THE OHR FAMILY and OHR-O'KEEFE MUSEUM of ART (OOMA)
Art historians and critics generally are in agreement that George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), the much maligned and not so “Mad Potter” of Biloxi, was the greatest ceramic artist of his time and possibly ever. Ohr’s life is fairly well documented in the literature by himself (1901), Dolores “Bobbie” Davidson Smith (1965) of Ocean Springs, R.W. Blasberg (1973 and 1986), Garth Clark et al (1989), and others. This article will attempt to present a fairly comprehensive Ohr family genealogy and other previously undisclosed facts about the renowned Ohr family of Biloxi.
George Edward Ohr Jr. was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on July 12, 1857. His parents, George E. Ohr (1819-1904) and Johanna Wiedman Ohr (1821-1905) were immigrants from Alsace, that interesting piece of geography between the Rhine River and the Vosges Mountains, and Wurtemberg respectively. Wurtemberg, a former constitutional monarchy, is now integrated into the German state of Baden-Wurtemberg in the southwest region of this western European nation, while Alsace is now a part of the French Deparments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin. The senior Ohr immigrated to America in 1850, from with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John George Ohr, who both expired at New Orleans in 1852. At New Orleans, George E. Ohr met and married Johanna Wideman in 1853.(Clark, et al, 1989, p. 177 and Webster’s 1989, p. 39 and p. 1353)
By 1852, G.E. Ohr and spouse had relocated to Biloxi where he made his livelihood as a blacksmith, while Mrs. Ohr would by 1880 operate a grocery store. Mr. Ohr is believed to have been the first person to shoe horses in Biloxi. In this relaxed peninsular village on the Mexican Gulf, George and Johanna Ohr brought into the world five children: Augustus Ohr (1854-1927), George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), Emma Ohr Gruntz (1859-1909+), Louise Ohr Schultz (1863-1909+), and Mena Ohr (1867-1893+, but pre-1900).(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 8, 1904, p. 5)
George E. Ohr began acquiring land in Biloxi on Pass Christian Road (now Howard Avenue) in August 1859, when he paid John and Josephine Scherer $300 for a tract with about 50 feet on Pass Christian Road that ran south 300 feet to Jackson Avenue. It is very probable that the original Ohr blacksmith shop was situated on this parcel. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 9, p. 175)
Less than ten years later, July 30, 1868, George E. Ohr added to this tract by purchasing from Francois Arbeau Caillavet (1815-1883) and Euranie Fayard Caillavet (1818-1895), my great-great grandparents; Charles Ferdinand Quave (1811-1894) and Rose Desiree C. Quave (1814-1883); Louise C. LeFaure (1817-1868+), the widow of Stephen LeFaure; and Marie C. Bousquet (1825-1883), the widow of Jean-Baptiste Bousquet; all the heirs of Louis Arbeau Caillavet (1790-1860), a native of the Opelousas Post, Louisiana and Marguerite Fayard Caillavet(1787-1863) of Biloxi, a parcel of ground adjacent to and west of their original holdings on Pass Christian Road (Howard Avenue). This particular lot had a front of 50 feet on Jackson Avenue and ran north for 172 feet to the property of Priscilla Pebukst Ritch (1816-1905), the grandmother of two of Biloxi’s most renown and beloved school teachers, Mary Alma Ritch (1890-1964), and Priscilla Ritch (1893-1972), who toiled for decades at the now demolished Gorenflo Public School on LaMeuse Street in Biloxi. The Ritch lot had 50 feet on Pass Christian Road.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.10, p. 604)
It wasn’t until late March 1873, that G.E. Ohr would buy the lot that would be the site of the Pot-Ohr-Ree and domicile of his soon to be famous son, G.E. Ohr Jr. Arne Bernard and wife, Adele Ladner Delauney Caillavet Bernard (1812-1880), conveyed to Mr. Ohr a large lot on the northwest corner of Pass Christian Road and Delauney Street. The Ohr tract had 90 feet on Pass Christian Road and 200 feet on Delauney Street. John Harkness (1827-1903) was to the north and the Pineau property to the west. The consideration was $650.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 13, pp. 626-627)
It can be ascertained with some degree of certitude that George E. Ohr was not financially solvent from December 1875, until about 1890. He borrowed sums of money ranging from $150 to $500 from fellow Biloxians, such as: Joseph Kuhn (1875); Josephine Scherer (1882); and John Bradford (1886 and 1887).(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 14, p. 618, Bk.19, p. 39, Bk. 21, p. 458, and Bk. 22, p. 45)
In January 1895, Contractor Burk was building a one-story commercial building on the corner of Pass Christian Street [Howard Avenue] and Delauney for the Ohr family enterprises.(The Biloxi Herald, January 9, 1895)
As we shall see, these Biloxi lands, the legacy of George and Johanna W. Ohr, would cause much grief in the family and contribute to some of the erratic behavior of the World’s Greatest Potter in the first decade of the 20th Century.
George E. Ohr passed on July 8, 1904. Mrs. Ohr died on December 28, 1905, at the residence of her son, George E. Ohr Jr. Their corporal remains were interred in Section E, Lot 5, the George Ohr family burial plot, in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 8, 1904, p. 5 and December 28, 1905, p. 2 and The Biloxi Cemetery Records Bks. A-C, 1841-1905)
The four children of George E. Ohr and Joanna W. Ohr who survived into the 20th Century found mates within their Germanic culture and language, as each married German natives or first generation German-Americans. A brief biography of each Ohr child follows:
August Ohr (1854-1927) married Lizzie Hahn in May 1877. She may have been the daughter of Elizabeth Hahn (1812-1904), the proprietor of the Magnolia Hotel. Mrs. Hahn, a native of Hanover, Germany, arrived at Biloxi in 1847. (HARCO, Ms. MRB 6, p. 476 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 5, 1904, p. 5) )
Lizzie and August Ohr were the parents of two sons: Peter Joseph Ohr (1878-1953) and John Ohr (1879-1879). Peter J. Ohr became a local farmer. In September 1912, he acquired the NE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W from John Canaan for $800. Peter was a resident of New Orleans in June 1918, when he quitclaimed his tract to Lizzie Betz who held a deed of trust from him. Peter’s nephew, Leo Edgar Ohr (1890-1970), immediately acquired these forty acres and it became his farm. Peter J. Ohr died at Biloxi in mid-October 1953. His corporalremains were passed through the Episcopal Church and interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 102, p. 107 and Trust Deed Bk. 10, p. 163 and The Daily Herald, October 13, 1953, p. 8)
August Ohr made his livelihood as a laborer. In the winter of 1901, he managed a steam wood mill on back bay at Reynoir Street. It supplied stove wood, stove wood blocks and cord wood at reasonable prices. August also worked for the Texas Pacific Machine Shop and the Biloxi Ice Factory. In 1904, he was running a merry-go-round at Vicksburg, Mississippi before returning to Biloxi in late October suffering from malaria. In his later life, Mr. Ohr was a night watchman. In August 1892, Lizzie and August Ohr divorced in Harrison County, Mississippi.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 523-August 1892 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 15, 1901, p. 8, October 27, 1904, p. 5 and The Daily Herald, April 11, 1927, p. 2)
By 1906, Lizzie Hahn Ohr was married again. Her new spouse was Antoine Muller or Miller.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2200-Ocotber 1906 and Cause No. 2500-October 1907)
August Ohr married Mrs. Charles Wolbarth on July 25, 1893 in Orleans Parish, Louisiana.(see Hunting For Bears, Orleans Parish, Louisiana)
August Ohr married the widow of William Wachenfeld, Elizabeth Montag Wachenfeld (1842-1920), in May 1894. She was born at Bodstadt, Hessen, Germany, the daughter of Joseph Montag and Katherine Sour. Mrs. Ohr was the mother of: Charles W. Wachenfeld (1868-1936), Philip Wachenfeld (1871-1929), August Wachenfeld, and Christina W. Harvey (1872-1931), the wife of Louis Harvey (1874-1913). Before his demise, Louis Harvey was foreman of the Gorenflo Packing Company at Biloxi. Several of his descendants, Philip I. Harvey (b. 1941), David Harvey, and Elizabeth H. Joachim, are prominent in insurance and real estate at Ocean Springs.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 10, p. 206, The Daily Herald, August 29, 1920, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, September 17, 1913, p. 1)
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Ohr died at Biloxi on August 18, 1920. August Ohr expired on April 10, 1927. Both were passed through the Episcopal Church and interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, August 19, 1920, p. 1 and April 11, 1927, p. 2)
Josephine Gehring Ohr expired on March 17, 1930, in her home at 409 Delauney Street. She had been a resident of Biloxi since 1885. In addition to her children, she was survived by two brothers, George and Louis Gehring, and three sisters, Mrs. Nick Koenig, Mrs. William Hartley, and Mrs. L.G. Dauenhauer. All of her siblings resided in the Greater New Orleans area. Mrs. Ohr’s corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, March 17, 1930, p. 10)
The World’s Greatest Potter, George E. Ohr Jr., had preceded Josephine in death. He passed at his Delauney Street residence on April 7, 1918, after several years of declining health. Prior to his demise, Ohr had sought medical attention in the Crescent City with no avail. After his corporal remains had been blessed in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, they were interred in his burial lot designated as Block 13, Lot 173 of the 3rd Addition to the Biloxi City Cemetery. In addition to George E. Ohr and Josephine G. Ohr, the graves of Leo E. Ohr, Lio I. Ohr and Marguerite Kuljis Ohr are marked in this family burial lot.(The Daily Herald, April 8, 1918, p. 1 and personal observation September 14, 2002)
The Ohr children
Consistently with his creative and eccentric nature, George E. Ohr Jr. derived the first name of his children from the first letter of their first, middle, and surname. For example, “LEO” was created from Leo Edgar Ohr; “CLO” came from Clovinia Lucinda Ohr; etc. A brief biography of the children of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine Gehring Ohr follows:
Ellen Louisa Ohr
Ellen L. Ohr (1887-pre-1900) was born on June 21, 1887. She received the Holy Sacrament of Baptism in the Roman Catholic Church at the Nativity BVM in Biloxi on July 10, 1887. Ellen passed on before June 1900. No further information.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243)
Asa Eugene Ohr
Asa E. Ohr (1888-1893) was born in 1888 and expired on December 7, 1893. Young Asa must have been very special to his Aunt Mena Ohr who published a poem in his memory in the local journal following his funeral services and burial. His remains were passed through the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church prior to internment. (Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and The Biloxi Herald, December 9, 1893, p. 8 and December 16, 1893, p. 8)
Leo Edgar Ohr
Leo E. Ohr (1890-1970) was born at Biloxi on September 20, 1890. His baptism took place in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church on October 20, 1890. On January 22, 1926, Leo married Mamie Catchot (1890-1961), a native of Ocean Springs, and the daughter of Antonio “Toy” Catchot (1868-1952) and Adelia Mon (1876-1948). (Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and HARCO, Ms. MRB 37, p. 522)
As early as 1913, Leo E. Ohr was in the automotive garage and machine business. With Otto T. Ohr, he commenced The Ohr Boy’s Garage at 411 Delauney Street just north of their familial domicile and on the site of his father’s famous Pot-Ohr-E.(Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, p. 180)
Julius M. Lopez (1886-1958), Biloxi entrepreneur and yachtsman, often had Leo E. Ohr as the engineer or pilot of the Belle L, his 30-foot, 145 HP race boat, which was lauded asthere is nothing in the Gulf that can near equal it in speed.". In addition Leo owned the Anna May, also a racing speed boat.(The Daily Herald, July 13, 1913, p. 1 and p. 8)
In April 1915, Leo E. Ohr obtained the Harley-Davidson franchise on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He rode the streets of Biloxi on his new twin cylinder Harley-Davidson as a demonstrator for interested customers.(The Daily Herald, April 26, 1915, p. 2)
By 1922, Leo had changed the name of his business to the Ohr Garage and by 1927, added “and Machine Works” to this title. As late as 1949, he remained the proprietor of the Ohr Machine Shop. In 1958, Leo E. Ohr was renting rooms at 208 Lameuse Street.(Biloxi City Directory, 1922-1923, p. 162, ibid. 1927, p. 158, ibid, 1949, p. 480, ibid. 1958, p. 641)
In addition to being the proprietor of the Ohr Machine Shop at 409 Delauney Street, Leo E. Ohr was a farmer. In June 1918, he acquired forty-acres of land, the NE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W from Lizzie Betz for $500. This land situated on the west side of Cedar Lake Road between Popps Ferry Road and US I-10 is now very commercial and includes the Cedar Lake Medical Plaza and surroundings.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 122, p. 329)
Here in 1934, Leo E. Ohr harvested the largest sugar cane crop ever grown in Harrison County. From his fifteen-acres of seed grown sugar cane, he made over three thousand gallons of cane syrup. Ohr sold over 1500 gallons to the State Welfare Board for its program to assist needy families in South Mississippi, as a result of the national economic Depression. Leo was also in the process of erecting a plant to produce cane syrup, which had the potential of being a profitable local agricultural industry.(The Daily Herald, January 15, 1934, p. 8)
Leo E. Ohr died on August 17, 1970. At the time of his death, he was possessed with his Cedar Lake farm and other Biloxi real estate.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 1162-May 1971l)
Clovinia Lucinda Ohr
Clovinia L. Ohr (1892-1989), called Clo, was born at Biloxi on May 1, 1892. she was baptized on June 5, 1892, in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church. On April 15, 1909, Clo eloped and married Fredric Andrew Moran (1888-1972), a well-known boat builder and schooner racer of Biloxi. He was the son of Ernest Moran and Catherine Kornman (1854-1922).(Lepre, 1991, p. 243, HARCO, Ms. MRB Bk. 21, p. 188 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 16, 1909, p. 1)
Clo and Freddie Moran were the parents of four children: Fredric “Elwood” Moran (1910-2001), Julia M. Sutton (1914-1996), Josephine M. Morykwas (1915-1997), and Joseph “Joe” Moran (1915-1999).
Joe Moran, like his father, also built boats and in his later life became a nationally acclaimed painter. Several of Mr. Moran’s works are in the Smithsonian Institute and two American presidents have acquired his art.(The Sun Herald, December 1, 1989, p. B-2 and The Sun Herald, March 24, 1999)
Lio Irwin Ohr
Lio I. Ohr (1893-1914) was born at Biloxi on July 26, 1893. His arrival was announced by the local journal as, “another potter arrived at the art pottery of Geo. Ohr last Wednesday. Of course it’s a boy.”(The Biloxi Herald, July 29, 1893, p. 8)
Lio I. Ohr was baptized in the Catholic faith at the Nativity BVM on August 27, 1893. His godfather was Joseph F. Meyer (1848-1931), the Newcomb Art School potter. Lio expired at his parent’s home on Delauney Street on December 12, 1914 from a tumor. Lio had worked for Dr. Jason J. Harry (1854-1950) of Handsboro as his chauffeur until struck down with his fatal malady in November 1914.(Lepre, 1991, p. 242 and The Daily Herald, December 13, 1914, p. 4)
Otto T. Ohr (1895-1982), called Pie, was born September 11, 1895. On October 6, 1895, he received the sacrament of Baptism at the Nativity BVM. Otto T. Ohr married Rosalie Elder (1890-1970), the daughter of Robert E. Lee Elder (1864-1931), called Lee, and Nellie Catherine Williams (1875-1926), at Pascagoula, Mississippi in November 1913.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243, The Daily Herald, November 20, 1913, p. 8, and JXCO, Ms. MRB 9, p 553)
Otto T. Ohr’s father-in-law, Mr. Lee Elder, was a prominent ice manufacturer in Biloxi. Elder’s early career was as a licensed steamboat engineer. He commenced ice making as an engineer with the Biloxi Artesian Ice Manufacturing Company in 1887. By 1895, Elder was chief engineer of their plant with a capacity of making twenty-two tons of ice each day. He was also a stockholder with John Walker, president; T.P. Dulion, treasurer; and W.K.M. Dukate (1852-1916), general manager and secretary.(Dyer, 1895, p. 19)
Lee Elder married Nellie C. Williams at Biloxi on May 11, 1889. They were the parents of: Rosalie E. Foretich Ohr (1890-1970), Ethel E. Entrekin (1894-1931+), H.W. “Will” Elder (1896-1931+), Ruth E. VanCourt (1899-1931+), Mrs. J.E. Collins, and Mrs. G. Rossini.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 8, p. 476 and The Daily Herald, September 28, 1931, p. 1)
In February 1907, Rosalie Elder had married Lawrence Foretich (1884-1966) in the Methodist Church at Gulfport. They had two sons: Elliott L. Foretich (1908-1992) and Kenneth Lee Foretich (1911-1933). Lee Foretich was murdered at New Orleans, during Mardi Gras madness in late February 1933. He had recently moved to the Crescent City from Biloxi where he had been at the US Coast Guard base on Point Cadet.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 25, 1907, p. 1 and February 27, 1933, p. 2)
In late January 1914, Lawrence Foretich married Maud Kleyle of New Orleans, at the Hotel Brielmeire. They initially were domiciled in Biloxi, but eventually relocated to New Orleans. He expired there in 1966.( The Daily Herald, January 29, 1914, p. 2)
As a young man, Otto T. Ohr began making a living as one of The Ohr Boy’s Garage owners with his brother, Leo E. Ohr. By 1922, he, as his grandmother, Johanna W. Ohr, had done in the late 19th Century, became a grocer. The Ohr store was situated at 742 Lameuse Street. Circa 1925, Otto T. Ohr was sent to Chicago by Lee Elder to study refrigeration and ammonia. Returning to Biloxi, he organized the Peoples’ Ice Company which commenced his long association with ice manufacturing in Biloxi and later at Bayou LaBatre, Alabama, where he was employed by the Alabama Ice Company.( Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, p. 180, Ibid. 1922-1923, p. 162 and Thelma O. Palmer, September 23, 2002)
When the Otto T. Ohr family returned to Biloxi from Bayou LaBatre in the early 1930s, Otto worked as an engineer for the Anticich Ice Company and by 1936, had become the manager of the Gulf Service Ice Company. By 1958, Otto T. Ohr was the engineer for the Biloxi Freezing Company. At the time of his death in April 1982, he was an engineer with the Biloxi Port Commission.(Biloxi City Directory, 1927, p. 158; ibid. 1931, p. 148; ibid. 1936, p. 193; ibid. 1958, p. 641 and The Sun, April 21, 1982)
The children of Otto T. Ohr and Rosalie Elder Ohr were: Carl Otto Ohr (1922-1996); Dorothy Ohr (1923-1999) married Willis Page (1915-1973); Carroll Ruth Ohr (1924-1982) married Edgar L. Allen II; Marian Elizabeth “Betty” Ohr (b. 1925) married Thomas R. O’Neil; Shirley (Lola) Ohr (1927-1986) married Charles F. Kitzmiller (1919-1997); Thelma Ohr (b. 1929) married Robert Palmer; and Mary Ohr (b. 1934) married Harry Lockwood.(The Sun, April 21, 1982, p. A-4 and Thelma O. Palmer, September 23, 2002))
Thelma Ohr Palmer, a resident of Semmes, Alabama, remember vividly from her childhood that her father would take all of his children to get ice cream in downtown Mobile. The proprietor of the dairy parlor would invariably comment facetiously, “Here comes Mr. and Mrs. Ohr with their little paddles!
George Ohr Jr.’s only grandson, Carol Otto Ohr, married Helen Marie Anderson. Their children were: Paula Maria Ohr Rutland (b. 1948) married Don Wayne Rutland; Mena Dianne Ohr Wentzell (b. 1950) married Bobby Ray Wentzell; Carl Monroe Ohr (1952-1986) married Rosella Ann McCaleb; and Sarah Ohr Murphy.(The Sun Herald, March 5, 1996, p. B-2)
Carl M. Ohr married Rosella McCaleb, the daughter of Joseph Ellsworth McCaleb and Dolores L. Lemmler. Mr. Ohr was a Biloxi fireman and served as president of the M.L. Michel Middle School PTA. They were the parents of Rachel Ann Ohr Sharp (b. 1975) and Brian Ohr, the great great-grandson of Biloxi’s “Mad” Potter. Mrs. Ohr’s maternal grandfather, Henry P. Lemmler (1904-1953), had once owned a grocery store in Biloxi.(The Sun Herald, October 22, 1986, p. A-2 and The Daily Herald, October 13, 1953, p. 6)
Flo L. Ohr (1897-1900) was born on December 17, 1897. She was baptized January 16, 1898 in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church at Biloxi. She expired on March 21, 1900. Flo was just over two years old and had reached that stage of her young life when her personality was developing. Her corporal remains were interred in the Ohr family burial lot in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 23, 1900, p. 8)
Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904) was born at Biloxi circa September 20, 1900. He expired on April 20, 1904 from blood poisoning. Burial was in the Biloxi City Cemetery in the G.E. Ohr Sr. family burial lot.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 21, 1904, p. 1)
Ojo J. Ohr (1903-1991) was born January 25, 1903, at the Ohr home on Delauney Street. He came into the world as a healthy twelve-pound baby boy.(The Biloxi Daily News, January 26, 1903, p. 6)
Ojo J. Ohr married Mae Miguez(1900-1968), the daughter of Numa Miguez and Homelia Miguez, at Pascagoula, Mississippi on September 12, 1924. Two of her sisters, Mrs. Ralph Mattina and Mrs. Armond Broussard, had also married Biloxi men. Mae was born at New Iberia, Louisiana on May 12, 1900. Her father, Numa Miguez, was killed in late November 1931, in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, when his car driven by son, was struck by a train.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 15, p. 418 and The Daily Herald, November 24, 1931, p. 2)
In January 1945, Mae and Ojo J. Ohr divorced in Harrison County, Mississippi without having offspring. Ojo had to pay the ex-Mrs. Ohr $2000, assign his interest in three lots located in Section 15, T7S-R9W, Jackson County, Mississippi, and convey a lot to her on Benachi Avenue in Biloxi.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 21563-January 1945)
Later in her life, Mae Miguez married Forrest L. Churchill (1899-1968), a native of Stoughton, Massachusetts. He was a Master Sergeant in the USAF and had served in WW II. The Churchills resided at 705 Dorries Street in Biloxi. Mae M. Churchill expired at Biloxi on October 15, 1968. Her corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi. Mr. Churchill followed her closely in death, passing on December 12, 1968. His remains were sent to Virginia for internment in the Arlington National Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1968, p. 2 and December 13, 1968, p. 2)
In July 1955, at Pascagoula, Ojo J. Ohr married Marguerite Kuljis (1913-1986), the daughter of Luka Kuljis (1886-1965) and Tadika Pitalo Kuljis (1884-1978). He made his livelihood as the proprietor of Ojo’s Junk Yard and Machine Shop situated at 811 Benachi Avenue. His residence was nearby. Ojo passed on March 23, 1991. Mrs. Ohr died July 24, 1986. Their corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, July 25, 1986, p. A-2 and March 24, 1991, p. B-2, JXCO, Ms. MRB 82, p. 158)
In addition to the Ohr patriarchal family home on Delauney Street and about six-thousand of his incredible “mud babies”, George E. Ohr Jr. left his wife and children a tract of land on the west side of Benachi Avenue situated north of Division Street and south of Bay Terrace. He acquired this approximately 2.2-acre parcel in September 1890, from Charles Fayard. The consideration was $130.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 25, p. 440)
The Benachi Avenue tract was subdivided by the Mrs. Josephine Ohr and her children between 1928 and 1930. In October 1930, Ojo J. Ohr acquired a 115-foot lot fronting on Benachi between Geo E. Ohr and Leo E. Ohr. He bought another lot on Benachi from Leo E. Ohr in February 1933. This lot became the property of Mae Miguez Ohr after their 1945 divorce.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 187, p. 163 and Bk. 196, p. 587)
It was here on Benachi Avenue that Ojo J. Ohr would found his infamous “junkyard” on the south and east side of Bay Terrace, a development that was considered as one of Biloxi’s most fashionable subdivisions of the post WW II era. Both Ojo and younger brother, Geo E. Ohr III, lived in this sylvan setting surrounded by a visual cacophony of abandoned household appliances, automobiles, buses, and other miscellaneous objects of no particular description or value.
In 1959, the Ohr boys relocated their father’s remaining pots from the Delauney Street garage to a brick block building situated within “Ojoville” on the west side of Benachi Avenue, north of Division Street. The “no two-alike, World’s greatest art pottery” had been crated for nearly sixty years, when a peripatetic “picker” from New Jersey came to town looking for antique automobile parts.
James W. Carpenter
James W. “Jim” Carpenter grew up in a dairy farming community in the Kittatinny Mountains of rural, northwestern New Jersey, light years from the art world of the east coast conurbation stretching from Washington, D.C to Boston. As a young man, he tested milk and eventually owned his own milk truck, collecting the raw product from local dairy farmers. As the milking business declined, Carpenter learned to barber, but also relied on his avocation, collecting antiques, to make his livelihood. Even in the sleepy hollow of Montague, New Jersey with its paucity of fine art, Carpenter’s artistic father had introduced him to an aesthetic culture, and a deep appreciation of exceptional art and antiques. His experience as an antiquer had brought him in contact with Rookwood, Weller, Roseville, and Newcomb pottery, some of which collected, others he wished that he had, as their worth has risen geometrically in recent times.
With his natural talent for recognizing value and a ready market, Jim Carpenter literally put his barber chair in the corner and with his loving wife, Miriam, affectionately called Mim, became a full time antiques merchant, opening a store in their Delaware River valley domicile. In addition to regional auctions, he traveled the hinterlands in search of treasures. Florida was a favorite site to seek respite from the harsh New Jersey winter and “pick” for antiques, primarily antiquated motorcar components and accessories.
In 1966, Jim Carpenter wandered into New Orleans, with antique auto parts on his most wanted list. He found a dealer and before his transactions were completed asked the man for additional references in order to continue his acquisitions of automotive paraphernalia. “The Ohr Boys in Biloxi”, chimed the old junk man! “How will I find them?” questioned Carpenter. “Oh, no problem, everyone there knows them. Do you imbibe a little?” The august, aged gentleman of junk smiled and added, “I’ll tell you this, the Ohr Boys won’t do business with you unless you take a nip with them.” I.W. Harper was their whisky of choice.
Armed with this valuable knowledge, Carpenter traveled east to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With a bottle of bourbon in hand, he entered Ojo Ohr’s junkyard on Benachi Avenue north of Division Street. Mr. Carpenter soon discovered that the Ohrs had a peculiar sense of bartering. Firstly, they would insist that all have drinks until the bottle was empty. When Jim Carpenter found antique auto parts of his liking, they would not give him their selling price, but insist that he make them an offer. The Yankee antique seeker soon learned that his offering price was accepted only when tripled by the Ohrs, who obviously knew the value of a shrimp nickel!
During this novel visit with the Ohr Boys, Carpenter was asked if he would like to see some of their father’s pottery? When he agreed, Ojo Ohr placed some of George’s glazed pieces on a table for him to inspect. Mr. Carpenter was surprised, as he had never seen art pottery of this style. He wasn’t knowledgeable in this field of art and decided to consult others before making an offer to the Ohr family. Robert W. “Bob” Blasberg, a well-respected scholar, and New Jersey friend of Carpenter, was conferred with and sight unseen, he recommended that Carpenter acquire the eclectic, ceramic collection, hidden at Biloxi.
After several years of frustrating and futile negotiations with the Ohr family, Jim Carpenter gave up. Two silent years passed, and surprisingly one morning he received a missive from Ojo Ohr, inquiring of Carpenter’s desire to still acquire George’s pots. Ojo was ready to make a deal! Somewhat bewildered but pregnant with hope, Jim Carpenter returned to Biloxi in the winter of 1972, or early 1973, with a cashier’s check. Arriving at the Ohr’s Benachi Avenue site, he spent the next three days inspecting and crudely inventorying the approximately 6000 glazed, bisque, and ceramic trinkets and molds that had survived from George’s potting years. The Ohr family finally accepted, what will be Carpenter’s legacy to the curious, a large number of green dollars whose value is speculated to range between $50,000 and $100,000, for their father’s “mud babies”.
After battling through several ice storms, in a rental truck, Jim Carpenter arrived safely back in New Jersey with his cache of G.E. Ohr’s pots. He generously gave his neighbors each an Ohr vessel for assisting him and Mim, in unloading the truck! Carpenter had just completed a new store building and although, he placed some Ohr on the shelves, his first year sales proved barren-sorry, George, but no sales, a familiar mantra for Ohr. The initial Ohr season wasn’t an entire bust, as Carpenter’s collection did increase by two Ohr pots as he acquired them through ads that he had seen in trade journals.
Not fazed by Ohr’s lack of sales, Jim Carpenter decided that now was the time for him and Bob Blasberg to educate America about the genius of George E. Ohr. In 1973, Blasberg published “George E. Ohr and his Biloxi Art Pottery”, which sold for $3.00. This was followed by an exhibit of Ohr’s works, ten of which were selected for a juried American art pottery show, at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Carpenter sold about half of the three hundred Ohr pots that he brought to the Smithsonian exhibit. After the show, he gave the Smithsonian, the ten juried pots, one of which, a combination coffee and tea pot, only about seven inches high, Carpenter considers as Ohr’s greatest work from his wheel. It was from the Renwick Gallery exhibit, that George was discovered by ceramic collectors, especially those of Gotham.
Sales, sales, and more sales
Once George became known and loved, Jim Carpenter chose an interesting marketing strategy. Each year he limited the number of pots that he would vend. Some years it took only two months to sell his year’s quota. This scheme only wetted the appetites of collectors and drove the price up annually. By the 1980s, New York City was really hot for Ohr, and Carpenter was making excellent sales there. Once, NYC painter, Jasper Johns, offered to trade was of his paintings for an exceptional Ohr pot. Carpenter refused and now regrets it as some of John’s work now sells for seven figure prices.
Biloxi and the art world owe James W. Carpenter many kudos for his ambitious speculation into a subject of which he was no expert. Mortgaging his New Jersey farm, allowed Mr. Carpenter the necessary cash to acquire the art treasures of Biloxi’s Mad Potter.
George E. Ohr III (1906-1974), called Geo or G, was born on August 8, 1906. His birth was simply noted in the local journal as “born to Mr. and Mrs. Geo E. Ohr, a boy.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 10, 1906, p. 2)
At Pascagoula, Mississippi on November 10, 1927, Geo married Iola Giadrosich (1906-1986), the daughter of Paul Giadrosich and Edna Apperson. She had four brothers: Edward Giadrosich (1898-1968), Rudolph Giadrosich (1899-1978), Orville Giadrosich, and Paul Giadrosich Jr. (1916-1983) and a sister, Lottie G. Richards.(JXCO, Ms. MRB Land Deed Bk.18, p. 51 and The Daily Herald, October 16, 1968, p. 2)
Geo E. Ohr III had a wiry physique and the arm and hand strength of his blacksmith father. Witnesses aver that he could do a pull-up using the power generated in his thumb and index finger. Considered by many as a mechanical genius, Geo lived on Benachi Avenue near his brother, Ojo J. Ohr. He owned three classic cars, an original 1903 Cadillac, a 1908 Culver Racer, and a 1900 McIntyre. Geo gave the Culver Racer to Frank J. Duggan (1912-2000), a longtime employee of Ojo. Geo retired from the Biloxi Fire Department having worked their as a mechanic. A design engineer from American-LaFrance of Elmira, New York, a fire engine manufacturer, came to Biloxi to inspect one of its fire trucks that Geo had repaired the crankshaft. He was amazed at this feat and brought back technology to his company that Mr. Ohr had used to redesign the cooling system for the crankshaft.(Frank J. Duggan Jr., October 8, 2002)
In September 1947, Geo, his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Richardson of New Orleans were at Horn Island, a barrier island about thirteen miles southeast of Biloxi, when a hurricane hit the region. They had gone to Horn Island to care for their property recently acquired from the U.S. Government. Ohr and his party secured an Army Duck, an amphibious vehicle, to a tree and remained in it until the tempest had passed. They had an ample supply of canned food and candles for illumination. The Ohr party was rescued by Leo Ohr, Eddie Cannette, and others from the vessel, Whip-O-Will.(The Daily Herald, September 22, 1947, p. 5)
George E. Ohr III passed on February 23, 1974. Mrs. Ohr expired on July 13, 1986. Their corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, July 15, 1986, p. A-2)
In 1890, Emily “Emma” Ohr (1860-1926) was born at Biloxi in December 1860. Circa 1890, she married Louis Gruntz (1864-1930), a native of Germany who had come to America in 1880. Louis made his livelihood as a grocer. They had two children born in New Orleans: Louis Gruntz II (1892-1900+) and Emily Gruntz Birl, wife of Paul Birl (1894-1926+). In June 1900, the Gruntz family were residents of the 3rd Ward, 16th Precinct of NOLA.(1900 Federal Census Orleans Ph., La., Roll 571, Book 1, p. 309)
Emily Ohr Gruntz expired at New Orleans on May 25, 1926. She was a resident of the city since 1889 and was domiciled at 2623 St. Anne Street at the time of her demise. Mrs. Gruntz was survived by her husband, who lived until July 12, 1930, and a daughter, Mrs. Paul Birl. Her corporal remains were interred in St. Patrick Cemetery No. 2.(The Times Picayune, May 26, 1926, p. 2 and July 15, 1930, p. 2)
Louisa Ohr (1865-1957) was born at Biloxi in April 1865. Circa 1886, she married Rupert L. Schulz (1855-1930), an 1869 immigrant from Germany. They were the parents of: Joseph Rupert Schulz (1887-1957+), Pearl Schulz Fitzgerald (1890-pre 1957), Anna Schulz Hourguettes (1892-1957+), and Arthur L. Schulz (post 1900-1957+). Mr. Schulz was a machinist and the family lived at McDonoughville, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.(1900 Federal Census, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, p. 105a)
Louisa Ohr Schulz expired at Gretna, Louisiana on June 13, 1957. She had resided here since 1897. In addition to three children, Mrs. Schulz was survived by a grandson, Rupert E. Fitzgerald, and a great granddaughter, Pearl E. Fitzgerald. Her corporal remains were passed through the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gretna and they were interred in the McDonough Cemetery, also located in Gretna, Louisiana. Mr. Rupert L. Schulz preceded his wife in death expiring on November 9, 1935.(The Times Picayune, November 10, 1935, p. 6 and June 16, 1957, p. 18)
Mena Ohr (1867-1893+) never married. She died before 1900 and her body buried in the Ohr family burial plot in the Biloxi City Cemetery. Mena had a good heart as she remembered the demise of her young nephew, Asa Eugene Ohr, in December 1893. No further information.
AN OHR FAMILY TIME LINE
The following chronological events from 1889 to 1923 demonstrate the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Ohr family leading to the insanity trial of G.E. Ohr Jr. in April 1909 and beyond.
The Ohr pottery burned in mid-November 1889. The pottery was the first structure to be supplied with water from the water works company.(The Biloxi Herald, November 16, 1889. p. 4)
George E. Ohr suggested to the Biloxi Herald reporter "that those who cannot afford to buy flower pots should put their pretty flowers in the rear of their houses." Now that there is a first class pottery in Biloxi here is no excuse for placing pretty flowers and rare plants in old tin cans and painted pots.(The Biloxi herald, June 7, 1890, p. 4)
Ohr was awarded a prize for the “most grotesque costume” at the Mechanics Steam Fire Company No. 2 Mardi Gras ball held in the Knights of Labor Hall. This was the grand culmination of the festivities at Biloxi on Fat Tuesday.(The Biloxi Herald, February 15, 1891, p. 1)
George Ohr, the artistic potter, has an elegant line of pottery on hand, to which he invites the inspection of the public. His stock embraces every variety and is well worth a visit to his pottery where all are welcome whether they buy or not.(The Biloxi Herald, May 30, 1891, p. 4)
George and Josephine G. Ohr’s eldest son, Asa E. Ohr (1888-1893), expired on December 7, 1893.(Lepre, 1991, p. 242)
George E. Ohr Jr. traveled to Chicago to demonstrate his ceramic wares at The World’s Columbian Exposition, which was held between May and November 1893.
The October fire destroyed the “Pot-Ohr-E” and Ohr residence on Delauney Street. George E. Ohr Sr. had uninsured losses of $5000, while G.E. Ohr Jr. estimated his loss at $3000. In a short period of time, “the toil and work of Ohr, the artistic potter, was reduced to ashes.” After examining his burned out pottery mr. Ohr estimated that about 1000 pieces of his artistic work were not harmed by the conflagration.(The Biloxi Herald, October 13, 1894, p. 8 and October 20, 1894, p. 8)
G.E. Ohr Jr. traveled to Atlanta with his “art and novelty pottery” to exhibit at the Cotton States International Exposition which commenced in mid-September 1895. Ohr’s work was not selected for an award, but The Atlanta Constitution remarked of Ohr’s presence at the event: “Ohr is the comical genius with the long whiskers who makes all sorts of pottery in Machinery Hall, where he is always surrounded by an admiring crowd.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 4, 1896, p. 8)
The Wonderful Wheel, a novel, which was inspired by the image projected by Biloxi’s Mad Potter, was written by Mary Tracy Earle (1864-1955) and published by the Century Company of New York. Miss Earle was the daughter of Parker Earle (1831-1917) and Melanie Tracy (1837-1889) and resided at Ocean Springs, Mississippi for several years. Some other published works by Mary Tracy Earle are: The Man Who Worked For Collister (1898), Through Old Rose Glasses (1900), and The Flag on the Hilltop (1902).
The celebrated potter of this city George E. Ohr has proven his interest in the human race by placing on Howard Avenue next to the Vienna cafe, a barrel of ice water, which is free to all. The cooler is a specimen of his handwork in clay and no doubt those who imbibe will be thankful. The cooler carries with it a number of poetic effusions which for originality are unsurpassed.(The Biloxi Herald, August 22, 1896, p. 8)
On August 18, 1897, Jules Gabry (1829-1897), a native of France and the first potter at the Newcomb Pottery, committed suicide by drowning himself in the Mississippi Sound. Monsieur Gabry was a friend of Ohr and left his kick wheel at the Pot-Ohr-E.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 21, 1897, p. 8)
In December 1899, Ohr’s work was lauded at the Natural Arts Club in New York City as follows: “Among the potters unknown to New York is Geo. E. Ohr of Biloxi, Miss., whose exhibit is interesting, attaining in some pieces a great richness of color and in one a remarkable effect of dull metal.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 3, 1899, p. 8)
Flo L. Ohr (1897-1900), the daughter of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine G. Ohr expired on March 21, 1900.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 23, 1900, p. 8)
George E. Ohr Jr. sent some of his art pottery to Paris, France to be exhibited at The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. His work was not chosen for an award.
George E. Ohr Jr. exhibited his work at the Providence Art Club of Rhode Island in the spring of 1901 and at the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo, New York between May-November 1901. He did not win an award at either event. J.B. Myers, formerly of Biloxi, reported in July 1901 that: "Mississippi has no State exhibit at the great Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. There are exhibits from the Smithsonian Institute and elsewhere, but none compare with Mr. Ohr's handiwork. Rookwood is represented by a 1000 pieces but if they were cleaned of their paints and decorated they would be a heavy, clumsy lot of clay, but every piece made by Ohr is light, brilliant and graceful, all in its own beauty."(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 18. 1901, p. 8)
Biloxi has a potter and a pottery. The potter, George E. Ohr, is one of the most original artists in the world, and turns out high art pottery with all the ease that the ordinary potter turns out common earthen crocks. He has thousands of pieces, and no two are alike. At the great international expositions he has exhibited collections of his wares, and has been awarded diplomas and medals not a few, and that too, while in competition with the art potters of the earth. He does not sell much of his work, because most people do not appreciate it, and refuse to pay his price. Otherwise, he might become wealthy by selling his “trifles and trinkets” at 25 and 50 cents each. The clay is found along one of the rivers that flow into Back Bay.(The Daily Picayune, Biloxi Rich in Historical Interest”, March 31, 1902, p. 10)
An exhibit of color photographic images by C.S. Jackson taken at Biloxi in May 1901, was shown at the Montross Hotel in late September. Among these was one taken of the interior of the Ohr art pottery depicting multi-colored pots of earthenware with the art potter mounted on a pedestal in the background.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 25, 1902, p. 8)
A poem appeared in the Biloxi Daily Herald about Mr. Ohr in April 1903, as follows: "George Ohr, he went to New Orleans the City sights to see; he wandered 'round' but nowhere found sights like Ohr's Pot-ohre. Disappointed in the sights he wandered far to seek; he tied his mustache in a knot and will be back next week."(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 18, 1903, p. 8)
Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904), the son of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine G. Ohr died on April 20, 1904. George E. Ohr Sr. (1819-1904), passed on July 8, 1904. George E. Ohr Jr. attended and exhibited his art pottery at The Louisiana Purchase International Exposition at St. Louis, Missouri. He was awarded a silver medal for his ceramic skills. He returned to Biloxi in late December 1904.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 26, 1904, p. 7)
Johanna Wiedman Ohr (1821-1905), the mother of George E. Ohr Jr. died on December 28, 1905. She legated her estate to August Ohr (25%), Emma Ohr Gruntz (25%), Louise Ohr Schultz (25%), and Josephine G. Ohr (25%). G.E. Ohr Jr. was to receive $500 from the sale of the estate and his residence and art pottery at 409 Delauney Street and 411 Delauney Street respectively. Mrs. Johanna W. Ohr also requested that her property not be sold for ten years unless all legatees agreed to vend it sooner. Rupert Schultz, her son-in-law, was named executor of her estate.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2108)
The Ohr Art Pottery had a fortunate break on the eve of January 8th, when its oil heater that Mr. Ohr had left burning to prevent his newly thown greenware from freezing, fell to pieces. The burning oil from the furnace charred the floor and smoke filled the studio. There had been a strong north wind blowing at the time, which would have directed anyfire onto West Howard Avenue in Biloxi's business district.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 9, 1906, p. 1)
In March 1906, the Smithsonian Institution of Washington D.C. accepted a small red vase from the works submitted by George E. Ohr Jr. to the United States Potters’ Association at its annual convention.
In March 1906, August Ohr filed a forced heirship suit in the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi to sell the estate property of Johanna W. Ohr on the north side of Howard Avenue. This litigation was ceased by August Ohr.(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2151)
In October 1906, August Ohr filed another forced heirship cause against the heirs of Johanna W. Ohr. In addition to the Ohr estate lands and improvements north of Howard Avenue, it included those properties south of Howard Avenue. In depositions, the Ohr estate properties were valued at $17,000 by J.W. Swetman (1863-1937), a local druggist, and between $15,000 and $16,000 by Charles Tanner, a Biloxi realtor.(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2281)
In June 1907, Rupert and Louise Ohr Schultz, Louis and Emma Ohr Gruntz, and August and Elizabeth W. Ohr sold their right, title and interest as heirs of George E. Ohr and Johanna W. Ohr to Charles C. Redding and Joseph Lawrence for $12,000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 81, pp. 388-389)
Joseph Lawrence (1867-1952) was the son of Spanish immigrants. In September 1890, he married Catherine Tucei (1866-1939), a native of Naples, Italy and the daughter of Vincent Tucei and Seraphine Griese. They were the parents of five children of which two survived into adulthood: Mary L. Coleman (1895-1952) and Joseph V. Lawrence (1902-1975). Mr. Lawrence was a city laborer before he commenced repairing and selling shoes and doing business as The Guarantee Shoe Store on West Howard Avenue. The French Café later occupied this site and was also a Lawrence family enterprise. In 1902, Joseph Lawrence became a stockholder in the People Bank and was elected to the board of directors in 1911. He assumed the position of vice-president of the Peoples Bank in 1932.(Guice, p. 51, The Daily Herald, January 13, 1939, p. 6 and October 9, 1952, p. 1)
In May 1929, Joseph Lawrence let a contract to Manuel & Wetzel to refurbish the Lawrence Building on the northwest corner of West Howard and Delauney Street. The Gabriel Jewelry Company, managed by J.R. Beggs, planned to move here in July. They had recently acquired the merchandise of Edward Brady.(The Daily Herald, May 28, 1929, p. 2)
Ohr Heirs commercial rentals 1907-1909
Between July 15, 1907 and September 15, 1909, Charles W. Redding collected rents from the commercial properties of the Ohr Heirs on West Howard Avenue, as agent for Rupert Schultz, the executor of the estate of Johanna W. Ohr and spouse of Louise Ohr. From Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2473, the Sanborn Insurance Maps, and city directories of Biloxi, one can ascertain with a high degree of certitude, the lessees of the Ohr Heirs whose six rental buildings and ancillary outbuildings were situated Delauney Street north of West Howard Avenue and on the north and south side of West Howard Avenue between Delauney Street and Magnolia Street. The north side addresses were: 401-405 Delauney; 202-208 West Howard; and 205-209 West Howard.(1909 Sanborn Map-Biloxi, Ms., Sheet 5)
It is interesting to note that several of the Ohr Heir tenants were Italian immigrants or first generation Italian-Americans who were born in Biloxi or New Orleans. Some of these Italian families who worked and lived in this section of Biloxi were: Corso, Esposito, Fallo, Martino, Olivari, Randazzo, Seroolini, Solari, Taranto, Tedesco, and Tucei.
A brief chronology of the Ohr Heir tenants between 1907 and 1909 follows:
Moseley & Devitt
This partnership was a grocery business founded by John Moseley and Thomas Kirkland Devitt (1882-1946). T.K. Devitt was born at Harbor Springs, Michigan. In August 1907, he married Lily Rose Bourdon (1884-1951), the daughter of French immigrant, A.O. Bourdon, Sr. (1845-1901), and Marie Virgets (1847-1901) of New Orleans. The Devitts resided on lower Lameuse Street. Here they reared their three children: Thomas K. Devitt Jr., Matthew Devitt (Slidell, Louisiana), and Lily D. Stuart (Baltimore).( The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 16, 1907, p. . and The Daily Herald, December 16, 1946, p. 5)
In addition to his grocery business, Mr. Devitt was seriously involved in the seafood packing industry at Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and in southeastern Louisiana. With Patrick Henry Clark (1870-1927), a New Orleanian, he chartered Devitt & Clark at New Orleans on June 10, 1914. They commenced operations in the canning business on Point Cadet at Biloxi, in August 1913, when it leased the plant of the Bourdon-Castanera Packing Company for the 1913-1914 shrimp and oyster season. Devitt took the interest of Louis Harvey (1874-1913). Their cannery, which was modern and well-equiped, was situated between the Dunbar, Lopez & Dukate factory and the Barataria Canning Company.(The Daily Herald, August 26, 1913, p. 8)
Circa 1926, T.K. Devitt became active in the seafood industry at Louisiana. He was involved in packing operations at Braithwaite, Wyclosky, Golden Meadow, and Cutoff. He sons were also in the seafood business at Louisiana. Clark expired at New Orleans. His remain were interred the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, December 16, 1946, p. 5)
Lawrence Romeo (1870-1932) was a grocer and fruit vendor. Prior to entering commerce at Biloxi in 1896, he was a boat captain. Mr. Romeo was the son of Antonio Romeo (1823-1898) and Angela Romeo (1834-1910). The Romeo family came to America in 1889, from Riposto, an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily. His siblings were: Louis Romeo (d. 1896) and Mrs. Grazzo (d. ca 1927).(The Daily Herald, April 7, 1932, p. 2)
In 1896, Lawrence Romeo married Josephine Taranto (1876-1967). They were the parents of Louis Romeo (1898-1899), Anthony Romeo (1900-1900), Lawrence Romeo Jr. (1901-1968), Juliet R. Marchoni (1903-1932+), Joseph Romeo (1906-1976), Mrs. Edward Hilton (b. post 1910), and Julius D. Romeo (1916-1919).(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 268)
Lawrence Romeo paid the Ohr heirs $30 rent each month.
Francis M. Dillinger (1855-1910+) was a native of Indiana. He operated a candy store and paid Mr. Redding $18.00 each month for rent.(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 268)
Post & Son occupied this building from July 1907 to 1908. They were jewelers and opticians and sold musical instruments. Their monthly rent was $18.00.(1905 Biloxi City Directory, p. 27)
Abbley & Dancer was partnership composed of Frederick P. Abbley (1882-1941) and R. Anderson Dancer (1878-1915). Frederick P. “Fred” Abbley (1882-1941) was born in North Biloxi, the son of Captain Fritz Abbley (1846-1905), a Swiss immigrant, and Margaret Harvey (1847-1886), the youngest daughter of French immigrant sailor, Pierre Harvey (1810-1883), and Zeline Moran (1811-1883).
In March 1905, Fred Abbley married Viola Caillavet (1884-1968), the daughter of Francis Arbeau Caillavet (1856-1909) and Marie Dodart (1858-1942). They were the parents of three children: Francis Abbley (1905-1905), Eunice A. Brocato (1908-1996), and Bernice A. Emile (b. 1909).
In 1909, Fred Abbley was the manager of an en plein air movie theater the “Airdome”. The Airdome was situated at 413 Renoir Street and occupied a large lot, which extended to Fayard Street with a frontage on West Howard Avenue. In late August 1909, Mr. Abbley was brought to the court of Judge Elmer and adjudicated innocent of violating a city ordinance for showing a movie on Sunday. Another trial was held in September in the court of Judge Z.T. Champlin. Abbley pleaded guilty and was fined $10 and court costs, which Judge Champlin suspended. The people of Biloxi were generally apathetic to the so-called Blue Laws.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 30, 1909, p. 4 and September 10, 1909, pp. 1-2)
Mr. Abbley’s associate, R. Anderson Dancer (1878-1915), was born at Buenavista, Chickasaw County, Mississippi, the son of John W. Dancer and Carolina E. Bean. He arrived at Biloxi circa 1900 and was the brother of Jessie Dancer Cousins (1874-1957), the spouse of Joseph H. Cousins (1874-1917). Mr. Dancer worked for Lopez & Dukate at the Rigolets in 1904.
In November 1911, R. Anderson Dancer married Carrie Engbarth (1889-1967+), a native of Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi, and the daughter of Emile Engbarth (1855-ca 1905) and Magalene Jeanette Arndt (1856-1938). At the time, the Engbarth family resided on Porter Street in Ocean Springs. Dr. Chipman of the Pascagoula Episcopal Church officiated.(The Daily Herald, December 1, 1911, p. 4 and The Ocean Springs News, April 15, 1915, p. 1)
Circa 1909, Mr. Dancer had come to Ocean Springs, and opened a movie theater on Washington Avenue, called The Vaudette. He sold it to E.W. Illing (1870-1947) in September 1909. In November 1909, Mr. Dancer went to Lumberton, Mississippi with Willie Engbarth (1882-1957), his future brother-in-law, to open a movie house. Apparently, things did not work as The Ocean Springs News reported that R.A. Dancer sold his movie house and returned to Ocean Springs in December 1909, with Charles Engbarth (1893-1967).
After their marriage, Carrie and Anderson Dancer ran a store at Ocean Springs probably on the southeast corner of Porter and Washington. Mr. Dancer expired on April 9, 1915. He was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Ocean Springs. Carrie E. Dancer remarried Fred Meyers, and was residing at Pass Christian, Mississippi in 1962. She was at Ocean Springs in 1967. No further information.
Abbley and Dancer paid $30.00 rent each month to Charles Redding.
Joseph A. Lawrence (1867-1952), “the Biloxi Shoe Man”, owner of Guarantee Shoe and Hat Company located at 205 West Howard Avenue. His rent was $15.00 each month.
The Pearson Brothers, grocers, operated two stores at Biloxi. The “down-town” store was situated at 407 East Howard Avenue on the corner of Main Street and Howard Avenue and called the People’s Cash Grocery. The Pearson Brothers were John P. Pearson and H.W. Pearson. Their father, Clinton Patton Pearson (1843-1920), was a native of Missouri and was the spouse of E. Catherine Pearson (1848-1910), a Kentuckian. He made his livelihood as a traveling salesman. Their sister, May R. Pearson (1889-1914+), was the store’s cashier. Their rent was $15.00 per month. They moved out of their building in October 1908.(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 227)
In January 1907, The Pearson Brothers advertised as having a “complete stock of fancy and staple groceries”. One could purchase 18 pounds of granulated sugar for $1.00, Red Cross tomatoes at $.10 per can, and 2 pounds of butter for $.75.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 9, 1907, p. 4)
Nikola Martino (1860-1942) constructed and repaired shoes for his livelihood. He and his spouse, Lena Genusa (1868-1910+), and son, Joseph Martino (1886-1941), emigrated from Italy to New Orleans in 1886. Three Martino children were born in New Orleans, Leanora M. Stassi (1889-1973), Anthony J. Martino (1892-1956), and Camille M. Tedesco (1895-1942+), while Peter Martino (1897-1937) and Nickola Martino Jr. (1906-1942+) were Biloxi natives. 1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 266)
After the death of Lena G. Martino, Nikola married Jennie Coci Capuana (1873-1941), the daughter of Phillip and Rose Coci. She was a widow and the mother of Philip Capuana (1906-1968), Mrs. Chris Tucei, and Mrs. Sidney Manuel.(The Daily Herald, January 5, 1942, p. 2)
Nikola Martino’s rent was $10.00 each month.
In addition, the Ohr Heirs collected rents from two other lessees during the period 1907-1907. They were Dr. H.M. Folkes (1871-1926) and L.D. Byrd. Dr. Folkes’ rent was $30.00 while Byrd paid the same amount to Charles Redding.
It is interesting to note that in early 1907, John Harry Portman (1878-1917), the able assistant of G.E. Ohr Jr., was in the plumbing business with W.L. Via (1855-1921). This and the fact that the few, if any, Ohr pots have been discovered with dates post-1906, indicate that “The World’s Greatest Potter” had greatly reduced his ceramic productivity.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 7, 1907, p. 3 and Clark, et al, 1989, p. 36)
J.H. Portman was a native of Biloxi and had been reared in the Ohr family home on Delauney Street. Apparently his career as a plumber was short lived as in 1907, Portman left Biloxi for employment with the US Lighthouse Board, which became the US Lighthouse Service in 1910. His first assignment was at the Sand Island Light at the entrance to Mobile Bay. In 1915, J.H. Portman transferred to Round Island where he was employed until he became ill and expired in June 1917. His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, June 14, 1917, p. 3)
In April 1909, Lemuel H. Doty Jr., an attorney, who represented Joseph Lawrence and Charles C. Redding, filed a request in the Chancery Court of Harrison County for a “non compos mentis” hearing for G.E. Ohr Jr. A jury of his peers met at Gulfport and after reviewing the facts immediately declared George E. Ohr Jr. sane. Ohr represented himself during the inquiry. Mr. Doty was from an honorable family in Lexington, Mississippi, where his father Lemuel H. Doty (1844-1929) was active in civic and educational affairs. His brother, A.M. Doty, was a physician.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 3, 1909, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, January 11, 1929, p. 1)
It is interesting to note that one of Ohr’s adjudicators was Caspar Vahle (1869-1922), a former resident of Ocean Springs. He had been in the livery and hotel business while domiciled here. His mother, Katherine Vahle (1838-1914) of German ancestry was a principal in the Vahle House, a hostel situated on the northwest corner of Washington and Calhoun in the period from 1900 to 1916. Casper Vahle’s sister, was married to druggist, Herman Nill (1863-1904). The Vahle-Nill family left Ocean Springs and resettled in Gulfport shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, as they were victims of local arsonists.
In early September 1909, F.S. Hewes, Clerk of the Harrison County Chancery Court, while attempting at public outcry to sell the Ohr Estate property on Delauney Street and West Howard Avenue, was struck in the face by G.E. Ohr Jr. Ohr was vehemently opposed to this partition sale of his family’s commercial properties and had protested both verbally and in written letters against it. He was particularly displeased with the Chancery Court not observing a clause in his mother’s last will and testament which specifically stated “that my estate be kept and administered a period of ten years before being sold, divided or disposed of, unless all, and everyone of my heirs should want to have it divided and dispose of.” For his blow against Hewes, Ohr was jailed at Biloxi. Police Chief Louis Staehling (1866-1938), a witness to this minor pugilistic encounter, averred that he saw Mr. Ohr strike the chancery clerk with his hand and then attempt to hit him again with that of his spouse, Josephine G. Ohr.(The Daily Herald, September 6, 1909, p. 1 and Harrison County, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2108 )
In spite of G.E. Ohr Jr.’s displeasure a Commissioner’s Deed was issued to Charles Redding and Joseph Lawrence for the Ohr Estate property, by F.S. Hewes, special commissioner in October 1909. The consideration was $12,000. George and Josephine Ohr retained their domicile and art pottery at 409 and 411 Delauney Street respectively.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 92, pp. 42-43 and Harrison County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2473)
In October 1910, G.E. Ohr Jr. was again incarcerated in the Biloxi city jail in which he described to a local reporter interviewing him as a shameful place to lock a man up in and one of vile sanitary conditions. He had been adjudicated guilty of trespassing and fined $10 by the court. Ohr’s failure to pay the fine resulted in his short stay in the local calaboose. Upon release, he wrote a letter published in The Daily Herald further condemning the Biloxi jail as: “ a filthy pen, a dirty brick walled jail where a nauseating unsanitary dirt receptacle-a dirty and rotten excelsior torn straw mattress is strewn on the floor that never gets a scrubbing.”(The Daily Herald, October 7, 1910, p. 1)
In late February 1911, G.E. Ohr Jr. accused of trespassing again.(The Daily Herald, February 27, 1911, p. 8)
It was reported that George E. Ohr Jr. left for a hospital at New Orleans for treatment and his family had not heard from him.(The Daily Herald, April 8, 1918, p. 1)
George Edgar Ohr Jr. expired at his residence, 409 Delauney Street, on the quiet Sunday morning of April 7, 1918. His health had declined to a state where he sought medical treatment in New Orleans. His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery after funeral rites in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.(The Daily Herald, January 9, 1918, p. 1)
In April 1919, The Daily Herald suggested that Biloxi organize a local museum to preserve its culture and heritage. Contemporaneously, Colonel W.W. McCleland, a regular winter tourist from Denver, Colorado, commented more specifically in that he lauded the art pottery of George E. Ohr Jr. McClellan boldly and confidently stated the following: “One hundred years from now, when the names of some of your great men are forgotten, people will be hunting for a piece of Mississippi “mud” with the name of George Orr (sic) on it. His pottery is wonderful and worthy to be preserved by the city in which he lived and produced this pottery. Certainly one specimen of each kind of articles he manufactured should be collected at any cost and placed in proper cases where the public may view them now and in time to come.”
[see Anthony V. Ragusin's article in The Daily Herald, January 28, 1922, p. 3)
The Biloxi Chamber of Commerce had just relocated to their new office and locals were loaning items that were curiosities of Biloxi and to promote 'home grown' products and industries. Josie Ohr loaned them some pottery of her late husband and it was recorded as: "One of the prettiest exhibits came from Mrs. George Ohr and consists of seven pieces of beautiful art pottery made in Biloxi by the late George Ohr. In the exhibit loaned by Mrs. Ohr is several glazed jars and a beautiful glazed miniature house." (The Daily Herald, January 5, 1923, p. 3)
Some seventy odd years later, after much of Ohr’s valuable ceramic works had left Biloxi, primarily for art aficionados on the eastern seaboard, a museum was founded to honor and display his art in the Biloxi Public Library. In recent years, with the O’Keefe family leading the charge, a world class Ohr Museum is planned for the Biloxi waterfront overlooking Deer Island, once the homestead of Ohr’s friend and mentor, Joseph Fortune Meyer.
Robert W. Blasberg, “George Edward Ohr and his Biloxi Art Pottery”, (J.W. Carpenter: Port Jervis, New York-1973).
Robert W. Blasberg, The Unknown Ohr, (Peaceable Press: Milford, Pennsylvania-1986).
Garth Clark, Robert A. Ellison Jr. and Eugene Hecht, The Mad Potter of Biloxi: The Art & Life of George E. Ohr, (Abbeville Press: New York, New York-1989).
Charles L. Dyer, Along The Gulf, “Biloxi, Miss”, (Women of the Trinity Episcopal Church: Pass Christian-1971). Originally published 1895.
Julia Cook Guice, Harrison County Marriages (1841-1899), (City of Biloxi, Mississippi: 1968?)
Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Dioceses of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), pp. 242-243.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 523, “Lizzie Ohr v. August Ohr”, August 1892.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2108, “Estate of Johanna Ohr”,
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2151, “August Ohr v. Louise Ohr Schultz, at al”, March 1906.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2200, “Charles McCormack v. Lizzie and Antoine Muller”, October 1906.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2281, “August Ohr v. Emma Ohr Gruntz, et al”, October 1906.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2473, “Charles Rushing v. Joseph Lawrence et al, June 1907.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2500, “Lizzie Muller v. P.J. Ohr”, October 1907.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2507, Charles Rushing and Joseph Lawrence v. Josephine Ohr
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2990, “Insanity of G.E. Ohr”, 1909.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 4162, “Rosalie E. Foretich v. Lawrence Foretich”, Jube 1913.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 21563, “Mae Migues Ohr v. Ojo Ohr”, January 1945.
2nd Judicial District
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 1162, “Estate of Leo Edgar Ohr”, May 1971.(Annie Faye Chase or Annie Faye Campbell)
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 8188, “Guardianship of Marguerite Kuljis Ohr”, September 1978.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P827B, “Estate of Marguerite K. Ohr”, September 1986.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 12296, “Estate of George E. Ohr”, July 1982.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P864B, “Estate of Carl Monroe Ohr”, (sealed).
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1518B, “Guardianship of Rachel Ann Ohr”, May 1989.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1519B, “Guardianship of Brian Christopher Ohr”, May 1989.
HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1957B, “Estate of O.J. Ohr”, April 1991.
The Biloxi Herald, "Local and Personal Notes",
The Biloxi Herald, "Local and Personal Notes", November 16, 1889.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, February 15, 1890.
The Biloxi Herald, “Biloxi’s Carnival”, February 15, 1891.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, May 30, 1891.
The Biloxi Herald, April 9, 1892, p. 1.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 29, 1893.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, December 9, 1893.
The Biloxi Herald, “In Memoriam”, December 16, 1893.
The Biloxi Herald, “The Flames”, October 13, 1894.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, October 20, 1894.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, January 9, 1895.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, January 4, 1896, p. 8.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, August 22, 1896.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Tired of Life”, August 21, 1897.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, December 3, 1899, p. 8.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, March 23, 1900.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 18, 1901.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 15, 1901.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, September 25, 1902.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 26, 1903.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "To and Fro", April 18, 1903.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Zio Ignantz Ohr”, April 21, 1904.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “George Ohr, Sr.”, July 8, 1904.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mrs. Elizabeth Hahn”, October 5, 1904.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, October 27, 1904.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 26, 1904.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joanna Ohr”, December 28, 1905.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 9, 1906.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Locals”, August 10, 1906.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Moseley & Devitt”, January 7, 1907.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “W.L. Via & Co.”, January 7, 1907.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Biloxi’s New Administration”, January 7, 1907, p. 1.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Pearson Brothers”, January 9, 1907.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Foretich-Elder”, February 25, 1907.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Bourdon-Devitt", August 16, 1907, p. 1.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “George Ohr Declared Sane”, April 3, 1909.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Moran-Ohr”, April 16, 1909.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Abbley Not Guilty Says State Jury”, August 30, 1909.
The Daily Herald, “George Ohr Makes Trouble”, September 6, 1909.
The Daily Herald, “Ohr fined for striking Chancery Clerk Hewes", September 7, 1909.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Barber Assumes Roll of Reformer”, September 10, 1909.
The Daily Herald, “Geo. E. Ohr Released From Durance Vile”, October 7, 1910.
The Daily Herald, “George Ohr Again in Trouble”, February 27, 1911.
The Daily Herald, "Dancer-Engbarth", December 1, 1911.
The Daily Herald, “Devitt and Clark Have Lease On Bourdon-Castanera Co.’s Plant”, August 26, 1913.
The Daily Herald, “Louis Harvey Died This A.M.”, September 17, 1913.
The Daily Herald, “Ohr-Elder”, November 20, 1913.
The Daily Herald, “Foretich-Kleyle”, January 29, 1914.
The Daily Herald, “Lio Ohr Passes Away Saturday At Noon After Several Weeks Illness”, December 13, 1914.
The Daily Herald, “Leo Ohr Has Agency”, April 26, 1915.
The Daily Herald, “Harry Portman Dead”, June 14, 1917.
The Daily Herald, "Whereabouts of [George E.] Ohr unknown", January 9, 1918.
The Daily Herald, “Pottery Wizard Dies in Biloxi”, April 8, 1918.
The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Museum Finds Favor”, April 14, 1919.
The Daily Herald, “McClellan Honored”, August 21, 1919.
The Daily Herald, “McClellan?, September 2, 1919.
The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Resident Died Yesterday”, August 19, 1920.
The Daily Herald, “Art work of Tchouticabouffa clay lasting memorial to potter”, January 28, 1922.
The Daily Herald, "Exhibits enlarged at Chamber of Commerce", January 5, 1923, p. 3.
The Daily Herald, “Father of L.H. Doty Dies at Lexington”, January 11, 1929.
The Daily Herald, “Renovating Lawrence Building”, May 28, 1929.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Ohr Died Last Night”, March 17, 1930.
The Daily Herald, “Return From Funeral”, November 24, 1931.
The Daily Herald, “Lawrence Romeo, Sr. Dies”, April 7, 1932.
The Daily Herald, “Lee Foretich Killed”, February 27, 1933.
The Daily Herald, “Leo Ohr Completes Manufacture Syrup”, January 15, 1934.
The Daily Herald, “Jos. W. Swetman Taken By Death”, May 31, 1937.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joseph Lawrence Dies at Biloxi Home”, January 13, 1939.
The Daily Herald, Fred Abbley Dies”, September 30, 1941.
The Daily Herald, “N. Martino Dies”, January 5, 1942.
The Daily Herald, “T.K. Devitt Sr. Dies", December 16, 1946, p. 5.
The Daily Herald, “Survive Storm in Army Duck at Horn Island", September 22, 1947.
The Daily Herald, “Jos. V. Lawrence Vice-President Biloxi Bank Dies”, October 9, 1952.
The Daily Herald, “Ohr Death”, October 13, 1953.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Mae Churchill”, October 16, 1968.
The Daily Herald, “Edward Giadrosich”, October 16, 1968.
The Daily Herald, “F.L. Churchill”, December 13, 1968.
The Daily Herald, “Frederic A. Moran”, July 11, 1972.
The Daily Herald, “G.D. (sic) Ohr”, February 25, 1974.
The Daily Picayune, "Biloxi Rich in Historical Interest", March 31, 1902, p. 10.
The Ocean Springs News, "R.A. Dancer Passes Away", April 15, 1915, p. 1
The Sun, “Otto T. Ohr”, April 21, 1982.
The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Marguerite Ohr”, July 25, 1986.
The Sun Herald, “Carl Ohr”, October 22, 1986.
The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Clo L. Ohr Moran”, December 1, 1989.
The Sun Herald, “Ojo Ohr”, March 24, 1991.
The Sun Herald, “Some of Ohr's pottery comes back to grandson”, February 18, 1993.
The Sun Herald, “Carl Otto Ohr”, March 5, 1996.
The Sun Herald, “Moran leaves mark on Coast”, March 24, 1999.
The Sun Herald, “Wayne M. Morykwas”, July 29, 2005
The Times Picayune, “(Emily Ohr) Gruntz”, May 26, 1926.
The Times Picayune, “(Rupert L.) Schulz”, November 10, 1935.
The Times Picayune, “(Louisa Ohr) Schulz”, June16, 1957.
Thelma Ohr Palmer-telephone conversation on September 23, 2002.
Frank Duggan Jr.-telephone conversation on October 8, 2002.
POST KATRINA IMAGES
[images made December 2007 by Ray L. Bellande]
[images made August 2009 by Ray L. Bellande]
Denny Mecham announced in April 2013 that she would be retirng from her full-time position as Executive Director of OOMA.
Kevin O'Brien became OOMA director in October 2013 coming from West Lafayette, Indiana. He is a native of Minnesota and was reared at South Bend, Indiana. O'Brien matriculated to Notre Dame University where he completed a bachelor degree in fine arts. He earned a master degree in fine arts and painting from Tulane University. Kevin met Grace Benedict, his wife, while they were both students at Tulane. Grace is an artist and active in her profession.(The Sun Herald, December 15, 2013, p. F1)
Ellen J. Lippert
Image by Ray L. Bellande-December 7, 2013.
Ellen J. Lippert, associate professor of art history and Western humanities at Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania, was on the Coast this past weekend to introduce ‘George Ohr-Sophisticate and Rube’, her recent book on Biloxi’s Mad Potter published by the University Press of Mississippi. Ellen made an appearance at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art and Pass Christian Books. She held book signings as well as relating the salient points of her treatise of George Ohr as a man and potter during the Gilded Age. Ellen was received enthusiastically in both venues. She was hosted by Carol Messer of OOMA while at Biloxi.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe chief retires as final phase begins", April 24, 2013, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "[Kevin O'Brien] Opportunity to make a difference", December 15, 2013, p. F2.
OHR-O’KEEFE MUSEUM BIBLIOGRAPHY
The Sun Herald, “The hour of Ohr”, April 2, 1991, p. C-1.
The Sun Herald, “Mad Potter Society to promote Biloxi’s Ohr”, July 12, 1992, p. F-1.
The Sun Herald, “Some of Ohr’s pottery comes back to grandson”, February 18, 1993, p. B-1.
The Sun Herald, “Main Street Wants Museum Kept Downtown”, March 21, 2000, p. A-3.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O'Keefe Museum could become jewel in the Coast crown", July 9, 2000.
The Sun Herald, “Architect Gehry talks about Biloxi, Berlin, and Hollywood”, October 12, 2000, p. A-1
The Sun Herald, “Gehry shares idea for museum”, October 10, 2000, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Fanciful Forms”, July 8, 2001.
The Sun Herald, “Millions still needed to build art museum complex”, July 8, 2001
The Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, “Ohr site’s pre-history”, July 11, 2001, p. 4.
The Sun Herald, “Biloxi toasts Gehry design”, July 12, 2001.
The New York Times, “Recognition For Biloxi’s Mad Potter”, July 20, 2001, p. B-33.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr naturally (photo)”, July 27, 2001, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, Museum receives Ohr scrapbook”, July 27, 2001, p. A-6.
The Sun Herald, “$5 million in bonds sought for Ohr”, August 18, 2001.
The Sun Herald, “Museum bond vote put off by council”, August 22, 2001, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Museum bond issue on agenda”, August 25, 2001, p. A-5.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr museum drops request for bonds”, August 29, 2001, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr’s biggest artwork coming home to coast”, August 29, 2001, p. A-8.
The Sun Herald, “Carpetbagger or art savior?”, September 11, 2001, p. A-1 and A-7.
The Sun Herald, “Shedding light on bits of Ohr”, September 13, 2001, p. A-8.
The Sun Herald, “Pots were a hidden treasure”, September 13, 2001, p. A-8.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr urn earns oohs, aahs”, October 6, 2001, p. A-2.
The Sun Herald, “O’Keefe trying to rally ‘silent support’”, October 16, 2001, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Museum million hard to swallow”, February 27, 2002.
The Bay Press, “Ohr yes-Ohr no-Ohr maybe?, March 1, 2002, p. 8A.
The Sun Herald, “Museum fans: It’s good business, too”, March 2, 2002.
The Bay Press, “Ohr moves Reed House, offers blues photos”, April 26, 2002.
The Bay Press, “Featured Artist-Brian Nettles”, April 26, 2002, p. 2 and p. 11.
The Sun Herald, “Federal grant puts museum at halfway mark”, June 12, 2002, p. A-3.
The Sun Herald, “The next great art destination”, June 23, 2002, p. D-1.
The Sun Herald, “Vincent Creel says he support museum”, June 23, 2002, p. D-7.
The Bay Press, “Ohr museum seeks funding to continue construction", July 8, 2005, p. 3.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr to partner with Smithsonian”, October 2002, p. A-2.
The Sun Herald, “Affiliation opens artistic doors”, October 28, 2002, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe gets $250,000 gift”, November 13, 2002.
The Bay Press, "Ohr-O'Keefe Museum seeks Pleasant Reed items", November 18, 2005, p. 5.
The Sun Herald, “‘Mad Potter’ finally gets respect”, December 22, 2002, p. H-3.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe bond clears committee”, February 21, 2003, p. A-10.
The Sun Herald, “Disciples of Ohr”, March 16, 2003, p. H-1.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr more than halfway to building-fund goal”, April 2, 2003, p. A-9.
The Sun Herald, “Biloxi in the spotlight”, May 11, 2003, p. H-1.
The Sun Herald, “A Pleasant place to visit”, May 14, 2003, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Biloxi to consider museum money”, June 21, 2003, p. A-3.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe unveils National Council”, January 18, 2004, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Museum Gets More County Money”, June 15, 2004, p. A-1.
The Bay Press, “OOMA features Ohr at world’s fair”, June 25, 2004, p. 1.
The Sun Herald, “Beau ups its Ohr donation to $1M”, July 9, 2004, p. A-1.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe takes shape in Biloxi”, August 1, 2004, p. H-1.
The Sun Herald, “Biloxi pier is project of museum”, March 24, 2005, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr Museum opens fund-raising drive”, April 19, 2005, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, “And what’s wrong with his hair”, June 19, 2005, p. H-1.
The Sun Herald, “Why Ohr?”, June 19, 2005, p. H-1.
The Sun Herald, “Museum to open ‘d’Ohrs’”, August 7, 2005, p. H-1.
The Sun Herald, “Starchitects’ [Frank Gehry] can’t be ignored”, August 7, 2005, p. H-5.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr’s ribs tickle fancy or architect”, August 26, 2005, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "Plans for Ohr-O'Keefe: Museum will reopen", October 9, 2005, p. F6.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr and Pleasant Reed in Biloxi", October 23, 2005, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr has to wait", November 1, 2005, p. B1.
The Sun Herald, "Andy Warhol likes George Ohr", March 31, 2006, p. B1.
The Sun Herald, "It is hard to be needy", April 7, 2006, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "It's time for more Ohr"-[George Ohr Rising: Gulf States Juried Exhibition], August 20, 2006, p. F1.
The Sun Herald, "KATRINA ONE YEAR LATER: WHERE WE"RE GOING-Curators worry museums soon will be HISTORY", August 27, 2006, p. 31.
The Sun Herald, "OHRdeal: Architect Gehry pledges to help in any way he can", December 12, 2006, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr joins Mississippi's Hall of Fames", December 16, 2006, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Ford Foundation gives $365,000 to Ohr-O'Keefe", August 14, 2007, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "The Pods are coming! The Pods are coming!", October 30, 2007, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Museum cleanup brings out volunteers", November 11, 2007, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, "The Dance begins at pods", November 27, 2007, p. B8.
The Sun Herald, “Dances with Trees", November 30, 2007, p. B8.
The Sun Herald, "An artistic marriage", December 1, 2007, p. A3.
The Sun Herald, "Hundreds take tour of Ohr pods", December 2, 2007, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, “Reed House rises again", January 29, 2008, p. B8.
The Sun Herald, “Gowdy leaving Ohr at the end of year", February 28, 2008, p. A10.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr building to get $700,000 grant", March 12, 2008, p. A9.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr Pods honored by Time [magazine]", April 5, 2008, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, "Private sector bets millions on success of Ohr-O'Keefe". May 25, 2008, p. B8.
The Sun Herald, "A rare find [three pots owned by John Morywas]", June 15, 2008, p. A1.
The Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, “Ohr Museum & hands on create public art”, June 26, 2008, p. B4.
The Sun Herald, “Ohr's words put to music [by Logan Skelton]", September 8, 2008, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, “North Carolinian [Denny Mecham] selected as head of Ohr-O'Keefe", September 9, 2008, p. A6.
The Sun Herald, “Meet Denny Mecham", October 14, 2008, p. C10.
The Sun Herald, “Designs on 2010: Ohr-O'Keefe moves forward with Gehry", December 17, 2008, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, “Mad Potter of Biloxi takes a bow at the Met", January 17, 2009, p. A3.
The Sun Herald, “Architect [Frank Gehry] gets first look at Ohr-O'Keefe museum", August 6, 2010, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, “Inside Gehry's Ohr Museum", September 5, 2010, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "George Ohr: One of a Kind", October 10, 2010, p. F1.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art debuts", October 31, 2010.
The Sun Herald, "Knight Foundation gives $3 million dollars to Ohr-O'Keefe Museum ", November 3, 2010, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "The O'Keefe connection", November 5, 2010, p. B1.
The Sun Herald, "This could be a springboard to a world class destination", November 5, 2010, p. B1.
The Sun Herald, "Full Circle", November 5, 2010, p. B1.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art timeline", November 5, 2010, p. B3.
The Sun Herald, "At the Museum", November 5, 2010, p. B3.
The Sun Herald, "[Bobby] Mahoney creates Ohr-iginal T-shirts", December , 2010, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "Door auction, book signing set for Ohr", December 29, 2010, p. A3.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe named best new museum [by Southern Living in its January 2011 issue]", December 31, 2010, p. B1.
The Sun Herald, "Door auction, book signing set for Ohr", December 29, 2010, p. A3.
The Sun Herald, "Doors to Ohrs", January 9, 2011, p. F1.
The Sun Herald, "Supporters get an early glimpse at d'Ohrs of Ohr", January 16, 2011, p. .
The Sun Herald, "Ohr on the Edge-Museum president: We need city's help to survive", July 24, 2011, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "Letters to the Editor-Ohr-O'Keefe Museum is a luxury, not a necessity", July 26, 2011, p. A9.
The Sun Herald, "Museum officials hold off on pitch to Biloxi Council", July 27, 2011, p. A2.
The Sun Herald, "Letters to the Editor-Don't write off the Ohr-O'Keefe", July 31, 2011, p. B3.
The Sun Herald, "Mayor [A.J. Holloway] says Biloxi can't fund museums", August 4, 2011, p. A1.
The Sun Herald, "Ohr Museum funding a step closer", September 30, 2011, p. A3.
The Sun Herald, "Consolidate all museums at the Ohr-O'Keefe", October 2, 2011, p. B9.
The Sun Herald, "Diamonds Ohr Forever [Gala]", October 30, 2011, p. F1.
The Sun Herald, "Let the Ohr-O'Keefe go belly-up", October 30, 2011, p. C3.
Garth Clark, Antiques, “Directions: George E. Ohr”, September 1985, Vol. 128, No. 3.
Harper’s Bazaar, “Frank Gehry and Berta Aguilera”, June 2001.
Esquire, “Gehry”, July 2001.
Worth, “The next great art destination”, June 2002.
Architectural Digest, May 2003.
Smithsonian, “The Mad Potter of Biloxi”, February 2004, pp. 88-94.
Vanity Fair, "Architecture in the age of [Frank] Gehry", No. 600, August 2010, p. 156.
Southern Living, January 2011.
HISTORY OF THE OOMA TRACT
LIVE OAK”: Three Centuries on the Pass of Biloxi, Mississippi
Section 33, T7S-R9W, Harrison County, Mississippi.
Previous archeological investigations indicate that “Live Oak” was once the pre-historic local of Native American culture. By the late 19th Century, it became the scene of large, gracious summer homes of affluent businessmen and professional people, primarily from New Orleans. From the land deed records, it appears that only one Biloxi native has ever possessed a portion of “Live Oak”
The recorded chronology of “Live Oak” begin with an 1807 Spanish land grant to a Louisiana native of Acadian heritage, Valentine Docette Richard (1776-1868), better known as Dorsette Richards. By 1835, Richards had vended or bartered his 443-acre donation claim. George Holley (1800-1883) was the primary recipient of his acreage.
In 1888, the parcel known as “Live Oak” was created when Joseph Kuhn (1819-1903), a Hungarian immigrant and local lumber merchant, sold a 3-acre tract from his large land holdings in the Dorsette Richards land claim on the Biloxi peninsula, to Edward Langevin of St. Paul, Minnesota. After Langevin’s demise circa 1891, the lot became possessed by George H. Dunbar (1844-1917), a seafood processing magnate from New Orleans. In 1892, Mr. Dunbar split “Live Oak” into two lots of equal area. His brother, Francis B. Dunbar (ca 1848-1908), acquired the western tract.
The Dunbar’s had the quarters on their East Beach lot demolished in February 1892. In September 1892, they contracted with Charles Dudley, an architect and builder from Jackson, Mississippi, to erect two edifices for them at a cost of $11,000.
From 1917 until 1946, the E/2 of “Live Oak” was owned by the New Orleans families of E.B. Johnson, Ernest L. Jahnke, and Cyprian A. Sporl. C.A. Sporl (1880-1936) was the owner of a large marine insurance business at New Orleans. He also operated the Hotel New Orleans. Sporl’s avocation was yachting. In 1946, an affluent California attorney, Lynden Bowring (1889-1980), and Wilda Lopez (1899-1977), his Biloxi wife, acquired the lot from Mr. Sporl’s heirs. Hurricane Camille in August 1969, destroyed the Bowring home. They relocated to Ocean Springs. Bowring legated his East Beach Biloxi land to Patricia Tarr Leavant, his niece-in-law. It was sold in June? 2000, to the City of Biloxi by real estate developers who had acquired and option on it from Mrs. Leavitt, in 1993.
The W/2 of “Live Oak” was vended in February 1914, by Anna Tourne’ Dunbar (1845-1919), the widow of Francis B. Dunbar, to Ora Nelmes Logan, the wife of George W. Logan of New Orleans. She conveyed it to Mary Byrne McGee of Laurel, Mississippi in May 1915. Mrs. McGhee defaulted on her mortgage and the property was repossessed. In April 1917, Mrs. Nelms conveyed her estate to Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar (d. 1946). Lucinda S. Farrar was the spouse of Judge Edgar H. Farrar (1849-1922) of New Orleans. He was a lawyer, linguist, and ethnologist. E.H. Farrar was the CEO of Farrar, Goldberger, & Dufour, a prominent legal firm of the Crescent City.
In June 1924, Mrs. Lucinda S. Farrar subdivided the W/2 of “Live Oak” into three lots, designated Lot A, Lot B, and Lot C. She sold Lot A to George E. Williams of New Orleans at this time. In August 1944, Mr. Williams vended Lot A to Sam Mitchell of Biloxi. In a prior agreement with Louis W. Harvey (1904-1970), Mr. Mitchell traded Lot A for cash and a Harvey parcel elsewhere in Biloxi.
Lot B was conveyed in March 1968, to Wilda Lopez Bowring by the Heirs of Lucinda Stamps Farrar: Mrs. Ralph (Jane) B. Wood (Harrison Co., Ms.), Mrs. Richard Goldsborough (Wayne Co, NY), Edgar H. Farrar III (Bell Co. Texas), Stamps Farrar II (San Francisco Co., Calf.), Maud Ellen Farrer (Orleans, Parish, La.), B.H. Goldberger (District of Columbia), Joseph H. Goldberger (Canadian Co., Oklahoma), Mrs. Michael Warnock (Bonneville Co. Idaho), and Bruce Sharp, Robert Sharp, and Donald Sharp, all of Orleans Parish, Louisiana.
Lot C was sold in August 1924, by Lucinda Stamps Farrar, the widow of Edgar H. Farrar, a resident of Hancock County, Mississippi to Stamps Farrar, her son. In May 1947, Stamps Farrar to Lucille G. Minor. In December 1956, Lucille G. Minor to Lynden Bowring “Live Oak” Lot which he had acquired in July 1946, from the Sporl family of New Orleans.
When the French Colonial government abandoned its post at Biloxi in the 1720s, for New Orleans on the Mississippi River, some of the recent immigrants from Western Europe and French Canada remained on the Mississippi coast. They made their livelihood as sailors, fishermen, and subsistence farmers. Cattle and tar production provided barter and cash items with the larger settlements of Mobile and New Orleans.
During the Spanish Colonial occupation of the area, land donations on the Biloxi peninsula were granted by the Spanish representative at Mobile. From present day Point Cadet on the east, to the present day Biloxi City Cemetery on the west, these grantees were Jacques Mathurin (Ladner), Dorsette Richards, Jean-Baptiste Carquote (Carco), Angelique Fasiar (Fayard), and Louis Fasiar (Fayard).
The Dorsette Richards family settled at Biloxi in 1807. He received a Spanish land grant on the Biloxi peninsula at this time.(American State Papers, Vol. III, p. 38) His donation was designated by the Federal government as Claim No. 146 in the District East of the Pearl River. It was confirmed in 1819, by the Federal government. In 1824, his land was surveyed and was shown to consist of 443.38 acres and designated as Section 33, T7S-R9W.(HARCO, Ms. Tract Bk. 1, p. 36)
A land patent for Section 33, T7S-R9W was issued to Dorsette Richards by the Federal government on October 1, 1840.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 2, pp. 290-292)
George L. Holley
In June 1835, Dorsette Richards traded all of his merchantable land in Section 33 T7S-R9W to George L. Holley for Lot 1 of Section 23, T7S-R10W, which contains 110.68 acres.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1, pp. 143-144).
George L. Holley (1800-1883) came to the Mississippi coast from New York in the late 1820s, with his family. It appears from Federal census data that there were six children, all born in New York: George Holley (1800-1883), Benjamin Holley (1802-1860+), William Holley (1803-1850+), Charles Holley (1805-1857), Rebecca H. Norberg (1809-1880+), and Nicholas Holley (1810-1860+). Their mother, Rebecca Holley (1783-1860+), was born at New York. Their father was a native of Rhode Island, and appears to have died before 1850.
George L. Holley made his livelihood as carpenter and probate judge. In July 1859, he married Jane Elizabeth Rand, an English lady. Married Sarah M. Bounds in July 1877??
In August 1865, Joseph Kuhn bought about 125 acres in the Dorsette Richard Claim from George Holley for $1000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 578-581) Does not appear to be “Live Oak”.
Joseph Kuhn (1819-1903) was a native of Budapest, Hungary. He arrived in America in 1840, and Biloxi, Mississippi in 1864. At Harrison County, in October 1868, he married Sarah Drake (1839-1921), a native of Ohio. Their children were: Christian Kuhn (1871-pre 1900); Elizabeth Kuhn (1873-1929); Sophia Kuhn (1875-1927+) m. Ulysses Desporte (1861-1927); Rosa Kuhn (1878-1942) m. A. J. Bourdon (1873-1912) and May Adele Kuhn (1881-1930). Kuhn made his livelihood as a lumber merchant. At the time of his demise, the Kuhn family resided on the corner of Holley Street and Beach Boulevard.
In February 1878, Joseph Kuhn conveyed to his wife, Sarah Kuhn, all of his real property in Harrison County, Mississippi, for $2000. Kuhn stated that “he owed no debts to anyone and further the transfer of his property to Sarah Kuhn was not for the purpose of defrauding anyone but to secure to her a support in case of his death”.
Included in this transaction was a piece of property described as follows: a lot having a front, four hundred feet on the front bay of Biloxi, running back due North between two parallel lines to the back Bay of Biloxi bounded West by a street and on the East by estate of Toledano.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 16, pp.47-48)
In April 1888, Joseph Kuhn and Sarah Kuhn conveyed to Edward Langevin of St. Paul, Minnesota for $4,000 a parcel of land described as: bounded on the south by the Gulf of Mexico or pass between Deer Island and the main shore; east by Toledano Estate; north by Langevin Street; and west by Kuhn Street. The lot measured 432 feet on the Gulf and 321 feet north-south. The terms of the sale were $1000 cash and $3000 to be paid on April18, 1891, with 6% interest per annum.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 23, p. 75)
In April 1888, Edward Langevin also acquired Lots 1 and 2 of the Samuel Friedlander Estate from W.I. Hodgson, an auctioneer at New Orleans, for $2375.(3) The conveyance included the brick residence, outbuildings, and dependencies. Lot 1 had 85 feet on the Gulf, 281 feet on Magnolia, 81 feet with Lot 2, and 281 feet (east).(3)
In November 1891, Eleanor Langevin of St. Paul, Minnesota, the widow of Edward Langevin, conveyed Lots 1 and 2 of the Friedlander Estate to Frederick William Elmer for $2700.(4) Her daughters, Mary Michand and Emma Flanagan, and their husbands, Achille Michand and Thomas J. Flanagan, signed the warranty deed. Charles and Mary E. Michand of St. Paul gave Elmer a quitclaim deed on the property in April 1892.(5)
On January 19, 1892, Joseph Kuhn and Sarah Kuhn acknowledged that the Langevin mortgage of $3045 on a parcel of land known as “The Oaks” had been paid.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 310-311)
In December 1891, the Heirs of Edward Langevin, Mary Michaud, Achille Michaud, Emma Flanagan, Thomas J. Flanagan, and Eleanor Langevin, conveyed their Beach front lot to George H. Dunbar for $5500. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 308-309). Same description as above. Emma Flanagan signed at Quebec, Canada. Mary Michaud wife of Charles Michaud, Achille Michaud, T.J. Flanagan, and Eleanora Langevin signed at Ramsay County, Minnesota.
George H. Dunbar (1844-1917) was born at New Orleans, the son of George W. Dunbar (1816-1878) of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Charlotte Z. Hacker (1822-1910). Siblings: He was educated at Georgetown University and almost immediately after graduation, he enlisted in the Confederate States of America Army and served as an aide-de-camp on the staff of General Buisson. Post-Bellum, Dunbar returned to his native New Orleans and entered business.(The Daily Herald, October 19, 1917, p. 1)
G.H. Dunbar was married three times. His final spouse was Susan Foucher. Children: F. Foucher Dunbar; George W. Dunbar (Guinnes, Havana, Cuba); Mrs. Stephen Voorhies (5527 Prytania, NOLA); Mrs. Alcee J. Gelpi (124 S. Cortez, NOLA; and Mrs. Auguste Capdeville (2453 Esplanande, NOLA).
Mrs. Foucher Dunbar was the daughter of E.C. Fenner. Lived on Lee Street.(The Daily Herald, April 19, 1912, p. 8)
Buried St. Louis No. 3.
Lopez, Dunbar’s Sons & Co.
The Lopez, Dunbar’s Sons & Company was commenced in 1884, when Lazaro Lopez (1850-1903) and W.K.M. Dukate (1852-1916) resigned from the Biloxi Canning Company. The Biloxi Canning Company was located in Section 27, T7S-R9W, in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi on the Back Bay of Biloxi, at the head of Reynoir Street. It was originally called The Lopez, Elmer and Company. This company was organized in 1881, with a capital stock of $8,000 by Lazaro Lopez, F. William Elmer (1847-1926), W.K.M. Dukate, William Gorenflo (1844-1932), and James Maycock (1826-1892).(1)
Lopez, Dunbar’s & Sons was situated on East Beach in Biloxi. In 1895, it was the second largest oyster canning plant in the United States. The factory utilized the Norton Brothers machinery to pack its shrimp with the patented muslin bag insuring a good product. Its shrimp were marketed under the “Dunbar Standard”, “Deer head”, “Lion Head”, and “Pelicans” labels.
(see The Biloxi Herald, “Biloxi Chief Industry”, September 12, 1892, p. 4)
In February 1892, the Dunbars had the families residing on their East Beach tract vacate their quarters. Immediate demolition was ordered for all buildings on their scenic home site.(The Biloxi Herald, February 6, 1892, p. 4)
On March 31, 1892, George H. Dunbar divided “The Oaks” lot into two equal parts, which he conveyed to his wife, Susie Foucher Dunbar (1858-1920) and brother, Francis B. “Frank” Dunbar (ca 1848-1908). Mrs. George H. Dunbar received the east half and Francis B. Dunbar, the west half. The dimensions of each lot were 217 feet by 417 feet. Francis B. Dunbar paid his brother $2250 while his spouse paid only $1.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 444-445)
Immediately thereafter on the same day, Francis B. Dunbar conveyed his western lot to his wife, Anna Therese Tourne’ Dunbar (1845-1919), for $1.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp.445-446)
In late September 1892, the Dunbar brothers contracted with Charles Dudley, an architect and builder, formerly of Jackson, Mississippi, but now established in Biloxi, to erect two homes. Their completed cost was approximated at $11,000.(The Biloxi Herald, September 28, 1892, p. 4)
Cost of building materials in Biloxi at this time: rough lumber-$7-$10 per thousand board feet at the sawmill; dressed lumber-$8-$17 per thousand board feet; brick-$8-$12 per thousand; cypress shingles-$2-$3 75 per thousand.(The Biloxi Herald, April 29, 1893, p. 8)
Francis B. Dunbar resided at 2326 Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans. Two sons, F.B. Dunbar and James V. Dunbar (622 Canal Commercial Bank & Bldg.); and a daughter, Mrs. Emile Christ (705 Calhoun, NOLA). Expired in New Orleans at his home. Head of Dunbar Cannery interests at the time.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 31, 1908, p. 1)
Mr. and Mrs. Francis Dunbar and Miss Alice Dunbar of New Orleans are now occupying their summer residence here.(The Biloxi Herald, June 10, 1893, p. 8)
In late June, the family left Biloxi for Chicago where they planned to remain for several weeks.
(The Biloxi Herald, July 1, 1893, p. 8)
Mrs. Dunbar expired in May 1919, at New Orleans. She resided at No. 3 Everett Place at the time.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1919, p. 3)
West Half of “Live Oak”
In February 1914, Anna T. Tourne’ Dunbar of New Orleans, the widow of Francis B. Dunbar, conveyed her home and lot in Biloxi to Ora Nelmes Logan for $8000. $6500 was financed for three years at 6% interest by Mrs. Logan. Included in the sale were all buildings and improvements, a ½ interest in an artesian water well and all furniture and personal property contained in the house, except boats and some family portraits. Mrs. Logan was required to carry insurance of not less than $6000 on the buildings.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 107, pp. 91-92)
In mid-February 1914, The Daily Herald announced that Miss Jessie A. Smyly’s agency had arranged the sale from Mrs. Dunbar to G.W. Logan of New Orleans. Her home was lauded as “one of the most beautiful and attractive homes in Biloxi or anywhere on the Coast”.(The Daily Herald, February 12, 1914, p. 1)
Lien cancelled by Mrs. Anna Tourne’ Dunbar on May 3, 1915.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 111, pp. 405-406)
In May 1915, Ora Nelms Logan, the spouse of George W. Logan of New Orleans, sold to Mary Byrne McGhee, Addison F. McGee Jr. and Marie Jones McGee, wife of Addison F. McGee Jr. of Laurel, Mississippi, for $8000, the W/2 of “The Oaks”. The sale included all buildings and improvements, a ½ interest in an artesian water well, all furniture and personal property in the house, except all religious pictures, a large quantity of galvanized roofing material, pulleys and ropes, and the gas machine. Financed and had to carry $6000 of insurance on the buildings.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 111, pp.407-408)
In February and March 1916, Mary Byrne McGee of Laurel, Marie Jones McGee, wife of Addison F. McGee, and a resident of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, and Addison F. McGee of West Point, Troup County, Georgia, defaulted on their promissory notes and returned their property to Ora Nelms Logan of New Orleans.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 115, pp.71-74)
909 East Beach Drive
In April 1917, Ora Nelms Logan of Hancock County, Mississippi conveyed to Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar (1857-1946) of New Orleans for $7750. Included all buildings and improvements, ½ interest in artesian water well, all furniture and fixtures in and personal property in buildings, bathhouse, pier, and riparian rights. At this time, the former Frank Dunbar home was described as having fourteen rooms and a large beautiful lawn. The Jessie A. Smyly real estate agency handled the transaction.(The Daily Herald, April 9, 1917, p. 4 and HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 118, p.430)
Lucinda S. Farrar was the wife of Judge Edgar Howard Farrar (1849-1922). He was born in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, the son of Thomas Prince Farrar and Anna Mary Girault. Young Farrar was educated at the University of Louisiana and in 1871, received his Masters degree from the University of Virginia. He married Lucinda Davis Stamps at New Orleans in June 1878. Lucinda was the daughter of Captain Issac Davis Stamps and Mary Humphreys. Their children were: Edgar Howard Farrar Jr. (1879-1911) m. May Clara Spearing; Mary Humphreys Farrar (1881-1969) m. Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1875-1929); Lucinda Farrar (1881-1910); Anna Girault Farrar (1882-1970) m. Richard F. Goldsborough (b. 1871); Edith Barnes Farrar (1884-1959); Mildred Maury Farrar (1887-1967); Jane Kempe Farrar (1889-1982) m. Ralph Bouligny Wood (1884-1967); Issac Davis Stamps Farrar, called Stamps (1894-1950) m. Maude Tobin White, the daughter of Albert Sidney Johnson White (1866-1934) and Ellen Tobin; and Thomas Prince Farrar (1901-1951) m. Beatrice Howard (1886-1933+).(The Daily Herald, January 7, 1922, p. 1 and 1900 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T623_574, p. 11A, ED 102)
Although Judge Farrar and family had a residence at New Orleans, they planned to stay at Biloxi for sometime, especially the summer season.(The Daily Herald, April 9, 1917, p. 4)
Lucinda Stamps Farrar expired at 909 East Beach on November 1946. Her funeral service was held at the Church of the Redeemer with the Reverend E.A. DeMiller attending. Mrs. Farrar's corporal remains were sent to NOLA for burial in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, November 13, 1946, p. 5)
Edgar Howard Farrar Jr.
Edgar H. Farrar Jr. (1879-1911) like his father was a New Orleans attorney. He also matriculated to the University of Virginia. Young Farrar was shot to death by two thieves in early November on the corner of Peniston and Magnolia Streets in the Crescent City. He was the nephew of Mrs. E.M.D. Anderson of 210 West Water Street in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, November 2, 1911, p. 8 and November 3, 1911, p 8.)
Stamps Farrar was an attorney with his father’s law firm.
Anna F. Goldsborough
Anna Girault Farrar (1882-1970) married Richard F. Goldsborough (b. 1871), a Maryland native and New York attorney, on January 31, 1904 at NOLA. She was living at Biloxi in 1922. In May 1930, she and her daughter, Ellen Goldsborough, were at Biloxi were involved in interior decoration as their wall panels were sent to a new country club at Birmingham, Alabama. Anna had a son, Frances Goldsborough, who graduated from Biloxi High School and went to New York to work a branch of the Hibernia Bank situated in NYC. He was appointed assistant manger of the bank in May 1930.(The Daily Herald, May 27, 1930, p. 2)
Anna Farrar Goldsborough passed on December 1970.
Mary F. Goldberger
Living in Washington in 1922.
Mildred M. Farrar
Mildred Maury Faurer (1887-1967) was a native of New Orleans. She resided at 909 East Beach in Biloxi since 1927. She was an Episcopalian and interred in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February 2, 1967, p. 2)
Jane K. Farrar Wood
Jane Kempe Farrar (1889-1982) married Ralph Bouligny Wood (1884-1967) of New Orleans at the Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi, on September 12, 1916. The young couple honeymooned at Asheville, North Carolina, before traveling to their home in Cuba, where Mr. Wood was employed with the Cuban-American Sugar Company.(The Daily Herald, September 13, 1916, p. 3)
In retirement, the Wood family lived in the Hermann House at 523 East Beach in Biloxi. Ralph B. Wood retired as the executive vice president of the Cuban American Sugar Company. A daughter, Mrs. James Pringle of Long Beach. Both interred at the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, October 26, 1967, p. 2)
Jane died on May 12, 1982. A daughter, Mrs. Leo Seal.
Thomas P. Farrar
Thomas Prince Farrar (1901-1951) was born at New Orleans and practiced architect there. He lived at Biloxi where he did scenic painting and costume designs. In June 1933, he married Beatrice Howard (1886-1933+), formerly Mrs. Robert C. Ocher, of New York. Mr. Farrar relocated to New York City and worked in theatre design until his death there in June 1951. His corporal remains were interred in the Metairie Cemetery at NOLA.(The Daily Herald, June 1, 1933, p. 2 and The Times Picayune, June 12, 1951, p. 3)
Edith B. Farrar
Edith Barnes Farrar lived at Chicago in 1922.
West Half-Lot A (Harvey House)
In June 1924, Lucinda Stamps Farrar subdivided her W/2 lot into three lots, which were designated as Lot A, Lot B, and Lot C. The three lots were surveyed by J.D. Ferguson in July 1923. Mrs. Farrar conveyed Lot A to George E. Williams of New Orleans for $14,000. Right of ingress-egress granted as an easement across the south end of Lot B, but not to be carried when Williams sells Lot A.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 141, pp. 585-587)
George E. Williams
George Elliot Williams (1886-1944+) married Adele Monroe (1889-1944+) in Orleans Parish, Louisiana on June 7, 1911.(Orleans Parish Marriage Record Bk. Volume 33, p. 320) In December 1929, George Elliot Williams (1886-1944+) of NOLA to Adele Monroe Williams (1889-1944+) of New Orleans, Lot A, for $14,000. Included all household fixtures and furniture located in the dwelling house.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 184, pp.246-247)
In August 1944, George E. Williams and Adele Monroe Williams to Sam Mitchell and Mae Pringle Mitchell for $15,000. Royse R. Aiken had an unrecorded lease dated September 16, 1943. A notice was sent to Aiken to cancel his lease.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 267, p. 288)
In July 1944, Sam Mitchell (1903-1984), native of Hancock County, Mississippi, entered into an agreement with Louis H. Harvey, Mrs. Louis H. Harvey and Miss Irma E. Harvey. The Harvey’s owned a lot on the northwest corner of Beach Boulevard and Fayard Street. Mitchell agreed to buy the G.E. Williams lot and then trade it for the Harvey property and also give $5000 to the Harveys. It was also agreed that in the event that the houses on each lot were destroyed by fire or damaged to make them unfit for habitation, before the contract was consummated, the contract would be voided. Sam Mitchell owned “The Bungalow” on West Beach Boulevard.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 266, pp. 126-129) Sold in August 1944.(Bk. 267, pp. 303-304)
In August 1944, Sam Mitchell conveyed Lot A to Irma E. Harvey and Louis W. Harvey.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 267, pp. 301-302).
Louis Wachenfeld Harvey (1904-1970) was the son of Louis H. Harvey (1874-1913) and Christina Wachenfeld (1872-1931). He married Mary L. Barnes (1910-1999) of Handsboro, Mississippi. Children: Louis W. Harvey (1934-1996), Philip I. Harvey (b. 1941), and Kenneth Karl Harvey (1951-1990).(The Sun Herald, November 14, 1999, p. A-11)
In September 1954, ROW easement granted to Mississippi State Highway Commission by Louis H. Harvey.(Bk. 387, pp. 390-391).
In January 1943, Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar drafted her will. In this instrument she devised and bequeathed to her daughters, Edith Barnes Farrar of Chicago, Illinois, and Mildred Maury Farrar (1887-1967) of Biloxi, Mississippi, her home situated on the corner of Kuhn and Beach Street at Biloxi, Mississippi, for the period of their natural lives. Mrs. Farrar included all furniture, fixtures, and contents of her house. She excepted from this donation all appurtenances that had been designated for other family members. In addition, her spinster daughters were provided an annual income from a trust fund created from cash, stocks, and bonds owned by their mother. A.S. Gorenflo was the trustee. After her daughters demise, her remaining assets to be divided by her living heirs.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Will Bk. 9, pp. 241-243)
The other heirs at law of Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar were: Mary Farrar Goldberger, Anna Farrar Goldberger, Jane Farrar Wood, Thomas Prince Farrar, Issac D.S. Farrar Jr. and Maud Ellen Farrer.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 53,890, Mrs. Jane Farrar Wood v. The Unknown Heirs of Edgar Howard Farrar and Lucinda Davis Stamps-May 1967).
Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar died on November 22, 1946. She lived at BiloxI, but was a legal resident of Louisiana. Mildred M. Farrar resided in her home at 909 East Beach until her death on February 8, 1967. She was a native of New Orleans and had lived at Biloxi since 1927. Funeral services at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. Her remains interred in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February 8, 1967, p. 2)
After Miss Mildred M. Farrar’s demise, her home became the property of her mother’s living heirs. These were determined by the probate court to be: Anna Farrar Goldsborough, a daughter; Jane Farrar Wood, a daughter; Edgar Howard Farrar III, only child of a son now dead; Dr. Joseph Goldberger, Mrs. Mary G. Sharp, and Mr. Benjamin Goldberger, children of Mildred Maury Farrar; Miss Maud Ellen Farrar and Mr. Stamps Farrar II. (HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 53,890-May 1967-Mrs. Jane Farrar Wood v. The Unknown Heirs of Edgar Howard Farrar and Lucinda Davis Stamps-May 1967).
Fifteen shares of stock in the Borgnemouth Realty Company, a Louisiana Corporation.(Bk. 589, pp. 152-154)
In March 1968, Mrs. Ralph (Jane) B. Wood (Harrison Co., Ms.), Mrs. Richard Goldsborough (Wayne Co, NY), Edgar H. Farrar III (Bell Co. Texas), Stamps Farrar II (San Francisco Co., Calf.), Maud Ellen Farrer (Orleans, Parish, La.), B.H. Goldberger (District of Columbia), Joseph H. Goldberger (Canadian Co., Oklahoma), Mrs. Michael Warnock (Bonneville Co. Idaho), and Bruce Sharp, Robert Sharp, and Donald Sharp, all of Orleans Parish, Louisiana conveyed to Wilda Lopez Bowring, the following: That certain lot or parcel of land situated on the northeast corner of East Beach Boulevard and Kuhn Street having a frontage on the Gulf of Mexico of 84 feet and extending back in a northerly direction for a distance of 230 feet, more or less, being bounded on the South by the Gulf of Mexico, East by the property of Williams now of Harvey, North by the property of Bowring, west by Kuhn Street in the City of Biloxi.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 610, pp. 340-344)
West Half-Lot C-909A East Beach
In August 1924, Lucinda Stamps Farrar, the widow of Edgar H. Farrar, a resident of Hancock County, Mississippi sold Lot C to Stamps Farrar, her son.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 142, pp. 484-485)
In October 1938, Stamps Farrar opened his home for the weekend of the Laurence Moore Barkley and Malcolm Tullis wedding, which was held at the Church of the Redeemer. Their guests for the Barkley-Tullis nuptials were Mrs. Farrar’s mother, Mrs. Albert Sidney White, and Ellene White, her sister. Mrs. Lillian Lewis and Hampden Lewis also of New Orleans stayed at the Farrar summer home on East Beach.(The Daily Herald,October 9, 1938, p. 3)
In May 1947, Stamps Farrar to Lucille G. Minor for $6000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 298, pp. 338-339) Lucille Gillis Minor (1889-1954) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 6, 1889, the daughter of Alfred Barr Gillis and Lucille Bohn (living in 1956). She married John Duncan Minor (1876-1937), a native of Southdown Plantation, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. They were the parents of Lucille M. Minor, the spouse of Hastings Mortimer, and Joan Minor (1915-1956).
John D. Minor was the son of Henry C. Minor (d. 1898) of Houma and Anna Louise Butler, the daughter of Judge Thomas Butler of West Feliciana Parish. Both families were Southern aristocratic. His grandfather, William J. Minor (d. 1869), was the founder of Southdown Plantation near Houma, Louisiana. His sister was Mrs. David Pipes Jr., of Southdown. Young J.D. Minor attended Tulane University where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity. He returned immediately to manage the business operations at Southdown upon the passing of his father in 1898. Mr. Minor retired from the sugar business in 1912. (The Daily Herald, August 9, 1937, p. 8)
It would be remiss without providing some chronology of the Southdown Plantation situated at Houma, Louisiana. Here in the 1820s, on a former Spanish land grant, William J. Minor, the son of Stephen Minor, a resident of the Natchez District and friend of Manuel Luis Gayoso de Lemos, who administered the government of Spanish Louisiana from 1797-1799, began to cultivate indigo. By 1830, he was growing sugarcane and by 1846, a sugar mill had been erected at Southdown. In 1859, a one-story Greek Revival, brick edifice was erected for the Minor family. After W.J. Minor’s demise in 1869, his seven children inherited Southdown. Soon, Henry C. Minor and sister, Katherine Lintot Minor, acquired the interest of their siblings and ran the plantation for many years. In 1893, a second floor and round turrets were integrated into the former Greek Revival building metamorphosing the structure to the Queen Anne architectural style. After Miss Kate L. Minor passed in 1923, the sugarcane plantation survived until the 1930s, when it was sold to commercial entities. In the 1970s through the efforts of Esther B. McCollam of Ellendale Plantation and the Terrebonne Parish Historical & Cultural Society, Southdown was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In July 1975, Valhi Inc., the corporate owner, donated Southdown, its servant’s outbuildings and about 5 acres to the local historical society. The former Minor plantation was open for public touring in 1986 and today remains an integral part of the history of Houma and Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.(Antiques Gazette, June 1993, p. 7)
In August 1915, John Duncan Minor acquired for $5500 from Oscar G. Keller, Lot 3, being share No. 3, in the partition of the Estate of John H. Keller at Biloxi, Mississippi.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 112, pp. 346-347)
Here at 543 East Beach, eighty-feet west of Lee Street, the Minor family made their home until August 1930, when Mr. and Mrs. Minor sold their estate to Winifred C. Green for $9900.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 187, p. 166)
John D. Minor’s aunt, Katherine Lintot Minor (1849-1923), the daughter of Captain William J. Minor and Rebecca Ann Gustine , passed at New Orleans, in late 1923. She resided at Houma, Louisiana, but was prominent in the ladies auxiliary at the Touro Infirmary in the Crescent City.(The Daily Herald, December 4, 1923, p. 3)
John Duncan Minor expired at his home at 3211 Prytania Street where he had resided since 1932. He had been active in the social circles of the Crescent City in regards the Mardi Gras and its carnival organizations. Minor’s corporal remains were interred in the Magnolia Cemetery at Houma, Louisiana.(The Daily Herald, August 9, 1937, p. 8)
Lucille G. Minor passed on June 25, 1954 at her home at 909A East Beach in Biloxi. Her daughter, Joan Desmond Minor resided here until she became ill in
Mrs. Lucille Minor Mortimer inherited. In 1925, she was living at Biloxi and attending school in the North. Visited Mr. and Mrs. Edward Caffery, her relatives, at Havana, Cuba in the summer of 1925.(The Daily Herald, August 27, 1925, p. 3)
In late August 1928. Miss Joan Minor returned to Biloxi after a two-month stay at Camp Allegheny in West Virginia. Guests at the Minor home compliments of Miss Lucille Minor were: Miss Maud Werner, Hastings Mortimer, Miss Mildred Brown, and John Stafford all of NOLA.(The Daily Herald, September 1, 1928, p. 2)
In December 1956, Lucille G. Minor Mortimer conveyed to Lynden Bowring (1980) for $6000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 416, p. 343) Title cleared in November 1961, when Lucille G. Mortimer ? (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 487, pp. 491-492)
Sister, Joan Minor expired in Louisiana on May 29, 1956.
Lynden Bowring also owned the East Half of the “Live Oak”, which he had acquired in July 1946, from the Sporl family of New Orleans.
Commodore Ernest Lee Jahncke
Commodore Ernest L. Jahncke was a native of New Orleans. He was a speedboat driver-racer and owner of the several fast watercraft. At the 13th Annual Regatta of the Biloxi Yacht Club held in July 1912, Captain Jahncke introduced the Humpty Dumpty, a most unusual hydroplaning vessel. In outline, she appeared to be the integration of a boat and rocking chair. Humpty Dumpty was constructed of mahogany and finished with a high luster varnish. On the water, she had a top speed approaching thirty miles per hour.
Much interest had developed at the July regatta, as there were innuendos that the Bella L., the very fast motorboat of Julius M. Lopez (1886-1958) would meet in a match race.(The Daily Herald, July 12, 1912, p. 1)
Unfortunately neither Captains Jahncke nor Lopez could agree on a racing rules format for a match race in Biloxi at the July summer regatta. No future contest was planned.(The Daily Herald, July 12, 1912, p. 1)
Following his actions during and post July 1916 tempest, Comodore Ernest Lee Jahncke of the Southern Yacht Club, was dubbed “the hero of the recent storm”. He spent $2000 of his own finances in assisting Biloxians by taking mail to New Orleans on the Clarabelle, as the train and telegraph were inoperative. Commodore Jahncke sent a tug boat to the Coast to take vessels to deep water and tow the pile driver working at the Biloxi Yacht Club to safety, as well as assist boats during and after the hurricane.(The Daily Herald, July 10, 1916, p. 2)
In early August 1919, Captain Jahncke moored the Aunt Dinah, his expansive houseboat, at Biloxi with his spouse and family aboard. As usual, the Jahnckes planned to spend some vacation time in Biloxi. In May 1923, The Daily Herald related that “this boat has been coming to Biloxi for the summer season for a number of years and its presence adds much to the pleasure of the summer colony of visitors who come to spend the season.(The Daily Herald, August 4, 1919, p. 4 and The Daily Herald, May 28, 1923, p. 3)
While a resident of Biloxi, Jahncke built an eye-catching fence on the south elevation. The fence was replicated from that of an old English estate of renown. The fence pillars were constructed of brick.(The Daily Herald, November 5, 1964)
Adele Townsend Jahncke
In 1926, the Jahncke’s daughter, Adele Townsend Jahncke (1909-1993), was a student at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans. She was captain of the freshman basketball team and was considered one of the best competitive sailors along the Gulf Coast. After graduating from Newcomb, Adelle made her debut at New Orleans and Washington D.C. In 1933, Miss Jahncke married Charles W. Dotson (1898-1974), an attorney at Farmer City, Illinois. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois. One son?, Charles W. Dotson Jr. (1936-1998).(The Daily Herald, December 10, 1926, p. 4 and October 13, 1933, p. 2)
In May 1928, Lee Jahncke was lauded for the fine improvements made to his East Beach home.(The Daily Herald, May 24, 1928, p. 2)
Captain Ernest Lee Jahncke defaulted on his mortgage payment to Sporl and in December 1932, Hanun Gardner, trustee, sold the Jahncke home to Cyprian A. Sporl for $6500.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 196, pp. 342-343)
Purchased by Cyprian A. Sporl (1880-1936) on December 10, 1932, from Hanun Gardner, Trustee, for $6500.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 196, pp. 342-343) C.A. “Many” Sporl was the son of Cyprian A. Sporl and Louise Soule (d. August 1930) of New Orleans and Bay St. Louis. He had two brothers, Edward F. Sproul (18-1956+) and Walter Sproul, and four sisters, Alice Sproul (1956+)l, Elsie Sproul (1956+), Hilda Sproul, and Laura Sporl Killeen (d. March 1956), the spouse of Joseph L. Kileen (.(The Daily Herald, August 28, 1930, p. 5 and The Daily Herald, March 6, 1956, p. 2)
At New Orleans, Many Sproul resided at 6550 Oakland Drive with his wife, Adrienne de Lappe, and children, Harold D. Sporl and Cyprian A. Sporl II (1905-1999). He was a member of the Southern Yacht Club and owned a fifty-five foot motor vessel, Wendy. In early July 1913, Sporl participated in the nearly three hundred mile, New Orleans to Pensacola motor boat race. His watercraft was propelled by a 40 hp Murray & Tregurtha engine.(The Daily Herald, July 3, 1913, p. 4)
Cyprian A. Sporl II (1905-1999) donated Cocheco, his $30,000, 76-foot disel yacht, to the USCG in April 1941. He also enlisted in the USCG at this time. The Cocheco was to be used for patrol duty.(The Daily Herald, April 21, 1941, p. 5)
In September 1936, the Sporl property was adjudicated by the Harrison County Chancery Court to Adrienne de Lappe Sporl, C.A. Sporl II, and H.D. Sporl.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 212, p. 253)
Lynden Bowring (1889-1980)
In July 1946, for $30,000 the Sporl family conveyed their Biloxi home to Lynden Bowring.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 288, pp. 517-518) Mr. Bowring called his mansion,Lynoaks. In later years, lived on 1st floor and rented the 2nd and 3rd floors.(Clara L. D’Aquilla, October 23, 2000)
Lynden Bowring (1889-1980) was born in Los Angeles, California. Made his livelihood as an attorney and rumored to have made money in the movies business in Hollywood. Described as a loner and eccentric.(Bache Whitlock, October 19, 2000)
During his life, Bowring was married three times. He had two children with his first wife, but they as well as his spouse, preceded him in death. His second nuptial ended in divorce. Lynden married Wilda Lopez (1899-1977), the daughter of Lazro Lopez II (1877-1918) and Eurilda Seal (1879-1966).
Miss Wilda Lopez was the valedictorian of the 1915 Class of Biloxi High School and delivered an appropriate speech to her nine classmates and audience. She went on to study at Randolph Macon College at Lynchburg, Virginia. Wilda’s other siblings were: Clara Lopez Tarr Froede (1902-1936), Beverly Lopez Berggren (1904-1991), Florian Seal Lopez (1911-1957), John Beverly Lopez (1915-1970).(The Daily Herald, May 29, 1915, p. 1)
Prior to her marriage to Lynden Bowring, Wilda Lopez had married Dr. James Edward Wallace (1877-1942) in the Roman Catholic Church at Biloxi, Mississippi on January 9, 1920.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 31, p. 493) Dr. Wallace was a native of Natchitoches, Louisiana. He came to Biloxi in 1914, and was affiliated with Dr. Hyman M. Folkes (1871-1926), the husband of Teresa Lopez (1873-1951). Mrs. Folkes was Wilda’s aunt.
Bowring affiliated with C.T. Bowring and Co. Ltd. of London, England, a shipping firm. Owned a one-half interest in the Carlton Apartments on Union Drive in Los Angeles.
Owned the Rum Runner, a large motor yacht (65 feet in length) and a relict of the Prohibition era. Moored in front of the East Beach home. Built boat house and slip for it in Ocean Springs. Boat never utilized, but full-time employee maintained the craft.(Bache Whitlock, October 19, 2000)
In August 1969, Hurricane Camille destroyed the Bowrings’ Biloxi home. In 1970?, The Bowrings relocated to Ocean Springs. Bruce Duckett remember Mr. Bowring as an elderly gentleman approcahing him to buy his home on Helmers Lane. Lynden wanted a site on the Inner harbor at Ocean Springs for the Wilda B (aka Rum Runner). He convinced ? a golfer to relocate to Gulf Hills and bought his home and land at 207 General Pershing Avenue.(Bruce Duckett, October 10, 2000)
In July 1970, Wilda Lopez Bowring acquired from Lester B. Larson and Jennie C. Larson the following property in Ocean Springs. Their residence address was 207 General Pershing Avenue.
Commencing at the southwest corner of Hellmers Lane and General Pershing Avenue: Go south 92.5 feet to the POB. Thence south 331.5 feet along the west margin of General Pershing Avenue to the waters edge of the OS small craft harbor, thence N 70 degrees 20’ W 200 feet along the waters edge of the small craft harbor to the fence line dividing the Larson and Howell property; thence N 19 degrees 20’E 257 feet along an old fence line; thence S84 degrees 20’E 128 feet along an old fence line to the point of beginning. Said land lying in Section 37, T7S-R8W.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 381, pp. 587-588)
In May 1971, Mrs. Bowring acquired from Earl W. Paul and Ilsedore Paul, the following: Commencing at the southwest corner of Hellmers Lane and General Pershing Avenue: Go south 92.5 feet; thence N84 degrees 20’W 128 feet along a wire fence; thence north 66.3 feet along a wire fence to the south margin of Hellmers Lane; thence N84 degreesE127 feet along the south margin of Hellmers Lane to the POB.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 401, pp.338-339)
Their residence address was 207 General Pershing Avenue. There was a rental house on one of the lots. House fire caused by lightening destroyed most of their home September 13, 1977. Mr. Bowring was led out of the burning house by Alice Duckett. Mrs. Wilda L. Bowring suffered burns and smoke inhalation and died in late October as a result of injuries from the conflagration. She was a member of the Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution, Les Masques carnival club, and the Biloxi Yacht Club. Member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Buried at the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 15, 1977, pp. 1-2 and The Daily Herald, October 27, 1977, p. A-2)
Mrs. Wilda Bowring left an estate valued at approximately $300,000. Her principal beneficiaries were: Patricia T. Leavitt of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Barbara T. Kroningen of Downers Grove, Illinois, (JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 33566)
In June 1978, Lynden Bowring, executor of the Estate of Wilda Lopez Bowring, sold to Charles E. Carr and Joy R. Carr, the two parcels above.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 621, p. 501). In 1996, Dr. William Pontius built a large home, “Lattiude”, at Hellmers Lane on the former site of Bowring’s boathouse.
When Lynden Bowring expired on April 8, 1980, he was living at his apartment house at 414 East Howard Avenue in Biloxi. He willed his real estate at 900 East Beach Biloxi to Beverly Lopez Berggren, his sister-in-law, and Patricia Tarr Leavitt, his niece-in-law.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Chancery Court Cause No. 9853)
Patricia Tarr Leavitt, executrix of Lynden Bowing's estate. Bowring was married three times. His first wife died and he divorced his second spouse. Two children born of first marriage, but children died. Wife preceded him in death. No children. Left property at 900 East Beach Biloxi to Beverly Lopez Berggren, his sister-in-law, and Patricia Tarr Leavitt, his niece-in-law. Mr. Bowring was affiliated with C.T. Bowring and Co. Ltd. of London, England. He owned a one-half interest in the Carlton Apartments on Union Drive in Los Angeles. Lynden Bowring died on April 8, 1980.
Beverly Lopez Berggren (1904-1991), called Bee and Lillie, was the daughter of Lazaro Lopez II and Eurilda Seal. She was educated at the Sacred Heart Academy and Mississippi Southern College. Miss Lopez married Captain Oscar E. Berggren (1893-1964). No children. They resided on Suter Street at Biloxi. She was a charter member of Les Masques carnival club. Passed on at Biloxi on October 26, 1991.(The Sun Herald, October 29, 1991)
Captain Oscar E. Berggren was a native of Fjallbacka, Sweden. He made his livelihood on the sea. During his forty-six year naval career, Captain Berggren had worked for the Waterman and Morgan steamship lines. During WWII, he sailed on merchant vessels from Canada to Europe facing the relentless pursuit of German U-Boats. He was fortunate as on several occasions, his ship had close encounters with German torpedoes. Captain Berggren was a member of the Masters, Mates, and Pilots Association.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1964, p. 2)
Mrs. Beverly Lopez Berggren legated her interest in Live Oak to Patricia T. Leavitt. Clara Lopez Campbell D’Aquilla (b. 1936) was her executrix. Mrs. D’Aquilla was legated Mrs. Berggren’s home at 1092 West Beach Blvd. in Biloxi.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Chancery Court Cause No. P-2077B)
Patricia Tarr Leavitt (b. 1919) was the daughter of Leslie R. Tarr (1897-1972) and Clara Lopez (1902-1936). Leslie R. Tarr met Miss Lopez during WWI, when he was a sailor posted at the Gulfport Naval Station. They eloped and were married at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on December 8, 1918, by Judge O.D. Davidson (1872-1938). Mr. Tarr resided at Glendale, California where he was employed as a newspaperman in Los Angeles. Miss Lopez was a student at Newcomb College in New Orleans, at the time of her nuptials. (The Daily Herald September 6, 1919, p. 4 and JXCO, Ms. MRB 11, p. 573)
The Tarrs had another daughter, Barbara Tarr Kroninger (1921-1983), who was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on February 15, 1921. Her mother had come here from California for a visit with her family and Barbara was born here. Barbara Tarr was a stewardess for Delta Airlines and during WWII had been a Navy nurse. She married Lt. (j.g.) Nolan Kroninger, USN, a native of Cowden, Illinois, on September 26, 1946. He was aboard the USS Lexington when it was sunk by Japanese aircraf in 1942. The Kronigers eventually settled at Downers Grove, Illinois.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1921, p. 3, October 7, 1946, p. 6 and Clara L. D’Aquilla, October 23, 2000)
Clara L. Tarr divorced Leslie R. Tarr in California. He was a resident of Santa Barbara, California in 1941, and passed on at Newport Beach, California in July 1972. Clara then married Paul O. Froede (1896-1968) in New York on May 28, 1929. Mr. Froede was a native of Brooklyn and had been a regular visitor to Biloxi. The newly weds planned a six-weeks honeymoon trip through New England and Canada before returning to Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, June 5, 1929, p. 2)
Patricia Jeanne Tarr married Clyde M. Leavitt (b. 1910), a naval architect, from Syracuse, New York. He was the son of Clyde Leavitt and Patricia McGowen. Miss Tarr was a student at the University of Mississippi when they met. Mr. Leavitt was employed at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula at the time. They married in Jackson County, Mississippi on June 7, 1941. Two daughters were born from this union.(Clara L. D’ Aquilla and JXCO, Ms. MRB 33, p. 550)
In April 1974, the Leavitts bought Lots 1 and 2 of Block 50 Gulf Hills on 13901 Puerto Drive from W.H. Mecom Jr.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 495, p. 549) Sold Gulf Hills home in November 1994 to Phillip L. Severson Jr. The Leavitts moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where they reside presently.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1053, p. 156) Mrs. Leavitt suffered a stroke recently and is recovering.(Claire L. D’Aquilla, October 18, 2000)
Phillip D. Ward
In March 1984, Mary L. Harvey sold her lot to Phillip D. Ward.(Bk. 142, p. 585)
In March 1984, Bergrren-Leavitt sold their lot to Phillip D. Ward.(Bk. 142, p. 587)
Robert E. Hebert
In April 1987, Robert E. Hebert took a Deed of Trust from Phillip D. Ward on the property. He defaulted on his payments to Hebert. In April 1988, James B. Person, Substitute Trustee, sold the lot to Hebert.(Bk. 200, pp. 68-69)
When Hebert defaulted on his performance, conditions, and provisions of his deed of trust with Harvey and Leavitt-Bergreen, Larry C. Corban Jr., Trustee, sold on July 3, 1989, to Mary L. Harvey for $83,656.14.(Bk. 211, pp. 208-210) Corban sold the other lot to Berggren-Leavitt for $153,537.75.(Bk. 211, pp. 212-214)
Mrs. Berggren Dies
When Mrs. Beverly Lopez Berggren passed, she legated her interest in Live Oak to Patricia T. Leavitt. Mrs. Berggren was known as Bee and Lillie. Clara Lopez Campbell D’Aquilla (b. 1936) was her executrix. Mrs. D’Aquilla was legated Mrs. Berggren’s home at 1092 West Beach Blvd. in Biloxi. .(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Chancery Court Cause No. P-2077B-March 1993)
Frederick J. Burmont
In March 1993, for $5000, Patricia T. Leavitt and Mary L. Harvey (1910-1999) sold an option to purchase the site to Frederick J. Burmont in March 1993. If option selected, the selling price would be $800,000.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD, Land Deed Bk. 53, p. 417)
In October 1993, Patricia T. Leavitt and Mary L. Harvey sold “Live Oak” to the Oak Place Development Company, a Mississippi corporation.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD, Land Deed Bk. 262, pp. 84-85)
Oak Place Development Company led by Frederick J. Burmont and headquartered at Daytona Beach, Florida. In May 1994, the stockholders voted to sell their Biloxi land to Ronald W. Blacklidge for $1,700,000. Sold in June 1994, to Blacklidge with Oaks at Tullis, Inc. of Gulfport.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 271, pp.421-434)
Oaks at Tullis, Inc. to City of Biloxi, Mississippi.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 358, pp. 78-86)
Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 14868, “Ex Parte: Mrs. Adrienne De Lappe Sporl, et al”, September 1936.
Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 24,334, “The Estate of Lucinda Davis Stamps”, December 1946.(Will Book 9, pp. 241-243)
Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 37,904, “The Estate of Joan Minor”, October 1961.
Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 53,890, “Mrs. Jane Farrar Wood v. The Unknown Heirs of Edgar Howard Farrar and Lucinda Davis Stamps”, May 1967.
Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court 2nd Judicial District, Cause No. 9853, “The Estate of Lynden Bowring, 1980.
Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court 2nd Judicial District Cause No. P-2077B, The Estate of Beverly Lopez Berggren”, March 1993.
Mississippi State Highway Commission v. Mildred Farrar, Mrs. Ralph B. Wood, Edith Barnes Farrar, Mrs. Joseph Goldsberger, Mrs. Richard F. Goldsborough, Maude Ellen Farrar, Stamps Farrar, and Edward H. Farrar. Cause No. 12,936, (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 399, pp. 44-45)
Cause No. 27,220 Clara M. Campbell
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 33,566, “The Estate of Wilda Lopez Bowring”, January 1979.
American State Papers, Volume III, Public Lands (1815-1824), (The Southern Historical Press, Inc.: Greenville, South Carolina-1994)
Nap L. Cassibry II, Early Settlers and Land Grants At Biloxi, Volume 1 and Volume II, Special Issue No. 5, (Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society: Biloxi, Mississippi-1986).
Charles H. Dyer, Along The Gulf, (Women of the Trinity Episcopal Church: Pass Christian, Mississippi-1971)
T.H. Glenn, The Mexican Gulf Coast Illustrated, (Graham & Delchamps: Mobile, Alabama-1893)
Antiques Gazette, “Southdown Plantation Now Historic House and Museum”, June 1993.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, February 6, 1892.
The Biloxi Herald, “Biloxi Chief Industry”, September 12, 1892.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, September 28, 1892.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, April 29, 1893.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, June 10, 1893.
The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 1, 1893.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Kuhn-Desporte”, May 1, 1903, p 5.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Joseph Kuhn”, November 25, 1903.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Necrology-Frank Dunbar”, January 31, 1908.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Kuhn-Bourdon”, December 20, 1909, p. 8.
The Daily Herald, “New Orleans Man Killed by Robbers”, November 2, 1911.
The Daily Herald, Humpty Dumpty, Speed Marvel, Is Sensation of Biloxi Motor Races”, July 13, 1912, p. 1.
The Daily Herald, “Will Be No Race Between Speeders”, July 12, 1912.
The Daily Herald, “Speed Boats Off on Long Cruise”, July 3, 1913.
The Daily Herald, “Dunbar Property on East Beach Has Been Sold to New Orleanian”, February 12, 1914.
The Daily Herald, “Thieves Ransack The Dunbar Home”, June 22, 1914.
The Daily Herald, “Ten graduates are given diplomas at closing exercises”, May 29, 1915.
The Daily Herald, “Jahncke is hero of recent “Blow”, July, 10, 1916.
The Daily Herald, “Wood-Farrar”, September 12, 1916.
The Daily Herald, “Wood-Farrar”, September 13, 1916.
The Daily Herald, “Judge Farrar To Come To Biloxi”, April 9, 1917.
The Daily Herald, “Geo. H. Dunbar Dies In New Orleans”, October 19, 1917.
The Daily Herald, “Prominent Man Dies In New Orleans”, October 24, 1918.
The Daily Herald, “Ernest Lee Jancke Here”, August 4, 1919.
The Daily Herald, “Girl of Southern Noted Family Joins Husband in Los Angeles”, September 6, 1919.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Dunbar Dead”, February 9, 1920, August 27, 1925.
The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, February 18, 1921.
The Daily Herald, “Prominent Biloxian (Sarah Kuhn) Dead”, April 26, 1921.
The Daily Herald, “Death Claims Prominent Biloxi Resident in Judge E.H. Farrar”, January 7, 1922.
The Daily Herald, “Farrar Remains Buried”, January 9, 1922.
The Daily Herald, “Edgar H. Farrar”, January 9, 1922.
The Daily Herald, “Miss Jahncke To Marry”, October 13, 1933.
The Daily Herald, “C.A. Sporl Dies”, January 27, 1936.
The Daily Herald, “Attend Sporl Funeral”, January 29, 1936.
The Daily Herald, “C.A. Sporl Dies”, January 31, 1936.
The Daily Herald, “John Duncan Minor Dies”, August 9, 1937.
The Daily Herald, “Barkley-Tullis Wedding”, October 9, 1938.
The Daily Herald, "Sporl gives yacht to Coast Guard", April 21, 1941.
The Daily Herald, “Dr. James Wallace World War Captain Dies at Biloxi”, October 28, 1942.
The Daily Herald, “Kroninger-Tarr”, October 7, 1946.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Farrar dies: Burial in New Orleans”, November 13, 1946.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Laura Sporl Kileen”, March 6, 1956.
The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”, “The Biloxi House With The English Fence”, 1956.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joan Minor”, May 29, 1956.
The Daily Herald, “Capt. Berggren Taken By Death”, January 6. 1964.
The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”, “The Biloxi House With The English Fence”, November 5, 1964.
The Daily Herald, “Miss Mildred Farrar”, February 8, 1967.
The Daily Herald, “R.B. Wood”, October 26, 1967.
The Daily Herald,“Widow [Mary H. Farrar] of Dr. Goldberger dies in Biloxi home", September 12, 1969.
The Daily Herald, “Louis W. Harvey”, January 20, 1970.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Wilda Lopez Bowring”, October 27, 1977.
The Times-Picayune, "Married [Anna G. Farrar and Richard F. Goldsborough]", January 1, 1905.
The Times-Picayune, "Dr. Goldberger pellagra's foe dies for science", January 18, 1929.
The Times-Picayune, "Jahncke named to special duty with Navy here", May 19, 1941.
The Times-Picayune, "Mrs. Farrar, 89 expires at Biloxi", November 213, 1946.
The Times-Picayune, "Stamps Farrar last rites held", May 4, 1950.
The Times-Picayune, "Stamps Farrar", May 5, 1950.
The Times-Picayune, "Thomas P. Farrar dies in New York", June 12, 1951.
The Times-Picayune, "Deaths [Edith Barnes Farrar]", February 21, 1959.
The Times-Picayune, "[Ernest Lee] Jahncke rites planned today", November 17, 1960.
The Times-Picayune, "Mrs. Jahncke rites planned", March 20, 1970.
The Times-Picayune, "Deaths [Anna Farrar Goldsborough]", December 12, 1970.
The Times-Picayune, "[Anna Farrar Goldsborough] Ex-cartoonist's rites are held", February 2, 1971.
A. Bruce Duckett-telephone conversation on October 10, 2000, at Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Bache Whitlock-telephone conversation on October 19, 2000, at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Clara L. D’Aquilla-telephone conversation on October 18, 2000 at Biloxi, Mississippi.
Clara L. D’Aquilla-interview at 1092 Beach Blvd. on October 23, 2000, at Biloxi, Ms.
Patricia Tarr Leavitt, executrix of his estate. Married three times. First wife died, divorced second. Two children born of first marriage, but children died. Wife preceded him in death. No children. Left property at 900 East Beach Biloxi to Beverly Lopez Berggren, his sister-in-law, and Patricia Tarr Leavitt, his niece-in-law. Bowring affiliated with C.T. Bowring and Co. Ltd. of London, England. Owned a one-half interest in the Carlton Apartments on Union Drive in Los Angeles. Bowring died April 8, 1980.