Biloxi Regatta

The Death of Wilder Morris Bosworth, Jr.

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The Death of Wilder Morris “Tuffy” Bosworth

Wilder Morris Bosworth, Jr.
Biloxi National Cemetery


The Daily Herald, Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi Coast

Saturday Afternoon – December 13, 1958



Wilder Morris Bosworth Jr., 23, 207 Reynoir St., Biloxi, died Friday, 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Hospital, Elgin, Ill. He was a native of Chicago and resided in Biloxi most of his life. He was in the Navy from 1954-58, was a member of First Methodist Church, Biloxi, Biloxi Yacht Club and he and his family had been visiting in Elgin for the past week. His death followed a long illness.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Virginia Champlin Bosworth, mother, Mrs. Helen Mason, Biloxi; father, Dr. Wm. [sic-should be Wilder] Bosworth, Columbus, Miss., and two brothers Wm. Shales Bosworth [sic-correction last name was Shales, not Bosworth], Dixon, Calif., and Frank Hunt Bosworth OCS, Fort Benning Ga., and grandfather, Thad Hogland [sic-correction Fred Hoagland], Elgin, Ill.

The body will arrive in Biloxi at 2:50 a.m. Monday. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday from Bradford Funeral Home with services at First Methodist Church by the Rev. W. F. Whaley.



Biloxi Daily Herald

December 17, 1958


The funeral of Wilder Bosworth Jr., who died Friday at Elgin, Ill., was held Tuesday afternoon from Bradford Funeral Home with services at the First Methodist Church conducted by the Rev. W. F. Whaley. Burial was in the Biloxi Cemetery. Pallbearer were Vallie Lepre, John Baltar, Keith Fountain, Franklin Middleton, Jack Perez and John Switzer.


Wilder Morris Bosworth, Jr. 2
Photo of Wilder Morris “Tuffy” Bosworth in my grandmother Helen Hoagland Shales Bosworth Mason’s locket. This locket is in my possession.

Wilder Morris Bosworth, Jr., was my paternal uncle. His family members called him “Tuffy”. This was a nickname I was frequently affectionately called by my mother, Janie. She told me I looked like him and reminded her of him. I was 2 ½ years old when Tuffy died. I have no memories of him. I first visited Tuffy’s grave in the Biloxi National Cemetery just a few years ago. He is buried in a beautiful spot under a sprawling live oak tree. I took photos of his grave. I was told Tuffy died from cancer that was located in his leg. I wept for the uncle I never got to know. By all accounts, Tuffy was a kind and loving person with an adventuresome nature.

Wilder Morris Tuffy Bosworth Jr
Wilder Morris “Boz” Bosworth – 1938 Biloxi High School Graduate – “Work fascinates me–in fact I can sit and watch it for hours.”

Capt. John Rankin Harkness 1830-1903

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Capt. John Rankin Harkness 1830–1903 / Biloxi Pioneer / Architect and builder of many homes, the school and businesses in Biloxi. Harkness was street commissioner on the Biloxi City Council and was a member of the school board as evidenced in The Biloxi Herald newspaper at the time.



Capt. John Rankin Harkness



Birth 26 Mar 1830 Pelham, Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA

Death 11 Jun 1903 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA

my great-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
the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS

J.R. Harkness is a descendant of two proved Mayflower passengers:
Francis Cooke and John Turner


When Capt. John Rankin Harkness was born on March 26, 1830, in Pelham, Massachusetts, his father, William, was 37 and his mother, Abigail, was 36. He married Irene Jordan on November 19, 1868, in Harrison County, Mississippi. They had seven children in 14 years. He died on June 11, 1903, in Biloxi, Mississippi, at the age of 73, and was buried there.


Capt. John Rankin Harkness Family Chart
Capt. John Rankin Harkness of Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi. Biloxi Pioneer.

J.R. Harkness resided in Biloxi.

25 Feb 1888 The Biloxi Daily Herald – J.R. Harkness, Biloxi, MS


23 Jun 1888 The Biloxi Daily Herald / Mississippi / J.R. Harkness

In 1888 the state of Mississippi began providing pensions to former Confederate soldiers and sailors, as well as their widows and wartime servants residing in the state.

1888 JR Harkness designed this building. Howard Memorial School-Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi

J.R. Harkness – Architect – Biloxi, Mississippi 1888
John Rankin Harkness – 23 Jun 1888 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA – Newspaper Article from the Biloxi Daily Herald-Contractor & Builder


John Rankin Harkness-President of Mechanics Steam Fire Engine Company No. 2 – 19 Sep 1891 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA Newspaper Article from the Biloxi Daily Herald, Also show W.T. Harkness as 2nd Assistant.
Confederate Veterans-J.R. Harkness is listed as part of committee of arrangements for a barbecue for ex-Confederates, their families and friends. 8 Oct 1892

Biloxi Herald – November 19, 1892 states J.R. Harkness ran for Alderman.

1893 John R. Harkness & Sons Planing and Milling Co. of Biloxi, Mississippi Daily Herald Newspaper, Biloxi, MS


Capt. J. R. Harkness Contracted to Repair Damages-The Daily Herald, Biloxi, MS 24 Feb 1894
The Harkness Boys Have Always Been Sailors 7 Aug 1897 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA Daily Herald Newspaper, Biloxi, MS Note: Their boat was named the May H. (May Harkness?)
William Harkness Family in History of Pelham History of Pelham, Page 421. Mention of John Harkness in Pelham as William Harkness’ son.

J.R. Harkness was a member of the Freemasons

Downtown Biloxi 1902-Photo from The Daily Herald Twentieth Century Coast Edition-Historical and Biographical 1902 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA The building on the right side of this photo, on the corner, is one built by J.R. Harkness and his son.
J. R. Harkness – Biloxi Street Commissioner 1902 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA Twentieth century coast edition of the Biloxi Daily Herald … historical and biographical: “one of the oldest and most respected citizens”


List of Biloxi Pioneers – “HARKNESS” is on the list.
John R. Harkness born-Massachusetts Town and Vital Records 1620-1988
John R. Harkness born-Massachusetts Town and Vital Records 1620-1988 / Biloxi Pioneer
John R. Harkness born-Massachusetts Town and Vital Records 1620-1988  2
John R. Harkness born-Massachusetts Town and Vital Records 1620-1988 Zoom
U.S. City Directories 1822-1995 Biloxi Mississippi Listing for J.R. Harkness' Widow Irene
U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 Biloxi, Mississippi listing for John R Harkness’ widow, Irene.

The Carson edifice at Belle Fontaine, was designed and built by John R. Harkness & Sons of Biloxi.  John .Rankin Harkness (1827-1903), a native of Amherst, Massachusetts, had commenced his contracting business at Biloxi in 1868.  The two-story residence cost $5000 and was shingled from the ground to the cone.  Mr. Harkness and his family and friends occasionally sailed to the construction site, often referred to as “New Chicago”, for a days outing.  J.R. Harkness & Sons completed the Carson home in October 1892.(Dyer, 1895, “Biloxi”, The Biloxi Herald, April 9, 1892, p. 4, July 30, 1892, p. 4, and September 28, 1892, p. 4) taken from several issues of the Biloxi Daily Herald 1892

John R. Harkness / Irene Jordan Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA Old Biloxi City Cemetery
John Rankin Harkness Death Notice 12 Jun 1903 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA Newspaper Notice from the Daily Herald


Memorial on Find-A-Grave for John Rankin Harkness:


Belle L Puts Thrills in Regatta Crowds–Wins Coast Championship: David Edmund “Ed” Morris in the Biloxi Regatta 1917

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Daily Herald, July 6, 1917

Belle L Puts Thrills in Regatta Crowds–Wins Coast Championship

J.M. Lopez’s Speed Wonder and Casey Jones, Owned by Ed Morris of Gulfport In Thrilling Contest–Casey Jones Disabled–Regatta Is Brought To a Close


The Belle L, Julius Lopez’s speed-boat, won the concluding race of the eighteenth annual regatta at Biloxi yesterday afternoon, defeating the Casey Jones, which is owned by Ed Morris, of Gulfport, and of which Morris was skipper. The Casey Jones broke down in the first lap, leaving the field to the Belle L, history in this case reversing itself, as last year the Belle L was disabled and the Casey Jones won the race.

Leo Ohr and Fred Moran, skippers on the Belle L, put more speed into the Belle L than has ever been seen before in local waters, the speed wonder of the Biloxi man fairly leaping over the waves and making a distance of eighteen miles in thirty minutes and twenty-eight seconds. The Casey Jones has a speed of about thirty-five miles an hour. The Belle L’s speed is at its maximum about forty-five miles an hour.

The speedboat race was for five laps on the inside course of fifteen miles with an additional three miles for turning and the Belle L gets a $50 prize. The race was one of the most interesting ever seen at any Biloxi regatta.


The race was finished by only one speedboat, after her competitor had become disabled before he made the first stakeboat, thrilled those on shore. Mr. Morris broke his rudder and was forced to withdraw, leaving Mr. Lopez to make the run of fifteen miles around the inside course in thirty minutes and twenty-eight seconds allowing the Bell L three miles for turning, he ran his speed marvel at a rate of thirty-six mile an hour without forcing her to the limit. This is the first time since this boat was built that she was enabled to make the entire course without the slightest mishap, for which those watching her were well satisfied with the running qualities.

Rain fell at the start of the second day’s races of the eighteenth annual regatta, given under the auspices of the Biloxi Yacht Club, and with a breeze of fifteen knots, the three big schooners, Henry M, Willie Ewing and Wonder got away in one of the prettiest starts that has been seen in a sailing race in years and furnishing a thrilling sight for the crowds. These boats sailed the course on the first round in just a little over an hour with the Wonder and Henry M coming to the home stakeboat with just two seconsds difference between the two boats. The Willie Ewing which had become outdistanced, finished the race to demonstrate that her skippers were game even if they did not have a chance of winning.

The second round favored the Wonder considerably and after gaining a headway, which the Henry M failed to overcome, she finished with a credit of eight minutes, winning the special prize of $50 offered by the regatta committee to the winner between the three boats. The schooner race was considerably more interesting than that of the first day and as a result of the rivalry which now exists between the Wonder and the Henry M. Officers of the yacht club are arranging a special prize to be offered for a match race between them on Sunday. The Wonder was built by Henry Brasher, of this city and is claimed to be the fastes schooner in these waters by her decisive defeat of the Henry M a boat which has won numerous races in this and other cities.

The Willie Ewing is owned by W.K.M. Dukate and Guy Green was skipper. Henry M is owned by Martain, Sr., and Martain Fountain, Jr., is skipper. Wonder is owned by Devitt & Clark and F. Tiblier was skipper.

The race of cabin cruisers, one lap on the outside course, was an interesting sight, being won by the Firefly, owned and operated by Capt J.M. Rodgers, of Mobile, Capt Rodgers award is a trophy cup. The boats contesting with the Firefly were Cleo… (continued on Third Page)


This article was transcribed by Ed Morris’s great grandaughter, Tenderly Rose.

Unfortunately at this time, I have been unable to locate the continuation of this article, but, I’ll keep looking! 


Biloxi Yacht Club Building In Holiday Attire, MS
Biloxi Yacht Club Building In Holiday Attire, MS cir 1925


Regatta Bay Saint Louis, MS
Regatta – Bay Saint Louis, MS / Not Biloxi