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
Biloxi Daily Herald
October 13, 1894
A PORTION OF THE PRINCIPAL STREET OF BILOXI IN ASHES.
Business Houses and Residences Were Burned Like so Much Chaff
LOSS ABOUT $75,000—INSURANCE $28,000.
Heroic Action of Firemen and Citizens
Biloxi has again been visited by a conflagration more sweeping in extent and entailing a financial loss greater than that of the fire of June, 1889. Friday morning about 2 o’clock a private watchman discovered flames issuing from the two-story building of Jos. W. Swetman, located on Pass Christian st., main thoroughfare, and in the most densely populated portion of the city. The alarm was sounded and the fire department turned out in quick order, but the flames had gained such headway that it was impossible to save the building and efforts of the firemen were directed to those adjoining. The Swetman building was occupied by J. W. Swetman a drug-store with sleeping apartments on the second floor occupied by his family, and so rapidly did the fire eat its way that the family were only able to hastily gather a few articles of clothing and make their escape. Another portion of this building on the first floor was occupied John W. Henley, as a oyster saloon. Adjoining the Swetman building, and on the west the fire quickly communicated to the engine room of Mechanics Fire Co., and from that to the Masonic Opera House, a large frame structure. Continuing its course west, on Pass Christian street, the two buildings owned by John Eistetter, one occupied by J. H. Murphy as a blacksmith shop, and the other by P. Ferzar, as a lunch house, were consumed as was also the tin shop belonging to Dan Markey, and a small residence, both in the rear and owned by Jno. Eistetter. Crossing Magnolia street the storehouse and dwelling of Miss St. Tual was soon in ashes. The fire in its eastern course was checked with the burning of the market-house of Felix Borries, by the most desperate and heroic work on the part of both firemen and citizens.
Before this time, however, buildings were burning in all directions, and it looked as if the larger portion of the city would be consumed before the wrath of the fiery monster was appeased. Opposite the Opera House the large two-story business house and dwelling of S. Picard was in flames, and in the flying cinders the intense heat almost immediately ignited the residence of W. K. M. Dukate, on the east and a cottage on Magnolia street, owned by N. Voivedich and occupied by F. W. Eaton. With the destruction of the last named building the flames were, checked on Magnolia street, although the house south of it and occupied by T. E. Colline, was badly scorched.
On the south side of Pass Christian street the residence of Mrs. Rich and a small building adjoining, occupied as a candy store were being rapidly reduced to ashes only to be followed in quick succession by the building occupied by Joseph Lawrence as a shoe shop, and the barber shop J. Kilk both owned by George Ohr, Sr. From the barber shop the next to fall a prey to the fiery demon was the large two-story building owned by Chas. Redding and occupied by him as a residence and grocery store. South of Redding’s a cottage belonging to Dr. J. J. Lemon and occupied by Mrs. Kelty, was burned as was also a two-story cottage adjoining, belonging to Geo. Ohr, Sr. On the north side of Pass Christian st., and east of the Swetman building, four small buildings owned by the same gentlemen, were destroyed—one of these was without a tenant and the other occupied by Sing Lee as a laundry; H. Eikel, merchant tailor; and Mrs. Ohr, grocer.
The fire in this direction was checked at the building owned by Mrs. Amare and occupied by Keel & Jennett, grocers. This building was damaged to the extent of about $100, and it seemed at times beyond the power of human beings to save the structure and it was only by almost superhuman efforts that the flames were checked at this point. The destruction of this building would have followed by the loss of many more, and with this appalling fact staring them in the face the firemen worked with redoubled vigor and until their hands and faces were scorched and blistered by the devouring element.
In the rear of the property last destroyed stood the famous pottery of Geo. E. Ohr, whose shop during the past severel [sic] years has been visited by hundreds of visitors from other sections and from almost every State in the Union, seeking relics in artistic pottery. In a few moments the toil and work of Ohr, the artistic potter, was reduced to ashes.
In the rear of the opera-house the planning mills of John R. Harkness & Sons, together with a large amount of finished work and lumber, was destroyed.
In the upper story of the opera-house were the lodge rooms of the Masons and Knights of Pythias. The regalia and all paraphernalia of both orders were completely destroyed, only the secretary’s and treasurer’s books of the Masonic order being saved.
On the ground floor of the opera-house was the office of the Postal Telegraph Co., and the watch-maker shop of B. M. Root, both suffering a total loss.
Fortunately there was but little wind during the conflagration, else the damage would have been more than doubled. As it was, houses several blocks away from the seat of the fire were ignited by flying cinders, and it was only by the closest surveillance that many other buildings were not added to the conflagration.
The Convent of Mercy, situated some distance from the scene, was on fire twice, but before gaining any headway, the flames were extinguished.
During the height of the fire, and until it was well under control, much excitement prevailed among residents in the neighborhood. Houses were emptied of their contents, and vehicles of all sorts were pressed in service to aid in conveying the goods to a place of safety. In many instances this was found to be unnecessary. Household goods were piled helter-skelter in every direction, and when daylight came, the scene presented cannot be described. The area of the fire covers the larger portion of four squares in the heart of the city and as the buildings destroyed were all of wood, there was little resistance to the flames.
[Partially illegible paragraph] paraphernalia, $500; insurance on opera-house, $1500.
Knights of Pythias, $1000; insurance, $600.
Geo. Ohr, Sr., $5000; no insurance.
John R. Harkness & Sons, $3000; no insurance.
Miss St. Tual, $700; insurance, $2000.
Geor E. Ohr, $3000; no insurance.
H. Eikel, $2800; insurance $1000.
J. Kilk, $400; no insurance.
Jos. Lawrence, $100; no insurance.
Mrs. Rich (2 houses), loss unknown.
Dan Markey, $250; no insurance.
Mechanics’ Steam Fire Co., $400; no insurance.
J. H. Murphy, $100; no insurance.
Felix Borries, $400, no insurance.
N. Voivedich, $700; no insurance.
F. W. Eaton, $00; no insurance.
J. Eistetter, $1000; no insurance.
B. M. Root, $400; no insurance.
P. Ferrar, $800; no insurance.
The insurance is divided among the following companies of E. W. Morrill’s agencies:
Royal $00; Harford, $6450; American Fire, $2345; Phoenix of London, $2275; Phenix of Brooklyn, $2550; Lancashire, $2000; Queen, $1500; Liverpool, London and Globe, $3500; Mechanics and Traders, $3200.
In but few instances was any portion of the contents of the burned buildings saved, and then only in a damaged condition. There is also considerable loss in the way of outhouses, stables, fences, etc.
The Electric Light Co. lose [sic] about $6000 in the destruction of poles wires, transformers, etc.
Many of those burned out will commence rebuilding at once. The loss is a severe one to our people, and to many is the loss of all their possessions. The business men who own property along Pass Christian st., to whom a Herald reporter has talked to on the subject signify their willingness to widen the street ten feet on either side than its present width.
The Herald building was threatened by flying cinders, and had it not been covered with abestos [sic], there is but little doubt that the roof would have ignited and it would have been almost impossible to have saved the building from destruction, and that or other and valuable property. Owners having property in the west end of town can thank their lucky stars that this office was covered by asbestos [sic], for had it burned the destruction would have been three fold greater than now recorded.
My great great grandfather John Rankin Harkness’s business is mentioned as destroyed in this article. Capt. John Rankin Harkness (1830-1903) was one of the founders of the Biloxi Fire Dept. He was born in Pelham, Hampshire, Massachusetts, the son of William Harkness and Abigail Turner.
Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS (1830 – 1903) — My 2nd great-grandfather
Edna Irene HARKNESS (1880 – 1952), daughter of Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS
John Harkness MORRIS (1901 – 1965), son of Edna Irene HARKNESS
Janie Lucille MORRIS (1935 – 2013), daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
Me, the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS
Charter of Incorporation of The John R. Harkness and Sons Building and Milling Company of Biloxi, Miss.
Biloxi Daily Herald
May 6, 1893
CHARTER OF INCORPORATION of The John R. Harkness and Sons Building and Milling Company of Biloxi, Miss.
Be it remembered that on the 2d [sic] day of January, in the year of our Lord 1893, that John R. Harkness, Wm. T. Harkness, Giles A. Harkness, and J. Lewis Harkness and such other persons as may hereafter become associated with them and their successors, be and are hereby constituted a body corporate under the name and title of The John R. Harkness and Sons Building and Milling Company, and as such may have a common seal, may sure and be sued, plead and be impleaded in all the courts of this State, may contract and be contracted with may own and acquire real and personal property as provided by law, relating to corporations.
Section 2. This corporation is created for the purpose of doing a general milling, building and lumber business and shall exist for a period of twenty-five (25) years, unless sooner dissolved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the stockholders, and its domicile shall be Biloxi, Harrison County Mississippi.
Sec. 4. The officers of said corporation shall be a president, vice-president and a secretary and treasurer who shall be elected aunually [sic] and shall serve for one year or until their successors are elected. The following officers shall hold the offices of said corporation for one year from the approval of this corporation, to-wit, John R. Harkness, president, ____ _____, vice-president, ____ _____, secretary and treasurer.
Sec. 5. Said corporation may enact such by-laws for its government as may be deemed expedient by a majority of the stock-holders.
Sec. 6. Said corporation shall have such other powers, as provided by chapter 25 of the Annotated Code relating to Corporations.
Sec. 7. This charter shall be in force and effect from and after its approval.
April 22, 1893
Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS (1830 – 1903) My 2nd great-grandfather…
Edna Irene HARKNESS (1880 – 1952) daughter of Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS
John Harkness MORRIS (1901 – 1965) son of Edna Irene HARKNESS
Janie Lucille MORRIS (1935 – 2013) daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
Me, the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS
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
Biloxi Sisters Stella & May Harkness
My Great Great Aunts – The Misses Harkness
father of Stella and May Harriet Harkness
daughter of Capt. John Rankin HARKNESS
son of Edna Irene HARKNESS
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
The daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS
Estelle “Stella” Harkness
Birth 12 NOV 1874 • Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA
Death 21 MAR 1961 • Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA
May Harriet Harkness
Birth 30 AUG 1883 • Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA
Death 17 SEP 1967 • Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA
Early Biloxi Socialites and Philanthropists, “The Misses Harkness” – Stella and May
My maternal grandmother, Rosie Smith Morris, was married to John Harkness Morris, one of the nephews to Stella and May Harkness. John Harkness Morris was the son of David Edmund “Ed” and Edna Irene Jordan Morris. I remember we visited Aunt Stella and Aunt May quite a few times that I can recall in an older Victorian-type home in Biloxi. When they passed, my grandmother inherited a few of the beautiful antique furnishings they had in that home. I recall the home was close by, if not in the downtown Biloxi area in a beautiful neighborhood.
I have collected numerous newspaper clippings about her and May from the Daily Herald Newspaper in Biloxi in which they were very active in the social scene and philanthropic circles all their lives. Stella and May had beautiful voices and entertained gatherings of all types by recitations. They read poems, stories and historical pieces for audiences gathered for charitable organizations, Civil War veterans at Beauvoir, church gatherings, weddings, showers and birthday parties. Many performances were given both together and apart as they sang as well as played piano. Their talents were well documented in the news articles I read. It seems the girls were born into a life of faithful servitude to the finer aspects of civilization, as well as a dedication to improve the lives of the unfortunate and took their involvement seriously. As young girls they were known to entertain the veterans at the old soldiers home at Beauvoir as members of their Sunday School group visited the grounds often.
The Harkness name was well known and the family was instrumental in the social organizations to improve life for the citizens of Biloxi. They started and supported the fire department, the Masonic organization, the churches, the ladies clubs, the Kings Daughters and numerous other Biloxi institutions. The were the architects, builders, ministers and founders of the city of Biloxi. They served on the school board, as aldermen and teachers. To say they were influential would be an understatement.
Both Stella and May sang in the church choir. They were active curch members at the Methodist Episcopal church in Biloxi. I recall memberships in the Order of the Eastern Star and the United Daughters of Confederacy. There were mentions of several other organizations they were members of in the newspaper. “The Misses Harkness” visited extensively along the Coast of Mississippi and most of it was recorded in the Daily Herald. They visited my great grandparents David Edmund “Ed” and Irene Morris and their children, and relatives in nearby Moss Point, New Orleans and Mobile. This was during a time you had to take a horse and buggy or, later on, the train. If there was weddings, illness or death in the family, they were there. It appears Stella had an affection for travel and visited New York with her mother and Washington D.C. for conventions.
What I recall most was their dedication to family. Neither Stella nor her sister, May ever married. Despite having no children of their own, both sisters were highly involved with nieces and nephews. Various trips were taken with those nieces and nephews to visit other relatives. The children often visited their home in Biloxi and could be found accompanying them to social functions and church activities.
Stella and May Harkness both worked as postal clerks in Biloxi. They were described as very efficient and if they took off time from work, the newpaper recorded their welcome back to work as they were highly regarded and very popular clerks.
Although, back in their day, they might have been called “spinsters” or “old maids” they were so much more than a choice to marry. They were part of the tightly woven fabric of life when family and civil responsibilities were a serious priority for women, married or not. I know that in our family these two women were well respected members of society providing a strong family link from the past to the future. The women in my immediate family have been and continue to be involved in some of the same organizations we knew Stella and May to have participated in and organized. They encouraged and facilitated the joining of these groups by providing important family history to gain access to those memberships such as United Daughter of Confederacy and the Order of the Eastern Star. They inspired us to be strong members of those organizations.
When Aunt Stella passed away, she left several beautiful Victorian pieces of furniture from her home to my grandmother, Rosie. When I was growing up, I slept in the “Tester” bed with my grandmother that belonged to Stella. She also had another ornate dark wood bed with dresser that Stella gave her that I loved. I believe the time I spent with Aunt Stella in her home in Biloxi inspired my love and appreciation for the Victorian era home decor we all admire today.
The Misses Harkness were part of a family that built the homes, businesses, the first fire department and many, many other important parts of the society that formed the Biloxi of yesteryear, a legacy that sustained their home town for the future.
Stella and May Harkness left behind them a legacy of strong women who have passed that strength on to future generations.
— written 06 Sep 2008 by Tenderly
Biloxi Daily Herald 18 July 1921:
“After patiently suffering for several months, Louis J. Harkness (John L. Harkness), aged 48 years, a native and lifelong resident of Biloxi, died at his home here yesterday at 12 o’clock noon. Deceased was well known in Biloxi where he was employed as a contractor for a number of years. Mr. Harkness, who was a member of the Methodist church, was also prominently identified with Magnolia Lodge No. 120 F. & A.M., members of which organization attended the funeral in a body. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. M. B. Sharbrough this afternoon at 5 o’clock from the late residence 123 Croesus street, with interment in the Biloxi cemetery. Mr. Harkness is survived by a wife, four children, three sisters and a brother. His sisters are Mrs. D. E. Morris and Misses Stella and Mae Harkness. His brother is W. T. Harkness.”
5 Sept 1896
Biloxi Daily Herald – Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA
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.
12 Jun 1903
Biloxi Daily Herald – Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA
JOHN R. HARKNESS
Died at His Home Yesterday Evening.
Mr. John Rankin Harkness died yesterday at 8:55 p.m., at his home on north Delauney stree, after a lingering illness which made him an invalid for several years and confined him to his room for the last few months of his life.
Mr. Harkness was born in the state of Massachusetts seventy-three years ago. He has been a resident of Biloxi for the past thirty years having, as architect and builder, built many of the homes and business houses in this city and county.
He was a member of Magnolia Lodge No. 120, A.F. and A.M., and of Iberville Lodge No. 51, Knights of Pythias. The funeral took place from his late residence this evening at 4:oo o’clock. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. W.H. Van Hook. The interment was with Masonic honors. A large number of the friends of the deceased and members of the fraternal orders to which he belonged attended the funeral. The deceased leaves a wife, three sons and four daughters to mourn his loss. His surviving children are Messrs. W. T., Giles A. and J. L. Harkness, Misses Stella and May, Mrs. James L. Booth and Mr. (i.e. Mrs.) Edw. Morris. The Herald extends its sympathy to the bereaved family.
Stella Goes to Washington
1 Jun 1917
Biloxi Daily Herald – Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi, USA
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|