Ocean Springs Families
Ocean Springs Families
A.E. Lee Family
Swedish Families [Ackander, Hakanson, Lindholm, Lindstrom, Nelson, Nilsson, and Strahle]
Peter Alves (1863-1939) was born in Louisiana on December 11, 1863, the son of Peter Alves and Elizabeth Supass. He married Angelina Trasierra (1876-1957), the daughter of Manuel Trasierra and Emily Numberg (1848-1924). Angelina was born at New Orleans and her parents were from Mexico and Texas respectively. Their children were: August George Alves (1893-1959), Charles Alves (1896-1971), Jennie Alves Tillman (1898-1980), Bertha Alves Gerosa Churchill Thomas (1901?-1980+), Joseph Alves (1903-1953), Alma Alves Olier (1907-1987), and Wilhemina Alves West (1910-2005).
The Peter Alves family arrived at Biloxi circa 1910, probably from New Orleans. In 1920, Peter Alves was sick and not working. Angelina was an oyster shucker in a canning plant. They lived on Myrtle Street at Point Cadet in a domicile adjacent to the Joseph A. Toche (1872-1960) family.
Betha Alved married a Mr. Gerosa. On December 21, 1921, she married Henry T. Churchill (1897 or 1900-1931), the son of Henry Frank Churchill and Mary Collins. Henry was born at Redmonville, Mississippi. He expired at Breton Island, Louisiana on May 15, 1931, while at crewman on the Willomena, a Biloxi fishing boat owned by Marco Skrmetta (1889-1959). Henry was buried in the Alves family plot in the Biloxi City Cemetery. He was survived by a son, Henry Churchill.(The Daily Herald, May 16, 1931, p. 2)
AUGUST GEORGE ALVES (1893-1959)
August George Alves was born December 23, 1893. He married Lola Daniels (1898-1940). Children: August G. Alves II (1915-1979), Lola Claire Alves (1918-1919), Joyce Alves Nocora, and Rita Alves Oliver. He died on March 15, 1959 while she expired on November 11, 1940. Buried Biloxi City Cemetery.
August G. Alves II (1915-1979)
August G. “Ducky” Alves II married Phala Louise Vierling (1921-1978). Their children: August G. Alves III, Kay A. Braun DeSilvey, and Kevin Alves. In 1958, August G. Alves is making his livelihood as a ship captain and living at 120 West End Homes in Biloxi.
August G. Alves III
Kay Claire Alves (b. 1939) married Robert E. Braun (b. 1942), the son of Russell Braun and Louise Ruiz, at Pascagoula in April 1963. He was a water ski instructor and bartender.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 103, p. 204)
Kevin Vincent Alves (b. 1948) the son of August G. Alves II (1915-1979) and Phala Louise Vierling (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 and served in this capacity until 1989. Elected Mayor of Ocean Springs in 1989 and 1993.
Kevin Vincent Alves married Lynn Belle Speed (b. 1950), the daughter of Alfred Speed and Irene Martin, in August 1968.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 111, p. 157)
Children: Kevin V. Alves II (b. 1975) and Shannon Lyn Alves (b. 1972?) married Mark Andrew Williams (b. 1969?), the son of Albert L. Williams (1927-2000) and Norma Williams of Ocean Springs, on November 27, 2004 in Biloxi.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 28, 2004, p. A6)
Joyce Alves Nocora
Rita Alves Oliver
Rita married William Oliver. They had a daughter, Chi Chi Joyce Oliver (1940-1940) who expired as an infant on May 23, 1940. Buried Biloxi City Cemetery.
CHARLES PETER ALVES (1896-1971)
Charles Peter Alves was born at New Orleans on November 17, 1896. He married Adele Marie Primeaux (1903-1975) a native of Erath, Louisiana. She was the daughter of Dupre Primeaux and Octavia Duplantis. They resided at 302 Rose Street in Biloxi where he worked as a fisherman. They had a son, Henry G. Alves (1920-1992), and four daughters: Vivian A. Cellucci, Donna A. Flores, June A. Palumbo, Gloria A. Landry, and Mary A. Williamson. Charles Alves expired in July 1971. His remains were interred at the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, August 1, 1971, p. 2)
Gloria A. Landry, d. 1-29-1991, 5-24-1991, 9-22-2000.
Henry G. Alves (1920-1992)
Henry G. Alves, called Bubba” was born at Biloxi on November 22, 1920. He made his livelihood as a marine salesman. Henry never married. During WW II, he served in the U.S. Navy. Henry G. Alves expired at Gulfport, Mississippi on November 12, 1992. His remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, November 14, 1992, p. A-2)
JENNIE ALVES TILLMAN (1898-1980)
Jennie “Honey” Alves Tillman was born on November 22, 1898, at New Orleans. She married John William Tillman. Member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in North Biloxi. Her family was: Lionel Pete Tillman, Frank Tillman, Norma T. Rhodes, Rita T. McMillan, June T. Cannette, Shirley T. Mallette, and Joyce T. Merritt. She expired on January 26, 1980. Buried Biloxi Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, January 28, 1980, p. A-2)
JOSEPH ALVES (1903-1953)
Joseph “Joe” Alves was born at New Orleans. He married Mable Marie Tauzin (1907-2004), a native of New Iberia, Louisiana, and the daughter of Emile Tauzin and Angela Borrell. (HARCO, Ms. MRB 36, p. 35).
Joseph Alves passed on October 19, 1953, and was buried in the Biloxi Cemetery. They were the parents of Raphael “Ray” P. Alves (1926-1988), Edmonia “Mona” Alves Sorci, Daniel Alves, and Helen Alves Wadja.
Sometime before 1918, young Joe Alves was injured while working for the Sea Food Company on Point Cadet in Biloxi, Mississippi. While unloading an oyster schooner at the factory, Alves fell through a hole in the wharf and suffered bodily harm for which litigation was brought against the Sea Food Company. In February 1918, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the lower courts decision in favor of Alves against the defendant.(The Daily Herald, February 26, 1918, p. 1)
Mable T. Alves worked at the Dejean Packing Company in 1958, while residing at 260 Miramar Avenue in Biloxi. She expired at Ocean Springs on May 27, 2004. Buried in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, May 29, 2004, p. A-8)
Raphael P. Alves
Raphael “Ray and Ralph” P. Alves (1926-1988), called Ralph, was born at Biloxi on October 25, 1926. He married Willine Wright. They were the parents of Joyce Alves Von Heeder of Sealy, Texas. In 1958, he was a fisherman employed with the Moore Seafood Company and residing with his mother. At the time of his demise on August 30, 1988, in Houston, Texas, Raphael P. Alves was a maintenance technician for a food equipment company. His corporal remains were sent to the Biloxi City Cemetery for burial.(The Daily Herald, September 2, 1988, p. A-4)
Edmonia “Mona” Alves
Edmonia “Mona” Alves married John B. Sorci, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Salvdore Sorci, of San Jose, California on July 1, 1950, at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Biloxi, Mississippi. At the time of her mother’s death in 2004, she was residing at San Jose, California. No children?(The Daily Herald, June 29, 1950, p. 8)
Daniel “Buddy” Alves was a resident of Houston, Texas in August 1988. Children: John, Ray, and Gail Alves. Buddy expired before May 2004.
Married Wadja. Children: Anthony, John, Eugene, Jeanne W. Dykraff.
ALMA ALVES OLIER (1907-1987)
Born July 8, 1907. Married Voorhis Louis Olier. They had a son, Voorhis L. Olier II (1928-1948), who died on April 25, 1948. She expired in September 1987.
WILHEMINA ALVES WEST (1910-2005).
Wilhemina Alves was born April 8, 1910. She was married to Houston West (1908-1997). He expired September 12, 1997. They were the parents of: Phyllis W. Spataro; Ralph West; and Hollis West. Mrs. West expired at Biloxi, Mississippi on September 30, 2005. Her corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, October 4, 2005, p. A6)
The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Youth Wins His Suit”, February 26, 1918.
The Daily Herald, “Churchill-Gerosa”, December 21, 1921.
The Daily Herald, “Fisherman Dies Suddenly”, May 16, 1931.
The Daily Herald, “Miss Mona Alves”, June 29, 1950.
The Daily Herald, “Charles Pete Alves”, August 1, 1971.
The Daily Herald, “Raphael P. Alves”, September 2, 1988.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Jennie A. Tillman”, January 28, 1980.
The Daily Herald, “Henry G. ‘Bubba’ Alves”, November 14, 1992.
The Ocean Springs News, “Jennie Alves Tillman”, January 1980.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Williams and Alves honored by VFW", May 6, 1976, p. 14.
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, “First Family”, June 22, 1989.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Alves-Williams", October 28, 2004, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, “Mabel Marie Tauzin”, May 29, 2004.
The Sun Herald, "Mrs. Wilhemina West", October 4, 2005, p. A6.
The forefather of the Ames family at Ocean Springs was John Ames (1797-1852+). Ames settled originally at New York (1843) and came to Ocean Springs circa 1845 where he made his livelihood as a collier (charcoal maker). Ames secured land patents in 1847 and 1848 from the United States Government on one hundred-twenty acres of land in the SE/4 of Section 19, T7S-R8W.
This parcel of land, known in the past as the "Ames Tract", was bounded on the north by the south line of the SW/4 of the NE/4 of Section 19 (which strikes east-west through the southern one-third of the Evergreen Cemetery) and a line south of Iberville through the Spring Plaza Shopping Center, west by a line projecting from Government through Blount to Fort Bayou, south by Government, and east by a line from Government to the east side of the Spring Plaza Shopping Center. Oddly, Ames Avenue is just west of the original Ames Tract.
Probably, the first baseball park at Ocean Springs, called the "Baseball Green" was located on a part of the Ames Tract. It was 763 feet by 363 feet (6.36 acres) and located west of present day Germaine's Restaurant. Captain Antoine Bellande (1829-1918) purchased the tract from James Stranby of New Orleans in November 1873. It later became known as Veillon's Ball Diamond after Mrs. Henrietta Hyde Veillon (d. 1920) bought it from Bellande in May 1913.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 39, pp. 208-210 and Bk. 39, pp. 328-329)
Dr. Henry Bradford Powell (1867-1949), a Canadian physician and inn keeper, operated a four hole golf course here in 1910. The links were short lived as Powell with A.E. Lee (1874-1936) and George E. Arndt (1857-1945) developed the Ocean Springs Country Club on the Rose-Money Farm north of Fort Bayou in 1914.
John Ames and his wife, Helen (1814-1874) reared four children at Ocean Springs: Thomas Ames (1843-1906), Elizabeth Ames (1845-1917), William Ames (1848-1922), and Jeremiah Ames (1852-pre 1922).
Thomas Ames (1843-1906), the eldest child, was born at New York. He made his livelihood as a carpenter. At the time of his demise on June 30, 1906, he was employed by the Dantzler Lumber Company at its Cedar Lake Camp in Harrison County. It is believed that Thomas Ames never married.
Elizabeth Ames (1845-1917) called Eliza was the first Ames child born at Ocean Springs. Her younger days were filled with acts of heroism and works of charity which entitle her to a prominent niche in the history of Ocean Springs. In October 1878, the dreaded "yellow jack" struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Miss Eliza Ames and her brothers led the small brave corps who nursed the sick and buried the dead. They often worked day and night without pay or hope of reward.
In 1884, Miss Eliza Ames sold the lot adjacent to the Public Cemetery to Bishop Francis Janssens, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Natchez. At this time, this burial ground was known as the Catholic Cemetery. Later, the Public and Catholic Cemetery were called collectively the Evergreen Cemetery.
In 1900, Eliza Ames was the proprietress of a hotel or boarding house probably the ancestral Ames home located on the east side of Cemetery Road (now Sunset). By 1910, she had retired from the business world. Miss Eliza Ames died in January 1917.
After the Augustus von Rosambeau Store and home on Jackson at Calhoun were destroyed by fire on November 13, 1917, Leo von Rosambeau (1883-1931) and a group of workmen tore down Miss Ames's residence. The lumber from that ancient structure was utilized to build the new von Rosambeau home at 420 Jackson Avenue. Thomas Gautier and his family reside here today.
William Ames (1848-1922) married Mary Lux. They had at least two children: Giordina Beatrice Ames (b. 1885) and Thomas Alexander Ames (b. 1888). They left Ocean Springs to reside at Bay St. Louis where he may have worked for the railroad. William Ames died there in September 1922.
Jeremiah M. Ames (1852-pre 1922) married Louisa Monti (1856-1925), the daughter of Giacomo Monti (1820-1891) and Rosa Lendre Bacchi. They married on January 15, 1876 in Bay St. Louis at Our Lady of the Gulf. He made his livelihood initially as a merchant (1880) and later with the L&N Railroad as a bridge builder (1900). Jerry and Louisa Ames reared a large family at Ocean Springs. Their children were: Theodore J. Ames (1876-1927), Helen Rose Ames (b. 1878), William Thomas Ames (1880-1969), Emma Louise Williams Ames (b. 1882), Floyd Ames (1885-1969+), Allen Monti Ames (1888-1963), Westley Ames (b. 1890), and Mabel Veronica Ames (b. 1896). (Lepre, 1995, p. 263)
Children of Jeremiah M. Ames
Theodore J. Ames (1876-1927), known as Ted, married Carrie Seymour (1889-1979), the daughter of Narcisse Seymour (1849-1931) and Caroline Virginia Krohn (1847-1895). In 1904, Ames operated a livery stable behind the Commercial Hotel on Robinson. He later moved into a metal building further east nearer Cash Alley.
In the early part of this Century, Ted Ames functioned as the director of the Ocean Springs Brass Band. In 1918, During WW I, he served with U.S. Army at Camp Wheeler, Georgia where he was a member of the 123rd Infantry Band. When Ted Ames returned from his military service, he worked as a railroad carpenter (1920). Later Ames was the caretaker of Captain Alex L. Bisso's home (Terrace Hill) at 414 Martin. He and Miss Carrie lived at present day 1108 Calhoun (the Centennial House) where their only child, a son, Kenneth Ames (1923-1987), was born. Kenneth Ames appears to have been the last male Ames left at Ocean Springs.
William Thomas Ames (1880-1969) was born at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on September 4, 1880. His father, Jeremiah Ames (1852- circa 1920) was a first generation American of Irish parentage, and his mother Louisa Monti (1856-1925) from Bay St. Louis was the daughter of Giacomo Monti (1820-1891) and Rosa Lendre Bacchi. Jerry Ames made his livelihood initially as a merchant (1880) and later with the L&N Railroad as a bridge builder (1900). Mrs. Ames had eight children of which six were living in 1900. They were: Theodore J. Ames (1876- 1927), Helen Rose Ames (b. 1878), William T. Ames (1880-1969), Emma Louise Ames (b. 1882), Floyd Ames (1885-1969+), Allen Ames (b. 1888), Westley Ames (b. 1890), and Mabel Veronica Ames (b. 1896). Mr. Jeremiah Ames died at Ocean Springs prior to 1922. One daughter married Will Sigerson of Bay St. Louis.
Young William T. Ames worked as a typesetter for The Progress, an Ocean Springs journal, from 1900 to 1903. He listed his occupation as manager of an electric company, probably the Mississippi Coast Traction Company, in 1910.
It is known that he went to Nashville, Tennessee and took a course in telephone work and was appointed manager of the Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company at Ocean Springs in 1904. In April 1909, Manager Ames announced that the phone company was going to rebuild the local phone exchange because the company was unable to supply the demand for telephones at Ocean Springs.
Ames was frequently transferred temporarily by the telephone company and was sent to Hattiesburg in 1917. He returned to Ocean Springs and resigned his position as local manager of the Cumberland Telephone Company, and head of the Gulf Coast Traction Company. Eugene W. Illing succeeded Ames of the affairs of the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Company, which furnished electric lights to Ocean Springs.
In January 1918, Ames accepted a government job with the sanitation department at Hattiesburg. He was in charge of the sanitary works and garbage collection of that city.
Evidently this opportunity was short-lived as The Jackson County Times reported Ames back with the phone company. In March 1918, W.T. Ames went to New Orleans. In July 1918,
he was made manager of Cumberland Telephone Company at Crowley, Louisiana. In October 1918, at Covington, Louisiana in charge of the telephone exchange.(The Jackson County Times, October 26, 1918, P. 5, c. 2) It is believed that Mrs. Ames and the children remained at Ocean Springs during these times.
William T. Ames officiated as Mayor of Ocean Springs (1913-1916), and alderman of Ward One 1905-1910. He was known for his faithful attention to his duties both as mayor and alderman. This was reflected by his almost perfect attendance at all public meetings.
In 1910, W.T. Ames married a widow, H. May Bertolotti of Mobile on September 11, 1909. Her first husband, E.A. Bertolotti, was the local manager of the Biloxi Railway & Power Company. He was a first class electrician. His company specialized in wiring buildings, burglar alarms, desk fans, ceiling fans, and electric door bells. The Bertolottis lived at Ocean Springs in 1904, and had a daughter, Mary L. Bertolotti Baehler (1904-1984).
In May 1915, a daughter, Elizabeth Ames Estalote (1915-1995), was born to the Ames at Ocean Springs. It is believed that the Ames had another child, probably a son. Ames was a musician in the famous turn of the century Ocean Springs Brass Band.
After leaving Louisiana circa December 1918, Ames relocated to Pascagoula where he was the manager of the Pascagoula telephone exchange. He joined the Mississippi Bottling Works at Pascagoula as manager in March 1919. The company made pop, ginger ale, and other soft drinks. In Pascagoula as late as September 1919.
The Ames relocated to Selma, Alabama where he was employed by the L&N Railroad as an electrician. They resided at 519 Lamar Street until Mrs. Ames death on May 26, 1926. Her body was sent to Mobile for burial. She was survived by three children.
When his mother, Louisa Ames, died in August 1925, she was living with Dr. Allen Ames in Pensacola. Her other surviving children were: Mrs. Will Sigerson of Bay St.Louis, Floyd and Wesley Ames of Hattiesburg, and W.T. Ames of Selma, Alabama.
W.T. Ames moved to 226 Franklin Street at Selma and remained here until his retirement in 1964. He probably moved to Algiers, Louisiana to be near his daughter ?
Mayor Ames died on September 27, 1969 at Algiers. He is buried at Westlawn Memorial Park.
Floyd Ames (1885-1963+) married Martha Elizabeth Cragin of Purvis at Hattiesburg in February 1909. They resided at Hattiesburg where Ames was a partner in the Century Drug Company. No further information.
Allen Monti Ames (1888-1963) would go to Hattiesburg in the summer months to assist his brother, Floyd, at his drug store there. He began his medical education at Vanderbilt University and in 1912, graduated from the Tulane Medical School at New Orleans. In 1914, Dr. Ames opened his medical practice at Pensacola, Florida. He was a veteran of WW I and returned to Pensacola where he served the community for nearly fifty years. Dr. Ames expired at Pensacola in mid-June 1963. His corporal remains were interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery at Pensacola. He was of the Roman Catholic faith.(The Pensacola Journal, June 19, 1963, p. 8-A)
Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume 1, "Ames", (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 4.
The Daily Herald, "W.T. Ames Goes to Hattiesburg", January 14, 1918, p. 4.
The Daily Herald, "Mrs. Willie Ames Obit", May 26, 1926, p. 1.
The Jackson County Times, "W.T. Ames Goes to Hattiesburg", January 12, 1918, p. 5.
The Jackson County Time, "Local News Interest", March 16, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Interest", July 6, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Items", October 26, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Interest", March 29, 1919.
Jackson County Times, "Mrs. Louisa Ames Buried Here", August 15, 1925, p. 4.
Jackson County Times, "Local News Items", October 1, 1927.
Ocean Springs News, "The Weekly Roundup", April 17, 1909.
The Ocean Springs News, "W.E. Wilson in the Race for Mayor", September 26, 1914, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs News, "Mayor Ames a Candidate for Reelection", October 24, 1914, p. 5.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Obituary", October 9, 1969, p. 8.
The Progress, "Local News", July 2, 1904, p. 4.
The Selma Times-Journal, "Ames Remains Carried To Mobile For Burial", May 27, 1926.
US CENSUS - Jackson County, Mississippi (1880, 1900, 1910)
This portrait of Edward 'Woody' W. Blossman (1913-1990), founder of Blossman Gas in Ocean Springs and many other local enterprises, was painted by William Robert Steene (1887-1965), Syracuse, New York native. Steene was a fine portrait painter and had many commissions from industrialists and educators. Mr. Blossman had William R. Steene paint several historical and maritime scenes which hang today in the Blossman Building at 809 Washington Avenue.
The Blossman family at Ocean Springs began with Edward ‘Woody’ Woodrow Blossman (1913-1990). Woody was born at Covington, Louisiana on October 10, 1913, the son of Richard Samuel Blossman (1878-1952) and Edna Sarah Rhody (1881-1979), the daughter of Alfred Rhody (1837-1921), an 1853 English immigrant, and Hattie Ellis Rhody (1855-1929).
In 1920, Richard S. Blossman made his livelihood as a clerk in the tax assessor’s office at St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. At this time, he and Edna Rhody Blossman were the parents of Dorothy Ellis Blossman Hollander (1903-1991); Alfred Rhody Blossman (1904-1990); Grace Blossman Hollister (1906-2000); Richard S. Blossman Jr. (1908-2000); Edna Blossman Buquoi (1909-1999); Edward Woodrow Blossman (1913-1990); and David C. Blossman (1919-1979).(1920 St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana T625_
With the exception of Woody Blossman, whose corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Richard S. Blossman his spouse and children were after their demise, interred in the Burns Cemetery at Folsom, Louisiana.
Circa 1941, Woody Blossman married a New Orleans lady, Miss Arthemise Ann Alsina, the daughter of John Alsina Jr. (1887-1954) and Jeanne Ader Alsina (1888-1974), both natives of New Orleans. Their only child was John Richard Blossman (1943-2009). Mr. Blossman arrived in Ocean Springs from Louisiana in 1952, with an engineering degree from Tulane University and the experience of a Marine Corps veteran of WWII. He opened an office for Blossman Gas Incorporated, his butane gas company, in the Moran Building on Washington Avenue. As the Blossman Gas company grew, the organization acquired the A.C. Gottsche building in November 1962. It remains here today as the corporate headquarters for the regional butane distributor, which was led his son, John Richard Blossman (1943-2009) until his death. In addition to his gas company, Woody Blossman was active at Ocean Springs in banking, the restaurant business, and philanthropic ventures. He founded the Gulf Coast YMCA and was known for his generosity in the community.
The mid-20th Century arrival of the Edward ‘Woody’ W. Blossman at Ocean Springs from his native Louisiana brought an energy and community enthusiasm reminiscent of that initiated by earlier Ocean Springs’ “mover and shakers” such as: George Allen Cox (1811-1887), Robert A. Van Cleave (1840-1908); Hiram F. Russell (1858-1940); Louis A. Lundy (1876-1941); A.P. ‘Fred’ Moran (1897-1967); J.K. Lemon Jr. (1914-1998); and today’s A.R. ‘Fred’ Moran Jr.
In the 1940s, Woody Blossman, a USMC veteran, armed with his degree from Tulane worked as an engineer with Brown and Root and other firms in various parts of America before joining Blossman Inc., a Covington, Louisiana based company, vending Hydratane Gas, the trade name for their butane-propane gas mixture used in home heating and cooking. In 1951, Woody Blossman (1913-1990) was vice president of the company, which was led by his brother, Alfred R. ‘Red’ Blossman (1904-1990), and staffed by brothers, Sam Blossman (1908-2000), secretary, and Dave Blossman (1919-1979), treasurer. In 1950, the company had 80 salesmen and 150 vehicles and was distributing gas to 35,000 customers in Louisiana and Mississippi. They were the second largest butane dealer in the South.(The Gulf Coast Times, February 8, 1951, p. 2)
Amos N. Tims (1888-1960), a native of Vaiden, Mississippi and resident of East Beach at Ocean Springs, had been the local propane distributor from 1938 until he sold to Blossman, Inc. in 1948. He also sold Tappan gas ranges.(The Gulf Coast Times, July 31, 1952, p. 1)
It is interesting to note that in 1948, the year that Blossman Inc. began its butane-propane gas business in Ocean Springs, Mayor Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980) was on June 22, 1948, turning on the valve situated on West Porter Street, which allowed the flow on natural gas [methane] into the local United Gas distribution system which had just been finished. At this time, United Gas was providing natural gas service to about 450 residential and 90 commercial and industrial clients at Ocean Springs. The residents of Gulf Hills did not receive natural gas service until 1953.(The Daily Herald, June 18, 1948, p. 1 and June 23, 1948, p. 1)
In the summer of 1952, Woody Blossman opened an office at Ocean Springs for Improved Hydratane Gas Service of which he company president. Amos N. Tims, the former propane salesman and distributor and local representative of Blossman Inc. since he had sold to them in 1948, was named vice president and local manager. Woody Blossman chose a space in the Moran Building on Washington Avenue, which had formerly been occupied by the Carson Ice Cream Parlor. The fledgling operation had one truck to provide service to their customers.
Initially, the Blossman family rented a house on the southwest corner of General Pershing and Hellmer’s Lane. Woody Blossman began acquiring his residence tracts at Ocean Springs in January 1953 when he purchased a lot with 200 feet on Shearwater Drive from Stanley P. Ruddiman (1890-1986) and Camille M. Ruddiman (1891-1982). In December 1947, the Ruddimans had bought a large parcel of land between Davis Bayou and Shearwater Drive from Sarah M. Taylor. They sold contiguous southern tracts to Blossman in 1958 and 1964 until his lot now about 4 acres extended from Shearwater Drive to Davis Bayou with excess to Davis Bayou and the Bay of Biloxi by virtue of a dredged canal into the marshy area on the southern end of the tract.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 131, p. 209; Bk. 98, p. 307; Bk. 130, p. 315; and Bk. 252, p. 204)
In January 1971, the Ruddimans conveyed an .87 acres lot with 106 feet on Shearwater Drive to the Blossmans. This lot was juxtaposed to his original Ruddiman purchase giving them over 300 feet on Shearwater Drive. (Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 394, p. 237)
201 Shearwater Drive
A guest cottage at 201 Shearwater Drive in Lot 14-Block 1 of the Point-O-Pines Subdivision was acquired by E.W. Blossman in April 1979 from Mary Anderson Stebly. It was sold to Alpha Investments, a Blossman company, in July 1982. The Blossman cottage was destroyed by a fire in October 1999 and the derelict structure removed in January 2000. The lot on the northeast corner of Pine Drive and Shearwater Drive remains vacant today. (Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 648, p. 613)
Circa 1915 809 Washington Avneue-February 1993
The Blossman Building at 809 Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs was erected in 1912-1913 for Albert Cecil Gottsche (1873-1949), the son of Hans H. “Henry” Gottsche (1844-pre 1883) and Christina Switzer Gottsche (ca 1852-pre 1896), both German immigrants. Albert C. Gottsche was born on September 23, 1873, at Ocean Springs. On September 30, 1896, he married Cynthia “Cinnie” Davis Maxwell (1869-1951), the daughter of George Washington Davis (1842-1914) and Margaret Bradford (1846-1920). At this time, Mr. Gottsche was a salesman in the Davis Brothers Store, a mercantile business on Washington Avenue, owned jointly by George W. Davis (1842 -1914), Cinnie’s father, and her uncle, Elias Samuel Davis (1859-1925). Albert and Cinnie Davis Gottsche had one son, Albert Lynd Gottsche Sr. (1902-1974), who was the father of John ‘Jack’ H. Gottsche (b. 1941). Jack, a Georgia Tech engineering graduate, was employed by Blossman’s Ready Mix Concrete in 1971 and later managed Trilby’s Restaurant, another E.W. Blossman enterprise.
In late 1910, Albert C. Gottsche resigned from the Davis Brothers Store operation and began selling animal feed on southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Desoto in the present day Catchot-Lemon Building. He erected the Gottsche Store building across the street in 1912-1913, and ran a first class grocery and market here until his death in March 1949.
After the demise of A.C. Gottsche, his stepson, Karl Case Maxwell (1893-1958), managed the Gottsche Store. In the early 1920s, Mr. Maxwell and spouse, Nellie Myrtle Morris (1893-1970), had returned from New Orleans to work in the Gottsche Store. Unfortunately, Mr. Maxwell met death accidentally on June 29, 1958, in an automobile car crash on US Highway 80, near Clinton, Mississippi. Mrs. Dena Atkinson Talbott (1886-1958) of Ocean Springs, the mother of Mrs. Gerald Noble, of Fontainebleau, was also killed in the accident.(The Ocean Springs News, July 3, 1958, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, July 5, 1958, p. 2)
After Karl C. Maxwell’s death, the Gottsche Store remained open under the supervision of A. Lynd Gottsche. In January 1959, Lynd Gottsche incorporated the business and became its first president. He hired several managers, among them Jack Bosarge (1931-1999) and Claude Trahan (1920-1984). In 1961, when the Gottsche store ceased operations, the fixtures in the building were sold to Curmis Broome (1928-2006), a former butcher in the Gottsche’s meat market, for his Broome’s new store, called Foodland, on Vermont, now M.L. King Jr. Avenue, and Government Street.(Jack Gottsche, December 17, 2002 and The Gulf Coast Times, January 15, 1959, p. 1)
The old Gottsche Store building now corporate headquarters for Blossman Gas, Inc. was acquired from Albert L. Gottsche in November 1962. The lot had 35 feet on Washington Avenue and ran 200 feet west on Desoto.(Jackson County, Mississippi Land Deed Book 232, p. 382)
After acquiring the Gottsche Store building, Mr. E.W. Blossman hired architects, Slaughter & Smith, of Pascagoula and relied on the advice and suggestions of his wife, the distinguished American artist, William Robert Steene (1887-1965), who was retired and lived in Gulf Hills, and others to create an edifice for Blossman Gas and its management and employees that would reflect the French cultural history of the area.
It is interesting to note that E.W. Blossman and William R. Steene became friends and Mr. Blossman commissioned several large paintings that hang today in the Blossman Building at 809 Washington Avenue. A short biographical sketch of Mr. Steene follows:
William R. Steene
William Robert Steene (1887-1965) was born at Syracuse, New York on August 18, 1887. He was a nationally known portrait painter and muralist. Steene studied under Colarossi and Julian in Paris, after his initial art education at the Art Students’ League and National Academy of Design in New York City. Among his portraitures possibly familiar to local residents are: President Franklin D. Roosevelt; Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi; Governor Henry Whitfield of Mississippi; Dr. Karl Meyer, head of Cook County Hospital at Chicago; E.V Richards, president of the Navy League of America and Paramount Richards Theatres; and golfing legend, Robert Trent “Bobby” Jones.(Who’s Who in America, Vol. 31, 1960-1961 and Bradford-O’Keefe Burial Book 48, p. 245)
Probably William R. Steene's first visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast was in April 1931, when he was a guest of the Buena Vista Hotel at Biloxi. He had painted in Mississippi earlier in his distinguished art career. Mr. Steene had come to Biloxi after completing two portraits. They were of Frank G. Logan (1851-1937), philanthropist and honorary president of the Chicago Art Institute, and Dr. Harry Woodburn Chase (1883-1955), president of the University of Illinois. Mr. Logan's portrait was hung in the Grand Central art gallery at NYC.(The Daily Herald, April 18, 1931, p 2)
In November 1950, the William R. Steene home and studio in Gulf Hills was under construction. During its building, the Steenes were domiciled in the Edward Brou residence on Washington (sic) Avenue.(The Gulf Coast Times, November 3, 1950, p. 8)
In 1956, from his Gulf Hills studio, W.R. Steene completed a large mural depicting the 1953 Louisiana Sesquicentennial Celebration, a remembrance of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, at New Orleans. President Eisenhower is at the center of this 50-foot long, ten-foot tall, triptych mural, which took a year to complete. The painting hangs in the Presbytery of the Louisiana State Museum at New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”, November 15, 1957)
Locally, the Blossman Gas office at 809 Washington Avenue has a fine collection of Mr. Steene’s oil paintings. In 1963, E.W. “Woody“ Blossman commissioned "Landing of Iberville" from Steene to hang in his refurbished Gottsche Building, which was acquired in 1962. The architectural firm of Slaughter & Smith of Pascagoula directed the buildings restoration and W.R. Steene served as art consultant for the project.(Down South, March 4, 1964)
William Steene also painted a portrait of E.W Blossman and several other works, primarily shrimp boats of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The City of Biloxi has a Steene painting in its City Hall on Lameuse Street appropriately titled, “Blessing of the Fleet” and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art [OOMA] has a Steene in its business office on the Biloxi campus.(The Ocean Springs News, June 3, 1965, p. 7)
William Steene and his wife Eula Mae Jackson Steene (1888-1969) resided in Gulf Hills north of Ocean Springs from 1950, until his death at Biloxi on March 24, 1965. They married in 1914, and had two daughters, Betty S. Painter and Marianne S. Ware (1919-2001). Mrs. Steene’s sister, Miss O. Jackson, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, was once the manager of the Town And Country Restaurant on Park Avenue in New York City.(The Daily Herald, March 24, 1965, p. 1 and The Gulf Coast Times, January 22, 1953)
After successfully establishing Blossman Gas at Ocean Springs and surrounding territories, E.W. ‘Woody’ Blossman and his family built a conglomerate through several investment entities in the fields of food service, real estate, banking, construction, printing, and retail flower sales. Probably the most visible and relished gem in the E.W. Blossman empire was Trilby’s Restaurant.
In June 1963, after the demise of Trilby G. Steimer (1896-1960), Trilby's Restaurant was acquired from her daughter and widower, Elise ‘Happy’ Welton Gabrielson Thomas (1920-1989) and Edward ‘Ted’ C. Steimer, by Alpha Investment Corporation, an E.W. Blossman (1913-1990) family enterprise. The name "Trilby's" was sold with the restaurant.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 241, p. 483)
Harold M. Mayfield Jr. (1932-2011) and Jocelyn Seymour Mayfield, who had worked for Trilby G. Steimer, managed the eating affair for Mr. Blossman, until 1982, when they opened Jocelyn's, their own fine restaurant, also on Bienville Boulevard. Jocelyn’s, closed in late December 2013, after 31 years of excellent food and fine patronage. Jack Gottsche became manager of Trilby’s in 1983. In May 1987, Craig Claiborne (1920-2000), native Mississippian and food critic for the New York Times, ate at Trilby’s.(Jack Gottsche, February 1, 2008 and The Ocean Springs Record, May 21, 1987, p. 7)
Lillian Grenet Steimer
Lillian “Trilby” Grenet Welton Steimer (1896-1960)-Trilby was a restaurateur at Ocean Springs from 1946 until her demise in 1960. Her Trilby’s Restaurant on US Highway No. 90 became synonymous with fine dining at Ocean Springs and on the Coast. Jocelyn Seymour Mayfield and Harold M. Mayfield Jr. (1932-2011) worked for Mrs. Steimer until 1982, before commencing Jocelyn’s Restaurant, which closed in December 2013
By January 1952, Willy Dale had a new proprietor in his Porter Street edifice. She was ‘Trilby’ Grenet Steimer (1896-1960). Trilby had already made a name for herself at Ocean Springs in the fine dining and restaurant business. She ran the Big Pine Inn on West Porter Street until February 1946, when it was sold to Paul Lewis. In 1947, Trilby and Ted Steimer with Ray and Juanita Taylor, opened the Alibi, formerly the Clear View Café, on Highway 90 (Government Street) east of Ocean Springs. Another site for the ubiquitous Trilby was the Bayou Chateau, now Aunt Jenny's Catfish Restaurant. She opened here on September 4, 1948. This was the first time that the name “Trilby’s” was used for her business.(The Jackson County Times, August 27, 1948, p. 9)
Lillian “Trilby” G. Welton Steimer (1896-1960) was born at New York City on April 1, 1896, the daughter of Auguste J. Grenet (1863-1920+) and Lillian Day (1865-1947). Honore Grenet, Trilby’s grandfather, was born in France and had a background in the restaurant business. He immigrated to Mexico with his Majorcan born wife between 1864 and 1867, when Ferdinand Maximilian (1832-1867), the Austrian archduke, was being enthroned as Emperor of Mexico* by Napoleon III, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1808-1873), who ruled France from 1852-1870. Opposition to the French invasion of Mexico led to anarchy, which swept the country and led Honore Grenet to remove his family to the safe environs of San Antonio, Texas. Here Monsieur Grenet founded a successful merchandiser. He owned the Alamo, which he purchased from the Roman Catholic Church for $20,000, and utilized it as a warehouse for his expanding business. Trilby’s father, Auguste J. Grenet, was sent to Manhattan College in New York City. Here he became engaged in the chemical business, but was enamored with horse racing. Auguste, a competent mathematician, devised a system for handicapping race horses and became the first professional handicapper.(Down South,Vol. 9, No. 4, July-August 1959)
*Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of a Mexican military victory over invading French forces at Puebla, Mexico on 5 May 1862. It is not Mexican Independence Day!
Walter F. Welton
In New York circa 1917, Trilby Grenet married Walter F. Welton (1894-1981), the son of Frances Welton, a Manhattan butcher and later hotelier, and Elise Welton, a French immigrant. Trilby and Walter F. Welton had two children: Francis Welton (1918-pre-1930) and Elise ‘Happy’ W. Fulwiler Mendez Thomas (1920-1989). In 1920, Walter F. Welton was in the hotel business with Frances Welton (1867-1918+), his father. Their resort was called Moheghan Lake and situated in Westchester County, New York. Adele Grenet Stevenson (1888-1990), Trilby’s sister, was also married to a hotelier and resided in Palm Beach, Florida.(1920 New York Co., New York Federal Census T625_1226, p. 3A, ED 1)
In March 1930, Trilby Grenet Welton, then divorced from Walter F. Welton, married Edward C. "Ted" Steimer (1884-1967) in south Florida. He was an associate of her father's in the horse race handicapping business. Ted Steimer began visiting Ocean Springs circa 1916, as a fishing destination. He continued this routine for years, as he would arrive here in the fall to hunt and fish before the racing season began at New Orleans. Ted and Trilby relocated to Ocean Springs after their wedding.(The Daily Herald, March 14, 1930, p. 9
Willy Dale’s Place
By January 1952, Trilby G. Steimer had relocated to the William ‘Willy’ F. Dale (1899-1990) building, formerly the Jeremiah J. O’Keefe home at 911 Porter Street. The Steimer’s lived upstairs in the old O’Keefe mansion. Burglars broke into their restaurant on New Year’s Day 1952 and stole $4 in pennies from the cash register.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 3, 1952, p. 1)
Willy Dale had taken possession of the Jeremiah J. O’Keefe home in December 1939 for $3850. It had been repossessed in December 1938, by the Home Owners Loan Corporation, a Federal corporation. A balance of $5612.17 was owed by the O’Keefe family on the mortgaged property.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 71, pp. 580-581 and Bk. 74, pp. 158-160)
One of the great success stories of Ocean Springs is the return of the J. J. O’Keefe family residence on Porter Street to the family. When they lost it in 1938, the Jeremiah J. ‘Ben’ O’Keefe II family relocated to Biloxi and resided on Fayard Street behind the Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral parlor at 601 West Howard Avenue. A young Jeremiah J. “Jerry” O’Keefe III (b. 1923) and his sister, Alice O’Keefe Sebastian (1922-2011), vowed that someday, they would reclaim their former home in Ocean Springs.(Alice O’Keefe Sebastian, September 13, 1999 and The Ocean Springs Record, July 3, 1986, p. 2 and July 10, 1986, p. 2
This was accomplished in July 1986, when the Willy Dale family sold the former O’Keefe mansion to Gulf National Life, an O’Keefe corporation. A ceremony was held on the grounds and after signing the warranty deed to the O’Keefe family, Willy Dale said, “Folks, the first day [of owning this building] was fun and the last day is fun too.” In December 1987, Jeremiah J. ‘Jerry’ O’Keefe III with the competent architectural advice and service of Bruce Tolar completed its restoration. The refurbished edifice has been used as the Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home since this time.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 863, p. 159 and The Ocean Springs Record, July 3, 1886, p. 2 and December 3, 1987, p. 1)
The Gehl Place
In July 1955, Trilby G. Steimer acquired the former Gehl place on "new" US Highway 90, today known as 1203 Bienville Boulevard. This is the Trilby's that many older residents of Ocean Springs are familiar and had fond culinary memories. Here such gourmet dishes as Rock Cornish game hen au parto and creamed ham and sweetbreads with ripe olives, macaroni loaf, carrot casserole, and rum pie were concocted. (Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk.
Blossman Flower Shop-1965
The Blossman Flower shop was situated just south of the Blossman Building at 809 Washington Avenue. It was a small property with just 19 feet on the street but ran west for 200 feet. This tract had been in the Westbrook family for many years and had served as the barbershop of Edwin Westbrook and his son, Albert Westbrook.
Eula Quave Noyes sold the business to Alpha Investments, a Blossman company, in May 1963. It had belonged to Tone and Eleanor Herman and Louise Westbrook before Mrs. Noyes took possession.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 239, p. 76)
First National Bank of Ocean Springs
The First National Bank of Ocean Springs was organized in June 1967 after the Comptroller of Currency in the Capitol approved their charter. The principals in the bank were: E.W. Blossman (1913-1990), W.C. Gryder III (1928-1999), Anthony van Ryan (1899-1980), J.C. “Champ” Gay (1909-1975), Samuel L. Zanca (1919-1991), William T. Dunn (1919-1990), Naif Jordan (1907-1993), G.E. Egeditch (1907-1987), J.K. Lemon Jr. (1914-1998), Dr. Frank O. Smith (1902-1975), Richard M. Davis, Oscar Jordan, Frank T. Pickel (1912-1982), and Thomas L. Stennis (b. 1935). A lot was acquired on the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and Desoto to erect a bank building.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 29, 1967, p. 1)
In March 1968, Earl Jones was named president of the First National Bank of Ocean Springs. Earl was a native of Columbus, Mississippi and graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in finance. In 1953, he joined the National bank of Commerce at Columbus and was named vice-president of this organization in 1961. Earl Jones had married Fay West and they were the parents of: West Jones (b. 1960), Judi Jones (b. 1963), and Jane Jones (b. 1965). The Jones family resided in the Fort Bayou Estate subdivision.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 14, 1968, p. 3)
After E.W. Blossman, chairman of the board delivered a welcome address and Don Green, president of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, cut the ribbon, the doors of the The First National Bank of Ocean Springs opened for business in late November 1968 in a Claude H. Lindsley (1894-1969) designed building. Over 3000 people entered the bank and 700 accounts were opened. $1,200,000 in business was transacted.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 28, 1968, p. 1)
First National Bank of Jackson County-Pascagoula
In December 1970, the bank opened an office in Pascagoula on the corner of US Highway 90 and Telephone Road. The bank was housed in a small structure, which was already on the property. The First National Bank of Ocean Springs became the First National Bank of Jackson County in 1971. A new building was erected on the Pascagoula property and the bank moved into it in September 1972.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 14, 1972, p. 2)
In July 1972, Jolly McCarty of Pascagoula became a vice-president of the bank. He was hired primarily as the Public Relations Officer for the organization.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 27, 1972, p. 1)
First National Bank of the South
In late 1971, when Harroll Dean Castle (b. 1937), a native of Laurel, Mississippi became president of the First National Bank of Jackson County, it had assets of about $8 million. In late 1977, the bank acquired the Biloxi branch of the Southern National Bank and the name of the Ocean Springs based bank became the First National Bank of the South. In 1980, Harroll D. Castle acquired controlling interest in the First National Bank of the South, which by 1984 had assets of $88 million. Mr. Castle also possessed a majority interest in the Pine Belt Capital Corporation, which owned the Hattiesburg based Pine Belt Federal Savings and Loan.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 4, 1984, p. 1)
Bank mergers-Metropolitan National Bank and Hancock
In November 1984, one of the largest bank mergers ever contracted on the Mississippi Gulf Coast occurred when the First South National Corporation, Harroll D. Castle, president; the First National Bank of the South, Kenneth D. Ross, chairman and CEO; the First State Bank of Gulfport, William A. Wiltshire, chairman; and the Metropolitan National Bank of Biloxi, John R. Conry, president, merged to form the Metropolitan National Bank. The new bank had assets of $138 million and eleven branches.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 29, 1984, p. 1)
In February 1990, an agreement in principal was reached between the Metropolitan Bank and Hancock Bank, which allowed Hancock to acquire the Metropolitan National Bank, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Corporation. G.H. English, CEO of Metropolitan, said, "this combination will add to the quality and convenience of our banking services to the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast". The merger took place in June 1990, after all Federal banking agencies approved the Hancock acquisition which cost them $6,750,000.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 15, 1990, p. 1 and June 14, 1990, p. 6)
The clock on the old Ocean Springs State Bank, which had been installed in its 1955 remodeling, was removed on December 11, 1990, for refurbishing and cleaning before installation on the new Hancock Bank quarters in the former Metropolitan Bank building. This action by the Hancock Bank created a small furor as members of Main Street and the Historic Ocean Springs Association (HOSA) protested the action. These local civic organizations felt that the clock would be out of character on the former Metropolitan Bank building, which was to become the site of the Hancock Bank at Washington and Desoto.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 13, 1990, p. 1)
The superstitious might say that Hancock Bank was punished by the ‘gods’ for removing the iconic Ocean Springs State Bank clock in December 1990, from its primal location on the now Cornerstone Group edifice on the NE/C of Washington Avenue and Government Street, when a truck hit the old clock in June 1995. It was removed and repaired and later re-installed where it hangs today on Washington and Desoto Avenues.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 29, 1995, p. 3)
Among his many skills and talents, E.W. ‘Woody’ Blossman could also fly an airplane. Initially, he owned a Cesna 172 Skyhawk and then acquired a Piper Comanche, both single engine aircraft. As his propane gas business grew in the southeast United States and his desire to relax and fish in south Florida increased, Mr. Blossman in the summer of 1965 commenced Airplane Services Incorporated.(Robert Bowers-June 2014)
Gulf Park Estates Airport
In 1962, H. Vaughn Watkins, a Jackson attorney, Forrest Jackson and their investors from Jackson, Mississippi acquired Gulf Park Estates and hired Harry Del Reeks of Ocean Springs as general manager and sales agent. Immediately, the Watkins-Jackson group built a 2500-foot landing strip in the E/2 of Section 35, T7S-R8W. The small airport was vastly improved in February 1964 when a contract was signed with Space Age Structures of Gulfport to erect a 15,000 square-ft. hangar to house 25 aircraft. The new airport was dedicated in June 27, 1965. At the celebration, Richard ‘Dick’ M. Davis, president of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, introduced the Reverend Merlin F. Usner of the 1st Presbyterian Church who gave the invocation. Notable dignitaries present were: Mayor C. Ernest Schmidt; J.J. Hayden, president of Perkinston JC; Miss Rosie Ray, Miss Hospitality; A.V. Ragusin from the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce; H. Vaughan Watkins, Jackson attorney; and Colonel Rex G. Fryer, representing KAFB (Down South, July-August 1962, p. 11 and The Ocean Springs News, June 4, 1962, p. 1 and July 1, 1965, p. 2)
Gulf Park Estates Airport-1965
This June 1965 image was made at the dedication of the Gulf Park Estates Airport. Built in 1962 with a 2500-foot landing strip located in the E/2 of Section 35, T7S-R8W. The small airport was vastly improved in 1964 when a contract was signed with Space Age Structures of Gulfport to erect a 15,000 square-ft. hangar to house 25 aircraft. The new airport was dedicated in June 27, 1965. [L-R: E.W. Blossman; James Wood; Captain Tom Dansby; and Jay Nelson with J.D. Hair Company of Baton Rouge, Louisiana]
Airplane Services Incorporated
In 1965, Blossman’s Airplane Services Inc. took a lease on the Gulf Park Estates Airport. The company was staffed by Captain Tom Dansby, a retired USAF veteran with 26 years flying and administrative experience; Max Lamptenfeld, vice-president, was a licensed pilot and instructor; and James Wood of Blossman Incorporated served as the secretary-treasurer.(The Ocean Springs News, June 24, 1965, p. 1)
By 1966, E.W. Blossman had hired Frank Fleming to assist his Airplane Services Inc. Among other duties, Mr. Fleming taught flying lessons. One of his students, Joan Ferguson, became the first women to make her solo flight from the Gulf Park Airport.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 23, 1966, p. 6)
The Blossman Gas Company owned three twin-engine aircraft while flying Woody Blossman, company executives, family and friends in the Gulf South. According to Robert ‘Bob’ Bowers (b. 1936), former and last of the Blossman pilots, these aircraft were: Piper Aztec, a twin-engine, six-seat aircraft; Cessna 414; and Beechcraft King Air C-90. The last two aircraft had pressurized cabins. After the Blossman Company bought their Beechcraft King Air C-90 circa 1985, they relocated to Gulfport Field.(Robert Bowers-June 2014)
Lt. Colonel [ret] Bob Bowers, a native Virginian, joined E.W. Blossman’s Marine Electronics as a technician working with William ‘Bill’ Cox. Bob had been a navigator in the USAF, but learned to fly in his private life. Bowers became the Blossman company pilot circa 1981 when Walter Brown retired. Bowers retired in 1994 from his flying duties after the Beechcraft King Air C-90 was sold. Bob remembers Woody Blossman as a kind, gregarious man who enjoyed life. Although he had turned the gas company executorship to John R. Blossman, his son, Woody would occasional remind the troops that he was still their ‘Boss’!
Another of the Blossman family love was blue water with sailing and fishing at the top of the chart. The Florida Keys, especially Marathon, Florida became a Blossman treasured sanctuary. Marathonis a city of about 12,000 people in Monroe County situated on Knight’s Key, Boot Key, Key Vaca, Fat Deer Key, Long Point Key, Crawl Key, and Grassy Key, all small islands in the middle Florida Keys. Initially, E.W. Blossman either acquired or built a small house on a canal with access to the Florida Strait. As his fortunes improved a larger home was erected at Marathon called Copa de Oro. The Blossman flotilla consisted of two sailboats and two yachts. Mrs. Artemise Blossman gave their boats Spanish names.[Bob and MaBelle S. Bowers-June 2014)
When a Blossman boat was moved from the Mississippi coast to the Florida Keys, Woody Blossman, Bill Cox and crew, which occasionally included MaBelle Snyder Bowers (b. 1942), Bob’s wife, and certainly one of Ocean Springs great characters, was aboard. Mabelle was galley chef and sergeant-at-arms while at sea. The Blossman family general modus operandi was to leave Ocean Springs on a Friday and sail until late Sunday. Bob Bowers would then fly from Gulf Park Estates Airport to an airfield near where the Blossman vessel had moored and return its crew to Ocean Springs for work on Monday. In this way, the boat eventually reached Marathon, Florida.(MaBelle S. Bowers-June 2014)
With his businesses become more successful, Woody Blossman realized that he could reduce operating expenses by owning his own printing company. In late June 1969, the Blossman Printing Company held its formal opening in what might have been in the old Engbarth garage building on Washington Avenue. The new Blossman enterprise commenced with a Kors Heidelberg press and a Robertson 580 color process camera.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 26, 1969, p. 3 and Jack Gottsche-April 2014)
In May 1922, Claude Engbarth (1893-1967) had bought a lot fronting 30 feet on the west side of Washington Avenue, from his uncle, George E. Arndt (1857-1945). The Engbarth garage was south and contiguous with the Farmer’s and Merchants’ State Bank building. The grocery store of Judge Orin D. Davidson (1872-1938) was south of the new Engbarth enterprise. Before the Farmer’s and Merchant’s Bank had been erected in 1913, the infamous Paragon Saloon of Mr. Arndt had sat there on the southwest corner of Washington and Robinson.
Claude Engbarth was probably born at Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi, the son of Emile Engbarth (1855-probably 1905) and Magalene, called Lena, Jeanette Arndt (1856-1938). Both his paternal and maternal grandparents were German immigrants who settled in southwest Mississippi.Emile Engbarth was the postmaster at Ocean Springs from 1882 to 1885. As Emile and Lena Engbarth were again residents of Rodney in 1900, it appears that they moved back to Jefferson County after April 1889, when Emile’s position as postmaster terminated. The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of August 31, 1900, announced that well-known Republican, Emile Engbarth, is in Ocean Springs and rumored to be the new postmaster. This did not come to fruition as Thomas I. Keys (1861-1931), a local Black merchant and ardent Republican, remained at this post until March 1911. In September 1900, Emile Engbarth applied for the position of postmaster at Pascagoula. It appears that he was unsuccessful in attaining this opportunity, as the local journal reported that "Mr. E. Engbarth… returned to Rodney, Miss".(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 5, 1900, p. 3)
Marie Arndt Alexander (1905-1994) writing in The History of Jackson County, Mississippi (1989) states that her father, George E. Arndt, came to Ocean Springs on May 17, 1881, from Rodney, Mississippi to be with his sister, Lena Engbarth.
At Ocean Springs, Claude Engbarth had been in the auto repair business with Philip J. Weider (1887-1985), whose parents were also both German immigrants. The Jackson County Times of July 12, 1919, which related that the partners, who called their recent venture, The Ocean Springs Garage, were going to erect a new garage on County Road [Government Street] on the lot that they recently purchased from George L. Friar. Actual construction on the Wieder-Engbarth structure did not start until January 1920. When construction was completed by Wieder and Engbarth, who were surely assisted by some of their brothers, talented carpenters and plumbers themselves, it had a wooden floor and accommodations for fifteen motorcars.
Herrs Wieder & Engbarth announced in The Jackson County Times in January 1921:
We have been appointed by the Adams Motor Co. Inc., authorized Ford dealers at Pascagoula, Mississippi as their sub-agent to sell Ford cars for immediate delivery. Get Yours Today. Wieder & Engbarth-Ocean Springs Garage.
The Ocean Springs Garage on County Road operated by the Wieder-Engbarth combine was dissolved on April 1, 1922. In late March, Mr. Engbarth had sold his interest in the business to P.J. Wieder for $500 and acquired the Arndt lot on Washington Avenue to start his own automobile repair business.(The Daily Herald, April 15, 1922, p. 8)
Claude Engbarth later started a cafe and bar on Government Street, which after several later proprietors, including The Medora Cafe of Mrs. Wallace of Biloxi, and Cyril Hopkins, eventually evolved into the legendary, Henrietta's Cafe. This local, eatery, landmark closed its portals on May 20, 1995. Engbarth bought two old homes and moved them together for his enterprises. One structure was a shot-gun house which Emile Fayard (1872-1931) once occupied. The present day Henrietta's building, now an amalgamation of small shops, is the original Claude Engbarth structure except for a different roofline. It is believed that the present day, front gable, facade of the structure was established by Aden S. Bellew (1907-1981) in the early 1940s, when he was married to Henrietta Beaorvich Cvitanovich Savage (1911-1999), the daughter of Marco Beaorvich (1883-1966) and Jacobina Sekul (1882-1956), both immigrants from the Isle of Brac, Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia. Henrietta was reared at 429 Pine Street at Biloxi where her parents toiled in Biloxi’s growing seafood industry on Point Cadet.(J.K. Lemon-March 1996)
1966 U.S. Post Office [June 1966]
In 1987, E.W. Blossman, through Alpha Investments, acquired the former US Post Office building at Desoto Avenue from . John Blossman announced that the building would serve temporarily as storage for Toys For Tots. In the spring of 1988, Blossman planned to moved their printing operation here, as well as statement and cusomer mailing operations.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deek Bk. 899, p. 13 and The Ocean Springs Record, October 15, 1987, p. 1)
By 1965, it had become apparent that Ocean Springs had outgrown its post office. A site was selected on the southeast corner of Desoto and Jackson Avenue and on July 26, 1965 McCorkle & Stuart of Montgomery, Alabama construction was commenced on the 5800 square-foot building, which cost $76, 381. In February 1966, Mose W. Stuart III and Frank McCorkle leased their new building to the United States Post Office. In March 1966, moving from the old post office on Washington Avenue began to Desoto and Jackson.
In June 1966, Postmaster Orwin J. Scharr and his staff of twenty postal employees relocated from the Palfrey building [Salmagundi here until 2013] on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Robinson for their new quarters at present day 900 Desoto. The new structure almost tripled the area of the former one on Washington Avenue.(The Gulf Coast Times, December 10, 1953, p. 1 and January 13, 1954, p. 14, and The Ocean Springs Record, June 23, 1966, p. 1)
On June 19, 1966, Max Jordan, postal service officer for South Mississippi of the Memphis Region, one of fifteen regions in the Post Office Department, served as the master of ceremonies for the dedication of the new post office. A flag that had flown over the Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) White House was presented to Postmaster Scharr by Congressmen James O. Eastland (1904-1986) and William M. Colmer (1890-1980). An open house was held at the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce immediately post-ceremonies. Lee Jordan, Chamber president and J.K. Lemon (1914-1998) welcomed guests and visitors at the Chamber office in the old L&N depot. David McFalls and spouse of the Whistle Stop assisted at the reception.(The Ocean Springs News, June 23, 1966, p. 1)
Concrete Ready-Mix Inc.
Blossman Real Estate Holdings
The Doll House
The Doll House was a project of Artemise Blossman. A building was erected west of Trilby's Restaurant at Bienville Boulevard and opened in July 1987 to house her immense doll collection. It was in essence a 'doll museum' and opened to the public.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 2, 1987, p. 1)
Blossman Mardi Gras Royalty
E.W. Blossman was King Iberville in 1963. Following his reign, he was elected president of the Gulf Coast Carnival Association in January 1964.
John Richard Blossman
John R. Blossman (1943-2009)
John R. Blossman (1943-2009), King d'Iberville, and Laurie James Turnbough, Queen Ixolib, ruled the Gulf Coast Carnival Association Mardi Gras at Biloxi on February 26, 1974. The theme was the 250th Anniversary of the Biloxi Bay Colony.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 28, 1974, p. 1)
Frank Bertucci and Lorrie C. Blossman
Lorrie Catherine Blossman (b. 1971), daughter of John R. Blossman (1943-2009) and Catherine L. Brulet Blossman, was Queen Ixolib in February 1994 Gulf Coast Carnival Association celebration of Mardi Gras. Her King Was Frank D. Bertucci.(The Sun Herald, February 24, 1994, p. 10)
John R. Blossman (1943-2009)
John Richard Blossman (1943-2009) was born July 26, 1943 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. He attended public school at New Orleans until his sophomore year when he transferred to Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts. John matriculated to Yale University where his interests were in Philosophy. John graduated from Yale in 1966 and then pursued a law degree at Vanderbilt University. He completed his legal studies at Nashville and passed the Mississippi Bar examination in 1970.
On January 22, 1969 in the First Presbyterian Church at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, John Richard Blossman married Catherine Lynn Brulet (b. 1945), a native of Corpus Christi, Texas and the daughter of Hoffman Gregory Brulet and Gloria Marie Carambat, both natives of New Orleans. John and Catherine were the parents of Lorrie Catherine Blossman Brodowicz (b. 1971). Lorie Blossman was Queen Ixolib of the 1994 Gulf Coast Carnival Association. She ruled on Mardi Gras Day February 23, 1994 with Frank D. Bertucci as King Iberville.(The Ocean Springs Record, February 24, 1994, p. 10)
Courtney Cook Weidie Blossman [image made 1974)
After his marital dissolution, John R. Blossman on January 15, 1977, married Courtney Cook Weidie (b. 1941), former wife of Wayne Weidie, one time editor-publisher of the Ocean Springs Record and chief of staff for Gary Eugene ‘Gene’ Taylor, US Congressman. Courtney was born May 25, 1941 at Greenville, Mississippi to Stuart McAnally Cook and Mary Bethal McNeil. She is the mother of Stuart Weidie and Courtney Lee Weidie.
Down South, ‘Preserving the Past’-Volume 14, No. 2-March-April 1964.
Down South, ‘In the Business of Living’, Vol. 26, No. 1-January-February 1976.
Coast Lines, ‘Blossman Inc. “To Fill A Need”, December 1971.
The Daily Herald, ‘Blossman head Coast Carnival organization’, January 3, 1964.
The Daily Herald, ‘Celebration begins with formal coronation’, February 24, 1974.
The Daily Herald, ‘Jaycees name [John] Blossman outstanding young man’, February 21, 1979.
The Daily Times-News, ‘History of the Blossman office building has interesting background’, January 13, 1964.
The Gulf Coast Times, ‘Blossman success built on quality and good service’, February 8, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, ‘New Hydratane Gas Company to open here’, July 31, 1952.
The Ocean Springs News, ‘Blossman Gas buys Flower Shop’, November 18, 1965.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Ocean Springs First National Bank approved by comptroller”, June 29, 1967, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “First National Organizers, July 20, 1967, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Architect sketch of proposed 1st National Bank of Ocean Springs”, November 23, 1967, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Sell one half million in new bank stock”, January 25, 1968, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Earl Jones President of new national bank”, March 14,1968, p. 3.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Grand opening First National Bank”, November 28, 1968, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “First National Bank celebrates first year”, December 4, 1969, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘John Blossman heads group enterprise’, June 19, 1969.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘Blossman Printing Company holds formal opening’, June 26, 1969.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘[John] Blossman inducted [into US Army] today’, April 23, 1970.
The Ocean Springs Record, “First National Reveals Pascagoula branch design”, February 11, 1971.
The Ocean Springs Record, “First National Names Public Relations Officer”, July 27, 1972.
The Ocean Springs Record, “First National in New Building”, September 14, 1972.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘Springs artist [Courtney Cook Blossman] exhibit at 1st Mississippi Bank', January 10, 1974.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘Blossman named to committee for Ford’, October 21, 1976.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘Mrs. Sarah Rodi Blossman’, January 18, 1979.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘[John] Blossman named one of the outstanding men in State’, February 22, 1979.
The Ocean Springs Record, “A nice business”, November 12, 1981, p. 9.
The Ocean Springs Record, “King D’Iberville”, February 17, 1983, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Harroll Castle acquires bank stock option”, October 4, 1984, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Two Ocean Springs directors mum on bank merger”, October 25, 1984, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Doll House opened”, July 2, 1987, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Old PO sold”, October 15, 1987, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Hancock, Metropolitan National Agree To Merge", February 15, 1990, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Hancock Bank, Metropolitan Bank Merge", June 14, 1990, p. 6.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Hancock Bank Clock Removed", December 13, 1990, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘[John] Blossman named NPGA president-elect’, July 1, 1993.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘[Lorie Blossman] Queen Gulf Coast Carnival Association’, February 24, 1994.
The Ocean Springs Record, ‘[Arthemise] Blossman honored by YMCA’, May 11, 2000.
‘Blossman legacy lives on’, December 14, 2000.
The Sun Herald, ‘Arthemise Alsina Blossman’, December 8, 2000.
The Sun Herald, ‘John R. Blossman’, , 2009.
This family name may have originally been Fauconne de Calongne. Calongne is a small village or estate in France. Progenitors of the American family were Francois Calongne and Emilie Adelaide Henry of New Orleans. Their son, Sidney Auguste Calongne (1855-1911), built the American Sugar Refinery in St. Bernard, Parish and other buildings in New Orleans. In 1881, he married Sally A. Forschee (1853-1942), the daughter of J.H. Forshee and Sarah Knight. Sidney A. Calongne and Sally Forschee Calongne had five children: Sidney E. Calongne (b. 1883), Wilford F. Calongne (1885-1967), Emily C. Mead (b. 1887), Ashely Calongne (1890-1953), Mildred Calongne (1891-1892), and Evelyn Leah C. Smith (1896-1973).(Bill Calongne, April 1997)
The Calongnes were fond of Ocean Springs and began coming here in the early 1900s. They rented a cottage behind Glengariff, the beach front home of Captain Francis O' Neill (1849-1936), the retired Superintendent of Chicago police. It was here that a young Wilford F. Calongne met Mary Haggarty, the daughter of John J. Haggarty. The Haggartys were also residents of the Crescent City and enjoyed the breezy, warm summers of the Mississippi coast. Wilford married Miss Haggarty in September 1920 at New Orleans.(Bill Calongne, April 1997)
Calongne-Reeves House [destroyed by Katrina, August 2005]
204 Washington Avenue
The Calongne family built a home in the fall of 1909 at present day 204 Washington Avenue. It was called, Hillside, and cost $3000. The contractors were Wieder & Friar. Hillside burned in the 1930s, and was rebuilt. Muriel Cousins, wife of Mayor George Barrow Cousins (b. 1883), once lived here.(The Ocean Springs News, November 27, 1909, p. 1 and Bill Calongne, April 1997)
The Calongne home on lower Washington Avenue had been possessed since December 1978 by Louise “Lit” VanCourt (1914-2004). In the late 1990s, Miss VanCourt sold it to James D. Reeves and Nell Webb Reeves. In the summer of 1999, the Reeves family renovated their home with consultations from Carl D. Germany, AIA, and under the auspices of the Ocean Springs Historic Preservation Commission. They restored the L-shaped gallery of the original structure, replaced windows, and installed a balustrade around the perimeter of the porch. New colors, Tarrytown Green with Windham Cream trim, were selected to replace the faded dark green and white trim.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 636, p. 449 and City of Ocean Springs-Historical District Application for Certificate of Appropriateness-March 1999)
The three sons of Sidney A. Calongne formed a paving company called Calongne Brothers. They came to Ocean Springs in May 1915, to remove the defective schellinger paving and laid over one mile of cement walks and driveways at the Benjamin Estate, the large, well-landscaped property of Anna Louise Fitz Benjamin (1848-1938), the widow of David M. Benjamin (1834-1892) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(The Ocean Springs News, June 3, 1915, p. 1)
Sidney E. Calongne
Sidney Edward Calongne (b. 1883) received a Civil Engineering degree from Tulane. Married Ethel Calongne. Died at Baton Rouge. Four children: Dorothy Calongne, Ethel Calongne, Calongne, and Sidney Calongne married J. Arthur Smith. No further information.(Bill Calongne, April 1997 and Philo Hooper DuVal, April 2001)
Wilford F. Calongne
Wilford F. Calongne (1883-1967) was born November 30, 1883 at New Orleans. He received a Civil Engineering degree from Tulane. Married Mary Haggarty at New Orleans, in September 1920. She was the eldest of sixteen children (only eight survived). Only child, a son, Wilford F. Calongne Jr. was born a New Orleans in 1921. The family resided on Webster Street near Audubon Park. They later relocated to the Broadmoor section of New Orleans, which is now predominantly Black. W.F. Calongne for WPA during the Depression and assisted in the construction of the Lake Pontchartrain seawall. He expired in May 1967.(Bill Calongne, April 1997)
W.F. “Bill” Calongne House (built 1996)
11001 Pointe-aux-Chenes Road
Professor Wilford F. Calongne Jr.
Wilford “Bill” F. Calongne (1921-2012) was born at New Orleans in September 1921, the son of Wilford F. Calongne and Mary Haggarty. He was reared on Webster Street near Audubon Park. The Calongne family came to Ocean Springs for their summer holiday. They stayed in their grandmother's cottage, Hillside, at present day 204 Washington Avenue. Hillside was built in October 1909, by Wieder & Friar, local building firm.
These were days when Johnny Seymour operated his fish and oyster house at the foot of Washington Avenue, the Anchor Inn of Mark Seymour was in full swing, and the "natives" were more prominent than they are today. Ocean Springs still reeked with atmosphere and ambience of the small village, which it had been since the first tourist had discovered it during the steam packet days of the middle 19th Century.
In the summer of 1938, young Bill Calongne met Nathaniel Curtis, the Dean of the Tulane School of Architecture. Dean Curtis and family were at Hillside for the summer. Calongne's aunt, Emily C. Mead?, was letting the Connor Cottage on Lovers Lane. They met at the Connors and the two became fishing companions often taking a boat into Back Bay to fish for white trout. During their fishing ventures, Professor Curtis influenced young Calongne into studying architecture.
Professor Calongne retired from teaching at Tulane in 1984. In November 1973, he bought four acres of land at Pointe aux Chenes described as the W/2 of Lot 5 from William B. Rudolf and his wife, Hayne Rudolph. Ruth Carr was sales the agent. Bill Calongne planned to build his dream home here upon retirement. When construction costs soared beyond his budget, he scaled down the project.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 482, p. 296)
Capital for the Calongne home was raised by selling the land to William Seaman and Wynn Seaman in March 1994. Seaman rents the land to Calongne for $1 per year. The home will naturally belong to Seaman upon the demise of Calongne. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1049, p. 329 and JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Plat Book 1, p. 120)
Professor Calongne started a house on the bluff facing the Gulf of Mexico. Foundation completed and framing commenced, when Seaman discovered the location and didn't want the house there. In 1996, the Calongne project was restarted at a location farther from the water. Ken Snyder of Ocean Springs was the general contractor. The Calongne home has an area of 1500 square feet.(Bill Calongne, April 1997)
Wilford Francis Calongne Jr. [September 20, 1921 - August 4, 2012 Ocean Springs, Mississippi]
Wilford "Bill" Calongne, age 90 years, of Ocean Springs, MS died on Saturday, August 4, 2012. Mr. Calongne was a resident of Ocean Springs since 1984.
He retired from Tulane University where he was a Professor in Architecture. His urbane and gentle manner was as influential as his considerable skill as an architect. What set him apart was his interest in music, particularly that of modern composers and his passion for the well-designed object. Unlike most of his University colleagues, he was almost universally admired as a non dogmatic but highly principled teacher and architect.
Some of his noteworthy students were Albert Ledner, Milton Scheuermann and Errol Barron. In the scope of his career, he designed many notable buildings in New Orleans and on the gulf coast to include several homes in Biloxi, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula.
Mr. Calongne retired from teaching at Tulane in 1984. In November of 1973 he bought four acres of land at Pointe aux Chenes, where he planned to build his dream home. His home was eventually built as an architectural experiment of his own design. The home was geometrically pure, spatially concise and sturdy surviving Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
His father, Wilford F. Calongne, was born in 1883 in New Orleans. He married Mary Haggarty in New Orleans in 1920. Wilford, Jr. was their only son and the family resided on Webster Street near Audubon Park. Mr. Calongne is survived by extended families to include the Luckey, Smith and Calongne family that mourn his passing and celebrate his unique life.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home. Friends may visit from 1:00 p.m. until service time. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Ocean Springs.(from The Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS) - Thursday, August 9, 2012)
Ashley Calongne (1890-1953) married Carol Burns. For twenty years, Ashley was the chief sanitation engineer for the New Orleans District for the U.S. River Commission. He died June 23, 1953, at his Waveland, Mississippi home. Three children: Mrs. Frank London (Baltimore), Claire Calongne (Waveland), and Ashley Calongne (New Orleans).(The Gulf Coast Times, July 2, 1953, p. 1)
Emily Calongne (b. 1887) married Walter R. Mead of Mobile at New Orleans in November 1913. He worked at New Orleans for the U.S. Post Office commuting from Ocean Springs. Three children: Elaine Mead, Muriel M. Cousins married George Barrow Cousins, and Audrey Mead.
Evelyn Leah Calongne
Evelyn Leah Calongne (1896-1973) married Alwyn Smith Sr. (1892-1987) at New Orleans on June 30, 1917.. Al Smith was a 1912 graduate of the Tulane School of Dentistry. Naval commander. Came to Mississippi coast to reside in 1945. He was a retired oral surgeon. The Smiths had four children: Captain Alwyn Smith II (Poway, California), married Mary Lou Dixon; Jr.; Dr. Stanley T. Smith (Beaumont, Texas) married Betty Grant; Dr. Roland C. Smith (Novato, California) married Elizabeth Leach; and Joy Evelyn S. Luckey (1932-2003?) married Toxie Hall Luckey (1927-1984) and Philo Hooper DuVal (b. 1930). (The Sun Herald, April 20, 1987, p. A-4 and Philo Hooper DuVal, April 2001)
Dr. Smith was a member of the New Orleans Country Club, the Louisiana Dental Association, New Orleans Kiwanis Club, and Tulane Alumni Association. He died April 18, 1987. Mrs. Smith passed on July 1, 1973.(The Sun Herald, April 20, 1987, p. A-4)
The Daily Herald, "Calongne Death", July 25, 1953, p. 12.
The Gulf Coast Times, “Funeral Services Held For Late Ashley Colongne (sic)”, July 2, 1953, p. 1.
The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. Calogne Dies”, July 25, 1942.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", August 28, 1909.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", October 23, 1909.
The Ocean Springs News, “Ocean Springs is Growing”, November 27, 1909.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", December 24, 1910.
The Ocean Springs News, “Death of Sidney A. Calongne”, March 4, 1911.
The Ocean Springs News, "One Mile of Cement Roads", June 3, 1915, p. 1.
The Sun Herald, "Dr. Alwyn Smith", April 20, 1987.
The Sun Herald, "Wilford Francis Calogne Jr.", August 9 , 2012.
W.F. “Bill” Calongne Jr.-April 1997.
Philo Hooper DuVal- April 2001.
Francis H. Camba
Francis “Frank” Henry Camba (1853-1885) may have been the son of Frank Camba and Rosalia Oser. He and Elizabeth Catchot (1854-1927) were the progenitors of this local family. They were married at Jackson County, Mississippi on September 22, 1877. At this time Mr. Camba was employed as a teller in a New Orleans bank.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 21, 1880, p. 3)
Their only child, Walter F. Camba (1878-1960), was born on July 4, 1878, at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the home of his mother. Mrs. Camba was the daughter of two European immigrants, Antonio Catchot (1826-1885) of Menorca in the Balearic Islands, and Elizabeth Hoffen (1832-1916), a native of Bremen, Germany. Birth records from archivist of the Diocese of Menorca at Ciudadela, Menorca indicate that the Catchot family migrated to that Mediterranean Island from Malta in the late 18th Century. Antonio Catchot appears to have immigrated to the United States circa 1850, while his wife arrived in 1853 from Germany. Their children were: Elizabeth C. Camba Dunn (1854-1927), Joseph S. “Joe Tony” Catchot (1858-1919), Mary C. Bellande (1861-1931), and Antonio “Toy” Catchot Jr. (1868-1948).
The Camba family left Ocean Springs for New Orleans circa 1885. Shortly thereafter, Frank H. Camba died at the Louisiana Insane Asylum at Jackson, Louisiana. His remains were interred in the Girard Street Cemetery at New Orleans. When the Louisiana Superdome was erected in the 1970s, the cemetery had to be removed. Camba’s remains were probably sent to the Greenwood Cemetery for internment.(Walter F. Camba Jr., March 1997)
John M. Dunn
Frank H. Camba’s widow, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Camba married John M. Dunn (1853-1932) at the St. Alphonsus Church in Ocean Springs in October 1887. Mr. Dunn was from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. They had no children. Both are interred at the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.
Walter F. Camba (1878-1960)
(Courtesy of Walter F. Camba Jr. (1912-1999)-south elevation of the cottage of Captain A.V. Bellande (1829-1918) and spouse, Mary Catchot Bellande (1861-1931), on Jackson Avenue north of Cleveland)
Walter F. Camba
Walter F. Camba grew up in New Orleans. He married Grace Hunt at Fort Philip, Louisiana on April 22, 1903. Miss Eva Catchot was a bridesmaid in his wedding. Walter Camba later married Mary Ellen Glaven (1880-1957). They had three children: Mercedes Camba Schmid (1909-1987) m. Dewey I. Schmid (1898-1979), Walter F. Camba Jr. (1912-1999), and Mrs. Paul Schriber. Most of the Camba family members were interred in the Metairie Cemetery-Glavin-Section 26. Mr. Walter Camba made his livelihood with the Illinois Central Railroad. He worked for that organization for forty-six years retiring in August 1940. Walter F. Camba passed on June 14, 1960. His remains were placed in the family mausoleum at the Metairie Cemetery. Walter F. Camba Jr. expired on January 29, 1999 at Metairie, Louisiana.( Walter F. Camba Jr., March 1997)
Eva Louisa Camba
Eva Louisa Camba (1880-1914), sometimes called Eva Catchot, was the illegitimate half-sister of Walter F. Camba. Her parents were Frank H. Camba (1853-1885) and Mary Catchot (1860-1931), the sister of Mrs. Frank H. Camba. Eva was born at New Orleans, and carried her mother's maiden name, Catchot, until her marriage. She married Issac Clayton Chance, a protestant, of Rome, Georgia on March 8, 1911, at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. His parents were Isaac Chance and Etheline Hobbs. While growing up in Rome, Georgia, Issac Chance knew Ellen Axson (1860-1914), who married Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), the 28th President of the United States.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 21, 1880, p. 3 and The Ocean Springs News, August 15, 1914)
Issac and Eva Camba Chance had a daughter, Mary Etheline Chance, who was born in October 1911. The Chances lived at No. 68 Church Street in Ashville, North Carolina. Eva Catchot Chance died on November 4, 1914. Her remains were sent to Ocean Springs for burial in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Ocean Springs News, November 14, 1914, p. 2)
Camba Cottage- 520 Rayburn Avenue
In June 1924, Mary Catchot Bellande (1861-1931) conveyed for $1200 a Queen Anne cottage on the east side of Rayburn Avenue at Ocean Springs to Walter F. Camba. The small, cottage at present day 502 Rayburn Avenue was utilized by the Cambas as a retreat from New Orleans. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 76, pp. 431-432).
The small, one-story, wood framed, structure was built circa 1880. It has a front gabled roof with imbricated shingles in the gable. The projecting wrap-around gallery has turned posts and sawn brackets. There are shed and gabled-roofed additions on the north and east elevations.
Mr. Camba sold his sanctuary to Roland Lovelace (1889-1967) and spouse, Valera Pickel (1910-1977), in April 1951. The conveyance included all furniture and equipment, excepting the Camba’s lawn furniture.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 117, p. 362)
In April 1958, the Lovelace family conveyed their Rayburn cottage to Ralph P. Aiken and Charlotte B. Aiken (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 176, p. 522)
Ralph P. Aiken and Charlotte B. Aiken. No information.
In October 1966, Special Warranty Deed issued by Everette E. Cook to get Mrs. Aiken on the title.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 301, p. 436 and Bk. 301, p. 437)
In September 1967, Ralph P. Aiken and wife conveyed to Zella Ward Walker (1918-2000).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 318, p. 545)
In June 1998, several years before her demise, Kitty Walker conveyed her home to herself and her brother, Guy M. Walker, as joint tenants in common.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1145, p. 298)
The Camba Cottage is presently owned by Guy M. Walker. Guy is married to the former Betty Goodwin.
Brother Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), p. 54.
The Gulf Coast Times, “Roland Lovelaces Purchase New Home”, January 26, 1951.
The Gulf Coast Times, “Lovelaces Purchase Walter Camba Home”, April 19, 1951.
The Jackson County Times, August 17, 1940, p. 1, c. 3.
The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, August 15, 1914.
The Ocean Springs News, “Mrs. I.C. Chance”, November 14, 1914.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local News Paragraphs”, May 21, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 24, 1903.
Walter F. Camba Jr.-March 23,1997.
Irish immigrant, Henry Colligan (1823-1887) and Louisiana born, Mary Colligan (1832-1904), arrived at Ocean Springs circa 1848. Mary Colligan was first generation Irish probably born at New Orleans.
Henry Colligan made his livelihood as a gardener and farmer. He patented several forty acre tracts of land from the U.S. Government in March 1854. These were the SW/4 of the NW/4 and the NW/4 of the SW/4 of Section 20, T7S-R8W. This land later became the property of J.C. Wright (1879-1941) and his brother-in-law, Texas oilman, Haroldson Lafayette Hunt (1889-1974). Here Wright operated the Fort Bayou Dairy, raised cattle, and cultivated pecans.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, pp. 545-547)
Henry and Mary Colligan had three children: James Robert (1855-1905), May (1856-pre 1870), and John (1859-1893).
James Robert Colligan (1855-1905) married Ellen E. Birdrow (1860-1926), a native of Louisiana. Her father may have been from France, while her mother, Theresa Birdrow Bird (1843-1920), was a native of the Magnolia State. Mrs. Birdrow appears to have been widowed circa 1870. She then married a Bird (died pre-1900) who was a native of Pennsylvania. Their children were: James (1876-1918), Jesse Galle (1880-1942), William (1883-1956), and Samuel (1886-1925). Theresa Bird acquired lands in the Cox Avenue area from Sarah A. VanCleave in 1887.
James R. Colligan made his living initially working as a farmer with his father and then later as a carpenter. In 1900, he was employed on the bridge gang for the L&N Railroad. James and Ellen Colligan's children were: James H. Colligan (1888-1951), Hattie V. Hoffman (1889-1958), Mae C. Ryan (1892-1966), Nancy C. Bertuccini (1894-1984), Ellen C. McKay (1896-1951+), Jasper Colligan (1899-1951+), and Jessie C. Illing (1903-1972). The Colligans resided on the west side of Cox Avenue.
James Henry Colligan (1888-1951) was a plumber and electrician commencing that profession before 1910. He may have apprenticed under George W. Dale (1872-1953) who was probably the senior plumber at Ocean Springs at this time. When Colligan had his own plumbing business, Mayor Albert S. Westbrook (1900-1980) worked with him before joining the L&N Railroad.
Ellen Colligan's brother, George Birdrow (1865-1923), was a carpenter and building contractor at Ocean Springs. In the 1920s, James H. Colligan left Ocean Springs for Texas. By 1929, he had settled his young family at Kenner, Louisiana. At Louisiana, Colligan was employed during the Great Depression helping to construct the Bonne Carre Spillway near Norco. He later worked for the East Jefferson Parish Waterworks and did carpentry work.
James H. Colligan married Catherine Cunningham (1900-1955). She was a native of New Orleans and met Colligan when she came to Ocean Springs on a vacation. At the time, Catherine Cunningham was employed by the D.H. Holmes Company. This organization provided the opportunity for its female employees to spend a week at Ocean Springs each summer for $7.00. They stayed at "Haven on the Hill", the F.J. Lundy home located at LaFontaine and Washington. Mrs. Hilda chaperoned the young ladies when they were visited by the young men of Ocean Springs. The Colligans met in this manner.
James and Catherine Colligan had three children born at Louisiana: Louise Wilbert (1921), James H. Colligan, Jr. (1926-1926), and Ellen Catherine Colligan (1928-1928).
Jasper Colligan (1899-1951+) was a plumber for the L&N Railroad. He left Ocean Springs in the 1920s and lived briefly at New Orleans where he met his wife, Lillian. The Colligans spent the remainder of their years at Mobile. They had a daughter, Claire Danks (1926), who was born at New Orleans.
William F. 'Willy' Dale (1899-1990)
Willy Dale has been described as a “hard working, good businessman and mechanical wizard”. He was a passionate fisherman and motorboater as well. Here circa 1927, Willy he shown with two drum that he caught in Biloxi Bay near Gulf Hills. Courtesy of H. Randy Randazzo-Arlington, Virginia.
Hattie Rose Seymour Dale (1876-1956)
[L-R: William F. Dale (1899-1990), Hattie S. Dale, and George Dale (1901-1953+)
William ‘Willy’ Frederic Dale was born March 4, 1899, at Ocean Springs. He was known in the community as Willy Dale. His parents were George William Dale (1872-1953) and Harriet ‘Hattie’ Rose Seymour (1876-1956), the daughter of Narcisse Seymour (1849-1931) and Carolyn V. Krohn (1847-1895). They were married on December 9, 1897 at the St. Alphonsus CatholicChurch. George W. Dale was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church on June 27, 1897, several months before his marriage to Miss Seymour.(Lepre, 1991, p. 78)
Catherine Dana Dale (1852-1934)
[Courtesy of Dr. Judy Bassham-Niceville, Florida]
George W. Dale was a native of Hayward, California. His parents were William Dale and Catherine Dana (1852-1934). William Dale made his livelihood as a plumber and taught the trade to his sons at Hayward, California. Catherine Dana Dale was a native of Sacramento and had lived at Hayward since 1869. George W. Dale settled at Ocean Springs in the 1890s and made his livelihood as an L&N Railroad employee, tinsmith and plumber. In 1909, he 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. Dale’s father-in-law, Narcisse Seymour, was a pioneer in the seafood industry at Ocean Springs operating at the foot of Washington Avenue. He was especially known for his fine raw oysters.(The Jackson County Times, November 10,1934, p. 3 and The Daily Herald, July 23, 1953, p. 13)
In the fall of 1916, George W. Dale retired from plumbing when he transferred his business to James H. Colligan (1881-1951), an employee.(The Daily Herald, September 27,1916, p. 6)
Alforetta Newcomb Dale (1905-1932) and Leo B. Dale (1904-1954) and John A. Dale (1914-1975)
[Courtesy of Dr. Judy Bassham-Niceville, Florida]
Willy Dale was the eldest of the eight children born to George and Harriet Seymour Dale. His siblings were: George E. Dale (1901-1953+), Leo B. Dale (1904-1954), Lillian Dale Jefferis (1906-1998), Louise Dale Scott (1909-1979+), Milledge Dale Whitworth Allen (1912-1998), John A. (1914-1975), and Gerrard W. Dale (1917-1957). The Dale family was reared at present day 1203 Calhoun Avenue near the homestead of Mrs. W.F. Dales father, Narcisse Seymour, at present day 1108 Calhoun Avenue.
[image made August 1997 by Ray L. Bellande]
Dale family cottage
In May 1913, Narcisse Seymour conveyed Lot 9-Block 35 (Culmseig Map of Ocean Springs 1854) to Hattie Seymour Dale, his daughter. Shortly thereafter, George W. Dale erected at No. 19 Calhoun Avenue, present day 1203 Calhoun, a 1600 square-foot, vernacular, side-gabled roof cottage with a small, shed-roof porch.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 39, p. 241)
In July 1936, during the Great Depression, George and Hattie Seymour Dale sold their home to Eugenia Zeolide “Gallie” Eglin (1877-1962), the wife of Henry L. Armstrong (1874-1945). The Armstrongs resided at 1112 Bowen with their two children: Rollin “Polly” Stanley Armstrong (1907-1979), and Bernadette Armstrong Cavanah (1909-1962+). Mrs. Armstrong returned the Dale cottage to them in a sale in November 1942.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 69, p. 173 and Bk. 82, p. 282)
In July 1953, George W. Dale expired in his home at No. 19 Calhoun Avenue. His corporal remains were passed through St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and interred in the Bellande Cemetery on Dewey Avenue.(The Daily Herald, July 23, 1953, p. 13)
In her later years and post-demise of George W. Dale, Hattie Seymour Dale was domiciled in a personal care home at Mobile for two years before she expired on August 7, 1956 in Mt. Pleasant, Maury County, Tennessee, at the home of Milledge Dale Allen, her daughter and spouse of Clarence S. Allen (1906-1987). Mrs. Dale’s corporal remains were returned to Ocean Springs and interred in the Bellande Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, August 9, 1956, p. 2)
Milledge Dale Allen was appointed executrix of her mother’s estate, which consisted solely of her residence at No. 19 Calhoun. Hattie Seymour Dale’s heirs conveyed the George W. Dale cottage to Conrad and Mildred von Salzen in May 1959 for $4500.(Jackson Co., Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 14007-December 1957 and Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 187, p. 512, Bk. 187, p. 514, and Bk. 187, p. 516)
The von Salzen family lived here until J.Y. Christmas III acquired the Dale cottage from them in October 1976. Mr. Christmas remains here today.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 575, p. 451)
Willy Dale attended local schools and graduated with the Ocean Springs High School Class of 1916, which was headed by Professor Benjamin H. Ashman (1892-1983) and spouse, Mildred D. Ashman (1890-1975). Among his classmates who would also find success in their chosen careers were: Edward A. Bellande (1897-1978), A. Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974), and Walter B. Holloway (1900-1965).
On January 20, 1920, Willy Dale married Ethel Sophia Endt (1900-1978), the daughter of Anthony J. “Tony” Endt (1870-1948) and Johanna Friedericka Wendel (1873-1931). Their nuptial ceremony took place at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and was presided over by the Reverend Joseph H. Chauvin (1867-1959). Shortly after the wedding, Willy Dale moved to Oklahoma. His wife joined him later.(The Jackson County Times, January 17,1920, p. 5 and Jackson Co., Ms. MRB 13, p. 274)
The parents of Ethel Endt Dale were natives of New Orleans and the children of German immigrants. Ethel’s parents had married October 29, 1896 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.
(Lepre, 1991, p. 103 and JXCO, Ms. MRB 6, p. 70)
[L-R: images made April 1990 and August 1997 by Ray L. Bellande]
In March 1920, Ethel Endt Dale acquired Lot 5-Block 33 (Culmseig Map 1854), from Elijah Brown of Washington D.C. Here the Dales built their familial home at 1406 Porter Street and reared their two children: Thelma Dale Bradford Christopherson (b. 1921) and William F. Dale Jr. (1926-1979). In November 1989, before his demise, Willy Dale sold his Porter Street home to Thelma Dale Christopherson, his daughter, and Gary W. Christopherson, his grandson, who reside in South San Francisco, Lake Co., California.(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 48, p. 3 and Bk. 949, p. 31)
In June 1990, shortly after Willy Dales’s death, Thelma and Gary W. Christopherson vended the structure to Andrew A. Marion Jr. and Melissa Schloegel Marion, his wife. They relocated to Seapointe in 1996 and conveyed the Dale cottage to Andrew’s parents, Andrew A. Marion and Martha B. Marion, who remain here on Porter Street today adjacent to Freedom Field..(Jackson Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 959, p. 656 and Bk. 1084, p. 660)
Dale Motor Company [circa 1927]
9 Porter Street
[from The Ocean Springs Record, June 22, 1972, p. 1]
As a young man Dale learned to repair automobiles. In May 1926, he went into business as the Dale Motor Company. He opened a 3500 square-foot garage on West Porter, in a structure which was once the locus of the J.J. O’Keefe Livery Stable. It was of the most modern on the entire coast. Dale's machines and tools were mostly electrically powered, state of the art for the period. Among his inventory of apparatuses were: the electrical valve resurfacing and reseating tool; electrical riveting; counter-sinking machine for relining brakes; cylinder hones; aligning gauges for front wheels; acetylene welding and cutting torch; weaver wrecker for hauling in disabled vehicles; air pump; Weaver tire change stand; Humpy-Cooper re-babbitting machines and other appurtenances applicable to automobile repair. At this time Willy Dale was the local Chevrolet dealer. He also sold gasoline, oil, and greases and his Porter Street auto service business.(The Jackson County Times, June 12, 1926)
Milledge Dale Whitworth Allen (1912-1998)
[Milledge Dale standing in front of Willy Dale's Ocean Kid, circa 1928. Courtesy of Dr. Judy Bassham-Niceville, Florida]
Willy Dale was a passionate man and motorboat racing and fishing were his salient avocations. His Ocean Wave was the only competitive speed boat at Ocean Springs. The watercraft was powered by a Lockwood Motor. Willy’s Dale Motor Company was the agent for Johnson and Lockwood outboard motors.
On May 10, 1928, Willy Dale participated in a motorboat regatta in conjunction with the dedication of the Harrison County seawall. Dale in his Ocean Wave, won three trophies. He piloted his light craft to victory in the Class B races. Willy also captured second place in two other class events. He was a contender in a fourth event, but his craft was damaged.(The Jackson County Times, May 12, 1928, p. 2)
On June 10, 1928, Dale participated in the Pass Christian Motor Boat Regatta. This time he was in a small light craft called the Ocean Kid. This boat developed great speed from its Johnson outboard motor. Willy Dale expertly drove his craft to first place in its class, and finished second in a race against all competitors piloting craft of all sizes and horsepower. (The Jackson County Times, June 16, 1928, p. 3)
Two weeks later, Willy Dale ran the Ocean Kid in Back Bay at a race course off Bay Terrace. He had recently been experimenting with the small craft and the June 24th race was a ‘test race’ for him. Willy’s experimentations proved deleterious to his watercraft. The Ocean Kid ran well in the first contest finishing second in a hotly contested race with The Last Flea of Biloxi. Dale was not able to race again that day.(The Jackson County Times, June 23, 1928, p. 3 and June 30, 1928, p. 3 )
Willy Dale made a successful appearance at the Biloxi Yacht Club Regatta held in July 1928, piloting the Red Gold, built by a Biloxi party with one of Dale’s ten and one-half, horsepower, Lockwood engine. The Red Gold averaged thirty-five miles per hour and swept every class race.(The Jackson County Times, July 14, 1928, p. 3)
In August 1928, Dale drove his Lightning to first place finishes in the Class B and Class C outboard motor races at Bay St. Louis. Competitors were from New Orleans and other Mississippi coast towns.(The Jackson County Times, August 25, 1928, p. 1)
As previously mentioned, Willy Dale commenced his long career as a local entrepreneur in 1926 with the opening of Dale Motor Company on West Porter Street. Mr. Dale had leased the “O’Keefe Livery Stable Lot”, east of the mansion in August 1927, from the J.J. O’Keefe family. Here he operated a garage and initially sold Texaco products. Mr. Dale later vended Shell gasoline here.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 70, pp. 196-200)
In September 1929, he Dale began Dale Motor Sales, Inc. with two partners, Arthur W. Hersey and Arthur .T. ‘Ted’ Hersey. This enterprise was an agency that represented and vended Chrysler and Plymouth motorcars . It also was located on West Porter Street at the site of the Dale Motor Company and garage. Willy Dale continued here with his auto repairs and the vending of auto accessories, tires, tubes, and outboard motors. Willy and Ted Hersey managed the motorcar sales of their Chrysler-Plymouth enterprise.(The Jackson County Times, September , 1929, p. )
Arthur W. Hersey (1879-1971), a native of Boston, Massachusetts, was a consulting Civil Engineer who came to Ocean Springs from Harvey, Cook County, Illinois. He was reared in Bean Town where his family was in the grocery business. A.W. Hersey was the City Engineer for Harvey, Illinois, a south Chicago suburb, before becoming a consultant engineer.(1900 Suffolk Co., Massachusetts; 1910 Cook Co., Illinois; and 1920 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census T9_560, p. 17, ED 749; T624_241, p. 13B, ED 120; and T625-363, p. 14B, ED 216)
A.W. Hersey and A.M. McElrath, also from Cook County, Illinois supervised the dredging and road construction at Gulf Hills for the Branigar Brothers in 1925 and 1926. At this time, a thirty-six ton dredge was utilized to dig a six to eight-foot depth channel to residential sites at the Gulf Hills development. Mr. Hersey oversaw the construction of Shore Drive and Ridge Road, as well as, connecting roads and an eight mile bridal path through the wooded region.(The Jackson County Times, January 23, 1926, pp.1 and 3)
Circa 1906, Arthur W. Hersey married Emma B. Hersey (1887-1930+), a native of Pennsylvania. They had one child, Arthur T. “Ted” Hersey (1907-1991), who was born in Illinois, probably Harvey. In May 1930, A.W. Hersey was a resident of Gulf Hills and employed as a real estate manager. In 1927, he and Emma had built one of the original Gulf Hills homes, a Spanish Colonial Revival structure at present day 13720 Windlo Circle, now the residence of Maria Mavar. The Hersey-Mavar domicile will be one of four Gulf Hills habitats on tour for the 2007 Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra Guild Kaleidoscope of Homes, which will occur on December 2nd.(1930 Federal Census-Jackson Co., Ms., T626-1150, p. 83)
A.T. “Ted” Hersey married Helen Wertz (or Werts) of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois on June 24, 1929. She was the daughter of A.E. Werts and the sister of Mrs. Paul Beam. The newly weds honeymooned in the Midwest and then took a steamer from New York to New Orleans. They planned to be in Ocean Springs on July 10, 1929.(1930 Federal Census of JXCO, Ms., T626-1150, p. and The Jackson County Times, June 15, 1929, p. 2)
In 1930, Ted and Helen Hersey were living in Cherokee Glen. As mentioned, he made his livelihood in automobile sales with Willy Dale. The Herseys were members of the “Monday Night Club”. They were hosts of a meeting of the club in May 1930 and their guests included his parents.(The Daily Herald, May 28, 1930, p. 2)
The Dolphin-was built for Willy Dale on Porter Street in 1938 by Henry F. Fountain (1899-1964), a Biloxi boat builder and hull superintendent at the Westergard Boat Works on the Back Bay in Biloxi during WW II. Westergard’s vessels were wooden, minesweepers, which were 110 feet in length and saw service in the North Atlantic. They were dubbed the ‘Splinter Fleet’ and the ‘Donald Duck Navy’. Willy Dale’s Dolphin was used in the Mississippi Sound for commercial fishing charters and pleasure cruising to the barrier island.
The Babendriers or Babendreers
In March 1936, Willy Dale formed another local corporation, Dale Inc., to manufacture, sell, and build oil dispensing devices. His partners were Dr. Albert Babendrier and spouse, Dr. Estelle Turner Babendrier (1871-1958). Capital stock for the new company was $26,000.(The Jackson County Times, March 28, 1936)
Dr. Charles Albert Irving Babendrier (1867-1938) called Albert, was born in Baltimore, Maryland on November 13, 1867 of German parentage while Estelle Turner Babendreir was a native of Mobile, Alabama. She was born July 28, 1871. Her father was a native of North Carolina, and her mother was a French speaking Swiss national. Estelle Babendrier attended Plute Medical College probably located at Kentucky. She graduated in March 1896, after completing four courses in allopathic medicine. Her experience as a physician was with Dr. J.E. Million of Kentucky where she practiced for thirteen years.(JXCO, Ms. Physician’s License Bk. 2, p. 199)
The Babendriers may have arrived at Ocean Springs in late 1906. They probably came here from Kentucky where their two children, Eleanor Sophia Babendrier Moore (1900-1986) and Eric Turner Babendrier (1902-1975) were born. Both Babendrier children practiced law. Eleanor was the first woman attorney at Ocean Springs and possible in South Mississippi. She was admitted to the bar in August 1922 with Judge D.M. Graham administering the oath at Pascagoula.(The Jackson County Times, August 12, 1922, p. 1)
It is generally believed that the Babendriers chose Ocean Springs to retire from their respective medical practices. Later Estelle did develop her medicinal skills at Ocean Springs after being granted a license to practice medicine in Jackson County on July 18, 1922.(JXCO, Ms. Physician’s License Bk. 2, p. 199)
On January 3, 1907, Albert Babendrier purchased thirty acres of land in the SE/4 of the NW/4 of Section 28, T7S-R8W from Mayor F.M. Weed (1852-1917) and merchant, Elias S. Davis (1859-1925), for $840. This tract is south of Government Street and west of Pine Hills Road. After building a unique, 3000 square-foot, concrete home at present day 601 Pine Hills Road in the northeast corner of his estate, the Babendriers planted pecans and citrus trees.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 32, pp. 143-144)
Circa 1916, Albert Babendrier came out of semi-retirement to become an entrepreneur. By May 1917, he and E.S. Davis were active in cereal making with their Whole Grain Wheat Company at Monence, Illinois. Albert Babendrier acquired the Biloxi Canning Company in October 1919 for $4000. Willie C. Rose Humphreys (1877-1921+), the wife of John Brown Humphrey (1861-1921), was the vendor of this seafood factory, which is now the site of the Imperial Palace Casino on Bay View Avenue in Biloxi.(The Jackson County Times, May 12, 1917 and HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.125, p. 73)
In 1920, at Biloxi, Albert Babendrier entered into the machine and foundry business, which was complimentary to his cannery. The enterprise called the Biloxi Machine Works & Foundry Company was located on the northeast corner of Railroad Street and Magnolia. The organization manufactured the Gulf Standard Gasoline engine, gray iron, and made brass and aluminum fittings. Louis Braun served as vice president and J.R. McElroy was the treasurer of the organization.
When Dr. Albert Babendrier died on June 19, 1938, he was buried in a mausoleum like structure located southwest of his home. This feature may have been used originally as a cyclone cellar. Paul bearers at Dr. Babendrier's funeral were: W.G. Wilkes, E.C. Tonsmeire, Willie Dale, W.A. Vierling, F.B. Royster, and Dr. Carl Lindstrom. Dr. Estelle Turner Babendrier lived until March 12, 1958. She was a member of the Gulf Coast Medical Society and American Medical Association. She specialized in skin disorders and allergies. Her treatment of patients at Ocean Springs is legendary as it is generally believed she prepared her own formulae from herbs and plants grown in her garden. George E. Arndt (1910-1994), remembered that Dr. Babendrier gave him some "little pink pills" for a respiratory ailment. He believed also that some of her medicine was manufactured by a pharmaceutical house in St. Louis. Many other people at Ocean Springs can relate to having been treated for poison ivy and sumac by Dr. Babendrier. Her treatments for these irritating skin ailments were oral liquids, salves, and lotions. It appears the good lady doctor took her apothecarial secrets to the grave.(The Daily Herald, June 20, 1938, p. 1 and June 21, 1938, p. 3; and March 12, 1958, p. 2; and J.K. Lemon)
In April 1938, Willy Dale contracted with Henry Fountain (1899-1964), a Biloxi boat builder, to construct a cabin cruiser. It was built on Porter Street at his boathouse adjoining the Dale automobile garage. When completed, the $7500 vessel was launched in Old Fort Bayou and christened, Dolphin. The Dolphin was about forty feet in length with a twelve-foot beam and hold depth of six feet. She was built of clear cypress with the cabin and interior made of mahogany. Willy Dale and William Walter Hearther (1892-1981), the spouse of Mildred Peacock (1896-1968), the granddaughter of Charles D. Peacock, founder of C.D. Peacock Jewelers and E.J. Lehmann, founder of the Fair Store, which merged with Montgomery Ward & Company, had just returned from Detroit, Michigan where they went to select a 165 horse power GM diesel engine for the new vessel. W.W. Hearther was a Chicago stockbroker and part time, Gulf Hills resident. The 1050 mile return trip to Ocean Springs was made in 17 ½ hours. When completed, the Dolphin was used by Sportsman’s Services, Inc. out of Biloxi for sports fishing and pleasure cruising to the nearby barrier islands. Willy Dale managed the operations.(The Daily Herald, April 22, 1938, p. 6 and May 25, 1938, p. 8 and The Chicago Tribune, February 14, 1968)
Willy Dale and the O’Keefe Mansion
The O'Keefe family began its long and illustrious history at Ocean Springs when Irish immigrant Edward "Ned" O'Keefe (1815-1874), came here from New Orleans in the mid-1850s. O'Keefe married Mary Tracy (1832-1895) in 1859, the same year he purchased Lot 5 of Block 26 (Culmseig Map) from A.F. Ramsay on the northeast corner of Porter and Rayburn.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 7, p. 272)
After returning from the Civil War (1861-1865) with the Live Oak Rifles, Company A, 3rd Mississippi Regiment, Ned O'Keefe became a teamster and started a livery business. He supplied transportation service to the multitude of visitors who arrived at Ocean Springs by steam packet and later train. When people passed on, his carriages were used to transport their corporal remains to the local cemeteries, primarily Evergreen and Bellande. Before his death in 1874, Ned O'Keefe and his wife had two children: Jeremiah Joseph “Jerry” O’Keefe (1860-1911) and Mary Helen O’ Keefe (1863-1878), a victim of the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic.
In February 1881, Mary Tracy O'Keefe commenced her boarding house and store operations on the northeast corner of Jackson and Porter. The property was purchased by her husband, Ned O'Keefe in two parcels. The first lot was bought from Enoch N. Ramsay (1832-1916), in April 1867, and described as Lot 6 of Block 27 (Culmseig Map-1854) and comprised 52 feet on Jackson and 200 feet on Porter. In August of the same year, Ned Keith purchased Lot 5 of Block 27 (Culseig Map-1854) from George A. Cox (1811-1878). This tract became the site of the O’Keefe livery stable and later the Willy Dale garage.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 4, 1881, p. 3 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 62, p. 475 and Bk. 62, p. 476)
In 1909, Jerry O'Keefe built a large family home behind the old family boarding house at present day 911 Porter Street. This 2 1/2 story mansion of Beaux-Arts "polite" design, Corinthian columns, and wide porches has become a symbol of O'Keefe prosperity and financial calamity. The edifice was completed with cost approaching $10,000. The Jerry O’Keefe mansion was lauded in 1909, as a handsome addition to the numerous beautiful edifices situated in Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs News, November 27, 1909, p. 1)
An adjunct to this tale is that of the fabulous cut-glass portals on the 1909 O’Keefe home. They were constructed by Jefferson Davis Egan (1864-1907), the son of Irish immigrants John J. Egan (1827-1875) and Julia Egan (1833-1907), as a wedding gift for his childhood friend, Jerry O’Keefe.(1860-1911). From 1938 until 1971, the O’Keefe cut-glass doors remained at Ocean Springs in Miss Mary C. O’Keefe’s cottage, which was located on West Porter between Dale’s Garage and the W.S. Van Cleave Store. After Miss O’Keefe’s domicile was demolished to erect the Villa Maria in the early 1970s, the doors were stored in Biloxi. They were mounted on the O’Keefe mansion during its restoration by Jeremiah J. O'Keefe III, which was completed in December 1987.(Ellison, 1991, p. 67, Alice O’Keefe Sebastian, September 13, 1999, and The Ocean Springs Record, December 3, 1987, p. 1)
It is believed that the 1909 O’Keefe home at present day 911 Porter was modeled on that of the Dr. Don Carlos Case-H.F. Russell edifice, which stood on the southwest corner of Washington and Porter until it was demolished in the1930s after being damaged by a fire in 1934. (The Jackson County Times, September 29, 1934 and J.K. Lemon, 1993)
In July 1910, the antiquated, wooden O’Keefe boarding house was sold to Samuel Backous (1855-1921), a farmer from Indiana, who had recently returned to Ocean Springs from Texarkana, Texas. Mr. Backous and his wife had sold their Texas farm, and planned to reside at Ocean Springs permanently. In September 1907, they had purchased the NW/4, NW/4 of Section 29, T7S-R8W from E.E. Clements of Buncombe County, North Carolina.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 32, pp. 616-617)
The old O’Keefe boarding house was moved to the Backous place, now the Ted Clark place at 2122 Government Street, in 1910. The upper story was removed. It is speculated that the O’keefe home was transported over the shell roads of Ocean Springs using a method popular at this time i.e., oxen pulling the house, which had been jacked off its foundation and supported by poles or logs which were chained to a pair of wagon wheels.
Dale’s Restaurant and Lounge
From the early 1940s until the early 1980s, Willy Dale was the proprietor or lessor of this magnificent edifice which had been built in 1909 by Jeremiah J. O’Keefe (1890-1911) as his family residence. During Dale’s long ownership, this building was often the social center of town with food, music, and libations to enjoy. In addition to Dale’s, it was also known as Trilby’s, the White Oaks Restaurant, and the White Oaks Inn. During WW II, the Greyhound bus line stopped here as well. Courtesy of Robert W. Potter (1918-2008).
Unfortunately, the 1909 Jeremiah J. O’Keefe architectural, gem at present day 911 Porter Street was lost by the O’Keefe family during the Depression, when it was repossessed in December 1938, by the Home Owners Loan Corporation, a Federal corporation. A balance of $5612.17 was owed by the O’Keefe family on the mortgaged property. It was vended by this Federal government agency to William F. ‘Willy’ Dale (1899-1990) in December 1939, for $3850.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed JXCO Land Deed Bk. 71, pp. 580-581 and Bk. 74, pp. 158-160)
One of the great success stories of Ocean Springs, is the return of the J.J. O’Keefe family residence on Porter Street to the family. When they lost it in 1938, the Jeremiah J. ‘Ben’ O’Keefe II family relocated to Biloxi and resided on Fayard Street behind the Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral parlor at 601 West Howard Avenue. A young Jeremiah J. “Jerry” O’Keefe III (b. 1923) and his sister, Alice O’Keefe Sebastian (b. 1922), vowed that someday, they would reclaim their former home in Ocean Springs.(Alice O’Keefe Sebastian, September 13, 1999 and The Ocean Springs Record, July 3, 1986, p. 2 and July 10, 1986, p. 2
This was accomplished in July 1986, when the Willy Dale family sold the former O’Keefe mansion to Gulf National Life, an O’Keefe corporation. A ceremony was held on the grounds and after signing the warranty deed to the O’Keefe family, Willy Dale said, “Folks, the first day [of owning this building] was fun and the last day is fun too.” In December 1987, Jeremiah J. ‘Jerry’ O’Keefe III with the competent architectural advice and service of Bruce Tolar completed its restoration. The refurbished edifice has been used as the Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home since this time.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 863, p. 159 and The Ocean Springs Record, July 3, 1886, p. 2 and December 3, 1987, p. 1)
Dale’s Restaurant and Lounge
After Willy Dale took possession of the O’Keefe home, at present day 911 Porter Street, he converted it into a restaurant and lounge. Its chronology is varied and interesting as for the next forty plus odd years, the Dale building, formerly O’Keefe residence, was leased by many individuals who attempted to make their livelihood from the food and beverage business within its hallowed halls and expansive rooms. During some of this time, Willy Dale continued his interest in the vending of gasoline and oil and the selling and repairing of automobiles. An example of this interest was demonstrated in October 1941, when he opened a new Shell filling station and in January 1946, when Willy Dale reopened his auto repair service in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, October 25, 1941, p. 1 and January 26, 1946, p. 4)
World War II
World War II introduced mass changes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Ocean Springs was highly influenced by the establishment of Keesler Field at Biloxi in 1941 and our own Army Air Corps Crash Boast Base set up in early 1944 on the Inner Harbor. The overflow of military personnel and their dependents from Biloxi for housing and entertainment was surely excellent for local business and rentals. Dales’s on Porter Street was the social center of town during these trying times. Several local gals found husbands whom they met at Dale’s during WW II.
Willy Dale also was the local agent for the Greyhound Lines at his Porter Street establishment during WW II. He advertised this enterprise as follows:
Now located at Dale’s
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
24-HOUR RESTAURANT SERVICE
Will appreciate your business and patronage
(The Jackson County Times, April 15, 1944, p. 4)
Ancel D. Thompson
Shortly after the termination of WW II., in January 1946, Willy Dale leased his restaurant and lounge on Porter to Ancel David Thompson (1907-1977), a native of Alabama, and Mildred Elizabeth Izard Thompson (1905-1998) of Biloxi. Mr. Thompson had been an assistant manager of a wholesale grocery in Gulfport and a traveling salesman prior to joining the military in 1943. He expected to improve the restaurant in several areas. Miss Nora Ladnier continued tending bar for the Thompsons.(The Jackson County Times, January 26, 1946, p. 1)
Ancel D. Thompson opened in early February 1946, with the following advertisement in The Jackson County Times of February 8, 1946, p. 4:
Saturday, Feb. 9, 1946
We will specialize in Sea Food Dinners,
Steaks and Chicken
Dances Continue on Wednesday and
Saturday as Usual with C.F. Gollote's (sic)
Restaurant Hours 12 Noon to 9 P.M.
The Thompson’a tenure at Dale’s was short-lived as by the summer of 1946, a new tenant had taken over the property.
Willy Dale (1899-1990) was an avid fisherman and boater. He is depicted here with a large Spanish mackerel. After the Dolphin, Mr. Dale acquired the Hubba Hubba, a twenty-four foot, mahogany, cabin cruiser. It was kept in his boathouse on West Porter between the restaurant-lounge and the former service station, which had been converted to offices.
Nosery M. Abraham
In August 1946, Nosery Mark Abraham (1898-1969), a 1909 Syrian immigrant, undertook the management of the Dale property. Nosery M. Abraham had been reared at Ocean Springs, as William Abraham (1865-1941), his father, had operated a fruit stand, general store, and residence, probably on Washington Avenue. In September 1911, Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960) was contracted to erect another story onto the structure occupied by the Abraham family. The family planned to reside on the second floor and enlarge their business on the bottom story.(The Ocean Springs News, September 9, 1911 and September 30, 1911
On June 1, 1918, Mrs. William Abraham moved to Pascagoula and leased a store building near the post office to take advantage of the booming economy there reacting to America’s entry into WW I. Nosery M. Abraham showed the patriotism often evoked by recent immigrants and enlisted in July 1918 in the U.S. Marine Corps. He finished basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina and was mustered out of the Marine Corps at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia in January 1919.(The Jackson County Times, June 1, 1918, p. 5)
Nosery M. Abraham returned to Mississippi after his military service and opened an ice cream manufacturing business at Columbia, Mississippi. His father closed his shoe repair business at Ocean Springs in August 1920 and joined him in Marion County.(The Jackson County Times, August 21, 1920)
At Biloxi in April 1926, Nosery married Loretta Sablich (1901-1992), the daughter of Julius Sablich (1873-1947) Alphonsine Ruex (1874-1960). After their nuptials, the newly weds were domiciled at Gulfport, but by 1930 had returned to Hopkins Boulevard at Biloxi where Nosery was employed selling sea food. At this time, they had two sons, Nosery M. Abraham Jr. (1927-2003+) and Joseph E. Abraham (1929-1976).(The Jackson County Times, April 10, 1926, p. 3 and 1930 Harrison Co., Ms. Federal Census R 1146, p. 14A, Ed 5)
The Silver Gull and Dale’s
Prior to commencing his food and beverage services in the Dale place on Porter Street, Nosery Abraham had been the proprietor of The Silver Gull, a restaurant and lounge, situated on U.S. Highway 90, now the Old Spanish Trail or Government Street, two miles east of Ocean Springs. He opened The Silver Gull in February 1940.(The Jackson County Times, February 24, 1940, p. 4)
On August 3, 1946, Nosery M. Abraham, the new manager, opened as:
Restaurant and Lounge
Fine steaks, fresh well-prepared seafood, fried chicken, and poor boy sandwiches
Curb service No cover or admission charge
Mr. Abraham also offered C.F. Gollott (1911-1987) of Biloxi and his orchestra with Miss Mae Morgan on vocals. C.F. Gollott played Dixieland Jazz and was associated with name bands of his era: Ace Cannon, George Brunies (1902-1974), Dan Glasser, and Chuck Foster.(The Daily Herald, August 2, 1946, p. 3 and The Ocean Springs Record, December 2, 1982, p. 2)
In the spring of 1947, Leland ‘Pete’ Lowery (1914-1955) took over the management of Dale's Place, a cafe and lounge, on the northeast corner of Porter and Jackson Avenue. Pete Lowery was a native of Grenada, Mississippi. He came to Ocean Springs with his family from Gulfport after WW II. They had earlier resided in the Delta region of northwest Mississippi.(Donnie L. Beaugez, August 1998 and The Jackson County Times, July 26, 1947)
DINE and DANCE
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
Open 8: A.M. to 12: 00 P.M.
The Coolest Place In Town
The Coldest Drinks In Town
We are equipped to handle Special Partities
Mr. and Mrs. Pete Lowery, Proprietors
(The Jackson County Times, May 24, 1947, p. 8)
It appears that Pete Lowery left Dale’s Place in the spring of 1949, and relocated across the street to the Neville Byrd property situated on the northwest corner of Porter and Jackson. Here he commenced a business called Pete’s Lounge. Mr. Lowery’s place featured nightly dining and dancing with music by Toby Gunn on the Hammond organ and the Dixie Land Band. Adam “Frenchie” Bourgeois (1914-1987), the bar tender, later opened his own West Porter establishment called, Frenchie’s Fine Foods. Pete Lowery also had a drive-inn restaurant with curb service. A barbecue pit was located near the Cosper Courts, now Dale Cottages. The Lowery family also resided here as there were two apartments on the site.(The Jackson County Times, June 10, 1949 and July 1, 1949, p. 10 and Donnie L. Beaugez, August 1998)
In late September 1950, Leland “Pete” Lowery left this location and opened a Pete’s Lounge on Highway 90 on the west side of the War Memorial Bridge in the former Kersanac’s Snug Harbor building of J.J. Kersanac. Pete Lowery made significant improvements to the property. The exterior and interior of the structure was repainted, the rear of the building was excavated to create a circular driveway and space for patron curb service, and adequate rest room facilities were installed. Local artist, Charles Kuper, painted jungle scenes in the Cocktail Lounge. Jo Selzer of New Orleans was hostess. In relocating to Highway 90, Pete Lowery had taken a four-year lease from Mrs. May W. Lundy (1885-1951+).(The Gulf Coast Times, September 22, 1950, p. 1 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 124, pp. 394-396)
In January 1951, Pete Lowery suffered a heart attack, and spent several months recovering. It appears that he may have decided to retire from the restaurant business as in October 1951, Pete Lowery sub-leased the property known as Pete’s Lounge to Edwin L. Matheny (1920-1987). Mr. Matheny took an option to buy Lowery’s equipment and fixtures in Mrs. Lundy’s building.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 19, 1951, p. 1 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 124, pp. 397-400)
It is known that Pete Lowery went back into the lounge business as he was operating Pete’s Lounge in West Biloxi in December 1953.(The Gulf Coast Times, December 10, 1953, p. 1)
Bingo has long been that game of chance used so ubiquitously to raise money for good causes. Dale’s was also the venue for Bingo as advertised in 1947 and 1948.
At 8 p.m.
First Game Free 21 Games
JACKPOTS THIS WEEK $135------$55
BENEFIT BUILDING FUND
OCEAN SPRINGS VOLUNTEER
“Help build a modern FIRE STATION.
A big step towards reducing your fire insurance rates!!”
If you are unable to attend Bingos, we will appreciate your contributions. Mail or give them to Arthur Marx, Secretary P.O. Box 427.
(The Jackson County Times, December 31, 1948)
On March 25, 1949, The Gulf Coast Times announced that Dale's Restaurant and Lounge, a local landmark, will open on March 28, 1949. It had been operated by others last year. As previously mentioned Pete Lowery had moved across the street and opened Pete's Lounge circa June 1949.(The Gulf Coast Times, June 10, 1949).
Willy Dale returns
It’s fun to done by candlelight at
HIGHWAY 90, OCEAN SPRINGS
Enjoy superb food, at this new and attractive restaurant, always
Open 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 4:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Managed by Wm. F. Dale
(The Gulf Coast Times, April 8, 1949, p. 10)
After closing her Porter Street restaurant in Willy Dale’s building, Trilby G. Steimer (1896-1960) relocated in 1955 to the old Gehl place on "new" US 90, today called Bienville Boulevard. The ‘new’ U.S. Highway 90 by passed down town Ocean Springs. E.W. ‘Woody’ Blossman (1913-1990) acquired the property and Trilby name in 1963. Harold and Jocelyn Seymour Mayfield, who had worked for Trilby, managed the eating affair for Mr. Blossman, until 1982, when they opened Jocelyn's, their own fine restaurant, also on Bienville Boulevard. Jack Gottsche became manager of Trilby’s in 1983. In 1993, he changed the name to Germaine’s. The restaurant became Chandler’s in 2004 and after Katrina (2005), Alberti’s, formerly of Biloxi has operated in the former Trilby’s.
By January 1952, Willy Dale had a new proprietor in his Porter Street edifice. She was‘Trilby’ Grenet Steimer (1896-1960). Trilby had already made a name for herself at Ocean Springs in the fine dining and restaurant business. She ran the Big Pine Inn on West Porter Street until February 1946, when it was sold to Paul Lewis. In 1947, Trilby and Ted Steimer with Ray and Juanita Taylor, opened the Alibi, formerly the Clear View Café, on Highway 90 (Government Street) east of Ocean Springs. Another site for the ubiquitous Trilby was the Bayou Chateau, now Aunt Jenny's Catfish Restaurant. She opened here on September 4, 1948. This was the first time that the name “Trilby’s” was used for her business.(The Jackson County Times, August 27, 1948, p. 9)
Lillian “Trilby” G. Welton Steimer (1896-1960) was born at New York City on April 1, 1896, the daughter of Auguste J. Grenet and Lillian Day. Honore Grenet, Trilby’s grandfather, was born in France and had a background in the restaurant business. He immigrated to Mexico with his Majorcan born wife between 1864 and 1867, when Ferdinand Maximilian (1832-1867), the Austrian archduke, was being enthroned as Emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1808-1873), who ruled France from 1852-1870. Opposition to the French invasion of Mexico led to anarchy, which swept the country and led Honore Grenet to remove his family to the safe environs of San Antonio, Texas. Here Monsieur Grenet founded a successful merchandiser. He owned the Alamo, which he purchased from the Roman Catholic Church for $20,000, and utilized it as a warehouse for his expanding business. Trilby’s father, Auguste J. Grenet, was sent to Manhattan College in New York City. Here he became engaged in the chemical business, but was enamored with horse racing. Auguste, a competent mathematician, devised a system for handicapping race horses and became the first professional handicapper.(Down South, Vol. 9, No. 4, July-August 1959)
Walter F. Welton
In New York circa 1917, Trilby Grenet married Walter F. Welton (1894-1981), the son of Frances Welton, a Manhattan butcher and later hotelier, and Elise Welton, a French immigrant. Trilby and Walter F. Welton had two children: Francis Welton (1918-pre-1930) and Elise ‘Happy’ W. Fulwiler MendezThomas (1920-1989). In 1920, Walter F. Welton was in the hotel business with Frances Welton (1867-1918+), his father. Their resort was called Moheghan Lake and situated in Westchester County, New York. Adele Grenet Stevenson (1888-1990), Trilby’s sister, was also married to a hotelier and resided in Palm Beach, Florida.(1920 New York Co., New York Federal Census T625_1226, p. 3A, ED 1494)
In March 1930, Trilby G. Welton, then divorced from Walter F. Welton married Edward C. "Ted" Steimer (1884-1967) in south Florida. He was an associate of her father's in the horse race handicapping business. Ted Steimer began visiting Ocean Springs circa 1916, as a fishing destination. He continued this routine for years, as he would arrive here in the fall to hunt and fish before the racing season began at New Orleans. Ted and Trilby relocated to Ocean Springs after their wedding.(The Daily Herald, March 14, 1930, p. 9)
TRILBY’S [circa 1953]
911 Porter Street
Trilby's, an Ocean Springs culinary experience and tradition was commenced by Lillian ‘Trilby’ Grenet Welton Steimer (1896-1960) at Ocean Springs in 1948, when she opened in the Bayou Chateau, now Aunt Jenny’s, on Old Fort Bayou. In 1955, after a several years in the O’Keefe-Dale place on West Porter, she and E.C. ‘Ted” Steimer (1884-1967) opened Trilby’s at present day 1203 Bienville Boulevard. With Trilby’s demise in Mr. Steimer vended the business to E.W. ‘Woody’ Blossman (1913-1990). The former Trilby’s has been operated in recent years as: Germaine’s, Chandler’s, and today is called Alberti’s.
By January 1952, Trilby G. Steimer had relocated to the W.F. Dale building, formerly the J.J. O’Keefe home on Porter Street. The Steimer’s lived upstairs in the old O’Keefe mansion. Burglars broke into their restaurant on New Year’s Day 1952 and stole $4 in pennies from the cash register.(The Gulf Coast Times, January 3, 1952, p. 1)
In July 1955, Trilby G. Steimer acquired the old Gehl place on "new" US 90, today called Bienville Boulevard. This is the Trilby's that most residents of Ocean Springs are familiar and have fond culinary memories. Here such gourmet dishes as Rock Cornish game hen au parto and creamed ham and sweetbreads with ripe olives, macaroni loaf, carrot casserole, and rum pie were concocted.
In June 1963, after the demise of Trilby G. Steimer, Trilby's Restaurant was acquired from her daughter and widower, Elise G. Thomas and E.C. Steimer, by the Alpha Investment Corporation, an E.W. Blossman (1913-1990) family enterprise. The name "Trilby's" was sold with the restaurant. Harold and Jocelyn Seymour Mayfield, who had worked for Trilby, managed the eating affair for Mr. Blossman, until 1982, when they opened Jocelyn's, their own fine restaurant, also on Bienville Boulevard. Jack Gottsche became manager of Trilby’s in 1983. In May 1987, Craig Claiborne (1920-2000), food critic for the New York Times, ate at Trilby’s.(Jack Gottsche, February 1, 2008 and The Ocean Springs Record, May 21, 1987, p. 7)
In September 1988, title to the Trilby restaurant property at 1203 Bienville Boulevard was transferred to the Blossman Company. From 1993 until 2004, the restaurant was called Germaine's for Germaine Gottsche, now Dr. Germaine Gottsche, DDS, and the lovely daughter of the former proprietors, Jack and Jane Dees Gottsche. In January 2004, Jack Gottsche sold his interest in Germaine’s to Vikki Harlan McElhose and spouse, Wayne McElhose. The McElhose family changed the name of their eatery from Germaine’s to Chandler’s. Chandler was Mrs. McElhose’s father, Howard Chandler Harlan. The McElhose family came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1997. Vikki had thirty years of restaurant experience and promised to continue with many of Trilby’s original recipes. She did add Prime Rib, Lobster, Black & Bleu Soup, and Fried Green Tomatoes. An Express lunch menu was also commenced with meals ranging from $8-$10. Chandler’s also offered off site catering and private parties. There was a Champagne brunch on Sunday.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 15, 2004, p. A1 and The Mississippi Press, April 21, 2004, p. 4)
Chandler’s was short lived as a local culinary venue. By the time Hurricane Katrina struck in late August 2005, the restaurant was in decline. After Hurricane Katrina, Alberti’s, an old Biloxi eating tradition which was destroyed by the August 2005 tempest, relocated to the Blossman building on Bienville and continues to operate here today with their specialties of creative Italian cuisine and prime steaks.(Jack Gottsche, February 1, 2008)
On August 31, 1959, Perkinston Junior College, commenced classes in the former O’Keefe home and Dale’s Restaurant at 911 Porter Street. The regional junior college offered seventeen evening classes and one morning class in practical nursing, which included a simulated twelve-bed hospital. Subjects available for prospective scholars to enroll in the evening curriculum were: English, English literature, algebra, trigonometry; general business, accounting; shorthand, general psychology; sociology, American government, world history, personal health, speech, music appreciation and introduction to teaching. Admission to the Perkinston classes was open to high school graduates or mature individuals demonstrating the ability to utilize the material offered by the lecturer.(The Ocean Springs News, May 27, 1959, p. 1 and August 27, 1959, p. 1)
On the eve of January 3, 1960, a fire started in the Perkinston Junior College nurses training center in the W.F. Dale building on West Porter. Firemen from Biloxi were summoned to the conflagration and assisted the OSFD in quickly extinguished the blaze. Mr. Dale's losses were estimated initially to total about $10,000. President J.J. Hayden Jr. of the Junior College planned to announce a new location for the nurses training program soon. The students in Ocean Springs class were to graduate in a month and were sent to the Singing River Hospital to complete their nurse's training.(The Daily Herald, January 4, 1960, p. 8)
1966 liquor petition
By June 1966, Willy Dale was back in business at 911 Porter operating as Dale’s Lounge. At this time, the State of Mississippi was planning to charge a fee for an initial liquor license and an additional assessment after a business had reached $5000 in liquor sales. To demonstrate his ire with this proposal, Mr. Dale began collecting signatures on a petition opposing the proposed liquor taxation.(The Ocean Springs Record, June 30, 1966, p. )
1970-White Oaks Inn
In May 1970, the Dale Restaurant and Lounge property on West Porter was renovated extensively. The main dining room was still situated downstairs, but an upstairs dining area to seat and additional one hundred-seventy patrons was created. The upstairs dining area of the edifice also featured an additional bar, a piano bar, as well as dining on the balcony.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 21, 1970, p. 7)
The refurbished building opened for business on October 9, 1970 with Lee Niblo, as proprietor and manager. Mr. Niblo called his enterprise the “White Oaks Inn”.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 8, 1970, p. 2)
WHITE OAKS INN
Formerly Dale’s Restaurant
Under new management by Lee Niblo
Lounge 2 P.M. til 2 A.M.
Dinner 5-11 P.M.
Head Chef L.W. Sampson, formerly Head Chef, Robert E. Lee Hotel, Jackson, Mississippi
(The Ocean Springs Record, October 8, 1970, p. 2)
1982-White Oaks Restaurant
By 1982, Willy Dale was operating the White Oaks Restaurant with son, W.F. Dale Jr. They featured ‘down home cooking’. Frieda Russell was manager; the chef was Bill Brooks, and Willy Dale greeted customers. The restaurant had eight-foot tables with five-foot lazy-susans centered in them. Teddy A. Belesky (1922-1996) of TAD Cabinets and Millwork at Biloxi built the unique serving tables. They were modeled after those at the Mendenhall Hotel Restaurant at Mendenhall, Mississippi. Every day at noon, Mr. Dale served: salad; two meats-southern fired chicken or chopped steak; rice, potatoes, corn muffins; biscuits; tea; coffee; and Bundt cake. Cost for this meal was $3.95. In the evening, one could get the following for $6.00: shrimp spaghetti; spinach quiche; fruit cobbler; and bread pudding. Children were fed for ½ price.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 22, 1982, p. 3)
Willy and Ethel E. Dale’s were the parents of two children. Their daughter, Thelma Agnes Dale (1921-2008), married Ensign Standish James Bradford (1914-1992), the son of James S. Bradford (1884-1963) and Sara Bardsley (1891-1973) on August 2, 1942 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Biloxi. Father Edmund Mullin officiated at the double ring ceremony held in the parish rectory with immediate members of both clans present. Thelma A. Dale had graduated from Ocean Springs High School with the Class of 1939. She attended Perkinston Junior College and worked at Keesler AFB. Standish J. Bradford also received is education at Ocean Springs High School finishing with the Class of 1933. Before his enlistment in the U.S. Navy, he was employed at the Bradford Wayside Nursery, his father’s business in Ocean Springs. (The Jackson County Times, August 1942)
After Thelma Dale and Standish J. Bradford divorced, she married Henry Christopherson in California. Thelma was a talented accountant and was employed by the IRS at San Francisco in the late 1940s. She later was comptroller and co-proprietor of Trans Bay Electronics, Inc. at Richmond, California. Thelma Dale Christopherson expired in South San Francisco on January 26, 2008. Her survivors include Henry ‘Hank’ Christopherson, her spouse; Gary W. Christopherson and Stephanie Christopherson, her son and daughter-in-law; and Rachel and Blake Christopherson, her grandchildren. A memorial service was held for Mrs. Christopherson at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on February 16, 2008 at the Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Parlor on West Porter Street in the same edifice that Willy Dale, her father, had owned for many years.(The San Francisco Chronicle, February 1, 2008 and The Sun Herald, February 14, 2008, p. A6)
William F. Dale Jr.
William F. ‘Bud’ Dale Jr. (1926-1979) was the son of William "Willy" F. Dale Sr. (1899-1990) and Ethel S. Endt (1900- 1978). He was known in the community by his familial name, Bud or Buddy. William Dale Jr. matriculated to Ole Miss after finishing Ocean Springs High School in 1944. He left Oxford shortly thereafter and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Buddy Dale completed his education at the University of Pennsylvania earning degrees in Business Administration at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level. He became a Certified Public Accountant. The lure of the Far East enticed Buddy Dale to Central Sumatra, Republic of Indonesia where he oversaw the accounting department of CalTex, a U.S. affiliate owned jointly by Chevron and Texaco. Mr. Dale also was employed by accounting firms in New Orleans and New York. He joined Ingalls Shipbuilding at Pascagoula in 1967, as a facilities planner. Buddy Dale was active in politics. He was elected alderman of Ward Two in 1973. Mr. Dale was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the 1699 Historical Committee. He expired at Ocean Springs on December 20, 1979. His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 27, 1979, p. 3 and March 6, 1980, p. 7)
Situated at 811 Porter Street, these pre-WW II structures were erected in 1941 by Oscar E. Heffner (1893-1988), as rentals for travelers plying U.S. Highway 90, then Porter Street. Keesler AFB at Biloxi was also under construction at this time and its exponential growth after WW II commenced for America in December 1941would create a serious housing shortage on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The W.F. Dale family acquired this 2.27 acres parcel and improvements in October 1945. The Estate of Thelma Dale Christopherson (1921-2008) possesses this valuable property today. Courtesy of Marshall Heffner and Brian Heffner.
The Dale Cottages at 811 Porter Street were erected in the fall of 1941 by Oscar E. Heffner (1893-1988), a native of Chesapeake, Ohio, and his wife Ruth H. Brewster (1894-1972) of Howell County, Missouri. In August 1941, Oscar E. Heffner acquired 2.37 acres at the northeast corner of Rayburn and Porter from Theo Bechtel Jr. (1909-2003) and Jessica White Bechtel (1869-1946), his mother. This tract had been the site of ‘Hollywood’, the exquisite home of Thomas A.E. Holcomb and Holcomb of Chicago.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 78, pp. 24-26.)
Here, Oscar E. Heffner built a home and six rental cottages, which stand today. The cottages range from about 700 to 900 square feet in area. The Heffner Courts were built as a family affair with Frank “Kiddo” Galle Jr. (1900-1986), as the local contractor. Heffner's brothers, Ira Heffner, and nephew, Chester Heffner, of Deer Park, Ohio assisted in the construction. George Basly did the electrical wiring, while Joe Weider (1877-1960) and Charles Van Court (1877-1984) plumbed the cottages. Mr. Hefner initially rented his units to military personnel who were pouring into Keesler Field, the new military training base at Biloxi. Rents ranged from $50-$55 per month. There may have been some daily rentals.(The Jackson County Times, April 9, 1941, p. 1 and Oscar Heffner, June 1995)
Louis Henry Cosper (1884-1963) a native of Monroe, Louisiana acquired the Hefner property in October 1945. He was a pioneer in the oil and gas industry in North Louisiana and served as vice-president of the Progressive Oil Company, which drilled the No. 1 Spyker, the discovery well for the Bastrop gas field. Mr. Cosper was honored in late August 1959, when a monument to Bastrop's pioneer industrialists was unveiled on the courthouse square.(Ms. Land Deed Bk. 89, p. 382-383 and Bk. 91, pp. 392-393 and The Ocean Springs News, September 3, 1959, p. 1)
Upon Louis H. Cosper's death in March 1963, his wife and daughter inherited the Porter Street property. At this time, the Cosper Courts were managed by B. Nowlin Keener Jr. In July 1964, Martha S. Cosper and her daughter, Mrs. Eldredge L. Carroll, conveyed the Cosper Courts to William F. Dale Jr. (JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 16991-December 1963 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 259, p. 366)
Before his demise in 1979, William Dale Jr. legated his estate to his father, W.F. Dale Sr., Thelma Dale Christopherson, and Gary W. Christopherson, his sister and nephew, respectively. When Willy Dale expired in May 1990, his daughter, Thelma Dale Christopherson, inherited his interest in the Dale Cottages.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 37,792-October 1986 and JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. P-2711-Ocotber 1990)
During her nearly two decade ownership of the Dale Cottages, Thelma Dale Christopherson and her local management team during this period, Lee Adams and Jane Frammersburger, has excellently maintained the buildings and grounds of her Porter Street property. They are a show piece of the city and blend well with the historic homes and buildings in the Old Ocean Springs Historic District which they are an integral part.
The Bud and Willy Dale Oaks
On February 29, 1980, the Ocean Springs Garden Club planted two Live Oak trees at the White Oaks Inn on West Porter in the memory of W.F. ‘Buddy’ Dale Jr. (1926-1979) and to recognize W.F. Dale Sr. who was still active in the community. At this time, Miss Florence Morrow (1868-1934), a pioneer teacher in the local public school system, was remembered with a Live Oak placed in the earth at the N.E. Taconi School on Magnolia Street.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 6, 1980, p. 7)
In addition to his entrepreneurial activities at Ocean Springs, Willy Dale commenced in April 1945 an automobile agency at neighboring Gulfport. Here he entered into a two-year lease with Juanita D. Stuard and Ignatius D. Alfonso (1909-1977) on Lot 14 of Block 158. The rental fee was $150 per month. Here on the northeast corner of 23rd Avenue at 15th Street, Mr. Dale opened Dale's Motor, Inc., a general auto sales and service agency, with Jules Galle Jr. (1903-1987). They vended Chrysler-Plymouth motor cars. Dale Motors also performed body and fender work as well as automobile painting. (Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 276, pp. 163-165)
In April 1946, Willy Dale and James Turan (1917-1986) of Gulfport drove to Detroit stopping at boat and automobile factories on route. Mr. Dale was enthusiastic about the performance and road handling of his new Plymouth sedan, which carried them through the Midwest.(The Jackson County Times, April 23, 1946, p. 6).
In March 1947, W.F. dale advertised his Gulfport operation as follows:
General Auto Repair
Repairs, Tires, Accessories
USE OUR BUDGET PLAN
10 per cent down
Phone 1508, Gulfport
(The Jackson County Times, March 1, 1947, p. 4)
Home and Auto Supply StoreWith his automobile sales business at Gulfport going well, Willy Dale rented his former Dale’s Garage on West Porter to Henry Burkle (b. 1921) in May 1947. Mr. Burkle had resided at Pittsburgh, Kansas before entering the U.S. Army in June 1942. Upon discharge, he joined the Biloxi Firestone Store. Henry Burkle’s store on West Porter was equipped to sell Firestone tires and tubes, electrical appliances, bicycles, automobile accessories including batteries and radios. He also repaired radios and sold Shell gasoline.(The Jackson Co. Times, May 24, 1947, p. 5)
Rescue in the Chandeleurs
While on a day outing to the Chandeleurs in early September 1947, Willy Dale and Dr. R.N. Cahill (1907-1961) of Gulfport, his fishing companion and pilot, had to be rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. While landing on the littoral at Coster Island, one of their landing gear broke disabling Dr. Cahill’s converted U.S. Army Air Corps Aeronca L-3 trainer aircraft. Unperturbed by the situation the two gentlemen adventurers proceeded to catch eight red fish and twelve, large, speckled sea trout. Naturally, when they didn’t return in the evening their families became concerned and reported them overdue. The following morning the two men were observed by a U.S. Coast Guard PBY aircraft and soon rescued and flown to U.S. Army Field at Gulfport. Their only discomfort was the mosquitoes, which forced them to spend five hours in the water during the night to avoid their unrelenting attacks.(The Jackson County Times, September 6, 1947, p.1)
Oil and gas exploration
In his late fifties, Willy Dale began another career in what had been a somewhat diverse life. The lust for travel and adventure enticed him into the oil exploration business. One of Willy’s first overseas tours took him to Nicaragua with a seismic crew from Lafayette, Louisiana. He later spent time in the Middle East with other oil exploration survey teams.(The Ocean Springs News, January 24, 1957, p. 1 and May 31, 1990, p. 3)
Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home-Built in 1909 by Jeremiah J. O’Keefe (1859-1911) as his residence, the O’Keefe family lost it during the Depression. It was acquired by W.F. ‘Willy’ Dale (1899-1990) in December 1939. Mr. Dale utilized the structure primarily as a restaurant and lounge for about forty-five years. Jeremiah J. ‘Jerry’ O’Keefe III (b. 1923), the grandson of the builder, bought the property in July 1986 and had it restored to serve as a funeral parlor for Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Homes, Inc. It has served this purpose for the last twenty years. Image by Ray L. Bellande.
After the White Oak Inn closed in the early 1980s, Willy Dale retired to his home at East Porter Street. In July 1986, the Willy Dale family sold the White Oaks Inn, formerly the Jeremiah J. O’Keefe mansion to Gulf National Life, an O’Keefe corporation. A ceremony was held on the grounds and after signing the warranty deed giving title to the O’Keefe family, Willy Dale said, “Folks, the first day [of owning this building] was fun and the last day is fun too.” (JXCO Land Deed Bk. 863, p. 159 and The Ocean Springs Record, July 3, 1986, p. 2 and July 10, 1986, p. 2)
The O’Keefe Funeral Service began in 1892 evolving from the family business of drayage and undertaking. J.J. ‘Ben’ O’Keefe II (1894-1954) opened a funeral parlor in Biloxi in March 1923, when he acquired the Frank Voivedich (1861-1930) property at 601 Howard Avenue. Ben’s sibling bought a ¼ undivided interest in the business in October 1924 O’Keefe paid her $6800 for the lot and improvements.(HARCO Land Deed Bk. 135, pp. 351-352 and Bk. 143, p. 212)
This commercial venture was related to the public as follows: Ben O’Keefe, local undertaker and funeral director, has purchased property in Biloxi opposite the Catholic Church (Nativity BVM) and expects to enter into the business in that city about June 1st. He is fitting up a modern funeral parlor and will be equipped to do a general undertaking business conducting funerals, etc. Mr. O’Keefe will of course continue his large business interest in Ocean Springs, having his brother, Joseph O’Keefe to assist him.(The Jackson County Times, on May 19, 1923, p. 5)
To check Ben O’Keefe’s undertaking enterprises at Biloxi, the Bradford Company at 119 East Howard Avenue, lead by Lyman Bradford (1863-1944) and his sons, James Floyd Bradford (1890-1963) and Paul S. Bradford (1894-1983) countered almost immediately and opened their own funeral parlor in Ocean Springs. In June, they leased the McFarland bungalow at present day 317 Washington Avenue. The Bradfords opened for business in mid-July 1923.(The Daily Herald, June 18, 1923, p. 3 and The Jackson County Times, July 14, 1923, p. 5)
Upon Ben O’Keefe demise in November 1954, Jeremiah J. ‘Jerry’ O’Keefe III (b. 1923) continued the family funeral and burial insurance company at Biloxi. In May 1957, Jerry O'Keefe acquired the Bradford Funeral Home at Biloxi with all property, ambulances, etc. and merged the two entities into Bradford-O'Keefe. In 1962, he built the Ben O'Keefe funeral parlor at present day 1904 Government Street, which formerly housed the New Hope Center dedicated August 3, 1997, and supported by the O’Keefe Foundation, which Jerry O’Keefe and Rose Annette Saxon O’Keefe (1924-1998), his lovely spouse, created in 1996.(The Ocean Springs News, August 6, 1964, p. 3 and The Ocean Springs Record, May 21, 1998, p. 5)
In December 1987, Jerry’ O’Keefe with the competent architectural advice and services of Bruce Tolar completed the restoration of Dale’s White Oaks Inn at 911 Porter. The refurbished edifice has been used as the Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home since this time. Today, Jeffrey H. O'Keefe (b. 1956), Rose and Jerry O'Keefe's son, is the proprietor of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Homes, Inc.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 3, 1987, p. 1)
After the White Oak Inn closed in the early 1980s, Willy Dale retired to his home at East Porter Street. Thelma Dale Christopherson (1921-2008), his daughter, came from California in early March 1987 and gave him a family birthday fete to celebrate Willy’s eighty-eighth natal anniversary.(The Ocean Springs Record, March 12, 1987, p. 5)
William Frederick Dale (1899-1990) passed at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on May 25, 1990. During his ninety-one years at Ocean Springs, Willy Dale witnessed his town grow from a boutique, tourist village on the Bay of Biloxi to a thriving pecan and citrus, agricultural center. Surviving the Depression, he utilized his boundless energy, mechanical wizardry, and entrepreneurial skills to create wealth. As a true Pisces, Willy found joy on the water with his boats and the lure of salt water fishing was in his veins. His corporal ashes were appropriately dispersed on the littoral at Horn Island after cremation.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 31, 1990, p. 3)
1947 Gulfport City Directory, (Mullins-Kille Co.: Parsons, Kansas-1947), p. 26.
Jackson Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 37,792,"Estate of W.F. Dale Jr.”, October-1986
Jackson Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. P-2711, "Estate of W.F. Dale, Sr.", October-1990.
The Chicago Tribune, Woman [Mildred Peacock Hearther] leaves an estate of 2.1 Million”, February 4, 1968.
The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs man retires”, September 27, 1916.
The Daily Herald?, “Boat Races Thrill Hundreds at Ocean Springs Yesterday”, ??
The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, June 23, 1923.
The Daily Herald, “Building New Boat For Pleasure Service”, April 22, 1938, p. 6.
The Daily Herald, “New excursion boat being completed”, May 25, 1938, p. 8.
The Daily Herald, "Dr. Babendreer Dies at Ocean Springs", June 20, 1938, p. 1.
The Daily Herald, "Dr. Babendreer Buried", June 21, 1938, p. 3.
The Daily Herald, “Dale’s Restaurant and Lounge”, August 2, 1946.
The Daily Herald, “Dale Death”, July 23, 1953.
The Daily Herald, “Harriet Rose Dale”, August 9, 1956.
The Daily Herald, "Dr. Estelle Babendrier", March 12, 1958, p. 2.
The Daily Herald, "Examine Cause of O.S. Fire", August 28, 1960, p. 8.
The Daily Herald, "Mrs. Ethel Sophie Dale", August 28, 1978, p. A-2.
The Gulf Coast Times, March 25, 1949, p. 6.
The Gulf Coast Times, "George W. Dale”, 81, Dies Wednesday", July 30, 1953, p. 1.
The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interest”, May 12, 1917.
The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interest”, January 5, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interest”, June 1, 1918.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Interest", January 17, 1920.
The Jackson County Times, “Ocean Springs has first woman lawyer”, August 12, 1922.
The Jackson County Times, "local and Personal", May 19, 1923.
The Jackson County Times, "Abraham-Sablich", April 10, 1926.
The Jackson County Times, "Dale Motor Has Modern Garage", June 12, 1926.
The Jackson County Times, "Local Outboard Racer Wins Three Cups", May 12, 1928, p. 2.
The Jackson County Times, "Ocean Springs Speed Boat Wins at Pass Christian", June 16, 1928, p. 3.
The Jackson County Times, "Local boat to enter in outboard races Sunday”, June 23, 1928, p. 3.
The Jackson County Times, "Many attend outboard motor races at Biloxi”, June 30, 1928, p. 3.
The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal”, July 14, 1928, p. 3.
The Jackson County Times, “Ocean Springs Boat Wins Outboard Motor Race In Two Events”, August 25, 1928.
The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal", September 22, 1928.
The Jackson County Times, "George Dale's Mother Dies in California", November 10, 1934, p. 3.
The Jackson County Times, "Local and Personal", March 28, 1936.
The Jackson County Times, "William Abraham”, September 13, 1941.
The Jackson County Times, "Bill Dale Opens New Filling Station", October 25, 1941, p. 1.
The Jackson County Times, "Greyhound Bus Station”, April 15, 1944, p. 4.
The Jackson County Times, "Dale’s restaurant And Lounge Leased to Mr. and Mrs. Ancel Thompson”, January 26, 1946.
The Jackson County Times, "Firestone Store in Ocean Springs", May 24, 1947.
The Ocean Springs News, "Local News", January 24, 1957.
The Ocean Springs News, Perk classes beginning here in O’Keefe home”, May 27, 1959.
The Ocean Springs News, “Now a college center”, August 27, 1959.
The Ocean Springs News, "Fire injures city landmark on Porter", January 7, 1960.
The Ocean Springs News, "J. O'Keefe", August 6, 1964.
The Ocean Springs Record, "W.F. Dale and Dr. R.N. Cahill rescued on island”, September 6, 1947.
The Ocean Springs News, “Dale returns from Nicaragua”, January 24, 1957.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Petitions on the way’, June 30, 1966.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Dales Restaurant and Lounge", May 21, 1970, p. 7.
The Ocean Springs Record, “White Oaks Inn”, October 8, 1970, p. 2.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Former Alderman Dies after Illness", December 27, 1979, p. 3.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Oak planted in memory of ‘Bud’ Dale”, March 6, 1980, p. 7.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Down home cooking featured at new White Oaks Restaurant", July 22, 1982, p. 3.
The Ocean Springs Record, "C.F. Gollott celebrates 50 years”, December 2, 1982.
The Ocean Springs News, “Ocean Spring family celebrate home coming”, July 3, 1986, p. 2.
The Ocean Springs News, “O’Keefes come home to Ocean Springs”, July 10, 1986, p. 2.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Birthday”, March 12, 1987, p. 5.
The Ocean Springs Record, “O’Keefes come home”, December 3, 1987, p. 1.
The Ocean Springs Record, "William F. Dale Sr.", May 31, 1990, p. 3.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Rose Annette Saxon O'Keefe", May 21, 1998.
The San Francisco Chronicle, "Thelma Dale Christopherson", February 1, 2008.
The Sun Herald, "Thelma Dale Christopherson", February 14, 2008, p. A6.
FOR IMAGES AND NEW INFORMATION ON THE DALGO FAMILY see ['Biloxi Families' at www. biloxihistoricalsociety.org]
DALGO [HIDALGO] FAMILY
The progenitor of the Dalgo Family, formerly Hidalgo, of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was Antoine Hidalgo (b. 1866), called Anthony, the son of Felix Hidalgo (1837-1922)and Emelie Marie Domingue (1846-1910+), the daughter of Manuel Domingue (b. 1808) and Armaline ? Domingue (b. 1820). Felix and Emelie married March 10, 1864 in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Felix and Emelsie were the parents of seven children: Anthony Hidalgo (1866-1903+) ; Luc Hidalgo (1868-1930+); Neome Hidalgo; W. Saul Hidalgo (1877-1900+); Emanuel Hidalgo (1879-1880+); Mozard Hidalgo (1884-1910+). By 1900 six Hidalgo children were living and by 1910 only four of them were alive.
It appears that when the Anthony Hidalgo family migrated from Southwest Louisiana to the Mississippi Gulf Coast circa 1910. In Mississippi, the family changed their name to ‘Dalgo’ from Hidalgo.
ANTHONY HIDALGO [DALGO]
Anthony Dalgo(1866-1903+) was born about September 17, 1866, probably near Youngsville, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. He was baptized in the Lafayette, Louisiana Roman Catholic Church on February 2, 1867. (Hebert, 1977, p. 251)
Anthony Hidalgo married Editha Comeaux on October 20, 1890 in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. A few days later their marriage was solemnized in the Roman Catholic Church at Youngsville, Lafayette, Parish, Louisiana. (Hebert, Vol. 21, 1980, p. 208)
A son, Laurent Hidalgo (1893-1937), later called Lawrence Dalgo, was born at Youngsville, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana on June 5, 1893.(Hebert, Vol. 24, 1980, p. )
Circa 1915, in Jackson County, Mississippi, Lawrence Dalgo married Ethel Tillman (1896-1978), the daughter of Gideon N. Tillman (1872-1925) and Laura Toche (1882-1940). Initially at Ocean Springs, Lawrence Dalgo made his livelihood in the employ of Anna Louise Benjamin (1848-1938), a wealthy widow from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mrs. Benjamin owned Shore Acres, a large estate situated on the Fort Point Peninsula at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.(WWI Draft Registration Card-Jackson Co., Mississippi)
By 1920, Lawrence Dalgo had found employment as a laborer in a shipyard, probably at Pascagoula, Mississippi. At this time they had two children: Merlin Beverly Dalgo (1916- 2003) married Sarah Fuller (1917-1990) and Beryl Dalgo Woodruff (1919-2010) married Hubert C. Woodruff (1921-1995).(1920 Jackson Co., Mississippi Federal Census T625_879, p. 14B, ED 66)
M. Beverly Dalgo
Merlin Beverly Dalgo was born in 1916 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He married Sarah Fuller, who was born October 31, 1917 at Gautier, Mississippi, the daughter of Fuller and . They were the parents of Linda Dalgo Bradford and Lawrence Fuller Dalgo.
Sarah F. Dalgo expired at Mobile, Alabama in October 1990. M. Beverly Dalgo died at Gulfport, Mississippi on December 3, 2003.
After the demise of Lawrence Dalgo, Ethel T. Dalgo married Theodore D. Manuel (1878-1960), a building contractor. Mr. Manuel had lived at New Orleans for many years. They resided at 710 West Porter in Ocean Springs. Mrs. Manuel was the organist at St. Paul's Methodist Church for twenty-five years. T. D. Manuel died in October 1960. His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery. Ethel passed on March 12, 1978. Her remains were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, October 4, 1960, p. 2 and March 14, 1978, p. A-2)
Beryl Dalgo Woodruff
Beryl Dalgo was born December 18, 1919 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. She married Hubert C. Woodruff (1921-1995) who was born January 10, 1921. H.C. Woodruff expired on September 25, 1995, while Beverly D. Woodruff died on May 28, 2010 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Their corporal remains were interred at Southern Memorial Park cemetery at Biloxi, Mississippi. They had no children.
Clarice Marie Leblanc
There is a high degree of certitude that Editha Comeaux Dalgo expired in childbirth of shortly thereafter as Anthony Hidalgo married Clarice Marie Leblanc (1873-1942) on September 2, 1895 at the Lafayette Parish, Louisiana Courthouse. Their marriage was designated Cause No. 5445.(Hebert, Vol. , p. )
The children of Anthony Hidalgo and Clarice Marie Leblanc were: Leon Dalgo (1896-1953), Felix J. Dalgo (1898-1953); Isaac Dalgo (1900-1967); and Angelo Dalgo (1903-1975). Clarice Marie Leblanc Dalgo expired at Biloxi, Mississippi expired on March 22, 1942.
Leon Dalgo(1896-1953) was born June 23, 1896. He married Celestine A. ? (1898-1988). Known children: Harold L. Dalgo (1918-1990) and a son born February 13, 1921.(The Daily Herald, February 17, 1921, p. 3)
In 1920, Leon Dalgo was a corker [caulker] in a shipyard at Pascagoula, Mississippi. The family lived on Foote Street.(1920 Jackson Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T625_879, p. 16A, ED 65)
Harold L. Dalgo married Ila Mae Manuel on January 20, 1937. Leon Dalgo expired on March 6, 1953.(The Daily Herald, January 29, 1937, p. 5)
Felix J. Dalgo(1898-1939) was born April 26, 1898 in Louisiana. He married Anna G. Lusk (1898-1992), the daughter of Richard Lusk (1875-1954) and Anna E. McCaleb (1875-1954)-children: Roland Andrew Dalgo (1920-1922) and Felix J. Dalgo Jr. (1925-1989).
Roland Andrew Dalgo expired at Biloxi on March 27, 1922.(The Daily Herald, March 29, 1922, p. 3)
In 1920, Felix J. Dalgo made his livelihood as a tow boat engineer. His family lived on East Beach Street at Biloxi, Mississippi with Richard Lusk, a ship carpenter.(1920 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census, T625_876, p. 25B, ED 39)
Felix J. Dalgo expired on Christmas Day 1939.
Isaac Dalgo (1900-1967?) was born March 18, 1900 in Louisiana. In 1917, when Isaac Dalgo registered for the WW I draft, he was living with his mother at 1026 Pearl Street at Biloxi, Mississippi. He was employed as a ship caulker at the Diersks-Blodgett shipyard in Pascagoula.
In September 1920, he married Irma Anna Hebber or Heffler (1906-1930+), a native of Louisiana. They were the parents of: a baby boy (1921-1921); George Almer Dalgo (1922-1922); Donald Earl Dalgo (1923-1923); Rita Dalgo was born May 29, 1925; and Shirley Florence Dalgo (1931-1931).(The Daily Herald, September 16, 1920, p. 4 and June 30, 1925, p. 3 and Bradford-O’Keefe Burial Bk. 11, p. 149, Bk. 12, p. 29, Bk. 12, p. 232, and Bk. 19, p. 255)
By 1930, Isaac Dalgo was working as a boatman in the Biloxi seafood industry and domiciled on Maple Street with his wife and daughter, Rita Dalgo.(1930 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census R 1146, p. 31B, ED 2)
Isaac Dalgo may have moved to Louisiana and expired there in November 1967??
Angelo J. Dalgo(1903-1975) was born October 10, 1903 in Louisiana. In January 1924, he married Grace Canaan (1907-1929), the daughter of Israel Henry Canaan (1876-1958), a native of Michigan, and Catherine Caldwell (1873-1943), the daughter of Madison ‘Matt’ Caldwell (1843-1900) and Olina ‘Ollie’ Ramsay Caldwell (1847-1903), the daughter of Daniel Huey Ramsay (1814-1867) and Mahala Holder Ramsay (1814-1885). The nuptials of Angelo Dalgo and Grace Canaan were held in Biloxi at the home of Judge Z.T. Champlin.(The Daily Herald, January 18, 1924, p. 2)
Angelo and Grace C. Dalgo were the parents of: George Dalgo (b. 1925), who was born January 10, 1925 and Jerry A. Dalgo (1927-2008) who was born January 18, 1927.(The Daily Herald, January 10, 1925, p. 3)
Jerry A. Dalgo
Jerry A. Dalgo (1927-2008) married Mattie Louise Sumrall of Perkinston, Mississippi in Harrison County, Mississippi on December 13, 1953.(Harrison Co., Mississippi MRB 96, p. 146)
Jerry A. Dalgo and Mattie L. Sumrall were the parents of three sons: Angelo Lance Dalgo married Loree Lee Noble on November 1, 1975. Jerry A. Dalgo II married Judy Detoney; and Robert Dalgo married ?.
Grace C. Dalgo expired at her home on Heidenheim Avenue on January 12, 1929, from blood poisoning. Her corporal remains were passed through the Lutheran Church with the Reverend Stock officiating. Burial followed in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(Bradford-O’Keefe Burial Bk. 15, p. 242 and The Daily Herald, January 14, 1929, p. 2)
After the death of Grace Canaan Dalgo, Angelo J. Dalgo married Gladys Stanley (b. 1913), the daughter of Frank Stanley (1875-1931) and Mary Stanley (b. 1893). They had two daughters,Betty Louise Dalgo (1931-1932) and Helen Dalgo Foretich, the spouse of Alvin Foretich. In 1930, Angelo Dalgo was working as an oyster fisherman. He and his two sons were living with the Henry Canaan family on Heidenheim Avenue at Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1918, Henry Canaan was a boatmen for the Foster-Fountain Packing Company.(1930 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census, R1146, p. 9A, ED 1 and Jerry Dalgo, November 19, 2006)
Angelo J. Dalgo expired on June 28, 1975.
LUC [Luke] HIDALGO
Luc Hidalgo (1868-1930+) was born November 20, 1868. He was baptized in the Church Point Roman Catholic in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Luc married Idea Prejean (1870-1910+) on November 11, 1887.(Hebert, Vol. 8, 1977, p. 251)
In 1900, Luke and Idea Hidalgo were farming in the 4th Ward, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Their children were: Nila Hidalgo (1891-1900+); Felix Hidalgo (1891-1900+); Alcide Hidalgo (1894-1900+); Willie Hidalgo (1896-1900+); Ulysse Hidalgo (1898-1900+); and Pierre Dalgo (1899-1900+).(1900 Lafayette Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T623 567, p. 9A, ED 44)
In 1910, Luke and Idea Prejean Hidalgo were farming in the Youngsville, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana section. They had had twelve children by this time, but only eight were alive in 1910. Six sons were living at home: Felix Hidalgo (1891-1910+); Willie Hidalgo (1896-1910+); Ulysse Hidalgo (1897-1981); Cyrus Hidalgo (1900-1910+); Saul (1903-1930+); Ellis Hidalgo (1906-1977), and Lucien Hidalgo (1908-1930+).(1910 Lafayette Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T624_516, p. 7B, ED 71)
In 1930, Luke Hidalgo was widowed and retired and a resident of Beaumont, Texas. In his household were five children: Saul, Lucien, Essy (1912-1930+), Rene (1913-1930+), and Annie Mae Hidalgo Carre (1915-2005). It appears that Idea Prejean Hidalgo expired before 1920.(1930 Jefferson County, Texas R 2362, p. 6B, ED 32)
Neome Hidalgo (1871-pre-1910) married Beauregard David (1862-1932) on February 14, 1890 in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. They had two daughters: Lydia Davis (1891-1910+) and Odeide David (1898-1910+). The daughter were living with their grandparents, Felix and Emelie Hidalgo and widowed Uncle Mozard Hidalgo at Youngsville in 1910.(1910 Lafayette Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T624_516, p. 1A, Ed 71)
Beauregard David expired on September 21, 1932.
W. SAUL HIDALGO
W. Saul Hidalgo (1876-1900+) was born October 1876. Circa 1898, he married Hallie A. ? (1877-1900+). A daughter, Virgil M. Hidalgo was born in December 1898. In 1900, the family were residents of Ward 6 in Acadia Parish, Louisiana where W. Saul Hidalgo made his livelihood as a farm laborer.(1900 Acadia Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T623 556, p. 9B, ED 8)
Emanuel Hidalgo was born circa
Mozard Hidalgo was born circa
Reverend Donald J. Hebert, Southwest LouisianaRecords, Volume 8, (1866-1868)-(Hebert Publications: Cecelia, Louisiana-1977).
Reverend Donald J. Hebert, Southwest LouisianaRecords, Volume 21, (1890)-(Hebert Publications: Cecelia, Louisiana-1980).
Reverend Donald J. Hebert, Southwest LouisianaRecords, Volume 24, (1893)-(Hebert Publications: Eunice, Louisiana-1980).
The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, September 16, 1920.
The Daily Herald, “[birth-son of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Dalgo], February 17, 1921.
The Daily Herald, “Infant Buried Yesterday [Roland Andrew Dalgo]”, March 29, 1922.
The Daily Herald, “Child Dead [Herbert Dalgo]”, September 23, 1923, p. 3.
The Daily Herald, “Dalgo-Canaan”, January 18, 1924.
The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Items”, June 30, 1925.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Grace Dalgo Dies”, January 14, 1929.
The Daily Herald, "Lawrence Dalgo Dies", December 13, 1937.
The Daily Herald, "[Joseph Dalgo and Ella Mae Saujon marriage], September 24, 1938, p. 3.
The Daily Herald, “[Anna Constance Dalgo death]”, April 20, 1940, p. 7.
The Daily Herald, "Theodore D. Manuel", October 4, 1960, p. 2.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Ethel Dalgo Manuel”, March 14, 1978.
The Jackson County Times, "Lawrence Dalgo", December 18, 1937.
The Ocean Springs News, “Bradford-Dalgo wedding in Mobile is interest to many in Ocean Springs”, June 26, 1958.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Dalgo-Noble”, November 20?, 1975, p.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Jerry A. Dalgo”, March, 2008, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, “Mr. Merlin Beverly Dalgo”, December 5, 2003.
The Sun Herald, “Jerry A. Dalgo Sr.”, March 23, 2008.
The Sun Herald, “Beryl D. Woodruff”, June 1, 2010.
The Davis Brothers
The Davis Brothers were George Washington Davis (1842-1914) and Elias Samuel Davis (1859-1925). They were the sons of Samuel Davis II (1804-1879) and Alvirah Ann Ward (1821-1901) who married in Jackson County, Mississippi on October 18, 1838. This union created ten additional children: Harriet A. Davis Bilbo (1840-1898), Sarah A. D. Thompson Carter (1844-1891+), Cynthia M. Davis (1846-1866), Abram James Davis (1849-1921), Eleanor Davis Bradford (1851-1938), Henry Simeon Davis (1853-1917), Alvira E. Davis Ellis (1855-1881), Sherwood E. Davis (1857-1891+), Leonella M. Davis (1862-1864), and Belle Davis Hulburt Boucher (1864-1891+).
Plum Bluff on the Pascagoula
To fully appreciate the lives and accomplishments of the George W. Davis and Elias S. Davis, one must digress to an earlier time. Even before Jackson County, Mississippi existed as a geopolitical unit with the United States of America, Samuel W.H. Davis, the forbear of their particular Davis family unit had settled here.
In 1811, after being issued a gubernatorial passport to travel through the Creek Indian Territory west of Georgia, Samuel W.H. Davis (1769-ca 1831), a native of North Carolina, his spouse Sarah Balscher (1776-1860+), also a Tar Heel, and their children, Simeon Davis (1795-1858+), Nancy Ann Davis Starks (1799-1860+), George Davis (1802-1853?), Samuel Davis II (1804-1879), Martha Davis Bradford (1806-1892), and Mary Davis Herring (1810-1858+), commenced their journey on the Federal Horse Path from Burke County, Georgia to the Territory of Orleans, formerly Spanish West Florida, on the Southwest Frontier.
The Federal Horse Path, which became the Federal Road, was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) in 1806. It ran from Macon, Georgia to New Orleans and was the last link of the mail route to connect the Crescent City with Washington, D.C. (Genealogy Bulletin, 1995, p. 4)
Samuel W.H. Davis settled at Plum Bluff on the Pascagoula River on March 1, 1812. Here he made his livelihood as a farmer on this site approximately four miles west of the present day community of Basin in southern George County, Mississippi. Samuel W.H. Davis was issued Land Claim No. 69, being Section 9, T3S-R7W, and containing 640 acres. (The American State Papers, 1994, p. 37)
At the time of the Samuel W.H. Davis occupation of this parcel on the Pascagoula River, his land was in the Parish of Pascagoula of the Louisiana Territory governed from New Orleans, by W.C.C. Claiborne (1775-1817). In May 1812, this region was made a part of the Mobile District of the Mississippi Territory. It wasn’t until December 1812, that Jackson County was created within the Mississippi Territory with the courthouse near present day Benndale, George County. In March 1817, this area of the Mississippi Territory was admitted into the Union as a part of the State of Mississippi. When George County, Mississippi was created in March 1910, from the two northern townships of Jackson County, Mississippi, the original Samuel Davis homestead at Plum Bluff, became a part of this new division.(The History of JXCO, Ms., 1989, p. 1)
Here on the banks of the Pascagoula River above Black Creek, the remainder of the Samuel W.H. Davis children were born: Cynthia Davis Bradford (1813-1858+), Sarah (Sally) Davis (b. 1816), Elizabeth Davis (1818-1828+) and Abram B.J.W. Davis (1820-1904).
The Davis family with the Bilbo, Carter, Cates, Cumbest, Ely, Flurry, Goff, Graham, Havens, Holland, Lyons, Roberts, and Ward families were among the earliest White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) settlers of the non-coastal areas of Jackson-George County. Obviously, the descendants of French and Spanish Colonials and their Roman Catholic religion had been entrenched on the Mexican Gulf shoreline for over a century before the arrival of these “first Americans”. Through five centuries, the cultural diversity between these two groups of people has closed, but some differences will probably always exist. The same could be said of the Afro-American culture, which was interjected into the region by the nefarious slave trade of Colonial times.
Moving south-the Davis Bayou settlemen
In February 1829, Samuel Davis II and his brother, George D. Davis (1802-1853?), had acquired Section 34, T7S-R8W from Pierre Ladnier for $300.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 620-621) Here east of the fishing village of East Biloxi, later called Ocean Springs, they settled on the east bank of a meandering, tidewater stream called Bayou Val de Terre, which in time became known as Davis Bayou. At this Davis homestead, farming and boat building were the salient means to a livelihood. It appears that Samuel W.H. Davis and Sarah Balscher Davis abandoned their Plum Bluff settlement and relocated with their sons.
On Davis Bayou, Samuel and Alvira Ann Ward Davis reared their large family in the Baptist faith instilling in them strong family values and Christian morals. These ethical fundamentals combined with the intensive manual labor of operating a farm and raising live stock rewarded George W. Davis and Elias S. Davis with the intrinsic tools to be successful in their chosen livelihood adventure, merchandising.
As early as 1860, Samuel Davis II was providing some formal education for his children. At this time, an educator, L.A. Ward, was residing with his family.(1860 Federal Census JXCO, Ms.)
In 1871 and 1872, Elias S. Davis and others received some formal education in a four-month term, common school held by Miss Martha Bradford and Sherwood Bradford (1838-1922) at the Tidewater Baptist Church.(Cain, 1983, v. 2, p. 34)
The Estate of Samuel W.H. Davis
On February 19, 1828, Samuel W.H. Davis made his oleograph and named his three sons, Simeon Davis, George Davis, and Samuel Davis II, as executors of his estate. The following devisees and requests were named: to Simeon Davis-$150; to George Davis-$31; to George Davis, Samuel Davis II, and Abraham Davis-a horse saddle and bridle or at the age of twenty-one years, each $100 in cash; to Mary Davis, Cynthia Davis, and Elizabeth Davis-each a feather bed and furniture when they reach the age of eighteen or at marrage; his executors were to sell his tract of land on the Pascagoula River; and his wife Sally Davis was to receive the remainder of his estate. The will of Samuel W.H. Davis was witnessed by William Simmons and Daniel M. Webb, early settlers of the Simmons Bayou and Belle Fontaine area. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 11, pp. 347-348)
It is believed that Samuel W.H. Davis died circa 1831. This is corroborated by historian Cyril E. Cain when relating the founding of the first Baptist church in this area. He states: “In 1832, (Elder George) Davis organized a Baptist Church, called the Tidewater Baptist Church, at the home of Sarah Davis, where Deacon Samuel Davis had recently died”.(Cain, 1983, v. 2, p. 25)
It is believed that Samuel W.H. Davis and his spouse Sarah Balscher Davis who died between 1860 and 1870 were both interred in the Davis family cemetery in Gulf Park Estates, east of Ocean Springs.
Sale of the Samuel W.H. Davis Pascagoula River homestead
In late November 1858, Sarah Davis, Simeon Davis, Nancy Ann Starks, Samuel Davis, Mary Herring, A.B. Davis, and Cynthia Bradford conveyed their father’s original land claim of March 1812, Section 9, T3S-R7W, to Will Fairley for $200.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 3, pp. 400-402). This conveyance deed was later re-recorded, as the original had been destroyed in 1837, by the infamous scoundrel, James Copeland (1823-1857), who torched the courthouse at Americus, then the Jackson County seat of government.
Demise of Samuel Davis II
Samuel Davis II passed on in late June or early July of 1879, at his farm about five miles east of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. His corporal remains were interred in the Davis family cemetery situated in present day Gulf Park Estates in the SE/4 of Section 34, T7S-R8W.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 11, 1879, p. 3 and Bellande, 1992, p. 66-68)
Alvira Ann Ward Davis expired on June 14, 1901, at Ocean Springs. Her corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Sale of the Samuel Davis II Homestead on Davis Bayou
In September 1880, the heirs of Samuel Davis II (1804-1879) and their spouses, George W. Davis, Alvira A. Davis, Margaret Davis, Harriet A. Bilbo, A.J. Davis, Josephine T. Davis, Henry S. Davis, Olena P. Davis, Sherwood Bradford, Norah Bradford, William Carter, Sarah A, Carter, G.R. Ellis, E.A. Ellis, W.M. Bilbo, and H.E. Davis, conveyed to John M. Hollingsworth (1814-1891) for $2707.70, all of their right, title and interest in the following lands: SE/4 of Section 24, T7S-R8W; Section 35, T7S-R8W; Lots 2 and 3 in Section 5, T8S-R8W; NW/4 of the SW/4 and the NW/4 of Section 36, T7S-R8W; NW/4 of subdivision in Section 36, T7S-R8W; Lot 4 of Fractional Section 21, T7S-R8W; Lots 1 and 2 of Section 3, T8S-R8W; 30 acres more or less in the NE/4 of Section 34, T7S-R8W. This sale also included five hundred stock sheep and twenty head of cattle belonging to the late Samuel Davis.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, p. 623-624)
GEORGE W. DAVIS (1842-1914)
George W. Davis was born on April 17, 1842, on his father’s farm, on the banks of Davis Bayou, east of Ocean Springs. He was second child and first son of Samuel Davis II (1804-1879) and Alvirah Ann Ward (1821-1901).
The Civil War
Like many of the eligible, patriotic, young men of the Ocean Springs region, teenager, George Washington Davis, left his father’s farm and was mustered into military service to combat invading Federal forces during the Civil War. Unlike the majority of his Ocean Springs and Vancleave peers, who marched north to war with Company A, the Live Oak Rifles, of the 3rd Mississippi Regiment, George W. Davis joined the Biloxi Rifle Guards, Company E, of the 3rd Mississippi Regiment, in 1861. In February 1864, when the 3rd Mississippi retreated from a burning Jackson, Mississippi, towards Meridian, under relentless pursuit by 24,000 Union soldiers of General Sherman’s XVI and XVII Corps, an impoverished George W. Davis returned home for clothing and food. Here he received word from his command not to return to the frontlines. Davis went to New Orleans until the CSA surrender in April 1865. During the conflict he rose in rank from private to 2nd Lieutenant.(Howell, 1991, pp. 265-267 and The Gulf Coast Times, November 4, 1949, p. 4)
Following the Civil War, George W. Davis married Margaret Bradford (1846-1920), on November 12, 1868. She was born on December 22, 1846, the daughter of Lyman Bradford (1803-1858), a native of Montville, Connecticut, and Cynthia Davis (1813-1887). Her grandfather, Stephen Bradford (1771-1825+), a native of Connecticut, was one of the early settlers on the Pascagoula River. In 1812, he settled in Section 38, T4S-R6W, just southeast of the county seat of Americus on Cedar Creek.
The blessed union of George W. Davis and Maggie Bradford resulted in six daughters: Cynthia D. Maxwell Gottsche (1869-1951), Jasmine “Jessie” Alvirah Davis (1872-1877), Mae D. Griffin (1874-1917), Sadie D. Young (1878-1950), Mamie D. Bland (1882-1965), and Georgia D. Whittle Weaver (1883-1945).(The Gulf Coast Times, November 11, 1949, p. 7)
According to Cynthia Davis Maxwell Gottsche (1869-1951), after her parents marriage, the newly weds settled on Ramsay land in present day Gulf Hills. At this time, George W. Davis was involved in the timber and charcoal business in the Vancleave section. He would walk to work at Vancleave on Monday morning and return to his Gulf Hills settlement on Saturday evening.(The Gulf Coast Times, November 11, 1949, p. 7)
In 1873, George W. Davis commenced a mercantile business at Vancleave. He remained here until 1882.(The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1914, p. 1)
At Vancleve, G.W. Davis acquired almost 700 acres in Section 8 and Section 9, T6S-R7W from Henry C. Havens for $800.(JXCO Land Deed Bk. 31, p. 333) His brother, E.S. Davis clerked in the store and James Reid (1865-1880+), a Black man assisted. While at Vancleave, Mr. Davis served as US Postmaster from 1880-1882, succeeding Hector Fairley. In the early 1880s, mail service reached the Davis Store when William Seymour made weekly deliveries from Postmaster Robert A. VanCleave (1840-1908), at Ocean Springs.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 18, 1880, p. 3)
In December 1882, before relocating to Ocean Springs, Mr. Davis had sold his 166 acres in Section 9, T6S-R7W to Willis Broadus (1834-1919) for $1000. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 33, pp. 47-48).
In 1883, George W. Davis relocated to Ocean Springs where he and his brother, Elias S. Davis (1859-1925) started another commercial venture, The Davis Brothers Store, which became a landmark at Ocean Springs. It was originally situated on the eastside of Washington Avenue near County Road (Government Street), but moved in 1886, to the west side of Washington Avenue. The Davis Brothers dealt in dry goods, notions, groceries, hardware, tinware, and animal feed. George W. Davis retired from the mercantile business in October 1910. E.S. Davis, and his sons, Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963) and Chester S. Davis (1900-1973), continued in the business as E.S. Davis & Sons.(The Ocean Springs News, September 10, 1910, p. 1)
The George W. Davis Home
In March 1888, the Heirs of Cynthia Davis Bradford (1813-1887), Sherwood Bradford (1838-1922); Mary L. “Mamie” Bradford Ramsay (1853-1942), wife of A.W. Ramsay (1830-1916); Miss Sarah Bradford; Lyman N. Bradford (1850-1894); and Mrs. Margaret Bradford Davis (1846-1920), wife of George W. Davis, conveyed a lot on the southwest corner of Bowen and Bellande to George W. Davis and E.S. Davis for $750.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 9, p. 241) The Davis brothers sold this 106-foot by 216- foot parcel with improvements to Margaret B. Davis in September 1891.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 12, p. 600)
Here on Bowen Avenue, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Davis remained until their demise. The G.W. Davis home was sold in February 1923, by Special Commissioner, Fred Taylor, representing the Estate of Mrs. Margaret Davis, for $2450 to H.C. Herring.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 52, pp. 445-446)
George W. Davis began his public service when he was Jackson County treasurer from 1876 to 1877. He was elected to the Jackson County Board of Supervisors in 1884 and 1886. Davis ran for State Representative in 1891, and won the seat to the Mississippi State Legislature representing his fellow citizens of Jackson County from January 1892 until January 1896. At Ocean Springs, he was a member of the Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1, the Knights of Pythias, and a deacon of the Ocean Springs Baptist Church.
(Cain, 1983, V. II, p. 10 and p. 14, and The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1914, p. 1)
George W. Davis was a most generous and honorable man. In 1892, he and Frederick Mason Weed (1850-1926), a native of Hinesburg, Vermont, gave land for the construction of a road leading to the Winter Park Lumber Company on Old Fort Bayou. This thoroughfare was called “Vermont” for the native State of F.M. Weed, who became our “Yankee Mayor” and honorably served the citizens of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, from 1899-1910. While a resident of Ocean Springs, Mr. Weed was also the L&N station agent, banker, and realtor. He was buried at Milton, Vermont.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 22, 1892, p. 2)
The old location of the Winter Park Lumber Company is now a portion of the Millsite Subdivision, developed by local architects, William R. Allen III and Maria Bargas, and platted in September 1986.(JXCO, Ms. Land Plat Bk. 17. p. 46)
In April 1909, Mr. Davis donated a small parcel of land to the Baptist Society of Ocean Springs. This lot on the northwest corner of Bellande and Porter, which had been given by Davis, became the new Baptist sanctuary replacing the one felled by the Hurricane of 1906. Burr & Bradford were the building contractors.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 42, p. 203 and The Ocean Springs News, February 13, 1909, p. 1)
George W. Davis dies
George W. Davis’s life ended on May 22, 1914. His corporal remains were escorted to the Evergreen Cemetery by a large contingent of members of the Ocean Springs Fire Company No. 1. His pall bearers were: F.M. Weed, E.R. Glasscock, George E. Arndt, J.K. Lemon, F.J.V. LeCand, and George D. Bland (1853-1915).(The Ocean Springs News, May 30, 1914, p. 1)
Mrs. Davis expires
Mrs. Margaret B. Davis expired at her Bowen Avenue residence on December 30, 1920. Her funeral was conducted by the Reverend J.M. Boyd of the First Baptist Church of Biloxi at the Davis home with burial in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, January 8, 1921)
A biographical sketch of the children of George W. Davis and Margaret Bradford Davis follows:
Cynthia D. Maxwell Gottsche
Cynthia “Cinnie” Davis (1869-1951) was born October 13, 1869 in the present day area popularly called Gulf Hills, north of Old Fort Bayou. She grew up along Bluff Creek in Vancleave and in her senior years could reminiscence of her childhood acquaintance with the captain’s of trading schooners that loaded charcoal for New Orleans and of the families return to Ocean Springs in an ox cart with the store safe and their personal possessions.(The Gulf Coast Times, November 11, 1949, p. 7)
James S. Maxwell
Cinnie Davis married James S. Maxwell at Ocean Springs on August 4, 1887. They had three sons: George Davis Maxwell (1888-1951), Charles Richmond Maxwell (1891-1967), and Karl Case Maxwell (1893-1958). The Maxwell marriage ended in a divorce suit on August 16, 1895.(JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 647, July 1895)
George Davis Maxwell
George Davis Maxwell (1888-1951) was born at Pachuta, Mississippi on September 6, 1888. He was named for his grandfather, George W. Davis. Circa 1912, George D. Maxwell married Floi Porter of Mobile. Their children were: George Porter Maxwell (1913-1914), Wallace B. Maxwell (1916-1991) of Mobile, Rozier Maxwell, Sidney R. Maxwell (1917-1992), Ellie M. Klein (1919-2010), the spouse of Ralph D. Klein (1916-1995), and Mary Maxwell.
Ellie Maxwell (1919-2010) married Ralph Kline in January 1942, in the Nativity BVM at Biloxi. Only immediate family members present.(The Daily Herald, January 5, 1942, p. 2)
George D. Maxwell operated a seafood market at the foot of Jackson Avenue in the mid-1920s. In early March 1929, the Maxwell oyster and fish house was struck by a storm and partially destroyed. After closing his seafood business, he became employed with the L&N Railroad in its shops at Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama. Maxwell returned to Ocean Springs and became employed with the A.C. Gottsche Store on Washington Avenue. George Davis Maxwell expired at his mother’s residence in Ocean Springs on March 21, 1951. His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Jackson County Times, February 23, 1924, p. 8, The Daily Herald, February 23, 1924, p. 2, The Gulf Coast Times, March 29, 1951, p. 8)
Charles Richmond Maxwell
Charles R. Maxwell (1891-1967) was born at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on January 6, 1891. He lived most of his life at Brooklyn, Forrest County, Mississippi. Charles R. Maxwell expired in February 1967. It is believed that Mr. Maxwell was the father of: Albert Maxwell (1915-1986) and Karl Maxwell (1919-1986).
Local manager of the I.H. Bass Nursery of Lumberton, Mississippi. Left in January 1923 for Lumberton.(The Jackson County Times, February 3,1923, p. 5)
Karl Case Maxwell
Karl Case Maxwell (1893-1958) was born on April 6, 1893, at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. In June 1919, he married Nellie Myrtle Morris (1893-1970), the daughter of Englishman Ernest Alford Morris (1860-1946) and Chicago native, Lydia Meyers (1870-1933). Mr. E.A. Morris built the Pines Hotel on the southwest corner of Washington Avenue. It opened for guests in October 1915. Unfortunately, the attractive hostel was the victim of a consuming conflagration on May 5, 1932.(Bellande, 1994, pp. 134-139)
Karl C. Maxwell was educated at Ocean Springs and subsequently attended Draughan’s Business College at New Orleans. He worked in J.O. Whittle’s pharmacy until the Bailey family consolidated with Mr. Whittle in August-September 1917.(The Ocean Springs News, July 3, 1958, p. 1 and The Jackson County Times, September15, 1917)
In May 1923, Karl and Myrtle M. Maxwell moved into their new residence at present day 525 Jackson Avenue, used today principally as the meeting place for BSA Troop 210, and other functions of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, the owner. Here they reared their two sons: Robert Lynd Maxwell (1920-2008) and Albert Cecil Maxwell (1926-1981) m. Carolyn 'Lyn' King (1929-2011) of NOLA.(The Jackson County Times, May 19, 1923)
At the time of his accidental death, on June 29, 1958, in an automobile accident on US Highway 80, near Clinton, Mississippi, Karl C. Maxwell was manager of the Gottsche Store. He had returned from New Orleans to work in the business with his step-father, Albert C. Gottsche. After Mr. Gottsche’s death in 1949, Karl C. Maxwell became manager of the Gottsche Store. Mrs. Dena Atkinson Talbott (1886-1958) of Ocean Springs was also killed in the car with Karl C. Maxwell.(The Ocean Springs News, July 3, 1958, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, July 5, 1958, p. 2)
Albert Cecil Gottche
On September 30, 1896, Cynthia Davis Maxwell married Albert C. Gottsche (1873-1949), a salesman in her father’s mercantile business. Albert and Cinnie Gottsche had one son, Albert Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974).
Albert C. Gottsche resigned from the Davis Brothers Store on October 1, 1910. This is also the date that his father-in-law and senior partner of the firm, George W. Davis, retired. The former Davis Brothers business continued on as E.S. Davis & Sons under the ownership of Elias S. Davis (1859-1925) in conjunction with his sons, Elliot Davis (1892-1936) and Oscar T. Davis (1894-1936).
In late 1910, Mr. Gottsche began selling animal feed on Washington Avenue and Desoto in the present day Catchot-Lemon Building. He erected the Gottsche Store building across the street in 1912, and ran a first class grocery and market here until his death in March 1949. The old Gottsche Store is now corporate headquarters for Blossman Gas, Inc. They acquired the property from A.L. Gottsche in November 1962.(Jackson County Land Deed Book 232, p. 382)
Albert C. Gottsche expired on March 17, 1949. His wife, Cynthia Davis Maxwell Gottsche passed on September 18, 1951. They both rest in eternal peace at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Albert Lynd Gottsche
Albert Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974), called Lynd, was born at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on November 22, 1902. He attended the local public school and matriculated to Mississippi A&M College where he studied electrical engineering, graduating with the Class of 1923. Departing Starkville, Mississippi, Lynd Gottsche was employed at Atlanta, Georgia with the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. He was transferred to South Bend, Indiana and came home for Christmas in 1924. By October 1926, Lynd was at Tampa, Florida working in the organizations street lighting division.( Jack Gottsche, December 17, 2001 and The Jackson County Times, December 27, 1924, p. 3 and October 2, 1926)
Lynd Gottsche married Mae Kettles (1907-2001), on March 31, 1928. She was a native of Alberta Province, Canada and resident of Macon, Georgia. Their children are: Albert Lynd Gottsche, Jr. (b. 1933) and John H. “Jack” Gottsche.(The Jackson County Times, April 21, 1928 and November 11, 1933, p. 3)
Mr. and Mrs.Lynd Gottsche were in residence at Baltimore, Maryland in March 1931.(The Daily Herald, March 18, 1931, p. 3)
Patricia Field (b. 1939), the daughter of Alden Waterbury Field (1900-1969) and Evelyn Smith (1926-1960) of Watervliet, Michigan married Albert Lynd Gottsche II in the Plymouth Congregational Church of Waverliet, Michigan in August 1958.(The Ocean Springs News, July 31, 1958, p. 5 and August 21, 1958, p. 5)
Mr. Gottsche returned to Jackson County in 1932, and commenced a career in commercial banking until his retirement in late 1971. He was inducted into the Rotary Club in November 1933, and became associated with the Ocean Springs State Bank in 1934. In 1941, Lynd Gottsche became employed with the First National Bank of Biloxi becoming its president. At retirement he was the executive vice president and a director of the First National Bank of Mississippi.(The Jackson County Times, November 11, 1933, p. 3, The Ocean Springs News, April 25, 1957, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, January 22, 1974, p. 2)
The Lynd Gottsche family home, Lynwood, was erected in 1946, at present day 915 Ocean Avenue. It is now owned by the Reverend Andy Wells of the First Presbyterian Church. The floors and other wooden structural components of the house were built from salvaged materials from the H.F. Russell (1858-1940) home on Washington Avenue, which partially burned in February 1933.(J.K. Lemon, 1996)
Mae D. Griffin
Mae M. Davis (1875-1917) was born at Ocean Springs on January 27, 1875. On March 10, 1903, she married Joseph C. Griffin (1864-1919), the son of W.C. Griffin and Mary Ann Byrd. Mr. Griffin was a businessman from Brooklyn, Forrest County, Mississippi. Their nuptials were held in the Davis home at Ocean Springs with the Reverend L.E. Hall in attendance. They had a daughter, Margaret Griffin Ingalls (1907-1989), who eventually settled at Twentynine Palms, San Bernardo County, California.(Jack Gottsche, December 17, 2001, The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 27, 1903, p. 3, and The Jackson County Times, December 2, 1933, p. 3)
Margaret Griffin Ingalls*
After the death of her parents, Margaret Griffin lived with the A.C. Gottsches? She was very talented in the fine arts. In 1924, she attended Whitworth College at Brookhaven, Mississippi, where in October 1926, she was named “most talented” in the annual “Who’s Who” contest.(The Jackson County Times, October 16, 1926, p. 1)
Margaret Griffin later became art director at Whitworth College. In 1930, she went abroad and studied art in Paris, where she met her future husband, Frederick Henry Ingalls (1908-1989). In France, Mr. Ingalls worked for The Paris Tribune and the American Express Company. His home was at St. Louis, Missouri. Ingalls had attended the dramatic workshop at Yale University. The young couple were married at the Ingalls home at University City, a neighborhood of St. Louis. Miss Griffin was an art student at Washington University in St. Louis, at the time of her wedding.(The Jackson County Times, December 2, 1933, p. 3, December 27, 1924, p. 3, and July 14, 1934, p. 3)
*(SSDI has a Margaret Ingalls born June 15, 1907, died at Los Angeles on March 11, 1989 and Frederick Ingalls born May 17, 1908, died October 15, 1989, at Los Angeles)
The Griffins acquired the Thomas W. Grayson (1825-1904) home on Washington Avenue in July 1906, for $4000.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 31, p. 432) The domicile was just north of the Davis Brothers Store and south of the E.M. Westbrook (1858-1913) home.
In early April 1915, a large conflagration destroyed the Griffin home. At the time, it was being utilized by Dr. O.L. Bailey (1870-1938), as a sanitarium. The loss of the Griffin home and Dr. Bailey’s equipment, books, and records was estimated at $4000. Arson was suspected and a $100 reward was posted for information leading to the capture and conviction of the alleged incendiaries.(The Ocean Springs News, January 7, 1915, p. 1)
At the time of the fire, the Griffins were residents of Brooklyn, Forrest County, Mississippi. Here J.C. 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 after her parent’s demise. In September 1924, she sold the Griffin lot on Washington Avenue to H.F. Russell (1858-1940) for $4250.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 54, pp. 371-372) Here in October 1926, the Bailey Building was completed by Kean & Company 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.
Sadie D. Young
Sadie Davis (1878-1950) was born at Ocean Springs on April 10, 1878. She married Edward Young (1880-1959), a native of New Orleans. They had two daughters, Cynthia E. Young (1916-1925) and Florence Belle Young Robinson (1922-2001).
In March 1904, Alice Young (1888-1904), Mr. Young’s sister, died at New Orleans of Bright’s disease. He went to her funeral in the Crescent City.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 19, 1904, p. 4)
Edward Young stoked the coal furnaces for the steam heat at OSHS. Circa 1954, when the heating system changed he became custodian of the building. Mr. Young would take a break and sit in a broom closet doing class changes. The student body referred to Mr. Young's cubby hole as 'Mr. Young's Office'.(Larry Galle, January 26, 2009)
Florence Belle Young married Vesper Robinson. They had no children. Florence Belle Young died at Ocean Springs on November 4, 2001. Her remains were sent to the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi for internment.(The Sun Herald, November 9, 2001, p. A-10)
Sadie D. Young was a member of the Ocean Springs Baptist Church. She expired at Biloxi, Mississippi, on October 27, 1950. Edward Young died on September 5, 1959. Their corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(The Daily Herald, October 27, 1950, p. 11 and The Daily Herald, September 7, 1959, p. 2 )
Mamie E. D. Bland
On November 17, 1904, Mamie Edwina Davis (1882-1965) married Roy Livingston Bland (1878-1970) at Ocean Springs. He was born at Pelahatchie, Mississippi on December 22, 1878, the son of George Duncan Bland (1853-1915) and Addie Spann (d. ca 1885). His siblings were: George Hall Bland (1882-1981) of Shreveport, La.; Irene B. Hilsman (1889-1987) of Orange, Texas; Estelle B. Cruthirds (1893-1986) of Longville, La.; Bessie B. Barnes (1898-1917+) of Bond, Mississippi, and Albert Davis Bland (1903-1919) of Longville, La.(letter from Sam Kinney, January 9, 1997)
Roy L. Bland’s uncle, was Dr. Jasper J. Bland (1850-1932), the founder of a magnificent resort, The Beach-New Beach Hotel, on the Front Beach at Ocean Springs, which existed from 1900 until about 1921.
In their young married life between 1904 and circa 1912, the R.L. Blands were peripatetic as he worked as a station agent for the Mobile, Jackson and KC Railroad and the Frisco Railroad at several Mississippi and Arkansas locations.(The Biloxi Herald, November 18, 1904, p. 5, c. 4., The Ocean Springs News ,July 23, 1910 and July 30, 1910)
Before leaving for Alexandria, Louisiana circa 1918, R.L. Bland made his livelihood at Ocean Springs, raising poultry and dairy cattle. Mr. Bland was the proprietor of Bland's Sanitary Dairy. He advertised in The Jackson County Times on October 13, 1917 as follows:
BLAND'S SANITARY DAIRY
Sweet Milk 12c Quart; 6c a Pint
Delivered Morning and Evening
PHONE 57 R.L. BLAND
Roy L. Bland took many photographs of Ocean Springs during his tenure here. Many of these black and white images were made into postal cards and survive to the present. Bland's postcards can be easily identified from his handwriting, which is usually written at the base of the card describing the scene. Sometimes, he autographed his postals.
The Roy and Mamie D. Bland children were: Roy Lamar Bland (1905-1971), Davis Duncan Bland (1908-1990), Tyler Hutchinson Bland (1912-1991+), and Margaret W. B. McConathy (1918-1997+).
Mr. R.L. Bland expired at Alexandria, Louisiana in December 1970. Mrs. Bland died there on January 25, 1965.
Georgia D. Whittle
Georgia Davis (1883-1945) married Joseph Otto Whittle (1880-1925) in 1904. They had a daughter, Margaret Virginia Whittle (1908-1909). J.O. Whittle’s brother, Floyd F. Whittle, a resident of Ashland, Oregon, also had a daughter named Virginia. His wife and child visited Ocean Springs in December 1911. They were en route to Greensboro, Alabama.(The Ocean Springs News, December 9, 1911)
J.O. Whittle made his livelihood at Ocean Springs, as a druggist, initially with the People Drug Company. In August 1917, he consolidated his business, The Whittle Drug Store with Dr. O.L. Bailey’s Ocean Springs Drug Store and managed the new organization. Apparently this relationship failed, as in August 1918, he resigned his position with the Ocean Springs Drug Store and relocated to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Here Mr. Whittle became general manager and pharmacist for J.H. Mathieu. The family later moved to Texas where J.O. Whittle expired from pneumonia at Dallas, Texas on February 5,1925.(The Jackson County Times, August 11, 1917, September 7, 1918, p. 5, and February 7, 1925)
Georgia Davis Whittle then married Karl K. Weaver and lived in Durham, California. She was killed in an automobile accident at Chico, California in late December 1945.(The Jackson County Times, January 5, 1946, p. 1)
ELIAS SAMUEL DAVIS (1859-1925)
Elias S. Davis (1859-1925) was the junior partner in the Davis Brothers firm. He was born east of Ocean Springs on May 17, 1859. He married Louise A. Friar (1874-1952), the daughter of Thomas R. Friar (1845-1916) and Marie L. Dolbear (1846-1914), on April 6, 1891. Their children were: George Elliott Davis (1892-1936), Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963), L. Gladys D. Quinn (1897-1990) and Samuel Chester Davis (1900-1973).
In August 1911, E.S. Davis acquired the one-half interest of his brother, George W. Davis (1842-1914), in the store and land known as the Davis Brothers Store on Washington Avenue for $2500. The new business was called E.S. Davis & Sons.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 37, pp. 197-198 and The Ocean Springs News, September 2, 1911)
Mr. E.S. Davis was the first Treasurer of the Town of Ocean Springs, serving his fellow citizens from December 1892 until 1910, when the office was eliminated, as a result of the opening of the Ocean Springs State Bank.(Schmidt, 1972, pp. 133-134)
Elias S. Davis was known for his “rugged honesty” and devotion to his business. His avocations were fishing and boating. In addition to his mercantile business, E.S. Davis was a director of the Farmers & Merchants State Bank, a stockholder in the Ocean Springs State Bank, and a stockholder in the Builders Supply Company, which he sold to B.F. Joachim in July 1920. He was elected president of the Farmers & Merchants State Bank in 1920. Elias Samuel Davis expired on June 13, 1925. His corporal remains interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(Dabney, 1974, p. 19 and The Jackson County Times, June 20, 1925, p. 1 and July 24, 1920, p. 3)
Mrs. Louise F. Davis was active in social circles and a stalwart member of the local Baptist Church. Among her many good deed was the care of Evergreen Cemetery. In November 1933, Mrs. Davis with the assistance of welfare workers refurbished the Evergreen Cemetery to a state not seen in many years. She passed on April 1, 1952 at Biloxi and her remains interred at the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Jackson County Times, November 11, 1933, p. 3 and The Gulf Coast Times, April 3, 1952, p. 3)
George Elliot Davis
George Elliot Davis (1892-1936), called Elliott, was born in the year in which Ocean Springs became incorporated. On August 25, 1929, he married Vera Small, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.G. Small at the home of the Reverend L.A. Darsey (1849-1929) of the Methodist Church. Before their marriage, Miss Small was employed in the telephone exchange of the Cumberland Telephone Company at Birmingham, Alabama.(The Jackson County Times, July 18, 1925, p. 3 and August 31, 1929, p. 3)
Elliott Davis worked in his father’s store and was admired for his “easy going” personality, which endeared him to store customers. He became ill several years before his demise at the family home on Bowen Avenue, the 19th day of November 19, 1936.
Vera S. Davis was in Birmingham at the fatal hour. Burial was in the E.S. Davis family plot at Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, November 26, 1936)
Oscar T. Davis
In late January 1925, Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963) married Cecelia Wieder (1902-1956), the daughter of Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960) and Mathilda Endt (1875-1964). The Catholic wedding took place in Biloxi. Mr. Davis was employed in the family business, E.S. Davis & Sons at Ocean Springs. The newlyweds took an apartment in the Eglin House on Washington Avenue.(The Jackson County Times, January 31, 1925)
Cecelia was born at Ocean Springs on March 1, 1902 and expired at New Orleans on September 26, 1956. They resided at 8 Middle Avenue, now 1008 Joseph Street, which was named for her brother, Joseph C. Wieder (1905-1990). Mrs. Davis was passed through St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church with burial in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, September 26, 1956)
After an April 1943 nomination, President F.D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) named Oscar T, Davis as US Postmaster at Ocean Springs, on August 1, 1943. He succeeded L. Morris McClure (1884-1940). Mr. Davis remained at his post until March 15, 1963, when he retired and was replaced by Orwin J. Scharr. At the time of his postmastership, Oscar T. Davis was manager of the E.S. Davis & Sons general store.(The Jackson County Times, April 10, 1943, p. 1)
In June 1957, after the death of Cecilia W. Davis, Oscar T. Davis married Birdine Perry Morgan (1896-1990), the daughter of L.H. Perry and Elizabeth Ireland. They resided at 1008 Middle Avenue.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 92, p. 314)
Oscar T. Davis was a veteran of WW I and attained the rank of Corporal in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion, World War I Veterans, and the Masons. His death came on October 9, 1963, only a few months post-retirement. The corporal remains of Oscar T. Davis were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, October 9, 1963, p. 2)
Mrs. Birdine P. M. Davis passed on June 16, 1990, at St Petersburg, Florida. She was survived by two children, Roscoe C. Morgan and Joyce M. Neal. Her remains were also interred in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Ocean Springs Record, July 5, 1990, p. 3)
Lillian Gladys Davis Quinn
Lillian Gladys Davis (1897-1990), called Gladys, was born at Ocean Springs on December 24, 1897. She graduated from the Ocean Springs Public School with the Class of 1914. Miss Davis went to New Orleans post-graduation and studied shorthand, typing and business methods at Soule’s Business College. In July 1915, Gladys graduated first from that Crescent City educational facility in her class of sixty students. In addition to her keen mathematical mind and interest in business, she was an exceptional musician. Gladys Davis commenced her career in her father’s Washington Avenue mercantile store in July 1915.(The Ocean Springs News, July 8, 1915, p. 1)
In November 1920, Gladys Davis married Charles Gordon Quinn (1893-1970) of Anniston, Alabama at the Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi. Mr. Quinn was manager of the C.C. Snyder Tobacco Company at Sheffield, Alabama. After a wedding trip to Birmingham and Anniston, the Quinns were at home in Sheffield.(The Jackson County Times, November 13, 1920)
Gladys Davis Quinn expired at Gulfport on August 5, 1990. Mr. Quinn died on August 4, 1970. Both were interred in the Southern Memorial Park at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, August 5, 1970, p. 2 and The Sun Herald, August 6, 1990, p. C-2)
Samuel Chester Davis
Samuel Chester Davis (1900-1973) was known as Chester Davis. He was born at Ocean Springs on August 28, 1900, and attended the public school graduating as valedictorian of the 1918 Class. He married Eleanor May Baker (1903-1947), the daughter of Orion Stroud Baker (1898-1951) and Escambia McClure Baker Pabst (1880-1947) in the Methodist Church on November 8, 1929.(The Jackson County Times, June 8, 1918, p. 5 and October 19, 1929, p. 2)
Chester Davis was a soldier in WW I. Shortly after returning to Ocean Springs, he was elected as Ward 1 alderman and was in office from 1923-1924. In July 1925, he was the assistant cashier of the Farmers and Merchants State Bank and vacationed on an annual basis at Hot Springs, Arkansas.(Schmidt,1972, p. 135 and The Jackson County Times, July 18, 1925, p. 3)
During the Depression, Chester worked in Jackson, Mississippi for ERA.(The Jackson County Times, January 18, 1936, p. 3)
Eleanor May Baker was born at Ocean Springs on January 23, 1903. She was killed with her mother and Martha Anne Baker (1936-1947) in a fiery automobile crash at Biloxi on July 30, 1947.(The Daily Herald, July 31, 1947, p. 1)
Chester Davis married Evelyn Moody and moved to Mississippi City. He made his livelihood as a tax agent for the Mississippi State Tax Commission and was active in the Methodist Church, United Fund, and Masons and Shriners. S. Chester Davis passed on February 4, 1973 at Mississippi City. His body was sent to Ocean Springs for burial at the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1973, p. 2)