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.
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
Stella and May Harkness were my 2nd great aunts, sisters of my great great grandmother Edna Irene Harkness. They were daughters of John Rankin Harkness, Biloxi architect and engineer.
Alfred Bosworth’s Letter to His Brother Hezekiah
Dundee Kane Co. Ill. Jan. 7 AD 1846
I must say I have for a long time neglected to wright to you. When I left you I was soon unwell and not willing for my son to leave me. After leaving Warren I was soon in Pittstown. I was in Pittstown 7 or 8 days. My hoarseness and cold wore off.
Brother Nathaniel took me to Adams and about to see his children.
I left Pittstown and went to Gorham, Ontario where Judge Child lives and his children. I was in Ontario County 6 days. They took me about the county to see some relatives and old acquaintances. I was on the Fourth of July in Canandaigue Village. The people was celebrating the Fourth of July.
I left Ontario ounty for Hanover in Chautauqua county where my daughter in law and three little children lives. I was with them 6 days. She has a good house and lot and some money at interest. I went from Chautauqua to Michigan State. There I stopt to see Mrs. Bosworth’s relatives.
From Michigan I went to Chicago and I arrived home in Dundee the 22 of July. In looking over my journey in 2 months and 2 days I traveled near four thousand miles in the time, visited a number of relatives and friends. It was a consolation to find my relatives enjoying good health. Mrs. Bosworth and my children enjoyed good health the past year. My health in September and October was poor but through Divine Goodness my health is now good. I see it stated in some of the western papers that the health of the people was for 2 or 3 months the last year poor in the great Valley of the Mississippi but now good.
The farmers in this country have been blest with good crops the past year and the short crops in Europe helped them to an advanced price for their produce. This country is increasing fast in population and wealth. The people are enterprising and of industrious habits and respect the Sabbath. There is in Dundee Baptists Methodists and Presbyterians preaching. There will soon be a railroad from Chiago through Dundee to Galena.
I have just received a newspaper from Leonard Waldron. I received it as a favor. I must come to a close I never was a ready wrighter. If I had a been I would have wrighten to you all, and much oftener than I have done. It is seldom that I take a pen in my hand. I will be 73 years of age….months and I do feel a degree of thankfulness for the health and blessings that I have enjoyed. I have had some unpleasant feeling about Sister Usher’s living alone in her advanced age.
I do wish that my near relatives might see this letter for I cannot wright to them all–and I do hope that some one of the number will soon let me hear from you all. I have just received a newspaper from Leonard Waldron. I received it as a favor and I have sent in this letter a five dollar bill No. 141 the Ontario bank, Canandaigue. Brother I wish you would take this money and pay the Bristol printer for a newspaper one year directed to A. Bosworth, Dundee, Kane co., Ill. Give the balance of it to our Sister Waldron. In so doing you will oblige a brother.
I must close and leave room for Mrs. Bosworth to wright a few lines. Now we want four or five or six of you to come out and see us and see where we live. Such a visit would be gratifying to all.
son of Alfred BOSWORTH
son of Benjamin Franklin BOSWORTH M.D.
son of Franklin Smith BOSWORTH
son of Frank Hunt BOSWORTH
son of Dr. Wilder Morris BOSWORTH Sr., D.D.S.