Biloxi Daily Herald
Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
September 4, 1905
A PAGE OF PAST LOCAL HISTORY
“Old Biloxi Newspaper of 1876 Reviewed”
Hopes For a Constitutional Convention Expressed.
Louisiana State Lottery Prizes Won in Biloxi.
Old local newspapers are always interesting. They turn back the page of forgotten history and an intimate glance at a day that is dead.
Yesterday Mrs. H. Aken, who has spent many useful years at Biloxi and on Deer Island, showed a Herald reporter a copy of the Biloxi Mirror, published Saturday, January 1, 1876.
It is a small, five-column edition, yellow with age and torn in many places, but it brings to mind actors on the stage of activity thirty years ago, many of whom are known to the writer only by name but who in the printed page of newspaper seem to the reader to live and act again.
At the head of the editorial page appears:
FOR U. S. SENATE
COL. RODERIC SEAL
Col. Seal is also mentioned in another part of the paper. Col. R. Seal was at home for the holidays but intended returning to Washington to further prosecute his claim for his seat in congress and for the ejection of the negro John R. Lynch from the place on charges of fraud, bribary [sic} and irregularities.
We know now that Col. Seal never did succeed in having Lynch ousted but we are still firm in the faith that it should have been done.
Immense growth of the oyster industry in Biloxi was recorded. The two principal firms, Bousquet, Elmer & Maycock and Lopez & Co., were shipping one or two carloads of oysters in the shells nearly every day “besides thousands of opened ones to different portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri and other states.” The future of the orange exportation industry was also highly spoken of.
The editors, C. K. Browning and B. A. Reynolds, were both optimists, evidently. They took a cheerful view of the outlook for the south, Biloxi and the world in general.
The editorials breathe of hopes for “the blessingf [sic] of constitutional liberty,” for the impeachment of Ames, then governor, and for a “convention clothed with plenary power to form a constitution, securing domestic peace and fostering the blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
These hopes of the editors, we are happy to say, have all come true. The carpetbagger is still down where he was placed in the election of 1875 and his seed has been rooted out of the land forever.
The paper spoke complimentarily of the Judge G. C. Chandler, then circuit judge of this district, though he was a republican, and expressed the hopes that Gov. Ames would appoint him over any other republican. It also urged the appointment of Hon. W. A. Champlin, democrat to position.
Among the local matters, Mr. Mike Keegan had just died; W. L. Williams, esq., secretary of the State Grange, had been in town; Mr. John Forelich was dead; Father Chavalier had given a supper to the Catholic church choir; several Biloxians won prizes in the Louisiana state lottery; J. E. Rivers & Co., proprietors of the St. James hotel, had given a dinner; Mr. B. Leger had been stabbed at Handsboro while acting peacemaker; a boy had been accidentally shot by a playmate; the city council, H. J. Meaut, mayor, resolved to open up Washington street and appropriated money to pay for it, the councilmen present at the meeting were P. Schaffer, V. Desporte, J. Bradford and Marshal Hurd; Capt. Sam Lawson was the newly elected justice of the peace; Rev. W. M. Jordan was pastor of the Methodist church.
There is more that might be of interest to many Biloxians, but the present is of more importance than the past, insofar as The Herald’s space is concerned, though due notice should not be neglected of the fact that the Mirror tenders thanks to Hon. J. R. Lynch for congressianal [sic} documents.
My Great Great Great grandfather was Rev. W. M. Jordan, pastor of the Methodist Church in Biloxi.