Joseph Arbeau Bellande (1868-1961)

 

     Joseph Arbeau Bellande was born March 16, 1868 in North Biloxi.  He was known as Joe and later Arbo.  Joseph ran a schooner on the Mississippi Sound before becoming a saloon operator.  He also dealt in cypress shingles.  In late July 1892, he received a shipment of 100,000, 1st and 2nd class shingles, which he was vending at bargain prices.(The Biloxi Herald, July 30, 1892, p. 4)

    An advertisement in The Biloxi Herald of April 1891, stated that Joseph Bellande was the proprietor of the L&N Exchange at the depot.  On April 6, 1892, Joseph Bellande opened a beer saloon in Biloxi.  The announcement was made in The Biloxi Herald of April 9, 1892.  His business was called the Depot Saloon and it was situated opposite the L&N Depot in a two-story building erected in January 1892, by Captain A.V. Bellande.(The Biloxi Herald, January 9, 1894, p. 4)

     In about 1895, a book was published by the L&N Railroad called Along The Gulf.  It features an article on Joseph Bellande.  I quote from the book:

     Another prominent saloon man in Biloxi is Mr. Joseph A. Bellande whose place of business is situated at the corner of Reynoir Street and Railroad Avenue, just across the street from the railroad station of the Louisville and Nashville.  Mr. Bellande carries a fine stock of barrel and case goods and does a first class business the year round.  This is partly owing to the fact that he keeps good goods and partly to the fact that he has a large, airy, well ventilated and well furnished bar room, and that he caters only to the better class of customers.  Mr. Bellande's place by the way is the only one in town which is illuminated with arch lights.  There has been a saloon on this corner for many years, but the present large building has only been erected for three years.  Previous to Mr. Bellande's time the name of the place was the "First and Last Chance", he however, has changed it to the "Railroad Saloon".  Mr. Bellande who built the present edifice, owing to the high license ran only a beer saloon for the first year he was there.  Since then he has had a first class saloon, finding that much more profitable than the simple handling of beer.  Previous to embarking in his present business Mr. Bellande was engaged in running a schooner on the Sound, taking contracts to unload larger vessels, and also in the freight carrying trade.

 

Baseball

(see The Biloxi Herald, The Biloxi Blues, June 18, 1892, p. 4)

 

     It appears that Joe Bellande sponsored a baseball team as The Biloxi Herald of November 5, 1892, p. 4, c. 3. related that:

The ball game last Sunday, between a team from New Orleans and the Bellande's, was another easy thing for the local players, they winning the game by a score of 13 to 7.  This is the third straight game the Biloxi team has won from the visitors.

 

Marriage and Divorce

     On July 11, 1888, Arbo married Rosa Armentine (Emma) Ramos (1875-1910+) in New Orleans.  She was a Biloxi native born of immigrant Spanish parents, Don Armond Ramos (1833-1913) and Virginia Ramos (1835-1899).  They were both born in Madrid, Spain and resided at 315 Bohn Street in Biloxi.  Arbo and Rosa had a child, Mary Alice Rose Bellande (1888-1967), who was born December 4, 1888, at Biloxi.  As the result of Harrison County Court Case No. 463, Joseph A. Bellande vs Rosa Bellande, heard on February 11, 1891, the marriage ended in divorce.  The following information was taken from the Minutes of the Harrison County Chancery Court A.D. 1891, p. 273:

This cause coming to be heard on bill, proof of publication and testimony taken in open court, and the Court being satisfied that the charge of adultery in said bill is sustained by the proof, it is ordered by the Court that the bonds of matrimony heretofore subsisting between complaintant and defendant be and they are hereby dissolved at to complaintant but not as to defendant.

 

     In August 1892, Rosa Bellande sued Arbo in the Harrison County Chancery Court.  The suit was quiet "messy" in that it involved Arbo's claim of adultery against Rosa, and the alleged pressure from her family to have him marry her.  She in the defense of her honor alleged Arbo had induced a witness to swear falsely against her.  Also Rosa never received her summons to appear in the first divorce case, Harrison County, Mississippi, Cause No. 463, as it was sent to the residence of Marcellus Bellande at No. 92 Ninth Street in New Orleans.  Coincidentally, his wife's name was Rosa Bellande also.  In a deposition filed on June 30, 1892, Marcellus Bellande stated:

     "I opened the letter and found it did not concern her (Rosa, his wife), it being about a divorce suit.  I mailed it to my father, Joseph Bellande, at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  I don't know what became of it."

     Regardless, it was decreed by the Harrison County Chancery Court on August 5, 1892, that the decree entered on February 11, 1891, be reversed and the bonds of matrimony existing between Rosa Bellande and J.A. Bellande be dissolved and both parties freed from the obligations of marriage.  Rosa Bellande was awarded custody of the child, Mary Alice Rose Bellande.

     Rosa Ramos Bellande married Thomas P. Costello (1870-1910+) who was also known as Tom McGinty on May 8, 1900.  In 1910, they and Alice Bellande were residing with Armand Ramos on Main Street.  Mr. Costello worked as a street laborer while Mr. Ramos was a house painter.

Mary Rose Alice Bellande

            Mary Rose Alice Bellande was born on December 3 or December 4, 1888, to Joseph A. Bellande and Rosa A. Ramos and previously mentioned.  She was known as Alice Bellande.  She made her livelihood as a secretary.  Miss Bellande expired on August 20, 1967, at the St. Joseph Rest Home in the Crescent City.  Her listed survivors were two cousins, Marie Lloyd Watkins (1894-1980), the daughter of Dr. Charles Lloyd and Antoninette Ramos, and the wife of Norvell Edwin Watkins (1895-1961) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Marion Ruth Watkins (1926-1971).  Alice Bellande’s corporal remains were interred in the Oaklawn Cemetery at Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  The Moore Funeral Home at Hattiesburg handled the funeral services, which were held at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Hattiesburg.(The Hattiesburg American, August 21, 1967, p. 14)

The Depot Saloon and General Merchandising

 

     With his matrimonial predicament in the past, Arbeau Bellande continued in his social life and successful saloon business near the depot.  Several articles appeared in The Biloxi Herald of 1892, 1893 and 1894 concerning his affairs:

    The old Bellande building near the depot has been torn down and the foundation is being laid for a new two-story edifice.

     At the second Grand King and Queen Ball at the Magnolia Hotel, Joseph Bellande and Miss Emma Johnson were participants.  Their reign ended with the dance.  His brother, Antoine, Jr., was chosen to serve at the next ball with his guest Miss Ollie Caldwell.(February 4, 1893, p. 10)

     Messrs. Jos. A. Bellande and Alex Redon, Ed G.Burklin and several others gave an elegant spread to a number of their friends last Saturday night at the Depot Saloon.  The supper was a most tempting one and was prepared by a strictly first-class cook and served in the best style.  The gentlemen were loud in expressing their opinion of the viands and will long remember the pleasant evening spent with their hospitable hosts.(April 21, 1894. p. 8)

     Our clever young friend Joe Bellande, proprietor of the Depot Saloon, this morning presented us with a package of the Grand Republic cigars, and we unhesitantly pronounce them equal, if not superior, to any five-cent cigar ever sold in Biloxi.  This brand of cigars can be obtained in Biloxi only at the Depot Saloon.(May 19, 1894. p. 8)

     By a card in the columns of The Herald, it will be noticed that Jos. Bellande, proprietor of the Depot Saloon, calls attention to the fact that he deals in foreign and domestic wines, liquors, and fine cigars.  He is also agent for the celebrated Maple Hollow Whiskey, a very fine brand.  Joe always suits his customers as well as transients.(May 26, 1894. p. 8)

     On August 22, 1894, Joseph Bellande married Marie Alexandrine Barthes (1876-1961) of Biloxi in the Nativity Church with Reverend Father Blanc officiating.  She was the daughter of French immigrant, Francis A. Barthes (1833-1898), and Margaret Alexandrine Binet (1839-1877), the daughter of Fredrick Alexandre Binet and Augustine (Zephirine? Guilby?) who resided on Main Street in Biloxi.  The ceremony was well attended, as they were well known and admired in their native Biloxi.  Alex Redon served Joseph A. Bellande as his best man, while brother, August F. Bellande, escorted Ophelia Barthes, the bride’s sister.  Others in the wedding party were: Felix Borries (1860-1937) and Olaf Thompson (1874-1944), ushers, and A. Reynoir, who escorted the bride.  The newly weds honeymooned in New Orleans.(The Biloxi Herald, September 1, 1894, p. 8)

     This union produced two sons, Joseph Emmett Bellande (1895-1974) and Louis Earle Bellande (1897-1989), who were born at Biloxi. 

Depot Saloon

     In the spring of 1895, Joseph Arbo Bellande made an application to the City of Biloxi to petition for a liquor license.  His request was to sell and retail in quantities less than one gallon, the following: vinous, malt, spirituous or intoxicating liquors at the Depot Saloon, situated on Reynoir Street on the south side of the L&N Railroad track.  Arbo’s petition was signed by a large contingent of Biloxi’s registered voters.  He advertised his business as:

DEPOT SALON

Biloxi, Miss.

JOS. A. BELLANDE, Proprietor

Dealer in

Imported and Domestic Wines, Liquors, Cigars, Etc.

Of the very finest quality.

Ice Cold Beer on Draught At all Hours.

Agent for the celebrated  Maple Hollow Whiskey

(The Biloxi Herald, April 13, 1895, p. 5)

 

          By mid-May 1895, Joseph Bellande had added a large, arc light in his barroom.  He also was painting things green in and around his place that made it appear "as fresh as a daisy kissed by the morning dew."(The Biloxi Herald, May 11, 1895, p. 8)

 

General merchandiser

   In the waning years of 1897, Joseph A. Bellande and his father-in-law, F.A. Barthes, commenced a general merchandise store in Biloxi on Howard Avenue and east of Main Street.  The business was called F.A. Barthes & Company.(The Biloxi Herald, January 8, 1898, p. 8)  

    After the death of Mr. Barthes in April 1898, Marie Barthes Bellande announced in The Biloxi Herald that she and Marie A. Binet DeVeaux (1846-1917), her aunt, would continue the mercantile business of her father.(The Biloxi Herald, June 4, 1898, p. 8)  Mrs. DeVeaux resided at 228 Main Street.  She was survived by two sisters, and a brother, C.A. Binet (1843-1923).  She had married O.P. White of Wisconsin in December 1904.(The Daily Herald, April 24, 1917, p. 3 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 22, 1904, p. 5)

     The young family of Joseph A. Bellande probably moved to New Orleans in late 1898 or early 1899, as this was the time period the Bellande's were dismantling their Reynoir Street properties.  The Federal Census of 1900 has them residing at 728 Julia Street in New Orleans.

     In January 1902, Joseph A. Bellande was the contracting agent for the Morgan line 'Sunset Route'.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 8, 1902, p. 8)

     At New Orleans, Joseph was employed as a baggage master and mail clerk with the L&N Railroad.  The following article appeared in The Biloxi Herald of October 27, 1902:

     Joseph Bellande of New Orleans, who for some time has been running "extra" baggage on the L&N Railroad, is in Biloxi for a few days, the guest of his brother-in-law, Mr. Jesse Smith*.  Within a few days, Mr. Bellande will receive his appointment for a permanent run. 

* Jesse Smith (1860-1934) married Ophelia Emily Barthes on February 2, 1897.

       In June 1911, Joseph Bellande came to Biloxi to assist E.S. Clemens and Frederick Lund in installing a telegraph station in Dukate’s Theater on Howard Avenue.  He returned to New Orleans after the installation.(The Daily Herald, July 1, 1911, p. 8)

     Joseph Bellande made a career with the L&N Railroad.  After retirement, he enjoyed himself by dressing well, entertaining lovely ladies, and dining out.  He liked good whiskey and the company of women, traits, which carried over from his youth in Biloxi.  His wife, Marie Barthes who was called "Steve", left New Orleans about 1915, after she divorced him.  "Steve" moved to Chicago where son, Earle, was in the Navy.  In later life, she settled at Homestead, Florida where she died in 1961, ironically the same year as Arbo.  Joseph "Arbo" Bellande died on January 17, 1961 at the age of ninety-three years.  He had resided at 4701 Marigny in Gentilly with his daughter-in-law, Odie, since 1939.  His body was sent to Biloxi for burial in the Bellande family plot in the Old Biloxi Cemetery on January 20th at 3 p.m.

Family

 

Joseph A. Bellande and family circa 1940 at NOLA?

[L-R: Odie Wooten Bellande (b. 1895); Signe Olsen Bellande (1910-1999); Earle Bellande (1897-1989); Arbo Bellande (1868-1961) and Emmet Bellande (1895-1974)

 

Joseph Emmett Bellande (1895-1974)

     Joseph A. Bellande's eldest son, Joseph Emmett Bellande (1895-1974), called Emmett, was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on June 24, 1895.  He later resided at New Orleans with his wife, Oda Wooten (b. 1895), who was born in rural Leake County, Mississippi to Robert F. Wooten (1864-1910+), a farmer, and Mary Hollis Wooten (1864-1910+).  During WW I, Emmett Bellande was employed at Detroit, Michigan as an auto mechanic with the Liberty Motor Company.  Emmett was a very successful insurance agent before the Great Depression, and like many of that decade lost his fortune doing those economically trying times. In 1930, Emmett and his small family were domiciled on Industry Street in the Crescent City. He worked for the city of New Orleans as a cemetery caretaker for many years.  A son, Joseph Emmett Junior, was born July 23, 1927.  After Emmett and Odie divorced, he married Mildred Burgdorf (1908-1990) who was active in local politics.  Joseph Emmett Bellande died of thyroid cancer in September 1974.

Joseph Emmett Bellande Junior (b. 1927)

     Joseph Emmett Bellande, called Emmett, is retired with his lovely wife, Marian (b. 1928) in Arabi, Louisiana.  He enjoyed a successful career as an electrical contractor and gunsmith.  Emmett enjoys his children, grandchildren, hunting, history, and sailing in his "old age”.  He and Marion have seven wonderful children and an evergrowing number of grandchildren.  Their children are: Bonnie Lynn Englande (b. 1947), J.E. Bellande, III (b. 1949), Peggy Jane Laborde (b. 1951), Kenneth Bellande (b. 1953), Susan Valee (b. 1955), Diane Davis (b. 1958), and Nancy Liberto Ciuvio (b. 1964).

 

Louis Earle Bellande (1897-1989)

     Joseph A. Bellande's second son, Louis Earle (1897-1989), was called Earle.  Earle Bellande, although born at Biloxi on the Mississippi coast, lived most of his adult life in Chicago, Illinois.  It is generally believed that he came north as the result of a hitch in the US Navy.  Circa 1924, Earle married a woman named Katharine Eischen (1889-1933), who was born on January 5, 1899 to Anton Eischen and Margaret Harre in Luxembourg.  Katharine expired from stomach cancer at Chicago on June 25, 1933.  Her corporal remains were interred at St. Henry's Cemetery.  At the tome of Katharine's demise, the Bellandes were domiciled at 1726 Thome Avenue at Chicago.(1930 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census  R496, p. 30B, ED 1956 and Cook Co., Illinois Death Certificate No. 17097)

     Earle Bellande was gregarious and personable.  These traits suited him well as a salesman in the Chicago meat packing industry.  In 1937, he married Signe V. Olsen (1910-1999), a nurse of recent Scandinavian ancestry.  She was born on August 23, 1910 at Stambaugh, Michigan and expired at Batavia, Illinois on February 28, 1999.  They lived at 1528 Elmdale at Chicago.  Three children were born of this union: Signe Marie Bellande (b. 1939), called Bunny; L. Signe Bellande, a male who died March 8, 1941; and Louis Earle Bellande Junior (b. 1942).(The Naperville Sun, March 3, 1999)

     Earle and Signe Bellande often traveled South to visit relatives and friends.  In March 1938, they came to Biloxi and joined with his Uncle Jesse Smith (1860-1934) and Aunt Ophelia Barthes Smith for a 2000 mile round trip down the east Florida coast to Miami.  Marie Alexandrine Barthes (1876-1961), Earle's mother , owned an orange grove near Miami.  The party retuned to Biloxi via the west Florida coast road and visited Jacksonville, Daytona beach, Palm Beach, Miami Beach, and St. Petersburg.  Jesse Smith noted that there were 100,000 visitors in the Miami area, but they were beginning to return to their Northern homes on a daily basis.(The Daily Herald, March 31, 1938, p. 6)

Signe Marie Bellande (b. 1939)

     Signe Marie Bellande married Frederick (Fritz) Specht at Chicago, Illinois on September 10, 1960.  They resided in Chicago were Fritz was self-employed as an attorney and later relocated to Lawrenceville, Georgia.  Their children are: Suzanne Marie Specht Danielson (b. 1961), Lisa Marie Specht Clark (b. 1964), and Matthew Specht (b. 1967).

Louis Earle Bellande Jr. (b. 1942)

     Louis Earle Bellande Jr. married Linda Lee Carden (1942-1999), a native of Tennessee.  They exchanged wedding vows in Chicago on December 28, 1963.  This union has produced two children: Peter Bellande (b. 1976) and Rachel Bellande (b. 1979).  Louis has a successful law practice in Chicago and Linda was a very successful realtor in the west Chicago suburbs.  They reside at Wheaton, Illinois.  Linda C. Bellande expired on September 7, 2007.(The Chicago Tribune, September 8, 2007)

     Earle Bellande died on May 25, 1989 at the grand age of 92 years just one week after he and Signe had attended the wedding of his grandson, Matthew Specht, in Carbondale, Illinois.  After retiring from the hectic world of sales, he and Signe enjoyed many trips to the west coast of Florida, New Orleans, and his birthplace, Biloxi.  Signe Bellande expired on February 28, 1999 at Chicago.  She remained very active performing charitable works, visiting old friends, and enjoying her growing families and grandchildren.