Gulfport, Mississippi History
I have no idea what year this handbook was distributed. My grandmother, Rosie (Smith) Morris, told me she was given this to study if she wanted to get her driver’s license. Her husband was owned and operated a car dealership and he gave her a car. After she took the car on a test drive, and she ran off the road, she refused to drive it from then on. She never got her license, by the way. She preferred to ride the bus or take a cab. — T.Rose
The Daily Herald, Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi Coast
December 23, 1920
CENTRAL P.T.A. MEETING
The Central Parent Teachers Association met Tuesday, the 24th, at the Central School with a most encouraging attendance of both parents and teachers. The usual routine of business was followed by a discussion of playground equipment. The final decision was that quite a good sum of money would be expended for the equipment, which will be good news to the pupils as it means fun and exercise. Some of the money is on hand but, much of it will have to be raised before the order is placed.
Another move made by the association of benefit to the teachers will be divulged at another time.
The pleasing program rendered was a piano solo by Claudia Baylor, song by Irene Morris. The serving of delicious refreshments brought this interesting meeting to a close.
Edna Irene HARKNESS (1880 – 1952) also known as “Irene Morris” —
My great-grandmother – went by “Irene”, married David Edmund Morris, is mentioned in this article. Her son (my grandfather) attended Central Elementary School in Gulfport, as did I. When I attended Central Elementary in downtown Gulfport, there was no playground equipment. My mother, Irene’s grandaughter, was a member and an officer in the Central P. T. A. when I was a student there.
John Harkness MORRIS (1901 – 1965)
son of Edna Irene HARKNESS (Irene Morris)
Janie Lucille MORRIS (1935 – 2013)
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
Me, the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS
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.
Daily Herald – Gulfport, MS-Date approx. Aug. 1921
JAMES BRADLEY, POPULAR GULFPORT YOUTH DROWNS
The many friends of Mrs. James Bradley will regret to learn that she has received a telegram from the department in Washington stating that her son, James has been drowned in Porto Rico. James was one of Gulfport’s well known boys and went away on the Ranger, a government survey boat only a few weeks ago. Mrs. Bradley has the sympathy of the entire community in her bereavement. James was the only child. The telegram received reads as follows:
Washington, D. C. August 30, 1921.
Mrs. James Bradley, Gulfport, Miss.
Regret exceedingly to state that word has been received that your son James was drowned in Porto Rico. No details received. Request you to inform me if you desire to have body shipped there or buried in Porto Rico.
Signed. WILLIAM BOWIE, Acting Director Coast Survey.
Daily Herald – Gulfport, MS-Date approx. Sept. 1921
TO BURY BRADLEY THIS AFTERNOON
Body Brought Back to Gulfport Wrapped in Beautiful Folds of His Country’s Flag.
Five weeks ago the community was shocked and grieved when Mrs. J.W. Bradley received notice that her son, James had been accidentally drowned at Porto Rico. Yesterday the remains reached Gulfport on the 1 p.m. train from New Orleans, and another of the town’s own boys had come home, for his final rest, his casket wrapped in the beautiful folds of his country’s flag, in whose service he had died.
James Bradley came to Gulfport at the age of one year with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James W. Bradley. He received the greater part of his education in the city schools, but graduated from the county high school at Perkinston with the class of 1918. Young Bradley joined the navy and saw over a year’s service in the Pacific fleet aboard the battleship Texas. At the time of his death he was in service on the U. S. survey boat Ranger, his last visit home was in May when he had a short furlough.
James Bradley was a bright ambitious boy, generous and kindly of disposition, and was popular with young and old alike. His father, the late James W. Bradley was one of the beloved pioneers of Gulfport and at his death three years ago, was serving a second term as city commissioner. His mother is beloved by the whole community whom she serves so efficiently as librarian at the Carnegie Library.
The funeral services will be conducted by the pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rev. Mr. Linfield, of whose church the young man was a member, assisted by Drs. Grace and Mahoney of the Baptist Church. The funeral will be held from the residence of Mrs. J.W. Rankin a sister of Mrs. Bradley whose house was almost a second home to James, as these devoted sisters have lived side by side for many years. The pallbearers are Messrs. B. Havard, John Morris, Roger Williams, Vassar Anderson, J.L. Heiss, Drs. A.F. Carraway and Dr. OC. Harper and Dr, Arvah Hopkins.Interment will be made in Evergreen Cemetary, where some 13 years ago the first grave to be opened in this beautiful cemetery received the body of a younger brother of the deceased.
Among the many letters of sympathy which have reached Mrs. Bradley none have been a greater solace to her than the following sent her by the crew of the Ranger.
S. S. Ranger, San Juan, P. R., Sept. 22, 1921
My dear Mrs. Bradley:
It is indeed hard for us to express our sympathy in your bereavement. We only know your son as a comrade and can only miss his alert, generous and his good qualities and infectious good nature. To a mother, he must ever seem as a boy and his good qualities which gained him popularity among his fellow men are ever subordinate to mother love.
The circumstances surrounding the drowning only serve to make us feel how close we all are to the dividing line. The ship was at anchor in the harbor, a short distance off shore. James and another man were engaged in running a launch between the landing and the ship. On the midnight trip, the launch remained at the landing for a few minutes; James in company with another went up the street a short distance to a restaurant. They failed to return in time before the launch returned to the ship, but nothing was thought of the matter as there were a couple of small boats at the landing used by sailors returning to their ships. In about three quarters of an hour after the launch left James and his companion returned to the landing, but the boats which were present before were gone. The two men separated to look for boats at other landings. When James’ companion returned to the original landing, James was not there. However as a shower of rain had just passed it was assumed that he had been able to find a boat and returned to the ship.
When it was found that James was not aboard a search in town was made. About ten o’clock in the morning that body was observed by some boys in swimming. As he was wearing only his underclothing when recovered, his only other garment having been a pair of trousers, it is believed he endeavored to swim to the ship.
The entire crew unite in expressing their sympathy. Many of them have been his boyhood friends and all of us have been attracted by his personality while he was among us. As it is impossible to acknowledge our feelings in person we hope that this letter may convey in some measure our sincerest sympathy.
Executive Officer, Chief Engineer, Boatswain, Carpenter, Assistant Engineer, Fireman, Seaman, Seaman.
I found these news articles while researching my great grandfather’s life in print. My great grandfather, David Edmund “D.E.” Morris, was in service on the U. S. S. Ranger as the Chief Engineer when this tragic accident occurred. His son, my grandfather John Harkness Morris is listed as a pallbearer in the news article. I knew a small amount about this story as told by my grandmother, John Morris’ wife, Rosie, when I was just a child. She would tell me the tale as we visited the graves in our family plot in Evergreen Cemetery. We walked over to James Bradley’s grave a time or two and she described the drowning and how the men had recovered the body of James. She was close to my great grandfather, D.E. So, now upon reading this article, I assume she was told the story by him. She was always sad when she spoke of the story. I wondered if she was friends with Mrs. Bradley. I knew when I found this article exactly who James Bradley was in relation to my family. The Bradley boys’ graves are not far from my family’s plot at Evergreen cemetery where my grandmother, grandfather and great grandfather, D.E. Morris are buried. Below is a photo of D.E. Morris in Puerto Rico – he’s the one in the middle.
1912-10-14 Daily Herald – Gulfport, Mississippi
40 CARS FOR DANTZLER MILLS
D.E. Morris Purchases Cars to Be Used In Moving Lumber of Big Company’s Mills
Gulfport, October 14
D.E. Morris, manager of the Dantzler Foundry, returned last night from Chicago, where he went to buy 40 lumber cars for the Dantzler Mills. The deal for these cars was practically closed, but it is not known when they will come forward. “The big truck line railroads,” says Mr. Morris, “are getting freight cars to relieve the congestion of freights along their lines. In the pursuance of this practice they will get cars which are billed to the roads owning and operating them, and convert them to their own use. Not in the history of railroading in the west has there been such a wild scramble for cars with which to move the grain crop to the exporting centers. The movement of the cotton crop also is creating an additional demand for cars.”
son of David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
1912-10-07 Daily Herald – Gulfport, Mississippi
DISC PLOW DRAWN BY MOTOR TRACTOR
Product of the Dantzler Foundry Is Tried Out With Success and Inspected by Experts
Gulfport, October 7
A disc plow operated by a motor tractor is one of the recent products of the Dantzler Foundry and Machine Shop and was made under the supervision of D.E. Morris, general manager of that concern. This plow by actual measurement cuts a swath 6 feet wide and will with all its discs added cut 9 feet. It has been operated with success on the Bouslog tract of land in the rear of the Finley Hewes residence on East Beach. Among those seeing its operation were the immigration agents of the G. & S. I. and the L. & N. Railroads who spoke of its work as being excellent. This plow has a capacity of 12 acres per day on raw lands and more on lands already under cultivation. It cuts through root sand other minor obstructions on the land as it would through ordinary grass.
Mr. Morris, who designed and supervised the making of this big machine has ordered an Oliver Engine Gang Plow wheel he will attach to the motor tractor for experimental purposes. This plow will Cost $370, but should it do the work that is claimed for it, it will be used in conjunction with the disc.
It is believed that as the “back country” develops a demand for such plows as the Motor Tractor will be such as to justify its being manufactured here.
son of David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
I would like to personally thank Geoff Pender of the Daily Herald for this article. My mother, Jane Morris Estrada was interviewed in the piece. I learned things about the neighborhood I grew up in that I’d not been aware of and I also was reminded of the unique and very precious experiences I had as a child in this Gulfport community. Since the time this article was published, much has changed for this neighborhood and many of the fears of the neighbors have continued, even worsened. I can tell you Gulf Gardens was an American dream that bore amazing fruit. The Gulf Coast was a much better place to have had such a place called Gulf Gardens. The heartbreaking truth is that very little is left of the neighborhood I grew up. When I was born, I came home from Memorial Hospital to that home the Morrises built in 1935. That house and yard will always be my home. I had hoped to return to Gulf Gardens to finish my days there as both my grandmother and mother did. This is not to be. Cherish the old neighborhoods. Remember the folks who lived and loved there. Our spirits will never leave there. Gulf Gardens was truly “Home Sweet Home”.
We take for granted, sometimes, that which is steady and true…
— Tenderly Rose