Biloxi Daily Herald
October 31, 1934
MAYORS OF BILOXI — The earliest records available begin with the ‘50’s. L. E. Pradat was “president of the town” and “selectmen” served with him in 1857. The next record now at City Hall states that James Fewell was mayor in 1861 and James Blythe served as mayor protem during that year, and the selectmen had become “aldermen.” Other mayors of which there are records are:
1866 – John L. Henley
1868 – Lyman B. Holley
(There is a loss of records for a few years)
1875 – H. J. Meaut
1877 – Lyman B. Holley
1878-1880 – R. Caillavet
1881-1882 – F. W. Elmer
1883-(part) – J. R. Harkness
1883-1884 – Emile Laudner
1885-1886 – J. A. Bousquet
1887-1888 – Emile Laudner
1888 – John Walker
1889-1890 – Harry T. Howard
1891 – F. W. Elmer
1893-1894 – John A. Bousquet
1895-1913 – Edward Glennan
1914-1933 – John J. Kennedy
1933-1934 – R. Hart Chinn
Mayor J. R. Harkness was my Great Great Grandfather:
Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS (1830 – 1903)
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
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.
Biloxi Daily Herald November 14, 1923
PLEASANT SURPRISE PARTY
A pleasant surprise party and miscellaneous shower was held at the handsome new bungalow of Misses Stella and Mae Harkness, on West Howard avenue, Monday night in which a number of their relatives and members of the Biloxi post office force participated. The event was given in honor of the birthday of Miss Stella Harkness, who has charge of the general delivery window of the local postoffice. The guests gathered at a designated point and marched to the Harkness bungalow where they were delightfully entertained. The guests with a huge birthday cake all lighted with candles entered the home, and were received by Miss Harkness with considerable surprise. During the several pleasant hours delicious hot chocolate and cake were served. Pleasing recitations were given by the Misses Irene and Martha Morris of Gulfport, who also presided at the piano. Many handsome and useful gifts were showered upon the honoree. Among the guests present included Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Harkness, Giles Harkness Peresich, Mrs. Walter G. Wilkes and daughter. Miss Laurie, Mrs. J. W. Swetman, Dr. and Mrs. B. Z. Welch, Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Thompson, Mrs. D. E. Morris and daughters, Misses Irene and Martha Morris, and son John Harkness Morris, of Gulfport, Misses Sadie, Harriet, Stella and Mae Harkness, Mamie Hannon and Messrs. J. R. Munier, J. C. Brent and Addison Jackson.
Biloxi Daily Herald December 2, 1912
SURPRISE PARTY FOR MRS. HARKNESS
Delightful Gathering at Home of Popular Biloxi Lady Saturday Afternoon
Biloxi, December 2
A surprise party in honor of her sixty-eighth birthday was tendered Mrs. Irene Harkness by her friends Saturday afternoon. They gathered at Mrs. W. T. Bolton’s home and then proceeded in a body to the Harkness home Delaunay street. Mrs. Harkness was the recipient of many pretty presents.
The following program was carried out:
Song—Rock of Ages
Poem Reading, “Birthday Wishes”, dedicated to Grandma Harkness by Mrs. J. E. Pendola, which is reproduced below.
Recitation, The Dumb Wife—Miss Irene Harkness
Recitation, Woman’s Rights—Margaret Harkness
Piano Solo—Mrs. W. G. Wilkes
Recitation, The Great Battle—Willie Newell Harkness
Reading—Mrs. J. E. Pendola
Hymn, Showers of Blessings By the company
Scripture reading—Rev. W. L. Linfield
Prayer—Rev. J. L. Jordan
Misses Irene, Margaret and Althea Harkness served the guest with a dainty luncheon. The birthday cake was a very large and handsome one bearing sixty-eight candles.
Among those present were Mesdames H. Gorenflo, S. W. Rose, Mathia, Amy Dulion, C. Barnette, J. C. Tyler, E. L. Suter, Lyman Bradford, R. B. Dacey, J. Swetman, J. E. Pendola, W. G. Wilkes, Allen Watson, R. M. Davis, Giles Harkness, Louis Harkness; Misses Capitola Mathias, Laura White, Winnie Gorenflo. Stella and May Harkness, Kathryn Henley, Rev. J. L. Jordon, Rev. W. L. Linfield, and Edwin Morris, Herbie Pendola, Willie Newell Harkness and Jack Watson.
(Poem by Mrs. J. E. Pendola)
We are bringing a wish for your birthday,
A wish and a hope and a prayer;
A wish that the day may be joyous and gay,
Unclouded by sorrow or care.
A hope that the year that is coming
Will bring many friends tried and true,
And know that the truest among them
Will never be truer than you
We have known your sweet, loving ways,
And we wish you the best in our hearts
May the remaining years be
The best of your days
Sixty-eight years of a well-spent life
Such a comfort to all should be;
We hope you may long be spared to us
And we a comfort to thee.
Long may sunshine round thee hover
Bright as that about thee now;
Never may a cloud of sorrow
Cast a shadow on thy brow.
Edwin Morris = David Edmund “Ed” Morris
Mrs. W. T. Bolton = possibly Mrs. W. J. Holston
William Turner “Willie” Harkness (1869 – 1941) – my 2nd great-uncle
Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS (1830 – 1903) father of William Turner “Willie” Harkness
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
Relationship between Rev. James Louis Jordan & Me
father of Rev. James Louis Jordan
daughter of William Miller JORDAN, sister of Rev. J. L. Jordan
daughter of Irene JORDAN
son of Edna Irene HARKNESS
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
Before Hurricane Katrina hit the Coast, this house was located right on Highway 90 directly across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. It was on a corner. I don’t know if it survived the storm. I know it survived Hurricane Camille because this photo was taken in the 1990’s on one of my visits home. I took this photo while riding past the home when Momma was driving.
“Boots” and Helen Mason owned and operated Mason’s Interiors in downtown Biloxi in the 1950’s. Helen was an interior decorator. She was a devout Methodist having been a member of first United Methodist Church in Biloxi. Boots was a retired U. S. Marine.
Below is a photo of my grandmother, Rosie Smith Morris (from the left), Millard Ayres “Boots” Mason and my grandmother, Helen Hoagland Mason out for supper at the popular restaurant, the “White House” on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, now long gone.