David Edmund “D.E.” Morris

Irene (Jordan) Harkness 1845–1916

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 ESCR_014 (2)



Birth 30 Nov 1845 Mississippi, USA

Death 15 Nov 1916 Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA

my great great grandmother

Irene JORDAN Harkness (1845 – 1916)
Edna Irene HARKNESS (1880 – 1952)
daughter of Irene JORDAN
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

Irene Jordan
Irene JORDAN Harkness (1845 – 1916) of the Mississippi Gulf Coast
When Irene JORDAN was born on November 30, 1845, in Mississippi, her father, William, was 30 and her mother, Nancy, was 24. She married Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS on November 19, 1868, in Harrison County, Mississippi. They had seven children in 14 years. She died on November 15, 1916, in Biloxi, Mississippi, at the age of 70, and was buried there.
Irene “was the daughter of Wm. M Jordan and Nancy Bond Jordan.”
Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home records.

Irene JORDAN Harkness (1845 – 1916), Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi Obituary

Irene is buried with her husband, John Rankin Harkness and daughter (also named Irene) in the old Biloxi Cemetery.

Biloxi Pioneers – John Rankin Harkness and his wife, Irene Jordan Harkness. Old Biloxi Cemetery, Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi

Pioneers of Biloxi Mississippi

Irene Jordan Harkness’ father, Rev. William Millard S. Jordan, 
  founded Biloxi’s first Methodist Church in abt 1842.
Her mother Nancy Bond Jordan’s family history includes a locally famous pioneer of the Mississippi Gulf Coast listed in the . Irene’s great grandfather was John Bond of Wiggins, Mississippi. He was an American Revolutionary War officer.  He and his father is listed in “The Order of the First Families of Mississippi 1699-1817” ancestor roster.

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

David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS 1866-1934

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I’m still working on my great grandfather, D.E. Morris’, life-story today. My aunt told me she remembered that after D.E. died, my grandmother, whom he had been staying with in Gulfport, had found a trunk full of expired patents he’d filed. I’ll add this entry to D.E.’s post on the blog today. I call D.E. (David Edmund) “Ed” as apparently relatives referred to him by Ed. However, all the newspaper articles call him D.E. I was sad to learn Ed had battled alcoholism and in the end that is what caused his passing. His third wife, Miss Elizabeth they called her, was still living at their home in New Orleans when Ed came to live with my grandmother and grandfather in Gulfport on Wisteria St. where he actually died. His obituary in the Times-Picayune read that he died in New Orleans. It has been a bit of a mystery to unravel Ed’s life events as he accomplished much in his days despite his illness. Through his work with It would be so much easier for me to learn about him if I lived in Gulfport or Biloxi. Seems he haunts me… and I like that. He somehow became one of my favorite ancestors because I’ve spent so much time “with him”.

Ed Morris was a 33rd degree Mason – Gulfport, Mississippi, Masonic Lodge.


David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS


 my great grandfather
John Harkness MORRIS (1901 – 1965)
son of David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS
Janie Lucille MORRIS (1935 – 2013)
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS

David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS was born in 1866 in Moss Point, Mississippi to Frances M. “Fanny” WRIGHT, age 21, and John Wesley MORRIS, age 27. He was married three times and had two sons and two daughters. He died on December 24, 1934, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the age of 68, and was buried in Gulfport, Mississippi.

David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS married Virginia Watkins on May 9, 1890, when he was 24 years old. My aunt says she has a record of them marrying in the Presbyterian Church in Moss Point, Mississippi on March 11, 1898. I have not found that record. I found a record that stated they were married in Scranton, Jackson, Mississippi.

David Edmund “D.E.” MORRIS married Edna Irene HARKNESS on December 25, 1900, in Biloxi, Mississippi, when he was 34 years old.

His son John Harkness was born on October 8, 1901, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Tenderly and Kevin Cooper in Great Grandpa Ed Morris's Fishing Boat
cir 1957 Playing in an old fishing boat that belonged to Ed Morris, Kevin Cooper and Tenderly Rose enjoy the sand in the re-purposed john boat. The boat’s final resting place was in the backyard of Rosie and John Morris’s home at 1711 Wisteria Street in Gulfport, Mississippi (Gulf Gardens).

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