Biloxi Harrison County Mississippi
Fred Judson Hoagland
Grandson Frank H. Bosworth – 1985
I became first truly aware of my grandfather as a real person, when he was able to spend time with me after our 1947 Kankakee, Illinois auto accident. I’ll always remember his looking to be about 7 feet tall at my hospital bedside, standing net to my Uncle Bob Mogler. He lit a cigar and offered one to me before he thought of my age (14), looked piercingly at me, and asked if I smoked. I stated that I did not and his penetrating eyes that were kindly but seemed to see through me, he chuckled and smiled and said, “You’d better not!” He really loved my mom, my brother, and me. He later came to the Gulf Coast, Biloxi, to see us with his dogs “Taxi” and “Chevy”-a matching pair of beautiful boxers.
My Daddy Jim, was born James Peter Estrada to James and Angela (Franquet) Estrada in New York, USA, on May 7, 1934. In 1940, a U. S. Census shows a five year old James Estrada living with his parents, the only child. The census shows little James’ 31 year old father, a diamond setter in the jewelry industry, as having been born in France, and his 30 year old mother, Angela, a dressmaker in the dress manufacturing business, having been born in Spain. The couple rented the home at 172 111th Street in Queens, New York.
I know he attended Georgia Military Academy.
I don’t know how he and my mother, Janie Morris, met. I do know they were married at a chapel on Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi.
I have had trouble finding documentation for Daddy Jim’s life events and accomplishments other than the newspaper articles and information I collected for his death.
About Daddy Jim’s parents and grandparents:
From this point forward for the sake of simplicity, I will refer to my Daddy Jim as “Jim” and his father as James Sr. I know from family history told to me by my Grandma Angela that James Sr. was born of a Spanish family that had migrated to Paris in the jewelry trade. I recall spending much time with both of my adopted grandparents, the Estradas, in Houston, Texas, where my Grandpa Jim Estrada had retired after years in the oil industry.
At some point, James’s father went to work for Gulf Oil in Venezuela, but Jim stayed behind in the United States to attend military academies. In Venezuela, a sister, Beatrice, was born. I found passenger records of Jim having traveled to Venezuela for visits to his parents.
James, Sr. was born Dec. 19, 1908 in Paris, France. James, Sr., died in Houston, Texas, July 13, 1967, of multiple myeloma (cancer) at the age of 58. I remember when he passed away. He was buried at Southern Memorial Park in Biloxi, Mississippi, near his son, Capt. James Peter Estrada. He wanted to be buried by his son. James, Sr., migrated to New York with his parents as a young child. He spoke French and Spanish.
My Grandma Angela (Franquet) Estrada’s Obituary
Angela Franquet Estrada, beloved wife, mother and grandmother went home to be with the Lord on July 8, 2006. She was born in Valencia, Spain on November 10, 1909. Preceded in death by her parents; two sisters and two brothers; her husband, James Estrada; and son, Captain James Peter Estrada. Survived by her daughter, Beatrice Hood and husband Dean; grandsons, Alan Hood and wife Lorie, and Douglas Hood of Houston; and daughter-in-law, Jane Estrada of Gulfport, Miss.; grandchildren, Tenderly, Angela, Alison, James P. Estrada and wife Jan; five great-grandchildren; and one great great grandchild. She retired from Esther Wolf and Everitt Beulow.
A Memorial Service will be held at Grace Bible Church, 13700 Schroeder Rd., Houston, TX on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Still Creek Ranch, 6055 Hearne Lane, Bryan, TX 77808, or Vitas Hospice, 4828 Loop Central Dr., Suite 890, Houston, TX 77081.
James, Sr.’s father was named James “Jaime” Estrada. He was born July 25, 1888 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and died in December of 1970 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I met “Yiyo” the nickname for him. He had flown up to Gulfport to see us. I recall he had a pistol in his luggage, which greatly concerned my mother, and he had a “youth tonic” he drank every morning involving honey and lemon juice. He had a good disposition and spoke only Spanish and French, I think. James, Sr., was a jeweler-having been in business in Paris before establishing himself in New York as a jeweler.
James, Sr.’s mother was named Conchita Torres. Conchita Torres, James, Sr.,’s mother, was born May 21, 1886 in Puebla de Castro, Spain. I don’t have records for her death.
According to documentation, both Jaime and Conchita’s arrival dates were 1911 and 1912, respectively, from Paris, France.
In 1920, James “Jaime” and Conchita (Torres) Estrada, along with their son, James lived at 298 East 77th Street in Manhattan Assembly District 14, in New York, New York. “Jaime” was listed at a jeweler and he was listed as “Papers submitted”. In 1930, they still lived at the Manhattan address above listed as and Conchita was listed as “Alien”. Jaime was listed as “First papers”. By 1940, at the same Manhattan address, “Conchita” was listed as having “First papers”.
I have not found documentation for the parents for Jaime or Conchita at this time. That information would be in Spain, I would presume, and I have no access to those records. I am still looking, though.
Here is just one of the documents I had found in support of the family history I am working on for Daddy Jim’s genealogy:
Having had two fathers in my life, I grew up without either one. I was born to Capt. and Mrs. Frank Hunt Bosworth. My mother was Janie Morris. They divorced soon after I was born, and as the story was told to me, my mother met and married Jim Estrada. They were married when I was about two years old. Jim adopted me as his child. I was raised as Jim Estrada’s child and he is the one I have the most cherished childhood memories any child could ever dream of. I have hung onto those memories-they are as clear as if they happened yesterday.
The Estrada family shared their love with me as if I was a child born with their blood. I cherished them, especially my Aunt Bea-Bea. I grew up with the Estrada name and was always very proud of it. I am forever grateful for the time I spent with them and the advantages that went with being part of their family. Every summer I can remember, my siblings and I were packed up and sent to Houston to have extended visits with our Texas Estradas. This included the Hood family my Aunt Bea-Bea eventually married into. We had very good times! We swam in the icy cold rice wells in Katy, Texas, at Uncle Dean’s sister’s farm – the McIroys, I believe were their names. Uncle Dean always had to win at Monopoly and Aunt Bea-Bea made the most delicious food. One dish I remember was some sort of Mexican casserole. The houses in Ponderosa Forest, a subdivision of Houston were amazing to experience. My Uncle Dean had been a builder of some of those houses. Aunt Bea-Bea was a teacher and one of the most positive influences in my life. I can hear her laughter as I write this.
My Grandma Angela, “Granny Annie”, as we called her in the 60’s always made sure we had beautiful dresses and swimwear from Esther Wolfe, the store she worked at, and she provide tennis lessons for us at one of the townhouse developments she lived in. We had a blast with her. She was a very fastidious and clean housekeeper and we were expected to make our beds every day or we couldn’t go swimming at the pool if we didn’t. It just was really the best of time when we went to Houston. I wanted to live there.
It was always so exciting when Grandma Angela speed down the “freeway” heading to downtown Houston. She would holler out, “Get out of my way, you old fossil!” if she had to pass a car. We always giggled because the person in the other car appeared to be her age. I remember one trip to the Galleria for shopping. I had never seen a shopping mall quite like that one. It was new when I was there. She took me to an art gallery because she knew I loved art and always encouraged me. When she got much older, she took painting classes and produced some pretty impressive artwork herself. I was so proud of her!
As a family, we spent many holidays in Houston with the Estradas. The Christmas lights were just fantastic. The trips we made in the car were long and kind of miserable. We traveled with six of use in the car. Momma drove, Mamaw (her mother) rode shotgun and four of us kids had to sit in the back of the station wagon along with ice chests filled with food and luggage. We did take breaks at rest stops and that helped. When we got to Houston, it was all worth it.
Biloxi Daily Herald
October 13, 1894
A PORTION OF THE PRINCIPAL STREET OF BILOXI IN ASHES.
Business Houses and Residences Were Burned Like so Much Chaff
LOSS ABOUT $75,000—INSURANCE $28,000.
Heroic Action of Firemen and Citizens
Biloxi has again been visited by a conflagration more sweeping in extent and entailing a financial loss greater than that of the fire of June, 1889. Friday morning about 2 o’clock a private watchman discovered flames issuing from the two-story building of Jos. W. Swetman, located on Pass Christian st., main thoroughfare, and in the most densely populated portion of the city. The alarm was sounded and the fire department turned out in quick order, but the flames had gained such headway that it was impossible to save the building and efforts of the firemen were directed to those adjoining. The Swetman building was occupied by J. W. Swetman a drug-store with sleeping apartments on the second floor occupied by his family, and so rapidly did the fire eat its way that the family were only able to hastily gather a few articles of clothing and make their escape. Another portion of this building on the first floor was occupied John W. Henley, as a oyster saloon. Adjoining the Swetman building, and on the west the fire quickly communicated to the engine room of Mechanics Fire Co., and from that to the Masonic Opera House, a large frame structure. Continuing its course west, on Pass Christian street, the two buildings owned by John Eistetter, one occupied by J. H. Murphy as a blacksmith shop, and the other by P. Ferzar, as a lunch house, were consumed as was also the tin shop belonging to Dan Markey, and a small residence, both in the rear and owned by Jno. Eistetter. Crossing Magnolia street the storehouse and dwelling of Miss St. Tual was soon in ashes. The fire in its eastern course was checked with the burning of the market-house of Felix Borries, by the most desperate and heroic work on the part of both firemen and citizens.
Before this time, however, buildings were burning in all directions, and it looked as if the larger portion of the city would be consumed before the wrath of the fiery monster was appeased. Opposite the Opera House the large two-story business house and dwelling of S. Picard was in flames, and in the flying cinders the intense heat almost immediately ignited the residence of W. K. M. Dukate, on the east and a cottage on Magnolia street, owned by N. Voivedich and occupied by F. W. Eaton. With the destruction of the last named building the flames were, checked on Magnolia street, although the house south of it and occupied by T. E. Colline, was badly scorched.
On the south side of Pass Christian street the residence of Mrs. Rich and a small building adjoining, occupied as a candy store were being rapidly reduced to ashes only to be followed in quick succession by the building occupied by Joseph Lawrence as a shoe shop, and the barber shop J. Kilk both owned by George Ohr, Sr. From the barber shop the next to fall a prey to the fiery demon was the large two-story building owned by Chas. Redding and occupied by him as a residence and grocery store. South of Redding’s a cottage belonging to Dr. J. J. Lemon and occupied by Mrs. Kelty, was burned as was also a two-story cottage adjoining, belonging to Geo. Ohr, Sr. On the north side of Pass Christian st., and east of the Swetman building, four small buildings owned by the same gentlemen, were destroyed—one of these was without a tenant and the other occupied by Sing Lee as a laundry; H. Eikel, merchant tailor; and Mrs. Ohr, grocer.
The fire in this direction was checked at the building owned by Mrs. Amare and occupied by Keel & Jennett, grocers. This building was damaged to the extent of about $100, and it seemed at times beyond the power of human beings to save the structure and it was only by almost superhuman efforts that the flames were checked at this point. The destruction of this building would have followed by the loss of many more, and with this appalling fact staring them in the face the firemen worked with redoubled vigor and until their hands and faces were scorched and blistered by the devouring element.
In the rear of the property last destroyed stood the famous pottery of Geo. E. Ohr, whose shop during the past severel [sic] years has been visited by hundreds of visitors from other sections and from almost every State in the Union, seeking relics in artistic pottery. In a few moments the toil and work of Ohr, the artistic potter, was reduced to ashes.
In the rear of the opera-house the planning mills of John R. Harkness & Sons, together with a large amount of finished work and lumber, was destroyed.
In the upper story of the opera-house were the lodge rooms of the Masons and Knights of Pythias. The regalia and all paraphernalia of both orders were completely destroyed, only the secretary’s and treasurer’s books of the Masonic order being saved.
On the ground floor of the opera-house was the office of the Postal Telegraph Co., and the watch-maker shop of B. M. Root, both suffering a total loss.
Fortunately there was but little wind during the conflagration, else the damage would have been more than doubled. As it was, houses several blocks away from the seat of the fire were ignited by flying cinders, and it was only by the closest surveillance that many other buildings were not added to the conflagration.
The Convent of Mercy, situated some distance from the scene, was on fire twice, but before gaining any headway, the flames were extinguished.
During the height of the fire, and until it was well under control, much excitement prevailed among residents in the neighborhood. Houses were emptied of their contents, and vehicles of all sorts were pressed in service to aid in conveying the goods to a place of safety. In many instances this was found to be unnecessary. Household goods were piled helter-skelter in every direction, and when daylight came, the scene presented cannot be described. The area of the fire covers the larger portion of four squares in the heart of the city and as the buildings destroyed were all of wood, there was little resistance to the flames.
[Partially illegible paragraph] paraphernalia, $500; insurance on opera-house, $1500.
Knights of Pythias, $1000; insurance, $600.
Geo. Ohr, Sr., $5000; no insurance.
John R. Harkness & Sons, $3000; no insurance.
Miss St. Tual, $700; insurance, $2000.
Geor E. Ohr, $3000; no insurance.
H. Eikel, $2800; insurance $1000.
J. Kilk, $400; no insurance.
Jos. Lawrence, $100; no insurance.
Mrs. Rich (2 houses), loss unknown.
Dan Markey, $250; no insurance.
Mechanics’ Steam Fire Co., $400; no insurance.
J. H. Murphy, $100; no insurance.
Felix Borries, $400, no insurance.
N. Voivedich, $700; no insurance.
F. W. Eaton, $00; no insurance.
J. Eistetter, $1000; no insurance.
B. M. Root, $400; no insurance.
P. Ferrar, $800; no insurance.
The insurance is divided among the following companies of E. W. Morrill’s agencies:
Royal $00; Harford, $6450; American Fire, $2345; Phoenix of London, $2275; Phenix of Brooklyn, $2550; Lancashire, $2000; Queen, $1500; Liverpool, London and Globe, $3500; Mechanics and Traders, $3200.
In but few instances was any portion of the contents of the burned buildings saved, and then only in a damaged condition. There is also considerable loss in the way of outhouses, stables, fences, etc.
The Electric Light Co. lose [sic] about $6000 in the destruction of poles wires, transformers, etc.
Many of those burned out will commence rebuilding at once. The loss is a severe one to our people, and to many is the loss of all their possessions. The business men who own property along Pass Christian st., to whom a Herald reporter has talked to on the subject signify their willingness to widen the street ten feet on either side than its present width.
The Herald building was threatened by flying cinders, and had it not been covered with abestos [sic], there is but little doubt that the roof would have ignited and it would have been almost impossible to have saved the building from destruction, and that or other and valuable property. Owners having property in the west end of town can thank their lucky stars that this office was covered by asbestos [sic], for had it burned the destruction would have been three fold greater than now recorded.
My great great grandfather John Rankin Harkness’s business is mentioned as destroyed in this article. Capt. John Rankin Harkness (1830-1903) was one of the founders of the Biloxi Fire Dept. He was born in Pelham, Hampshire, Massachusetts, the son of William Harkness and Abigail Turner.
Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS (1830 – 1903) — My 2nd great-grandfather
Edna Irene HARKNESS (1880 – 1952), daughter of Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS
John Harkness MORRIS (1901 – 1965), son of Edna Irene HARKNESS
Janie Lucille MORRIS (1935 – 2013), daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
Me, the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS
Charter of Incorporation of The John R. Harkness and Sons Building and Milling Company of Biloxi, Miss.
Biloxi Daily Herald
May 6, 1893
CHARTER OF INCORPORATION of The John R. Harkness and Sons Building and Milling Company of Biloxi, Miss.
Be it remembered that on the 2d [sic] day of January, in the year of our Lord 1893, that John R. Harkness, Wm. T. Harkness, Giles A. Harkness, and J. Lewis Harkness and such other persons as may hereafter become associated with them and their successors, be and are hereby constituted a body corporate under the name and title of The John R. Harkness and Sons Building and Milling Company, and as such may have a common seal, may sure and be sued, plead and be impleaded in all the courts of this State, may contract and be contracted with may own and acquire real and personal property as provided by law, relating to corporations.
Section 2. This corporation is created for the purpose of doing a general milling, building and lumber business and shall exist for a period of twenty-five (25) years, unless sooner dissolved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the stockholders, and its domicile shall be Biloxi, Harrison County Mississippi.
Sec. 4. The officers of said corporation shall be a president, vice-president and a secretary and treasurer who shall be elected aunually [sic] and shall serve for one year or until their successors are elected. The following officers shall hold the offices of said corporation for one year from the approval of this corporation, to-wit, John R. Harkness, president, ____ _____, vice-president, ____ _____, secretary and treasurer.
Sec. 5. Said corporation may enact such by-laws for its government as may be deemed expedient by a majority of the stock-holders.
Sec. 6. Said corporation shall have such other powers, as provided by chapter 25 of the Annotated Code relating to Corporations.
Sec. 7. This charter shall be in force and effect from and after its approval.
April 22, 1893
Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS (1830 – 1903) My 2nd great-grandfather…
Edna Irene HARKNESS (1880 – 1952) daughter of Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS
John Harkness MORRIS (1901 – 1965) son of Edna Irene HARKNESS
Janie Lucille MORRIS (1935 – 2013) daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
Me, the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS
Biloxi Daily Herald
January 14, 1893
LOCAL HAPPENINGS (excerpt)
“John R. Harkness, the old reliable builder has the contract for the erection of a two story building on the corner of Lameuse and Pass Christian streets, which, when completed, will be occupied by Mr. Herbelin, who has recently moved here with his family from Covington, La.”
THE OLD AND THE NEW
Proceedings of the Retiring City Council and Inauguration of the New Officers (excerpt)
“J. C. Bradford, alderman 4th ward, gave bond of $500 with John R. Harkness and J. W. Maybin as sureties.”
The first Donkey party of the season was given Thursday evening at the residence of Mr. T. P Dulion, in honor of Miss M. Hannon’s birthday. After a great deal of amusement furnished by those trying to replace the donkey’s tail in the proper place, Miss C. Schumann captured the first prize, Miss S. Harkness, the second prize and Mrs. A. Dulion, the booby prize. The fun being over dancing was indulged in till the wee hours of morning. The following enjoyed the pleasures of the evening: Mr. and Mrs. T. P. Dulion, Mr. and Mrs. A. Dulion, Mesdames Arndt and Park, Misses Lizana, M. Hannon, T. Wachenfeld, C. Schumann, M. Ohr, S. Harkness, E. Shields, I. Park M. Murray, M. and O. Barthes, R. Henley, U. Harvey A. Bourdon, M. Ramon, T. Nielsen, M. Schumacher, E. Matthews and Messrs. C. W. Wachenfeld, P. Gillen, U. Desporte, O. Thompson, P. Wachenfeld, E. Barra, H. Champlin, W. Cousans, F. and L. Harvey, F. and A. J. Bourdon, W., G. and L. Harkness, W. Balthrope, W. Collins, W. Suter, Ramon, Lang, F. Shields, Lizana, A. Church, J. Bannon and H. M. Clark, Jr.
Ladies Aid Society
The Ladies Aid of M. E. church held their annual business meeting Tuesday afternoon. The meeting proved both pleasant and profitable. Mrs. Stilphen, having served as president for two years, resigned, giving this plea—“The interest of the work demands a change.”
Newly elected officers: President, Mrs. Chas Patten; first vice-president, Mrs. Peacock; treasurer, Mrs. Scott; secretary, Miss Sadie Stilphen; assistant secretary, Miss Estelle Harkness.
Several committees were arranged viz [sic]:
Committee on visiting the sick—Mesdames Peacock, Harkness and Scott.
Committee on visiting strangers—Mesdames Balfour and Horu, and Miss Estelle Harkness.
Committee on looking up Sunday-school scholars—Mesdames Robertson and Park, and Miss Annie Cousans.
The next meeting will be held with Mrs. Scott on Tuesday, the 17th, at 2 o’clock.
Biloxi Daily Herald
1 Jun 1917
Miss Stella Harkness leaves tonight for Washington, where she will attend the annual reunion of the United Confederate Veterans and Sons of Veterans.