Interesting Things

By Ray L. Bellande

Primary tabs

Marshals, Police Chiefs & Postmasters


When the charter for the Town of Ocean Springs was being drafted in June 1892, the population was about 1500 people and there were 90 registered voters.  In addition to a Mayor and Aldermen to represent the various wards of the town, a Marshal was designated as part of the city government.  His duties were to enforce laws and ordinances and to collect taxes for the town.  By January 1893, another duty, that of street commissioner, had been attached to the Marshal’s responsibilities.  An ordinance later instructed him to inspect toilets, cesspools, hog pens, slaughterhouses, and stables-in essence the city health official!


In June 1953, the office of Marshall was eliminated from the popular vote.  At this time, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen began to appoint a Police Chief to operate the law enforcement organization of the City of Ocean Springs.  Wylie T. Broome(1903-1971) was appointed the first Chief of Police on July 8, 1953, for a one year term.(The Gulf Coast Times, July 9, 1953, p. 1)


GEORGE H. TARDY: 1892-1902

In December 1892, George H. Tardy (1839-1902), an experienced lawman, was elected the first Marshal of Ocean Springs.  He served in this capacity until his unexpected demise in office on March 20, 1902.  Mr. Tardy was born at Millidgeville, Georgia in 1839, of French immigrant parentage. The Tardy family relocated to New Orleans from Georgia.  Here circa 1857, George H. Tardy married Barbara Flick (1840-1917), a native of Alsace, Germany, who had immigrated to America in 1845.  Their only child was, Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943), who would also serve his fellow citizens of Ocean Springs, as their Marshal.(The Pascagoula Democrat-StarMarch 28, 1902 and The Jackson County Times, November 17, 1917, p. 5.)


Prior to his service as Marshal in the first municipal government of the Town of Ocean Springs, Mr. Tardy, who had come to Ocean Springs from the Crescent City in the late 1870s, organized the Ocean Springs Volunteer Fire 民彩网网址 No. 1.  It received its State charter on September 22, 1881.  At New Orleans, George H. Tardy was the foreman of Vigilant No. 3, a highly respected fire company, and deputy Sheriff of Orleans Parish.(Volunteer Fire Companies of Ocean Springs, Ms., 1961, p. 8) 


The George H. Tardy family resided west of the Ames Tract in Section 19, T7S-R8W, on Raynor (Reynoir) Street, north of the L&N Railroad tracks.  He acquired a large lot here for $135 in February 1894, from Francesca V. Garrard (1839-1907).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 17, p. 164)


In addition to his public service, Mr. Tardy made his livelihood at Ocean Springs as a carpenter.  In June 1894, Marshall Tardy in pursuit of Jack Clay, an alleged agitator, fired several shots to halt his escape.  Clay was incarcerated after the incident.(The Biloxi Herald, June 16, 1894, p. 1)


In January 1893, the Board of Aldermen appointed Mr. Tardy as street commissioner.  His salary for both tasks was $35 per month.(Town of OS, Minute Bk. 1, p. 25)


After his death in March 1902, Theodore J. Ames (1876-1927) was appointed Deputy Town Marshal.(Town of OS, Minute Bk. 2, p. 142)  On April 4, 1902, in a special election to elect a Marshal-Tax Collector, George W. Dale was declared the winner.(Town of OS, Minute Bk. 2, p. 150)


George H. Tardy was laid to rest in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.


GEORGE W. DALE: 1902-1904

George W. Dale (1872-1953) was a native of Hayward, California.  His parents were Hayward Dale and Catherine Dana (1852-1934).  Mrs. Dale was a native of Sacramento and had lived at Hayward since 1869.(The JXCO Times, November 10, 1934, p. 3)

George W. Dale settled at Ocean Springs in the 1890s and made his livelihood as an L&N employee, tinsmith and plumber.  At Ocean springs, he met and fell in love with Harriette Seymour (1879-1956), the daughter of Narcisse Seymour (1849-1931) and Carolyn V. Krohn (1847-1895).  They were married on December 9, 1897 at the St. Alphonsus Church on Jackson Avenue.  George W. Dale converted to Catholicism and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church on June 27, 1897, several months before his marriage to Miss Seymour.(Lepre, 1991, p. 78)

In 1909, Mr. Dale went into the hardware and plumbing business with Joseph B. Garrard (1871-1915).  They erected a building on the west side of Washington Avenue between Desoto and Robinson.(The Ocean Springs News, September 18, 1909, p. 5)  Mr. Dale’s father-in-law, Narcisse Seymour, was a pioneer in the seafood industry here.  He was especially known for his succulent, raw oysters, which he shipped to markets in the East.

The G.W. Dale family was reared at present day 1203 Calhoun Avenue near the 民彩网网址stead of Mrs. Hattie Dale’s father, Narcisse Seymour.  There were eight children: William “Willy” F. Dale (1899-1990), George Dale (1901-1953+), Leo B. Dale (1904-1954), Lillian D. Jeffries (1906-1979+), Louise D. Scott (1906-1979+), Millage D. Whitworth Allen (1912-1979+), John A. Dale (1914-1975), and Gerrard W. Dale (1917-1957). 

Mr. Dale served another term as Marshall from 1917 until 1919.  He expired at Ocean Springs on July 22, 1953.  His remains were interred in the Bellande Cemetery.


Theodore J. Ames (1876-1927)*

This needs checking as The Progress, April 9, 1904 indicates that Ames served and resigned.  Emile Domning acted as Marshal until an election was held.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 10, 1903, p. 3, “at a special election here for town Marshal Monday, Theodore J. Ames was the successful candidate, receiving a majority of six more votes than John Burr and W.D. Bullock.



Samuel P. Starks (1860-1919) was the son of Stephen Starks (1823-1882+) and Ellen Elywert (1835-1900), an Irish immigrant.  He had a brother, John Joseph Starks (1857-1920), who also lived at Ocean Springs, where he farmed and dealt in ice.  John J. Starks reared eleven children here with his spouse, Mary Burke (1863-1910+).  They had relocated to New Orleans circa 1915, and were residing there in July 1917, when their eldest son, Thomas Starks (1892-1917), was killed when his cargo vessel was sunk by a German submarine on a voyage to Brazil.(The Daily Herald, July 14, 1917)

Ellen E. Stark’s sister, Margaret Elywert, a spinster lady, died at Ocean Springs on June 5, 1900.  She owned land on Jackson Avenue and Goos Avenue, now called General Pershing.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 902-1900)

Stephen Starks was born in Mississippi while his father, William Starks, was a Pennsylvania native.  His mother, Nancy Davis Starks (1799-1860+), began her life in Georgia, the daughter of Samuel Davis I (1769-1820+) and Sally Davis (1776-1820+), both natives of North Carolina.  Joseph L. Schrieber (1873-1951) related in The Gulf Coast Times in September 1949, that, “Steve Stark (sic) planted oak trees along that street (Washington Avenue) on Easter Sunday 1882”.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 2, 1949, p. 1)

Before 1840, the William Starks family settled east of Ocean Springs in Section 33, T7S-R8W, and gave their name to Starks Bayou.  Nancy Davis Starks acquired a Federal land patent here on US Lot 8, in February 1837.  The Gulf Islands National Seashore and Eagle Point are situated on the former lands of the Starks clan.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 55, p. 206)

In February 1886, Sam Starks married Isabelle Latimer (1863-1936), the daughter of Edwin Latimer and Mary Krohn.  Their children were: Margaret S. (J.Y.) Morgan (1886-1937+), Catherine S. (Peter E.) Quave Jr. (1888-1940), William Starks (1894-1894), Theresa Starks (1890-1968), Elisabeth Starks (1892-1896), Mary Camilia Starks (1895-1900+), James P. Starks (1898-1987), Cyril A. Starks (1900-1903), Edwin Starks (1902-1937+), Lillian Starks (1905-1937+), and Samuel Starks (1906-1993).

Samuel P. Starks made his livelihood as a butcher.  His residence and meat market were situated on the east side of Washington Avenue between County Road, now Government Street, and Bowen Avenue, in Lot 25 and the S/2 of Lot 26 of the Clay Strip.  The Salvetti Brothers’ Restaurant is situated here today.  Samuel P. Starks acquired this now valuable commercial site from the widow, Julia Egan (1833-1907) and her three sons, in August 1882, for $125. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 33, pp. 226-227)

In December 1904, Samuel P. Starks was Marshall elect of Ocean Springs.  He defeated Casper Vahle (1867-1922) by twenty-five votes, 68 to 43.(Town of OS, Minute Bk. 2, pp. 301-302)

One complaint heard just prior to Marshall Starks taking office was the indiscriminate use of firearms within the perimeter of Ocean Springs, especially on the east side of town.(The Progress, October 1, 1904, p. 4)

Night Officer Henry S. Taylor

Before and during the term of Marshall Starks, Ocean Springs was being troubled with public disorder and arson.  Several of the local youths there had formed a gang and an uneasy atmosphere prevailed on the normally quiet streets of this sleepy, seaside, resort village.  The town officials at Ocean Springs decided to hire a special police officer, Henry S. Taylor, for night duty to cope with this threat to the local peace and deter vandals and thugs in the community.  His initial salary was $40 per month.(C.E. Schmidt, 1972, pp. 114-115) 

Henry Steven Taylor (1869-1947) was reared in the piney woods section of Jackson County, northeast of Vancleave on the River Road.  He was the second child of Edward M. Taylor (1837-1914), a Tar Heel, and Almyra Roberts (1848-1888+).  His siblings were: Edwin E. Taylor (1866-1942), Louvenia T. Cooper, Eugene L. Taylor (1872-1920+), Mary T. Pilcher (1877-1960+), Melinda T. Graham (b. 1879), Clifton M. Taylor (1884-1960), Ida T. Mcaleer (1885-1963), Annie T. McRae Breland (1886-1960+), and Ernest Murdock Taylor (1887-1933).  After the demise of Almyra R. Taylor, Edward M. Taylor married Margaret S. Cumbest (1854-1924).  She bore him four children: Sarah T. Vaughn (1890-1972), Myra T. Graham (1892-1957), Leo Taylor (1895-1920+), and Valeda T. Newkirk (1896-1986).

In December 1893, Henry S. Taylor (1869-1947) married Bessie Jane Carter (1876-1966).  Their family consisted of Cinnie T. Carter (1894-1910+), Lola T. Templin (1897-1990), Sallie Taylor (1899-1920+), Edward Calhoun Taylor (1902-1920+), Stuart Preston Taylor (1903-1920+), Milton M. “Joe” Taylor (1905-1993), and Henry Otis Taylor (1908-1995).  In 1900, he made his livelihood as a log chopper.

Henry Taylor was selected for the position at Ocean Springs because of his prior experience as deputy sheriff in Beat 5.  In this position, Taylor had gained a reputation for his total lack of fear.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 10, 1905, p. 4) 

Taylor’s father had also been a deputy sheriff and was fearless in own right.  In April 1900, Ed M. Taylor shot and wounded Ed Goff in front of Judge Johnson Ware’s courtroom.  Goff had recently returned from Texas.  He is reputed to have had a long-standing grudge against Taylor over an incident that had occurred when Mr. Taylor was deputy sheriff.  When the two men met on the street at Vancleve, Goff allegedly insulted Taylor while exhibiting some motion to draw a weapon towards Taylor.  Ed Taylor drew his pistol and fired at young Goff, his bullet hitting Goff in the left hip.  The resulting wound was painful, but not life threatening.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 13, 1900)    

In the fall of 1905, Night Officer Henry S. Taylor was called to the Front Beach at Ocean Springs to quell a disturbance.  He made several arrests, and the word spread through town that difficulty awaited him that evening in the city court.  At Washington and County Road, Taylor was met by a young ruffian and became infuriated.  In his pursuit, the scoundrel’s mates jumped on the policeman’s back and rode him violently into the dusty, shell road.  In the ensuing scuffle, Taylor was able to fire his pistol and hit one of his assailants in the stomach inflicting a fatal wound.  The others speedily fled the scene.(C.E. Schmidt, 1972, p. 115)

Officer Taylor was tried before Judge E.W. Illing for the murder of his antagonist, but he was immediately acquitted on a plea of self-defense.  For his heroism in quieting the disturbance and returning law and order to Ocean Springs, Henry Taylor’s salary was increased to $60 per month, in April 1906.  His remuneration was greater than that of his superior, the Marshall.((The Biloxi Herald, October 13, 1905, p. 4, c. 5 and Town of OS, Minute Bk. 2, p. 396) 

By April 1911, Mr. Taylor had returned to Vancleave and resumed his life there as a farmer.  He retained his deputy sheriff status.  Taylor's exploits and heroism as night officer at Ocean Springs were passed on to successive generations.  Henry Taylor is remembered today as being tall, rangy, wore a black suit, white shirt with a bow tie, and reminded one of the lawmen of the Old West.  He drove a Model-T Ford and carried a 44-40 Colt revolver.(The Ocean Springs News, April 22, 1911, p. 5 and Robert Holden and Johnson Ware, January 13, 1999).


Marshal Starks Resigns

Several months after Henry S. Taylor’s confrontation with local ruffians, in front of the Scranton State Bank on Washington Avenue, Marshall Samuel P. Starks tendered his resignation from public office on April 3, 1906.  The City leaders appointed Augustin Julius von Rosambeau (1849-1912) as Marshall on April 5, 1906.(Town of OS, Minute Bk. 2, pp. 396-397 and The Biloxi Herald, April 6, 1906, p. 4)

In February 1908, Mr. Starks sold his business and residence to Mignon C. Lundy (1877-1957), the spouse of F.J. Lundy (1863-1912), for $1000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 33, pp. 227-228)  The Ocean Springs News announced in December 1911, that H.F. Russell (1858-1940) had acquired from F.J. Lundy the house, lot and shop now occupied by Alcide Veillion (1862-1949) and known by some as the Starks Place.  It is a desirable property because of its location and is adjacent to the other Russell properties.(The Ocean Springs News, December 23, 1911)  The Starks cottage was removed by H.F. Russell in February 1914, in order for the erection of a modern building.(The Ocean Springs News, February 28, 1914) Mr. Russell’s descendants, the Alfred Russell Moran family, still possess these prime commercial properties on Washington Avenue.

By 1914, Sam Starks was a Deputy Sheriff.  He had a hen lay some eggs beneath the seat of his buggy, which created some humor about town.(The Ocean Springs News, April 1, 1915, p. 2)

Samuel P. Starks expired on March 16, 1919.  His corporal remains were interred in the Bellande Cemetery on Dewey Avenue.(The Jackson County Times, March 22, 1919, p. 5)


A.J. von ROSAMBEAU: 1905-1910

Upon the resignation of Marshall 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 Marshall, Tax Collector, and Street Commissioner.(Town of OS, Ms. Minute Bk. 2, p. 397)

Augustin Julius von Rosambeau (1849-1912), called Gus, 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 the 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 two amigos 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, Rosambeau and Pabst remained at Ocean Springs.  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 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).(Lepre, 1991, p. 321)

Young Mollie Soden was fortunate to receive an education at Ocean Springs.  She attended the three-month school term held in a small frame building on Washington Avenue.  Judge H.H. Minor (1862-1905) taught the school in 1874-1876.  Her classmates were: Antonio J. Catchot (1864-1954), Charlotte Franco Cochran (1864-1939), and John J. Franco (1859-1935).(Schmidt, 1972, pp. 64-65)

In March 1880, Mary Ann Rosambeau bought a tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (184-1892), an Irish immigrant, and the aunt of Ocean Springs schoolmaster, James Lynch (1852-1935). (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 570-571)  The lot had a front on Jackson of 118 feet and 260 feet on Calhoun.  This .70 acre tract became the Rosambeau 民彩网网址stead for the next ninety-two years. 

The Rosambeau tract was divided into three lots designated Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125.  From the Land Rolls of Jackson County, Mississippi, it can be deduced that the first Rosambeau house was built on Lot 9,now 910 Calhoun, between 1880 and 1883.  Since the first Rosambeau child, Amelia Theresa Clesi (1881-1958), was born in November 1881, the 民彩网网址 was probably built shortly before her birth.  A brother, Leonhard William Julian (1883-1931), soon followed, arriving at Ocean Springs on June 2, 1883.  The other Rosambeau children were Henrietta Margaret (1887-1972) born April 23, 1887, and Blanche Magdalen (1892-1982) born August 14, 1892.  From the 1900 Federal Census of Jackson County, Mississippi, it appears two other Rosambeau children died at birth.

Circa 1890, the Rosambeaus built a store and 民彩网网址 on Lot 7 at the southeast corner of Jackson and Calhoun.  The store catered to the basic needs of the oystermen and housewives of the growing village.  The young Rosambeau couple had the genetics for success in commerce as Mollie Rosambeau had learned the grocery business from her parents, and Gus was born with the Teutonic work ethic, intelligence, and a strong business acumen.  In an 1894 Directory of Ocean Springs, the von Rosambeaus advertised their business as:


Dry Goods, Groceries

Hats, Boots, Shoes, etc.

Free Delivery

By January 1898, Mr. Rosambeau's business was going well enough for him to purchase a nine-ton, schooner, “Guide”, for the coastal trade.  Although he worked hard, Augustin von Rosambeau took time occasionally to hunt and fish with his friends.  He is known to have fished in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico with George Friar. 

The Rosambeaus invested their money wisely in real estate.  They had the vision to see Ocean Spring growing as a year round tourist haven.  The city was especially attractive to the "snow birds" from the Chicago area.  In August 1904, Mary Ann Rosambeau acquired another lot on Jackson Avenue just south of their 民彩网网址stead.  She bought the 97' x 200' piece of ground from Charles Bruning of New Orleans for $250.(JXCO, Ms. Land deed Bk. 28, p. 534)  This lot had been the location of the Egan House, a tourist 民彩网网址 or rental cottage, of the 1870s.  Schmidt & Ziegler, owners of the Ocean Springs Hotel across the street, acquired it in 1878.  They were the proprietors when it burned on January 23, 1898.

Circa 1908, the Rosambeaus would build a Victorian style cottage at present day 410 Jackson Avenue, to accommodate guests.   This house was sold to Mrs. Odette Brou Bryan (1879-1957) on December 31, 1917 for $1500.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 252-253)   Her son, Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1915-1999), resided here until his demise in June 1999.

In January 1903, another rental house was built.  The structure was located on Lot 8 (908 Calhoun).  This domicile would serve as the winter retreat for the nationally known baseball writer, Charles Dryden (1860-1931), for about twenty years.  Dryden called the house his "Winter Rest", and the towns’ people affectionately referred to it as the "Fish Fry Inn".

In October 1910, The Ocean Springs News lauded Marshall-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)

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.  




Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943) was born at New Orleans on August 14, 1863, the son of George H. Tardy (1839-1902) and Barbara Flick (1840-1917).  In 1877, he came to Ocean Springs from the Crescent City, with his parents.  E.L. Tardy married Olivia Smith (1870-1956) of New Orleans at Ocean Springs in March 1891.  She was the daughter of Captain James Smith of London and Marie Mauny of Paris, France.  Mrs. Tardy had two brothers, Charles Gwartney (1883-1964) and Edgar Gwartney (1888-1956+), and two sisters, Mrs. W.H. Harris and Mrs. M.L. Byrd.(The Daily Herald, 1956, p. 2)

The E.L. Tardys lived on Raynor (Reynoir) Street north of the L&N Railroad where they reared a rather large family.  Their children were: Edward H. Tardy (1892-1968) m. Agnes Vogt (1907-1983),Louis S. Tardy (1894-1935), Leo H. Tardy (1895-1966), Mabel T. Johnson (1897-1956+), Frederick G. Trady (1900-1902), Sidney A. Tardy (1903-1993), Ursula T. Thomas (1905-1956+), Donald J. Tardy (1907-1972), Thelma Tardy (1909-1923), and Walton O. Tardy (1912-1970). 

Marshall Tardy’s salary was $50 per month.(The Jackson County Times, October 14, 1916, p. 1)

In March 1917, E.L. Tardy was appointed, as representative from the local Wood Men of the World Lodge, to their State Encampment at Laurel.  While at the convention, he visited with J.P. VanCleave, Ben K. Green, and the Ames brothers, Floyd and Wesley, all former residents of Ocean Springs.  Mr. VanCleave, following a family tradition, was prospering in the mercantile business at Laurel, while the Ames brothers had pharmacies at Laurel and Hattiesburg.(The Jackson County Times, March 24, 1917, p. 5)

In Addition to serving the citizens of Ocean Springs as their Marshal and Tax Collector, Mr. Trady was the Alderman-at-Large from 1905-1909.  E.L. Tardy’s primary livelihood was with the L&N Railroad where his salient duty, for more than forty years, was at the local depot as a watchman.  Circa 1928, Mr. Tardy worked as bridge tender on the L&N Railroad span at Chef Menteur Pass, east of New Orleans, with George Purcell and Mr. Shell, until his retirement in 1932.  He passed at Ocean Springs, on March 1, 1943.  Tardy’s remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Jackson County Times, March 7, 1943, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, March 8, 1943, p. 1)




In early October 1916, three candidates announced their intent to seek the office of Marshal at Ocean Springs: George W. Dale, Robert Rupp (1857-1930), and E.L. Tardy.  The Democrat Party primary election was held on October 27, 1916, with the following results: G.W. Dale, 72 votes; E.L. Tardy, 47 votes; and Robert Rupp, 5 votes.(The Jackson County Times, October 7, 1916, p. 4 and October 28, 1916, p. 5)  In the general election held on December 12, 1916, only 19 people cast ballots as their was no opposition to the Democrat Party slate of candidates for all municipal seats.(The Jackson County Times, December 16, 1916, p. 5)  George W. Dale received a salary of $75 per month.(The Jackson County Times, April 14, 1917, p. 1)




Edward L. Tardy (1863-1943) was elected again as Marshall for the 1919-1921 term.  No further information. 



(see The Jackson County Times, March 13, 1920, p. 5)




Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930) was born May 10, 1857, in Germany.  In the 1880s, probably at Chicago, he married Paulina Thiem (1857-1945), a native of Wayside, Wisconsin.  They were the parents of three children: Henricha Rupp, Lilly Alice Rupp Schrieber (1889-1972), and Robert W. Rupp II (1893-1958).  The Rupp family arrived at Ocean Springs in early December 1905, from Chicago.  They found temporary quarters at Shannondale, the estate of Dr. Harry Shannon, which comprised present day Fort Bayou Estates.  The Rupps planned to erect a new house on their forty-acres, the SW/4 of the SW/4 of Section 24, T7S-R8W.  Mr. Rupp had acquired this acreage for $500, from Charles L. Snyder (1877-1963) in January 1904.(Lurline Schrieber Hall, November 30, 2000, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 15, 1905 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, p. 514)


Pauline Thiem and Robert Rupp

[Courtesy of Sissy Catoir, Brusly, Louisiana]

In June 1909, Mr. Rupp bought for $200, Lots 1 and 2 in Block 2 of the Alto Park Addition from Mrs. M.E. Curtis and Emma Rudd Powell (1860-1936).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 34, p. 553)  Here on Ward Avenue, the Rupps built a 民彩网网址, which is extant at present day 506 Ward.  Marshall Rupp’s daughter, Lilly A. Schrieber, purchased Lot 3, just north of her parents in February 1929, from Vina Connor, the widow of Hamilton Connor (1854-1929), a retired gunsmith, from Louisville, Kentucky.  Ashley Schrieber (1919-2001), her son, resided here today at 508 Ward Avenue, until his demise in 2001.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 62, p. 206)

In May 1933, F. Adolph Schrieber (1871-1944), Marshall Rupp’s son-in-law, penned a letter from Madisonville, Louisiana where he was employed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service, to Schuyler Poitevent (1875-1936) at Ocean Springs.  Mr. Poitevent was a scholar with a strong interest in French Colonial history.  Poitevent resided at “Bay 民彩网网址” on Lovers Lane, which he believed to be the site of Iberville’s, Fort Maurepas.  Mr. Schrieber’s words follow:

Dear Mr. Poitevent

 I am in receipt of your valued letter of May 21st and contents-notes.  Now about my letter to Mr. Lee about a stone or slab which I mention in my letter to Mr. Lee.  When I was keeper of the Chandeleur light station back in 1909, Mr. Rupp was caretaker of the W.B. Schmidt place, and when I would come in for mail and supplies, & etc. I would go see the old folks as I married his daughter.  So one day while we were at the dinner table he said well I am working out in front, and there must have at some time been another house on this place because I have dug up some pieces of old brick not like the ones that we have here.  And I also found a stone with some markings on it, so I went up with him and I looked at the stone and took it 民彩网网址 with me.  And it is there some place yet.  And when I come over I will find it, and show same to you.  I was seeing to get permission from the owner of the Schmidt place to set it in concrete right where it was found.  The Markings on the stone is thus.




Pe Le Moyne

Sr De Irbvl

L.P.           P.L.


The stone is about 8 to 10 inches, nearly square, about two inches thick, rough, looks like marble.  ……Now when I come 民彩网网址 if you won’t mind, we will go over the place where Mr. Rupp dug up these old relics and see if we can find some of the old tile as I can go very close to the spot, that is, if the old oak is still there on the bluff, as its now 20 years since I have been there.  Things may have changed a bit.

I am very respectfully yours,

F.A. Schrieber, Madisonville, Louisiana


Rupp’s Rule

Robert W. Rupp was elected Marshall in 1920.  His salary ranged from $90.00 per month in 1921 to $102 per month in 1929.  In January 1929, Marshall Rupp’s bond was set at $16,500, which was 25% of the tax collection from the former year. (The Jackson County Times, May 14, 1921, p. 5 and TOS, Ms. Minute Book (11-1-1929 to 11-6-1934), p. 1 and p. 28)

Occasionally, the local journal was the forum for Marshall Rupp to get his message to the community.  In June 1920, he admonished motorcar operators to observe and obey the laws of the town in regards to vehicular speed.  Rupp specifically sighted negligent driving as being too commonplace.  He threatened financial loss by having the Mayor issue fines, particularly for speeding.(The Jackson County Times, June 5, 1920, p. 5)

On December 3, 1921, Marshall Rupp stated that he would commence tax collections on a daily basis at H.F. Russell’s store, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.(The Jackson County Times, December 3, 1921, p. 5)

In May 1922, Marshall Rupp reminded the town that street and dog taxes were owed.  At this time, there was a tax on male dogs of $1.00.  Bitches were untaxed, but were prohibited from running the streets.  The Marshall stated that he would exterminate any female dog captured on city streets.  Citizens were required to pay a street tax of $3.00.(The Jackson County Times, May 20, 1922, p. 1)

In December 1924, Marshall Rupp, who also acted as street commissioner, commenced the placement of gravel on Washington Avenue.  The street committee had scheduled several carloads of gravel to arrive ten days apart.  This procedure would continue until the town’s thoroughfares were in acceptable condition.(The Jackson County Times, December 13, 1924, p. 5)

In October 1925, Rupp told the parents of pupils in the public school to restrict them from loitering on the school grounds and in the school building, post-school hours, and particularly on Saturday.  He admonished that the unruly conduct that has taken place on school property must cease.(The Jackson County Times, October 3, 1925, p. 5)


J.H Crawford v. Marshall Rupp

(see The Jackson County Times, February 12, 1924, p. 5)


Henry M. Piaggio-Speed Merchant

A story remembered and told about Marshall Rupp, who rode a bike through Ocean Springs while upholding law and order, concerned Mr. Henry M. Piaggio (1874-1921).  Piaggio, a native of Genoa, Italy, was one of the founders of the International Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula.  He lived in Mississippi City and drove to Pascagoula to work.  Piaggio built the Merry Mansion, but died before it was completed.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, pp. 25-26.)

Henry M. Piaggio's chauffer always exceeded the speed limit of 15 MPH while traveling through the city limits of Ocean Springs.  Naturally, Marshall Rupp couldn't catch them on his bicycle.  Frustrated he devised a plan to arrest the elusive pair.  He set a speed trap for Piaggio at Vermont, now M.L. King Jr., and Government Street.  As the pair was observed to be exceeding the speed limit when they drove through the trap of Rupp, he blew his whistle and demanded that they pull over.  When Marshall Rupp told Piaggio that he was "under arrest for speeding", Piaggio asked, "What is the speed limit?". Marshall Rupp proudly replied, "fifteen miles per hour and you were going thirty".  "How much is the fine?", Mr. Piaggio asked impatiently.  An elated Rupp told him that it was fifteen dollars.  Calmly, Henry M. Piaggio handed Marshall Rupp a wad of green backs and boasted, "Here's thirty dollars.  I'll be coming back through here this afternoon!" (J.K. Lemon, July 1997).


Rupp, the Poet

The following poem has been attributed to Robert W. Rupp.  His philosophy is universal, n’est pas?(The Jackson County Times, May 26, 1923, p. 4)

If you want to live in the kind of town

That’s the kind of a town you like,

You needn’t slip your clothes in a grip

And start on a long, long hike

You’ll find elsewhere what you left behind

For there’s nothing really new,

It’s a knock at yourself when you knock your town,

It isn’t your town,

Its you.


Granddaughter Comes To Ocean Springs

Because it was difficult to get to a school of higher education from their remote lighthouse location in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, Mrs. Lilly A. Schriber sent Rachael Schrieber to live with her grandparents on Ward Avenue, in 1927.  Rachael attended the Ocean Springs Public School and was one of the eleven graduates of the Class of 1929.(Lurleen Schrieber Hall, November 30, 2000, The Daily Herald, July 2, 1927, p. 2 and June 3, 1929, p. 2)

Night Policeman

In 1929, the Board of Aldermen and Mayor decided to eliminate the position of night policeman.  At this time, Arthur D. Webber (1879-1941) held this position, which paid him $100 per month.  A petition was circulated throughout the town to reinstate the duties of the night policeman.  Over two-hundred voters, businessmen, and citizens signed the document with a special appeal coming from Postmaster J.P. Edwards on behalf of night patrons of the post office.  The night policeman’s post was restored by the Town Fathers on May 20, 1929.(The Jackson County Times, May 25, 1929, p. 3 and TOS, Ms. Minute Book (11-1-1929 to 11-6-1934), p. 28)

In May 1929, Marshal Rupp requested a temporary relief of his duties because of an illness.  Night policeman, Arthur D. Webber, replaced Mr. Rupp as acting Marshal.(The Jackson County Times, May 25, 1929, p. 3)



Robert W. Rupp resigned the office of Marshal on August 6, 1929.  A special election was held to replace him on August 20, 1929.  Maurice F. Heath (1879-1945) and Arthur D. Webber competed for the job.  Mr. Webber out-polled Mr. Heath 203 votes to 77 votes.  Heath took the position of night policeman.  Both men received $100 per month for their services to the town.(Town of Ocean Springs, Ms. Minute Book (11-1-1929 to 11-6-1934), pp. 37-38)

Robert W. Rupp expired on August 26, 1930.  He had been in poor health for a year and suffered a paralytic stroke in mid-August.  Mr. Rupp was a man of character.  He was eulogized as “optimistic, tolerant of the weaknesses of others, charitable to those in distress and to his family the soul of kindness”.  His corporal remains were sent to the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou. (The Daily Herald, August 27, 1930, p. 1 and The Jackson County Times, August 30, 1930, p. 1)




  As previously mentioned, Arthur D. Webber (1879-1941) was elected Marshall of Ocean Springs in August 1929, following the resignation of Robert W. Rupp (1857-1930).  He was born at New Orleans in 1879, the son of Joseph H. Webber (1840-1925+) and Theresa Webber (1850-1898+).  Joseph H. Webber was born at Portland, Maine.  As a young man, he relocated to New Orleans and found work as a propeller-man on ships.  Mr. Webber married Theresa ?, a New Orleans native of Italian and German heritage.  Their children were: Walter W. Webber (1873-1936), Loretta W. Gemille (1876-1941+), Arthur D. Webber (1879-1941), Joseph Webber (post 1880-1941+), and Lawrence Webber (post 1880-1941+).(Fenerty and White, 1991, p. 19, and The Jackson County Times, December 19, 1936)


In February 1922, Joseph R. Webber acquired the Willie Engbarth 民彩网网址 at present day 516 Martin Avenue from George E. Arndt for $700.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 51, pp. 216-217)  In June 1925, he sold it to Arthur D. Webber for $700.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 56, p. 153)


In October 1925, Arthur D. Webber (1879-1941) conveyed his house and a lot 100 feet by 236 feet from his Martin Avenue property to Edward C. Brou (1896-1949) and Bertridge Bellman Brou (1900-1992).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 56, pp. 638-639)  Arthur D. Webber retained a lot 80 feet by 236 feet south of this conveyance, which became his 民彩网网址 place, at present day 512 Martin Avenue.  His daughter and son-in-law, Mary Webber Miller and Shirod W. Miller (1921-1976), acquired the property from her widowed mother, Aurelia L. Webber, in March 1954.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 138, p. 70)


Prior to his arrival at Ocean Springs, Arthur D. Webber was a motorman and worked on ships.  At Ocean Springs, before he was elected Marshall in 1929, Mr. Webber operated a pleasure-fishing boat, was a night watchman at Glengarriff, the Front Beach estate of Captain Francis O’Neill (1849-1936), the retired General Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, and worked as the night policeman with Marhsall Robert W. Rupp, during his term.  Arthur D. Webber married Aurelia Ladnier (1881-1957), the daughter of Emile Ladnier (1868-1937) and Angeline Ryan (d. 1903).  Some of their children were: Arthur D. Webber II, Mary W. Miller, and James Webber.(The Daily Herald, July 30, 1941, p. 1 and p. 3)


Marshall Webber and Constable R.C. Miller were called out to subdue Walter “Snooks” Mercier (see The Jackson County Times, January 5, 1935, p. 1)


Arthur D. Webber expired on July 29, 1941 in Ocean Springs.  His corporal remains were interred in the Bellande Cemetery on Dewey Avenue.




ROBERT C. MILLER: 1941-1950

Robert Carson Miller (1887-1953), known as "R.C.", was born on January 15, 1887, at Bassfield, Mississippi, the son of William R. Miller and Anna Tyron.  He married Maude E. Bass.  Before her death in 1915, she birthed four children: Robert L. Miller (1909-1975), Hebert L. Miller (1911-1974), an infant boy who died shortly after birth (1910-1910), and Eula Nee Twining (1913-2004+). 

R.C. Miller later married Lydia Polk (1901-1990) of Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi.  Their children were: Lillie N. Renfroe (1919-2004), Margaret E. Mohler (1921-2015), Mary Katherine (1927-1928), and Bruce B. Miller (b. 1934).  Margaret and Bruce Miller were born at Ocean Springs.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 289)

The Millers began permanent residency at Ocean Springs in 1927.  Their initial dwelling was a F.L. Westbrook rental house on Desoto near Jackson Avenue.  The 民彩网网址 was later demolished to build the First Federal Savings and Loan building at 819 Desoto.(Margaret M. Mohler, September 1993)


Carter-Miller Cottage

In February 1942, R.C. Miller acquired the early 20th Century cottage of Annie Washington Carter (1867-1942+), the widow of John Hilton Carter.(1877-1920+), at present day 1209 Government Street.  At the time of conveyance, Mrs. Carter was a resident of New Orleans.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 79, pp. 79-80) 


In January 1947, R.C. Miller transferred the title of their 民彩网网址 to his spouse.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.133, p. 473)  It was about this time that she buried some hand grenades in the front yard.  These weapons had been issued to R.C. Miller by the military during WW II.  Lydia Miller sealed the weapons in a gallon syrup can, and planted them about five feet deep in post-hole dug shafts on the mid-eastern perimeter of her yard.  The hand grenades were removed from the Miller property by the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team from Camp Shelby prior to the sale of the house in June 1993.  Fortunately, the grenades had deteriorated with time and posed no danger.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 3, 1993, p. 1)


The Carter-Miller cottage remained in the Miller family until June 1993, when Bruce B. Miller and Margaret M. Mohler sold it to Marilyn Y. Lunceford.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1018, p. 670)  Ms. Lunceford has operated “Favorites” Book Store here since August 1993.


Marshall Miller

Before he was elected Marshal and Tax collector on December 10, 1940, R.C. Miller was a constable and deputy sheriff for Jackson County.  In August 1939, Constable Miller captured an auto thief near the Evergreen Cemetery.  The alleged perpetrator, recently incarcerated at the Angola penitentiary in Louisiana, had stolen a car in Biloxi, but ran out of gas during his flight from legal authorities.  Mr. Miller was also the local representative for The Times Picayune and The New Orleans States Item journals.(The JXCO Times, August 19, 1939, p. 4) 


Pete Madsen was the night policeman in 1941.


In 1950, Miller was paid $225 per month.  Policeman, W.E. Williams got $175 per month, and night policeman, W.T. Broome’s remuneration was $75 each month.


R.C. Miller served as Marshal and Tax Collector until the end of 1950.  Six months before he was elected Mayor of Ocean Springs in September 1950, Marshall Miller suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed.  It was during this period that W.E. “Nub” Williams served as acting Marshall.  In late March 1953, Mayor Miller suffered a severe heart attack prior to a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen.  He expired later at the Biloxi Hospital on March 25, 1953.  R.C. Miller’s corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery, on Old Fort Bayou.


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





William Eugene “Nub” Williams (1890-1966) made his livelihood as a carpenter.  He was born April 18th, 1890, the son of Ben F. Williams and Sarah Pow.  In January 1910, W.E. Williams married Lorena Devereaux (1896-1978) at Fontainebleau, Mississippi.  They had eleven children: Clarence L. Williams (1911-1993), Arlie May Williams (1914-1918), Ruby W. Noel (1915-1993), Florence W Myrick (1918-2009),  Mary Alice W. Creel (1921-2004), Jack E. Williams (1922-1981), Grace W. Thornton (1924-2002)John D. Williams (1926-1996), Bennie G. Williams (1930-1996), Larry Earl Williams (1932-2017), and Malcolm B. Williams (1936-1999).


In January 1920, W.E. Williams was employed as a boilermaker in a local shipyard.  His brother-in-law, Norman Devereaux (1904-1920+), lived with the Williams family on Porter Street.  Young Devereaaux also made his livelihood as a boilermaker.(1920 Federal Census JXCO, Ms.)


Mr. W.E. Williams began his career in law enforcement as a policeman during the watch of Marshall R.C. Miller (1887-1953).  In 1950, when he was appointed acting Marshall of the City of Ocean Springs, his salary was $175 per month.


In the municipal elections held in late August 1950, W.E. Williams ran for the position of Marshall against W.T. Broome (1903-1971) and Cyril P. Hopkins (1911-1968).  In the first primary, Williams garnered the most votes, but was lost by 48 votes to W.T. Broome in the second primary.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 1, 1950, p. 1 and September 8, p. 1)

During the Holiday Season of 1950, Willie Lemon’s car was stolen on lower Washington Avenue near the Presbyterian Church.  It was later found in Mississippi City with its radio and heater missing.  Marshall Williams and Fred Lemon, of Prattsville, Alabama, who was visiting his family for the Yule Tide, returned the vehicle to Willie in Ocean Springs.(The Gulf Coast Times, December 22, 1950, p. 1)

In January 1951, W.E. Williams and Irvin Cox were nominated by the newly elected town officials for the office of night policeman.  Mr. Williams was elected.  His salary was set at $175 per month.  An additional $25 per month was provided for the use and maintenance of his personal automobile.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 5, 1951, p. 1)

W.E. Williams expired on New Years Day 1966.  His remains were interred with Masonic rites in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 6, 1966, p. 1) 

His eldest son, Clarence L. Williams (1911-1993), was appointed Police Chief of Ocean Springs in September 1965.  He served in this capacity until Matt Cox replace him in February 1970.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 30, 1965, p. 1 and January 29, 1970, p. 1)




WYLIE T. BROOME: 1951-1953

Wylie Thomas Broome (1903-1971) was born at Williamsburg, Covington County, Mississippi on October 3, 1903, the son of Hugh T. Broome and Katie Celina Aultman.  In May 1921, he married Dovie Marcella Haddox (1904-1982), at Sumrall, Mississippi.  She was the daughter of Luther Haddox and Mary Jane Graham.  They were the parents of eight children: Itaska B. Fountain (b. 1923), Helen B. Lamas (1926-1992), Curmis Broome (b. 1928), Georgia Nell B. Heffner (1930-1996), Wylie T. Broome Jr. (b. 1932), Shirley B. Rivers (b. 1937), Patricia B. Knecht (b. 1939), and Douglas Scott Broome (b. 1944?).(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 145)

The Broome family arrived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1938.  Wylie T. Broome initially was employed at the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula.  He operated a feed and seed store in the old Weider-Engbarth garage at present day 1025 Government Street, before joining the Ocean Springs Police Department in 1947, when R.C. Miller (1887-1953) was resident Marshall.(ibid., p. 145)           


The Caulkins-Broome House

In July 1943, W.T. Broome acquired from Iola Y. Davidson (1883-1963), the widow of Judge O.D. Davidson (1872-1938), an early 20th Century, vernacular structure at 1402 Middle Avenue, which is situated on the southeast corner of VanCleave and Middle Avenue.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 93, pp.. 178-179)  In October 1973, after the demise of her husband, Mrs. Dovie Broom sold her Middle Avenue 民彩网网址 to Greta Beach Anderson (1919-1992), a native of Chicago.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 478, p. 509)  Today, Ms. Lisa Fazzio who in May 1992, acquired the old Broome house resides here with her family.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 478, p. 509)

1950 Election

W.T. Broome was serving the City of Ocean Springs as Special Police Officer in September 1950, when he defeated W.E. “Nub” Williams, acting Marshall, in a run-off election for the office.  He garnered 54% of the vote. There was no recount as no dimpled or pregnant chads were detected. (The Gulf Coast Times, September 8, 1950, p. 1 and my sense of humor?)  Broome was narrowly defeated in the first primary as Williams out-polled him 283 to 279.  Cyril P. Hopkins, the third candidate, had 53 ballots cast for him.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 1, 1950, p. 1)  Marshall Broome’s salary was $200 per month.           


Marshall Broome

Marshall W.T. Broome’s tenure in office was marked by concern for public welfare, fiscal responsibility, and strict law enforcement.  In the fall of 1951, he initiated school safety patrols at the public and parochial school to enforce speed limits and insure the safety of students within the school zone.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 13, 11951, p. 1)

W.T. Broome’s police department collected over $4500 in fines in an eight-month period between October 1951-and June 1952.  This was $1150 in excess of remuneration to the department in the same time period.(The Gulf Coast Times, June 19, 1952, p. 1)           


Chief Broome

In 1953, the offices of Marshall and City Clerk of Ocean Springs, became appointments of the Board of Aldermen and Mayor.  On July 8, 1953, Wylie T. Broome was appointed the first Police Chief of Ocean Springs by the newly elected municipal government which consisted of: John C. Gay (1909-1975), Mayor; Duncan Moran (1925-1995), Aldermen-at-Large; Walton O. Tardy (1912-1970), Alderman Ward 1; Lauren E. Farrell (1909-1966), Alderman Ward 2; John H. Seymour (1923-1991), Alderman Ward 3; and Chester McPhearson (b. 1924), Alderman Ward 4.

W.T. Broome was name assistant Chief of Police in September 1965, when Clarence L. Williams received the appointment.  His other duties were detective and city building inspector. Mr. W.T. Broome passed in mid-August 1971.  His corporal remains were interred in the Crestlawn Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Daily Herald. August 20, 1971, p. 2)



Patricia Ann Fenerty and Patricia White Fernandez, 1880 Census of New OrleansVolume I, (Padraigeen Publications: New Orleans, Louisiana-1991).

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, “Wylie Thomas Broome and Dovie Marcella Haddox”, (The Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989).

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991).

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 902, “The Last Will and Testament of Margaret Elywert”-1900.



The Biloxi Herald, “Coast Items”, June 16, 1894.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, April 6, 1906.

The Daily Times-News, “Arm of Law Lacks Gentle Touch in Ocean Springs”,

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, July 2, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs News Paragraphs”, June 3, 1929.

The Daily Herald"Former Tax Collector Ends Life", July 30, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Funeral 民彩网网址 Ocean Springs Mayor On Friday”, March 26, 1953.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Olivia Tardy”, April  ,1956.

The Daily Herald, “W.E. Williams”, January 3, 1966.

The Daily Herald, “Former police Chief Dies”, August 20, 1971.

The Daily Herald, “Assistant police chief in Ocean Springs dies”, January 2, 1976.

The Gulf Coast Times, “W.T. Broome announces For Town Marshall”, June 16, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Know Your Neighbor”, September 2, 1949.

The Gulf Coast Times, “17 Candidates To Participate In Municipal Primary Election Here Tuesday”, August 25, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Cyril Hopkins Announces For Town Marshall”, August 25, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “R.C. Miller New Mayor-Elect; Second Primary To Be Held Tuesday”, September 1, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Wyle T. Broome Elected Marshal In Second Primary”, September 8, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Car Stolen”, December 22, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Williams Appointed Night Marshall at First Meeting of Mayor and Board”, January 5, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “In Tense Atmosphere Council Meeting Off To New Routine”, July 5, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “List Membership Local School Safety Patrols”, September 13, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, April 10, 1952.

The Gulf Coast Times, “This Will Make Summer Official”, June 19, 1952.

The Gulf Coast Times, “R.C. Miller dies in office”, April 2, 1953.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Mrs. Sadie Hodges And Wylie Broome Receive One Year Appointment”, July 9, 1953.

The Jackson County Times, “Political Announcements”, October 7, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Mayor and Board of Aldermen”, October 14, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Result of the Primary”, October 28, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, December 16, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, March 24, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen”, April 14, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Tom Starks, Ocean Springs Boy Victim of German Submarine”, July 14, 1917.

The Jackson County Times"Mrs. Geo. H. Tardy Passes Away", November 17, 1917, p. 5, c. 3.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items, May 25, 1918.

The Jackson County Times"Death of Samuel P. Starks", March 22, 1919.

The Jackson County Times, “Stopped Runaway Horse”, March 13, 1920.

The Jackson County Times, “Chief Rupp Urges Payment Of Dog And Street Taxes”, May 20, 1922.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, June 5, 1920.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 14, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, December 3, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Rupp Bursts Into Poetry”, May 26, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, October 6, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, February 12, 1924.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, December 13, 1924.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 3, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 25, 1929.

The Jackson County Times, “Death Takes Robert Rupp, Former Town Marshall”, August 30, 1930.

The Jackson County Times, “George Dale’s Mother Dies in California”, November 10, 1934.

The Jackson County Times, “Mad Man Shot; Marshal and Constable Hurt”, January 5, 1935.

The Jackson County Times, “Death of W.W. Webber”, December 19, 1936.

The Jackson County Times, Constable Miller Arrests Auto Thief”, August 19, 1939.

The Jackson County Times"民彩网网址 For E.L. Tardy Held Monday", March ? 1943, p.

The Jackson County Times, “The Column”, August 7, 1943.

The Mississippi Press, “Ocean Springs police chief resigns”, April 23, 2000.

The Mississippi Press, “Ezell to return to Pas police department”, April 28, 2000.

The Mississippi Press (OS Press),“Transition goes smoothly for new police chief”, August 2, 2000.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 4, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News“Town Marshall Attacked by Negro”, September 18, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 18, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, “They’re Off In a Bunch”, October 1, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News", April 22, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, December 23, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, February 28, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Sam Starks and the Chicken”, April 1, 1915.

The Ocean Springs News, “Mrs. A. Webber”, June 13, 1957.

The Ocean Springs News, January 16, 1958.

The Ocean Springs News, “Two Brothers, Wives, Celebrate 50th Anniversaries Same Day”, February 11, 1960, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Know Your Public Officials”, September 30, 1965.

The Ocean Springs Record, “W.W. Williams Succumbs Here”, January 6, 1966.

The Ocean Springs Record, "(Clarence) Williams is no longer O.S. Chief of Police", July 7, 1966, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “City Council Appoints Matt Cox Police Chief”, January 29, 1970.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Police Chief Cox gets early start on his new job", February 12, 1970, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Williams and Alves honored by VFW", May 6, 1976, p.14.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Cox elected to State post", June 17, 1976, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Alves Named Ocean Springs Chief of Police”, February 10, 1983.

The Ocean Springs Record, “New chief assumes duties”, February 17, 1983.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ann Miller selected best overall cadet”, September 22, 1983.

The Ocean Springs Record, “First Family”, June 22, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record, “New Police Chief Takes Over”, October 26, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record, “A blast from the past”, June 3, 1993.

The Ocean Springs Record

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ezell takes fast track settling in as police chief”, July 23, 1998.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ralph E. Wilkerson”, August 6, 1998.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Obit", March 28, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, December 15, 1905.

The Progress, Local News”, October 1, 1904.





Chief W.T. Broome in 1953

[Courtesy of Ronald McDonald 'Bo' Hall-February 2009]


On July 8, 1953, Wylie Thomas Broome (1903-1971) was appointed the first Police Chief of Ocean Springs by Board of Mayor and Alderman.  The newly elected officials were: John C. Gay (1909-1975), Mayor; Duncan Moran (1925-1995), Aldermen-at-Large; Walton O. Tardy (1912-1970), Alderman Ward 1; Lauren E. Farrell (1909-1966), Alderman Ward 2; John Seymour, Alderman Ward 3; and Chester McPhearson (b. 1924), Alderman Ward 4.                 

Rescue of the sparrow by Chief Broome and Patrolman Buster Ross (1914-1974).(The Ocean Springs News, January 16, 1958, p. 1)

Dismissal 1964

Chief W.T. Broome was dismissed as Police Chief in late June 1964 by the Board of Alderman in a 3-2 vote.  He was cited as demonstrating "actions not becoming of a gentleman".  Chief Broome hired Albert Sidney Johnstone III, a Pascagoula attorney, to represent him in this action, which he labeled as "political" in nature.  One week after his brief departure from the OSPD, Chief Broome was restored by the Board of Aldermen to supervise the protection and  safety of the citizens of Ocean Springs.(The Daily Herald, July 1, 1964, p. 1, July 6, 1964, p. 1 and July 8, p. 1)

(See Dick Hawthorne and the Arm of Law lacks gentle touch in OS.(The Daily Times-News


Shirod Miller (1921-1976) assistant police chief since 1971.  Joined Ocean Springs Police force in 1951.(The Daily Herald, January 2, 1976, p. 1)  His daughter, Ann Miller, selected as best overall cadet (see OSR,  9-22-1983, p. 2)



The History of Jackson County, Mississippi "Wylie Thomas Broome and Dovie Marcella Haddox", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989).

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs dismisses its Police Chief”, July 1, 1964.

The Daily Herald, “Broome labels his dismissal as 'political'”, July 6, 1964.
The Daily Herald, “Broome named Police Chief”, July 8, 1964.


Clarence L. Williams (1911-1993)

 [L-R: Mayor Westbrook, Clarence L. Williams and W.T. Broome; 2nd image [L-R]-Clarence Williams and Leonard Allen, Fire Chief.  Courtesy of Maggie Allen.]




Clarence L. Williams (1911-1993) was born on August 19, 1911, the son of William “Nub” Eugene Williams (1890-1966) and Lorena Devereaux (1896-1978).  He was the eldest of thirteen children: Jack E. Williams (1922-1981), Larry WilliamsMalcomb B. Williams (1936-1999), John D. WilliamsBennie G. Williams (1931-1996), Ruby W. Noel(1915-1993), Mary W. Creel, Florence W. Myrick, and Grace W. Thornton. 

US Army WWII, 1st Sergeant at Camp Phillips, Kansas.  German prisoner of war camp.  “I hope that our boys who are prisoners of war are treated as well as these Germans are”.(The Jackson County Times, August 7, 1943, p. 4)

Married Irma Bernice Van Court (1913-1980).  Seven children: Charlotte W. Breeding, Martha W. Kopszywz, Harry Williams, Irma W. Mabry, Fred Williams, Jane W. Pons, and Steve Williams.

Worked as Superintendent of the Street Department and for Blossman Gas in Ocean Springs and at Albertville, Alabama.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 30, 1965, p. 1)

Appointed Police Chief on September 15, 1965.  Clarence was not reappointed in July 1966 by the Board of Aldermen and Mayor Champ Gay assumed the duties of ex-officio Chief of Police.  At their next meeting the Board overturned their prior decision and reappointed Chief Williams.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 30, 1965, p. 1, The Ocean Springs Record, July 7, 1966, p. 1 and July 21, 1966, p. 1)

Replaced by Matt Cox in January 1970.

Expired October 24, 1993.  Buried Bellande Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, October 26, 1993, p. A2)



The Daily Herald, "Clarence Williams Chief of Police", September 8, 1965, p. 1.

The Jackson County Times, "The Column", August 7, 1943.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Know Your Public Officials", September 30, 1965.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Williams is no longer OS Police Chief", July 7, 1966, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Williams is rehired as Police Chief", July 21, 1966, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Clarence L. Williams", October 28, 1993, p. 9.

The Sun Herald, "Clarence Williams", October 26, 1993.


Bennie G. Williams                          1931 to 2-8-1996

Jack E. Williams, Sr.                  4-27-1922 to 4-7-1981

Lorena Deveareaux Williams           7-25-1896 to 11-29-1978

William “Nub” Eugene Williams          4-18-1890 to 1-1-1966

Percy B. Noel                          5-1-1908 to 3-16-1977

Ruby W. Noel                           12-6-1915 to 8-5-1993

Clarence L. Williams                 8-19-1911 to 10-24-1993

Irma B. "Sis" Williams               12-19-1913 to 8-29-1980





Madison Cox (1923-2006) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi  on December 14, 1923.  Appointed on January   1970. (The Ocean Springs Record, January 29, 1970, p. 1).

Resigned on February 20, 1979.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 22, 1979, p. 1)


Expired at Herman Memorial Hospital, Woodland, Montgomery County, Texas on March 12, 2006.(The Sun Herald, March,   2006)

Madison George "Matt" Cox (1923-2006), age 82 years, of Ocean Springs, MS., passed away on Sunday, March 12, 2006, at Herman Memorial Hospital in The Woodlands, Montgomery County, Texas.

Mr. Cox was born on December 14, 1923, on Point Cadet, in Biloxi, Mississippi. He graduated from Biloxi High School and married his wife of 63 years, Annette Noble, in 1943, and they made their 民彩网网址 in Ocean Springs.

Mr. Cox retired from a lifetime career in law enforcement in 1985. During his career he served as Chief Deputy Sheriff of Jackson County for several years and Chief of Police of Ocean Springs for nine years. He also served as Alderman of Ward 2 in Ocean Springs from 1981-1985.

Mr. Coxs' greatest source of pride and joy was his family. He is survived by his wife, Annette, two daughters, Jo Ann Cox Crimm and husband, Harlon Crimm, and Gay Cox Crosby and husband, Mickey Crosby, a son, Dean Cox and wife, Glenda, grandchildren, Jeff Crimm and wife, Kristi, Sherry Cousins and husband, Bill, Dean Cox, Jr. and wife, Heather, Ashley Estapa and husband, Chris, Haley Crosby and Tate Crosby, and great-grandchildren, Madison, Hannah, Eli and Samantha.





[image courtesy of Arieh O'Sullivan]

Efraim ‘Fred’ E. O’Sullivan (1938-2005) was born in New Orleans on January 1, 1938.  He came to Ocean Springs in June 1979 as Police Chief after serving in senior posts in the New Orleans Police Department and having a brief tenure with the Israel Police force (1974-1975).  O'Sullivan had joined NOPD in 1958 and rapidly advanced from patrolman to detective in the vice squad and later as commander of the intelligence branch.  Born into an Irish Catholic family, Fred coverted to Judaism in 1967. In 1973, he was shot in NOLA by a sniper and subsequently the family relocated to Israel in the middle of the Yom Kippur War.  The O'Sullivan's returned to Louisiana and he became Chief of Police at Jennings in southwest Louisiana.(The Sun Herald, Februeay 22, 2005, p. A6 and Arieh O'Sullivan, June 2011)

OCEAN SPRINGS            

Under Fred O’Sullivan’s leadership, the Ocean Springs police department recruited the town’s first black officer and also appointed, Carolyn Wilkerson Frayser, who went on to become police chief from 1989-1997. Fred  O’Sullivan reorganized the OSPD into two 12-hour shifts instead of three shifts a day and inaugurated psychiatric testing for cops. “If someone were hired to protect the citizens of Ocean Springs, I’d think you’d want to know if he had a full deck and all his cards had been shuffled together. If we’ve got a man with a loose screw, we need to know,” O’Sullivan told the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.(Arieh O'Sullivan, June 2011)

When he was named Chief of Police, Fred O’Sullivan made history as being the first ever Jewish Police Chief in the State of Mississippi. He liked to be referred to by his Hebrew name Efraim and when folks couldn’t pronounce it he’d say: “How do you like your eggs in the morning?” When they would reply: “I fry ‘em,” he would say: “Well, that’s my name.”(Arieh O'Sullivan, June 2011)

Patrolman Robert Germany (b. 1948) was named patrolman of the year by Police Chief Fred O'Sullivan. A.J. Hogan and Doug Daams were cited for their lifesaving efforts in early December in administering CPR to an elderly man who had suffered an apparent heart attack.(The Daily Herald, January 22, 1980, p. A2)

Chief O'Sullivan had the innate ability to sense potential trouble before it could occur.  In September 1980, there was a sudden proliferation of barrooms on Washington Avenue and Porter Street.  At this time, he advised the Mayor and Board of Aldermen concerning these saloons that: "This is not to suggest that these establishments not be allowed to operate according to the law, but simply a plea of caution before the atmosphere of the 'downtown' area is altered beyond repair."(The Daily Herald, September 30, 1980, p. A2)

After four years as police chief, O’Sullivan resigned in January 1983.  He and wife Dina relocated to Sarasota, Florida where he joined The Basic Foundation, a Zionist organization.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 23, 1982, p. 2)

Fred and Dina O’Sullivan returned to Ocean Springs in 1990. He ran a popular folk music and poetry club at the Spiral Gallery that Dina had established on Government Street. He died on February 20, 2005 and his corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park cemetery at Biloxi, Mississippi.  Fred left his wife and three children: Erin O'Sullivan Strong; Kelly O'Sullivan Beck; and Arieh O'Sullivan.(The Sun Herald, February 22, 2005, p. A6)

Dina O’ Sullivan remained at Ocean Springs for some time and was active in the Ocean Springs Art Association and worked with the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art at Biloxi.  Many thousand thanks to Arieh O'Sullivan, the son of Fred and Dina O'Sullivan for his contribution to his father's biography and for the excellent photograph.



The Daily Herald, "Ocean Springs police honored", January 22, 1980, p. A2.

The Daily Herald, September 30, 1980.

The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Sullivan named Springs’ police chief”, June 28, 1979, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Chief O’Sullivan”, November 1, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Chief O’Sullivan”, November 8, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, January 24, 1980, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “City won’t appoint interim police chief”, December 23, 1982.

The Sun Herald, “Fred Efraim O’Sullivan”, February 22, 2005, p. A6.

Personal Communication:

Arieh O’Sullivan-e-mail June 25, 2011.





Kevin Vincent Alves (b. 1948) the son of August G. Alves II (1915-1979) and Phala LouiseVierling (1921-1978).  Grew up at 27 Holcomb Boulevard.  Joined USAF and while a serviceman, he married Lynn Belle Speed (b. 1950), the daughter of Alfred Speed and Irene Martin, at Ocean Springs in August 1968.(JXCO, Ms, Circuit Court MRB 111, p. 157)  Appointed police chief in 1983.  Elected Mayor of Ocean Springs in 1989 and 1993.






Carolyn E. Frayser (b. 1948) was born March 13, 1948, at Moss Point, Mississippi, the daughter of Charlie Eurbie Craft and Elna Rea Ivey.  In March 1969, she married Ralph Edward Wilkerson (1949-1998), the son of E. Frasier Wilkerson (1920-1987) and Eileen Cox, at Georgia.  Ralph E. Wilkerson devoted most of his life to the nursery business.  He worked in his father’s business, Frasier’s Nursery, before commencing his own nursery and landscape enterprises at Long Beach, Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 6, 1998, p. 5)

Carolyn and Ralph had two children: Melissa W. Slater (b. 1973) and Adam C. Wilkerson (b. 1978).  The Wilkerson divorced in August 1983.(JXCO, Miss. Chancery Court Cause No. 44,240-May 1983) 

In September 1983, Carolyn married Jerry Wayne Frayser (b. 1952), (JXCO, Ms. MRB. 149, p. 98)  At the time was a sergeant.

Joined the force in          ?     

She began her appointment of October 25, 1989, at a salary of $30,000.  First woman police chief in the State.  First woman patrolman and Captain of OSPD.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 26, 1989, p. 1)

First year in retrospect.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 25, 1990, p. 5)

Marshall of the 1990 Firemens’ Parade.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 4, 1990, p. 1)





Mike Ezell became Police Chief in July 1998.  Resigned in early May 2000.(The Mississippi Press, April 23, 2000, pp. 1-A and 2-A)

Return to Pascagoula Police Department.(The Mississippi Press, April 28, 2000, p. 1)

Mike was a candidate for Sheriff of Jackson County, Mississippi in 2014 to replace Sheriff Mike Byrd.






In June 2000, Officers Kerry Belk, Gary Demaree, Bill Kuhn, and Timmy Tue took test for Police Chief.(The Sun Herald, June 19, 2000, p.1)

 Belk retired from the force on February 28, 2007.(The Ocean Springs News, February 8, 2007, p. A1)





[Image made February 2, 2012 by Anne Pitre]

Lionel Cothern is native of Biloxi and a twenty-one year veteran of the OSPD, was named police chief in late June.(The Sun Herald, June 29, 2007, p. A3)



The OSPD dedicated their new office space and jail on February 2, 2012.  The OSFD and Municipal Court are also situated in this new $4 million dollar facilty at 3810 Bienville Boulevard.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 3, 2012, p. 1)

Gary D. Demaree (1946-2013), native of Hattiesburg, Vietnam veteran and former Captain of the OSPD with 35 years of service, died on December 6th.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 12, 2013, p. 7)







Patricia Ann Fenerty and Patricia White Fernandez, 1880 Census of New OrleansVolume I, (Padraigeen Publications: New Orleans, Louisiana-1991).

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991).

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 902, “The Last Will and Testament of Margaret Elywert”-1900.


The Daily Times-News, “Arm of Law Lacks Gentle Touch in Ocean Springs”,

The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, July 2, 1927.

The Daily Herald"Former Tax Collector Ends Life", July 30, 1941, p. 1 and p. 3.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Olivia Tardy”, April  ,1956.

The Daily Herald, “W.E. Williams”, January 3, 1966.

The Daily Herald, “Assistant police chief in Ocean Springs dies”, January 2, 1976.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Know Your Neighbor”, September 2, 1949.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Wyle T. Broome Elected Marshal In Second Primary”, September 8, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Car Stolen”, December 22, 1950.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Williams Appointed Night Marshall at First Meeting of Mayor and Board”, January 5, 1951.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Mrs. Sadie Hodges And Wylie Broome Receive One Year Appointment”, July 9, 1953.

The Jackson County Times, “Political Announcements”, October 7, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Mayor and Board of Aldermen”, October 14, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Result of the Primary”, October 28, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, December 16, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, March 24, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen”, April 14, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Tom Starks, Ocean Springs Boy Victim of German Submarine”, July 14, 1917.

The Jackson County Times"Mrs. Geo. H. Tardy Passes Away", November 17, 1917, p. 5, c. 3.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items, May 25, 1918.

The Jackson County Times"Death of Samuel P. Starks", March 22, 1919.

The Jackson County Times, “Chief Rupp Urges Payment Of Dog And Street Taxes”, May 20, 1922.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, June 5, 1920.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, May 14, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, December 3, 1921.

The Jackson County Times, “Rupp Bursts Into Poetry”, May 26, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Items”, October 6, 1923.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, December 13, 1924.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 3, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Death Takes Robert Rupp, Former Town Marshall”, August 30, 1930.

The Jackson County Times, “George Dale’s Mother Dies in California”, November 10, 1934.

The Jackson County Times"民彩网网址 For E.L. Tardy Held Monday", March ? 1943, p.

The Jackson County Times, “The Column”, August 7, 1943.

The Mississippi Press, “Ocean Springs police chief resigns”, April 23, 2000.

The Mississippi Press, “Ezell to return to Pas police department”, April 28, 2000.

The Mississippi Press (OS Press),“Transition goes smoothly for new police chief”, August 2, 2000.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 4, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, September 18, 1909.

The Ocean Springs News, “They’re Off In a Bunch”, October 1, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, December 23, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, February 28, 1914.

The Ocean Springs News, “Mrs. A. Webber”, June 13, 1957.

The Ocean Springs News, January 16, 1958.

The Ocean Springs News, “Two Brothers, Wives, Celebrate 50th Anniversaries Same Day”, February 11, 1960, p. 3.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Know Your Public Officials”, September 30, 1965.

The Ocean Springs Record, “City Council Appoints Matt Cox Police Chief”, January 29, 1970.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Cox Resigns”, February 22, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Springs Aldermen, Police Union Conflict Looms”, March 1, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Alderman don’t recognize police union”, March 8, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Chief O’Sullivan”, November 1, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Chief O’Sullivan”, November 8, 1979.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Patrol Cars Awaited Anxiously”, January 24, 1980.

The Ocean Springs Record, “City won’t appoint interim police chief”, December 23, 1982.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Alves Named Ocean Springs Chief of Police”, February 10, 1983.

The Ocean Springs Record, “New chief assumes duties”, February 17, 1983.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ann Miller selected best overall cadet”, September 22, 1983.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Police Chief To Run For Mayor”, March 30, 1989, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record, “First Family”, June 22, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record, “New Police Chief Takes Over”, October 26, 1989.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Fireman’s Parade to Roll Saturday”, October 4, 1990.

The Ocean Springs Record, “First Woman Chief Looks back on Busy Year”, October 25, 1990.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ezell takes fast track settling in as police chief”, July 23, 1998.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Ralph E. Wilkerson”, August 6, 1998.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Former police chief [Matt Cox], assistant [Bob Baker] die”, August 16, 2006, p. A1.

 The Ocean Springs Record, "Belk to retire as chief after 22 years in OSPD", February 8, 2007.

The Ocean Springs Record, "City begins search for new police chief", February 8, 2007.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, "Obit", March 28, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, December 15, 1905.

The Progress, “Town Marshall Attacked by Negro”, September 18, 1909.

The Sun Herald,                   June 19, 2000.

The Sun Herald, “Mr. Madison ‘Matt’ Cox”, March 14, 2006, p. A4.                                                    

The Sun Herald,  “Matt Cox, police chief”, March 21, 2006, p. A4.

The Sun Herald,  “Moran says stalemate is insult to police”, March 21, 2015, p. A5.





If you have stood in line for fifteen minutes or more at the US Post Office in Ocean Springs on Bienville Boulevard, the thought of having another postal station in the city must have certainly entered your mind.  In fact, when this building was being erected in 1985-1986, the Board of Directors of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce led by Susie R. Moran favored that a downtown branch Post Office be opened after the new operation commenced on Bienville Boulevard.  Has the time arrived for a second postal facility?   The Central Business District on Washington Avenue and environs is certainly not the place today for this business.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 6, 1986, p. 1)

Since Ocean Springs is growing rapidly eastward, it would be logical to erect a new postal facility in that sector.  Someday, City Hall and its ancillary services will pack up and move to the Civic Center grounds on Bienville Boulevard.  Like D’Iberville and Biloxi, which have their post offices an oyster shell throw from their City Hall, Ocean Springs could attempt to persuade the Federal Government, when the time is appropriate to locate the new post office near the Civic Center or open a branch station east of the present facility.

Well, if your thoughts, while waiting for Vern, Debbie, Joshua or another postal employee to complete a transaction in our present post office, were not about a new postal facility, maybe you wondered how your ancestors faired with their mail?   Today, I will commence a multi-part series on the chronology of the Postmasters and the structures that they labored in to provide mail, stamps, and other services to the citizens of Ocean Springs from 1853 to the present day.  Please enjoy!


The US Postal System

The US Postal System was born on July 26, 1775, when members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, agreed ". . . that a Postmaster General be appointed for the United States, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1,000 dollars per annum . . . ."  Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was appointed Postmaster General at this time.   Following the adoption of the Constitution in May 1789, the Act of September 22, 1789 (1 Stat. 70), temporarily established a post office and created the Office of the Postmaster General. On September 26, 1789, George Washington (1732-1799) appointed Samuel Osgood (1747-1813) of Massachusetts as the first Postmaster General under the Constitution. At that time there were 75 post offices and about 2,000 miles of post roads, although as late as 1780 the postal staff consisted only of a Postmaster General, a Secretary/Comptroller, three surveyors, one Inspector of Dead Letters, and 26 post riders. ()




Post Roads

Early Post Roads-This map depicts some of the early post roads in the Mississippi Territory (1798-1817).  Post roads were trails blazed through wilderness and were usually about four feet wide.  After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, it was imperative to have reliable overland postal communications between New Orleans and Washington D.C.  Several routes were constructed that also served as military roads, which were invaluable during the War of 1812.


Natchez Trace

With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the US Postal System required an efficient mail route from Washington D.C. to New Orleans.  By 1801, an extension of the post road from Nashville, Tennessee, which ran to the Capitol, had been surveyed to Natchez on the Southwestern frontier of the Mississippi Territory.  This route was called the Natchez Trace.  It did not become an effective post artery until about 1806.  Governor W.C.C. Claiborne (1775-1817) of the Orleans Territory negotiated an agreement with Spain to extend the post road from Natchez to the Crescent City through Spanish West Florida thus completing the mail route from Louisiana to Washington D.C.  The Trace was used extensively by boatmen returning to Tennessee and Kentucky after vending their produce and goods at New Orleans.(Cain, 2003, p. 153 and Clark-Guice, 1989, p. 86-87)


Old Federal Road

Construction of the “Old Federal Road” commenced in 1811.  It was built from west to east connecting Fort Stoddert, Alabama, to Fort Wilkinson, Georgia.  Constructed in 1799, Fort Stoddert was named for the Acting Secretary of War Benjamin Stoddert (1751-1813). Fort Stoddert was located at the Mount Vernon Landing on the Mobile River in Mobile County east of present day Mount Vernon, Alabama.  The Old Federal Road connected Fort Stoddert with Fort Wilkinson, which was near Milledgeville, then the capital of Georgia.  The Old Federal Road successfully connected Fort Stoddert to the Chattahoochee River. At that point, the Federal Road merged with the earlier postal riders’ horse path that linked Athens, Georgia, to New Orleans, Louisiana. Unlike the old horse path, the Federal Road went eastward making a connection with lands ripe for the recruitment of soldiers and obtaining supplies for the military. This path quickly became a major travel route for pioneers to the area once known as the Old Southwest. ()

Before a route through Spanish West Florida was negotiated, the Old Federal Road followed the 31st parallel through present day Mississippi.  To reach New Orleans, mail riders traveled west on the Old Federal Road from Fort Stoddert, near present day Mount Vernon, Alabama, crossing the Pearl River near Sandy Hook, Marion County, Mississippi to Ford’s Fort, which was on the Old Columbia to Covington Road.  The route continued west to Pickneyville, Wilkerson County, Mississippi, where it intersected the post road from Natchez to New Orleans.  A shorter route to New Orleans came into use about 1807, when the mail went south from Ford’s Fort through Spanish West Florida to the Tchefuncte River mouth.  Here it was carried to New Orleans by ferry across Lake Pontchartrain.(Cain, 2003, pp. 153-154)              


Southwestern route

In 1806, US Postmaster General Gideon Granger (1767-1822) reported the planning of a mail route to shorten the distance to New Orleans by going southwest immediately upon crossing the Pascagoula River on the Old Federal Road.  This post road ended at Favre’s Farm near the mouth of the Pearl River in present day Hancock County, Mississippi.  From Gideon’s report the following is offered as to the extreme conditions faced by postal riders and their steeds during this era: This part of the route ought to be surveyed and cleared of brush and trees four feet wide.  Dog River [Escatawpa River] is forty feet wide.  Two logs may be laid across it for the rider to walk and carry the mail on his back and swim the horse along side.  Pascagoula River is 250 feet wide.  A family lives near and keeps a canoe, in which the rider and the mail should be crossed, the horse swimming alongside the canoe.(Cain, 2003, p. 154)           

Gideon Granger’s proposed Southwestern post road from the Pascagoula River crossing on the Old Federal Road to Favre’s Farm was built and utilized although the Spanish did offer resistance to transgressions into their territory south of the 31st parallel.  From Favre’s Farm to New Orleans, the mail was sent by boat.  The rough waters encountered along the route from the lower Pearl River to Lake Pontchartain and crossing this shallow lake were also troublesome for the US Postal Service.(Cain, 2003, p. 155)


The Lake Route and steam packets

In 1827, the US Postal Service contracted to have the mail sent by steamboat from New Orleans to Pascagoula.  It was then sent overland to Mobile.  By 1830, the New Orleans’ mail went directly from Milneberg on Lake Ponchartrain to Mobile across “The Lake”.  “The Lake” was a term used for the Mississippi Sound in the 19th Century, as it is protected from the Gulf of Mexico by the barrier islands and is generally quite calm, like a lake.  Milneberg was founded by Alexander Milne, a Scotch immigrant. By the time he died, he owned most of the New Orleans lakeshore and what is now Lakeview-22 miles of property along the lake extending from the Jefferson Parish line to the Rigolets.  Milne founded the town of Milneberg, which later became a summer resort on the lakefront. People traveled some five miles down Elysian Fields Avenue on the Pontchartrain Railroad, also built by Milne in 1831.(Cain, 2003, p. 155 and )


First Jackson County post office

The first post office in Jackson County, Mississippi was established in 1821 and called Jackson County Courthouse.  It was located in present day George County near Wilkerson’s Ferry on the Pascagoula River.  It was also in the vicinity of the County’s first courthouse, which was at the 民彩网网址 of Thomas Bilbo [Bilbaud] (1776-1870), a prominent surveyor of this time.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, pp. 10-11)


Early post offices and postmasters

Early post offices in villages and small towns were usually situated in general stores as they were the focus of commercial activity.  The store proprietor was often the postmaster, who vended stamps and posted letters, as well as, slice bacon or sell coffins!  As we shall see, this premise was also true at Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs News, October 28, 1965, p. 1)

It is also interesting to note that of the thirteen, 19th Century postmasters to serve the local populous, two were born in Germany, Frederick Moeling and Charles Boster; one in Ireland, John Egan.  The only name indigenous to the Ocean Springs area of Jackson County, Mississippi was “S.J. Ladner” or “Ladnier”.  The descendants of Postmaster Robert A. Van Cleave, Emile Engbarth, H.F. Russell, Thomas I. Keys, and Thomas R. Friar would be important players in the 20th Century.


1854 Lynchburg Springs, Mississippi postmark

          [The Randy Randazzo Mississippi Gulf Coast Collection and Archives]


This extremely rare stamped envelope was canceled August 1, 1854.  It may be the only relic surviving from “Lynchburg Springs”, the first official US Postal name for present day Ocean Springs.  Robert Little was appointed to this position in January 1853.  Note that this letter was sent from Ocean Springs to a Davis family member at Natchez, Mississippi.  The recipient does not appear to be a descendant of Samuel Davis II (1804-1879) and Alvirah Ann Ward (1821-1901) progenitors of our local Davis family.


Lynchburg Springs and Robert Little: 1853-1854

Before a post office was established at present day Ocean Springs, The US Postal System had issued postage stamps in 1847 and stamped envelopes in 1852.  On January 19, 1853, Robert Little was appointed Postmaster at Lynchburg Springs.   This village on the east side of Biloxi Bay, which had been the site of Fort Maurepas, the 1699 French beachhead of Colonial Louisiana, had been known through the years as Biloxey, Vieux Biloxey, and prior to Lynchburg Springs, East Biloxi.  It acquired the name “Lynchburg Springs” from George Lynch (1815-1880+), a native of Maryland. 


Mr. Lynch operated a saw mill on Old Fort Bayou with three young laborers from New England.  In Jackson County, Mississippi, George Lynch possessed real estate valued at $5000.  George Lynch departed Ocean Springs before 1858, as he married Susan B. Gibson, a native of Kentucky, in Wilcox County, Alabama.  They settled at Clifton, Wilcox County, Alabama where three children were born and reared: Thomas Lynch (b. 1859), Adelaide Lynch (b. 1871), and Charlotte Lynch (b. 1878).  In 1880, George Lynch made his livelihood as a carpenter.  No further information.(1850 Jackson County, Mississippi, Federal Census, R374, Bk. 1, p. 25b and 1880 Wilcox County, Alabama Federal Census,T9_35, p. 22b, ED 194)                       


“Ocean Springs”- Frederick G. Moeling: 1854-1856

By New Years Day 1855, Frederick G. Moeling (1835-1880), pronounced “mailing”, was the new Postmaster at “Ocean Springs”.  His appointment date was December 12, 1854.  “Ocean Springs” took its name from the Ocean Springs Hotel, which had been erected in 1853 by Dr. William Glover Austin (1814-1894) and Warrick Martin (1810-1854+).  The US Post Office here has been called Ocean Springs since this time.


Frederick [Friedrig] G. Moeling was born at Neustadt on Hardt, Germany, the son of Elias Moeling (1796-1844) and Anna Maria Gerig (1801-1878).  He was the brother-in-law of Captain Daniel J. Goos (1815-1898), himself a native of Wyk on the island of Fohr, off of Schleswig Holstein, then a Danish, now a German possession.  It appears that Frederick G. Moeling came to Ocean Springs to be with the Daniel J. Goos family.           


Daniel J. Goos

Daniel J. Goos immigrated to the United States about the year 1835, landing at Philadelphia, and thence soon going to New Orleans, where he was one of the founders of the first German Masonic lodge in that city Germania Lodge, No. 46, F. & A. M., which was chartered April 18, 1844. Circa 1846 at New Orleans, he married Miss Katherina Barbara Moeling (1827-1884), the daughter of Elias Moeling and Anna Maria Gerig, and the sister of Frederick G.  Moeling (1835-1880), the first postmaster of “Ocean Springs”.             


Daniel J. Goos and Katerina Barbara Moeling  were the parents of fifteen children born at four locations: New Orleans- Daniel J. Goos Jr. (1846-1884), Barbara Goos Fitzenreiter (1847-1921),  and Ellen Goos Lock (1849-1921); Biloxi, Mississippi- Rosalie Goos Wachen (1850-1884), and Medora Goos Funk Jessen (1852-1893); Ocean Springs,Mississippi- Emma Goos Richards (1853-1926), and Fredericka Goos Perkins (1855-1895; Lake Charles, Louisiana- Georgeanna Goos Timmins (1856-1886), Christina Goos (1859-1878), Christian Goos (1859-1878), Katherine Goos Flanders (1860-1930), Della Goos Bel (1862-1934), Frederick Moeling Goos (1864-1930), Walter S. Goos (1865-1943), and Albert E. Goos (1866-1935).( and 1860 Federal Census-Calcasieu Parish, La. M653R409, p. 240)


Biloxi, Mississippi

Circa 1849, with his then small family, Daniel J. Goos left New Orleans and relocated to Biloxi, Mississippi.  Here he contracted to provide boiler firewood to steam powered vessels navigating “The Lake” between Biloxi and the Mississippi River.(Lake Charles American-Press, Feb. 16, 1917, p. 4)


The Goos family tenure in Biloxi was of short duration, but on February 27, 1850, they acquired in Biloxi, from Louise Alexandrine Leocade Hatrel Fourchy and Alexandre Fourchy of New Orleans for $2500, the property at present day 138 Magnolia Street.  The Creole Cottage now situated here is known as Mary Mahoney’s Old French House.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, p. 256)  


It is interesting to note that Mary Malay [Moeling], the German born mother of Katerina Moeling Goos, was in residence with them at Biloxi.(Guice, 1972, p. 40)


In January 1851, the Goos family sold their Biloxi residence to Samuel Friedlander of New Orleans and moved to Ocean Springs.  The selling price at this time was $5000.  It would appear the Biloxi 民彩网网址 was built by Goos and sold to Friedlander.  Basis for this postulation is the doubling of the property value and that Kendall brick was used in its construction.  The Kendall Brickyard existed from 1849-1854 at Back Bay, now D’Iberville.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 480-481)   


Ocean Springs, Mississippi

At Ocean Springs, MS., Daniel J. Goos was engaged in the mercantile, shipping, and sawmilling businesses. He either built or bought his first schooner, the Lehmann, upon which he shipped the bulk of his worldly goods, furniture and sawmill, in 1855, and moved to Goosport, then located a mile and a half north of the village of Lake Charles. (Lake Charles American-Press, Feb. 16, 1917, p. 4)

On Washington Avenue near Old Fort Bayou, Daniel J. Goos invested his money in the mercantile business as he advertised in The Ocean Springs Gazette of March 24, 1855, as follows:






D. Goos, Dry Goods and Produce Merchant

Keep constantly on hand a large and well selected assortment of dry goods, groceries, tin ware, crockery, hardware, cutlery, medicines, boots, shoes, clothing, (several items illegible), carpenter's tools, school and blank books, saddles, bridles, trunks, etc.  The above assortment will be sold at New Orleans prices. (March 3, 1855, p. 4)



Daniel Goos also owned land and probably resided in the present day Alto Park area of Ocean Springs, which is now bounded by General Pershing, Kensington, and Ward.  General Pershing Avenue was called Goos Avenue until its German sounding name came into disfavor during the years of World War I (1914-1918).  It was only logical to replace this Teutonic nomenclature with that of the American general from Missouri who led our American Expeditionary Force in Europe during the Great War, General John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948).

Daniel J. Goos and Katerina Barbara Moeling  were the parents of fifteen children born at four locations: New Orleans: Daniel J. Goos Jr. (1846-1884) married Florence A. Flanders, Barbara Goos Fitzenreiter (1847-1921),  and Ellen Goos Lock (1849-1921); Biloxi: Rosalie Goos Wachen (1850-1884), and Medora Goos Funk Jessen (1852-1893); Ocean Springs: Emma Goos Richards (1853-1926), and Fredericka Goos Perkins (1855-1895; Lake Charles, Louisiana: Georgeanna Goos Timmins (1856-1886), Christina Goos (1859-1878), Christian Goos (1859-1878), Katherine Goos Flanders (1860-1930), Della Goos Bel (1862-1934), Frederick Moeling Goos (1864-1930), Walter S. Goos (1865-1943), and Albert E. Goos (1866-1935).( and 1860 Federal Census-Calcasieu Parish, La. M653R409, p. 240)


George A. Cox

There is a high degree of certitude that the site of the first post office called “Ocean Springs”, which was established in December 1854, was situated on the west side of Washington Avenue near Old Fort Bayou.  The very popular Aunt Jenny’s Catfish Restaurant at 1217 Washington Avenue occupies this location today.  Between 1871 and 1890, Antonio M. Franco (1834-1891), an immigrant Portuguese sailor, and spouse, Genevieve Rodriguez “Jane” Franco (1844-1915), the daughter of Spanish immigrant Juan A. Rodriguez (1812-1867) and Marie-Marthe Ryan (1822-1887+), acquired about 2 1/2 acres of ground on the south side of Old Fort Bayou.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 11, pp. 26-28 and Bk. 11, p. 152)

The Franco tract was purchased primarily from George Allen Cox (1811-1887).  Mr. Cox was an entrepreneurial pioneer at Ocean Springs.  He was born in Tennessee in 1811, and circa 1835, settled in Holmes County, Mississippi where he ran a steam-powered sawmill on the Tchula Road, ten miles north of Benton, Mississippi.  George A. Cox married a widow, Sarah Ann Sheppard (1820-1880+), in 1850.  They owned a plantation in Yazoo County, which was worked by twenty-eight slaves.  The Cox summer 民彩网网址, Magnolia Grove, was situated on the front beach at Ocean Springs, which they had discovered in the early 1850s.(Marsh, 1979, pp. 4-5 and 1850 Yazoo County, Ms. Slave Census)   

By 1854, Mr. Cox was well established at Ocean Springs.  He owned the local newspaper, The Ocean Springs Gazette, and had substantial real estate holdings in the village.  T.H. Manning was the publisher and E.K. Washington, the editor of the Cox journal.

In December 1859, George A. Cox acquired 78.35 acres bounded by Desoto Avenue on the south; Old Fort Bayou to the north; Martin Avenue to the west; and east by Church Street.  Here George A Cox built a 民彩网网址 on Old Fort Bayou and erected a mercantile store and wharf on this navigable waterway.  The Cox Store became the focus of commercial activity, while his wharf handled charcoal, lumber, naval stores, and agricultural products, which came down Old Fort Bayou for transport to New Orleans by coastal schooner.  Mercantile goods and hardware were imported from New Orleans and Mobile for local consumption.(The Gulf Coast Times, October 21, 1949, p. 3)

Mr. Cox's stepdaughter, Eliza Sheppard (1842-1912), married Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908) of Yazoo City.  The Van Cleaves settled at Ocean Springs in 1867.  Mr. Van Cleave built a general store along Bluff Creek in 1868 to supply forest workers in that area.  In time the settlement took his name, Vancleave.  At Ocean Springs, R.A. Van Cleave was postmaster (1872-1882), ran a mercantile store, and built a hotel near the L&N depot in May 1880.



Ocean Springs Post Office 1854-1856

This plat depicts the most probable location of the local post office during the tenure of Frederick G. Moeling (1835-1880), the first postmaster of “Ocean Springs.”  Evidence from land deeds in the Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court in the early 1870s and recorded after the destructive court house fire of 1875 provide the information to make this conclusion.  Whether the post office was in the Moeling House or store of Captain Daniel Goos (1815-1898), Postmaster Moeling’s brother-in-law, is unknown.


The Moeling House and Goos Store

In January 5, 1874, G.A. Cox conveyed to Antonio Franco a small tract of land being a part of Lot 10-Block 19 of the Cox Map.  It was bounded on the north by Old Fort Bayou; east by Washington Avenue; south by the lot of J.D. Parker; and west by land previously conveyed to Franco.  Further language in this land deed is important because it gives the location of the Moeling House and Goos Store tract.  Since the warranty deeds for these places had been made before 1860, they were destroyed in the Jackson County Court House fire of 1875.  In addition, a sketch is included in the conveyance.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 11, pp. 27-28)

The information salient to the Moeling House and Goos Store tract reads as follows:  “all the land lying north and between J.D. Parker’s lot and Old Fort Bayou and further commencing at a point on Old Fort Bayou thence south along the line of the Parker lot and the fenced dividing the Goos Store place (now the property of Antonio Franco) from the property formerly known as the Moeling House (now the property of Mrs. Jane Franco) a distance of 405 feet more or less and being within 200 feet of Iberville Avenue.  Thence west to John Brown’s strip; then north along John Brown’s to Old Fort Bayou, thence and along Old Fort Bayou to the point of beginning.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 11, pp. 27-28)

It is logical to assume that during the tenure of Postmaster Frederick G. Moeling (1854-1856) that the US Post Office at Ocean Springs was either in the Moeling House or Daniel Goos Store.  Both of these structures were situated on the west side of Washington Avenue and north of Iberville.  It appears that Daniel Goos also lived near his store on Old Fort Bayou based on an advertisement published in The Ocean Springs Gazette by Needham Smith.  Mr. Smith had a house for sale on Porter Street.  In his absence, interested parties should contact Captain Daniel Goos at his residence near the Springs.(The Ocean Springs Gazette, March 24, 1855, p. 4)


John H. Brown

John Brown who is mentioned in the Cox-Franco transaction is somewhat of a mystery man.  It is known that in September 1876, George A. Cox (1811-1887) bought in a tax sale from the State of Mississippi, the John Brown house and twenty acres for $206.43.(JXCO, Ms. State Land Tax Sale Bk. 2, pp. 273-274)

Today we know the former John H. Brown house as “Bel Vue”, which is situated at 810 Iberville. During the Civil War (1861-1865), there was a John H. Brown living at Ocean Springs. W.A. Champlin, a collector of the War Tax for the Confederacy, in a letter to Governor Pettus related the following about Mr. Brown:  On last Munday a number (of Yankees) from Ship Island landed at Ocean Springs and staid till Tuesday being entertained at the house of one John H. Brown, who resides there, and claims to be a British subject, though he has made a large fortune at New Orleans. 

In 1860, Barbara Brown (b. 1833-1860+), probably the wife of John Brown, is living as a "lady of leisure" at Ocean Springs.  Mrs. Brown was born at Europe. She was the second wealthiest person in the village with the exception of George A. Cox.  Her worth was $6500, which included real estate and personal possessions.  People living in her household included: Barbara Goose (Goss), Ellen Goose (Goss), Kate Anderson, and Captain Walker.   As previously mentioned, Barbara Goos and Ellen Goos, were the children of Captain Daniel Goos and Katerina Barbara Moeling Goos.(1860 Jackson County, Mississippi Federal Census, M653_582, p. 63)           


“Indian Springs”         

The historic and “salubrious” springs, which became known as the “Indian Springs,” were situated just south of the Moeling House tract.  Jane Franco acquired this property from George A. Cox in March 1880.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 11, p. 29)


The Creole

During the term of Postmaster Frederick Moeling, the Creole, a low pressure steam packet, plied the halcyon waters of “The Lake” between the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans transporting people, freight, and mail.  In late March 1855, The Ocean Springs Gazette, advertised the schedule and passenger rates for the Creole as follows:

Winter Schedule

Leave Ocean Springs                           Leave New Orleans

                 WEDNESDAY  5 p.m.                          TUESDAY       4 p.m.

                 FRIDAY     5 a.m.                          THURSDAY    9 a.m.

                 SUNDAY     5 p.m.                          SATURDAY   4 a.m.


                                   Cabin $3.00-Deck $1.25

                                   Children and servants ½ price

                                   Captain Reuben Post, Master


The Creole was built at New York in 1852.  She was a 393 ton stern wheel paddle boat constructed of wood.  The vessel had a length of 177 feet, a beam of 27 feet, and an 8 foot hold.  The cylinder in the steam engine was 3 feet in diameter and had a 10 foot stroke.  The Creole was sold to Cuba in 1874.(Capt. John Walker’s Diary, p. 193)

In March 1855, the Creole was laid up for repairs until May.  She was replaced by the California, Captain Frost, Master.(The Ocean Springs Gazette, March 24, 1855, p. 2)


Postmaster Moeling’s departure

Frederick G. Moeling was replaced as the local postmaster on December 30, 1856 by John Egan (1827-1875).  During his tenure, the US Postal System initiated Registered Mail and compulsory prepayment of postage, both in 1855.

After Frederick Moeling left Ocean Springs circa 1857, he married Delphine Durantine McLean Bel (1836-1917) of New Orleans.  She was the daughter of Thomas McLean and Sarah Cameron and the widow of Jean-Philippe Bel (1833-1860).  She and Jean-Phillipe Bel had one child, John Albert Bel (1857-1918), who would marry Della Moeling Goos (1862-1934), the daughter of Daniel J. Goos (1815-1898) and Katerina Barbara Moeling (1827-1884).  John Albert Bel would become a major sawmill operator at Lake Charles cutting 90,000 feet daily for about 25 years.(The Beaumont Enterprise, Jan. 15 and May 18, 1905)


Galveston, Texas

Frederick G. Moeling and spouse settled at Galveston, Texas where their two children, Blanche Irene Moeling (1860-1897) and Walter Goos Moeling (1871-1943) were born.  It appears that after the demise of Frederick G. Moeling in April 1880, the family relocated to Lake Charles, Louisiana where the Daniel J. Goos family had settled after departing Ocean Springs and were financially established.  Here Delphine M.Bel Moeling married John Enned Bel (1833-1880), a former Cameron Parish school teacher.(1880 Cameron Parish, Louisiana Federal Census, T9-450, 1st Ward, ED 1)


John J. Egan: 1856-1866 
John J. Egan (1827-1875), replaced Frederick G. Moeling (1835-1880) as the local postmaster on December 30, 1856. Postmaster Egan as former Postmaster Moeling, was from a foreign shore-an Irishman replacing a German. John J. Egan arrived at America in 1849, probably entering at the port of New Orleans as a single man with his family. The Catholic Church records of the Diocese of Biloxi indicate that John J. Egan was the son of Dennis Egan (1788-1872) and Catherine Malony (1800-1870+). He appears to have had two sisters, Marguerite Egan (1833-1871), whose corporal remains were interred at the Bellande Cemetery on Dewey Avenue, and Johanne Egan (1841-1870+).(Lepre, 1991, p. 101 and 1870 Harrison County, Mississippi Federal Census, M593_729, p. 321) 



The Ocean Springs Hotel (circa 1900)

The venerable Ocean Springs Hotel erected in 1853 by Dr. William G. Austin (1814-1894) and Warrick Martin (1810-1854+) was one of the premier resorts on the Mexican Gulf. Although the local post office was never situated on its premises on the west side of Jackson Avenue, south of Cleveland, it not only gave it name to the village briefly called Lynchburg Springs, but was the impetus for future growth as the refuge for tourists and the ailing seeking hydrotherapy remedies from the water of the salubrious springs along the southern margins of Old Fort Bayou.[Courtesy of Lynne A. Sutter from the Winifred Norwood Shapker (1870-1937) Photographic Archives] 


The Ocean Springs Hotel Wharf

John J. Egan initially settled at Biloxi, Mississippi finding employment as a drayman. He came to Ocean Springs in 1853 and became involved with the Ocean Springs Hotel pier, which had been erected by Austin & Martin founders of the Ocean Springs Hotel and William G. Kendall (1812-1872), proprietor of the Kendall brick works on Back Bay in present day D’Iberville. The Ocean Springs Hotel wharf was utilized by steam packets of the Morgan Steamboat Line as its Ocean Springs stop in it business of transporting passengers, freight, and mail between New Orleans and Mobile. (1850 Harrison County, Mississippi Federal Census, M432_372, p. 100)          

In the Southern District Vice Chancery Court Cause, “Walker v. Egan”, filed at Mississippi City, Harrison County, Mississippi in 1855, the following information is revealed about the life and times of John J. Egan: Initially John J. Egan worked for Samuel Davis (1804-1879) on the pier head of the Ocean Springs Hotel wharf from which he vended wood. His remuneration was $10 per month. In January 1853, Charles Walker (1813-1860+), a boatman and resident of Ocean Springs, rented the hotel wharf. In the summer of 1853, John Egan was employed by Charles Walker to operate the wharf for $35 per month. In the fall of 1853, Egan agreed to attend the steamboat landing and also keep it repaired during the winter months. Egan’s remuneration was the wharf fees he charged and collected. In the fall of 1854, Charles Walker quit his agreement with Warrick Martin (1810-1855+) et al. In mid-October 1854, John Egan reached an agreement with the wharf owners as follows: The undersigned contributors to the erection of the present public wharf and embracing other claims to the property of the said wharf and warehouses agree that John Egan shall have the use, emoluments, and privileges of said wharf and the warehouses free of all rents except to keep the same in good order and whenever fails to do this , he forfeits his rights and privileges herein granted. 

W.G. Kendall
P.P. Bowen 
G.R. Benson


Walker’s wharf

It appears that after his business relationship with the owners of the Ocean Springs Hotel had ceased, Charles Walker built his own pier on the strand at Ocean Springs.  The Ocean Springs Gazette of March 24, 1855 reported the following:  The new wharf under the skillful management of Captain Walker and Colonel Chivers is protruding out into the Bay, resting on substantial posts that are deeply sunk, and strong enough to support a hundred parks of artillery. The wharf is ten feet in breadth, and when complete out to the pier-we will bet one almighty dollar that few places will present a more beautiful view than the outline of this coast. But without getting highfaludant on the subject, we will descend to ice cream and oysters. Why would not the pier head of the wharf be a good place for stands, stalls, saloons, etc.? That grand sine qua non of Summer, the breeze, will be supplied by the power of nature, gratis.


 *1855 September storm*           

It is known that the during the 1855 September Storm, that Captain Walker’s wharf, which was situated at the foot of Jackson Avenue was severely damaged.  The New Orleans Daily Picayune of September 18, 1855, reported that, "Captain Walker was on the pier head of his wharf when the latter was swept away, and there he had to remain all night, and until 4 P.M. on Sunday when he was discovered with a flag of distress flying". 

The pier of the Ocean Springs Hotel, which was adjacent to that of Captain Walker was destroyed and replaced with a new structure ten feet wide, but not as long as the previous. This was apparently the wharf under the stewardship of John Egan.(The New Orleans Daily Picayune, September 21, 1855, p. 2) 


Catchot to the rescue 

Captain Charles Walker was saved from the hurricane’s wrath by the Catchot family. Circa 1850, Antonio Catchot (1828-1885), a Spanish immigrant from the island of Minorca off the southwest coast of Spain in the Balearic Islands, had settled at Ocean Springs where he made his livelihood from the sea. For his unselfish act in rescuing Walker, the Jackson County Board of Police gave Antonio Catchot a small tract of land at the foot of Jackson Avenue where his oyster shop was situated. The Hurricane Katrina damaged Ocean Springs Seafood business is located on a part of the old Antonio Catchot parcel. 

On June 1, 1885, Antonio Catchot and his wife, Elizabeth Hoffen Catchot (1838-1916), swore before Judge H.H. Minor (1862-1905), the following affidavit: 

State of Mississippi, Jackson County. This is to certify that we, the undersigned citizens of the town of Ocean Springs, County and State aforesaid, recollect that, at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors (Police) of said County in the year 1860, there was an ordinance passed granting Antonio Catchot, of the Town of Ocean Springs, a right of property at the foot of Jackson Avenue. It was at that time water; since them made land by the said Antonio Catchot, and known and designated as his oyster shop, the same having a length of sixty feet and a width of fifty feet. We also swear we saw a transcript of said order, which has since been destroyed by fire at the burning of the Courthouse of said county. The above privilege was granted unto said Antonio Catchot for life for services he had rendered the State by saving the life of Captain Charles Walker in the great storm of the same year. 


Hurricane frustration

If we weary of tropical cyclones, be aware that our 19^th Century ancestors at Ocean Springs were visited by four hurricanes between 1852 and 1861. 1861 brought more bad news with the commencement of hostilities in the War of Northern Aggression.(Sullivan, 1986, p. 135) 


Egan family

John J. Egan was married to Julia Bridgit Elward (1833-1907), also Irish born and an 1849 immigrant. The Egan's had seven children, but only three survived into adulthood. They were: John J. Egan Jr. (1856-1916), Richard Egan (1858-1896), and Jefferson Davis Egan (1864-1907). Another son, Edward Egan (1859-pre-1870+), was probably named for John Egan’s countryman and resident of Ocean Springs, Edward “Ned” O’ Keefe (1815-1874), the progenitor of the large O’Keefe family of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.(Lepre, 1991, p. 101)

John J. Egan Jr.

John J. Egan Jr. (1856-1916) worked as a clerk in the family store on Jackson Avenue and later in the Crescent City. In September 1883, he married Mary O. Waterman (1861-1931), a Louisiana native and daughter of George L. H. Waterman (1833-1872), a Massachusetts Yankee, and Ellen Waterman (1840-1880+), who hailed from England. In 1910, the Egans lived on Galvez Street at New Orleans where he made his living as a boss of drayman.(T624R520, p. 102b, 4th Ward)

John J. Egan Jr. expired at New Orleans on September 5. 1916. Mrs. Egan died in the Crescent City on April 6, 1931. The Egans had no children. 


Richard Egan         

Richard Egan (1858-1896) moved to New Orleans and married Mary Helen Murray (1864-1928), a native of New Orleans, in October 1883. She was the daughter of James Murray (1837-1909) and Mary E. Porter. Mr. Murray was a native of New York who had relocated to New Orleans where he worked as a cotton broker. Richard and Julia had seven children. Six survived of which the first four were born in the Crescent City: Julia Agnes Egan (b. 1885) married Frank J. Gillen on July 8, 1907; Richard Francis Egan (b. 1886) married Irene Nielsen of Mobile on April 11, 1921; Louisa “LuLu” Egan (b. 1888) married Frederic Frank of Baton Rouge on July 15, 1913; William James Egan (b. 1890); Arthur Raymond Egan (1893-1944) married Elise Zimmerman on June 10, 1920; Agnes Loretta Egan (b. 1895) married Arthur Duvic on November 15, 1922.        

In 1893, Richard Egan and family returned to Ocean Springs were he made his livelihood in the livery business. He was a partner with Caspar Vahle (1869-1922) from March 1894 until his death on February 11, 1896. Their stable, Vahle & Egan, was located on the White House property on Robinson Avenue just east of the Frye Hotel, which today would be in the vicinity of the Bay View Gourmet.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 14, 1896, p. 3)          

After the death of her husband, Richard, on February 10, 1896, Mary Egan moved her young family to Biloxi. She lived in the “Irish Hill” section of west Biloxi near her father and brother, Samuel T. Egan (1876-1900+).(1900 Harrison County, Mississippi, T623 808, p. 2b, ED 31)          

Mary M. Egan expired at Biloxi on October 28, 1928. Her father passed at Biloxi in January 1909.      


East side of Jackson Avenue (1860-1870)

North of the Seashore Hotel was the residence, post office, store, and barroom of John J. Egan.  Beyond Mr. Egan and continuing on the east side of Jackson Avenue, in 1860, Francisco Coyle (1813-1891), a Menorcan immigrant, ran a barroom on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Ocean.  In the late 1850s, Frank Coyle also had a restaurant here.  By 1870, Francisco Coyle was a merchant and Peter Pons (1845-1872+), also a Menorcan immigrant, was operating a barroom next door south of the Coyle store.  In 1872, Peter Pons was shipping oysters from Ocean Springs to markets via the New Orleans, Mobile & Texas Railroad, the forerunner of the L&N.(The New Orleans Daily Crescent, June 2, 1857, p. 1 and The Handsboro Democrat, October 5, 1872, p. 1)

 It is interesting to note that Franciso Coyle and spouse, Magdalene Ougatte Pons (1813-1904), were the parents of Laura Coyle Schmidt (1857-1931) who in 1874, would marry Charles E. Schmidt (1851-1886).  At Ocean Springs, the C.E. Schmidt family were merchants and reared six children: Euphemia Magdalena S. Beyer (1876-1954+), Francis Ernest Schmidt (1877-1954), Theodore Charles Schmidt (1879-1954+), Louis Victor Schmidt (1880-1953), Magdalena S. Joachim (1882-1971), and Emilia Dolores Schmidt (1884-1884).  Their son, Francis Ernest Schmidt, owned a bakery on Washington Avenue and served as Ward One Alderman from 1915-1922 and from 1925-1929.  He was Mayor of Ocean Springs from 1935-1938.  A son of F.E. Schmidt, Charles Ernest (1904-1988) would write Ocean Springs French Beachhead (1972), the first comprehensive history of the city, and also serve as Mayor (1961-1965).  Two other sons, Frank O. Schmidt (1902-1975) and Harry J. Schmidt (1905-1997) would become prominent physicians on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


The Morris House

The Morris House was situated on the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Ocean.  It was one of the first boarding houses to be built in Ocean Springs.  The Morris House was a neighbor to the large Ocean Springs Hotel just across the street.  This inn was built by James Morris and Ann Morris (1819-1900) on land purchased from E.R. Porter and George A. Cox in September 1853 and October 1854.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 72, pp. 446-448)

The Ocean Springs Gazette dated March 4, 1855 ran an advertisement to sell the Morris House.  The ad read as follows:

The undersigned offers for sale on accommodating terms, his new, large and spacious boarding house, situated on the corner of Jackson and Ocean Avenues.  Said house is well furnished for a private boarding house, containing 24 rooms well furnished.  The house is well supplied with furniture, a good cooking range, cooking utensils, etc.  I will sell with or without furniture.

The lot on which said house stands is 91 ft. 6 in. front, more or less, and 200 ft. in depth, or I will sell with it or separately another lot adjoining, 90 ft. front more or less, and 200 ft, in depth.  Apply to the undersigned on the premises.


James Morris was probably born in Ireland.  His wife, Ann (1819-1900), was a native of Ireland, and came to the United States in 1832.  They had ten children, but only Elizabeth M. Hill (1848-1933), Emmanuel J. Morris (1849-1899) both born in Louisiana, and Kate (b. 1855) probably born at Ocean Springs survived to adulthood.  From the US Census, it appears James Morris died before 1860.  At least four of the Morris family are known to be buried in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.


Mrs. Morris ran the boarding house with the philosophy that the "object of the proprietress is to render the Morris House in every respect a 民彩网网址 residence".(The New Orleans TimesMay 20, 1866, p. 1).  The New Orleans Times of July 1, 1866 advertised as follows:



Ocean Springs

The Morris House, located on the main road (Jackson

Avenue), offers every accommodation to invalids,

families, and transient guests.

Its location in immediate proximity to the chalybeate

and sulphur springs, is a great convenience, and the

facilities for sea bathing are unsurpassed.

It presents every advantage of a watering place with

the comforts of a private residence.(p. 2).


A romantic view of 19th Century Front Beach

In 1933, Schuyler Poitevent (1875-1936), a scholarly gentleman, who lived most his life at “Bay View”, his Lovers Lane 民彩网网址 on Biloxi Bay, where he wrote short stories and historical novels none of which were ever published, interviewed octogenarian, Josephine Bowen Kettler (1845-1933+).  Mrs. Kettler was the daughter of the Reverend Philip P. Bowen (1799-1871), a Baptist minister, who was an early pioneer at Ocean Springs.  From his conversation with Mrs. Kettler, Schuyler Poitevent wrote a romantic picture of early life at Ocean Springs.  The following is taken from Broken Pot, an unpublished treatise by Poitevent:


As she (Mrs. Kettler) talked, I felt myself going back to the time she was telling me about, and I could see in imagination her ante-bellum Ocean Springs with its straight, tall pine-trees which the charcoal hand of men in time felled and with its grey-trunked live-oaks and with its white, sandy roads winding in and about gallberry thickets and through patches of graceful latanier and heading branches where sweet-bays and magnolias and chinquepins and wild honeysuckle---"azalias", the young ones now call them ---was so much a part of our fair Land then as now that we unconsciously accept their charm now as then as a part of a land as the Land should be; and I imagine I heard Captain Walker blowing the loud whistle of the good steamboat "Creole" of the old Morgan Line, on her regular passenger packet run of every other day from New Orleans to Ocean Springs and return, pretty much like the "Coast Train" of our times, only not so often; and I could see the proud people of her day, with grinning kinky-headed slaves for coachmen, driving in old-fashioned, heavy carriages down to the foot of the old steamboat wharf---driving through that white sandy road which nowadays opens to view the beautiful vista beneath the arched live-oak limbs that overhang our paved Jackson Avenue; and from the foot of the wharf, I could in imagination hear the paddle-wheels of the steamboat striking the water and out on the long wharf of one thousand and seventy-five feet I, too, went along with the others to see the boat come in; and as I stood on the pier, I saw out in the Bay mullet jumping and saw the sharks striking and saw the many pelicans feeding and some were sailing in long streams; and then the boat approached and I saw a deck-hand heave the lead-line and I saw nigger slaves on the pier-head catch it and haul the hawser in, and I saw the mate lower the stage-plank and I saw the passengers, in the queer costumes of those old summer days---the ladies in big-hooped skirts, tight waists and flat hats; the gentlemen in tight pantaloons, shirts with ruffled fronts and crossed cravats and broad-brimmed beavers---disembark; and back up the long wharf in the bright forenoon sunshine, I followed the passengers and the people ashore, and most all stopped at the Old Seashore Hotel on the west (sic) side of the road at the foot of the wharf where now stands the Sacred Heart Convent, and there attached to the hotel, they had a store, and in the store was the post-office; and in imagination, I heard people step up and ask:  "Any mail for me Mr. Eagen (sic) ?"                           


The Civil War

The Post Office Department of the Confederate States of America was established on February 21, 1861, by an Act of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. On March 6, 1861, the day after Montgomery Blair's appointment by President Abraham Lincoln as Postmaster General of the United States, John Henninger Reagan, a former U. S. Congressman, was appointed Postmaster General of the Confederate States of America by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States.

In May 1861, Reagan issued a proclamation stating that he would officially assume control of the postal service of the Confederate States on June 1, 1861. Postmaster General Blair responded by ordering the cessation of United States mail service throughout the South on May 31, 1861.

In December 1861, the Union forces of General Benjamin F. Butler began arriving at Ship Island.  They were massing for the invasion of New Orleans.  A contingent of sailors and marines associated with this force landed at Ocean Springs on March 1, 1862.  They came from a launch assigned to the USS Hartford, which was Admiral David G. Farragut's flagship. 

The New York Herald of March 25, 1862, reported the incident as follows:

We now steered for Ocean Springs, and on landing we found we were on Eagan's Wharf, which is well built and is several hundred yards in length.  On it is a railroad track used for transporting goods from the boats, which land there.  We seated ourselves on the car and the marines were our steam, or rather motive power.

Here we met but one sore-faces Creole.  Of course, we let him go, but he followed us.  On leaving "the cars", we passed through a dilapidated building, by another, and we were in Ocean Springs, and were the first landing party of Union men who have been here since the war.  Our footsteps were directed to the Post Office, where we found Mrs. J. Eagan (sic) in charge.  Mrs. E. is a good looking lady from the Emerald Isle, of a fiery temper, and with finger nails ling enough to do some tall scratching with.  Her better half, John, arrived soon after we entered the domains of the Confederate States of America Post Office Department.  He wore an angry look and a seedy coat; was tall in stature and in his speech; had a contemptuous air and an air of onions; was not a Northerner or Southerner but was born in Ireland; was a postmaster under Buck (President Buchanan) who illthrated him, and now he was one of Mr. Davis' postmasters.  He had returned all his stamps, but kept his letter balance to balance his accounts.  Colonel Jones could not see his balance in that light, and after weighing the thing in his mind came to the conclusion not to be found wanting in the scales of duty, and carried off Eagan's balance because it bore these significant characters---P.O.D.U.S. (Post Office Department United States).  Eagan(sic)  was mad, but Mrs. Eagan was madder, and she gave us a little bit of Irish advice.  Ocean Springs is a beautiful place and well adapted for a watering place.  It is smaller than Biloxi, which place was built up under the influence of the Southern land excitements.  Ocean Springs is almost entirely deserted and we did not see over ten persons there.  The object of our visit being eminently successful, and having taken about fifty New Orleans papers, we prepared to return.  Bidding Eagan & Co. goodbye, we "took the cars" for the end of the wharf were we found that the Hartford's launch crew had made a seizure of quite as number of guns, rifles, and muskets, all of them in dilapidated condition.  They were probably brought there for the purpose of complying with an order to the citizens to send their old arms to New Orleans to be repaired.  We put them in the boat and started for the New London.

The city of New Orleans fell to Union forces on April 25, 1862.  In desperation to survive, many Mississippi Gulf Coast people began a contraband trade with the enemy at Ship Island and New Orleans.  Tar, pitch, turpentine, lumber, charcoal, wood, and livestock were exchanged for coffee, flour, shoes, clothing, and medicine.  Early in the war, coast residents had bartered salt with inland farmers who provided corn, potatoes, vegetables, and fresh or smoked meat.  It is interesting to note that Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931), the French immigrant, Biloxi potter who later relocated to New Orleans and threw pots for the young ladies of the Newcomb Art School supported his family by rowing deserters and unfortunate victims of the conflict to sanctuary on Union held Ship Island twelve miles south of Biloxi.  On one trip he earned fifty dollars.  Mr. Meyer was the friend and mentor of George Edgar Ohr (1857-1918), "The Mad Potter of Biloxi", and also is believed to have influenced Peter Anderson (1903-1984), the founder of the Shearwater Pottery at Ocean Springs.(The Daily Herald, January 4, 1928, p. 10)


Post-bellum mail service

The resumption of federal mail service in the former Confederate States took place gradually as the war came to an end.  By November 15, 1865, 241 mail routes had been restored in the South; by November 1, 1866, 3,234 post offices out of 8,902 were returned to federal control in Dixie.(


Real estate

John J. Egan began acquiring real estate at Ocean Springs as early as October 1854, when for $250, he bought from George A. Cox (1811-1887), Lot 4-Blk. 31 of the Culmseig Map.  It was situated on Rayburn Avenue.  In March 1859, Postmaster Egan bought a small lot on Jackson Avenue from Samuel Davis (1804-1879) for $500.  It had 47 feet on Jackson and was only 57 feet deep.  This could have been the site of his post office.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1, pp. 34-35)           


Egan House

The original Egan 民彩网网址 at Ocean Springs appears to have been in the vicinity of present day 410 Jackson Avenue.  John J. Egan and Julia E. Egan bought this parcel from George A. Cox in June 1856.  In May 1878, when the Widow Egan conveyed it to Schmidt & Ziegler, proprietors of the Ocean Springs Hotel, opposite her 民彩网网址, the warranty deed referred to the property as “the Egan House”.  The sale to Schmidt & Zieglers, wholesale grocers from New Orleans, included “all furniture and fixtures” and Mrs. Egan received $2730 from the buyers.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. A, pp. 118-119 and Bk. 3, pp. 375-376)


John J. Egan passes

John J. Egan died at Ocean Springs on September 28, 1875.  His estate papers, Cause No. 16 filed in the Chancery Court archives of Jackson County, Mississippi reveal that Mr. Egan owned the following real property: Store House; the Egan residence with four rooms, kitchen, and store; Barroom; House on the Hill-five rooms; and the small Louis (Lewis?) House.

In March 1876, Mr. Egan’s personal property, which included accounts receivable from the Egan store and promissory notes, was appraised by Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908), F.W. Illing (1838-1884), and Antonio Franco (1834-1891).  They valued the Estate of John J. Egan at $976.  His most valuable possession was his mule, which was worth $100! (JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 16, April 1876)  

During John J. Egan’s tenure as Postmaster at Ocean Springs from 1856-1866, the U.S. Postal System instituted the following: 1858- Street letter boxes; 1860- Pony Express; 1862- Railway mail service, experimental; 1863- Free city delivery; 1863- Uniform postage rates, regardless of distance; 1863- Domestic mail divided into three classes; 1864- Post offices categorized by classes; 1864- Railroad post offices; 1864- Domestic money orders.(www.usps.com/history/history/his1.htm)



Egan Cottage

314 Jackson Avenue

[left image made July 1993; right image made October 2005)


Egan Cottage

After John J. Egan passed away, Julia Egan continued to live and operate the family store on lower Jackson Avenue.  The Egan Cottage was situated on the east side of Jackson Avenue between the Seashore Hotel and Telephram Faurment of Mobile.  As commercial activity at Ocean Springs shifted from lower Jackson Avenue to Washington Avenue due to coming of the railroad to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1870, she may have closed the store and began to accept guests at her 民彩网网址 to make her livelihood.  In 1894, Mrs. Julia Egan advertised:



Mrs. J. Egan, proprietress

Open during the summer for a limited number of guests

at reasonable rates.  Fronting the beach.


Mrs. Egan continued her tourist 民彩网网址 business into the Twentieth Century.  Her son, John Egan, sold the Egan Cottage to Jeremiah O' Keefe (1859-1911) in September 1903 for $1600.  Ray and Maureen Hudachek occupy an east addition to the Egan Cottage today at 314 Jackson Avenue.  They acquired it in January 1963 from General John P. Kirkendall (1910-1980).  The original Egan Cottage was basically destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 37, pp. 28-29 and Bk. 234, p. 411)


Mrs. Julia Egan passed on December 3, 1907 at New Orleans.  Her corporal remains were sent to Ocean Springs on L&N No. 6 for burial in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Ford Bayou.(The Daily Herald, December 4, 1907, p. 2)


J.C. Park-1866

During Reconstruction, one J.C. Park was appointed postmaster at Ocean Springs.   His tenure was short as he was appointed on May 31, 1866 and resigned on July 13, 1866.   Presently the identity of J.C. Park remains unknown to the author, but there is a high degree of certitude that he was related to Moses S. Park (1846-1910+).  Moses Smith Park, a Texan by birth, 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)

Moses S. Park was married to Charlotte S. Huke (1846-1910+), a widow.  She was born in Mississippi of English immigrant parents.  Prior to her union with M.S. Park, Charlotte had wedded an Austrian immigrant named Huke.  She and Herr Huke had a son, Alvin Huke (1863-1880+).  Moses and Charlotte were the parents of eight children of which six survived into the 20th Century.  The known Park children are: W.S. Park (1872-1880+); David A. Park (1874-1880+); James E. Park (1878-1900+); and Charlotte "Lottie" Park (1880-1900+).(1880 Jackson Co., Ms. Federal Census, T9_650, Beat 4, p. 10)

By 1872, Moses Smith Park was in business at Ocean Springs with Frank H. Ayers of Galveston, as Ayers & park.  A receipt from Ayers & Park read as follows:


Terms Cash

Bought of AYERS & PARK



F.H. Ayers and M.S. Park

Ocean Springs, Miss.


Henry Smith-1866-1868

Henry Smith (1849-1901+) was appointed Postmaster at Ocean Springs on July 13, 1866.  Since this was during the incipient years of Reconstruction and during the Democratic administration of President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), it appears that Henry Smith was Black.  After the Civil War, with the protection of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, African Americans enjoyed a period when they were allowed to vote, actively participate in the political process, acquire the land of former owners, seek their own employment, and use public accommodations.

There is some degree of certitude that Henry Smith was the son of Johanna Smith-Blount (1830-1902).  She was possibly a native of Norfolk, Virginia.  Before the Civil War, Johanna was the property of Mrs. Edgar (Leannah) R. James, who came to Ocean Springs before 1850, with her husband and brother, Opie Hutchins (1808-1887), from Gainesville, Alabama.  Johanna Smith-Blount bought land while she was a slave, but could not own it until her emancipation.  Mrs. James held the tract of land in her name, until Mrs. Smith-Blount could have a merchantable title.  Mr. James was killed in the Civil War and she became a midwife.  Among the slaves that the James brought with them to Ocean Springs was Edgar Smith or Samuel Smith, who worked for Dr. Cross on East Beach.  Both the James family and Hutchins lived on Old Fort Bayou.(The Gulf Coast Times, August 26, 1949, p. 5 and September 30, 1949, p. 5)   

With Samuel Smith, Johanna Smith-Blount had twenty children but only a handful survived to adulthood.  Federal census data and her last will indicate that the surviving progeny of this union were:  Samuel Smith (1845-1901+), Henry Smith (1849-1901+), Edgar Smith (1851-1901+), Pollie Smith (Sarah Benson?) (1855-1901+), George Washington Smith (1857-1953), and Alice S. Sherman.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 1131-1901)

            In 1865, shortly before Civil war hostilities ceased, the Smith family was freed and sent to Ship Island.  They resided on several Louisiana plantations before returning to Mrs. James at Ocean Springs circa 1869.  Mr. Smith expired in Louisiana and Johanna married Harry Blount (1808-1889+), a Black man from North Carolina, who had served with the Union forces.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 30, 1949)

In July 1880, Leannah James (1807-1880+) sold Mrs. Blount 40 acres of land, the SW/4 of the SW/4 of Section 21, T7S-R8W.  Edgar James had acquired a patent on this parcel in July 1860.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 540-541 and Bk. 62, pp. 470-471) 

Johanna Smith-Blount had a house built on this parcel and allowed Mrs. James to reside with her as the Civil War had severely reduced her wealth.  The two women were like sisters, not as mistress and slave.  Mrs. Leannah James expired in the Smith-Blount 民彩网网址.  George W. Davis (1842-1914) and other Ocean Springs friends provided for her burial expenses.(The Jackson County Times, August 3, 1946, p. 1)

In September 1884, Harry and Johanna Smith-Blount sold The African Methodist Episcopal Church a four-acre tract in the NE/4, SW/4, SW/4 of Section 21, T7S-R8W for a campground.  The church held the property until February 1911, when Trustees of the Church, Thomas I. Keys (1861-1931), W.Z. Bradford, Charles Gaston, Alfred Smith, and Nate White (1881-1964), sold the campground tract to Walter Armstrong (1878-1945).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 7, pp. 335-336 and Bk. 37, pp. 17-18) 

Other primary owners of the Johanna Blount tract have been Juliet L. Hanley of St. Louis, Missouri, the widow of Frank G. Hanley; William L. Barbour; Samuel J. Logan; Jacqueline Logan Hand; and since August 1993, Jan T.J. Vos and Juliette Hand Vos.  Commercial sites in the Blount tract are the Howard Shopping Center and Hancock Bank, which are situated on Bienville Boulevard west of Hanley Road.

Henry Smith’s office as Postmaster at Ocean Springs ended on October 12, 1868.  No further information.


David M. Dunlap-1868-1870


Dr. David M. Dunlap (1803-1883+) was born at South Carolina of a South Carolina father and Irish mother.  By 1850, he had relocated to Choctaw County, Alabama were he made his livelihood as a physician.  At this time, Dr. Dunlap was married to Elizabeth M. Dunlap (1820-1850+), a native of Alabama.  They were childless.  D.M. Dunlap owned nine slaves at this time and had a net worth of $2200.(1850 Choctaw Co., Alabama Federal Census, M432_3, p. 154)

By July 1860, Dr. Dunlap was a resident of Quitman, Clarke County, Mississippi. His wife must have passed on as he is now married to Mary T. Dunlap (1830-1883+), a native of Georgia.  Their children at this time born in Mississippi were: James M. Dunlap (1858-1880+) and D. Edward Dunlap (1860-1860+).  Dr. Dunlap continued to practice medicine and owned real estate valued at $5000 and personal property worth $11,470.  He possessed six slaves at this time.  After the Civil War, Dr. Dunlaps fortune had dwindled to $2500.(1860 Clarke Co., Mississippi Federal Census, M653_580, p. 113 and 1870 Jackson Co., Mississippi Federal Census, M593_732, Beat 4, p.   )  

            The Dunlap family probably arrived at Ocean Springs in the late 1860s.  They purchased over three acres of land bounded by Washington Avenue and Jackson Avenue between Porter and Desoto (Lots 1, 2, 7, and 8 of Block 27 and a part of Lot 14 of Block 19 of the Culmseig Map of 1854).  Here they built a large 民彩网网址 near the present day site of the Lovelace Drugstore.   The Dunlap family was active in the Methodist Church at Ocean Springs.

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




Dr. D.M. Dunlap’s Great Remedy

The Balm of Gilead

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

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


D.M. Dunlap

Sole Proprietor

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

April 15, 1872

The Handsboro Democrat, October 5, 1872



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


Presbyterian Church

In August 1878, Dr. Dunlap acquired for $200, about two acres on the northwest corner of Washington and Ocean Avenue from Joseph Nicholson (1811-1886), a retired Methodist minister.  By August 1879, Ocean Springs had become "the little city of the prophets", as it was the 民彩网网址 of the Methodist preachers on the Mississippi coast.  Bishop John Christian Keener (1819-1906), Dr. Joseph Burch Walker (1817-1897), Brother Robert B. Downer (1837-1912), Brother Joseph Nicholson (1811-1886), and Dr. Dunlap all had good quality residences here.  The circuit preacher lived with Colonel William R. Stuart (1820-1894).( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 6, pp. 575-576 and New Orleans Christian Advocate, August 14, 1879)

Dr. Dunlap sold his lot on Washington and Ocean in October 1883 to Mary Ann Drabble Wing (1823-1894) of New Orleans for $150.  A portion of this tract would become the site of the First Presbyterian Church, which was built in 1886.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 6 pp. 576-577) 



The Dunlap-Grayson 民彩网网址 on Washington Avenue was destroyed by a large conflagration in early January 1915.  There was a strong suspicion that the fire was initiated by arsonists.  A $100 reward was posted for information leading to the capture and conviction of the alleged incendiaries.  At the time of its destruction, this fine Victorian structure was owned by Joseph C. Griffin (1864-1919), the husband of Mae M. Davis (1875-1917).  She was the daughter of merchant George W. Davis (1842-1914) and Margaret Bradford (1846-1920.  In July 1906, J.C. Griffin had acquired this Victorian structure for $4000.  The Griffin domicile was just north of the Davis Brothers Store and south of the E.M. Westbrook (1858-1913) 民彩网网址.  At the time of the destructive fire, it was being utilized by Dr. O.L. Bailey (1870-1938), as a sanitarium.  The loss of the Griffin 民彩网网址 and Dr. Bailey’s equipment, books, and records was estimated at $4000.(The Ocean Springs News, January 7, 1915, p. 1 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, p. 432 )


At the time of the fire, the J.C. Griffin family was residents of Brooklyn, Forrest County, Mississippi.  Here Mr. Griffin made his livelihood as a farmer and landowner.  Mae Davis Griffin died at Brooklyn on November 19, 1917.  She was followed to the grave by her spouse, on April 3, 1919.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Jackson County Times, November 24, 1917, p. 5 and April 5, 1919, p. 5)


H.C. Herring of Forrest County, Mississippi was appointed guardian of Margaret Griffin Ingalls (1905-1934+), the daughter, sole survivor, and heir of J.C. Griffin and Mae Davis Griffin.  In September 1924, Miss Griffin sold the Griffin lot on Washington Avenue to H.F. Russell (1858-1940) for $4250.  Margaret Griffin married a Mr. Ingalls and eventually settled at Twentynine Palms, San Bernardo County, California.(Jack Gottsche, December 17, 2001 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 54, pp. 371-372)


Here in October 1926, the Bailey Building was completed by Kean & 民彩网网址 of Gulfport for Dr. O.L. Bailey.  He operated his drug store and medical practice from the new structure.  Today, this edifice is known as Lovelace’s Drugs. 



In January 1882, Dr. David M. Dunlap sold his Washington Avenue 民彩网网址 and real property to Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904) of Harrison County for $2500.  Mr. Grayson would move to Ocean Springs and become a Justice of the Peace, and the fourth Mayor of Ocean Springs (1897-1898).  It appears the D.M. Dunlap family departed Ocean Springs in 1882 or 1883.  At this time he had two children at 民彩网网址: Mary M. “Matty” Dunlap (1866-1880+), and D. Edward Dunlap (1868-1880+).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, pp. 615-616 and 1880 Jackson County, Ms. Federal Census, Beat 4, p. 3)

In 1869, during the tenure of David M. Dunlap as Postmaster, the U.S Postal Service instituted foreign or international money orders.


S.J. Ladnier-1870

Sarah J. Sanford Ladnier (1839-1880+) was appointed Postmaster at Ocean Springs on June 2, 1870.  She was the spouse of Edward V. Ladnier (1839-1876+), the son of Jacques “Jacob” Ladnier and Mary Ann Cooper.  They were the parents of five children: Leonard Ladnier (1858-1880+); Louisa Ladnier (1861-1880+); Albert Ladnier (1862-1880+); Charles Ladner (1871-1880+); and Delphine Ladnier (1872-1880+).(Cassibry, 1988, p. 744 and p. 801 and 1880 Jackson Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T9_650, ED 146, p. 15)


In March 1871, Edward V. Ladnier sold two acres in the SW/4 of the NW/4 of Section 29, T7S-R8W to Abraham Bowen.  This parcel of land (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 3, p. 161)


Sarah J. Ladnier was replaced as Postmaster of Ocean Springs on December 28,  1870, by Charles J. Boster.



Charles J. Boster

 [From “Along The Gulf” (1895) by Charles L. Dyer-“Pascagoula”]


Charles J. Boster (1828-1911) was a German immigrant sailor.  He had a peripatetic career in the US Navy and as an arctic whaler before settling in the South.  Here he became a successful merchant at Ocean Springs and Pascagoula.  C.J. Boster was postmaster at Ocean Springs from 1870-1872.  At Pascagoula, he was a merchant and inn keeper.  C.J. Boster also owned Round Island.


Charles J. Boster-1870-1872

Charles J. Boster (1828-1911) was born at Bremen, Germany.  He immigrated to America in 1843 and landed at New York.  Herr Boster enlisted in the US Navy and saw action during the Mexican War aboard the USS Cumberland.  The USS Cumberland (1843-1862), a 1,726-ton sailing frigate, was built between 1825 and 1843 at the Boston Navy Yard. She was commissioned in November 1843 and served for the next few years in the Mediterranean. She was in the 民彩网网址 Squadron in 1846-48, sometimes as its flagship, and participated in Mexican War operations during this time. Cumberland made two more deployments to the Mediterranean in 1849-51 and in 1852-55.  Cumberland, a frigate, was launched 24 May 1842 by Boston Navy Yard. Her first commanding officer was Captain S. L. Breese, and her first service was as flagship of the Mediterranean Squadron from 1843 to 1845 where she had among her officers men like Foote and Dahlgren. She was flagship of the 民彩网网址 Squadron between February and December 1846, serving in the Gulf of Mexico during the Mexican War. Continuing to serve in the 民彩网网址 Squadron she returned to the United States in July 1848.  At the outbreak of the Civil War Cumberland was at Norfolk Navy Yard, just returned from Vera Cruz, Mexico. Towed out of the yard she escaped destruction when other ships there were scuttled and burned by Union forces 20 April 1861 to prevent their capture by the Confederates. She served as one of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron until 8 March 1862 when she was rammed and sunk in an engagement with the Confederate ironclad Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) at Newport News, VA.


Vera Cruz

The USS Cumberland weighed anchor at Boston on February 1, 1846 and arrived off the Mexican Gulf port and walled city of Vera Cruz, Mexico in early March.  Here the USS Cumberland lay at anchor awaiting the results of negotiations between John Slidell (1793-1871), the representative of President James K. Polk (1795-1849).  Polk had sent Slidell to the purchase the territory in Texas in dispute between Mexico and the United States.  President Polk desired to establish the Rio Grande River as the international boundary between the two nations.  In May 1846, after an agreement was not reached, the United States declared war on Mexico, commencing a conflict which lasted for almost two years.

At Norfolk, Virginia, Charles J. Boster was commended for his bravery for saving the lives of several U.S. Naval officers and sailors, when he extinguished a fire in the hold of their vessel.  This act of heroism prevented a potential explosion.(The Ocean Springs News, October 21, 1911, p. 1)


John Slidell

It is interesting to note that John Slidell, a native of New York City, had settled in Louisiana where he elected to the US Congress as a Representative and Senator.  When the Civil War began in 1861, Slidell served the South as the personal representative of CSA President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) to Europe.  Slidell expired at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in 1871.  His corporal remains were interred in a private family cemetery near Paris, France.  The town of Slidell, Louisiana was named for him.  Jefferson Davis was a veteran of the Mexican War (1846-1848) leading the First Mississippi Regiment of Riflemen into combat at Monterey and Buena Vista. ()


Post-Mexican War

After the Mexican War, Charles J. Boster went to New York and continued his life on the high seas.  He signed on with a vessel going round the world after which he the American whaling fleet fishing the Arctic waters for the mammoth cetaceans.  With his seafaring days over, Charles J. Boster settled at New Orleans.  Here he became associated with mercantile and steamboat enterprises. 


Ocean Springs

Charles J. Boster was appointed Postmaster at Ocean Springs on December 28, 1870.  At Ocean Springs, typical of postmaster’s of this era, Mr. Boster was a merchant.  In the Boster store were two German employees, Emile Branden? (1843-1870+) from Schleswig and William Vessick?, a native of Hamburg.  At this time, C.J. Boster had real estate valued at $2000?  and personal property worth $5000.(1870 Jackson Co. Mississippi Federal Census, M593_732, part 1, p. 466A)



In 1872, Charles J. Boster relocated from Ocean Springs to Pascagoula.  He had been replaced as Postmaster at Ocean Springs by Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908) on January 15, 1872.(The Ocean Springs News, October 21, 1911, p. 1)  

At Pascagoula, Charles J. Boster was very successful as a merchant and innkeeper.  In July 1879, he assumed the $1500 mortgage of William S. Dodson Sr., a local merchant and Postmaster of Pascagoula.  The Dodson lot was on Front Street, which faced the Mississippi Sound, and further described as being Lot 9 in Square 1 of the McRae Hotel Tract.  The conveyance from Dodson to C.J. Boster included: goods, wares, merchandise, bills, bonds, debts, back accounts, stock in trade and chattels, which were in the storehouse.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 103-106)  

William Samuel Dodson Sr. (1815-1889+) was Postmaster at Pascagoula from 1866 until 1889, when he was replaced by Hubert Krebs.  He was born in England and was inMississippi by 1846 as a son, W.S. Dodson Jr. (1846-1912), was born in the Magnolia State.  Postmaster Dodson’s spouse was also English.  She expired before 1880, but had bore him two other sons, Edmund Dodson (1842-1866) and Thomas Dodson (1848-1848).  In 1880, William S. Dodson Sr. was a retail merchant at Pascagoula.(Cain, 1983, Vol. I,  p. 163 and 1880 Jackson Co., Ms. Federal Census, T9_650, ED 152, p. 3)

In 1880, Charles J. Boster made his livelihood as a retail liquor dealer.  Pliney Seymour (1862-1880+) tended bar for Mr. Boster.(1880 Jackson Co., Ms. Federal Census, T9_656, Beat 3, p. 3)


More waterfront property

In April 1882, C.J. Boster acquired Lot 7, a parcel adjacent to the former Dodson lot also in the McRae Hotel Tract on the Pascagoula waterfront.  He paid Jules Cassard of New Orleans $900 for this 62-foot by 250-foot tract.  An additional lot, Lot 8, contiguous to the Cassard tract was acquired by Charles J. Boster from O. Randall, Administer of the Estate of J.H. Beardslee, in December 1886.  The consideration was $200.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 30, p. 771)           



“Cottage by the Sea”

This nomenclature was used by Charles J. Boster (1828-1911) for his hotel on the Mississippi Sound at Pascagoula.  After his tenure as Postmaster at Ocean Springs ended in January 1872, Mr. Boster, a German immigrant relocated to Pascagoula.  Here he made his livelihood as a retail liquor dealer, inn keeper, and restaurateur.  Boster’s “Cottage by the Sea” opened circa 1889.  It could accommodate 60 to 70 guests, had gas lights, and a long wharf, which had several bath houses.  In addition, “Cottage by the Sea” had telephone service to Moss Point, Scranton, and the remainder of Pascagoula. Courtesy of Randy Randazzo, Arlington Virginia.


Cottage-By-The Sea

Circa 1889, Charles J. Boster opened “Cottage by the Sea”, an upscale hotel on the beach front at Pascagoula.  Boster’s former summer resort property is located in Square No. 1 of the McRae Hotel Tract.  In 1886, prior to opening “Cottage by the Sea”, on Pascagoula beach, Mr. Boster had a smaller rental cottage here.(Dyer, 1895, “Pascagoula, Ms.”) 

“Cottage by the Sea” was very vividly described by Charles L. Dyer in his classic “Along The Gulf” (1895), a pamphlet written to promote tourism on the Mississippi Gulf Coastand sponsored by the L&N Railroad.  Mr. Dyer’s sense of Boster’s Pascagoula hostelry follows:  It would be hard indeed to imagine a more ideal summer resort than the “cottage by the Sea” at Pascagoula, owned y Mr. Charles Boster one of the best known and most popular hotel men of the South.  This hotel consists of several detached houses located directly on the Gulf of Mexico within forty feet of the water.  It is only six years since Mr. Boster started his present hotel enterprise at this place, although for sixteen years he has been a resident of Pascagoula, being reckoned one of the most progressive and representative citizens.  Regarding “Cottage by the Sea,” it is only fair to state that no finer table, no better beds, no more airy rooms and no more magnificent view can be obtained at any of the dozen or more resorts of this kind along the Gulf, and Mr. Boster being a genial and painstaking host is very popular with his guests. While all of the houses connected with the “Cottage by the Sea” are built with large airy rooms and wide verandas they are also solidly constructed and fitted to withstand the few cool winds of the winter months……The saloon is the finest fitted place of its kind to be found between New Orleans and Mobile, having a polished hard wood bar, which are mirrors of various sizes.  The floor is neatly carpeted and ranged about the walls are many show cases in which are exposed to view all sorts of curiosities in the Mexican Gulf and Caribbean Sea picked up by Capt. Boster, during his travels, and many of which have since been presented to him by his ship captain friends, for be it known Pascagoula is one of the greatest lumber shipping ports in the United States, many vessels coming here from all parts of the world, the ship captains never fail to call upon Mr. Boster, stopping at his house while on shore.  Among these curiosities which are of such interest to his Northern guests is an enormous Tarpon or silver fish which is hung over the entrance to the office. This fish was captured off the coast of Florida and measures over six feet in length and weighed when captured 198 pounds.  Mr. Boster has some of his business cards printed upon the large scales of the silver fish.  These scales measure two and a half inches or more across and any one getting one of them will preserve it as a curiosity.  Mr. Boster has distributed many thousands of these and they proved a good advertisement.  Regarding the “Cottage by the Sea,” the writer cannot do better than take the account in the “Biographical and Historical Memoirs ofMississippi” which says in substance that it will accommodate from 60 to 70 guests and is one of the best and most completely furnished hotels on Mississippi Sound.  It is lighted throughout by gas, has a long wharf extending out into the water to which several bath houses are attached and is also connected by telephone with all parts of Pascagoula, Moss Point and Scranton.

Round Island

In November 1897, Charles J. Boster acquired Round Island, situated in the Mississippi Sound Fractional Sections 33 and 34, T8S-R6W and Fractional Sections 3 and 4, T9S-R6W, from Fred Hess for $500.  This small island with an area of about 101-acres was surveyed by Fred Hess and Vincent Baptise in August 1897.  Round Island was first acquired by Francisco Krebs in December 1783 from Don Henrique Grimarest, the Spanish civil and military governor of West Florida, who was posted at Mobile.  Eugenie Krebs Baptise (1817-1909), the widow of Vincent Baptise, conveyed her interest in Round Island to C.J. Boster in September 1905.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 19, pp. 191-192 and Bk. 30, pp. 195-196)

Charles J. Boster sold Round Island to Joseph Wymer in July 1908.  The island was patented by the Federal Government to Jackson County, Mississippi in June 1963.  JacksonCounty quitclaimed it to the Federal Government in August 1979.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 34, p. 318, Bk. 241, p. 570, and Bk. 662, p. 85)


20th Century

In 1900, C.J. Boster was in the hardware business at Pascagoula.  In his household were: Francis Schneider Wymer (1849-1926), a German and the widow of James L. Wymer, a native of Ohio, and her son,  Joseph James Wymer (1879-1941), a native of Louisiana; and Henrietta Schneider (1883-1900+), also a Louisiana native.(1900 Jackson Co., Ms. Federal Census, T623_812, p. 18, ED 40) 


Circa 1909, Charles J. Boster retired from the Pascagoula business community and moved to New Orleans.  His death came in the Crescent City on October 9, 1911 at the 民彩网网址 of Frances S. Wymer on 226 South Derbigny Street.  Mr. Boster’s corporal remains were interred in the Greenwood Cemetery at New Orleans. (The Ocean Springs News, October 21, 1911, p. 1)


The Galilee Fishermen

 Let me exhume Charles J. Boster (1828-1911) for one more comment-that being his involvement in a religious movement called the “Galilee Fishermen.”    An anecdotal tale passed down from Joseph L. “Dode” Schrieber (1873-1951) related that Mudge and Veerhof, two former vaudeville performers, came to Ocean Springs and settled in a shack on Simmon’s Bayou, east of Ocean Springs.  They owned a small, white dog that had a black spot over one eye and two black spots resembling a figure eight on its back.  The petit canine sported a pleated, accordion, yellow collar about its neck.  Mudge and Veerhof were reclusive and rarely ventured into Ocean Springs, but when they did their dog accompanied them, generally in the arms of Mr. Mudge.  Once on a visit to town, Mudge placed the dog on the ground.  It rose to its rear legs and rotated about with its front paws held high as Mudge played a song on his harmonica.  This caused a crowd to gather in the street and watch the performance.  Appreciative of Mudge and his dog, they would toss coins towards the performers.  Mr. Veerhof and Mr. Mudge would collect the coins, bow and smile.

            On another occasion, Mr. Mudge and Mr. Veerhof were observed on East Beach on a Sunday morning walking towards the bayou followed by a group of younger men.  Veerhof carried a wooden cross, while Mudge possessed a Bible.  All were clothed, but walked into the water until it was chest deep.  They stopped and on a signal began a song resembling a Gregorian chant, as Mr. Veerhof raised the crucifix above his head.  After the chanting ceased, Veerhof prayed-“Lord, make us fishers of men.”  Mr. Mudge then read from the Holy Bible holding it high to avoid any wave action.  Mudge, Veerhof, and their disciples continued to meet each Sunday for their water service off East Beach, but eventually they ceased to appear.

            After Charles J. Boster acquired Round Island offshore from Pascagoula, he invited Mudge and Veerhof to erect several building on the island to serve as a church and a lodge for the Galilee Fishermen.  Here this sect continued to worship on Sundays.  They also performed acts of charity and mercy in the community, but avoided publicity of their honorable deeds.

            Unfortunately for Mudge and Veerhof, tragedy struck their lives while fishing on Simmon’s Bayou.  A water moccasin attacked and struck their dog in the neck with its venomous fangs.  Mudge attempting to save its life sucked blood from the snake punctures in vain.  The small dog expired in a few hours.  Mudge had a sore in his mouth and the venom entered his circulatory system resulting in his demise also.  Mr. Veerhof left Ocean Springs bearing grief.  Charles J. Boster’s step-son was so moved by Mudge’s death that he became a medical doctor.      



Robert Adrian Van Cleave (1840-1908)


Born in Hinds County, Mississippi, R.A. Van Cleave arrived at Ocean Springs in 1867 with his bride.  He operated a store on Paige Bayou and after his departure and return to Ocean Springs, the rural US Post Office in this region was called Vancleave’s.  Mr. Van Cleave became a very successful merchant at Ocean Springs and served at its Postmaster from 1872-1882.  He was active in politics and energetic in the incorporation of Ocean Springs in September 1892.[From T.H. Glenn’s “The Mexican Gulf Coast on Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound, Illustrated”-1893, p. 51]


Robert A. Van Cleave

Robert Adrian Van Cleave (1840-1908) assumed the role of Postmaster at Ocean Springs on January 15, 1872.  He was born on June 9, 1840 in Hinds County, Mississippi the son of Jonathan Van Cleave (1800-1885) and Elizabeth Rowland (1806-1870+), natives of Tennessee and Kentucky respectively.  R.A. Van Cleave known siblings are two brothers, Nathaniel Van Cleave (1842-1860+) and Daniel VanCleave (1844-1860+).  In 1854, Jonathan Van Cleave moved his family to Yazoo County, Mississippi.  Here he was a planter and had a net worth of $6200 in 1860.(1860 Yazoo Co., Mississippi Federal Census, M653_594)


Civil War

In 1861, Robert A. Van Cleave enlisted in the 1st Cavalry Battalion of State Troops commanded by Captain William F. Gartly of the Confederate States Army.  Gartly’s men united with the army of General Sterling Price (1809-1967) in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.  After this campaign, Van Cleave joined the 1st Mississippi Light Artillery commanded by Colonel William T. Withers.  At the Siege of Vicksburg (May-July 1863), the 1st Mississippi Light Artillery was integrated into Moore’s Brigade led by Brigadier General John C. Moore.  R.A. Van Cleave was taken prisoner on July 3, 1863, when the Confederate Army surrendered to General U.S. Grant (1822-1885) and his Union forces.  He was later paroled.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 22, 1895, p. 2 and The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 376)


Van Cleave and Cox

R.A. Van Cleave married Elizabeth Rebecca Sheppard (1842-1912) in Yazoo County, Mississippi in 1865.  She was the daughter of William Sheppard (1817-1850) and Sarah Ann Sheppard (1821-1880+).  After William Sheppard had expired, her mother married George Allen Cox (1812-1887), a native of Tennessee. 

George A. Cox, who was an early pioneer and entrepreneur at Ocean Springs, arriving here in the early 1850s.  He was active in commerce and real estate.  R.A. Van Cleave, his step-son-in-law, arrived at Ocean Springs in 1867 from Yazoo County, Mississippi.  In 1868, Mr. Van Cleave established a store on Paige Bayou.  This commercial venture didn't last long, but R.A. Van Cleave was so respected in this rural area that when a U.S. Post Office was established in the area in June 1870, it was called Vancleave's.  The name stuck and today, Vancleave is the general geographic term used for that region of west central Jackson County within T6S-R7W and T5S-R7W.  This is an area of approximately seventy-two square miles.  Specifically, Vancleave is a rapidly developing unincorporated village in Sections 9 and 16 of T6S-R7W, flanked by Highway 57.  Historically within the “Vancleave area”, there have been many smaller settlements around public schools and churches, such as: Mount Pleasant, Greenhead, Ebenezer, Evergreen, Live Oak Pond, Dead Lake, and Fort Bayou.

  R.A. Van Cleave returned to Ocean Springs to begin an entrepreneurial career that would span nearly twenty-five years.


Postmaster Van Cleave

R.A. Van Cleave, a staunch Democrat, began his ten year appointment as US Postmaster at Ocean Springs in January 1872, during the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), a Republican.  Although a Democrat, Mr. Van Cleave received this office by virtue of a petition by the local populous averring that there was not a Republican in Ocean Springs capable of meeting the requirements of a Postmaster.  R.A. Van Cleave also served during the term of Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893), another Republican President.   Postmaster Van Cleave retired from his office in June 1882, when Emile Engbarth (1855-ca 1905), a well-known Republican from Rodney, Mississippi, was placed in office by President Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886), himself a Republican.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 22, 1895, p. 2)


Postal robbery

In late April 1881, the R.A. Van Cleave store, also which served as the local U.S. Post Office and situated on Washington Avenue was violated by burglars and robbed.  Mr. Van Cleave described the incident as follows:  The robbers effected an entrance by boring through the front door of the store, and then proceeded to help themselves.  They broke down the alarm drawer which contained the postage stamps and registered letters, and carried off postage stamps of the denominations of one, three, and five cents to the amount of $157.58.  They broke open registered package No. 62, mailed at Lake Charles, La., April 26th, addressed to Vancleave post office, which is about fourteen miles north of Ocean Springs, the latter office being the distributing point for that office, and also rifled registered letter No. 152.  Next morning Mr. Van Cleave found scattered over the floor with many other letters, a registered package and a registered envelope which corresponded with the above numbers, and also a letter and land deed signed by John Havens, from Calcasieu Parish, La.  These papers are supported by Mr. Van Cleave to have been the contents of the registered package.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 6, 1881, p. 3)

The Van Cleave store and postal robbery was foiled as the intruders awoke a store clerk who had been asleep in a room isolated from the main sales room of the mercantile establishment.  The dazed clerk fired a pistol at one of the crooks who with lantern in hand was securing small change of five and ten cents pieces and Mexican dollars at the time.  The intruder fled though the front portal after being spared his life by the misaimed shot of the clerk.  Equally frightened, the shaken clerk left through the rear door to cry the alarm and seek assistance.  During the investigation following the crime, it was discovered that the carpenter tools utilized in the heist belonged to J.B. Simmons (1824-1886) and the lamp was the property of Thomas Cochran (1852-1883).  The lantern had been stolen from Cochran’s saloon the same night.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 6, 1881, p. 3)



Shortly after the burglary, John Thomas, a Black man, was captured.  The detective ability of Mr. Van Cleave was credited with the observation and incarceration of John Thomas.  In December 1883, Mr. Thomas was convicted of stealing several thousand postage stamps from the U.S. Post Office in the Van Cleave mercantile store on Washington Avenue.  He was sentenced in the Federal District Court at Jackson, Mississippi to four years in the penitentiary situated at Chester, Illinois.(The Pascagoula Democrat Star, December 7, 1883, p. 3)


Postmaster R.A. Van Cleave

In June 1880, when a weekly mail route was established between Ocean Springs and Vancleave, R.A. Vancleave was postmaster at Ocean Springs.  He was described as, “clever and good-humored”.  William Seymour (1837-1908) carried the mail from Ocean Springs to the store of George W. Davis (1842-1914) at Vancleave.  As previously mentioned, the post office and area were named for R.A. Van Cleave.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 18, 1880, p. 3)

During R.A. Van Cleave’s over ten year tenure as local Postmaster, the following developments happened in the US Postal System: 1872- Congress enacts Mail Fraud Statute;1873- Penny postal card; 1874- General Postal Union (later Universal Postal Union);  1879- Domestic mail divided into four classes; and 1880- Congress establishes title of Chief Post Office Inspector.



R.A. Van Cleave Mercantile Store

Located on the east side of Washington Avenue midway between Robinson and Desoto, this impressive, two-story, frame structure was erected in 1894 by Charles E. Pabst (1850-1920), Adolph Wieder (1879-1931), and George Wilson.  It replaced Mr. Van Cleave’s original and smaller, one-story frame building built in late 1870.  R.A. Van Cleave and spouse sold this property to Schmidt & Ziegler, a large wholesale grocery establishment in New Orleans.  In 1903, William S. Van Cleave (1871-1938) and Junius Poitevent Van Cleave (1878-1945+), two sons of R.A. Van Cleave and Elizabeth Sheppard Van Cleave (1842-1912), owned their father’s former store property.  On October 11, 1926, the former Van Cleave store building burned to the ground.  At this time, it was owned by H.F. Russell (1858-1940) and occupied by Mrs. A.O. Bourdin and the local Social Club.(The New Orleans Republican, December 28, 1870, p. 8)


R.A. Van Cleave merchant and entrepreneur

In November 1872, Robert A. Van Cleave began acquiring commercial property at Ocean Springs, primarily in proximity to the new railroad depot.  On October 29, 1870, the New Orleans, Mobile, & Chattanooga Railroad, which had been chartered in1866, completed its rail connection between Mobile and New Orleans.  Train service commenced on November 21, 1870.  The N.O.M. & C. was reorganized on April 18, 1871 and became the New Orleans, Mobile & Texas Railroad.  The L&N Railroad leased the property of the N.O.M. & T. on May 8, 1880.  On October 5, 1881, the L&N Railroad purchased all the assets of the reorganized New Orleans, Mobile, & Texas Railroad for $6,000,000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 5, p. 299)   

R.A. Van Cleave had the vision to see that rail commerce would soon displace the  steam packet service to Ocean Springs and that the business district would relocate from lower Jackson Avenue and the steamboat wharf to Washington Avenue near the passenger and freight depot.  Van Cleave’s initial purchase was a lot situated in the Andre Fournier Tract, Section 19, T7S-R8W in Block 24-Culsmeig Map of 1854, on the east side of Washington Avenue midway between Desoto and Robinson.  Here Mr. Van Cleave erected his mercantile store building and residence.  R.A. Van Cleave through his agent, George A. Cox, bought this tract with a ninety-four foot front on Washington Avenue from Edward Chase and Elizabeth W. Chase of St. Louis, Missouri.  The original deed was stolen in the April 1881 Van Cleave store robbery and a replacement warranty deed was recorded in the Jackson County Chancery Court in January 1886.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 8, p. 461)

By the early 1870s, Edward Chase and Elizabeth W. Chase of St. Louis, Missouri were in possession of large tracts of land at Ocean Springs probably through the efforts of local land speculator George A. Cox (1811- 1887) who was also their agent.  Block 24 was a small apart of what was then called the Martin and Shortridge Tracts.  It consisted of twelve lots bounded by Washington Avenue, Desoto, Cash Alley, and a point about 100 feet north of the L&N Railroad tracks.  Before 1890, R.A. Van Cleave would possess all the land bounded by Robinson, Cash Alley, Desoto, and Washington Avenue, as well as the lot on Washington and Government where the Ocean Springs State Bank was erected in 1910.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 6, pp. 30-31)

The R.A. Van Cleave store was a single story structure with an area of 2300 square-feet.  The family domicile was thirty feet south of the store building was a single story dwelling with an L-shaped gallery and living area of 1500 square-feet.  A single story building which served as a warehouse and stable was situated east of the R.A. Van Cleave store.  It had an area of about 1000 square feet.(1893 Sanborn Map-Sheet 1)


Van Cleave Children

Here on Washington Avenue, Robert Adrian Van Cleave and souse reared their seven children: Fannie B. Van Cleave Covington (1866-1893), George A. VanCleave (1868-1897), Robert A. Van Cleave Jr. (1869-1930+), William S. Van Cleave (1871-1938), Richard S. Van Cleave (1875-1930+), Sarah “Sallie” Van Cleave Reid Westbrook (1874-1934), and Junius P. Van Cleave (1878-1945+).

New Van Cleave 民彩网网址

In the winter of 1891, R.A. Van Cleave announced that he would soon have a new family 民彩网网址 erected.  As Mr. Van Cleave was known for his sophistication, it was anticipated that this new domicile would be a town jewel. The Van Cleave 民彩网网址 was built on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and Desoto about 100 feet south of the R.A. Van Cleave Mercantile Store.  The Van Cleave residence was a two-story, frame edifice with a cross-gabled roof.(The Biloxi Herald, February 7, 1891, p. 1 and 1893 Sanborn Map-Sheet 1) 


New Van Cleave store

In April 1894, R.A. Van Cleave completed the foundation for his new mercantile store on Washington Avenue.  It was a 4275 square-foot, two-story, frame building and situated north of the new R.A. Van Cleave residence.  Mr. Van Cleave contracted with Adolph Wieder (1879-1931), George Wilson, and Charles E. Pabst (1850-1920) to erect his new store.  In time, the Van Cleave business changed its name to R.A. Van Cleave & Son.  Their slogan was "Best Quality and Honest Quantity".(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 23, 1894, April 6, 1894, and May 11, 1894 and The Gulf Coast Times, October 28, 1949)


Sale-Schmidt & Ziegler

            Robert A. Van Cleave in his mid-fifties decided to retire from his business career.  He and spouse, Elizabeth R. Van Cleave conveyed their mercantile store to Schmidt & Ziegler in December 1896.  The consideration was $4000 and the sale included the store counters, shelves, stable, and a one-half interest in the picket fence on the northern perimeter of the store lot.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 17, p. 621)

            Schmidt & Ziegler, the new proprietors, were no strangers to Ocean Springs.  William B. Schmidt (1823-1901) and Frances M. Ziegler (1818-1901) were wholesale grocers and liquor importers from New Orleans.  Mr. Schmidt was born at Schwieberdingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany on April 10, 1823.  His parents 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, Schmidt commenced a business relationship with Francis M. Ziegler, a native of Oberndorf-Am-Nekar, 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 located at 428-436 on South Peters.  By 1900, Schmidt & Ziegler had expanded to eleven stores.  The firm was the pioneer in New Orleans international trade initiating commerce between South and Central America.

In January 1849, W.B. Schmidt married Virginia A. Jackson (1835-1912) who was born at Philadelphia of Cuban parentage.  Francis M. Ziegler married, Adrianna Weissenburger (1831-1886) on the same day at the Third Presbyterian Church in New Orleans.  She was a native of Lauterburg, Lower Alsace.

Of all the people who have been a part of the history of Ocean Springs, William B. Schmidt stands among the greatest.  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, a vacation residence and estate called “Summer Hill” on Biloxi Bay, and other real estate throughout the town.  “Summer Hill”  is extant at 231 Front Beach having survived Hurricane Katrina.

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 whom Schmidt guided to Ocean Springs were Adolph Joseph Schrieber (1835-1875) and Ferdinand W. Illing (1838-1884) who had escaped from Mexico in 1867 after the fall of Emperor Maximilian and his German and Austrian nationals. 

F.W. Illing operated a hotel, the Illing House, on the northeast corner of Washington and Porter for many years.  Adolph J. Schrieber died young, but two sons, Frederich Adolph “Dolph” Schrieber (1871-1944), Joseph Louis “Dode” Schrieber left their indelible mark in our local history.  Dolph Schrieber, a lighthouse keeper, was instrumental in preserving the “Iberville Stone”, which has been in the Louisiana State Museum at New Orleans since 1937.  Dode Schrieber was the local historian du jour and anecdotally preserved much of our local 19th and early 20th Century history.(Schmidt, 1972, pp. 8-9)


Schmidt & Ziegler Ltd.

            Upon the demise of W.B. Schmidt (1823-1901) and Francis M. Ziegler (1823-1901), the surviving company became Schmidt & Ziegler Ltd.  under the aegis of Charles W. Ziegler, the son of Francis M. Ziegler.  They acquired the former Van Cleave store property for $350 in February 1902, at a public auction held at 311 Baronne Street in the Crescent City.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 24, pp. 273-275)

Charles W. Ziegler (1865-1936), a son of F.M. Ziegler and president of Schmidt & Ziegler Ltd. after the demise of the founders of the company, owned a 民彩网网址 at Ocean Springs called "Lake View".  It was located west of the Schmidt estate on Lots 17, 18, and 19 of Block 17 (Culmseig Map of 1854).  The Ziegler residence acquired in May 1894, was modest in comparison to that of W.B. Schmidt.  In 1895, Charles Dyer in Along The Gulf described it as:  an attractive little cottage, situated on a hill, with neatly laid out and well-kept lawn, with any number of massive moss-covered oaks and magnolias to shade it.  The estate contains all the comforts it is possible for a complete seaside residence to have.


The Van Cleave Brothers Mercantile 民彩网网址

            In January 1903, two sons of R.A. Van Cleave, William Sheppard Van Cleave  (1871-1938) and Junius Poitevent Van Cleave (1878-1945+), acquired their family mercantile store from Schmidt & Ziegler Ltd. for $1500.  The sale was inclusive of store counters, shelving, the stable, and a one-half interest in the picket fence on the northern perimeter of the store lot.  To finance the sale, the Van Cleave Brother were loaned $1000 by B.F. Parkinson (1859-1930) and Robert Parkinson (1864-1925), insurance executives domiciled at New Orleans. It appears that the Parkinson brothers eventually became partners with the Van Cleave brothers in this venture.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 25, p. 487 and Bk. 25, p. 488)

The Parkinson family had owned a summer 民彩网网址 on Lovers Lane since June 1875, when the family matriarch, Eugenia Bodley Parkinson (1827-1898), acquired the Allison place.  B.F. Parkinson, a bachelor, raised chickens on Lovers Lane as a hobby.  This venture was called the Ocean Springs Poultry Farm.  When he came over from New Orleans, the L&N train would stop where Porter Street intersected the railroad tracks and let him off.  It was a short walk to his residence on Biloxi Bay.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 1, pp. 479-481 andThomas P. Crozat, November 6, 2004)


N.J. Francis

            In May 1906, the Van Cleave Brothers Mercantile 民彩网网址 conveyed their store property on Washington Avenue to N.J. Francis for $3000.  At this time, the store lot had a frontage on Washington Avenue of eight-feet.  No further information on N.J. Francis. In September 1909, N.J. Francis sold the old R.A. Van Cleave store place to H.F. Russell (1858-1940).  (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, p. 175 and Bk. 35, p. 232)


H.F. Russell

            Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940) was born at Yazoo City, Mississippi on March 10, 1858, the son of William Russell and Mrs. Russell.   H.F. Russell arrived at Ocean Springs in 1880, and was associated with R.A. Van Cleave (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. Van Cleave, H.F. Russell was also the local postmaster serving the community from 1885-1889.(Dyer, “Ocean Springs”, 1895)

During his lifetime, Mr. Russell acquired large land holdings throughout Ocean Springs and Jackson County.  Just after the October 1929 stock market crash, he sold thousands of acres of pinelands, and town lots in Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Long Beach, and Pascagoula.  H.F. Russell was considered a powerful politico in Jackson County, once serving 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 (1877-1947).

H.F. Russell had two wives May Virginia Minor (1866-1910) and J. Lillian Miles (1890-1929).  May V. Minor Russell bore him 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).

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 民彩网网址 in 1924, and was a member of the JXCO Board of Supervisors from 1929 until 1967.  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 and preserved the future fortunes of the present Moran generation.(The Jackson County Times, September 21, 1935, p. 1)

            Mr. Russell expired on May 5, 1940.  He was interred in the Russell family area of the Evergreen Cemetery


Van Cleave store demise

On October 11, 1926, the former Van Cleave store building burned to the ground.  At this time, it was owned by H.F. Russell (1858-1940) and occupied by Mrs. A.O. Bourdin and the local Social Club.  Mr. Russell estimated the loss at $10,000.  Although H.F. Russell carried no insurance, Mrs. Bourdin’s stock and equipment were insured for $2000.(The Jackson County Times, October 16, 1926, p. 1)



Van Cleave Hotel-Commercial Hotel

This structure was situated on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Robinson.  It was built by R.A. Van Cleave and opened in 1880.  This hostelry was known for its excellent food and sanitary state.  Mr. Van Cleave quit the hotel business in December 1891 when he sold this edifice to Emma Arndt Meyer (1866-1924+) for $3000.  Before it was destroyed in a large conflagration in October 1920, the former Van Cleave Hotel had been known as: The Meyer Hotel, Gillum-City Hotel, Frye Hotel, City Hotel, The Inn Hotel, Iberville Hotel, Commercial Hotel, and Commercial House.  Salmagundi Gift Shop at 922 Washington Avenue occupies the former site of the Van Cleave Hotel in a building, which was erected in 1953-1954 by Wendell Palfrey and leased to the U.S. Postal Service as a post office. Credit: A Ken Matthew, pen and ink drawing commissioned in 1994 by Ray L. Bellande.


Van Cleave Hotel-R.A. Van Cleave entrepreneur

In addition to being a successful Washington Avenue merchant, R.A. Van Cleave invested heavily in local real estate and was the builder of the Van Cleave Hotel.  The Van Cleave Hotel was a two-story, wood frame structure with an area under roof of 5450 square feet which included a 9-foot wide gallery on the front (west) and depot side (north).  The living area was approximately 4300 square feet.    

Although initially called the Van Cleave Hotel, this hotel had the distinction of being the hotel at Ocean Springs with the most name changes through its lifetime.  At various times, it was known as the:  Meyer Hotel (1891), Gillum Hotel-City Hotel (1893),  Frye Hotel (1895), City Hotel (1898), The Inn Hotel (1897), Iberville Hotel (1905), Commercial Hotel (1906-1915), Commercial House (1915), and once again the Commercial Hotel (1915-1920).

R.A. Van Cleave purchased the hotel site from E.W. Clark and Mary T. Clark of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 1, 1877.  In the conveyance deed, the lot was described as commencing from the northwest corner of the Van Cleave Store lot on Washington Avenue thence north 150 feet, east along Robinson Avenue 120', thence south 150' to the northeast corner of the said store lot.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 8, p. 460)

Mr. Van Cleave must have commenced operation on his hotel in late 1879 as evidenced by the following:  Van Cleave's new hotel on the depot grounds is going steadily forward to a speedy completion and gives employment to a number of workmen.  He seems to believe in the right way of doing things - that is employing 民彩网网址 folks when he has work to be done.(The Pascagoula Democrat-StarJanuary 16, 1880, p. 3).


By mid-April 1880, two-carloads of furniture for the new lodge had arrived at Ocean Springs.  R.A. Van Cleave was diligently engaged in preparations for his May opening.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 30, 1880, p. 3)


The Van leave Hotel opened on May 1, 1880.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of May 7, 1880 revealed:  This entirely new and comfortable hotel opened on the 1st of May, 1880, and will remain open all the year round for the accommodation of regular and transient boarders.  This hotel being entirely new and elegantly fitted up, and with large, well ventilated rooms lighted by gas, boarders will find every comfort desired.  Special arrangements made for family.  Rates moderate.


Jefferson Davis Visits

On September 9, 1882, probably the most memorable event to take place at the hotel and possibly in Ocean Springs occurred.  This special occasion was the military review by Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), former President of the Confederate States of America, of the Reichard Battalion and German Guards of New Orleans under the command of Major Maximilian Hermann.  The troops were accompanied to Ocean Springs by Wolf's band.  The train, which carried the military personnel, stopped at Beauvoir for Mr. Davis and his daughter with the band playing the "Bonnie Blue Flag".  When they arrived at Ocean Springs, the uniformed Ocean Springs Fire 民彩网网址 greeted them in a heavy rain at the depot.  The honored troops marched to the splendidly decorated Van Cleave Hotel where they were welcomed by R.A. Van Cleave, President of the Ocean Springs Fire 民彩网网址.  After a review by Jefferson Davis, a reception with champagne punch sponsored by W.B. Schmidt (1823-1900) was held in the parlor of the hotel.  The festivities of the day were concluded with a grand military ball at Schmidt's Ocean Springs Hotel.(The Pascagoula Democrat-StarSeptember 8, 1882, and September 15, 1882)

 By the spring of 1884, the Van Cleave Hotel was open year round and was known for its fine food and sanitary conditions.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 2, 1884, p. 3)


The Liberty Bell

             In January 1885, the Liberty Bell was being transported by rail back to Philadelphia from its exhibition at the 1884-1885 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, which was held at New Orleans.  Robert A. Van Cleave used his influence to have the train make a brief stop at Ocean Springs.  He donned a paper hat and wooden sword and led a small contingent of veterans in firing a derelict cannon.  Political speeches were made.(Ellison, 1991, pp. 11-12)



            In addition to his business acumen, Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908) was a well-respected, citizen, who helped to establish a local government at Ocean Springs.  Prior to its December 1892 charter from Governor John M. Stone and subsequent incorporation as a town, Ocean Springs had failed in three attempts to form a municipal government.  In the spring of 1892, a citizen’s committee chaired by James J. Garrard (1828-1902) was completing their plans to obtain a Charter for the Town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi.   Thirty-four citizens worked to determine the city limits and the four ward boundaries.  At a meeting held at the Fireman’s Hall in mid-June 1892, R.A. Van Cleave was unanimously elected Mayor.  Councilman elected were: Joseph J. Garrard-Ward I; Jeremiah J. O’Keefe (1859-1911)-Ward II; Charles E. Pabst (1851-1920)-Ward III; D.D. Cowan (1850-1929)-Ward IV; and Judge J.B. Wigginton (1823-1895)-Councilman-at-Large.(Ellison, 1991, p.p. 19-23 and The Biloxi Herald, June 18, 1892, p. 1)

The first municipal election at Ocean Springs was held on December 13, 1892.  Professor Decatur Dwight “D.D.” Cowan (1850-1929), a public school teacher and principal, was elected Mayor of Ocean Springs.  Robert A. Van Cleave elected not to seek the Mayoral office.  Others elected to our first city government were: Joseph Kotzum (1842-1915), Ward I; Jeremiah J. O’Keefe (1859-1911), Ward II; Benjamin .F. Joachim (1847-1925), Ward III; Louis L. “Tune” Ryan (1837-1909), Ward IV;  E.S. Davis (1859-1925), Treasurer; and  George Tardy (1839-1902), Marshal.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 133)


Children of R.A. Van Cleave and Elizabeth R. Sheppard


Fannie B. Van Cleave

Fannie B. Van Cleave (1866-1893) was born on August 26, 1866 at Yazoo County, Mississippi.  She married Walter Hearn Covington (1863-1898), a native of Sylvarena, Smith County, Mississippi, in October 1886.  Walter H. Covington was born July 23, 1863, the son of William Covington (1834-1880+) and Martha Rose Barnes (1844-1880+).  In 1880, William and Walter H. Covington were farming in the Dry Creek Precinct, Hinds County, Mississippi.(1880 Hinds Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T9_649, p. 397, ED 13) 

A son, Walter H. Covington Jr., and two daughters, Irma Covington Tate (1887-1907+) and Ora Mead Covington (b. 1893), were born of this union.

            Fannie and Walter H. Covington lived in Paria, Mexico and Terry, Mississippi.  In July 1891, Mrs. Covington brought her young children to Ocean Springs to visit their grandparents.  The Covingtons were at Victoria, Mexico at this time.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 18, 1891, p. 1)

            Fannie Van Cleave Covington expired on December 5, 1893.  Her corporal remains were interred in the George A. Cox Family Cemetery, which was situated north of U.S. Highway 90 between the present day Oak Cove condominiums and the PFG Optical plant, formerly the Coca Cola plant.  When this cemetery was removed by the Public Works Administration during the Depression the following members of the Cox-Van Cleave families were reburied in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou: George A. Cox, Sarah Ann Sheppard Cox, Henry Van Cleave, Walter H. Covington and spouse and their infants, Walter H. Covington and Ora Mead Covington.(Verta Lee Bradford VanCleave-1995, The History of JXCO, Ms., (1989), p. 376, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 8, 1893, p. 3)


George A. VanCleave

            George A. Van Cleave (1868-1897) was born at Ocean Springs.  He married Emma Catherine Noll (1872-1904), the daughter of Albert P. Noll from Pennsylvania and Augustine J. Stein, a native of New Orleans, in the Grace Church in the Crescent City on December 9, 1891.  They were the parents of two sons born at New Orleans: Noll A. Van Cleave (1893-1930+) and George Emmet Van Cleave (b. 1894).(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 12, 1891, p. 4 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 23, 1891, p. 3)  )

            George A. VanCleave expired at New Orleans on March 24, 1897.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 2, 1897, p. 3)

            After the demise of George A. Van Cleave, Emma Noll Van Cleave married Thomas Peter Graham (1871-1955) on November 3, 1898.  They had a son, Thomas P. Graham Jr. (1900-1973) born May 1900.  Thomas P. Graham was born at New Orleans of Peter Graham (b. 1846), a school teacher, and Mary Murphy (b. 1842), both Irish immigrants.  In 1900, Thomas Peter Graham made his livelihood as a “drummer” selling groceries for a wholesale grocer.  They resided on Canal Street.(1900 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census, T623 571, p. 7B, ED 42)


Children of George A. VanCleave and Emma Catherine Noll


Noll A. Van Cleave

Noll Allen Van Cleave (1893-ca 1937) was born at New Orleans on March 14, 1893.  As a young man, Noll was a rafter on the Pascagoula River floating saw logs to the sawmills at Moss Point.  Circa 1922, he married Georgia Ernest, probably at Mobile where he made his livelihood as a bookkeeper.  They were the parents of two sons: Noll Van Cleave (1925-1930+) and Alfred Kent Van Cleave (1927-1999).(1930 Mobile County, Alabama Federal Census-R42, p. 4B, ED 76 and Christopher Van Cleave, December 2005)


George E. VanCleave

            George Emmet Van Cleave (1894-1930+), called Emmet, was born at New Orleans on February 1, 1894.  In 1916, he married Astazie ? , a native of Louisiana.  They were the parents of Bettie Ann Van Cleave (1919-1930+) and Emmet L. Van Cleave (1922-1922).  In 1920, Emmet Van Cleave made his livelihood as a shipping clerk in a factory.  By 1930, he was the proprietor of a radio repair shop in the Crescent City.  The family resided on North Miro.  No further information.(1930 Orleans Parish Federal Census, R805, p. 3B, ED107)

Robert A. VanCleave Jr.

Robert Adrian VanCleave Jr. (1869-1930+) was born at Ocean Springs.  Circa 1888, he left Ocean Springs for New Orleans where he became involved in cornice construction.  Richard S. VanCleave (1876-1930+), his younger brother, joined him there in August 1895.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 23, 1895, p. 3)

In the Crescent City, Robert A. Van Cleave Jr. married Isabella Edwards (1871-1940) on January 8, 1890.  They were the parents of two children: Adrian Edwards Van Cleave (1894-1959) and Richard Van Cleave.(The Pascagoula Democratic-Star, December 1895)

Circa 1900, Robert A. Van Cleave relocated from New Orleans to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to become a building contractor.  Circa 1903, Robert A. Van Cleave Jr. married Mabel Russell (1879-1930+), a native of Pennsylvania.  They had a child, Richard A. Van Cleave (1908-1930+), born at Philadelphia in July 1908. In 1920, they were living on 13thStreet in Philadelphia.  By 1930, Robert and Mabel Van Cleave and son had relocated to Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia.  He continued in the building industry in the Philadelphia region.  No further information.(1910 Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania  Federal Census, T624R1410, pt. 2, p. 115A; 1920 Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania Federal Census, T625_1616, p. 5A, ED 463; and 1930 Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania Federal Census, R2034, p. 37A, ED 161)

William S. Van Cleave

William “Will” Sheppard Van Cleave (1871-1938) married Eudora “Dora” Pearl Casey (1876-1950), the daughter of John F. Casey and Mary Flynn.  Their nuptials took place on December 28, 1897, at the Ocean Springs Methodist Church, now St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Porter.  Mr. Van Cleave' s sister, Sarah "Sallie" Van Cleave Reid Westbrook (1876-1934), married Dunklin F. Reid (1871-circa 1906) at the same time.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 7, 1898, p. 3)

“The Little Store”

In March 1897, after Schmidt & Ziegler acquired the R.A. Van Cleave mercantile business in December 1896, W.S. “Will” Van Cleave erected a small, one-story, frame, store building juxtaposed to the family 民彩网网址 and situated on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and Desoto.  This 750 square-foot, general store building was razed in March 1903, after he had formed a partnership with Junius P. Van Cleave, his brother.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 17, p. 621 and The Pascagoula Democrat Star, March 5, 1897, p. 3 and January 27, 1903, p. 3)

Van Cleave Brothers Store

On September 16, 1902, William S. Van Cleave and Junius “June” P. Van Cleave (1878-1945+) formed a partnership and firm, “Van Cleave Brothers”.  In January 1903, the Van Cleave brothers acquired their former family mercantile store from Schmidt & Ziegler Ltd. for $1500.  The sale was inclusive of store counters, shelving, the stable, and a one-half interest in the picket fence on the northern perimeter of the store lot.  To finance the sale, the Van Cleave Brother were loaned $1000 by B.F. Parkinson (1859-1930) and Robert Parkinson (1864-1925), insurance executives domiciled at New Orleans.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 25, p. 487 and Bk. 25, p. 488 and The Pascagoula Democrat Star, September 12, 1902, p. 3 and The Pascagoula Democrat Star, January 16, 1903, p. 3)

In March 1904, the Parkinson brothers of New Orleans and the Van Cleave brothers chartered, “The Van Cleave Bros. Mercantile 民彩网网址”.  This stock corporation was capitalized with $15,000.  The Van Cleave Brothers’ enterprise planned to immediately enlarge it stock and occupy both floors of their father’s former mercantile edifice on the east side of Washington Avenue.  In late August 1904, the Van Cleave Brothers Mercantile 民彩网网址 sent a box of preserved figs to Belfast. Ireland.  This fig shipment was considered the first of this product from Ocean Springs.(The Progress, March 12, 1904, p. 4 and September 3, 1904, p. 5)

Apparently, the Van Cleave brothers’ joint venture with B.F. and Robert Parkinson was not successful.  In May 1906, the Van Cleave Brothers Mercantile 民彩网网址 conveyed their store property on the east side of Washington Avenue to N.J. Francis for $3000. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, p. 175)



 The Van Cleave Brothers Store

This store building was erected in 1906 on the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and Porter by W.S. “Will” Van Cleave (1871-1938) and J.P. “June” Van Cleave (1878-1945+), the sons of Postmaster R.A. Van Cleave and Elizabeth R. Sheppard Van Cleave.  The old landmark was removed from the streetscape on July 22, 1967 and replaced with a convenience store.  Mr. Will Van Cleave is standing in front of his new building in this 1906 image.  In the interior view of the Van Cleave Brothers building (l-r): unknown; Eudora “Dora” Casey Van Cleave (1876-1950); unknown; and Will Van Cleave.  Image made pre-1938.  Courtesy of: The Verta Lee Bradford Van Cleave (1916-2004) Family Collection courtesy of Joseph B. Garrard II and Sandra Van Cleave Garrard (1943-2005).


The new Van Cleave Brothers Store

In January 1906, the Van Cleave Brothers liquidated their stock.  Will S. Van Cleave and June P. Van Cleave then acquired the former the Herman Nill Drugstore lot, for $1900 from Frank Marquez (1840-1914) in May 1906.  The Nill pharmacy, which had occupied this commercially strategic parcel on the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and Porter had been destroyed in a fire in December 1900.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January19 , 1906, p. 3, JXCO, Ms. Record of Deeds Bk. 31, p. 260, and The Pascagoula Democrat-StarDecember 7, 1900, p. 3)

Burk & Shaw began construction of the Van Cleave Brothers store building in August 1906.  It was erected from concrete blocks manufactured on the site.  This enterprise lasted for over sixty years.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 3, 1906, p. 3)


The J.P. Van Cleave Store

In May 1906, June P. Van Cleave purchased the Switzer Cash Store on the southeast corner of Washington and Porter from Owen Switzer (1837-1910+), a Canadian immigrant.  He remained here until February 1909, when he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to work with his brothers, Richard and Robert A. Van Cleave Jr.  They were building contractors there.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. Book 31, p. 260 and The Ocean Springs News, February 20, 1909 , p. 5)


A sidewalk

In September 1915, Will Van Cleave contracted to have 275 feet of Schillinger pavement laid from Porter Avenue north to the Bertuccini property, which is now divided and owned by Courtney Cook Blossman and Attorney-at-Law, Hayden Dent.(The Ocean Springs New, September 30, 1915, p.1)



In less than year in a period in 1915-1916, the property of  Will Van Cleave, was robbed.  The initial illegal entry occurred at his 民彩网网址, followed by his store being violated, and finally in January 1916, the thieves struck his Washington Avenue place of business.  They took money and jewelry, but overlooked a money bag containing several hundred dollars.(The Ocean Springs News, January 20, 1916, p. 1)

In June 1929, the Van Cleave Brothers store was victimized by “local talent” when they illegally entered the building after dark.  Will Van Cleave had left nothing in the store safe, except a sack of pennies and some personal papers.  The perpetrators did escape with cigarettes, cigars, candy and several watermelons.(The Jackson County Times, June 15, 1929)

Another publicized burglary of the Van Cleave store occurred in January 1953, when a juvenile gang not only robbed the store, but fired at the local law enforcement during their felony.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 22, 1953, p. 1)


Will Van Cleave dies

After her husband’s demise on February 22, 1938, Will Van Cleave’s spouse, Eudora Casey Van Cleave (1876-1950), inherited the business, which was a grocery and mercantile enterprise.  She legated it to her son, Gordon R. Van Cleave (1906-1964), and grandchildren.  After Gordon Van Cleave’s death, the old block building, which had been a family run business for over sixty years, was sold to the City Ice Delivery 民彩网网址, a Georgia corporation in June 1967.  It was demolished on July 22, 1967, and construction of a new building commenced immediately.(The Ocean Springs Record, August 3, 1967, p. 2)

In recent years, Curmis Broome (b. 1928) owned the property, which he called Aileen’s Corner, for his spouse, Aileen Grady Broome (1934-1987).  Here the Broome family operated a quick shop and eatery.  In late 1991, Jan Gallaspy Walker and Paul Ballard acquired the former Van Cleave Brothers site from Mr. Broome.  Here they commenced “Five Seasons”, a holistic center, catering to individuals and groups interested in high quality and organic food products, vitamins, and other salubrious appurtenances.  The “Five Seasons” building maintains the convenience store, architectural style of the late 1960s.


W.S. Van Cleave 民彩网网址

The W.S. Van Cleave 民彩网网址 is extant at 605 Porter Street.  It is a one and one-half story, wood frame Queen Anne cottage with a cruciform gable roof, on high brick piers.  This lovely edifice was built in November 1895 by Henry H. Richardson (1833-1906), a prominent Chicagoan.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 22, 1895)

By January 1896, the Richardson-Ornstein Cottage was completed as signaled by this article in The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, of January 10, 1896.

Among the handsome residences recently erected in this delightful Gulf Coast resort, the cottage built for Major H.H. Richardson of Chicago, situated corner of Porter and Martin Avenues deserves special attention.  Southern lumber was used exclusively in the construction.  The frame, floors, and interior works are of yellow pine, the latter furnished by the Farnsworth Lumber 民彩网网址 of Scranton (Pascagoula), being entirely free of knots and finished in oil.  The building is one and one-half stories high, is of modern style and was designed by the well-known architect and builder, Gregor Wieder.  There are four commodious rooms on the main floor with closets and three air porticos set off the building to good advantage.  A neat and well-arranged stable occupies the rear.   The grounds surrounding the residence are tastefully laid out in landscape style, embellished by numerous shade and fruit trees.  Mr. Richardson and his charming wife took possession of this elegant place January 1, 1896 and will continue to occupy same as their winter 民彩网网址 in the South.


Henry H. Richardson 

Henry H. Richardson (1833-1906) and his spouse, Julia E. Richardson (1836-1906+), were both natives of Connecticut. They married on February 18, 1857. In February 1895, the loving couple celebrated their thirty-eight anniversary of their nuptial at Ocean Springs.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 22, 1895, p. 3) 
          From 1860 until pre-1880, the Richardson family was at 民彩网网址 in Springfield, Illinois. Here Henry H. Richardson made his livelihood as the proprietor of a boot and shoe retail business. Alice Richardson (1861-1880+) their only child was born at Springfield, the State capital.(1860 Sangamon Co., Illinois Federal Census, M653_226, p. 119 and 1870 Sangamon Co., Illinois Federal Census, M593_82, p. 245) 

Before 1880, the Richardson clan had relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota were Henry worked as a railroad inspector. The family residence was situated on University Avenue.(1880 Hennepin Co., Federal Census, T9_621, p. 15, RD 230) 

                                                                                     Winter tourists 
Like many affluent Midwesterners, the Richardsons were frequent winter visitor to the area. When Mr. Richardson left Ocean Springs in March 1894, he related that when he returned next year, that he would erect a cottage.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 23, 1894)       

In December 1894, Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926), the "Yankee Mayor", who served the people of Ocean Springs in that civic office from 1899-1911, and James Ira Ford (1862-1915), a Pascagoula attorney, sold a lot on Porter Avenue to Julia E. Richardson for $350. The Richardson lot was described in the warranty deed as being situated on the northeast corner of Porter Street and Martin Avenue with a frontage of 120 feet on Porter and running north 180 feet on Martin Avenue. David Baker owned the lot to the east of the Richardson parcel.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 16, p. 186) 

                                                                                              Lot 7 
The Richardson-Ornstein Cottage is located in the western portion of Lot 7 of the Jerome Ryan Tract in Section 37, T7S-R8W. In November 1853, Lot 7 was given to Pierre Ryan (b. 1839) by his father, Jerome Ryan (1793-1870+), after the death of his mother, Euphrosine LaFontaine (1802-c 1852).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. Book 4, pp. 546-547) 

Guillaume “William” Ladnier (1829-1875) acquired Lot 7 of the Jerome Ryan Tract for $34.40 in a State tax sale in June 1871. In April 1893, F.M. Weed purchased Lot 7 from: George W. Ladnier (1851-1893+), Lavinia L. Taggert (1855-1893+), William H. Ladnier (1863-1893+), and James R. Ladnier, the heirs at law of William Ladnier, for $400. Mr. Weed immediately sold J.I. Ford a ½ interest in Lot 7 for $500.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 7, pp. 313-314, Bk. 14, p. 518, and Bk. 14, p. 519 and Cassibry, 1988, p. 795)       

On his town lot on Porter Street, which at this time was on the edge of town, Henry H. Richardson, a prominent Chicagoan, commenced a house in November 1895, after hiring Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899), a local building contractor, to erect his edifice. Less than a year later, Martin Avenue was completed from Porter to the front beach.(/ The PascagoulaDemocrat-Star, November 22, 1895 and July 24, 1896)        

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced on June 11, 1897, that "H.H. Richardson and wife have left their delightful 民彩网网址 on Porter for their usual summer trip to Chicago, St. Paul, and other sections of the north". 


 Richardson-Ornstein Cottage

Situated at 605 Porter, this Queen Anne cottage was built for Henry H. Richardson (1833-1906), a Midwestern boot and shoe merchant, by local contractor, Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899), in 1895. The Will Van Cleave family and descendants lived here for over seventy-five years. Note that in the pre-1938 image, the L-shaped gallery is extant. It was later boxed-in to create an additional room on the southeast corner of the house as seen in the March 1994 image.  Credit: March 1994 image by Ray L. Bellande. Pre-1938 image courtesy of Verta Lee Bradford Van Cleave (1916-2004). 


In May 1898, H.H. Richardson of Chicago conveyed his Porter Street cottage to Belle Caraway Sauls (1877-pre-1920+). After leaving Ocean Springs, the Richardsons relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan. They returned to Ocean Springs for the winter season in November 1898, and were the guest of the Sauls family until they settled in at “Three Oaks”, the H.B. Powell domicile on Front Beach.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 19, p. 75, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 25, 1898, p. 3 and December 2, 1898, p. 3)     

The Richardsons continued to winter at Ocean Springs until the winter of 1903-1904. Mr. Richardson wrote the editor of /The Progress /bemoaning this fact. His words follow: We are in cold country-the coldest in years-where it snows five days a week. It is a grand sight to look upon Mother Nature, if one likes snow and ice. I don’t like it. Gosh, how I would appreciate being in Ocean Springs about this time. We are quite well, however, and Mrs. Richardson joins me in sending our best wishes for a Happy New Year to all our friends in Ocean Springs.        

By April 1904, H.H. Richardson had moved to Dolton Station, Cook County, Illinois. He planned to return to Ocean Springs in the winter of 1905. H.H. Richardson spent some time at St. Petersburg, Florida in the spring of 1906, before returning to Chicago. His health was reported to be failing rapidly by mid-April. Richardson passed at his Chicago residence on April 25, 1906. He was survived by his wife.(The Progress, April 2, 1904, p. 4, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 20, 1906, p. 3 and April 27, 1906, p. 3) 


Quilla D. Sauls 

Belle Carraway Sauls the new owner of the H.H. Richardson cottage, was the spouse of Quilla D. Sauls (1870-1930+). They married in 1897, the year that Mr. Sauls came to Ocean Springs to teach school.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star/ reported on June 4, 1897, "Professor L.D. Sauls, Superintendent of Purvis High, is visiting our town this week". Q.D. Sauls taught school at Ocean Springs and Biloxi. He succeeded D.D. Cowan (1850-1929) who came to Ocean Springs in 1892, to teach school. Decatur Douglas Cowan was the first elected Mayor of Ocean Springs serving in that capacity from 1893 to 1894. He was elected the Superintendent of Education for Jackson County and managed the county school system from 1896 to 1906. 

          The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of late 1898 had several mentions of Professor Sauls untiring efforts to improve the educational environment at the Ocean Springs High School. At this time, the school consisted of a two-story red frame building located at the rear of the Ocean Springs Fire 民彩网网址 No. 2 Hall on the east side of Washington Avenue between Porter and Joseph Street. C.E. Schmidt in Ocean Springs French Beachhead (1972), wrote that "Q.D. Sauls was a man of vision, possibly far ahead of his time. He had a broad concept of a city high school and looked beyond horizons for the student body. He announced arrangements for boarding young ladies at the Beach Hotel, and young men at the Artesia House for $10 per month".

          In November 1900, Professor Sauls lived at the Artesian House, which was located on the southwest corner of Porter Street and Jackson Avenue, probably as a chaperon for his male boarding students. An attestation to Saul's efforts to promote education at Ocean Springs beyond the three Rs is evidenced by the Fourth Annual Catalogue of Officers, Teachers, and Students (1900-1901). It lists the following special courses: Commercial, teacher's training, music and art, stenography, elocution, and physical culture. 

When the Sauls were selling the house in 1904, it was advertised in The Progress as follows: 


The Richardson Cottage 
Q.D. Sauls-Arcola, Louisiana 
One of the neatest and best built cottages in town, 

on a large lot bounded by Porter and Martin Avenue

in a desirable locality of Ocean Springs. 

William “Will” Sheppard Van Cleave purchased the Richardson Cottage from the Q.D. Sauls in May 1904. The Sauls family relocated to Arcola, Louisiana in Tangipahoa Parish. By 1909, Q.D. Sauls was in the long leaf yellow pine business as a manufacturer and dealer. He was located at Saw Mill, Old Camp on the N.C. & M. R.R. near Norfield, Lincoln County, Mississippi.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, pp. 115-116)           

In 1910, Q.D. Sauls and family had relocated to Lawrence County, Mississippi. He was a retail merchant in Beat 3. (1910 Lawrence Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T624R747, p. 200A, ED 97)          

By 1920, Q.D. and Belle C. Sauls had settled at Tylertown, Mississippi. Their family had grown to six children: Lucille Sauls (1897-1920+), Norma Sauls (1906-1920+), Dorothy Sauls (1908-1930+), William Sauls (1915-1930+), and Berkley Sauls (1918-1930+). One Sauls child had died at infancy. At Tylertown, Q.D. Sauls owned a saw mill and lumberyard.(1920 and 1930 Walthall Co., Mississippi Federal Census, and T625_896, p. 10A, ED 137 and R1169, p. 5A, ED 2) 

Van Cleave occupancy 
Will Van Cleave (1871-1938) and his legatees remained at 605 Porter until January 1981, when Vertalee Bradford Vancleave (1917-2004), widow of his son, Gordon R. VanCleave (1906-1964), sold the 1895 Richardson cottage to Stephen F. Collins and Gloria “CoCo” C. Collins. The Collins were in residence here until July 1993, when they sold to Marvin A. Ornstein. The Ornstein family had come to Ocean Springs from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 697, 453 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1019, p. 825) 

In the fall and winter of 1993 and 1994, the Ornsteins refurbished the interior and exterior of the Richardson Cottage. Large dormers were added to the west and north elevations under the auspices of the OS Historic Preservation Commission. Marvin A. Ornstein, a gaming consultant and president of MAO Inc. and MAO Gaming and the father of the “STREAK” bet, a patented side bet based on a player’s predictable winning streak, resides here today. 

Will Van Cleave’s children 

W.S. “Will” Van Cleave (1871-1938) and Eudora “Dora” Pearl Casey Van Cleave (1876-1950) were the parents of William “Sheppard” S. Van Cleave Jr. (1899-1947); Henry Dryden Van Cleave (1901-1946); and Richard Gordon Van Cleave (1906-1964). 


William S. Van Cleave Jr. 

William Sheppard Van Cleave Jr. (1899-1947), called Sheppard, was born at Ocean Springs on June 2, 1899. He received his education in the local public school.  Returning from military service during WW I, Sheppard Van Cleave in August 1920, opened a vulcanizing plant in the rear of the Mobile Pressing Club, which occupied a building owned by Will Van Cleave, his father. Here, Shepard repaired old tires and tubes. By January 1922, J.L. O’Neil of New Orleans opened a pool hall in the space vacated by Sheppard Van Cleave who had relocated his tire and automobile company to 406 Reynoir Street in Biloxi./(The Jackson County Times, January 28, 1922)

In his later life, Sheppard Van Cleave worked as a clerk in his father's store on the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and Porter. He was a Mason and member of the local American Legion Post. Sheppard Van Cleave expired at Ocean Springs in late February 1947. His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, February 28, 1947, p. 9)

Little Children’s Park 
          In the 1940s, Sheppard Van Cleave acquired the old Shanahan House resort property, 1.84-acres, situated on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and Calhoun. In November 13, 1941, he and E.F. Shanks of Taylorsville, Mississippi paid the back taxes, which were less than $400. They were both issued forfeited land tax patent deeds by the Secretary of State.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 78, pp. 424-425 and Bk. 78, p. 503) 
          Naturally, this action initiated litigation. Mr. Shanks sued Sheppard Van Cleave in the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Mississippi as Cause No. 6883, filed May 31, 1943. In the complaint, E.F. Shanks alleged that Van Cleave, in addition to not having clear title to the land, had also collected rents from D.R. Gillon, who was occupying a house on the property. Shanks wanted the rent money and clear title to the Shanahan tract. This Chancery Court matter was not settled until after Sheppard Van Cleave's demise in February 1947. The Chancery Court ruled in favor of William Sheppard Van Cleave Jr. and his heirs, Eudora Casey Van Cleave, his mother; Richard Gordon Van Cleave, his brother; and the children of his deceased brother, Dryden Van Cleave (1901-1946). 
          In April 1954, the surviving heirs of Sheppard Van Cleave conveyed the property to David Neely Powers (1890-1983) and Katherine Crane Powers (1891-1961). The Powers donated the large tract to the City of Ocean Springs in February 1959. Little Children’s Park was created by the city for the utility of families and their young children.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 138, pp. 349-352 and Bk. 186, pp. 435-436) 

H. Dryden Van Cleave 
          Henry Dryden Van Cleave (1901-1946), called Dryden, was born August 27, 1901. H. Dryden Van Cleave married* Emma Lee Stewart (1903-1973) on February 15, 1926, at Biloxi. She was the daughter of Alfred Dyer Stewart and Elizabeth McCarty Major. They were natives of Kentucky. Emma Lee Stewart was born at Opelousas, Louisiana on July 25, 1903. She attended the Sophie Wright School for Girls at New Orleans and was a graduate of Belhaven College at Jackson, Mississippi. While a resident of Ocean Springs, she served as a special correspondent for several New Orleans journals. The Stewart family relocated to New Orleans in 1929.(The Jackson County Times, February 20, 1926, p. 4 and The Daily Herald, July 18, 1973, p. 2)
          Dryden and Emma Lee Van Cleave were the parents of two children: Dixie “Mitzie” Lindon Van Cleave Rabeneck (1926-1990), who married Frederick C. Rabeneck (1916-1992), the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Rabeneck of New Orleans; and Henry Dryden Van Cleave Jr. who married Coleen King. In August 1931, Emma Lee Van Cleave’s sister, Sarah Chappell Stewart married Hugh Oliver Jones at the Stewart 民彩网网址 on Marengo Street in New Orleans. Her sister, Florence Stewart, was her only attendant.(The Daily Herald, August 11, 1931, p. 2)


517 Jackson Avenue

H. Dryden Van Cleave and bungalow-situated at 517 Jackson Avenue, H. Dryden Van Cleave (1901-1946), the eldest son of W.S. “Will” Van Cleave (1871-1938) and Dora Casey Van Cleave (1876-1950), had this bungalow built in 1926. Dryden made his livelihood at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, where he was employed in the electrical department. Dryden was active in the McLeod Masonic Lodge. He was elected Worshipful Master in January 1946. In this image, Dryden is depicted as he looked in 1917. Courtesy of Joseph B. Garrard II from the Verta Lee Bradford Van Cleave (1916-2004) Van Cleave family collection. 

                                                                                Van Cleave bungalow 
In the spring of 1926, Dryden Van Cleave (1910-1946) contracted with Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960) to erect a California style bungalow on his Jackson Avenue lot. He had acquired a lot in April 1925 on the west side of Jackson Avenue between Porter and Cleveland from H.F. Russell (1858-1940). The Van Cleave 民彩网网址 is extant at present day 517 Jackson Avenue and owned by Walter E. Mullen, a retired English professor, formerly of the MGCCC-Jackson County campus. Walter was born at Chicago of Mississippi parentage. He was educated at the University of Mississippi and Auburn.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 55, p. 86 and Walter E. Mullen, May 16, 2006) 

By mid-June 1926, the Van Cleave residence was nearing completion. In early August 1926, a multitude of friends of the young Van Cleaves gave them a surprise housewarming and shower. The walk-in guests brought as gifts many useful domestic items. Refreshments were served and dancing was enjoyed by the partygoers. At this time, Mr. Van Cleave worked at the post office.(The Jackson County Times, June 19, 1926, p. 3 and August 7, 1926, p. 3)

In September 1955, nearly a decade after the demise of Dryden Van Cleave, The Van Cleave bungalow was conveyed to James “Bob” Robert Murray (1891-1982) and Bessie Ross Murray (1895-pre-1981) by the heirs of Dryden Van Cleave in September 1955. The Murrays may have originally been from Silver Creek, Lawrence County, Mississippi and arrived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during WW II. They married circa 1920 and were the parents of two children: Nell Murray Henry (1921-1995) and James R. Murray Jr. (b. 1923). Before his demise in December 1982, Bob Murray had been employed at Ingalls Shipbuilding for many years.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 152, p. 182, Walter E. Mullin, May 12, 2006, and The Ocean Springs Record, December 23, 1982, p. 9

Prior to their arrival on the Coast, the Murrays lived at Columbia and Prentiss, Mississippi. Here Bob Murray made his livelihood in the wholesale grocery business. At Columbia, he was initially a traveling salesman and later manager of a wholesale grocery at Prentiss.(1920 Marion Co., Mississippi, Federal Census, T625_886, p. 13B, ED 118 and 1930 Jeff Davis Co., Mississippi, R1150, p. 2A, ED 1) 

Dryden’s demise 
           In later years, Dryden Van Cleave made his livelihood at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula. Here he was employed in the electrical department. Dryden worshiped at St. John’s Episcopal and was active in the McLeod Masonic Lodge. He was elected Worshipful Master in January 1946. Dryden was also a Shriner, Knight Templar, and Royal Arch Mason. He expired at his 民彩网网址 on Jackson Avenue on February 8, 1946. His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou. Emma Stewart Van Cleave relocated to New Orleans after the demise of her spouse. She passed on there on July 16, 1973. Her remains were laid to rest next to Dryden’s in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, February 9, 1946, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, July 18, 1973, p. 2)

Dixie L. Van Cleave 
          Dixie “Mitzie” Lindon Van Cleave (1926-1990) was born October 13, 1926 at Ocean Springs. On August 11, 1950 she married Frederick Charles Rabeneck, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Rabeneck, of New Orleans. Their nuptials were solemnized at the Parker Memorial Methodist Church in New Orleans. The Rabeneck wedding reception was held at the 民彩网网址 of Mrs. James Weshe, the aunt of Dixie L. Van Cleave Rabeneck. The young couple made their 民彩网网址 in New Orleans./(The Gulf Coast Times, August 25, 1950, p. 5)
          Dixie L. Van Cleave Rabeneck expired in January 1990. Fred C. Rabeneck followed her in death passing on July 15, 1992. They were at 民彩网网址 in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. 

Richard Gordon Van Cleave 
           Richard Gordon Van Cleave (1906-1964), called Gordon, was born at Ocean Springs on May 24, 1906. He attended local public schools and later matriculated to the Perkinston Agricultural High School at Perkinston, Mississippi. Gordon worked in his parent’s grocery and mercantile store on the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and Porter. During WW II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. R. Gordon Van Cleave married Verta Lee Bradford (2004), the daughter of Frederick Semmes Bradford (1878-1951) and Letecia Carver (1881-1968). They were the parents of Sandra Van Cleave Garrard, the spouse of Joseph B. Garrard II. R. Gordon Van Cleave expired at Ocean Springs on November 9, 1964. His corporal remains interred Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(Joseph B. Garrard II and The Daily Herald, November 10, 1964, p. 2)

Gordon Van Cleave 民彩网网址 
           In November 1946, Alcena Casey (1885-1961), the sister-in-law of W.S. “Will“ VanCleave, was awarded a deed to the former Shanahan House lot by the Chancery Clerk for paying the delinquent taxes on the property. Thereafter, R. Gordon Van Cleave (1906-1964) and his family moved into the six-room cottage on the large vacant lot. They remained here until 1950, when they moved to 605 Porter. Alcena Casey gave R. Gordon Van Cleave a quitclaim deed on the old Shanahan tract in May 1950. The structure was later purchased by Charles Adam Westbrook (1918-1999) and relocated to 1912 Kensington Avenue. Mr. Westbrook subsequently remodeled the building.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 95, pp. 278-279 and Bk. 112, p. 435) 

Richard S. Van Cleave

            Richard S. “Dick” Van Cleave (1876-1930+) was born at Ocean Springs.   He left the Mississippi coast as a young man to seek his fortune in New Orleans where Robert A. Van Cleave Jr. (1869-1930+), an older brother, had settled and was employed as a tradesman involved in cornice construction.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 23, 1895, p. 3)

            Circa 1900, Dick Van Cleave and Robert A. Van Cleave Jr., left New Orleans for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to enter the contracting business.  They were very successful in domestic and commercial construction on the Eastern seaboard.   In 1910, Dick was residing with Robert A. Van Cleave Jr. and his family at Philadelphia.(1910 Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania  Federal Census, T624R1410, pt. 2, p. 115A)

            Circa 1911, Dick Van Cleave married Anna Henrietta Tiedemann.  She was a New Jersey native of a German father and Maryland born mother.  Anna and Dick were the parents of three children born at Philadelphia:  Betty J. Van Cleave (1912-1987); Richard S. Van Cleave (1915-1930+); and Henry R. Van Cleave (b. 1919).  By 1920, the Dick Van Cleave family had relocated to West Dayton Street in Flint, Michigan where he was a building engineer.  Dick had studied architecture in Chicago.(1920 Genesse Co., Michigan Federal Census, T625_765, p. 8B, ED 53 and Nancy H. Fitzpatrick, Granville, New York, January 2008)

            By 1930, Dick Van Cleave divorced Anna H. Tiedemann Van Cleave and married Irene A. Van Cleave.  She appears to have had a daughter, Irene G. Van Cleave (1912-1930+), from a prior marriage.  Dick Van Cleave and family had returned to Pennsylvania from Michigan and were domiciled on Burmont Street in the unincorporated village of Oak View in the Upper Darby Township on the west side of Philadelphia.  Here Dick Van Cleave remained in construction.  No further information.(1930 Delaware Co., Pennsylvania Federal Census, R 2034, p. 4B, ED 167)  

               After the divorce, Bettie Jane Van Cleave was sent to Ocean Springs to live with  her Aunt Dora Casey Van Cleave and Uncle Will Casey.  Betty later lived with relatives at Birmingham, Alabama.  Nancy H. Fitzgerald, Betty's daughter and a resident of Granville, New York, grew up listening to her stories of the time she spent in Ocean Springs and Gulfport and tales of her Aunt Dora and Uncle Will Casey.


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,