"What others have said"
[articles germane to Biloxi's seafood industry]
65 Years of Mississippi Seafood History
[published in The Daily Herald on July 3, 1933, p. 16 ]
Fish, oysters,shrimp, crabs-these seafoods have played a large part in Biloxi's history, not only being important as foods in the days "befo de wah", but they have played a large part in the town's business and economic history for more than 65 years. In the early days, when New Orleans and Delta families began to establish summer homes here, there were men who made a living for their families by catching and selling seafoods. Some few Coast residents are living, who can remember the time when fish were kept in heavy net wire boxes at the ends of the fish wharves. The fish box was drawn out of the water by windlass and the purchaser indicated this fish or that as the one desired-and the windlass lowered the box back into the water. It is said that most of the fish wharves were run by Spaniards. Years later, when ice was manufactured here, the present of iced fish came into use. The only ice previous to the establishment of the plant here in 1884 came from Mobile.
Oysters were first shipped out by schooner, in bushel sacks, of course unopened, and went to nearby points. With the coming of the railroad in 1870, they were shipped by rail, still in bushel sacks, to Montgomery, Vicksburg, Memphis, etc. Filmore Desporte (1856-1891) is credited, by his family, with being the first man to ship raw oysters out of Biloxi, sending them to Yazoo City, but others claim that a Spaniard by the name of Fresquitte [Peter A. Pons and Antonio Catchot of Ocean Springs were shipping oysters to New Orleans and Mobile by rail as early as 1872] was the first shipper of raw oysters having sent them to his brother in Vicksburg.
In the early days, oysters were eaten all the year round, with the summer trade the best, as the summer colonists enjoyed them as a change of diet and meat was not easily procured. Now there is a tradition that oysters should be eaten only in the months in which an "r" is found-though of course they are eaten the year round by many.[Not true. In the 1860s people were using the 'r' rule. see The Daily Picayune, 'About oysters', September 8, 1867, p. 8]
The late William Gorenflo Sr. is generally credited with being the pioneer in the shrimp and oyster industry and is authority for the statement that the finest oysters in this vicinity are to be found in Back Bay on "Ballast Bank", where it is believed from articles recovered from the water at that point, that the d'Iberville boats, in order to get up the bay to safe harbor, threw overboard guns, boxes and belongings. This reef was about to be exhausted and Mr. Gorenflo proposed that several thousand barrels of shell be planted there, which was done, with successful outcome. The preservation of this bank was carried on in varying ways for many years. For a long time, oystermen were compelled by city ordinance to open all oysters caught there, on the bank, returning the shells to the water. This however, was changed a few years back, in the interest of sanitation.
Among the first shippers of raw seafoods were the senior Mr. Gorenflo. L. Lopez Sr., F.W. Elmer Sr., and his father-in-law, James Maycock, all now deceased. The first shipping plant was at the foot of Main Street and Front Beach; later the plant was moved to Reynoir and the Beach; for one season they were in front of the Drysdale property, now known as Beach Hotel; then they moved back to the foot of Reynoir street, where they leased their ground from the City for two years.
Next, the two rival companies merged and were joined by W.K.M. Dukate who had come here as a Western Union operator, and the plant was moved to the north end of Reynoir Street and called the Biloxi Canning Company. The beginning of the industry- in its present type- is placed at about 1874.
H.J. Meaut, perhaps the last surviving Biloxian of those stirring days, was Mayor in 1875 and he was the first man to use shells for the building of roads. He had them used to fill in the ruts in the long road which led out Reynoir street to the Bay, and placed clay in the center of the road where the horses walked. This led to the system of shell roads and streets, for which Biloxi was famous for years, before the automobile forced the building of hard surfaced roads.
By the late seventies, the oyster industry was well launched. Oysters were steamed before being opened and canned in their own liquor, with a process not so different from that use now.
The effort to pack shrimp was fraught with many weary hours of experimentation, with heavy loss of funds and many heart breaking experiences, before there was any measure of success. The present sanitary wholesome can of shrimp is the result of years of continuous research and experimentation.
In the early days the factories boiled the shrimp in the hulls, placed them in large muslin bags and a cart delivered them to the homes were the entire family assisted in hulling-the carts returning for the flesh for canning and the hulls from which fertilizer was made. This was slow and expensive, the some bright mind suggested picking tables under the large trees near the plant and later the tables were established on the long gallery which ran around the factory and this led to the present type tables in buildings around which pickers stand.
The problem was keeping shrimp from turning black in the cans. The senior Mr. Dunbar, another family name long prominent in canning companies, was a shoe salesman in Massachusetts when the War Between the States opened and sent his wife and family to France to her people. There the boys learned to make syrups and cordials and upon their return to the States, such a business was established in New Orleans. Mr. Dunbar wished to can shrimp and many times made money with his syrups and cordials, only to lose it in is efforts with shrimp. His wife sugggested a muslin bag inside the can. This was tried, found good, and the idea patented. Biloxi packers were using corn shucks, cut to line the cans. The shucks were hard to obtain in quanity, and were cut by hand and the packers were eagerly looking for a safer, quicker method. Seeing the late T.P. Dulion open a cheese box in the old Lopez grocery, the elder Gorenflo thought he had found a way. Veneer wood was secured from Cincinatti. the idea patented, dies bought for cutting the tops and sides for the lining and about a 100 cases canned.
Opened a few weeks later, they were black as ink. They then built a huge tank, turned pipes for live stream into this and with a great quantity of soda, this veneer was boiled and reboiled until the wood was white and the water clear, and the pack was considered succesful. About this time the Dunbar patent expired and they could use the muslin bag. Next a parchment paper lining came into use, but this was expensive as it had to be bought abroad. A few years later an American parchment could be bought and this was used until about six years ago, when some research department, government or canning company, found a laquer for cans, which resisted the fruit juice effects and this could be used for shrimp. Two types of laquer have beeen used, but the fruit juice type came into use about four years ago and is the best thing yet tried.
However, the canning of shrimp is not easy and through the last few months scientists of a can company research department and from the government, have been at work here, trying to remove the last uncertainties from the process. It seems the best way to test shrimp for spoilage is by odor, as a bad odor will show up long before the meat is dangerous for consumption.
Factory whistles blow from 4 a.m. on and the shuckers hasten to their posts as work must be well started,before the canning crew can get underway. One factory here was credited with canning 1500 barrels in one day, this spring, working from, 4 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., which is a phenomenal pack.
Since 1900 there have been a few women who have taken important parts in the executive end of the packing or raw shipping business. The first of these, Mrs. Sophie Kuhn Desporte, went into Mr. Desporte's plant at the foot of Lameuse Street, shortly before their marriage. They worked together, he handling the buying of the raw seafood product and the workmen and she handling the office and selling except she also kept an eagle eye on everything that went on in the plant. Her hours were often from 4 a.m. till long passed dark, but Mr. and Mrs. Desporte had a successful plant. She continued in the work until 1925, when Mr. Desporte's health broke. The plant was leased for some years, but is now completly closed.
Mrs. Joseph Edward Wentzell was the next local woman to enter the executive end of the seafood business and with her husband and his brother has run a raw shipping for some twenty years or more.
The late Mrs. I. Heidenheim who was Miss Anna Eve Riego (1874-1931) of New Orleans before her marriage went into the office of the old Barataria Company in 1913. When this company was reorganized in 1917, she was given an executive position and upon her husband's death soon after, she became general manager, in which capacity she served until her death a few years ago.
Mrs. Mary Skrmetti Anticich was the next woman to enter the executive end, taking over the management of the Biloxi Trading and Packing Company in 1919 when she was quite young. Mrs. Anticich was born in Isle Brac, Dalmatia Province, now Jugo-Slavia, coming here with her parentswhen she was about two years old. She is creditred with being a good business woman at the age of ten, as she had served as interference between her father and uncles and the bankers and businessmen since she was so little she was placed on a table in their midst. Mrs, Anticich now operates the Anticich Packing Company and some allied interests.
Fortunes in this industry have neve been stable. One company will go broke in a certain locality, only to have another company take the same location and wax rich-this has happpened often in Biloxi and oftener than in other industries. It is common for a foreign born boatman to who came here to work for some company, to learn the business, gradually save money, and buy a boat, or "work one out" for a factory and with his sons finally go into the canning business with some member of the family in each department. Many of them get rich, others suffer the usual ups and downs financially. But a packer long familiar with the industry here, states that in her belief, the industry in the next several years will be in the hands of and governed by these families and groups of foreign born, or decent, owners who work right along in the factory.
by Ernest Desporte
Biloxi’s Retail Fish Business
Between Main and Reynoir Streets flourished a unique retail fish business. Each fish dealer had a small building on the south side of the wharf from which he operated. As fish could not be sold unless alive, they had live fish boxes that could be raised and lowered into the water to an advisable depth. The boxes in which the live fish were kept were made so that water flowed through them, giving the fish fresh moving water.
The fish dealer owned skiff, trammel nets and a large fish car. The car was a contraption in which the catch was put. The fisherman would take two skiffs, a set of trammel nets and row over to Deer Island or along the coast looking for enough fish to set their nets. Accompanying them was a man with the fish car in which to put the fish. When the car was sufficiently filled, the car attendant would swim it to the dealer, as he had no other means of propelling [it].
The fish was transferred to the dealer’s fish box. When a customer came, the fish box was raised from the water for the prospective buyer’s inspection and the choosing of his fish swimming in the water. The fish chosen was scooped up and strung on a piece of palmetto for the buyer. Names of men in this business were: Magrots, Matlaya, Tony Pons, and Louis Solari.
The Flounder Torch
by Ernest Desporte
The evolution of the torch used to flounder with-first we used a wine basket suspended from a shaft about five feet long. On the butt of the shaft was part of a wooden hoop which was held against the body. The fuel was pine knots. One man carried a sack of pine knots and the other the torch. Whne you passed under a wharf and somebody dropped a little bag [of sand?] on your torch, it hit the water and you usually did also!
The next type of torch which came into use, which was a big improvement, was one in which you burned cotton balls. You would make a half dozen cotton balls and soak them in kerosene oil. One party would carry the torch, while his partner would a carry a twelve quart bucket in which was the cotton balls soaking in oil. This was also a good one to sandbag. Usually when a small [sand] bag was dropped on the shaft, your torch hit the water and you were in complete darkness.
The next improvement in the torch was the use of an asbestos ball suspended from a pipe attached to a tank filled with kerosene oil that dripped on the asbestos ball. That was the last type of torch used. The coming of the reflector gas or electric light eliminated the fun of sand bagging.
Biloxi Seafood Chronology
State of Mississippi passed an Oyster Law on February 10, 1860.
Jackson County, Mississippi had the 1860 Oyster Law amended to remove impediments to the oyster trade in Jackson County. These amenments were: Article 9-"an act to prevent the destruction of oysters" is repealed. Section 2-"Be it further encated, That said act of the 10th of February, 1860, shall not be construed as to take away or in anywise impair the common rights of citizens of this State to the free use of the natural oyster beds which may exist in its waters." Section 3-"Be it further enacted That it shall not be lawful, under the provisions of this act, for any person to take oysters or clams situated upon land which is the property of another person, without the consent of the owner." Section 4-"Be it further enacted, That this act taked effect from and after its passage." Approved November 24, 1865.(The Laws of Mississippi, Chapter CCXLVII, p. 453)
New Orleans has always been a large oyster consuming city. The general opinion in 1867 was that the best oysters, called Barataria, were harvested from the coast of Louisiana on both sides of the Mississippi River. Raw oysters from Pass Christian, Biloxi and other Mississippi coastal communites were also being shipped to the Crescent City for consumption. Fourteen barrels of harvested oysters was considered an average days work. People at this time were adhering to the 'no R rule', i.e. oysters were generally not eaten in months of the years that had no 'R' making the oyster gathering and eating season September thru April.(The Daily Picayune, September 8, 1867, p. 8)
Peter A. Pons & Company-Dealer in Oysters. Will ship on line of New Orleans, Mobile & Texas Railroad.(The Handsboro-Democrat, October 5, 1872)
Deer Island Oyster and Fish Company-"Oysters and fish in any amounts. Oysters supplied, open in cans, buckets, or in shell, or, by the sack or car load."(The Biloxi Mirror, September 9, 1876, p. 3)
Emile Laudner, nee Ladner, (1840-1890), proprietor of the Deer Island Oyster and Fish Company bought a lot on the beach front at Biloxi between A.C. Nixon and H.P. Buckley from Burissa Bradford Holley (1808-1881) in January 1877. Emile Laudner became a two term Mayor of Biloxi (1883-1884 and 1887-1888).(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 15, p. 401)
The Harrison County Board of Supervisors appointed William F. Gorenflo, James Maycock and J.D. Mayer to draft an ordinance regulating the catching and cultivation of oysters in Harrison County, Mississippi.(The Pascagoula-Democrat Star, May 20, 1881, p. 3)
The Lopez, Elmer and Company. This company was organized in 1881, with a capital stock of $8,000 by Lazaro Lopez (1850-1903), F. William Elmer (1847-1926), W.K.M. Dukate (1853-1916), William Gorenflo (1844-1932), and James Maycock (1826-1892). The Pascagoula Democrat-Star reported on December 30, 1881, that the company was placing its canning machines in the factory. The proprietors had over one hundred, local, white men and boys on the payroll. They were employed as follows: forty-four openers, forty-five men manning fifteen boats, twenty or more canners and wharf men.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 30, 1881, p. 3)
Biloxi Canning Company-The initial efforts of The Lopez, Elmer and Company were crude, but ready markets were available and the organization was profitable. The Lopez, Elmer and Company was dissolved in 1884, and the Biloxi Canning Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Mississippi was chartered on March 23, 1883. The land on which the Lopez, Elmer and Company plant was built in 1881, was purchased from Joseph Diaz Jr. (1845-1923) and Adele Santa Cruz Diaz (1846-1915) on June 29, 1881 for $100.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.18, p. 20) The lot had a front of 82 feet on Back Bay and ran south 196 feet. Reynoir Street was the western boundary. Diaz had purchased a tract here in 1873, from John Bradford. It was 82 feet x 950 feet and cost $200.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 13, pp. 553-554) In December 1886, C.F. Theobald, F.W. Elmer, and Charles Patten (1839-1922) of the Biloxi Canning Company bought a lot east of Reynoir with 45 feet fronting on the Back Bay of Biloxi from Nicholas Taltavull for $60. It was 200 feet deep and ran to the Back Bay Road.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 21, p. 549)
The Barataria Canning Company was chartered to operate in the State of Mississippi on April 4, 1885. The incorporators were: Simon Gumble (1832-1909), Isidore Heidenheim (1852-1918), William H. Lengsfield (1851-1925), Isidore Hechinger (1857-1927), and Harry Edwards (1860-1929).(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Chattel Deed Book 20, p. 462)
General Joseph R. Davis (1825-1896) representing the Biloxi Canning Company filed an injunction to restrain Jackson County, Mississippi officials from enforcing an ordinance recently passed relating to the catching of shrimp.(The Daily Picayune, August 31, 1885, p. 3)
The Oyster Law.(The Biloxi Herald, April 28, 1888, p. 1)
Edward C. Joullian (1863-1931) acquired the Knights of Labor factory on Back Bay from Rowena L.M. Nixon (1840-1917) and moved his family from Scranton [Pascagoula, Mississippi] this week and is now here permanently. Mr. Joullian will engage in the shipping of shrimp and raw oysters. The tract was conveyed to Joullian for $400. It had a front on Back Bay of 61 ¾ feet and ran south to Bayou Auguste.(The Biloxi Herald, July 28, 1888, p. 8 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 24, p. 84)
William Gorenflo & Company-packers of canned goods and shippers of raw oysters. Prompt shipments and low prices guaranteed. Located at 209 East Back Bay in 1922.
Lopez, Dunbar's Sons & Company-packers of oysters, shrimp, figs, vegetables, etc. and shippers of raw oysters. Send for price list.
Phil. Desporte-shipper of raw oysters in bulk, opened, or in sealed cans. Front Street, foot Lameuse. Price list on application.
F.W. Elmer-shipper raw oysters. Orders promptly attended to. Front Street near Main.
E.C. Joullain Packing Company-Canned goods and raw oysters. Located at 251 East Back Bay in 1905.
Phil. McCabe-shipper of raw oyster, manufacturer of oyster cans, dealer in groceries, hardware, Pass Christian and Lameuse Streets.
J.T. Maybury-shipper of raw oysters and canned shrimp, and dealer in groceries. Maybury (1841-1894) also from Baltimore. Buried at Mobile. Also mercantile interest.
F.W. Elmer announced in mid-November that he was no longer affiliated with the Biloxi Canning Company. He is now in business shipping raw oysters on his own account.(The Biloxi Herald, November 16, 1889, p. 4)
Lopez, Dunbar's Sons & Company has made large additions to their shucking sheds to improve working conditions. White and black workers are needed.(The Biloxi Herald, November 16, 1889, p. 4)
1890 Biloxi Canneries
In February 1890, The Biloxi Herald announced that there were six large factories and many raw oyster dealers operating at Biloxi. The journal listed the following canning factories-oyster shippers on February 22, 1890, p. 3:
Biloxi Canning Company-packers of canned goods and shippers of raw oysters. W.A. Gordon, president; C.F. Theobald, secretary.
Barataria Canning Company-I. Heidenheim, secretary. Packers of hermetically sealed oysters, shrimp, figs, and vegetables.
William Gorenflo & Company-packers of canned goods and shippers of raw oysters. Prompt shipments and low prices guaranteed.
Lopez, Dunbar's Sons & Company-packers of oysters, shrimp, figs, vegetables, etc.and shippers of raw oysters. Send for price list.
Phil. Desporte-shipper of raw oysters in bulk, opened, or in sealed cans. Front Street, foot Lameuse. Price list on application.
F.W. Elmer-shipper raw oysters. Orders promptly attended to. Front Street near Main.
E.C. Joullain Packing Company-Canned goods and raw oysters. Back Bay.
Phil. McCabe-shipper of raw oyster, manufacturer of oyster cans, dealer in groceries, hardware, Pass Christian and Lameuse Streets.
J.T. Maybury-shipper of raw oysters and canned shrimp, and dealer in groceries. Maybury
In November 1890, 30 Bohemian laborers from Baltimore had disagreement with the management of the Sea Coast Oyster Packing house and went on strike. Mr. Jouillian of Booth Packaging Company at Morgan City came to Biloxi and hired some of the dissidents for his Louisiana operations. The Barataria Canning Compnay at Biloxi also hired some of the striking Bohemians.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 22, 1890, p. 4)
On June 1, 1892, Lopez, Dunbar's Sons & Company acquired the Seacoast Oyster Packing Company. Seacoast was described as the largest and most complete establishment of its kind in the South.(The Biloxi Herald, June 20, 1891, p. 4)
The Barataria Canning Company completed their new plant on Point Cadet in July. It was 37,500 feet in area [750 long and 50 feet wide], which included living quarters for fifty families. The facilit had a shrimp house, boiler house and coal shed, labor quarters, shucking house, and packing room. The factory at this time had about 600 employees with 400 working directly in the cannery and 200 on the water. The plant hoist had the capacity to lift 2000 barrels of oysters each day. The company board consisted of: H.R. Gogreve, president; Isidore Heidenheim, vice-president and secretary; H. Bentz, treasurer; August Heidenheim; and H. Aron. H. Edwards Jr. was plant superintendent.(The Biloxi Herald, July 11, 1891, p. 4)
Pat Kennedy (1845-1913) stablished P. Kennedy & Company in November 1892 to engage in the business of shipping raw oysters.(The Biloxi Herald, November 12, 1892, p. 1)
William Gorenflo (1844-1932) of Biloxi sold the Town of Ocean Springs 10,000 barrels of oyster shells to pave the streets of Ocean Springs. Jerry O'Keefe (1860-1911) bid $185 to do the work.(The Pascagoula Democratic-Star, November 27, 1896, p. 3 and The Biloxi Herald, November 28, 1896, p. 8)
In November 1899, Lopez & Dukate advertised for fifty boats to fish on the oyster banks and pay oystermen 40 cents per barrel of oyster. They would pay for fifty boats to transport oysters from the reef to the factory wharf for 40 to 50 cents per barrel. The factory also sought one hundred oyster shuckers. At this time Lopez & Dukate employed about 350 laborers in their oyster shucking operations. Wage for children and women ranged from 75 cents to $1.50 per day.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 10, 1899, p. 8 and November 19, 1899, p. 8)
Captain James S. Wentzell (1857-1936) of the Lillie W. brought in 505 terrapins and 83 barrels of oysters. Each member of the crew sharing $85.70 for the 20 day trip.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 28, 1900, p. 8)
At Neptune, Louisiana, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, Lopez & Dukate contracted with O.E. Thompson to erect a
new factory building [100 feet by 100 feet] and a two-story, 12-room dwelling. By late February, Mr. Thompson was completing his work.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 25, 1900, p. 8)
Deer Island Fish Company
Lopez & Dukate-located at 1108 East Beach in 1905. [$26,000 tax assessment]
Barataria Canning Company [$10,400 tax assessment]
E.C. Joullian Packing Company [$12,000 tax assessment includes home of E.C. Joullian]
Biloxi Canning Company [$8500 tax assessment]
William Gorenflo and Company [$5000 tax assessment]
[see tax assessments The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 30, 1900, p. 8)
In early May 1901, a special train was assembled at Biloxi composed of about five coaches and a baggage car to accommodate Bohemian workers from the Baltimore area who were returning home from their fall and winter work at the Lopez and Dukate cannery and from factories in Pass Christian. The oyster canning season had just ended on the Mississippi coast and these migrant workers were returning to work the summer at canneries on the east coast. They were expected to return in the fall for the next oyster season.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 5, 1901, p. 8)
Bowers Oysters Bill-1902
Introduced into the Mississippi Legislature by Representative Eaton Jackson Bowers (1865-1939) of Bay St. Louis to prohibited use of steam or other dredges from harvesting oysters in Mississippi State waters. Only sail or hand powered watercraft could be used. Effective June 1, 1902. Passed House 94 votes for and 5 votes against and Senate 37 votes for and four votes against.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 6, 1902, p. 1)
Lopez & Dukate Cannery
In July 1902, L. Lopez & Dukate contracted with Ola (sic) Thompson (1874-1944) to build a large oyster cannery, house, store, warehouse, and Bohemian camp at the Rigolets in southeast Louisiana. (The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 16, 1902, p.8)
Suit for Damages
Captain N.E. Skinner, master of the Emma Harvey, has filed suit in Federal Court [probably Chancery Court] seeking $250 and court cost against George Terry, president fo the Oystermen's Protective Association, Matt Cox, Allen Everett, John Poulton, Gus Fountain and Eddie Wentzell for alleged intimidation of the crew of the Emma Harvey, a shrimp boat, [working] in the [Louisiana] marsh and manned by Captain Skinner and crew: Marion Stafford, Bud Chatham, John Spinley, and John Lawson. The crew of the Emma Harvey was unloading shrimp onto the Wade Hampton, an ice boat, sent to Brush Island by the Barataria Canning Company of Biloxi.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, September 28, 1902, p. 6 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Case No. 1662-November 1903)
State Oyster Commission
September 1902-The Mississippi State Oyster Commission was organized on September 1st. Robert M. Mosley (1865-1910), former Biloxi marshal, was the first Chief Oyster inspector until his demise on November 21, 1910.
1903-N.E. Skinner v. George Terry, et al, Harrison Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 1662.
In September 1903, Captain N.E. Skinner, captain and master of the Emma Harvey, was unloading shrimp into the Wade Hampton, an ice-boat, sent to Brush Island by the Barataria Canning Company. George Terry, Matt Cox, Allen Everett, John Poulton, Eddie Wentzel and Gus Fountain threatened the Emma Harvey's crew for selling seafood to the Barataria Canning Company. George Terry was president of the Osytermen's Protective Association, an organization founded to protect and promote the interests of the laboring class. Case dismissed April 1907.
Shrimp prices from the Louisiana marsh soared from $2.50 per barrel to up to $5.00 per barrel when Dunbar's factory raised the price. Lopez & Dukate followed suit. When word reached the marsh that the price was reduced over one hundred boats left for Biloxi, the fleet resembling a large sailing regatta. Biloxi fishermen from the marsh related that they could not pay food bills and make a living when shrimp are scare as they were this season and the price was only $2.50 per barrel or less.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 3, 1904, p. 1)
900 barrels of unculled Alabama oysters were shipped to a cannery at Mississippi City for processing. This
was the first Alabama oyster received.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 20, 1904, p. 5)
Oyster tax revenues
The State expected to received over $22,000 in tax revenues from local canners in the 1904-1905 season.
There was an oyster boat license fee and each barrel of raw oysters was taxed 2 and 1/2 cent.
(The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 22, 1904, p. 5)
Oyster opener wages
An oyster opener was paid 7 1/2 cents per 100 oysters opened. A skilled laborer could earn between
$5 and $6 per day. An exceptional worker could open as many as 8000 oysters daily.The Biloxi Daily Herald,
December 27, 1904, p. 5)
Oyster legislation-Evon M. Barber (1858-1920+), State Representative from Harrison County and attorney for the Oystermen's Association, introduced a bill in the House to restrict the catching of oysters to resident citizens.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 4, 1904, p. 2)
Oyster conviction-Madison Cox (1877-1914), Charles Palmer (1848-1922), and Albert Desporte aboard North American were caught and fined $150 in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana for unlawfully catching oysters in Louisiana State waters. In violation of La. Act 52-1904.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 10, 1905, p. 6 and February 11, 1905, p. 4)
Lopez & Dukate-contracted with T.J. Rosell Manufacturing Company to erect a Catholic Church costing $1500 at the Rigolets for their cannery workers.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 20, 1905, p. 1)
Barataria Canning Company-installed a switch to connect the end of the Biloxi Electric Railway & Power Co.
track with its canning plant, shell crusher, and elevator to allow loading shells and canned goods directly and save
drayage expenses.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 24, 1905, p. 5)
New E.C. Jouillian factory-planned to operate a factory on the Mississippi River near the mouth of the Lake
Borgne Canal.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 31, 1905, p. 5)
Oyster legislation-Evon M. Barber (1858-1920+), State Representative from Harrison County and attorney for the Oystermen's Association, introduced a bill in the House to amend the Bower's Bill of 1900.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 5, 1906, p. 4)
Louisiana v. Mississippi-Chief Justice Fuller (1833-1910) of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 5th ruled in favor of Louisiana on the water boundary dispute between Louisiana and Mississippi. Case called Louisiana v. Mississippi US 58 (1906).(The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 6, 1906, p. 1)
The Consumers Fish and Oyster Company was chartered by W.H. Bouslog; N.J. Beane; Edward Glennan; Joseph Rush; and J.A. Broadus.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 25, 1906, p. 2)
Oyster leader- According to published figures gathered by the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce and Labor recently published in the Fishing Gazette [New York], Biloxi in 1905, led the nation in the value of its canned oysters worth $1,502, 497. The other leading states at this time were: South Carolina-$568,239; Louisiana- $506,325; and Georgia-$256,750. Biloxi's oyster industry sold $1,340,942 worth of canned oysters in 1904 and only $569,000 in 1900.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 23, 1907, p. 1)
1907-Captain John S. Mavar (1880-1960) aboard Electricity, a schooner owned by Lopez & Dukate, was caught poaching oysters in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana in mid-April. He pleaded guilty and his crew of Simon Mavar, Simon Mavar Jr. and John Matozich was released. Bond was set at $300 and the authorities in St. Bernard Parish wanted the schooner forfeited as part of the penalty for having six barrels of Louisiana oysters.(The New Orleans Item, April 14, 1907, p. 2, April 16, 1907m p. 12, and May 7, 1907, p. 1)
1907-A violent storm in late September hit the Louisiana marsh with winds from the northeast of up to 80 mph and inflicted damage on some of the Biloxi fishing fleet operating here. The Dauntless owned by Louis Gorenflo and captained by James Ryan went aground in the marshland with the Dorenza of Henry Diaz and under the commande of James Lamey and the William Coates owned and sailed by Tony Rosetti. Boats either cutting or losing masts were the Elbert D of Lopez & Dukate and Jolly Traveller owned by Willie Bullock and under contract to the Barataria Canning Company. Barataria's other boats in the marsh, Henry M., Nels Johnson, and Indian Girl, were slighly damaged. Lopez & Dukate had its Wilda L. run aground on Martin Island while their Ola D. and Noreta L. were relatively unscathed by the tempest.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, September 30, 1907, p. 1)
Shrimp-Biloxi fishermen could expect to be paid $3.50 per barrel of shrimp.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 31, 1908, p. 1)
Lopez & Dukate-Sent Captain Fred Eaton aboard Tom, a large power boat, to Morgan City, Louisiana in late June 1907 to open a canning factory.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, June 29, 1907, p. 5)
Dunbars, Lopez, and Dukate Company was organized at NOLA on September 8, 1908. In December 1908, the new organization had to face the Louisiana commissioner to defend charges that they were paying more for oysters in Mississippi than in Louisiana. The company had canneries at Dunbar, Louisiana and at the Rigolets. Name changed to Dunbar Dukate Co. Inc. in September 1915.(The Daily Herald, December 8, 1908, p. 1 and October 14, 1915, p. 2)
New oyster law-Louisiana's legislature passed an onerous statue that dictated that oysters had to be shipped in barrels and not in sacks. About 3000 oystermen went on strike to protest the law. (The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 27, 1908, p. 1)
Gasoline boat burns-The Harry Cage, a sixty-foot, gasoline freighter owned by Dunbar, Lopez & Dukate burned ten miles southeast of Chandeleur Island in early September 1910.(The Ocean Springs News, September 10, 1910, p. 1)
Ulysse Desporte (1861-1927) who began his career in the packing industry circa 1894, sold his shrimp and oyster factory in October 1910 to the Kennedy-Lopez Company and for $10,500 reacquired it in November 1910.(The Ocean Springs News, October 15, 1910, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, November 14, 1910, p. 8)
The Barataria Canning Company stated that they had no desire to get into litigation with the Alabama oyster commission over their purchase of oysters from Alabama water bottoms.
(The Daily Herald, November 15, 1910, p. 1)
Imperial Packing Company- The Imperial Packing Company was commenced by Jeff D. Mulholland
(1861-1930) when he purchased a site in North Biloxi with 200-feet on the Back Bay of Biloxi from his
mother-in-law, Rosina Hosli Harvey (1852-1937). Imperial opened in August 1911 with a work force of 100-120 laborers and with lots of shrimp to pick by hand.(The Daily Herald, August 28, 1911, p. 4)
Raw oyster shippers at Biloxi: Lopez & Dukate, Wentzell Brothers, Kennedy-Lopez Company, Henry Diaz & Company, and the Biloxi Fish & Oyster Company [Gorenflo] were under duress by the L&N Railroad. The L&N Railroad who rented cars to the express company, the carrier of perishable items, had restricted the loading time at their stops to 5 minutes. This caused most large oyster shipments to not be completely loaded onto the express cars creatinga hugh fianacial loss for Biloxi's local oyster shippers. The Commercial Club contacted the Raillroad Commission to halt this destructive practice to the local oyster trade.(The Daily Herald, December 22, 1911, p. 1)
1912-Bourdon and Castenara Packing Company named Ulysses Desporte as manager in April.(The Daily Herald, April 5, 1912, p. 8)
The Chancery Court of Harrison Co., Mississippi ordered that the Dunbars, Lopez, and Dukate Company be dissolved and pay a $10,000 fine for anti-trust violations. Any member of the limited co-partnership could buy or operate any of the packing plants or sell them to an independent corporation. The ruling resulted from Cause No. 3202, "Wirt Adams, State Revenue Agent, St. of Mississippi v. W.K.M. Dukate et al" filed in 1910. Went to Mississippi Supreme Court in May 1912 who ruled against the packers.(The Daily Herald, May 7, 1912, p. 1, November 7, 1912, p. 1, and p. 8)
1913-Seafood Company of Biloxi-founded by H.E. Gumbel and Isidore Heidenheim.
The Foster-Fountain Company was chartered in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana in late June 1913, with the following officers: Martin Fountain Jr. (1882-1963)-president; Louis V. Trochessett (1876-1933), vice-president; and Charles B. Foster (1877-1931) sec.-treasurer. The Board of Directors was composed of: Martin Fountain Sr. (1856-1938); Martin Fountain Jr.; Louis V. Trochessett; Charles B. Foster; and William H. Foster (1876-). Located at 278 East Back Bay in 1922.(The Times-Picayune, June 28, 1913, p. 13)
1914- Devitt & Clark-incorporated on June 10, 1914, at New Orleans.( Harrison County, Mississippi
Charter Book ? , pp. ) The Officers of Devitt & Clark were Thomas Kirkland Devitt (1882-1946),
president; Charles C. Redding (1857-1926), vice president; and Patrick Henry Clark (1870-1927),
secretary-treasurer. Charles W. Mackie, Jr. was a stockholder and on the board of directors of the firm.
Biloxi packers cut the price of oysters at the reef from $.40 per barrel to $.30 per barrel. The Rugge Brothers
from Appalachicola, Florida were at Biloxi offering jobs to Biloxi fishermen.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1914, p. 1)
In the late summer, the seafood undustry at Biloxi was idled for about a month by a strike of the International Longshoremen's Association. The Seafood Company sent out the most boats to catch shrimp after the strike.(The Daily Herald, September 23, 1915, p. 1)
Dunbars, Lopez and Dukate Company-in October 1915, the Dunbars, Lopez and Dukate Company
changed its name to the Dunbar-Dukate Company. Newly elected officers of the company were: George H.
Dunbar (1844-1917), president; W.K.M. Dukate (1852-1916), vice-president; Elbert L. Dukate (1881-1943),
secretary; and James V. Dunbar, treasurer. At this time, the company was heavily engaged in repairing their
plant, boats, and other properties related to their seafood operation, which had been lost or damaged in the
recent hurricane. By November 1, 1915, operations at the packing plant were anticipated to commence on
the oyster catch.(The Daily Herald, October 14, 1915, p. 2)
The J.S.[sic] Wentzell Sr. (1879-1927), wholesale fish and oyster dealer of the Wentzel Brothers, acquired about 2000 feet of land fronting on the north side of Deer Island from the Deer Island Improvement Company. The deal was closed by George W. Grayson and included lots, oyster beds, and riparian rights. The Wentzell tract ran from the baseball park westward. Mr. Wentzell planned to erect a bungalow on the property.(The Daily Herald, October 20, 1915, p. 1)
George Terry & Son, raw oyster shippers, have acquired a tract on Point Cadet and plan to erect a large shrimp and oyster cannery. It will be equipped with modern machjinery and ready for the spring shrimp season.(The Times-Picayune, January 31, 1916, p. 13)
Charles B. Foster and Company-founded by Charles B. Foster (1877-1931), W.H. 'Henry' Foster, and E.J. Ford. Charter applied for in August 1916 for Biloxi, Mississippi and Violet, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Bk. 18, p. 379)
C.B. Foster and Company located at 224 East Back Bay in 1922. In September 1935, the Peoples' Bank of Biloxi sold the property to Southern Shell Fish Company, a subsidiary of the Wesson Oil Company. The sale included: the factory; eight boats; shipyard; labor camp, which was composed of forty-nine homes; a store; and warehouse. Chester August Delacruz (1889-1964) was secretary of the C.B. Foster Packing Company from 1916 to 1931 and president until 1933 when he took over the reins of the Biloxi Oyster Exchange. In 1935, he became local manager of the Southern Shell Fish Company on Back Bay. Chester Louis Delacruz (1911-1996), his son, succeeded his as manager until his retirement in 1976.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Charter Bk. 16, p. 284 and The Jackson County Times, September 14, 1935, p. 1 and The Sun Herald, July 8, 1996, p. C2 and see also Harrison Co., Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 14013, Biloxi Oyster Shell Grit Co. v. C.B. Foster Packing. Co.)
William K.M. Dukate (1852-1916), native of Fredericksburg, Indiana and Biloxi seafood magnate
and entrepreneur, expired at his Biloxi home on March 29th.(The Daily Herald, March 29, 1916, p. 1)
Fisherman’s Packing Company-chartered by the Fisherman's Co-Operative Union in June 1916
by William Estopinal of Gulfport; and Albert Anderson, Peter Paker, John Jeluisich, Armond Lepre, Jack
Rosetti, Octave Trochesett, and Nick Skrmetti of Biloxi; and Walter Switzer of Handsboro.
(The Daily Herald, May 9, 1916, p. 1 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Bk. 16, p. 197)
Quave Seafood-Construction commenced in June 1917, by Peter Quave (1863-1936), who had managed the Imperial Packing Company. Workers were working feverously to had the cannery in operation for the shrimp season which opened in August. Although not a large plant, the Quave factory was anticipated to have a beneficial affect on the local economy.(The Daily Herald, June 7, 1917, p. 3)
In mid-January, a gale in the Mississippi Sound resulted in the deaths of two, colored seamen who drowned from the Farewell, owned by the Seafood Company. Captain Edward Parker, also colored, and master of the fishing vessel, was rescued. The Josephine Lopez and Algonquin working for Dunbar-Dukate were driven ashore on Cat Island with 800 barrels of oysters on board.(The Daily Herald, january 16, 1918, p. 1)
Captain Ernest Desporte Sr. (1853-1931) proposed that a bounty be offered to oystermen to destroy the conch. The conch population on local oyster reefs had reached proportions that endangered the very existence of the local oyster industry.(The Daily Herald, February 8, 1918, p. 3)
Devitt-Clark Packing Company took a $25,000 mortgage from Charles Redding and listed their fishing boats as follows: Schooners: Joe Lawrence; Ocean Queen; Henry Clark; and Lilly Rose. Barge: Black Box; Motor Boats: Sunny Boy; Zuzudora; Hunter; Cuba; and Cracker Jack; Trawlers: No. 1 thru No. 5; Skiffs-fifteen and nine large seines.(The Daily Herald, April 23, 1918, p. 5)
Loren Keel and Henry Gorenflo purchased the Biloxi Fish & Oyster Company. It was formerly operated by Louis Gorenflo.(The Daily Herald, December 3, 1918, p. 3)
The Mississippi Fish and Oysters Dealer's Association was founded at Biloxi in August 1919 to promote the fish and oyster business at Biloxi and other Coast cities and to secure the highest market value for the seafood of its membership. George Terry, president; W.W. Dywer, vice-president; and Ernest Desporte Jr.-sec.-treasurer.(The Times-Picayune, August 1, 1919, p. 12)
The Daily Herald announced on September 23, 1919 that in the past six months the following canneries were initiated at Biloxi: Lopez Canning Company; Desporte Brothers Canning Company; Imperial Canning Company; Fisherman's Packing Company; Southern Fish & Shrimp Company; Biloxi Fisheries, Inc. and Elmer & Spottswood Canning Company-located at Back Bay and the foot of Lee Street in 1922. It burned in late January 1928, when leased to the Ocean Springs Packing Company of Louis A. Lundy and Joseph Zaehringer. The Ocean Springs Packing Company lost more than 1700 cases of fresh canned shrimp.(The Daily Herald, September 23, 1919, p.3 and The Jackson County Times, February 4, 1928, p. 1) )
Biloxi Fisheries Inc.
Desporte Brothers-founded by Theodore J. Desporte and Ernest Desporte Jr. located at 335 East Back Bay.
Elmer & Spottswood Canning Company-located at Back Bay and the foot of Lee Street in 1922.
Burned in late January 1928, when leased to the Ocean Springs Packing Company of Louis A. Lundy and
Joseph Zaehringer. The Ocean Springs Packing Company lost more than 1700 cases of fresh canned shrimp.
(The Jackson County Times, February 4, 1928, p. 1)
Lopez Canning Company
Southern Fish & Shrimp Company-
Gulf City Packing Company-located at 1326 East Beach
Latimer Packing Company-located at 113 East Back Bay
R.S. Russ Packing Company-located at 127 East Back Bay
Dudley Read, moving picture operator for two of the leading talking movie corporations of America, was in Biloxi making moving pictures of the oysters industry.(The Daily Herald, April 22, 1920. p. 1)
The Biloxi Packing & Trading Company was incorporated on September 20, 1920 at New Orleans,
Louisiana. W.H. Anticich was president and Grego Anticich (1886-1954), secretary. Other principals were: Mary Skrmetta Anticich, Jake Rosetti, John Mavar, John Skrmetta, Vincent Rosetti, Mike Kulivan (1875-1944), Frank Bosarge, and Vlocho Milion.(MOB, 1246, p. 286 and The Daily Herald, September 19, 1920, p. 4)
Captain Lindenberg aboard Madeline returned to Biloxi with 20,000 pounds of red snapper caught on the Campeche Bank off the coast of Mexico. The vessel was fishing for Biloxi Fisheries Inc. and the catch was to be shipped to Eastern markets.(The Daily Herald, January 1, 1921, p. 3)
The Biloxi Fish & Oyster Company, a partnership formed by Henry Gorenflo (1848-1923) and Loren M. Keel, was dissolved on July 14, 1921.(The Daily Herald, September 21, 1921, p. 3)
The Southern Canners Association was formed at Biloxi on October 17, 1921, when cannery operators from the South Atlantic and Gulf States united. Dr. L.H. Jastremski was named permanent president and Ernest Desporte Jr. of Biloxi treasurer. Vice-presidents were: Edward E. Elmer, Mississippi; Charles Greiner, Louisiana; Charles Clark, Florida; F.E. Sheppard, Georgia; and Samuel Morrow, South Atlantic States. The Southern Canners Association succeeded the Gulf Canners Association which was created circa 1914.(The Daily Herald, October 18, 1921, p. 1)
Government officials visit Biloxi to aid in dredging channel- Biloxi factory men represented at this meeting were: Hart Chinn-Foster-Fountain; Ernest Desporte Jr.-Desporte Brothers; F.E. Elmer-Elmer Packing; P.H. Clark-Biloxi Fishermen's Packing; Bert Gun?-Seafood Company; W.P. Kennedy-Kennedy Packing; and J.V. Hagan-raw ousters shippers.(The Daily Herald,March 17, 1922, p. 1)
DeJean Packing Company-incorporators: Charles DeJean (1879-1961), Frank G. Bosarge, and Elmer Williams (1899-1985). Located at 1306 East Beach in 1922.
Martin Fountain Jr. was packing shrimp at the cannery that he had earlier acquired from the Cooperative Union, which had been idled for eighteen months. Mr. Fountain made improvements before commencing operations.(The Daily Herald, June 3, 1922, p. 3)
Francis Delmas Moran (1853-1935) and Alfred P. 'Fred' Moran (1897-1967), his son, founded the Moran Packing Company in late August. The facility was situated on Back Bay between Lameuse Street and Main Street. The Morans has installed modern machinery and had the capacity to process 100 barrels of shrimp daily.(The Daily Herald, August 27, 1923, p. 3)
In late December, A.V. Ragusin (1902-1997) of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce was having advertisements run in the Baltimore newspapers seeking additional workers from that area to alleviate Biloxi's over twenty seafood canneries that had labor shortages.(The Daily Herald, December 8, 1923, p. 1)
Louisiana legislature attempted to pass legislation to prohibit, “any person, firm, association or corporation not a resident or domiciled in Louisiana to catch, take, can, pack, shuck, deal in or transport oysters or shrimp from Louisiana waters”. Mayor John Kennedy of Biloxi went to Baton Rouge to lobby against this bill sponsored by Senator Jules Fisher of Jefferson Parish and Allen J. Ellender, Representative from Terrebonne Parish. Mayor O’Keefe of New Orleans also opposed this legislation and it was believed that legislators from New Orleans would oppose the bill.(The Jackson County Times, May 29, 1926, p. 3)
Hard fight ahead on Louisiana sea food legislation.(The Biloxi Herald, June 6, 1926, p. 1)
Cannery crisis safely averted packers believe.(The Biloxi Herald, June 13, 1926, p. 1)
Coast Oyster Plants meeting U.S and State Health Regulations (from The Daily Herald, December 21, 1926, p. 12)
BAY ST. LOUIS: Reel Star Fish and Oyster Company.
BILOXI: Gulf City Packing Company; Radio Fish and Oyster Company; Desporte Fish and Oyster Company; Dejean Packing Company; J.V. Hagan Company; Ott Oyster Company; Johnson Fish and Oyster Company; Wentzell Brothers Company; Standard Fish and Oyster Company; C.C. Company; O. Volpin Company; W.B. Skinner Company; Atlas Fish and Oyster Company; Dubaz Brothers Company; Terry Packing Company; Peerless Fish and Oyster Company; Deer Island Fish and Oyster Company; Southern Oyster Company; and Elmer Packing Company.
GULFPORT: Pelican Fish and Oyster Company; Point Cadet Fish and Oyster Company; John Showers Oyster Company; and Biloxi Fish and Oyster Company.
OCEAN SPRINGS: George D. Maxwell; Kuppersmith Oyster Company; and John R. Seymour Company.
PASCAGOULA: C.H. Delmas Oyster Company and J.H. Pelman Company.
PASS CHRISTIAN: Edgar Bohn Oyster Company; George J. ?ronovich; Pass Christian Seafood Company; French Oyster Company; and Star Fish and Oyster Company.
Mavar Fish & Oyster Company-founded in 1926 by John Sam Mavar (1880-1960), native of Dalmatia, and John S. Mavar II (1907-1973), son of John S. Mavar and Olivia Skrmetta (1888-1955). John S. Mavar II married Antonia Gentillich (1909-1991) at Biloxi January 6, 1907. Children: Joan Mavar Butirich (1932-2003) m. Marko Butirich and Maria Mavar. Siblings of John S. Mavar II: Margaret Rita Mavar (1910-2002) m. Joseph Lawrence Jr. (1902-1975); Sam Mavar (1912-1993) m. Lucy A. Mavar (1916-2004); Mary Antonia Mavar m. Pascal F. Taliancich (1902-1976); Nicholas Mavar (1914-2003) m. Irma Summerlin (1919-2001); and Victor Mavar. John S. Mavar came to Biloxi from in 1900 and became engaged in the fishing industry. He became a schooner captain and from his saving opened a grocery store which was operated by his spouse while he continued to fish. Mr. Mavar became a seafood packer circa 1926 and by his retirement in 1950, the Mavar Packing Company was a prominent cannery on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. John S. Mavar II, Sam Mavar, Nick Mavar, and Victor Mavar continued to manage their seafood business until ?(The Daily Herald, August 15, 1960, p. 2)
The Elmer Packing Company on Back Bay was destroyed by fire on January 31st. It was leased to Louis A. Lundy of Ocean Springs at the time of the large conflagration.(The Daily Herald, January 31, 1928, p. 2)
The ‘new’ Nonpariel was built by the Frentz Brothers Shipyard on Back Bay. It was nearing completion in February 1928.(The Daily Herald, January 31, 1928, p. 2)
In July, The Biloxi Shrimp and Oyster Transport Company was organized at Biloxi by R. Hart Chinn, president; C.M. Davis, v.p.; and Ernest Desporte Jr., sec-treasurer; Directors were: E.L. Dukate and M.S. Anticich. The purpose of this company was to 'employ vessels at a regulated scale for the fishing of oysters and shrimp in Mississippi, and Louisiana waters and to buy, sell and transport seafood in connection therewith. The organization comprised almost all of the shrimp and oyster packers at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, July 12, 1928, p. 2)
Ott Oyster Company-incorporators: Mrs. Peter J. Ott, Edwin R. Ott, and Gertrude Ott Brockman of NOLA. June 1929.
Over eighty Biloxi fishermen formed a co-operative and acquired the Biloxi Fishermen Company, formerly known as the Clarke factory. The group is headed by Steve M. Sekul, pres.; Tony Filipich, v. pres.; Paul M. Skrmetti, manager and sec.; Jake Rossetti, treas. and asst. mgr. Some advocated that the new company be called the American Packing Company.(The Daily Herald, October 7, 1929, p. 1)
Mississippi Coast Packing Company-incorporators: Jake Rosetti (1884-1959), Paul M. Skrmetti, Frank J. Barhonovich, Peter Pavlov, Nikola Pitalo, and Bob Dujmov (1892-1971). October 1929.
Kuluz Brothers-Incorporated in November 1929-incorporators-Tony M. Kuluz (1891-1956), Vincent Kuluz (1898-1987), and Matthew Kuluz.
Labor relations problems plagued Biloxi factories during the Depression years.
286,186 cases of oysters packed at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, March 25, 1931, p. 1)
On August 7th, C.A. Delacruz. Bernard Taltavull and Carroll Williams Jr. chartered the Boatmen's Co-Operative. They were in business to buy and sell petroleum products and operate storage tanks for petroleum products.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Bk. 50,p. 549)
Dunbar-Dukate Company reorganized in NOLA. Jules G. Fisher, La. State Senator, named president. The company has had plants at Myrtle Grove, Golden Meadow, and Shell Beach in Louisiana; Pass Christian and Biloxi, Mississippi and Bayou LaBatre, Alabama.(The Daily Herald, January 9, 1932, p.2)
Deer Island Fish and Oyster Company. Marko Skrmetti, president, suit on trial.(The Daily Herald, March 20, 1932, p. 1)
The Sea Coast Packing Company was founded by hard working, Croatian fishermen in July when they acquired the Martin Fountain Packing Company from the 1st National Bank of Biloxi. Peter Pavlov (1882-1951) was president and treasurer; Alexander Pitalo, vice pres. and Steve M. Sekul (1881-1970), operations manager. The plant had been idle for a year and expected to employ 200 people when it was fully operating.(The Daily Herald, July 30, 1932, p. 1)
Star Fish & Oyster Company-formerly the Terry Packing Company. Acquired by Ernest Mladinich (1875-1953) in 1932 and name changed?(The Daily Herald, July 30, 1932, p. 1)
1500 Biloxi fishermen entered their 7th week of striking against local packers over a $1 per barrel increase in theprice of shrimp. Tony Cvitanovich (1888-1964), a packer, asked for a Federal injunction against the fishermen who had threatened him with violent acts.(The Daily Herald, September 21, 1932, p. 8)
In late November, John S. Mavar (1880-1960) and John S. Mavar Jr. (1907-1973) scuffled with workers of the Fishermen's Association over disagreements in seafood prices related to the recent seafood strike. The fishermen pushed the Mavars from a pier into the water to releave their frustrations with the canners. The strikers had asked $4.50 per 210 pounds of shrimp per barrel and alleged that the canners were paying them $3.50 per 250 pounds of shrimp per barrel.(The Times-Picayune, November 26, 1932, p. 18)
Louisiana passed its Port of Entry Law. The law meant that Mississippi fishermen could go to Louisina waters to work because their boats could not carry enough ice to load and unload in the marshes and their cargoes would spoil.(The Daily Herald, March 20, 1933, p. 2 and March 22, 1933, p. 1)
A local representative suggested that a loan from the R.F.C. could fund the extension of local oyster reef.(The Daily Herald, June 9, 1933, p. 1)
In late 1933, Marco Skrmetti or Skrmetta plan to moved his packing operations to Bayou LaBatre, Alabama to to avoid conflict with the seafood worker's union, but the Biloxi union leaders organized the fishermen there and claim to have approximately 115 members. Jake Rosetti will probably operate the Deer Island Fish and Oyster Company at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, November 6, 1933, p. 1 and July 27, 1934, p. 1)
In September, Grego Anticich, Mary Skrmetta Anticich and Mijo Anticich incorporated the Anticich Canning and Packing Company at Biloxi. The company evolved from the The Biloxi Packing & Trading Company which had been incorporated on September 20, 1920 at New Orleans. From the deed records of Harrison County, Mississippi, it appears that the Anticich family took control of the Biloxi Trading & Packing Company between August 1924 and August 1925 and began operating as the Anticich Canning and Packing Company.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Deed Bk. 53, p. 571)
Superior Seafood Company-managed by N.A. Abraham in the fall of 1933. Employed seventy people during the raw oyster season.(The Daily Herald, October 14, 1933, p. 2)
The Biloxi Fishermen's Union ordered that a large quantity of shrimp caught in local waters be destroyed. The shrimp were too small and unacceptable to the canneries. The fishermen gave away as many shrimp as they could and dumped the rest. No relief is seen in the continuing feud between factorymen and fishermen, as the cannery owners refuse to cave to the demands of the fishermen.(The Daily Herald, November 18, 1933, p. 2)
The Civil Works Administration [CWA] was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in November 1933 as part of the New Deal during the Great Depression. It created temporary jobs for Americans until it was disbanded in late March 1934. The CWA had a presence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast by purchasing oyster shells from seafood factories and planting them to replenish and increase production on local reefs. A list of potential bidders for this project was provided by Biloxi Mayor R. Hart Chinn, admininistrator of the oyster planting program. The list , which was posted in the USPO at Jackson, Biloxi, Pass Christian and Pascagoula, invited selected canners to bid on oyster shell sales to CWA and deliver them to Pascagoula and Pass Christian follows: BILOXI-Biloxi Canniing and Packing Company; C.B. Foster Packing Company; Braun Packing Company; Gulf Foods, Inc.; Dorgan-McPhillips Canning Company; Desporte Packing Company; Johnson Canning Company; Mississippi Coast Packing Company; Sea Coast Packing Company; Kuluz Brothers; DeJean Packing Company; Mavar Fish & Oyster Company; George H. Higgins; Moore Sales Company; and Edward Braun. PASCAGOULA: Mexican Gulf Packing Company; George H. Higgins; Edward Braun; Pelham Fish & Oyster Compnay. PASS CHRISTIAN: Dunbar-Dukate Company; George H. Higgins; Edward Braun; Gulf Foods, Inc.; and Braun Canning Company. GULFPORT: Wallace Fountain.(The Daily Herald, February 17, 1934, p. 2)
The Gulf Coast Canneries of Biloxi operated by Louis Johnson Jr. remains closed after a boycott from the fishermen's union after he rejected a 200 barrel load of spoiled oysters delivered by the Jennie Johnson to his factory. Johnson had received no oysters since this action. The Braun factory is also closed. Mr. Braun expects to move to Louisiana and Johnson is antcipating a trip to the Bayou State to insect several sites to relocate his cannery. The closing of these two factories has left 450 seafood workers unemployed. Johnson and Braun's plants packed about 60% of the shrimp at Biloxi this season. Last year, Marco Skrmetti moved the Deer Island Fish & Oyster Company to Bayou La Batre, Alabama.(The Daily Herald, April 27, 1934, p. 1)
The ice plant of the Dunbar-Dukate at Pass Christian, Mississippi began to make ice in June. The plant has not operated in several years, but the last two winters, R. Hart Chinn and Louis E. Braun of Biloxi, had leased the factory. Dunbar-Dukate had been in operation for many years at Pass Christian and when the factory was fully engaged, employed about 400 workers.(The Daily Herald, June 19, 1934, p. 1)
In 1934, Dunbar-Dukate built a new shrimp cannery at Pass Christian and did extensive repairs to its oyster cannery there. Elbert L. Dukate (1881-1943), vice-president of the company and R.R. Abbley, cannery manager. Dunbar-Dukate planned to operate here on a full-time basis.(The Daily Herald, July 16, 1934, p. 1)
In July 1934, meetings were held at Bay St. Louis for opponents and proponents of seafood factories on the beach front of Bay St. Louis. Mayor G.Y. Blaize spoke in favor of the industry locating here.(The Daily Herald, July 18, 1934, p. 1)
When the 1934 shrimp season began at Biloxi on August 15th, there were about 500 boats and 5000 seafood workers toiling for the following canneries: Biloxi Canning Company; Braun Canning Company; Gulfco Seafoods Company; DeJean Packing Company; Dorgan-McPhillips Packing Company; Mavar; Mississippi Coast; Sea Coast Packing Company; Anticich Packing Company; Mladinich Packing Company; Johnson Canning Company; C.C. Company; Dubaz Brothers; and Kuluz Brothers.(The Daily Herald, July 27, 1934, p. 1)
On July 26th, the Seacoast Packing Company opened its remodeled packing room designed to meet the requirements of the pure food and drugs administration and the recommendations of the National Cannery Association. Steve Pavlov. president; Alex Pitalo. vice president; and Steve Sekul, secretary-treasurer.(The Daily Herald, July 27, 1934, p. 1)
Dixie Fisheries Incorporated owned by Ernest Mladinich Sr. (1875-1953), Ernest Mladinich Jr. (1906-1990), and Jake? Mladinich Sr. (1902-1967) are making extensive improvements to their East Beach plant to comply with the new health inspection requirements. The work will be completed before the opening of the shrimp season.(The Daily Herald, August 2, 1934, p. 2)
There was an extreme paucity of crabs on the Coast which required that they be brought in from St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. This phenonmena was explained by the fact that an abundance of fresh water was reacing the Sound from flooded rivers and streams from their drainage basins. It was related that: "This is said to be the first time in history that waters of the Mississippi Sound have failed to supply the demand for crabs to the point the dealers in crabmeat found it necessary to obtain their supply from Louisiana."(The Daily Herald, April 5, 1935, p. 1)
Mississippi Seafood Commission members inspecting the oyster grounds off Pass Christian reported that the reefs were in excellent condition even though a large volume of fresh water had entered the Sound from the inundated Pearl River. Chief Inspector Louis Staehling said that there are about 25 square miles of reef in Mississippi now fecund with about 200 square miles conducive for the cultivation of oysters. Culling was the only hindrance to the development of Mississippi's oyster industry. Staehling said that the culling statues would be strictly enforced next year and the cooperation of the fishermen and factorymen is essential. The law required that not more than 5 percent of the oyster catch steamed "shall be under three inches." Commission members on the tour aboard the Alathea Vardaman were: E.H. Bacot-Pascagoula, president; Louis Hahn-Biloxi; Vinson Smith Sr.-Pass Christian; S.C. Spencer-Ocean Springs; Dr. D.H. Ward-Bay St. Louis; Dr. M.R. Mosley-Biloxi, secretary; and Louis Staehling-Biloxi, chief inspector.(The Daily Herald, April 10, 1935, p. 1)
Seacoast Packing Company bought the Martin Fountain Packing Company from the 1st National Bank of Biloxi.
Factory owners and fishermen agreed on the price for shrimp between $5 and $6 per barrel depending on size. Factory owners also paid $1.50 per barrel for freight and furnished ice. A $.50 increase per barrel would commence after October 1st.(The Daily Herald, April 8, 1936, p. 1)
In late November 1936, Biloxi canneries received between 1500 and 1800 barrels of shrimp to process.(The Daily Herald, December 1, 1936, p. 5)
Biloxi Seafood Packing Company-founded by Paul Halat (1909-1977), spouse of Margaret Skrmetta, and Devoy Colbet (1920-1992). Four boats: Austrian Girl; Penguin; ?; and ?. Sold to Kuljis family.(Joyce Halat Franklin, January 2008)
Deer Island Fish & Oyster Company-
Mavar Fish & Oyster Company-
Sanitary Fish & Oyster Company-
152,399 barrels of oysters were taken from public reefs in Mississippi in 1937.(The Daily Herald, January 3, 1940, p. 1)
217,722 barrels of oysters were taken from public reefs in Mississippi in 1938.(The Daily Herald, January 3, 1940, p. 1)
Peter Negovetich (1869-1940) expired on February 15th. He was a trawl and net maker and is credited with inventing a system for removing the long seine from the water without going overboard.(The Daily Herald, February 16, 1940, p. 3)
The 1939-1940 Mississippi oyster harvest was 755,312 barrels that were taken from Mississippi and Louisiana reefs. Mississippi reefs received 75,772 barrels of spent shells which cost 8 cents per barrel to plant.(The Daily Herld, May 7, 1940, p. 1)
Laz Quave, King Raw Stock II, and Maizie Mouton, Queen Pearl, ruled the annual Oyster Festival held in mid-May at the Slavonian Lodge.(The Daily Herald, May 13, 1940, p. 3)
Captain Steve Rodolfich 116 Maple Street was honored with a silver loving cup for his contributions to the oyster industry by Dunbar-Dukate and the Louisiana Conservation Department for delivering the best oysters to Violet, Louisiana for the 1940 oyster season and for the discovery of oyster reefs in Lake Borgne.(The Daily Herald, June 28, 1940, p. 8)
Biloxi's fishermen struck local canneries for an increase in shrimp prices from $7 per barrel to $8 per barrel.(The Daily Herald, September 13, 1940, p. 1)
William Cruso (1892-1975) opened his modern new plant in September. Cost $14,000 to upgrade and employs 400 people.(The Daily Herald, September 28, 1940, p. 2)
Weems Brothers Seafood Company-founded in 1941 on Oak Street and Back Bay by Joseph Eugene Weems (1912-2005) and Charles Weems? Children of Eugene Weems and Kathryn Weems.(The Sun Herald, May 3, 2005, p. A6)
On December 10th, Max N. Tobias for $18,000 sold to the Gulf Coast Shrimpers & Oystermens Association the Burns Hotel [formerly the Kennedy Hotel] building for their meeting and social affairs. John Ewing was president of the local union which had 2000 paying Biloxi members, 150 in Pass Christian, 100 in Bay St. Louis and 75 at Ocean Springs.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 236, p. 97 and The Daily Herald, March 4, 1941, p. 10)
The E.W. Illing Jr.’s Gulf City Canning Company, formerly the Ocean Springs Packing Company, closed. It had been leased to Louis G. Moore (1900-1978) of Biloxi who owned a fleet of fishing vessels and had spent time and money to get the plant in operation. Mr. Moore had difficulty getting shuckers to work in the factory. It had been closed for several years until Moore's effort to revitalize it. He had brought 600 barrels of oysters to the plant, but could get only 20-24 workers to come to work in a two day span. The local seafood workers had union affiliations and didn't care to work at Moore's plant. He had even secured an agreement with the OSHS to use its siren to notify workers that they were needed at the factory.(The Jackson County Times, February 1, 1941, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, February 3, 1941, p. 4)
On August 14th, William C, Cruso (1892-1975) representing the Biloxi packers and factory owners agreed to pay the members of the Seafood Workers Union 1 1/2 cents per pound to pick shrimp and to pay fishermen $7 per barrel of shrimp. The shrimp season had opened on August 10th.(The Daily Herald, August 14, 1941, p. 7 and August 15, 1941, p. 3)
Humphreys Canning Company, located on the west pier at Gulfport, resumed operations on September 29th. The factory had been closed fro two weeks pending the results of a tropical storm in the Gulf. At its peak operating period, the cannery employs between 100 and 200 workers.(The Daily Herald, September 20, 1941, p. 3)
The following Biloxi packers atended the OPA meeting at New Orleans to discuss ceiling seafood prices: A.O. Soares and V. Santos of the Biloxi Canning Compnay; Roy Rosalis of Union Fisheries; J.E. Wentzell-Wentzell Brothers; Steve M. Sekul-Seacoast Packing Company; Mary Anticich-Anticich Packing Company; R.H. Sewell-DeJean Packing Company; Claude Coulter-Kuluz Brothers; John Mavar Jr.-Mavar Shrimp and Oyster Company; John Ewing and Jack Williams of the Gulf Coast Shrimpers and Oystermen's Association.(The Daily Herald, May 27, 1943, p. 2)
William C. Cruso (1892-1975) was building ten, small, four-room homes for the employees of his factory.(The Daily Herald, September 16, 1943, p. 8)
In October, the Gulfport Canning Company was granted a State charter. Principals of the organization were: John Evanovich (1908-1989)-1323 East Beach, Biloxi; Frank Webster, Gulfport; and D.M. Graham Jr., Gulfport. The business was situated on the city dock.(The Daily Herald, October 23, 1943, p. 7)
The Victory Packing Company on Point Cadet has been reorganized and is now owned and operated by James Williams, who was a partner in the business with Louis Thornton, Joseph Leckich and John Ewing, former president of the Gulf Coast Shrimpers and Oystermen's Association. Mr. Leckich has sold his interest in the firm to Thornton and Ewing. Mr. Ewing will be president of the new company, Thornto vice-pres., and Williams, sec.-treas. Mr. Ewing and Williams will operate the plant and Mr. Thornton will be on a freight boat working for the company. Last year, James Williams and Joe Leckich acquired the plant which had been the Dixie Fisheries. Initially, they processed raw oysters and now they plan to handle frozen shrimp, canned and raw oysters and during the summer crabs. Presently Victory has about thirty employees at the factory and are operating two freight boats. Thier new equipment consisits of conveyors, picking tables and various machinery.(The Daily Herald, September 20, 1944, p. 7)
Ralph Duncan (1911-1987), Biloxi seafood processor and distributor, made the first air shipment of seafood from Biloxi. Four thousand pounds of frozen, fresh shrimp aboard a Chicago and Southern Airlines DC-3 was air freighted to Detroit, Michigan in mid-August. Duncan expected the flight about seven hours.(The Daily Herald, August 13, 1946, p. 1 and August 15, 1946, p. 1)
Southern Seafoods owned by Andrew Cvitanovich, president, and A.T. 'Tony' Cviatonovich (1886-1964), secretary-treasurer, leased their seafood plant on Back Bay to Joseph P. Leckich (1904-1950) and Robert A. Fayard (1915-1987) on September 8, 1947. The small plant was situated north of BayView Avenue and west of the Southern Shell Fish Company factory. The lot was small and had been leased to the Cvitanovichs by the City of Biloxi and described as "being the width of Main Street", which it was very near.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. )
Roy Rosalis (1909-1984) planned to start a $50,000 fish sales company-The Union Fisheries Sales, Inc. It would be headquartered on Bay View Avenue at the home of the Union Fisheries. William Lasero, Boston, was to be its sales manager.(The Daily Herald, July 9, 1948, p. 7)
Clell A. Dildy (1895-1991) of the Mississippi Seafood Commission urged the planting of larger oyster reefs of the Biloxi coastline.(The Daily Herald, January 14, 1949, p. 5)
The Clara Foutain, owned by Carey Galle', and Warren Galle, owned by Cecil Galle', both sank in the Chandeleur Islands in mid-December, victims of a strong nortwesterer. The water pump on the Clara Fountain, which was manned by Carey Galle' and Cecil Galle', broke and the Warren Galle, with Moze Hebert and Nickie Hebert aboard, went to her aid when both vessels got caught in a winter storm and sank in shallow water. The fishermen were rescued by the Nike, a USCG cutter. (The Daily Herald, December 17, 1951, p. 1)
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory biologist relates that Coast oyster beds were drought stricken.(The Daily Herald, December 23, 1952, p. 1)
The oyster reefs in the Mississippi Sound were planned to be reseeded as the industry had suffered castastrophic damage resulting from a prolonged drought. High salinity water in the Sound is conducive for the growth of the oyster's enemies: the conch; a microscopic fingus, Dermocystidium; and the boring clam. Biloxi 's canneries had to import a large quantity of Louisiana oysters to continue operating.(The Daily Herald, March 2, 1953, p. 1)
In late October 1954, Judge Dan M. Russell accepted the petition of Ralph Harold, Nick Mavar and Glenn L. Swetman (1901-1994) to sell in a private sale the real estate and property of the Anticich Canning and Packing Company to John Mavar Jr., Sam Mavar and Victor Mavar. The selling price was $70,000 and included the copyright brands-American Beauty and Silver Spray and the following vessels: Adriatic, Europa, Lillian; Lillian B., Louise, Mary, Baltic, Pacific, On Time, and Veronia. The sale of the Anticich Canning and Packing Company to the Mavars was effected on November 5, 1954.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 387, p. 483 and Bk. 388, p. 346)
Mayor Francis Hursey of Pass Chrisitan planned to meet with Governor Hugh White and the Seafood Commission to express his dissatisfaction with power dredging on public oyster reefs.(The Daily Herald, January 12, 1955, p. 1)
Federal Judge Sidney C. Mize set retrial of USA v. Gulf Coast Shrimpers and Oysterman's Association for late January. In February 1954, the litigation case ended in mistrial as the Federal governement attempted to prove that the local association had attempted to 'fix prices' on seafood, thereby violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.(The Daily Herald, January 12, 1955, p. 1)
Captain Larney B. Summerlin (1897-1955) drowned off Biloxi on January 11th, when the Katherine W. carrying about 400 barrels of oyster, capsized in the Biloxi Channel. Maynard Hall (b. 1929), his son-in-law, escaped the capsized vessel. Captain Summerlin worked for the Weems Brothers Cannery on Oak Street and Back Bay.(The Daily Herald, January 12, 1955, p. 1)
Weems Seafood Company on East Bay View Avenue installed the first oyster shucking machine in a Biloxi seafood plant in late December. The machine cost about $5000 and had the capacity to shuck between 300-400 barrels of oysters each day. Irby Brothers of Gulfport and the Saucier Brothers of Biloxi manufactured some parts of the Weems' oyster shucker.(The Daily Herald, December 24, 1955, p. 10 and December 28, 1955, p. 1)
WHOLESALE DEALERS IN MISSISSIPPI FISHERY PRODUCTS
Biloxi Canning Company; Biloxi Freezer Company; Biloxi Seafoods; C.C. Canning Company; Ray Canaan Seafoods; Crystal Ice & Freezer; DeJean Packing Company; Dubaz Brothers; R. Fournier & Son; Gollott & Canaan Seafoods; Gollott & Kinsey Seafoods; C.F. Gollott & Son; E.M. Gollott Seafoods; L.D. Seafoods Seafoods; Gulf Central Seafoods; Kuluz Brothers; Leckich & Fayard Seafoods; William Lasero Agency; Mavar Shrimp & Oyster Company; Moore Seafoods; Sea Coast Packing Compnay; Shemper's Seafoods; Southern Shell Company, Inc.; Star Sales Agency; Suarez Seafood Market; Taltavull Seafood Company; Union Fisheries Sales; Weems Brothers Seafood Company; and West Seafoods.(The Daily Herald, February 25, 1959, p. s12)
The Fishermen and Allied Workers Union went on strike against DeJean Packing Company. The disagreement was over trash fish.(The Daily Herald, May 3, 1958, p. 12)
On December 8th, the Gulf Coast Shrimpers & Oystermens Association sold the former Kennedy Hotel building on Reynoir and Railroad Streets to Steve Anthony Braun and Edward R. 'Buster' Braun for $42,000. George Williams was president of the organization with J.B. Ferrill, Howard Galle, and Albert Fountain Jr. ans Board members.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 443, p. 212)
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fish Commission released green-dyed, shrimp into all areas of its waters. A reward of 50 cents was offered to anyone returning a 'green shrimp' to Fred Grace at their office in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, June 17, 1960, p. 12)
In mid-June, the Mississippi Marine Conservation Commission began planting 80,000 barrels of oysters on Mississippi's reefs.(The Daily Herald, June 17, 1960, p. 21)
William Demoran, Mississippi Marine Conservation Commission biologist, was optimistic about the coming oyster harvest, but he predicted that it would not exceed that of last year's exceptional oyster season.(The Daily Herald, October 29, 1960, p. 2)
Mavar Packing Company plans to build new wharf.(The Daily Herald, June 16, 1962, p. 7)
Victory Packing Company, owned by James E. Williams (1906-1979) and Louis W. Thornton and situated just east of DeJean's Packing Company, was sold to James West in late July.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 499, p. 483)
Chester Delacruz, Charles Weems, Mike Sekul, William Cruso and the Mavar Shrimp & Oyster Company spoke about oystering in the 'good ole days' at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, January 8, 1963, p. 2)
Sea Food factories and ancillary industries operating on East Beach Boulevard were: Mavar Shrimp & Oyster Company-1114-1142 E. Beach Blvd.; Dejean Packing Company-1302-1304 E. Beach Blvd.; Moore Seafood Company-1326 E. Beach Blvd.; Moore Seafood Company warehouse-1328 E. Beach Blvd.; DeJean Packing Company shipyard-1332 E. Beach Blvd.; West Seafood-1400 E. Beach Blvd.; Dubaz Brothers-1432 E. Beach Blvd.; Kuljis Oil Dock-1501 E. Beach Blvd.; and Sea Coast Packing Company-1506 E. Beach Blvd.(1964 Biloxi City Directory-Mullin-Kille-1964, pp. 156-157)
The Mississippi Marine Conservation Commission declared that the 1960 ordinance which said that boats shrimping north of the Mississippi Island chain [barrier islands] must not use more than a 50-foot trawl and a try-trawl of 12 feet [maximum length] with trawl boards no more than 18 inches, will remian in effect and that no double rigs would be permitted by shrimpers in this area.(The Daily Herald, April 19, 1969, p. 19)
John S. Mavar (1907-1973), manager of one of the Coasts largest canning plants, estimated that the loss of the seafood and related industries [ice makers, boat builders, trawl makers and machine shops] resulting from Hurricane Camille would reach $75 million. Eight or nine factories were destroyed and 3000-4000 industry workers with an annual income of $1,000,000 could expect their paychecks reduced until December and the seafood industry would not recover until June 1970. (The Times-Picayune, September 12, 1969, p. 38)
William C. Cruso (1892-1975), Biloxi canner, native of NOLA and resident of Biloxi since 1904, died on May 30, 1975. He was preceded in death by his spouse, Lillie Toche (1968), who died on November 30, 1968.(The Daily Herald, November 30, 1968, p. 2 and June 1, 1975, p. A2)
Mexico threat to shrimpers.(The Times-Picayune, November 12, 1975, p. 6)
Louis G. Moore (1900-1978), Biloxi seafood operator, expired on July 26th. Moore Seafood Company was located at 1326 East Beach Boulevard on Point Cadet.
James E. Williams (1906-1979), retired chief inspector of the Marine Conservation Corps, died at Biloxi, Mississippi on October 7, 1979.(The Daily Herald, October 8, 1979, p. A3)
When Biloxi was Seafood Capital of the World written by David A. Sheffield and Darnell L. Nicovich and edited by Julia Cook Guice was published by the City of Biloxi, Mississippi..
A 200-year old citizenship law posed a problem for the approximate, 5000 Vietnamese fishermen on the Coast, if they were still aliens. The law gave the federal government the right to seize a fishing boat if the Captain was not a US citizen or if no one on the vessel could speak the English language.(The Sun Herald, October 18, 1989, p. A1)
A surge of fresh water was pushing shrimp and killing oysters in the western Mississippi Sound due to an influx of fresh water via the Bonnet Carre Spillway into Lake Pontchartrain. Exceptionally high spring flooding on the Mississippi River system forced engineers to open both the Bonnet Carre and Morganza Spillways, control structures, up river from NOLA. Low water salinities were recorded as far east as Horn Island.(The Sun Herald, June 10, 2011, p. A1)
Freshwater from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to relieve pressure on the Mississippi River levees above NOLA pushed large amounts of fresh water into the western Mississippi Sound from Lake Ponchartrain. The oyster reefs off Pass Christian were particularly in jeopardy.(The Sun Herald, June 21, 2011, p. A1)
NOAA blames shrimpers are to blame for almost 1000 sea turtle deaths since the BP oil spill has unleashed a fury of comments in two languages.(The Sun Herald, July 14, 2011, p. A2)
Red Snapper over fished in the Gulf of Mexico according to NOAA's annual report.(The Sun Herald, July 15, 2011, p. A2)
Vietnamese shrimpers are no happier than others about NOAA allegations that they are not using turtle excluder devices [TEDS] properly and endangering and destroying the turtle population in the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the dead turtles are young Kemp Ridley turtles that are considered an endangered species.(The Sun Herald, July 27, 2011, p. A2)
Oysters dry up-hope that Texas could make up for oyster losses in Louisiana and Mississippi in 2011 were derailed by the extended drought in the Lone Star State which caused excessively high water salinities which is conducive for predators and diseases-both deliterious to the oyster population.(The Sun Herald, Augut 1, 2011, p. A9)
Not a good year for Gulf Coast shrimp industry.(The Sun Herald, August 6, 2011, p. A4)
NOAA Fisheries has decided not to impose emergency measures on the shrimping industry because their data shows that an unusually high number of sea turtles were found dead in April, a month before the shrimp season began.(The Sun Herald, August 12, 2011, p. A1)
Shrimpers, turtles both should thrive in our Gulf Waters-an editorial.(The Sun Herald, August 18, 2011, p. C2)
Vietnamese community scattered after Katrina.(The Sun Herald, August 25, 2011, p. A1)
Oyster season shuts down after 5 days.(The Sun Herald, October 28, 2011, p. A1)
Steve Crockett of Grand Bay, Alabama grows top-shelf, high quality, boutique oysters.(The Sun Herald, December 5, 2011, p. A5)
Shrimp processors seek help to slow imports.(The Sun Herald, january 16, 2013, p. A1)
Paul Delcambre Sr. (1926-2013), native of Choate, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana and Biloxi resident since 1946, expired at Biloxi on June 6th. Delcambre was owner of Del's Seaway Shrimp & Oyster Company and Seaway Freezing Company. He was president of the local American Shrimp Processors and Canners Association and a member of the Mississippi Restaurant Association.(The Sun Herald, June 11, 2013, p. A7)