Estelle “Stella” Harkness 1874-1961
“Little Sissy” was my aunt, my mother’s sister. I visited her grave many, many times in the family plot located in Evergreen Cemetery in Gulfport, Mississippi, when I was growing up. I held my grandmother’s hand as we sat next to her grave and listened to her talk about her. She was the first child she gave birth to. I was told she “fell off the porch” and died. She stays in my heart even today. My mother told me that as a little girl, I reminded my grandmother of “Little Sissy”.
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
1896 Sep 5
The marriage of Miss Sadie A. Stilphen and Mr. William T. Harkness, both of this city last Wednesday, at 8:30 p.m., at the residence of the bride’s parents, was the occasion of much rejoicing among the two families. The couple are both well-known in Biloxi and are members of society in high standing. The bride is the only daughter of Capt. and Mrs. John H. Silphen who reside at West End. The groom is Biloxi’s well-known architect, contractor and builder, and is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Harkness. The wedding was a quiet and select affair, with only the relatives of each family present and a few chosen guests. The officiating clergyman was Rev. D. L. Mitchell. The attendants were Miss Abbie Harkness, a sister of the groom, and Henry N. Stilphen, a brother of the bride.
At the appointed hour the contracting parties took their position under a large floral bell, while Miss Estelle Harkness, presiding at the organ, performed Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, the execution of which was fine. The words that made the beautiful couple one were soon said, and they were the recipients of general congratulations from those present. Among these were Mrs. S. M. Stilphen, mother of the bride, and Henry N. Stilphen. The Captain was not present owing to duties on his vessel. There were also in evidence Mr. and Mrs. John R. Harkness, Giles A. Harkness and wife, Misses Estelle, Abbie, Edna and May Harkness, and J. Louis Harkness. Reve. D. L. Mitchell and wife, Misses Priscilla and A. Mitchell, Miss Alice Cousans, G. M. Robertson and wife, Mrs. T. J. Rosell, Harry and Miss Una Suter, Miss Jennie Gillen and others.
As it was the intention of the couple to immediately depart after the ceremony on the 10:04 p.m. train for a brief stay at Mobile and Point Clear, the bride was joined to her choice arrayed in a very fine and elaborate travelling gown of a soft, gray color, with hat and gloves to match, carrying a magnificent bouquet of natural flowers, and, as she stood beside the man she had selected, they formed a beautiful picture. After a short time spent in congratulations, the party entered hacks and were conveyed to the depot, where the train was boarded and, amid a shower of virgin rice, the handsome couple sped on their way with the gates of life open to them, and their friend’s best wishes following them. The trip will naturally be a short one owing to the manifold duties of the husband and which just at present can not be neglected.
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.
Biloxi Daily Herald
July 24, 1928
ENJOYABLE GARDEN PARTY
Miss Stella Harkness and Miss May Harkness entertained with a garden party on Monday night at their home on West Howard avenue, for all the Harkness “kin”. Many of this large family, who live away from Biloxi, are here on visits, and furnished inspiration for this gathering which included 54 members of the family, in-laws and children, with a very few friends. Stunts, games, music and happy reminiscing made the evening pass all too quickly. Japeneze [sic] lanterns illuminated the garden where a number of seats had been arranged and punch was served throughout the evening. Delicious ice cream and cake also were served. Among those attending were Mr. and Mrs. W. N. Harkness and children from Texas, Mrs. Holston and daughter Peggy from Lynchburg, Va., Mr. and Mrs. Roy Roberts of D’lo, Miss Sadie Harkness from Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Chaffee and little daughter. Miss John Harkness, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Gilligan, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Peresich and children, Dr. and Mrs. B. Z. Welch and children, Rev. J. L. Jordan, Mrs. Earl Rohrer and children from Gulfport, Miss Abbie May Harkness, Beulah Harkness, Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Wilkes, Rev. and Mrs. W. M. Sullivan and Miss Katherine Sullivan, Mrs. D. E. Morris, Miss Irene Morris and Miss Martha Morris from Mobile and Misses Stella and May Harkness.
Biloxi Daily Herald
June 24, 1928
Main St. Methodist Church Choir Watermelon Cutting
The choir of the Main Street Methodist Church enjoyed a watermelon cutting at the home of H. B. Rickey in Bay Terrace, following choir rehearsal last Friday night. A very gay time was had by these choir members, among whom were Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Barbour, Miss Laurine Barbour, Miss Nelson, Miss Irene Morris, Miss Martha Morris, Mrs. Adams, H. B. Rush, Miss Helen Rush, Miss Stella Harkness, Miss May Harkness and Miss Naomi Lockett.
THINGS SEEN IN BILOXI
(Q. Q. McIntryre)
Last Friday evening the choir of the Main Street Methodist Church met for rehearsal, after which they motored out to the beautiful home of H. B. Ricky in Bay Terrace where one least sees any sort of disturbance. Soon after the arrival of the first division H. B. Rush came with a bountiful supply of luscious watermelons that would tempt a Southern darkey to spend his last nickel.
These were sliced so as to give each one a full feed. Everything was calm and serene. In fact you would have suspected nothing but perfect harmony, but such was not the case. The evidence of war were to be seen. The smoke of battle was beginning to appear. Suddenly W. L. Barbour and Mr. Rush were the victims of an attack. This they could not stand. The call to the front was made instantly. Rush, Barbour and Rickey were in line of battle, eyes distended, teeth tight, fists clenched, ready for the fray. This was met by the second line, with Miss Naomi Lockett, the Morris sisters of Mobile, who are visiting their aunts, the Misses Harkness, assisted by Miss Helen Rush who acted as spy to the enemy. The battle raged. Soon all army rules were forgotten, the borders of the battlefield were enlarged, ranks were broken, no respect for lines. It was a hand to hand fight with H. B. Rush claiming the victory in the first skirmish and retired with a look of serene satisfaction. The ammunition was the cold juicy, red meat of the watermelon. All during the long battle, Miss Stella Harkness of the post office, remained neutral and with the utmost indifference, wielded her fork steadily. Much damage was done to clothing and permanent waves, but all were forgiven and the jolly, fun loving pastor, the Rev. W. M. Sullivan, poured oil on the troubled waters, as all good preachers should, and with both sides claiming the victory, all declared Mr. Rickey to be a wonderful host and were sorry that they trampled his spacious and well kept lawn.
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.