Moss Point, Mississippi
When Martha M. (Park) was born on June 17, 1826, in Athens, Georgia, her father was Baptist Park and her mother was Frances. She married James P. Wright in 1845 in Jackson, Butts, Georgia when she was 19 years old. They had one child, Frances M. “Fanny” during their marriage.
In 1840, when Martha was 14 years old, her mother, Frances “Fanny” (Chandler) Park, died.
In 1845, Martha married James P. Wright. She was 19 years old. January 8, 1845 brought Martha a daughter in Georgia whom she named Frances “Fanny”.
According to an 1850 Census: Martha lived in Jackson, Butts County, Georgia – Subdivision 45. The census lists Baptist Park 50 as a farmer, Martha M. Wright 22, Frances V. Parks 20, Nancy C. Parks 18, Frances M. Wright 5.
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The Pascagoula Democrat-Star
May 04, 1894
Moss Point Secret Societies
Moss Point Lodge N. 117 I. O. F. [sic] meets every Monday night at K. of H. hall. D. E. Morris, N. G.; A. F. Dantzler, Secretary.
“I. O. O. F.” is an abbreviation of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. David Edmund “D. E.” Morris was my great grandfather and was best friends with the Dantzler family. – Note from TRose
John Wesley MORRIS (1839 – 1896)
My great great grandfather
son of John Wesley MORRIS
son of David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
When John Wesley Morris was born on May 31, 1839, in Lockport, New York, his father, Elisha Morris, was 28 and his mother, Margaret Ann Baker, was 24.
At the age of 24, John Wesley Morris lived in New York, New York, on July 1, 1863.
He enlisted in the 28th Independent Battery Light Artillery in New York State August 13, 1963 and was discharged July 31, 1865. He was listed in the military in July 31, 1865, New York.
|Regiment:||28th Light Artillery Battery New York|
|Date of Organization:||27 Dec 1862|
|Muster Date:||31 Jul 1865|
|Regiment State:||New York|
|Regiment Type:||Light Artillery|
|Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded:||0|
|Officers Died of Disease or Accident:||0|
|Enlisted Killed or Mortally Wounded:||0|
|Enlisted Died of Disease or Accident:||8|
|Regiment History:||New York
ANTHON’S, LATER WILLARD’S, BATTALION OF ARTILLERY.
June 3, 1862, Franklin W. Willard received authority to
recruit a battalion of light artillery. November 16, 1862, the
several companies of this battalion, serving at Fort Columbus,
New York harbor, and being in process of organization, were
consolidated into two, and designated the 20th and 28th
Batteries, Light Artillery, and the battalion, never really
TWENTY-EIGHTH INDEPENDENT BATTERY, LIGHT ARTILLERY.
Anthon’s Light Artillery Battalion; Willard’s Battalion
November 26, 1862, the organizations forming for the
Anthon (Willard) Battalion of Artillery were consolidated in
two batteries, of which the second received the above numerical
designation. This battery was organized at New York city,
Forts Columbus and Schuyler, New York harbor, and mustered in
the service of the United States at Fort Schuyler for three
years December 27, 1862. The men were recruited principally at
New York city, Avoca, Campbell, Cape Vincent, Cohocton, Howard,
Lynn, Sackett’s Harbor, Watertown, Wayland and Urbana. At its
muster-in it was commanded by Capt. Cyprian H. Millard, served
at Fort Schuyler and Sandy Hook, Department of the East, and,
commanded by Capt. Josiah C. Hannum, it was honorably
discharged and mustered out July 31, 1865, at New York city,
having lost by death of disease and other causes, eight
Source: The Union Army, vol. 2
John Wesley Morris married Frances M. “Fanny” Wright on September 5, 1865, in Alabama, when he was 26 years old. This date is confirmed on a Daughters of the American Revolution application for Lyll Evelyn Morris Blumer.
Their children were all born in Moss Point, Mississippi:
David Edmund “D.E.” Morris — 1866
Anna Miles Morris — 1866
Lorin Morris — 1870
Mayme A. “May” Morris — March 16, 1875
Johnie Lee Morris –March 16, 1875
John Leander Morris — October 26, 1878
Lyll Evelyn Morris — 1880
Thomas Colson Morris — April 1, 1882
Harvey William Morris — July 15, 1884
An 1870 U.S. Census shows John and Fannie living in Pass Christian, Harrison County, Mississippi. His occupation “Saw Mill”. Fannie’s mother, Martha Wright is listed as living with them.
John and Fanny’s son, Johnie Lee, passed away at the age of one year old on February 10, 1877 in Moss Point.
An 1880 Census show John and Fannie living in Moss Point, Jackson County, MS.He is listed as “Proprietor of Saw Mill”.
John’s wife Frances M. “Fanny” passed away on July 9, 1888, in Moss Point, Mississippi, at the age of 43. John and Fanny had been married 22 years.
John Wesley Morris died on April 16, 1896, in Moss Point, Mississippi, when he was 56 years old. His burial was in the Griffin Cemetery (N30º 25.048′; W-88º 34.002′). He is buried beside his wife, Fannie.
John Wesley Morris Gravestone-Griffin Cemetery Moss Point MS
John Morris in the United States, Bureau of Land Management, Mississippi, Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Pre-1908
|Misc. Doc. Nr.:||18795|
|Issue Date:||10 Apr 1897|
|Mineral Rights Reserved:||No|
|Metes and Bounds:||No|
|Statutory Reference:||12 Stat. 392|
|Multiple Warantee Names:||No|
|Act or Treaty:||May 20, 1862|
|Multiple Patentee Names:||No|
|Entry Classification:||Homestead Entry Original|
|Land Description:||1 WNE ST STEPHENS No 5S 14W 35; 2 NENE ST STEPHENS No 5S 14W 35; 3 NWNW ST STEPHENS No 5S 14W 36|
My maternal grandfather
John Harkness Morris was born on October 8, 1901, in Biloxi, Mississippi to Edna Irene Harkness and David Edmund “D.E.” Morris. My Aunt Rosie told me, and my mother confirmed it, their father weighed 14 pounds at birth. All his life he was called “Big John” for obvious reasons referring to his stature and presence.
The Morris family lived in Biloxi, Gulfport and Moss Point, Mississippi according to various newspaper clippings I’ve collected.
The U.S. Census for the year of 1910 shows Big John living with his parents Edna and D.E. in Beat 4, Gulfport, Mississippi. Hard to read the handwriting for the street they lived on.
I was told by my mother Big John attended Central High School in Gulfport which was just around the corner from his home. Later the school became Central Elementary School which I attended first through third grade back in the 1960’s. That was a source of pride for me to know that. The building was demolished for a courthouse later on, sad to say.
In 1920, the census finds Big John at the age of 18, living with his parents and sisters, Irene and Martha, and his brother, Edward, on what might appear to be 24th Street in Gulfport. Handwriting is hard to read for the address. No occupation listed, but, I note his father was working at the foundry at this time.
He married Rosa Ann Elizabeth “Rosie” Smith about 1923, in Kiln, Mississippi. They had six children in 10 years.
Hon. John “Johnny” Smith Morris 1925–1991
Mary Elizabeth “L’il Sissy” Morris 1927–1929
Tommye LaNelle Morris 1928–
David Harkness Morris 1930–1975
Rosie Ann Morris 1931–
Janie Lucille Morris 1935–2013
The 1930 census shows John Harkness Morris lived in Gulfport, Mississippi. The census lists John H Morris 28, Rose Ann Morris 34, John S. Morris 4, Tommie Linelle (wrong spelling) Morris 1 yr 11 mos, Bamma Smith – 626 Camp Ave., John’s job is listed as Automobile Salesman. Bama Smith was my grandmother’s sister.
In 1934, Big John’s father, D.E. Morris, was living with John and Rosie when he passed away at the age of 68. The obit for D.E. states he died in New Orleans, but, close family members recall John and Rosie were caring for D.E. at the time of his death. My aunt referred to D.E. as Grandpa Ed.
Gulfport City Directory for 1936 shows address for Big John’s business under “John H (Rosa) – “Morris-Webb Mtr Co 815 43rd Ave – Plymouth & DeSoto autos and International Trucks.” Lists Morris, John H.’s home as 815 43rd Ave.
John and Rosie Morris built a home at 1711 Wisteria Street in the new Gulf Gardens Subdivision back in 1935. They raised their children there and the dwelling provided a home to 4 generations of the family before the last Morris left just a couple of years back.
In 1939, a Gulfport City Directory lists “Morris Motor Company (John H. Morris) 1812 25th Ave.” Another listing for that year states, “John H (Rosa S)-Morris Motor Co. 1711 Wisteria”
When my mother, Janie, was a baby, a 1940 census shows John H, Rosie A., John Smith, Tommye L., Rosie Ann, David H. and Janie L residing on Wisteria Street, Beat 2, in Gulfport, Mississippi. I learned that at the age of 14, my Uncle Johnny sold the Daily Herald newspaper as shown on this census. My grandmother, Rosie’s occupation was listed as nurse, R.N. “special duty” and Big John’s occupation was listed as “operator” (owner) auto sales company.
A 1947 Gulfport City Directory lists “Morris, John H (Rosa) 1711 Wisteria St.”
In 1949, a Gulfport City Directory lists “Morris, John H (Rosie) & John Jr. 1711 Wisteria St. It lists “John H.” as “retired.” Big John was 48 years old at the time this directory was published.
In 1953, a Gulfport City Directory entry lists “John H (Rosie S-nurse), Janie L.-Student, David H-USA military, and John S.
I only have one picture of my grandfather. It is a photo I took of a photograph my mother showed me once when I was visiting Hungry Hill in the 90’s and my mother was the sole occupant of the house. She told me this was my grandfather’s baby picture. She said it was taken in Biloxi. She did not elaborate on it at all. It was rare that my mother spoke to me about Big John, so, I consider myself very fortunate to have this to share. It is not a very good reproduction, but, it is special to me.
When I think about it, I find it strange there are no photographs I’m aware of that were taken of me and him. There are so many photographs taken of me and my grandmother, my mother, other relatives, but, not one of me and my grandfather. I helped my grandmother put together her photo albums, it was my job to help her and we loved working on this project together. She’d tell me what to write on the backs of the photos, or in the albums. I don’t recall any candid photos shots of Big John. Were they just not taken, or kept somewhere else?