27, 1950.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Vancleave’s Slash Pine Project Starts; Future Millions Are Seen", January 19, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Small Furniture Factory Here Will Employ Fifteen", March 1, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Former Vancleave resident charged murder of wife", March 1, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Rev. A.G. Miller of Vancleave [Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ] Buried Saturday", April 5, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Grand old lady of Vancleave [Azaline Havens] is gone", August 23, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Revival services open at Vancleave campground week starting Oct. 16", October 4, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "New Prospect camp meeting closes Sunday", October 18, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Vancleave may be affected by new '16' Section", December 20, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Honor Memory of Late Posey N. Howell", January 8, 1953.
The Gulf Coast Times, "All City in Mourning Death of Henry Girot", January 29, 1953.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Love Bug Hides In Ramsay Wisteria?", May 28, 1953, p. 1.
The Gulf Coast Times, "New Vancleave Baptist Church Opened Sunday", June 25, 1953, p. 3.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Canning Company Open Vancleave", September 3, 1953.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Expect approval $200,000 Wade-Vancleave Road", June 25, 1953.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Wade-Vancleave road now being constructed", November 5, 1953.
The Jackson County News, "First annual Vancleave rodeo to be staged Aug. 23", August 14, 1968, p. 1.
The Jackson County Times, "Ruble Murder Case Ends in Acquittal", October 21, 1916.
The Jackson County Times, "Vancleave News", October 28, 1916.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Items", November 14, 1914.
The Jackson County Times, "Sidney Anderson Dead; Many Friends Mourn", October 6, 1917.
The Jackson County Times, "Sheep Raising Is A Profitable Industry", January 12, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Anderson-Usner", February 16, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Sheep Increase Needed By Army", March 30, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Items", July 20, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Ocean Springs Mourns Death of J.H. Behrens", July 27, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal", August 17, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Items", October 19, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Items", November 23, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Big Wool Sale Held Last Saturday", June 28, 1919.
The Jackson County Times, "Negro Killed in Wreck on Vancleave Tram", January 28, 1922.
The Jackson County Times, "Karl Maxwell Rescues Drowning Bridgeman", February 18, 1922.
The Jackson County Times, "Sherwood Bradford Succumbs To Injuries" March 4, 1922.
The Jackson County Times, "Pecan Farm Near Vancleave Making Splendid Progress", April 25, 1925.
The Jackson County Times, "Ocean Springs Locals", June 13, 1925.
The Jackson County Times, "Old Settlers Reunion At Vancleave July 31", July 18, 1925.
The Jackson County Times, "Old Settlers Reunion at Vancleave Largely Attended", August 1, 1925.
The Jackson County Times, "Marland Hart Dies At His Country Home", December 4, 1926.
The Jackson County Times, "Vancleave Post Office Is Discontinued", May 7, 1927.
The Jackson County Times, "Prominent Vancleave Citizen Taken by Death", February 4, 1928.
The Jackson County Times, "Charcoal Burning Is No Longer Profitable", September 8, 1928.
The Jackson County Times, "Old Settlers Picnic Success", July 26, 1935.
The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal", August 17, 1935.
The Jackson County Times, "Tung Oil To Be Studied at M’Neil Station", August 22, 1936.
The Jackson County Times, "Vancleave To Have $60,000 School Building", May 13, 1939.
The Jackson County Times, "Death of Mrs. M.L. Ramsay", May 9, 1942.
The Jackson County Times, "Vancleave School Destroyed By Fire Late Wednesday Night", May 23, 1942.
The Jackson County Times, "Large Still Seized Near Vancleave", September 13, 1947.
The Mississippi Press, "Bluff Creek Park Opens", June 3, 1984.
The Mississippi Press, "Vancleave Catholics use old Sacred Heart lumber", May 1, 1981.
The Mississippi Press, "Vancleave: Original spelling was two words", July 18, 1988.
The Mississippi Press, "Old-Timers call it Lick Skillet, residents call it Greenhead", August 29, 1988.
The Mississippi Press, "Vancleave library first of three spring openings", February 12, 1990.
The Mississippi Press, "Budding town far from being a new suburb", October 6, 1993.
The Mississippi Press, "Home of Bulldogs provides students upgraded educational opportunities", October 6, 1993.
The Mississippi Press, "New faces, places; area springs forth in growth", October 6, 1993.
The Mississippi Press, "Population gain throws community into a good times/bad times scenario", October 6, 1993.
The Mississippi Press, "Cemetery group seeks change in law to ease payment on 16th section lease", December 15, 1993, p. 1-A.
The Mississippi Press, "Centennial Celebrated (Ezell Lodge No. 426)", April 30, 1995.
The Mississippi Press, "Tung Industry begins revival in state", November 24, 1996.
The Mississippi Press, "Tung orchards making a comeback", ?, 1998.
The Mississippi Press, "Gautier barbecue business named best of best", September 7, 2003.
The Mississippi Press, “Trip to Coast leads couple to ‘Camp Journey’s End’”, January 28, 2004.
The Mississippi Press, ‘Ocean Springs Press’, "April ribbon cuttings mark completion of new county projects", March 31, 2004.
The Mississippi Press, ‘Ocean Springs Press’, "Holy Spirit Catholic Church dedicated", May 12, 2004, p. 3.
The Mississippi Press, "Camp Vancleave", September 28, 2005, p. 4-A.
The Mississippi Press, "Shed BBQ brings home the bacon", October 21, 2006, p. 10-A.
The Mobile Register, "Mr. J.C. Orrell", December 1, 1917, p. 8, c. 5.
The Moss Point Advertiser, "Death of Mr. Adam Blumer", March 5, 1915.
The Moss Point Advertiser, "Mr. L.J. McLeod Dead", March 26, 1915.
The New Orleans Christian Advocate, "On the Wing", November 11, 1880.
The Ocean Springs News, "Charter of Incorporation-Fort Bayou Fruit Company", December 18, 1909.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", January 8, 1910.
The Ocean Springs News, "In Business Here Nearly 30 Yrs", September 10, 1910.
The Ocean Springs News, "Remarkable Land Development", May 27, 1911.
The Ocean Springs News, "Wool Clip Is Marketed", June 17, 1911.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", July 1, 1911.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", October 7, 1911.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", October 14, 1911.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", December 23, 1911.
The Ocean Springs News, "Passing of Geo. W. Davis", May 30, 1914.
The Ocean Springs News, "Vancleave road greatly improved"
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", July 1, 1915.
The Ocean Springs News, "Anderson Has Narrow Escape From Death", October 7, 1915.
The Ocean Springs News, "Killed Near Vancleave", November 4, 1915.
The Ocean Springs News, "Vancleave", December 16, 1915.
The Ocean Springs News, "Strawberries Raised Here in December", December 16, 1915.
The Ocean Springs News, "Vancleave", December 16, 1915.
The Ocean Springs News, "Vancleave Forging Ahead Rapidly" January 20, 1916.
The Ocean Springs News, "Pecan Farm Near Vancleave Making Splendid Progress", April 25, 1925.
The Ocean Springs News, "Gulf Tuna Is Now Canned in VanCleave", November 15, 1956.
The Ocean Springs News, "$12,000 Warehouse Completed on Bluff Creek; First Barge-Rail Shipments from Vancleave in April", February 20, 1958.
The Ocean Springs News, "Golden Fin Tuna At State Jaycee Convention", February 20, 1958.
The Ocean Springs News, "T.L. Murphy Working with Frick Refrigeration Experts on Plan to Revolutionize Fish Industry", June 12, 1958.
The Ocean Springs News, ""T.L". Has Brought Bluff Creek To World Attention with His Golden Fin Tuna Operations", July 17, 1958.
The Ocean Springs News, "New County Proposed", July 23, 1964.
The Ocean Springs News, "Letter Box", November 26, 1964.
The Ocean Springs News, "European tour for Miss [Jane] Dees", April 8, 1965.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Vancleave horse show", June 12, 1969, p. 23.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Betty Dees Leaves TV and Plans To Travel", December 18, 1969.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Old Church, New Building", February 22, 1970.
The Ocean Springs Record, "New Church Holds First Services", August 19, 1971, p. 2.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Children’s Home of Grace Dedicated", August 26, 1971, p. 11.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Vancleave Bapist Dedicated Sunday", March 25, 1971, p. 13.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Virginia Native Vancleave Pastor", March 25, 1971.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Site needed for new Vancleave post office", October 28, 1982.
The Ocean Springs Record, "A tribute to Betty Dees", September 9, 1971, p. 2.
The Ocean Springs Record, "A Center for the future", February 17, 1983.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Vancleave to open PO", December 6, 1984.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Ramsay clan reunion set", May 18, 1986.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Vancleve welcomes home Paul Overstreet", March 31, 1988, p. 8.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Dedication ceremonies set for Vancleave library", February 8, 1990, p. 2.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Hinton hiring ends search for football coach", March 12, 1992.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", June 17, 1993.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", January 5, 1995.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", January 12, 1995.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", May 11, 1995.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", October 5, 1995.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", February 15,1996.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", December 12, 1996.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes, January 15, 1998.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Homes of Grace offers more than thrift shops", April 18, 2002, p. A1.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Red Creek Land Co.", October 17, 2002.
The Ocean Springs Record, "The Shed’s reputation goes national", August 28, 2003.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Homes [sic] of Grace get helping hand”, January 27, 2005.
The Ocean Springs Record, “The Shed BBQ restaurant wins two national awards”, February 24, 2005, p. A6.
The Ocean Springs Record, “The Shed hosts 'Fear Not' festival", June 8, 2006, p. A6.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Shed sells first franchise", March 29, 2007, p. A4.
The Ocean Springs Record, “The Shed contributes to Chefs of the Coast". October 18, 2007, p. A6.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Fieri, 'The Shed is Junkadelik'", March 20, 2008, p. A1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “The Blues and France in OS", April 27, 2008, p. A1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Now that's BBQ baby", July 10, 2008, p. A1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “The SHED placed 3rd in Whole Hog Barbeque contest", June 3, 2010, p. 2.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Concerts celebrate The Shed", March 29, 2012, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “",
The Pascagoula Chronicle, "Vancleave Fair", November 25, 1916.
The Pascagoula Chronicle, "P.H. Orrell", October 10, 1914.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Sheep Raising on the Gulf Coast", August 2, 1878.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Local Paragraphs", June 18, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Dogs vs. Sheep", February 25, 1881.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, Camp Meeting", October 28, 1881.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Picnic and Candidates", July 13, 1883.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "A Sad Accident", January 25, 1884.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Machine Poetry from Bluff Creek", November 29,1889.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "A Daily Mail To Vancleave", May 1, 1891.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", June 1892.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Vancleave Clippings", April 22, 1892.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Vancleave Clippings", May 20, 1892.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Vancleave Clippings", November 25, 1892.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, Ramsay’s School Closing", March 17, 1893.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Marine", October 6, 1893.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,, "Ocean Springs Locals", March 13, 1896.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", October 9, 1896.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Moss Point News", January 19, 1900.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "? ? At Vancleave", April 13, 1900.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", August 31, 1900.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", December 1, 1905.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", October 5, 1906.
The Times Picayune, Caroline G. Anderson", February 22, 1950.
The Progress, "Vancleave", May 28, 1904.
The Progress, "Negroes Killed", July 23, 1904.
The Southwestern-Farmer, September 16, 1842.
The Star of Pascagoula, "Star-Beams", February 2, 1877.
The Sun Herald, "Dees Store’s destruction brings end to an era", January 10, 1976.
The Sun Herald, "Home of Grace dedication set", February 21, 1979, p. A5.
The Sun Herald, "'Jackson County'-Vancleave has new center for literacy, public library", February 10, 1990, p. 2.
The Sun Herald, "Palmer G. Murphy", December 28?, 1990.
The Sun Herald, "Wyeth T. Ramsay Sr.", March 13, 1992.
The Sun Herald, "Mrs. Paula Ogden Murphy", March 22, 1994.
The Sun Herald, "Stars building shines", December 17, 1994.
The Sun Herald, "Vancleave's Past", June 10, 1995.
The Sun Herald, "Family’s new store is deeply rooted in past", September 2, 1995.
The Sun Herald, "Backyard Vintners", September 17, 1997.
The Sun Herald, "Lysbeth Dees Ramsay", March 31, 2000.
The Sun Herald, "Acreage prompts land rush", November 3, 2002.
The Sun Herald, "South Mississippi Neighbors", ‘Word is out on Vancleave’, April 4, 2003, p. 8.
The Sun Herald, "3,400 acres to be auctioned", May 29, 2003, p. F-1.
The Sun Herald, "Thousand of acres sold", June 15, 2003, p. A-2.
The Sun Herald, "South Mississippi Neighbors"-"Dees loves his horses, but yearns Wild West", August 22, 2003, p. 8.
The Sun Herald, "Vancleave traffic will see the light", September 3, 2003, p. A-4.
The Sun Herald, "Former International Paper land is sold", October 5, 2003, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, "Soaring rents scare business owners", Ocotber 7, 2003, p. A7.
The Sun Herald, "Vancleave fights to keep rural character", October 9, 2003, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "‘The Dean’ (Curtis Davis) always there for students, college", January 25, 2004, p. A-6.
The Sun Herald, "Titantic land deal takes center stage", February 10, 2004, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, "Titantic plan shifts from Jackson Co. to Stone", February 11, 2004, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, "Vancleave getting 2 fire stations", March 9, 2004, p. A-2.
The Sun Herald, “Shed Heads to celebrate the blues”, August 2, 2004, p. A-2.
The Sun Herald, "Vineyard (Jack Hoover) offers sweet picking", August 28, 2004, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, “Home of Grace turns 40”, January 7, 2005, p. A-6.
The Sun Herald, “Where miracle homes happen”, January 21, 2005, p. A-11.
The Sun Herald, “Franchising planned to help Shed spread”, April 15, 2005.
The Sun Herald, "South Mississippi Neighbors"-'Herd [Boer Goats of W.M. "Buz" Hipp] About Town', June 10, 2005, p. 10.
The Sun Herald, “The Shed: funky fun with BBQ and music”, June 30, 2005.
The Sun Herald, "The Shed is battered (by Katrina) but not beaten", September 13, 2005.
The Sun Herald, "Vancleave (post Katrina)", November 15, 2005, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, "Vancleave gazebo to be for community events", December 12, 2005, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "The Shed takes a break for rest and repairs", December 16, 2005, p. B6.
The Sun Herald, "Retired USAF Major Henry Plunk", March 15, 2006, p. A8.
The Sun Herald, "Real estate's the hot buy here", May 14, 2006, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "Vancleave boom expected", February 13, 2007, p. A7.
The Sun Herald, "Shed BBQ named MVP", February 18, 2007, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, "Phyllis Mallette Dees", March 13, 2007, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Home of Grace future is multipurpose", April 9, 2007, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "Road [Poticaw Road bypass to Ms. Highway 57] moving right along", June 11, 2007, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "Barton's pastorship to end Feb. 4", July 30, 2007, p. A5.
The Sun Herald, "The Shed rocks out for Boys and Girls Club", October 1, 2007, p. A3.
The Sun Herald, "Arena to be names for civic leader [Conrad Mallette]", November 25, 2007, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, "Church selects interim pastor", December 31, 2007, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "Shed spreading to Lyman", January 2, 2008, p. B8.
The Sun Herald, "Rev. Barton is honored", March 12, 2008, p. C8.
The Sun Herald, “In Lyman, a new Shed”, June 18, 2008, p. B10.
The Sun Herald, "Rev. William 'Bill' Barton, Sr., July 4, 2008, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Barton, preacher for the people dies", July 4, 2008, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "Brother Bill laid to rest", July 6, 2008, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Home of Grace adds new facility", March 4, 2009, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, "The Local Buzz-Shed Ahead", June 12, 2009, p. B3.
The Sun Herald, "The Shed reveals recipe on Regis", June 16, 2009, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "The Big Apple gets fed by The Shed", June 18, 2009, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "Shed Heads back to 'Live with Regis and Kelly'", August 19, 2009, p. A9.
The Sun Herald, "The Shed wins 'Live' grilling", August 20, 2009, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "The Shed's Orrison up for a 'Relly' award", September 5, 2009, p. B6.
The Sun Herald, "Mr. Robert Gordon Cossey", October 4, 2009, p. A12.
The Sun Herald, "After 40 years of delivering babies, now he [Dr. Jack Hoover] creates wine", January 11, 2010, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Peggy Dees Plunk", September 27, 2010, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, "Home of Grace bookkeeper [Barbara Hamil Wassman] admits to taking $199,375", September 9, 2010, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, “ShedHead Festival keeps blues alive”, September 26, 2010, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, “Shed siblings smokin' up the limelight”, May 7, 2011, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, “Cake baker falls, The Shed grabs first”, May 8, 2011, p. A5.
The Sun Herald, “County Trail Marker honors Vancleave native Paul Overstreet”, June 8, 2011, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, “Clifton M. 'Kip' Dees”, June 19, 2011, p. A12.
The Sun Herald, “Musical bigs and tasty pigs delight crowd at Shed Fest”, August, 2011, p. A10.
The Vancleave Link, "Nose to the grindstone [Snook's Mallette grist mill"]", September 29, 2010, p. 1.
The Vancleave Link, "Music Marker unveiled in honor of Overstreet", June 15, 2011, p. 1.
The Vancleave Link, "Center Pointe church in Vancleave holding openiing celebration", September 28, 2011, p. 3.
The Vancleave Link, "132 Years of worship, fun, and family", October 19, 2011, p. 1.
The Vancleave Link, "The Shed recovers and moves ahead", March 21, 2012, p. 3.
Jackson County, Mississippi Census Data 1850-Federal Slave Census, M432, Roll No. 385.1860-Federal Slave Census, M653, Roll No. 598.
Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 1213, "The Estate of Dr. E.A. Portis", letter to John L. Portis from Dr. E.A. Portis dated June 12, 1902.Joseph A. Broadus to Joseph Broadus Jr., dated 1926 (Broadus family file Pascagoula Regional Library, Pascagoula, Mississippi).
James C. Harris (Corinth, Mississippi) to Dudley B. Milton (Vancleave, Mississippi) dated January 17, 1985.
Florence Murphy Cossey-interview at Vancleave on November 5, 1998.
Robert Cossey-interview at Vancleave on November 5, 1998.
Kip Dees-telephone interview on August 2, 1998, December 14, 1998, December 18, 1998, and at Vancleave on December 20, 1998 and January 6, 1999.
Ivan Ellis-interview at Vancleave on August 6, 1998 and December 11, 1998.
Elsie Havens Fletcher, telephone interview on December 22, 1998.
Dr. Jack C. Hoover, telephone interview on January 6, 1999.
Jacob Lockard, interview at Vancleave on December 8, 1994.
Jacob Lockard-interview at Vancleave on August 6, 1998.
Marilena R. Penton-interview at Vancleave on December 5, 1998.
Johnson Ware-interview at Vancleave on January 13, 1999.
Rosa Batson Payton-interview at Ocean Springs on June 22, 2007.
VANCLEAVE AREA CEMETERIES
BEULAH CHURCH CEMETERY
Beulah Church and Cemetery and Beulah Church (November 2005)
(top two images made September 1993)
LOCATION: NE/4, SW/4, Section 4, T6S-R7W.
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) and Washington Avenue at Ocean Springs, go north 1.34 miles on Washington Avenue to the intersection with Rose Farm Road. Go north on Rose Farm Road .25 miles to Old Fort Bayou Road. Turn right (east) on Old Fort Bayou Road and go northeast for about 7.5 miles to Humphrey Road. Turn right (east) on Humphrey Road and go 2.7 miles to its intersection with Ms. Highway 57. Turn left (north) and follow Ms. Highway 57 through the village of Vancleave for 3.2 miles to McGregor Road. Here turn right (north) and go .26 miles to the Beulah Church-Cemetery road. Turn left and proceed to the church building. The Beulah Cemetery is situated in the rear of the church.
HISTORY: In November 1908, Nathan and Francis Reddix conveyed to the Trustees of Beulah Church, Willis Page, ? , and Bobinger, two acres of land in Section 4, T6S-R7W for a cemetery and church. At the time, McGregor Road, which is south of the Beulah Church was called Kansas Road. Older residents in the area refer to the cemetery as the Old Creole Cemetery or Old Kansas.(Jackson County Land Deed Book 143, p. 218)
Sellus Atwell Jr. 1-19-1966 to 9-12-2004
Alton Bang 8-10-1927 to 7-6-1986
Alonzo Bang 1841 to 2-6-1909, age 68 yrs.
Arthur Bang 1937 to 7-23-2004
Chester Bang 1925 to 4-4-1961, age 36 yrs.
Christal Bang 1928 to 1986
Donald 'Tweety Bird' Bang 7-18-1949 to 8-4-1984
Earl 'Togy' Bang 2-18-1928 to 4-1-1994
Eugene Bang 5-12-1900 to 7-20-1961
Celeste Bang 10-2-1921 to 7-24-1989
Eva Jane Bang to 1-18-1970
JoAnn Stanton Bang 5-21-1938 to 7-2-1999
Henry Bang 1869 to 8-16-1944, age 75 years
Heseciar Bang 2-22-1874 to 9-28-1967
Lula Bang 9-18-1907 to 4-6-1982
Jane B. Bang 1907 to 1940
Jimbo Bang 10-9-1901 to 1-21-1963
John Bang 7-20-? , age 55 yrs.
Josephine Bang 1874 to 7-21-1940, age 66 years
Lawson Sam Bang 11-18-1936 to
Vera Lee 'Sue' Waltman Bang 9-12-1942 to 3-15-2003
Louie Bang-Ms Pvt US Army WW I 10-9-1892 to 3-21-1961
Lucy Bang 11-7-1920 to 12-26-1987
Margaret J. Bang 10-1-1904 to 6-11-1940, age 35 yrs., 8 mo., and 10 days.
Mary Ellen M. Bang 9-9-1903 to 1-1-1955, age 52 yrs., 3 mos., and 23 days
Mary Lou Bang 1937 to 4-24-1961, age 24 years
Mrs. Mary Maggie Bang
Mary Rosalie Carroll Bang 4-19-1874 to ? (unmarked)
Michael Leon Bang 12-28-1972 to 10-14-1993
Millard “Buck” Bang 8-30-1930 to 2-12-2004
PFC US ARMY-Korea
Murdock Bang to 2-5-1960
Nancy B? age 95 years, to 5-16-192?
Oliver Bang to 1-12-1947
Pere Bang 1844 to ? [probably Pierre Bangs 1837 to 1-31-1933]
Martha Loper Bang 1849 to ?
Ruff Bang 7-30-1897 to 8-30-1940
Stallworth Bang 1926 to 3-2-2005, husband of Jeanette Bang f. Babe Bang m. Lula Bang
Timmy Bang 12-13-1973 to 4-12-1978
William "Slim" Wortham Bang 3-14-1925 to 12-15-1983
Lillie Eleanor Bang 3-10-1924 to 5-30-1993
Valley Shug Bang 5-9-1933 to 10-4-1996
Watson Bang 5-23-1931 to 6-26-1976
Betty P. Bang 12-4-1943 to 8-11-1976
Woodford Bang 11-12-1935 to 5-7-1986
Frank Henry Bangs 1914 to 12-21-1970, age 56 years
Sam Westley Bangs 1873 to 7-4-1963
Vertis Ray Bangs 9-20-1962 to 10-14-1962 f. Vertis Bangs
Arthur Leon Beard 12-7-1946 to 10-23-2003
Bertie Mae Beasley 7-5-1929 to 11-11-1953
Alexander Belton 1873 to 8-2-1938, age 65 years
James A. Belton 1-1-1897 to 4-16-1955
John Belton 1868-1927
Martha Gill Belton 1872 to 11-28-1937 f. Jack Gill m. Mary Daniels
Johney Belton 10-25-1907 to 7-3-1953
Pvt. Ms CO D 118 INFANTRY REGIMENT WW II
Emile Bigot 5-31-1883 to 8-26-1947
Rosie Bigot 4-12-1897 to 2-16-1971
Ernest Bobinger 4-10-1900 to 11-4-1900
Rosie Bang Bracknell 10-14-1904 to 4-13-1985
Loyt A. Bynum 11-7-1907 to 10-20-1967
William Irwin Byrd 1900 to 2-20-1970, age 70 yrs.
Dennis L. Carroll 9-28-1938 to 6-3-1964
US NAVY KOREA
Reverend James A. Carroll 1844 to 5-7-1916 (unmarked)
James Elijah Carroll 12-26-1878 to 1-18-1889 (unmarked)
George Carroll died 2-15-1930 (unmarked)
Mary Ely Carroll 6-3-1853 to 12-23-1940 (unmarked) f. Tony Ely m. Madeline Bang
Whilhemina 'Aunt Dime' Bobinger-Carroll 4-10-1865 to 3-3-1962
William Alson Carroll 5-9-1904 to 6-8-1906
son of A.B. and W.A. Carroll
Paul T. Copenhaver 9-7-1957 to 6-3-2002
Harmon Daughtry 9-1-1912 to
Lona Daughtry 7-10-1912 to 9-14-1994
Benjamin Patrick Davis 3-14-1989 to 3-14-1989
Lizzie Jane Dobson 5-8-1874 to 11-26-1918
Kenny Duehr 12-14-1967 to 4-7-2012
Celeste Moore Ealy 1920 to 9-24-1969, age 49 yrs.
Edith Ealy 1957 to 12-1-1957, age 6 mos.
Joseph E. Ealy 7-18-1858 to 2-17-1948, age 89 yrs., 6 mos., and 29 days.
Bishop Marvin Ealy 1894 to 11-19-1971
Pearlie Ladnier Ealy 7-26-1927 to 3-13-2004, wife of Marvin B. Ealy Sr. f. Tony Ladnier m. Viola Ladnier
Betty Jo Eley 4-23-1943 to 7-25-1943, age, 3 mos. and 2 days.
Catherine 'Cat' Eley 2-22-1935 to 5-21-2010
Ernest Eley 1-2-1900 to 5-10-1998
Frank Eley 10-23-1911 to 5-8-2001
Joe Eley 1926 to 11-21-1999 f. Rufus Ely m. Celeste Bang
Johnie Eley 5-30-1920 to 9-11-1974
Lydia B. Eley 9-18-1921 to 2-10-1973
Pent Dora Eley 11-8-1908 to 11-26-1991
Tom Eley (reserved)
Tony Many Eley 8-6-1886 to 9-15-1967
Mary Eley 2-18-1891 to 3-12-1944
Val Verdis Eley 10-17-1908 to 2-24-1996
Esperance Waltman Eley 12-14-1919 to 9-13-1997
William Lep Eley 5-8-1869 to 5-3-1939
Lizer Eley 1-10-1870 to 8-12-1958
Edna Moore Ely 9-18-1921 to 3-19-1997
Gloria Marie Ely 7-12-1926 to 1-12-1991
Hayden Glen Ely 1-6-2000 to 5-11-2000
Howard Ely 1940-3-17-2008
Joseph Ely (SS# ? 718-02-1947)
Katherine Ely (SS#? 915-83-1967)
Mahala Josephine Carroll Ely 1-1-1911 to 8-7-1996 , wife of Horace Ely Sr.
Miss Ely to 9-21-1979
Perry Ely 1957 to 12-18-2005
Alice 'P-Lou' Waltman Forehand 2-10-1946 to 8-12-1995
Dan Forehand 6-21-1920 to 7-19-1974
Viola Forehand 12-16-1917 to 10-17-1981
Tennies Waltman Forehand 8-12-1925 to 1-12-1988
Thomas Washington Forehand 8-17- 1916 to 2-8-2000, f. Wilburn Forehand m. Martha Webb; husband of Tennie Waltman
Wilburn Forehand 9-29-1966 to 9-6-1985
Wilburn Forehand 5-13-1876 to 3-26-1961
Clara May Goff
Infant daughter of William and Sophie Gandy to 9-2-1942
Arnel E. Irwin 10-22-1912 to 11-27-1970
PFC US ARMY WW II
Celeste Ely Irwin 2-28-1904 to 6-28-1994, wife of Rufus Ely and A.E. Irwin
Harry E. Irwin 12-26-1924 to 1-19-1980
Ellis Ladnier 10-13-1920 to 3-27-1988
Lois Eley Ladnier 11-6-1924 to 3-21-1985
Elmer Ladnier 5-11-1922 to 1-20-2002
Martha Eley Ladnier 1-4-1927 to 6-26-2006
Elmer Ray Ladnier 11-13-1945 to 6-15-1956
Gary Dean Ladnier 12-4-1958 to 4-20-1999
Jimmie D. Ladnier 1-2-1953 to 8-9-1953
Kennith Glynn Ladnier 5-6-1948 to 1-14-1949
Tony Ladnier 2-11-1881 to 2–16-1943
Viola Ladnier 1-29-1882 to 5-18-1972
Wanda D. Ladnier 6-1-1948 to 6-7-1968
Lewis Moore 1-10-1888 to 5-10-1953
Lonia Bang Moore 3-6-1897 to 1-28-1988
Napoleon Moore Sr. 1-16-1916 to 2-19-2004
Cornelia Moore 7-4-1928 to 10-13-2000
Napoleon Moore Jr. 7-3-1961 to 6-6-1988
Edna Louise Meyers 1-30-1965 to 1-30-1965, (still born)
Paul Louis Meyers 1-18-1963 to 5-8-1964
Roy Meyers 12-26-1944 to 9-20-1987
Paul Albert Nicholas 4-24-1930 to 8-2-1993
Infant son of Louis and Evelyn Olsen died 9-2-1942
Charles H. Overstreet 11-25-1929 to 4-9-1988
Nellie Overstreet 3-7-1935 to 7-3-1992
Cody Overstreet (infant) to 5-15-1971
James C. Oxner 4-28-1910 to 10-29-1999
Ethel F. Oxner 8-18-1920 to 4-19-2002
Gracie Page 2-10-1899 to 6-16-1906, youngest daughter of Tom and Mary Page
Betty Phele? to 8-10-1976
James W. Powell 8-26-1888 to 1-23-1964
Martha Olivia Eley Powell 11-6-1912 to 3-16-1979
John Richard Contrite Shoemaker 3-15-1885 to 10-8-1919 f. O.A. Shoemaker m. Elizabeth Davis
Ms PVT 330 INF 83 DIVISION
Ollie Shoemaker (unmarked)
Tom Shoemaker (unmarked)
Eric L. Simmons 3-27-1976 to 8-20-1992
Damien Wayne Stafford 12-13-2000 to 12-13-2000
Ashley Tanner 12-19-1982 to 12-19-1982
Baby girl Tanner to 1939
David Tanner 12-28-1923 to 6-14-1972
PVT ARMY AIR FORCES WW II
Lemie Tanner 9-15-1928 to 2-4-1983
SSGT US ARMY WW II-KOREA-VIETNAM
Marie Tanner 1939 to 1939
Mary W. Tanner 1889 to 1974
Thomas S. C. Tanner 1878 to 1950
Woodrow Tanner 2-9-1916 to 11-11-1940
Rosaire Joseph Vallee 4-12-1888 to 12-31-1945 [born St. Frederick's, Canada-lived at Pritchard, Alabama. Son-in-law of Manny Eley. Died at NOLA]
Agnes Louise Waltman 1-25-1947 to 8-20-2002
Alexander Waltman 3-6-1921 to 8-28-1969
MS PFC US ARMY WW II
Clemotine Waltman 1-14-1930 to 7-11-1980
Alexander Waltman Sr. 1921 to 8-28-1969
Alexander Waltman Jr. 9-31-1947 to 4-1-1973, married 3-2-1969
Treacy R. Waltman 8-29-1948 to
Alexander Waltman III 12-12-1968 to 12-13-1968
Alice Waltman 7-23-1911 to 7-28-1981
Annie Bell Eley Waltman 10-21-1914 to 5-1-2000, wife of Frank Waltman (1910-1989)
Anthony Waltman 7-14-1982 to 7-14-1982
Alonzo Waltman 7-31-1926 to 2-27-2009
Austin Waltman 7-14-1982 to 7-14-1982
Baby boy Waltman to 9-23-1953
Betty Lou Waltman 1914 to 1944
Cornelia B. Waltman 4-14-1900 to 1-17-1969
Curtis D. Waltman
Edward E. Waltman 7-25-1932 to 11-29-1977
Elisha Waltman 2-28-1919 to 10-15-1971
Ernest Waltman 5-13-1887 to 2-7-1989
Ezell Waltman 9-14-1946 to 11-19-1991
Frank Waltman 1-10-1910 to 5-9-1989
Frank Shirley Waltman Jr. 1935 to 11-7-2007
Fred P. Waltman? 10-24-1924 to
Frederick Waltman 1943-3-19-2008
Henry Waltman 1880 to 9-25-1958
Howard Ray Waltman, Jr. 7-17-1975 to 5-24-1991
Infant Waltman to 12-16-1940, could be the baby daughter of Jake Waltman and Vina Carroll who expired on 12-10-1940
Infant boy Waltman to 9-23-1953
Infant Waltman to 1-11-1963
Irwin (Irva?) Ray Waltman 6-24-1943 to 7-15-1946, f. Willie Waltman m. Victoria Bangs
Iscar Waltman 2-26-1919 to 6-20-1989
Jeff Waltman 6-14-1870 to 7-16-1929
Lou Waltman 2-14-1880 to 2-22-1940
Jess Waltman age 76 years, 3 months, 17 days to 11-5-1979
Jesse 'Champ' James Waltman 7-30-1940 to 12-29-1978
Jimbo Waltman 10-9-1901 to 1-21-1963
Jimbo Waltman 12-15-1922 to 5-16-1991
John Waltman 3-1-1893 to 2-4-1978
John H. “Red” Waltman 1949 to 10-12-2005 f. Isacar Waltman m. Lucy Bang
Magaline Waltman 10-6-1952 to 10-6-1952
Margaret Ely Waltman 9-4-1914 to 2-2-2001 wife of Victor Waltman f. William Ely m. Liza Dobson
Margaret Opel Waltman 2-26-1929 to 10-3-1983
Margaret Rose Waltman to 12-4-1961
Mary Waltman 1883 to 8-11-1939, age 56 yrs.
Mary Waltman 1970 to 5-17-1970, age 5 mos.
Mary Bangs Waltman 1913 to 7-1972, wife of Pete Waltman
Nancy Waltman 7-30-1929 to 10-29-1970
Olivia Bangs Waltman to 1971
Richard Waltman, Jr. 5-20-1920 to 9-26-1978
SGT. US ARMY WW II
Robert W. “Shorty” Waltman 4-18-1949 to 8-11-1991
Victor Waltman 8-20-1908 to 4-5-1992,
Margaret Eley Waltman 9-4-1914 to 2-2-2001
Sylvester Waltman 3-22-1881 to 7-23-1951
Amanda O. Waltman 12-13-1892 to 12-15-1970
Will Waltman 1883 to 6-7-1976, age 93
William Ray Waltman?
Benjamin F. Williams 2-23-1915 to 4-10-1982
PFC US ARMY WW II
Diola Williams 7-2-1919 to 4-10-1991
James Dwayne Williams 2-2-1966 to 3-10-1971
Patty Bang Williams 4-25-1942 to
Willie Carroll Woolbright 11-22-1914 to 7-22-1991
Requiem, Volume III, “Beulah Cemetery”, (Jackson County Genealogical Society:
Pascagoula, Mississippi-circa 1972).
“Headstones of Old Kansas”, loose paper in the history and genealogy files of the Jackson-George Regional Library, Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The Daily Herald, "Vallee Death", January 1, 1946..
HUGH L. DAVIS CEMETERY
East Latimer Area
LOCATION: The Hugh L. Davis Cemetery is located in the W/2 of the SE/4 of NE/4 of Section 24, T6S-R9W, at 13480 Jim Ramsay Road. It is two miles southeast of the Latimer Community as the crow flies, and about six miles NNW of Ocean Springs.
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) and Washington Avenue at Ocean Springs go north on Washington Avenue 2.9 miles to Interstate 10. Cross the Interstate and bear left onto Tucker Road. Go 3.18 miles northwest on Tucker Road to Old Biloxi Road. At Old Biloxi Road go north a few hundred feet and see Jim Ramsay Road to the right (east). Turn right onto Jim Ramsay Road and go 1.93 miles to the Hugh L. Davis Cemetery at 13480 Jim Ramsay Road.
HISTORY: Hugh L. Davis Jr. was born at Wiggins, Mississippi in January 1916 to Hugh L. Davis and Lelia Johnston Davis. He married Rita Mae Seymour (1918-1965), the daughter of Robert Lawrence Seymour (1894-1965) and Ethiel M. Borries (1895-1976) on April 13, 1940. Judge A. Ferrer officiated and witnesses were P.M. Fairley and Louella Boney. Hugh and Rita were the parents of four children: H.L. Davis III (1942-2003), Robert “Bob” E. Davis (1946-1986), Wanza A. Groves (b. 1948), and Randall L. Davis Sr. (b. 1952). The corporal remains of Rita S. Davis and twos sons, H.L. Davis III and Robert E. Davis were interred at the Bosarge Cemetery in the St. Martin community of West Jackson County, Mississippi.(The Sun Herald, May 12, 1995, p. B-2, The Daily Herald, April 15, 1940, p. 10, and Lepre, 2001, pp. 158-159)
Hugh L. Davis 1-20-1916 to 5-9-1995
Jerome Lepre, Gulf Coast Genealogy: The Seymour Family, (Lepre: New Orleans, Louisiana-2001).
The Daily Herald, “Davis-Seymour”, April 15, 1940, p. 10.
The Sun Herald, “Hugh ‘H.L.” Davis Jr.”, May 12, 1995, p. B-2.
PAGE FAMILY CEMETERY
Northeast Vancleave area
Page Family Cemetery
[digital image made October 22, 2006 by Ray L. Bellande]
Location: 14708 McGregor Road in the SE/4 of the NE/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W.
Directions: From the intersection of Mississippi Highway 57 and Jim Ramsay Road at Vancleave, Mississippi go 1.2 miles northwest on Ms. Highway 57 to McGregor Road. Turn right onto McGregor Road and go .60 miles east to 14708 McGregor Road, the property of Johnny Wayne Hewitt. Turn right onto a dirt road that leads to the Hewitt compound, which is .50 miles from McGregor Road. The Page Cemetery is in an open field just east of the electric transmission line that transects the Hewitt property. It is enclosed by a low wire fence that is twenty-five by nine feet in area.
In February 1889, Robert Henry Page (1853-1912) received a Federal Land Patent on the NE/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W, Jackson County, Mississippi. It was designated as Homestead Certificate No. 3081. The Page Family Cemetery is situated in this original grant to Robert H. Page.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 48, pp. 411-412)
Circa 1873, Robert H. Page had married Martha Jane Livings (1853-1911). They were the parents of eleven children: Elizabeth Page (1874-1900+); William Page (1876-1900+) married Mollie Saucier; Celia C. Page (1878-1903); Willis Page (1881-1910+) married Minnie A. ? (1887-1910+); Columbus Page (1882-1900+); Lemuel Page (1884-1900+); Arthur Page (1886-1900+); Rufus Page (1888-1900+); Catherine Page (1890-1900+); Thomas Page (1892-1900+); and Mary Lillie Page (1894-1981) married George M. Hall (1887-1965).
In 1900, Robert H. Page made his livelihood making charcoal. By 1910, he was farming.(1900 and 1910 Jackson Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T623 812, p. 10B, ED 44 and T624_744, p. 6A, ED 64)
Prior to acquiring the NE/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W, Robert H. Page had acquired the NW/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W from William W. O’Neal of Harrison County for $5.00. He sold this land to Dr. Samuel Rankin Ratliff (1873-1936) of Vancleave in January 1911 for $860. This conveyance included Mr. Page’s lands in the W/2 of the SW/4 of Section 34, T5S-R7W and the W/2 of the SW/4 of Section 33, T5S-R7W.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 37, p. 319)
In August 1912, shortly before his demise, Robert H. Page conveyed the NE/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W to John P. Edwards and George K. Mead. John Palmer Edwards (1881-1956) was a native of Fargo, North Dakota and lived at Ocean Springs were he speculated in land, grew and sold pecans, and served as U.S. Postmaster from 1924-1932.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 7, 2006, p. A9)
In the warranty deed from Robert H. Page to Edwards and Mead, the following reservation was created: “except a certain plot of ground sixty-six feet square in the north part of the SE/4 of the NE/4 of Section 4 and now used as the private burial ground of the Robert H. Page family.” (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 38, pp. 535-536)
After selling his land at Vancleave, there is a high degree of certitude that Robert H. Page relocated to Saucier, Harrison County, Mississippi to live with his son. He expired there on December 5, 1912 and his corporal remains were interred in the Saucier Cemetery.(Dianne Page Ferrer, November 10, 2006 and State of Mississippi Death Certificate File No. 2486)
In September 1997, when Johnny Wayne Hewitt acquired that portion of the old Robert H. Page homestead in the NE/4 of Section 4, T6S-R7W from Benjamin L. Baldwin, the Page Family Cemetery reservation was again mentioned, as it is in earlier warranty deeds concerning this tract.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1122, p. 184, JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 38, p. 535, and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 63, p. 406)
Before Mary Lillie Page Hall (1894-1881), the spouse of George M. Hall (1887-1965), and the daughter of Robert H. Page and Martha Jane Livings, expired on July 3, 1981, she requested in her will that the Page Family Cemetery be fenced, a sign made, and that the known grave sites be cemented over. In 1981, under the supervision of Andy L. Page (1912-1991) and Jack L. Maples (1910-2003), a twenty-five foot by nine-foot concrete slab was laid.(Diane Page Ferrer, October 22, 2006)
According to Diane Page Ferrer, the present known burials in the Page Family Cemetery at Vancleave are:
Martha Jane Livings Page 1853-1911
Celia Clovine Page 1878-1903
The author is deeply indebted to Diane Page Ferrer of Vancleave for sharing her knowledge of the Page family and their burial ground in the Vancleave region. Diane and I visited the Page Family Cemetery on October 22, 2006.
Robert H. Page, State of Mississippi Death Certificate File No. 2486, Registered No. 6, Saucier, Harrison County, Mississippi.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Images Under The Oaks”, September 7, 2006.
Diane Page Ferrer-October-November 2006.
[also called Vancleave Cemetery No. 2]
(image made November 2005)
LOCATION: Section 16, T6S-R7W.
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) and Washington Avenue at Ocean Springs, go north 1.34 miles on Washington Avenue to the intersection with Rose Farm Road. Go north on Rose Farm Road .25 miles to Old Fort Bayou Road. Turn right (east) on Old Fort Bayou Road and go northeast for about 7.3 miles to Humphrey Road. Turn right (east) on Humphrey Road and go 2.7 miles to its intersection with Ms. Highway 57. Turn left (north) and follow Ms. Highway 57 through the village of Vancleave for 2 miles. See Cemetery Road on the right (south) opposite Jim Ramsay Road. Here turn right (south) and go .10 miles to the Ramsay family cemetery on the left.
John H. Allison 8-27-1918 to 1-1-2000
Ronald Beverin 9-20-1938 to 6-24-2011
Charles Thomas Bingaman 10-26-1939 to 2-26-1985
Carrie Birchett 7-2-1902 to 10-5-1992
John Anthony Blalock 11-9-1957 to 12-18-1995
Clarence Bosarge 8-22-1907 to 4-12-1999 married 5-9-1931
Vennil Bosarge 8-20-1913 to
Mamie L. Bradley 9-29-1877 to 2-3-1964
Oroon W. Bradley 9-13-1873 to 6-29-1938
Clara Cheever Ellis Buchanan 2-24-1932 to 1-27-2010
Granville Elson Buchanan 5-22-1934 to 11-28-1993
W. Stephen Burroughs 10-27-1929 to 9-14-1986
Lucy Bell Havens Byrd 8-31-1892 to 2-6-1977
Herman W. Byrd 1920 to 1961
R.W. Byrd 6-9-1891 to 11-10-1945
James J. Campain 1881 to 12-9-1952
Lucy Campain 12-18-1861 to 11-8-1951
Alice M. Carroll 1920-2004
Clara L. Carroll 6-20-1891 to 5-26-1972
Frank Carroll 1915-1985
Richard Wayne Carter 10-1-1961 to 12-30-1988
George P. 'Pete' Clegg 9-22-1922 to 12-26-2002
Mary E. 'Kitty' Clegg 2-16-1923 to 3-3-1995
Paul B. Cockfield 1-7-1962 to 11-4-1985
B.C. Corbello 1925 to married 11-26-1960
Claude M. Corbello 4-15-1925 to 6-26-2002
Betina C. Cox 11-3-1943 to 4-26-1993
Roderick E. Cox 12-4-1935 to
Annie Vivien Taylor Dale 8-16-1937 to 3-27-1996
Richard L. Dale 2-3-1931 to 2-22-2001
Curtis Lee Davis Sr. 9-15-1927 to 3-23-2012
Clifton B. Davis 9-16-1891 to 1-3-1973
Nellie May Ramsay Davis 1-25-1899 to 4-11-1989
Helen Sarah Griffin Davis 6-1-1928 to 2-21-1991, wife of Curtis L. Davis
Howard Whitfield Davis 6-4-1885 to 4-3-1966
infant son of H.P. and Dot Davis to 5-1951
John Edwin "Jed" Davis 3-12-1972 to 11-19-1988
Sabra Havens Davis 9-28-1890 to 9-9-1975
Ina Belle Overton Dawsey 10-9-1901 to 12-4-1997
Liliane Blanche Crozier Day 1-30-1936 to married 11-3-1958
Robert Waldo Day 11-8-1936 to 6-26-2005
Phyllis Mallette Dees 1928 to 3-11-2007
Keble Delancey 1922 to 8-19-2006
Frances McRaney Delancey 1924 to to 6-18-2007
Benjamin Edward Ellis Sr. 2-21-1901 to 3-21-1983
Benjamin E. Ellis Jr. 5-7-1940 to 4-6-1967
Jimmie Manning Ellis (mother) 2-15-1907 to 9-7-1946
Edna W. English 4-19-1923 to 10-22-1970
Jerry Keith English 5-11-1942 to 2-5-2003
Rev. Lloyd J. English 2-22-1915 to 1-10-1983
Louis H. English 5-11-1922 to 5-30-1999
Vida Lee Erickson 8-12-1925 to married 1-1-1947
William A. Erickson 4-12-1927 to 6-3-1990
Adelaide Mallette Fairley 1-16-1924 to 1-7-1995
Brill Hinton Fairley 1-9-1921 to
Clifton Cooper Flurry Sr. 5-16-1920 to 8-2-2003
Henry Quinton Flurry 2-22-1922 to 3-7-2001
Althea "Rete" Flurry 6-17-1925 to
Chasity Brewer Forehand 4-1-1991 to 5-3-1991
Deborah 'Deb' McDaniel Fountain 9-18-1952 to 11-30-2003
Dennie Irvin Gilkerson Jr. 5-14-1971 to 5-15-1971
Gertrude Anne Tisdale Griffin 5-21-1890 to 8-12-1967
Mable Clair Rogers Hall 3-1-1901 to 5-11-1981
Paul Dewey Harper 7-3-1929 to 7-13-1995
Anna M. Huff 7-31-1931 to 10-8-2002
Jo Ellen Rogers Irwin 6-15-1941 to
Julius Ross Irwin 5-28-1931 to 9-15-1996
William Edd Irwin 5-21-1929 to 4-28-1970
Louis Kent Janca 10-22-1951 to 5-28-1993
Floyd Norris Jones 11-10-1923 to 1-17-1979
John Andrew Kite Jr. 8- 20-1924 to 2-14-1985
Naomi Elizabeth Krause 2-18-1929 to 7-5-1996
Alton B. Letts 5-11-1932 to 3-28-2003
Thelma L. Letts 8-30-1928 to 9-30-1994
? Lough to 1949
Thpmas Burdette Lipscomb 5-1-1909 to 6-30-1989
Joseph Mez Lubisher 9-7-1960 to 12-16-1960
Colonel Vincent Majkowski, USAF 6-23-1943 to 3-28-2002
Judith Ellis Majkowski d/o Edward and Jimmie Ellis
Hattie Pearson Mallette 12-1-1901 to 3-19-1940
Raymond 'Paw Paw' Mallette 5-6-1898 to 1-30-1993
Celia Ulmer Mallette 8-19-1899 to 6-16-1995
Hubert Leroy Mallette 8-19-1900 to 11-18-1985
James Hollis Mitchell 7-25-1907 to 11-6-1973
Annie R. Murphy 1875 to 1-5-1956
infant Murphy of P.G. and Katherine Murphy to 7-11-1940
John Hails Murphy 9-7-1874 to 4-7-1944
Katherine Davis Murphy 1-12-1919 to 7-17-1976
Lillie E. Murphy 10-7-1893 to 8-9-1988
Palmer G. Murphy 6-9-1916 to 12-27-1990
Paula O. Murphy 1907 to 1994
Thomas L. Murphy Sr. 3-24-1875 to 11-7-1959
Thomas L. Murphy Jr. 1914 to 1996
Lemond Aubrey McLelland 4-28-1924 to 3-7-1985
Vada Marguerite McLelland 6-20-1918 to 12-23-2003
Earline Ulmer McRaney 10-24-1904 to 11-25-1994
Voss McRaney Jr., M.D. 1-22-1926 to 8-27-1960
Albert L. Orrell 1867 to 1937
Ida Ramsay Orrell 1873 to 1936
Gladys Overton 3-16-1903 to 3-11-1963
Mary Helen Overton 1-21-1922 to 1-23-1938
William Claude Overton 3-18-1898 to 10-18-1971
Catherine Murphy Powell 1907 to 1986
Lloyd E. Powell 1917 to 1994
Albert Edison Ramsay 9-14-1884 to 5-14-1886
Andrew Washinton Ramsay 1830-1916
Charles H. Ramsay 3-10-1894 to 3-17-1960
Clifton Weed Ramsay 8-11-1892 to 9-6-1892
Harry Bertram Ramsay 3-3-1897 to 12-10-1984
Ivon Grace Ramsay 11-12-1905 to 10-17-1977
Louise Lipscomb Ramsay 10-4-1905 to 2-2-1999
Nancy E. Ramsay 11-1-1876 to 11-10-1891
Sarah Hurlburt Ramsay 1846 to 9-25-1882, aged 36 yrs. wife of A.W. Ramsay
Sidney Clark Ramsay 1-5-1881 to 3-15-1903
Bertha R. Roberts 11-3-1889 to 1-15-1971
Lyman L. Roberts 3-29-1884 to 6-3-1942
Rupert L. Roberts 6-15-1922 to 10-31-2001
Catherine C. Roberts 12-17-1923 to
Sardin R. Roberts 5-1-1919 to 1-22-1959
Vera Lucille Pittman Rogers 11-7-1902 to 3-4-1988
Henry T. Ruble 1880 to 1949
Pearl V. Ruble 1884 to 1937
Francine H. Smith 2-26-1937 to
Franklin D. Smith 12-8-1936 to 8-10-1988
Ethel Corning Spaulding 1878 to 1939
Ralph M. Spaulding 11-13-1876 to 1-19-1959
Ona L. Sulisky 1925 to 2003
Lyman Charles Susky 8-15-1906 to 5-5-1971
Annie Belle Taylor 1-29-1912 to 10-22-2000
Vivian Boyce Taylor 9-9-1908 to 10-13-1981
Augustus C. Tew 8-31-1874 to 2-28-1949
Emma C. Tew 2-20-1883 to 3-16-1960
Daniel C. Toler 5-29-1876 to 11-27-1939
Dora Ramsay Toler 2-25-1871 to 2-27-1941
Kenneth C. Toler 11-18-1906 to 5-31-1950
James Kaleb Vallandingham to 1-2-1988
Frances Albright Vaughan 9-30-1910 to 9-27-1992
Colonel Charles Ramsay Vickrey 4-23-1920 to 3-1-1992
Mary Ramsay Vickrey 1887 to 1976
Dorothy 'Pat' Patricia Allison Vickery 2-23-1933 to 3-20-2012
Pearl Tully Webb 11-25-1907 to 9-11-1995
Robert E. Webb 10-18-1902 to 9-16-1990
Broxton Wilson 9-19-1884 to 8-4-1937
Bertha Wilson 8-3-1893 to 5-7-1956
Baby Woodman to 12-27-1911
Bernice Adeline Woodman 10-25-1913 to 1-24-1933
Henry Talmadge Woodman 6-3-1881 to 4-20-1952
Mary Cleora Woodman 11-19-1919 to 3-4-1923 d/o H.T. and M.E. Woodman
Mary Roberts Woodman 11-4-1884 to 8-21-1969
Nora Neil Woodman 12-9-1910 to
Richard Woodman 1-31-1922 to 3-5-1980
Caz Adrian Wyatt 3-19-1972 to 6-13-1993
Requiem, Volume III, “Ramsay Cemetery”, (Jackson County Genealogical Society:
Pascagoula, Mississippi-circa 1972), p. 64.
The Sun Herald, "Mr. Keble Delancey", August 21, 2006, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Curtis Lee Davis Sr.", March 26, 2012, p. A4.
Surveyed by Ray L. Bellande-November 19, 2005.
SHILOH CHURCH CEMETERY
West Humphrey Road
West Jackson County, Mississippi
LOCATION: NE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 25, T6S-7RW.
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) and Washington Avenue at Ocean Springs, go north on Washington Avenue 1.6 miles to Old Fort Bayou Road. Turn right (east) and go east and northeast for 7.4 miles on Old Fort Bayou Road to Humphrey Road. Turn right (east) and go .38 miles to the Shiloh Cemetery on the right (south).
HISTORY: In July 1886, Christopher Quave (1858-1905+) gave the following land to the Methodist Episcopal Church of the South: Beginning at a point 27.5 chains (1815 feet) from the NW/C of the NW/4 of the NW/4 of Section 25, T6S-R8W, (going east) and running thence south 210 feet, thence east 210 feet and thence north 210 feet and thence west 210 feet to the place of beginning so as to make one square acre and being the same lot or parcel wherein Shiloh Church now stands and had stood for any years.
A correction deed for the original, unrecorded deed was made on July 26, 1905. At this time Mr. Quave conveyed the tract to Oren Switzer, H.G. McGowan, and Dr. A. H. Shannon, Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South for the Ocean Springs and Mission Charge in the Sea Shore District of the Mississippi Annual Conference.(1)
Christopher Quave was the son of Usant Quave (1834-1889) and Sarah Davis (1840-1908). He married Martha Overstreet (1864-1910+) circa 1882. She was the daughter of J.H. Overstreet (1832-1898) and Sarah E. Overstreet (1837-1923). Christopher and Martha Quave reared a large family of eight children: Zola (b. 1883), Hudson (b. 1885), Cassie (b. 1887), Pearly (b. 1889), Thomas (b. 1892), Alice (b. 1894), Willie (b. 1897), and Sarah (b. 1900). Mr. Quave made his livelihood as a farmer.(2)
It can be determined with a high degree of certitude that the Shiloh Church was operative as early as early 1893, when William A. Sigerson (1844-1906) conveyed a tract of land in the area to Melissa Clement (1833-1903). The warranty deed had the following exemption, "that one acre in the north end of the land described above where the ME church now stands, called Shiloh Church which is deeded for church purposes".(3)
In April 1916, John P. Edwards donated a parcel of land 165 feet by 210 feet directly east of the original one square acre gift of Christopher Quave. The Trustees of the Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church at this time were: W.K. Ramsay, W.Y. Cain, Thomas E. Ramsay, Sardin G. Ramsay, Robert C. Roberts, Dr. Samuel R. Ratliff (1873-1936), Edward David, Reverend J.H. Havens, and S.R. Byrd.(4)
It is interesting to note that Usant Quave donated land to the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church for a cemetery in June 1887.(5)
In Requiem: Volume 1, (1969), the following information was published:(6)
Charlie Devro Mary Devro
Born June 25, 1881 Born March 5, 1797
Died Decemebr 26, 1909 Died ?
Samuel Devro Gay Devro
Co. E, 3rd Miss. Inf., C.S.A. (remainder not legible)
(Emblem-Maltese cross in a circle)
Co. A, 3rd Miss. Infantry, C.S.A.
(Emblem-Maltese cross in a circle)
May Bob My child
In memory of Margaret Devro
Born February 19, 1877
Died October ? (not legible)
1997 SHILOH CEMETERY SURVEY
Magelena Devereaux Bellais 1879 to 1902
Wilhelmina Bellais 1900-1901
Trenton Todd Bowers 1964 to 1987
Curtis J. Courtney 6-4-1923 to 2-23-1991
F1 USN WW II
Ray Wilson Devereaux 8-4-1917 to 1-10-1978
Colonel USAF WW II
Charlie Devereaux 1881 to 1909
Serena Webb Devereaux 1845 to 1904
Infant son of Bill and Sarah Devereaux 1902 to 1902
Samuel Devro - Co E, 3rd Mississippi Infantry
William Clyde Faulk 12-17-1982 to 12-17-1982
Brenda E. Overstreet Watts? Ferrier 2-29-1952 to 3-4-1996
Mrs. William Holland
Barbara Lee Riscoe Johnson 11-20-1952 to 1-28-2009
Jimmy R. Mayberry 9-11-1952 to
Betty Louise Mayberry 4-6-1957 to 1-8-1997
Leo Elbert Noble, Sr. 9-20-1909 to
Mable Perez Noble 8-22-1909 to 10-6-1984
Isabella Quave Overstreet c. 1868 to 1896
Margaret Devereaux Post 1877 to 1916
Daniel Webb 3-6-1815 to 4-21-1889
Mary Ann Rogers Webb 1820 to ?
Joe Webb c. 1895 to c. 1915
Henry Webb - Co E, 3rd Mississippi Infantry
Pamelia Cox Williard 1912 to 8-26-2002
1. Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 30, p. 246.
2. 1900 Federal Census-Jackson County, Miss.
3. Jackson County, Mississippi Land Deed Book 14, p. 488.
4. Jackson County, Mississippi Land Deed Book 42, p. 439.
5. Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 32, p. 311.
6. Requiem: Jackson County, Mississippi Cemetery Records, Volume 1, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1969), p. 102.
VANCLEAVE CEMETERY NO. 1
Jim Ramsay Road
Vancleave Cemetery No. 1
(image made December 2005)
LOCATION: NE/4, NW/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) and Washington Avenue at Ocean Springs, go north 1.34 miles on Washington Avenue to the intersection with Rose Farm Road. Go north on Rose Farm Road .25 miles to Old Fort Bayou Road. Turn right (east) on Old Fort Bayou Road and go northeast for about 7.3 miles to Humphrey Road. Turn right (east) on Humphrey Road and go 2.7 miles to its intersection with Ms. Highway 57. Turn left (north) and follow Ms. Highway 57 through the village of Vancleave for 2 miles. Turn left (north) on to Jim Ramsay Road. Go .38 miles to the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1 on the right.
HISTORY: The land upon which the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1 is situated was once the site of the Ramsay School. The land for the school was conveyed to the Trustees of the Ramsay School, A.R. Breeland, W.J. Taylor, and Sidney Anderson, by Andrew Washington Ramsay (1830-1916) on September 9, 1893. The Ramsay School was discontinued probably when the Vancleave Academy was commenced circa 1903 on the Willis Broadus (1834-1919) grant, or the creation of the Vancleave High School in 1907, also on a Broadus land donation. Both of these schools were located in the SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W.
The Jackson County Board of Supervisors ordered the Trustees of the Ramsay School to sell, assign, transfer and convey said lease of the school land, and the buildings thereon to W.H. Westfall, W.J. Ellis, L.H. Havens, A.R. Breeland, and W.J. Taylor, trustees of the Vancleave Cemetery Association. The lease was purchased by the Cemetery Association from the Ramsay School Trustees for $90.00. The Board of Supervisors granted to the Cemetery Association trustees a two acre tract described as: Beginning at the NW/C of the NE/4, of NW/4 of Section 16, T6S-R7W go South . Jackson County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 33, pp. 475-476.
The cemetery land surveyed by E.N. Ramsay on August 28, 1908. It consisted of 24 lots.(Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Surveyor's Record Book 1, p. 82)
Galen Joseph Ables 3-1-1981 to 6-29-1993
Joseph Baron Agent 5-21-1948 to 5-14-1986
Adeline Soper Ainsworth 12-31-1918 to 2-23-1990
James Franklin Alford 3-30-1913 to 7-25-1975
CAPT US Army WW II-Korea
Violet May Dilthey Alford 5-2-1915 to 9-27-1984
Coy Allen 3-27-1902 to 1-17-1987
Celeste Bonham Allen 3-13-1904 to 12-5-1986
Flusch Oren Allen 1-28-1906 to 11-27-1956
Alma Upchurch Allen 5-4-1902 to 12-21-1996
Luther Sylvester Allen 8-27-1872 to 10-4-1949
Missie Estelle Moseley Allen 9-8-1882 to 5-12-1977
Malva Lou Allen 4-2-1932 to 5-25-1932
Marshall Earl Allen 1-28-1929 to 6-30-1931, son of F.O. Allen and Alma Upchurch
Maye Allen 9-28-1916 to 9-1-1945
William “Bill Allen 4-25-1919 to 5-17-1980
US Army WWII
Faye Brown Grimsley Avera 4-21-1929 to 5-25-2004
Eddie White Barnes 9-20-1924 to 3-7-1988
CM2 USCG WWII
Laura C. Barnes 10-14-1827 to 10-5-1920
Russell Martin Barry Sr. 6-29-1921 to 12-11-2001
TSGT US Army Air Forces WWII
Melody Ann Lester Barton 11-12-1962 to 9-8-1979
Reverend William Barton Sr. 8-25-1924 to 7-3-2008
Douglas Ruben Beasley 10-21-1961 to 12-26-2003
Gary W. Beasley 3-11-1957 to
Joel “Pete” Murphy Beasley 6-29-1929 to
Dolly “Sue” Faye Beasley 9-23-1937 to 2-13-2000
William H. Beasley 4-12-1940 to 8-28-2002
SP5 US Army Vietnam
Frank E. Bellais 2-20-1911 to 3-10-2000
Frances G. Bellais 9-20-1918 to 4-25-1984
Charles Clifford Bennett Jr. 11-24-1928 to 4-19-2003
William Ray Blackman 3-6-1930 to 3-11-2002
Pattie G. Blackman 8-8-1934 to
Columbus Irving Bludsdworth 1861-1930
Robert Everet Bludsworth 1906-1922, 15 years old; reared by Captain Bloodworth
Betty Jean Bobinger 3-31-1930 to 1-28-1988
Destin Wayne Bobinger 1986 to 12-28-2007
Everett H. Bond
Mississippi ICL 3, Labor Battalion QMC
Dale McRay Bone 12-15-1934 to
Mary Frankie Bone 10-19-1936 to 7-6-1997
Allen E. Bonham 1-7-1913 to 3-21-2002
Maud M. Bonham 3-11-1918 to
Bennie Bonham 3-11-1908 to 8-14-1989
MOMM2 US Navy
Emile L. Bonham 4-5-1902 to 11-22-1991
Ella Mae Bonham 1-4-1905 to 9-4-1983
Jerusha Havens Bonham 1878-1951
Lois G. Bonner 5-5-1970 to 6-12-1970
Willia Mae Bonner 8-8-1898 to 3-20-1927
Anthony “Garrett” Boyd 11-5-1990 to 5-21-2005
Betty Ann McCormick Boutwell 1931 to 6-10-2007
Donnie Royce Bragg 4-28-1942 to 11-14-2005
Annie Roberts Breeland 9-6-1889 to 10-4-1966
Arabella Havens Breeland 4-1-1952 to 2-24-1917??
Florian K. Breeland 12-13-1891 to 10-10-1963
John M. Breeland 10-25-1847 to 10-19-1903
Walter M. Breeland 4-25-1900 to 2-10-1946
Bobby L. Brewton 6-4-1949 to 12-17-2007
Curtis E. Bright 7-17-1938 to 1-12-2004
Senie Elaine Mallette Bright 8-21-1953
Gladys Pendarvis Broadus 7-6-1901 to 10-2-1968
James Patrick Broadus 4-10-1869 to 11-7-1932
Leslie Broadus 10-9-1868 to 1931
Leslie L. Broadus 12-6-1904 to 10-9-1968
Rita Cook Broadus 10-18-1905 to 4-18-1986
Willie D. Broadus 8-17-1895 to 4-23-1970
Willis Broadus 9-30-1834 to 9-1-1919, grandpa
Catherine Broadus 6-20-1839 to 8-3-1897, wife of Willis Broadus
Morris A. Brooks 12-25-1911 to 11-27-1997
MSGT USAF WWII
POW Battan Death March
Lydia A. Brooks 12-19-1888 to 12-1-1971
Jo Ann M. Brown 7-29-1960 to 10-6-1997
Henrietta Broadus Bryant 2-18-1892 to 10-25-1964
E.V. Butler 1918 to 1994
Leo F. Byrd 6-21-1926 to 7-24-1926
Leo Byrd 1-4-1902 to 8-30-1980
Verta Lee Flurry Byrd 9-18-1906 to 10-9-1990
R.C. Byrd 2-21-1925 to 11-2-1927
Sarah A. Cain 8-5-1849 to 4-29-1915
Charles O. Calton 11-21-1920 to 11-22-1988
US ARMY WWII
Ernest Eugene Caldwell 7-1-1921 to 7-8-1974
S1 US NAVY
Katherine Cato Caldwell 10-20-1921 to
Wade Campbell 10-13-1930 to 1-4-2000
Vera Campbell 6-5-1939 to
Charlotte Ware Carlander 2-29-1989 to 2-13-1962
Bessie Earline Nance Causey 11-19-1911 to 9-17-1995
Allen Boyd Chapman Sr. 1-20-1905 to 12-21-1989
Bessie Francis Carlisle Chapman 4-25-1908 to 8-2-1971
Vernon Jessie Chappell 10-5-1923 to 10-18-2004
Haywood Clark 8-30-1934 to 1-6-1996
TSGT USAF Vietnam
Lynda Thomaston Clark 3-10-1941 to
Hiram Clay 1861-1936
Daisy R. Cochran 19-9-1885 to 5-1970
Grover C. Cochran 9-10-1882 to 1-1978
George L. Cole 3-22-1886 to 12-4-1955
Ethel Clemons Cole 5-24-1890 to 6-15-1966
Patricia Lynne Davis Cole 3-9-1952 to 11-9-1985
Vernon E. Collier 10-28-1922 to 1-25-1998
William Harvey Collum 9-30-1905 to 11-18-1982
Thelma Bryant Collum 10-3-1903 to 6-21-1991
Davis A. Cook Jr. 4-20-1919 to 5-27-1972
Annie Carlisle Cook 10-17-1918 to 2-4-1995
Charles M. Cornett 2-29-1916 to 4-23-1979
Robert Gordon Cossey 6-16-1919 to 10-2-2009
Florence “Coot” Murphy Cossey 8-29-1912 to 8-27-2001
Junior Leroy Cowan 4-12-1921 to 1-16-2002
S SGT US Army WWII
Pauline Dodd Cross 7-11-1923 to 9-25-1984
Clyde Cullen Cunningham 1-28-1914 to 10-8-2000
Clara Etta Flurry Cunningham 4-5-1915 to 3-2-2000
Joe Berry Cunningham 11-13-1889 to 8-17-1971
Clara Delancey Cunningham 11-16-1891 to 4-8-1957
Curtis, Arvin Bruce 7-10-1899 to 1-5-1981
Sgt. U. S. Army WW I
Curtis, Annie Hawley 1-26-1908 to 5-6-2007
O.V. Edge Dan 10-28-1903 to 11-20-1906
Robert Thurman Daniels 5-3-1911 to 1-3-1994
Davenport, to 1-1954, infant girl
Ada Blanche Flowers Davis 7-28-1895 to 7-2-1989
Cheri Davis 1-31-1970 to 1-23-1988
Douglas Davis 11-2-1886 to 1-1970, age 83 yrs.
Earl S. Davis 1892 to 1968
Guy W. Davis 9-30-1916 to 12-24-1977
US Army WWII
Hal P. “HP” Davis 7-17-1923 to 1-17-2000
US Army WWII
Doris H. “Dot” Davis 12-21-1926 to
Henry Simeon Davis 3-31-1853 to 1-12-1917
Oleara Davis 2-22-1855 to 5-14-1928
Henry Walter Davis 7-4-1920 to
Evelyn McEwen Davis 3-10-1923 to 1-21-2007
Olin H. Davis 10-11-1914 to 9-9-1975
Major US Army
Nell Weems Davis 3-12-1920 to
infant Davis, son of C.B. Davis
Roy D. Davis 3-3-1895 to 10-25-1896, son of H.S. and O.P. Davis
Buster H. Day 4-9-1926 to 1-26-1981
TEC5 US Army WWII
Alma Jeraldine Day 9-8-1930 to 11-28-2003
Betty Jane Dees 5-29-1930 to 8-10-1971
Clifton Leroy Dees 8-17-1886 to 11-20-1963
Mississippi Pvt. US ARMY WW I
Ionia Mills Dees 1889-1975
Clifton 'Kipp' Malachi Dees July 17, 1927 to 6-16-2011
Minnie Florence Smith Crenshaw Defee 12-20-1906 to 9-15-1980
Austin O. Delancey 9-14-1914 to 12-25-1995
US Navy WW II
Thelma D. Delancey 12-11-1915 to 2-18-1972
Cassie Lou Delancey 10-3-1960 to 3-25-1967, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Delancey
Walter “Pete” Delancey 8-28-1928 to 4-20-2005
Marjorie H. Delancey 3-18-1929 to
William Lionel Delmas 1-16-1926 to 12-4-1991
Mary Lee Austin Dailey Delmas 7-8-1942 to 4-28-1979
William Lionel Delmas Jr. 8-16-1968 to 7-21-1986
R. Louis “Lou” Deslippe 1940-1993
Sylvia R. Deslippe 1937 to
Ralph Peter Dilthey 12-1-1910 to 8-29-1984
William David Dossett 4-27-1908 to 4-21-1982
Vertie Mae Dossett 5-22-1922 to 4-7-1996
Conner Ray Dukes 8-12-2004 to 10-29-2004
Bertha May Dry 1-14-1922 to 2-7-2002
Benjamin H. Ellis 7-15-1863 to 2-2-1947
Clara Cheever Ellis 1873-1932
Ivan Cheever Ellis 1899-1978
Lt. Cmdr.-Chaplin US Navy
Freda Stutz Ellis 1890-1970
infant Ellis, two children
Robert Everett, unmarked, 15 years old; reared by Captain Bloodworth
Edith Amanda Lockard Fairbank 9-5-1948 to 2-6-1996
Johnnie L. Fairley 9-19-1886 to 8-18-1964
Mamie G. Fairley 5-10-1897 to 7-5-1977
Lester H. Fayard 11-9-1928 to 12-2-2008
Richard Glenn Fayard Jr. 1-13- 1987 to 12-8-2010
Richard Glenn Fayard Sr. 6-28-1968 to 12-4-2011
Wayne E. Ferrell 8-23-1918 to 3-25-2000
TEC 5 US Army WWII
Bessie Lorene Ryals Ferrell 6-19-1919 to 4-6-1999
Hews Morgan Fitzgerald 12-23-1913 to 5-17-1991
Lucy Mae Fitzgerald 8-14-1915 to 1-21-1987
James Alvin Flurry 9-9-1894 to 3-7-1966
Mississippi PFC 31 Co. Transportation Corps WW I
infant Flurry 9-1894 to 9-1894, d/o Sarah Etta and John A. Flurry
John H.A. Flurry 1-9-1864 to 6-20-1949
Sarah Etta Flurry 1-1-1867 to 1-23-1911
Majorie Flurry 9-19-1927 to 9-21-1927
Robert Luther Flurry 3-31-1890 to 4-28-1976
Myrtle Denson Flurry 12-9-1894 to 12-8-1979
Sebern Cooper Flurry 9-15-1896 to 12-7-1945
Lessie Roberts Flurry 1-22-1898 to 12-23-1966
Roland W. Fuller 1915 to 1985
Odelle R. Fuller 1914 to 1988
Robert Warren Fuller 12-18-1942 to 5-30-1997
David L. Galle 5-31-1966 to 12-26-1997
Boyd B. Gamblin 10-13-1909 to 12-10-1963
Lou Don Chisolm Gamblin 12-20-1911 to 6-12-1990
Alton R. Gardner 9-2-1927 to 5-10-1983
Barbara A. Gardner 7-19-1929 to 11-5-1980
John Taylor Gatlin 3-27-1915 to 6-25-1991
Essie Elizabeth Gatlin 6-7-1919 to 9-22-1999
Mary Allen Murphy Gerard 11-22-1907-11-30-1941 d/o Robert N. Murphy and Viola Mae Woodman
William Garland Gerard 1-22-1900 to 11-30-1941
Ethel N. Goff 2-20-1913 to 5-3-1988
Lafayette Goff 2-27-1910 to 4-9-1963
Gerald Darnell Griffin 2-9-1948 to 8-29-2000
SGT USMC Vietnam
Lou Ella Griffin 12-16-1952 to
Curry D. Grimsley 5-18-1970 to 2-27-2000
Vivian Lavendra Hamrick 1-8-1901 to 1-9-1989
Michael Zachariah Hankins 7-13-1999 to 10-29-2000
Marland Hart 1860-1926
John L. Harris 1916-1974
Katie S. Harris 1-28-1891 to 7-21-1985
Kathleen Harris 5-3-1913 to 5-6-1995
Roy Lee Harris 1918-1993
Ida Estelle Harris 1923-2003
Henry Lewis Harvey 4-27-1926 to 3-7-1988
PVT US Army WWII
Mary Belle Scott Harvey 5-17-1929 to
infant Hatchcock, 6-12-1903 to 9-2-1903, son of W.H. and K.L. Hatchcock
A. Ray Havens 11-20-1901 to 8-6-1981
PVT US Army WWI
Thelma C. Havens 10-10-1900 to 7-14-1992
Lielia Louise Havens to 11-8-1927, daughter of Ray and Thelma Havens
Alfred “Velt” Havens 6-27-1899 to 2-8-1972
Lula Flurry Havens 10-17-1900 to 6-10-1982
A.L. Havens 1-30-1854 to 1-9-1919
Azlean Havens 12-3-1858 to 8-18-1951
Edna Olevia Havens 10-11-1884 to 3-14-1916, wife of Henry M. Havens
Elizabeth L. Havens 12-13-1943 to 4-21-2001
Chandler H. Havens 1897-1972
Cooper Havens 9-8-1883 to 9-22-1889, son of H.C and Rebecca Havens
Ed Dunlap Havens 3-16-1871 to 9-3-1936
Henry C. Havens, Judge 10-15-1831 to 2-7-1912
Henry Lyman Havens 5-11-1874 to 2-22-1924
Laura Walker Havens 12-9-1879 to 4-26-1975
infant Havens, to 7-27-1931, daughter of Margaret and Ira Havens
infant Havens, child of Dan Havens
infant Havens, 3-10-1916 to 3-11-1916, daughter of Edna and Hnery M. Havens
Inman Havens to 10-1-1891, age 3 mos., son of H.C and Rebecca Havens
Iola M. Havens 10-11-1894 to 2-15-1953
Ira Thurman Havens 1-5-1903 to 4-4-1959
Margaret Ellis Havens 12-22-1904 to 6-12-1984
infant d/o Margaret and Ira Havens to 7-27-1931
Ira Thurman Havens Jr. 10-27-1932 to 8-23-2002
Isablee J. Havens 1-8-1869 to 6-9-1953
Hamilton Havens 1882-1964
Jane Davis Havens 5-6-1872 to 5-15-1892, wife of W.R. Havens
Jesse V. Havens 12-28-1914 to 9-17-1980
Juanita C. Havens 2-18-1925 to 7-25-2001
Jesse Eugene Havens 3-24-1944 to 5-25-1976
Josphine Bowen Havens 6-10-1830 to 5-9-1879, wife of H.C. Havens
Mary F. Havens 1862-1928
Rebecca Havens to 9-16-1891, age 39 yrs., 2nd wife of H.C. Havens
Robert M. Havens 10-8-1882 to 1-5-1967
Susie Havens 1877 to 1861?
Thomas S. Havens to 12-3-1967
W.L. Havens 4-8-1861 to 2-18-1920
W.L. Havens 1882 to 1964
William C. "Bill" Havens 6-19-1887 to 7-23-1974
Yeul Harmon Havens 5-28-1911 to 5-17-1988
Irma Louise Daffin Havens 4-30-1912 to 11-9-2002
Hawley, Joseph Lyda, Jan 22, 1861 - Nov 28, 1923
Hawley, Matilda McPhail, Apr 13, 1871 - Mar 18, 1948
Cathy Lee Hembree 1959-3-13-2010
Herrman, Christopher Joseph 4-30-2002 to 6-26-2005
David S. Hill 12-19-1937 to 5-6-2003
Mary Senter Hill 9-11-1827 to 12-12-1916
Tracey W. Hill 1917 to 1927
Vince Hodge 11-18-1945 to 11-3-2000
Myrtle Hodge 5-22-1943 to
John Harley Hodges 5-7-1903 to 3-20-1990
Essie Opal Hodges 8-15-1911 to 1-15-1994
Ester Havens Holden 1-19-1894 to 6-22-1969
C.L. Holder 11-21-1914 to 6-10-1982
Edith Lavern Holder 9-23-1921 to 3-28-2002
Jerry Wayne Holder 5-12-1975 to 1-21-1998
Cecile Havens Holleman to 10-18-1971
Terrall John Holleman to 7-18-1962
James L. Hood 8-11-1932 to 4-18-2004
Audrey L. Hood 6-1-1933 to
W. Howard Hood 3-5-1912 to 4-3-1995
Mildred 'Jackie' C. Hood 11-20-1916 to 3-11-2012
Harry M. Hopkins 4-8-1912 to 1-27-1992
US Merchant Marine WWII
Alberta C. Hopkins 8-20-1917 to 10-4-2004
Ethel Hudgens 3-31-1917 to 6-1-2003
Francis Hurd 4-16-1922 to 12-11-1922, daughter of F.B. and A.M. Hurd
Humphrey ? 2-26-1917 to 2-28-1917, our little son
Mack S. Inabinette 1-20-1897 to 10-25-1979
PVT US Army WWI
Martha C. Inabinette 10-17-1899 to 1-31-1977
Brenda S. Inabinette 3-30-1960 to 11-12-1976
Loren Selvin Inabinette 12-6-1951 to 1-16-1971
Luther W. Inabinette 10-30-1929 to 12-21-1999
William Nathan Inabinette 6-17-1927 to
Marjorie May King Inabinette 2-20-1926 to 7-23-1979
William Nathan “Billy” Inabinette 11-21-1952 to 3-1-1977
Duffie E. Jenkins 3-28-1928 to
Ree Flint Jenkins 4-22-1931 to 7-10-1988
Wilson 'Roy' Johnson 10-24-1968 to 11-6-2011
George Thomas Jones 6-26-1882 to 11-28-1974
Laura Grace Jones 6-13-1892 to 5-23-1956
Francisco Juan 9-18-1843 to 5-3-1918
Joseph Juan 8-3-1893 to 12-6-1918
Mary Juan 8-19-1862 to 10-19-1946
Frances Juenger 7-19-1914 to 11-17-1989
Charles La Don Kelly 7-25-1928 to
Bettye Jean Goff Kelly 2-7-1932 to 7-3-1998
Kathryn Marie Kelly 10-28-1957 to
James Wesley Kelley 12-17-1919 to 8-12-1994
Jennivee Green Kelley 12-22-1922 to
John Wesley Kelley 3-31-1873 to 3-18-1943
Cora Joy Kelley 1880 to 7-19-1970, age 90 yrs.
Jeremy Wade Kenney 9-5-1974 to 6-7-2000
Dixie Smith Kivell 6-21-1906 to 1-6-1987
Frank James Ladnier 6-13-1914 to 6-22-1996
Lola Burroughs Ladnier 9-25-1919 to 10-15-1995
Sherry Elaine Ladnier 12-3-1969 to 1-12-1970
Angela Mae Land 8-21-1967 to 12-23-1991
James E. “Slim” Landrum 4-11-1907 to 3-23-1993
US Army WWII
Bertha Nowell Landrum 7-2-1918 to 12-2-2002
Elmer 'Eddie' Lemien [born on Deer Island] 7-14-1925 to 12-16-2009
Jo Ann Lester 8-31-1934 to 9-15-1983
Charlotte Lewis 1890 to to 2-13-1962, 72 years
Edward J. Lewis 10-18-1880 to 8-11-1962, age 81 yrs. 9 mos. and 23 days
Amanda Lockard 9-23-1904 to 6-23-1908, d/o James E. and Katherine T. Lockard
Jacob Thompson Lockard 11-23-1909 to 12-17-1998
LT. US Navy WWII
Annie Mae Murphy Lockard 7-24-1905 to 8-28-1990
James Edward Lockard 12-12-1862 to 7-9-1951
Catherine Thompson Lockard 2-2-1868 to 1-9-1954
Lulie Mae Lockard 10-9-1894 to 11-26-1960
Mary 'Jeane' Lofton 1934 to 11-24-2006
Togo Phillip Lord 6-17-1905 to 6-15-1989
2nd LT. US ARMY WWII
Annie Kate Lockard 3-12-1901 to 1-3-1989
Stephanie Lo’ran Lyons 12-22-1969 to 2-12-1995, mother of Dalton
Hazel Emerick McElroy to 1-5-2000, infant daughter of M. Brian and Teresa McElroy
James Lee “Mac” McNair 4-17-1934 to 11-22-2004
Josephine F. “Jo” McNair 12-4-1935 to
Linda Kay McMillan 9-11-1947 to 1-3-1995
Hope N. McQueen 1-28-1972 to 5-6-2002
John H. Mace 4-17-1930 to 4-23-1995
Conrad Morris Mallette 1936 to 7-14-2007
Martha Jane Saucier Mallette 1939 to 11-23-2007
Coy Ann Allen Mallette 8-22-1939 to 10-3-2010
David L. Mallett 8-18-1931 to 1-7-2011
Fannie Flurry Mallette 12-8-1903 to 1-19-1991
Joel Mallette 1998 to 2-25-2007
Harry Loomis Mallette 2-22-1885 to 9-27-1942
Mississippi CPL 114 AM TN 39 Division
Jane Elizabeth Mallette 8-24-1903 to 4-5-1996
George Luther Mallette 6-6-1932 to 12-22-1932
Harry Beyman Mallette 2-8-1929 to 9-7-1992
infant Mallette, child of Harry Mallette
infant Mallette, child of Raymond Mallette
John Dean Mallette 12-11-1960 to 12-12-1960, son of Glynn and Sylvia
Kyle Morris Mallette 1963 to 6-10-2007
Thomas “Tom” Mallette 3-19-1919 to 8-2-1993
Margaret Jones Mallette 12-14-1921 to 5-2-1960
Thomas Marland Mallette 7-29-1949 to 3-18-2001
Fred K. Martin 9-20-1880 to 4-7-1934
Henrietta Havens Martin 2-18-1892 to 10-25-1964
Nancy Sumrall Martin 5-23-1847 to 4-17-1888
Mary Jane Martin age 81 yrs.
Ronald Keith Martin 11-23-1969 to 8-8-2004
William Martin 2-22-1838 to 6-23-1930
Henrietta Martin 8-18-1857 to 12-3-1932
Joseph Mathieu 9-10-1894 to 3-18-1986
Katie Mathieu 3-5-1902 to 5-28-1985
Kenneth Elwyn Means 9-9-1938 to 3-14-1992
Kenneth Leland Meeks 1-14-1935 to
Michael Raymond Meldren 1-27-1987 to 2-12-2005
Lucas Allen Mizelle 1-13-2001 to 5-20-2001
Gerald Lindsey Moore 10-7-1949 to 7-25-1997
Lula Davis Moore 3-16-1918 to 7-3-2011
William Warren Moore 8-24-1916 to 11-17-2008
Ali Moradmand 6-15-1916 to 11-26-1991
Parvin Moradmand 12-12-1925 to
Joseph Lawrence Morris Jr. 12-29-1924 to 3-27-1996
Mary Margaret Morris 9-26-1928 to
Kathryn Ryals Morris 11-8-1915 to 10-10-1997
Honer David Morris 4-17-1902 to 6-14-1963
Jerry M. Mundy 4-10-1944 to 9-12-1995
Annie Sue Murphy 1881-1974
Clifford W. Murphy 7-1918 to 7-1943
Edyth Aileen Murphy 8-26-1923 to 11-30-1941
Myrtle Hallie Murphy 1910 to 11-30-1941
Inger Christena Nielsen Murphy 1875-1915
Henry C. Murphy 5-17-1949 to 3-6-2012
John Watkins Murphy 1-21-1903 to 6-10-1974
Anna Ruth Ellis Murphy 4-29-1914 to 2-13-1988
Robert N. Murphy 4-28-1843 to 3-27-1914
SGT Co A 42nd Alabama Infantry CSA
Lydia E. Wiggins Murphy 11-7-1847 to 1-8-1924
Robert N. Murphy 8-3-1893 to 12-6-1918
Stella Ailabough Murphy 4-3-1886 to 12-30-1911
Viola Woodman Murphy 10-1-1872 to 5-6-1965
Virginia Lee Clark Murphy 3-30-1942 to 7-4-2000
Walter Neil Murphy 11-30-1914 to 2-13-2004
LT. US Navy WWII
Annie Anderson Murphy 2-6-1919 to 6-23-2004
James Matthew Nason 12-16-1919 to 9-30-1982
Robert Tillman Newton Sr. 2-27-1942 to 10-20-1976
Viola Taylor Nixon 9-6-1920 to 1-12-2008
Hollis Henry Noble 9-10-1911 to 12-30-1993
Leola Tootle Noble 12-2-1913 to 5-13-1990
Suzanne Noble 3-8-1968 to 12-21-1985 d/o Keith and Shirley Noble
Amy Lynne Odom 1-30-1960 to 5-4-1987
Annie M. Taylor O'Neal 11-15-1870 to 9-6-1945
infant Oxner O’Neal?
Lola Irene Osborn 2-18-1921 to 4-4-1979
Richard Eugene Osborn 10-1-1931 to 9-9-2002
SR US Navy
Alice Brooks Pabst 7-28-1917 to 7-12-1992
Joseph Martin “Joe” Pabst 11-17-1914 to 8-15-1990
Rose M. Palazzolo 7-8-1912 to 11-7-2004
Cecil Calvin Parker 6-28-1922 to 11-13-1997
US Navy WWII
Hellen Schultz Parker 1926 to
John D. Parker Jr.
SGT USAF WWII-Korea
Mary Lee Parker 4-11-1922 to 12-29-1995
Duane Roberts Pennington 10-1-1928 to 10-22-1986
CM SGT USAF
Frieda Antoni Pennington
George Alson Penton 9-1-1911 to 11-2-1996
Marilena Ramsay Penton 12-10-1916 to 4-1-2001
Valdormero Perez 2-17-1929 to 4-1-1998
Tylen Jacob Pinkston 2-14-1993 to 10-17-1995
Falton J. “Poochie” Prevost 2-2-1917 to 5-23-1983
Rosie Broussard Prevost 5-29-1918 to 1-11-2010
Alan R. Price 11-14-1981 to 10-31-2000
Addys Helen Ryals Raines 9-3-1928 to 4-2-1949
Frank E. Ramsay 3-23-1892 to 3-2-1970
Mississippi PVT Co K 152 Division WW I
James "Big Jim" Augustus Ramsay 8-1-1883 to 6-2-1961
Cecile Hudnall Ramsay 8-22-1890 to 5-27-1959
Lula Hill Ramsay 6-6-1861 to 1-4-1949
Norman Wallace Ramsay 8-18-1879 to 11-12-1936
Etta Stewart Ramsay 10-29-1883 to 7-22-1970 d/o William G. Stewart and Cecelia Parker
Sardin Green Ramsay 12-21-1837 to 7-3-1920
Lula Ramsay 5-31-1851 to 5-11-1886, wife of Sardin G. Ramsay
Vertis Glenn Ramsay 6-11-1917 to 3-17-1993
SK1 USCG WWII Circuit Clerk 1948-1980
Ruth Streed Ramsay 6-8-1918 to
Wyeth Trybue Ramsay Sr. 8-6-1920 to 3-10-1992
LT. US Navy WWII
Lysbeth Dees Ramsay 11-26-1924 to 3-28-2000
Samuel R. Ratliff 4-28-1873 to 9-16-1936
infant Ratliff, to 8-17-1903, daughter of Samuel R. Ratliff and Mamie W. Ratliff
infant Ratliff, to 4-29-1906, son of Samuel R. Ratliff and Mamie W. Ratliff
Annie Ruth Bond Reed 3-9-1924 to 11-12-1992
Berton Eugene Roberts 4-7-1906 to 10-24-1996
Hazel Edwina Ryals Roberts 5-13-1911 to 3-5-1997
James Garner Roberts 6-5-1832 to 11-28-1910
Mary Jane Roberts 11-14-1847 to 8-16-1940
James Edward Robertson 6-5-1920 to 12-21-1985
Mary Cubley Robertson 2-7-1923 to
Willie A. Rogers 4-12-1896 to 7-27-1961
Mississippi SGT. Co. B 1st Development Bn. WW I
Annie Hermenia Rogers 7-7-1893 to 11-30-1968
Neal Zac Ropiak 5-6-1994 to 5-12-1994
Douglas Wayne Ross 8-4-1926 to 1-28-1993
Joyce Fuller Ross 11-13-1930 to 7-15-2001
Charles "Kip" Rouse Sr. 8-20-1936 to 11-4-1967
Clifton Floyd Rouse 3-27-1911 to 10-26-1970
Evelyn Bonham Rouse 4-2-1916 to 2-25-1971
John Q. Rouse 6-11-1857 to 2-12-1936
Louesia Martin Rouse 4-17-1860 to 1-15-1927
infant Rouse to 5-31-1965, daughter of Kip and Mary Rouse
infant Rouse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M.H. Rouse
infant Rouse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.Q. Rouse
Walter Gillis Rouse 8-25-1914 to to 4-28-1970
Mary Ruth Rouse 4-16-1921 to 2-28-1999
Ted Williams Ruffin Jr. 6-5-1959 to 12-3-2008
Elbert Allen Ryals 11-12-1887 to 5-23-1953
George Eugene Ryals 7-29-1933 to
Betty J. McCartha Ryals 2-5-1938 to
George Eugene Ryals Jr. 9-21-1965 to 11-20-1995
US Navy Persian Gulf
Harry Ryals 10-5-1926 to 10-18-1926
Julia Breeland Ryals 1892-1944
Mary Sue Allen Ryan 6-15-1910 to 12-7-1996
William A. “Dub” Saucier 10-16-1945 to 10-30-2002
Vernon Franklin Schloss 3-14-1917 to 11-24-1991
Doris Millwood Schloss 10-30-1929 to
Tommy Allen Schloss 8-3-1967 to 2-2-1994
Edward Anthony “Tony” Seals 2-5-1970 to 5-12-1988
Roy L. Sellers 8-26-1911 to 7-22-1971
Ethel E. Sellers 11-22-1914 to 3-7-1991
Roy Sellers Jr. 7-13-1935 to 7-22-1975
Elbert Shelton 3-18-1921 to 4-19-1998
SH C US Navy WWII-Korea
Lilly Gwyn Mullins Shelton 11-23-1929 to 9-16-1993
Phillip Cary Shelton 6-13-1966 to 12-4-1975
Michael L. Small 8-20-1946 to 12-6-1989
SGT US Army Vietnam
Myrna L. Keen Smith 7-11-1960 to 11-15-1990
Robert Arnold Smith Sr. 7-5-1935 to 5-10-2010
Brenda D. Stewart 8-2-1966 to 1-27-1998
Herman D. Stewart 6-7-1917 to 8-29-1991
PFC US Army WWII
Margaret Elnora “Peggy” Stewart 8-21-1917 to 11-16-1947
Charles A. Stagg 4-26-1910 to 2-17-1997
Marie Elise Bonham Stagg 1-21-1911 to 2-4-2001
Michael Thomas Stine 4-14-1998 to 1-22-2000
Jo Anne Stine 2-22-1965 to
Sarah Gwendolen Ellis Summers 1903-1975
John Roland Sumrall Jr. 4-16-1948
Nancy Bateman Sumrall 7-4-1943 to 12-8-1996
Bernie Bostick Taylor 11-8-1906 to 12-6-1988
Louise Crawford Taylor 7-6-1909 to 8-26-2004
Cecil F. Taylor 4-24-1919 to 11-7-1997
SFC Korea Purple Heart
Joseph A. Taylor 2-1-1926 to 12-4-2006
Helen A. Taylor 11-1-1923 to 1-9-1993
Melvan E. Taylor 11-7-1954 to
Jackie D. Taylor 12-15-1956 to
William John Taylor 4-7-1863 to 9-25-1914
infant Tew to 8-19-1920, child of A.C. and E.R. Tew
Lowell F. “Tom” Thompson 2-8-1941 to
Donnie J. Noble 2-2-1941 to 1-3-1994
infant Thompson 5-6-1907 to 5-10-1907, daughter of J.W. and V.L. Thompson
Myron Eldridge Tillman 9-1-1934 to 6-3-2001
Celeste Lynee Allen Tillman 12-23-1936 to
Gentry Todd 7-11-2004 to 7-11-2004
Horace C. Tolar 5-28-1927 to 8-24-2000
V. Faye Clark Tolar 4-21-1930 to 1-3-2002
G. Anders Tootle 8-2-1891 to 11-15-1967
Sarah Jane Tootle 10-24-1851 to 2-22-1934
George W. Tootle 2-12-1844 to 8-7-1914
Lessie O. Tootle 1-28-1894 to 8-12-1991
N.B. Tootle 6-28-1888 to 10-8-1918
PVT. Bat. A. 139 FA
Anna Eliza Hall Townley 4-1-1885 to 5-26-1968
Gladys Eloise Townley 1-21-1920 to 7-14-1921
James Franklin Townley 1-11-1886 to 10-12-1971
Samantha Josephine Valdez 4-2-1986 to 4-5-1986
Oren Allen Varnado 5-15-1908 to 11-7-1985
Evelyn Duncan Varnado 4-24-1907 to
Paula Borries Vaughn 7-31-1958 to
infant Vaughn, grave marker illegible, child of Marvin and Ann Vaughn
Debra “Raylene” Vecchio 8-10-1955 to 1-8-1998
Philip Warner Viator Jr. 2-22-1953 to 1-17-1993
Betty Taconi Viator 1931 to 7-23-2008
Harold Fay Vincent 9-14-1908 to 5-9-1986
PVT US ARMY WWII
May Bernelle Ryals Vincent 5-19-1914 to 1-9-2004
Thomas Madison Wages 11-4-2002 to 9-19-2004
Leveral “Bill” Waits 7-8-1928 to 7-27-1997
Margaret Pauline Waits 10-5-1931 to
Margaret Denise Havens Walker 3-13-1938 to 3-16-1996
Leonard Harrison Wallen 8-21-1930 to 2-21-1984
US Air Force Korea
Benjamin Lyman Ware 8-16-1937 to 3-6-1996
SP4 US Army
Edna Sue Ware 4-12-1949 to
Michael Ware 11-30-1952 to 8-21-1995
Leonard Ware 9-20-1918 to 12-29-1999
Irma Jean Adams Ware 1-11-1921 to 7-20-2000
Thurman D. Warren 7-15-1938 to
Gloria E. Warren 6-26-1931 to 8-28-1992
Reginald B. Warren Jr. 7-29-1971 to 11-24-2004
Martha Rae Webb 10-10-1944 to 6-12-2005
E.H. Welborn 6-16-1901 to 5-9-1974
J.W. Westfall 4-7-1846 to 1-30-1928
Margaret Westfall 5-31-1836 to 3-15-1921, wife of J.W. Westfall
William Henry Westfall 3-11-1874 to 9-10-1939
Laura V. Martin Westfall 8-17-1870 to 4-1-1955
Winnie Westfall 7-1-1907 to 7-28-1907
Calvin L. Williams 10-4-1897 to 8-5-1984
Martha A. Williams 7-27-1893 to 7-28-1998
Calvin L. Williams Jr. 12-11-1919 to 1-7-2002
LT. COL. USAF
Julia E. Williams 12-25-1920 to 3-22-1993
Richard Lee Williams 9-13-1943 to 6-20-1992
Andrew Jesse Winstead 9-5-1990 to 9-5-1990
Jesse Eugene Winstead 8-26-1921 to 9-29-2003
TEC 4 US Army WWII Bronze Star
Louise Ballard Winstead 9-4-1926 to
Abraham Lincoln Wise 2-24-1915 to 10-7-1991
Alice Lorraine Wise 1-17-1919 to 3-5-2005
Travis Anthony Woods 8-4-1981 to 5-8-2002
Allison Elizabeth Worzella 2-3-1998 to 2-9-2000
Harry R. “Mike Young 9-4-1911 to 11-3-1990
Gertrude McDavid Young 8-22-1910 to
Kate Frederick Young 1871 to 1929
Margaret Nevin Young 4-18-1907 to 8-8-1978
1st LT. US Army WWII
Requiem, Volume 3, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-circa 1972), p. 85.
The Sun Herald, "[Conrad] Mallette was great man, father", July 16, 2007, p. A4.
(image made November 1994)
LOCATION: SW/4, NE/4, Section 20, T4S-R8W
HISTORY: The land on which the Wilson Cemetery is located was patented to William Devro by the Federal Government in September 1880. William Devro sold the NE/4 of Section 20, T4S-R8W to W.T. Wilson in October 1909.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 59, pp. 487-488 and Bk. 35, p. 125)
In the 1850s, Sebron Wilson (1833-1918) lived near the Salem Camp Ground in northern Jackson County. He married Sarah 'Sallie Goff' and Nancy Ellen Goff (1844-1910), half-sister of Sallie Goff, and sired fifteen children. His oldest daughter was Azalene Wilson Havens (1858-1951).(Linda Ellis-February 2011)
Annie Wilson Carlson 7-23-1963 to 9-8-1969
Doris Ella Wilson Carter 6-24-1936 to 9-14-1997
Henry Havens Carter 3-17-1929 to 4-12-2011
Sabre Isabelle Wilson Carter 4-12-1879 to 9-20-1953, age 74 years, 5 months, 8 days
Dennis Wayne Devilbiss 1949 to 4-12-2002
Winnie Wilson Devilbiss 5-31-1929 to 11-13-1965
Florence Dierker 12-12-1927 to 3-18-1987
Malcolm S. Dunaway 1907 to 1972
Mary Dunaway 1912 to 1973
James Julius Gaedchens 1-6-1910 to 8-1-1983
Pearl Wilson Gaedchens 3-6-1912 to 6-24-1986
James Julius Gaedchens Jr. 10-11-1937 to 10-12-1937
Robert J. Gaedchens 10-25-1938 to 2-24-1939
Paul J. Gaedchens 11-9-1943 to 1-15-1944
James S. Rouse 11-14-1911 to 4-3-1914
Gladys Rouse 9-13-1910 to 10-17-1964
Sardin G. Rouse 3-30-1865 to 5-7-1920
Mary Edna Wilson Rouse 5-10-1873 to 9-30-1976
Lewis Sean Taylor 1-19-1989 to 1-28-1991
Ashley Renee DeLuca Wilson 11-26-1983 to 6-27-2006
Ashlynn Renee Wilson 2-7-2006 to 6-27-2006
Azeline Wilson 8-22-1907 to 4-18-1926
David Wayne Wilson 5-23-1965 to 6-15-1990
Fred J. Wilson 4-24-1908 to 3-24-1939
Floyd E. Wilson 12-23-1934 to 12-11-1982
Ella Duhon Wilson 2-13-1921 to 1-23-1974
Fred J. Wilson 4-24-1908 to 3-24-1939
Ida Wilson 4-9-1902 to 12-22-1938
Ivy W. “Red” Wilson 1924 to 9-9-1998
John C. Wilson 11-20-1874 to 2-13-1958
Minnie Wilson 4-27-1880 to 5-16-1928
L.C. Wilson 5-7-1883 to 5-12-1883
Lee Wilson 1-4-1902 to 1-17-1970
Ms PFC Quartermaster Corp WW II
Lottie Wilson 9-3-1893 to 1-3-1969
Millard Wilson Sr. 2-25-1913 to 1-13-2001
Ella Viola Wilson 10-9-1919 to 7-13-1983
Millard Wilson Jr. 12-24-1939 to 10-9-1997
Pat Harrison Wilson 10-10-1912 to 4-7-1986
Seburn Wilson, Sr. 8-22-1905 to 2-16-1969
Jane S. Wilson 5-6-1906 to
Seburn Wilson Jr. 1937 to 1-23-2003
Henrietta Lois Wilson 1937 to 3-25-2005
Seborn H. Wilson 3-19-1833 to 8-27-1918
Nancy E. Wilson 8-27-1844 to 12-22-1910
S.H. Wilson 5-3-1868 to 2-11-1932
Mary Annie Wilson 11-20-1873 to 3-12-1937
Terri Raymond Wilson 7-17-1953 to 12-7-2009
Tollie M. Wilson 6-17-1917 to 6-17-1994
Edith M. Wilson 2-20-1923 to
William T. Wilson 4-29-1869 to 7-28-1950
Rebecca Wilson 12-29-1870 to 12-29-1963
Willie Wilson 9-13-1898 to 11-10-1983
Gracie Wilson 6-24-1902 to 9-12-1981
The Chronicle Star, "Mrs. Azalene Havens is Native and Resident of County 90 Years", December 10, 1948, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Doris Ella Wilson Carter”, September 18, 1997, p. 5.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Millard Wilson”, October 16, 1997, p. 5.
The Sun Herald, “Dennis Devilbiss”, April 16, 2002, p. A5.
The Sun Herald, “Seburn Wilson Jr.”, January 30, 2003, p. A8.
The Sun Herald, “Billy Wilson”, July 6, 2004, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, “Henrietta Lois Wilson”, March 27, 2005, p. A10.
The Sun Herald, “Mr. Ashley Renee DeLuca Wilson and Ashlynn Renee Wilson”, July 1, 2006, p. A10.
Poticaw Bayou Road
(image made post-Hurricane Katrina November 2005)
LOCATION: Section 15, T6S-R7W.
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of Bienville Boulevard (US 90) and Washington Avenue at Ocean Springs, go north 1.34 miles on Washington Avenue to the intersection with Rose Farm Road. Go north on Rose Farm Road .25 miles to Old Fort Bayou Road. Turn right (east) on Old Fort Bayou Road and go northeast for about 7.3 miles to Humphrey Road. Turn right (east) on Humphrey Road and go 2.7 miles to its intersection with Ms. Highway 57. Turn left (north) and follow Ms. Highway 57 through the village of Vancleave for 2.45 miles. Cross Bluff Creek and turn right (south) on Poticaw Bayou Road. Go .78 miles to Horseman's Trail. The Woodman Cemetery is in the woods on the north side of Horseman's Trail behind the home of Russell Griffith at 12913 Horseman's Trail. Hurricane Katrina of late August 2005 has downed a large tree in the small cemetery.
Mahala D. Carter Woodman (1854-1936) per tombstone; 4-19-1854 to 10-23-1936 (per Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Bk. 22, p. 300) f. G.W. Carter m. Malinza Roberts
Henry S. Woodman 1850-1929
Robert E. Murphy 12-31-1901 to 6-4-1902 f. R.N. Woodman Jr. m. Viola M. Murphy
Sallie M. Woodman (1873-1940 per tombstone) 12-29-1872 to 8-13-1940 (per Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Bk. 22, p. 300) f. H.E. Woodman m. Mahala Carter
Bradford-O'Keefe Burial Book 22, (Biloxi Public Library: Biloxi, Mississippi), p. 300.
Requiem, Volume III, “Beulah Cemetery”, (Jackson County Genealogical Society:
Pascagoula, Mississippi-circa 1972).p. 40.
1999 VANCLEAVE SPRING TOUR
March 27, 1999
A Vancleave History
Vancleave, located in west-central Jackson County, Mississippi, is a small community which developed in the early to mid-19th Century, on Bluff Creek, a small tributary of the Pascagoula River, several miles north of the Mexican Gulf. It was known originally as Bluff Creek, until the postmaster in 1870, named it Vancleave in honor of a former merchant, R.A. Van Cleave (1840-1908). The first European settlement in the Vancleave area occurred in 1721, when French colonists settled the short-lived Chaumont Concession. With the creation of the Mississippi Territory in 1798, and the West Florida Rebellion of 1810, the United States rested Spanish West Florida from its Iberian masters. Jackson County was created and united with the Territory of Orleans in 1812, and joined the Union in 1817, with the State of Mississippi.
Even before Mississippi’s statehood, restless Americans in the Carolinas and Georgia began settling the southwestern frontier, which included the Vancleave region. They were subsistence farmers and hunter-gatherers who brought their Protestant religion to this predominantly Roman Catholic coastal section.
By 1850, the virgin forests, predominantly pine, of the region along the tributaries of the lower Pascagoula River, began to be exploited for timber, charcoal, and naval stores. These activities created a commerce, which resulted in small trading posts being built on John’s Bayou and lower Bluff Creek. Shallow draft schooners loaded with charcoal, agricultural products, and naval stores sailed the "lake" waters of the Mississippi Sound to New Orleans and returned with tools, food staples, and mercantile goods to these riverine outposts.
Black slaves, primarily from North Carolina, were brought to work the turpentine orchards. After the Civil War, they were emancipated and remained in the region to provide the primary labor force for the naval stores industry. Black families owned the high land northwest of Mounger’s Creek, which became the primary Vancleave settlement, after they sold out to white families and merchants in the late 19th Century. Black communities developed further north and west at Greenhead Creek.
Another group of people, locally called "Creoles", but probably indigenous, descendants of Muskogean speaking, Native Americans inhabit the Vancleave region. They made their livelihoods primarily as subsistence farmers and charcoal burners. When public education in the region commenced in the late 19th Century, Creole and Blacks were educated together, but by 1917, they were segregated and a separate school created, called Live Oak Pond, north of Vancleave. This abberation was unique in that it created three separate schools for White, Black and Creole children. The Creole people have slowly been assimilated into the local community through interracial marriages.
The early settlers brought sheep to the pine savannas and allowed them to forage on the open range. Soon Vancleave, with Woolmarket in Harrison County, became important exporters of wool. World War I enhanced the demand for wool and prices and production rose dramatically during the conflict.
At the turn of the 20th Century, the Dantzler Lumber Company began to exploit virgin timber stands away from the rivers. They utilized tram railways to penetrate deep into the woods to reach virgin timber passed over because of its remoteness from water borne transportation routes. This venture brought a population increase, which encouraged the erection of new schools, churches, a hotel, boarding houses, and dwellings. The timber boom and sheep-wool activities subsided dramatically by the1930s. The virgin timber was depleting rapidly and stock laws, which curtailed open range foraging, and foreign competition had a deleterious effect on commercial wool production.
Pecan orchards, tung nut trees, and some citrus were grown in the Vancleave vicinity before the Great Depression of the 1930s. Orchard men from the Midwest developed nut crops initially south of Vancleave on the Ocean Springs Road and to the southwest and west along Seaman and Jim Ramsay Roads.
The Great Depression furthered exacerbated the economic situation at Vancleave. The people of the area responded to this dour situation by erecting a canning plant for fruit and vegetables, a sewing factory, and a shuttle mill. Naval stores and a dying charcoal industry continued weakly, until WW II revived the national economy. Shipbuilding at Pascagoula and Mobile created many wartime employment opportunities. Pulp wood for paper manufacturing became important after the war.
In the mid-1950s, the Bluff Creek Canning Company was organized. It produced a fish-based cat food and was sold to the John Morrell & Company of Chicago. A short-lived attempt to can yellow fin tuna caught in the Gulf of Mexico was also commenced at a Bluff Creek site south of Vancleave in the 1950s. The continued growth of the chemical and petrochemical industries along Bayou Cassotte near Pascagoula, has provided stable, regional, employment opportunities through several decades. Pulp wood harvesting for the Moss Point paper mill has continued in the area.
The population and status quo in the Vancleave region remained fairly constant until the late 1980s and early 1990s. At this time, a steady and continuous migration of people from the lower coastal urban areas, seeking cheaper land, relief from high taxes, crime and industrial pollution, began to move into the Vancleave area. The expansion of the US Naval presence, conversion of deep-water oil and gas exploration drilling rigs, and continued shipbuilding at Pascagoula and environs, with the exponential growth of dock side casino gaming in nearby Harrison County, has continued to fuel the migration into Vancleave.
Currently, new commercial ventures and subdivisions blossom each day. A new elementary school and medical center are now under construction. Are incorporation and local government awaiting Vancleave in the New Millennium??
9: 00 A.M.
Depart the Vancleave Library on Highway 57.
The library building was erected in 1989, by J.O. Collins Contractors of Biloxi from a design by Thomas A. Habeeb Jr., a Pascagoula architect. It replaced the C.W. Murphy American Legion Post No. 166 structure, which was built in 1949. Go north .1 miles on Highway 57 to Cemetery Road. Turn right to view the Ramsay Cemetery. Return to Highway 57. Turn right and proceed on Highway 57, .50 miles to Poticaw Bayou Road. Turn right immediately to see the Clifton L. Dees (1886-1963) home at 4801 Old Dees Place. This is now the domicile of his daughter, Peggy Dees Plunk. Note the abandoned site of C.L. Dees General Store, which burned in early January 1976. (abandoned concrete gas islands only remnant of this renown general store)
The Sun Herald, "Dees Store’s destruction brings end to an era", January 10, 1976.
Return to Highway 57 and go .50 miles to Ratliff Lane. Turn right. Arrive at the Dr. Samuel Rankin Ratliff Home on Ratliff Lane.
The Dr. S.R. Ratliff Home
This Queen Anne cottage on Ratliff Lane was built circa 1901, by Dr. Samuel R. Ratliff (1873-1936). It is located in the NW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. Dr. Ratliff acquired 2 acres here in December 1900, from Henry Galloway for $25. (1) He bought for $80 another fourteen contiguous acres to the west from Galloway in September 1903. (2)
Dr. Ratliff was a native of China Grove, Mississippi. He married Mamie Walker. Their two children, a daughter and son, died at Vancleave as infants, respectively in 1903 and 1906. A niece, Sarah Martha Gardner, lived with the Ratliffs. Dr. Ratliff was a Tulane graduate. He was issued a medical license to practice medicine in Jackson County in May 1901. At this time, the practicing physician at Vancleave was Dr. Ernest A. Portis (1840-1903), a native of Suggsville, Alabama.
Dr. S.R. Ratliff’s two brothers, Dr. R. Ford Ratliff and M.S. Ratliff, resided at Lucedale. His sisters were Bertha R. Lampton of Magee and Hattie R. Holmes also of Magee. In addition to his home, Dr. Ratliff owned office buildings and 25 acres of land in Section 9, T6S-R7W. After the death of Mrs. Ratliff, his estate went to Tony Eley and Mrs. R.L. Dennis. Dr. S.R. Ratliff died on September 16, 1936. His remains were interred in the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1 on Jim Ramsay Road. After his demise, Mrs. Ratliff married his brother, Dr. Ford Ratliff, and resided at Lucedale.
Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 25, pp. 261-262.
----------------------------------------- Book 27, pp. 309-310.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 5811, "The Will of S.R. Ratliff", October 1936.
The Daily Herald, "S.R. Ratliff", September 16, 1936, p. 3.
9:30 A.M. Arrive at the Ezel Lodge No. 426 F &AM on Ratliff Lane. Lecture by Rupert Roberts.
The Ezel Lodge No. 426 F&A
This Masonic Lodge was chartered in February 1895, when several Master Masons, who lived in the Vancleave area, desired an organization closer to home. At this time, other local Masonic lodges were located at Pascagoula, Moss Point, Daisy Vestry, and Ocean Springs. The first officers of the Ezel Lodge No. 426 F& AM were: Worshipful Master, Henry C. Havens (1831-1912); Senior Warden, W.P. Ramsay (1870-1963); Junior Warden, John W. Westfall (1846-1928); Secretary, Thomas C. Ruble (1859-1895+); Senior Deacon, W.R. Havens; Junior deacon,T.Q. Roberts (1856-1916); and Tyler, Robert Cooper.
The Vancleave Masons’first building was erected in 1895, on a site just south of the present lodge. Lodge members cut local timber and rafted the logs to Moss Point where they were milled into lumber, and then returned to Vancleave on a barge. When completed, the two-story, wood frame structure housed the Ezel Lodge on the second floor while the Vancleave Methodist Episcopal Church held services on the ground floor.
After the Methodist church congregation relocated, the first floor was utilized as a voting precinct. Many descendants of the founding fathers of Ezell Lodge No. 426 F&AM are members today. The membership is now 110 persons and Clyde C. Cunningham (b. 1914) is the senior member of the brotherhood.
The newest lodge building was commenced in 1963, and completed in 1964.
The Mississippi Press, "Centennial Celebrated", April 30, 1995, p. 1-B.
Rupert Roberts, "The Ezell Lodge", (unpublished essay: Vancleave-1998).9:45 A.M.
Arrive at the Norman W. Ramsay ("The School Teachers Home") Home on Highway 57.
The Norman W. Ramsay Home
Norman W. Ramsay (1879-1936) was the son of Sardin G. Ramsay (1837-1920) and Louisa Virginia Ellis (1851-1886). He married Etta Stewart (1883-1970). They were the parents ofNorman Wallace Ramsay Jr. (1910-1962+), Keble S. Ramsay (1916-1975), Vertis Glenn Ramsay (1917-1993), and Wyeth T. Ramsay (1920-1992). Vertis G. Ramsay was elected Circuit Clerk of Jackson County in August 1947.
In 1920, Norman Ramsay made his livelihood as a salesman in a general merchandise store. He was the proprietor of the Norman Ramsay general store, which was built in 1926 and located on Poticaw Road where Cole’s Service Station is today.
The N.W. Ramsay Home appears to have been built by John Hails Murphy (1874-1944), probably in the 1890s. The edifice has a three-bay, undercut gallery, which is supported by bracketed columns. The cross-gable roof is truncated by a gabled dormer, which has a coupled window and imbricated shingles in the gable. Norman W. Ramsay acquired this tract from Ella Munger in March 1926. It is situated on one acre of land in the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. (1)
The Norman Ramsay Home was called "the School Teachers Home" because single female school teachers were boarded here in the 1930s and 1940s as there were no apartment dwellings or other rental facilities for them. Many of the school teachers found husbands during their tenure in the Ramsay home. Local men from the Ramsay, Mallette, Lockard, Havens, Allen, Byrd,Tootle, and Westfall families found wives while courting the young ladies at Mrs. Ramsay’s place. Miss Lizzie Ware (1875-1957) also ran a boarding establishment about the same time. It was called the Wisteria Inn and was located just south of the old Johnson Ware hardware store on Highway 57, in Section 16, T6S-R7W. (Johnson Ware, December 1998)
Norman W. Ramsay passed on November 12, 1936. He and Etta S. Ramsay are interred in the Vancleave Cemetery No. 1 on Jim Ramsay Road.
1. Jackson County, Mississippi Land Deed Book 60, p. 79.
R.G. Cossey and F.I. Cossey, Murphy Family Genealogy: 1760-1996, (Cossey: Vancleave, Mississippi-1996), p. 10.
Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 5851, "The Estate of Norman W. Ramsay", 1937.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", March 1, 1928, p. 3.
The Daily Herald, "Norman Ramsay, 53, Dies Suddenly", November 13, 1936, p. 1.
The Gulf Coast Times, "Love Bug Hides in Ramsay Wisteria?", May 28, 1953, p. 1 and p. 8
The Jackson County Times, "Vancleave News Notes", May 22, 1926, p. 5.
The Jackson County Times, "New Circuit Clerk", August 9, 1947, p. 1. (photo)
10:00 A.M. Arrive at the William Henry Westfall Home at 13824 Highway 57.
The W.H. Westfall Home
The William H. Westfall (1874-1939), a Queen Anne Cottage, was constructed by W.H. Westfall, a local merchant, in the early 1900s. He acquired 80 acres of land here, the NW/4 of the NE/4 and the NE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W, from Thomas C. Ruble in July 1899, for $300. (1) W.H. Westfall was the son of John W. Westfall (1846-1928), a native of Macomb, Illinois and Margaret Westfall (1836-1921), a Mississippian. The elder Westfall was a pioneer citizen of Vancleave and an early merchant in the area. W.H. Westfall married Laura V. Martin(1870-1955), the daughter of local merchant and postmaster, William Martin (1838-1930), and Nancy Sumrall (1847-1888). The Westfalls had an adopted son, William S. Byrd, who lived in Houston, Texas. The Westfall store was on Highway 57 across the road from the W.H. Westfall house. In November 1924, Mr. Westfall had a power radio installed in the store. It provided entertainment for the whole community.
W.H. Westfall and his wife were very philanthropic with his Vancleave community. In September 1901, they donated three acres of land to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal South-Vancleave Circuit. This tract was located in the NW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W. (2) Also, in September 1901, Mr. Westfall donated land to the local Black community. The New Light Baptist Church was the recipient of 4.79 acres in the NW/4 of Section 9, T6S-R7W to be utilized for a church and burial ground. (3)
1. Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 20, p. 191.
2. ----------------------------------------- Book 29, p. 359.
3. ----------------------------------------- Book 26, 365-366.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", November 7, 1924, p. 7.
The Daily Herald, "Laura V. Westfall", April 2, 1955, p. 2.
The Jackson County Times, "Prominent Vancleave Citizen Taken by Death", February 4, 1927, p. 1.10:30 A.M.
Arrive at the Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church and Cemetery on River Road.
The Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church
Although the earliest origins of the Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church can be traced anecdotally to antebellum times from families such as, Williams, Lyons, Dubose, Graham, Rouse,Flurry, O’Neal, Bonds, McMillian, Havens, Ware, Taylor, and Ramsay, living in the John’s Bayou region, the present tabernacle on River Road was erected here circa 1907. The Reverend G.P. McKeown preached the first sermon. The three acres of land for the cemetery and church were donated in December 1904, by Angeline and Thomas Q. Roberts to the Methodist Episcopal Church South of Vancleave. Legally their donation is described as being in the NW/4, NW/4 of Section 12, T6S-R7W. Some of the Trustees of the church at this time were: W.W. Broom, J.H. Havens, and D.G. Alexander. (1)
1. Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 29, pp. 359-360.
The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, Vancleave", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), pp. 68-69.
The Red Hill United Methodist Church and Cemetery
The Red Hill United Methodist Church and cemetery are located in Section 3, T5S-R7W on Old River Road. The congregation was organized in 1837, by the Reverend Henry Fletcher and John Havens. It was located here to serve the Fletcher, Havens, Dubose, Graham, Rice, Entrekin, Tootle, Roberts, David, White, Holland, Cain, Carlisle, and other families that where settling in the Dead Lake and Rice’s Bluff sections of Jackson County. It replaced an older Red Creek Methodist church that was located about four miles north near the "Wolf Pit". A new sanctuary and education building were erected in 1969. Dedication was on February 22, 1970. This is the fourth structure to house the Red Hill United Methodist Church in 151 years of worship.
The Red Hill Methodist Cemetery reflects the history of the congregation. Descendants of the early families married into the Swift, Nolf, Johnson, White, Nelson, Gartman, and Bond families. The oldest marked grave here is that of William C. Havens (1876-1944).
The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "Red Hill Methodist Church", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), pp. 69-70.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Old Church New Building", February 19, 1970, p. 17.
Elsie Havens Fletcher Home and Fletcher Cemetery at 21021 Old River Road
Mrs. Roscoe Fletcher’s home is located on the west side of Old River Road in the SE/4 of Section 34, T4S-R7W. It was erected circa 1911, for Jeptha J. Fletcher by Earl Davis, Cliff Davis, and Howard Davis. The home served as the Dead Lake Post Office when Mrs. Phoeby L. Fletcher was postmaster from 1914 until 1920, when the post office was closed. (Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, 1977, p. 20) The US Mail was brought by horse rider from John’s Bayou. (Elsie H. Fletcher, September 1998)
The Fletcher family history began in this vicinity when William Helveston Fletcher (1819-1899), a farmer and logger, and his spouse, Sarah Havens (1821-1860), began acquiring land here in April 1862. The J.J. Fletcher house was conveyed to Andrew Roscoe Fletcher (1913-1969) by the Heirs of Jeptha J. Fletcher between 1957 and 1964. A. Roscoe Fletcher married Elsie Havens (b. 1913) in September 1934. She was the ninth of ten children of William R. Havens (1870-1951) and Anne Delorean Seymour (1874-1965). Their children are: Elsie Jeanne F. Holden Blount (b. 1935), John Andrew Fletcher (b. 1941), Arie Christina F. Swift (b. 1943), and Roscoe Havens Fletcher.
The Fletcher Cemetery is located in the field north of the house. Members of the Fletcher and Entrekin families are interred here.
Cyril E. Cain, Four Centuries on The Pascagoula, Volume II, (The Reprint Company: Spartanburg, South Carolina-1983), pp. 183-185.
The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "William "Bill" Randall Havens Family", (The Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), pp. 230-232).
Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, "Post Offices and Postmasters in Jackson County", Volume 13, No. 1, June 1977.
Telephone interview with Elsie Havens Fletcher on September 4, 1998. Telephone interview with Earline C. Tait on March 23, 1999.
11:30 A.M. Arrive at James (Snooks) and Sabra Mallette’s Grist Mill at 22800 Sims Mill Pond Road.
The Mallette Grist Mill
The Snook’s Mallette Grist Mill house is located on Sims Mill Pond Road and was rebuilt in 1972 from cedar. It replicates the antebellum mill house that was situated here when the Mallettes moved on their 44-acre homestead in 1937? James K. 'Snooks' Mallette (1915-2006) acquired the NE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 27, T4S-R7W in May 1943, from V.H. and Inez Sims. (1)
Anecdotal history relates that the grindstones were brought from the mountains of Virginia before the Civil War. The proprietor of the mill during the Civil War was deferred from military duty in order that he could grind corn and wheat for the Confederate Army. The mill’s grindstone weighs 500-pounds, and is capable of grinding 100 pounds of corn meal in about an hour and a half.
After the demise of James K. 'Snooks' Mallette, Albert Goss, his son-in-law, contined to operate the grist mill producing corn meal on a seasonal basis.(The Vancleave Link, September 30, 2010, p. 1)
1. Jackson County Land Deed Book 82, p. 596.
Today in Mississippi, "Antique mill still grinds", November 1990.
The Vancleave Link, "Nose to the grindstone", September 29, 2010.
Arrive at the J.L. Tootle-Lott Home at 20920 Busby Road.
The Tootle-Lott House is a one-story, wood framed structure with a side gable roof. The undercut gallery has three bays. Six-over-six, double hung windows flank the door, which has sidelights. It is situated on 110 acres of land on Busby Road in the NW/4 of Section 3, T5S-R7W. Originally patented by the Roberts and Dubose families in the 1880s and 1890s, the NW/4 of Section 3 came into the Tootle family in May 1916, when Napolean B. Tootle (1888-1918), the son of George W. Tootle (1845-1900+) and Sarah J. Dubose (1851-1934) acquired it fromT.J. Roberts, et al. (1) After the demise of Napolean B. Tootle Jr., his brother, John Lewis Tootle (1886-1957), acquired the tract in December 1918, from G.A. Tootle, et al and Albert Flurry, et al. (2)
Several Jackson County Chancery forced heirship legal actions, Cause No. 3855 and Cause No. 3897, were pursued by John L. Tootle to clear title on his land. In July 1919, CommissionerFred Taylor conveyed to John L. Tootle for $950, the NW/4 of Section 3, T5S-R7W, except one acre in the NE/4 of the NW/4 for a cemetery. (3)
John L. Tootle was a farmer in the Red Hill Community. He married Nellie Beasy Bilbo (1887-1987) in October 1908. Their children were: George E. Tootle (1909-1949), GwendolynOttis Tootle (1912-1987), Lewis O. Tootle (1914-1996), Meredith Eulys Tootle (1918-1986), Eron Rondo Tootle, Iron Roscoe Tootle, and Ouida Mae Tootle Larsen. The remains of John L. Tootle, Nellie Beasy Tootle, and their son, G.O. Tootle, are interred in the Red Hill Methodist Church Cemetery. (The Chronicle Star, October 18, 1957)
In July 1988, the Heirs of John L. Tootle sold their family homestead which now consisted of 110 acres to William S. Lott and Judith O. Lott. (4) Mr. Lott is a pharmacist in Lucedale. Restored J.L. Tootle home?
Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 42, pp. 544-545.
----------------------------------------- Book 46, pp. 462-463.3.
----------------------------------------- Book 47, p. 49.
4. ----------------------------------------- Book 920, pp. 5-16.
Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 52,163, "The Estate of J.L. Tootle", April 1988.
The Chronicle Star, "J.L. Tootle Dies in Hospital", October 18, 1957, p. 1, c. 1.
1:45 P.M. Arrive at New Prospect Campground.
The New Prospect Campground
The New Prospect Campground was founded in October 1880, by seven Methodist families who came here to pray and socialize together. The families who attended came in ox wagons, as buggies were still a rarity in the area. The first camp meeting was preached by the Reverend Inman W. Cooper of Ocean Springs. There were five original tents. Baptists and others religious denominations later joined the October camp meetings north of Vancleave..
In November 1885, John C. Orrell (1830-1917), a turpentine operator who settled in the area from North Carolina, gave the New Prospect Campground six acres in the NW/4, SW/4 of Section 19, T5S-R7W. (1) This is the site of the present tabernacle and tents.
The camp consists of a large tabernacle for religious services and a number of tents in which people reside during the annual six-day meeting. Food is prepared and neighbors share meals. On Sunday, a community meal is served.
The campground has been struck by significant conflagrations on at least four occasions. The 1902 Fire destroyed the tabernacle and the north and east row of tents. Other fires of note occurred in 1907, 1948, and 1988. The February 1988 fire destroyed the east row of tents of the inner square.
Each time the congregation of the New Prospect Campground rallied and rebuilt for the Tuesday before the third Sunday of October.
1. Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 7, pp. 597-598.
Work Progress Administration, Historical Data for Jackson County, Volume XXX, 1936-1938, p. 242.
The Daily Herald, "Vancleave", October 12, 1923, p. 2.
Down South, "Camp Meeting Time in Vancleave", September-October 1956, p. 20.
The Gulf Coast Times, "History in Brief of New Prospect", October 14, 1949, p. 8.
Telephone interview with Erline C. Tait on March 23, 1999
3:00 P.M. Arrive at Vancleave Library, point of origin.
Our Sincere Appreciation and Thanks to the following organizations and individuals: Jackson County Regional Library System Steve and Judy Lott Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church Snooks and Sabra Mallette United States Navy Rupert Roberts Vancleave Real Estate Rev. Mary Lou Tickell Erline C. Tait Johnson Ware
Ray L. Bellande
PO BOX 617
Ocean Springs, Mississippi 39566-0617
March 4, 1999