Interesting Things

By Ray L. Bellande

Primary tabs

Know Our Homes

Contents

1872-Hansen-Hanemann Cottage-305 Front Beach Drive

1875?-A.A. Maginnis Estate-Front Beach Drive

1880-Cochran-Letoha House-900 Robinson Avenue

1881-Case-Russell House-southwest corner of Washington Avenue and Porter

1884-Miss-La-Bama-243 Front Beach Drive

1888-Vancleave-Wilson House-1011 Desoto

1890-J.J. Garrard House-1119 Iberville Drive

ca 1890-Honor-Attaya House-422 Martin Avenue

1891-C.W. Madison Railroad Cottages-Robinson Avenue

1894 Clement-Jacobs-Porter House-604 Porter Street

1898-Geiger-Friar House-611 Jackson Avenue

1898-Lang-Madsen House-Calhoun Avenue

1907-Hanson-Mitchell House-112A Shearwater Drive

1908-Vancleave-Smith House-528 Jackson Avenue

ca 1908-von Rosambeau-Bryan-Benz House-410 Jackson Avenue

1909-Pace-Elizardi-Weldon Cottage-207 Washington Avenue

1910-Bryan-Letoha-406 Jackson Avenue

1910-Sheldon-Pattison-Cole: 527 Cleveland

1911-Mestier-Carter House-213 Washington Avenue

1912-Carter-Calloway House- 916 State Street

1916-Newcomb-Dick House- Porter Street

ca 1920-Honor-Nissen-Redding House-608 Cleveland Avenue

1923-Knotzsch-Fussell House-305 Ward Avenue

1923-Maxwell-Bellande House-525 Jackson Avenue

1924-Hellmers-Duckett Cottage-918 Calhoun Avenue

1925-Del Castle-Legate Place-Government Street

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

OCEAN SPRINGS HOUSE NAMES  

DID (DOES) YOUR HOUSE HAVE A NAME?

     It can be observed in the earliest accounts that exist concerning Ocean Springs that some people named their homes. Probably the first homes at Ocean Springs were named by families relocating here in the 1850s from plantations in the Mississippi Delta and South Louisiana.  House naming may have been a function of affluence, family tradition, pride of ownership, etc.  The reason isn't relevant to the fact that house nomenclature is now an integral part of our local history. 

     If your home has a name and it hasn't made this list and you would like to share this information, or if it is on this list and you find fault, please contact me and I will make appropriate changes.  If anyone has photos of these older homes especially those that no longer exist, I would appreciate knowing that some historical record is available. In addition, I would sincerely appreciate some input into this column.  Please address all comments, questions, etc. to:  PO BOX 617, Ocean Springs, Ms. 39566-0617.  Merci beaucoup!                   

HOME NAMES AT OCEAN SPRINGS

ALLANDALE - Eighteen and one-half acre farm located in the N/2 of the NE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 28, T7S-R8W when owned by Nels and Anna Strale of Chicago, Illinois.  Bought by Robert T. Harvey in January 1924, and became known as the Harvey Farm.  Greyhound Stadium located here today.

ANCHORAGE - Silas Weeks-Mrs. J.M. Boyd home on Shearwater Drive circa 1890-1940.  Miss Jessie M. Boyd (1881-1963) was probably the last owner.  Destroyed by demolition according to G.E. Arndt.  Joseph Rogers Taylor (1875-1945), a lawyer and writer, may have built a home at this site later.

ARBOR VITAE - Bungalow of Walter G. Minnemeyer, Chicago glass manufacturer and yachtsman, at 1106 Iberville Drive circa 1933-1950s.  He also owned a summer home at Duquesne Island, Georgian Bay, Ontario.  Extant.

ARNDT HOUSE - George E. Arndt (1857-1945) built rental cottage at 822 Porter.  Erected 1895 on land purchased from A.E. Lewis, the "artesian prince".  Extant

ARTESIAN HOUSE - Early hotel located on the SW/c of Porter and Jackson.  Built by A.E. Lewis (1862-1933) circa 1893.  Later known as the Oak View Hotel, Anderson Apartments, and White House.  Demolished in 1936.

AUDUBON - two-story home of Colonel Frederick Le Cand (1841-1933) on Government Street (County Road) in 1905.

AUDUBON PLACE - Miss Bessie Collier of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania here in September 1925.

AUSTIN SPRING LOT - Located at the NW/C of Martin and Cleveland

BALLYSHEAR-1940s home and estate of Sarah Gardner Brown at 310 Shearwater Drive.

BAY HOME - Captain Junius Poitevent (1837-1919) built this wonderful Greek Revival home at 309 Lovers Lane in 1877.  Extant.  Also used for the Adeline A. Staples home next door.

BAYOU HOME - Franklin Sumner Earle (1856-1929) home from 1890-1902 at Gulf Hills.  House located approximately where the clubhouse now sits.  Destroyed by fire? 

BAYOU HOME - Joseph Bacon Garrard (1871-1915) and Carrie Ann Johnson (1886-1968) Colonial Revival home at 1119 Iberville.  Mrs. Garrard married Alexander Fleet Everhart (1881-1957)in 1924.  Now owned by Jack K. Garrard.

BAYOUSIDE FARM-A.R. Pecaut place north of Ocean Springs.(JXCOT, LNI, 9-8-1917)

BAY VIEW - A.G. Tebo home on Beach Front Drive near present day OSYC in early 1900s.  When used by D.H. Holmes as summer vacation home for their women employees it was called "Haven-on-the- Hill".  Later owner, O.D. Davidson (1872-1938).  Destroyed by demolition circa 1940?.

BAY VIEW - Parker Earle (1831-1917) home located at Fort Point (Lovers Lane) from 1887-1902.  Later owned by Annie L. Benjamin (1848-1938) of Milwaukee and called Shore Acres.  Demolished in the 1940s, probably after the September 1947 Hurricane.

BAYVIEW - Christian Hanson (1845-1914), Danish shipmaster and cotton broker from New Orleans. This Prairie Renaissance home was originally on a 50 acre tract east of the Shearwater Pottery in Section 30, T7S-R8W.  Bought from Anna Marks in 1906.  Sold to John L. Dickey in the 1920s.  Known today as Shadowlawn and the Hanson-Dickey House.

BAYWOOD - Otto Schwartz 1950s home located on Back Bay.  Destroyed by Hurricane Camille in 1969.

BEAU-OAKS - Henry "Pee Wee" Beaugez home at 1112 Helmer's Lane.  Now owned by Sun Herald reporter, Ken Fink.

BEL VUE - Altered Greek Revival home of Bobbie Davidson Smith at 810 Iberville.  Reputed to be the oldest home at Ocean Springs.

BELLE FLEUR - Mrs. Julia E. Brown of Chicago (1902) home located on East Beach.  Formerly the Williston home??.

BLUE HAVEN - Alice T. Austin home at 545 Beach Drive.

BIRDWOOD - John Anderson home at Lovers Lane.

BON SILENE - Fred W. Norwood (1840-1921), Massachusetts born lumberman, home at East Beach during early 1900s.  Lizzie W. Norwood bought the land from James Charnley in 1896 and conveyed it to Fronie Parks in 1911.  Daughter of Norwood, Mrs. Edward Shapker (1909).  Owned by Edsel Ruddiman since 1963.  Original home designed by Louis Henri Sullivan (1856-1924) or Frank L. Wright.  Badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

BONNIE OAKS - East Beach residence of John Alderson of Leadville, Colorado.  Acquired from Williams in late 1890s.  Now the site of the Gulf Coast Research Lab.  Known as the Perryman Place to many octogenarians.

BON SEJOURS - Anthony M. Usner home at East Beach (1929).  Betty and Leila Usner.  "Good Dwelling" in French.

BON SILENE-James and Helen Charnley Cottage on East Beach (1890-18   ).  good silence.  Also the name of a variety of roses.

BOULEVARD FARM - Property of Chauncey S. Bell (1842-1917+) owner of the Pine Nursery.  The Boulevard Farm was probably located on Holcomb Boulevard in the early 1900s.

BREEZY POINT - Captain Christian Hansen (1845-1914), Danish shipmaster and cotton broker from New Orleans.  Breezy Point was located on a 35 acre tract at the west end of Fort Point from 1895 to 1904 until it was destroyed by fire.  No known photo.

BRIAR CREST - Home of J.G. Ramsay at Vancleave in 1897.

BRYAN HOME - Queen Anne structure at 406 Jackson Avenue built in 1910 by J.A. Weider (1879-1931) for Frank H. Bryan (1872-1936) on lots bought from L.A. Lundy (1876-1941) in 1910.  Formerly owned by Mrs. Julia Love.

CAMELLIA HILL - Cottage at 1210 Sunset owned by the Ames and Catchot families.  Present owners Gary and Lois Johnson.

CAMELLIA PLACE - Office of Dr. and Mrs. Jay Segarra at 1300? Government Street.

CARLANA ACRES - Farm of Dr. Carl Lindstrom (1873-1951).  Located between Gus Nelson and J.C. Wright farms on Fort Bayou.  Came to Ocean Springs in 1929, from Chicago.  Native of Sweden.  Retired dentist.  Named for granddaughter, Carlana Lane, of Pascagoula.

CARR ACRES also called CARRACRUS- Charles Carr (Mount Pleasant, Texas) estate on Holcomb Blvd.  Circa 1935 consisted of farm, fish ponds, pecan orchards, and a residence.  Formerly the Fish place.(The Gulf Coast Times, 2-3-1954, p. 3)

CARRIES HAPPY HILL -  Miss Carrie Seymour Ames home on Calhoun Avenue.

CASA FLORES - F.E. Lee House located on Davis Bayou.  Built 1926.  Jensen Brothers contractors.

CASE VILLA - Carl T. Case Estate of 9.67 acres west of the Inner Harbor originally called Lyndhurst when Mrs. Carl Case's father, Thomas B. Lynd (1862-1915), owned it from 1893-1915.  Case sold to W.R. David in 1919.  Charles Grady Parlin bought it 1921, from Edwina David  The house burned in December 1922.  Now owned by Alice T. Austin.

THE CEDARS - now Conamore at 319 Lovers Lane.  Probably called The Cedars by   ?  who owned the home in early 1900s.

THE CEDARS - appelation used by Rosambeau family for their cottage at 908 Calhoun in 1934.

CEDAR HILL - Former Egan Cottage at 314 Jackson Avenue now owned by Ray and Maureen Hudachek.

CENTENNIAL HOUSE - Carrie Ames Cottage at Calhoun.  Owned by Harriet Perry.  Name coined by Ray L. Bellande in 1992, as this home was erected in 1892, the year Ocean Springs was incorporated as a town.

CENTENNIAL OAK - Steve and Lana Robinson cottage on a five acre tract at 3305 Government Street.  Named for an oak tree planted in 1992, the Centennial Year (1892-1992) for Ocean Springs.  Original cottage built by Frank E. Galle (1877-1934).

CHASE VILLA - Tom H. Chase from Rogers Park area of Chicago circa 1915-1918.  Located on the Ocean Springs-Vancleave Road.

CHERRY WILD - Home of Bishop Keener on Biloxi Bay (1879).

CHEZ RENE - Eldon Cazaubon home at 517 Front Beach Drive.  Owned by Rene Cazaubon (1881-1970) from 1936 until 1953.

CHINQUAPIN FARM - Fort Bayou estate of Fred and Ann Moreton at 2109 Bienville Boulevard named for the edible nut of the dwarf chestnut tree called a chinquapin (Native American origin).  The Moretons came to the area from Brookhaven in the mid-1940s.  Mrs. Moreton is a distinguished writer and photographer.

CLEMATIS BOWER - Edward E. Young home (1914) probably on Ray Street, or Cox Avenue.

COMMANCHE JUNIOR - The White family of Chicago had a ranch in Michigan called "Commanche".  They named their place on Holcomb Boulevard after the Michigan place.

CONAMORE - Queen Anne edifice and estate of Ethelyn Connor and daughter, Patricia Joachim, at 319 Lovers Lane.  Ocean Springs first full time mayor, Mayor Donald L. "Pat" Connor (1912-1982) resided here during his lifetime.

COZY NOOK - Jackson Avenue home of Mrs. Edward Brou (NOLA).  Destroyed by Hurricane Camille in 1969.  Built early 1900s.

DARRACH MO'R - Home of Scotsman, Duncan Sinclair (d.1902 at NOLA), located on Front Beach at present day Gulf Oak Condominiums.  Gaelic for "Great Oaks".  Frank Faessel took (1870-1953) possession circa 1910.

DE GUISE - Spanish Colonial Revival home of Jacob Guice at 325 Lovers Lane.  Formerly called Holmcliffe by original builder R.H. Holmes in 1925.

DE HUTTE-Louis H. Sullivan home on East Beach.  Built in 1890.

DEL CASTLE - Spanish Eclectic Style home at 3628 Government Street.  Built by Jenson Brothers Construction Company for realtor, F.E. Lee, in November 1925, and originally called Casa Flores by Lee.  The architect was Gordon Hite of New Orleans. 

DILL HILL - Ira W. Simmons home at 703 Cox Avenue.  Built 1911.  Formerly Laniappe Restaurant.

DOON DOCK-Bache Whitlock home on Hellmers Lane and Inner Harbor.

DOONECOTE - Home of Mrs. Charles M. Carr at Pointe-aux-Chenes in 1964.  1957 Pointe-aux-Chene winter home of Sheldon Widmer of Brown County, Indiana.

DOONGATE or DOONE GATE - James R. Leavell (Lake Forest, Illinois), President Chicago Bank and Trust Co. home at Pointe-aux-Chenes (1944-1968), built by Joe Fountain.

EGLIN HOUSE - Miss Annie Eglin's "tourist home" at 635 Washington Avenue.  Damaged by fire in 1964.  Demolished in 1968.  Villa Maria located here today.

ELK LODGE - East Beach estate of Colonel J.B. Rose (d. 1902 at NYC) from 1895 to 1901.  Rose founded the Royal Baking Powder Company.  He was a well known yachtsman being a member of the Atlantic Yacht Club (NYC) and Southern Yacht Club (NOLA).  Rose owned the large Rose Farm north of Fort Bayou.  His yachts were named "Florence" (1896),"Nepenthe" (1899) and "Crescent" (1902).  Land once owned by John Martin Tracy (1843-1893) who is remembered in the international art world as "America's Great Sporting Painter".

FAIRHAVEN - named used by Mrs. Annette McConnell Anderson (1867-1964) in the 1920s for her Vernacular Greek Revival cottage at what would become the Shearwater Pottery in 1928.  Formerly the Adam DePass (1851-1909) and B.W. Tiffin (1825- ?) of Ohio twenty-four acre estate in Section 30, T7S-R8W.

FELICITY FARMS - estate of Mrs. Victor (Florence) G. Humphreys (1883-1946+) east of Ocean Springs.  Used in 1946.

FIELD LODGE - East Beach estate (32 acres) of Major Rushton H. Field, in the 1890s.  Field was the proprietor of the Revier House at Chicago (1894).  Field Lodge was sold to Captain M.G. May of Pass Christian by his widow, Mary Florence Field, in September 1909 (Jackson County Deed Book 35, pp. 58-60).  Purchased in 1941, by James and Francis Tuttle.

FIELD PLACE - Estate (35 acres) of Erastus S. Perryman (1857-1926) who died at Chicago in November 1926.  He bought the Lewis Place on East Beach in March 1915 from Annie and I. Giles Lewis (Chicago).  The Gulf Coast Research Lab now located here (1947).  Mrs. Perryman (1866-1953) died in August 1953, and buried at Mobile..

FORT BAYOU BEND - Home of George C. Kindley, northeast of Ocean Springs.  The old Snyder Place on the Ocean Springs-Vancleave Road.  Kindley rented fishing boats here.

FOUNTAINBLEAU - Belle Fountaine estate of Robert W. Hamill of Chicago.

FRIED FISH INN - Appelation given to the Rosambeau Cottage at 910 Calhoun when reknown baseball writer and humorist, Charles Dryden (1860-1931) stayed here in the early 1900s.

FRUITLAND - Colonel William R. Snyder (1864-1918) large country estate 6 miles east of Ocean Springs in Section 13, T7S-R8W.

GEHL VILLA - Summer home of John M. Gehl of New Orleans in 1920s.  Germaine's located here today.  Former home of Mayor Charles R. Bennett

GLENGARRIFF - The estate of Captain Francis O'Neill (1844-1936) of Chicago, Superintendent of Police at Chicago (1901-1905), located on Front Beach Drive.  O' Neill was an Irish history and music collector.  He also wrote books on Irish music.  O'Neill wintered at Glengarriff with his family from 1914-1936.  Probably demolished to build El Madrid Apts circa 1969.  Former home of J.J. Kuhn, New Orleanian, who owned the artesian waterworks at Ocean Springs in the late 1890s.

GLENGARRIFF II - An Ishee house built in 1965 located at 406 Schmidt.  Named by Thomas and Mary Mooney Wade (1910) for Glengarriff, the home of Mrs. Wade's grandfather, Captain Francis O'Neil.  Glengarriff was just east of the Wade home.

GRANDVIEW - Built in 1992 by Ken Snider and Kirk Halstead.  This attractive, raised oriental style cottage is on Halstead Road facing scenic Halstead Bayou to the north.

GREEN LAWNS - Home of Colonel Frederick Le Cand (1841-1933) at 200 Dewey Avenue.  The Le Cand family moved from "Audubon" their County Road estate to Dewey in October 1917.  Now owned by the Snyder Family.  Rosalie Todtenbier Snyder is the grandaughter of Colonel Le Cand who was locally called Captain Le Cand.  Formerly owned by Henry Wirth and Jane Flood (1904).

GREENWOOD LODGE - Home of Idelle B. Watson (1856-1956+) on Iberville Drive.  Miss Watson came to Ocean Springs in 1932.  Had a travel agency.

GROVELAND PARK - Pecan acreage and or farm of Fred Einfeldt of Brooklyn, New York.

HAPPY HILL - The home of Antonio "Toy" Catchot and Lucy Flower probably located on Sunset near Evergreen Cemetery.

HARBOR HILL - Twin-gabled 1993 built home of Brad and Peggy Bradford at 111 Pine Drive.  Features a panoramic vista of the charming Ocean Springs Inner Harbor on a 1.5 acre wooded and landscaped lot.

HAVEN-ON-THE-HILL - O.D. Davidson place on front beach near the Yacht Club, 475 feet on beach.  Was bought in August 1936, by Mrs. Lorna Leavell of Chicago.  She planned to demolish the old house.  Name used by D.H. Holmes of New Orleans for the F.J. Lundy home on LaFontaine at Washington.

HERMITAGE - Lundy rental cottage on Jackson Avenue.  Built in 1911.

HERON PLACE - Captain June Poitevent's farm on Heron Bayou.  He grew pineapples here in 1915.

HIGHLAND PECAN FARM - Vancleave area 900 acre farm of Edward G. Minnemeyer and Walter Minnemeyer of Chicago.  Developed in the 1920s.  Minemeyers had summer home at Duquesne Island in Georgian Bay, Canada.

HILLSIDE - Mrs. S.A. Calogne of New Orleans home at 204 Washington Avenue.  Built in the fall of 1909 for $3000 (OSN, August 28, 1909).  Contractors Weider & Friar (OSN, October 23, 1909).  House extant and owned by Miss Litt VanCourt. 

HILL TOP - Mrs. Emma Pace of New Orleans (1905), and James Elizardi (1946) home at 207 Washington Avenue.  Now owned by the Weldons, John, Germaine, and Jackson (hey, Jackson).

HOLLY LODGE - H. Pitts Flateau home at Pointe-aux-Chenes.  Later L.L. Cook

HOLLYWOOD - Residence of Mrs. Martha Lyon Holcomb (1833-1906) of Chicago.  Home located on the NE/C of Rayburn and Porter.  Built early 1890s.  Destroyed after 1915.  Dale Cottages located here today.

HOLMCLIFFE -Spanish Colonial Revival built by R.H. Holmes at 325 Lovers Lane.  Formerly the Julian Place.  Construction commenced November 1929.  J.A. Wieder superintendent of construction.  Now called De Guise by current owner, Jacob Guice. (see JXCOT, 11-30-1929, L&P).

INDIAN TRAIL LODGE - H. Pitts Flateau (1935), located at Pointe aux Chenes.  Friend of Leavells.

INGLESIDE - Mrs. H.S. Davis's country home (1897-1928) near Vancleave.  Planted Cedar tree at Community Center of Iberville.

ISLAND VIEW PLACE - home of Mayor  F.M. Weed (1850-1926) on East Beach before he moved to Old Fort Bayou.

KIMCREST - Roswell S. Kimball (1886-1948) home on Front Beach.  The old W.B. Schmidt home.

KINHEUSE - S.M. Hilligoss, realtor and associate of F.E. Lee, home at Lovers Lane circa 1934.  Probably present day Taquino property.  Hilligoss from Fort Worth, Texas?

LA BARACA - Guest cottage on Vermont of Ray Allen circa 1947.

LAKEVIEW - Charles W. Zeigler (b. 1865) of New Orleans 1890s -early 20th Century home located on Front Beach Drive.  Lot later owned by D.V. Purrington (1841-1914) of Chicago.

LATTITUDE - Dr. William F. Pontius and Molly Pontius home at Hellmers Lane.  Home built in 1994 and 1995 by Victor Sheely of Gulfport.  Contemporary design of stucco painted coral.  Faces small craft harbor.

LAVENDOONE - Appellation used for cottage at present day 1119 Vermont when owned by Chicagoan, Lorna Leavell, who donated its use for the garden club meetings during the 1950s.

LINGER LONGER – home of Olaf K. Petersen of New Orleans.(see JXCOT, 8-3-1929)

LYNDHURST - Thomas B. Lynd (1862-1915) of New Orleans.  Lynd was a cotton broker and owned Lynd & Stouse which dealt extensively in cotton futures.  Lynd began his career as a clerk for Chaufe, Powell, and West, a New Orleans cotton brokerage.  Lynd resided on Prytania Street at New Orleans.  His daughter, Edwina Marguerite Lynd, married Carl Case of Nashville, Tennessee in June 1910 (OSN, June 4, 1910, p. 1).

Ocean Springs druggist, Herman Nill, sold this 9.67 acre estate on Front Beach west of Bayou Bauzage (Inner Harbor) to Lynd in 1893 for $6000 (Jackson County Deed Book 14, p. 452).  After Thomas B. Lynd died in April 1915, his son-in-law, Carl T. Case, and daughter, Edwina Marguerite Lynd, took possession and called the estate, Case Villa.  They sold to W.R. David in July 1918, for $2250 (Jackson County Deed Book 45, pp. 607-608).  Elizabeth Parlin purchased the property from Edwina David for $2200 in April 1921 (Jackson County Deed Book 50, pp. 326-327).

The house burned in December 1922, when owned by H.O. Parlin.  Now Alice T. Austin at 545 Front Beach Drive.

LYNDWOOD-This home at 915 Ocean Avenue was built in the winter of 1934-1935 by A. Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974) and Mae Kettles Gottsche (1907-2001).  The Gottsche family utilized lumber salvaged from the derelict Case-Russell situated on the southwest corner of Washington Avenue and Porter.  This edifice had been damaged by fire in February 1933.  A. Lynd Gottsche Jr. acquired his childhood home from his parents in December 1972.  He and spouse, Patricia Field Gottsche, conveyed Lynwood to the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs in December 1989.  The family of the Reverend Andy Wells have lived here since their arrival in Ocean Springs

MAGNOLIA-Home of Dr. Dan Newcomb on Davis Bayou.  He spent the spring of 1897 here.  Dan and Fred Richardson farmed here in 1897.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 5, 1897, p. 3)

MAGNOLIA GROVE - Residence of Dr. Edward J. Rodrigues probably at Lovers Lane (1-8-1897).  Painted by G.F. Endres of New Orleans in April 1897.

MAGNOLIA HOUSE - Bed and breakfast home of Naomi Fields located at 300 Ward Avenue.  Home built by Alcide Veillon circa 1924.  The Magnolia House was established in 1994.

MAGNOLIA PLACE - New office complex built by Richard Furr family on Government at M.L. King, Jr. in 1994.  Henry Furr, architect.

MAGNOLIA VILLA - Home of Paul Julien of New Orleans.  Used October 5, 1906.

MANY OAKS - 315 Front Beach Drive.  Dutch Colonial Revival home and estate of John B. Honor (1856-1929) of New Orleans and Margaret Soden (1860-1932).  Built in the summer of 1918 by Fred Bradford for $15,000.  Now owned by Mary Zala.

MARINER’S REST-Home of Thomas Hanson in present day Gulf Hills.

MARTINDALE - Farm of Alfred Martin of Gary, Indiana.  Purchased J.K. Porter land 5 miles east of Ocean Springs in 1909.  Adjoined the place of Mrs. T.H. Chase.  Set out fruit and pecan tress.  May purchase place in town.  Martin was steward at Ocean Springs Hotel when it burned in 1905.  Moved to Gary, Indiana where he ran the North Works Inn.  Made cane syrup.  Daughter, Alice Martin. (see OSN, 3-13-1909)

MENDENHALL - Three acre Lovers Lane estate of H.C. Mendenhall (d. 1914) and Lizzie Darrah Bonsal (1850-1933).  Land purchased in 1880 from E.I. Israel.  Mendenhall sold to Alfred E. Lewis (1862-1933) and Julia Johnson Lewis (1861-1933) in September 1890 (Jackson County Deed Book 12, pp. 96-97).  Lewis conveyed to Julia Oser Rodriguez in April 1895 (Jackson County Deed Book 16, p. 398).  Located (Lot 10) in Section 24 and Section 25 of T7S-R9W.

MILLSITE - Fort Bayou home of Kentucky born attorney, Ray Allen.  Allen resided at Ocean Springs in 1940s.  Son and grandson both architects.  Grandson. W.R. Allen, Jr and Maria Bargas developed Millsite Subdivision northwest of Vermont Avenue in the 1980s.  Home torn down to build present day Weems home at 1229 Vermont.

MAGNOLIA GROVE - 1850s Beach Front home of George A. Cox (1811-1887) probably located near the W.B. Schmidt Estate of later days.

MIRAGE WATERS - formerly the old Hollingworth Place on Davis Bayou at Ravenswood Point.  This name was used by soldier, lawywer, traveler, judge, and Illinois born writer, Paul Myron Wentworth Linebarger (1871-1939) when he lived here from 1916-1919.  Linebarger wrote under the nom de plume, Paul Myron.  Some of his books were:  "Bugle Rhymes From France" (1916), "Chinese Interpretive Lyrics" (1920) and "Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese Republic" (1925).

NINE OAKS -

MYRTLES - Home of Charles E. Engbarth (1885-1962) at 1105 Ames Avenue.  Built in 1916.  When U.S. 90 was built in the early 1950s, the Engbarths sold land south of their home for

the new road.  Nineteen pecan trees were removed, and myrtles planted for privacy.  The name of the house became "The Myrtles" at this time.

NICHE-IN-WOOD - home of M.L. Rose east of Ocean Springs in January 1906.

OAK CIRCLE - 1915, Captain C. Ansel's home (probably at Gulf Hills).

OAK DALE - Childhood home of Mrs. John Tillinghast (nee Cammie Bilbo) outside of Ocean Springs.  Located off of Old Spansh Trail, north of Gulf Park estates.

OAKESS - Albert B. Ackander (1858-1926) and Annie M. Nilsson (1870) home on 18.5 acres in Section 28, T7S-R8W bounded by Government, Hanley Road, Pine Hills Road, and the Babendrier tract to the south.  The Ackanders were Swedish immigrants (immigrated 1891) and came to Ocean Springs from Chicago about 1907.

OAK HAVEN - 1926, East Beach home of F.B. Thomas at East Beach.  Thomas from Winnetka, Illinois.  Thomas grew oranges, Japanese persimmons, pecans, and peaches at his estate.  James S. Bradford (1884-1963) was his orchard manager.

OAKNOLIA - Carl Birdsall (Chicago) home at Pointe-aux-Chene adjacent to his associate, James R. Leavell.  Circa 1934.  Later owned by Wayne Johnson in 1957.

OAK REST - Home of Mrs. C.D. Stuart of Grand Rapids, Michigan (1903).

OAKROYD-Home of Miss Idele Watson on Fort Point.

OAK SHADE - 1993 "bed and breakfast" place of Marion Wingo and Chris Vinsonhaler at 1017 LaFontaine.

OAK SPRINGS - Home of Minnesota native Dudley Scheffer (1873-1929) who arrived at Ocean Springs in 1915 from Sioux City, Iowa.  Scheffer bought the Beal Farm in 1915.  He later sold real estate.  Wife, Lillian A. Hass (d. 1926).

O'KEEFE CASTLE - Appellation for the two story multi-gabled Queen Anne home at 318 Jackson Avenue.  Built by Jeremiah O'Keefe (1859-1911) circa 1887.  Called the Saxon House when owned by Cecile Brodeur Saxon (1893-1980) who purchased it from Mary C. O'Keefe in 1933.  Now the residence of Christopher T. Snyder and Susan O'Keefe Snyder..

OLDFIELDS - Although located on the Mississippi Sound at Gautier, this 1850s A.E. Lewis (1812-1885) built plantation estate home has strong historical and emotional ties with Ocean Springs through the Grinstead-Anderson families who owned it from 1905 to the 1950s.  The period of time from 1940-1947 when Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965) lived and painted here has become known as his "Oldfields Period".

PALMETTO - Ed and Mary Anderson Pickard's contemporary home at the Shearwater compound.  The structure was built at the waters edge in 1984, utilizing materials indigenous to the area, i.e. cypress and southern yellow pine. Hurricane Katrina destroyed in on August 29, 2005.

PALMETTO PLACE - New name for the old Young-Shanteau garage on Government at Kotzum.  Furr family bought in 1994.  Sam Furr, architect.

PARK PLACE - The 1911-1919 East Beach home of Samuel T. Park and Fronie Stealy.  The original cottage of James Charnley of Chicago built circa 1890.  Now Edsel and Mary Ruddiman. Mr. Park was a retired railroad executive.

PECAN NURSERIES - Charles E. Pabst (1850-1920) homestead on Calhoun Avenue.  Later residence and farm of Fred B. Dusette of New Haven, Michigan.  Now owned by Cecelia Fink.

PINE ACRES – Dr. J.D. Davenport home on the OS-Vancleave Road.(The GCT, January 13, 1954, .16)

PINE CONE COTTAGE-Home of Mrs. Bruce Fain of Kane, Illinois at 89 Lovers Lane.(JXCOT, I-7-1942, p. 4)

PINECREST - Troy G. Holt home at 1206 Sunset Avenue since 1967.  Formerly owned by Mrs. Clendinen B. Smith (1958), the Minnemeyers (1935), and Pfhals (1910).  Originally part of the Ames Tract.  The Ames Hotel tract and home of Miss Eliza Ames (1845-1917) were located north of Pinecrest.

PINEWOOD - Dr. Charles Albert Babendreer home at 601 Pine Hills Road.  Now John Vallor.  Used as medical clinic for wife, Dr. Estelle Babendreer.

POPLAR GLEN - Home of Newcomb Clark on Porter.[see  PD-S, OSLN, 6-22-1894]

REBEL OAK - Southern Colonial style home at 343 Lovers lane.

REST HAVEN - Retirement home of Chauncey S. Bell (1842-1925) on Iberville Avenue.  Bell was born at New York state and raised in pioneer Michigan.  He was a successful lumber and timber man and came to Ocean Springs becuase of his failing health.  Here he developed pecan orchards and nurseries on Holcomb Boulevard.  Bell lived on Holcomb for more than thirty years.  Moved to Iberville circa 1921.

ROSEDALE- home of Mayor  F.M. Weed (1850-1926) on Fort Bayou.  Now residence of Ernest Boney at 1007 Iberville.

ROSE FARM - Nearly 1000-acre farm devloped by Parker Earle (1831-1917) and Sons in the 1890s.  Bought by New York entrepreneur and yachtsman, Joseph Benson Rose (d. 1902), in 1897.  Owned by Colonel H.D. Money (1869-1936) from 1909 until its dismemberment by real estate sales commencing in 1915.  The Rose Farm was noted for its fine pecan, satsuma, and grape fruit orchards.  Extreme cold weather in 1917 and the 1920s led to demise of citrus growing in the area.  Ocean Springs first golf course and country club was located in the north part of the Rose Farm.

ROSE GARDEN - Ruth Chase of Chicago and Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and F.J.A. Forster (1927) estate probably located on East Beach.

SANS SOUCI - Captain Ralph Beltram home at foot of Jackson Avenue (1886-1899).  Later convent of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

SEVEN PINES - Ralph C. Curtiss of Waverly, Illinois winter home at East Beach in 1897.

SHADOW LAWN - John L. Dickey (1880-1938) and Jennie Woodford Dickey (1879-1969) Prairie Renaissance home facing Deer Island east of Shearwater Pottery.  The Dickey's purchased from Magdalena Hanson in 1922 when it was called Bayview.  Now owned by Ruth Dickey Scharr.

REST HAVEN - Chauncey S. Bell (1842-1925) retirement home on Iberville Drive from 1921 until 1925.

REBEL OAKS - Eldon D. McClain's Southern Colonial style home and historic, oak-landscaped estate at 343 Lovers Lane.  Formerly owned by the Dressler Family of New Orleans.

SHADOWS - Named used by Mark Watson and Robert Fisher for the old Thomas R. Friar homestead (1872) on Front Beach and Washington.  The Oyster commission may have been located here as Friar was an oyster dealer.  Now owned by Ross and Sharon Dodds who call their estate "Villa Rosa".

SHADY NOOK - Ed Brou family home on lowr Jackson Avenue.

SHANNONDALE PLACE - now the Fort Bayou Estates Subdivision.  Owned by A.H. Shannon in the early 1900s.  It consisted of 540 acres in the W/2 of Section 22 and the E/2 of Section 21 of T7S-R8W.  In 1909, it was partially timbered and had a large house.  G.E. McEwen bought Shannon place is putting a sawmill on the place having purchased a complete plant from the L.N. Dantzler Co. which operated a Cedar Lake.  Mill has capacity of 10,000 board feet per day.(OSN-10-23-1909). Owned by G.E. McEwen in 1915.  Also called "Bayou View Orchards".

SHORE ACRES - Appellation first used by Mrs. A.L. Benjamin of Milwaukee (1848-1938) for her Fort Point Estate (called Benjamin Point during her occupation).  Her son-in-law, Walter S. Lindsay (1888-1975), adopted the name for his Colonial Revival Home at 305 Lovers Lane after the Benjamin home was demolished in the 1940s.  The Lindsay Place is now owned by J.K. and Eleanor Lemon, and retains the name, Shore Acres.

SPRING HILL COTTAGE - Appellation used by Fred Wing (NOLA) in the 1860s for his Greek Revival cottage on Iberville.  Now owned by the Bobbie D. Smith.

 

SPRINGWOOD - Future home of ?? on Perryman Road.

SUMMER HILL - Front Beach estate of German born entrepreneur, W.B. Schmidt (1823-1900)  of New Orleans.  Schmidt owned the Ocean Springs Hotel and other valuable real estate including the Infirmary Property (Marble Springs) at Ocean Springs.  He donated land for St. Johns Episcopal Church in the 1890s.

SUNNY RIDGE FARM - Country estate of Chicagoan J.C. Akely on the Vancleave Road.  Son, Nate S. Akely lived at Wilmette, Illinois.

SUNSET LODGE - No information.

SWEET BAY FARM - 105 acres on Bay of Biloxi and Bayou Porteaux owned by Dalton Scales of Dallas, Texas in 1925.

SWEET HEART - The three hundred-twenty acre estate of A.E. Lewis (1862-1933) southwest of VanCleave.  The Lewis Family may have relocated here from Ocean Springs after selling Mendenhall in 1895.  Located in Sections 23 and 24, T6S-R8W.

TERRACED FIELDS FARM - Townshend, Vermont farm of Mrs. Mignon Courson Lundy, the widow of F.J. Lundy. 

TERRACE HILL - German born entrepreneur, John H. Behrens (1848-1918), of Highland Park, Illinois built this bungalow style house circa 1911.  It was formerly the Mattie Austin property at 414 Martin Avenue.  Behrens founded the Fort Bayou Fruit Company in 1909.  The house was later owned by Captain Alex L. Bisso (d. 1950) of New Orleans and his daughter, Mrs. Giles Peresich.  Now the residence of Robert L. Hoomes.

THREE OAKS - Adolph Schrieber has purchased a lot from Charles Ruddy (Rudd?) near "Three Oaks" and expects to build a home thereon. (OSN-1-16-1909)     Appellation also used by Canadian, Dr. Henry Bradford Powell (1867-1949), on Front Beach and probably later on Ward Avenue.  Now home of Jay and Lisa Segarra at 414 Ward. In October 1926, Elizabeth Smith, an invalid, of Portage, Wisconsin? died.  Owned "Three Oaks".

TWELVE OAKS - S.J. Logan's sixty acre estate at 1112 Hanley Road in the Johanna Blount Subdivision, SW/4 of Section 21, T7S-R8W.  Formerly owned by W.L. Barbour (pre-1955).

TWIN CEDARS - Henry Louis Ryan (1900-1947) and Elsie Seymour Ryan (1905-1989) vernacular cottage at 1208 Calhoun.  Built in 1941.  Ryan owned the Rainbow Inn Restaurant on Government.

TWIN OAKS-Lot 5, Section 13, T7S-R9W.  Adelin J. Martin place at Gulf Hills in the early 1900s.  Became H.W. Branigar’s home site.

VILLA DEL MARE - Chicago State Street haberdasher, George B. Lytton, circa 1929 built this Mediterranean style home at Arbor Circle in Gulf Hills.  Later owned by Dr. Karl Meyer and today home of Robert and Virginia Meyer.  Probably built by a New Orleans contractor named Zeigenfelder who built the Peacock Home (now Tomsik) to the west.  One of the original Gulf Hills estates.

VILLA ROSA - Ross and Sharon Dodds home at 505 Front Beach Drive and Washington Avenue.  Formerly the Fisher-Watson home.

WHILE-A-WAY-LODGE - Dr. William Porter (1850-1921) and Pearl E. Porter (1861-1943) home at Lovers Lane.  Demolished.

WHITE HOUSE HILL - Five bay Greek Revival cottage of Amanda Shaffer (1850-1920+) of New Orleans (1911) and "Minerva" in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.  Located at 214 Washington Avenue on Lots 6,7,8 of Block 5 (Culmseig Map).  Formerly Wing Cottage and White-Spunner House.  Now owned by Leake Family.

WILDERMEAR - Halstead Family home on East Beach which was destroyed by fire in June 1911.  Probably named for David Wileder Halstead (1842-1918) who came to Ocean Springs from Dodge City, Iowa in the Midwest in 1888.  Present home on this site built by E.W. Halstead (1876-1933) in 1916.

WILJUMARRIE - built by L.N. Bradford for Mrs. Julia E. Brown of Chicago in Febraury 1894.  Located on East Beach, east of Field Lodge.  Mrs. Morgan Williams of Leadville, Colorado and Mrs. Rush Field of Chicago was an owner also.

WILDWOOD - Home of W.D. Penick of Des Moines, Iowa (1923).  Probably located on East Beach.  H.O. Penick moved to Kent, Washington.  Spent winter of 1920 at Franklin, La.  Wife, daughter of Louisiana Governor Murphy Foster of Franklin.

WINDSWEPT - Home of Neely and Katherine Crane Powers on LaFontaine.  Now Irene Endt Powers.

WINTER REST -Rosambeau cottage at 908 Calhoun used as a winter retreat by Charles Dryden (1860-1931), nationally known sportswriter, for about twenty years (1901-1921).

WOODLAWN - Home of Miss L. Ready (1927).  Location?

WOODLAWN - Name used by Miss Eliza Ames for her home on Cemetery Road (now Sunset) near Evergreen Cemetery.

WOODVIEW - Home of E.W. Blossman at 206 Shearwater Drive.

WYNDILLHURST - Front beach estate of Dillwyn V. Purington (1841-1914) and Jennie Purington (1846-1933).  Mr. Purington was in the lumber and brick business at Chicago.  He was President of the Purington-Kimball Paving Brick Company (Chicago) and the Purington Paving Brick Company (Galesburg, Illinois).  They arrived at Ocean Springs circa 1904.  The Puringtons spent eight months at their Front Beach home, and summered at Chicago and in the northeast.  The house burned in the 1940s?  Site now occupied by a contemporary structure at 221 Front Beach.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

HANSEN-HANEMANN COTTAGE: "BREEZY HILL"

305 Beach Drive

 

Hansen-Hanemann Cottage-Destroyed by Katrina in August 2005, this Creole cottage was probably built in the early 1870s by Lawrence N. Hansen (1823-1900), a Danish born mariner who settled at New Orleans.  Captain Hansen later resided at 520 Jackson Avenue where he expired in October 1900. Image by Ray L. Bellande in June 1995.

 

Prologue

The Hansen-Hanemann Cottage at 305 Front Beach Drive was another victim of Hurricane Katrina.  The structure was damaged beyond salvation and the remains of what were once a charming, vernacular, beach cottage were removed from the lot in the post-Katrina cleanup of late 2005.  As of this date, the lot remains empty.  The Hansen-Hanemann Cottage was situated at an elevation of about 10-13 feet above mean sea level in Lot 2 and Lot 3 of the Austin tract, which was surveyed by H.A. Boudousquie in March 1872.  These two lots have an 80-foot front on the Bay of Biloxi and run back to the north approximately three hundred-fifty feet.

 

Jerome Ryan

On August 31, 1846, Jerome Ryan (1793-c. 1878) and his wife, Euphrosine LaFontaine Ryan (1802-c. 1852), in the partition deed of the Widow LaFontaine Tract, a 237-acre plot of land encompassing all of Section 37, T7S-R8W, received Lot No. 1.  It ran five hundred sixty-one feet east of Martin Avenue along the shore of Biloxi Bay and north to Section 19, T7S-R8W, a distance of approximately 2900 feet as surveyed in 1853.  Catherine Bourgeois LaFontaine (1768-c. 1845), the Widow LaFontaine, and Louis Auguste LaFontaine (1762-c. 1813) were the parents of Euphrosine L. Ryan.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 548-549)

 

Martha E. Austin

Prior to the division and donation of Lot 1, the Jerome Ryan tract,  to his children in November 1853, Jerome Ryan and his legal age children had conveyed the water front acreage of Lot 1 to Martha E. Austin (1818-1898), the wife of Dr. William Glover Austin (1812-1894), a New Orleans physician of Maryland birth.  The sale of this approximate fourteen-acre tract was authorized by the Probate Court of Jackson County, Mississippi at its June term 1853.  The sale to Mrs. Austin was consummated on September 21, 1853.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, pp. 632-633)

 

Also in 1853, Dr. W.G. Austin with would build the Ocean Springs Hotel a few blocks east of here on Calhoun (now Cleveland) and Jackson Avenue.  In 1854, the Ocean Springs Hotel gave its name to this developing village on the eastern shore of the Bay of Biloxi.  It had been called Biloxy by French Canadian explorer and soldier of fortune, Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville (1661-1706), in 1699.  By 1720, the French referred to the area as Vieux Biloxy when they moved across the Bay of Biloxi to present day Biloxi.  In the early 1840s, people from New Orleans called the area East Biloxi and by 1853, the name Lynchburg Springs had been given to the first post office.  Fortunately for the people of Ocean Springs, this appellation lasted only one year.

 

Lawrence N. Hansen

 On March 1, 1871, Lawrence N. Hansen (1823-1900) purchased Lot 2 of the Austin Tract from Martha E. Austin for $200.  He would acquire Lot 3 of the Austin Tract from Mrs. Austin in May 1871 for $300.  By mid-April 1872, Lawrence N. Hansen also owned Lot 4 and Lot 5 of the Austin Tract.  He now had one hundred-seventy feet on Biloxi Bay, just east of Martin Avenue and invested $1300 in these four lots.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, pp. 627-633)

 

It is believed that in 1872, Lawrence N. Hansen built the beach cottage, which before Katrina’s unwelcome visit on August 29, 2005 stood at 305 Beach Drive.  This structure was described by the Mississippi State Department of Archives & History in their architectural survey of Ocean Springs (1986) as: One-and-one-half story, wood frame Creole cottage with a side gable roof, full-width undercut gallery with a scalloped architrave.  Twin centered French windows with transoms.  Circa 1880.

 

It is known with a high degree of certitude that in 1875, Lawrence N. Hansen owned a residence valued at $1000 and Lots 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the Ryan Tract.  This information is recorded on page 74 in the Jackson County, Mississippi 1875 Land Roll Book.  This fact seems to corroborate that L.N. Hansen built a cottage here before 1875.

 

Lawrence N. Hansen was a Danish mariner who lived at New Orleans and Ocean Springs.  He came to America in his youth.  In 1853, Hansen married Sophia Clasen (1834-1912), a native of Hanover, Germany.(1880 Jackson Co., Mississippi Federal Census T9_650, p. 13, ED 144) 

 

Hansen-Dodds House

On January 13, 1873, Lawrence Hansen acquired Lot 3 of Block 34 (Culmseig Map of 1854) from Charles McMicken.  At this time a Greek Revival cottage was probably located here at present day 520 Jackson Avenue.  This house is referred to today as the Hansen-Dodds House and may have been built in the late 1850s.  Captain Hansen died here on Jackson Avenue on October 14, 1900.  His corporal remains were sent to New Orleans for internment in the Metairie Cemetery.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 2, pp. 417-420 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 19, 1900, p. 3)

 

Sophie C. Hansen left Ocean Springs after the demise of her husband and relocated to New Orleans to the domicile of Christian C.A. Hansen (1845-1914), a nephew of L.N. Hansen, her deceased spouse.  She planned to rent her cottage on Jackson Avenue.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 26, 1900. p. 3)

 

On June 9, 1905, Sophia Clasen Hansen sold her Jackson Avenue home at Ocean Springs to Christian C.A. Hansen (1845-1914).  The consideration was $1500.  Christian C.A. Hansen was born in Denmark.  He was a shipmaster and later entered the cotton brokerage business where he did well financially.  Christian C.A. Hansen had married Magdelena Grob (1845-1929) in 1871.  She was born in New Orleans, and was the widow of Henry Clasen (1814-1870).  She and Henry Clasen had a daughter, Louisa Clasen Hatry (1852-1911), who died April 11, 1911.  Louisa married Theodore Hatry (1851-1896) in June 1875.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 29, p. 599)

 

French Hotel-Edward House

Lawrence N. Hansen had sold his beach cottage property to Mrs. Kate Lewis Staples (1859-1930) for $3500 on July 24, 1891.  She sold Lots 4 and 5 just west of her home to Marie Gouax Bertuccini (1863-1930) in December 1895.  Corsican immigrant, Antoine Bertuccini (1844-1921), built the French Hotel on these lots at the southeast corner of Martin and Font Beach circa 1896.  This structure later became the Edwards House, owned by James H. Edwards (1893-1950) and family.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, pp. 634-635 and Bk. 17, pp. 133-134)

 

Kate L. Staples

 

Kate L. Staples (1859-1930) was born Katherine L. Lewis.  She was the daughter of Colonel Alfred E. Lewis (1812-1885) and Ann R. Farrington Lewis (1821-1901) who built Lewis Sha, a Greek Revival style plantation home at Gautier in 1845.  The home is called Oldfields today having received this appellation from William Wade Grinstead (1864-1948), the father-in-law of Walter I. "Bob" Anderson (1903-1965). 

 

Kate Lewis married Frederick “Fred” Staples (1852-1897) on April 3, 1880.  Fred Staples was the son of Solomon G. Staples (1817-1870+) and Adeline A. Terrell Staples (1829-1902) of New Orleans.  In 1874, Mrs. Adeline A. Staples bought a large tract of land on the Fort Point Peninsula at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Here, the Staples family built a summer home on the Bay of Biloxi.  One of their daughters, Mary Eleanor "May" Staples (1847-1932) married Captain Junius Poitevent (1837-1917) of Hancock County, Mississippi in 1865.  In 1876, the Poitevents built their home, "Bay View", adjacent to the Staples place on present day Lovers Lane at Ocean Springs.

 

Fred and Kate Staples had three children: Alfred L. Staples (1881-1969), Catherine A. Putnam (b. 1883), and Ethel E. Burns (b. 1886).  Fred Lewis made his livelihood at Ocean Springs as a merchant.  His partners were his brothers-in-law, Robert W. Staples (1858-1886) and G.T. Beauregard Staples (1861-1880+).  This joint venture commenced operations in October 1879, when they began to occupy the building formerly of Moses Smith Park (1846-1910+).  Mr. Park was a Texan by birth and had been a resident of Ocean Springs as early as December 1870.  At this time, he acquired two tracts of land from Cales Anderson in the Azalie LaFauce Clay Strip with frontage on County Road, now Government Street.  A part of this land situated on the southeast corn of Washington and Government would become known as "Lundy's Corner."  The 1926 Standard Oil-Zanca Service Station was demolished here in June 2005 by SEFCO LLC, a Mississippi limited liability company domiciled at 712 Washington Avenue. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 107-108)

 

Kate L. Staples’s granddaughter, Emily Staples Hearin (b. 1914), resides at Mobile.  Emily S. Hearin relates in her booklet, Colonels, Cotton, and Camellias, that the Staples and Lewis Wharf was located at the foot of Jackson Avenue adjacent to the Antonio Catchot oyster shop. 

In May 1895, Mrs. Staples sold her beach cottage property to Mrs. V.H. Hattier, nee Grazeilla M. Gourdain, of New Orleans for $1800.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 16, pp. 451-452)

 

Grazeilla Gourdain Hattier Leonard

 

Grazellia Louise Gourdain (1859-1931) was born at New Orleans, the daughter of John V. Gourdain (1813-1899) and Marie Odile Gourdain (1820-1898).  Her father was an auctioneer and exchange broker in the Crescent City.  Graziella married Victor Henry Hattier (1833-1898) at New Orleans on March 19, 1889.  He was the widower of Rosa Castanedo Hattier (1831-1888).  V.H. Hattier made his livelihood as a cotton classer.

 

(1870 and 1880 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census M593_522, p. 125 and T9_462, p. 41, ED 50)

 

After Victor H. Hattier’s demise, Grazellia G. Hattier married Leonce Leonard (1862-1940), the widower of Mary Meyer Leonard.  Their vows were exchanged at New Orleans on September 8, 1900.  Leonce Leonard made his livelihood in the sugar industry.  In 1920, they were domiciled on Orleans Street at New Orleans.(1920 Orleans Parish, Louisiana T625_620, p. 1B, ED 90)

 

In September 1905, Mrs. Graziella M.G. Leonard, formerly Mrs. V.H. Hattier, conveyed her real property on the water at Ocean Springs consisting of Lots 2 and 3 and improvements to J.B. Morin of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana for $2000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 30, p. 171) 

 

Jean-Baptiste Morin

 

Jean-Baptiste Morin (1881-1918+) was February 25, 1881 in St. Landry, Parish Louisiana to Joseph Morin (1852-1918) and Eliza Kidder (1859-pre-1900), the daughter of Jean-Baptise Kidder and Florence Kidder.  They married in February 1878 at Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.  Jean-Baptiste Morin made his livelihood as a farmer and in 1918 was residing in Arnaudville, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.(WW I Draft Registration St. Landry Parish, Louisiana R 1684999 and 1880 and 1900 St. Landry Parish Federal Census T9_471, p. 49, ED 39 and T623 582, p. 2A, ED 77)            In August 1910, Jean-Baptiste Morin conveyed his real estate at Ocean Springs to  Clebert J. Falterman of Napoleonville, Louisiana for $1500 in August 1910.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 36, pp. 71-72)

 

Falterman Family

This vintage image was made circa 1920 on the pier of Clebert J.  Falterman (1865-1934) in front his vacation cottage, now 305 Front Beach Drive.  Mr. Falterman lived at Napoleonville, Louisiana were he was operated a successful mercantile business.  Note the bath houses at the pier heads.[l-r: Corrine Templet Falterman (1866-1921); C.J. Falterman (1865-1934); Tiv Falterman (1887-1930+); Agnes Falterman Delaune (1890-1979); and  Louis A. Delaune (1885-1947).  Courtesy of Mille R. Delaune-Biloxi, Mississippi.

 

Clebert J.  Falterman

Clebert Joseph Falterman (1865-1934) was born on July 7, 1865 in Assumption Parish, Louisiana.  He was baptized “Joseph Cabert Falteman” at the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Canal des Attakapas near Napoleonville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana.  Some of his siblings were:  Selma Falterman (b. 1851), Numa Falterman (b. 1853), Elphege Falterman (b. 1860), and Louis? Falterman (b. 1864).  Clebert’s parents were Ursin Falterman and Emelie Gautreaux (b. 1845), the daughter of Marcelin Gautreaux (1818-1870+) and Paulina E. Gautreaux (1810-1870+).(Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records (1863-1867), Volume 10, p. 207 and Joseph and Cavilier, 1998, p. 110)

 

Circa 1886, Clebert J. Falteman married Corrine Templet (1866-1921).  They were the parents of eleven children.  Seven lived into the 20th Century:  Evelina [Tivelle] Falterman (1887-1930+), called Tante Tiv; Clara Falterman (1888-1900+) married Mr. Blanchard; Ondine Falterman (1889-1900+) married Anatole Foret; Agnes Falterman (1890-1979) married Louis A. Delaune (1885-1947); Arthur Falterman (1891-1900+); Emelie Falterman (1892-1900+) married Philip Percle; and Ursin Falterman (1894-1900+).(1900 Assumption Parish, La. Federal Census, T623_577, p. 8B, ED 8, and Millie R. Delaune)

 

In Assumption Parish, Louisiana, Clebert J. Falterman made his livelihood as the proprietor of a mercantile store in 1900 and 1930.  He farmed in 1910 and 1920.(1900 Assumption Parish, La. Federal Census, T623_577, p. 8B, ED 8; 1910 Assumption Parish, La. Federal Census, T624R508, p. 178A, ED 8; 1920 Assumption Parish, La. Federal Census; and 1930 Assumption Parish, La. Federal Census,R783, p. 38, ED 7))

 

C.J. Falterman sold the Hansen-Hanemann cottage  to Arthur B. Hunt on May 28, 1921, for $1925.  The sale included all furniture.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 50, p. 410) 

 

Corrine Templet Falterman expired at Napoleonville, Louisiana on November 12, 1921.     Clebert passed on April 4, 1934.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery at Canal, Louisiana near Napoleonville.(Joseph and Cavalier, 1998, p. 110)

 

Arthur B. Hunt

Arthur Bradlee Hunt (1876-1951), was born on January 29, 1876 at New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Edward Reynold Hunt (1837-1903) of Boston and Emma R. Cutter Hunt (1846-1926), a native of Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1880, the E.R. Hunt made his livelihood in the Crescent City as the assistant U.S. Postmaster.  His family was domiciled on St. Charles Avenue.  Another son, William Cutter Hunt (1882-1884?), was born at New Orleans on October 6, 1882.

 

Arthur B. Hunt made his livelihood at New Orleans in 1910 as an oil salesman.  By September 1918, he was working for the Emergency Fleet Corporation in the Hibernia Building in New Orleans and residing with his mother at 1644 State Street.  In 1920, Arthur was representing an iron works and at home with his mother on State Street.(1910 Orleans Ph., La. Federal Census T624_524, p. 9B, ED 226; WW I Draft Reg. Card, Orleans Ph., La. R1684926-Draft Bd. 13, and 1920 Orleans Ph., La. Federal Census T625_624, p. 19A, ED 247)

 

Rose M. Viguerie

Post 1920, Arthur B. Hunt married Rose Mary Viguerie 1893-1972?), the daughter of Frank Camille Viguerie (1855-pre-1920) and Ernestine Bergerie Viguerie (1861-1944) of Weeks Island, Iberia Parish, Louisiana.  Rose M. Viguerie was probably born in rural St. Mary Parish on the main road between Franklin and Baldwin, Louisiana.  Here her father and mother farmed and reared seven children: Frank C. Viguerie Jr. (1885-1939); Ernest Denis Viguerie (1887-1964); Rose Mary Viguerie Hunt (1890-1972?); John Pierre Viguerie (b. 1891); Virginia Rosa Viguerie (b. 1893); Duke J. Viguerie (b. 1896); and Earl C. Viguerie (1902-2003).(1900  and 1910 St. Mary Ph., La. Federal Census and T623 582, p. 01A, ED 78 and T624_531, p. 33B, Ed 88)

 

Arthur B. Hunt and Rose Viguerie Applegate were the parents of two children:  Dorothy Barbara Hunt Applegate Pennebaker (b. 1921), and Arthur Bradlee Hunt Jr. (1922-1944).

 

Dorothy B. Hunt

Dorothy Barbara Hunt was married in her family home at Ocean Springs to Captain Edwin Cuyler Applegate (1899-1974) on June 14, 1939.  She was a 1936 graduate of Ocean Springs High School, Ashley Hall at Charleston, South Carolina, and  Marot Junior College at Thompson, Connecticut.  Edwin C. Applegate was the son of W.E. Applegate (1876-1948) and Mable Howe Applegate (1881-1937) formerly of Louisville, Kentucky, but residing at Gulf Hills.  Captain Applegate was retired from the US Army.  After a Florida honeymoon, the newlyweds planned to make their home in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, June 18, 1939, p. 4 and JXCO, Ms. MRB 29, p. 418)

 

Captain Applegate’s father, William E. Applegate Jr. (1876-1948) of Louisville, Kentucky, built a Dutch Colonial style at present day 13605 Paso Road in Gulf Hills.  It may be oldest home extant at Gulf Hills.  The Applegate home was considered a very modern home since it was equipped with the following conveniences: artesian water well; indoor plumbing facilities; hot water heater; electric plant for lights, refrigeration and ice; automatic sanitary sewerage disposal system; and an acetylene gas plant for cooking.(The Jackson County Times, August 30, 1924, p. 5)

 

Edwin C. and Dorothy Hunt Applegate had three children who were reared at Charleston, South Carolina: Susan Applegate, Samuel Applegate, and Arthur Hunt Applegate.  In later life, Mrs. Applegate remarried to W.F. Pennebaker, a retired corporate lawyer who resided at Midland, Texas.  They alternate their time between Charleston and Midland and are domiciled on East Battery Street on Charleston harbor.

 

Arthur B. Hunt Jr.

Lieutenant Arthur B. Hunt Jr. was killed in action November 21, 1944, at The Battle of the Bulge in Europe, while serving with the 323rd Infantry, 34th Division, U.S Army.  He was a 1938 graduate of Ocean Springs High School and also attended Tulane University and The Citadel at Charleston, South Carolina.(The Jackson County Times, December 9, 1944, p. 1)

 

Lindbergh connection

Mr. Arthur B. Hunt was a first cousin to Elizabeth Reeve Cutter Morrow (1873-1955), the spouse of U.S. Senator Dwight W. Morrow (1873-1931) of New Jersey, the American ambassador to Mexico from 1927-1930.  Mr. and Mrs. Morrow were the parents of Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh (1907-2001), wife of famous aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974), who flew The Spirit of St. Louis, the first aircraft to make a nonstop solo flight, across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.(Dorothy Hunt Applegate Pennebaker, June 13, 2000) 

 

The Jackson County Times of June 15, 1929, announced that "Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Hunt and family were honored by the newly wedded Lindberghs having received individual boxes of wedding cake.  With the cake were cards in which had been written "with love Anne".  The Hunts are related to the Morrow family".

 

In February 1934, Dorothy Hunt received a personally autographed photograph from Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh.  She was frequent correspondent with the Lindbergh family.(The Jackson County Times, February 3, 1934)

 

Breezy Hill

The Hunt family referred to their cottage on Biloxi Bay at Ocean Springs as "Breezy Hill".  Before a road was built on front beach, the home entered from the rear via a driveway from Martin Avenue through the Edward’s hotel property to the west.  In the late 1920s, Mr. Arthur B. Hunt developed throat cancer and was sent to New York City in May 1928 for surgery.  As a result of the surgery, he lost his voice and had a hole in his throat, which was covered by cheese cloth.  He had been operated on at New York City in May 1928.  Lost his voice.(The Jackson County Times, May 26, 1928, p. 2) 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Hunt both had cancer and they eventually succumbed to it.  He expired at Ocean Springs on December 8, 1951, and his corporal remains sent to the Metairie Cemetery for internment.  Mrs. Rose Viguerie Hunt died circa 1972.  It appears Dorothy Hunt Applegate inherited the property as she sold it to her son, Arthur Hunt Applegate of Houston, Texas in January 1982. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 728, p. 155)

 

In June 1983, Arthur Hunt Applegate now of Dallas, Texas conveyed the aging  Hansen-Hannemann cottage to H. Duane Nowlin and Debra Jean Nowlin.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 768, p. 185)

 

H. Duane Nowlin

H. Duane Nowlin and spouse were domiciled at Del Ray Beach, Florida when they sold their Front Beach Drive cottage to Carl and Cheri W. Hanemann of New Orleans on February 5, 1985.  No further information.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 815, p. 389)

 

Carl C. Hanemann

Carl C. Hanemann (b. 1944) is the son of Albert H. Hanemann and Marie Blancq. He was born at New Orleans.  His father made his livelihood as a coffee taster in the Crescent City.  Carl studied psychology at Tulane and matriculated to Harvard Law School where he was awarded a Law degree.(Cheri W. Hanemann, July 8, 2006)

 

In 1969, Carl C. Hanemann married Cheri Elise W. Hanemann (b. 1946),the daughter of  Milton McClellan Walther (1920-1994), a chemical engineer and lawyer, who managed NOPSI gas, and Elise Cambon (b. 1922 ).  Elise studied ceramic arts at Newcomb College.  Carl and Cheri are the parents of two daughters: Elise “Peaches” Hanemann (b. 1970) and Marilee H. Gloss (b. 1975).  Cheri is active in historic preservation in New Orleans and at Ocean Springs, her adopted home.  She landscaped a garden in the Little Childrens’ Park, which became known as “the Butterfly Garden”.(Cheri W. Hanemann, July 8, 2006)

305 Front Beach Drive

 

This image was made in October 2005 of the remains of the Hansen-Hanemann cottage following its destruction by Hurricane Katrina.  Image by Ray L. Bellande.

 

Hurricane Katrina

  The Hanemann place was nearly destroyed by the inundation and force of the storm surge created by Katrina on the morning of August 29, 2005.  The derelict cottage was removed by the US Corp of Engineers in their “clean-up” of Ocean Springs in the spring of 2006.  Today the lot at Front Beach Drive is vacant as the Hanemanns have decided what to do with their investment.

 

Ilianne

Ilianne family Acquired from Hanneman in 2014 and became sideyard to large home at 303 Front Beach erected by Illiane in 2014-2015.

 

REFERENCES:

A. Scott Berg, Lindberg, (G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York-1998).

Ray L. Bellande, "Hansen-Widmer House", (unpublished essay), April 1993.

Faye Lewis Duvall Collection, "Staples Family", Pascagoula Public Library Genealogy and History Department, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Essie Joseph and Marceline Landry Cavalier, Church History and Cemetery Listings Napoleonville, Louisiana, (Terrebonne Genealogical Society: Houma, Louisiana-1998).

Emily Staples Hearin, Colonels, Cotton, and Camellias, (Hearin: Mobile, Alabama).

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "Lewis Sha-Oldfields", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), pp. 46-47.

Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records (1863-1867), Volume 10, (Diocese of Baton Rouge Department of Archives: Baton Rouge, Louisiana-1993), p. 207.

Old Ocean Springs Historic District Survey, "Nomination Form", (Mississippi Department of Archives & History: Jackson, Mississippi-1986), p. 11.

The Chronicle-Star"Katherine Lewis Staples Obit", March 14, 1930, p. 1, c. 7.

The Jackson County Times, “                     “May 26, 1928, p. 2

The Jackson County Times“Local and Personal”, June 15, 1929.

The Jackson County Times"Applegate-Hunt", June 18, 1939.

The Jackson County Times, "Arthur Bradley Hunt Reported Killed in Action in Europe", September 9, 1944, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, “W.E. Applegate”, October 6, 1948.

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

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

Personal Communication:

Vertalee Van Cleave-December 1990.

J.K. Lemon-June-July 1995.

Dorothy B. Hunt Applegate-June 13, 2000

Millie R. Delaune-April 3, 2006 and June 30, 2006.

Cheri W. Hanemann-July 8, 2006.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

THE MAGINNIS ESTATE

 ARTHUR AMBROSE MAGINNIS (1815-1877)

 

A.A. Maginnis Estate

The commencement of the Maginnis family history at Ocean Springs is obfuscated somewhat by the destruction of the land deed records of Jackson County before March 1875.  It is very probable that during the post-Bellum years and pre-1875, Arthur Ambrose Maginnis (1815-1877) and or his son, A.A. Maginnis Jr (1846-1901), two of the wealthiest men at New Orleans, purchased several lots in Block 17 (Culmseig Map of 1854), Section 25, T7S-R9W.  Here on a high bluff, at the west beach, with over six-hundred feet of water front acreage, between present day Hillendale and McNamee, the Maginnis family erected a large mansion and several outbuildings.  C.E. Schmidt (1904-1988) in his Ocean Springs French Beachhead (1972), describes the Maginnis estate as "along the Bay front East of Hillendale, and back to Porter Street.  There was also a smaller house on the front, and servant cottages on Porter".

This beautiful site with an outstanding view of the Bay of Biloxi and Deer Island was just west of Oak Cottage, the family boarding house, owned by Irish immigrant, Julia Ward (1830-1894+).  Charles W. Ziegler (1865-1936) and the Puringtons later occupied the Oak Cottage site.

The Maginnis family at New Orleans was synonymous with cottonseed oil and cotton mills.  Arthur A. Maginnis Sr. (1815-1877), a native of Maryland, was the pioneer in the making of cottonseed oil at the Crescent City, when in 1856, he commenced the A.A. Maginnis' Cotton Seed Oil & Soap Works, and later Maginnis' Oil & Soap Works.  With John H. Maginnis, possibly a brother or nephew, Arthur A. Maginnis founded A.A. Maginnis' Sons, who in 1882, promoted the Maginnis' Cotton Mills.  The Maginnis' Cotton Mills were bounded by Calliope, Poeyfarre, Annunciation, and Constance Streets.  The mills were considered models of their kind and employed nine hundred people.  These workers operated 12,000 looms and 41,000 spindles to produce over 21,000,000 yards of cotton sheeting, shirting, osnaburg, yarn, bating, and duck cloth from over 12,000 bales of cotton. 

Arthur Ambrose Maginnis married Elizabeth Jane Armstrong (1822-1901).  She was a native of Liverpool, England, and immigrated to the United States with her Scottish parents as a small child.  Her mother was Sarah Affleck Armstrong (1796-1882).  The Maginnises had a least nine children:  Sarah M. Nolan (1841-1894), John H. Maginnis (1845-1889), Arthur Ambrose Maginnis Jr. (1846-1901), Emma M. Gilmore (1849-1901+), Margaret C. Pescud (1852-1919), Charles B. Maginnis (1856-1909), William D. Maginnis (1858-1938), Laura M. Penrose (1861-1933), and Albert B. Maginnis (1864-1917). 

From the land deed records of the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Sarah Armstrong, A.A. Maginnis's mother-in-law, also acquired a summer home at Ocean Springs.  In 1862 and 1863, she bought eighty-two acres for $2200 from Joseph R. Plummer (1806-c. 1864) in Lot 5, Section 24, T7S-R9W.(1,2)  This is on the Bay of Biloxi in an area of town that is now called Lovers Lane.

This estate came into the Maginnis family in January 1882, when Mrs. Armstrong sold it to her daughter, Elizabeth A. Maginnis.(3)  Benjamin F. Parkinson (1859-1930) of New Orleans purchased the property in June 1907, for $2000 from the A.A. Maginnis Land Company.  Parkinson was in the insurance business at New Orleans and Ocean Springs.  He raised prize-winning chickens as a hobby at Ocean Springs. (4) 

 

A.A. Maginnis Jr.

Arthur A. Maginnis Jr. (1846-1901) succeeded his father in the company operations and management.  As such he was the president of Maginnis' Cotton Mills, Lafayette Warehouse Company, Planters Fertilizer Manufacturing Company, Hermitage Planting and Manufacturing Company, and the Louisiana Oil Company.  Mr. Maginnis was also resident vice-president of the American Surety Company of New York.

A.A. Maginnis Jr. married Julia C. Fassman (1848-1867) of New Orleans.  She died in the Crescent City on September 21, 1867, shortly after their espousal.  He then wedded Mary Amelia Tweed (1851-1887).  She may have been the daughter of William Marcy Tweed (1823-1878).  W.M. Tweed was born at New York City and became leader of Tammany, the New York City Democratic political machine.  He controlled party nominations and was known as Boss Tweed.  His brother, John H. Maginnis (1853-1882), was married to Elizabeth Cornellson Tweed, possibly a sister of his wife.  Arthur A. Maginnis Jr. and Mary A. Tweed had two children:  Arthur A. Maginnis III (1874-1895) and Charles D. Maginnis (1878-1880). 

As a child, A.A. Maginnis Jr. attended the New Orleans public schools.  He abandoned his studies in 1862, to enlist in the forces of the Confederates States of America.  At the mere age of fourteen, Maginnis was known as the youngest Rebel in active service.  He served with his uncle, Captain John Tighlman Nolan, until the unit was disbanded.  Maginnis was honorably discharged in 1864, as a member of the Miles Legion.  After the Civil War, Arthur A. Maginnis Jr. was sent to New York to manage the family cottonseed oil company, which was headquartered at Coscob, Connecticut.  In 1871, he returned to New Orleans and soon took command of the many Maginnis' family enterprises.

As a man of affluence at the Crescent City, Maginnis belonged to many social and fraternal organizations.  He was one of the organizers of the Southern Yacht Club.  Mr. Maginnis enjoyed several yachts.  In addition to his flagship, Pickwick, which was built at New Orleans, he owned the Gypsy and Agnes.  Maginnis served as Commodore of the Southern Yacht Club from 1881-1883, and was a member of Chalmette, Louisiana, La Variete, French Opera, Louisiana Jockey, and the Pickwick Clubs.  In addition, his interest in Carnival saw him reign as Rex in 1880.  At New Orleans, the family resided on the corner of Jackson Avenue and Prytania Street.

At his west beach villa at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, A.A. Maginnis Jr. owned a large olive grove planted with thousands of bearing trees imported from Italy.  He also attempted to grow peanuts on his estate to manufacture peanut butter.  This venture attracted two German immigrants, Augustus von Rosambeau (1849-1912) and Charles E. Pabst (1851-1920), from the Leon Godchaux sugar plantation in Louisiana to Ocean Springs.  Although the peanut butter venture failed, von Rosambeau and Pabst remained at Ocean Springs and made successful careers here in business and horticulture respectively.  Maginnis also oversaw a 3,000 acre sugar plantation at Ascension Parish, Louisiana near Donaldsonville.  His sister, Mrs. John T. Nolan, probably lived on the farm with her family.

In an interview by Captain Ellis Handy (1891-1963), a writer for The Gulf Coast Times, Joseph L. "Dode" Schrieber (1873-1951) related the following about A.A. Maginnis Jr.: Ambrose McGinnis (sic) was a wealthy New Orleans man who built a large home here on the front beach not far from the bridge today.  He commuted to work on the Club car of the Coast train.  He was connected with Boss Tweed of New York by marriage.  He planted olive trees, which did not do well.  He raised cotton in the hope of developing a good oil from it.  He raised peanuts in shares in the hope of making a butter from them.  It was this venture, which brought Pabst and Rosambeau to Ocean Springs.  Pabst sold out his share for three dollars.  A son was killed by a flash of lightening as he came out of swimming.

Mr. McGinnis was a very positive man who wanted a yes or a no.  He complained that the train whistles annoyed him and had the L&N put up signs "Blow Softly".  He told his Negro manservant he was tired when he got in from the train and wanted a cold glass of milk brought to him each time he arrived.  The man milked a half hour before train time and put the milk in bowls on ice.  When Mr. McGinnis tasted the tasted the milk he said it was sour.  The man said it could not be as he had just milked.  Mr. McGinnis pulled a gun and made the man drink all the milk about two gallons, for contradicting him.(September 2, 1949)

While at Ocean Springs, the Maginnis family suffered several misfortunes and tragedies.  In February 1888, the residence was burglarized.  A.A. Maginnis Jr. lost $50 in cash and a gold watch and chain, which had been a gift to his late wife.  It was valued at $500.  In addition, the suspect, one John Clark, alias Doyle, had filled his satchel with food and wine from the Maginnis pantry.  Clark had just been released from the jail at Biloxi.

            The gale of August 1888 uprooted trees and dispersed limbs and leaves on the grand lawn of the Maginnis estate.  They were less fortunate on July 4, 1889, when their brother, John A. Maginnis, was killed by a lightning bolt on the Maginnis pier as he returned from a swim in the bay.

            A.A. Maginnis died on December 27, 1901, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.  He was taken ill by a disease, which puzzled the finest physicians of Gotham and expired two weeks after succumbing to the malady.  His brothers, Albert and Charles Maginnis, sister, Mrs. Thomas Gilmore, and nephew Harry Maginnis, were at his death bed.

            The corporal remains of Arthur Ambrose Maginnis Jr. were sent to New Orleans and interred in the family mausoleum at the Metairie Cemetery.  The large Maginnis tomb is on "Millionaire Circle" next to the twin mausoleums of the Schmidt and Ziegler families.  It is interesting to note that the summer estates of these very wealthy New Orleans men were also contiguous to each other on the front beach at Ocean Springs, extending from present day Hillendale to just west of Martin Avenue.

            The A.A. Maginnis Land Company of New Orleans took title to the Maginnis lands at Ocean Springs in the early 1900s.  In December 1911, they leased the Maginnis property to the Keewatin School for Boys from Mercer, Wisconsin.  The lease had a three year term with an option to purchase.  Professor Keewatin's philosophy of education was to offer a maximum of outdoor life while maintaining a high grade of scholarship. 

            The Maginnis estate began to break up in June 1913, when the A.A. Maginnis Land Company sold a one-acre lot off the northeast corner of the tract to Katherine C. Ver Nooy (1863-1953).(5)  Mrs. Ver Nooy was the daughter of D.V. Purington (1841-1914) and Jennie Purington (1846-1933) who resided east of the Maginnis property.  Her husband, Charles B. Ver Nooy (1860-1921), was the vice-president and treasurer of the Illinois Brick Company of Chicago.

            In April 1917, during WW I, The Jackson County Times reported that a squad of Mississippi soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Bond arrived at Ocean Springs to guard the L&N railroad bridge across the Bay of Biloxi.  The small span across Davis Bayou was also under their surveillance.  The troops were bivouacked on the Maginnis estate.  By late April, the soldiers made their first arrest when Halstead Staples was incarcerated for failing to obey Lieutenants Bond's order to pass only through the draw.  Staples in a skiff was attempting to pass under the bridge and was fired upon by one of the soldiers. 

            In June, the Army troops hosted a large picnic for the benefit of the Red Cross at their camp on the Maginnis estate.  A large group of people attended the outdoor fete with their well stocked picnic baskets.  A string band played music.  There was also dancing, games, and amusement for everyone.  In August 1925, the Maginnis Land Company sold the old Maginnis vacation home and the seventeen acres associated with it to Frederick B. Thomas for $8,500.  F.E. Lee (1874-1932) was their real estate agent.  Mr. Thomas came to the area from Winnetka, Illinois, and owned a home on East Beach, called "Oak Haven".  Here he had an orange grove, Japanese persimmons, and a pecan orchard.  James S. Bradford (1884-1963) was the manager of the Thomas orchards.  Thus ended the long reign of one of New Orleans most wealthy families at Ocean Springs. 

           

In the April 1943, Marko Skrmetta (1889-1943+), a native of Dalmatia and resident of Biloxi, acquired approximately three-quarters of the west segment of the former Maginnis estate from Marian L. Thomas, the widow of F.B. Thomas, for $8,000.(6)  Mr. Skrmetta platted the Oak Bluff Subdivision here in September 1950.(7) 

 

It is believed that the large Maginnis home was damaged by fire in the 1940s and dismantled.  The heirs of F.B. Thomas may have been the owners at this time.

 

REFERENCES:

1.  Jackson County, Ms. Land Deed Book 32, pp. 461-462.

2.  ----------------------------- Book 32, p. 461.

3.  ----------------------------- Book 5, pp. 579-580.

4.  ----------------------------- Book 32, p. 462.

5.  ----------------------------- Book 39, p. 339.

6.  ----------------------------- Book 82, p. 541.

7.  -------------------------Plat Book 2, p. 23.

 

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande: Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1994), p. 141-142.

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula, Mississippi-1990), pp. 31, 77, and 136.

Henri A. GandolfoMetairie Cemetery, An Historical Memoir, (Stewart Enterprises:  New Orleans, Louisiana-1981), p. 50.

Flora K. Schieb, History of the Southern Yacht Club, (Pelican Publishing Company:  Gretna, Louisiana-1986), pp.

35-36.

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services-Pascagoula, Mississippi-1972), pp. 121-122.

The Resources and Attractions of Progressive New Orleans"Cotton Industries", (Young Mens'Business League:  New Orleans-1895), p. 41.

Journals

Biloxi Herald"Ocean Springs residence burglarized", February 4, 1888, p. 8.

Daily Picayune"John H. Maginnis", November 7, 1882, p. 4.

Daily Picayune"Will of A.A. Maginnis", January 8, 1902, p. 3.

Gulf Coast Times"Know Your Neighbor", September 2, 1949.

Jackson County Times, "Local News Interest", April 14, 1917.

--------------------, "Local News Interest", April 28, 1917.

--------------------, "Soldiers camp on Maginnis place during WW I", June 9, 1917.

--------------------, "Local News", September 4, 1926.

--------------------, "Local and Personal", June 22, 1929.

Ocean Springs News, "Keewatin School For Boys Comes To Ocean Springs", December 23, 1911, p. 1.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", June 14, 1895.

-----------------------, "Ocean Springs Locals", May 8, 1896.

----------------------, "Ocean Springs Locals", November 15, 1901.

----------------------, "Ocean Springs Locals", December 27, 1901.

The Sunday States, "A.A. Maginnis Passes Away", December 29, 1901, p. 4, c. 6.

Times Picayune"Insurance Patrol Founder Is Buried", April 25, 1930, p. 2, c. 6.

Personal Communication:

Plater Robinson (New Orleans)-July 1996.

John H. Maginnis (Covington, Louisiana)-Letter of August 5, 1996.

MAGINNIS OBITS

 Arthur Ambrose Maginnis (1815-1877). d. August 19, 1877.  The Daily Picayune, August 21, 1877, p. 2.

John Henry Maginnis (1853-1882)-b. August 2, 1853.  d. November 7, 1882.  Eldest son of Edward J. Maginnis.  Residence 364 Tchoupitoulas Street.  Daily Picayune, November 7, 1882, p. 4.  Married to Elizabeth Cornellson Tweed.

John Henry Maginnis (1877-1906)-d. December 27, 1906.  Youngest son of the late John Henry Maginnis and Lizzie Cornellson Tweed in the twenty-ninth year of his age.  Services from his residence at 2127 Prytania Street.  New Orleans Item, December 28, 1906, p. 2, c. 2.

MAGINNIS MARRIAGES

 Sarah Eugenia Maginnis married John T. Nolan in June 1893, at Ocean Springs.

 Margaret Cecelia Maginnis married Peter Francisco Pescud on June 13, 1883.

 Emma Isabel Maginnis married Thomas N. Gilmore

 William Daniel Maginnis married Anna Lee Henderson on January 25, 1893.

 Laura Elizabeth Maginnis married George B. Penrose on November 16, 1887.

 Albert Baldwin Maginnis married Regina DeBuys

 Charles Benjamin Maginnis married Susan Karr Bush on June 6, 1882.

Mary Josephine Maginnis, daughter of John Henry Maginnis married George Rose on May 1, 1896.  Children: George Rose Jr., Joseph Benson Rose, Reginald Rose, and Josephine Gwendolyn Rose, who married John William MacKay of the MacKay Postal telegraph.  All live in the New York area.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

COCHRAN-LETOHA HOUSE: (1880-2007)

900 Robinson Avenue

[image made February 2000 by Ray L. bellande]

 

The land on which the Cochran-Letoha House was constructed in 1880 was originally part of the Andre Forne (Fournier) Tract.  Fournier received a patent from the U.S. Government in 1849 on 160 acres comprising the SW/4 of Section 19, T7S-R8W.  By 1877, E.W. Clark of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania owned large tracts of land in the Ocean Springs area including the lot that the Cochran-Letoha now rests.  It is believed that he was speculating on land values through his local agent, entrepreneur George Allen Cox (1811-1887).

 

Thomas Cochran

In July 1877, Thomas Cochran (1852-1883), a native of Mobile, Alabama, who made his livelihood as a house carpenter purchased 1.25 acres (150 feet on Washington Avenue by 363 deep) on the southwest corner of present day Robinson and Washington Avenue from Mr. Clark for $140.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 622-623)

In the northwest corner of his tract circa 1880, Cochran built a one story wood frame house with a side gable roof and full width undercut gallery.  A five bay facade with three transomed doors is flanked by two six-over-six double hung windows in the outer bays.  Chamfered post with sawn brackets.  Balustrade and intricate balusters.

Circa 1878, Thomas Cochran married Charlotte Franco (1862-1939), the daughter of Antonio Franco (1834-1891) and Genevieve "Jane" Rodriguez (1844-1915).  Franco was a Portuguese immigrant while Jane Rodriguez was the daughter of Spanish immigrant Juan Rodriguez and Marie-Martha Ryan.  The Juan Rodriguez and Pierre Ryan Families were the original settlers of present day Gulf Hills.  They received land patents from the U.S. Government before 1850.

In 1874, the Francos settled on Old Fort Bayou and probably built a home, which later became the Bayou Inn of Dr. Henry Bradford Powell (1867-1949) in the early years of this Century.  We know this place today as Aunt Jenny's Catfish Restaurant.

Thomas Cochran and Charlotte Franco Cochran had two children:  Thomas Antonio ‘Tom’ Cochran (1879-1951) and Lillie Cochran (1881-1961).  About the same time that he built his home, Thomas Cochran also built a two- story, wood frame building on the southwest corner of Washington Avenue and Robinson.  This structure became known as the Franco Saloon when it was run by Antonio Franco, Tom Cochran's father-in-law. Unfortunately in 1883, Thomas Cochran died intestate at the young age of thirty- one years.  Probably with the help of her parents, Charlotte Cochran reared her small children near the depot grounds. 

In March 189 , a few years after the death of her father, Antonio Franco, Charlotte Franco Cochran effected a Commissioners sale on her saloon lot (80 feet on Washington by 120 feet on Robinson) through Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 675.  George E. Arndt (1857-1945), a young entrepreneur from Rodney, Mississippi paid $1500 for the property.  Arndt called his saloon the Paragon Saloon.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk.

In 1900, Charlotte Cochran was in real estate.  She probably retired before WWI.  She and her children resided at No. 5 Robinson Avenue for the remainder of their lives.  In 1904, she rented her home to Illinois people and stayed with her daughter at New Orleans.(see Progress)

On January 14, 1939, Charlotte Cochran met death at an early hour.  She was sitting in her chair at 4:30 AM watching the Theo Bechtel Home on Porter Avenue burn to the ground when she suffered an apparent heart attack.  The Bechtel Home was a total loss, but Mrs. Theo Bechtel, her son, and Mrs. Guiterrez were saved.   Charlotte Franco Cochran was survived by her two children and three brothers, Thomas P. Franco (1869-1951+), Walter Edward Franco (1883-1939+), and Antonio M. Franco (1878-1939+) who lived at Mobile.(The Daily Herald, January 14, 1939, p. 6 and The Jackson County Times, January 21, 1939, p. 3).

Tom A. Cochran worked as a railroad telegraph operator at the L&N Depot in Ocean Springs.  He attended Soule's Business College at New Orleans in November 1898, and joined the L&N about 1904.  Cochran worked for that organization for about forty-five years.  Cochran was a member of the Order of Railway Telegraphers.      

 

Miss Lilly Cochran

Lilly Cochran, who was named for her aunt, Lillie Franco Geiger (1863-1905).  She attended the Industrial Institute and College (now MUW) at Columbus, Mississippi, in September 1898.  Miss Lilly taught school at the Cochran House.  Some of her pupils circa 1920, were the Bradford sisters:  Bette Bradford Milsted (b. 1914), Eleanor Bradford Lemon (b. 1916), and Vertalee Bradford Van Cleave (1918-2004), Standish J. Bradford (1914-1992), and John Mitchell (1915-1963).  Mrs. Cochran would bake bread for everyone.  Miss Cochran also taught music and piano at the Cochran home.  She also taught telegraphy to several local men, including Ralph Beaugez, who went on to become excellent telegraphers for the L&N Railroad.(The Daily Herald, July 16, 1954, p. 5)

     After her brother died, Lilly Cochran rented the west side of her house as an apartment.  One tenant was Joseph L. "Roy" Modlin (1927-1982) who worked as a plumber.  Lilly Cochran died on December 29, 1961 in her home at 900 Robinson.  She was found in bed that morning apparently the victim of a heart attack.  The Cochran family was close.  Neither child ever married, but it is related that Tom Cochran had many lady friends.

In an unusual request, Lilly Cochran had asked in her will that half of the proceed from the sale of the house be put into an account at the Ocean Springs State Bank to purchase flowers on All Saints Day, Easter, and Mother's Day for the graves of the Cochran-Geiger Families which are both interred at the Evergreen Cemetery on Fort Bayou.  The remainder of the money was given to heirs of Miss Cochran.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 16440-1962)

The Cochran House lie empty for nearly three years before the Cochran Estate, administered by Frederick L. Westbrook Jr. sold it to Wallace and Marilyn Cassanova on December 16, 1964.  The selling price was $3770.  Dolores Davidson "Bobbie" Smith assisted Cassanova with procuring the house.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 266, p. 215)

 

Wallace E. Cassanova

Wallace Eugene Cassanova (1928-2014) is a native of Biloxi.  In November 1951, married Marilyn Johnson (b. 1930), the daughter of Ralph Johnson who hails from Chicago.(The Daily Herald, November 20, 1951, p. 5)

They had met the previous year in Jackson, Mississippi where both were employed with Coca Cola.  The Cassanovas had four children:  Linda C. Barker (b. 1952), Laura Louise C. Telarico (b. 1953), David Cassanova (b. 1954), and Loretta C. Bamford (b. 1956).

Laura Louise Casanova married Dominic J. Telarico on November 25, 1972.  He was the son of Dominic J. Telarico and Angela A. Telarico.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 19, 1972, Sec. II, p. 2)

Mr. Cassanova worked for Barqs Root Beer in Biloxi as a vending machine mechanic before joining Chevron at Pascagoula about 1974.  At the oil refinery, he worked as an operator in the blending and shipping division.

When the Cassanovas purchased the house from the Cochran Estate, it was in a state of demolition by neglect.  In fact, it was referred to by children in the area as the "haunted house".  Among those repairs effected by the new owners were:  ceilings replastered, chimney between the two bedrooms on the east side removed because the mortar had turned to sand, composition roof over wooden shingles replaced with tin sheeting, replace broken window lights with with old glass, light fixture replaced by Mr. Mangin (Biloxi), dilapidated picket fence removed, rotten ballusters replaced, pine flooring repaired and refinished.  Gerald Richard of Biloxi did the carpentry work for Wallace Cassanova.

Mr. Cassanova sold the Cochran House to the First National Bank of the South in October 1979 for $53,000.  After the sale, the Cassanovas left their old home for a new residence in the Windsor Porte Subdivision located north of Fort Bayou.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 634, p. 251)  

First National Bank of the South

After the bank bought the house, E.W. Pettus, a local carpenter, refurbished the house and Jumonville redid the floors under the supervision of J.K. Lemon.  The old balusters that were placed in the attic by Cassanova were used as the model to construct new ones. The First National Bank of the South conveyed the Cochran-Cassanova house to Marvin L. Smith and Connie S. Smith of Harbor Realty in December 1983.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 779, p. 289)

 

Connie Smith

Central air and heat added and house leveled.  In August 1987, the Smiths defaulted on a deed of trust with the Peoples Bank of Biloxi.  They declared bankruptcy and moved to Florida.  The house was sold in a trustees sale on November 2, 1988 to the Peoples Bank of Biloxi.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. )           

 

Sharon W. Dodds

Peoples Bank to Ross P. Dodds and Sharon Webber Dodds, his spouse, on January 31, 1989.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 931, p. 218)

   Singing River Mental Health moved here from the Bauman Cottage at     Washington Avenue in 1993.  Leaving in April 1995.  S.W. Dodds to Pamela Boudoin-Aimee’ and Douglas Letoha in

 

Letoha and Boudoin-Aimee’

 

 

Harmony Historic Inn

Bookstore, Harmony Inn B&B in late 2000.  Rental

 

Katrina

 

Post-Katrina

900 Robinson

[image made June 2008 by Ray L. Bellande]

REFERENCES:

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 16440, "The Estate of Lilly Cochran”, May 1962.   

Journals

The Daily Herald, “Mrs.Cochran dies”, January 14, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “Woman dies as residence burns”,January 14, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “Thomas A. Cochran dies”, August 6, 1951.

The Daily Herald, “Cassanova-Johnson”, November 20, 1951.

The Daily Herald, “Ralph Beaugez retires after 40 years”, October 19, 1954.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Lily Cochran”, December 29, 1961.

The Daily Herald, “Cochran rites”, December 30, 1961.

The Daily Herald, “Cassanova-Telarico Engagement Announced”, October 19, 1972.

The Mississippi Press, “Business owner appeals historic district denial”, October 1, 2001.

The Gulf Coast Times, “T.A. (Tom) Cochran given surprise party Sunday”, July 7, 1950, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, “Charlotte Franco Cochran”, January 21, 1939.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Mississippi Poetry Society’s South Branch event”, April 26, 2001.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

CLESI-BROOKS HOUSE-910 Calhoun-Lot 9

 

The home at 910 Calhoun was very likely the original von Rosambeau residence.  It is estimated to date from circa 1881.  The structure was built as a Greek Revival cottage, but survives today highly modified.  A survey by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (1979) describes the house as: One and one-half story, wood frame house with a front gable roof.  Three-bay undercut porch supported by Doric columns.  Off center entrance with eared architrave.  Second floor balcony recessed within the gable.  New brick foundation.  Greek revival and chalet.  Circa 1880. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 13)

In March 1880, Mary Ann “Mollie” Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937), the wife of German immigrant, Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912), bought a tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (1840-1892).

The lot had a front on Jackson Avenue of 118 feet and 260 feet on Calhoun.  This tract was divided into three lots designated Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125.  The residence at 910 Calhoun was built on Lot 9.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 570-571)           

 

Dryden Rental

After the von Rosambeau Family built a grocery store and home at 420 Jackson Avenue circa 1890, they vacated this structure.  The von Rosambeaus utilized 910 Calhoun as a rental unit for many years.  In the winter of 1901, Charles Dryden (1860-1931), a nationally known sportswriter and humorist, began coming to Ocean Springs to vacation after the baseball season.  Dryden enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and excellent fishing offered by the small village. 

Charles Dryden's brother-in-law, John L. Davenport, was the top hat salesman for the Gage Brothers Millinery of Chicago.  Davenport's work took him to many parts of America including Ocean Springs.  There is a high degree of certitude that he met Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912) at his general store on Jackson Avenue.  It is known that Davenport's wife, Louise Dryden Davenport, began vacationing at Ocean Springs as early as December 1900 with her young son, John Dryden Davenport (1893-1965).  They stayed at the Rosambeau cottage. The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of January 18, 1901 reported, "Master Dryden Davenport, a precocious infant of seven years, caught a fine redfish off the pier of the Ocean Springs Hotel".(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 13, 1901)

Mrs. Davenport probably introduced Ocean Springs and the von Rosambeau family to her brother, Charles Dryden.  In later years, Mrs. Davenport and John Dryden Davenport would join her brother at the von Rosambeau compound.  Among other visitors from Chicago were eminent physicians, Drs. A.H. Bohart and Joseph Reese.  Mr. Dryden loved to entertain his guests with dinner parties.  His favorite meal was fresh fish caught from the fecund waters of Fort Bayou and the Bay of Biloxi.  In time, the local people began to refer to his apartment on Calhoun as the "Fried Fish Inn".  Often Dryden was the dinner guest of the von Rosambeau family.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 27, 1903 and September 11, 1903)

Dryden’s skill as an angler was lauded in January 1910, when he was fishing in Old Fort Bayou for perch and landed a seven-pound redfish.  The skill being the ability to handle the larger fish on the small linen line used for the perch.(The Ocean Springs News, January 8, 1910)

In later years, it is believed that Charles Dryden began to utilize the newer von Rosambeau cottage at 908 Calhoun built in 1903.  He referred to this cottage as his "Winter Rest".  After Charles Dryden suffered a debilitating stroke in 1921, it is believed he stayed with his sister, Mrs. Davenport, on Jackson Avenue.  He died at Ocean Springs on February 14, 1931.  The body was sent to Monmouth, Illinois for burial.(John Dryden Davenport Jr.-March 1993)

 

Amy Clesi

In July 1947, when the three von Rosambeau sisters partitioned their mother's estate, 910 Calhoun became the real property of Amelia Theresa “Amy” von Rosambeau Clesi (1881-1958.  There is a high degree of certitude that Amy Clesi was born in this house as her natal arrival was in November 1881.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 97, pp. 312-317)

Amy von Rosambeau married John J. Clesi of New Orleans on September 20, 1911, at the St. Alphonsus Church, which is adjacent to the von Rosambeau familial home on Jackson Avenue.  As a young lady, Amy was the organist at the same church.  The young couple lived at New Orleans where Clesi was the owner of his own enterprise called the Typewriter Emporium.  He learned the trade as an employee of the Royal Typewriter Company.  While employed with Royal, John Clesi was their best salesman in the South.  

John and Amy von Rosambeau Clesi had a son, John Clesi Jr., who was born in March 1913.  In 1973, he completed a very successful career as an oil scout with Humble Oil & Refining Company, now ExxonMobil.

After the death of Amy Clesi on January 17, 1958, her son, John Clesi Jr., of New Orleans inherited 908 Calhoun.  He acquired it legally on May 30, 1959.  John Clesi Jr. sold the property to John Fredrick Brooks for $8000 on October 20, 1961.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 215, p. 380)   

 

J. Fredrick Brooks

John Fredrick “Fred” Brooks (1927-2004), a native of Ellisville, Mississippi, and his wife, Mary Imogene Clark (1930-2002), born at Eucutta in Wayne County, Mississippi came to Ocean Springs in 1961.  She was the daughter of Marshall and Bernice Clark of Pascagoula.  At the time Mr. Brooks was employed by the Mississippi Power Company and was transferred from their Pascagoula office.  He left the utility business in 1974, and became self-employed in the auto parts retail business.  Prior to his retirement, Fred Brooks was the proprietor of an automobile repair shop and auto parts store on Bienville Boulevard.  The Brooks had four children:  Theresa “Terri” Jean B. Mason  (1951-2005), Debra B. Shotlander (b. 1953), Rene B. Rush (b. 1955), and John Brooks (b. 1968).  Imogene Clark Brooks passed on September 17, 2002.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs.  Fred Brooks died at Mobile, Alabama on August 29, 2004.  Corporal remains at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs.(Fred Brooks-February 1993 and The Sun Herald, September 20, 2002 and August 31, 2004, p. A5  )

At the time of the Brooks purchase, the Clesi home was in poor condition.  New owner, Fred Brooks, remodeled both the exterior and interior of his home.  In the interior, he totally gutted the structure removing the fireplace, wall partitions, stairs, beaded board wall, and ceilings.  The walls were replaced with wood paneling.  On the exterior, Mr. Brooks removed the cypress turned posts, balusters, and wooden porch.  He replaced the posts with Doric columns, cemented the porch foundation, and added old brick steps.  A dining room was added to the west side of the structure.(Fred Brooks-February 1993 and June 2004)

In the summer of 2000, The Clesi-Brooks home was given an exterior painting and façade change.  At the suggestion of the author, Mr. Brooks and Joie Mason, his son-in-law, replaced the out of character Doric columns with an appropriate substitute.  A balustrade was added to the front porch matching the balcony balustrade.

Before his demise in August 2004, Fred Brooks sold his house to himself and Debra B. Shotlander.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1358, p. 548)

 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

von Rosambeau-Thetford Cottage: 908 Calhoun-Lot 8

In March 1880, Mary Ann Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937) acquired a .70 acre tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (1840-1892).  The von Rosambeau tract was divided into three lots designated

Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125. The residence at 908 Calhoun was built on Lot 8.

Blanche Magdalen von Rosambeau (1892-1982) acquired this property in the partition of Mrs. Mary Ann von Rosambeau's estate in July 1947.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 570-571 and Bk. 97, pp. 312-317) 

In the historic sites survey of the Old Ocean Springs Historic District (1979), 908 Calhoun is described as:  One story, wood frame house with front gable roof.  Three-bay undercut porch with turned posts and sawn brackets.  Circa 1898.( Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites,1979, p. 13)

            The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced on January 16, 1903, that "Mr. A.V. Rosambeau is erecting a neat six-room cottage on Calhoun Avenue".  There is a high probability that this is 908 Calhoun.  The von Rosambeau Family utilized it as a rental unit for many years.  Probably the most famous person to stay here was the baseball writer, Charles Dryden (1860-1931).  In fact, Dryden referred to 908 Calhoun as his "Winter Rest".(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 16, 1903)

In August 1972, Blanche von Rosambeau sold her home to Mr. and Mrs. Ernest H. Brown and Virginia Mary O'Keefe (b. 1950).  After selling all of her real estate in 1972, Blanche moved to the Villa Maria retirement apartments at 921 Porter Avenue.  Blanche von Rosambeau died in New Orleans at the age of eighty-nine years on May 5, 1982.  Like all the von Rosambeau Family she is interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 437, p. 436)           

Ernest H. Brown

Ernest H. “Ernie” Brown, son of Herman Brown and Theresia Brown of Biloxi, married Virginia Mary O'Keefe (b. 1950) on March 29, 1970.  She is the daughter of Jeremiah J. O'Keefe III (b. 1923) and Annette Saxon O'Keefe (1924-1998) of Biloxi.  The Browns had four children before their divorce circa 1979: Justin Ernest Brown (1973-2009), who was born while they resided in the house; Katelyn Annette Brown m. Andrew C. Catterall; Joshua C. Brown; and Clinton H. Brown m. Brandi B. Bond.  In 1989, Ernest Brown owned the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery on the front beach at Biloxi.  Virginia Brown has been employed as an elementary school teacher, tutor director for the Biloxi Public Schools, and vice-president and office manager of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Homes, Inc.  The Browns conveyed 908 Calhoun to Wilbern H. Thetford and Janice Crews Thetford in August 1974.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 303,  JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 508, p. 370, and The Sun Herald, April 28, 2009, p. A4)

W. Hugh Thetford

Wilbern H. Thetford (b. 1931), called Hugh, met his wife, Janice L. Crews (1933-2002), in 1947, at Holdenville, Oklahoma.  She was the daughter of Stanley and Madge Crews.  Hugh and Janice married in 1949, and began an interesting career in the USAF, which took them to Labrador, Okinawa, Texas, and Mississippi. The Thetfords' two sons, Phillip Wayne Thetford (b. 1951) and Richard Rust Thetford (b. 1957), were born in Wichita Falls, Texas while they were stationed at Sheppard AFB.  Phillip Thetford resides at Ashland, Virginia where he is a Presbyterian minister.  Richard Thetford is an Apache helicopter pilot with the US Army stationed at Savannah, Georgia.(Janice C. Thetford-March 1993)

Phillip W. Thetford graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1976.  He married Mary Flowers in January 1978 and departed Hattiesburg, Mississippi in July 1980 to study at the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 22, 1980, p. 8)

Hugh Thetford retired from the USAF circa 1979, while stationed at Keesler Field in Biloxi.  Immediately he took a consulting position with Lockheed Aircraft and was sent to Saudi Arabia.  The nature of his assignment was to assist Lockheed in evaluating the self-sufficiency of the Royal Saudi Air Force.  Hugh later found employment in the Civil Service at Keesler AFB.(Janice C. Thetford-March 1993)

Janice L. Thetford worked as a dispatcher for the Ocean Springs Police Department for two-and-one-half-years.  In retirement, she occupied her time as an active participant in the Ocean Springs Garden Club and the Womens Club.  Janice was a certified master flower judge and a past president of the local garden club.  She expired in mid-January 2002.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi National Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, January 20, 2002, p. A-11)

The Blanche von Rosambeau house is in near original condition.  The Thetfords have completed a forty-foot addition to the rear of the house, and added some wallpaper paneling in the dining room.  The two original fireplaces are in situ.  A friendly "ghost", called Omar, roams the Thetford residence occasionally "borrowing" items like wedding rings.  Omar always returns his booty after giving the owner some anxiety pains! (Janice C. Thetford-March 1993)

 ________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

von Rosambeau-Gautier House-420 Jackson Avenue-Lot 7

In March 1880, Mary Ann Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937), the wife of German immigrant, Augustus von Rosambeau (1849-1912), bought a tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (1840-1892).

The Lot had a front on Jackson Avenue of 118 feet and 260 feet on Calhoun.  This tract was divided into three lots designated Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125.  The residence at 420 Jackson Avenue was built on Lot 7.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, p. 570-571)

Marguerite H. von Rosambeau (1887-1972), called Margie, acquired Lot 7 of Block 125 in the Mary Ann von Rosambeau property partition of 1947.  Upon the death of Margie von Rosambeau on May 16, 1972, John Clesi Jr. of New Orleans, her nephew, inherited the property.  Almost immediately in June 1972, Mr. Clesi sold the house to Blanche von Rosambeau.  On October 10, 1972, Thomas H. Gautier (b. 1945) and his wife, Caroline Brou Gautier (b. 1947), acquired Lot 7 from Miss Blanche von Rosambeau. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 97, pp. 312-317, JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 432, p. 430, Bk. 442, p. 436)

This structure was built in 1917, after the original von Rosambeau store and house, which was built circa 1890, burned to the ground.  The fire began when an oil stove exploded.  Young Margie von Rosambeau was the only occupant of the house when the conflagration commenced.  All the families clothing and furnishings were lost with the exception of Mr. von Rosambeau's desk.  It was saved as is now owned by Fred Brooks who resides at 910 Calhoun.(The Jackson County Times, November 17, 1917, p. 1)

The materials for the 1917 erection at 420 Jackson Avenue were obtained from the razing of the old Eliza Ames (1845-1917) residence on Cemetery Road (now Sunset).  Leo von Rosambeau (1883-1931), the only son of Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912) and Mary Ann Soden (1857-1937), and a group of laborers did the work.  The Jackson County Times of December 1, 1917, reported, "There is a lot of very fine building material in the old (Ames) structure and it will be used in a new bungalow to be erected by Mrs. A. von Rosambeau on the site of the store and residence recently destroyed by fire".

A store northwest of the house was part of the new construction.  It was smaller than the original store and may have been more of a millinery shop than a genera mercantile store as before.  It is believed that Mrs. von Rosambeau sold groceries while Margie vended hats and ribbons in their new venture.  Probably as a consequence of age, Mrs. von Rosambeau closed her store circa 1931.  Mary Ann von Rosambeau died on February 10, 1937.(The Sun HeraldMarch 30, 1975, p. B-10)

Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1914-1999), a neighbor to the south, believed that this store was removed from the site by Orey A. Young Jr. (1892-1986) in the 1930s.  This cannot be confirmed.

The house at 420 Jackson Avenue was described in the Old Ocean Springs Historical District Survey (1979) as:  Gautier House.  One-and-one-half story wood frame house with a side gable roof pierced by a large central gabled dormer.  Undercut three-bay gallery supported by box columns.  Open soffits expose the rafter tails.  Craftsman.  Circa 1920.( Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites,1979, p. 8)

 

Thomas and Caroline B. Gautier

Until October1972, Thomas Harry Gautier and Caroline Brou Gautier were the first people other than a von Rosambeau or descendant of this family to own 420 Jackson Avenue.  This property had remained in the ownership of the von Rosambeau family for ninety-two years.   Thomas H. Gautier and Caroline B. Gautier are both natives of Biloxi.  They married in September 1969 and were the parents of three children: William Brou Gautier, Virginia Mercee Jane Gautier, and Adam Thomas Gautier.

Caroline B. Gautier was one of the first to introduce the skill of “windsurfing” to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  During the early 1990s, she operated at Biloxi, Hot Seasons, a sports shop, which specialized in skate boards, sail boards, inline skates and accessories.

In April 1996, Thomas H. Gautier quitclaimed his interest in the home to his spouse.  They subsequently divorced in June 1999.   Caroline is now employed in the local casino gaming industry and maintains her yard and historic home at 420 Jackson Avenue in her spare time.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1165, p. 173 and JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause 99-1004)   

 

 

        _________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

VAN CLEAVE-WILSON COTTAGE: (1888-1994)

1011 Desoto Avenue

 

The Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage is located at 1011 Desoto Avenue in Section 19, T7S-R8W.  The lot is located in Block 24 of the Culmseig Map (1854), and measures 57 feet on Desoto by 165 feet to the north. The land on which the house was built was originally part of the Andre Fournier Tract (1849).  By the early 1870s, Edward Chase of St. Louis, Missouri was in possession of large tracts of land at Ocean Springs probably through the efforts of local land speculator George A. Cox (1811- 1887).  Block 24, a small part of what was then called the Martin and Shortridge Tracts, was conveyed by Chase to Edward W. Clark of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in March 1874.(1) 

 

By the mid-1870s, Block 24 was divided and a tract 194 feet x 228 feet on the northwest corner of Cash and Desoto was sold to R.A. Van Cleave by George and Edna Sumrall through their agent, Sardin Ramsay (1837-1920).  The land tax rolls indicate the sale occurred between 1876 and 1878.  The deed was kept by Van Cleave in an iron safe at his mercantile store and was stolen and never recorded.  A new deed was filed on January 21, 1886.(2) 

 

Robert Adrian Van Cleave (1840-1908) was a pioneer citizen of Ocean Springs.  He was active in commerce and politics.  Van Cleave operated a large mercantile store on Washington Avenue between Desoto and Robinson Avenues.  The Van Cleave home was at the northeast corner of Washington and Desoto and this tract was literally in his back yard.  From future sales records of this property, it appears Van Cleave built four rental cottages on this one-acre tract fronting on Desoto.  Jackson County Land Roll data infer that these houses of which the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage is the only one extant, were built in 1888.  The earliest Sanborn Map (1893) of Ocean Springs corroborates the VanCleave-Wilson Cottage on Desoto at that time.

 

In December 1896, Van Cleave and his wife, Elizabeth R. Sheppard (1840-1908), sold the tract to Mrs. Francesca Victoria Garrard for $2100.(3)  In the deed the Van Cleaves also conveys "the four cottage(s), fences, and other improvements".(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p.

 

Mrs. Garrard (1839-1907) was married to a Kentuckian, James J. Garrard (1828-1902).  Their children were James D. Garrard (1867-1871) and Joseph Bacon Garrard (1871-1915).  In the late 1880s, the Garrards retired to Ocean Springs from New Orleans where he had been a partner in the cotton firm of Garrard & Craig. 

 

In September 1886, Mrs. Garrard purchased three lots with a front of 290 feet on Iberville and Fort Bayou to the north from Francisco Coyle and F.M. Weed for $490.(4)  On June 3, 1887, The Pascagoula Democratic-Star reported that "Mr. Garrard bought a lot at Ocean Springs and plans to build a large commodius dwelling house there.  He will probably locate there permanently."(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p.

 

Here on the south bank of Fort Bayou, the Garrards built a Colonial Revival edifice in 1890, which they called "Bayou Home".  Two of Mrs. Garrard's great grandchildren, Joseph Bacon Garrard II (b. 1939) and Jack Kling Garrard (b. 1950), reside on the old Garrard tract today.

 

Prior to 1892, J.J. Garrard had returned to business, and was a merchant probably selling hardware on Washington Avenue.  His son, Joseph B. Garrard and his wife, Carrie Johnson Garrard Everhart (1886-1968), followed this tradition. 

 

In March 1904, the Garrards sold "three lots with houses on them" located on a tract of land with 168 feet on Desoto and 185 feet on Cash to Dr. O.L. Bailey for $1500.

 

It appears, the Garrards retained the cottage on the northwest corner of Desoto and Cash with the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage going to Dr. O.L. Bailey.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p.

 

Dr. O.L. Bailey

Dr. Oscar L. Bailey (1870-1938) was a native of Newton County, Mississippi.  He received his medical degree in St. Louis and came to Ocean Springs circa 1897 from Lake, Mississippi.  Bailey was married to Birdie Anderson (1876-1925) of Edwards.  They reared four children at Ocean Springs:  Mrs. Beryl Parker Wood (1896-1986), Bemis Bailey (1898-1969), Mrs. Clothilde Campbell (1901-1995), and Mrs. Salome Watkins (1903).  After his wife died in 1925, Bailey married Maude Holloway (1901-1980) of North Biloxi.

 

Dr. Bailey owned a great deal of real estate during his life time.  While he owned this house, he also owned the Van Cleave Hotel, called "The Inn" at this time, on the southeast corner of Washington and Robinson.  Bailey built a building on Washington Avenue in 1927, which now houses the Lovelace Drugs.  It is assumed that Bailey utilized the cottage as a rental unit.  When he sold it to Fred S. Bradford in April 1909 for $600, the lot was described as commencing 171 feet west of the northwest corner of Cash and Desoto, thence 57 feet west, north 185 feet, east 57 feet, and south 185 feet to the point of beginning.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p. 6)

 

Frederick S. Bradford

Frederick Semmes Bradford (1878-1951) was a general contractor.  He built many houses and buildings at Ocean Springs, which are extant.  The First Baptist Church on Porter and Bellande was built by John Burr (1875-1916) and Bradford in 1909.  They also built an addition to Dr. Powell's Sanitarium (1909) and the New Beach Hotel (1909). 

 

Fred Bradford married Letetia Carver (1881-1968), a native of Bay St. Louis.  Her father, David Carver (b. 1836), had come to Ocean Springs from Hancock County to operate the Fort Bayou ferry.  The Bradfords were from Connecticut and settled in Jackson County circa 1804.  Sherwood Bradford (1838-1922), Fred's father, was the first teacher in a Jackson County school which was held at the Tide Water Baptist Church on Davis Bayou.  He married Eleanora Davis (1851-1938).

 

The Fred Bradfords had four children:  Matilda E. Milsted (b. 1913), Eleanora F. Lemon (b. 1915), Vertalee B. Van Cleave (1916-204), and Margaret B. Chasteen (1917-1977).  Matilda, called Betty, was born in the Desoto Avenue house on May 14, 1914.  As the family began to outgrow the small cottage, Fred Bradford built a larger home on the southwest corner of Bowen and Van Cleave Avenues.  The other children were born here.  Today, Vertalee Van Cleave resides in the old Bradford Family home at 1212 Bowen.  Fred Bradford sold his Desoto Avenue cottage to William E. Wilson in March 1914 for $700.(7)

     

Ida Fayard Smith Wilson

 

William E. Wilson

Circa 1906, William Edward Wilson, called Ed, had come to Ocean Springs from Wabash County, Indiana probably with the L&N Railroad.  He met Ida Antonia Fayard Smith (1884-1978), a young divorcee with two small children.  They married on September 30, 1908.

 

Ida A. Fayard had married George T. Smith, a native of Michigan, in August 1900.  They had a son, Otis Fayard Smith (1902-1977), and a daughter, Ida Mae Chaillot (1903-1922).  Smith abandoned his family, and Ida F. Smith was granted a divorce in the Chancery Court of Jackson County in March 1908 (Cause No. 1697).  It is believed that he moved to Baldwin County, Alabama where he farmed.

 

Ida Wilson was the daughter of Leonard Fayard (1847-1923) and Martha Westbrook (1851-1919).  Martha Westbrook was the sister of Edwin Martin Westbrook (1857-1913), the barber of Washington Avenue, who fathered eight sons and a daughter.  The Westbrooks were well known as railroad men.     In 1900, Mr. Fayard made his livelihood as a guard at the quarantine station (Ship Island), and as a railroad driver in 1910.  The Fayards married in 1867, and had ten children.  Those children known are: Emile Edward (1872- 1931), Louise Elizabeth Fayard (1876-1876), Leonard Fayard (1881-1958), Virginia F. Champlin (1877), Ida F. Wilson (1884-1978), John Alexander Fayard (b. 1886), and Oliver Fayard (1890-1950).

 

Ed Wilson operated the first hamburger shop at Ocean Springs commencing circa 1908.  He closed his restaurant in 1924, and opened the Wilson Cash and Carry Store in December 1924, next to their Desoto Avenue home.  Ed Wilson ran an advertisement in the Jackson County Times of June 20, 1925, which read as follows:

 

WILSON'S

Cash and Carry Store

The Place To Save Money

10 lbs. of Sugar-------------------------------------70c

Flavoring Extracts------------------------------------9c

Oblisk Flour---------------------------------------$1.65

Sunset Self Rising Flour 24lb. sack----------------$1.45

Libbys Sliced Pineapple------------------------------18c

Pet and Carnation Milk, Tall-------------------------12c

Any 10c Tobacco 3 for--------------------------------25c

 

 

The store sat in the southeast corner of the lot and had an area of approximately five hundred square-feet.  At the time, the other stores at Ocean Springs were:  A.C. Gottsche, E.S. Davis, W.S. Van Cleave, Baker Grocery & Coffee, and G. Bradshaw.  The Wilson store was neat and well stocked with a good selection of groceries, tobacco, and other goods.  Mr. Wilson sold his wares for cash at discount prices.  In July 1936, Mrs. Ida Wilson opened a confection shop in her store building.  She sold ice cream, cake, snowballs, and candy. It is believed John Alexander Fayard (1886-1958)) built the store for his sister.  It was torn down in the 1950s.  A remnant of a brick pier from the store remains in situ in the yard today.

 

Ed Wilson passed away on March 17, 1926.  He was a member of the McLeod Lodge No. 424 F&AM, Biloxi Elks Lodge, Ocean Springs Social Club, and Indiana Order of Odd Fellows.

 

A few years after Ed Wilson died, Mrs. Ida Wilson began to work at the A.C. Gottsche Store on Washington Avenue.  She was employed here from 1931 to 1958.  

 

During the Depression year of 1934, Mrs. Wilson sold her home to Charles H. Mills for $750.(8)  Shortly thereafter, Mills conveyed it back to her.(9)

 

In August 1970, Mrs. Wilson sold the northern most twenty-five feet of her lot to James H. and Audrey Tate Durbin.(10)  Durbin operated a TV business on Washington Avenue.

 

Ida Wilson was known and loved by all of Ocean Springs.  She was a fine Christian lady.  In her retirement, she took the time to write notes of encouragement to the ill and infirmed.  Her mind and wit were still keen at 82 years.  The following is offered about Mrs. Wilson's children:

 

Otis F. Smith

Otis F. Smith died on October 6, 1978, preceding his mother in death.  Probably the first job that Otis Smith held was with the Radcliffe Chautauqua.  When they came to Ocean Springs in February 1918, he joined them as company property and tent manager.  Smith traveled with the group until they returned to Ocean Springs in May 1919.  Immediately upon his return here, in June 1919, Otis Smith joined the Navy.  He was a light heavy weight boxer, and was successful in the ring while in the service.  Smith later was a sparring partner of Jack Dempsey at his California training camp.  Remained at Cle Elum, Washington a coal mining center in central Washington until July 1929.  In 1934, Otis Smith working at the Kraft Paper Mill in Mobile.  He had been there for a few years.

Smith was a merchant marine and worked on towboats on the Mississippi River.  He later worked in New Orleans as a hotel desk clerk and in the frozen food storage business.  Smith retired in 1968, and lived with Mrs. Wilson in her Desoto Avenue cottage.            

 

Ida Mae Smith

Ida Mae Smith (1903-1922) was employed as the assistant mail clerk in the Ocean Springs Post Office in May 1919.  She married William L. Chaillot circa late 1919.  In November 1919, he operated the Acme Tailoring Parlor in the Bertuccini Building next to The Jackson County Times office on Washington Avenue.  They relocated to Texas in 1920, and lived at Houston, where Mr. Chaillot was employed by Humble Oil and Refining Company.  Ida May Chaillot returned to Ocean Springs in early 1922, suffering with tuberculosis.  She died here on April 25, 1922.(The Jackson County Times, July 31, 1920, p. 3 and The Daily HeraldApril 29, 1922, p. 3)

 

After Mrs. Ida Wilson died on February 15, 1978, her nephews, Charles A. Fayard (b. 1925) and James L. Fayard (1926-1990), inherited the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage. (Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 34170, "Estate of Ida F. Wilson", 1978)

 

James "Jimmy" Fayard died in June 1990.  He was a Navy veteran of WWII and later worked as an optical technician for Alpha Optical at Ocean Springs.  Fayard was survived by his wife, Florita, and children:  Jason T. Fayard, David M. Fayard, and Lori Fayard.  They held the property until January 9, 1981, when they conveyed it to David M. Allen.(12)     

 

David M. Allen

David M. Allen (b. 1945) is the son of William R. Allen, Jr. (1911-1985), and Cornelia King Marion (1922-1994).  William R. Allen, Jr. was a local architect of renown and an art dealer.  He owned the Farmers and Merchants State Bank Building on Washington Avenue from 1971 until his demise in 1985.  Allen operated "Gallery Up" and later Robbie's at this location.

 

David Allen was born at Memphis, Tennessee.  He received a law degree from Tulane University at New Orleans.  Allen has worked in the petroleum industry as a landman with Exxon, and is now employed with an independent oil company, Legacy Petroleum.  David Allen owned the property for a few days before conveying it to Jennie Elkin Kennett in Janaury 1981.(13)    

 

Jennie Elkin Kennett

Jennie Elkin Kennett was born at Midland, Texas in 1912.  Here she was reared on a ranch where she lived the life of a real "cowgirl" participating in roundups.  Mrs. Kennett now resides at Kinderhook, New York, south of Albany near the Massachusetts line.  Kinderhook, a small town east of the Hudson River, is the birth place of our eight president, Martin Van Buren.  She and her husband, Earl Kennett, were introduced in Dallas, Texas by William Allen, Jr.  Earl Kennett is a well-known jazz pianist.  He was born at Augusta, Kansas in 1912.  Kennett played music in the New York City area for many years with the best musicians of his time.  In his playing days, he was known as "a musicians musician" because of his fine ear.  Kennett's hobby was recording music and he became a fine recording engineer.  At present, his health is poor as his renal system is failing.

 

Mrs. Kennett was in New Orleans at a business conference in the early 1980s, and came to Ocean Springs to visit William Allen, Jr.  He convinced her to buy the Wilson Cottage as an investment.  Maria Bargas and William R. Allen, III  refurbished the cottage for Mrs. Kennett.  They had it leveled, removed the front porch, glassed the side porch, added skylights, and generally improved the appearance of the building.

 

The Kennetts lived in their Desoto Avenue home for about seven months probably in 1982.  While they were here, Earl played piano at Robbies, Allen's lounge, on the second floor of the Farmers and Merchants Bank Building.  The Kennetts enjoyed Ocean Springs.  Mrs. Kennett loved the charm of the city.  She especially remembers Founders Day (d'Iberville's Landing), and the great community spirit.

 

Mrs. Kennett rented her house to the architectural firm of Allen-Bargas for several years before she conveyed it to Benjamin P. Watkins in December 1986.(14)    

 

Benjamin P. Watkins

Benjamin Porter Watkins (1913-1993) utilized the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage as his art studio.  He called it the Watkins Studio Gallery.  Watkins was a retired university art professor.  Well educated in his field, Ben Watkins had received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in art history from the University of Minnesota in 1971.  Ben Watkins was born on February 19, 1913 at Brookhaven, Mississippi.  He matriculated to LSU where he earned a Bachelor and Masters degree.  Watkins also studied with contemporary masters in the sculpture, pottery, and art restoration are

 

Dr. Watkins taught at Phillips University, Southern Illinois University, and retired while at Eastern Illinois University where he taught from 1971-1984.  He was a visiting professor of art history at the University of Evansville (Indiana) during his retirement years.  Widower, Ben Watkins, came to Ocean Springs in 1985.  He met and married Inez Delaney Gordon, herself a widow.  They resided in the St. Martin Community across Old Fort Bayou.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 153, p. 357)

 

Ben Watkins melded well with the locals.  He became a regular at Henrietta's morning coffee club.  Watkins and local artist and etcher, Glenn Miller, became close friends.  Glenn would spend hours with Ben at his studio discussing art and politics.

 

Death came quickly to Ben Watkins in his beloved art studio on November 23, 1993.  He suffered from a rupture of his aorta.  Friend and fellow artist, Glenn Miller memorialized Watkin's demise in this poem:

Ben, I went to your studio today.

All that was left were torn off

buttons of your gentle shirt.

They tried to save you there on

the floor.  Medical debris lying

where you died.

I held the buttons and cried.

Ben, an artist full of knowledge and skill.

Ben, the teacher, the lover of books,

a farm boy who became scholar,

a good breed of man with honor.

Our sparkling conversation

on history and art.  The shape

of trees, the proper shade of green.

Ben Watkins, your death was

a robbery, too swiftly taken.

I wasn't through enjoying you.    

           

Inez Gordon Watkins sold the Watkins Studio to Ray L. Bellande (b. 1943) on February 3, 1994.(15)  Bellande arrived at Ocean Springs in May 1990, and acquired the Arndt Cottage at 822 Porter from Marie Arndt Alexander (1905-1994).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p.   

 

 

Ray L. Bellande

Like many current residents of Ocean Springs, Ray L. Bellande was born at Biloxi.  He grew up in the tough Back Bay section, and received his education at both parochial (St Johns) and public schools (Gorenflo).  A 1961 graduate of Biloxi Senior High School, Bellande practiced in the same backfield with former Mississippi State University head football coach, Jackie Sherrill. 

 

In August 1965, after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Geology from Mississippi State University, Ray L. Bellande joined Humble Oil & Refining Company (now Exxon) at New Orleans.  He later explored for oil and gas from Exxon offices and affiliates at Shreveport, Louisiana; Los Angeles, California; the Far East (Djakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore); and Kingsville, Texas.

 

Bellande joined the offshore division of Tenneco Oil at Lafayette, Louisiana in 1973.  At Lafayette, he eventually became an independent geologist and oil operator exploring for and producing hydrocarbons primarily in southwest Louisiana as Polaris Production Company. 

 

 Bellande discovered his "roots" at Ocean Springs, and enjoys researching and writing of his finds.  He has written this column for the Ocean Springs Record for nearly   The experience has been rewarding as it has opened many doors to the past.  Bellande has "adopted or  to know through his research.  He looks forward to completing a book this year on the history of the older homes at Ocean Springs.           

 

Renovations and improvements

Since his ownership of the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage, Bellande has done some interior painting and renovations, repaired the roof on the out building, and erected a picket fence.  He has utilized the edifice as a rental cottage since May of 1994.

Insight Institute, the primary lessor, occupied the building from 1997-until September 1, 2004.  Sandra Hall Anderson Diaz, proprietor.

 

In the fall and winter of 1999-2000, the exterior of the building sanded and repainted a lavender color by Ray L. Bellande with the assistance of T.K. Lively. New railing installed in July 2000, by Charles L. “Larry” Galle, son of Clarence Galle.

New fence on east side of property in the spring of 2001 by Galle and Bellande.

 

Brick piers on the south, west, and north replaced in March-April 2003, by Roy A. Bellande and Ray L. Bellande.  Front deck also replaced and side deck leveled as piers were slanted to the east.  Side deck rebuilt in the spring of 2004 by Roy and Ray L. Bellande.

 

In September 2004, Bellande entered into a lease purchase agreement with Dr. Wesley C. Burkhardt Jr.  Dr. Burkhardt (b. 1942), a native of New Orleans, is a genetics specialist.  He received his PhD from the University of Mississippi.  Lived in Natchez, Mississippi where he taught for USM campus there.  Organized Medical Genetics and Legal Genetics.  In 1986, recognized as the first certified genetics lab in the State of Mississippi.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1358, p. 107)

 

In October 2004, Bellande and Burkhardt gutted the former kitchen and bathroom to make one large bathroom.  Roy Bellande was hired to replace rotten sills and joists and to rebuild pier system in the northeast corner of the structure.

 

Dr. Wesley C.  Burkhardt Jr. and Eileen H. Burkhardt, his spouse, were conveyed the Van Cleave-Wilson House by Ray L. Bellande in September 2005.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1392, p. 790)

 

In April 2006, Dr. Burkhardt sold to Alfred R. 'Fred' Moran.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1410, p. 341)

           

Alfred R. Moran

Moran rented to Eco-         and in late 2006, “Flying Wild”, a unique outlet for nature enthusiasts in particularly ‘birders’.  Vended bird feeders, houses, gourmet seed, books and bird bathes.  Catherine Biggs-Owens, proprietor.

 

REFERENCES:

 1.  Jackson County Deed Book 6, pp. 30-31.

 2.  ------------------- Book 8, p. 462.

 3.  ------------------- Book 17, p. 610.

 4.  ------------------- Book 8, pp. 283-285.

 5.  ------------------- Book 27, pp. 595-596.

 6.  ------------------- Book 34, p. 466.

 7.  ------------------- Book 40, p. 262.

 8.  ------------------- Book 66, pp. 472-473.

 9.  ------------------- Book 78, p. 189.

10.  ------------------- Book 382, p. 399.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 34170, "Estate of Ida F. Wilson", 1978.

11.  ------------------- Book 658, p. 536.

12.  ------------------- Book 696, p. 678.

13.  ------------------- Book 696, p. 480.

14.--------------------- Book 950, p. 433

15.  Jackson County Deed of Trust Book 965, p. 93.

16.  Jackson County Deed Book 1112, p. 343.

 

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande:  Ocean Springs-1994), pp. 51-57.

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892 (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), pp. 4, and 52.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"William Bradford", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), pp. 139-140.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"James J. Garrard", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989) p. 213.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Van Cleave-Bradford Families", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989)pp. 375-376.

Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, "Kinderhook, N.Y.", (Merriam-Webster, Inc.:  Springfield, Massachusetts-1984), p. 611.

Chancery Court Cases

Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 1697, "Smith v. Smith", 1908.

Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 33430, "Estate of Otis F. Smith", 1978.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 34170, "Estate of Ida F. Wilson", 1978.

 

Journals

The Daily Herald"Ida Mae Chaillot Obit", April 29, 1922, p. 3.

The Daily Herald"Old Resident of Ocean Springs Dies", March 17, 1926, p. 1.

------------, "F.S. Bradford Dies", January 10, 1951, p. 6.

The Daily Herald"Mrs. L.C. Bradford", May 29, 1968, p. 2.

------------, "Otis F. Smith", October 7, 1977, p. A-2.

------------, "Mrs. Ida Antonia Wilson", February 15, 1978, p. A-2.

The Jackson County Times, Local News Interest, February 2, 1918.

--------------------, Local News Interest, April 19, 1919.

--------------------, Local News Interest, May 10, 1919.

--------------------, "Local News Interest", June 7, 1919.

--------------------, "Local News Interest", November 1, 1919.

--------------------, "Local New Items", July 31, 1920.

--------------------, Local and Personal, December 20, 1924.

The Jackson County Times, Local and Personal, September 5, 1925.

--------------------, "Sudden Death of W.E. Wilson is Shock to Ocean Springs", March 20, 1926, p. 3.

--------------------, "Local and Personal", July 13, 1929, p. 2.

--------------------, "Local and Personal", September 1, 1934.

--------------------, "Local and Personal", July 4, 1936

The Ocean Springs News, "Baptist to Build Handsome Edifice", February 13, 1909, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Reaches 82nd Birthday" (Ida Wilson), September 15, 1966, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Noted artist, author to speak to Ocean Springs Art Association”, February 6, 1986, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record"Memorial to Ben Watkins", November 28, 1993, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", January , 1994.

The Sun Herald"James 'Jimmy' Fayard", June 7, 1990, p. C-2.

The Sun Herald"Benjamin Porter Watkins", November 24, 1993.

 

Jackson County Land Rolls-(1879), p. 104; (1887), p. 125; (1889), p. 132; and (1909), p. 322.

 

US CENSUS-Jackson County, Mississippi (1900, 1910, and 1920).

MAPS:

Sanborn Map Company (New York), "Ocean Springs, Mississippi", (1904)-Sheet 1, (1909)-Sheet 2, (1925)-Sheet 1.

Personal Communication:

J.K. Lemon-January 10, 1994

Margaret S. Norman-January 12, 1994

W. Bradford Lemon-February 17,1994

Charles Fayard-March 22, 1994

Jennie F. Kennett-May 24, 1994

Maria Bargas-June 9, 1994

 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

 The Case-Russell Home: (1881-1933)

Washington Avenue

Dr. Don Carlos Case

In a 19th Century Ocean Springs, the Dr. Don Carlos Case family lived on the southwest corner of Porter and Washington Avenue.  They had relocated to Ocean Springs from New Orleans in June 1878.  Dr. Case was lauded by The Pascagoula Democrat-Star as, “an eminent and experienced physician and surgeon of over thirty years practice in New Orleans and the Mississippi valley…in offering his professional services to our people he is also willing to hold consultations with the other physicians along the coast”.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 7, 1878, p. 3)

In December 1880, Mrs. Martha A. Case purchased Lots 9 and 10 of Block 34 (Culmseig Map of 1854) from Margaret Anderson of Round Island.  The combined lots had an area of 1.36 acres.(Jackson County Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 16-17).

At this excellent location, in the heart of a vibrant tourist community, the Cases built, commencing in January 1881, a large neo-colonial style home costing $2000.  The two-story, wood frame, edifice had over 5000 square feet of living area and a 500 square-foot front gallery.  The small office of Dr. Case was attached to the northwest corner of the house and faced Porter Avenue.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 4, 1881, p. 3 and  Sanborn Insurance Map, Ocean Springs-July 1898, Sheet 2)

1881 Case-Russell House

Dr. Don Carlos Case

Dr. Don Carlos Case (1819-1885) was born at Albany, New York on December 27, 1819.  He attended the University of Missouri Medical College at St. Louis.  Case was issued a license No. 1425 to practice medicine in Jackson County, Mississippi on June 8, 1882.  His initial medical experiences commenced in 1847, probably at Missouri.(Rodgers, 1990, p. 9)

Dr. Case married Martha A. Thomas (1829-1902) who was born at Bouie County, Kentucky.  Her father was a native of Virginia while her mother was also a Kentuckian.  The Cases had three children: May Jane Case Emery (1860-1902+), Francis "Fanny" Shiloh Case Leftwich (1863-1947), and Charles T. Case (1867-1896).  The girls were born at New Madrid, Missouri.  It is believed that the Case family left New Madrid for New Orleans during the Civil War.  Charles T. Case was born in the Crescent City.

May Jane Case

May Jane Case married Charles F. Emery (1855-1943) on July 24, 1878.  He was a graduate of Duke University where he had studied law.  Prior to becoming an ordained minister, Mr. Emery was elected principal of the public schools at Pascagoula.  He came highly recommended as a teacher and gentleman.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 14, 1881, p. 3)

Gunfight with Father John C. Ahern

    In early March 1881, a confrontation occurred on the street at Ocean Springs between Father John C. Ahern, the local Catholic priest, and Mr. C.F. Emery.  In a duel-like scenario, Emery and Ahern, each armed with pistols, met and a single shot was fired by the Reverend Ahern.  Sheriff John E. Clark was summoned from Pascagoula to bring peace.  Professor Emery surrendered to the Justice of the Peace, Harry H. Minor (1837-1884), and was released on his own recognizance.  Father Ahern was not as docile.  He belligerent behavior before Judge Minor’s court resulted in his incarceration and a $35 fine.  Professor Emery and family left the Pascagoula public school system for Fort Smith, Arkansas at the close of the school term in May 1881.  He planned to practice law in Arkansas.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 11, 1881, p. 3 and May 20, 1881, p. 3)           

Reverend Emery

Circa 1890, C.F. Emery became a Christian minister.  He served as the pastor of  Methodist Episcopal parishes at in the Mississippi towns of: Columbia, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Brandon, Meridian, Vicksburg, Natchez, Hattiesburg, Waynesboro, Tylertown, and Fayette. Charles and May Case Emery had at least two children: Charles Franklin Emery (1879-1950) and Don Carlos Emery (1880-1907).  Charles Franklin Emery practiced law.  He died at Corpus Christi, Texas on February 13, 1950.  Don Carlos Emery named for his grandfather, Don Carlos Case, died at Brandon, Mississippi.  Both are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs in the Case-Emery Family plot.

Fanny Shiloh Case

In 1881, at Ocean Springs, Fanny Shiloh Case married Jesse Bion Leftwich (1857-1923), a native of Florence, Alabama.  Leftwich was the son of Jessie George Washington Leftwich (1823-1906) and Agnes Pollock Leftwich (1831-1915).  They were natives of Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee and Ohio respectively.  In May 1877, Agnes Leftwich purchased the John H. Brown house on Fort Bayou, now 810 Iberville, from George A. Cox (1811-1887).  Here J.G. Leftwich made his livelihood as a sugar planter.  In September 1887, the Leftwich family sold their Ocean Springs property and moved to Mobile.  Jessie B. Leftwich and Fanny Case had five children: Alma L. Fullton (b. 1882), Velma L. Lassiter (b. 1882), Beulah L. Norquist (b. 1884), Jessie Bion Leftwich (1890-1892), and Jess Harold Leftwich (b. 1896).  In 1902, the family resided at 811 Dauphin Street in Mobile, Alabama.(Laura Lee Norquist, Mobile, Alabama)

Charles T. Case

           Charles T. Case (1857-1896) married Roberta Staples (1864-1928) on July 10, 1886.  She was the daughter of L. Gordon Staples of Greensboro, North Carolina and Adeline A. Terrell (1829-1902) of Covington, Louisiana.  The Staples resided at New Orleans and owned property on the Fort Point peninsula at Ocean Springs. 

           Roberta S. Case had many siblings.  Among them were: Mary Eleanor “May” S. Poitevent (1847-1932), Lillian Clotilette S. Ryan (1850-1928+), Frederick Staples (1852-1897), Louise V. Staples (1853-1910+), Walter Solomon Staples (1855-1856), Mathilde Lenora Lewis (1858-1928+), Gustave Toussant Beauregard Staples (b. 1861), Laura Estelle Staples (b. 1865), Volumnia H. Davis (1867-1897+), and Stella Staples (1871-1928+). 

           The union of Charles and Roberta Staples Case produced three sons: Carl Theodore Case (1888-1927+), Gordon Staples Case (1890-1927), and Frederick Pendleton Case (d. pre-1924). 

            In October 1896, Charles T. Case died at Nashville, Tennessee where he worked as the private secretary of H.C. Fisher, the Superintendent of the Southern Express Company.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 16, 1896, p. 30

            His widow, Roberta S. Case, was residing at 1109 Rokeby Place at Nashville, in 1902.  She moved to Ocean Springs before 1920, and resided on front beach at “Case Villa” with her sons, Carl T. Case and Gordon S. Case, a medical illustrator.  Circa 1911, Carl T. Case had married Edwina Lynd (b. 1892) of New Orleans.  Her father, Thomas B. Lynd (1862-1915), was an affluent cotton broker.

 In March 1893, Thomas B. Lynd had purchased a 9.67-acre estate on front beach west of the present day Inner Harbor from Caroline Vahle Nill (1862-1949).  He called it "Lyndhurst".  When Lynd's son-in-law, Carl T. Case, resided here, it was known as "Case Villa".  The Lynd-Case home burned in December 1922, when owned by the Charles Grady Parlin (1880-1940) family.  The late Albert B. Austin (1876-1951) and Alice T. Weir Austin (1908-2001) resided here from June 1940, until their deaths.  Alice Austin Martin, their daughter, owns this marvelous home today at 545 Front Beach Drive.(The Jackson County Times, December 23, 1922, p. 5)

            Roberta Staples Case expired at her Biloxi residence on April 29, 1928.  Her remains were passed through St. John’s Episcopal Church prior to interment in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, May 5, 1928, p. 2)

Anecdotal Dr. Case

      Descendants of the Case-Leftwich families, Velma Croom, Francis Danley, and Laura Lee Norquist, residing in Mobile today, relate several family anecdotes passed down about Dr. Don Carlos Case.  One of the most interesting tells how Dr. Case treated patients afflicted with skin cancer by focusing natural sunlight (ultraviolet radiation) with two cobalt vases.  The "cobalt radiation" was directed to the cancerous tissue.

      Another tale involved one of the yellow fever epidemics, which struck the area.  Dr. Case was called to the home of a sea captain infected with the virus.  The delirious seaman told Dr. Case that he knew he was going to die and wanted to clear his conscious.  As a youth, the captain had been a pirate.  The motley crew had come ashore near Ocean Springs and buried a treasure.  The dying man gave Dr. Case exact directions to the location of the interred valuables.  Because of the man's condition, Dr. Case disregarded the tale as a dying man's hallucination.  Several weeks later Case was near the purported treasure site and recognized some of the landmarks described by the deceased sea captain.  When he approached the exact site, Don Carlos Case found a gaping hole in the earth.  There was a family living nearby.  Dr. Case asked them if they knew about the hole.  "Yes", they replied.  "Several weeks ago a small ship dropped anchor in the bay.  A dinghy came ashore.  The sailors left in a jolly mood"

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

Case family postscript

It is interesting to note that in the late 19th and early 20th Century, the Maxwell-Gottsche families of Ocean Springs acquired the family names of  Case-Lynd.  Examples cited are: Karl Case Maxwell (1893-1958) and Albert Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974).

Hiram Fisher Russell

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

In late January 1906, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced that, “Mr. H.F. Russell has commenced improvements on his lately acquired property corner of Porter and Washington.  The residence will be fitted up in first-class style and when finished will be the home of the Russell family”.(The Pascagoula Democratic-Star, January 26, 1906, p. 3)

Prior to moving into the large Case home on Washington and Porter, the Russell’s resided above their furniture store on the northeast corner of Washington and Bowen.  This edifice had been built in the spring of 1891, by Mr. Russell’s brother-in-law, John Duncan Minor (1863-1920), an architect and contractor.  The Russell family planned to move into the new residence around May 10, 1891.  Mr. W.A. Whitfield took the house formerly occupied by the Russell family.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 1, 1891, p. 2)

Hiram Fisher Russell (1858-1940) was born at Yazoo City, Mississippi on March 10, 1858, the son of William Russell and Mrs. Russell.  Mr. Russell arrived at Ocean Springs in 1880, and was associated with R.A. VanCleave (1840-1908) in the mercantile business.  In 1888, he commenced his own enterprises in real estate, insurance, furniture, stationary, and sewing machines.  Like his mentor, Mr. VanCleave, H.F. Russell was also the local postmaster serving the community from 1885-1889.(Dyer, 1895)

In April 1988, the A.P. Moran family who has successfully continued the business traditions of their patriarch, H.F. Russell, into the 21st Century, had a centennial celebration to observe his 1888 commencement of commerce in Ocean Springs.(The Mississippi Press, April 17, 1988, p. 6)  

H.F. Russell married May Virginia Minor (1866-1910) on June 15, 1887.  She was the daughter of Harold Henry Minor (1837-1884) of Tennessee and Virginia Doyal (1844-1903), a native of New Orleans.  Her siblings were: Harold H. Minor II (1862-1905), John Duncan Minor (1863-1920), Philip T. Minor (b. 1870), and Ada Minor Switzer (1875-1914).(JXCO, Ms. MRB 3, p. 432)

The H.F. Russells had five children: Frederick R. Russell (1889-1889); Hazel May R. Robinson (1890-1920), the spouse of Pomeroy Robinson; Hiram Minor Russell (1892-1940) who married Ethel Duffie; Harry Turner Russell (1898-1899); and Ethel R. Moran (1899-1957), the wife of A.P. “Fred” Moran (1897-1967).

In the spring of 1909, May V. Russell went to a sanitarium at El Paso, Texas for rest and medical treatment.  She returned to Ocean Springs in June for a short stay, before going to spend the summer at Ashville, North Carolina.  Mrs. Russell returned to El Paso the next spring.  She expired there on April 1, 1910 with malarial symptoms.(The Ocean Springs News, June 12, 1909, April 2, 1910, p. 1 and April 9, 1910, p. 1)

J. Lillian Miles

 Several years after Mrs. May V. Russell’s untimely demise, H.F. Russell and Miss J. Lillian Miles (1890-1929) wedded on May 4, 1915, at her mother’s home in Newton, Mississippi.  Miss Miles had come to Ocean Springs to teach in the public school.(The Ocean Springs News, April 29, 1915, p. 3 and May 13, 1915, p. 1)

In early August 1929, Mrs. Lillian Russell was killed when she fell from a train near White Oaks, Virginia.  She was on her way to visit her ill mother at Roanoke.  Mrs. Lillian Russell was considered, “ a brilliant woman who possessed out of the ordinary literary knowledge”.  (The Jackson County Times, August 3, 1929, p. 1)

Politics and family business

In addition to his real estate and insurance operations, H.F. Russell was considered a powerful politico in Jackson County, once having served as chairman of the JXCO Democratic Executive Committee.  He was an avid supporter of Governor James K. Vardaman (1861-1930) and Senator T.G. Bilbo.  When he and Mrs. Russell went for a holiday to the spas of Hot Springs, Arkansas in the spring of 1921, they were guests of Mississippi Governor, Lee Russell and spouse, at the governor’s mansion in Jackson.(The Jackson County Times, May 21, 1921, p. 3)

In August 1924, Mr. Russell was under the care of a physician at the Hill Crest Manor, a private sanitarium, in Asheville, North Carolina.  He had a slight stroke in Ashville which affected his right side.(The Daily Herald, August 29, 1924, p. 8)

Before Mr. Russell’s demise on May 5, 1940, his daughter, Ethel R. Moran (1899-1957) was running Russell’s Ocean Springs Insurance Agency, which became the Moran Agency in 1942.  Her husband, A.P. “Fred” Moran (1897-1967), began the Ocean Springs Lumber Company in 1924, and was a member of the JXCO Board of Supervisors from 1929 until 1967.  In September 1935, at the height of the Depression, Mrs. Moran won $2500 in a contest sponsored by The Item-Tribune of New Orleans.  Some of the money was used to pay taxes and probably saved some of her father’s real estate holdings.(The Jackson County Times, September 21, 1935, p. 1)

The 1933 Fire

A damaging conflagration occurred in the H.F. Russell home on February 11, 1933.  Although the fine structure was not destroyed in the fire, its fine furnishings and interior were ruined.  Due to the financial woes of the Depression, the Russell family lost their home.   

The Ocean Springs State Bank

In January 1935, Fred Taylor, Special Commissioner, conveyed Lot 17 of Block 3 of the Clay Strip and seven other parcels of land formerly owned by Mr. Russell to the Ocean Springs State Bank for $5000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 70, pp. 546-547)

H.F. Russell had sued the Ocean Springs Bank in December 1934 for the relief from $4000 of his indebtedness on two notes held by the bank.  He had borrowed about $8600 from this financial institution.  Mr. Russell’s collateral was eight lots that he owned in Ocean Springs, including his magnificent domicile on the southwest corner of Washington Avenue and Jackson Avenue.  The Ocean Springs State Bank had required Mr. Russell to insure his home for not less than $4000. 

In his plea to the Chancery Court, he stated that he could not afford the insurance and requested that the bank procure its own fire policy on the edifice.  When the H.F. Russell home was damaged by fire on February 11, 1933, it was not protected with fire insurance.  From the derelict structure, Mr. Russell recovered bath fixtures, electric light fixtures, some doors and windows, as well as window screens and grates.  In December 1934, Judge Dan M. Russell, Chancellor of the 8th Chancery Court, determined that the Ocean Springs State Bank had the legal authority to seize H.F. Russell’s property to satisfy his indebtedness to them.  Judge Russell awarded the Ocean Springs State Bank $9750, which included the principal and accrued interest on Mr. Russell’s two mortgages, and attorney fees.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 5606, H.F. Russell v. The Ocean Springs State Bank-December 1934)

Mae and Lynd Gottsche

            In September 1934, Mae Kettle Gottsche (1907-2001) and spouse, A. Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974,) acquired the remains of Case-Russell house.  It had been gutted by fire in the past year.  They planned to salvage the fine lumber from the floors and other structural members and utilize them to construct their family home on Ocean Avenue.  The derelict Case-Russell structure was demolished and removed from Washington and Porter where it had proudly stood for fifty-three years.(The Jackson County Times, September 29, 1934, p. 2)

            In late 1934 and early 1935, Lynd and Mae K. Gottsche built their residence at present day 915 Ocean Avenue and called it “Lyndwood”.  The large lot was acquired in November 1933, from Miss Annie O. Eglin (1881-1963).  The former Gottsche home is now occupied by the Reverend Andy Wells and family and owned by the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Spring who acquired it in December 1989, from A. Lynd Gottsche Jr.(The Jackson County Times, January 5, 1935, p. 3, JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 66, pp. 100-101 and Bk. 950, p. 488)

Epilogue

   The lot for the former Case-Russell Home is certainly one of the most commercially viable and visible in Old Ocean Springs.  Its ideal location, on US 90 before this thoroughfare was rerouted in the 1950s, was conducive for the erection of a gasoline service station and tourist cottages by J. Brice Bridges (1869-1959) in 1938.  He had come to Ocean Springs in 1937, and served as president of the local Rotary Club in 1939-1940.(The Jackson County Times, April 222, 1939, p.1)

   In October 1941, Albert A. Auer acquired the Bridges Tourist Court.  Mrs. Anne Auer sold it to Clifton L. Beckman (1933-1984) in October 1966.  In January 1969, Dr. Beckman sold the attractive lot to George Sliman (1934-1997).  Jim(West)-Ray Builders built the current business situated here, the Cedar Oaks Apartments. Cedar Oaks is owned by the Elmore family of Biloxi, Mississippi in 2002. (The Ocean Springs Record, January 30, 1969, p. 3)

    The Toups building on the corner of Washington and Porter was built by E.W. Pettus for Dr. Beckman.(Mary Marr Beckman, February 5, 2002)

 

REFERENCES:

Books

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

Charles L. Dyer, Along The Gulf"Ocean Springs", (Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1972).  [Originally published in 1895 by the L&N Railroad].

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

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

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

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 119,  “Don Carlos Case v. The Estate of John Staiger”, June 1882.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 1052, “The Last Will of Martha N. Case”, 1902.

Journals

The Jackson County Times, Local and Personal”, May 2, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Parlin Home Destroyed by Fire”, December 23, 1922.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. Roberta Case Dies”, May 5, 1928.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. H.F. Russell Buried Monday”, August 3, 1929.

The Jackson County Times, “H.F. Russell Sells Large Realty Holdings”, November 30, 1929.

The Jackson County Times, “The Column”, September 29, 1934, p. 2.

The Jackson County Times, “The Column”, January 5, 1935, p. 3.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. Ethel Moran Receives 1st Prize in Contest”, September 21, 1935.

The Jackson County Times, “J.B. Bridges To Head Local Rotary”, April 22, 1939.

The Jackson County Times, “Death Takes Prominent O.S. Citizen”, May 11, 1940.

The Mississippi Press, “Family business celebrates 100th year”, April 17, 1988.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, June 12, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, April 2, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, April 9, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local and Personal”, March 4, 1911.

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

The Ocean Springs News, “Russell-Miles”, May 13, 1915.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Cedar Oaks Apartments”, January 30, 1969.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local News”, June 7, 1878.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, January 14, 1881.

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

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Hostilities”, March 11, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs News”, May 1, 1891.

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

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 16, 1896.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 26, 1906.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

MISS-LA-BAMA: THE SCHMIDT-WALKER HOUSE: 1884-2006

243 Front Beach Drive           

Miss-La-Bama-situated at 243 Front Beach Drive, this structure began as the Alabama pavilion at the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, which was held at New Orleans in 1884 and 1885.  It was acquired by William B. Schmidt (1831-1901), a wealthy merchant in the Crescent City, and relocated by barge to his large estate on the beach front at Ocean Springs.  The small structure which was modeled after the Alhambra in Spain was utilized as a music hall for the Schmidt children.[The Ocean Springs News, July 30, 1964]

The Schmidt-Walker House, known as Miss-La-Bama, at 243 Front Beach Drive is arguably the most interesting 19th Century domestic structure remaining at Ocean Springs.  It’s relatively high topographic elevation, raised foundation, and sound construction saved it from Katrina’s massive storm surge on the morning of August 29, 2005.  Mexican Gulf waters flowed underneath and around the house presenting it for several hours as an ‘island in the storm’, as surrounding structures were inundated, damaged, and destroyed.  Miss-La-Bama’s gallery and carport at the rear of the structure did receive serious impairment from the hurricane’s winds and high water.

Almost immediately after the late August tempest had moved on, William ‘Bill’ Ballard, the son of the owner, Jan Gallaspy Ballard Walker, began cleaning up the damage to the old edifice.  Ms. Walker hired several craftsmen, a structural engineer, and an architect to assist Bill with the planning and refurbishing of the foundation and rebuilding the gallery and carport.  Their work continues today.  Old house aficionados will be delighted to know that the vinyl siding has been removed from the Schmidt-Walker residence exposing the pine and cypress weatherboards of the original building and those of later additions to this fine house.

It should also be noted that Bill Ballard made digital images of the Katrina event commencing on Sunday eve and ending late Monday afternoon.  He has night as well as daylight images.

Early history

The Schmidt-Walker residence at 243 Front Beach Drive in Ocean Springs, Mississippi was erected as the Alabama headquarters for The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, which was held at New Orleans in 1884 and 1885.  The Alabama pavilion was described in 1885, as follows: The [Alabama] headquarters were in an alcove jutting off from the [Main] building, and were very artistic in design, and after the Morro-Arabic style-planned after the celebrated Alhambra, of Spain, and built entirely of Alabama pine.  The various pieces of wood were highly polished and the walls made still more attractive by pillars and arches carved in bas-relief.  The headquarters were divided into a suite of rooms consisting of a private office and three reception rooms.  Heavy damask curtains and choice rugs were displayed in harmony with elegant furniture.(Fairall, 1885, p. 31)

The Main building of the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition was 1378 feet long and 905 feet wide and covered an area of thirty-three acres.  It was constructed of wood in a series of trussed sections divided by rows of tall pillars, which were covered by a continuous, mainly glass roof.  At the time, it was the largest exhibition hall ever built,(Kendall, 1922, p. 461)

After this international event, the Alabama pavilion was acquired by W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901), a merchant and civic minded entrepreneur, of New Orleans.  Mr. Schmidt had been appointed to a committee to solicit funds for the Cotton Centennial Exposition. The Times-Democrat was the first to subscribe — pledging itself for $5,000. The people of New Orleans, the railroads, the banks, the Cotton Exchange and other corporations, all subscribed until the sum of $225,000 was obtained. Only one subscription came from the North, that of Potter Palmer, for the sum of $1,000. (Kendall, 1922, p. 458)

Mr. Schmidt had the building dismantled and shipped to Ocean Springs on barges where it was reassembled on his beachfront estate.  It acquired the moniker, Miss-La-Bama, from Bernadine Wulff (1899-1992), a later owner, because of its relationship to the three states, i.e. it is now in Mississippi; was built and utilized in Louisiana; and was the Alabama headquarters for the 1884-1885 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition.(The Ocean Springs News, July 30, 1964)

William B. Schmidt: The Merchant Prince

The story of Miss-La-Bama is such an integral part of the chronology of the W.B. Schmidt family of New Orleans that one would be remiss without knowledge of them and their cultural and social affairs at Ocean Springs.  Of all the people who have been a part of the history of Ocean Springs, one man, William B. Schmidt (1823-1901), stands alone.  His transient tenure here during the final decades of the 19th Century, was marked by entrepreneurship, patriotism, and philanthropy.  Schmidt although a resident of New Orleans, owned the Ocean Springs Hotel, the Seashore House, the Medical Lot at Marble Springs, an estate called Summer Hill on the front beach, and other real estate throughout the town. 

When Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) came to town on September 9, 1882, to review the Reichard Battalion and German Guards of New Orleans, Schmidt sponsored a champagne punch reception for President Davis in the parlor of the VanCleave Hotel.  The troops were under the command of Major Maximillian Hermann and accompanied by Wolf's Band.  The festivities of the day were concluded with a grand military ball at Schmidt's Ocean Springs Hotel.  This was certainly our most historic day since the Le Moyne landing of April 1699.(The Daily Picayune, September 11, 1881, p. 1)

William B. Schmidt was born at Schwenningen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany on April 10, 1823.  His parents immigrated to the United States and settled initially at St. Louis, Missouri and Lexington, Kentucky before establishing permanent residence at New Orleans in 1838.  In 1845, at the age of twenty-two, young Schmidt commenced a business relationship with Francis M. Ziegler (1818-1901), also a native of Baden-Wurttemberg in southwestern Germany.  Their firm, Schmidt & Ziegler, began as a small wholesale grocery business on Old Levee street in the Vieux Carre.  It later moved to South Peters.  By 1900, Schmidt & Ziegler had expanded to eleven stores.  The firm was the pioneer in New Orleans international trade initiating commerce with South and Central America.

In January 1849, W.B. Schmidt married Virginia Ann Jackson (1835-1912).  She was born at Philadelphia of Cuban parentage.  Francis M. Ziegler married Schmidt's sister, Adrienne Schmidt (1831-1886), on the same day at the Third Presbyterian Church in New Orleans.  In later life, it is believed that Schmidt converted to Roman Catholicism. 

The Schmidts had eleven children.  At the time of Mr. Schmidt's demise in 1901, seven children were living: Victoria A. Maes (1851-1926) married Albert Maes (1846-1885); James J. Schmidt (1852-1920), Richard R. Schmidt (1854-1900), Ruby Lillian Donovan (1856-1901+), Florence J. Donovan (1861-1901+), Charles D. Schmidt (1863-1920), Louise May Schmidt (1869- 1935), and Theodore Louis Schmidt (1871-1909).  Two sons died at Ocean Springs prior to 1896, and were interred at the Bellande Cemetery.  In 1895, Schmidt asked the city government for permission through his spokesman, Gregoire Wieder (1844-1899), to disinter their bodies and move them to the family tomb at the Metairie Cemetery on Millionaire Circle.(Minute Book Town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, p. )

Both the Schmidt and Ziegler families owned summer homes at Ocean Springs west of their hotel.  Schmidt became established on the front beach in 1878-1879, when he purchased Lots 16 thru 25 in Block 16 (Culmseig Map of 1854) from George A. Cox and Julia Ward.  He called this property "Summer Hill".  Schmidt's holdings were of estate proportions with over seven hundred feet on the bay front. 

Several writers visited Ocean Springs in the 1890s and commented on the W.B. Schimdt estate.  T.H. Glenn in The Mexican Gulf Coast Illustrated (1893) said:  The grounds of Mr. Schmidt are the largest and most highly improved in the place (Ocean Springs) and are among the finest on the Coast.  Besides the improved grounds there is a park of several acres.  The family residence is not pretentious but very comfortable and supplied with modern conveniences.  It is lighted with gas manufactured on the place.  An artesian fountain gives a full supply of water brought from a depth of 450 feet; a hydraulic ram forces the water over the place.  There are several fish ponds supplied with green trout (bass) and other kinds of fish.  The grounds immediately around the residence are highly improved and richly ornamented with rare flowers and plants.   Mr. Schmidt is not only a very successful business man, but keeps abreast with the latest improvements in whatever pertains to matters where his interest are affected.  He has adopted sub-irrigation and sub-drainage on his own extensive grounds where vegetables and fruits for his own use are grown, and his table in the Crescent city when the season for their maturity arrives, is supplied with these products fresh from his own grounds.  He has the Scuppernong grape, the pecan in its best state, and other specialties too numerous to mention in detail.  There are also a number of high bred milch cows kept, and every morning the Coast train takes fresh milk to the city (New Orleans) for the use of his family.  The yield per acre of crops of vegetables raised is often phenomenal.

Charles L. Dyer in Along The Gulf (1895) described the W.B. Schmidt property at Ocean Springs as follows: The finest most elaborate and most expensive estate on the entire Gulf Coast is that of W.B. Schmidt, of New Orleans.  Covering as it does an immense territory of hilly land, with beautiful ponds, of which there are three large islands, namely Dog, Crane, and Deer Islands each of which have immense iron figures according to these names.  These beautiful spots are connected with one another and the main island with rustic bridges.  The house, which is an elaborate modern structure, sits on a high bluff, surrounded by beautifully mowed lawn, with numerous beds of rare flowers and majestic oaks, magnolias, and cedars.  The tall stately pines are in abundance in the rear of the estate, through which runs numerous walks and drives.  The house itself is one of the most elaborate on the coast.  It is large being located on a hill, near the water's edge, the stiff gulf breeze is generally blown through the house, which is magnificently furnished with everything necessary for the comfort of its owner.  Mr. Schmidt has spent nearly $40,000 on improvements alone, so the reader may form an idea of the magnificence of the estate.

 

A CIRCA 1920 FRONT BEACH MONTAGE

These visual images will give the reader an idea of the architecture existing on the beach front at Ocean Springs at a time in the early history of Miss-La-Bama, the small, structure imported from New Orleans to Ocean Springs and placed on the William B. Schmidt Estate, which was situated between present day Hillandale Street and Martin Avenue.  From West to East:

The Maginnis Estate

The Maginnis Estate was located on front beach at Ocean Springs between Hillandale and McNamee.  The Maginnis family resided at New Orleans and made their fortune primarily in cotton seed oil and cotton textiles.  Arthur Ambose Maginnis (1815-1877), a native of Maryland, and Elizabeth Jane Armstrong Maginnis (1822-1901), a native of Liverpool, England and Scottish parents, were the parents of at least nine children.  A son, John H. Maginnis (1845-1889), was killed by a lighting strike on the Maginnis pier in Biloxi Bay on July 4, 1889.

 ‘Lake View’, the F.M. Ziegler Cottage

‘Lake View’ was the summer home of Francis M. Ziegler (1818-1901).  Mr. Ziegler was a partner of W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901) in Schmidt & Ziegler, a large wholesale grocery business at New Orleans.  Their company was the pioneer of New Orleans international trade initiating commerce with South and Central America.

Charles W. Ziegler (1865-1936), a son of F.M. Ziegler, sold "Lake View" to Dillwyn V. Purington (1841-1914), a native of Sydney, Maine and Jennie Barnes Purington (1846-1933), a native of Bath, New York.  After the Civil War, he moved to Chicago and became involved in the lumber and brick business.  He was president of Purington Paving Brick Company at Galesville, Illinois and Purington-Kimball Brick Company at Chicago.

The Puringtons called their place "Wyndillhurst".  In August 1926, Katherine Ver Nooy became the owner of this property.  The home is believed to have been destroyed by fire in the 1940s.  The Purington place was located at present day 221 Front Beach.

‘Wyndillhurst’, The Purington Place

            

‘Summer Hill’, The W.B. Schmidt House

 ‘Summer Hill’, the old W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901) residence at present day 227 Beach Drive is extant and owned by Dr. James Moore Carter and wife, Patti Swetman Carter.  In August 1919,Miss Louisa May Schmidt (1869-1935) of New Orleans, a spinster daughter of W.B. Schmidt and Virginia A. Jackson Schmidt (1835-1912) conveyed her Beach property to Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940), a local entrepreneur, for $16,000.  David M. Davis (1880-1943+) of New Orleans acquired the old Schmidt property in May 1925.  In the 1930s, he rented it to the Captain Ellis Handy (1891-1963) family.  Roswell Kimball (1886-1948) and Elva Stiglets Kimball (1888-1980) acquired it from David M. Davis in 1942.  ‘Summer Hill’ remained in the Kimball family until January 1996, when James A. Smith was vended it by the Heirs of Roswell S. Kimball Jr. (1921-1995). 

One of the W.B. Schmidt ponds

The low topography on the W.B. Schmidt Estate was made into ponds.  There were three islets in the ponds, Dog, Crane, and Deer, which were named for large iron figures of these animals on the respective islet.  Rustic bridges connected the small parcel of land.  In the 1930s, Captain Ellis Handy (1891-1963), who was renting ‘Summer Hill’, and three men shot eight water moccasins in a pond in the rear of Miss-La-Bama when it was owned by Bernadine Wulff (1899-1992).(Dr. Thomas Handy, November 17, 2006) 

 Miss-La-Bama

In August 1928, Bernadine Wullf (1899-1992) acquired the “former music hall” of the W.B. Schmidt children from David M. Davis of New Orleans for $9,000.  She  studied voice at Newcomb College and was a three-year soloist at Christ Church Cathedral.  In New York, Miss Wulff studied under Rochovsky and D’Arnall.  Her natural acting ability combined with her trained voice led to many opera and musical theater roles in New York and Chicago from 1924 into the mid-1930s.  She chose the stage name “Berna Deane”.  Her sister, Vera Adelaide Wulff Cook (1906-1992), was also a talented chanteuse.  When the Depression came, they found theatrical work difficult to obtain and joined together as the “Deane Sisters”, performing on radio in New York and Chicago.  Bernadine Wulff retired to her Ocean Springs beach front home in 1936. Her home which she called “Miss-La-Bama” had been the Alabama pavilion at the 1884-1885 World Cotton Exposition in New Orleans.  It in a much metamorphosed form it is now at 234 Front Drive and owned by Jan Galaspy Walker.

Glengariff, the Captain O’Neill Home

[image courtesy of Mary Mooney Wade]

Captain Francis O’ Neill (1849-1936), the retired General Superintendent of the Chicago Police and a resident of 5448 Drexel Avenue at Chicago, Illinois, acquired this summer residence at Ocean Springs of John J. Kuhn in July 1914. Captain O'Neill and his family wintered at Ocean Springs, Mississippi from 1914 to his death on January 26, 1936.  He called his retirement home and estate at Ocean Springs, Glengariff, for the Irish resort city of Glengariff near O'Neill’s birthplace on Bantry Bay, Cork County, Ireland.  The house was located at present day 253 Beach Drive, near the center of a 5.14 acre tract which ran northeasterly from Front Beach Drive and Martin Avenue, almost 800 feet to the southwest corner of Cleveland and Martin Avenues.  The O’Neill tract had a front of 286 feet on the Bay of Biloxi.  Today, the Brumfield property west of Martin Avenue occupies the former site of Glengariff. 

W.B. Schmidt, the philanthropist

W.B. Schmidt was very generous to the people of Ocean Springs.  In December 1883, he donated the land where the Ocean Springs Senior Citizens Building is situated on Washington Avenue to the Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1. They built a fire house here, which burned in the "Big Fire" of November 15, 1916.(JXCO Ms. Record of Deeds Bk. 7. pp. 52-53) 

In August 1891, Schmidt donated land on the northwest corner of Rayburn and Porter to the St. Johns Episcopal Church.  Here the parishioners erected a sanctuary, standing today in near original condition, although it was completed in April 1892.(JXCO, Ms. Record of Deeds Bk. 12, pp. 576-577)

In July 1896, several years before his death in 1901, W.B. Schmidt gave the City of Ocean Springs, the Medical Lot on Iberville Drive.  This was the site of Schmidt's Marble Springs bathes, which were used by patron of his Ocean Springs Hotel.  Between 1979 and 1984 the Marble Springs site was cleaned, surveyed by an archaeologist and restored.  In 1982, the City of Ocean Springs received federal funds through a grant, and began the groundwork, which lead to the restoration of Marble Springs.  As a requirement of the grant, Dr. Elizabeth M. Bogess, an archeologist from Natchez, was hired by the City to determine the past history of the springs through its archaeological record.  In early 1984, the spring house and tubs were renovated at a cost of more than $16,000.  The second phase of the springs project consisted of the completion of a retaining wall, landscaping, parking lot and walkways.(The Daily Herald, July 15, 1982 and July 27, 1984, and The Ocean Springs Record, November 15, 1979 and December 6, 1979,

W.B. Schmidt was described as a quiet, thoughtful man with a will of iron and a heart of gold.  He was a moving force assisting those less fortunate than himself.  At various times, he sent German immigrants to Ocean Springs to work on his estate until they could get a start in life.  Among those who Schmidt guided here were Adolph Joseph Schrieber (1835-1875) and Ferdinand W. Illing (1838-1884).  They had escaped from Mexico in 1867, after the fall of Emperor Maximilian and his German and Austrian nationals.  Both families have left indelible marks in our local history. 

Among the organizations and enterprises which he participated during his life, W.B. Schmidt could list the following: Sugar Exchange, Board of Trade, Board of Liquidation, Charity Hospital Board, President of the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, Canal Bank (director), Teutonia Insurance Company, and director of the Texas & Pacific Railroad.

In his obituary, it was said of Mr. Schmidt: He loved his home, and made his magnificent mansion here (New Orleans), and his house in Ocean Springs havens of happiness and hospitality.  He loved to have his family and friends about him and to know that comfort and enjoyment were theirs, but he cared little for what the world calls society, although sociable and companionable to the highest degree.  With broad charity in his soul and with the mind's eye penetrating and clear, his helpfulness was one of his strongest qualities, and the individual or cause to which he lent his energy and wisdom were bound to derive great benefit.  He knew his duty both as a citizen and as a man and did it well.  Institutions and men in the ascendant today know how much they owe to his generosity and public spirit and he will be mourned far beyond the confines of the city he loved and fostered not only as a merchant prince, but as a prince of merchants.

Iberville marker

Arguably, the most historic find of the 20th Century on the Mississippi coast was made in the water in front of the W.B. Schmidt home in 1910, when the care taker, Robert Rupp (1857-1930), found what is believed to be the corner stone of Fort Maurepas (1699-1702).  In 1937, this French Colonial period artifact with some bricks associated with it was sent to the Louisiana State Museum at New Orleans by F.A. ‘Dolph’ Schrieber (1871-1944) and Dr. O.L. Bailey (1870-1938).  The plaque was kept at the Cabildo because the heirs of W.B. Schmidt agreed that it belonged there.  Is has remained here since its departure from the Schmidt estate.

'Summer Hill'-the former W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901) summer residence, in Ocean Springs is located at present day 227 Front Beach Drive.  The left image was made in July 1993 when Roswall S. Kimball Jr. (1921-1995) owned the home.  The right image made in July 2005, depicts the condition of 'Summer Hill' after Dr. James M. Carter working with Carl Germany, AIA, and Paul Campbell, contractor, had replicated the east wing of the old Schmidt house, which had been removed.  The home was damaged by Katrina in August 2005, but work continues today on a rear addition.  Images by Ray L. Bellande.

Summer Hill and the dissolution of the W.B. Schmidt Estate

Although the well-manicured grounds, small lakes, cottages, and outbuildings of the W.B. Schmidt era at Ocean Springs have long disappeared, ‘Summer Hill’, the old W.B. Schmidt residence at present day 227 Beach Drive is extant and occupied by Dr. James Moore Carter and wife, Patti Swetman Carter.  After the demise of Virginia Jackson Schmidt (1835-1912) in 1912, her surviving children inherited the Schmidt family real estate at Ocean Springs.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 3957, March 1915)   

On August 4, 1919, Commissioner Fred Taylor of the Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court sold four land parcels at Ocean Springs to W.B. Schmidt’s daughter, Louise May Schmidt (1869-1935) of New Orleans, for $15,000.  There is a high degree of certitude that this sale was made to clear title on the W.B. Estate at Ocean Springs.  It was Lot 1 of this sale known as “Beach Place” that contained ‘Summer Hill’, the W.B. Schmidt home and his children’s music hall, which would become known as Miss-La-Bama.  In the Commissioner’s Deed to Miss Louise May Schmidt, Lot 1 was described as follows: Begin at a point on Cleveland Avenue about 370 feet west 22 degrees north of the SW/C of Cleveland and Martin; thence west about 50 degrees north 719 feet along a fence line; thence south 29 west degrees 630 feet along a fence line to the beach; thence 707 feet along the beach; thence north 29 degrees east 590 feet to the place of beginning.  This tract is approximately ten acres and is known as the Beach Place.(JXCO, Ms. Record of Deed Bk. 47, pp. 96-97 and JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 3920)

The ‘Beach Place’

In August 1919, Miss Louisa May Schmidt conveyed her ‘Beach Place’ to Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940), a local entrepreneur, for $15,000.  In January 1921, H.F. Russell and H. Minor Russell (1892-1940) conveyed the Beach Place to Herbert and Nina McNamee of Cook County, Illinois.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. Bk. 47, pp. 99-100 and 55, pp. 460-461)

Herbert McNamee

Herbert McNamee (1873-1930+) was born at Chicago on October 14, 1873, the son of James F. McNamee (1845-1880+) and Edith Risley (1851-1880+).  His father was a hardware merchant.  Herbert McNamee married Nina Royce (1875-1930+), also an Illinois native.  They had seven children.

            Herbert McNamee made his livelihood as a grain merchant at Chicago and his place of business was 434 Postal Telegraph Building.  By 1930, Mr. McNamee was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and his two sons, Royce McNamee (1904-1930+) and Risley McNamee (1908-1970) were clerks working for the Board of Trade.  The family resided on Sheridan Road in the Village of Glencoe.  Their house was valued at $55,000.(1930 Cook County, Illinois Federal Census R503, p. 20A, ED 2005)

            In May 1925, Herbert McNamee sold the Beach Place to David M. Davis of New Orleans.  The selling price was $50,000.  McNamee Street acquired its name from this Chicago family.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 55, pp. 461-462)

David M. Davis

            David Matthew Davis (1880-1950+) was born in New Orleans on November 24, 1879 to Aaron Davis (1855-1922) and Dora Haspel Davis (1856-1925).  David M. Davis grew up in Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana, south of New Orleans where he father was a retail merchant.  In February 1905, David M. Davis married Bertha Weiss (1882-1920+), the daughter of Leopold Weiss (1850-1895) and Adelina or Ada, Levy (1859-1943).  In 1920, the David M. Davis family lived on Robert Street in the Crescent City.  At this time, David M. Davis managed a store.  In 1913, he and Bertha had Leonie Davis, a daughter.(1880 Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T9_465, Ed 140 and 1920 Orleans Parish, Federal Census T625_624, p. 17B, ED 230)

d’Iberville Subdivision

In August 1941, David M. Davis platted the d’Iberville Subdivision from the old Schmidt Beach Place.  The d’Iberville Subdivision was bounded on the north by Cleveland Avenue; on the east by the property of Captain Francis O’Neill (1849-1936); on the south by Biloxi Bay; and on the west by the lands of D.V. Purington (1841-1914).  The original street names in this tract were McNamee; Russell, now Schmidt; and Davidson, now Oakwood.(Plat Bk. 1, p. 142 and Plat Bk. 2, p. 18)

‘Summer Hill’ was situated in Lot 1 of the d’Iberville Subdivision and sold by Mr. Davis in March 1942 to Elva Stigletts Kimball (1889-1980), the wife of Roswall S. Kimball (1886-1948).  Mr. Kimball, a native of Scriven County, Georgia, came to the Coast in 1913.  Before moving to Ocean Springs, Roswall S. Kimball operated a general store near the L&N depot at Gautier.  He later was a pulp wood agent.  It is believed that the Kimball family referred to their estate as ‘Kimcrest’.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 79, pp. 406-407) 

Roswell S. Kimball Jr. (1921-1995) inherited ‘Summer Hill’ and other real estate in 1987 from his mother’s estate.  Like his father, he made his livelihood in the timber and pulp wood business.  After Mr. Kimball’s demise, ‘Summer Hill” was acquired in January 1996 by James A. and Dorothy E. Smith from Thomas B. McIntosh, the executor of the Estate of Roswall S. Kimball Jr.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 40,293-June 1987, JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 889, p. 349 and Bk. 1079, p. 58) 

‘Summer Hill’ came into the Carter family in July 2004, when it was purchased from the James A. Smith family.  Dr. James Moore Carter and spouse, Patti Swetman Carter, reside here today.  The Carters have refurbished and made additions to their historic home.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1347, p. 802)

 

Berna Deane’-born Bernadine Wulff (1899-1992) in New Orleans, Miss Wulff starred as an Operetta singer on the Broadway stage at New York from 1924 until the Great Depression reduced the number of active theatres.  Miss Wulff and her talented sister, Vera A. Wulff  ‘Skees’ Cook (1906-1992), then teamed up as the ‘Deanne Sisters’ for radio gigs on NBC in New York and WEAF at Chicago.  Bernadine Wulff was a cultural icon at Ocean Springs from 1936 until her demise in November 1992.  Miss-La-Bama her 19th Century Front Beach home has an incredible history as well as being an architectural gem and Katrina survivor.[Images courtesy of Melissa Burkhardt]

Bernadine Wulff

Before David M. Davis (1880-1950+) created the d’Iberville Subdivision in 1941, from the former W.B. Schmidt Estate, known as the Beach Place with ‘Summer Hill’, the former Schmidt residence and large ponds, as the landmark features on the manor, he had sold in August 1928, Miss-La-Bama, the Schmidt children’s music hall, to Bernadine Wulff for $9000.  Miss Wulff’s lot had a front of 100 feet on Biloxi Bay and ran 900 feet north to Cleveland Avenue.  At the same time, Fred A. Wulff, Bernadine’s father, bought an identically sized lot to the east of Miss-La-Bama for $10,000.  It was bounded on the east by Glengariff, the Captain Francis O’ Neill estate.  In January 1944, her sister, Vera Wulff Cook (1906-1992), and spouse, John Carter Cook (1913-1999), purchased Lot 6 of the d’Iberville Subdivision also from David M. Davis for $2000.  It had 77 feet on Biloxi Bay and was 240 feet deep to the north.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 61, pp. 570-571 and 569-570 and Bk. 84, pp. 562-563)

The Wulff family began their love affair with Ocean Springs in 1928, while spending almost four months at the Edwards House, formerly the French Hotel, a family hostel situated on Front Beach and Martin Avenue.  At this time, Miss Bernadine Wulff was already an accomplished operetta chanteuse in New York.  Operetta, literally, "little opera", is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics.  When her vocal chords became severely strained, Miss Wulff’s physician recommended a period of rest and recovery in a quiet place.  Her parents who were residents of New Orleans chose Ocean Springs, a resort town on Biloxi Bay, which they had visited in times past.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 13, 1972, p. 2)

Miss-La-Bama

As previously mentioned, Miss-La-Bama, the Bernadine Wulff house, had been the Alabama pavilion at the 1884 World Cotton Exposition in New Orleans.  W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901) had brought it to Ocean Springs on several barges.  Miss-La-Bama has been described as being of the Moorish architectural style and inspired by the Alhambra, a 14th Century Moorish castle complex, located at Grenada, Spain.  If one were to view the north elevation of the Patio of Myrtles within the Alhambra, one might imagine that the 19th Century creator of Miss-La-Bama was inspired by the arabesque arches situated here. 

The original Miss-La-Bama was a small, T-shaped structure in plan view with an area of approximately nine hundred-fifty square feet.  It had a flat roof since it was built as an ‘indoor’ pavilion.  The front elevation was about forty-five feet in length and about fifteen feet deep and consisted of three rooms.  At the 1884-1885 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial in New Orleans, the three front rooms were utilized as a guest reception area.  They were exquisitely furnished with fine rugs embellishing the Alabama pine floors and heavy damask curtains framing the French doors, which provided some illumination for the space.  A large registration book was place here for visitors to sign.  The large central room, which formed the base of the T, was fourteen feet deep and twenty feet in length.  It was used by the Alabama staff as a private office.  It would later serve the W.B. Schmidt children as their ‘music room’.  The Schmidt family erected a small stage here on which to perform.(Fairall, 1885, p. 31)

The façade of Miss-La-Bama consisted of a three-bay, main entrance framing three arabesque, horseshoe-shaped arches flanked by two symmetrical wings each with a Moorish arch containing French doors.  There are seven large arches with their corresponding French doors in the building.

‘Berna Deane’

Bernadine Wulff (1899-1992) was born on August 6, 1899 at New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Fred A. Wulff (1872-1957) and Charlotte Bernadine Marcella Burkhardt (1874-1938), the daughter of Henry G. Burkhardt (1842-1905), a store clerk, and Charlotte Marie Magdalene Wagatha (1844-1900).  At the time of Bernadine’s birth, the Wulff family was domiciled on Louisiana Avenue and her father was a bookkeeper.  The Burkhardt family resided on Roman Street at New Orleans.(1880 and 1900 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census, T9_461, p. 60, ED 31 and T623 575, p. 7B, ED 119)

At New Orleans, Bernadine Wulff studied voice at Newcomb College and was a three-year soloist at Christ Church Cathedral in the Crescent City.  In New York, Miss Wulff studied under Rochovsky and D’Arnall.  Her natural acting ability combined with her trained voice led to many operetta and musical theater roles in New York and Chicago from 1924 into the mid-1930s.  She chose the stage name “Berna Deane”.  Her sister, Vera “Skees” Adelaide Wulff Cook (1906-1992), was also a talented chanteuse who performed on the New York stage.  When the Depression came, they found theatrical work difficult to obtain and joined together as the “Deane Sisters”, performing on radio in New York, Chicago, and New Orleans.  Berna Deane was a soloist on the Luzianne Coffee program with Warren Galjour on WWL Radio, which is housed in the Crescent City (The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, pp. 399-400 and The Jackson County Times, November 23, 1946, p. 1

Bernadine Wulff retired to her Ocean Springs beach front home in 1936.   Accordingly, Miss-La-Bama had to be refurbished to convert it from a ‘music hall’ to a viable dwelling.  The structure was raised and brick piers constructed to support its sills and joist.  Plumbing and electricity were added, as well as a bathroom, kitchen and two bedrooms.   Miss Wulff also had a twelve-foot by fifty-five foot screened porch built on the façade to enjoy the water front view and afternoon sea breeze from Biloxi Bay.(Jan G. Walker, December 5, 2006 and The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 400-401)

The Wulff pond

A salient feature on the landscape of the Wulff property was a large, elliptically-shaped, freshwater pond, an aesthetic relic of the W.B. Schmidt era.  The Wulff pond was situated in the rear of Miss-La-Bama and was oriented with the long axis striking about 260 feet in a northwest to southeast direction.  The Wulff pond averaged about 55 feet in width and was stocked with fish, primarily ‘green trout’, an indigenous moniker for large and small-mouth bass, and perch.(The Ocean Springs news, July 30, 1964 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 188, pp. 405-407)   

In the 1930s, Captain Ellis Handy (1891-1963) and friends would discharge their firearms at water moccasins inhabiting Miss Wulfe’s pond.  On one occasion they killed about eight of the aqueous vipers.  At his time, the Handy family was renting ‘Summer Hill’, the former W.B. Schmidt residence, west of Miss-La-Bama.(Dr. Thomas Handy, November 17, 2006)

Bernadine Wulff was also an accomplished marksman and would shoot off the heads of swimming moccasins in her pond with a single shot .22 caliber rifle.(John C. Cook Jr. December 12, 2006)

From surveys of conveyance deeds made by George E. Arndt Jr. (1909-1994), it appears that the Wulff pond was extant until the early 1960s.  No further information.

Miss-La-Bama was owned by Miss Bernadine Wulff (1899-1992), star of stage and radio, for over forty years.  During her tenure, the former Alabama pavilion of the 1884-1885 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition was raised and brick piers constructed to support its sills and joist.  Plumbing and electricity were added, as well as a bathroom, kitchen and two bedrooms.   Miss Wulff also had a twelve-foot by fifty-five foot screened porch built on the façade to enjoy the water front view and afternoon sea breeze from Biloxi Bay.  [Rendering by Brian K. Heffner made April 30, 1980]

Retirement years

In “retirement”, Bernadine Wulff remained an active part of the local community.  She was associated with the Community Concert Association, Gulf Coast Women’s Club, Nutrilite Cosmetics, Villa Maria residents’ council, and St. John’s Episcopal Church.   Locally, she continued her singing for servicemen stationed at Keesler AFB and sang solos at St. John’s Episcopal Church for more than thirty years.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 400)

‘Pomander Walk’

In addition, Bernadine Wulff locally performed in several Broadway productions.  In November 1946, the Ocean Springs Woman’s Club produced ‘Pomander Walk’ with Miss Wulff starring.  The show was held in the Ocean Springs Public School auditorium, now the Trent Lott Performing Arts Theatre of the Mary Cahill O’Keefe Arts and Cultural Center.  Among those participating with Miss Wulff were: Bob and Bessie Murray, Bruce Thomas, Paul DeFrank (1918-2006), Virginia Elliott DeFrank (1919-2001), Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988), Milton Seymour (1917-1974), Earle Taylor, John Mitchell (1915-1963), Chester Snyder, Sadie Catchot Hodges, (1894-1973) Rita Brown Friar (1913-1985), Dorothy Arndt (1915-1975), and Margaret Lewis Lemon Halstead (1913-1999).(The Jackson County Times, November 23, 1946, p. 1)

1948  Minstrel Show

On June 19, 1948, Bernadine Wulff appeared in a benefit minstrel show to raise funds for the building of a new community center and picnic grounds.  The Citizens Progressive League sponsored the event, and Art Fifield (1881-1962), president of the organization, starred with Miss Wulff in the production titled, “McIntyre’s Georgia Minstrels”.  Mr. Fifield had retired from show business as a blackface comedian having performed with Lew Dockstader, Primrose West, Al G. Fields, and George “Honey Boy” Evans.  In the minstrel show, Bernadine was “Buddy Heath”, and Fifield played “Billy McIntyre”.  Her sister, Vera Cook, and nephew, Johnnie Cook Jr., also participated.  Admission was $1 for the program billed as “The World’s Smallest Minstrel”.(The Jackson County Times, May 14, 1948, p. 1 and May 21, 1948)

Fred A. Wulff and the Wulff family

When Bernadine Wulff acquired Miss-La-Bama in August 1928, the same day, Fred A. Wulff, her father, acquired an adjoining lot of the same dimensions to the east for $10,000.  Fred A. Wulff (1872-1957) was born at New Orleans on August 6, 1872, the son of Henry H. Wulff (1834-1887) and Adrienne Fleury (1845-1921).  Henry H. Wulff expired at New Orleans in 1887 and Adrienne F. Wulff, his widow, remarried Ralph Goldsmith (1854-1910+), a manufacturing representative, in December 1888. (JXCO, Ms. Record of Deeds Bk. 61, pp. 569-570)

On November 11, 1896 at New Orleans, Fred Adolph Wulff married Bernadine Burkhardt (1874-1938).  They were the parents of four children with three surviving to adulthood: Fred A. Wulff Jr. (1898-1974), Bernadine G. Wulff (1899-1992), and Vera A. Cook (1906-1992).  In 1937, after retirement from the nationally known firm of L.E. Jung and Wulff Inc., and its predecessor, the Schenley Company, Wulff resided permanently at Ocean Springs with Bernadine at Miss-La-Bama.  Jung & Wulff manufactured liquers, cordials, and syrups and were the creators of the Peycheaud Bittars and the Sazarac Cocktails.  Fred A. Wulff expired at Ocean Springs on October 17, 1957.  His corporal remains were interred in the Greenwood Cemetery in New Orleans.(The Ocean Springs News, October 24, 1957, p. 4)  (see Cause No. 14,045-Feb. 1954)

Fred A. Wulff Jr.

Fred A. Wulff Jr. (1898-1974) was born on February 19, 1898, at New Orleans.  He was well known in the Crescent City as he practiced law, and was a civic leader and businessman.  A Tulane graduate, Mr. Wulff organized the Young Men’s Business Club and Jaycees at NOLA in the 1920s.  He was also the manager of the L.E. Jung and Wulff, manufacturers of liqueurs and cordials and held an executive position with Investors Diversified.  Fred A. Wulff Jr. was a member of several carnival organizations and for many years served as one of the four captains for the Rex parade.  He had the distinction of being the first person to travel across the Huey P. Long Bridge after its dedication.  Mr. Wulff expired on March 14, 1974 in New Orleans.  He was a Roman Catholic and his corporal remains were interred at the Hope Mausoleum in New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, March 15, 1974, p. 2)

Lelia Haller

Fred A. Wulff Jr. married Lelia Haller (1903-1986) of New Orleans.  She was a ballet dancer and was accepted to study dancing in Paris at the Theatre National de l’ Opera, an exclusive ballet school.  In January 1926, Leila was appointed premiere danseuse of the Paris Opera, the only American to have been awarded this honor.  Miss Haller commenced her ballet studio in New Orleans in 1928 and later founded the Loyola Ballet school from which she retired in the fall of 1978, and was replaced by Gayle Pamelee.  She was the pedagogue to Kirk Peterson who was a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, the English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, the National Ballet of Washington, and the Harkness Ballet.  Peter Genaro, a renowned jazz dancer, also studied with Leila Haller at New Orleans.  An excellent biography of Lelia Haller Wulff was written in 1975, by Harold George Scott titled “Lelia-The Compleat Ballerina”. (H.G. Scott, 1975 and Loyola Today, April 16, 1999)

Leif Anderson of Ocean Springs studied the Dance with Lelia Haller from 1960-1965 at her Ecole de Danse, which was situated on Jeanette Street in the Crescent City.  Leif remembers her teacher as, “inspiring and demanding.”(Leif Anderson, December 12, 2006)

Fred A. Wull Jr. and Leila H. Wulff had two children: Barbara Elaine “Bobbe” Wulff Waters (b. November 1933), the spouse of Wallace Waters of Franklington, Louisiana, and Fred Wulff III.  Bobbe Wulff also became a brilliant ballerina and dance teacher.(Nelicia C. Sturgis, March 2, 2000 and The Jackson County Times, November 18, 1933, p. 3)         

Vera A. Wulff  Cook

Vera “Skees” Adelaide Wulff (1906-1992) was born at New Orleans on August 9, 1906.  On May 20, 1939, she married John Carter Cook (1913-1999).  Their nuptial vows were exchanged in Atlanta at the First Baptist Church.(The Jackson County Times, May 27, 1939, p. 4)

John C. Cook was born July 28, 1913 at Covington, Georgia, the son of Thomas A. Cook and Martha Cook.  In 1931, John C. Cook matriculated to Georgia Tech and completed his studies in Atlanta in 1935 and joined the U.S. Army the following year.  In the spring of 1939, Lt. John C. Cook arrived in Jackson County, Mississippi with the Civilian Conservation Corps as commander of Company 1437, which was stationed at Magnolia State Park, east of Ocean Springs.   Here Lt. Cook met the Wulff family.(The Jackson County Times, May 27, 1939, p. 4)

In June 1944, John C. Cook (1913-1999) acquired from David M. Davis, Lot 6 of the d ’Iberville Subdivision for $2000.  The Cook lot measure 77 feet on Biloxi Bay and ran north for 240 feet and was due west of Miss-La-Bama. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 84, pp. 562-563)

Colonel John C. Cook’s military career spanned twenty-two years in the U.S. Army.  He served in both WW II and the Korean Conflict and was highly decorated for his honorable and courageous duty.  Colonel Cook retired from the U.S. Army while Post Quartermaster at Fort Gordon, Georgia.  He had been promoted to this position in May 1957.(The Sun Herald, March 21, 1999, p. A-11 and The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1957, p. 4)

In retirement Colonel Cook, taught Algebra at Michel Junior High School in Biloxi.  He had previously taught in the ROTC program at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.(John C. Cook Jr., December 12, 2006)

Cook home

While her husband was serving in Korea in the early 1950s, Vera W. Cook had the Mitchell Brothers build a modest brick home on their Biloxi Bay lot in Ocean Springs at present day 237 Front Beach Drive.  Here she and Colonel Cook reared their son, John Carter Cook Jr. (b. 1944).  He married Nellicia Checkley, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence H. Checkley on June 10, 1966 at Ocean Springs.  John C. Cook Jr. sold his family in September 2001 to Deveau W. Munro.  It was demolished in January 2002 to erect a large, modern home for Mrs. Munro, which in turn was devastated by Katrina in August 2005.(John C. Cook Jr., December 12, 2006, The Ocean Springs News, May 5, 1966, p. 3) and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1249, p. 320)

Red Cross Award

In November 1967, Vera W. Cook was recognized for her many years of volunteer service with the American Red Cross.  She began as a Gray Lady at Riverside, California in 1942 and continued her volunteer work everywhere that she and Colonel John C. Cook traveled during his military career.  She was working at Keesler AFB in Biloxi when she was lauded for her quarter century as a Red Cross volunteer.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 16, 1967, p. 3)

Vera W. Cook expired at Gulfport, Mississippi on October 19, 1992.  Her corporal remains were interred at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 22,, 1992)

John C. Cook passed on March 19, 1999 at Ocean Springs.  His corporal remains were also interred at Crestlawn Memorial Park.  He was survived by Pauline Hoffman McCarty Cook (1914-2001), his spouse; son, John C. Cook Jr.; and Lecia J. Cook Callegari, granddaughter.(The Sun Herald, March 21, 1999, p. A11)

 

243 Front Beach Drive- (l-r) this first image was made in October 2005, several months post-Katrina and depicts some of the wind damage, especially to the front porch.  Note the 1990-1991, second-story addition and decks, which were constructed during the Weigel’s ownership.  The second image of November 2006 reveals the steel framework being erected to support the new porch.  Images by Ray L. Bellande.

The 1948 Walsh Tragedy

On November 19, 1948, Major George H. Walsh and his wife were killed when their plane crashed into the jungles of British Guinea.  Earlier they had resided here for several months in a cottage owned by Miss Bernadine Wulff.  The Walsh couple was en route to Puerto Rico from Atkinson Field in British Guinea.  Major Walsh was stationed here at the time.  Fortunately, Michael Walsh, their son, was with his grandparents at Huntington Park, California.(The Jackson County Times, December 17, 1948, p. 1)

Wulff land sales-406 Schmidt and 408 Wulff

In the late 1950s, Miss Bernadine Wulff began selling her lands at Ocean Springs.  In May 1959, she conveyed a lot north of Miss-La-Bama to Willis L. White and Cary G. White for $4200.  The Whites had planned to build a   home on their large lot, but a transfer to Oklahoma influenced them to sell it to Carroll B. Ishee (1921-1982) in August 1964.  Carroll B. Ishee, our legendary ‘architect-builder’, erected two homes on the lot.  One is at present day 406 Schmidt Drive and has been owned by the following people: September 1965-John H. Alexander; September 1971-James I. Cramer; January 1975-Thomas Wade (1902-1993), Mary Mooney Wade, and Julia Anne Mooney (1916-1980).  The Mooney sisters were the granddaughters of Captain Francis O’Neill (1849-1936), General Superintendent of the Chicago Police and owner of the Glengariff estate on Front Beach Drive, which was east of the Joffe-Baxter place and the former site of the Ocean Pointe Apartments.  Mary Mooney Wade fondly called her home “Glengariff”, in remembrance of her childhood summers at Ocean Springs visiting from Chicago.  She conveyed her home to Charles and Emily Rhinelander in April 2005,(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 188, pp. 405-407, and p. 408; Bk. 263, p. 100; Bk. 281, p. 188; Bk. 412, p. 566; Bk. 520, p. 541; Bk. 1039, p. 579; and  Bk. 1378, p. 405)

The other Ishee built home is at present day 408 Wulff Drive, now owned by Andre J. Michaud and Judy Brown Michaud.  This house was erected in 1966 by Carroll B. Ishee and sold to Sydney F. Wogan (1907-1998) and wife, Ann Haddock Wogan (1911-2003), in October 1966.  The Michauds acquired the home in September 2006 from Michael and Linda M. Wogan.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 299, p. 165 and Bk. 1434, p. 13)

Joffe-Baxter house-245 Front Beach

In September 1959, Bernadine Wulff and Fred A. Wulff Jr. sold their father’s lot to the east of Miss-La-Bama to Gus and Irene Stevens for $14,000.  The Stevens did not build here, but vended the south half of the five hundred- foot deep lot in August 1967, to Dr. Irvin Joffe (1921-1979) and Rosalind Dismuke Joffe (1922-1996).  The Joffe’s built a home at present day 245 Front Beach Drive, which was later owned by Warren Strayham from January 1977 until it was acquired by Lloyd M. ‘Skip’ Baxter in November 1994.  The Joffe-Baxter house was remodeled commencing in the summer of 1995 from a Carl Germany, AIA, design.  It was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 197, p. 257; Bk. 317, p. 354; Bk. 581, p. 431; Bk. 1052, p. 711)

W.T. Broome house-406 Wulff

Gus Stevens sold the north half of his lot to W.T. Broome and Joyce Harvey Broome in April 1992.  The Broome house at 406 Wulff Drive was erected by Al Medlock in 1992.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 994, p. 636 and Joyce H. Broome, December 19, 2006)

504 Cleveland Avenue

In December 1959, Bernadine Wulff sold a lot on Cleveland Avenue to Salome Bailey Watkins (1902-1962), the daughter of Dr. Oscar L. Bailey (1870-1938) and Birdie Anderson Bailey (1876-1925).   Mrs. Watkins home at 504 Cleveland was built by Bailey Homes of Gulfport, Mississippi. (JXCO Ms. Record of Deeds Bk. 193, pp. 537-539 and Joyce R. Edwards, December 18, 2006) 

In January 1963, after her demise, Mrs. Watkins’ heirs sold her home to Donald F. Edwards (1924-1982) and Joyce R. Edwards.  Mrs. Edwards lives here today.(JXCO, Ms. Record of Deeds Bk. 234, p. 5) 

Wulff Drive

 Wulff Drive was created for public use with the platting of Wulff Subdivision in March 1960.  Its dedication was confirmed in April 1966.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 296, p. 438)

The Wulff Subdivision-409 and 410 Wulff Drive

In March 1960, Bernadine Wulff platted the Wulff Subdivision on the west side of Wulff Drive.  It consisted of two lots, each 100 feet by 150 feet.  (JXCO, Miss. Chancery Court Plat Book 5, p. 12) 

Lot 1 of the Wulff Subdivision was acquired by Marcus F. Shanteau Jr. and spouse in September 1963.  Mr. Shanteau drew his own house plans and had Jerry Anderson, a local contractor erect his home, which was completed in 1964.  The Shanteaus remain here today at 410 Wulff Drive.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 246, p. 342 and Bk. 256, p. 391, Marcus F. Shanteau Jr., December 19, 2006)

Lot 2 of the Wulff Subdivsion was bought from Miss Wulff in September 1970 by Emelia H. Edwards (1893-1979), the widow of James R. Edwards.  This Lex Eglin built home at 409 Wulff Drive has remained in the Edwards family since 1970 and is now possessed by Randall Scott Edwards and spouse who acquired it in August 1991 from the Heirs of Emelia H. Edwards.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 385, p. 167, JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 38498 and Cause No. P-3163, and Bk. 981, p. 653)

Hurricane Camille

 One of Miss-La-Bama's casualties during Hurricane Camille in August 1969 was the gazebo in the yard.  It was blown down and removed to John C. Cook Jr.'s domicile off LeMoyne Road in the St. Martin community.  The gazebo was given to Tony Rosetti and restored at his home at 16200 Big Ridge Road where it rests today his his backyard.(Mary Dell Ross Rosetti, January 17, 2007)

Miss-La-Bama's original and restored gazebo

[l-r: original gazebo from Hamill's Down South collection Perkinston Jr. College archives; restored gazebo image by Ray L. Bellande on January 17, 2007]

A legend leaves

In her later years, Bernadine Wulff left her beloved Miss-La-Bama and relocated to the Villa Maria on Porter Street.  In November 1971, she sold Miss-La-Bama to Julian B. Humphreyof New Orleans for $30,000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 416, p. 73)

Miss Wulff passed on November 15, 1992.  Her corporal remains were interred at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs.( The History of JXCO, Ms.,1989, p. 400 and The Sun Herald, November 16, 1992)

Miss-La-Bama circa 1985

Julian B. Humphrey

Julian B. Humphrey (1907-1997) was born August 11, 1907, at New Orleans, the son of Judge Nicholas E. Humphrey (1872-1932), a Kentucky native, and Josephine LeBouef (1872-1930+), who was born in Louisiana.  His parents married at New Orleans on June 22, 1897.  Julian B. Humphrey was the fifth child of eight.  His siblings were: Rita Humphrey (1898-1920+); Hugh Humphrey (1899-1984); Alton Humphrey (1902-1977); Estelle Humphrey (1905-1920+); Edith Humphrey (1910-1930+); Lawrence Humphrey (1912-1985); and Lorraine Humphrey (1916-1930+).   Nicholas E. Humphrey made his livelihood as an attorney in the Crescent City.(1920 and 1930 Orleans, Parish Federal Census T625_625, p. 10B, Ed 256 and R 812, p. 10B, ED 258)

Julian B. Humphrey and Mary Humphrey, his wife, were domiciled at  88 Wren in New Orleans, Louisiana.  During their ownership, bathrooms were added where the former back porch had been.  The ceiling were lowered and the home carpeted.(Jan G. Walker, December 7, 2006)

In June 1989, Julian B. Humphrey conveyed Miss-La-Bama to John J.  Weigel of New Orleans.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 939, p. 203)

John J. Weigel

John J. “Jerry” Weigel was born February 4, 1932 at New Orleans, Louisiana.  As a child he spent time in Waveland, Mississippi as the Weigel family owned a summer home there.  He attended the Gulf Coast Military Academy and matriculated to LSU and then Tulane where he received a law degree in 1956.  Jerry Weigel served in the US Army and was a law clerk until he joined the law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechert, & Poitevent of the Crescent City.  He was named to the Board of Directors the Walter Anderson Museum of Art at Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 1998.  Jerry Weigel is married to Barbara LaPorte, also a native of New Orleans.  They reside at 2624 Chestnut Street in the Crescent City.  Barbara has a fine arts degree from LSU and is a well-known painter in the area and sold at Serenity Gallery in Bay St. Louis.  Barbara’s father was the brother of Vivian LaPorte Girot Barron (1917-2000), the spouse of Judlin H. Girot (1912-1970).  The Girot family came to Ocean Springs from New Orleans in 1923.(Jerry Weigel, January 2000)

Jerry and Barbara Weigel used their Ocean Springs home as a weekend retreat.  They extensively remodeled Miss-La-Bama in 1990 and 1991 utilizing the services of Bruce B. Tolar, AIA.   In 1990, the Weigels added a carport and storage units in the rear of the house.  In 1991, a second-story addition with decks was built.  Steve Strunk did the detail wood work for the project.  Miss-La-Bama’s Live Oak trees were treated and cared for by John White.  The Weigels also had an irrigation system for their azaleas installed.(Jerry Weigel, January 2000)

In November 1999, Jan Galaspy Walker acquired Miss-La-Bama from John J. Weigel and spouse.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1191, p. 116)

Jan G. Walker

Jan Gallaspy Walker was born in 1943 at Columbus, Mississippi, the daughter of Russell Gallaspy (1918-2005) and Ruby E. Moody Gallaspy (1916-1999).   After rearing her family, Jan relocated in the 1980s, to Ocean Springs to assist her parents in their business as the proprietors of Russell’s Energy Center at present day 1302 Government Street.  After her parents retired from the business, she acquired it and relocated it to 2317 Government Street.  Jan G. Walker acquired the former W.S. Van Cleave store property at 601 Washington Avenue from Curmis Broome (1928-2006) who had operated Aileen’s Corner, a convenience store and deli, here for several years.  In 1993, she opened at this new location as, “Five Seasons”.(Jan Walker, December 18, 2006)

Miss-La-Bama-the future

Having survived the Katrina storm surge and hurricane force winds of late August 2005, Jan Walker and Bill Ballard, her son, have commenced a long term restoration and hurricane preservation scheme for this historic home.  The foundation has been significantly improved with deep-set, reinforced masonry footings and piers.  Steel beams will support the new porch and carport in the rear of the house.  The vinyl siding has been removed and the original wood siding is being prepared for an acrylic latex paint.

Jan G. Walker should be lauded and recognized for her aspirations, thoughtful planning and performance in assuring the longevity of Miss-La-Bama for future generations.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

VAN CLEAVE-WILSON COTTAGE: (1888-2009)

1011 Desoto Avenue

 

The Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage is located at 1011 Desoto Avenue in Section 19, T7S-R8W.  The lot is located in Block 24 of the Culmseig Map (1854), and measures 57 feet on Desoto by 165 feet to the north.  The land on which the house was built was originally part of the Andre Fournier Tract (1849).  By the early 1870s, Edward Chase of St. Louis, Missouri was in possession of large tracts of land at Ocean Springs probably through the efforts of local land speculator George A. Cox (1811- 1887).  Block 24, a small part of what was then called the Martin and Shortridge Tracts, was conveyed by Chase to Edward W. Clark of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in March 1874.(1) 

             By the mid-1870s, Block 24 was divided and a tract 194 feet x 228 feet on the northwest corner of Cash and Desoto was sold to R.A. Van Cleave by George and Edna Sumrall through their agent, Sardin Ramsay (1837-1920).  The land tax rolls indicate the sale occurred between 1876 and 1878.  The deed was kept by Van Cleave in an iron safe at his mercantile store and was stolen and never recorded.  A new deed was filed on January 21, 1886.(2) 

            Robert Adrian Van Cleave (1840-1908) was a pioneer citizen of Ocean Springs.  He was active in commerce and politics.  Van Cleave operated a large mercantile store on

Washington Avenue between Desoto and Robinson Avenues.  The Van Cleave home was at the northeast corner of Washington and Desoto and this tract was literally in his back yard.  From future sales records of this property, it appears Van Cleave built four rental cottages on this one-acre tract fronting on Desoto.  Jackson County Land Roll data infer that these houses of which the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage is the only one extant, were built in 1888.  The earliest Sanborn Map (1893) of Ocean Springs corroborates the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage on Desoto at that time.

            In December 1896, Van Cleave and his wife, Elizabeth R. Sheppard (1840-1908), sold the tract to Mrs. Francesca Victoria Garrard for $2100.(3)  In the deed the Van Cleaves also conveys "the four cottage(s), fences, and other improvements".  Mrs. Garrard (1839-1907) was married to a Kentuckian, James J. Garrard (1828-1902).  Their children were James D. Garrard (1867-1871) and Joseph Bacon Garrard (1871-1915).  In the late 1880s, the Garrards retired to Ocean Springs from New Orleans where he had been a partner in the cotton firm of Garrard & Craig. 

            In September 1886, Mrs. Garrard purchased three lots with a front of 290 feet on Iberville and Fort Bayou to the north from Francisco Coyle and F.M. Weed for $490.(4)  On June 3, 1887, The Pascagoula Democratic-Star reported that "Mr. Garrard bought a lot at Ocean Springs and plans to build a large commodius dwelling house there.  He will probably locate there permanently."

            Here on the south bank of Fort Bayou, the Garrards built a Colonial Revival edifice in 1890, which they called "Bayou Home".  Two of Mrs. Garrard's great grandchildren, Joseph Bacon Garrard II (b. 1939) and Jack Kling Garrard (b. 1950), reside on the old Garrard tract today. Prior to 1892, J.J. Garrard had returned to business, and was a merchant probably selling hardware on Washington Avenue.  His son, Joseph B. Garrard and his wife, Carrie Johnson Garrard Everhart (1886-1968), followed this tradition. 

            In March 1904, the Garrards sold "three lots with houses on them" located on a tract of land with 168 feet on Desoto and 185 feet on Cash to Dr. O.L. Bailey for $1500.

     It appears, the Garrards retained the cottage on the northwest corner of Desoto and Cash with the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage going to Dr. O.L. Bailey.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p.

Dr. O.L. Bailey

Dr. Oscar L. Bailey (1870-1938) was a native of Newton County, Mississippi.  He received his medical degree in St. Louis and came to Ocean Springs circa 1897 from Lake, Mississippi.  Bailey was married to Birdie Anderson (1876-1925) of Edwards.  They reared four children at Ocean Springs:  Mrs. Beryl Parker Wood (1896-1986), Bemis Bailey (1898-1969), Mrs. Clothilde Campbell (1901-1995), and Mrs. Salome Watkins (1903).  After his wife died in 1925, Bailey married Maude Holloway (1901-1980) of North Biloxi.

Dr. Bailey owned a great deal of real estate during his life time.  While he owned this house, he also owned the Van Cleave Hotel, called "The Inn" at this time, on the southeast corner of Washington and Robinson.  Bailey built a building on Washington Avenue in 1927, which now houses the Lovelace Drugs.  It is assumed that Bailey utilized the cottage as a rental unit.  When he sold it to Fred S. Bradford in April 1909 for $600, the lot was described as commencing 171 feet west of the northwest corner of Cash and Desoto, thence 57 feet west, north 185 feet, east 57 feet, and south 185 feet to the point of beginning.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p. 6)

Frederick S. Bradford

Frederick Semmes Bradford (1878-1951) was a general contractor.  He built many houses and buildings at Ocean Springs, which are extant.  The First Baptist Church on Porter and Bellande was built by John Burr (1875-1916) and Bradford in 1909.  They also built an addition to Dr. Powell's Sanitarium (1909) and the New Beach Hotel (1909). 

Fred Bradford married Letetia Carver (1881-1968), a native of Bay St. Louis.  Her father, David Carver (b. 1836), had come to Ocean Springs from Hancock County to operate the Fort Bayou ferry.  The Bradfords were from Connecticut and settled in Jackson County circa 1804.  Sherwood Bradford (1838-1922), Fred's father, was the first teacher in a Jackson County school which was held at the Tide Water Baptist Church on Davis Bayou.  He married Eleanora Davis (1851-1938).

The Fred Bradfords had four children:  Matilda E. Milsted (b. 1913), Eleanora F. Lemon (b. 1915), Vertalee B. Van Cleave (1916-204), and Margaret B. Chasteen (1917-1977).  Matilda, called Betty, was born in the Desoto Avenue house on May 14, 1914.  As the family began to outgrow the small cottage, Fred Bradford built a larger home on the southwest corner of Bowen and Van Cleave Avenues.  The other children were born here.  Today, Vertalee Van Cleave resides in the old Bradford Family home at 1212 Bowen. 

Fred Bradford sold his Desoto Avenue cottage to William E. Wilson in March 1914 for $700.(7) 

     Circa 1906, William Edward Wilson, called Ed, had come to Ocean Springs from Wabash County, Indiana probably with the L&N Railroad.  He met Ida Antonia Fayard Smith (1884-1978), a young divorcee with two small children.  They married on September 30, 1908.  Ida A. Fayard had married George T. Smith, a native of Michigan, in August 1900.  They had a son, Otis Fayard Smith (1902-1977), and a daughter, Ida Mae Chaillot (1903-1922).  Smith abandoned his family, and Ida F. Smith was granted a divorce in the Chancery Court of Jackson County in March 1908 (Cause No. 1697).  It is believed that he moved to Baldwin County, Alabama where he farmed.

Ida Wilson was the daughter of Leonard Fayard (1847-1923) and Martha Westbrook (1851-1919).  Martha Westbrook was the sister of Edwin Martin Westbrook (1857-1913), the barber of Washington Avenue, who fathered eight sons and a daughter.  The Westbrooks were well known as railroad men.     In 1900, Mr. Fayard made his livelihood as a guard at the quarantine station (Ship Island), and as a railroad driver in 1910.  The Fayards married in 1867, and had ten children.  Those children known are: Emile Edward (1872- 1931), Louise Elizabeth Fayard (1876-1876), Leonard Fayard (1881-1958), Virginia F. Champlin (1877), Ida F. Wilson (1884-1978), John Alexander Fayard (b. 1886), and Oliver Fayard (1890-1950).

Ed Wilson operated the first hamburger shop at Ocean Springs commencing circa 1908.  He closed his restaurant in 1924, and opened the Wilson Cash and Carry Store in December 1924, next to their Desoto Avenue home.  Ed Wilson ran an advertisement in the Jackson County Times of June 20, 1925, which read as follows:

WILSON'S

Cash and Carry Store

The Place To Save Money

10 lbs. of Sugar-------------------------------------70c

Flavoring Extracts------------------------------------9c

Oblisk Flour---------------------------------------$1.65

Sunset Self Rising Flour 24lb. sack----------------$1.45

Libbys Sliced Pineapple------------------------------18c

Pet and Carnation Milk, Tall-------------------------12c

Any 10c Tobacco 3 for--------------------------------25c

            The store sat in the southeast corner of the lot and had an area of approximately five hundred square-feet.  At the time, the other stores at Ocean Springs were:  A.C. Gottsche, E.S. Davis, W.S. Van Cleave, Baker Grocery & Coffee, and G. Bradshaw.  The Wilson store was neat and well stocked with a good selection of groceries, tobacco, and other goods.  Mr. Wilson sold his wares for cash at discount prices.

            In July 1936, Mrs. Ida Wilson opened a confection shop in her store building.  She sold ice cream, cake, snowballs, and candy.

            It is believed John Alexander Fayard (1886-1958)) built the store for his sister.  It was torn down in the 1950s.  A remnant of a brick pier from the store remains in situ in the yard today.

            Ed Wilson passed away on March 17, 1926.  He was a member of the McLeod Lodge No. 424 F&AM, Biloxi Elks Lodge, Ocean Springs Social Club, and Indiana Order of Odd Fellows.

A few years after Ed Wilson died, Mrs. Ida Wilson began to work at the A.C. Gottsche Store on Washington Avenue.  She was employed here from 1931 to 1958.  

            During the Depression year of 1934, Mrs. Wilson sold her home to Charles H. Mills for $750.(8)  Shortly thereafter, Mills conveyed it back to her.(9)

            In August 1970, Mrs. Wilson sold the northern most twenty-five feet of her lot to James H. and Audrey Tate Durbin.(10)  Durbin operated a TV business on Washington Avenue.

 Ida Wilson was known and loved by all of Ocean Springs.  She was a fine Christian lady.  In her retirement, she took the time to write notes of encouragement to the ill and infirmed.  Her mind and wit were still keen at 82 years.  The following is offered about Mrs. Wilson's children:

Otis F. Smith

Otis F. Smith died on October 6, 1978, preceding his mother in death.  Probably the first job that Otis Smith held was with the Radcliffe Chautauqua.  When they came to Ocean Springs in February 1918, he joined them as company property and tent manager.  Smith traveled with the group until they returned to Ocean Springs in May 1919.  Immediately upon his return here, in June 1919, Otis Smith joined the Navy.  He was a light heavy weight boxer, and was successful in the ring while in the service.  Smith later was a sparring partner of Jack Dempsey at his California training camp.  Remained at Cle Elum, Washington a coal mining center in central Washington until July 1929.  In 1934, Otis Smith working at the Kraft Paper Mill in Mobile.  He had been there for a few years.  Smith was a merchant marine and worked on towboats on the Mississippi River.  He later worked in New Orleans as a hotel desk clerk and in the frozen food storage business.  Smith retired in 1968, and lived with Mrs. Wilson in her Desoto Avenue cottage.            

Ida Mae Smith

Ida Mae Smith (1903-1922) was employed as the assistant mail clerk in the Ocean Springs Post Office in May 1919.  She married William L. Chaillot circa late 1919.  In November 1919, he operated the Acme Tailoring Parlor in the Bertuccini Building next to The Jackson County Times office on Washington Avenue.  They relocated to Texas in 1920, and lived at Houston, where Mr. Chaillot was employed by Humble Oil and Refining Company.  Ida May Chaillot returned to Ocean Springs in early 1922, suffering with tuberculosis.  She died here on April 25, 1922.(The Jackson County Times, July 31, 1920, p. 3 and The Daily HeraldApril 29, 1922, p. 3)

After Mrs. Ida Wilson died on February 15, 1978, her nephews, Charles A. Fayard (1923-2009) and James L. Fayard (1926-1990), inherited the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage. (Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 34170, "Estate of Ida F. Wilson", 1978)

James "Jimmy" Fayard died in June 1990.  He was a Navy veteran of WWII and later worked as an optical technician for Alpha Optical at Ocean Springs.  Fayard was survived by his wife, Florita, and children:  Jason T. Fayard, David M. Fayard, and Lori Fayard.  They held the property until January 9, 1981, when they conveyed it to David M. Allen.(12)           

David M. Allen

David M. Allen (b. 1945) is the son of William R. Allen, Jr. (1911-1985), and Cornelia King Marion (1922-1994).  William R. Allen, Jr. was a local architect of renown and an art dealer.  He owned the Farmers and Merchants State Bank Building on Washington Avenue from 1971 until his demise in 1985.  Allen operated "Gallery Up" and later Robbie's at this location. David Allen was born at Memphis, Tennessee.  He received a law degree from Tulane University at New Orleans.  Allen has worked in the petroleum industry as a landman with Exxon, and is now employed with an independent oil company, Legacy Petroleum.  David Allen owned the property for a few days before conveying it to Jennie Elkin Kennett in Janaury 1981.(13)    

Jennie Elkin Kennett

Jennie Elkin Kennett was born at Midland, Texas in 1912.  Here she was reared on a ranch where she lived the life of a real "cowgirl" participating in roundups.  Mrs. Kennett now resides at Kinderhook, New York, south of Albany near the Massachusetts line.  Kinderhook, a small town east of the Hudson River, is the birth place of our eight president, Martin Van Buren. 

She and her husband, Earl Kennett, were introduced in Dallas, Texas by William Allen, Jr.  Earl Kennett is a well-known jazz pianist.  He was born at Augusta, Kansas in 1912.  Kennett played music in the New York City area for many years with the best musicians of his time.  In his playing days, he was known as "a musicians musician" because of his fine ear.  Kennett's hobby was recording music and he became a fine recording engineer.  At present, his health is poor as his renal system is failing.

            Mrs. Kennett was in New Orleans at a business conference in the early 1980s, and came to Ocean Springs to visit William Allen, Jr.  He convinced her to buy the Wilson Cottage as an investment.  Maria Bargas and William R. Allen, III  refurbished the cottage for Mrs. Kennett.  They had it leveled, removed the front porch, glassed the side porch, added skylights, and generally improved the appearance of the building.

            The Kennetts lived in their Desoto Avenue home for about seven months probably in 1982.  While they were here, Earl played piano at Robbies, Allen's lounge, on the second floor of the Farmers and Merchants Bank Building.  The Kennetts enjoyed Ocean Springs.  Mrs. Kennett loved the charm of the city.  She especially remembers Founders Day (d'Iberville's Landing), and the great community spirit.

            Mrs. Kennett rented her house to the architectural firm of Allen-Bargas for several years before she conveyed it to Benjamin P. Watkins in December 1986.(14)

Painting by Ben P. Watkins

Benjamin P. Watkins

Benjamin Porter Watkins (1913-1993) utilized the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage as his art studio.  He called it the Watkins Studio Gallery.  Watkins was a retired university and art history from the University of Minnesota in 1971.         Ben Watkins was born on February 19, 1913 at Brookhaven, Mississippi.  He matriculated to LSU where he earned a Bachelor and Masters degree.  Watkins also studied with contemporary masters in the sculpture, pottery, and art restoration areas.  Dr. Watkins taught at Phillips University, Southern Illinois University, and retired while at Eastern Illinois University where he taught from 1971-1984.  He was a visiting professor of art history at the University of Evansville (Indiana) during his retirement years.  Widower, Ben Watkins, came to Ocean Springs in 1985.  He met and married Inez Delaney Gordon, herself a widow.  They resided in the St. Martin Community across Old Fort Bayou.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 153, p. 357)

Ben Watkins melded well with the locals.  He became a regular at Henrietta's morning coffee club.  Watkins and local artist and etcher, Glenn Miller, became close friends.  Glenn would spend hours with Ben at his studio discussing art and politics.  Death came quickly to Ben Watkins in his beloved art studio on November 23, 1993.  He suffered from a rupture of his aorta.  Friend and fellow artist, Glenn Miller memorialized Watkin's demise in this poem:

Ben, I went to your studio today.

All that was left were torn off

buttons of your gentle shirt.

They tried to save you there on

the floor.  Medical debris lying

where you died.

I held the buttons and cried.

Ben, an artist full of knowledge and skill.

Ben, the teacher, the lover of books,

a farm boy who became scholar,

a good breed of man with honor.

Our sparkling conversation

on history and art.  The shape

of trees, the proper shade of green.

Ben Watkins, your death was

a robbery, too swiftly taken.

I wasn't through enjoying you.    

Inez Gordon Watkins sold the Watkins Studio to Ray L. Bellande (b. 1943) on February 3, 1994.(15)  Bellande arrived at Ocean Springs in May 1990, and acquired the Arndt Cottage at 822 Porter from Marie Arndt Alexander (1905-1994).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p.

Ray L. Bellande

Like many current residents of Ocean Springs, Ray L. Bellande was born at Biloxi.  He grew up in the tough Back Bay section, and received his education at both parochial (St Johns) and public schools (Gorenflo).  A 1961 graduate of Biloxi Senior High School, Bellande practiced in the same backfield with former Mississippi State University head football coach, Jackie Sherrill. 

In August 1965, after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Geology from Mississippi State University, Ray L. Bellande joined Humble Oil & Refining Company (now Exxon) at New Orleans.  He later explored for oil and gas from Exxon offices and affiliates at Shreveport, Louisiana; Los Angeles, California; the Far East (Djakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore); and Kingsville, Texas.

 Bellande joined the offshore division of Tenneco Oil at Lafayette, Louisiana in 1973.  At Lafayette, he eventually became an independent geologist and oil operator exploring for and producing hydrocarbons primarily in southwest Louisiana as Polaris Production Company. 

Bellande discovered his "roots" at Ocean Springs, and enjoys researching and writing of his finds.  He has written this column for the Ocean Springs Record for nearly fourteen-years.  The experience has been rewarding as it has opened many doors to the past.  Bellande has "adopted or been adopted" by several families he has come to know through his research.  He looks forward to completing a book this year on the history of the older homes at Ocean Springs.           

Renovations and improvements

Since his ownership of the Van Cleave-Wilson Cottage, Bellande has done some interior painting and renovations, repaired the roof on the out building, and erected a picket fence.  He has utilized the edifice as a rental cottage since May of 1994. Insight Institute, the primary lessor, occupied the building from 1997-until September 1, 2004.  Sandra Hall Anderson Diaz, proprietor.

In the fall and winter of 1999-2000, the exterior of the building sanded and repainted a lavender color by Ray L. Bellande with the assistance of T.K. Lively. New railing installed in July 2000, by Charles L. “Larry” Galle, son of Clarence Galle.

New fence on east side of property in the spring of 2001 by Galle and Bellande.

Brick piers on the south, west, and north replaced in March-April 2003, by Roy A. Bellande and Ray L. Bellande.  Front deck also replaced and side deck leveled as piers were slanted to the east.  Side deck rebuilt in the spring of 2004 by Roy and Ray L. Bellande.

Wesley C. Burkhardt Jr.

In September 2004, Bellande entered into a lease purchase agreement with Dr. Wesley C. 'Wes' Burkhardt Jr.  Dr. Burkhardt (b. 1942), a native of New Orleans, is a genetics specialist.  He received his PhD from the University of Mississippi.  He and family lived in Natchez, Mississippi where he taught for the USM campus there.  Organized Medical Genetics and Legal Genetics.  In 1986, recognized as the first certified genetics lab in the State of Mississippi.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1358, p. 107)

In October 2004, Ray L. Bellande and Dr. Burkhardt gutted the former kitchen and bathroom to make one large bathroom.  Roy A. Bellande was hired to replace rotten sills and joists and to rebuild pier system in the northeast corner of the structure.  Roy A. Bellande also completed the carpentry work in the 'new' bathroom while Danny Holland and Harry Legahty did the plumbing and electrical services respectively.

Dr. Wesley C.  Burkhardt Jr. and Eileen H. Burkhardt, his spouse, were conveyed the Van Cleave-Wilson House by Ray L. Bellande in September 2005.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1392, p. 790)          

Alfred P. Moran

In April 2006, Dr. Burkhardt sold to Alfred R. 'Fred' Moran.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1410, p. 341)

Initially, Mr. Moran rented 1011 Desoto Avenue to Eco-        who relocated to Government Street. In late 2006, “Flying Wild”, a unique outlet for nature enthusiasts in particularly ‘birders’ began their occupation of the premises.  Catherine Biggs-Owens, proprietor, vended bird feeders, houses, gourmet seed, books and bird bathes.  After Christmas 2008, Catherine Biggs-Owens went out of business and in February 2009, Theresa A. Poppell opened "Theresa's Wine Closet" in Moran's rental.  She offered fine wines with "messages on a bottle".

1011 DESOTO [September 2011]

In the summer of 2011, Fred Moran had 1011 Desoto transformed with many exterior changes.  Two Katrina Cottages were moved into the rear yard for short-term rentals and a small parking lot was constructed in the back of the lot to service the cottages.  The entire lawn was replaced with St. Augustine grass and a brick paver walkways built on the eastside of the property.

 

REFERENCES:

 1.  Jackson County Deed Book 6, pp. 30-31.

 2.  ------------------- Book 8, p. 462.

 3.  ------------------- Book 17, p. 610.

 4.  ------------------- Book 8, pp. 283-285.

 5.  ------------------- Book 27, pp. 595-596.

 6.  ------------------- Book 34, p. 466.

 7.  ------------------- Book 40, p. 262.

 8.  ------------------- Book 66, pp. 472-473.

 9.  ------------------- Book 78, p. 189.

10.  ------------------- Book 382, p. 399.

11.  ------------------- Book 658, p. 536.

12.  ------------------- Book 696, p. 678.

13.  ------------------- Book 696, p. 480.

14.--------------------- Book 950, p. 433

15.  Jackson County Deed of Trust Book 965, p. 93.

16.  Jackson County Deed Book 1112, p. 343.

BOOKS

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande:  Ocean Springs-1994), pp. 51-57.

 Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892 (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), pp. 4, and 52.

 The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"William Bradford", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), pp. 139-140.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"James J. Garrard", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989) p. 213.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Van Cleave-Bradford Families", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989)pp. 375-376.

Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, "Kinderhook, N.Y.", (Merriam-Webster, Inc.:  Springfield, Massachusetts-1984), p. 611.

 

Chancery Court Cases

Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 1697, "Smith v. Smith", 1908.

 Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 33430, "Estate of Otis F. Smith", 1978.

 Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 34170, "Estate of Ida F. Wilson", 1978.

 

Journals

The Daily Herald"Ida Mae Chaillot Obit", April 29, 1922, p. 3.

The Daily Herald"Old Resident of Ocean Springs Dies", March 17, 1926, p. 1.

------------, "F.S. Bradford Dies", January 10, 1951, p. 6.

The Daily Herald"Mrs. L.C. Bradford", May 29, 1968, p. 2.

------------, "Otis F. Smith", October 7, 1977, p. A-2.

------------, "Mrs. Ida Antonia Wilson", February 15, 1978, p. A-2.

The Jackson County Times, Local News Interest, February 2, 1918.

--------------------, Local News Interest, April 19, 1919.

--------------------, Local News Interest, May 10, 1919.

--------------------, "Local News Interest", June 7, 1919.

--------------------, "Local News Interest", November 1, 1919.

--------------------, "Local New Items", July 31, 1920.

--------------------, Local and Personal, December 20, 1924.

The Jackson County Times, Local and Personal, September 5, 1925.

--------------------, "Sudden Death of W.E. Wilson is Shock to Ocean Springs", March 20, 1926, p. 3.

--------------------, "Local and Personal", July 13, 1929, p. 2.

--------------------, "Local and Personal", September 1, 1934.

--------------------, "Local and Personal", July 4, 1936

The Ocean Springs News, "Baptist to Build Handsome Edifice", February 13, 1909, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Reaches 82nd Birthday" (Ida Wilson), September 15, 1966, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Noted artist, author to speak to Ocean Springs Art Association”, February 6, 1986, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record"Memorial to Ben Watkins", November 28, 1993, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Sous Les Chenes", January , 1994.

The Sun Herald"James 'Jimmy' Fayard", June 7, 1990, p. C-2.

The Sun Herald"Benjamin Porter Watkins", November 24, 1993.

 

Jackson County Land Rolls-(1879), p. 104; (1887), p. 125; (1889), p. 132; and (1909), p. 322.

US CENSUS-Jackson County, Mississippi (1900, 1910, and 1920).

MAPS

Sanborn Map Company (New York), "Ocean Springs, Mississippi", (1904)-Sheet 1, (1909)-Sheet 2, (1925)-Sheet 1.

Personal Communication:

 

J.K. Lemon-January 10, 1994

Margaret S. Norman-January 12, 1994

W. Bradford Lemon-February 17,1994

Charles Fayard-March 22, 1994

Jennie F. Kennett-May 24, 1994

Maria Bargas-June 9, 1994

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

James J. Garrad House

1119 Iberville Drive

      

James J. Garrard House circa 1917

In the later years of the 19th Century, James J. Garrard (1828-1902) and his wife, Victoria Marks Garrard (1839-1907), moved to Ocean Springs into retirement from New Orleans.  In the Crescent City, Mr. Garrard had been a partner in the cotton firm of Garrard & Craig.  He was a native of Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky having been born there in 1828, the son of Massena Garrard (1800-1850) and Elizabeth Fry (d. 1836).  James B. Garrard (1749-1822), the grandfather of J.J. Garrard, was Governor of Kentucky from 1796-1804.  A native of Virginia, he made his livelihood as a farmer, miller, whiskey maker, solider, and Baptist minister.  As Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, J.B. Garrard worked to reform the organization of the militia, courts, and penal system; added 26 counties to the state’s districts; initiated construction of the Governor’s Mansion; asked the government to provide for public education; and attempted to establish anti-slavery laws.  Governor Garrard was one of two governors to ever serve two full successive terms; the first Kentucky governor to live in the Governor’s Mansion; and in 1797 Garrard County, Kentucky was named in his honor.(Ellison, 1991, p. 4, The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 213, and www.kdla.ky.gov/resources/kygovernors.htm)

Before James J. Garrard settled at New Orleans circa 1870, he may have lived in the 1840s with his family at Marion County, Missouri, which is near Hannibal on the Mississippi River.  James. J. Garrard married Francesca Victoria Marks, a Missouri native.  Their vows were exchanged at St. Louis, Missouri on January 7, 1861.  Miss Marks’ parents were from Connecticut.  Before his betrothal to Francesca, J.J. Garrard may have returned to Kentucky from Missouri and been employed as a cabinetmaker in Fayette County, Kentucky.(1840 Marion Co., Missouri Federal Census R 226, p. 94 and 1850 Fayette Co., Kentucky Federal Census M432_199, p. 201).

Ocean Springs

In September 1886, at Ocean Springs, Francesca M. Garrard acquired from Francisco Coyle (1813-1891) and Frank M. Weed (1852-1917) for $490 with other proximate real estate, two lots with a front of two hundred ninety feet on the south bank of Fort Bayou along Iberville Drive.  Here in November 1890, the Garrards built a home which they called "Bayou Home". (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 8, pp. 283-285)

This event was recorded in The Biloxi Herald on November 8, 1890, which related the following: New Buildings are going up all over this place.  J.J. Garrard is erecting a six-room two-story house opposite the marble springs that will be quite an ornament to that part of town.

      The Mississippi Department of Archives and History survey (1986) of the Marble Springs Historic District describes the Garrard Home as follows:  One-and-one-half story, wood frame house with a side gable roof with large central gabled dormer.  Bracketed cornice over side door.  Undercut gallery now enclosed with a continuous bank of casements.  Colonial Revival.  Circa 1890.

     At Ocean Springs, J.J. Garrard was active in the founding of the first city government of Ocean Springs in 1892.  He headed the special committee to frame a charter, designate the corporate limits, and partition the city into four wards.  Mr. Garrard was the first provisional alderman of Ward One.  Also in 1892, he helped organize the Ocean Springs Hook and Ladder Company, a rival to the Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1, which was begun in 1880.  J.J. Garrard was the first secretary of the new volunteer fire company.(Ellison, 1991, p. 41)

     In addition, to his interest in politics and community, James J. Garrard and spouse were active in local real estate.  In 1891, the built a cottage on Iberville opposite the Mineral Springs, which was sold to J.L. Casey in December 1891.  Francesca M. Garrard owned rental property at present day 1010 Desoto Avenue.(The Biloxi Herald, January 2, 1892, p. 4)                      

Joseph B. Garrard

     The James J. Garrard and Francesca V. Garrard had two children born at New Orleans: James D. Garrard (1867-1871) and Joseph Bacon Garrard (1871-1915).  Joseph Bacon Garrard was born on December 25, 1871.  When his Grandmother Marks expired in late January 1892, at Marietta, Georgia, he accompanied his mother to her late mother’s funeral.(The Biloxi Herald, January 30, 1892, p. 1)

     In 1894, James J. Garrard ventured to Topo Chico Springs, near Monterrey, Mexico.  It was observed upon Garrard’s return to Ocean Springs in May 1894, that he was “decidedly improved in health and good looks.”(The Pascagoula-Democrat-Star, may 11, 1894, p. 3)

The Spanish American War

      During the 1898 Spanish American War, Joseph B. Garrard served his country with the Mississippi Volunteers-2nd Infantry Regiment, Company B.  The 2nd Infantry Regiment led by Colonel William A. Montgomery was mustered into military duty at Camp Port Henry near Jackson, Mississippi in early June 1898.  The unit was discharged on December 20, 1898, at Columbia, Tennessee. Company B of the 2nd Infantry Regiment-Mississippi Volunteers was commanded by Edgar H. Woods of Rosedale, Mississippi.(Rowlands, 1978 p. 559) 

       Joseph B. Garrard saw active duty in Cuba.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of August 18, 1898, reported that "Corporal J.B. Garrard of the 2nd Mississippi Volunteers arrived home Monday where he will remain for a time in order to recuperate from the effects of an attack of malarial fever.”     

        Corporal Garrard was seriously wounded on the march to Santiago de Cuba when he fell into a pit of poisoned spears.  One of the stakes penetrated his abdomen, but prompt action by the company surgeon saved his life.(Spanish-American War Service Record Extracts 1898-1899. No. 997 and WPA, 1936-1938, p. 178) 

     In October 1899, Joseph B. Garrard was with the 29th Regiment, U.S. Volunteers and sent to the Philippine Islands.  His mother was the recipient of one of his missives sent from Honolulu in the Sandwich Islands, now the Hawaiian Islands.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 3, 1899, p. 3)          

Passing

      James J. Garrard expired at Ocean Springs in February 1902.  Mrs. Francesca M. Garrard followed him in death in July 1907.  Their corporal remains lie in rest in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.

Marriage 

     After his father’s demise and his mother in the twilight of her life, James B. Garrard on January 10, 1906, in the Episcopal Church at Scranton (Pascagoula), Mississippi, married Carrie Ann Johnson (1886-1968) of Algiers, Louisiana.  She was the daughter of Danish sea captain, Frederick Oliver Johnson (1851-1938), and Henrietta W. Hedman (1855-1922).  Captain Johnson came to New Orleans when he was rescued off the coast of South America by a steamship company located in the Crescent City.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 12, 1906, p. 3)

     Mrs. Garrard's sister, Antoinette Johnson (1880-1956), was married to local baker, Frank E. Schmidt (1877-1954), who operated the Premium Bakery on Washington  Avenue from 1901-1938.  Their children were: Dr. Frank Oliver Schmidt (1902-1975), Charles Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988), and Dr. Harry Johnson Schmidt (1905-1997).  C.E. Schmidt served as Mayor of Ocean Springs from 1961-1965, and wrote a comprehensive history of Ocean Springs titled, Ocean Springs French Beachhead.

            At Ocean Springs, the J.B. Garrards reared two children: James Frederick Garrard (1906-1972) and Frank Benson Garrard (1908-1919).  James F. Garrard studied electro-chemical engineering at the University of Michigan in 1929.  Garrard lived at Port Arthur, Texas, and married Katherine Kling Webb (1913-1950) of North Carolina.  Their children were: James F. Garrard Jr. (1938-1992), Joseph Bacon Garrard II (b. 1939), and Jack Kling Garrard (b. 1950).

 

Site of the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company

The Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company-was situated on Old Fort Bayou in the N/2 of the N/2 of Section 23, T7S-R8W.  The site was well chosen as it had: access to deep water; a cheap and readily available fuel supply for its kilns; and was situated on high ground, which was not inundated by Katrina 2005.  In present geographic terms, the brick making operation was along the 8900 block of Dixie Street in the Dixie Subdivision created in 1955 by Wendell Palfrey (1896-1956), which is northwest of the Ocean Springs-Vancleave Road.  Ronald ‘Bo’ Hall lives in the immediate area of the old brick works and has found many relic bricks in his yard. Digital image by Ray L. Bellande- May 15, 2007.

The Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company

After his military service during the 1898 conflict with Spain was completed, Joseph B. Garrard returned to Ocean Springs.  He became involved with the operations of the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company.  This entity had been incorporated on April 6, 1894, by James J. Garrard (1828-1902), his father, William C. West (1848-1915), Edward T. Firth (1857-1930+), David W. Halstead (1842-1918), and Joseph B. Garrard (1871-1915).  The purpose of the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company was to: manufacture and sell for profit of all classes of brick, tile, and fire clay and other clay products, and to open a general mercantile business to expedite in the development of the brick, tile, and other clay product manufacturing business.  The company had capital stock of $100,000 and its charter was approved on May 24, 1894, by J.M. Stone, Governor of Mississippi.( The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 18, 1894, p. 2)

D.W. Halstead and son, Ernest W. Halstead (1876-1953), returned to Ocean Springs in early April 1894, from Orange Grove.  They had closed their business in that area of eastern Jackson County.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 13, 1894, p. 3)

The West & Firth Sawmill

The scion that blossomed into the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company came out of the West & Firth Sawmill.  The machinery for the William C. West and E.T. Firth sawmill arrived at its Old Fort Bayou site in February 1891.  In July, the mills shut down to repair its boilers.  Brick making was also taking place.( The Biloxi Herald,  February 15, 1891, p. 1 and July 18, 1891, p. 1)

In March 1892, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced that, “E.T. Firth sawmill and brickworks, a new enterprise, now flourishing at Ocean Springs”.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 11, 1892, p. 3)

Land Acquisition

In May 1889, while residents of Louisville, Kentucky, Edward T. Firth and Mary A. Firth, acquired over 860 acres of land east of Ocean Springs in Section 23 and Section 26, T7S-R8W from W.S. Francis and Amy Francis of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Consideration from the Firths to the Francis family for this land was $5400.  from W.S. Francis and Amy Francis of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Consideration from the Firths to the Francis family for this land was $5400.  The Firth tracts were described as: Section 23-the N/2; the N/2 of the SW/4; the SW/4 of the SW/4; the SE/4 of the SE/4; and the N/2 of the SE/4.  Section 26-the NW/4; the NE/4; NW/4 of the SE/4; fractional part of the NE/4 of the SE/4; and three acres out of the NE/4 of the SW/4 lying north of the L&N Railroad.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 10, pp. 561-562)

Firth and West families

       Edward Theobald Firth (1857-1930+) was an Englishman and an architect.  He immigrated to the USA in 1858.  Firth and his family arrived at Ocean Springs circa 1890, from Louisville, Kentucky.  Circa 1882, he had married Mary A. Firth (1862-1930+), a native of Ohio, probably Fort Recovery.  They had nine children of which eight survived to adulthood: Martha B. Firth (1883-1900+), Mary I. Firth (1885-1900+), John E. Firth (1888-1900+), Orlando Firth (1891-1920+), Owen Firth (1893-1972), Elsie C. Firth (1895-1920+), William Firth (1899-1974), and Helen Firth (1902-1920+). Orlando was the first Firth child to be born in Mississippi.(1900 Jackson Co., Ms. Federal Census- T623 812, p. 1B, ED 43)

            The Reverend William C. West (1848-1915) was a native of Decatur, Ohio, while Mrs. West was born at New Albany, Indiana, the daughter of Silas C. Day (1813-1886) and Harriett Newell McClung (1820-1912).  They were married at New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana on February 11, 1880.  The West children were: Laura T. West (1882-1900), William D. West (1885-1915+), David M. West (1889-1915+), and Raynor E. West (1890-1915+).

The West family came to Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 1889, probably from Illinois.  At Ocean Springs, Reverend West was the Presbyterian minister serving the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs from 1890-1895.  He also preached to the people of Biloxi.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced in June 1891, that, "the prospect for building a Presbyterian Church with a goodly congregation in Biloxi is very promising".  In July 1892, the great New Orleans philanthropist, John Henry Keller, donated Lot 1 (50 feet by 150 feet)-Block 6 of Keller's tract to the Biloxi Presbyterian Church.  The church was located on Howard Avenue east of the old Biloxi Public High School.  The deacons and elders of the Biloxi Presbyterian Church, among them Bemis O. Bailey (1898-1969), an Ocean Springs native, sold their property to the City of Biloxi in late December 1940, for $3659.

Sometimes in 1899, the West house was destroyed by fire.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced in October 1899, "Reverend West was rebuilding his residence on East Beach.  It will be one of the most attractive on the east end".

      In July 1904, the West clan sold their home site and ten acres to Gilbert O. Clayton of New Orleans for $2000.  After the sale, Reverend West went to Louisville, Kentucky.  He returned to Ocean Springs, in mid-October 1906.  His comment after returning, "glad to be back and eat mullet".(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, pp. 433-434)

     The West family returned to Indiana, the home of Mrs. West.  This is corroborated in the May 6, 1915, weekly edition of The Ocean Springs News.  It announced at this time, "the Reverend W.C. West formerly of Ocean Springs, but now at New Albany, Indiana is in very bad health".  Indeed, William C. West was suffering from cancer of the tongue.  He died on November 26, 1915.  He and Mrs. West were interred in the Fairview Cemetery at 800 E. Sixth Street in New Albany, Indiana.(The Ocean Springs News, December 1, 1915)

The Brickyard

          In May 1892, E.T. and Mary A. Firth leased 4.81 acres of land along Old Fort Bayou situated on a high east-west striking ridge, in the NE/4 of the NW/4 and the NW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 23, T7S-R8W to the E.T Firth & Company, which was owned one-third each by, E.T. Firth, Mary A. Firth, and W.C. West.  The ten-year lease commenced on January 1, 1892 with the rent established at $.10 for each one thousand brick made from this land.  The rent could be paid monthly or semi-annually.  The E.T. Firth & Company had the right at any time to remove any portable or stationary machinery and fixtures, including any machinery on the ground.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 14, p. 148)

When the brick company or its officers borrowed money to keep the operation going, their deeds of trust reveal that the brickyard plant and sawmill consisted of: a store building with goods, wares, and merchandise; kilns; dry sheds; engines; boilers; machinery; tools; tracks; and cars.   

     The company borrowed monies from W.H. Day of Floyd County, Indiana, the Hieronymous Brothers of Grand Bay, Alabama; The Bank of Biloxi; Francesca V. Garrard; Schmidt & Ziegler of New Orleans; and Harriet N. West.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 13, p. 422 and p. 604; Bk. 15, p. 31; Bk. 17, pp. 168-170; and Bk. 22, pp. 5-6)

     As previously mentioned, E.T. Firth and W.C. West took on the Garrards and D.W. Halstead in April 1894, to form the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company.  These individuals were probably brought in to infuse capital into this incipient business.  The author speculates that brick made here were sold locally and also shipped to New Orleans by freight schooner. 

Schmidt & Ziegler v. The Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company et als

In November 1895, W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901) and Francis M. Ziegler (1818-1901), both natives of Baden-Wurttemberg in southwestern Germany and proprietors of  Schmidt & Ziegler, a wholesale grocery business situated on South Peters Street at New Orleans, were adjudicated a $600 judgment by the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mississippi against the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company.  As Schmidt & Ziegler were owners of the Ocean Springs Hotel and maintained summer residences at Ocean Springs, it is quite logical for them to have made acquaintances and transacted business with the principals of the local brick company.

Litigation, Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 683, against the defendant, the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company, was filed in August 1896, by the plaintiffs, Schmidt & Ziegler, after the Old Fort Bayou brickyard property was sold at a trustee’s sale on April 1, 1896, to Mary A. Firth for $2000, by W.C. West, trustee.  Schmidt & Ziegler asked the Chancery Court of Jackson County to enforce a $600 lien on the brickyard property to cancel the deed of trust held by the defendants. 

In their lawsuit, Schmidt & Ziegler alleged that the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company had attempted to defraud them of their $600 judgment of November 1895, by the pretended conveyance of the brickyard to Mrs. E.T. Firth on April 1, 1886.  As some of their evidence in the litigation, W.B. Schmidt deposed that he and arrived at Ocean Springs from New Orleans on March 31, 1896, with the specific purpose of attending the sale of the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company at Fruitland and to protest the entire matter.  With Robert D. Wigginton and H.F. Russell (1858-1840) in accompaniment, Mr. Schmidt arrived at the brickyard at 10:15 a.m. on the morning of April 1, 1896, only to discover that its conveyance by W.C. West, trustee, to Mary A. Firth had been consummated earlier.  The only competition in the bidding had been from Harriett N. West, the spouse of W.C. West.

The suit against the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company was dismissed by Judge N.C. Hill on April 11, 1899, at the request of the plaintiffs, Schmidt & Ziegler.  It is assumed that they arrived at an amicable settlement, as both parties were very honorable people.  The court costs were paid by the plaintiffs.  These law suits involving the finances of the Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company were the precursors to its final demise.  Other signs of pending failure came in March 1899, March 1902, and March 1905, when H.F. Russell bought the Firth lands in tax sales.  They were redeemed by W.C. West and Mrs. Mary A. Firth who paid from $63 to $11 in back taxes.(JXCO, Ms. Tax Sale Bk. 1, p. 63, p. 75, p. 87)  

Sale of the Firth Place

The Edward and Mary Firth and children had left Ocean Springs and returned to Fort Recovery, Mercer County, Ohio before November 1902.  At this time, E.T. Firth was named as a surrogate to W.C. West in the Last Will of Winthrop Curtiss, who expired at San Antonio, Texas in January 1903.  Winthrop Curtiss (1862-1903), and his wife, Ida M. Curtiss (1874-1902), made their home at the East Beach winter residence, “Seven Pines”, of Ralph C. Curtiss (1831-1900+), his uncle, and a native of Warren, Connecticut.  Winthop Curtiss was the caretaker of “Seven Pines”, and an enumerator during the 1900 Federal Census at Ocean Springs.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 1129-February 1903)

In November 1903, the Firths while residents of Fort Recovery, Ohio, commenced to dispense with their large land holdings at Ocean Springs.  Between 1891 and 1917, E.T. Firth and Mary A. Firth sold their lands in Section s 23 and 26 T7S-R8W, primarily to Ellen M. Snyder (1838-1901), I.H. Snell (1852-1934+), W.C. West, and S.G. Gilfillan (1853-1938).

Palfrey’s  Subdivisions

In November 1955, Wendell Palfrey (1896-1956), a New Orleanian by birth, who had arrived in Ocean Springs in 1945, from Memphis, where he had been in the real estate business since 1920, created the Dixie Subdivision.  At this time, the site of the former Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company became integrated into Palfrey’s Dixie Subdivision.  The manufacturing operation appears to have been centered along the high ridge in the 8900 block of Dixie Street on the northwest side of the Ocean Springs-Vancleave Raod.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Plat Bk. 2, p. 97)

Garrard Hardware

NW/C Washington Avenue and Desoto

Garrard Hardware was founded in 1909 when James B. Garrard (1871-1915) partnered with George W. Dale (1872-1953), a California transplant, to organize a business called Dale & Garrard Hardware and Plumbing.  Mr. Dale was a tinsmith and plumber and operated the ‘outside’ business, while Mr. Garrard worked ‘inside’ and sold ranges and cook stoves, hammocks, water coolers, scales, batteries, kerosene vapor stoves and alcohol stoves at their Washington Avenue location.  Before his death in February 1915, Mr. Dale had left the partnership.  Joseph B. Garrard’s widow, Carrie Johnson Garrard (1886-1968), continued the family business for many decades on Washington Avenue.

Hardware business

In 1909, James B. Garrard (1871-1915) partnered with George W. Dale (1872-1953), a California transplant who had married Harriette Seymour (1879-1956), the daughter of Narcisse Seymour (1849-1931) and Carolyn V. Krohn (1847-1895), to organize a business called Dale & Garrard Hardware and Plumbing.  Mr. Dale was a tinsmith and plumber and operated the ‘outside’ business, while Mr. Garrard worked ‘inside’ and sold ranges and cook stoves, hammocks, water coolers, scales, batteries, kerosene vapor stoves and alcohol stoves at their Washington Avenue location.  In the fall of Dale & Garrard contracted with Weider & Friar to build a 1750 square-foot, building on a lot leased from Charles E. Schmidt (1852-1886) and Laura Coyle Schmidt (1857-1931).  The Schmidt lot was situated on the east side of Washington Avenue, immediately north of Desoto.  Mrs. Laura C. Schmidt and spouse had acquired this valuable commercial tract in May 1880 for $400 from Albert Green and Mary Germain Green of New Orleans.  It had one hundred feet fronting on Washington Avenue and ran to Jackson Avenue to the west.  The Dale & Garrard building survived with two other wooden structures until the late 1960s, when the First National Bank of Ocean Springs was chartered and acquired the Schmidt lot and built a building here in 1967.(The Ocean Springs News, September 4, 1909, p. 1 and p. 5 and September 18, 1909, p. 5 and The Ocean Springs Record, June 29, 1967, p. 1)

The progenitors of the 19th Century Schmidt family at Ocean Springs were Ernst Charles Schmidt (1852-1886), called Charles Ernest Schmidt, and Laura Coyle (1857-1931), the daughter of Francisco Coyle (1813-1891), a Menorcan immigrant, and Magdalene Ougatte Pons (1813-1904).    Charles E. Schmidt of German ancestry came to Ocean Springs from New Orleans, his birthplace, in the 1870s.  He was the son of Ernst Schmidt (1827-1873), a German immigrant from Baden, and Euphemie or Euphrosine Schoser (1828-1870+), also a native of Baden, Germany.  Ernst Schmidt made his livelihood at New Orleans as the proprietor of a bar room while Charles was a store clerk.  Their other children were: Louisia Schmidt (1858-1870+) and Marie Schmidt (1861-1870+).(1870 Louisiana  Federal Census, M593R519, p. 402)

Charles and Laura Coyle Schmidt had a large family born and reared at Ocean Springs.  A child, Frank Ernest Schmidt (1877-1954), married Antoinette Emma Johnson (1870-1956) of Algiers, Louisiana.  Her father was a Danish sea captain, Frederick Oliver Johnson (Jenson) (1851-1938), and mother, Henrietta Hedman (1855-1922).  Mrs. Schmidt’s sister was Carrie Johnson Garrard, the spouse of Joseph B. Garrard, thus the link with the Dale & Garrard building on the Schmidt lot.  Frank E. Schmidt and Antoinette’s three sons: Dr. Frank O. Schmidt (1902-1975), Charles E. ‘Ernest’ Schmidt (1904-1988), and Dr. Harry J. Schmidt (1905-1997) were an integral part of the 20th Century chronology of Ocean Springs and Biloxi.

Joseph Bacon Garrard (1871-1915)

Before his demise in 1915, the Dale & Garrard partnership ceased and Joseph B. Garrard owned the hardware business solely and continued to sell such items as:  farming implements, fencing, paints, stoves, and tools.  In February 1915, Mr. Garrard advertised that he was selling Sherwin-Williams Paints & Varnishes.  This multinational corporation is will celebrates is 150thanniversary in 2016.(The Ocean Springs News, February 18,1915, p. 5)    

            At Ocean Springs, Joseph ‘Joe’ B. Garrard served as alderman from Ward I from 1911-1912.  It is interesting to note that his namesake and grandson, Joseph Bacon Garrard II, was elected to and represented the same city ward from 1993-2001.  Joe was also elected Alderman of Wars IV in 1973 and Alderman-at-Large in 1977.  He ran unsuccessful campaigns for Mayor in 2001 and 2005.(The Mississippi Press, January 24, 2001, p. 8A)

Joseph B. Garrard was also very active in the Masons participating as a member of the McLeod Lodge No. 426, the Hamassa Temple, and serving as Coast Commander.  Mr. Garrard was Warden of the St. Johns Episcopal Church.  Before his demise on February 24, 1915, from complication caused by pneumonia, Joseph Bacon Garrard had conveyed his Iberville home and property to his wife, Carrie Ann Johnson Garrard.  The conveyance occurred in January 1912.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 37, pp. 586-587 The Ocean Springs News, March 4, 1915, p. 1 

Mr. Garrard’s funeral was recorded by The Ocean Springs News of March 4, 1915, as: "was one of the largest ever witnessed at Ocean Springs.  Forty vehicles were not enough to accommodate the hundreds of mourners that followed the remains to the last resting place in Evergreen Cemetery".        Thomas Ewing Dabney (1885-1970), editor of The Ocean Springs News added, "As a father-as a husband--as a friend--well may we pattern ourselves after Joe Garrard."

             

Carrie Johnson Garrard Everhart (1886-1968)

     Courtesy of Mary Lee Garrard and Jack K. Garrard.

Carrie J. Garrard Everhart may have been the first woman entrepreneur at Ocean Springs.  Widowed from Joseph B. Garrard (1871-1915) and with two young sons at the age of twenty-nine, Mrs. Garrard took over her husband hardware business on Washington Avenue.  She also owned the Ben-Jim orchard, a citrus and pecan operation, east of Ocean Springs.  In addition to her beautiful ‘Bayou Home’ at present day 1119 Iberville Drive, Mrs. Garrard owned other real estate in the area. 

Widow Carrie

After the death of her spouse, the widow Carrie J. Garrard successfully operated the hardware store and owned rental and agricultural property in the city.  During her early tenure as proprietor of Garrard Hardware, it was describes as, “contains a stock that one would expect in a city five times its size.”(Dabney, 1915, p. 10)

Ben-Jim orchards

In 1914, Mrs. Carrie Garrard developed the Ben-Jim orchards, which was named for her sons, F. Benson Garrard (1909-1919) and James F. Garrard (1906-1972).  The Ben-Jim orchards were situated a few miles east of Ocean Springs on Old Spanish Trail.  Here in July 1915, Mrs. Garrard had nine acres in Florida flint corn.  It was tall and had a circumference as large as a wagon axle.  She also commercially cultivated grapefruit and satsumas.  There were 900 grapefruit trees growing at Ben-Jim in November 1915.(The Ocean Springs RecordJuly 8, 1915, p. 4 and December 2, 1915, p. 1)

A. Fleet Everhart (1881-1975)

A. Fleet Everhart

In 1924, Carrie J. Garrard married Alexander Fleet or Fleet Everhart (1881-1957), a native of Kentucky.  Circa 1902, Mr. Everhart married Margaret ? (1881-1920+), a native of Missouri.  Their only surviving child, Howard B. Everhart (1903-1977), was born on the family farm near Columbia, Boone County, Missouri.  It appears that Russell L. Everhart (b. 1909), another son, expired before 1920.  The family relocated to Columbia, Missouri between 1910 and 1920.  Here Fleet Everhart and family resided on Bass Street.  He made his livelihood as a hardware salesman.(1910 and 1920 Boone Co., Missouri Federal Census T624_770, p. 9A, ED 5 and T625_906, p. 9A, ED 21)

The Jackson County Times of December 29, 1928, reported that Fleet Everhart had installed a complete system of electric wiring for illuminating electric lights in a tall cedar tree at their Iberville Street home.  It created a pleasing spectacle for all to enjoy.  Was this our first lighted Christmas Tree?     

Joseph B. Garrard II

Before her death, Carrie Garrard Everhart sold a lot to her grandson, Joseph Bacon Garrard II (b. 1939) and his wife, Sandra Van Cleave Garrard (1943-2005), in December 1965. The lot has a one-hundred foot front on Iberville, west of the J.B. Garrard home, and was adjacent to the former American Legion- Jaycee Hut, which was demolished in September 1996.  The Garrards built a small one story brick home here in 1966 from a Claude H. Lindsley (1894-1969) design.  It was later radically remodeled and morphed into a "French Provincial" style structure featuring Old Chicago brick.  A second story was also added.  The J.B. Garrard II home was featured in the 1976 Spring Pilgrimage of the Ocean Springs Garden Club.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 286, p. 13 and The Ocean Springs Record, March 11, 1976, p. 7)           

Passings

A. Fleet Everhart expired in the James J. Garrard home on October 14, 1957.  In his retirement, he worked extensively on the home and yard at 1119 Iberville Drive.  Carrie Garrard Everhart passed on June 30, 1968.  She legated her Iberville Avenue home and 907 Washington Avenue store building to her grandson, Jack Kling Garrard.  Her estate was probated as Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 20,733.(Jackson County Chancery Court Will Book 10, pp. 484-486)

            Both Fleet and Carrie Garrard Everhart’s corporal remains were interred in the Garrard family burial plot in Evergreen Cemetery.

Jack Kling Garrard

     After the untimely death of his mother in 1950, Jack Kling Garrard moved to Ocean Springs from Port Arthur, Texas to live with his grandparents, Alexander and Carrie Garrard Everhart.  He attended local schools and graduated from Ocean Springs High School in 1968.  While a Greyhound, Jack was active in the school band, newspaper staff, and the ‘Playboy Pep Squad’, which provided musical support for athletic events.   Jack K. Garrard matriculated to Mississippi State University where he was awarded a degree in Business Administration.  Upon graduation, he was employed with Bankers Trust.  Mr. Garrard is currently a Senior Manager with Lockheed Martin at its Michaud facility in east New Orleans.(Jack K. Garrard, May 22, 2007, The Ocean Springs Record, July 8, 1976, p. 8, and Greyhound 1968, p. 91)         

      In the spring of 1976, Jack K. Garrard was named Lion of the Year by the Ocean Springs Lions Club.  He married Mary Lee Williams (1954-2010) of Houma, Louisiana at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church on September 11, 1976.  She was the daughter of Bennie G. Williams (1931-1996) and Estelle Heiss Gay.  Mrs. Garrard's maternal grandparents were John Champlin Gay (1909-1975) and Jennie Tucker Heiss Gay (1909-1996).  Champ Gay served as Mayor of Ocean Springs from 1953-1961.  Her paternal grandparents are Willie E. Williams (1890-1966) and Lorena Devereaux (1896-1978), also from Ocean Springs.  Mary Lee graduated from Terrebonne High School at Houma, Louisiana and Nichols State University at Thibodeaux, Louisiana with an associate degree in Nursing.  Jack and Mary Lee are the parents of:   Francesca Victoria Garrard Nitcavic (b. 1979) and Daniel Kennar Garrard (b. 1982).(The Ocean Springs Record, April 1, 1976, p. 7 and July 8, 1976, p. 8 and Mary Lee Garrard, May 19, 2007)

      During the tenure of Jack and Mary Lee Garrard, the James J. Garrard House on Old Ford Bayou has been immaculately maintained with the pride and tradition of its former Garrard family owners.  In the 1960s, two ancient, two-stall carriage houses were destroyed by fire.  They were replaced with an exterior garage.  Approximately twenty-five years past, a breakfast room was created from what had been an original porch on the east elevation of the structure.  In 2001, Jack and Mary Lee Garrard sold a large bayou lot on the east side of their home to Roy Murrell Jr.  Mrs. Carrie Garrard Everhart had maintained a small pecan orchard here with some citrus trees.  In 2002, the Murrells built a modern home at 1127 Iberville Drive.  Currently the Jack and Mary Lee Garrard are in the process of completing the painting of the entire exterior of their marvelous home.  Contract painters have meticulously removed all the older paint and primer from the original pine wood surface.(Jack K. Garrard, May 22, 2007) 

Garr Carter

 

REFERENCES:

Thomas E. Dabney, Ocean Springs: The Land Where Dreams Come True, (1699 Historical Committee: Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1974).

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), p. 4.

The History of Jackson County. Mississippi, "James J. Garrard", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), p. 213.

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

WPA For Mississippi Historical Data-Jackson County, "Spanish American War", (State Wide Historical Project-1936-1937), p. 178.

Journals

The Biloxi Herald"Ocean Springs", November 8, 1890, p. 4.

The Biloxi Herald"Ocean Springs", January 2, 1892, p. 4.

The Biloxi Herald"Ocean Springs", January 30, 1892.

The Daily Herald"Masons to attend funeral", February 25, 1915, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"Ocean Springs", June 1, 1934, p. 3.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", May 29, 1926.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal",

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", September 28, 1929.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", December 29, 1928.

The Jackson County Times"Garrard-Webb”, September 11, 1937, p. 2.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Mrs. Katherine Garrard dies in Port Arthur”, November 24, 1950, p. 1.

The Mississippi Press, “Springs alderman runs for mayor’s seat”, January 24, 2001, p. 8A.

The Ocean Springs News"New Store Building-New Hardware Firm", September 4, 1909, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News"Dale & Garrard", June 1910.

The Ocean Springs News"Jos. B. Garrard", February 18, 1915, p. 1 and p. 3.

The Ocean Springs News"Many Mourn Joe Garrard", March 4, 1915, p. 1 and p. 3.

The Ocean Springs News"Fleet Everhart”, October 17, 1957, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs News"Cathleen Ann Garard”, July 23, 1964, p. 2.

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

The Ocean Springs Record"Pecan and Citrus Records", December 2, 1915, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record"Garrard home to be featured on pilgrimage”, March 11, 1976, p. 7.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Club Honors Lion, Lioness of Year”, April 1, 1976.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Miss Mary Lee Williams to wed Jack Garrard”, July 8, 1976.

The Ocean Springs Record"James F. Garrard Jr.”, December 10, 1992, p. 8.

The Ocean Springs Record"Garrard sets sight on perfect wave”, June 20, 2002, p. B1.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", May 11, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Fire Brick Company, Inc.”, May 18, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Locals", May 18, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 10, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", August 12, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", August 19, 1898.

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

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 12, 1906.

 

Personal Communication:

Jack K. Garrard-June 1995

Mary Lee Williams Garrard-May 2007

Jack K. Garrard-May 2007.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

HONOR-ATTAYA COTTAGE

422 Martin Avenue

This late 19th Century Queen Anne structure located at 422 Martin Avenue is believed to have been built east of its present location and relocated here by John B. Honor (1856-1929) circa 1917, before he had Fred S. Bradford (1878-1951) build ‘Many Oaks’, the Honor-Jensen House, a large Dutch Colonial Revival at present day 315 Front Beach Drive.  The Honor-Attaya House was washed off it brick piers during Hurricane Katrina and seriously damaged.  It awaits restoration.  Image made by Ray L. Bellande in October 2001.

The Honor-Attaya Cottage is located at 422 Martin Avenue in Lot 6 of the Jerome Ryan Tract.  The Jerome Ryan Tract is the western most division of the 237-acre, Widow LaFontaine Claim, Section 37, T7S-R8W.  Jerome Ryan (1793-1870+), the son of Jean Ryan and Marie Gargaret, acquired this parcel of land by virtue of his marriage to Marie Euphrosine LaFontaine (1803-c.1846), the daughter of Louis Auguste LaFontaine and Catherine Bourgeois, the Widow LaFontaine.  Darlene J. Krohn in The Descendants of Jerome Ryan (1995) presents an interesting chronology of this very early Ocean Springs family.

            In August 1846, after the demise of the Widow LaFontaine, her property at Ocean Springs, which encompassed all the lands east of Martin Avenue to General Pershing Avenue and from Front Beach Drive to Government Street, was divided into five parcels by her heirs.  These parcels ran eastward along the beach front from Martin Avenue to the Andre Founier tract which was located just west of Bayou Bauzage (now the Ocean Springs Inner Harbor).  Jerome Ryan was granted Lot No. 1 which ran from J.R. Plummer's line (now Martin Avenue) to a corner 561 feet to the east.  The northern boundary of all the Widow LaFontaine tracts is the south line of Section 19, T7S-R8W.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, p. 546)

Jerome Ryan divided Lot 1 of the Widow LaFontaine partition into 9 smaller lots which he gave to his children by his first wife, Euphrosine LaFontaine.  Victor Joseph Ryan (1840-1878) was given Lot 6 by his father in November 1853.  It is within the subdivision of this Lot 6 that the Honor-Attaya House is situated.

The Austins, Margaret S. Honor and ‘Many Oaks’

In April 1909, Margaret Soden Honor (1860-1932) began to acquire property on the east side of Martin Avenue.  At this time, she purchased for $125 a lot 200 feet in length by about 55 feet wide, south of the old Louis Ryan settlement, which was situated on the southeast corner of Martin Avenue and Cleveland.  The grantors were Misses Mattie M. Austin and Martha W. Austin, heirs-at-law of Dr. William G. Austin and Martha E. Austin.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 34, pp. 468-469) 

At this time, the Austin ladies also sold Mrs. Honor a right of entry from Cleveland to their Martin Avenue tract for $125.  It was twenty-five feet wide and ran south from Cleveland on the east side of the Louis Ryan property for one hundred fifty-three and ½ feet.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 34, pp. 468-469)

Mattie M. Austin (1842-1916) was born in Mississippi the daughter of Dr. William Glover Austin (1814-1894) and Martha Porter Austin (1818-1898).  The Austin family began their long association with Ocean Springs in the 1840s.  In 1853, Dr. Austin built the Ocean Springs Hotel on a large tract of land west of Jackson Avenue and south of Cleveland, which gave the enterprising resort and fishing village its name, ‘Ocean Springs’, in 1854.  Miss Mattie M. Austin expired at New Orleans on June 14, 1916.  Her corporal remains were interred at Lafayette No. 1 Cemetery where most of the W.G. Austin family is entombed.

Martha W. Austin (1872-1914+) was the niece of Mattie M. Austin.  She was born at New Orleans the daughter of Major John Edward Austin (1840-1878) and Shaulline Yerger Creath.  Martha was educated at Newcomb College, New Orleans, but subsequently took special lectures in psychology at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She became a southern writer of some note and published at least two books:  Veronica (Doubleday, Page & Co.-New York) and Tristram and Isoult (Boston: Badger & Co.-1905).        

Harper’s Monthly Magazine published two of Miss Austin’s poems: The Horse of Indra (11910) and Life and Death (1914).(The Library of Southern Literature, 1907, pp. 13-14)

Several notes of Miss Martha W. Austin’s visits to Ocean Springs follow: In the fall of 1899, Miss Austin and her mother, Mrs. S.C. Austin, came to Ocean Springs from Waynesville, South Carolina to spend several months at the Austin Cottage.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 27, 1899, p. 3)

In the fall of 1905, Miss Austin arrived at Ocean Springs from New York, after a lengthy sojourn on the Eastern Seaboard.  She planned to remain at Ocean Springs until the New Year with her aunt, Miss Mattie M. Austin.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 15, 1905, p. 3)

In 1907, Martha W. Austin was on the staff of The New Orleans Picayune.  No further information.

The Honors

Margaret Soden Honor was born at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the daughter of two Irish immigrants, Martin Soden (1815- c. 1869) and Bridget Kelly (1825-1899), who married at Ireland in the 1840s.  The Soden family arrived at Ocean Springs circa 1849.  Their children were: Thomas Soden (1845-1893+), Catherine S. Butler (1848-1904), John Soden (1853-1931), James Soden (1856-c. 1915), Marie Ann S. von Rosambeau (1857-1937), Rosa Soden (b. 1859), Margaret S. Honor (1860-1932), and Bridget Soden (1864-1944).  Their first two children were born at Ireland. 

In June 1892, Margaret Soden (1860-1932) married John B. Honor (1856-1929).  His parents were Thomas B. Honor (1821-1896), a native of Palermo, Sicily, and Bridget Lyons (1835-1924), an Irish immigrant who came to America in 1847.  Thomas B. Honor came to New Orleans in 1856.  Before he became involved in commerce in the Crescent City, Mr. Honor was a sea captain.(The Pascagoula Democratic-Star, May 1, 1896)

Margaret S. Honor and John B. Honor had an adopted daughter, Rita Brown Clark (1913-1985), who married Elwin R. Friar (1910-1970).  They had a son, Robert Friar (b. 1932).

John B. Honor was born at New Orleans.  Upon graduation from Soule Business College, Mr. Honor was employed by several companies involved in the coal bunkering business.  He later got into stevedoring and built this enterprise into the largest on the New Orleans waterfront.  The American Sugar Refinery and the United Fruit Company were his best contracts.(The Jackson County Times, August 24, 1929, p. 3)

Many Oaks

Also in April 1909, John and Margaret S. Honor purchased the Charles D. Stuart (1850-pre-1920) place on Front Beach Drive between Jackson Avenue and Martin Avenue.  The consideration was $5800.   Mr. Stuart, a New York native and farmer, was domiciled at Hagar Township, Berrien County, Michigan.  In April 1914, the Honors bought the old Rayburn place from Fred C. Dellone (1868-1920+) for $3000.  It was east and contiguous with the Stuart tract.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 34, pp. 442-443 and Bk. 40, pp. 253-254)

By July 1915, the Honor family estate at Ocean Springs, which was named ‘Many Oaks’, consisted of  about thirteen acres fronting the beach just west of the Ocean Springs Hotel Tract on Jackson Avenue.  There were five cottages, an artesian well with three thousand feet of irrigation pipe, one hundred-forty pecan trees and almost five hundred Satsuma orange trees on the Honor property.(The Ocean Springs News, July 8, 1915, p. 2)

In March 1917, the Honor family began selling their holdings at New Orleans in preparation for their permanent move to Ocean Springs.  In the spring of 1918, John B. Honor hired Fred S. Bradford (1878-1951), a local contractor, to build for $15,000 a large, Dutch Colonial Revival home at "Many Oaks".  This architectural masterpiece at present day 315 Front Beach Drive is now owned by Mary Zala Jensen.(The Jackson County Times, March 24, 1917 and March 9, 1918)

John B. Honor died at "Many Oaks" in August 1929.  He was survived by his wife, Margaret Soden, two sisters, Mrs. Rose Honor Schully (1864-1946), the widow of Emile Schully (1853-1927), Maria Honor (1861-1932), and daughter, Rita Brown Friar (1913-1985).  His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Jackson County Times, August 24, 1929, p. 3)

422 Martin Avenue and 420 Martin Avenue

This circa 1920 image is of the Honor-Attaya House at present day 422 Martin Avenue and the Honor-Sheehan House at 420 Martin Avenue.  It is believed that these structures were moved by John B. Honor (1856-1929) from ‘Many Oaks’ to the east side of Martin Avenue prior to the erection of the Honor-Jensen House at 315 Front Beach Drive.  Hurricane Katrina displaced both buildings from their foundations.  Courtesy of Robert and Willene Dunnaway Friar-Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

The Many Oaks Cottages

The anecdotal history of Ocean Springs relates that when John B. Honor (1856-1929) and Margaret Soden Honor (1860-1932) decided to retire and relocate from New Orleans to Ocean Springs in 1917 and build their new estate house, now the Honor-Jensen home at 315 Front Beach, they elected to remove several cottages from their ‘Many Oaks’ grounds.  It is believed that 422 Martin Avenue is one of these structures.

Jessie C. Davidson

In March 1917, Margaret S. Honor of New Orleans sold her home at present day 422 Martin Avenue to Jessie C. Davidson in a lease purchase agreement.  The contract obligated Mrs. Davidson to pay Mrs. Honor fifty consecutive monthly payments of $31.80 each.  During the life of this contract, Mrs. Davidson had the utilization of the furniture and furnishings in the residence of the property.  Mrs. Honor paid the taxes, water rent, and insurance during the term of the lease purchase.  After Jessie C. Davidson fulfilled her financial obligation and reimbursed tax payments, water rents, and insurance expenses to Margaret Soden Honor, a warranty deed would be issued to her.  H.F. Russell & Son, local realtors, closed the sale with Mrs. Jerome Davidson.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 43, pp. 215-217) 

Jessie C. Davidson (1859-pre-1930), nee Montgomery, was born near Dotyville, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin to Hiram Montgomery (1826-1870+), a native of New York and Catharine Montgomery (1833-1870+), from Vermont.  After the Civil War, the Montgomery family, who were farmers, departed southeastern Wisconsin for the Platte River Valley near Whitesville, Andrew County, northwest Missouri to continue their subsistence agrarian life style.(1860 Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin Federal Census M653_1407, p. 73 and 1870 Andrew Co., Missouri Federal Census M593_755, p. 31)

Circa 1882 probably in Missouri or Illinois, Jessie C. Montgomery married Jerome T. Davidson (1845-1918), an Ohio native.  They resided at Champaign, Illinois were Jerome T. Davidson made his livelihood as a land agent.  The five Davidson children were born in Illinois: Sallie J. Davidson (1883-1900+); Fred Davidson (1885-1910+); Hazel F. Davidson (1890-1968); Willis J. Davidson (1894-1963); and Elizabeth Davidson (1901-1920+).(1900 and 1910 Champaign Co., Illinois Federal Census T623 240, p. 11B, ED 7 and T624_233, 6B, ED 10 and 1920 and 1930 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census T625_342, p. 7B, ED 1455 and R 493, p. 2B, ED 1850)

420 Martin Avenue

In February 1917, Jessie C. and Jerome T. Davidson had also purchased Mrs. Honor’s adjacent cottage at 20 Martin Avenue, now owned by Pat and Sue Sheehan cottage at 420 Martin Avenue.  Jessie C. Davidson planned to build a wing to connect the two edifices.  Mrs. Davidson needed both houses to accommodate her guests.  H.F. Russell & Son, local realtors, closed the sale.(The Jackson County Times, March 17, 1917)

Mrs. Jerome C. Davidson ran an advertisement in The Jackson County Times, April 14, 1917, p. 5, as follows:

Sale

          It appears that Mrs. Davidson plan to board winter guests at 422 Martin Avenue was not particularly successful or that as her husband’s health was failing, she had to devote her time to his well-being.  Probably because of the latter, Jessie C. Davidson sold 422 Martin Avenue back to Margaret S, Honor in October 1917.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, p. 70)

          Mrs. Davidson and family continued to dwell at 420 Martin Avenue after the sale of 422 Martin Avenue.

Red Cross benefit

          On February 2, 1918, Jessie C. Davidson and Margaret Soden Honor held a party at the Davidson home on Martin Avenue to raise funds for the American Red Cross.  A donation of $.25 cents was asked from the guests who competed for prizes in bridge and other card games.  A knitting prize was also awarded.(The Jackson County Times, January 26, 1918, p. 5)

Jerome T. Davidson passes

          In late May 1918, the Davidson family left Ocean Springs for Chicago, Illinois.  Jerome T. Davidson’s health had been declining while domiciled here and after his arrival in the Windy City, it failed rapidly and he succumbed on June 12th while at LaGrange, Illinois.  His corporal remains were interred there.(The Jackson County Times, June 15, 1918, p. 5)

For sale-420 Martin Avenue

            Jessie C. Davidson returned to Ocean Springs after her husband’s demise.  She stayed here until late May 1919, when she relocated to Chicago to live with her son, Willis J. Davidson, at 4729 Beacon Street.  Willis, a structural steel estimator, lived with his two sisters, Hazel Davidson and Elizabeth Davidson, and James W. Davidson (1845-1920+), their widowed uncle.   In an attempt to sell 420 Martin Avenue, upon her departure from the Gulf Coast, Jessie C. Davidson published this advertisement in The Jackson County Times on May 25, 1919, p. 5:

 

For Sale

Cottage near beach in most desireable (sic) location.

For information address,

MRS. JEROME DAVASON (sic)

4729 BEACON STREET

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

In July 1919, Willis Jerome Davidson (1894-1963) acquired 420 Martin Avenue from his mother by assuming the mortgage payments due to Mrs. Honor.  He sold the cottage to Judge Orin David Davidson (1872-1938) in June 1921.  There appears to be no familial relationship between the two men.  Louis J.B. Mestier (1883-1954) would acquire this property from Judge Davidson in May 1925.  420 Martin Avenue remained in the Mestier family until November 1967.  Patrick and Sue Sheehan have owned the cottage since October 1983.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 47, p. 46; Bk. 50, p. 453; and Bk. 320, p. 176)

        Judge Davidson

Judge Davidson, a native of Georgia, was very active in real estate in Ocean Springs.  He owned many domestic and commercial rental properties and speculated in undeveloped land.  Iola Y. Faibvre (1883-1963), his spouse, was from New Orleans.  She was active in the cultural affairs of Ocean Springs and was the first woman elected to a public office here.  Mrs. Davidson served the people of Ward II from 1937 to 1943.  Their daughter, Dolores ‘Bobby’ Davidson Smith (1916-1997), was also active in local real estate and the historical affairs of the city.  Marco St. John, Roland Figueroa, Patti Lel Smith Morris, and David Smith, grandchildren of Judge Davidson, have all been players in the local real estate market.  The old Judge Davidson home, ‘Bel Vue’, at 810 Iberville Drive has recently been on the market for $635,000.

Ellen Tracy Benton

In July 1920, Mrs. Margaret Soden Honor sold the cottage at 422 Martin Avenue to Ellen ‘Nell’ Tracy Butler Benton (1880-1952), her niece and the spouse of Edward Joseph Benton (1875-1954).  Nell Benton was the daughter of George F. Butler (1844-1907) and Kate Soden Butler (1848-1904), Mrs. Honor’s sister.  The Bentons had three children: George B. Benton (1906-1952), Margaret B. Attaya (1916-1975), and Eileen R. Benton (b. 1920).  (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 48, pp. 310-311) 

George Butler Benton (1906-1952) was employed by the Chrysler Corporation at New Orleans.  He resided at 2412 Frenchman Street.  On a visit to Ocean Springs, he suffered a fatal heart attack.  Mr. Benton was survived by Miss Mary Ellen Benton, his daughter.  The corporal remains of George B. Benton were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Gulf Coast Times, August 14, 1952, p. 1)

In 1941, Margaret Honor Benton (1916-1975) married Henry E. Attaya II (1915-2004) in the Sacred Heart Church at New Orleans.  Both were LSU graduates.  Miss Benton had a masters in Mathematics while her husband a masters degree in Chemistry.(The Jackson County Times, 1941) 

Eileen Rosabel Benton (b. 1920) graduated from Ocean Springs High School in 1937.  She matriculated to LSU and studied mathematics.  Eileen returned to Ocean Springs and taught electronics at KAFB in the late 1940s and early 1950s before becoming a nun in the Marionite Sisters of the Holy Cross, a Holy Order of the Catholic Church.  Sister Eileen taught mathematics at Our Lady of the Holy Cross College and Dominican College in New Orleans.  She later became affiliated with the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and taught mathematics and computer science at Xavier University in the Crescent City.  Sister Eileen is now retired and resides at Bensalem, Pennsylvania.(Amy M. Clesi, February 20, 2007)

The Specialty Store

During their early years while domiciled at Ocean Springs, both Nell and E.J. Benton were active in the local commerce.  In September 1925, Nell Benton opened a clothing store here, which she called the Specialty Store.  Mrs. Benton was the local representative for Harford Frocks of Cincinnati, Ohio and could sell at discount prices.  At this time, Katherine Harford was considered America’s style authority and she selected the clothing to be vended in the Specialty Store.  Mrs. Benton’s inventory consisted of men’s, boy’s, ladies, and children’s wear of all types and also included hats, socks, slips, ginghams, aprons, and darning thread.(The Jackson County Times, September 5, 1925, p. 3 and October 10, 1925, p. 2)

In August 1926, Mrs. Nell Benton was an attendee at the buyer’s convention in the Crescent City.  The wholesalers entertained their prospective clients with a dinner dance at the Southern Yacht Club on Lake Pontchartrain with Mayor O’Keefe in attendance.(The Daily Herald, August 28, 1926, p. 2)

The Specialty Store closed circa 1927, but reopened in the Davidson Building in March 1929.  The Davidson Building was owned by Judge O.D. Davidson (1872-1938) and situated on the west side of Washington Avenue where Miner’s Toy Store is today.(The Jackson County Times, March 30, 1929, p. 3)

Edward J. Benton

Edward Joseph Benton was a native of New Orleans, and the son of Richard B. Benton (1842-1907), possibly a native of Barcelona, Spain and Mary Mailhos Benton (1851-1930), an 1860 French immigrant.  The original family name was 'Baritau' and then changed to 'Benton'.  Before E.J. Benton became a restaurateur at Ocean Springs, Mr. Benton in March 1929, accepted the position as manager of the H.G. Hill Store succeeding Mr. Allen.(The Jackson County Times, March 30, 1929, p. 3 and Eileen Benton, April 18, 2009)

Benton’s Cafe

During the early 1930s, E.J. Benton became the proprietor of Benton’s Café on Washington Avenue.  In April 1934, Mr. Benton moved his business to the Eglin store building next to the Eglin House on Washington Avenue.  He expected to open for business by the end of the month.  Gus Henzelena of Biloxi took over the management of the café in May 1934. (The Jackson County Times, April 21, 1934, p. 3  and May 11, 1934, p. 3)

E.J. Benton advertised in The Jackson County Times of May 5, 1934 as follows:

Dine With Us

In Our New Location-Next to Eglin House

We serve a splendid dinner on week days for 30 cents

SUNDAY CHICKEN DINNER 50 CENTS

Lunches, Short Orders and Cold Drinks Served

BENTON’S CAFÉ

Clean, Cool and Comfortable

 

Demise of Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Benton       

The Honor-Attaya Cottage was legated to E.J. Benton in May 1953 by JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 12,127, the Will of Ellen Butler Benton, after the death Mrs. Ellen B. Benton in late November 1952.  Nell B. Benton was survived by her husband, two daughters, Mrs. Henry E. Attaya II of Huntsville, Alabama and Eileen R. Benton of Ocean Springs, and a sister, Stella B. Rebentisch (1883-1952+) of New Orleans.  The corporal remains of Mrs. Benton were buried at the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, November 28, 1952, p. 15)

In February 1954, Edward J. Benton collapsed on the street in Biloxi while talking with friends.  He was DOA at the Biloxi hospital.  Mr. Benton was survived by his two daughters, a sister, Mrs. Florine Roude (1880-1954+), and five grandchildren.  His remains were also interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Gulf Coast Times, February 17, 1954, p. 3)

Eileen R. Benton

In April 1953, shortly before his death, Edward J. Benton conveyed 422 Martin Avenue to Eileen R. Benton, his sister.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 132, p. 97)

Rental

  The Honor-Attaya Cottage served Sister Eileen R. Benton as a rental for many years.  James McConnell Anderson and Margaret Hollingsworth Anderson, his spouse, lived here for about seventeen years before building their home on the Shearwater Pottery in 1998. 

Stephen M. Attaya

In September 1982, Sister Eileen Rosabel Benton donated her home on Martin Avenue to her nephew and nieces.  Mary Ellen Benton McDonald of San Antonio, the daughter of her brother, was given 50% of the ownership.  The remaining interest was divided equally between the children of her sister: Henry E. Attaya III; James J. Attaya; Stephen Michael Attaya; Katherine A. Daugherty; and Ann A. Reynolds.  At this time, Stephen M. Attaya and spouse, Sara Price Attaya, of New Orleans acquired the home from his cousin and siblings for $31,000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 747, p. 647 and JXCO, Ms. Deed Trust Bk. 782, p. 589)

Stephen M. Attaya and the Attaya family

 Stephen Michael Attaya is the son of Colonel Henry “Hank” Eliott Attaya II (1915-2004) and Margaret Honor Benton (1916-1975).  Henry Elliott Attaya II was born at New Orleans, Orleans Parish Louisiana on May 1, 1915, the son Henry E. Attaya (1892-1982) and Mary Finnegan Attaya (b. 1895), the daughter of George H. Finnegan (1858-1910) and Isabella McIntyre Finnegan (1869-1924).  Henry and Mary Isabella Finnegan married in the Crescent City on June 1, 1914.  During WW I, when Henry E. Attaya registered for the draft, he stated that he had been born on November 22, 1892 at Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish, Louisiana.  At this time, he was a telegrapher and station agent for the Louisiana Railway & Navigation Company at Garyville, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana.  He was married and the father of two children.(1917-1918 WW I Draft Registration- St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana Roll 1684936)

By 1930, the Attaya family was domiciled at Gonzales, Ascension Parish, Louisiana.  Henry E. Attaya made his livelihood here as depot agent.  He and Mary Isabella were now the parents of five children: Henry E. Attaya II (1915-2004), Miriam T. Attaya (1917-1995); Helen Attaya (1919-2004); and Rita Belle Attaya Taft (1922-2004+).(1930 Ascension Parish, Louisiana Federal Census R 783, p. 3B, ED 8)

Benton-Attaya

In 1941, Margaret Honor Benton (1916-1975) married Henry E. Attaya II in the Sacred Heart Church at New Orleans.  Both were LSU graduates.  Miss Benton had a Masters in Mathematics while her husband a Masters degree in Chemistry.  Henry E. Attaya II attained the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army during his twenty-one years of service, which included participation in the Korean Conflict and WW II.  He was an ROTC instructor at Purdue University and civil servant at NASA. Henry was preceded in death by his two wives, Margaret Benton Attaya (1916-1975) and Elaine Gray Attaya (1916-2000).  He expired at Hartford, Kentucky on March 10, 2004.(The Jackson County Times, 1941 and The Baton Rouge Advocate, March 17, 2004) 

Henry and Margaret B. Attaya were the parents of five children: Henry E. Attaya III (1947-2003); Stephen Michael Attaya (b. 1948) married Sara Price; Ann Therese Mary Attaya Reynolds (b. 1949); Katherine Marie Attaya Daugherty (b. 1953); and James Jude Attaya (1955).  

Ann Therese Mary Attaya was born at Lafayette, Indiana on October 4, 1949, to Captain H.C. Attaya and Mrs. Attaya.(The Daily Herald, October 25, 1949, p. 9)

2000 refurbishment

In the spring of 2000, shortly after the James M. Anderson family vacated the Honor-Attaya House for the Shearwater Pottery, Stephen M. Attaya and wife of New Orleans had it refurbished.  Among the work performed by the New Orleans contractor for the Attayas was: demolition of a rear addition, interior remodeling, removal of the tin and slate roof and replacment with a tin roof, and removal and replacement of rotten soffit and fascia.  An old garage was also demolished.  The Attaya family enjoyed their Ocean Springs home as a weekend retreat.

422 Martin Avenue

This post-Katrina image of the Honor-Attaya demonstrates the severe damage that the structure was subjected to on the morning of August 29, 2005.  Today, it rests in situ awaiting restoration or demolition.  Image made September 2005 by Ray L. Bellande.

Katrina

Wind and water generated by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005 destroyed the masonry pier foundation of the Honor-Attaya House dropping it to the ground.  The home has rested where it was deposited since the tempest awaiting restoration or demolition.

REFERENCES:

The Library of Southern LiteratureVolume XV, (The Martin & Hoyt Company: New Orleans, Atlanta, and Dallas-1907).

Journals

The Baton Rouge Advocate, “Henry E. Attaya Jr.”, March 17. 2004.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, August 28, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Attaya Birth”, October 25, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Benton Dies”, November 28, 1952.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Funeral Services For Late George B. Benton”, August 14, 1952.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Ocean Springs News”, February 17, 1954.

The Jackson County Times, “Davidson advertisement”, April 14, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, March 17, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, March 9, 1918.

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

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, June 15, 1918.

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

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, May 25, 1919.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, September 5, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Specialty Store”, October 10, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, March 30, 1929.

The Jackson County Times, “Jno. B. Honor, Beloved Citizen Buried Thursday”, August 29, 1929.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, April 21, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 11, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Benton’s Café”, May 5, 1934.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 1, 1896.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 27, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, September 15, 1905.

The Progress, “Local News Items”, February 6, 1904.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE C.W. MADISON RAILROAD COTTAGES: 1891-1999 

The Charles W. Madison Railroad Cottages are located in the SW/4 of the SE/4 of Section 19, T7S-R8W.  This parcel of land is a portion of what is called the Ames Tract.  In 1847 and 1848, John Ames (1797-1850+), an Irish immigrant, received land patents from the Federal Government on 120 acres in the SE/4 of Section 19, T7S-R8W.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 12, p. 298 and Bk. 15, p. 126) 

Over a century old, these four, wood-framed cottages were erected to house black laborers and their families in the employ of the L&N Railroad.  The L&N line was the successor of the New Orleans, Mobile & Chattanooga Railroad which completed the rail line from Mobile to New Orleans in October 1870.(LaChaussee, p. 2)

The Madison cottages are aligned east-west, south of the CSX (formerly L&N) right-of-way and extend westward along Robinson Street (formerly Blount) for 300 feet, commencing on the west side of Handy Avenue.  They are an integral part of the L&N Railroad Historic District, one of seven historic districts in Ocean Springs, which were established by City Ordinance No. 9-1989 and amended by City Ordinance No. 4-1990.  Of the structures in the L&N Railroad Historic District, only the Cochran-Letoha House at 900 Robinson, which was erected in 1880, is older than the Madison cottages.(Bellande, 1993)

On February 25, 1891, the heirs of John Ames, Thomas Ames (1843-1906), Jerry Ames (1852-pre-1922), William Ames (1848-1922), and Eliza Ames (1845-1917), sold a 6.26-acre parcel of land (440' x 620') to Robert A. Van Cleave Jr.  The tract was bounded on the north by the L&N Railroad right-of-way, east by Cynthia Ward, south by County Road (now Government Street), and west by the division line of Section 19, T7S-R8W..(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, pp. 552-553) 

Charles W. Madison

That same day in February 1891, Charles W. Madison (1853-1925) bought a 1.25-acre tract of land (125 feet by 435 feet) from Robert A. VanCleave Jr. (b. 1869-1900+).   It was carved from Vancleave's purchase from the Ames’ heirs.  The Madison tract was bounded on the north by L&N Railroad right-of-way, south by Blount Avenue (now Robinson Street) in Section 19, T7S-R8W.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, p. 201)

Here in April 1891, Mr. Madison contracted with James L. Clark to build four cottages.  They were erected with celerity as there was a great demand for housing in Ocean Springs.(The Biloxi Herald, April 18, 1891, p. 1 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 10, 1891)   

The original cottages, before minor to serious alterations provided by HUD programs in the 1970s, were described by an architectural survey of the Ocean Springs L&N Railroad Historic District as:  Federal Revival, single-story, wood frame, structures built on low brick piers with an L-shaped plan.  They have a side gable roof and full inset gallery.  Dual portals off the gallery are four-panel, wood, single doors with two, light transoms.  The windows are wood sash, six-over-six, double hung and fully shuttered.  Six-inch, finished, clapboard siding extends below shallow eaves and closed soffit.  Solid 4" x 8" timbers frame the unbalustered gallery, which is enhanced by built-up capital moldings.  The surveyor estimated their erection date as circa 1890.

Mr. Charles W. Madison was the section boss of the local division of the L&N railroad at the time of construction of these small structures.  He was promoted in January 1898 to manage the construction train.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 10, 1891 and January 28, 1898, p. 3) 

C.W. Madison sold his cabins to Joseph Kotzum for $1200 in February 1901.  There were six cottages on the property at that time.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 22, p. 384)

In March 1904, the Madison family moved to Bay St. Louis.  C.W. Madison was promoted to Division road supervisor for the L&N in charge of maintenance of the section of rail from New Orleans to Bay St. Louis.(The Progress, March 19, 1904)

  In 1874, C.W. Madison had married Elizabeth A. Madison (1855-1944).  They had six children, but only two daughters, Katie E. Madison (1880-1944+) and Lulu B. Madison (1884-1944+), survived into the 20th Century.(1900 Federal Census of JXCO, Ms.)  A son, Henry Madison, expired at Ocean Springs on January 1, 1892, only a few days after his grandmother Madison had passed.(The Biloxi Herald, January 2, 1892, p. 4)

Mr. Madison was killed when returning from a track inspection near Chef Menteur east of New Orleans.  His motorcar broke an axle and Madison was thrown off the vehicle crushing his skull.  He died on January 30, 1925, at the Touro Infirmary in New Orleans.  Madison never regained consciousness.  He was survived by his wife, and daughters, Mrs. Turner of New Orleans and Mrs. M.T. Bangard of Bay St. Louis.(The Jackson County Times, January 31, 1925)

Joseph Kotzum

Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915), the new owner of the railroad cottages, was a Bohemian.  He made his livelihood as a blacksmith and invested heavily in real estate at Ocean Springs.  Mr. Kotzum was married to Josephine Kotzum (1845-1920), a native of New York.  They reared a son, Anton P. Kotzum (1871-1916), who resided at Alameda, California for many years before returning to Ocean Springs in 1915, to start the Eagle Point Oyster Company with Philip M. Bellman (1872-1927). 

In July 1914, two of Mr. Kotzum’s Railroad Cottages were destroyed by fire.  They were juxtaposed and the conflagration leaped from the roof of one to the other due to the propinquity of the structures.  The local fire companies were unable to control the blazes because of an insufficient water supply as the neighborhood fire wells were quickly pumped dry by the fire engine.(The Ocean Springs News, July 14, 1914)

After the death of Joseph Kotzum, his estate was divided between his wife and son.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 3448-June 1916) 

Unfortunately, A.P. Kotzum died a year later leaving a wife, Julia Kotzum, and two minor children, Alice Kotzum (1899-1972) and Joseph Kotzum (1903-1975).  In 1918, Alice Kotzum was a patient in the East Mississippi Insane Hospital at Meridian.  Joseph Kotzum relocted  to Fresno, California where he became a telegraph operator.  He subscribed to The Jackson County Times for many years.  Julia Kotzum married W.W. Bryan and relocated to San Francisco circa 1926.(The Jackson County Times, March 14, 1925 and JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 3616-November 1918 and JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 4070-November 1926)

Mrs. Josephine Kotzum inherited the railroad cottages from her husband with other local real estate, including the family home at present day 1202 Bowen.  After her demise on June 5, 1920, Anna Rott (1877-1947+), her niece, inherited her entire estate.  Mrs. Julia Kotzum sued her mother-in-law's estate on behalf of her minor children and received a $1200 settlement from the Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court in July 1920.  Mrs. Josephine Kotzum’s real estate was valued at $4631.(JXCO, Ms.   Chancery Court Cause No. 3616-November 1918 and Cause No. 4070-November 1926)

Mrs. Annie Rott was born in Louisiana, probably New Orleans.  Her parents were natives of the Empire State.  Anna Rott was widowed without children and came from Chicago to Ocean Springs to care for her aging aunt, Josephine Kotzum, after the death of her spouse, Joseph Kotzum.  Mrs. Rott also resided at present day 1202 Bowen.  Circa 1944, Anna Rott returned to Chicago, but continued to market her local real estate.  She sold her home on Bowen to Howard Glass in July 1947.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 97, pp. 290-291) 

Individual histories of the Madison Railroad Cottages post November 1942, are as follows:

1307 Robinson

(l-r: October 1997 and May 2001-images by Ray L. Bellande)

1307 Robinson

In November 1942, Anna Rott began selling her railroad cottages.  Virginia Mary Vincent (1889-1969) purchased present day 1307 Robinson for $135.  She worked as a domestic cook for some of the older families of Ocean Springs, including that of Peter Anderson (1901-1984), founder of Shearwater Pottery.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 82, pp. 128-129 and The Daily Herald, January 6, 1969, p. 2, c. 2)  

Miss Vincent was the daughter of Virgil "Zean" Vincent (1860-1940) and Marie Saverie (1867-1940).  Mr. Zean Vincent was a native of New Orleans and was a shoemaker at Ocean Springs.  He arrived here circa 1885.  The other Vincent children were: Rose V. Bienvenue (1887-1939) and Louis "Chegoon" H. Vincent (1891-1969+). 

Mrs. Marie Vincent expired on February 15, 1940.  Shortly before her funeral, Virgil Vincent died.  It was decided by the family to have one funeral for both.  They were passed through St. Alphonsus Church with Father Mulkeen of Our Mother of Sorrows Church (Biloxi) attending with internment at Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, February 24, 1940, p. 4, c. 4)

In August 1960, before her demise on January 3, 1969, Miss Virginia Vincent legated her railroad cottage to her niece, Marguerite Rochon  (1906-1997), the spouse of Herbert Satcher .(Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 21,270-May 1969)   In addition to Mrs. Marguerite R. Satcher, Virginia Vincent was survived by Mrs. A.L. Gordon, Kentwood, Louisiana; Louis H. Vincent, Chicago; Allison X. Rochon, North Englewood, Maryland, and Alcidia Rochon, Clarksville, Maryland.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1969, p. 2, c. 2)

Marguerite Rochon was married to Herbert Satcher (1906-1983), the son of Charles Satcher Jr. (1887-1920+) and Amanda Satcher (1886-1920+).  Charles Satcher Jr. was a brakeman for the L&N Railroad while Amanda Satcher was a laundress.  Like his father, Herbert Satcher made his livelihood as an employee of the L&N Railroad. He worked for some time at New Orleans, where he was a member of the Warehouse Division Union.  Herbert Satcher’s siblings were: Walter Satcher (1903-1910+), Georgia Satcher (1907-1985), and Roy Satcher (1914-1920+).  Mr. Herbert Satcher was a Methodist and member of St. James United Methodist Church.(The Daily Herald, March 29, 1983, p. A-2, c. 2)

The Satcher Cottage was valued at $5000 in May 1969.  HUD funding altered this structure with aluminum siding and windows and partial enclosure of the gallery circa 1970. 

In June 1985, Mrs. Marguerite Satcher entered into a life estate agreement with Charles R. Burns of 1201 Desoto Avenue in Ocean Springs. She passed on August 14, 1997.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 828, pp. 200-201) 

            In the spring of 2001, Charles R. Burns began the refurbishment of 1307 Robinson for his daughter to reside.

1303 Robinson

[l-r: south elevation and north elevation from CSX RR tracks.  images made October and November 1997 by Ray L. Bellande]

1303 Robinson

Katherine C. Van Alstyne (1863-1953) acquired present day 1303 Robinson from Mrs. Rott in November 1942, for $400Mrs. Van Alstyne was born Katherine Crandall at Courtland, New York.  She was the widow of Charles B. Ver Nooy (1860-1921), also from the Empire State.  He was the vice president and treasurer of the Illinois Brick Company of Chicago.  They had a daughter, Winifred Ver Nooy (1891-1967), who was the research librarian for the William Rainey Harper Memorial Library at the University of Chicago for forty-four years.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 81, pp. 505-506 and The Daily Herald, August 10, 1966, p. 7, c. 3)

Mrs. Ver Nooy married Edward W. Van Alstyne (1875-1939), the widower of Agnes A. Causse (1882-1930), after March 1930.  He was a native of Lockport, New York and passed at Hendersonville, North Carolina on October 5, 1939.(Bradford-O’Keefe Burial Book 27, p. 150)

Mrs. Van Alstyne immediately conveyed the railroad cottage to Lilly Geater Robertson (1890-1978).  Lillie G. Robertson, a native of Wetumpka, Alabama, came to Ocean Springs in 1913.  She was the wife of John Robertson (1864-1940), from North Carolina, who worked as a railroad laborer.  Lillie Robertson made her livelihood working for Mrs. Ida Fayard Wilson (1884-1978).(Eloise R. Wilson, March 29, 1999) 

Eloise R. Wilson (b. 1913), the daughter of John and Lillie Robertson, who was also born at Wetumpka, Alabama, now, owns the cottage.  It has had an addition and also been altered with aluminum siding funded with HUD money. 

Eloise Robertson married Murphy E. Wilson (1912-1970) and reared five children in the cottage at 1303 Robinson.  Mr. Wilson was born at Ocean Springs in June 1912, the son of Alabama native, George Wilson (1884-1924, and Estella Wilson (b. 1892).  Murphy Wilson was briefly employed by the L&N Railroad.  He and his father were primarily shipyard laborers.(Eloise R. Wilson, March 30, 1999) 

1313 Robinson

[image made May 2001 by Ray L. Bellande]

1313 Robinson

Alcidia Rochon (1903-2001) bought present day 1313 Robinson from Mrs. Anna Rott in January 1943, for $600.  The Rochon residence is in almost original architectural condition, as Miss Rochon refused HUD funding.  Her parents, Alcide Rochon (1880-1920+) and Lena Vincent Rochon (1884-1920+), were natives of New Orleans.  Mr. Rochon had an eatery at Ocean Springs before he became a porter for the L&N Railroad.  Mrs. Rochon did laundry at her domicile.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 82, pp. 357-358 and The Ocean Springs Record, February 23, 1995, p. 19)

Alcidia's siblings were Marguerite Rochon Satcher (1906-1997), and Allison Rochon (1918-1987).  Alcidia toiled many years as the cook and housekeeper for the St. Louis Catholic Church Rectory in Clarksville, Maryland.  At this time, Allison Rochon lived nearby at North Englewood, Maryland.(The Sun Herald, April 3, 2001, p. A7)

In June 1985, Miss Rochon entered into a life estate agreement for this property with Charles R. Burns of Ocean Springs.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 828, pp. 202-203).   

Alcidia Rochon, called BaBa, was a kind, loving person.  Although older, she was in better health than her sister and neighbor, Marguerite Rochon Satcher (1906-1997).  Alcidia cooked, cleaned, and cared for Marguerite during her final years at 1307 Robinson.  Miss Rochon passed on April 1, 2001 in Ocean Springs.  She was survived by a nephew, Anthony Rochon of Maryland, and Montrey Rochon of Washington D.C., the widow of Allison Rochon, her brother.  Alcicia's corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.(The Sun Herald, April 3, 2001, p. A7)     

1209 Robinson

[l-r: south elevation and north elevation from CSX RR tracks.  images made October and November 1997 by Ray L. Bellande]

1209 Robinson

Marietta Williams was the final vendee of the Anna Rott railroad cottage sales.  She bought present day 1209 Robinson Avenue in January 1943.  The Williams cottage was highly modified by HUD funding.(JXCO, Ms.  Land Deed Bk. 82, p. 129)   

Prior to 1977, Marietta Williams married Leonard Fairley (1900-1985), the son of Oscar Fairley (1877-1920+) and Mary Fairley (1884-1920+), of the Vancleave community.  They took a deed of trust on the property from Bailey & Sadler in June 1978.  The Fairleys defaulted on the deed of trust and 1209 Robinson was sold to Sam and Ora Newman in May 1985, by sub-trustee, Arnold M. Weiss, for $7943.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 828, pp. 108-109)   Sam Newman was the son of Leonard Fairley.(The Daily Herald, January 10, 1985, p. A-2)

In May 1995, the Newmans conveyed 1209 Robinson to Samuel and Hazel Thurmon who reside at 707 General Pershing.(JXCO, Ms.  Land Bk. 1063, p. 89)

REFERENCES:

Essays

Ray L. Bellande, The Cochran-Dodds House, (unpublished essay, 1993)

J.G. LaChaussee, The NO&M: A Railroad Built on La Prairie Tremblante.

Journals

The Biloxi Herald, “Around Ocean Springs”, April 18, 1891.

The Biloxi Herald, “Ocean Springs”, January 2, 1892.

The Daily Herald, “Virginia Vincent”, January 6, 1969.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Lillie Robertson”, September 28, 1978.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Ver Nooy Retires”, August 10, 1966.

The Daily Herald, “Leonard Fairley”, January 10, 1985.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, March 14, 1925.

The Jackson County Times"Former Resident Buried Here", January 31, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Local Negro Couple Buried Together”, February 24, 1940, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, July 14, 1914.

The Ocean Springs Record, Alcidia Rochon tells her story for history”, February 23, 1995.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", April 10, 1891.

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

The Progress, “Local News Items”, March 19, 1904.

The Sun Herald, "Alcidia Rochon", April 3, 2001.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CLEMENT-JACOBS HOUSE: THE PORTER HOUSE (1894-1997)

 604 Porter Street

[image circa 1947 from Peggy Carver Dessomes]

Can you imagine walking west on Porter Avenue in the late 1880s and early 1890s and being in the suburbs of Ocean Springs at Martin Avenue!  West of Jerry O'Keefe's Corner (the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Porter), there were few domiciles until one reached an affluent, sylvan-clad, neighborhood, located on the French Colonial site of Vieux Biloxy (1719-1721), along Plummers Road, now Lovers Lane, at Breezy Point. 

At this time, about a decade before the turn of the Century, construction activity along West Porter was beginning to increase as St. John's Episcopal Church had just been erected in 1892, on the northwest corner of Porter and Rayburn.  The Methodists were still worshiping on Porter just west of Herman Nill's Drugstore, which was located on the northwest corner of Washington and Porter.

Thomas A.E. Holcomb (1831-1897) and his wife, Martha Lyon (1833-1906), from Chicago were still settling into their cozy estate, "Hollywood", east of the Episcopal Church, now the location of the Dale Cottages.  Also, Alfred E. Lewis (1862-1933) was erecting what would become known as the Artesian House, a hostelry, on a southwest diagonal from O'Keefe's Corner.  Mr. Lewis may have also built a tourist cottage at 822 Porter which came into the George E. Arndt (1857-1945) family in October 1894.

Many of what we consider "older homes" along this West Porter neighborhood were yet to be built.  The Clark- Reinike House, also known as the William J. Engbarth House, at 525 Porter was erected in 1904, by Colonel Newcomb Clark (1836-1913), a retired soldier-politician from Michigan.  The Richardson-Ornstein Cottage, popularly known as the William S. VanCleave Cottage, at 605 Porter was erected by Henry H. Richardson of Chicago in 1895.  The Whitney-Smith House at 619 Porter, known to many as the Thomas N. Murphy (1892-1966) house, was built by Loren H. Whitney of Chicago in 1897.  Current owners, Mike and Bev Smith are just completing a small addition on the east elevation with local contractor, Paul Campbell, in charge.  The Captain Antonio J. Catchot home, now owned by John and Sherry Kendall, at 703 Porter was built in 1894, but totally destroyed by a fire on December 18, 1914.  Mrs. Elizabeth Clark Nolan (1839-1914), Captain Catchot's mother-in-law, was killed.  The current Catchot-Kendall home was built by the Catchots in January 1915, shortly after the conflagration.

Ernest E. Clement

Into this early 1890s scenario along West Porter, came Ernest E. Clement (1861-1922) who listed his occupation as a "traveling man" when he registered to vote at Ocean Springs on November 15, 1894.  E.E. Clement was born at Michigan in February 1861.  His parents were natives of New York.  In 1892, shortly before his arrival at Ocean Springs, E.E. Clement married Elizabeth (Betsy) Clement (1876-1900+), also a Michigan native.  Their two children, Elizabeth (Lissie) C. Heald (1893-1923+) and Belle C. McPherson (1896-1923+), were born here.  Mr. Clement's mother, Melissa L. Clement (1833-1903), resided with the family.

The Clement-Jacobs House is located at 604 Porter Avenue in Lot 6 of the Jerome Ryan Tract.  The Jerome Ryan Tract is the western most division of the 237-acre, Widow LaFontaine Claim, Section 37, T7S-R8W.  Jerome Ryan (1793-1870+), the son of Jean Ryan and Marie Gargaret, married Marie Euphrosine LaFontaine (1803-c.1846), the daughter of Louis Auguste LaFontaine and Catherine Bourgeois, the Widow LaFontaine.  Darlene J. Krohn in The Descendants of Jerome Ryan (1995) presents an interesting  chronology of this very Ocean Springs family.

In August 1846, the Widow LaFontaine tract was divided into five parcels by her heirs.  These parcels ran eastward along the beach front from Martin Avenue to the Andre Founier tract which was located just west of Bayou Bauzage (now the Ocean Springs Inner Harbor).  Jerome Ryan was granted Lot No. 1 which ran from J.R. Plummer's line (now Martin Avenue) to a corner 561 feet to the east.  The northern boundary of all the Widow LaFontaine divisions is the south line of Section 19, T7S-R8W.

Jerome Ryan divided Lot 1 of the Widow LaFontaine partition into 9 smaller lots which he gave to his children by his first wife, Euphrosine LaFontaine.  Victor Joseph Ryan (1840-1878) was given Lot 6 by his father in November 1853.  It is within the subdivision of this Lot 6 that the Clement-Jacobs house was erected in 1894.

It is interesting to note that Beauregard "Burry" Ryan (1860-1928), a grandson of Jerome Ryan, resided in the area north of Porter on Beauregard Lane.  The name of this alley was changed to Catchot Place in later times, probably by City Clerk, Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973), the daughter of Captain A.J. Catchot.

Melissa Clements

In May 1893, Melissa L. Clement (1833-1903), a native of New York, bought a lot on the south side of West Porter Avenue from W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901), the merchant prince of New Orleans, for $ 175.00.  It had a 60-foot front on Porter and ran 159 feet south, parallel to Martin Avenue.  The Clement lot was also 60 feet east of the southeast corner of Porter and Martin.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 15, p. 3)

In January 1894, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced that builder, John Duncan Minor, has just commenced erecting a new dwelling for E.E. Clement (1861-1922) on Porter Avenue.  The same journal on February 16, 1894, related that E.E. Clement was having a fine residence built on Porter and that David Baker (1844-1900+) is starting a large winter home directly opposite the Clement place.(The Pascagoula-Democrat Star, January 19, 1894. p. 3 and February 16, 1894, p. 3)

David Baker and his wife, Almira Baker (1840-1900+), were born in Canada.  He was in the lumber business.  Mr. Baker acquired his lot in February 1894, from F.M. Weed (1850-1926) and J.I. Ford for $300.  It had an 80-foot front on Porter Avenue.  This home is probably 613 Porter, formerly the home of Margaret Chastain.

John Duncan Minor

E.E. Clement's building contractor, John D. Minor (1863-1920), was the son of Judge Harold H. Minor, Sr. (1837-1884) and Virginia Doyal (1844-1908).  Circa 1895, Mr. Minor advertised in the Ocean Springs Directory as: 

J.D. MINOR

Builder and Contractor

Estimates furnished on all kinds of buildings.  Building

materials supplied.  Correspondence solicited.

In addition to his building skills, John D. Minor served the people of Jackson County as Sheriff in 1896 and 1902-1904.  He was elected mayor of Ocean Springs in 1911, and was an alderman representing Ward 4 from 1913-1920.  J.D. Minor was also the first president of The People's Water Works, a private entity, which furnished potable water to the city of Ocean Springs, until the city government took over this function in December 1926.  The Ocean Springs Lumber Company of the A.P. Moran family can trace its origin to J.D. Minor and his brother-in-law, H.F. Russell (1858-1940), who were also in the building materials business.  There is a high degree of certitude that J. Duncan Moran (1925-1995), proprietor of the Ocean Springs Lumber Company for many years, was named for his great uncle.

  Mrs. Melissa L. Clement bought the west 60 feet of Lot 6 from George E. Poyneer in December 1895 for $250.  This small tract was the southeast corner lot of Porter and Martin.  The 60-foot front lot east of the Clement home was acquired from W.B. Schmidt in June 1896 for $100.  It appears that another structure was built on the property as the Pascagoula newspaper reported that, "Mr. E.E. Clements has the lumber on hand for a summer house in the branches of his giant oaks".(6)  This purchase gave Mrs. Clement one conterminous lot on the southeast corner of Martin and Porter with a frontage of 180 feet on Porter which is the basic configuration of the present day E. Stephen Jacobs family tract.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 17, pp. 122-123 and Bk. 17, pp. 427-428 and  The Pascagoula Democrat-StarJune 5, 1896)

 While residing on Porter Avenue, Emmett Ernest Clement made his livelihood as an insurance agent.  He was active in all facets of community life.  E.E. Clement was a life long Mason.   He served as the Worshipful Master of McLeod Lodge No. 424 in 1895, 1896, 1899, 1905, 1906, and 1907.  He was also member of the Hamasa Temple Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Meridian.  In later life when he resided at Florida, he belonged to the Daytonia Lodge.  In January 1894, E.E. Clement, T.W. Grayson (1825-1904), and George W. O'Neill assisted in organizing a chapter of the Royal Arch Masons at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, January 3, 1923, p. 3 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 19, 1894, p. 3)

Mr. Clement appears to have traveled extensively in his business.  In August 1897, he and local entrepreneur, Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915), took the Illinois Central train to Chicago and planned to go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.(10)  During the Yellow Fever Episode of 1897, E.E. Clement was quarantined at St. Tammany Parish in November 1897.(12)  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star reported that he escaped from his St. Landry Parish prison and quarantine guards and returned to his beautiful home on Porter Avenue and the bosom of his family.

Mrs. Melissa L. Clement died in 1903, and was interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Fort Bayou.  She had once owned 240 acres of land in Section 25, T6S-R8W near the Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church on what is now Humphrey Road southwest of Vancleave.  It was conveyed to H.F. Russell (1858-1940) prior to her death.

In 1905, Ernest E. Clement was elected to the political office of alderman of Ward 4 at Ocean Springs.  He was reelected in 1907, but resigned from office when he relocated to North Carolina.  Mr. Clement was replaced by Hiram D. Cudabac (1875-1947).(Schmidt, 1972, p. 134)

In April 1907, Mr. Clement sold his Porter Avenue property to George E. Arndt (1857-1945) for $1800.  He moved to Asheville, North Carolina and then to Daytonia (Daytona?), Florida.  Mr. Clements expired on December 26, 1922, at Salerno, Florida, the home of his daughter, Belle McPherson.  The remains of E.E. Clement were brought to Ocean Springs by Mrs. R.B. McPherson and interred at the Evergreen Cemetery next to his mother, Melissa L. Clement.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 32, p. 367 and The Daily Herald, January 3, 1923, p. 3)

George E. Arndt

The new proprietor, George E. Arndt (1857-1945), was a native of Rodney, Mississippi.  His parents, George E. Arndt (1827-1882) and Caroline Russi (1835-pre 1880), were German immigrants from Alsace-Lorraine and Heidelberg respectively.  Arndt came to Ocean Springs because his sister Magalene A. Engbarth (1856-1938) resided here.  Arndt's brother-in-law, Emile Engbarth (1855-ca. 1905), was the postmaster at Ocean Springs from 1885 until 1889.

George E. Arndt became one of the first entrepreneurs of Ocean Springs.  His native intelligence, in combination with his inherited Teutonic work ethic, led Arndt to a successful career in business and real estate.  In 1899, George E. Arndt married Adele Mary Robarts (1875-1945) of Columbus, Georgia.  They settled into a new domicile at present day 523 Jackson Avenue where the Arndt children, Elise Arndt (1901-1903), Marie A. Alexander (1905-1994),and George E. Arndt, Jr. (1909-1994), were reared. Mr. Arndt utilized his newly acquired home on Porter as rental property.  It is believed that his widowed sister, Magalene (Lena) Engbarth, resided with her family in the Clement house.  After her son, Willie J. Engbarth (1882-1957), inherited the home of Ellen Chambers Clark (1841-1915) across the street in 1915, the Engbarth family moved to present day 525 Porter, the Clark-Reinike House.

The Dessomes

George E. Arndt later rented the Clement House to Rene Edouard Dessommes (1883-1940) and Amanda Bermudez Dessommes (1898-1975) who came to Ocean Springs from New Orleans circa 1935.  Mr. Rene E. Dessomes was born at New Orleans on January 5, 1883.  He was the son of Louis Dessommes (1860-1883) and Gabrielle Cavaroc (1860-1928) also natives of the Crescent City. Like many New Orleanians, the Dessommes came to Ocean Springs as "excursionists", weekend visitors who rode the excursion train, and knew and loved the city before relocating.  In the Crescent City, Mr. Dessommes was an accountant for Tullis-Craig Cotton Company, a member of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange.  When the organization closed as a result of the Great Depression, Mr. Dessomes got employment with Mr. Henry L. Girot (1886-1953), a retired tailor, who co-founded the United Poultry Producers Association.  United Poultry Producers was an association of local poultry producers and farmers.  Their office was located on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and Desoto.

Initially, the Dessommes rented a house on the northwest corner of Washington and Ocean Avenues.  Circa 1939, they moved to the old Clement house on Porter which they rented from Mr. Arndt for $15 per month.  Here, Rene Dessommes and his wife, Amanda E. Dessommes, continued

rearing their family consisting of six children:  Mrs. George (Ketty) McEwen, Mrs. Arthur (Elaine) Marx, Mrs. Emmett (Marcelle) Gordon, Bernard Dessommes, Jean-Jacques "Jack" Dessommes (1927-1994), and Charles Dessommes.(Peggy Carver Dessomes, May 26, 1997)

In the late 1940s, Arthur and Elaine D. Marx moved to Ocean Springs and resided with the Dessommes.  Mr. Marks managed the Illing Theatre on Washington Avenue for several years before moving to Pensacola.  The home was refurbished at this time, and an exterior stairway was added as Mrs. Dessommes lived upstairs in the house.

Wilbur C. Wisnasky

In May 1952, the heirs of George E. Arndt conveyed their legated property at 604 Porter to Wilbur Clarence Wisnasky (1909-1990) and Erma Mae Wisnasky (1909-2002).  Mr. Wisnasky was a native of Grand Fork, Illinois, a small community near Alton.  He had married Erma Mae Cope, a young lady from Nutwood, Illinois in 1932.  They came to the Mississippi coast as a result of WW II.  Wilbur C. Wisnasky was in the vanguard of young Army Air Corp men stationed at KAFB in the early 1940s.  Before moving to Ocean Springs, the Wisnaskys lived at Biloxi in the Father Ryan House on West Beach Boulevard.  They had one son, Dwight Wisnasky, who was born at Alton, Illinois in June 1951.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 125, pp. 35-37 and Dwight Wisnasky, November 1997)

Wilbur's Motel

[courtesy of Dwight Wisnasky]

In 1952, Wilbur C. Wisnasky and his neighbor on Martin Avenue, Lehman Parker, built an eight unit motel on the property.  These flat-roofed, concrete block building weres on the south and west perimeter of the Wisnasky tract.  Mr. Wisnasky called his hostelry, Wilbur's Motel, and utilized the motto, "Come For A Season or Come For A Day".  Some of their clients who remained for the summer season were scientists at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory which was in full session at the time.(Dwight Wisnasky, November 1997) 

The upstairs area of the old Clement house was converted into an apartment.  It was occupied almost continuously with young military couples in residence.  For awhile in the late 1950s, Mr. Wisnasky was also the proprietor of the Sherry Club, a neighborhood lounge, on the Pass Road near the VA at Biloxi.(Dwight Wisnasky, November 1997) 

In September 1962, Wilbur C. Wisnasky conveyed his home and motel to Archibald C. and Maryon R. Capers.  The Wisnasky relocated to Illinois, but the cold Midwest winters brought them back to Ocean Springs where they settled on Lafayette Circle.  They later built a home in Gulf Park Estates.  Mr. Wisnasky worked as an engineer at the Edgewater Hotel until his retirement in 1968.  He expired at Ocean Springs in November 1990.  Mr. Wisnasky's remains are interred at the Crestlawn Memorial Park cemetery on U.S. 90, east of Ocean Springs.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 233, p. 170 and Dwight Wisnasky, November 1997)

Archibald C Capers

Archibald C. Capers (1927-2001), called Cliff, was born at Gulfport, Mississippi in early October 1927.  He met Maryon Ruth Roberts (1927-2014) while they were students at Perkinston Junior College.  The young couple married in June 1948, at her parents home near Vancleave.  The Capers came to Ocean Springs from Gulfport where they had resided since their wedding. 

In her own words, Maryon Roberts Capers describes their life on Porter Avenue:  Thirty-five years ago last week, Cliff and I with our four sons, moved from Gulfport to Ocean Springs.  It was a good move for our family to come to a large older house on a large shady lot in a small town.  Our four boys (Clifton, Dan, Thomas, and Robert) ages nine months to ten years grew up two blocks from the beach, with swimming, fishing, crabbing and floundering; in walking distance of town with the Puhle's Five and Dime store; a block from St. Paul's United Methodist Church; near a small but very good library (that library space is now the Mayor's suite of offices in City Hall) and plenty of neighborhood friends-Mike Bourgeois, the Parker kids, Ileen, David, and Delores and Eddie Norris, to name a few.

The rental units on the property, named Wilbur's Court, had been a small motel but with the re-routing of Highway 90, it now catered to weekly and monthly renters.  We built more efficiency apartments and changed the name to The Capers Apartments.  Often work crews from Central Mississippi rented for a five-day week and went home on weekends.  Many military families shipping in or out to Keesler Air Base rented from us, and many families from neighboring states came down for a fishing vacation.  Often when fish or crabs were caught, we had a cook-out on the patio.  Cliff fried fish, boiled crabs and shrimp, and the tenants provided side dishes.  Many people who didn't really care for seafood learned to appreciate it cooked fresh from the water.  These gatherings were even more special when someone played a guitar for group singing.

We met interesting people from all over.  One that many locals will remember was Miss Lottie Schoemmell (1895-1966).  She had a wonderful press book with write ups of her swimming accomplishments.  In the 1970s, many of her swimming records were still unbroken.  One of the articles told of her attempt to swim the English Channel (she failed by about two miles) clad only in a thick coat of Vaseline!  Miss Lottie loved Ocean Springs and wanted to keep everybody honest so she attended every City Council meeting and the following day mailed a copy of her minutes to the FBI.  She closed all of her correspondence with "Swimmingly Yours".

To many people who rented from us, we served as confidant.  We tried to cure homesickness, we assisted with wedding plans, and even made occasional emergency runs to the hospital.  A few days after Hurricane Camille, we had to get a police escort to cross the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bridge to take a young girl in labor to the hospital while City workers located her husband who worked on a clean-up crew.  We also experienced death.  Cliff noticed that the blinds and lights did not change overnight in an apartment occupied by a single older man.  When we investigated, it was discovered that he had died with his boots on sitting in front of his television with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Our boys learned a lot about people as well as how to do all kinds of maintenance work associated with rental property.  We feel that they are better people for their experiences on Porter Avenue.  That large house and large lot were great for our boys.  It was just as enjoyable when they brought their families in later years.  The Capers family now includes twelve grandchildren so a meal with twenty to twenty-five people was common. Cliff and I are now enjoying our retirement in a smaller home in Old Ocean Springs, but we will always treasure the memories of the Capers Apartments.  We have watched with special interest the renovation of our old home and are eagerly awaiting the opening of the Porter House Restaurant.

 

1997 Demolition of Wilbur's Motel-Caper's Apartments

[image made June 1997 by Ray L. Bellande]

1997 Remodeling and additions

[west elevations of front porch and main dining entrance.  image made June 1997 by Ray L. Bellande]

1997 Remodeling of Clement House to open THE PORTER HOUSE, fine dining

[l-r: December 1997 image of David Cole and E. Stephen "Jake" Jacobs, his son-in-law; March 1998 image of the Porter House.  Both images by Ray L. Bellande]

Stephen Jacobs and the Porter House

In March 1997, Archie C. Capers conveyed his home on Porter and Martin to E. Stephen Jacobs, et al.  Stephen Jacobs called "Jake" comes to Ocean Springs from Beaumont, Texas where he was the general manager of the Tower Club.  The Tower Club is a private dining association which in addition to providing gourmet food for its members accommodates banquets, wedding receptions, etc. in its 14,000 square-foot facility.  Jake Jacobs, a native of Beaumont, married an Ocean Springs lady, Janet Cole, the daughter of Dave Cole and Sondra Webb.  They both earned degrees from Lamar University at Beaumont.  The Jacobs are the proud parents of Kaffrey, their seventeen month old son.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1108, p. 937 and Jake Jacobs)

In the spring of 1997, Jake Jacobs, Dave Cole, and Tommy Capers have been actively engaged in transforming the old E.E. Clement place into Ocean Springs' latest restaurant, THE PORTER HOUSE.  With the exception of the masonry and electrical work, Tommy Capers and Dave Cole, owners of C&C Mechanical, and Jake Jacobs have performed the majority of the labor to create a very functional atmosphere for fine, but relaxed dining a' la Ocean Springs.  Planes called for antique chandeliers, lanterns, and Homer Louhglin china in the Magnolia Room, Pecan Room 1, and Pecan Room 2.  The Texas size kitchen has a wood burning grill, smoker, and steamer.

THE PORTER HOUSE opened in January 1998, Jake Jacobs featuring an eclectic menu with a Continental theme.  Their gourmet meals were labor intensive, i.e. prepared from the basic ingredients.  In addition to veal, chicken, and seafood, diners had several selections of prime beef to choose from.  Smoked Vidalia onion medallions and smoked, pit-dried, Roma tomatoes with roasted garlic and olive oil accompanied meat and pasta dishes. 

 Each evening, THE PORTER HOUSE, featured an economic "family special entree".  Mr. Jacobs planned that basic southern-style recipes, i.e. smoked, baby- backed, pork ribs; chicken fried steak with cut-throat, mash potatoes and cream gravy; blackened, stuffed catfish; and cabbage rolls would be featured.  Fresh garden vegetables will be prepared conventionally as well as steamed and roasted.

THE PORTER HOUSE hours were Tuesday thru Saturday from 5 P.M. until 10:00 P.M.  Although closed for conventional lunches, THE PORTER HOUSE offered its excellent cuisine and service to organizations and individuals who plan midday private business and auxiliary meetings.  The restaurant has seating for 135 persons in full view of a speaker with podium and microphone.  Small private rooms for groups of ten or more will be available for luncheons.  Jacobs also welcomes private parties and wedding receptions.  The facility can accommodate up to 225 people.

THE PORTER HOUSE employed a staff of approximately thirty people.  Each dining table was serviced by three person teams.  The frontman took orders and provided continuous service, while the backman transported food from the kitchen to the dining surface.  The busman served coffee and reset the table.

In November 1998, THE PORTER HOUSE won the Robert and Virginia Meyer Award from the Historic Ocean Springs Association.   Due to family problems, the Porter House closed it doors in 2001 and was placed on the real estate market.

 

Form and Fitness

Repossessed by institutional lender and sold to              in 8/2004?   The old structure became a gym/spa called Form and Fitness, which failed.

Attorneys

Rushing & Guice moved from Biloxi to this space after Hurricane Katrina.

Acknowledgements

I am deeply appreciative to several people who made this article very special to me.  Among them are:  Peggy C. Dessommes, Dwight Wisnasky, Maryon R. Capers and Clif Capers, J.K. Lemon, Jake and Janet C. Jacobs, Sheila Webb, Dave Cole and an anonymous lady who resides on Vancleave.  Very special thanks to Dwight Wisnasky and Peggy Dessommes for their efforts in obtaining some of the photographs utilized.

REFERENCES:

Books

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Book 29C, p. 420.

A History of McLeod Lodge No. 424, Volume 1, June 24, 1893 to December 31, 1928, (McLeod Lodge Historical Committe-1995).

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

Journals

The Daily Herald"E.E. Clements Buried At Ocean Springs", January 3, 1923.

The Jackson County Times"Former Citizen Buried Here", January 6, 1923.

The Jackson County Times"United Poultry", August 17, 1929, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Gazette, 'Maryon Capers', December 25, 2014, p. 5.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Local News", January 19, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Local News", February 16, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Local News", June 5, 1896.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Local News", August 6, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Local News", November 12, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Ocean Springs Local News", November 26, 1897.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE GEIGER-FRIAR HOUSE: An Indomitable Domicile (1898-1998)

             As one drives west along Porter Avenue from downtown Ocean Springs, only the most casual observer could miss the Geiger-Friar House.  This wonderful Queen Anne structure is now located on the Selected Funeral Insurance Company property at the northwest corner of Porter and Jackson Avenue, immediately west of the Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home.  Architect, Bruce Tolar, has done a laudable job supervising the relocation of the structure from north Washington Avenue and in the restoration of this delightful domicile, now a commercial office building, at 611 Jackson Avenue.

            Old timers still remember when Irish immigrant, James Lynch (1852-1935), had a small mercantile business and private school on this historic corner. Across Porter to the south, on the opposite corner, was the charming 1890s Artesian House, which offered bed and breakfast the old-fashioned way.  The economic calamity of the 1930s, was the demise of this Alfred E. Lewis(1862-1933) built edifice.  Mr. Lewis established the first public water system at Ocean Springs in 1891.  With his generosity for providing free water for fighting fires and public drinking fountains, Fred Lewis earned the moniker, “The Artesian Prince”.(Bellande, 1994, p. 76)  

611 Jackson Avenue

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

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

            Former Mayor and local historian, C.E. Schmidt (1904-1988), paints a vivid image in his description of Master Lynch’s teaching methods which follows:  His curriculum was grounded in the fundamentals of language and ciphering, that is, reading, writing, parsing, and constant drilling tables; addition, multiplication and division, up to the 19th.  Informality was the order. When a lesson was learned, it was “heard”.  If satisfactory, the pupil was advanced; if not he was set down to study it again.

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

            Mr. J.J. O’Keefe’s daughter, Mary Cahill O’Keefe (1893-1980), who would establish herself as an excellent educator of the French and English languages in the school systems of Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana, and at Biloxi, and Ocean Springs, Mississippi, was an attendee of the Lynch Academy.  Miss O’ Keefe became Superintendent of public schools at Ocean Springs in 1929, and held this position until 1945.(The Daily Herald, April 6, 1945, p. 3, c. 6)  She may have been the first woman to achieve this status in Mississippi.  

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

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

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

After James Lynch passed intestate in June 1935, local undertaker, Ben O’Keefe (1894-1954), who would bury the old school master in the Evergreen Cemetery on Fort Bayou, was appointed executor of his estate.(Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 5706)  J.J. “Ben” O’Keefe was the father of Jeremiah J. O’Keefe (b. 1923), one of the present proprietors of the Geiger-Friar House.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 302)

 In September 1936, Mr. Ben O’ Keefe sold the Lynch property to Lulie Mae Lockard (1894-1960) and Annie Kate Lockard (1902-1960) for $525.(2) They were the daughters ofJames E. Lockard (1862-1951) and Catherine Thompson Lockard (1868-1954), early 20th Century settlers of Vancleave.  Mr. Lockard had come to Vancleave with his family in 1901, to work in the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company commissary.  Intelligence, hard work, and good fortune rewarded young Lockard, and he soon became a very prominent citizen of the Bluff Creek region and Jackson County.  He was active in local commerce and had extensive timber land and turpentine holdings.  Lockard, once owned several coastal schooners active in the New Orleans-Vancleave charcoal trade.(Lockard, August 1998)   

            Lulie May Lockard was born at Meridian, Mississippi.  She taught school at Birmingham, Alabama for over thirty years.  Miss Lockard expired here in November 1960.  Her remains were returned to Vancleave for internment.(The Daily Herald, November 26, 1960, p. 2, c.1)  By 1947, Miss Annie K. Lockard had married a Mr. T.P. Lord and resided in Spring Hill, Alabama.  She sold her one-half interest to her sister, Lulie Mae Lockard, in June 1947.(3)  A week later, Lulie Mae Lockard  conveyed the northwest corner of Porter and Jackson, a lot with 200 feet fronting on Porter and 144 feet on Jackson to Neville Byrd (1892-1971).(4) 

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

            The utilization of the Lynch property remains somewhat obfuscated after the Lockards sisters and Neville Byrd ownerships.  It is known that Peter Lowery (d. ca 1955), a native of Grenada, Mississippi, came to Ocean Springs with his family from Gulfport after WW II.  They had earlier resided in the Delta region of northwest Mississippi.(Beaugez, August 1998)  As early as July 1947, Mr. Lowery was operating Dale’s Place in  the former J.J. O’Keefe Home situated on the northeast corner of Porter and Jackson.(The Jackson County Times, July 26, 1947)

  William F. Dale (1899-1990), called Willie, had acquired for $6400, the 1906 O’Keefe home (now the Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home) and Livery lot, fronting 243 on Porter, in two separate transactions in 1937 and 1939 respectively.(5,6)  For some time, Mr. Dale would lease the O’ Keefe edifice to others.  These lessees utilized it primarily as a restaurant and lounge.  For many years, Willie Dale ran a garage and filling station on the O’Keefe livery lot. 

 In January 1946, before Pete Lowery’s proprietorship, the business was called Dale’s Restaurant and Lounge.  It specialized in seafood, steak, and chicken dishes, and was operated by Ancel and Mildred Thompson of Biloxi.  The orchestra of C.F. Gollott played music on Wednesday and Saturday for the Thompsons’ diners.(The Jackson County Times, January 26, 1946, p. 1 and February 8, 1946, p. 4)    

It appears that Pete Lowery left Dale’s Place in early 1949, and moved across the street to the Neville Byrd property situated on the northwest corner of Porter and Jackson.  Here he commenced a business called Pete’s Lounge.  Lowery’s place featured nightly dining and dancing with music by Toby Gunn on the Hammond organ and the Dixie Land Band.  “Frenchie” Bourgeois was the bar tender.(The Jackson County Times, June 10, 1949 and July 1, 1949, p. 10)

There was also a drive-inn restaurant with curb service.  A barbecue pit was located near the Cosper Courts (now Dale Cottages).  The Lowery family also resided here as there were two apartments on the site.(Beaugez, August 1998) 

In late September 1950, Leland “Pete” Lowery left this location and opened a Pete’s Lounge on Highway 90 on the west side of the War Memorial Bridge in the former Kersanac’s Snug Harbor building, operated by Joseph J. Kersanac (1908-1943).  Kersanac was born at Bay St. Louis and came to Biloxi circa 1913.  He was in the seafood business before operating the bridge side café in Ocean Springs.(The Daily Herald, August 23, 1943, p. 6)

Pete Lowery made significant improvements to the property.  The exterior and interior of the structure was repainted, the rear of the building was excavated to create a circular driveway and space for patron curb service, and adequate rest room facilities were installed.  Local artist, Kuper, painted jungle scenes in the Cocktail Lounge.  Jo Selzer of New Orleans was hostess.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 22, 1950, p. 1, c. 2)     

In relocating to Highway 90, Pete Lowery had taken a four-year lease on what had once been a portion of the Ocean Springs Packing Company property of Louis A. Lundy (1876-1941), et al.  His widow, Mrs. May W. Lundy (1885-1950+), finalized a business agreement with Lowery in August 1950.(7) (BK 124, 394-396)

In January 1951, Pete Lowery suffered a heart attack, and spent several months recovering.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 19, 1951, p. 1)   It appears that he may have decided to retire from the restaurant business as in October 1951, Pete Lowery sub-leased the property known as Pete’s Lounge to Edwin L. Matheny (1920-1987).  Mr. Matheny took an option to buy Lowery’s equipment and fixtures in Mrs. Lundy’s building.(8)(BK 124, pp. 397-400)

Pete Lowery expired in 1955, leaving a wife, Corine Lowery (1910-1997), and three children-Donnie Beaugez, Barbara Kurpier, and Thomas J. Lowery.(Sun Herald, December 7, 1997, p. B-2, c. 6)   His remains were sent to Jackson for burial.(Beaugez, August 1998)

When Pete Lowery left the northeast corner of Porter and Jackson in September1950, it is not known with a high degree of certitude what occurred here until 1958, when it can be documented that Neville Byrd (1892-1971) and his wife, Marguerite “Maggie’ Bills (1893-1979), resided here in a two-story house at 829 Porter.(The 1958 Biloxi City Directory, p. 450) Mr. Byrd may have been retired or near retirement from his enterprise in Biloxi, known as Byrd’s Grocery and Meat Market.(The Daily Herald, September 25, 1971, p. 2, c. 1)

           In March 1969, Neville Byrd (1892-1971) sold the northeast corner of Porter and Jackson to W.F. Dale Jr.(9)  Mr. Byrd had resided here until September 1963, when he bought a lot in St. Martin and built a house on Borries Road.(Billie Joyce Byrd, August 1998)

            W.F. Dale Jr. (1926-1979) was the son of William “Willie” F.  Dale (1899-1990) and Ethel Endt Dale (1900-1978).  He was known in the community by his familial name, Buddy.  Mr. Dale was a certified public accountant.  His career afforded him the opportunity to find employment in Indonesia, New York, New Orleans, and with Ingalls Shipbuilding at Pascagoula.  In July 1964, Buddy Dale had bought the Cosper Courts from Martha Skipwith Cosper, the widow of Monroe, Louisiana native, Louis H. Cosper (1884-1963).  Dale renamed these small rental units, Dale Cottages.  They had been erected in 1941, by the Oscar E. Heffner family, who came to Ocean Springs from Tulsa, Oklahoma.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 24, 1995, p. 20 and August 31, 1995, p. 20)   

The March 1969 acquisition from Neville Byrd gave Buddy Dale ownership of the entire north block fronting on Porter between Jackson and Rayburn Avenue.  One enterprise that developed on the new Dale property was Casson’s Silver Knight Antiques.  This venture was an antique store owned by Kay White Casson (1916-1988).  Mrs. Casson, a native of Franklin, Indiana, had come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1962, with her husband, the Reverend C. Ed Casson. She had a deep love for Ocean Springs and was a valuable contributor to the efforts of the 1699 Historical Committee.  Mrs. Casson is credited with commencing in April 1974, the street fair which is held the Saturday before the Iberville Landing pageant.  She was also a correspondent for The Ocean Springs News.  Her column, “Ramblings”, was written well, and documented local history and personalities very reminiscent of the “Local and Personal” columns of the Lee family’s, The Jackson County Times.  Casson’s Silver Knight Antiques closed in 1986.(The Ocean Springs News, October 6, 1988, p. 2, cc. 5-6)

             With the closing of The Silver Knight Antiques in 1986, the final part of the saga of the Geiger-Friar House begins.  The Geiger-Friar House, now over one hundred years old, can thanks its very existence to the deep love that the O’Keefe family has for Ocean Springs.  Probably no other structure in the history of our growing village has been placed in jeopardy as often as the Geiger-Friar house.  The people of Ocean Springs are indebted once again to the O’Keefe family for preserving another valuable architectural treasure.   Without further ado, the Geiger-Friar House, “an indomitable domicile”.  

Geiger-Friar House

The Geiger-Friar House was built in the summer of 1898, on Washington Avenue about 200 feet north of the L&N Railroad (now CSX RR).  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of August 19, 1898, announced that, “Mr. P. Geiger’s residence on Washington Avenue is nearing completion and is attractive in appearance”.  The Biloxi Manufacturing Company shipped several car loads of interior embellishments for the Geiger House in September 1898.(TheBiloxi Daily Herald, September 2, 1898).  The Geigers had lived at New Orleans in the early 1890s and had been residing at Wellston, Georgia before their return to Ocean Springs after a long absence.(The Biloxi Herald, January 2, 1892, p. 4 and The Pascagoula Democrat-StarJune 17, 1898, p. 3

             The original position of the Geiger-Friar House is now in the roadway of Bienville Boulevard (US 90), and a portion of the Munro Shell station site on the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and Bienville.  This site lies in the Andre Fournier Tract, which is the SW/4 of Section 19, T7S-R8W.  The history of the Geiger-Friar House commences on April 9, 1888, when Mrs. Lillie Franco Geiger (1863-1905) purchased Lot 1 in Block 52 (Cox’s Map of 1872) for $525 from T.A. Cleary.(10)  Lot 1 had a front of  two hundred thirty-two feet on Washington Avenue and contained approximately .64 acres.  It ran west-east for 120 feet to Cox’s Alley (now Church Street).

            Peter Geiger (1858-1923) was a German immigrant.  He married Lillie Franco (1863-1905) in November 1887.  She was the daughter of Antonio Franco (1834-1891), a Portuguese immigrant, and Jane Rodriguez (1844-1915).  Lillie Franco was reared on the banks of Fort Bayou at Washington Avenue where her father operated a ferry service.

            Peter Geiger came to Ocean Springs in 1876, probably from New Orleans.  From 1881 until 1898, he was employed by a firm of construction contractors.  He served as Alderman of Ward 2 (1903-1904).  Geiger became employed with the L&N RR in 1906, as foreman of the bridge gang.  After the demise of his wife, Peter Geiger married Zetta Williams Hamett, on June 9, 1906, in Harrison County, Mississippi.  She may have been a native of Mobile.  Geiger discovered that she was a bigamist and still the wife of Edward E. Hamett Jr. of Rochester, New York.  They separated in March 1908, and their marriage was declared null and void in the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Mississippi on September 23, 1909.(Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 1739)

            Peter Geiger then married Philum ? (1884-1920+), a native of Alabama.  Her father was Spanish and mother, French.  It appears that he was childless.(Federal Census 1920-Jackson County, Mississippi) 

            Mr. Geiger was employed by the railroad until his health began to fail in 1921, the result of being struck on the head by a heavy timber in prior years.  He tended the Fort Bayou bridge until his demise on February 9, 1923.(The Daily Herald, February 13, 1923)  Peter Geiger, Lillie Franco Geiger, and Mary Geiger (1825-1890), probably Peter’s mother, are interred in the Geiger Plot at the Evergreen Cemetery.

Robert A. Friar

             Robert Augustus Friar (1878-1948) bought the house from the Estate of Peter Geiger on June 18, 1923, for $2000.(11)  The Friar family history at Ocean Springs commenced after the Civil War, with the arrival of Confederate veteran, Thomas Randolph Friar (1845-1916), from the Lumberton, Mississippi region.  He had been wounded at Chickamauga, Tennessee.  Thomas R. Friar’s parents were Hiram Heath Friar (1825-1857+), and Elizabeth A. Baxter (1825-1900+).  They were married at Marion County, Mississippi. Circa 1868, Thomas R. Friar married Marie Louise Dolbear (1846-1914), a native of Mobile.  She was the daughter of Louis L. Dolbear (1807-1882), an Italian immigrant from Genoa, and Marie L. Dolbear (1823-1867), a French speaking émigré from Switzerland.   Mrs. Louis L. Dolbear and her seventeen-year old daughter, Josephine Dolbear  (1850-1867), passed on at Ocean Springs in 1867, probably the result of yellow fever.  Dolbear made his livelihood at Ocean Springs as a boat builder and brickyard operator.  His son, L.L. Dolbear Jr. (1855-1918), was in the lumber business on Fort Bayou where he kept his trading schooner, Mystery.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 211)

In the early 1860s, Louis L. Dolbear purchased land from Azalie LaFauce (LaForce) Clay Ryan (1820-1864+), an heir of the Widow LaFontaine, and sister of Rosaline L. Bellande (1821-1893), the wife of Joseph H. Bellande (1813-1907).  This land was on the beachfront just east of Washington Avenue and along the eastside of Washington Avenue, north of LaFontaine.  Arguably, the nascent, Clay-Dolbear edifice is extant at 206 Washington Avenue.  Regardless, if one possesses land on the eastside of Washington Avenue, in Section 37, T7S-R8W, it is classified by the Jackson County Chancery Court land deed records as being in the “Clay Strip”.  It is believed that the VanCourt sisters, Evelyn and Louise, descendants of Thomas R. Friar, still own some of the original L.L. Dolbear land on Washington Avenue.

            Thomas R. Friar and Marie L. Dolbear reared seven children at Ocean Springs.  They were: George L. Friar (1870-1924), Thomas A. Friar (1871-1896), Louise A. Davis (1874-1952), Robert A. Friar (1878-1948), Josephine Friar (1884-1958) and Marie Antoinette Van Court (1886-1978).  Mr. Friar made his livelihood as a house carpenter and was one of the pioneers in the seafood industry on the northeastern shore of the Bay of Biloxi. In addition, he served as postmaster of Ocean Springs from 1893 until 1897.

When Robert A. Friar purchased the Geiger House in June 1923, he was a widower.  His wife, Elizabeth Carolina Wolf (1885-1919), a native of New Orleans, expired in mid-January 1919, a little more than ten years after their betrothal which occurred on January 6, 1909.  Mr. Friar was left with three small children to rear.  There was a son, Elwin R. Friar (1910-1970), and two daughters, Hilda Friar (1911-1987) and Naomi Friar Garvey (b. 1916).   At the time of her demise, the Robert A. Friar family resided on the front beach east of Washington Avenue.

            Robert A. Friar worked as the chief clerk of the Building and Bridges Department for the L&N Railroad for approximately thirty-three years.  He also served as city clerk from 1917 to 1918.  In order to be closer to the railroad office in which he was employed, Robert A. Friar purchased the Peter Geiger home, which was situated just north of his work place.  From this location, he was able to care for his young children during the day light hours.  Prior to his death in October 1948, Mr. Friar legated his Washington Avenue domicile to his children.  Hilda Friar, who taught typing and commercial law at Ocean Springs High School and later was employed at KAFB, remained in the old homestead for sometime.  In May 1953, she married Clair U. Scharr (1908-1972), the son of Joseph U. Scharr (1874-1954) and Lenora Zabel (1881-1962).(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court MRB 71, p. 69)

During Hilda’s habitation, the Geiger-Friar House was partitioned to create a duplex, which allowed for rental income.  Hilda Friar relocated to a home in Gulf Park Estates and rented the Geiger-Friar House for several years.(Friar, August 1998)

            When US 90 (Bienville Boulevard) was being relocated to its present position in the early 1950s, the Geiger-Friar House was in its direct path and face the dilemma of eminent domain.  The Friar heirs and the Mississippi Highway Department were having a difficult time reaching an agreement as to the value of the Friar property on Washington Avenue.  It was suggested to Schuyler Poitevent Jr. (1911-1978), legal council for the Friar heirs, that the Thomas Grogan lot, contiguous with and north of the Friar property was available for purchase.  With funds received from the State of Mississippi, the Grogan tract was acquired for $1250 in August 1952.(12)  The Geiger-Friar House was relocated north of its original site and saved for the first time.       

            The Friar heirs sold their family domicile to James and Elaine Miller in 1969.(13)  Miller utilized the north half of the house as a wood working shop.  In 1972, E. Frasier Wilkerson (1920-1987) and Eileen Cox Wilkerson acquired the house from the Millers.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.    , p.     ) 

E. Frasier Wilkerson

Mr. Frasier Wilkerson was a native of Agricola, George County, Mississippi.  He was well educated having received degrees from Mississippi State University in ornamental horticulture and USM in educational administration.  After a military and civil service career, E. Frasier Wilkerson commenced Frasier’s Nursery on LeMoyne Boulevard in 1960.  It thrives today as a family enterprise run by Mrs. Eileen Cox Wilkerson and her son, Doug Wilkerson.(The Sun Herald, April 23, 1987, p. A-4)  

Mr. Wilkerson utilized the Geiger-Friar house as a natural extension of his nursery business, when on December 2, 1972, he opened a floral shop on the northside of the house.  It was managed by Mr. and Mrs. Danny Mabry.  The grown Wilkerson children occupied the southern half as their domicile, at various times.(The Ocean Springs Record,, November 30, 1972, p. 2 and Wilkerson, June 1998)

Munro Shell

The Munro Shell and Tank Terminal Corporation with its successful Shell gasoline station on the northwest corner of US 90 and Washington Avenue, bought the Geiger-Friar House from Eileen E. Wilkerson, a widow, in 1988.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 915, p. 268)  E. Frasier Wilkerson had passed on in April 1987.

            Possibly with the idea of expanding their commercial business interests to the north, Munro wanted the Geiger-Friar House removed from their property.  The old house again found itself in jeopardy from progress in the immediate area.  Realizing the historic nature and exquisite architecture of the building, the Munros seeking at all costs to avoid demolition, donated the Geiger-Friar House to the Ocean Springs YMCA.  When the YMCA could not find any utility or an available site to relocate the house,  Historic Ocean Springs Association (HOSA) members, Wynn Seeman and Bruce Tolar, and David Harris of the YMCA ,contacted Jerry O’ Keefe of Gulf National Life in Biloxi.

The O’Keefe family owned a .62 acre vacant lot, designated as Lot 10, Block 27 (Culmseig Map 1854), on the northwest corner of Jackson Avenue and Porter. As previously cited, this was the former site of the Lynch Academy and commercial enterprises of Pete Lowery, the Neville Byrd habitation, and Kay Casson’s Silver Knight Antiques.  In January 1987, the O’Keefe’s had acquired this parcel in the name of Bradford-O’Keefe from the Heirs of William F. Dale Jr.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 879, pp. 577-579) Title was conveyed to the Selected Funeral Insurance Company, a O’Keefe subsidiary, in December 1996.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Book 1104, p. 10)

            The O’ Keefe family accepted and welcomed the Geiger-Friar House.  It was moved to the Bradford-O’Keefe lot at 611 Jackson Avenue in early July 1989.  At this location, Architect Bruce Tolar and his capable artisans have worked their mending magic converting what appeared to be a derelict into a glorious turn of the Century Queen Anne cottage.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 13, 1989, p. 7)

            An open house was held in the Geiger-Friar on April 6, 1991, by the O’ Keefe Family and the Edward D. Jones and Company, the first commercial tenant, to celebrate the completion of the restoration work and preservation of the structure.           

Gulf National Life

Mr. O’Keefe let the Geiger-Friar House as commercial office space until he relocated his Gulf National Life Insurance Company office here in March 1994.  The move to Ocean Springs by the O’Keefe enterprises resulted from a lease to the Gold Shore Casino.  This gaming group leased the O’Keefe land and building on the front beach in Biloxi at the foot of George Ohr Boulevard.(The Sun Herald, July 24, 1993, p. 5)  They remained here until May 1995, when their gaming operation ceased activities.  The Gold Shore casino barge was leased to the President Casino and relocated to the Broadwater Marina where it remains today.  (see The Ocean Springs Record, July 29, 1993, p. 1)

 With a paucity of space in the Geiger-Friar House, the evolving O’Keefe organization found it necessary to build an addition or annex to their Queen Anne edifice at 611 Jackson Avenue.  Bruce Tolar was selected to design a two thousand five-hundred square foot annex.  His concept was to create a building with its own character and not mimic the architectural style of the original house.  Tolar’s final design is an amalgam of old and new.  His cross-gable roof is magical.  The final result is a wonderful fusion and could be called “Queen Anne Revival”.          

            Starks Construction Company of Biloxi was engaged to erect the new structure just west of the Geiger-Friar House.  The buildings are connected by a short breezeway.  Construction work commenced in August 1993 and was completed in March 1994. 

            The Geiger-Friar House is a prime example of what historic preservation can be about.  Hopefully, this now century old Queen Anne structure has found the permanent home which had eluded it several times in the recent past.  It may not be indomitable, but it is certainly a survivor!

  

REFERENCES:

1.                  Jackson County, Miss. Land Deed Book 1, pp. 184-185.

2.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 69, pp. 364-365.

3.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 97, p. 157.

4.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 98, pp. 102-105.

5.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 70, pp. 156-157.

6.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 74, pp. 158-160.

7.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 124, pp. 394-396.

8.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 124, pp. 396-400.

9.                  ----------------------------------------- Book 352, p. 72.

10.              ----------------------------------------- Book 53, pp. 150-151.

11.              ----------------------------------------- Book 126, p. 345.

12.              ----------------------------------------- Book 350, p. 41.

13.              ----------------------------------------- Book 423, p. 612.

14.              ----------------------------------------- Book 915, p. 268.

15.              ----------------------------------------- Book 879, pp. 577-579.

16.              ----------------------------------------- Book 1104, p. 10.

BOOKS 

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

The 1958 Biloxi City Directory, (Mullin-Kille Company: Chillicothe, Ohio-1958).

The 1961 Biloxi City Directory, (R.L. Polk & Company: Richmond, Virginia-1961).

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

The History of Jackson County Mississippi, “The O’Keefe Family-Six Generations”, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989).

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

CHANCERY COURT CASES

 Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court cause No. 1739, “Mrs. Zetta Williams Geiger v. Peter Geiger”, September 1908.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 5706, “James Lynch Estate v. Ben O’ Keefe”, July 1935.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 10622, “The Last Will of Robert A. Friar”, December 1948.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 37,792, “The Estate of W.F. Dale Jr.”, October 1986.                     .

NEWSPAPERS

The Biloxi Herald, “Ocean Springs”, January 2, 1892.

The Biloxi Daily Herald“Local News”, September 2, 1898, p. 8.

The Daily Herald“Ocean Springs”, February 13, 1923, p. 3.

The Daily Herald“Joseph J. Kersanac Dies”, August 23, 1943.

The Daily Herald“Miss Mary O’Keefe”, April 6, 1945.

The Daily Herald“Lulie Mae Lockard”, November 26, 1960, p. 2.

The Daily Herald“Neville Byrd”, September 25, 1971.

The Daily Herald“Marguerite Byrd”, August 10, 1979.

The Gulf Coast Times“Pete’s Lounge”, (an advertisement), June 10, 1949.

The Gulf Coast Times“Pete’s Lounge”, (an advertisement), July 1, 1949, p. 10.

The Gulf Coast Times“Pete’s Lounge Moving To New Location Sept. 28”, September 22, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times“Friends Shocked To Learn of Pete Lowery’s Illness”, January 19, 1951.

The Jackson County Times“James Lynch, Pioneer Citizen, Died Sunday”, July 6, 1935, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times“Robert Friar Dies After Illness”, October 8, 1948, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Florist Shop to Have Grand Opening”, November 30, 1972.

The Ocean Springs News“City Mourns Casson Death”, October 6, 1988, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Make Way (photo)”, July 13, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Gulf National Life Plans to Move Headquarters into Friar House”, July 29, 1993.

The Ocean Springs Record“Sous Les Chenes”, August 24, 1995, p. 20.

The Ocean Springs Record“Sous Les Chenes”, August 31, 1995, p. 20.

The Ocean Springs Record“Ralph E. Wilkerson”, August 6, 1998, p. 5.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, June 17, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, August 27, 1897.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, August 19, 1898.

The Sun Herald“Hilda Friar”, January 21, 1987, p. A-4.

The Sun Herald“Frasier Wilkerson”, April 22, 1987, p. A-4.

The Sun Herald“Gulf National relocating to Ocean Springs”, July 24, 1993.

The Sun Herald“Corine Lowery”, December 7, 1997, p. B-2.

 

PERSONAL COMMUNICATION

Doug Wilkerson-telephone conversation-June 26, 1998.

J.K. Lemon-telephone conversation-August 13, 1998.

Marguerite S. Norman-telephone conversation-August 13, 1998.

Jacob Lockard-telephone conversation-August 14, 1998.

Mrs. Raymond (Donnie) Beaugez-telephone conversation-August 14, 1998.

Billie Joyce Byrd at Metairie, Louisiana-telephone conversation-August 17, 1998.

E. Robert Friar Jr.-telephone conversation-August 31, 1998.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE LANG-MADSEN COTTAGE

Lang’s Seven Gabled Cottage [1898-2011]

1103 Calhoun Avenue

Location

            The Lang-Madsen Cottage is situated in the Widow LaFontaine Claim Section 37, T7S-R8W, at 1103 Calhoun, which is the northeast corner of Dewey Avenue and Calhoun.  This attractive late 19th Century cottage rests on a rather large lot composed of a portion of Lot 1 and Lot 2, Lot 3, and Lot 4 of Block 40.(Culmseig Map of 1854) 

            Topographically, the Lang-Madsen Cottage rests at twenty feet above mean sea level on a northeast-southwest striking ridge, which slopes gradually to the northwest into a topographic low area of about 8 feet above mean sea level.  Drainage is to the southwest into a small bayou in the Fort Maurepas Nature Preserve on Washington Avenue and Front Beach.(USGS Topographic Map-Ocean Springs, Miss.-1954)

The Cottage

The Lang-Madsen Cottage is a two-story, wood frame structure with a cross gable roof.  The southwest corner entrance porch is partially projecting and recessed.  It is front gabled with turned posts, brackets, and a spindle frieze.  The structure is Queen Anne in architectural style and age.  It is rated as a pivotal building within the Old Ocean Springs Historic District.(Nat. Register of Historic Places-Nomination Form, 1986, p. 14)

            According to Trixie Mullin Urie who was reared here, the original Lang-Madsen Cottage was painted a deep red and had two large one-over-one windows on the south elevation for ventilation.  These were replaced with smaller six-over-six sash.  There were three rooms on the first and second floors joined by an extremely steep stairway.  The living room and downstairs bedroom were heated by a double fireplace.  The interior walls were twelve feet tall and made of beaded pine board.  Except for the upstairs, which remains in almost 19th Century condition, the lower half of the Lang-Madsen Cottage has been metamorphosed to eight-foot ceilings, which, are dry walled.  The lower floors are also carpeted.  Total living area for the cottage is approximately 1500 square feet.  The rear, covered porch adds an additional 250 square feet to the building.(Urie, February 7, 2001) 

In addition, a detached, two-room kitchen with an area approximating 250 square feet was situated just north of the present cottage.  One of the rooms may have been utilized to smoke and cure meat and fish.(Ibid.)  

History

Originally located in the Auguste LaFontaine donation tract between the Joseph Bellande and the Jean-Baptiste Seymour strips, the land on which the Lang-Madsen Cottage rests, was in the possession of E.W. and Mary T. Clark of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, prior to May 1887.  They had purchased the four lots in Block 40 (Culmseig Map of 1854), in March 1874, from Edward Chase of St. Louis, Missouri.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 6, pp. 30-31) 

In May 1887, local resident, Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915), a Bohemian immigrant, who made his livelihood as a blacksmith and land speculator, acquired for $25 cash, Lot 4, Block 40, from George A. Cox (1811-1887), the local land representative for the Clarks.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 8, p. 526) 

Emile J. Lang

            In March 1894, Joseph Kotzum sold Lot 4, Block 40 situated on what is now the northeast corner of Calhoun and Dewey to Emile J. Lang for $250. The parcel had 173 feet on Calhoun and ran north for 95 feet.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 15, p. 437)

Dewey Avenue was named for Commodore George Dewey (1837-1917), the hero of the 1898 Spanish American War Battle of Manila Bay.  The thirty-five foot strip of land which became Dewey Avenue was sold by Joseph Bellande (1819-1907) to the Town of Ocean Springs in May 1898.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 34, p. 464)   Alderman George E. Arndt proposed the name Dewey Avenue in May 1899.(TOS, Minute Bk. 1892-1899, pp. 325-326)

Emile James Lang (1852-1911) was a resident of New Orleans before relocating to Ocean Springs.  At New Orleans in March 1875, he had married Anna O’Rourke (1856-1894), the divorced spouse of Lucien Meyer.  She was a native of Charleston, South Carolina.  Mrs. Lang expired in the Crescent City, on October 29, 1894, at their residence on 1023 Dumaine Street.  The Lang and Hauser families were invited to her funeral.  Obituary notices were sent to journals in Charleston and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(The Daily Picayune, October 30, 1894, p. 4 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 2, 1894, p. 3)

            Regardless of his spousal loss and subsequent remorse, Emile J. Lang went forward and commenced his residence on Calhoun in early March 1894.  When completed, the house was locally referred to a Lang’s Seven Gable Cottage.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 9, 1894, p. 3and February 18, 1898, p. 3)    

In later years, it appears that E.J. Lang began to rent his Calhoun Avenue home to others.  Mrs. Joseph Webber (1850-1898+) and family of New Orleans occupied it from January 1898 until late September 1898.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 2, 1898, p. 3 and October 7, 1898, p. 3)

            The Webber family eventually moved to Ocean Springs.  In February 1922, Joseph R. Webber acquired the Willie Engbarth home at present day 516 Martin Avenue from George E. Arndt for $700.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 51, pp. 216-217)  His son, Arthur D. Webber (1879-1941), was elected Marshall of Ocean Springs in August 1929, following the resignation of Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930). 

            At New Orleans, Emile J. Lang made his livelihood as a watchmaker and real estate salesman.  After the demise of his wife, he married Emily Masey Richardson (1865-1912).  Emile James Lang expired on August 31, 1911, at his residence at 1411 Dumaine Street.  His remains were interred in the Greenwood Cemetery at New Orleans.(The Daily Picayune, September 2, 1911, p. 6)

Margaret Jennett Friar Madsen

In May 1899, E.J. Lang sold his fine residence and Lot 4 on Calhoun to Margaret “Jennie” L. Madsen (1857-1932), the widow of Henry Peter Madsen (1854-ca 1898), for $700.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 20, p. 114)   The Pascagoula Democrat-Star recorded the transaction in June 1899, as: “Mrs. Jennie L. Madsen has purchased the picturesque Lang Cottage on Calhoun Avenue”.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 2, 1899, p.3)

Prior to acquiring the Lang Cottage, the H.P. Madsen family and Mrs. Elizabeth A. Friar, his mother-in-law, had been residing at Monroe, Louisiana.  In February 1899, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced that: “Mrs. Friar, the mother of ex-postmaster Friar, and her stalwart grandson, Peter Madsen, of Monroe, Louisiana, are visiting Ocean Springs relatives”.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 10, 1899, p. 3)

Circa 1898, H.P. Madsen expired at Monroe and his widow and sons returned to Ocean Springs from northeastern Louisiana in March 1899.  Jennie L. Madsen rented a cottage on the corner of Bowen and Bellande, until the Lang Cottage on Calhoun was purchased in May 1899.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 17, 1899, p. 3)

In July 1899, Mrs. Jennie Madsen acquired additional acreage to the north of her residence from Joseph Kotzum when she purchased Lot 3 and a part of Lot 2 in Block 40 for $ 100.  This new lot had a frontage on Dewey of 165 feet and ran east west 173 feet. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 23, p. 319)  

           Mrs. Madsen was born Margaret Jennett Friar on February 3, 1857, the daughter of Hiram Heath Friar (1825-1857+) and Elizabeth Amelia Baxter (1823-1902).  She wed Henry Peter Madsen (1854-1880+) in Jackson County, Mississippi in March 1876.  From this union were born: George L. Madsen (1877-1877), Amelia A. Madsen (1878-1878), Hall Peter Madsen (1879-1918), and Nathaniel Clyde Madsen (1881-1948). 

            In Ocean Springs, the Danish immigrant, Henry Peter Madsen, made his livelihood as a shoemaker. His death has erroneously been reported as January 1892, when he was confused with Henry Madison, the son of Charles W. Madison (1858-1925), the local section boss for the L&N Railroad.(Ellison, 1991, p. 32 and The Biloxi Herald, January 2, 1892, p. 4)

            The widow, Jennie F. Madsen, was a very productive woman.  With her talking parrot in tow, she toiled long hours in the large garden at the rear of her Calhoun Avenue cottage.  Here the fruitful soil and green pasture produced merchantable vegetables and fodder for her farm animals-cows, goats, and chickens.  Milk, butter, chicken eggs, and fresh vegetables were vended in the neighborhood.  Her cream cheese was divine and she took delight in planting and raising camellias.  Seafood merchant and neighbor, John R. Seymour (1879-1938), aided Mrs. Madsen with her camellia growing.(Trixie M. Urie and Margaret Seymour Norman, February 2001)

            In addition, Mrs. Madsen had learned to sew well from her mother.  In 1900, she worked as a seamstress and her son, N. Clyde Madsen, was a pressman.(1900 Federal Census-JXCO, Ms.)

Hall Peter Madsen-424 Dewey Avenue

            In March 1902, Elizabeth A. Friar bought a lot north of her daughter’s Calhoun residence from Caroline Ryan Cox (1852-1902+), the spouse of Pablo Cox (b. 1842), for $ 75.  The parcel had 100 feet on Dewey Avenue and ran east for 177 feet to the property of Armena Seymour.  Emile Ladnier (1867-1937) was to the north.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 25, pp. 463-464) 

In September 1910, Hall Peter Madsen (1879-1918), called Peter, bought this lot from his mother and brother.  It must have been legated to them by Mrs. Elizabeth A. Friar.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 36, p. 109)  Here at present day 424 Dewey Avenue,  Peter Madsen built a cottage and reared a family with Elizabeth Toche (1882-1978), to whom he had married on January 31, 1900, in the Methodist Church at Ocean Springs.  She was the daughter of William F. Toche (1853-1937) and Mary Gary (1854-1934).  Their children were: Hal Peter Madsen (1902-1971), Helen M. McDaniel Belton (1906-1988), Ruth M. Mullin (1912-1999), and Murrell Vera M. Beckham (1916-1938). 

            Mrs. Elizabeth Madsen’s father, William Toche, was a house painter.  In November 1896, he painted the interior of the Methodist Church free of charge.  His service was given to the Ladies Aid Society.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 20, 1896, p. 3)

Peter Madsen was an interesting man.  He made his living as a pecan grafter and worked in the field of herpetology.  Mr. Madsen’s labors often involved travel to set up pecan orchards in other regions.  It is believed that the pecan culture brought him as far as South Texas.  From his Dewey Avenue home, Pete Madsen would also capture poisonous snakes, “milk” their venom, and sell it to pharmaceutical laboratories for anti-toxins.  He would often place a “pet” reptile in his shopping bag when he went to Albert Gottsche’s or another local merchant.  Madsen’s “snake-in-the-bag” act was an excellent repellent for would be thieves!(Trixie M. Urie, February 5, 2001)

In addition to her maternal and household duties, Elizabeth T. Madsen, like her violin playing brother, Victor Toche (1886-1962), was also musically inclined.  She and Ethel T. Dalgo Manuel (1896-1978) played piano at Illing’s Airdome Theatre before talking movies were in vogue.  Mrs. Madsen and Victor Toche would on occasions “jam” together.(Ibid.) 

Victor Toche, like his father, a house painter, became a well-known Gulf Coast musician.  In December 1924, he competed in a fiddling contest at Biloxi where he played “The Mocking Bird”.  Clearly the audiences’ choice for first prize, Mr. Toche lost to an old Civil War veteran from Beauvoir, in what was clearly a sympathy vote from the judges.(The Jackson County Times, December 13, 1924, p. 5)

In January 1916, Peter Madsen and his spouse sold land their land to J. Lillian Miles Russell (1890-1929), the spouse of H.F. Russell (1858-1940) for $500.00.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 42, pp. 167-168)  This transaction amounted to a loan as they reacquired it from Mrs. Russell in January 1919, for $650.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 46, p. 304)

            Hall Peter Madsen expired on November 3, 1918.  At the time, he was employed with the Dierks-Blodgett shipyard at Pascagoula.  Mr. Madsen had been stricken with the Spanish influenza.  He returned to work to soon and relapsed with pneumonia, which took his young life.(The Jackson County Times, November 9, 1918, p. 5)

            Mrs. Elizabeth Madsen remarried at Gulfport, in February 1928, to Harry Samuel Struchen (1891-1977), a native of Fairview, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Struchen had found Ocean Springs with the skating troupe of Eugene F. Mullin (1896-1974), who would wed his stepdaughter, Ruth Madsen (1912-1999).  In the early 1940s, after the Mullins’ skating entourage ceased their seasonal traveling circuit, Struchen worked as a seaman aboard iron ore carriers plying the chilly waters of the Great Lakes.  Before retirement, he labored as a concrete finisher on the Gulf Coast.  Mr. Harry S. Struchen  passed on in January 1977.  Mrs. Elizabeth Madsen Struchen expired on September 13, 1978.(The Jackson County Times, February 18, 1928, p. 5, The Daily Herald, January 20, 1977, p. A-2 and September 14, 1978, p. A-2 and Trixie M. Urie, February 5, 2001)

            Hal “Pete” Peter Madsen (1902-1971) lived with his mother and stepfather on Dewey Avenue.  He worked as a fisherman and was a veteran of WWII.  Pete Madsen expired in August 1971, and his corporal remains interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, August 30, 1971, p. 2)

In March 1974, several years before their demise, Harry S. Struchen and Elizabeth Madsen Struchen conveyed their home on Dewey Avenue to Ruth Madsen Mullin.  The Struchens retained a life estate in the property.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 492, pp. 372-373) 

The old Madsen cottage on Dewey Avenue burned circa 1978.  Reid Belton, a nephew of Mrs. Ruth Mullin, resided here at the time of the conflagration.(Trixie M. Urie, February 5, 2001)     

            In May 1980, Robert L. Baldridge and Ruth Baldridge acquired the former Madsen lot on Dewey Avenue from Mrs. Mullin.  They built the cottage that is presently situated here at 424 Dewey Avenue.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 677, pp. 114-115) 

In November 1991, Martin R. Wagoner and Lisa Courtney Wagoner, his spouse, acquired the property from Mrs. Baldridge et al.  It appears that she relocated to Oakton, Virginia.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 986, pp. 396-397)  The Wagoners vended their property to the present owner, Cheryl Terry Broome, in March 1993.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 986, pp. 394-397 and Bk. 1015, p. 56)

N. Clyde Madsen

            In June 1920, Mrs. Margaret Jennett Madsen gave her son, Nathaniel Clyde Madsen (1881-1948) her home and land on Calhoun and Dewy.  At this time, she possessed a rectangular lot fronting 173 feet on Calhoun and running north along Dewey for about 270 feet.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 65, p. 186)

            As his mother, N. Clyde Madsen enjoyed gardening and raising camellias in particular.  His camellias were so exquisite that Mr. Bellingrath of the renown Bellingrath Gardens at Theodore, Alabama would come to Ocean Springs to view them.(Trixie M. Urie, February 5, 2001)

N. Clyde Madsen made his livelihood with the L&N Railroad.  He became employed with them in February 1914, and at the time of his demise in March 1948, was a watchman at the Reynoir Street crossing.  Mr. Madsen had once tended the L&N Railroad Bridge, which spans the Bay of Biloxi.  Socially, he was a Mason and member of the McLeod Masonic Lodge No. 424, Alexander Council No. 14, Biloxi Chapter RAM 116, and Coast Commandery No. 19.  N. Clyde Madsen passed in March 1948.  His corporal remains were sent to the Evergreen Cemetery for burial.(The Daily Herald, March 18, 1948, p. 8)           

Ruth Madsen Mullin

In March 1938, Clyde N. Madsen donated the same property to his niece, Ruth Inza Madsen Mullin (1912-1999).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 100, p. 286)  She was the spouse of Eugene Field Mullin (1896-1974), the son of William H. Mullin and Minnie Harper.  Mr. Mullin was a native of Winters, Texas, and came to Ocean Springs in 1930.  He was named for the poet, Eugene Field.  Mullin came to Ocean Springs in 1930, as the operator of a portable skating rink.  In this occupation, he traveled throughout the region setting up his wooden floor and tent in small towns.  After a stay lasting five to six weeks, Mullin would pack up and move to another location usually near mill towns. 

When at Ocean Springs, he set up his mobile skating rink on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Robinson where the Salmagundi Shop now operates.  Here young Gene Mullin met Ruth Madsen who was an excellent skater.  The couple corresponded after he left town, and married in April 1931.  They had a daughter, Margaret “Trixie” Mullin Urie, who was born in 1932. 

Mr. Mullins continued his itinerant career traveling throughout the southeastern United States with his family during the "skating season" which lasted from March to November.  In 1941, the Mullins settled at Ocean Springs living on Calhoun and Dewey in the Old Madsen House.  Gene Mullin was an avid shrimper and enjoyed a good game of poker at Dave's Place on Washington Avenue.  In later life, he made his livelihood as a security guard at Ingalls.  Mr. Mullin was a veteran of WW I and a member of the McLeod Mason Lodge No. 424.(Margaret “Trixie” M. Urie, December 1993 and The Daily Herald, February 27, 1974, p.2)

Titled Cleared

            In June 1951, Chancellor Dan M. Russell of the Jackson County Chancery Court adjudicated in Cause No. 11,436, “Ruth Madsen Mullin v. Widow LaFontaine, et al, that Mrs. Mullin was the owner in fee simple of the these lands in the Town of Ocean Springs: Part of Lots 1 and 2 and all of Lots 3 and 4 of Block 40 in the Town of Ocean Springs, which is more particularly described as follows: Commencing at the intersection of the north margin of East Calhoun Avenue with the east margin of Dewey Avenue, which point is the southwest corner of Lot 4, Block 40, thence north 0 degrees 30’ east along the east margin of Dewey Avenue 234.5 feet, more or less, to a fence; thence south 81 degrees 30’ east 95 feet along said fence along the south side of the property now or formerly owned by Elizabeth Madsen Struchen; thence north 7 degrees 109 feet along a fence to a fence on the south line of the property now or formerly of Oke; thence south 81 degrees 30’ east 77 feet more or less, to the west line of the property now or formerly of Seymour; thence south 2 degrees west along a fence 344.5 feet, more or less, to the north margin of Calhoun Avenue 174 feet, more or less, to the place of beginning in Section 37, T7S-R8W.

            Mrs. Ruth M. Mullin’s land deed from N. Clyde Madsen of March 1938 was corrected to conform with the land description above.  Also Judge Russell decreed that her title was further established, confirmed and quieted against: the Widow LaFontaine, Joseph Kotzum, Emile J. Lang, Caroline Cox, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Friar and J. Lillian Russell, if living, their unknown heirs or divisees if dead, Wilson K. Beckham, Mrs. Elizabeth Madsen Struchen, Mrs. Helen Madsen Belton, Harold P. Madsen, Clyde Eugene Beckham, and Helen K. Beckham.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 118, pp. 515-516) 

The Madsen-Mullin Magnolia Tree

            It was quite a neighborhood event, when Mrs. Ruth M. Mullin sold one of her lovelymagnolia trees to the Beau Rivage Casino at Biloxi.  It was relocated to the gaming resort in late November 1998.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 26, 1998, p. 10)

            Mrs. Mullin expired at Ocean Springs on May 30, 1999.  She legated her Calhoun Avenue home to her daughter, Margaret “Trixie” Mullen Urie.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2000-0315-September 2000 and The Sun Herald, June 2, 1999, p. A-11)

            A thousand thanks to Trixie Mullin and Reid Belton for their time and informative contributions to this essay. 

 

 

Photo caption:  The Mullin-Urie Lot-This plat represents the present day configuration of the 1.12-acre, Mullin-Urie parcel on Calhoun and Dewey Avenue.  The Lang-Madsen Cottage at 1103 Calhoun, which was erected in March 1894, by E.J. Lang, is show in solid black, while the Hall Peter Madsen Cottage at present day 424 Dewey Avenue is show in dashed lines.   The Madsen Cottage was destroyed by fire in the late 1970s.  The Broome Cottage now here was built by Robert L. Baldridge in 1980.

 

Credit:  Cartography by Ray L. Bellande.

 

REFERENCES:

 

National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, “Old Ocean Springs Historic District”, Item No. 7, 1986.

Soard’s Directory Company, Ltd., 1900 New Orleans City Directory, Volume XXVII.

Soard’s Directory Company, Ltd., 1906 New Orleans City Directory, Volume XXXIII.

Chancery Court Causes

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 11,436,“Ruth Madsen Mullin v. Widow LaFontaine, et al”-June 1951.

Journals

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Beckham Dies”, January 10, 1938.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Madsen Dies In Ocean Springs”, July 4, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “N.C. Madsen”, March 18, 1948.

The Daily Herald, “Hal Madsen”, August 30, 1971.

The Daily Herald, “Eugene F. Mullin”, February 27, 1974.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Elizabeth Struchen”, September 14, 1978.

The Daily Picayune, “Annie Lang”, October 30, 1894.

The Daily Picayune, “Emile J. Lang”, September 2, 1911.

The Daily Picayune, “Emily Lang”, November 23, 1912.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, November 24, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Death Of H.P. Madsen”, November 9, 1918.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, December 13, 1924.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, February 18, 1928.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Mrs. Helen Belton”, October 6, 1988.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, February 16, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, March 9, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 2, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, November 20, 1896.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, February 18, 1898.

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

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, February 10, 1899.

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

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, June 2, 1899.

The Sun Herald, “Ruth Madsen Mullin”, June 2, 1999.

 

Personal Communication:

Trixie Mullin Urie-December 1993.

Marguerite Seymour Norman-February 2, 2001.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

HANSON-MITCHELL HOUSE:  “Shadowlawn” (1907-2005) 

            The Hanson-Mitchell House is located at 112A Shearwater Drive in parts of Lot 3 and Lot 4 of Section 30, T7S-R8W.  This magnificent Prairie Renaissance structure and five marvelously landscaped acres were most recently possessed by Bill and Nancy White Wilson.   Mrs. Wilson’s mother, Ruth Dickey White Scharr, grew up here in the 1930s.  Her father, John Leo Dickey (1880-1938), an engineer from Niles, Michigan, who was residing at New Orleans, purchased the property in June 1922, from Magdalena Grob Hanson (1845-1929), the widow of Christian C.A. Hanson.  The Hanson’s logically called their home place, “Bay View”, for its excellent southern vista of Biloxi Bay and Deer Island. 

Mrs. Ruth Scharr recalls that the nomenclature of their house, “Shadowlawn”, was proposed by her father after he observed how beautiful the night shadows were that developed on the grounds, during moon lit nights.   Mr. Dickey suggested the name “Shadowlawn” to his wife, and it was considered a desirable nomenclature.(The Sun Herald, February 7, 1998)      

 

Hanson-Mitchell House (1994)

112A Shearwater Drive

The Hanson-Mitchell Home is described architecturally as:  A one and one-half story stuccoed masonry house with a raised basement and a terra cotta, tiled, hip roof, the slopes of which conceal a cistern.  An undercut, U- shaped, wrap around gallery extends for three bays across the south (main) façade and along two bays of the east and west elevations. The central entrance of the south facade consists of double, glass-paneled doors surmounted by a transom.  The flanking windows and the majority of those on the other elevations have one-over-one double hung sash. A secondary porch and entrance are centered on the north elevation, and a basement entrance on the east side of the house is protected by a  canopy.  The gallery is enclosed by a parapet, the cap of which encircles the house.  This continuous molding conforms to the height and profile of the sills of the larger windows.  Masonry piers rise from the parapet to support the heavy, wide-eaved, porch entablature.  Like the parapet cap, the entablature continues around the building.  It is dropped slightly below the level of the cornice of the hip roof.  The outer face of each simply-capped gallery pier features a more complex dropped molding which rises as an arch to frame a foliated cartouche..  It rises to the main floor between intricately undulating parapets.  The stuccoed surface of the parapets is scored to suggest ashlar masonry as are the basement walls.  A squat, heavily hip-roofed dormer crowns the main façade.(Berggren-1986)

            The land upon which the five-acre estate presently called, “Shadowlawn”, was erected circa 1907, by Captain Christian Charles August Hanson, has an interesting history.  The tract was patented from the Federal Government in the 1830s, by Hanson Alsbury (1805-1842+).  Alsbury built a home to the west on the present day Shearwater parcel.  He served the people of Jackson County as their State Senator from 1838-1842. 

Many decades before the Hanson-Wilson House (Bay View-Shadowlawn) was erected in 1907, this beautiful site fronting the Bay of Biloxi and Deer Island was the location of several estate homes.  Conflagrations appear to be the primary culprit, which removed them from this locus.   

Land Plat of W.G. Kendall lands

(source JXCO., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 3, p. 212)

William Gray Kendall

There is good historical evidence to support the thesis that a Kentuckian, William Gray Kendall, (1812-1872) was the first person to reside here albeit his summer residence.  In January 1846, Mary Philomela Irwin (1817-1878), the wife of W.G. Kendall, acquired a 50-acre tract of land in Section 30, T7S-R8W from A.H. Donaldson.  The parcel had an 800 feet fronting on the Bay of Biloxi.  Here Mr. Kendall erected a home.  It burned in 1894, when owned by Abraham F. Marks.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 63, pp. 14-15 and The Pascagoula-Democrat Star, June 14, 1894, p. 3)

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

            W.G. Kendall was an attorney and entrepreneur active in land trading.   In 1848, his firm, Kendall & Howard, officed at 13 St. Charles Avenue.  He was postmaster at New Orleans in 1854.  

Kendall’s largest enterprise was the Biloxi Steam Brick Works at North Biloxi (present day D’Iberville), which prospered from 1849 until about 1854.  It appears that Hanson Alsbury was also involved in brick manufacturing here prior to Kendall’s ownership.  Here, on the north shore of the Back Bay of Biloxi, W.G. Kendall used slave labor to produce clay bricks fired in a steam-powered kiln.  Over 160 slaves labored here, making Kendall the largest slaveholder in Harrison County, at this time.  The annual production from the Kendall brickyard was 10 million bricks valued at $60,000. (Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society-1992, pp. 88-89)

The Daily Crescent ran an article titled, “Biloxi Fire Brick” on July 30, 1850.  It stated the following: Specimens of the above describe BRICKS may be seen in the new Custom House; a block of buildings on Race Street built by Washington Jackson & Co.; the residence of Mr. Wright, of the firm Wright, Williams, & Company on University Place; the residence of Mr. Steven of the firm Fisk & Steven on Dauphine Street; the residence of Mr. Payne, of the firm of Payne & Harrison, in Lafayette; five large three story dwellings of Mr. Peter Conrey Jr., on Apollo Street.  Mr. E. Shiff’s three shops on Camp Street, and one on Poydras Street, and the stores of Holmes & Mile, now going up on Poydras Street.

Three of Biloxi’s oldest homes, the Toledano-Tullis House, the Rogers House (“The Old Brick House”), and Mary Mahoney’s Old French House, were all built with Kendall brick.  Kendall brick is an excellent time marker due to the relative short term existence of the ceramic facility.  This fact has allowed historians to correctly approximate the ages of these particular Biloxi structures and displace the erroneous age dates long associated with them.

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

Although W.G. Kendall was beyond military age, he served honorably with the Confederate Mississippi River Navy.  In May 1862, Kendall in charge of a 32-pounder, on the gunboat,CSN General Van Dorn, fought heroically at the Battle of Island No. 10, silencing a mortar boat.(Sharf-1894, p. 255)

  Two of Kendall’s sons, John Irwin Kendall and William G. Kendall Jr. served in the Confederate Army. John I. Kendall expired in October 1898, at Mazatlan, Mexico. He had worked in Mexico for several years as a representative for Mexican railroads and an American oil company.(The Louisiana Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, No. 4, October 1946,  p. 1043)

Kendall school house

To educate his young children and probably those of his neighbors, Mr. Kendall built a schoolhouse just east of their residence.  George E. Arndt (1909-1995) remembered the building as octagonal in shape with a hewn log base.  Each side of the polygon was about eight feet in length, and the structure was about twenty feet across the middle.  Arndt, who married Dorothy Dickey (1915-1975), the daughter of Leo and Jenny Dickey, lived here from about 1938, until 1950, when he built a house east of the schoolhouse.  The schoolhouse was destroyed by Hurricane Camille in August 1969.(Arndt-1993)

            W.G. Kendall was also responsible for the Mill Dam.  This operation consisted of a weir and mill.  The weir was located near the present day bridge across the Inner Harbor on Shearwater Drive.  The structure allowed tidewater to flow through and be trapped behind the dam.  When the water was released its flow turned a water wheel-grind stone apparatus which ground corn into corn meal.(The Gulf Coast Times, August 26, 1949

The bayou, originally named Bayou Bouzage, which became the Inner Harbor in the late 1930s, was called Mill Dam Bayou in the late 19th Century.  The road to the Kendall house from the village of Ocean Springs was known as the Mill Dam Road.  It was later called “Anola” for Kendall’s daughter, Anola P. Kendall.  Today, we know this popular thoroughfare as Shearwater Drive for the Walter I. Anderson family, which settled west of the Kendall Estate in the early 1920s, and developed the Shearwater Pottery.    

Kendall 'ice house'

[destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.  image made September 1991]

Although the Kendall family has been gone from this site for over 130 years, they left several features, which remain today.  The most conspicuous is the “ice house”.  The ice house is a brick and mortar structure with a front gable roof.  The floor is also brick.  The dimensions of this building are:  width-12 feet, length-17 feet, and height 14 feet.  The volume of the structure is approximately 2350 cubic feet.  It was utilized by the Kendall family to prevent food spoilage.(Arndt, 1993)  It is known that the Creole, a lake shore steam packet, operating between Milneburg on Lake Ponchartrain and the Mississippi Gulf Coast was transporting ice to this area as early as 1855.(New Orleans Daily Crescent, August 31, 1855)           

Grave markers of George E. Arndt and Kendall family members

[image made by Ray L. Bellande-January 26, 2007]

            The other Kendall relics are several tombstones on the Arndt property to the east.  When Mr. Kendall and Mrs. Kendall conveyed their residence and a portion of their Ocean Springs estate in June 1866, to Mrs. Eliza Heermann (1800-1870) of New Orleans for $2000, a portion of the warranty deed read as follows:  Made part of this deed the tracts supposed to contain about 50 acres more or less including all dwelling houses, out houses, stables, gardens, lots, orchards, and fixtures of every kind there unto appertaining with the exclusive right-of-way to the road crossing the Bayou aforesaid and known as the “Mill Dam Road” and the growing crops on the premises reserving 10 feet square of ground embracing the tomb of Ben Gray Kendall.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 63, pp. 14-15)

A Kendall feature, which has disappeared from the property, is the “Brick Pier”.  It is mentioned as a boundary marker in several 19th Century warranty deeds.  The Kendall Brick Pier marked the southwest corner of the W.G. Kendall Estate.  This and the grindstone of the Mill Dam might make interesting targets for future archaeological investigations at Ocean Springs.  

Before quitting the Kendall family, it is interesting to note that Dr. A. Harry Shannon (1831-1900+), a native of Sumner County, Tennessee, who practiced medicine and raised pecans and fruit at Ocean Springs from about 1882, until his demise, was married to Lucy Irwin (1838-1909+).  Miss Irwin was the niece of Mrs. Mary I. Kendall.  Mrs. Shannon’s father was John Lawson Irwin Jr. (d. 1867), probably a resident of Vicksburg.

John Smith Kendall, the son of John Irwin Kendall and Mary Smith, became a serious student of history.  He authored the three volume, The History of New Orleans (1922), and published several essays in The Louisiana Historical Quarterly (1946).

Heermann

Mrs. Heermann (1800-1870), nee Elseer, was the wife of Dr. Lewis Heermann (1779-1833), senior surgeon of the United States Navy.  He was German born.  Young Heermann entered the United States Navy in 1802, as a surgeon’s mate.  He arrived as a senior medical officer at New Orleans in late 1810, after several years of active sea duty, which included the Tripolitan War (1801-1805) against the Barbary pirates.  At New Orleans, Dr. Heermann greatly improved the local naval hospital facilities and the care of its patients.  Not happy with the medical attendants, he bought slaves and put them to work in the military facility.  Dr. Heermann ran the New Orleans US Naval Hospital until ill health forced his retirement in 1826.(Duffy-1958, pp. 457-458)

In addition to his military duties, Dr. Heermann maintained an extensive private medical practice.  He was a charter member of the Physico-Medical Society.(Duffy-1958. p. 310)  During the 1820 yellow fever scourge at Bay St. Louis, Dr. Heermann services were requested by the people of that area.(Duffy-1958, p. 364)  At the time of his demise in May 1833, the Heermanns resided on the corner of Julia and Camp Street.(New Orleans Bee, May 22, 1833) 

Mrs. Eliza H. Heermann expired at Nice, France on October 28, 1870.  Her surviving children were:  Dr. Charles F. Heermann (NOLA), Valentine Moot Heermann (NOLA), and Theodore Heermann (probably San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas).  In May 1873, Valentine M. Heermann, who held power of attorney, conveyed the estate of his deceased mother to Robert Walker Rayne (1807-1879) of New Orleans for $1000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 63, p. 20)

Rayne

Robert Walker Rayne was a native of England. His wife, Mary B. Langdon, was also English.  Their children were:  Benjamin O.L. Rayne, Matilda E. Rayne (1830-1912), the wife of Silas Weeks (1823-1901), Alice C. Rayne, the wife of Samuel E. Hale, Jennie E. Rayne, the wife of Joseph Whitfield, Horace D. Rayne, Ruth Ann Rayne, the wife of Addison C. Sturdevant, Robert P. Rayne, and Mary F. Rayne, the wife of James J. McComb. 

Matilda E. Weeks, like her parents, had been born in England.  In April 1878, and July 1879, she acquired the east half of the Kendall Estate from John I. Kendall and Mary E. Kendall of New Orleans.  The Week’s land ran east from the Rayne property (formerly Kendall) to what became known as Weeks Bayou.  Here on the high bluff with an excellent view of Biloxi Bay and Deer Island, they erected a summer home called “Anchorage”.  This nomenclature was appropriate as Silas Weeks (1832-1901), a Yankee ship captain-shipping agent, chose to retire here, when his seagoing and days of commerce in the Crescent City were completed.  Some of the Weeks children, Ada W. Depass (1851-1909), Jesse W. Boyd (1855-1932), Hattie W. Darsey (1858-1939), and Mamie W. Rice (1864-1937), and grandchildren, Miss Jesse Boyd (1881-1963) and Ethel W. Rice (1887-1969) are well remembered by the older generations at Ocean Springs.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 3, pp. 211-213 and Bk. 4, pp. 123-125)  

Also in August 1879, Dr. David M. Dunlap (1803-1883+) purchased some of the John I. Kendall acreage in the very eastern portion of the tract, primarily east of Weeks Bayou, contiguous with the Warwick Martin lands.  Dr. Dunlap and family probably resided on Washington Avenue on what became the Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904) homestead and lot in the vicinity of the present day Lovelace Drug Store.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 211-213) 

In June 1890, Ada Weeks Depass and her husband, David Alfred Depass (1850-1926), acquired the acreage west of the Rayne Estate.  This became the  1918 “Fairhaven” of Mrs. Walter I. Anderson (1867-1964).  In 1928, “The Shearwater Pottery” of Peter Anderson, and his brothers, Bob and Mac Anderson commenced here.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 26, 1995)

Robert W. Rayne died on July 7, 1879 at New Orleans.  His obituary said of Mr. Rayne, that “he had long been known as one of our oldest and most influential merchants and justly esteemed citizens”.(The Daily Picayune, July 9, 1879)  

            The Heirs of R.W. Rayne conveyed his Ocean Springs estate  to Jacob Feitig (1830-1892) on August 14, 1886, for $2500.  A forced heirship suit, Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 401, “Jacob Feitig v. Lillie McComb et al,  August Term 1891, required the four legatees of Mary Frances Rayne, the wife of James J. McComb, of Dobbs Ferry, Weschester County, New York, to be compensated for their share of the estate of Robert W. Rayne.   W.M. Denny, Commissioner of the Jackson County Chancery Court, conveyed the Rayne estate to Jacob Feitig on August 26, 1891.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, p. 573) 

Jacob Feitig-Abraham F. Marks

Jacob Feitig (1830-1892) was a native of Bavaria.  His first spouse was a Miss Fannie (1847-1872), who expired at New Orleans in early September 1872, at the age of twenty-five.  Mr. Feitig then wedded Anna E. Turner (d. 1938), a native of Cincinatti, Ohio.  Jacob Feitig had resided at New Orleans since 1839.  His funeral was from the parlor of the St. Charles Hotel.  Jacob Feitig legated his Ocean Springs estate to Anna E. Feitig.  She remarried Abraham F. Marks (1870-1939), a few years later.(Daily Picayune, September 5, 1872 and Daily Picayune, December 14, 1892)

            The A.F. Marks home burned in June 1894, when still known as the “old Kendall Homestead”.  There was another conflagration here in January 1899.  Norton & Blackman Insurance adjusters for Springfield Fire & Marine Co., Royal of Liverpool, and Georgia Home of Columbus, Georgia, came to Ocean Springs, in January 1899 to investigate the incident.(Pascagoula Democrat-StarJune 14, 1894 and Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 20, 1899).

Abraham F. Marks and Anna Marks conveyed their Biloxi Bay lands to Christian Hanson in April 1906, for $3000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, pp. 144-145) 

Christian Hanson

Here, circa 1907, it is believed that Mr. Hanson erected “Bay View”, a Prairie Renaissance style home.  In December 1997, Dr. Paul Sprague, an architectural historian very familiar with the works of Louis H. Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and other late 19th and early 20th Century Chicago architects, examined photographs of the Hanson-Wilson and commented as follows: "There are some features about the house pictured in the copies you sent which resemble work by Chicago architect, George Maher, and Oak Park (Illinois) architect, E.E. Roberts.  I am afraid that one can never be certain, however, unless you are able to turn up a building report.  If it really was built in 1907 it is early for its type.  Roberts only started to do similar things about that time, though Maher had been at it for about seven years then.  Its formality and balance, the hip roof, wide front porch and squat dormer would suit either man.  The devices in the piers also recall their work."  

            Christian Hanson (1845-1914) was a native of Denmark.  He immigrated to America in the early 1860s.  Hanson made his livelihood as a shipmaster and cotton broker for Lehman, Stern & Company before going into the brokerage business for himself with Herman Leopold at 817 Perdido Street.(Soards 1904 New Orleans City Directory, p. 423) In 1879, Captain Hanson married Magdalena Grob (1845-1929), the widow Clasen.  At New Orleans, the Hansons resided at 1224 Marengo Street, until he became in ill in 1912.  This handsome residence was sold and the Hansons elected to spend their final retirement years at “Bay View”, one of their Ocean Springs houses.(Ocean Springs News, July 18, 1914).

Mrs. Christian Hanson had a daughter, Louisa Clasen  (d. 1911).  She married Theodore Hatry of New Orleans.  They had four children:  Christian A. Hatry, Anna Magdalena Hatry, Lawrence N. Hatry, and Gustave T. Hatry (d. 1913).(Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 5224). 

Christian Hanson’s uncle, Lawrence N. Hanson (1823-1900), acquired property at Ocean Springs as early as 1872, when he purchased beach front property from Martha E. Austin (1818-1898).  He later lived on Jackson Avenue in a Greek Revival home at present day 520 Jackson Avenue, which he purchased in 1873.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 30, 1995). 

            Another Danish relative of Christian Hanson may have been the old wine maker, Thomas Hanson (1810-1900), who married Mary Ryan (1828-1900).   They resided across Fort Bayou in present day Gulf Hills.  Thomas Hanson operated a sawmill here for many years.

            Christian Hanson’s formal name was Christian Charles August Hanson.  He was no stranger to Ocean Springs, as in December 1894, he purchased land on the “Island” at the Fort Point Peninsula (present day Lovers Lane area)  from Charles B. Thorn (1872-1922+), the well known banker and civic leader of New Orleans.(Deed Book 16, pp. 124-125)   Here Christian Hanson may have built a home, but most probably acquired one with the conveyance from Mr. Thorn. The Hanson home at Fort Point, was called “Breezy Point”.(Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 3, 1895).  Its location in the immediate area was described in detail by a reporter for The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of July 1, 1898, as follows:  At the confluence of Fort Bayou with Back Bay.  The view upon the Bay and Bayou is worthy of the artist’s pencil.  No Italian scene could be fairer.  This lovely Southern home with its elegant furnishings suggests rest and comfort.  The inviting apple orchard with its fruit well developed deserves more than a passing notice.  The new barn and fences attest to the thrift of this genial Southern gentleman.

The “Breezy Point” of Christian Hanson burned in June 1904.  Probably extremely disappointed and depressed by this calamity, Captain Hanson sold his property on the Fort Point Peninsula to Anna L. Benjamin (1848-1938).  Mrs. Benjamin, the affluent widow of lumber baron, David M. Benjamin (1834-1892), from Milwaukee, integrated Hanson’s estate into her expanding property on the peninsula called, “Shore Acres”.  Eventually, she would acquire over 70 contiguous acres and the area would become known as “Benjamin Point”.(Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 25, 1904 and Ocean Springs Record, November 4, 1993)

            Obviously, Captain Hanson loved Ocean Springs.  In June 1905, after the fire which had destroyed “Breezy Point”, he purchased the home of his aunt, Hamburg native, Sophia Hanson (1834-1905+), the widow of Lawrence N. Hanson, at present day 520 Jackson Avenue.  Certainly one of our oldest domiciles, this Greek Revival cottage is known as the Hanson-Verrette House.  Sophia Hanson had relocated from Ocean Springs to New Orleans and lived in the Christian Hanson residence there, after her husband, Lawrence N. Hanson, died in their Jackson Avenue home on October 15, 1900. 

Sophia Hanson had rented her Jackson Avenue home in Ocean Springs, while residing at New Orleans.  It appears that Christian Hanson continued this rental policy while he lived at “Bay View”.  Mrs. Magdalena Hanson legated her home at 520 Jackson Avenue to her grandson, Christian A. Hatry, who took possession in November 1929.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 30, 1995). 

            Being a man of the sea, it appears that Captain Christian Hanson bought the Feitig-Marks property in April 1906, to satisfy his desire to be back on the waterfront.  He lived here at “Bay  View” with its excellent view of Deer Island, in retirement.  From a sales advertisement printed to vend “Bay View” for $18,000, after the demise of Captain Hanson, it would appear that he lived the life of a gentleman farmer. 

The main Hanson house and outbuildings were described as:  A modern raised bungalow, red-tiled roof, stucco sides with an imposing entrance and terrace surrounding the entire house.  An eighteen-foot gallery ran the entire width of the front of the house and half the length of either side.  It was screened with rust proof wire.  There were four bed bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, serving room, and living room on the first floor.  The basement consisted of a laundry, three servants’ rooms, and a large kitchen, which was connected to the serving room by a dumb waiter.  Outbuildings included two small barns, a servants’ quarters, and a small one-room octagon-shaped structure, known as “Bachelor’s Quarters” (the former Kendall School House).

Additional amenities of the Hanson house were that it was electrically lighted and heated throughout.  Heat was provided by a fireplace and hot-air heating system.  There was also a Paquette gas generating machine and two artesian wells.  Agriculturally, the Hanson estate had pecan and fruit orchards, poultry, and timber.              

           Christian Hanson died at “Bay View” on July15, 1914.  His remain were interred in the Metairie Cemetery.  Mrs. Hanson sold her wonderful home and surrounding acreage to John Leo Dickey (1880-1938) of New Orleans on June 21, 1922.  The consideration was $10,000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.51, pp. 544-545).

1954 J.L. Dickey Survey

[Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 145, p. 145]

John Leo Dickey

John Leo Dickey (1880-1938) and his wife, Jennie Woodford (1879-1969) were natives of Niles, Michigan.  Dickey was educated at the University of Michigan as a Civil Engineer.  After marriage in 1902, the young couple moved to Plaquemine, Louisiana, where Dickey was employed by the U.S. Civil Engineering Corps.  In 1908, the Dickeys relocated to New Orleans where he went into the construction business with Lester Alexander.  They specialized in river work engineering projects such as, building jetties, locks, etc.  Mr. Dickey was often called to Central America for consultations.       

Mr. Dickey and his wife, Jenny Woodruff, had four children, John Edwin Dickey who died as an infant, and three daughters, Eleanor Joy Dickey (1908-1916), Ruth Dickey White Scharr (1913-2000), and Dorothy Dickey Arndt (1915-1975).

            The Dickeys discovered Ocean Springs while searching for a place for his business partner, Lester Alexander, to recover from a lengthy malady.  From 1922 until 1933, the Dickey family spent their holiday and vacation time at Shadowlawn.  In the Fall of 1933, the family became permanent residents of the Ocean Springs community.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi-1989, p. 190) 

            Daughter, Ruth Dickey, married Eugene Lamoreaux White (1913-1945) in May 1941.  He was the son of Kenneth G. White and Laura Keltie of Chicago.  Jessica White (1868-1946), the aunt of Eugene L. White, was the first member of the Charles Mason White family to arrive at Ocean Springs.  Circa 1906, she married Theo Bechtel (1863-1931) of Edwardsville, Illinois.  Bechtel, a horticulturist, who came here at the turn of the Century, to work for Dr. Homer L. Stewart (1835-1907+) and Martha Lyon Holcomb (1833-1906) in their pecan orchards.  It appears that the White and Holcomb families were long time friends from their college days at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 17, 1995, p. 22)   

 Eugene L. White, called “Shorty”, attended school in Inglewood, California and at Ocean Springs.  He died as results of shrapnel wounds inflicted in the South Pacific during WWII.  White’s remains were buried on Guam and later re-interred at the Evergreen Cemetery.  He was survived by his widow, and two children: John White and Nancy White Wilson.(The Jackson County Times, June 9, 1945, p.1)

In 1955, Eugene L. White’s widow, Ruth Dickey White, married widower, Orwin Scharr, who served as Postmaster here in the 1960s.  Scharr and Mrs. White united after the demise of his wife, Elinor Wright (1913-1953), the daughter of John C. Wright (1879-1941) and Florence Hunt (1875-1961).  The Wrights had come to Ocean Springs from southern Illinois, after Mr. Wright and his brother-in-law, oilman, H.L. Hunt, had bought the E.L. Chase Pecan Farm in January 1920.  Wright raised poultry, ran a dairy and improved the pecan orchards on his farm, which is now the site of the Maurepas Landing Subdivision, north of Bienville Boulevard and east of the US Post Office.  The Scharrs had one son, Donald Scharr.

            As a result of several days of gale force winds in late September 1926, a tragedy struck the Dickey Place.  The caretaker of Shadowlawn, Loren Bush (1890-1926), and Henry Page, a black man, who had a mowing machine and team of mules, were found dead on the estate.  Fred Newcomb, a rural mail carrier, found their bodies on the ground adjacent to a wire fence.  He feared that the men had killed each other in a fight and went to town for assistance.  Ben O’ Keefe (1894-1954), among others, returned to the death scene and found that Bush and Page had been killed by electrical shock.  It was discovered that during the recent storms, an electric light line had been blown across the wire fence.  When the men came in contact with the electrically charged fence, they were killed.(The Jackson County Times, October 2, 1926

            Ethel Bush, the spouse of the deceased caretaker, sought damages from Mr. Dickey and the Mississippi Power Company in the Chancery Court of Jackson County.  She had a minor child, Virginia Bush.(see Cause No. 5371)  The suit against Mr. Dickey was dropped and Mrs. Bush received compensation from the Mississippi Power Company.(Ruth Scharr, 1998)

            In May 1929, J.L. Dickey and Mrs. Annette McConnell Anderson sold each other small tracts of land from their respective estates along present day Shearwater Drive to facilitate ingress and egress to their properties.(Deed Book 62, pp. 426-428)  The Anderson entrance to the Shearwater Pottery was at one time from the Dickey property to the east.  The Andersons and Dickeys were good neighbors.  Often the Andersons would come over to play tennis on the Dickey court, and the Dickeys would go on day trips with  the Andersons on their boat.(Ruth Scharr,1998)

            In December 1954, Jenny Woodford Dickey conveyed to her daughter, Dorothy Dickey Arndt  (1915-1975), the east half of the J.L. Dickey Estate.(Deed Book 145, pp. 142-145)  Dorothy, called Dot, married George E. Arndt (1909-1995).  They had two children:  Nancy Ruth Arndt (1939-1942) and Dickey Arndt.  The Arndts moved the Octagon House (old Kendall School House) to the east onto their property and refurbished it as their residence.  When George Arndt had the present home built in the 1950s, the Octagon House was moved further east.  It was inundated by Camille in August 1969, and destroyed.(Ruth Dickey Scharr-1998)

            In February 1964, Jenny Woodford Dickey conveyed the right of survivorship to the west half of the John L. Dickey Estate to her daughter, Ruth Dickey Scharr.  Mrs. Scharr consequently became possessed of “Shadowlawn”.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 252, p. 249)

            In December 1979, Ruth Dickey Scharr divided her Biloxi Bay front land among her three children.  Nancy White Wilson received “Shadowlawn” with its appealing, five, landscaped acres. At the time of these conveyances, the Wilsons resided at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 665, p. 271)

Bill and Nancy White Wilson

Unoccupied since the early 1980s, “Shadowlawn”, which could be subtitled, “Our Home”, opened as a “Bed and Breakfast” establishment on April 13, 1998.  Time had certainly had a negative effect on the old structure.  Serious repairs were needed to the tile roof, and termites had invaded a small section of the gallery area. The old cliché, “out of sight-out of mind” was certainly applicable as the Hanson-Wilson House was essentially demolishing by neglect.  This fact induced the Wilsons to take early retirement from their business enterprises in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  In 1969, they had relocated here from Marrero, Louisiana where Bill, a MSU graduate, had been employed in the petroleum industry.  After several years in the real estate business with his father, a USAF retiree, Bill and Nancy Wilson began a newspaper distribution service.  They prospered in this enterprise, until their recent decision to return to Ocean Springs to save their love, “Shadowlawn”.

            Both Bill and Nancy were reared in Ocean Springs and are 1960s graduates of the “Old High School” on Government Street.  Nancy grew up at “Shadowlawn” with her widowed mother, Ruth Dickey White Scharr, brother, Johnny White, grandmother, Jenny W. Dickey, and great-grandfather, “Gompie” Woodruff.  Nancy and Johnny White were playmates of the neighborhood Anderson children and their cousin, Dickey Arndt.  Nancy can relate many memorable occasions that she shared with them in the glory days of that artistic institution.

            With Larry Maugh as general contractor, the Wilsons began the restoration of Shadowlawn in 1997.  The original Hanson Home was built with fine pine and cypress lumber, plaster and tile.  There was much attention to detail in doors, sash, and moldings.  The omnipresent, magnificent pine floors were stripped of old paint and linoleum and brought to a natural finish by Jumonville.  The interior and exterior painting by Bill Patrick and the work of the other Maugh subcontractors is impeccable.  They and the Wilsons fine touch with interior furnishings, have certainly returned this Prairie Renaissance structure to its former glory.

            What can a visitor expect at “Shadowlawn”?  Spend five minutes with the Wilsons and you will know why Nancy refers to their possession as “Our Home”.  Come in, take off your shoes, wade in Biloxi Bay, check the crab traps with Bill, let the breeze from the Bay slam the screen door behind you, or help Nancy set the breakfast table.  Casual is definitely the atmosphere at the Wilsons. 

Privacy is also available for those who need their solitude.  Sit under the silent live oaks and get naturally air conditioned by salt-kissed, air almost constantly blowing in from the southeast.  

The Wilsons have not only restored the physical appearance of Nancy’s grandparents’ retirement haven, but they have brought their memory to the present.  Their three rooms called respectively, “The John and Jenny (Dickey) Room”, “The Gompie (Woodford) Room”, and “The Ruth (Dickey-White-Scharr) Room”, let for $100 to $125 per day.  Guest receive, in addition to an unequaled oak alley ingress, an incomparable marine vista, and exquisitely landscaped grounds, a full “Southern breakfast” and English tea at 3 P.M.  There is a refrigerator were visitors can keep their own beverages and other perishables to be used at their whim.

Since their first visitors arrived from Ottawa, Canada in April 1998, Bill and Nancy have enjoyed their “work”.  With their warm, open personalities, people accept and trust them immediately.  There are no strangers at “Our House”.  If one desires to spend a day, or whatever time is available, in a relaxed atmosphere with the integral part of Ocean Springs within walking distance, I highly recommend “Shadowlawn”.  There is also some history about this place as one might ascertain from this essay!             

William J.  Mitchell

            In October 2004, Shadowlawn, after over eighty years in the Dickey family was sold by Nancy A. White Wilson, the granddaughter of Leo and Jennie Dickey, and spouse, William C. Wilson Jr., to William J. Mitchell and Joan Mitchell of Montgomery, Alabama.  Mr. Mitchell was reared at Ocean Springs and was the son of Michael B. Mitchell (1918-2003) and Anna Schultz Mitchell.  The Mitchell’s borrowed $2,000,000 to acquire Shadowlawn from the Wilsons.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1358, p. 759 and Trust Deed Bk. 2205, p. 834)

Proposed 2005 additions to Shadowlawn

[top: south elevation; bottom: north elevation]

Change in the air

            In the 2005, the Mitchells submitted a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Commission to make massive additions to their home.  They selected Mr. Denmark of Tolar-LeBatard-Denmark-Ocean Springs, Mississippi as their architect.  Denmark's plans matched the existing facade house, but the OSHPC felt that the this house was very special and didn't warrant additions.  The primary focus of the Mitchells scheme was to add a large bedroom to the west side of the structure and a garage to the east elevation.  Both structures would be mated to the main house by a lighted corridors.

 

112A Shearwater post-Katrina images

[images made September 2, 2005]

Katrina

           The Hanson-Mitchell house survived Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005.  At this time, the storm's surge damaged the ground floor, but the structural integrity of the house appeared to be intact. 

W.J. Mitchell demolition attempt

[image made December 2005]

Demolition

           In December 2005, William J. Mitchell began the physical removal of Shadowlawn, but was halted by the building department of the City of Ocean Springs because he had not applied for a demolition permit.  At a meeting with the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Committee (OSHPC) in March 2006, Mr. Mitchell and his spouse asked the OSHPC for a Certificate of Appropriateness to destroy storm damaged Shadowlawn.  After heated debate and discussion, the members of the OSHPC unanimously voted to deny William J. and Joan Mitchell their request for demolition.  Billy Guice, the Mitchell's attorney, ended the meeting alluding that the Mitchell's would very likely appeal the Commission's denial at the March 21, 2006 meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 16, 2006, p. A1)

           The Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen voted 6-1 on March 20, 2006 to allow demolition of Shadowlawn reversing the prior, unanimous decision by the OSHPC to deny the Mitchell's demolition request.  Francis Mitchell, a brother of the owner and a local contractor, told the Board that they interpreted an unsafe occupancy notice on the structure as a signal that Shadowlawn was condemned before preceding with their initial demolition, which City officials had stopped.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 23, 2006, p. A1)

Salvage

            The windows, some pine flooring, and brick were salvaged from Shadowlawn's wreck by Matt McDonnell, Ward II Alderman.  In 2006 and early 2007, Alderman McDonnell erected a new home at No. 2 Mulberry Circle and utilized these valuable materials in his domicile.(Matt McDonnell, December 2006)

    

Post-demolition-Shadowlawn's vacant lot

[l-r: lot view towards the south; lot view to the north.  image made by Ray L. Bellande in January 2007]

2007

             Arguably the most beautiful parcel of land on the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast is for sale by the William J. Mitchell and Joan Mitchell.  The asking price is $4,000,000?

 

REFERENCES:

Books

Brian Berggren, Historic Sites Survey“Hanson-Dickey House”, (Mississippi Department of Archives & History, May 15, 1986.

John Duffy, editor, The Rudolph Matas History of Medicine in Louisiana, (Vail-Ballou Press, Inc.:  Binghampton, New York-1958), p. 310, p. 364, and pp. 457-459.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi“John and Jennie Dickey”, (Jackson County Genealogical Society:  Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), p. 190.

J. Thomas Scharf, History of the Confederate States Navy, (Joseph McDonough:  Albany, New York-1894).

Soards City 1904 Directory of New Orleans, Volume XXXI, (Soards:  New Orleans, Louisiana-1904)

The Louisiana Historical Quarterly“Chronicles of a Southern Family”, Volume, 29, No. 2, April 1946.

The Louisiana Historical Quarterly“Recollections of a Confederate Officer”, Volume 29, No. 4, October 1946.

Mississippi Coast History & Genealogical Society, “Moran-Kendall Brickyard”, Volume 28, No. 3, October 1992.        

Chancery Court Causes

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 401, “Jacob Feitig v. Lillie McComb”, October 1890.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 3387, “Last Will and testament of Christian Hanson”, September 1914.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 5371, “Mrs. Ethel Bush v. John L. Dickey”, November 1931.

Orleans Parish, Louisiana 2nd District Court Cause No. 34,524, “The Estate of Eliza Heermann”, April 10, 1871.

Orleans Parish, Louisiana 2nd District Court cause No. 41391, “The Estate of Robert W. Rayne”, September 8, 1890.

Journals

New Orleans Bee, “Dr. Lewis Heerman”, May 22, 1833, p. 2.

Daily Picayune“Mrs. Lewis Heerman”, November 25, 1870, p. 4.

Daily Picayune“Mrs. Jacob Feitig”, September 5, 1872, p. 4.

Daily Picayune“An Old Citizen Gone”, July 9, 1879, p. 4.

Daily Picayune“Jacob Feitig”, December 14, 1892, p. 4.

The Jackson County Times“Two Electrocuted By Wire Fence”, October 2, 1926, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times“Shorty L. White Dies Following Injury in Pacific”, June 9, 1945, p. 1.

The Mississippi Press, “Couple returns home to open business in historic district”, May 3, 1998, p. C-1.

The New Orleans Daily Crescent, August 31, 1855, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs News“Capt. C. Hanson Passes Away”, July 18, 1914, p. 5.

The Ocean Springs News, “For Sale”, February 3, 1966, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record“Sous Les Chenes”, November 4, 1993, p. 18.

The Ocean Springs Record“Sous Les Chenes (Kendall)”, November 11-18, 1993.

The Ocean Springs Record“Sous Les Chenes”, August 17, 1995, p. 22.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Sous Les Chenes”, January 26, 1995, p. 16.

The Ocean Springs Record“Sous Les Chenes”, November 30, 1995, p. 20.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Historical panel balks at demolition", March 16, 2006, p. A1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "City OKS Shadowlawn demolition", March 23, 2006, p. A1.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Local News”, June 14, 1894.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star,  “Ocean Springs Locals”, May 3, 1895.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, July 1, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, January 20, 1899.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star“Ocean Springs Locals”, July 25, 1904.

The Sun Herald“Estate stirs to life”, February 7, 1998, p. A-1 and p. A-4.

The Times Picayune“Anna Marks”, August 26, 1938, p. 2.

The Times Picayune“Abraham F. Marks”, August 11, 1939, p. 2.

PERSONAL COMMUNICATION:

George E. Arndt-interview in 1993.

Bill and Nancy White Wilson-interview on June 16, 1998.

Ruth Dickey White Scharr-telephone interview June 30, 1998.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

VAN CLEAVE COTTAGE: 1908-2000

528 Jackson Avenue

Location:  part of Lot 1, Block 34-Culmseig Map 1854

Store Lot

            In September 1873, Francisco Coyle (1813-1891) to Antonio Marie for $1000.(Bk. 6, pp. 18-19)  Coyle had acquired from John and Ann Thiel.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. D, pp. 114-115)

            In December 1890, Marie-Artemise Marie to John Franco (1859-1935) and Peter Geiger (1858-1923) for $1250.  Lot 140.5 feet on Porter and 100 feet on Jackson.  Buildings, etc. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, p. 19)    

On May 15, 1891, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced that “Messrs. Geiger and Franco have embarked in the mercantile business at the corner of Jackson and Porter Avenues.  They opened in the property recently purchased and fitted up by them, and have on hand a fine stock of general merchandise.  They have come to stay”.           

In February 1897, Lilli and Peter Geiger at Stewart County, Georgia to John E. Johnson (1859-1921) for $900.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 18, pp. 123-124)

Captain Johnson’s 1897 Jackson Avenue store

In late May 1897, The Ocean Springs Progress announced that:  Captain John Johnson who kept the Press Bar in Biloxi has purchased lots opposite the Artesian House [southwest corner of Porter and Jackson], and will shortly commence the erection of a large store and dwelling thereon.  The store we learn will be a one-story affair 30x60 feet in dimensions, and the residence 40x40 feet with an L [shaped porch] 25x30 feet.  Immediately on completion of the store room Mr. Johnson will open up a large stock of general merchandise.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 29, 1897)

Captain Johnson’s 1897 Jackson Avenue house

     Friar and DeBourgh were the contractors for the John E. Johnson store and house.  In May 1897, the foundation was laid for Captain Johnson’s house adjoining his store on Porter and Jackson.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 16, 1897 and May 14, 1897)

            Captain Johnson’s house is extant at 526 Jackson Avenue.  It is a one-story, frame Queen Anne cottage with a cross gable roof, L-shaped plan with a two bay porch within arms of the “L”.  There are imbricate shingles in the gable.  The Captain Johnson cottage was restored in 2003-2004 by current owner, Joan Ladnier.

Captain John E. Johnson

In February 1897, Captain John E. Johnson (1859-1921) had acquired these lots for $900, from Lilli Franco Geiger (1863-1905) and Peter Geiger (1858-1923), who were domiciled at Stewart County, Georgia.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 18, pp. 123-124)

John E. Johnson, called "Cap", was the son of Norwegian immigrant, Nels Johnson (1814-1895) and German immigrant, Caroline Lunderman (1828-1911).  Cap Johnson was born at Biloxi were his father was a prominent boat builder.  He went to sea in 1877, piloting a trading schooner into ports from Florida to Texas.  From 1890-1897 at Biloxi, he owned the Press Saloon on the front beach between Lameuse Street and Main Street.  Johnson also had a wholesale shipping business in fish, oysters, and shrimp employing sixty men during the seafood season.(Dyer, 1895, “Biloxi”)

In August 1897, Johnson took a lease from Mayor Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904) of the City of Ocean Springs at the south end of Martin Avenue.  The lease granted Johnson the right to operate and conduct "the business of opening, selling or shipping fish, oysters and shrimp, provided the same shall be conducted in such a manner as to not create a nuisance in said neighborhood".  Johnson was required to build "a wharf not less than six hundred feet in length from the shore, and not less than five feet wide, to be used by the public in landing and receiving passengers ....erect and maintain bath houses as may be necessary for the accommodation of the public".

Captain John E. Johnson married Felicia Pons (1868-1910), who was called Ella.  They had two sons, John L. Johnson (1885-1917) and Joseph E. Johnson (1886-1887), and a daughter, Mrs. Joseph (Edna) Longinotti (1881-1927), who lived at Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Her father-in-law, Joseph Longinotti, Sr. (d. 1923) once was the proprietor of the Hotel Pullman at Hot Springs.  Her husband ran hotel when she was murdered in 1927, at Hot Springs.  Son, John L. Johnson, also died tragically when he choked to death after leaving Schmidt's Premium Bakery on Washington Avenue.(The Jackson County Times, August 20, 1927)

      At the foot of Martin Avenue, Cap Johnson also operated an oyster shucking shed.  On February 13, 1899, the mercury fell to one degree Fahrenheit on the Mississippi Coast.  An announcement was made in The Biloxi Daily Herald concerning some of the property loss at Ocean Springs:  Captain John Johnson was probably the heaviest loser of anyone in town from the cold.  A few days previous he had purchased 700 barrels of oysters at fancy prices, all of which froze, entailing a loss of nearly $800.  To make matters worse, orders for oysters have been pouring in all week which cannot be filled.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 21, 1899, p. 8)

 

This natural disaster put Captain John E. Johnson out of business at Ocean Springs.  The Pascagoula Democratic-Star of September 1, 1899, related that:

Captain John Johnson is auctioning goods at his store. He is going out of business.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 1, 1899)

 

Cap Johnson sold his store property on the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Porter Street to Sidney J. Anderson (1867-1917) of New Orleans in December 1899, for $750.  Mr. Anderson, who owned charcoal schooners and operated a mercantile store at Vancleave, also bought the Artesian House, a small hostel, on the southwest corner of Porter and Jackson, opposite the Johnson store, in February 1900.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 20, p. 586 and Bk. 21, pp. 150-151)

Captain Johnson moved to Biloxi where he may have gotten in the bar business again.  He became ill about 1910, probably with cancer.  Cap Johnson died on April 18, 1921 at 879 East Beach, the home of his sister, Louise Johnson Dorries (1863-1953) and the widow of August Dorries (1842-1909).  All of the John E. Johnson family members are buried at the Bellande Cemetery on Dewey Avenue.(The Daily Herald, April 18, 1921, p. 3)

Van Cleave Cottage-528 Jackson Avenue

By November 1904, the John E. Johnson store building on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Porter Street was gone.  Its demise was probably due to fire.(1904 Sanborn, “Ocean Springs”, Sheet 2)

In July 1904, Sidney J. Anderson sold the vacant lot to Dr. O.L. Bailey (1870-1938).  Here circa 1908, Richard S. “Dick” Van Cleave (1876-1930+) had a one-and-one-half story, frame, side-gable home erected for his aged father, Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908), the patriarch of the local Van Cleave family,   The Van Cleave home, which is extant, has a small dormer on the south elevation and is uniquely covered with imbricate “fish scale” shingles and has an undercut, L-shaped wrap-around gallery on the west and a portion of the north elevation.  The rafter ends were sawn with a decorative profile and there is a small polygonal projecting bay on the south elevation.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, pp. 380-381 and Nat. Reg. of Historic. Places Inv.-Nom. Form, “Old Ocean Springs Historic Dist.”, p. 10, 1986 and The Gulf Coast Times, October 28, 1949, p. 6)

Will Van Cleave (1871-1938) had acquired the well-situated corner lot, which is a part of Lot 1-Block 34 of the 1854 Culmseig Map, in November 1907, from Dr. O.L. Bailey.  The price was $300.   In May 1908, Will sold the small parcel to brother Dick Van Cleave, a resident of Philadelphia, for $400.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 33, p 46 and pp. 386-387)

In March 1912, Dick Van Cleave sold the Van Cleave cottage at 528 Jackson Avenue back to Will Van Cleave for $1700.  The home remained in the Will Van Cleave family until August 1942, when Dora Casey Van Cleave (1876-1950), the widow of Will Van Cleave, conveyed it to Mary Alice McEwen Johnson (1918-2002), the spouse of Mayon F. Johnson (1919-1988).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 80, pp. 484-485)

Mayon F. Johnson

            Mayon Fay Johnson (b. 1919) was born December 23, 1919 in rural Neshoba County, near Philadelphia, Mississippi.  He was the son of Warren Johnson (1886-1962), a farmer, and Sallie McNair Johnson (1898-1923).  As a respected member of the Neshoba County community, Warren Johnson, was frequently called upon by neighbors to assist in caring for livestock, and was known for his ability to grow watermelons.  He made weekly trips to Philadelphia to buy supplies and “talk politics” on the square.  Warren Johnson was instrumental in campaigning for Arthur Winstead (1904-1995), his brother-in-law, the spouse of sister, Etna B. Johnson Winstead, and helping him maintain his post as Representative in the United States Congress.

Sallie McNair Johnson died in 1923 shortly after the birth of a daughter, Dorothy Waudine Johnson Farrar (1922-1940+).  Mayon and Waudine went to live with their paternal grandparents, Augustus Savel Johnson and James ‘Big Jim Mac’ Harvey Johnson, until Mayon was about six years old.  Around that time, Warren Johnson married Maude Brown Barker (1896-1941+), a Kentucky born widow, and mother of three children: James H. Barker (1913-1983); John R. Barker (1916-2000); and Lucille Barker Luke (1918-1930+).  Warren Johnson and Maude had a son, Jack Dowell Johnson.(1920 and 1930 Neshoba Co., Mississippi Federal Census T625_888, p. 3A, Ed 80 and R1160, p. 19B, Ed 6 and Mayon F. Johnson, October 2, 2006)  

Maude B. Barker Johnson’s parents were James W. Brown and Susan Brown.  Mr. Brown was a farm appraiser and resided in the rural Delta farm lands of Bolivar County, Mississippi in 1920.(1920 Bolivar Co., Mississippi Federal Census T625_870, p. 19A, ED 24)

As a farming family, Mayon was important to the Johnson family in helping with the running of the farm.  He saw the futility of trying to make a living for a family on a farm at this time and decided to join the Civil Conservation Corps. The salary of one dollar a day represented an enormous amount of money to a depression-era young man. Mayon was faithful in sending a part of his monthly $30.00 check back home to his parents.

CCC Company 1437 and Magnolia State Park

In the late 1930s, Mayon F. Johnson came to Ocean Springs to join CCC Company 1437, which was billeted at their camp east of Ocean Springs.  CCC Company 1437 was created in March 1938 from a thirty five man detachment sent from CCC Company 5 stationed at New Augusta, Perry County, Mississippi.  The Civil Conservation Corps was created by Congress in 1933 as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.  Its purpose was to recruit thousands of unemployed young men, enroll them in a peacetime army, and send them into battle against destruction and erosion of our natural resources. Before it was dissolved by Congress in 1942, over three million young men engaged in a massive salvage operation, the most popular experiment of the New Deal.(The Moss Point Advertiser, March 31, 1938)

Among their assignments, the CCC men at Ocean Springs were given the task to build Magnolia State Park, a half million dollar project, which was secured for Jackson County, Mississippi by U.S. Representative William M. Colmer (1890-1980).  It was situated among the pines, live oaks, and magnolias bordering Davis Bayou and Stark Bayou and projected to have facilities for bathing, boating, fishing, golfing, and other outdoor recreational activities.  When completed the park was to consist of: overnight cabins, picnic grounds, recreational lodges, comfort stations, beach, and bathing facilities.  The young men also built tennis courts from ground up oyster shells.  When opened to the Public in the late summer of 1940, Magnolia State Park became the tenth park in the Mississippi Park system and the only one situated on saltwater.(Mississippi Gulf Coast Yesterday and Today-1939, p. 108 and  The Moss Point Advertiser, March 31, 1938)

Land for Magnolia State Park had been acquired in August 1937, when William E. Applegate Jr. (1876-1948) for $20,000 conveyed 116 ½ acres in Section 33, T7S-R8W to Jackson County, Mississippi.(JXCO Board of Supervisors Minute Bk. 17, pp. 152-153).

Gulf Hills

Mayon F. Johnson resigned his position in the Civil Conservation Corps to take the position of night watchman at Gulf Hills.  In this position, Mr. Johnson made rounds throughout the country club to ensure the security of the club and the homes.  Mayon was also transporting employees of the Gulf Hills to Biloxi each evening and one evening was flagged down by a group of young people returning to Ocean Springs.  Mary Alice McEwen (1918-2002) sat beside him on the trip and as he says “that was the end”.  She became his wife on March 15, 1941, at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Ocean Springs.  Mary Alice was the daughter of Lucius Darling McEwen (1893-1938) and Alice Dick McEwen (1897-1958).  Her siblings were George E. McEwen (1916-1991) married Ketty Dessomes and Beatrice McEwen (1921-1988) married Dan Ramacciotta.  The nuptial ceremony of Mayon and Mary Alice was officiated over by Father Hunter at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Ocean Springs.  Beatrice McEwen, the sister of Mary Alice McEwen, and Ashley Schrieber (1919-2001) were witnesses.  The newly weds left for Philadelphia, Mississippi to spend the weekend with his parents.  The Johnson’s had rented an apartment in the Eglin House on Washington Avenue.(The Jackson County Times, March 22, 1941, p. 4)

Ingalls and WW II

Leaving Gulf Hills, Mayon took a job at Ingalls Ship Building Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, for about a year.  He was a ship fitter, which was classified as an essential war job, earning about $50 per week.  However, Mr. Johnson felt it was his patriotic duty to join the other young men in military service, so he volunteered for the Seabees.  He did his basic training at Camp Perry in Virginia.  Mary Alice came to visit him for a week prior to his shipping out.  Seabee Johnson was sent on active duty with the 64th Seabee Battalion for about a year to Newfoundland where his outfit extended runways to accommodate larger aircraft.  A ten month tour in Hawaii was followed by his final assignment in the Philippine Islands also  with the 64thSeabee Battalion.  Their job in the Pacific was to set up communications, erect Quonset huts and portable landing docks, clear or build runways and gather and bury the dead.(Mayon F. Johnson, October 2, 2006)

Postmaster Johnson

Mayon F. Johnson came home in November 1945 after completing his tour of duty and returned to work at Ingalls Ship Building Corporation.  In March 1947, he was elected Commander of the Mark Seymour Post No. 5699 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, succeeding its first Commander Frank C. Buehler (1909-1985).(The Jackson County Times, March 29, 1947, p. 1

Mayon then had a milk route from 1950-1954.  On August 16, 1954, he was hired by Postmaster Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963) as a substitute clerk for the U.S. Postal Service at Ocean Springs.  Mr. Johnson has the highest regard for Oscar T. Davis, saying “he was a top-drawer postmaster”.  In October 1957, while working as a postal employee, Mayon was appointed by Model Motors of Biloxi as their sales representative in Jackson County.  Mr. Johnson was specifically assigned to promote the new Edsel, a Ford automobile.(Mayon F. Johnson, October 2, 2006 and The Ocean Springs News, October 24, 1957, p. 4)

During Mr. Davis’ postmastership, Mayon F. Johnson was promoted to regular clerk. Additional promotions were to officer-in-charge of the Ocean Springs Post Office in August 1969, following the demise of Clay M. Parlin (1918-1969).  Mayon assumed the Postmaster position in late June 1971 and retired on November 20, 1981.  Mr. Johnson had been a postal employee for twenty-seven years and postmaster for eleven years.   Friends and family celebrated his career at Aunt Jenny’s Catfish House.(Mayon F. Johnson and The Ocean Springs Record, November 20, 1981, p. 1)

Santa Claus

Mary Alice M. Johnson began contributing to Mayon’s postal work at Ocean Springs by assisting Santa Claus in reading and returning letters that were written by local children.  Mrs. Johnson received hundreds of letters each year.  Mrs. Murphy, an elementary teacher at Vancleave, had all her students send letters to Santa through the Ocean Springs Post Office.  Mr. Johnson collected the letters and delivered them personally to Santa’s Helper, Mary Alice, to be read and answered.  One mother wrote the following letter in thanks:  To the Helper at Santa’s Village, who wrote that wondrous answer to Connie Sue Redman’s letter to Santa Claus, God bless you – You made a little girl happy – much more than happy – ecstatic – when the letter from Santa came Friday – a treasure that will be kept.  And a mother deeply touched that during this ultra-busy time someone in this Ocean Springs post office took the time and though to send the letter, making more real the childhood joys of this season.

Again, God bless you a hundredfold for your warm and generous heart.

Sincerely,

Ruth Redman

(Mother of Connie Sue)

1978 Public  Hearings

In January 1978, Postmaster Mayon F. Johnson participated in a three-day Congressional Hearing with Representative Trent Lott (b. 1941, R.-Ms.),  Representative Herbert E. Harris II (b. 1926, D-Va.), and Representative John H. Rousselot (1927-2003, R-Ca.) to get public input on the U.S. Postal Service proposal to end six-day mail service.  The hearings were held at the Ocean Springs Community Center and attracted large crowds each day.  A public canvass in Ocean Springs, revealed that 2393 people were in favor of continuing the Saturday mail delivery, while only 680 folks opposed.  The five-day mail delivery plan was not approved.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 19, 1978, p. 5)

During his long tenure as postmaster, Mayon F. Johnson witnessed the following improvements and additions to the national postal system: 1971-The United States Postal Service began operation; The Postmaster General was no longer in the Cabinet of the President; Labor contract achieved through collective bargaining for the first time in the history of the Federal government; Star routes changed to highway contract routes; and National service standards established.  Overnight delivery of 95% of airmail within 600 miles and 95% of First-Class Mail within local areas.  1972-Stamps by mail and passport applications accepted in post offices.  1973-National service standards expanded to include second-day service delivery of parcel post traveling up to 150 miles, with one-day delivery time added for each additional 400 miles.  1974-Highway post offices terminated and first satellite transmissions of MAILGRAMS.  1976-Post office class categories eliminated and discount for presorted First-Class Mail.  1977-Express Mail, a permanent new class service and final run of railroad post office on June 30th.  1978-Discount for presorted second-class mail and postage stamps and other philatelic items copyrighted.  1979-Discount for presorted third-class mail and Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) created. 1980-New standards require envelopes and postcards to be at least 3 ½ inches high and 5 inches long and INTELPOST (high-speed international electronic message service). 1981-Controlled circulation classification discontinued and discount for First-Class Mail presorted to carrier routes. 

Mary Alice McEwen

Mary Alice McEwen (1918-2002) was born October 18, 1918 at Ocean Springs the daughter of Lucius Darling McEwen (1893-1938) and Alice E. Dick (1897-1958).   Alice E. Dick was the daughter of Eugene Dick (1868-1918), a local seafood dealer, and Mary Cecile Seymour (1869-1953).  Lucius D. McEwen and Alice Dick McEwen divorced circa 1925 and Lucius married Jennie ? (1897-1930+), a native of Louisiana.  At Ocean Springs, Alice Dick McEwen made her livelihood as a practical nurse and reared her children: George E. McEwen (1916-1991) married Ketty Dessommes (1913-1994); Mary Alice McEwen (1918-2002) married Mayon F. Johnson (b. 1919); and Beatrice E. McEwen (1921-1988) married Dan Ramacciotti.  In 1930, Alice and her family were domiciled on Calhoun Avenue.  Mary Cecile Seymour Dick, her mother, and Carl H. “Mexie” Dick (1909-2000), her brother were also in her household.(1930 Jackson County, Ms. Federal Census R1150, p. 84, ED 13)

 Mary Alice McEwen Johnson spent most of her life at Ocean Springs.  She was an essential part of supporting Mayon’s vocation, but she also had an important civic and community career of her own.  Mary Alice was a sports enthusiast and played tennis, softball, and golf.  She  shared this enthusiasm by teaching tennis to the young people of Ocean Springs for many summers.  Mary Alice was an active member of the Girl Scouts and served as leader of a troop for many years.  Mrs. Johnson was a life-long member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and served as member and chair of the Altar Society.  She was the first director of Head Start in Biloxi and was instrumental in developing the grant to develop Head Start in this area.  Mary Alice attended Perkinston Junior College, the University of Southern Mississippi, and completed a paralegal diploma with the Professional Career Development Institute in Atlanta, Georgia.  Mayon F. Johnson was also well educated having attended Perkinston Junior College, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Southern Mississippi.(Meighan Johnson, October 3, 2006)

McEwen family

            Mary Alice McEwen’s grandfather, George Elmer McEwen (1865-1961), was a native of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  He married Henrietta Janetta “Etta” Darling (1870-1931), a native of Unity, Wisconsin on December 24, 1888.  Etta’s parents may have been Norwegian immigrants.  George and Etta McEwen were a peripatetic pair and lived in many places.  Their rather large family consisted of eleven children: Beatrice McEwen (1891-1931+); Lucius Darling McEwen (1893-1938) married Alice Dick (1897-1958) and Jennie ? McEwen (1903-1930+); Fitz Elmer McEwen (1895-1969); Ellen Rebecca McEwen Clark (1898-1931); Henrietta McEwen (1900-1978) married Horace “Preacher” Gladney (1894-1975); George Arthur McEwen (1904-1983); Ursula McEwen (1906-1994); Donald Ivan McEwen (1906-1997); Seth Henry McEwen (1909-1986); Wylie Etienne McEwen (1912-1972); and Dan Allen McEwen (1917-1918).  The McEwen children were born at various times in Wisconsin, Louisiana, California, Texas, and Mississippi.  There is a high degree of certitude that Wylie E. McEwen was named for Wylie E. Thibodeaux (1879-1920+) of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.  Mr. Thibodeaux was involved in McEwen business affairs at Ocean Springs.

Peripatetic family

            In the early 1890s, the McEwens were domiciled in Wisconsin.  By August 1893, they had relocated to the Crescent City.  After December 1895, the McEwens went to southern California, before returning to central Louisiana by 1900.  At this time, they were situated south of Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana in the farming community of LeCompte.  It appears that daughter, Henrietta, was born in Texas en route from California to Louisiana.  The McEwen family arrived at Ocean Springs, Mississippi from Louisiana between July 1909 and April 1910.          

Shannondale

Shannondale was the name of a large farm and plantation owned by Dr. Harry Shannon (1831-1906) and Fountain E. Pitte Shannon (1836-1883), his brother, both natives of Sumner County, Tennessee.  They acquired 340 acres in Section 21, T7S-R8W from W.H. Gill and 240 acres in Section 22, T7S-R8W from James A. Watt, for $4200.  Here the Shannon Brothers began raising farm stock, primarily cattle.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 6, p. 340 and Bk. 7, p. 269) 

            Dr. Harry Shannon was born at Sumner County, Tennessee in January 1831.  During the Civil War, he served as a First Lieutenant in Sweet’s Battery.  He made Company Captain by the close of the war.  Dr. Shannon was a graduate of the Reform Medical College of Georgia and the New Orleans School of Medicine.  Dr. Shannon was issued license No. 307 to practice at Jackson County in April 1882, while residing at Vicksburg, Mississippi.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 18, 1906, p. 3 and Rodgers, 1990, p. 19) 

Shannondale Orchards-Enter McEwen

In July 1909, Shannondale became the property of George E. McEwen who acquired it from Wylie E. Thibodeaux (1879-1920+), a Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana merchant.  Mr. Thibodeaux had just bought Shannondale from Lucy Irwin Shannon (1838-1909+), domiciled at Nashville, Tennessee through Irvin Vick Shannon (1870-1960), her son and agent, who lived in New Orleans.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 34, pp. 608-612 and pp. 612-613)

In March 1910, the Ocean Springs Turpentine Company took a three year lease from Mr. McEwen on Shannondale to box trees and harvest pine gum to produce rosin and spirits of turpentine.  The consideration for the lease was $500 and $65 per thousand boxes cut.  Wylie E. Thibodeaux of Chacahoula, Louisiana gave his permission for the lease since he held a mortgage on Shannondale.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 36, pp. 268-269)

Here on five hundred acres George E. McEwen had a citrus orchard composed of over three thousand grapefruit and satsuma oranges.  Today, the Fort Bayou Estates and Braemar Subdivisions occupy lands formerly called ‘Shannondale’.

            In 1915, Shannondale Orange and Grape Fruit Orchards were described in a local pamphlet as:  This citrus fruit enterprise is one of the largest in process of development in Jackson County.  The orchards and farm is owned by Mr. George E. McEwen, who move to Ocean Springs from the City of New Orleans five years ago.  He has gone into this line of agriculture with intense enthusiasm and hard work, and is already deriving the fruits of his industry.  The Shannondale orchards comprise two hundred acres under fence.  On this land is growing a large orchard of three thousand one hundred and eighty trees, composed of grape fruit and Satsuma oranges.  Mr. McEwen proposes setting out thirty-five hundred more trees this coming spring.  He has a large orchard of Lecompte pears growing on ten acres of this land, and last spring he shipped two hundred barrels of these fine pears.  During our representative’s visit to the Shannondale orchards he found Mr. McEwen gathering a very large crop of fine sweet potatoes.  Mr. McEwen has achieved great success as a grower of citrus fruits, and was manager for two years of one of the large orange groves in the orange belt of Southern California.  He proposes a number of important improvements to his grove in the near future.  His residence is very comfortable and roomy two-story house.  Mr. McEwen, since residing at Ocean Springs, has taken a leading part in all moves for the improvement and advancement in this section.  He is on the board of directors of the Farmers and Merchants Bank.  The McEwen school building was built by Mr. McEwen, and the property is furnished to the school board without cost, in order to provide suitable school for the growing juvenile population of this section.  Mr. McEwen owns and operates a sawmill which has the capacity of ten thousand feet daily.  This mill is for the sole purpose of getting out timber and making lumber on his own place.  He owns all four hundred and fifty acres of choice land which is suitable for the culture of pecans and citrus fruits.  This land is delightfully situated in the Ocean Springs district, and has a frontage of one and three quarters miles on Fort Bayou.  To those readers desiring to locate at Ocean Springs we would advise them to corresponding with Mr. McEwen, who will cheerfully furnish data and information on the productiveness of the soil and on land values and other features of Ocean Springs.

New Orleans

            In December 1928, George E. McEwen defaulted on an $18,000 mortgage of Shannondale Orchards held by Charles R. White, John Richardson, C.H. Sherrill, and W.E. Applegate Jr.   McEwen’s lands were sold by Trustee H.P. Heidelberg to the mortgagees.  In 1929, the McEwen family relocated to New Orleans and settled on North Broad Street.  Lucius D. McEwen, a son, lived next door and made his livelihood as a car salesman in the Crescent City.  Mr. McEwen expired in the Crescent City in November 1961 at the age of ninety-four years.  His body was sent to Ocean Springs for internment in Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(JXCO, Ms. Trust Deed Bk. 11, p. 292, JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 62, p. 106, 1930 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census R 803, p. 27B, Ed 87 and The Daily Herald, November 14, 1961, p. 2)

Johnson home and family

In August 1942, Dora Casey Van Cleave (1876-1950) conveyed the 1906 Van Cleave Cottage at 528 Jackson Avenue to Mayon F. and Mary Alice McEwen Johnson.  Here the Johnsons reared Meighan “Donnie” George Johnson (b. 1942), their only child.  Doonie graduated from Ocean Springs High School with the Class of 1960.  She was active in the student government, theater, and athletics.  Ms. Johnson matriculated to Millsaps College [B.A.], Ole Miss [M.A.], and received her Doctorate degree in Sociology from North Carolina State University in the winter of 1975.  Dr. Meighan G. Johnson is currently Professor of Sociology at Shorter College in Rome, Georgia.

Mayon and Mary Alice Johnson constructed their dream home on the #6 Fairway in Gulf Hills and moved here in 1968. Both being avid golfers, they were now able to play daily. They lived here until they built another home on 8 acres on Pine Ridge Road.  The Johnsons lived in this home until the moved to Havana, Florida, after Mayon’s retirement from the Post Office.  They bought and renovated an old Colonial house in Havana and lived here for six years.  After moving from Havana, they went to Tallahassee, Florida and lived here for seven years.  The Johnsons moved to Rome, Georgia in 1994 to be closer to their daughter, Doonie.  Mary Alice Johnson passed away on September 19, 2002, and her corporal remains were interred at Oaknoll Cemetery in Rome.  Mayon Fay Johnson continues to reside at Rome, Georgia.

             The Mayon Johnson family sold the Van Cleave cottage in September 1968 to Oris H. Troyer (1902-1970).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 340, p. 246)

Oris H. Troyer

Oris H. Troyer (1902-1970) was born at Berlin, Ohio.  Died on July 17, 1970, at Buffalo, New York.  In January 1971, Anne Marie Troyer to Stella Hann Richardson.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 13, 1970, p. 9 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 396, p. 144)

Stella Hann Richardson

Stella H. Richardson (1890-1972) was born in Port Gibson, Mississippi on August 26, 1890.  Educated at Southern Mississippi Normal in Hattiesburg.  Taught school at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, June 24, 1909, p. 4)

 Married Alexander Porter Richardson and lived at Madison, Wisconsin until her husband died.  Moved to Kerrville to be with Elva Jane.  Came to Ocean Springs and bought Van Cleave home at 528 Jackson Avenue in January 1971, from Anne Marie Troyer.  Stella H. Richardson expired at Ocean Springs on December 31, 1972.  Body sent to Greenwood Cemetery at New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, January 1, 1973, p. 2)

Heirs of Stella Hann Richardson

            The Heirs of Stella Hann Richardson were: Zoe Louise Hann Doswell and Gelon H. Doswell.

     Zoe Louise Hann Doswell (1893-1979) was born April 13, 1893 at Port Gibson, Mississippi.  Married the Reverend Menard Doswell II, an Episcopal minister, in St. Paul’s Church at New Orleans in January 1916.  Lived initially at Crowley, Louisiana.(The Daily Herald, January 16,1916, p. 2)

     Later lived at Ocean Springs for thirty years.  Children: Menard Doswell III (1916-1982) of Susalito, California; Gelon Hann Doswell (1920-1992) of Ocean Springs; and James Temple Doswell II of Jacksonville, Florida.  Died at Jacksonville, Florida on June 18,1979.  Buried Metairie Cemetery.(The Mississippi Press, June 19, 1979, p. 8-A)

     Marine Colonel Gelon H. Doswell (1920-1992) was born at New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 7, 1920, the son of Menard Doswell II (1892-1927) and Zoe Louise Hann (1893-1979).  Mrs. Doswell was born at Port Gibson, Mississippi, the daughter of Gelon Hann (1847-1925) and Elva J. Irish (1858-1910+).  During WWII, Doswell was a naval aviator serving with Marine Corps Fighter Squadron 214 in the South Pacific.  MCFS 214 was known as "The Black Sheep Squadron" and commanded by Gregory "Pappy" Boyington.  Its moniker was earned since MCFS 214 was composed of fighter pilots without a squadron, and replacement pilots from the United States.  The heroics of MCFS 214 were portrayed on television in 1977, in a series titled, "Baa Baa Black Sheep".  In 1943, The Black Sheep Squadron performed well in the tropical skies over the Solomon Islands as they destroyed 97 Japanese aircraft in three months.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 29, 1986) 

     For his military heroics in the Solomon Islands, Colonel Doswell was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and six air medals.  He flew over 1800 combat missions.  Doswell retired from the Marine Corps.(The Sun Herald, August 6, 1992, p. A-2)

     In August 1966, Colonel Doswell retired from the Marine Corps.  He and Elizabeth, his spouse, relocated to Ocean Springs from Arlington, Virginia in January 1969.  Doswell had been employed as a sales engineer for Gregory, Inc. of Falls Church, Virginia.  They acquired the Harry Geotes home at 518 Shadowlawn Lane.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 30, 1969, p. 16)

     In 1989, Gelon Hann Doswell retired from Ingalls Shipbuilding at Pascagoula, where he had been a Senior Subcontract Administrator.(The Sun Herald, August 6, 1992, p. A-2)

     Gelon H. Doswell was married to Elizabeth Seaver (1922-1989), the daughter of George Arthur Seaver (1888-1945), a civil engineer, and Nellie Seaver (1892-1930+),  of New Orleans.  She was an alumna of Tulane, the Junior League of New Orleans, and the Colonial Dames of Amercia.  Their children were: Anne D. Labouchere, Susan D. Saunders, and Gelon H. Doswell II.  Colonel Dosells expired on August 2, 1992, at Ocean Springs.  His remains were buried in the Doswell family plot in the Metairie Cemetery, Metairie, Louisiana.(The Sun Herald, May 5, 1989, p. A-4 and August 6, 1992, p. A-2)

     In August 1970, Susan Doswell married Stephen Irvin Saunders III of Falls Church, Virginia.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 5, 1970, p. 14)

In December 1973, Gelon Hann Doswell and Zoe Hann Doswell, the heirs of Stella H. Richardson to Robert C. Smith et ux.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 484, p. 405)

Robert C. Smith

     Robert C. “Bob” Smith was a native of Waterbury, Connecticut and retired Marine.  Wife, Virginia.  Bob died on June 20, 2004.  Found dead in kitchen by OS Police.  Son, Robert Smith and spouse, Judy Smith, of 1834 West Cheyenne Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado (719) 635-0532.  Heirs of Robert C. Smith vended to Richard and Jennifer Becker Benz.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1376, p. 188-192)

Richard Benz

    Pre-Katrina, Richard W. “Dick” Benz (b. 1964) and spouse, Jennifer “Jenny” Becker Benz (b. 1969), formerly of the Crescent City owned and operated a widely acclaimed Uptown New Orleans eatery appropriately called Dick and Jenny’s.  It is situated at 4501 Tchoupitoulas Street near Napoleon Avenue and the Mississippi River.  At Ocean Springs, the Benz family possessed the 1908 von Rosambeau-Bryan home at present day 410 Jackson Avenue, which was destroyed in late August 2005 by Katrina.  Post-Katrina, the Benz family relocated to Buffalo, New York, but still own the Van Cleave cottage at 528 Jackson Avenue.

Robert L. Smith

   Robert L. Smith is a native of Alabama.  He matrriculated to Auburn University and later to the Law School at the University of Alabama.  Practicing Law in Jackson County, Mississippi since  ?  Married Barbara  .

 

REFERENCES:

The Jackson County Times, December 31, 1948.

The Ocean Springs News, “Loving Tribute To Mrs. McEwen in Final Rites”, September 4, 1958.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Susan Doswell engaged”, March 5, 1970, p. 14.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Oris Troyer Dies in New York”, August 13, 1970.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Mary Alice McEwen Johnson”, October 17, 2002, p. A5.

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

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

von Rosambeau–Benz House: 410 Jackson Avenue-Lot C

     410 Jackson Avenue

     This Queen Anne style structure was built at present day 410 Jackson Avenue circa 1908.  It was utilized as a rental cottage for winter visitors, and by others who were newly settling into the community.  There is a possibility that local contractor, Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), himself the son of German immigrants, Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899) and Dora Armbruster (1884-1924), built the von Rosambeau cottage. [L-R: 410 Jackson Avenue in February 1993 and on August 29, 2005.  Note to the south of the surviving von Rosambeau-Benz, front gable roof is one of the gables from 406 Jackson, which also floated from its foundation during Katrina.  Both images by Ray L. Bellande]

     The von Rosambeau family, sometimes called Rosambeau, of Ocean Springs was founded by a German immigrant, Augustin Julius von Rosambeau (1849-1912), called Gus, who arrived in the United States in 1875, from Australia.  He and countryman, Charles E. Pabst (1851-1920), had earlier departed Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany to seek their fortune in their 19th Century world.  Upon arriving in America, the young adventurers found employment at Leon Godchaux's sugar plantation in South Louisiana.  von Rosambeau was employed as a sugar chemist while Pabst toiled as a sugar cooker.  The ‘zwei freunde’ came to Ocean Springs after buying stock in a peanut-growing venture, which was being promoted by affluent New Orleanian, Ambrose A. Maginnis (1815-1877).  When this agricultural scheme failed, von Rosambeau and Pabst remained at Ocean Springs.  von Rosambeau became a successful merchant while Pabst made his livelihood as a horticulturist, and is credited with developing the pecan as a commercial crop at Ocean Springs.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 2, 1949 and Ellison, 1991, pp. 77-80)

     Gus von Rosambeau married a young Ocean Springs lassie named Marie Ann Soden (1857-1937) at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church at Ocean Springs on September 13, 1879.  Marie Ann, called Mollie, was the daughter of Irish immigrants, Martin Soden (1815-pre 1870), and Bridget Kelly (1825-1899). The Sodens came to the United States from the Emerald Isle in 1852, and settled at Ocean Springs.  Mr. Soden worked initially as a laborer to support his growing family.  Later he operated a grocery store at Jackson and Porter.  Two of the Soden children, Thomas Soden (1845-1893+) and Catherine S. Butler (1847-1904) were born in Ireland while the remainder of the Soden clan were born at Ocean Springs: John Soden (1853-1931), James Soden (1854-ca. 1915), Rosa Soden (b. 1859), Margaret Soden Honor (1860-1932), and Bridget Soden (1864-1944). (Lepre, 1991, p. 321)

     Gus and Marie Ann Soden were the parents of six children: Amelia Theresa von Rosambeau (1881-1958) m. Giovanni "John" James Clesi (1888-1928) of NOLA; Leonhard William Julian von Rosambeau (1883-1931); Henrietta Margaret von Rosambeau (1887-1972); and Blanche Magdalen von Rosambeau (1892-1982) m. Edward Carroll of NOLA.  It appears that two of the von Rosambeau children died at birth.

     As the von Rosambeau family acquired wealth through their commercial enterprises and the diligent toil of Gus von Rosambeau, who would be appointed Town Marshal in 1906, they began to acquire property on Calhoun and Jackson Avenue. Upon the resignation of Marshal Samuel P. Starks (1860-1919) in early April 1906, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Ocean Springs appointed Augustin J. von Rosambeau as Marshal, Tax Collector, and Street Commissioner.(Town of OS, Ms. Minute Bk. 2, p. 397)

     In October 1910, The Ocean Springs News lauded Marshal-Tax Collector, von Rosambeau as follows:  “for the past five years….his services have been eminently satisfactory to the people, so far as we have been able to learn.  While the duties of Marshal do not amount to much and he makes no special pretensions as a sleuth.  Gus is generally found on the spot when his services are needed.  As a tax collector, which is the really important branch of the office he is filling, he has few equals and his record along that line is beyond criticism.”(The Ocean Springs News, October 1, 1910, p. 1)

       An example of Marshal von Rosambeau’s character in office was exhibited in September 1909, when two Black men, alleged suspects of a robbery in Vancleave, were apprehended at Ocean Springs while boarding an L&N train for the Crescent City.  Gus von Rosambeau released the men immediately upon learning from informed sources of their innocence.(The Ocean Springs News, September 4, 1909, p. 5)

            In addition to his tenure from 1906 to 1910 as Town Marshal, Gus von Rosambeau was very active in the social and civic affairs of Ocean Springs.  He served as town clerk in the incipient years of Ocean Springs’ municipal government and also as Ward 4 Alderman (1899-1904).  He was one of the first, if not the very first person at Ocean Springs to have a private street lamp, which was installed in the 1890s.  Mayor F.M. Weed (1850-1926) also had a street lamp at his house on Iberville.  Mr. von Rosambeau died in 1912.  His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou. 

     In 1904, Mrs. Mary Ann Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937) acquired Lot C, the parcel at present day 410 Jackson Avenue, from Charles Bruning for $250.  This lot had a ninety-seven foot frontage on Jackson Avenue and was two-hundred feet deep to the east.  This location had been the site of the Egan House, possibly an early tourist home, which was located on Jackson Avenue opposite the Ocean Springs Hotel (1853-1905).  It is believed that the Egan House burned or was demolished between 1880 and 1900.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, p. 534)

    A Queen Anne style structure was built here by the von Rosambeau Family circa 1908.  It was utilized as a rental cottage for winter visitors, and by others who were newly settling into the community.  There is a possibility that local contractor, Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), himself the son of German immigrants, Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899) and Dora Armbruster (1884-1924), built the von Rosambeau cottage.

    The von Rosambeau home was described in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History survey of the  Old Ocean Springs Historic District in 1979, as: One story wood frame house with T-shaped plan and a cross gabled roof.  Undercut three-bay porch with turned post.  Brackets and spindle frieze removed.  Small polygonal porch on south elevation.  Bead flush boarding laid horizontally above a dado formed by vertically laid boarding within the shelter of the front porch.  Gable ornament.  Queen Anne.  Circa 1890. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 7)

Lemon family

            One of the earliest families to occupy 410 Jackson Avenue was the Lemon family.  In 1912, James Kirkpatrick Lemon (1870-1929) and his young clan arrived at Ocean Springs from Gulfport where he had been in the employ of the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad.  They relocated here because of the wide acclaim of the efficacious properties of the subsurface, potable water.   Since Mrs. Lemon, Sarah George McIntosh (1884-1939), suffered from a skin affliction, they hoped that her condition would improve or be cured by the “aqua vita” flowing from artesian wells in Plio-Miocene strata beneath the town.   Initially, Mr. Lemon had anticipated being a participant in the local seafood industry, but fate dictated that he enter the furniture retail business.  A son, J.K. Lemon Jr. (1914-1998), one of our very outstanding Twentieth Century citizens was born in the von Rosambeau cottage at 410 Jackson in October 1914.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 261 and J.K. Lemon Jr., March 1995)

Marie O. Brou Bryan

      In December 1917, Mary Ann “Mollie” Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937) sold her cottage at present day 410 Jackson Avenue to Marie Odette Brou Bryan for $1500.  Odette Brou Bryan (1872-1957) was born at New Orleans, the daughter of Captain Joseph Edmond Brou (1847-1886) and Marie Emilie Ducros (1842-1927) of New Orleans.  She established herself in the Crescent City business community as a professional stenographer and was an accomplished classical chanteuse.  Through her occupation and the fact that Adolph V. Ducros (1861-1944), her uncle, was an insurance agent and lived with the Brou family on North Rampart Street, Miss Brou met and married Frank H. Bryan (1872-1936) at New Orleans on October 14, 1903.  Mr. Bryan was a native of Maryville, Missouri.  He made his livelihood as an insurance underwriter for the Rankin-Benedict Company, which was primarily involved in protecting timber related businesses in the area between Beaumont, Texas and west Florida.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 252-253 and Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

      Circa 1909, the Frank H. Bryan family moved to Ocean Springs, Mississippi from NOLA.  Frank H. Bryan was convinced the geographic location of this small town on the L&N Railroad would be conducive for his business travels.  In May 1910, Mr. Bryan commenced construction of a Queen Anne structure at 406 Jackson Avenue.  This Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960) built edifice was once one of the most attractive in Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs News, May 14, 1910 and Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)   

410 Jackson Avenue

[L-R: 410 Jackson Avenue in February 1993 and on August 29, 2005.  Note to the south of the surviving von Rosambeau-Benz, front gable roof is one of the gables from 406 Jackson, which also floated from its foundation during Katrina.  Both images by Ray L. Bellande]

       1904, Mrs. Mary Ann Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937) acquired Lot C, the parcel at present day 410 Jackson Avenue, from Charles Bruning for $250.  This lot had a ninety-seven foot frontage on Jackson Avenue and was two-hundred feet deep to the east.  This location had been the site of the Egan House, possibly an early tourist home, which was located on Jackson Avenue opposite the Ocean Springs Hotel (1853-1905).  It is believed that the Egan House burned or was demolished between 1880 and 1900.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, p. 534)               A Queen Anne style structure was built here by the von Rosambeau Family circa 1908.  It was utilized as a rental cottage for winter visitors, and by others who were newly settling into the community.  There is a possibility that local contractor, Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), himself the son of German immigrants, Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899) and Dora Armbruster (1884-1924), built the von Rosambeau cottage.

         The von Rosambeau home was described in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History survey of the  Old Ocean Springs Historic District in 1979, as:  One story wood frame house with T-shaped plan and a cross gabled roof.  Undercut three-bay porch with turned post.  Brackets and spindle frieze removed.  Small polygonal porch on south elevation.  Bead flush boarding laid horizontally above a dado formed by vertically laid boarding within the shelter of the front porch.  Gable ornament.  Queen Anne.  Circa 1890. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 7)

Lemon family

            One of the earliest families to occupy 410 Jackson Avenue was the Lemon family.  In 1912, James Kirkpatrick Lemon (1870-1929) and his young clan arrived at Ocean Springs from Gulfport where he had been in the employ of the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad.  They relocated here because of the wide acclaim of the efficacious properties of the subsurface, potable water.   Since Mrs. Lemon, Sarah George McIntosh (1884-1939), suffered from a skin affliction, they hoped that her condition would improve or be cured by the “aqua vita” flowing from artesian wells in Plio-Miocene strata beneath the town.   Initially, Mr. Lemon had anticipated being a participant in the local seafood industry, but fate dictated that he enter the furniture retail business.  A son, J.K. Lemon Jr. (1914-1998), one of our very outstanding Twentieth Century citizens was born in the von Rosambeau cottage at 410 Jackson in October 1914.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 261 and J.K. Lemon Jr., March 1995)

Marie O. Brou Bryan

       In December 1917, Mary Ann “Mollie” Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937) sold her cottage at present day 410 Jackson Avenue to Marie Odette Brou Bryan for $1500.  Odette Brou Bryan (1872-1957) was born at New Orleans, the daughter of Captain Joseph Edmond Brou (1847-1886) and Marie Emilie Ducros (1842-1927) of New Orleans.  She established herself in the Crescent City business community as a professional stenographer and was an accomplished classical chanteuse.  Through her occupation and the fact that Adolph V. Ducros (1861-1944), her uncle, was an insurance agent and lived with the Brou family on North Rampart Street, Miss Brou met and married Frank H. Bryan (1872-1936) at New Orleans on October 14, 1903.  Mr. Bryan was a native of Maryville, Missouri.  He made his livelihood as an insurance underwriter for the Rankin-Benedict Company, which was primarily involved in protecting timber related businesses in the area between Beaumont, Texas and west Florida.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 252-253 and Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

      Circa 1909, the Frank H. Bryan family moved to Ocean Springs, Mississippi from NOLA.  Frank H. Bryan was convinced the geographic location of this small town on the L&N Railroad would be conducive for his business travels.  In May 1910, Mr. Bryan commenced construction of a Queen Anne structure at 406 Jackson Avenue.  This Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960) built edifice was once one of the most attractive in Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs News, May 14, 1910 and Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)          

410 Jackson Avenue

      This image of Jackson Avenue was made in the afternoon of August 29, 2005, when the tempest was losing strength and its earlier surge had retreated back into the Gulf of Mexico.  Note the debris in the street carried by Katrina’s waters from demolished homes situated to the southeast.  The Deaton home at 413 Jackson is visible as well as the Wilson-Beaugez cottage at 409 Jackson, both on the west side of Jackson Avenue.  The view is south towards the Bay of Biloxi. [Image made August 29, 2005 by Ray L. Bellande]

Bryan Farm

On January 10, 1914, Frank H. Bryan purchased forty acres, the SW/4, SW/4, Section 27, T7S-R8W, of land from H.F. Russell (1858-1940) and John Duncan Minor (1863-1920) for $800.   On this land located about three miles east of Ocean Springs on what was US Highway 90, the Old Spanish Trail, and now Government Street, he developed the "Bryan Farm" which featured a large pecan orchard.  Mr. Bryan also grew grapefruit, melons, cantaloupe, and roses.  Before the depression, Lynn Goff (1892-1966) was the caretaker.  Circa 1929, Mr. Goff moved from the Bryan Farm to work on the Bechtel Place on the west side of Holcomb Boulevard.  Also in 1914, a son, Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1914-1999) was born at New Orleans.( Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk.  40, pp. 37-38)

        Frank H. Bryan also engaged in livestock farming as The Jackson County Times advertised on March 9, 1918, as follows:

DUROC-JERSEYS

A few choice male pigs

FOR SALE

Registered

Weight about 60 lbs.

Price $25

Farm 3 miles east of Ocean Springs

Address F.H. Bryan

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

     In February 1936, shortly before his death, Frank H. Bryan sold the "Bryan Farm" to his Ocean Springs family, Odette Brou Bryan, Thad Bryan, and Frank H. Bryan, Jr.  In March 1947, the Bryans began selling acreage from the Bryan Farm.  Some of the buyers of Bryan land were C. Houston Rouse (1947), General Leroy J. Stewart (1951), Mrs. Bailey Bilbo Rouse (1952), and Georgette F. Lee (1952).(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk.  68, pp. 446-447)

      In August 1955, Mrs. Lee formed the "Bryan Farm Subdivision", consisting of twelve lots, on the north side of Old US 90 just east of "dead man's curve".  The present day Magnolia Park School is across the road from this subdivision.(Jackson Co. Mississippi Land Plat Book 2, p. 89)            

Bryan Brothers

            Frank H. Bryan and Odette Brou Bryan had two sons: Thad W. Bryan (1907-1994) and Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1914-1999).  Thad Bryan graduated from Biloxi High School in 1924 where he participated in sports-football and baseball.  He matriculated to Auburn Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, and graduated in electrical engineering.  Thad Bryan worked for A.T. & T. and later joined RCA at East Orange, New Jersey where he was associated with the research team that developed the vacuum tube.  Thad Bryan had a peripatetic career which saw him live at Washington D.C. (Civil Aeronautics Authority), Hawaii, Albuquerque, New Mexico (during WWII), and Seattle (Boeing).  Circa 1960, he located to the Los Angeles area.  Thad Bryan died at Pasadena, California on May 30, 1994.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995 and Beacon Glow-1924)

      Frank H. Bryan Jr. graduated from the Gulf Coast Military Academy about 1929, and went to California to stay with his father.  He attended the Los Angeles School of Business at Los Angeles, California.  After graduation, Frank H. Bryan Jr. worked as a general office clerk for an insurance company and tire manufacturer in the Los Angeles area.  He relocated to New Orleans in 1935.  World War II found Mr. Bryan in the US Navy.  He was discharged in 1945, and returned to his native haunts of Ocean Springs in 1946.  Mr. Bryan was employed as a budget analyst at KAFB at Biloxi and retired from civil service work at the Veterans Administration at Biloxi in 1974.  He later did consulting work in the accounting field for an engineering firm working on the L&N bridge across Biloxi Bay, and for the Ocean Springs law firm of Levi & Denham.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995 and The Sun Herald, June 4, 1999, p. A-9

       Soon after the birth of Frank H. Bryan Jr. the Bryans' marriage began to deteriorate.  Mrs. Odette B. Bryan moved from 406 Jackson next door to the von Rosambeau tourist home at 410 Jackson.  As previously mentioned, she had acquired the cottage at 410 Jackson Avenue in late 1917, from Mollie von Rosambeau.  In May 1925, Frank H. Bryan sold his home at 406 Jackson Avenue to Dr. Oscar Lee Bailey (1870-1938) and relocated to San Diego, California. Mr. Bryan divorced Odette Brou Bryanin April 1930.  He remarried Margaret Dever, also known Margaret A. Lenore.  With his new wife, Frank H. Bryan resided in the California community of Sierra Madre.  Here at the base of Mt. Wilson on the slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains, he retired.  Young son, Frank Bryan, moved to California from Ocean Springs to live with his dad and enjoyed hiking in the mountains, and the other natural wonders of Los Angeles County.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995and Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk.  55, pp. 514-515)

       Frank H. Bryan died on February 15, 1936, and his remains were interred at Maryville, Missouri.  Odette Brou Bryan remained in her 406 Jackson Avenue home until her death on July 20, 1957.  She enjoyed classical music and the fine arts which she had studied in New Orleans.  Mrs. Bryan’s corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.

Russell Moran

            Mrs. Odette B. Bryan willed her Jackson Avenue home to her two sons, Thad W. Bryan and Frank H. Bryan Jr.  In 1967, the Bryan brothers failed to pay the property taxes at 410 Jackson.  Russell Moran (1930-1981), a local attorney, bought the house in September 1968, by paying the delinquent taxes.  In May 1971, title in the Odette Brou Bryan estate property was confirmed to Mr. Moran in a judgment rendered in Jackson County Cause No. 23,035, "Russell Moran v. Frank H. Bryan".(Jackson County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 14, 736,  February 1960 and Jackson County, Ms. Individual Tax Sale Book 6, p. 3)

            In June 1971, Russell Moran conveyed the home to Frank H. Bryan Jr.  He lived here until his demise on June 2, 1999.  Frank’s corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 407, p. 371 and The Sun Herald, June 4, 1999, p. A-9)   

Catholic Social Services

            In March 2001, Earl L. Denham, executor of the Estate of F.H. Bryan Jr. conveyed 410 Jackson Avenue to the Catholic Social and Community Service and Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Biloxi, the legatee of Frank H. Bryan Jr.  By June 2001, the Catholic Social and Community Service and Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Biloxi found a buyer for the former von Rosambeau Cottage in Richard W. Benz and spouse, Faubourg Bouligny residents of New Orleans.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1232, p. 744 and Bk. 1243, p. 39)

Richard W. Benz

            Richard W. “Dick” Benz (b.1964) and spouse, Jennifer “Jenny” Becker Benz (b. 1969), at the time of their acquisition of 410 Jackson Avenue resided in the Crescent City and owned and operated a widely acclaimed Uptown New Orleans eatery appropriately called Dick and Jenny’s.  Situated at 4501 Tchoupitoulas Street near Napoleon Avenue and the Mississippi River, in a unique older home, Dick and Jenny’s has been described as: “inventive, eclectic, using locally grown and raised products, yet still maintaining a New Orleans flair and unpretentious a place as you could possible imagine”.  The Times Picayune rated it as one of the “restaurants we love”.(The Times Picayune, April 4, 2004)

            Dick Benz grew up in Orange County, California and met Jenny Becker, a native of Buffalo, New York in New Orleans.  He began his gastronomic career in Louisiana at Commander’s Palace and worked as a chef at Gautreau’s and Upperline.  As any Crescent City culinary aficionado knows these rank among the finest eateries of a city blessed with an abundance of outstanding restaurants.  Some of Dick’s signature dishes are: pecan crusted speckled sea trout with a meuniere sauce; filet mignon and lobster with brie; seared tuna; a beef platter; crab ravigote, escargot, veal cheeks, and lamb shank.  Delectable appetizers served at their bistro are: fried oysters, crab cakes, tournedos, sweetbreads, and gumbo.(Jenny Benz-June 28, 2004).

            Dick and Jenny Benz are the parents of two daughters and a son: Ruby Jane Benz (b. 2000), Charley Rose Benz (b. 2001), and a son born after Katrina.  The Benz planned to renovate 410 Jackson Avenue in 2004 in anticipation of a permanent move to Ocean Springs.

     Almost six years post-Katrina and 410 Jackson Avenue remains in a state of tranquility.  Dick and Jenny Benz, lot owners, are rearing their three young children in Western New York and operating Dick and Jenny’s Bake and Brew Restaurant at Grand Island, New York.  If you plan a trip to Niagara Falls or Buffalo this summer, you can bet the Benz will be happy to hear from you and you will be happier from dining with them.  Tell them that Ray sent you-guaranteed lagniappe? [Image made June 6, 2011 by Ray L. Bellande]

Katrina

            The von Rosambeau-Benz House was washed from its foundation by Hurricane Katrina in the morning of August 29, 2005 and subsequently demolished.  Kathy Beaugez Wilson, a neighbor on the west side of Jackson Avenue, acquired some of the gable ornamentation from the derelict Benz home and subsequently applied this ornamentation to her home.  Sometime following the Katrina disaster, the Benz family sold their home at New Orleans and leased Dick and Jenny’s to another restaurateur and relocated to Grand Island, New York, which is almost equidistant between Niagara Falls and Buffalo.  By 2008, they were again in the restaurant business as Dick and Jenny’s Bake and Brew albeit the Lake Eire fashion rather than near the levee of the Mississippi River.  As of June 2011, the Benz family is doing well in Western New York and anticipate returning to Ocean Springs someday.

REFERENCES:

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande:  Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1994), p. 29.

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, (Second Edition),  (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula-1991), p. 35 and pp. 77-80.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"James Kirkpatrick Lemon", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), p. 261.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"O'Keefe, 5th & 6th Generations", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989, Mississippi), p. 303.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi-1991), pp. 276-277 and 321-322.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 13.

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula-1972), p. 113.

WPA For Mississippi Historical Data-Jackson County, Mississippi, (State Wide Historical Project: 1936-1937), p. 277.

Chancery Court Causes

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 14,736, "The Estate of Odette B. Bryan", February 1960.

Journals

The Biloxi Daily Herald"Ocean Springs Notes", March 21, 1899, p. 1.

The Daily Herald"Clesi-Rosambeau", September 25, 1911, p. 8.

The Daily Herald"Leo Rosambeau Obit", October 18, 1931, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"Edward C. Brou Dies Suddenly at Ocean Springs", December 20, 1949, p. 1 and p. 11.

The Daily Herald,  "Mrs. Marie Brou", July 20, 1957, p. 2.

The Daily Herald,  "Rosambeau home, store Ocean Springs landmarks", March 30, 1975, p. B10.

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

The Jackson County Times, “Fire Totally Destroys Rosambeau Store and Residence”, November 17, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, December 1, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 6, 1923.

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

The Jackson County Times, “Carroll-Rosambeau”, November 7, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. A.V. Rosambeau”, February 27, 1937.

The Jackson County Times, “Marie Adele Brou”, July 21, 1937.

The Jackson County Times"Bridget Soden Obit", April 28, 1944, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, May 28, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “They’re Off In a Bunch”, October 1, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Millinery”, October 7, 1915.

The Ocean Springs Record"Miss Marguerite H. Rosambeau Obit", May 25, 1972, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", January 27, 1994, p. 14.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", March 2, 1995, p. 18.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", March 9, 1995, p. 17.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs”, July 27, 1879.

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

"Ocean Springs Locals", January 28, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", December 13, 1901.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", December 20, 1901.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", March 21, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", July 11, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", October 10, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", January 16, 1903.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", February 27, 1903.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", June 5, 1903.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", October 16, 1903.

The Sun Herald"Rosambeau home, store Ocean Springs landmarks", March 30, 1975, p. B-10.

The Sun Herald, “Frank H. Bryan”, June 4, 1999, p. A-9.

The Sun Herald, “Janice Thetford”, January 20, 2002.

The Sun Herald, “Imogene C. Brooks”, September 20, 2002.

The Sun Herald, “Theresa B. Mason”, March 15, 2005, p. A7.

 

Maps

Sanborn Map Company (NY), “Ocean Springs”, Sheet  (1909).

Sanborn Map (Pelham, NY), “Ocean Springs”, Sheet 5, February 1925.

US Census-Jackson County, Mississippi (1850), (1860), (1870), (1880), (1900), (1910), and (1920).

 

Personal Communication:

Orwin Scharr - January 1993

Elaine Miheve - February 1993

John Clesi, Jr. - February 1993

Fred Brooks - February 1993

Frank H. Bryan - February 1993

Vertalee VanCleave - February 1993

Jennifer Becker Benz-June 2004

Michelle Deaton-June 2011.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

PACE-ELIZARDI-WELDON COTTAGE

 

207 Washington Avenue

The left image was made in March 1992 while the right image circa 1912.  Note the picket fences to prevent livestock from entering the yards of people.  The boards in the road in the foreground offered some stability to the soft, marshy ground that Washington Avenue transects before it reaches Front Beach.  [1992 image by Ray L. Bellande; circa 1912 image courtesy of Randy Randazzo, Arlington, Virginia]

Prologue

The Pace-Weldon Cottage was a victim of Hurricane Katrina.  It was totally destroyed with only the front steps and concrete foundation remaining after the horrific inundation of Katrina’s storm surge on the morning of August 29, 2005.  I had walked to lower Washington Avenue with Ross Dodds, a Jackson Avenue neighbor, in mid-afternoon while Katrina’s winds still lashed the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  We had gone to check on the condition of ‘Villa Rosa’, the Dodds’ historic Front Beach Drive residence.  While walking through what remained of the Weldon home, I will always remember the ominous sound of methane flowing uninhibited from their ruptured natural gas service line.  

It was a sad day indeed, but from this seemly ubiquitous natural disaster, we have made incredible progress restoring the damaged, removing the destroyed, and rebuilding our historic neighborhoods in Old Ocean Springs.  Such is the case with John S. Weldon and Germaine G. Weldon.  They have been working with Larry Jaubert, a Pass Christian, Mississippi based architect, on a new design to replace the Pace-Weldon Cottage.  Several meetings with the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Commission have been concluded and Paul Campbell, local contractor, has applied for a building permit to commence construction of “Hill Top II”.(Germaine G. Weldon, December 26, 2006)

‘Hill Top’-the Pace Cottage

     Although now only a recent memory and a photographic image on paper, the Pace-Weldon Cottage stood as the first building on the west side of Washington Avenue north of the beachfront for almost a century.  It was built in 1909.  The Ocean Springs News of May 15, 1909 announced that, “Frank Pace will erect two cottages on his property on Washington Avenue near the beach”.  One of these cottages was called “Hill Top”, and pre-Katrina was situated at present day 207 Washington Avenue, where it was the residence of John and Germaine Giani Weldon.  The other cottage erected by Mr. Pace, may have been the former Queen Anne cottage of Dan Burrows at 209 Washington Avenue, although there was an older structure northwest of “Hill Top” which was demolished in years past. 

In June 1911, Frank Pace announced that a large addition was going to be erected to his Washington Avenue cottage.  After this project, he anticipated building two new cottages on his lots across the street on the east side of Washington Avenue.(The Ocean Springs News, June 17, 1911)

Pace Subdivision

     The Pace-Elizardi family of New Orleans has played an important role in our local history.  In February 1906, Emma Bullen Pace (1852-1936), a native of New Orleans and the daughter of 1850 English immigrants, Thomas Bullen (1822-1905) and Mary Ann Hardwick (1825-1911), bought about 1.3 acres of land from Mary E. Guion on the west side of Washington Avenue.  This tract is situated between Ocean Avenue and the Fort Maurepas Nature Preserve.  In July 1906, Mrs. Pace subdivided her land into eight lots, which are still known as the Pace Survey.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, pp. 169-170 and  JXCO, Ms. Land Plat Bk. 1, p. 20)

Emma B. Pace resided at New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband, Francois [Frank] Pace (1845-1928), also a native of New Orleans.  He was born April 22, 1845 to Michele Pace (1817-1862), a Maltese immigrant, and Margaritha Boehm (1825-1884), a German immigrant.  Circa 1875, Emma had married Frank Pace and they were the parents of two daughters: Una Pace Elizardi (1877- 1930+) and Lurline M. Pace (1880-1889).  In 1880, Emma and Frank Pace were residing on Rampart Street in the Crescent City with her parents.  Frank Pace was operating a fruit stand, while Thomas Bullen made his livelihood as a stevedore on the Mississippi River docks.  By 1900, the Paces were the proprietors of a large dairy and citrus orchard.  They had ten employees on their 7th Ward farm.(1880 and 1900 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T9_462, p. 18, ED 58 and T623 576, p. 4B)

The severe winter of 1899, decimated their orange groves, but they continued in the dairy business until the US Navy expropriated their land to construct a naval station on the west bank of the Mississippi River at Algiers.(Ralph Elizardi, 1997) 

Frank Pace expired on December 26, 1928.  Emma Bullen Pace followed him in death expiring on March 11, 1936.  Mrs. Pace resided on Prytania Street in New Orleans at this time and her corporal remains were interred in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Jackson County Times, March 14, 1936. p. 3)

   In December 1936, the Pace Cottage on Washington Avenue was inherited by Una Pace Elizardi, the only surviving child of Emma Bullen Pace.

(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 5795 and Land Deed Bk. 69, pp. 433-434)

James W. Elizardi and Una Pace Elizardi

            Una Pace (1877-1930+) married James Wood Elizardi (1872-1930+) at New Orleans on October 26, 1898.  James W. Elizardi (1872-1930+), was the son of Peter P. Elizardi (1841 -1917) and Nora Enright (1847-1917), an 1851 immigrant from Ireland.  Peter P. Elizardi was born at New Orleans of Jean Emile Elizardi (1822-1855), a Spanish immigrant and Louisiana mother, Melazie Vassal (1824-1901).  Like his immigrant father, Peter P. Elizardi, made his livelihood as a grocer on Burgundy Street at New Orleans.  He had served with Dreux’s Cavalry Company A during the Civil War.  Peter and Nora Enright Elizardi had seven children who were all alive in 1900: John E. Elizardi (1868-1900+);  Peter A. Elizardi (1870-1933) married Josephine Gaubert (1895-1948); James W. Elizardi (1872-1930+) married Una Pace (1877-1930+); William Elizardi (1876-1937) married Alexandrin Tujaque (1881-1971); Catherine Elizardi (b. 1882) married Robert L. Leger; Nora Elizardi (b. 1885) married Edward Godfrey Miller; and Bernadette Elizardi (1886-1972) married John E. Rogan.(1850 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census M432_238, p. 16, 1st Ward and 1900 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T623 573, p. 10A, ED 76)

            At New Orleans, James W. Elizardi made his livelihood as a clerk and freight agent and manager of the American Sugar Refining Company.  The Elizardi family home in the Crescent City was situated at 2222 Dublin Street.  Here their three sons were reared: Frank Pace Elizardi (1899-1979) married Esther Morris Gehl (1901-1930+), the daughter of John M. Gehl (1879-1930+) and Coralie Stewart Pierson (1882-1930+), in February 1924; James W. Elizardi Jr. (1901-1958+) married Louise Alice Lacher (1905-1933+), the daughter of Henry J. Lacher (1872-1920+) and Nellie Davies (1874-1918); and Ralph Elizardi (1912-1997) married Doris Joret Biossat (1914-2004).(1920 and 1930 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T625_624, p. 4B, Ed 270 and R813, p. 4A, ED 272 and The Jackson County Times, February 9, 1924, p. 3)          

‘Gehl Villa’

It is interesting to note that John M. Gehl of New Orleans, the father-in-law, of Frank P. Elizardi, acquired what was known as ‘The Baseball Green’ in May 1917, from A.T. Veillon (1862-1949).  Mr. Gehl’s father-in-law, William T. Pierson, an experienced farmer and fruit and vegetable culture, lived at Gehl Villa’, which was located on 6.36 acres in the ‘Ames Tract” in Section 19, T7S-R8W.(The Jackson County TimesMay 19, 1917)

The old Veillon-Gehl home is now extant and houses Alberti’s Restaurant, formerly Chandler’s , Germaine’s, and Trilby’s Restaurant on Bienville Boulevard.

Elizardi family and the Royal Flush

Frank P. Elizardi (1899-1979) acquired the Royal Flush, a champion racing catboat, from Gordon Staples Case (1890-19127 circa 1921.  In November 1924, he published an article,“The Story of the Royal Flush” in Boating, a national magazine.  Mr. Elizardi chronicled the swift craft from her construction at Biloxi in the spring of 1892, by Captain William Nelson Johnson (1867-1914) for Anthony Nierlas Benachi (1858-1916) of New Orleans to 1924.  Mr. Elizardi in the article noted that in the first fifteen years of her career, the Royal Flush was rigged with a sail “measuring sixteen feet on the hoist, eighteen-foot gaff and twenty-nine foot boom and carried twelve sand bags”.  The rig was then reduced to fourteen feet on the hoist, twelve-foot gaff and twenty-foot boom.  She carried three to six sandbags with this sail configuration.  In his essay, Mr. Elizardi was particularly in laud of Captain Alphonse “Manny” Beaugez (1887-1945), a well-respected boat builder and racer of Ocean Springs, who conditioned the Royal Flush before every race.(Boating, November 1924)  

            In later years, Ralph Elizardi took precise and vital measurements from the hull, mast, booms, and sail of the Royal Flush and had naval architectural plans prepared to preserve the craft’s design for future generations of sailors.  He also saved old photographs of the swift racer.       

1958 Hill Top sale

            After the death of James Wood Elizari and Una Pace Elizardi, their children were legated Hill Top.  Frank Pace Elizardi and James W. Elizardi Jr. sold their 2/3rds inherited interest in the family vacation at 207 Washington Avenue to their younger brother, Ralph Elizardi in September 1958.  The price was $5534.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 181, pp. 124-125)

 

 

          Ralph J. Elizardi (1912-1997)-as a youngster was reared in a sailing family.  In this circa 1922 image, he is shown with a model sailboat on the steps of Hill Top.  Ralph’s older brother, Frank P. Elizardi (1899-1979), acquired The Royal Flush, a regatta and match race champion, catboat.  In November 1924, Frank published the history of The Royal Flush in Boating magazine.  In later life, Ralph Elizardi pursued art.  His work reflected his interest in the sea, boats, and our coastal marshes and estuaries.  Courtesy of Ralph J. Elizardi (1912-1997)

Ralph and Doris B. Elizardi

          Ralph J. Elizardi (1912-1997) was born at New Orleans on August 10, 1912.  He was educated in the Crescent City and in 1934 received an Engineering degree from Tulane University and was selected to join Tau Beta Pi, an honorary engineering society while an undergraduate student.  Ralph made his livelihood at New Orleans as a consulting mechanical and electrical engineer.  He was a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerator, and Air Conditioning Engineers.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 5, 1997, p. 5)

In February 1947 at New Orleans, Ralph Elizardi married Doris Joret Biossat (1914-2004), the daughter of Stephen Rushing Biossat (b. 1889), a native of Evergreen, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana and Norma Joret (1893-1920+), the daughter of Eugene Joret (1868-1920+) and Emma Rushing? (1870-1920+).  Doris was born at Lafayette, Louisiana.  Her family was domiciled at 1027 Johnston Street next to her maternal grandparents and uncles.  Eugene Joret, her maternal grandfather, was a railroad employee and was the foreman of the roundhouse.(1920 Lafayette Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T625_615, p. 16B, ED 35)

Before WW II and her betrothal to Ralph Elizardi, Doris J. Biossat had attended three years of college and had made her livelihood as a motion picture projectionist, stenographer, court reporter, and teletype operator.  In March 1943, Doris enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WACS) while a resident of New Orleans.  Miss Biossat was stationed in Europe as WW II waned.  She had the distinction of being in Paris for VE Day (May 8, 1945) and at London on VJ Day.(August 14, 1945).(US Army WW II Enlistment Records 1938-1946 and David J. Elizardi, M.D., December 30, 2006)

Dr. David J. Elizardi

In December 1947, Ralph and Doris B. Elizardi had David James Elizardi, their only child.  David was educated in the New Orleans public school system, attended Emory University at Atlanta and studied medicine at Tulane, graduating in 1973.  He went to Chicago for training as an internist before becoming a cardiologist.  Dr. Elizardi studied the human heart and its diseases at the Oschsner Clinic in the Crescent City, the University of California at San Francisco, and in Boston at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard University.  He has practiced medicine in New Orleans since 1978.  Dr. David J. Elizardi’s first decade in medicine was at the Oschsner Clinic.  He has recently returned to that renowned institute in Jefferson Parish.  In addition, Dr. David J. Elizardi has been recognized for his research and studies of hypertension.  He has been published in the American Journal of Medicine among others.(David J. Elizardi, M.D., December 30, 2006)

            In 1971, David J. Elizardi married Jeanne Lastrapes, also a New Orleanian and LSU alumnus.  Jeanne and David are the parents of three children: Jeffrey Elizardi married Elizabeth Gragg and resides near the Capitol; Brian Elizardi of Denver is engaged to Mia Schutte; and Katie Elizardi    is a fourth year student at Brenau University.

Camille 1969

            Although Hill Top had survived several hurricanes since its 1909 construction, Camille in August 1969 almost caused its destruction.  David J. Elizardi, M.D. describes his recollection of Camille’s effect upon his family vacation home: “Ironically, the storm surge of Camille came exactly to the middle of Hill Top.  This is corroborated on US Coast and Geodetic survey maps.  It caused the washout of the foundations on the south (downhill) side, and, after the water receded, the house split in two with the north half intact.  The contents simply fell out the south side.  One cedar tree was topped, but no other substantial damage occurred.  To this day, the age-old pine near Washington Avenue remains intact.  I suspect it was topped at some point, but the circumference of that tree tells of its old age.  In the ensuing months, the house was propped back up, new foundations built, and the roof line repaired.”

Ocean Springs

From 1947 until Hill Top was sold in 1975, the Ralph Elizardi family spent considerable time at their Ocean Springs cottage on lower Washington Avenue.  Monthly trips for long weekends throughout the year lent themselves to many holidays spent here.  Additionally, longer vacations during the summer months allowed various generations of Elizardis to enjoy fishing in various locations of the Mississippi Sound and Back Bay.  The family attended St. John Episcopal Church when in town.(David J. Elizardi, M.D., December 30, 2006)

In 1974, Ralph and Doris B. Elizardi retired from New Orleans to 207  Washington  Avenue.  Here Ralph was active in the local art community and participated in the annual art show of the Ocean Springs Art Association.  At Ocean Springs, Mrs. Elizardi pursued her avid avocation of photography.  

In August 1975, Ralph and Doris Joret Elizardi sold Hill Top to Jack R. Morgan and Margaret Bostwick Morgan.  The Elizardis relocated to the Gulf Hills community north of Ocean Springs. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 539, p. 475)

After Ralph’s death at Ocean Springs in early June 1997, Doris B. Elizardi returned to New Orleans where she expired on September 14, 2004, at Poydras House, a retirement community on Magazine and Jefferson in the Crescent City.  The corporal remains of Ralph and Doris B. Elizardi were interred in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Times Picayune, September 23, 2004, Metro Sect., p. 4)

Jack R. Morgan

            Jack Raymond Morgan (1931-2000) was born on February 17, 1931 to Ralph N. Morgan (1898-1968), an Oklahoma farmer and Edna M. Schweisberger (1898-1981) at Marlin, Oklahoma.  Ralph N. Morgan was born in Kansas while Edna M. Morgan was born in Kay County, Oklahoma of George Schweisberger (1852-1910+), an 1872 Germany immigrant farmer, and Katherine Schweisbeger (1858-1910+), a native of Pennsylvania.  Her parents were German immigrants.(1930 Cross Co., Kansas Federal Census R1908, p. 13A, ED 11)

          Jack R. Morgan was married to Margaret Louise Boswick (1933-2000), a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Her parents were Maurice Bostwick and Reba Leedy Bostwick.  Circa 1973, after serving with the U.S. Air Force in which he was a veteran of the Korean War, Jack Morgan and family settled at Ocean Springs.  Here he made his livelihood with Litton Industries as an electronic data systems manager in Pascagoula.  Mr. Morgan retired in 1994 while employed with Textron Marine Systems situated in east New Orleans.  The Morgans were the parents of three daughters: Denise M. Jermyn; Carol M. Roberts; and Sherri M. Fayard.(The Sun Herald, July 24, 2000, p. A5)

            In June 1976, the Morgans sold the Pace-Weldon Cottage to Henry J. Girot and spouse and moved to 127 La Branche in the East Beach area of Ocean Springs.  He expired here in July 2000.  Mrs. Morgan soon followed him in death passing in October 2000.  Their corporal remains were sent to the Crestlawn Memorial Park cemetery in east Ocean Springs for burial.  (The Sun Herald, July 24, 2000, p. A5 and October 28, 2000, p. A11)

Henry J. Girot

            Henry “Hank” Joseph Girot (b. 1936) was born February 27, 1936 at New Orleans, the son of Judlin Henry Girot (1912-1970) and Vivian LaPorte (1917-2000), both natives of the Crescent City.  In June 1957, Henry J. Girot married Frances Ann McKie of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  They had two sons, Kenneth Gordon Girot, born at New Orleans on November 1, 1958 and Roy McKie Girot born March 5, 1961. 

On May 18, 1985, Kenneth, called Kenny, married Melanie Lynn Castle, the daughter of Harroll Dean Castle and Jeanette Louise Rayner, former residents of 318 Lover’s Lane.  Melanie was born at Laurel, Mississippi on April 6, 1961.  Their nuptials were celebrated at St. John’s Episcopal Church at Ocean Springs on May 18, 1985. (JXCO, Ms. MRB 153, p. 275)

            Roy Girot married Cynthia Wingood.  They are the parents of: Paulina Girot (b. 1992) and Nathan Girot (b. 1995).  Roy and Cynthia divorced and he now resides in Crofton, Maryland.(Roy Girot, July 4, 2002)

Henry J. Girot and Frances A. McKie Girot divorced.  On October 19, 1974, while a resident of Ocean Springs, he married Corine Baldridge Caruso (1939-1991), a native of Los Angeles County, California.  She was the daughter of Robert Baldridge and Ruth Gaalken of Hemit, California.  Their wedding was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs.  While residing at Ocean Springs, Mrs. Corine Girot was employed at the Keesler Federal Credit Union.  Corine died at Fairhope, Alabama on October 2, 1991.  She had two daughters, Gianna F. Caruso Stewart and Elena M. Caruso Rhea Reynolds, from a prior marriage.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 125, p. 269, JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. P-4403, June 1997, and The Sun Herald, October 5, 1991, p. A-2)

            Hank Girot now resides in Lake Seminole, Georgia where he is the proprietor of the Trails End Marina and Campground situated on a bayou that flows into beautiful Lake Seminole in southwestern Georgia.   In October 1994, Hank married Penelope “Penny” O’ Kurin, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada.

          In January 1987, Henry J. Girot conveyed Hill Top to John S. Weldon.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 879, p. 271)

 

Proposed 2007 Weldon home

           This is an architectural rendering of the east elevation [front] of the proposed new Weldon home at 207 Washington Avenue.  It was designed by Larry Jaubert, AIA, Pass Christian, Mississippi.  The new structure will retain many of the architectural features of the Katrina destroyed 1909 Pace cottage. Courtesy of John and Germaine G. Weldon

John S. Weldon

John S. Weldon (b. 1955) is a native of Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia, the son of Andrew Jackson Weldon (1911-1991) and Margaret Swetnam Weldon.  He and his family came to Ocean Springs in the late 1980s, when he was stationed at Keesler AFB.  John studied zoology and anatomy at Oxford College of Emory University and the University of Georgia at Athens.  He completed medical school at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta.  In 1990, John S. Weldon married Germaine Giani McDonnell, a native of New Orleans, but a resident of Pass Christian when she was just a year old.  Their nuptial took place in the Pace Cottage with family and friends in attendance.  After his military service ended, John S. Weldon, an internist and FACP, found permanent employment as the director of the Emergency Department at the Ocean Springs Hospital.  Dr. Weldon practices now at Singing River Hospital as a hospitalist.  Hospitalists are physicians who spend at least 25 percent of their professional time serving as the physicians-of-record for inpatients, during which time they accept "hand-offs" of hospitalized patients from primary care providers, returning the patients back to the care of their primary care providers at the time of hospital discharge.

            Germaine G. Weldon (b. 1953) was born at New Orleans, the daughter of Virgilio H. Giani (1902-1973), a native of Trieste, Italy and Bertha Delores Bacuzzi (1913-2000), who was born at La Ceiba, Honduras, and educated in Bergamo, Italy, the home of her parents.  Virgilio H. Giani was a ship captain employed by the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company and domiciled in the Crescent City.  Circa 1954, Captain Giani relocated his family from the Crescent City to Pass Christian to provide a small-town atmosphere for him and Bertha to rear their four children.  In addition to her maternal responsibilities, Bertha B. Giani became involved with the Pass Christian art community.  She owned the Belle Arte where she taught Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, chess, piano, and art.  In her later years, she relocated to Ocean Springs and resided in the Villa Maria.

Germaine G. Weldon was educated in New Orleans parochial schools and matriculated to the University of Mississippi where she studied Psychology and Art.   After receiving an advanced degree in Criminal Justice from USM, Germaine worked in the Harrison County, Mississippi Youth Court.  In the early 1980s, she elected to make a career change and became involved in investment counseling and sales with a national brokerage firm.  Continuing her education, she acquired her CPA and CFP certificates and continues today assisting clients with their financial decisions.  Mrs. Weldon has also been proactive sharing her financial knowledge with the public as an financial correspondent for The Mississippi Press, The Sun Herald, and The Journal of South Mississippi Business.  Her journal articles are pragmatic and designed to share with the reader her extensive knowledge and experience on such germane subjects as: personal and estate tax matters, estate planning, small business financial and tax issues, and some investment action plan recommendations.

            In 1991, Jackson Weldon, a son, was born to John and Germaine.  He joined Anna Weldon (b. 1983) and Morgan Weldon (b. 1985), John’s daughters from his marriage with Chris Vinsonhaler, a former local story teller and chanteuse.  Jackson Weldon is a student at St. Stanislaus “in the Bay” and enjoys the school band, acoustic guitar and competitive sailing.  Anna Weldon graduated from Shimer College at Waukegan, Illinois and now resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Morgan Weldon is in her junior year at Ole Miss in the Honors College.

 

207 Washington Avenue

Note 1992 addition to the south elevation.

image made January 1994 by Ray L. Bellande]

1992 addition

          In 1992, the Weldons had Bruce Tolar, AIA, design an 800 square-foot, cross-gabled extension to the south elevation of the Pace-Weldon cottage.  The new construction consisted of: a bedroom, a bathroom, and a study.  In addition, the existing sunroom was enlarged and a deck added to the rear of the structure.  Mike Fremin was the contractor for this work.(Germaine G. Weldon, December 29, 2006)

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BRYAN-LETOHA HOUSE

406 Jackson Avenue

406 Jackson Avenue

     Bryan-Letoha House-known by ‘old timers’ as the Love House due to its long occupancy by Travis D. Love (1912-1974) and Julia Allen Love (1909-1994), his wife.  This edifice was built in 1910 by Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), local contractor, for Frank H. Bryan (1872-1936), an insurance agent from Missouri, and Odette Brou Bryan (1879-1957), his wife.  It was a victim of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.  [Image made October 1994 by Ray L. Bellande]

     The Bryan-Letoha House was located at 406 Jackson Avenue and unarguably was one of the most attractive domiciles in the city before its demise by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.  It is remembered by most ‘old timers’ as the ‘Love House’ due to its long occupancy by Travis D. Love (1912-1974) and Julia Allen Love (1909-1994), his wife.

    The history of this edifice begins in the early 20th Century when Frank Henry Bryan (1872-1936) and Marie Odette Brou (1879-1957), his young bride relocated from New Orleans to Ocean Springs.  Frank H. Bryan was a native of Maryville, Missouri, a small Nodaway County farming community, located in northwest Missouri.  He made his livelihood as an insurance underwriter for the Rankin-Benedict Company which primarily insured timber related businesses in the area between Beaumont, Texas and the Florida Panhandle.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

     On October 14, 1903 in the Crescent City, Frank H. Bryan married Marie Odette Brou (1879-1957) of New Orleans.  Odette Brou (1872-1957) was born at New Orleans, the daughter of Captain Joseph Edmond Brou (1847-1886) and Marie Emilie Ducros (1842-1927) of New Orleans.  As a young woman she had established herself in the social and business community of the Crescent City.  Miss Brou was an accomplished gardener, florist, chanteuse and an opera aficionado.  In the business community, she worked as a professional stenographer and had met Frank H. Bryan through her occupation.  In addition, Adolph V. Ducros (1861-1944), her uncle, was an insurance agent and lived with the Brou family on North Rampart Street.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

Ocean Springs-Biloxi

    Frank H. Bryan reasoned that Biloxi or Ocean Springs would be an excellent location to conduct his insurance business, as it ranged from Texas to Florida.  The small towns were centrally located and were situated on the L&N Railroad, which made it very conducive for his travels.  In October 1909, the Bryan family leased a home on Benachi Avenue in Biloxi.  They were scheduled to move into this rental on November 1, 1909.(The Daily Herald, October 1, 1909, p. 4)

Jackson Avenue

          Frank H. Bryan chose Ocean Springs as the place to build a home and rear his family.  In March 1910, the Bryans acquired a large tract [182 feet x 200 feet] on the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Ocean Avenue from Louis A. Lundy (1876-1941). This tract of land had been the site of the "Morris House", a 19th Century inn operated by Ann Morris (1819-1900).  Mr. Lundy had acquired several lots here from Elizabeth Hill (1848-1933), the daughter of Anne Morris Hill and Harry Hill (1866-1915) in 1901.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 35, pp. 495-496, Bk. 22, p. 229, and Bk.  24, p. 9)

     The Ocean Springs News of May 14, 1910 announced that Frank H. Bryan was building a home on Jackson Avenue.  Joseph A. Weider (1877-1960) was his builder.  J.A. Wieder was the son of German immigrants, Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899) and Dora Armbruster (1884-1924).  Mr. Wieder resided at present day 424 Washington Avenue with his wife, Maria Mathilda “Tillie” Endt (1873-1964). 

    The Frank H. Bryan house was described in a survey conducted by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (1979) as:  One-and-one-half story framed house on a brick foundation.  Front gable on hip roof with several cross gables over small wings.  L-shaped undercut gallery of four-bays on the west facade and four on the south elevation supported by fluted Ionic columns.  Ionic pilasters and full entablature frame main entrance.  Queen Anne, Free Classical.  Circa 1905.     The main part of the Bryan House was 34 feet wide and 76 feet in length.

Bryan Farm

       On January 10, 1914, Frank H. Bryan purchased forty acres, the SW/4, SW/4, Section 27, T7S-R8W, of land from H.F. Russell (1858-1940) and John Duncan Minor (1863-1920) for $800.   On this land located about three miles east of Ocean Springs on what was US Highway 90, the Old Spanish Trail, and now Government Street, he developed the "Bryan Farm" which featured a large pecan orchard.  Mr. Bryan also grew grapefruit, melons, cantaloupe, and roses.  Before the depression, Lynn Goff (1892-1966) was the caretaker.  Circa 1929, Mr. Goff moved from the Bryan Farm to work on the Bechtel Place on the west side of Holcomb Boulevard.  Also in 1914, a son, Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1914-1999) was born at New Orleans.( Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk.  40, pp. 37-38)

        Frank H. Bryan also engaged in livestock farming as The Jackson County Times advertised on March 9, 1918, as follows:

DUROC-JERSEYS

A few choice male pigs

FOR SALE

Registered

Weight about 60 lbs.

Price $25

Farm 3 miles east of Ocean Springs

Address F.H. Bryan

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

        In February 1936, shortly before his death, Frank H. Bryan sold the "Bryan Farm" to his Ocean Springs family, Odette Brou Bryan, Thad Bryan, and Frank H. Bryan, Jr.  In March 1947, the Bryans began selling acreage from the Bryan Farm.  Some of the buyers of Bryan land were C. Houston Rouse (1947), General Leroy J. Stewart (1951), Mrs. Bailey Bilbo Rouse (1952), and Georgette F. Lee (1952).(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk.  68, pp. 446-447)

        In August 1955, Mrs. Lee formed the "Bryan Farm Subdivision", consisting of twelve lots, on the north side of Old US 90 just east of "dead man's curve".  The present day Magnolia Park School is across the road from this subdivision.(Jackson Co. Mississippi Land Plat Book 2, p. 89)

406 Jackson Avenue

   This south elevation image of the Bryan-Letoha House depicts the L-shaped undercut gallery or porch; four-bays supported by fluted Ionic columns; and a front-gabled, chamfered bay, with three, one-over one, lights; one, six-over-six light; gable shingles, ornamentation and a small, shuttered window.  Note the elevation drop from west to east. Image made October 1994 by Ray L. Bellande. 

1930 Mortgage

    In January 1930, with the Depression in its incipient phase, Frank H. Bryan (1872-1936) mortgaged 406 Jackson Avenue to Dr. Oscar L. Bailey of Ocean Springs.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Trust Bk. 14, pp. 552-553)

Dr. O.L. Bailey

     Mortgage holder, Dr. Oscar L. Bailey (1870-1938), was born at Conehatta, Newton County, Mississippi.  Dr. Bailey received his medical degree in St. Louis and did postgraduate work in New York.  He was married to Birdie Anderson (1876-1925) of Edwards, Mississippi.  The Baileys came to Ocean Springs about 1897, from Lake, Mississippi where he had a previous medical practice.  O.L. Bailey and Birdie reared four children at Ocean Springs:  Mrs. Beryl Bailey Parker Wood (1896-1986), Bemis O. Bailey (1898-1969), Mrs. Clothilde Bailey Campbell (1901-1995) of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, and Mrs. Salome Bailey Watkins (1902-1962) of Handsboro.  In February 1926, Dr. Bailey married Maude Holloway (1901-1980) of North Biloxi.  After Bailey's death, Maude married Jack Nolan.

     Dr. Bailey was one of the founders of the Ocean Springs State Bank (1905), and served as its only president until his death in 1938.  Dr. Bailey built a large two-story brick, building on Washington Avenue in 1926, called the Bailey Building.  The contractor was the Kean & Company of Gulfport.  The ground floor was designed for two large commercial spaces while the upper story’s utilization was for apartments.  In late September 1926, Dr. Bailey moved his drugstore and medical office to the new structure.  Contemporaneously, Frederick E. Lee (1874-1932), a native of Campbellsburg, Indiana and a local realtor, relocated his land brokerage business to the new and modern Bailey Building. In early September 1932, Mr. Lee suffered a fatal heart attack in the adjacent Bailey Drug Store.(The Jackson County Times, December 12, 1925, p. 1, June 19, 1926, October 2, 1926 and The Daily Herald, September 3, 1932, p. 2)

      In August 1928, the Bailey Building [Lovelace Drugstore Building] housed the first modern market at Ocean Springs, Jitney Jungle.  It was managed by E.C. Allen and J.E. Giffen with Clarence Ladnier, the butcher.(The Jackson County Times, August 11,1928, p. 4)

     In May 1937, Dr. Bailey cancelled his mortgage and conveyed 406 Jackson Avenue to the legal heirs of Frank F. Bryan, his two sons, Thad W. Bryan and Frank H. Bryan, Jr.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk.71, p. 277)

Bryan Brothers

    The Bryan brothers had left Ocean Springs as teenagers.  Thad W. Bryan (1907-1994) graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  He finished school during the Great Depression, but was fortunate to find work with AT&T.  Thad later joined RCA at East Orange, New Jersey where he worked on the project, which developed the vacuum tube.  Thad W. Bryan had a peripatetic career which saw him live at Washington D.C. (Civil Aeronautics Authority), Hawaii, Albuquerque, New Mexico (during WWII), and Seattle (Boeing).  He located to the Los Angeles area circa 1960.  Thad W. Bryan expired at Pasadena, California on May 30, 1994.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

     Frank H. Bryan, Jr. (1914-1999) graduated from the Gulf Coast Military Academy about 1929, and went to California to live with his father.  He enrolled in a Los Angeles business college.  After graduation, Frank worked as a general office clerk for an insurance company and tire manufacturer in the Los Angeles area.  He left California in 1935, and moved to New Orleans.  Frank served in the US Navy during WWII and was discharge in 1945.  He worked for the Maritime Commission in New Orleans briefly before moving to Ocean Springs in 1946.  Frank H. Bryan Jr. was employed as a budget analyst at Keesler Air Force Base (Biloxi) from 1946 until his retirement in 1974.  He later did consulting work in the accounting field for an engineering firm working on the L&N Bridge across Biloxi Bay, and for the Ocean Springs law firm of Levi & Denham.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

Apartments and rentals

       During and after WW II, the Bryan-Letoha House was divided into three apartments due to the housing shortage at Ocean Springs.  Frank Bryan lived in one apartment.  One of the Bryan-Letoha House tenants before the War II, was Captain Ellis Handy (1891-1963) and his family.  Ellis Handy fought in France with Canadians forces during WWI.  After the Great War, the Handy family arrived at Ocean Springs.  Captain Handy was in the lumber and sawmill business on Fort Bayou.  He supplied much of the lumber used to build Gulf Hills in the late 1920s.  Handy wrote a column for The Gulf Coast Times in the late 1940s called "Know Your Neighbor".  These series of articles, which consisted of interviews with older citizens provides a valuable source of information for local historians.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

                                                                                                      406 Jackson Avenue

  This west elevation of the Bryan-Letoha House was made in October 1999, when the structure was undergoing extensive foundation repairs during the Letoha-Boudoin-Aimee’ ownership.  The storm surge from Hurricane Katrina of August 2005 reached inland into Ocean Springs and did considerable damages to homes below an elevation of 20 feet MSL.  As one can observe in this image, the rear of 406 Jackson Avenue is only about 8-10 feet above MSL.Credit: Image made October 1999 by Ray L. Bellande.

Caroline Brodeur Sasser

      In March 1952, the Thad W. Bryan and Frank H. Bryan Jr., the Bryan Brothers, sold their lovely 406 Jackson Avenue home to James H. Sasser of Houston, Texas and Caroline Brodeur Sasser (1902-1973), his mother.  Caroline B. Sasser was a native of Clearwater, South Carolina, and the daughter of Leon A. Brodeur (1866-1942) and Rose Milette Brodeur (1869-1957), natives of Quebec, Canada.  The Brodeur family left Salem, Massachusetts circa 1901 for South Carolina.  By 1910, they were domiciled at Augusta, Georgia where Leon A. Brodeur made his livelihood as a building contractor and house leveler.  The other Brodeur children were: Emile A. Brodeur (1888-1978); Rene J. Brodeur (1890-1982); Edna B. Key (1892-1970); Cecile Brodeur Saxon (1893-1980); Asa E. Brodeur (1895-1986); Annette Marie Josephine Brodeur (1897-1901); and Victor A. Brodeur (1899-1980).

     Caroline B. Sasser, married Dr. Thomas J. Sasser, who practiced dentistry in West Virginia.  After his death, she moved to Ocean Springs to live with her sister, Cecile Brodeur Saxon (1893-1980), the widow of Hugh H. Saxon (1893-1930).  Mrs. Saxon resided at 318 Jackson Avenue, the “O’Keefe Castle”., which she acquired in August 1933, for $1800, from Mary Cahill O'Keefe (1893-1980), the superintendent of the Ocean Springs Public School at 1000 Government Street, which was named in her honor in December 1998.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 66, pp. 46-48)

      Cecile Saxon's daughter, Annette Saxon (1924-1998), was born in Augusta, Georgia and married Jeremiah J. O'Keefe III (b. 1923).  Susan O’Keefe Snyder, Annette Saxon O’Keefe’s daughter, owns the O’Keefe Castle today with Christopher Snyder, her husband.  Carolyn B. Sasser expired at Ocean Springs on February 11, 1973.  The Bryan House was utilized as a rental during the Sasser ownership.

    The Sassers sold the Bryan House to Travis D. Love (1912-1974) and Julia Allen Love (1909-1994) in April 1957.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 166, pp. 467-468) 

Travis D. Love

    Travis Drennan Love (1912-1974) was a native of Birmingham, Alabama and the son of Dr. Travis D. Love Sr. (1885-1952) and Roxie Ann Letcher (1890-1952).  Dr. Love was of a peripatetic nature as the family left Alabama before February 1920 for Oak Grove, Kemper County, Mississippi and by 1930 was domiciled at Cardwell City, Missouri where he practiced general medicine.  Roxie L. Love managed the local drugstore in Missouri.(1920 Kemper Co., Mississippi T625_881, p. 13A, ED 27 and 1930 Dunklin Co., Missouri R1186, p. 6B, ED 1)

    Post-1930, Travis D. Love married Julia Elizabeth Allen (1909-1994), the daughter of George B. Allen (1874-1960) and Ida P. Allen (1877-1967).  Julia was reared in Pinola, Simpson County, Mississippi.  The Loves were both college graduates.  Travis D. Love matriculated to the University of Mississippi while Julia attended USM.  He was a bacteriologist with the US Department of Interior-Bureau of Commercial Fisheries at Pascagoula, Mississippi and became laboratory director of the facility.  During the 2nd World War, Travis D. Love rose to the rank of Major in the US Army and was awarded the Bronze Star in June 1944.  He wrote many technical articles for the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries and was a contributor to its Annual Report.  Travis D. Love expired on July 18, 1974.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 1,1974, p. 3)

     Julia A. Love was a talented pianist and played the organ at her church.  She taught music at Pinola, Mississippi and later in schools at Moss Point, Biloxi, New Orleans, Chicago, and Ocean Springs.  The Love family was residents of Chicago for about five years.(The Mississippi Press, July 8, 1994, p. 2-A)

    The Loves did some restoration work to the Bryan House.  They removed the three interior apartments, and made the house conventional.  The beaded board walls and ceilings were covered with dry wall.  George E. Arndt (1909-1994) supervised the work for them.

     Julia E. Love died on July 6, 1994, and her corporal remains were interred in the Pinola Cemetery at Simpson County, Mississippi next to her husband’s.  Mrs. Love’s legatees were Dr. Charles ‘Catfish’ H. Allen (1929-2008) of Pascagoula, Mississippi; Madge Love Ainsworth May of Mendenhall, Mississippi; and Vivian Love Williams of Magee, Mississippi.(Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 94-1860-August 1994)

    Madge Love Ainsworth May and Dr. Charles H. Allen, as co-executors of the Estate of Mrs. Julie E. Love, conveyed the Bryan House to Pamela Boudoin-Aimee and Douglas Bender Letoha on April 28, 1995.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 1062, p. 674)

Letoha-Boudoin

    Douglas Bender Letoha (b. 1953) is the son ofArthur S. Letoha (1927-1996) and Mary Jane Letoha.  The Letoha family is of Hungarian origin and rooted in the Youngstown, Ohio region mid-way between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Arthur S. Letoha was a native of Struthers, Mahoning County, Ohio.  Arthur matriculated to the College of Wooster and graduated in 1953 with a degree in education.  He subsequently taught high school and coached high school sports. Mr. Letoha later was employed by the Mystic Tape Division of Borden Chemical Company in Chicago.  The family moved south and settled in the Atlanta area where he sold machine tools and later operated Art’s Grill at Norcross, Georgia.(The Daily Press[Newport News, Va.], October 6, 1996, p. B4)

     In May 1997, Douglas B. Letoha (b. 1953) married Pamela Ann Boudoin-Aimee’ (b. 1953) at Atlanta, Georgia.  She had been divorced from Ken C. Stuck since November 1988 and is the mother of Nathan C. Stuck (b. 1981). Pamela Ann Boudin-Aimee’ is the daughter of Edwin ‘Whitey’ Williams Phillips Jr. (1927-1978) and Mae Olive Boudin Phillips.  She was born in New Orleans in October 1953 where Whitey Phillips, her late father, owned a barbershop.  The family moved to Metairie circa 1958.  Ms. Boudin’s siblings were: Wilkerson Phillips and Gregory Paul Phillips (1955-1973).(The Times-Picayune, January 6, 1978, October 19, 1973, and Harrison Co., Mississippi 2nd JD MRB 48, p. 217 and Jackson Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 51882-GB)

            Hurricane Georges

     Hurricane Georges of late September 1998, although not a serious wind event did bring copious amounts of rain resulting in serious flooding to some sections of the Mississippi Coast.  Pascagoula recorded over 16 inches of precipitation and Bluff Creek at Vancleave reached levels not seen before, as it actually rose over the Mississippi Highway No. 57 Bridge.  The foundation of the Bryan-Letoha Home at 406 Jackson Avenue apparently suffered some damage from these torrential and seemly continuous downpours.  Subsequent work on the supporting piers of this 1910 edifice by a New Orleans based contractor between January 1999 and October 1999 ended in County Court litigation.  This pier restoration project was never completed as the judicial process never reconciled the issues before Katrina’s storm surge inundated the low-lying marsh of the Fort Maurepas Nature Preserve bringing rising Gulf waters to the surrounding neighborhoods.  The Bryan-Letoha house was washed off its foundation and floated into the Frank H. Bryan Jr. home to the north and was demolished by the wind and water of this tragic tempest.  After the storm, debris and remnants of this former ‘Jewel of Jackson Avenue’ were removed and the large lot, which fronts on Ocean Avenue to the south, placed on the real estate market.  It failed to sell and in July 2011, the Letoha lot remains vacant and cleared.

900 Robinson

      While work was being performed at Jackson Avenue in 1999, the Letohas acquired the old Thomas Cochran House in May 1999.  It had been used as a residence by the Wallace Cassanova family from 1964 until 1979.  Subsequent owners, the 1st National Bank of the South, Marvin L. Smith, and Sharon W. Dodds utilized the old cottage as a rental.  In recent years, the Singing River Mental Health clinic was situated here at 900 Robinson Avenue.

      In early 2001, Mrs. Letoha opened Harmony Inn-Books, Bed & Bliss in the Cochran House opposite Marshall Park.  After the business ceased, the Letohas rented the 1870s historic structure.  Hurricane Katrina whip-lashed the Cochran-Letoha House with all her fury.  Sections of the old tin roof were blown away, but the building held firm.  No effort  to repair Katrina’s wrath on the old structure was attempted by the owners as it lay in a derelict state until the City of Ocean Springs issued a Demolition by Neglect order in the spring of 2008.  The City were in the process of evaluating 900 Robinson when it mysteriously ‘fell’ from its piers on June 1, 2008.

 

REFERENCES:

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes,  (Bellande:  Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1994), pp. 56-57.

ReginaHines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, (Second Edition), (Lewis Printing Services:  Pascagoula-1991), p. 73.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, "O'Keefe, 4th Generation", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989), p. 302.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History - State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 7.

Chancery Court

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 5868, “”-1936.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 51882-GB, “Stuck v. Stuck”, -1988.

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 94-1860, "The Estate of Julie Allen Love"-August 1994.

Journals

The Daily Herald, "Caroline B. Sasser Obit", February 12, 1973, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, "Maud Holloway Nolan Obit", August 1, 1980, p. A-2.

The Daily Press [Newport News, Virginia], “Arthur S. Letoha” , October 6, 1996.

The Jackson County Times, ‘Local and Personal’, August 11, 1928.

The Mississippi Press. "Mrs. Julie Elizabeth Love Obit", July 8, 1994, p. 2-A.

The Ocean Springs News,       May 14, 1910.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Cecile B. Saxon Obit", February 14, 1980, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Former Lab Director Retires”, July 20, 1972.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Travis D. Love”, August 1, 1974.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Cecile B. Saxon Obit", February 14, 1980, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Area resident owns bookstore that offers self-healing products", March 16, 2000, p. 5.

The Sun Herald, “ER doctor was patients favorite”, June 17, 2008, p. A5.

Maps

Sanborn Map Company (Pelham, NY), "Ocean Springs", Sheet No. 5, February 1925.

Personal Communication:

Frank H. Bryan, Jr.-February 1993 and March 1995.

Mr. and Mrs. Orwin Scharr-February 1993.

Julia Allen Love-February 1993.

Ina Goff Clarke-July 1994.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MESTIER-CARTER HOUSE

 

213 Washington Avenue

      The Mestier-Carter was erected in the fall of 1911 for Josephine Judlin Mestier (1862-1914) of New Orleans.  A Katrina survivor, this vintage home is now owned by Bobby and Deveaux Munro Carter. [L-R: images made by Ray L. Bellande in January 1992 and March 2007]

      The Mestier-Carter House is located at 213 Washington Avenue in the Old Ocean Springs Historic District.  It was erected in the fall and winter of 1911 for Josephine Judlin Mestier (1862-1914) of New Orleans.  The Mestier-Carter House was surveyed for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and described as follows: “One and one-half story frame hip roofed house.  Full width front porch has been altered.  Hip roofed front dormer and shed roof side dormers.  Circa 1920.”(Berggren, 1986, p. 3)

     In late August 2005, the Mestier-Carter House survived Hurricane Katrina, but received serious foundation and structural damage to the rear and southwest portion of the structure, as a result of the high storm surge and hurricane force winds delivered by this devastating tempest.  Presently, the restoration of this vintage home has been essentially accomplished.  Current owners, Bobby and Deveaux Munro Carter, should be lauded for their choice of craftsmen, attention to details, and their excellent taste in preserving this beautiful edifice for themselves and future generations.

Acquisition-Emma Pace Survey

      The Mestier-Carter Home is located on Lot 4 of the Emma Pace Survey.  In February 1906, Emma Bullen Pace (1852-1936), a native of New Orleans and the daughter of 1850 English immigrants, Thomas Bullen (1822-1905) and Mary Ann Hardwick (1825-1911), bought about 1.3 acres of land on the west side of Washington Avenue from Mary E. Harris Guion (1841-1929), also of New Orleans and the wife of Lewis Guion (1838-1920), a New Orleans attorney.  This tract is situated between Ocean Avenue and the Fort Maurepas Nature Preserve.  In July 1906, Mrs. Pace subdivided her land into eight lots, each with a 50-foot front, on Washington Avenue.  This parcel of land had formerly been described as the Mary Guion Lots 3-6 of the 1853 Culmseig Map of  Ocean Springs.  The Pace Tract was surveyed by Enoch N. Ramsay in July 1906.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, pp. 169-170 and JXCO Chancery Court Land Plat Book 1, p. 20)  

      Mrs. Emma B. Pace, the wife of Frank Pace (1845-1928), conveyed Lot 4 of the Pace Survey to Josephine Judlin Mestier on September 15, 1911.  The warranty deed was burdened with a 30-foot easement on the north, which ran south from Ocean Avenue.  The consideration to Mrs. Pace was $857.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 37, p. 234)

Construction

       Mrs. Josephine Mestier spent several summers at Ocean Springs, before purchasing the lot from Mrs. Pace.  A few weeks after sale, The Ocean Springs News announced: Mrs. Josephine Mestier, of New Orleans, recently purchased one of the very desirable Pace lots on Washington Avenue, near the beach.  A substantial modern cottage will be built thereon at once.  Local contractors are now figuring on the work.(The Ocean Springs News, September 30, 1911)

The Mestiers and Judlins-Old New Orleans Families

          Josephine E. Judlin Mestier (1862-1914), was the daughter of Jean-Baptise Judlin (1831-1890) and Elizabeth Alice Vatter (1842-1892), who were Alsatian and German immigrants respectively.  Mr. Judlin made his livelihood as a grocer in New Orleans.  Josephine J. Mestier’s siblings were: Peter Jules Judlin (1864-1917) and Emma Judlin Illing (1869-1958).(Hernandez and White, 1994, p. 261)

          On January 10, 1882 at New Orleans, Josephine E. Judlin married Louis J. Mestier (1855-1909), also a native of the Crescent City.  He was the son of Louis Mestier (1826-1878) and Marie Anna Neufeld (1823-1870).  Their children were: Louis J. B. Mestier (1883-1954), Josephine Emma (Amy) Mestier Foster (1885-1943), James Edmund (Edmund) Mestier (1887-1941+), Arthur (Archie) Joseph Mestier (1889-1946+), and Josephine Mestier (1891-1892).

          Josephine Judlin Mestier’s sister, Emma Judlin (1869-1958), became the wife of Judge E.W. Illing (1870-1947) of Ocean Springs.  She was also the aunt of Mabel E. Judlin (1890-1956), the wife of Henry L. Girot (1887-1953), a New Orleans tailor who retired to Ocean Springs in the1920s.   Beryl Girot Riviere (b. 1916), their daughter, resides in Cherokee Glen, which was founded by Henry L. Girot in 1926. 

Lumber merchants-Peter Judlin and Louis Mestier

            Josephine J. Mestier’s brother, Peter J. Judlin, was the business partner of her husband, Louis J. Mestier.  They were in the lumber and hardware business at New Orleans.  In June 1909, Louis J. Mestier aboard his schooner, Proteus, dropped anchor in Biloxi Bay.  He was en route to Horn Island with Peter Judlin, Mr. White and son, and Mr. Higgins all of New Orleans.  At Ocean Springs, they picked up, public school principal, Otho T. Harper (1876-pre-1930), R.D. Wigginton, and his brother-in-law, E.W. Illing, and sons, Eugene ‘Gene’ W. Illing Jr. (1895-1978) and Harold Illing (1897-1959), to go to the barrier island.(The Ocean Springs New, June 5, 1909)

Matteo Martinolich (1861-1948), a Croatian-Italian immigrant boat builder who resided at Handsboro, constructed two lumber schooners for Louis Mestier and Peter Judlin.  They were the Mabel E. Judlin, built in 1891, and the Josephine Mestier, which slid down the ways in 1893.(Barnes, 1998, p. 15) 

At the turn of the 20th Century, the Mabel E. Judlin was utilized in the local charcoal trade with New Orleans operating in the Vancleave area.  She was considered the fastest schooner in the Gulf-Caribbean region, and her hull design was used by the United Fruit Company in its Central American banana business for their shallow draft fruit vessels.(Down South, 1960, p. 9)

Demise

Unfortunately, Mrs. Josephine Judlin Mestier passed on before she had time to enjoy her new home.  Her plans were to reside here permanently, but her health was poor and she returned to New Orleans for special treatment.  Mrs. Mestier expired in the Crescent City in January 1914.  The home was legated to her four children with additional properties that she possessed at New Orleans.( The Ocean Springs News, January 17, 1914 and JXCO. Ms. Land Deed Bk. 40, pp. 241-243)           

Rentals

     After the death of Josephine J. Mestier, her children utilized the home as a vacation rental.  Some of those known to have resided here follow:

     The Mestiers rented their cottage in the winter of 1915 to H.F. Miller, manager of the Chicago Association of Commerce.  Mr. Miller said of Ocean Springs: “Ocean Springs has a present opportunity and wonderful future.  It has several of the best natural advantages of any point on the Gulf coast.  It needs no artificial aid to beauty and attractiveness.  It is a city of manifest destiny but you must pardon my frankness if I say that it needs AWAKENING!(The Ocean Springs News, March 4, 1915, p. 1)

    In June 1921, the Frank E. O’Neal and Ashton Carroll families of NOLA rented the Mestier home for the summer.(The Jackson County Times, June 18, 1921, p. 3)

      The Mestier Cottage was let to Mrs. Parrish and family of Memphis, Tennessee in September 1927.  She was the sister of Mrs. F.H. McGowen and planned to spend the winter at Ocean Springs.  Franklyn H. McGowen (1894-1985) was a Chicago born construction engineer who supervised the building of the seawall and the second Fort Bayou bridge at Ocean Springs in the late 1920s.(The Jackson County Times, September 17, 1927)

Sugar chemists

      The sons of Louis J. Mestier and Josephine Judlin Mestier made their livelihoods as sugar chemists.  They were educated at Tulane or Loyola University in New Orleans and worked during the post-sugar harvest season at plantations in Louisiana and in the West Indies.  It is interesting to note that three men from Ocean Springs, John A. O’Keefe (1891-1985), Joseph Hyacinth O’Keefe (1897-1932), and Eugene ‘Gene’ W. Illing Jr. (1895-1978), were contemporaneously sugar chemist with the Mestier brothers.  Gene Illing was a cousin of these Mestier men.  From the local journals it has been ascertained that these scientists were employed by various sugar concerns on the following Caribbean islands: Trinidad, Barbados, St. Kitts, and Puerto Rico.           

John and Jody, Les Freres O’Keefe

      John W. Aloysius O’ Keefe (1891-1985) and Joseph ‘Jody’ Hyacinth O’Keefe (1897-1932) were born at New Orleans the sons of Jeremiah J. O’Keefe (1860-1911) and Alice Cahill (1864-1921).  John attended Ocean Springs schools and the Jesuit College at New Orleans.  He graduated from Tulane University in 1911 and later married Amelia “Nicki” Castanera (1905-2000), the daughter of Captain Frank B. Castanera (1870-1934) and Amelia Desporte (1880-1953).  They had a daughter, Patricia O’Keefe.

      John W. A. O’Keefe was employed on sugar plantations in Louisiana, Cuba, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Trinidad as a sugar chemist until he entered military service during WWI.  During the Great War, he served the U.S. Army in France as a Captain with the field artillery.  In the mid-1920s, John W.A. O’Keefe left the sugar industry and entered business at Biloxi.  He was a leader of men and subsequently became Mayor of Biloxi, Adjutant General of Mississippi during the administration of Governor Hugh White.  In November 1934, the town of Newton, Mississippi and the Newton County American Legion Post dedicated their new $12,000 airport to Major John A. O’Keefe, former CWA aeronautics adviser for Mississippi.  During WWII, Colonel O’Keefe served in North Africa with the Air Transport Command.  In June 1945, he participated in the historic Yalta Conference.  In addition to his US military decorations, O’Keefe was recognized by the Sultan of Morocco and the Bey of Tunisia for his accomplishments in the Allied forces desert campaigns against the Germans and Italians in the deserts of North Africa.  He expired at Biloxi on September 14, 1985.

       Joseph ‘Jody’ H. O’Keefe was a graduate sugar chemist from Loyola University at New Orleans.  He began his career in the sugar industry in 1920, with most of his technical work at sugarhouses in Cuba.  When the sugar season ended in the Caribbean tropics, he would return to Ocean Springs to work in operated family enterprise.(History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 302)

       Jody O’Keefe worked primarily in Cuba and at the time of his demise on August 1, 1932, he was the assistant superintendent of the Matanzas Sugar Company at Matanzas, Cuba.  Jody O’Keefe fractured several neck vertebrae in a diving accident while at Matanzas Bay.  He expired on the operating table as specialists from Havana attempted to save him.(The Daily Herald, August 2, 1932, p. 1)

       John W.A. O’Keefe flew to Cuba and accompanied his brother’s corpse to New Orleans.  It was transported aboard the United Fruit Company’s freighter, Cataga.  Joseph H. O’Keefe’s body was then brought to Ocean Springs for interment in the Evergreen Cemetery on August 9, 1932.  A requiem mass was celebrated at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church by Father Joseph H. Chauvin (1867-1959) with assistance from four Biloxi priests: O’ Sullivan, McGlade, Maloney, and Mulrooney.  Hundreds were in attendance, including funeral directors from Gulfport, Moss Point, Perkinston, and Mobile.(The Daily Herald, August 5, 1932, p. 2  and August 9, 1932, p. 2)

The Mestier Family 

     This image of the Mestier family was made at New Orleans circa 1896.  [standing, L-R: Louis J.B. Mestier (1883-1954); Josephine Judlin Mestier (1862-1914); Emma Judlin Illing (1869-1958); and Emma ‘Amy’ Josephine Mestier Foster (1885-1943).  Baby in Center: Harold Ivan Illing (1897-1959); [seated, L-R: James Edmond Mestier (1887-1958); E.W. Illing Jr. (1895-1978); and Arthur Joseph Mestier (1889-1966).  Four of the five young men in this photograph would become sugar chemist and live and work in the Caribbean sugar industry.  Josephine Judlin Mestier built her vacation home at 213 Washington in 1911.  Courtesy of Adrienne Illing Finnie (1925-2002)

The Mestier children

     Louis J. Mestier (1855-1909) and Josephine Judlin Mestier (1862-1914) were the parents of five children: Louis J. B. Mestier (1883-1954), Emma (Amy) Josephine Mestier Foster (1885-1943), James Edmund (Edmund) Mestier (1887-1958), Arthur (Archie) Joseph Mestier (1889-1966), and Josephine Mestier (1891-1892).  A short biography of each Mestier child follows:

Louis J.B. Mestier

           Louis Jean-Baptiste Mestier (1883-1954) was born at New Orleans on September 3, 1883.  Although handicapped from a childhood bout with polio, he matriculated to Tulane University and graduated from its engineering school as a sugar chemist in 1906.  As a sugar chemist, Louis worked primarily in the Caribbean particularly at St. Kitts and Barbados.  He was responsible for his brothers, Edmund and Archie, and cousin, Eugene W. Illing Jr. (1895-1978), to find work as sugar chemists, also in the West Indies.(Beryl Girot Reviere-June 1998 and The Daily Herald, September 3, 1954, p. 7)

           Louis J.B. Mestier married Thelma Regan (1894-1978), the daughter of Timothy V. Reagan (1863-1910) and Georgia G. Hyatt (1866-1930+) at New Orleans in October 1915.  The Regan family lived on Carondelet and later Perrier Street in the Crescent City. Louis and Thelma R. Mestier were the parents of: Lt. Colonel Louis J.B.  Mestier Jr. (1916-1994) married Myrtle Holt (1921-1986) and Jonnie Fay Hempstead Johnson (1936-1989+); Lucille Nanon Mestier Morgan (1918-1988) married William Harrison Morgan Jr. (b. 1910) of Nashville, Tennessee; and Enid Joan Mestier (1933–1990) married Reginald Wayne Richards (b. 1931).

Caribbean Notes

           Mr. and Mrs. Louis Mestier have sailed for Trinidad.(The Ocean Springs News, December 30, 1915)

The Louis J.B. Mestier family spent the summer of 1917 at Ocean Springs at the Mestier-Carter House on Washington Avenue.  They had returned from his seasonal work as a sugar chemist in Trinidad.(The Jackson County Times, July 14, 1917)

           In October 1918, Louis J.B. Mestier wrote Albert E. Lee (1874-1936), the editor of The Jackson County Times, to pay for his subscription to the Ocean Springs journal.  Mr. Mestier was domiciled at Usine St. Madeline, San Fernando on the island of Trinidad.  He related to A.E. Lee that he was unable to come to Ocean Springs that year as there was a labor shortage due to WWI.(The Jackson County Times, Local News Interests, October 26, 1918)

420 Martin Avenue

Louis J.B. Mestier acquired a home at 420 Martin Avenue, the Honor-Sheehan House, in May 1925, from Judge Orin D. Davidson (1872-1938).  Mr. Mestier had just retired from the Caribbean sugar industry to Ocean Springs.  He would go to Arthur Westbrook’s Barbershop on Washington Avenue every morning and return in the afternoon after his lunch.  Louis had a pet monkey who would accompany him to downtown Ocean Springs.( JXCO Land Deed Bk. 55, pp. 440-441, J.K. Lemon-July 15, 1998, and H.C. Seymour Jr.-March 6, 2007)

In November 1967, Mrs. Thelma R. Mestier, a widow, sold her house at 420 Martin Avenue to James W. Butler.(JXCO Land Deed BK. 320. P. 176)

School Board

            Louis J.B. Mestier was appointed to the local school board on November 4, 1924.  When he resigned from this body in June 1949, Gustav R. Nelson (1886-1970) lauded him for his twenty-five years of service to the people of Ocean Springs as follows: For the past 25 years with Mestier as president of the board for most of such years, the school has operated within its budget.  Careful planning by superintendents and members of the board has made this possible.  Trained to know and experience, with costs and figures, and applying this to the benefit of the taxpayers in the community, Mestier again deserves, through his insistence of careful handling the community school funds, to be remembered as a leading school trustee, who’s work, we, of the present board and others to follow, will do well to remember and strive to equal through sincerity, honesty and fairness towards all in connection with our schools.(The Gulf Coast Times, June 17, 1949, p. 8)

            Louis Jean-Baptiste Mestier expired at Ocean Springs in September 1954. His corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park at Biloxi, Mississippi.  Thelma R. Mestier passed at a Gautier nursing home on May 7, 1988.  Her remains also rest at the Biloxi cemetery.(The Daily Herald, September 3, 1954, p. 7 and The Sun Herald, May 8, 1988, p. A2)

Emma J. Mestier Foster

       Emma Josephine Mestier (1885-1943), called Amy, was born at New Orleans on July 4, 1885.  In December 1914, she married Henry Herbert Foster (1878-1943+) in New Orleans.  They resided at 2420 Burdette Street.(The Ocean Springs News, December 17, 1914) 

       By 1939, the Fosters were domiciled at Boston.  They spent part of the winter at Ocean Springs with her brother, Louis J.B. Mestier.  The Fosters moved to Miami in 1941.  Amy Mestier Foster expired at Miami in November 1943.  At this time, Louis J.B. Mestier lived at Ocean Springs, James Edmond Mestier at NOLA, and Arthur J. Mestier in the British West Indies.(The Jackson County Times, October 4, 1939, p. 4 and November   1943, p. 4)

James E. Mestier

            James Edmond Mestier (1887-1958) was called Edmond.  He was born on November 18, 1887 in the Crescent City.  Edmond married Aileen Kathleen Phillips (1900-1968) at St. Kitts in September 1921.  They were the parents of five children: John “Jack” James E. Mestier (1922-1989) married June Hilary Guy (b. 1928); Marie Yolande  Mestier (1924-1926); Maureen V. Mestier (1928-1965+) married Peter Yearwood (1922-1965+); Marlene P. Mestier (b. 1933) married John Peters; and Angela Dawn Mestier (1937-1974+) married Don George.

Caribbean Notes

In January 1922, Edmond Mestier was employed as a sugar chemist on a large plantation at St. Kitts.(The Jackson County Times, Local and Personal, January 21, 1922)

Lucille Mestier visited the Edmond Mestiers at St. Kitts, British West Indies in December 1936.(The Jackson County Times, December 5, 1936, p. 2)

 In 1953, Dawn Mestier, the daughter of Edmond and Aileen Mestier, studied at Ursuline College in New Orleans while her parents resided on Barbados.(The Gulf Coast Times, December 10, 1953, p. 3) 

 Jack Mestier, son of Edmond Mestier of St. Kitts, BWI, arrived at New York in early June 1940, aboard the liner President Roosevelt, from England where he had been attending school for the past two years.  Jack arrived in Ocean Springs on June 13, 1940 to visit his uncle, Louis Mestier.(The Jackson County Times, June 15, 1940, p. 4)          

Arthur J. Mestier

    Arthur Joseph Mestier (1889-1966), called Archie, was born at New Orleans on August 24, 1889.  He married Annie Sewell Batson at Barbados in December 1918.  Archie and Annie B. Mestier were the parents of: Luci Mestier (1919-2001) married Frank Sleckman; Arthur J. Mestier Jr. (b. 1920) married Dorothy Dickens; Yvonne Mestier (1921-1945); and Gloria S. Mestier (1922-2005) married Cecil D. Laidlaw.(1912-1992).

     Archie Mestier was employed by the Columbia Sugar Company at Franklin, Louisiana in the fall of 1916.(The Jackson County Times, October 14, 1916)

Caribbean Notes

      A.J. Mestier and E.W. Illing Jr. have gone to Puerto Rico to work for Solza Sugar Company as chemists.(The Ocean Springs news, December 31, 1914)

    Eugene Illing Jr., Peter Judlin, and A.J. Mestier sailed from Puerto Rico to New York.(The Ocean Springs News, July 1, 1915)

    Miss Yvonne Mestier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Mestier of Barbados, British West Indies, is the guests of relatives in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, June 17, 1944)

    Yvonne Mestier died at Barbados in February 1945.(The Jackson County Times, March 1945)

Josephine Mestier

            Josephine Mestier (1891-1892) was born at New Orleans on December 12, 1891.  She expired at New Orleans on January 22, 1892.(NOLA Death Records Index Vol. 159, p. 580)

Mestier Pecan Orchard

            In addition to homes on Washington Avenue and Martin Avenue, the Mestier children owned several pecan orchards near Ocean Springs.  In July 1913, Louis J.B.  Mestier (1883-1954) et al bought a 29.15 acre tract in Section 20, T7S-R8W from F.M. Weed.  This parcel was bounded by Vermont Avenue (west), Bland (north), Dr. Homer L. Stewart (east) and the L&N right-of-way to the south.  Today the former Mestier orchard is the Seashore Plaza Shopping Center anchored by a Winn-Dixie and CVS/pharmacy.  In 1941, J. Edmond Mestier (1887-1958) appointed Louis J.B. Mestier power-of-attorney.(JXCO, Miss. Land Deed Bk. 39, p. 404)

            Edmond and Louis Mestier also owned pecan orchards in the Rose Farm New Addition subdivision in Section 7, T7S-R8W, north of Old Fort Bayou.  They acquired Lots 18, 19, 20, and 21 here in 1924.  The Mestier gentlemen sold these lands to various buyers between 1942 and 1949.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 54, pp. 54-60)  

In July 1943, Arthur J. Mestier (1889-1966) conveyed his mother’s vacation home at 213 Washington Avenue to Lee E. Jordan.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 83, pp. 397-401) 

 

Civic Giants

          This ‘picture from the past’ defines the civic spirit of Ocean Springs during the post-World War II era.  These men [l-r: John ‘Champ’ Champlin Gay (1909-1975); Lee E. Jordan (1911-1984); J.K. Lemon (1914-1998) background behind Mr. Jordan; A.P. ‘Fred’ Moran (1897-1967); and Mayor Albert Westbrook (1900-1980) were strong community leaders and with others of this erasuch as: C.H. ‘Cal’ Calhoun, Art Fifield (1881-1962), Walter J. Floreen (1887-1953), Judlin H. Girot (1912-1970), Buford Myrick (b. 1917), and Bernadine Wulff (1899-1992) projects such as the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean Springs Community Center, and Freedom Field were commenced.  In this image, Lee E. Jordan is shining the shoes of Mayor Westbrook in front of Lovelace Drugs to raise money for the Rotary Club.  Champ Gay is collecting the money.  Courtesy of ‘Mr. Ocean Springs’-J.K. Lemon (1914-1998).

Lee E. Jordan

Lee E. Jordan (1911-1984) was born on November 4, 1911 at Ellisville, Jones County, Mississippi the eldest of the seven children of Oscar Maxwell Jordan (1889-1969) and Sadie Jordan (1893-1987).  Lee was reared on a farm outside of Ellisville.  He married Ellowayne Craft (1913-1946), a native of Taylorsville, Smith County, Mississippi.  She was the daughter of W.L. Craft and Mary Etta Ainsworth.  Lee and Ellowayne were the parents of two daughters: Judy Ann Jordan Ball (b. 1942) married Claude Wallace Ball (1941-1996) and Marietta ‘Mary’ Candis Jordan Miller Savell (b. 1944) married Terry Miller and Edward J. Savell (1945-1998).(1930 Jones Co., Mississippi Federal Census R 1151, p. 16B, ED 3 and The Ocean Springs Record, August 13, 1984 p. 1)           

Mississippi Power Company

            Lee E. Jordan began his long and successful career with Mississippi Power at Hattiesburg in 1936 as a helper on a line crew.  He was transferred to Picayune before getting his permanent assignment to Ocean Springs, which was effective on May 1, 1941.  Here Mr. Jordan became the local manager representing Mississippi Power.  During his tenure with the utility company, which spanned over forty years, he saw Ocean Springs grow from four hundred customers to over four thousand.  Lee E. Jordan had worked in the appliance service department, been a line crewman and power line trouble shooter before assuming his managerial role at Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 28, 1971, p. 10)

Marriage and family

Ellowayne Craft Jordan expired while a resident of 213 Washington Avenue on June 25, 1946.  Her corporal remains interred in the Fellowship Cemetery at Taylorsville.(JXCO Chancery Court Cause No. 10358 and The Jackson County Times, June 29, 1946, p. 4 and  July 6, 1946, p. 4)

            In June 1949, Lee E. Jordan married Beulah “Sue” Williamson Reichle Williamson (1906-1994) of Biloxi.  She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. Presley Williamson (1876-1920+) of the Mt. Vernon community, Lowndes, County, Mississippi.  Sue Reichle was a native of Lamar County, Alabama.  At the time of her engagement to Lee E. Jordan, she employed as a book keeper in the auditor’s office at the Buena Vista Hotel in Biloxi.(The Gulf Coast Times, June 24, 1949, p. 1 and Judy Jordan Ball, March 19, 2007)           

Civic giant

            Lee E. Jordan was a maven with local community service.  Two projects which he was involved in developing were the Ocean Springs Community Center and The Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce.  In 1951, when Mr. Jordan headed the local Chamber of Commerce, its membership first exceeded one hundred members.  He would be president of the Chamber several times, twice president of the Ocean Springs Rotary Club, serve twelve years on the Jackson County Port Authority, and also was president of the local school board.(The Gulf Coast Times, April 26, 1951, p. , The Ocean Springs Record, October 28, 1971, p. 101)   

Sale

            In March 1948, Lee E. Jordan sold the Mestier-Carter House at 213 Washington Avenue Arthur D. Williams and Helen Marie Klug Williams.  In May 1949, he acquired Lots 2, 6, 7, 8, and parts of Lots 3 and 5 in Block 6 of the Schmidt Park Subdivision from John C. ‘Champ’ Gay (1909-1975).  Mr. Jordan with Donald Beaugez (1924-2001) and Dave Jessie (1912-2001) erected a new home at present day 525 Cleveland Avenue.  He sold the Cleveland Avenue home to Loren D. Breeland in June 1951.  It is now owned by Willis and Carey White.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 107, p. 177 and Bk. 118, pp. 375-376 and Judy Jordan Ball, March 19, 2007)

            Circa 1955, Lee E. Jordan built a home on Pine Drive and remained here until May 1959, when they moved to the George Leavenworth House on the southeast corner of General Pershing and Kensington.  It was acquired from Marjorie H. Stevens.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 188, pp. 187 and Judy Jordan Ball, March 19, 2007) 

            Lee E. Jordan died at Ocean Springs on August 13, 1984.  Beulah ‘Sue’ Jordan passed on May 5, 1994.  Both their corporal remains were interred in Crestlawn Memorial Park cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 16, 1984, p. 1)

Arthur D. Williams

            The Arthur D. Williams family was residents of Ocean Springs for about two years.  In the fall of 1950, they planned to move to Wichita Falls, Texas and Mr. Williams aspired to return to college.  Their plans changed as Arthur D. Williams, spouse,  and children settled in Wisconsin.  Mr. Williams chose to attend school in Chicago.  Helen Klug Williams may have been a native of Dodge County, Wisconsin.  No further information.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 29, 1950, p. 1 and November 3, 1950, p. 8)

            In October 1950, Arthur D. Williams conveyed 213 Washington Avenue to Judge Lawrence C. Corban.  Before the Corban family acquired the Mestier-Carter Home on Washington Avenue, they were domiciled on Father Ryan Avenue at Biloxi.  Their home was situated near the terminus of the flight line of Keesler Air Field and after years of tolerating the noise and threat of low flying aircraft trainers, they decided to relocate to a more serene environment.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 114, p. 384 and Dr. Magruder S. Corban, March 20, 2007)  

Lawrence C. Corban

Lawrence Cunningham Corban (1901-1989) was born near Fayette, Jefferson County, Mississippi, one of the seven children of Judge Robert Lee Corban (1864-1956), a lawyer and later circuit court judge of the Sixth Circuit District of Mississippi and Rosa Corban (1870-1931+).  After completing public schools in Jefferson County and managing a farm on the Fayette-McNair Road, Lawrence C. Corban matriculated to Millsaps College.  He graduated with distinction from the University of Mississippi Law School in 1924.  Initially, L.C. Corban entered the practice of law at Fayette with Robert L. Corban Jr. (1894-1977), his brother, before arriving on the Mississippi Coast. (The Daily Herald, April 14, 1938, p. 1, The Ocean Springs News, November 29, 1956, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, November 23, 1956, p. 2)

  Lawrence C. Corban married Eleanor Gene Sullivan (1904-1988) of Jackson in October 1926.  Her father was Dr. J.M. Sullivan, a chemistry professor at Millsaps College.  Lawrence and Gene S. Corban were the parents of three children: Pattie Beth Corban Gunn (1927-1992) married Dr. Clyde H. Gunn; Lawrence C. Corban Jr. (b. 1929) married Jo Margaret Boyd; and Dr. Magruder S. Corban (b. 1932) married Margaret Hathorn.( The Daily Herald, October 21, 1926, p. 2 and The History of JXCO, Mississippi, 1989, p. 172)

Wadlington, Corban, and Grant

In 1925, Lawrence C. Corban, came to Biloxi from Fayette, Mississippi and commenced a legal practice with Walter J. Wadlington (1898-1989), a Vanderbilt alumnus, who had arrived at Biloxi from Memphis.  Leslie J. Grant (1908-1986), a Biloxian, joined the firm in January 1932, after graduating in law from the University of Alabama.(The Daily Herald, January 2, 1932, p. 2)

           Lawrence C. Corban was selected to lead the Biloxi Kiwanis Club in 1929.  He replaced Elbert L. Dukate (1881-1943).  President Corban urged continuation of the work done with under privileged children and the development of the lands north of Back Bay with emphasis on establishing the Harrison County Experimental Station near Woolmarket.(The Daily Herald, January 4, 1929, p. 2)

Judge L.C. Corban

Lawrence C. Corban (1901-1989) was elected Circuit Judge for Harrison-Jackson-George County in 1939.  He served in this capacity until his retirement in February 1953.  Upon stepping down from his judgeship, L.C. Corban returned to the practice of law with Walter J. Wadlington, as Wadlington and Corban.  He was then appointed City Attorney for Ocean Springs and worked in this capacity until he was replaced by his son, Lawrence C. Corban Jr., in January 1959.(The Daily Herald, December 22, 1952, p. 1 and The Ocean Springs News, December 18, 1958, p. 1 and January 1, 1959, p. 1)

Civic and Masonic maven

Judge Corban was active in the First Methodist Church in Biloxi.  He chaired the board during the construction of the church and also served as lay leader of the Seashore District of the church.  As a Mason, Judge Corban was a member and past master of Magnolia Lodge No. 120 at Biloxi.  He held membership in the Knights York Cross of Honour and Scottish rites and was Grandmaster of Mississippi in 1953.  In 1943, he was Grand Commander of the Knights Templar and was a 33rd degree Mason in the Biloxi Scottish Rites Bodies.  In addition, Judge Corban devoted much time and energy with the Boy Scouts of America and was president of the Pine Burr Council.  His efforts were rewarded with the Silver Beaver award, the highest recognition for one working with the Boy Scouts.  In 1948, L.C. Corban was named the Outstanding Citizen of Biloxi.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 6, 1989, p. 1)

Gene S. Corban and Judge Corban pass

Gene Sullivan Corban (1904-1988) died at Pascagoula, Mississippi on March 29, 1988.  Like her husband, she worshiped at the First Methodist Church of Biloxi.  Gene was a member of the Ocean Springs Order of the Eastern Star.  She was a former regent of the Biloxi Daughters of the American Revolution and past Mississippi president of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.  The P.E.O. Sisterhood was founded in 1869 as a sorority at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.  It evolved into a national women’s organization that focuses on providing education opportunities for female students worldwide.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 7, 1988, p. 3)

Judge Lawrence C. Corban expired at Pascagoula, Mississippi on April 3, 1989.  In his eulogy by Brother Eli J. Smith, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, as follows:  “Judge Corban’s life and character was above censure or reproach.  L.C. Corban’s epitaph could be that he was an active and faithful member of his church.  He was a loving husband to his wife Gene Sullivan Corban; he was a kind parent to his three children; he was an obligating neighbor.”

The corporal remains of Judge Lawrence Cunningham Corban and spouse were interred at Southern Memorial Park cemetery in Biloxi, Mississippi.

In September 1989. Lawrence C. Corban Jr., executor of the family estate, sold his parents home at 213 Washington Avenue to Donald C. Munro and wife.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 945, p. 852)

 

Donald C. Munro

            Donald Charles Munro (1924-2000), the son of John Curry Munro and Lucille F. Munro (1899-1979), was a native of Chicago.  He was educated in Biloxi, New Orleans, and at the University of Mississippi. After serving on the USS Hornet during WW II, Mr. Munro returned to Biloxi where he found employment with the Munro Petroleum & Terminal Corporation and the Munro Supply Company.(The Sun Herald, June 24, 2000, p. A7)

            In April 1954, Donald C. Munro married DeVeaux ‘ Deedy’ Walker Baxter (b. 1922), the daughter of Wilfred Edwin Walker (1889-1966) and Myrtle Wood Walker (1893-1985) of Pascagoula.  They were the parents of three children: Donald C. “Sunny” Munro Jr. (b. 1955), DeVeaux M. Carter (b. 1956), and John C. Munro (1962-2003). (Harrison Co., Ms. MRB, 97, p. 300)

Deedy’s

In January 1971, Donald C. Munro acquired a .46 tract of land with eighty-one feet on US 90, Bienville Boulevard, and two-hundred fifty feet on Nelson Road from Myrtle Walker and his wife.  In February 1971, Donald and Deedy Munro broke ground for Deedy’s Shopping Village on Thorn and Bienville Boulevard.  Robert Cossey of Vancleave was the project architect and James Neirynck served Mr. Munro as contractor.  At the time, this development was far to the east of the existing commercial district along U.S. Highway 90 and was considered a high risk for success.  The anchor retail center for the shopping strip was Deedy’s Dress Shop and Bridal Gallery.  It is a two-story, four thousand square-foot structure where Mrs. Munro has vended fine women’s fashions and accessories for over thirty years.  In addition to Deedy’s Dress Shop, the Munro shopping village has six other stores with about 8000 square-feet under lease.  DeVeaux W. Munro had gained experience in fashion and merchandising when she was affiliated with Bittar’s, the Biloxi-Gulfport women’s apparels center in the 1950s.  It was owned by Nageeb J. Bittar (1889-1979) and Eva Bittar (1899-1982.  Before commencing Deedy’s Dress and Bridal Gallery at Ocean Springs, Deedy had boutiques in the Buena Vista Hotel, West Biloxi Beach, and the Vieux Marche Mall on Howard Avenue.  Deedy’s is operated today by DeVeaux M. Carter, her daughter.(JXCO, Miss. Land Deed Bk. 393, p. 70, The Ocean Springs Record, February 18, 1971, p. 1 and DeVeaux M. Carter, March 27, 2007)    

            In August 1971, Mr. Munro began collecting rents from the following tenants of Deedy's Shopping Village: Maria Mavar, dba Dandy Lion. Inc.; JD Corporation of Chalmette, Louisiana; Aaron Shockey, dba Crown Jewelers; and J. Vallex Hebert Jr.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 410, p. 359, p. 365. p. 372, and p. 378)

Civic servant

Donald C. Munro was active in many civic and social organizations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  He attended the Biloxi Rotary Club for fifty one years without missing a meeting.  In 1949, Donald joined Rotary International.  He was a member of the Biloxi Jaycees and was named Biloxi’s “Outstanding Young Man of 1955.”  Mr. Munro served a director of the Biloxi and Gulf Coast Chambers of Commerce.  He held membership in the Biloxi Yacht Club; the Joppa Temple where he was a Master Shriner; the Great Southern Club; and the Petroleum Club.  In addition, Donald C. Munro served on the Board of Directors of the Howard Memorial Hospital for sixteen years and headed the Board for three terms.  He expired at Ocean Springs on June 22, 2000.  Donald C. Munro’s corporal remains were passed through the Church of the Redeemer at Biloxi where he worshiped for many years and interred at the Southern Memorial Park cemetery in Biloxi.(The Sun Herald, June 24, 2000, p. A7)

In November 1991, Donald C. Munro conveyed 213 Washington Avenue to DeVeaux C. Munro, his daughter.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1131, p. 805)           

DeVeaux and Bobby Carter

DeVeaux Corrine Munro (b. 1956) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi.  She is a 1974 graduate of Ocean Springs High School.  DeVeaux matriculated to the University of Southern Mississippi and after graduation attended the American Fashion institute of Lucerne and London.  In April 1995, she married Robert F. “Bobby” Carter III (b. 1954), a native of New Orleans and the son of Dr. Robert F. Carter Jr. and Patricia Ann Moore Carter.  Bobby Carter was reared on Cleveland Avenue and graduated from Ocean Springs High School in 1972.  Upon graduation from USM, he found employment with Texaco in its Offshore and Coastal Louisiana production districts.  Before joining the Isle of Capri Casino at Biloxi in February 1993, Bobby was working as a field engineer for Amoco in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana.  He co-founded the Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, a regional venue, which attracts sports fishermen from the entire Mexican Gulf region.  Bobby and DeVeaux M. Carter are the parents of: Tyler Sory, Robert F. Carter IV (b. 1983), Whitney Carter (b. 1986), Kevin Carter (b. 1987), Ashley D. Davis (b. 1986) and Amelie K. Davis (b. 1991).(The Ocean Springs Record, August 30, 1984, p. 9 and JXCO, Ms. MRB 177, p. 379 and Bobby and DeVeaux M. Carter, March 27, 2007)

Mardi Gras royalty

The Munro-Carter family has a history of participation in the Gulf Coast Carnival Association.  Donald C. Munro was a Duke at four GCCA Mardi Gras venues and reigned as King of Mithras, King of Billikins, and King of Revelers.  Tommy Munro, Donald’s brother, was King d’Iberville in 1989.(The Sun Herald, June 24, 2000, p. A7)

In February 1977, DeVeaux Munro was Queen Ixolib of the Gulf Coast Carnival Association.  At the time, she was a student at USM.  Roland Weeks Jr. of Gulfport was her King d’ Iberville.  Ashley DeVeaux Davis, her daughter, was a maid to Queen Ixolib, Audry Miles Bailey, and King d’Iberville, Jimmy Haynes, in the Gulf Coast Carnival Association 2007 celebration at Biloxi.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 24, 1977, p. 2 and The Sun Herald, February 18, 2007, p. F6)

            In 2003, Bobby Carter was a Duke for King d’Iberville, Jim Brashier, and Blair Lanier, Queen Ixolib.  

2003 home addition

            In the spring and summer of 2003, Resch Construction Company built a 960 square-foot addition to the rear of the old Mestier cottage for the Carters.  It consisted of a master bedroom with walk-in-closet; den; and laundry room.  The Carter kitchen was also extensively remodeled.

 

213 Washington Avenue

[l-r: image made December 2005; image made March 2007 both by Ray L. Bellande]

Katrina

            Water, wind, and floating debris from Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005, did considerable damage to the south and west elevations of the Mestier-Carter House.  Here structural damage was inflicted to the piers of the edifice by an automobile and trailer which the wind pushed into them collapsing the sills and joists of the foundation.  Water particularly was a major culprit, as it inundated the southwest and west area of the 2003 addition.  The original house remained virtually dry, but did have window damage from wind and structural stress from the rear collapsing.  By the fall of 2005, Kosciusko House Movers was hired.  They raised the house three feet, built new, concrete block, piers, and stabilized the foundation.

Post-Katrina

            In 2006 and 2007, Aviz Home Improvement and General Contractors working with the Carters and Cowart Architects, PC, refurbished the entire home, both exterior and interior.  The original wood floors were refinished; new, square permacast, columns replaced the former porch supports and balusters replaced the weatherboards which formerly wrapped the porch; and brick steps replaced those of concrete.  The bricks for the Carter steps were salvaged from Katrina destroyed homes owned by John and Germaine G. Weldon, Dan Burrows, and Doug Letoha.  A new, two-car garage of 672 square-feet was erected on the north side of the house.  It is connected to the house by a breezeway.  The Mestier-Carter House is now sage green in color with off-white trim.  

            The Carters like others on the south end of Washington Avenue, Jackson Avenue, Martin Avenue, all of Harbor Drive, and Front Beach Drive bore the brunt of Katrina’s fury in the Old Ocean Springs Historic District.  They and their neighbors have shown the courage and resiliency to rebound from this catastrophic, meteorological, phenomenon and go forward with their lives.  The Carters restoration of their 1911 cottage has been completed with excellent taste and sensitivity.  Unfortunately, many of our historic homes in this historic district were destroyed or irreparably damaged.  We can only hope that those that are restored or rebuilt can reach or exceed the high standard set by Bobby and DeVeaux M. Carter at 213 Washington Avenue.   

REFERENCES:

Russell E. Barnes, Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society“From Handsboro to Mandeville:  The Schooner Josephine Mestier and the Ethnic Composition of the Coast’s Maritime Heritage”, Volume 34, No. 1, 1998.

Brian Berggren, MDAH, United States Department of the Interior-National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, “Old Ocean Springs Historic District”, Jackson County, Mississippi, 1986.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi“Lawrence C. Corban”, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989).

Chancery Court Cases

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Casue No. 10358, "Ex-parte Judith Ann Jordan and Marietta Candis Jordan minors",-1946.

Magazines

Down South“Charcoal Capital of the Coast”, Volume 10, No. 4, July-August 1960, p. 9.

Newspapers

The Daily Herald, “Corban begins Kiwanis reign”, January 4, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Grant Now Member Biloxi Law Firm”, January 2, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Corban Seeks Judge’s Office”, April 14, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “Pattie Beth Corban Gets Award”, May 24, 1945.

The Daily Herald, “Diplomas Awarded”, May 30, 1945.

The Daily Herald, “Pattie Corban is on national forum”, March 20, 1948, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, “Judge Corban Is Retiring Feb. 8 To Practice Law”, December 22, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Judge R.L. Corban Dies in Fayette”, November 23, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Judy Jordan is entrant Miss VFW Contest”, May 29, 19161.

The Daily Herald, “Hospitality Beauty is Selected”, June 18, 1963.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Mestier’s Services Recognized By Board”, June 7, 1949.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Lee Jordan Sue Reichle safely wed”, June 24, 1949.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Biloxi Residents Purchase Property”, September 29, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Personal Items”, November 3, 1950.

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

The Gulf Coast Times, “Chamber members total 100 first time in history”, April 26, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Ocean Springs Personal Items” December 10, 1953.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Mestier-Richards”, December 24, 1953.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, October 14, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, July 14, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, June 18, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, June 5, 1926.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, September 17, 1927.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, December 5, 1936.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 4, 1939.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, January 4, 1941.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, June 17, 1944.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. Lee Jordan died Wednesday”, June 29, 1946, p. 4.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. Herbert H. Foster”, November ?, 1943.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 30, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, January 17, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, December 17, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, December 31, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Ocean Springs has A Great Future, Says Mgr. Chicago Assn. Commerce”, March 4, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, July 1, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, December 30, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Judge R.L. Corban Dies”, November 29, 1956, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “New Attorney”, December 18, 1958.

The Ocean Springs News, “L.C. Corban Hr. Takes Bride in Candlelight Rites”, January 1, 1959.

The Ocean Springs News, “Retiring after six years as City Attorney”, January 1, 1959.

The Ocean Springs News, “Takes oath of office”, January 1, 1959.

The Ocean Springs News, “Judge L.C. Corban”, July 12, 1962.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Jordan Elected Chamber President”

The Ocean Springs Record, “Co-operation key to confidence in courts”, June 17, 1971, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Dr. Ball Enters Springs Practice”, August 26, 1971, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Jordan Records 35 Years with Mississippi Power”, October 28, 1971, p. 10.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Royalty”, February 24, 1977.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Judge L.C. Corban made Paul Harris Fellow”, November 26, 1981.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Prominent Resident Dies”, August 13, 1984, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Munro-Davis”, August 30, 1984.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Mrs. Gene Corban”, April 7, 1988.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Judge Corban dies”, April 6, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Pattie B. Corban Gunn”, October 8, 1992.

The Sun Herald, “Donald Charles Munro”, June 24, 2000.

The Sun Herald“John C. Munro”, July 2, 2003.

The Sun Herald“Coast Carnival”, February 18, 2007.

PERSONAL COMMUNICATION:

Beryl Girot Riviere-telephone conversation June 23, 1998.(875-5594)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

SHELDON-PATTISON-PELHAM HOME: (1910-1995)

527 Cleveland Avenue

The Sheldon-Pattison-Pelham home is located in Lots 26-28 of Block 16 (Culmseig Map of 1854), Section 25, T7S-R9W, on the northwest corner of Cleveland and Martin.  The dimension of the lots are (136 feet x 199 feet x 216 feet x 174 feet).  The home is in the Old Ocean Springs Historic District, and protected by Ocean Springs City Ordinance No. 4-1990.

Austin Spring Lot

In the land deed records of Jackson County, Mississippi, this tract of land is referred to as the "Austin Spring Lot".  It derives this nomenclature since it was possessed by members of the Austin family of New Orleans from 1874 until 1904.  The land is on topographically high northwest-southeast striking ridge approximately twenty feet above sea level.  There were probably springs to the south of this land. Dr. William Glover Austin (1814-1894), a native of Somerset County, Maryland, and his wife, Martha E. Porter (1818-1898), from a notable family at Giles County, Tennessee, began purchasing land at Ocean Springs in the late 1840s.  They moved from Yazoo County, Mississippi to New Orleans circa 1844.  Here Dr. Austin practiced medicine and became an authority on yellow fever.  He built the Ocean Springs Hotel in 1853.  It was located south of Cleveland and west of Jackson Avenue on an approximate eight-acre parcel of land which is known as the Hotel Tract.  The village of Ocean Springs derived its name from Austin's hotel in 1854, when it rejected Lynchburg Springs as its designation.

In March 1874, John E. Austin (1840-1878), called Edward, bought the Lots 27 and 28 of Block 16 (Culmseig Map) for $500 from George A. Cox (1811-1887) who was acting as land agent for Edward Chase of St. Louis, Missouri.  Edward Austin was the eldest son of Dr. Austin.  He was a well-known sailor and owned a yacht called the Xiphias.  Austin expired in August 1878, from yellow fever at New Orleans.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 520-522)

The "Austin Spring Lot" left the Austin family in May 1904, when Mattie M. Austin (1842-1916), the sister of Edward Austin, conveyed it to Jacob Adams for $300.  Adams held the lots for a few years and sold them in April 1910, to Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), a local building contractor of renown.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, pp. 164 and Bk. 35, pp. 621-622)

 

Joseph A. Wieder

In May 1910, Joseph A. Wieder sold the Austin lots to Ellen Morrison Sheldon (1834-1912) for $383.75.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 35, p. 622)

 

Ellen Morrison Sheldon

Mrs. Sheldon, a native of New York, was the wife of Alonzo D. Sheldon (1832-1904), also from the Empire State.  He was probably one of the first railroad agent at Ocean Springs, as he was functioning in this capacity as early as 1880.  The Sheldons owned and lived off of Plummer's Road on the Fort Point peninsula, west of Ocean Springs.  Their Queen Anne style home faced the Bay of Biloxi on what is now called Lovers Lane.  The former Sheldon home is currently known as "Conamore".  The Sheldons had a son, Charles M. Sheldon, born in Mississippi in 1866.  They appear to have been affluent as in 1880, five servants are living with them.  Mrs. Sheldon bought her Lovers Lane area residence from G.B. Ittman in February 1889, and sold it to Jennie E. Carson in April 1904.

It is known with a high degree of certitude that Mrs. Sheldon built her home on the northwest corner of Cleveland and Martin Avenue in July 1910, as The Ocean Springs Newsannounced:

 

Mrs. A.D. Sheldon is erecting a handsome residence on the lot recently purchased by her on Martin Avenue.  Martin Avenue, by the way promises to build up considerably during the coming year.  We know of several new homes to be built along that thorofare (sic) during this fall and winter.

 

It is logical to assume that Mrs. Sheldon contracted with Joe Wieder to build a home for her on the Austin lots, about two years before her demise on April 26, 1912.  It is know with a high degree of certitude that Mr. Weider built a home at present day 406 Jackson Avenue for Frank Bryan (1872-1936), since The Ocean Springs News of May 14, 1910 announced the fact.

 

The Sheldon home was surveyed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 1986 and describe as follows:

One-and-one-half story, wood frame house with a side gable roof.  Five-bay undercut gallery with box columns.  Two hip-roofed dormers.  Five bay facade, center entrance with transom and sidelights.  Wings extends to west.  Colonial Revival.  Circa 1920.  Contributing.

Mrs. Sheldon bequeathed her home to Miss Rebecca Morrison (d. January 13, 1916) and Mrs. Martha C. Brown (1837-1921).  They were probably her sisters and were residence of Adrian, Michigan.  A Mr. Vance rented the home in 1915, for $25.00 per month.  He may have been George W. Vance (1859-1940), a retiree from Iowa, who was at Ocean Springs during this period.  Vance married Marie Gouax Bertuccini (1863-1930), the widow of Antoine Bertuccini (1844-1921), in 1922.  The Bertuccinis were Corsican immigrants who in 1896 founded the French Hotel on the Front Beach at Martin Avenue.  The Vances lived on Jackson Avenue.(Jackson County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 3121, Estate of Ellen M. Sheldon, August 1911)

             After the death of Mrs. Brown on March 30, 1921, Katherine Bird, possibly her daughter, became the legal owner when Theodore Bechtel (1863-1931), the executor of Mrs. Sheldon's estate deeded it to her.  Katherine Bird was also a resident of Adrian in Lenawee County, southwest of Detroit, Michigan.  She sold the Sheldon home to Cara Jeanette Pattison (1864-1956) for $2500 in May 1925.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Book.  51, pp. 17-18 and Bk. 55, p. 223) 

Loveland

Miss Pattison resided in the home with her spinster sisters, Elizabeth Kemp Pattison (1864-1943) and Annie Pattison (1870-1957), and bachelor brother, Charles Ernest Pattison (1867-1940), known as “Bulldog” Pattison for his facial resemblance to this canine. 

The Pattisons were natives of Brooklyn, New York.  Their parents were William James Pattison (1827-1897) and Caroline Loveland (1842-1901), also New Yorkers.  They settled at New Orleans where Charles E. Pattison was in the importing business with his brother, Alfred Taylor Pattison (1862-1930).  At Ocean Springs, C.E. Pattison was in the real estate and insurance business.  He was a judge in the Justice of the Peace Court from 1936 until his demise.

After the death of Miss Annie Pattison on September 20, 1957, her nephew, George Pandely Pattison (1906-1978), inherited her Cleveland Avenue home.  The Pattison sisters had continuously occupied their home at 527 Cleveland for thirty-two years.  They were good Presbyterians.  All family members were interred at the Live Oak Cemetery in Pass Christian, Mississippi.(Jackson County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 14055, Estate of Annie Pattison, August 1958). 

George P. Pattison

George Pandely Pattison was an automobile dealer at New Orleans.  He moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1970, from New Orleans.  In 1958 George p. Pattison purchased the Pontiac Dealership in Biloxi, and his son Theodore W. 'Ted' Pattison (1926-2009) managed it until 1966 when he purchased it in 1982.  The Cleveland Avenue home was soon referred to as The Big House by the Pattison family.  The Big House was enjoyed by the children, grandchildren, and their families for the ensuing 35 years.  The intention was for the home to be kept, if at all possible, in ownership by the Pattison family members, but due to financial setbacks, John C. Buck Jr. the son of Patricia Loveland Pattison Buck sold it to Jerry Pelham in October 1994.  It should also be noted that upon inheriting the home, George P. Pattison enlarged the kitchen and the dining areas and installed the swimming pool.  The house was supremely built and has withstood many hurricanes with only minor damage over it's entire existence.

Ted Pattison and others

            In July 1973, George P. Pattison sold the old Pattison home of his aunts to his sons, William T. Pattison and Theodore W. 'Ted' Pattison.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 468, p. 301)

Theodore W. Pattison conveyed the house to John C. Buck Jr. of Chevy Chase, Maryland in June 1990.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 960, p. 630)

J.C. Buck Jr., the son of Patricia Loveland Pattison Buck, was the nephew of Ted Pattison and never lived in the home.  His mother married John C. Buck and Albert Sidney Johnston III and had a large family.  She once lived across the street in the John E. Godsey Cottage at 502 Martin Avenue.  Mr. Buck sold to Jerry L. Pelham in October 1994.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1050, p. 284)                                            

Jerry L. Pelham

Jerry L. Pelham, a native of Graceville, Florida, and his spouse, Margaret I. “Peggy” Pelham, a West Virginia born lady, who like many people become enamored with the congenial atmosphere of Ocean Springs, decided to relocate here from the Florida panhandle.  In October 1994, they acquired the historic Sheldon-Pattison home, located on the northwest corner of Cleveland and Martin.  Contemporaneously, Mr. Pelham changed businesses.  He sold his Florida- based, property and casualty, insurance agency, and purchased several hamburger restaurants in the region.

The Pelhams came to Ocean Springs from Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  During their occupancy of the home, they have: in 1995, built a three-car garage and erected a wood fence on the west side of the property; painted the interior and exterior of their home; and also built a “cat-house” for their feline pets.  Jerry Pelham is the proprietor of several Crystal Hamburger restaurants in the region.  His wife, Peggy, is an artist who has painted several murals in her home.

Pelham Building

In February 1996, the Pelhams acquired from the Ocean Springs Lumber Company the old Phil J. Weider (1887-1985) property on the northwest corner of Government at Cash Alley and contracted with Anchor Realty and Daniel Jalanivich to erect a new structure here.  Demolition of the derelict Wieder-Engbarth garage building commenced in September 1996.  New construction to replicate the timeworn and termite-tasted, former Wieder treasure began in December 1996.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1080, p. 560)

  In May 1997, Jerry Pelham moved his Krystal hamburger operations into the second story of the 3600 square-foot, structure.  Lady Di's, a floral gallery, which opened in June 1997, is situated in the east half of the edifice.  In the fall of 1997, Peggy Pelham opened her art gallery in the west-half of the building.  Mrs. Pelham hangs her own canvas creations as well as those of other Southern artists.  She also markets eclectic stoneware, sculpture, and stain-glass of gift quality.  When the Pelhams left Ocean Springs for Alabama in 2001, a decision was made to sell this structure.  It was sold to the proprietors of their tenant, Lady Di’s, in ?

Today

The Sheldon-Pattison-Pelham House has been vacant for over one year.  It was placed on the market in June 2001 by Coldwell-Banker’s Alfonso Realty for $470,000.  The price was reduced to $395,000 in January 2002.  Again in May 2002, with M&M Bank as marketer, the asking bid was lowered.  In September 2002, this fine home is currently listed with Harrington Realty Company.  Bought by Sherry Cole, formerly of NOLA.

 

REFERENCES:

Books

Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande:  Ocean Springs, Mississippi), pp 90-92.

 

Chancery Court Causes

Jackson County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 3121, Will of Ellen M. Sheldon, August 1911.

---------------------------------- Cause No. 13,785, Estate of Cara J. Pattison, June 1958.

---------------------------------- Cause No. 13,786, Will of Elizabeth Kemp Pattison, April 1975.

---------------------------------- Cause No. 14055, Estate of Annie Pattison, August 1958.

 

Journals

The Daily Herald"C.E. Pattison Dies", December 30, 1940, p. 3, c. 3.

The Daily Herald"Miss Caroline Pattison", March 15, 1956, p. 1, c. 1.

The Daily Herald"Anne Pattison", February 20, 1957, p. 2, c. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, July 23, 1910.

The Sun Herald, "Mr. Ted "Pontiac" Pattison", June 13, 2009, p. A4. 

**************************************************************************************************************************************************

CARTER-CALLOWAY HOUSE

916 State Street

 

916 State Street

[image made February 12, 2001 by Ray L.Bellande]

 

This home is probably one of the most architecturally interesting at Ocean Springs.  It is located in a neighborhood once inhabited primarily by black L&N Railroad employees.  Compared to the simple cottages that surround it, the home is somewhat ostentatious because of its scale and ornamentation.  With some imagination, the Carter-Calloway House resembles a northbound steamboat minus the paddlewheel. 

            The Carter-Calloway House was commenced in the fall of 1906, by Wilson Louis Carter (1867-1942).  Unfortunately, the October Hurricane of 1906 destroyed the incipient structure.  This event was reported by The Pascagoula Democrat-Star on October 5, 1906, which related, "the new houses of Mr. Joe Weider (sic) and Wilson Carter, colored, in process of erection were entirely demolished".  Alcidia Rochon (1903-2001) remembered that the Carter-Calloway House was rebuilt circa 1912.  The Carters had erected a barn on the property after the 1906 Hurricane, and lived there until the new house was completed about 1912.

Wilson L. Carter was born at Pascagoula, Mississippi on February 2, 1867.  His father, John Carter, was a native of Louisville, Kentucky while his mother, Emily Vaughan (1850-1895), was probably born at Inverness, Mississippi.  The Carters were Methodist.

            Wilson L. Carter married Elmira Bardswell (1867-1911) in 1893.  She taught school at Gulfport.  Elmira had a daughter by a previous marriage named Florence Bardswell (b. 1882).  Florence was also a teacher.  The Carters had no children.

            Wilson Carter worked as a chef at the Great Southern Hotel in Gulfport.  His brother, John Hilton Carter (1877- 1920+), lived on Government Street and was a waiter at the same hostelry.  Alcidia Rochon remembered that the Carter House was rebuilt circa 1912.  The Carters had erected a barn on the property after the 1906 Hurricane, and lived there until the new house was completed about 1912.

            In 1911, after the death of his wife, Wilson Carter inherited the property.(1)  He then married Blanche L. Raby at Gulfport on July 17, 1912.(2)  They were divorced on

June 8, 1927.(3)  Carter then married Lettie Paige Smith (1897-1963) circa 1928. 

            Lettie Paige was born October 10, 1897.  Her parents were James Henry Paige and Catherine Bowyer.  Before her marriage to Carter, Lettie had married a Smith.  She had a son, Robert E. Smith, who was a football line coach at Southern University (Baton Rouge) in 1963.  Lettie Carter had a brother, William E. Paige (New Orleans), and a

sister, Doris P. Watts (Detroit).  She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Victory Chapter No. 423, the House Hold of Ruth No. 6136, and the St. James Methodist Church.

            The Carter House is located at 916 State Street on Lot 5 of Block A of the Ames Tract.  Elmira Bardswell Carter purchased it and the N/2 of Lot 4 from Mrs. May Virginia Russell (1866-1910) on February 12, 1906.(4)  The property had one hundred feet on State Street and one hundred feet on Blount (now Robinson).

            The lots had previously been owned by R.A. VanCleave and his son.(5)  VanCleave bought the land from the Ames heirs on January 24, 1891, when he acquired 6.26 acres from them between County Road (Government) and the L&N right-of-

way.(6)

            The Carter House is located in the L&N Railroad Historical District.  The Queen Anne style structure was described in a historical sites survey by the Mississippi

Department of Archives and History as follows:

 

     The Carter-Callaway House is a two-story, side gabled, wood frame building, which rests upon continuous brick foundation walls.  A rear wing with a low hip roof extends to the east.  The facade is four bays wide with transomed single-leaf doors in the outer first floor bays.  The inner bays have floor length double-hung sash windows which maintain the dimensions of the entrances.  Four less vertically proportioned openings are arrayed across the second floor.  A four-bay, two-tier gallery which features a relatively elaborate display of stock sawn and spindle mill work extends across the facade.  Two-story bays, which project from the side elevations give the house a nautical flavor.  That on the north is two-sided and projects to an acute angle suggests a ships's bow.  The "stern" is formed by a southern semicircular bay sheathed in imbricated shingles. 

Ca. 1906-1907.

 

     After Mr. Carter's demise, widow, Lettie Carter sold her home to Delia Stewart Calloway (1912-1985) on February 26, 1948.(7)  Mrs. Carter then moved to her mother's house on Handy Street.  Delia was the daughter of Alphonse Stewart (1877-1920+) and Rainey Stewart (1880-1920).  Alphonse Stewart made his livelihood working at a livery stable (1900), railroad laborer (1910), and sawmill laborer (1920).  Other Stewart children were:  Lillie (1901), Eugene (1903-1952), and Albert (1914-1985+).  Albert was

living at Reno, Nevada in 1985. 

            Delia Stewart was married to James Calloway (1907-1987) probably in the Baptist Church.  Calloway was born on June 19, 1907 at Birmingham, Alabama.  His father was Richard Calloway and mother, Eliza Massey.  James Calloway had a brother, Robert Calloway, and sister, Mary Brewster, of Birmingham.

            Mr. Calloway made his living as the gardener for Walter Lindsay (1888-1975).  Lindsay, an entrepreneur, lived at Milwaukee and was the son-in-law of Annie Louise

Benjamin (1848-1938).  His winter home at Ocean Springs was called Shore Acres.  It is now the J.K. Lemon residence at Lovers Lane.  Later, James Calloway was a supervisor for the Public Works Department of the City of Ocean Springs.  He died on August 5, 1987. 

            The Calloways had no children, but he had an adopted son, Joseph Calloway, of Cleveland, Ohio.  They also had the guardianship of Dexter Scott George.(8)  His mother was Leana Beatrice George (d. March 24, 1984) of Moss Point and Houston, Texas.  Delia S. Calloway died on March 22, 1985.

            In 1987, James Calloway legated his home at 916 State Street to a niece of Delia Stewart Calloway, Marie Stewart Oliver, of Chicopee, Massachusetts.(9)  Chicopee is

north of Springfield.  The Oliver property now consists of the north half of Lot 4, Lot 5, and the north half of Lot 7 of Block A of the Ames Tract (100 feet on State

Street, 193 feet on Robinson, and 100 feet on Handy).

            James Calloway died August 5, 1987.  He and Delia S. Calloway are interred at the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.  The Carter House has been empty since the death of James Calloway.  It is slowly demolishing by neglect, and if appropriate measures aren't taken soon, it is in danger of being lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1.  Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. 10173, "Lettie Carter v. State of Mississippi, et al".

2.  Harrison County Marriage Record Book 24, "Carter-Raby",  p. 316.

3.  Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No.4944, "Wilson Carter v. Blanche Carter", May 27, 1927.

4.  Jackson County Deed Book 30, p. 624.

5.  ------------------- Book 12, pp. 553-554.

6.  ------------------- Book 12, p. 552.

7.  ------------------- Book 100, p. 182.

8.  Jackson County Chancery Court Cause No. P-675, "Guardianship of Dexter Scott George", June 1984.

9.  Jackson County Chancery Court  Cause No. P-3862, "Estate of James Calloway", October 1993.

 

 

Brian Berggron, Mississippi Department of Archives and History Historical Sites Survey, "Carter-Callaway House", May 15, 1986.

 

Journals

The Daily Herald"Mrs. Lettie Carter", July 22, 1963, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"Delia Calloway", March 25, 1985, p. A-2.

The Ocean Springs Record, "A future for the 'Steamboat House'", August 21, 2008, p. B1.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", October 5, 1906.

The Sun Herald"James Calloway", August 7, 1987, p. A-2.

 

US CENSUS-Jackson County, Mississippi (1900, 1910, 1920)

******************************************************************************************************************************************************** 

THE NEWCOMB-DICK HOUSE: “Dogwood Place”, 1916-1999

 

1312 Porter [image made June 1993]

      This home was erected in 1916 for Fred Davidson Newcomb (1880-1932), the adopted son of Dr. Daniel Newcomb (1829-1908) and Calista Helen Smith (1830-1909).  The New combs were natives of Vermont.  Fred D. Newcomb made his livelihood as a dairyman and rural mail carrier.  He married Jennie E. carter (1877-1951), a native of the Daisy-Vestry community in northwestern Jackson County, Mississippi.  In August 1998, Edwin 'Sonny' Dick and Donnalee Bailey Dick opened Dogwood Place as a B & B.  Donnalee's maxim for her unique, antique furnished, Dogwood Place is: "Where hospitality and charm are not just words, but a way of life."

 

Saturday, March 20, 1999, the Newcomb-Dick House, recently christened Dogwood Place and integrated into local the bed and breakfast circuit, by proprietors, Edwin “Sonny” and Donnalee Bailey Dick, will be open to the public as a part of the 52nd Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Pilgrimage.  The Newcomb-Dick House is located at 1312 Porter, on Lots 1 and 2 of the Russell Subdivision, in Section 37, T7S-R8W.  The Russell Subdivision was platted by Hiram Fisher Russell (1858-1940) in December 1911. Lots 1 and 2 have an east-west front on Porter Avenue measuring 98 feet.  The eastside of the Newcomb-Dick House is bounded by Vancleave, and the lots run 150 feet deep to the south.( JXCO Land Plat Book 1, p. 33)

            In September 1916, H.F. Russell sold Lot 1 and 2 of the Russell Subdivision to Fred D. Newcomb (1880-1932for $412.50.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 43, p. 635)  The construction date for the Newcomb-Dick House is well documented as The Jackson County Times of October 21, 1916, announced in “Local News Interests”  that, “a new cottage is going up on East Porter Avenue for Fred Newcomb”. 

 

The Newcomb-Dick House can be described architecturally as:

 

            A wood- framed, vernacular-bungaloid, structure with a hip roof.  The east half of the south elevation, the façade, has a three-bay undercut gallery supported by three posts with ornamental brackets.  A shuttered, coupled window and transom light door with sidelights complete the east façade.  The west half of the façade has shuttered, double-hung, two-over-two, coupled windows.   Metal or vinyl siding now covers the original weather boards on the entire building.  The Newcomb-Dick House was erected in October 1916.

 

            Interviews and correspondence with former neighbors and occupants of the Newcomb-Dick house indicate that the edifice was remodeled during WW II, to create two apartments.  There was a housing shortage in the area as a result of the commencement of Keesler AFB in 1941.  Residents of the Mississippi coast erected garage apartments and converted space in their homes to let to military personnel brought here to train for participation in the global conflict. The western half of the front gallery of the Newcomb-Dick House was enclosed for rental intent by Joseph “Dode” Schrieber (1873-1951), a Newcomb family friend and neighbor.(Clista N. Lumsden, circa 1988, and Lurline S. Hall, 1998) 

               Clista Newcomb Lumsden who was reared in the East Porter structure has previously written about it.  In an undated letter, but probably to her brother, Fred Newcomb, circa 1988, she describes the Newcomb-Dick from her memory as:

 

            I know the house has had three roofs.  The original, according to Papa’s specifications, was cypress shingles;*  I remember the second roof because Papa had a court case, I think because it was not the correct material or not to Papa’s specifications.  Don (Clista’s husband) said there was a roof put on when George Goff took the old chimney out, but I don’t recall that one (and that is probably the present roof). 

            The original house, if you can picture it in your mind, had a full- length, front porch, with four, square columns.*  There were three bedrooms and bath on the west side.  A door opened into the long center (hall) of the house from each bedroom.  The front entrance came into a large “front room” which had the big heater and that room was divided, with two small dividers, from the dining room, which was as large as the front room. ………..  The dining room had the table in the center, the large black piano had a sideboard.  The back porch, to my knowledge, was never screened in.(probably years after I left.)  The little closet on the back porch, at the door from the south bedroom, was built to put the large heater in when not in use.

           

*In a list of specifications written by Fred D. Newcomb for the builder of his East Porter residence, the roof was described: “ to be hipped and have 7 and 12 pitch and covered with No. 1 cypress shingles”.  In addition, Mr. Newcomb requested, “six box columns on the front gallery and four square (columns) on the back (gallery)”.(Clista N. Lumsden, circa 1988)

 

Lurline Schrieber Hall, who was reared on East Porter opposite the Newcomb Cottage, recalls the Newcomb family fondly.  Mrs. Hall relates that circa 1930, Jean Basly (1872-1954), a local carpenter, installed cabinets in the Newcomb kitchen.  Basly was a French immigrant who came to Ocean Springs in 1904, with his wife, Adelaide Mechain (1871-1949).  The Basly family had three children: Elizabeth B. Brodu (1896-1949+), George Basly (1908-1995), and Raymond Basly (1913-1988).

 

Fred M. D. Newcomb and family

             Fred Major Davidson Newcomb (1880-1932), a native of Cabot, Vermont, was the son of Major Davidson (1861-1885) and Lucy A. Smith (1841-1886).  His mother while ill with cancer requested that her sister, Calista Helen Smith Newcomb (1830-1909), care for young Fred doing her convalescence, as Mrs. Newcomb was childless.  On April 11, 1888, after the demise of his parents, Fred Major Davidson was adopted by his uncle and aunt, Dr. Daniel Newcomb and Calista Helen Smith, respectively.  He was renamed Fred Davidson Newcomb.(letter from May J. Smith to Fred D. Newcomb dated March 29, 1929)

Prior to relocating to Ocean Springs, Dr. Dan Newcomb and family were residing in Central Wisconsin.  He visited Ocean Springs in February 1891, to complete preparations for his family to move here in the fall of 1891.  Dr. Newcomb had not decided if he

would continue his medical practice at Ocean Springs.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 15, 1891, p. 1)

            At Mobile, on May 9, 1903, Fred D. Newcomb married Jennie Edwina Carter (1877-1951), who was born and reared in the Carterville area of northwestern Jackson County, Mississippi. Her parents were William M. Carter (1821-1895) and Sarah Ann Davis (1850-1923).  Mrs. Newcomb’s sister, Mary Carter (1873-1942), married William Ross David (1869-1919).  Mr. David acquired the old Carter house located in the NE/4 of Section 14, T4S-R8W.  It is situated on the highest topographic elevation in Jackson County.  The Davids also had a residence at Ocean Springs adjacent to the Parlins (now Austin) on Front Beach Drive while Mr. David served in the State legislature.(Alice Austin Martin, February 1999) 

It is believed that Jennie C. Carter was a mail carrier in the Vancleave region before she met and married Fred D. Newcomb.  She rode a horse sidesaddle and carried the mail in a leather bag.(Lurline S. Hall, August 10, 1998)  It is known that Mrs. Newcomb’s brother, Prentice B. Carter (1868-1916), ran a store and his wife, Eliza O’Neal Carter (1865-1932), was postmistress at Carterville from 1907-1912.(Cain, Vol. I, 1983, p. 160).

  The children of Fred D. Newcomb and Jennie E. Carter were: Alforetta N. Dale (1904-1932),  Daniel Newcomb (1906-1967), Helen N. Wright (1907-1967), Calista “Clista” N. Lumsden (b. 1909), Jennie N. Marcade (1911-1986), Fred D. Newcomb Jr. (1912-1991), Frank Eugene Newcomb (1914-1964), and Ida Victoria N. Carey (1919-1996).(Fred Lumsden, 1998) 

 

Dr. Daniel Newcomb

As previously mentioned, Fred D. Newcomb was adopted by Dr. Daniel Newcomb (1829-1908) in 1888.  Dr. Newcomb was born at Fayston near Montpelier, Vermont.  His mother was Harriet Newcomb (1805-1903), and he had a brother, D.C. Newcomb, who was residing at Atchison, Kansas in 1903.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 3, 1903 and May 22, 1903)

 In September 1851, Dr. Daniel Newcomb married  Calista Helen Smith (1830-1909), a native of Cabot, Vermont.  She was the daughter of Daniel Smith and Fanny Smith.  The Newcombs came South in November 1891, probably from Wisconsin.(The Ocean Springs News, February 20, 1909)

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

 Dr. Dan Newcomb attended the New York City College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Vermont Medical College, the Berkshire Medical College, and the Chicago Medical College.  He began the practice of medicine in 1853.  On April 13, 1892, Dr. Newcomb was issued license No. 711 to practice medicine at Jackson County, Mississippi.(Rodgers, 1990, p. 31)  He maintained an office in the Herman Nill Building, which was situated on the northwest corner of Washington and Porter.  Dr. Newcomb was an Episcopalian and a charter member of McLeod Lodge No. 424 F&AM.  It was organized at Ocean Springs in 1892.  He was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in 1866 or 1867 at Palatine, Illinois.(A History of McLeod Lodge No. 424, 1995) 

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

Mr. Fred D. Newcomb made his livelihood as a rural mail carrier and was a partner of J.C. Wright (1879-1941) in the Fort Bayou Dairy, which was located where the Maurepas Landing subdivision is currently developing east of the US Post Office.  He joined Mr. Wright circa 1926. Mr. Newcomb, an Episcopalian, was active in the McLeod Lodge No. 424 F&AM, serving as an officer of the organization on several occasions.  He also held memberships in the Woodmen of the World and Maccabees.(The Daily HeraldNovember 2, 1932, p. 2, c. 2)  Newcomb’s fellow mail carriers were Charlie Clark (1879-1945) and Fred L. Westbrook (1889-1962).(J.K. Lemon, 1998)

At the time of his demise in November 1932, Fred Newcomb, in partnership with J.C. Wright, owned dairy appliances, machinery, a milk truck, and twenty young cattle.  His one-half interest was acquired by Mr. Wright for $463 in 1933.(Jackson County, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 5479-May 1933).

In addition to his wife and children, Fred D. Newcomb was survived by two brothers, Dan S. Davidson of Cartersville, Illinois and John C. Davidson of Cabot, Vermont.  His remains were interred in the Newcomb family plot at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs.(The Daily HeraldNovember 2, 1932, p. 2, c. 2)

Mrs. Jennie C. Newcomb expired at New Orleans on February 25, 1951.  She was living with her children, Jennie and Frank Newcomb, probably on Eastern Street.(The Daily Herald,February 26, 1951, p. 6, c. 1.)

 

The children of Fred D. Newcomb (1880-1932) and Jennie Carter Newcomb (1877-1951) were as follows:

 

Alforetta Newcomb (1904-1932) was a member of the 1926 Class of Biloxi High School where she carried the moniker “Tattletale”.  The “Oracle of Delphi”, the 1926 graduating class prophet, related that, “Alforetta would resign her position as lady Mayor of Ocean Springs and become the first woman president of the United States”.   She may have been employed as a cashier at Gottshe’s Store on Washington Avenue after graduation.

Alforetta Newcomb married Leo B. Dale (1905-1954), the son of George W. Dale (1872-1953) and Harriet Seymour (1876-1956), on Christmas Day 1930.  In late February 1932, while a resident of Laplace, Louisiana, she gave birth to a son, Robert B. Dale (b. 1932), at New Orleans.  She died eight days later on March 6, 1932.  Mrs. Dale’s remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Daily HeraldMarch 7, 1932)

            Leo B. Dale remarried and had two daughters, Jean and Jo Ann Dale.  At the time of his demise, they were residents of Florence, Alabama.  Leo B. Dale lived at 19 Calhoun Avenue.  His son, Robert B. Dale, was at Sacramento, California in 1954, but now resides at Suison City, California.(Hall, 1998)  Mr. Dale’s remains were interred in the Bellande Cemetery on Dewey Avenue.(The Daily HeraldAugust 19, 1954, p. 12, c. 3)  His brother, Willie Dale (1899-1990), resided at 1406 Porter, just east of the Newcomb Cottage.  Mr. Willie Dale settled here shortly after the Newcombs as he acquired his lot in March 1920.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 48, p. 43)  Ronald A. Marion now resides in the Dale Cottage.

 

Daniel Newcomb (1906-1967) called “Newky” by his teammates was a star athlete at Biloxi High School.   He, with Morris M. “Babe” Baker (1907-1994) and Louis A. “Lucky Lou” Lundy Jr. (1908-1992), were superior Ocean Springs athletes, on the Biloxi High School football team that played the Sunflower County Agricultural High School of Moorhead at Greenville, Mississippi in early December 1926 for the high school championship of Mississippi. (The Jackson County Times, December 41926, p. 5, c. 2)  The Biloxi Indians were outweighed by the Aggies 24 pounds per man, but fought the larger, less fleet farmers to a 7-7 stalemate. Biloxi had won ten of eleven games scoring 249 points to their oppositions 15 points.  They beat the St. Stanislaus Reserves 125-0.(The Daily Herald, December 3, 1926)

Dan Newcomb was the hero of the Biloxi v. Pike County game at Hattiesburg in November 1926, when he scored the only touchdown against the Summit, Mississippi based agricultural school.(The Daily Herald, November 22, 1926)  In addition to his prowess as a running back on the grid iron, Newcomb was a fine catcher and second baseman in baseball.  He tied Arnaud Lopez Jr. (1910-1986) for the batting championship of the amateur Biloxi League while playing catcher for the Daily Herald baseball team with an average of .500.  “Newky” also captained the 1925 Biloxi High basketball team.(The Daily Herald, August 30, 1926)

Before leaving Ocean Springs for the upper coast Texas oil fields, Dan Newcomb worked at the Fort Bayou Dairy with his brothers.  He married Mildred Graham (1907-1972).  They resided at Winnie, Texas in 1932, Beaumont in 1954, and at Nederland, Texas in 1967.  The Newcombs had a daughter, Virginia Grace Newcomb. No further information.

 

Helen Newcomb (1907-1967) attended telegraphy school at Rome, Georgia in 1928.  Upon graduation, she was employed with Western Union at Cleveland, Tennessee.  Later, Helen was employed in the telegraph office at Oxford, Mississippi.  Here she wedded, prior to 1932, Sherman L. Wright (1908-1982) of Ocean Springs.(Fred Lumsden, August 1998 and The Jackson County Times, August 25, 1928, p. 4)

 Sherman was the son of John C. Wright (1879-1941) and Florence Hunt Wright (1875-1961).  The Wright family arrived at Ocean Springs circa 1919, from southern Illinois.  Here Mr. J.C. Wright made his livelihood as an orchardman and dairy farmer.  Mrs. Wright was the sister of entrepreneurial, Texas oilman, Haroldson Lamar Hunt (1889-1974). 

In 1932, the Helen and Sherman Wright were residing at Overton, Texas.  They lived at Thibodeaux, Louisiana from 1957-1967.  She had one child, John C. Wright, named for her father-in-law, John C. Wright.(The Daily HeraldMay 23, 1967, p. 2, c. 1)   Sherman Wright worked for Sun Oil Company.  He expired at New Orleans August 12, 1982.  After services at the Elysian Fields United Methodist Church in the Crescent City, his remains were interred besides his wife in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.(The Daily HeraldAugust 12, 1982, p. 2, c. 1

 

Fred D. Newcomb (1880-1932) and Clista N. Lumsden (1909-1999)

[Courtesy of Clista and Fred Lumsden-Sikeston, Missouri-1999)

     This image was made at Niagara Fall, New York in 1929, probably by Helen Newcomb Wright (1907-1967).  The Newcomb family had left Ocean Springs for a holiday to voist relatives in Vermont and New Hamphisre.

 

Calista “Clista” Newcomb (1909-1999) married Donald Kenneth Lumsden (1920-1996) in 1946.  He was a civilian instructor employed at KAFB.  Clista met Don Lumsden at KAFB where she was teaching B-24 aircraft mechanics during WW II.  Before her betrothal to Mr. Lumsden, Clista attended Harrison-Stone-Jackson County Agricultural High School and Junior College at Perkinston, Mississippi.  She graduated in 1931 with a degree in Home Economics.(Fred Lumsden, August 1998) 

Clista reared her nephew, Robert B. Dale, at Ocean Springs after her sister’s demise.(Margarete Seymour Norman, 1998)  She worked in the woolen mill at Moss Point while residing in her family home on Porter.  Before moving to a farm at Essex, Missouri in 1948, Clista and Don Lumsden remodeled the Newcomb Cottage to create the two rental apartments on the west side of the edifice.  The Lumsden later lived at Wichita Falls, Texas and Columbia, Missouri before settling at Sikeston, Missouri.  Clista and Don Lumsden had a son, Donald Fred Lumsden, and an adopted daughter, Bonnie Sue Lumsden.(Fred Lumsden, August 1998)

            Clista N. Lumsden has attended recent High School reunion dinners at Ocean Springs, and visited the old Newcomb homeplace with her son in 1997.  She passed at her Missouri home on April 16, 1999.(Dick, 1998)

 

Jennie Newcomb (1911-1986) married Ernest Marcade prior to 1932.  She departed Ocean Springs circa 1937, to reside at New Orleans.  The Marcades divorced with no children.  Jennie N. Marcade resided at 4916 Eastern Street in New Orleans. Her corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Sun HeraldMay 12, 1986, p. A-2).  No further information.

 

Fred D. Newcomb Jr. (1912-1991) was called “Boy”.  As a young man he worked at the Fort Bayou Dairy with his father and J.C. Wright.  Fred Newcomb Jr., like his brother Dan, went to the “oil patch” to make his livelihood.  His career in the petroleum industry brought him to Arp, Texas in 1932, Selman City, Texas in 1954, Wright City, Texas in 1964, Palestine, Texas in 1967, and Troup, Texas in 1986.

Mr. Newcomb married Myrtle Chatham of Biloxi, in June 1936, at the Epworth Methodist Church in Biloxi.(The Jackson County Times, June 20, 1936,p. 3, c. 3)  They parented four daughters: Kay N. Slayton, Jean N. Challis, Patricia Ann N. Lung, and Linda N. Divers.  Fred Newcomb Jr. expired in April 1991, at Henderson, Texas.  He was a retired pumper having worked for the Crabtree and Jeffrey Oil Company in the giant East Texas Field which was owned in part by H.L. Hunt, the uncle of his brother-in-law, Sherman Wright.(unknown newspaper obit dated, April 20, 1991).

 

Frank E. Newcomb (1914-1964)-called “Cotton”.  Left Ocean Springs prior to 1932 to live at New Orleans.  He may have been married briefly to Gladys M. Pereira.(Fred Lumsden, August 1998).

In 1940, F.E. Newcomb went to work for the New Orleans Public Service Commission.  During WW II, he fought as a paratrooper with the 4th Infantry, and was a post-war member of the V.F.W.  Mr. Newcomb resided at New Orleans on 4914 Eastern Street.  He passed on at New Orleans on May 21, 1964.  Newcomb’s corporal remains were brought to the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs for burial.  No further information. (The Daily HeraldMay 22, 1964, p. 2)

 

Ida V. Newcomb (1919-1996) was born on New Years Day.  She married William James Carey of Salisbury, Maryland at Gulfport on August 17, 1943.(The Daily Herald, August 23, 1943, p. 7)  They lived initially in Maryland.  Circa 1954, after a divorce, Ida went to live with Clista N. Lumsden at Essex, Missouri.  She later moved to New Orleans and resided with her sister, Jennie Newcomb, until 1986.  Ida N. Carey then relocated to Fayetteville, southwest of Atlanta, Georgia where her son, William David Carey, resided.  She passed on October 30, 1996.  Her remains were interred in Georgia.(Hall, 1998 and Lumsden, 1998)    No further informati