Seafood Cannery History
MEXICAN GULF CANNING COMPANY: 1880-
(Deed found in Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Section Index Book 26-A)
The Mexican Gulf Canning Company was located on the east bank of the Pascagoula River in the 418.25-acre, Valentine Delmas Claim Section 5, T8S-R6W.
Valentine Delmas claim on Pascagoula Bay was issued to Anthony Blanc by Spanish Governor, the Baron de Carondelet, who administered the area from 1792 until 1797. Six arpents on the front and 40 arpents deep. Inhabited and cultivated from 1802-1828.(American State Papers (1827-1829), Vol. 5, p. 784)
Valentine Delmas original settlement on Pascagoula Bay began in June 1811. Present settlement June 1819.(American State Papers (1815-1824), Vol. 3, p. 444)
In late October 1880, Joseph T. Maybury (1841-1894), president of the Mexican Gulf Canning Company, which was chartered at Mobile, Alabama, acquired a parcel of land from Jules C. Dennis and Clara C. Dennis of New Orleans, for $1750.
The Mexican Gulf Canning Company created employment for about one hundred-thirty people.
THE MEXICAN GULF CANNING COMPANY
75 Women, Boys and Girls, above 12 years old, at their works at Pascagoula, to shuck steamed oysters, fill cans, paste labels, pick and clean crabs and shrimp, and do other light work, which will afford steady and remunerative employment the year around.
To man our oyster skiffs, unload oysters, etc., etc.
For particulars apply to
J.T. Maybury, President, Scranton, Miss. or E.S. Barnes, Secretary, Mobile, Ala.
(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 19, 1880, p. 2)
10 to 15 FAMILIES
Of Laboring People
EITHER WHITE or COLORED
To work in our Canning Factory, who we will furnish with
Comfortable Homes and Constant Work the Year Round!
The women and children can make men’s wages opening oysters and shelling shrimp, etc., and the men will be paid at the highest daily rate for unloading our boats, rolling shells, and other out-door labor. Apply to
MEXICAN GULF CANNING COMPANY
(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 10, 1882, p. 3)
In late June 1881, the Mexican Gulf Canning Company commenced fresh fruit canning operations. The plant was to receive between one and two-hundred bushels of figs each day during the season. Two shipments per diem of pineapples were also anticipated.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 1, 1881, p. 3)
By late March 1882, the Mexican Gulf Canning Company was insolvent. The cannery had accumulated a debt of nearly $60,000, but was valued at only $30,000. The company stockholders met at Mobile, Alabama and elected to assign their Pascagoula investment with H. Pillans and J.C. Rich. These men were anticipated to operate the company and return its balance sheet into the black, thus insuring that it not be sold at a Sheriff’s sale.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 7, 1882, p. 3)
Mexican Gulf Canning Co.
Works, Machinery and Land.
H. Pillans or J.C. Rich, assignees
(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 23, 1883, p. 2)
H. Pillans to J.T. Bourges.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 6, p. 446-447)
In the dawn hours of May 24, 1883, the second fire in the history of the young canning company struck. Uninsured loss estimated at $15,000. Mr. Bobe, was the watchman.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Fire Fiends”, May 25, 1883, p. 3)
MAYBURY & FOSTER
Maybury & Foster Successors To The
Mexican Gulf Canning Company,
Packers of the Celebrated
Mexican Gulf Brand Oysters, Shrimp,
Pineapples, Tomatoes, Figs, Okra,
Shippers of all grades of
Fresh Oysters, Fish and Shrimp on Ice.
(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 25, 1884, p. 2)
ICE! ICE! ICE!
We beg to announce that we have perfected arrangements which enable us to offer
Ice by the Carload, Ton, Hundred Pounds or Nickel’s Worth,
At prices to Meet All Competition!
As our ice comes in cakes weighing from 100 to 300 pounds each, it will especially meet the wants of Fishermen, Ice-Dealers and Saloon-Keepers. We guarantee a constant supply and full weights.
WANTED---Tomatoes and Figs!
in quantities for canning.
MAYBURY & FOSTER,
Proprietors Pascagoula Fish and Canning Company
(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 13, 1884, p. 3)
Wholesale Dealers in and Shippers of
Gulf Oysters, Fish and Shrimp
The Mexican Gulf Canning Factory
Canners of Oysters, Tomatoes, Figs, Etc.
(Southern Manufacturer, April 1899)
The Foster Family
Captain John Foster
John Foster (1826-1903) was the son of English immigrant parents. His birth occurred in March 1826 at Mobile, Alabama. John Foster married Susan Francis Grant (1826-1866), the daughter of Captain John L. Grant (1793-1887), a native of Chester County, Pennsylvania, and Elizabeth Disney (1794-1868). He served in the US Army during the Mexican War, and in the Confederate Navy and Confederate Army during the Civil War. At least three children: Lillie Ophelia F. Joullian (1865-1924) born at Mobile, John Grant Foster (1928+), and Mrs. E.L. Silva (1928+).
For many years, Captain Foster was engaged in the shipping business with the Mobile and New Orleans Mail Line, a steam packet and freight line. He settled at Pascagoula, shortly after the Civil War. Here in 1869, Foster married Olivia E. Delmas (1842-1928), the daughter of Jean-Baptiste Delmas (1817-3-11-1906) and Mary Elizabeth Grant (1822-1896). They reared nine children on the banks of the Pascagoula River: Mary E. F. Ford (1870-1936), Susan F. Hughes (1872-1919), Francis E. Foster (1874-1918), William Henry Foster (1875-1928+), Charles B. Foster (1877-1931), Alfred Foster (1878), Josephine F. Hosey (1880-1950), Eva Esperanza Foster Ford (1884-1959), and Isabella “Belle” Foster Griffin Hurst (1887-1958).
The A. 1. Steam Tug ROLLA
Valentine Delmas, Master
Is now ready for TOWING and LIGHTERING
at usual rates.
Vessels drawing 14 feet and under, will be towed and piloted under a United States License for $25, in or out of Horn Island Pass.
When drawing over 14 feet, an additional charge will be made.
Fresh water in tanks always on hand.
Oak wood is furnished when required. For particulars, apply to H. Krebs & son., Scranton; Arthur R. Krebs, East Pascagoula.
Mary E. Foster
Mary E. Foster (1870-1936) was called Mamie. She married James Ira Ford (1862-1915).
Susan Foster (1872-1919) was born on July 12, 1872. She married William Dabney Hughes (1850-1937). She died 4-29-1919. He expired 3-4-1937.
Francis E. Foster
Francis E. Foster (1874-1918) was called Frank. He was born at Pascagoula and commenced employment in the seafood industry as a teenager. In 1893, Frank Foster became employed by his father’s packing company. By 1899, he was the manager of the Mexican Gulf Canning Factory at Pasacagoula.(Southern Manufacturer, 1899, p. 37)
This is corroborated as in 1900, Frank Foster was an oyster and fish dealer at Scranton (Pascagoula), while his brothers, Henry and Alfred Foster, were a boilermaker and marine fireman, respectively.(Federal Census 1900, Jackson County, Mississippi)
In July 1902, Frank Foster was a resident of Biloxi when he married Edith Mary Howe of Pensacola at St. Catherine’s Chapel in Pensacola.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 13, 1902, p. 8)
William Henry Foster
W. Henry Foster (1875-1950+) was called Henry.
Charles B. Foster
Charles B. Foster (1877-1931) was born at Pascagoula. His career was established early as he commenced working in his father’s Pascagoula canning operation. Foster came to Biloxi before 1900, to join E.C. Joullian, his brother-in-law, who was also a pioneer seafood canner. Here, in November 1903, C.B. Foster married Miss Mary E. Caillavet (1877-1951), the daughter of John Latour Caillavet and Georgiana Dees.(The Daily Herald, June 27, 1931, p. 2 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 16, 1903, p. 6)
The Charles B. Fosters had three children: Charles Foster (1904), Marie Foster (1906), and Henry W. Foster (1907).
On November 13, 1927, C.B. Foster Jr. married Lucille Clark.(The Daily Herald, November 15, 1927, p. 6)
In 1935, Henry William Foster relocated to Washington D.C. where he was employed by the US Government. Foster was educated at Loyola and studied law in Lebanon, Tennessee before settling in the District of Columbia. On April 7, 1937, he married Rose Marie Holzner of Petersburg, Virginia at Fairfax, Virginia.(The Daily Herald, July 10, 1937, p. 6)
1925 Biloxi Regatta
When he asked if his packing house would participate in the July 1925 Regatta at the Biloxi Yacht Club, C.B. Foster replied, “We are always ready”. His Julia Delacruz sailed to victory in the 1924 Regatta. Mr. Foster was prepared to match her or any other vessel in his fleet with the best that the other packers could muster.(The Daily Herald, June 25, 1925, p. 3)
(see The Pascagoula Chronicle, April 20, 1928, p. 1, Foster-Fountain v. St. of Louisiana)
Josephine F. Foster
Josephine F. Foster (1880-1950), called Josie, was born on May 31, 1880. She married Dr. W.H. Hosey at the Foster family home in Pascagoula, on September 24, 1902. Dr. Hosey resided at Wiggins, Mississippi where he was had a growing medical practice. The young couple honeymooned at New Orleans, before returning to their new home at Wiggins.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, September 25, 1902, p. 6)
Josie F. Hosey later married Henry A. Rourke (1872-1956). He was the son of Henry S. Rourke (1843-1918), a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Mr. Rourke was a veteran of the Civil War having sustained a wound near Atlanta, when he was a soldier under General Hood. The old veteran expired at Pascagoula on March 12, 1918. In addition to Henry A. Rourke, he was survived by his widow, and several children: Alice R. Hull, Marie Rourke, and E.B. Rourke of Plaquemine, Louisiana.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, March 15, 1918)
After an extended illness, Josie F. Rourke died at Pascagoula on May 29, 1950. She left two children: Grace McNair Thomas and W.H. Hosey of Hattiesburg. Henry A. Rourke expired on January 1, 1956. The corporal remains of both were interred in the Krebs Cemetery at Pascagoula, Mississippi.(The Chronicle-Star, June 2, 1950, p. 1)
Eva Esperanza Foster (1884-1959)
Eva E. Foster was born October 18, 1884. She married Ebb James Ford (1886-1947). They reared three sons: E.J. Ford II of Gulfport, Charles W. Ford, and Robert S. Ford. She died on August 9, 1959, while Mr. E.J. Ford expired on June 25, 1947. Both rest eternally in the Greenwood Cemetery at Pascagoula, Mississipi.(The Chronicle-Star, August 11, 1959, p. 1)
Isabella “Belle” Foster
Isabella Foster (1887-1957 or 1958) was born in 1887? She married Mr. Griffin and Mr. Hurst.
American State Papers, Volume 3, (1815-1824), (Reprint: Southern Historical Press, Inc.: Greenville, South Carolina-1994).
American State Papers,Volume 5, (1827-1829), (Reprint: Southern Historical Press, Inc.: Greenville, South Carolina-1994).
Cyril E. Cain, Four Centuries on the Pascagoula: History, Story, and Legend of the Pascagoula River Country,(The Reprint Company: Spartanburg, South Carolina-1983),
The Southern Manufacturer, “Capt. John Foster”, Vol. I, No. 10, April 1899.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 3091, “Joseph F. Bourges v. I.P. Delmas, et als”, May 1912.
The Biloxi Herald, “Death of a Prominent Citizen”, June 1, 1894.
The Biloxi Herald, “Funeral Notice”, June 6, 1894.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Foster-Howe”, July 13, 1902.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City Items”, September 25, 1902.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Capt. John Foster”, September 26, 1903.
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City Items”, November 16, 1903.
The Daily Herald, “Foster Ready”, June 25, 1925.
The Daily Herald, “Foster-Clark”, November 15, 1927.
The Daily Herald, “Foster-Holzner”, July 10, 1937.
The Chronicle-Star, “Mrs. Olivia Elizabeth Foster”, April 20, 1928.
The Chronicle-Star, “Charles B. Foster”, July 3, 1931.
The Chronicle-Star, “Mrs. Rourke Dies After Long Illness”, June 2, 1950.
The Chronicle-Star, “Mrs. Eva F. Ford Taken By Death”, August 11, 1959.
The Daily Herald, “Chas. B. Foster Passes Away”, June 27, 1931.
The Daily Herald, “Charles B. Foster Funeral Sunday”, June 29, 1931.
The Pascagoula Chronicle-Star, “Mexican Gulf Plans To Pack 30,000 Barrels”, January 8, 1937.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Pascagoula Enterprise”, September 4, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, October 29, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, November 5, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, November 19, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Mexican Gulf Canning”, November 19, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, December 10, 1880.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, July 1, 1881.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “WANTED!”, March 10, 1882.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Local Paragraphs”, April 7, 1882.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “For Sale”, February 23, 1883.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Fire Fiends”, May 25, 1883.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Maybury & Foster”, April 25, 1884.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ice! Ice! Ice!”, July 4, 1884.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Henry Stoddard Rourke, CSA”, March 15, 1918.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Francis E. Foster”, June 7, 1918.
The Star of Pascagoula, “Excursion Parties Attention”, May 16, 1874.
FROM CANNERY TO CASINO, A HISTORY
The Biloxi Canning Company was started in 1881 and from a small beginning the plant has been gradually built up, until at the present time it occupies a space of 100 feet by 500 feet, running from the street to the end of the wharf where vessels land. They employ during the busy season about 350 hands and their goods are shipped to all parts of this country and Europe. England is one of their best customers and indeed it would seem so, for on the day that our party visited the cannery a shipment of 525 cases of canned shrimp was sent to a London firm. This company, as a matter of course, cans oysters and shrimp, and they also ship raw oysters away in bulk. In addition to this they have made quite a specialty of canning figs. Although it cannot be said that canned figs have been thoroughly introduced through the north, east, and west, yet they are constantly in receipt of orders for this delicate table luxury. For several years past the Pullman Palace Car Company have been ordering thousands of cases of figs from this company. These are specially put up in small cans, each containing seven figs, or one portion, and have met with a great sale upon the cars of the above named corporations. This has also proved to be good advertisement for the Biloxi Canning Company, as they have received hundreds of individual orders for one or two cases of these goods from people who had seen them for the first time on the Pullman cars.The ordinary method of putting them up, however, is in cans, which contain twenty-six ounces of fruit and syrup, which will sell for 25 cents per can at retail. They are also put up in half cans. Regarding the shrimp, which are put up in cans, two dozen of which go to the case, the Biloxi Canning Company has made a departure in the line of packing. It is a well-known fact that if the shrimp touches the tin of the can it immediately loses its bright red color and becomes black and unsightly. To obviate this, the other companies use a muslin bag, in which the shrimp are placed before being packed. Now, instead of this muslin bag, in which, according to Mr. Patten, the shrimp are liable to get broken up slightly in filling the bag the Biloxi Canning Company have substituted a wooden veneer lining, which, while it completely prevents the shrimp from touching the tin, at the same time absorbs what little moisture there is in them when they are packed and renders them perfectly dry and palatable as they are intended to be when placed upon the table.All of the canned goods of this company are put up under a distinctive mark of their own called the "Cotton Bale Brand", which is favorably known wherever the goods have been seen.The present officers of the company are W.A. Gordon, president; Charles E. Theobald, vice-president; C.F. Theobald, secretary and treasurer; Charles Patten, manager.
THE SEAFOOD COMPANY of BILOXI
Isidore Heidenheim (1857-1918) resigned as manager of the Barataria Canning Company in September 1912. Heplanned to remain in Biloxi and as a manufacturer’s agent, commercial adjuster, and realty and insurance agent. With Henry E. Gumbel (1869-1950?) of New Orleans as president, Edward Glennan (1854-1933), vice president, and Louis Goldman (1882-1925), attorney, both of Biloxi, Isidore Heidenheim chartered the Sea Food Company of Biloxi in April 1913. Mr. Heidenheim served as manger and secretary of the new cannery which was located on the Point of Biloxi.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Deed Bk. 14, p. 177, The Daily Herald, September 19, 1912, p. 1 and May 26, 1913, p. 1)
Isidore Heidenheim(1857-1918) was born at New Orleans, Louisiana on December 2, 1857 to Moses Heidenheim (1825-1907) and Babette Fertel (1830-1900). His parents were immigrants from Hesse-Denmark in 1847 and 1849 respectively. Moses Heidenheim made his livelihood in the 10th Ward at New Orleans as a retain dry goods merchant. By 1900, Moses and Babette had relocated to Jackson Avenue and he continued in the sale of notions. Here he and Babette reared a large family: Carolina ‘Carrie’ Heidenheim (1851-1913) m. Cerf Sampson (1839-1900+); Josephine Heidenheim (1853-1929) m. Heymann; Celestine Heidenheim (1855-1932); Isidore Heidenheim (1857-1918); August Heidenheim (1860-1914) m. Sarah Marks; Simon Heidenheim (1864-1934); Daniel Heidenheim (1865-pre 1870); Emmanuel Heidenheim (1866-1927); and Sarah ‘Selma’ Heidenheim (1871-1916) m. Emmanuel Levy (1861-1900+).(
Home and Family
Isidore Heidenheim married Anna Eve Riego (1874-1931) in Harrison County, Mississippi in August 1907. She was a school teacher and the daughter of Pedro Riego (1846-1895), a Spanish immigrant, and Anna C. Ortiz (1848-1922) of New Orleans. Miss Riego was reared on Spain Street in the Crescent City where her family made cigars and graded tobacco.(Harrison Co., Mississippi MRB 19, p. 174 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 15, 1907, p. 1,
Isidore Heidenheim was first elected to the Biloxi City government as councilman from Ward I in 1892.
Almost immediately after the resignation of Mr. Heidenheim, Henry C. Champlin was hired as the accounting manager of the packing company. Mr. Champlin had The Daily Herald, “Izard at Handsboro.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1912, p. 8)
In 1917, the Seafood Company built four Biloxi schooners for their fishing fleet. These four, nearly identical watercraft were constructed on Biloxi’s Back Bay at the Biloxi Shipyard and Box Factory. The first three boats were: I. Heidenheim, H.E. Gumbel, and Louis Goldman. The fourth schooner was called Anna May. Their measurements were as follows: length-54.5 feet; breadth-18.8 feet; depth-4.4 feet; gross tonnage-28 tons; and net tonnage-19 tons.(The Daily Herald, September 13, 1917, p. 3)
Russell Barnes, a Biloxi author, model builder and schooner historian,relates that these four boats“were designed byJackie Jack Covacevich and were built right along side each other at the Biloxi Shipyard and Box Factory owned by the Branders. These were a bit different from the traditional Biloxi schooner in that they were all spoon bowed instead of clipper bowed. Otherwise they were fairly typical centerboard schooners. On the admeasurement papers I found in the National Archives, Jackie Jack is listed as the builder on two of the schooners, I. Heidenheim and L. Goldman, while Francis Brander is listed as the builder on the other two, Anna Eve and H.E. Gumbel. It is fairly obvious that Jackie Jack cut the half model and lofted the boat himself. He then created the templates for each piece of the hull frame and then cut four copies of everything so that four schooner could be simultaneously and to the exact same measurements.” (e-mail February 29, 2010)
The Daily Herald, "Heidenheim resigns as manager of Barataria Canning Company", September 19, 1912.
The Daily Herald, “Henry Champlin at the Barataria”, October 16, 1912.
The Daily Herald, “Biloxi will have new cannery; report is reliably confirmed”, December13, 1912.
The Daily Herald, “ ”, , 19.
The Daily Herald, “ ”, , 19.
The Daily Herald, “ ”, , 19.
The Daily Herald, “ ”, , 19.
The Daily Herald, “Three new boats put overboard”, September 13, 1917.
The Daily Herald, “Isadore Heidenheim Dies”, October 27, 1918, p. 1.
BURDON-CASTANERA PACKING COMPANY
Founded in 1912.
Frank B. Castanera
Captain Frank B. Castanera (1870-1934) was born at Scranton (Pascagoula) on January 16, 1870. His father, Captain Eugene Castanera, was postmaster at Moss Point from 1882-1885. He also had a pecan variety, the Castanera, named for him, which was later grafted by Colonel Stuart and John Keller about 1892 and sold as the Stuart. His mother was Estella Llado, the sister of Louis Llado who was also a bar pilot.
Frank Castanera attended Spring Hill College at Mobile. He settled at Biloxi in 1893, and organized the Biloxi and Ship Island Tow Boat Company in February 1897 with J.B. Roberts. As stated in the charter, the object and purpose of this corporation were:
to run and operate one or more tow boats, or other water craft, to tow vessels, timber or other merchandise, and to transport passengers and merchandise between such points and places on the Mississippi Sound and its tributaries as the Board of Directors may determine and to do a general towing and transportation business for a profit.
The steam tug Biloxi built by the Taltavull Shipyard for Castanera was used in the towing operations along the Mississippi coast. In about 1900, he was in the retail lumber and general supply business in Biloxi. In 1905, he was appointed a member of the Ship Island Bar Pilots’ Association, and served as a pilot between Ship Island and Gulfport until the commencement of World War I.
During the Great War, he offered his services to the Government as a member of the U.S. Shipping Board. While at sea duty in the post-War years, Castanera met with a many adventures on the seas. Two notable events at this time of his life reported in the Biloxi News of April 25, 1926, were the saving of the life of an ill seaman by radio diagnosis with a land based physician, and the rescue of the abandoned Norwegian steamer Johanne Dybwad in the stormy North Atlantic.
Captain Castanera married Amelia Desporte (1880-1953), daughter of Captain Ernest Desporte. They reared five children in Biloxi: Eugene Ernest Castanera (1898-1932), Ursula C. Provensal (1900-1991), Amelia C. O’Keefe, Delauney Castanera (1903-1935), and Theodore Castanera (1905-1978).
Frank Castanera led a full and adventurous life. In addition to his seafaring, he found time to participate in civic affairs serving on the Biloxi City Council under Mayors T.J. Rosell and Ed Glennan. He died in 1934, and is buried in the Biloxi Cemetery.
DEVITT & CLARK CANNERY
Founded in 1914.
LOCATION: Point Cadet-Lots 4, 9, and 14 of Square 5, Summerville Subdivision, Biloxi, Mississippi.
The riparian location, upon which the Devitt & Clark Cannery was erected, was situated in the original 1784 Spanish land grant of Jacques Mathurin Ladner at Point Cadet. is part of east Biloxi was patented to Charles E. McCaleb in June 1844. Summerville Subdivision created in Lot 4 once belonged to Aime Gautier (1826-1885) of New Orleans. He was the brother of Fernando Gautier,
By March 1900, the land in the possession of Cora E. White (1855-1910+), the wife of attorney Walter A. White (1845-1914+). Founded the White House Hotel. In May 1912,
Cora E. White conveyed Lots 4, 14, and 9 of Block 5 to the Bourdon-Castenera Packing Company. The conveyance exempted the Presbyterian Church lot which was situated in
the northwest corner of Lot 9 and measured 35 feet from east to west and 100 feet from north to south.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 101, pp. 232-233)
The Bourdon-Castanera Packing Company, a New Orleans corporation, was probably the first to build a factory here on the riparian rights granted as title holder of the land. President F.B. Castanera (1870-1934) married to Amelia Desporte. W.E. White. secretary. A.O. Bourdon also a principal in the company.
In June 1913, Bourdon-Castanera leased to Patrick H. Clark and Louis H. Harvey (1874-1913).(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 104, p. 247)
Louis H. Harvey (1874-1913) married to Christina Wachenfeld. He died in September 1913.
In June 1913, Bourdon-Castenera sold to to Walter A. White for $3500.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 104, p. 248) White an attorney. Founded White House at West Beach. White sold the factory to Devitt & Clark in October 1914, for $4000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 109, p. 307)
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.
Thomas K. Devitt
T.K. Devitt (1882-1946) was born at Harbor Springs, Michigan. In August 1907, he married Lily Rose Bourdon (1884-1951), the daughter of French immigrants, A.O. Bourdon, Sr. (1845-1901) and Marie Virgets (1847-1901). The Devitts resided on lower Lameuse Street. Here they reared their three children: Thomas K. Devitt, Jr., Matthew Devitt, and Lily Rose Edmonds Stuart.
Lillirose Devitt married Ryland Chase Edmonds at New Orleans on August 19, 1932. Ryland was the son of Captain Samuel Preston Edmonds (1867-1943) and Shorey of Biloxi. Edmonds was educated in Biloxi Public Schools were he was a good athlete. Attended the University of Mississippi and employed with the Atlantic Refining Company of Baltimore. Miss Devitt also attended Biloxi schools and matriculated to M.S.C.W. She taught physical education at the Lausanne School in Memphis. The newly weds were at home in Baltimore.(The Daily Herald, July 25, 1933, p. 2)
Before commencing Devitt & Clark, T.K. Devitt was in the grocery business. Initially he worked with John Mosely. By 1913, he was the local agent for the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, operating a grocery business on Howard Avenue.
Charles C. Redding (1857-1926) was born at Bay St. Louis. He was also a grocer at Biloxi. Redding parlayed his entrepreneurial skills in many areas of commerce and was particularly successful in banking and the cannery industry. He was once president of the Biloxi Canning Company.
Patrick H. Clark
Patrick Henry Clark (1870-1927) was born at New Orleans of Irish parentage. His father was Michael Clark and his mother, Anne Sheehan (b. 1840). He was married to Leonie B. Clark (1876-1940). Clark was managing a cannery as early as 1900. He was also involved with the L&N Bakery and Confectionery on Howard Avenue with his brother-in-law, Joseph Lamm (1874-1911). Lamm was married to Katherine Clark (1876-1944). Children: Hilda Lamm (1901-1906), Joseph Lamm (1906-1941) and Margaret J. Lamm (1907-1991). The Clark family resided on Cuevas Street with their three children: Lillian (1909), Patrick H. Clark, Jr. (1911), and Joseph B. Clark (1915). Mrs. Clark later resided on Bohn Street. P.H. Clark died in October 1927. His remains were interred at the Biloxi Cemetery.
In late August 1915, Devitt & Clark also had a small cannery at Ocean Springs. At the time they commenced operations at Ocean Springs, the fishermen, who belonged to the International Longshoremen Union, were on strike. The fishermen of Ocean Springs appear to have been independent of the union as the two canning plants there were receiving shrimp. The Ocean Springs cannery of Devitt & Clark appears to have been a short-lived venture, and may have been a victim of the 1915 October Hurricane, which devastated its competitor, the Ocean Springs Packing Company. Louis A. Lundy (1876-1941) rebuilt that enterprise. Devitt & Clark probably did not. In mid-September 1915, Devitt & Clark got seventy barrels of shrimp to process from non- union fisherman for their Biloxi operation.
Devitt & Clark became indebted to Charles Redding for the sum of $25,000. The debt was repayable to Redding in five notes all dated January 5, 1917, and payable every six months. Louis Goldman was appointed trustee of the property. On April 15, 1918, Redding requested that Goldman sell the property because Devitt & Clark defaulted on their payments.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 122, p. 496-497 and The Daily Herald, April 23, 1918, p. 5)
On May 13, 1918, Louis Goldman, trustee of the property, sold it in front of the courthouse door at Gulfport to the highest bidder for cash. Charles Redding bought the property for $13,000. In the warranty deed, Redding purchased the following:
All the property of the Devitt & Clark Packing Company lying south of Front Street or Beach Street, being the lot on which the factory of said company is situated, comprising the front and riparian rights of Lots Four, Block Five, of the Plan of Summerville, together with the factory situated thereon and all appurtenances and appliances used together with the right to use water from the artesian well situated on Lot Four for factory purposes....
Also Lot One in Block 6-A of the Summerville Addition. Also the following personal property to wit: The schooners"Joe Lawrence", "Ocean Queen", "Henry Clark", and "Lily Rose" together with their rigging of every kind and character situated on or belong thereto. Also one barge known as the "Black Box". Certain motorboats known as "Sunny Boy", "Zudora", "Cuba", "Hunter", "Cracker Jack", and trawlers Numbers One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Also nine large seines and fifteen skiffs now in the possession of the Devitt & Clark Packing Company. Also all labels, cans, and all supplies now in the possession of the Devitt & Clark Packing Company, or belonging to it, or in which it may have some equity as well as all can goods on hand, bills receivable, and all fixtures, furniture and machinery now in possession of the Devitt & Clark Packing Company, belonging to it, or due it by others, and in any wise appertaining to or belonging to the plant known as the Devitt & Clark Packing Company.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 122, p. 496-497)
In December 1918, Charles Redding conveyed the Devitt & Clark property to the American Packing Company.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 122, pp.517-518)
In June 1919, American Packing Company with T.K. Devitt as its president, sold the property described in the deed from Walter A. White to Devitt & Clark (1914) to Grego Anticich (1876), P.H. Clark, Peter Skrmetta (1885-1963), Luka Kuljis, and Marko Skrmetta (1889- ). The warranty deed included the schooners, Marvel, Henry Clark, Lily Rose, andOcean Queen. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 125, p. 404)
In July 1921, Luka Kuljis, Marko Skrmetta, Grego Anticich, and Mrs. Mary S. Anticich conveyed their 60% interest in the canning company to Joseph Lawrence, trustee for the Biloxi Fisherman's Packing Company for $18,800. Peter Skrmetta conveyed his interest to O.G. Swetman for $5250.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 125, p. 404 and Bk. 131, p. 439, p. 504. and pp. 537)
Also in July 1912, Lawrence conveyed the interest acquired from the above to the the Biloxi Fishermen's Packing Company.(10) P.H. Clark sold his 20% interest to the BFPCO at the same time.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 131, p. 578)
The Biloxi Fisherman's Packing Company was incorporated (see Chattel Book 21, p. 328 or Copy Book 3, p. 694). Grego Anticich, Marko Skrmetta, Peter Skrmetta, Luka Kuljis, and P.H. Clark, incorporators.
Charter of BFPCO amended December 8, 1920, to increase capital stock from $25,000 to $50,000.(12) P.H. Clark, president and Nils Herlitz, secretary.(HARCO, Ms. Chattel Deed Bk.
Biloxi Fisherman's Packing Company dissolved on October 9, 1940.(Copy Bk 7, p. 651). The owners at this time and their percentage interest in the company were: Mrs. C.B. Foster (42%), Chester A. Delacruz (38%), Mrs. C.A. Delacruz (6%), O.G. Swetman (12%), F.B. Royster (1%),and Henry W. Foster (1%).
BFPCO sold to Mississippi Coast Packing Co. in November 1929, for $18,000. MCPCO was incorporated in October 1929.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 183, p. 553)
12. -------------------------------------- Book 131, p. 586
13. --------------------------------Chattel Book 21, p. 475
The Daily Herald, "Trustee's Sale", April 23, 1918.
DUBAZ BROTHERS: 1918-1973
14 32 East Beach
At Biloxi, Mississippi, in May 1937, Ernest Mladinich (1875-1953) and spouse, Catherine Bonacich Mladinich (1874-1962), entered into a lease agreement for a parcel of land situated on Point Cadet, with the Dubaz Brothers, a seafood packing company, domiciled at Biloxi. It was owned by John Dubaz II (1890-1944), Luke Dubaz (1893-1985), and George Dubaz (1888-1976). The Dubaz Brothers lease agreement with the Mladinichs was for ten years commencingonMay 13, 1937. The rent was $20 per month.(HARRCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 215, pp. 91-93)
Ernest Mladinich, a native of the village of Milna on the Island of Brac in the Adriatic Sea just off the Damaltian coast of Croatia, and his spouse, Catherine Bonacich Mladinich (1874-1962), also a Croat, had acquired their land on Point Cadet in December 1931. For $8500, the 1st National Bank of Biloxi conveyed to them a tract of land described as: 80 feet on the north by Moulet; 290 feet on the east by Wetzell, 80 feet on the Gulf; and 290 feet on the west by Cedar Street. It was subject to existing leases held by Panhandle Oil and Paul Petrich and George Marusich.( HARRCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 192, pp. 423-424)
In 1932, Ernest Mladinich would acquire the Terry Packing Company on East Beach at Biloxi and operate it as The Star Fish and Oyster Company. His bold, capitalistic leadership during the early Depression Era years, was immediately followed by other “Austrians”, as Biloxi’s Croatian community was labeled at this time, who made significant investments in the local seafood industry. Vincent Gospodonovich purchased the Stanovich tract, which had two domiciles and a cannery operated by Steve Pavich, and in July 1932, The Martin Fountain Packing Company became the property of The Sea Coast Packing Company. Sea Coast was led by Peter Pavlov, president and treasurer; Alexander Pitalo, vice-president; and Steve M. Sekul, manager.(The Daily Herald, July 30, 1932, p. 1)
The Dubaz Brothers
Prior to erecting a seafood factory on Front Beach, the Dubaz Brothers had operated a small cannery on Biloxi Bay near the 1928 War Memorial Bridge. Like many seafood operators on Biloxi’s Point Cadet, the Dubaz Brothers had their roots in Croatia, formerly a part Yugoslavia. The progenitor of the family, John (Giovanni) Dubaz (1855-1931),
Four of the Dubaz brothers were talented musicians. As early as 1911, they were members of Professor Carl Hemmersbach’s Knights of Columbus orchestra in Biloxi. Professor Hemmersbach (1872-1930+) was an 1888 German immigrant. He taught music at St. Stanislaus and appears to have been a very devout Roman Catholic. In early February 1912, Bishop Gunn, Bishop of the Diocese of Natchez, was feted at Dukate’s Theatre. Among those playing in Professor Hemmersbach’s band that evening were: George Dubaz, 1st violin; Adolph Dubaz, 2nd violin; John Dubaz, coronet; and Luke Dubaz, drums.(The Daily Herald, October 13, 1911, p. 1 and February 2, 1912, p. 1)
Later the Dubaz brothers founded the Dubaz Orchestra, which played at many dance venues in Biloxi including the Montross Hotel, Hotel Biloxi, Biloxi Yacht Club, and Pizatti Pavilion. They were also was regulars at the Dance Pavilion on Deer Island playing in the evenings and Sunday afternoon.(The Daily Herald, August 6, 1915, p. 8)
In May 1947, the Dubaz Brothers renewed their lease with Ernest and Catherine Mladinich for fifteen years. The rent was $1 per day.(HARCO Ms. Land Deed Bk. 372, pp. 256-272)
Ernest Mladinich expired on January 20, 1953. He had come to Biloxi from Croatia, then a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, in 1901. Mladinich was a veteran of the Austrian Navy. He and wife, Katherine Bonacich, were the parents of two children: Ernest Mladinich II and Dina M. Kuljis. (The Daily Herald, January 20, 1953, p. 4)
After Mrs. Mladinich expired in October 1962, her estate was probated by Walter Nixon Jr., a Biloxi attorney.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Copy Bk. 132, p. 204)
This tropical cyclone struck the Biloxi peninsula on the night of August 19, 1969.
In November 1972, the Dubaz Brothers, after fifty-four years in the seafood business at Biloxi, sold their crab processing plant on the corner of Maple Street and Howard Avenue to Edward R. Hanson.(The Daily Herald, January 19, 1973, p. 2)
Edward R. Hanson (1921-1996) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on January 21, 1921 to Edward H. Hanson and Delhia Strong. He married Edith Chatham. Ed Hanson expired at Biloxi on April 3, 1996.(The Sun Herald, April 6, 1996, p. B2)
The Daily Herald, “Dance and Reception for Columbus Day”, October 13, 1911.
The Daily Herald, “Deer Island” [advertisement], August 6, 1915.
The Daily Herald, “Brilliant reception last night in honor of Bishop Gunn”, February 2, 1912.
The Daily Herald,“John Dubaz, Sr. Dies”, February 16, 1931.
The Daily Herald, “Austrians Buy Canning Plant”, July 30, 1932.
The Daily Herald,“Mrs. Dubaz Dies”, July 30, 1932.
The Daily Herald,“John Dubaz Dies”, July 7, 1944.
The Daily Herald, “Ernest Mladinich Dies”, January 20, 1953.
The Daily Herald,“Mrs. Catherine Mladinich”, October 22, 1962.
The Daily Herald, “Dubaz seafood company sold to Biloxian”, January 8, 1973.
The Sun Herald, “Edward R. Hanson, Sr.”, April 6, 1996.
The Sun Herald, “Luke J. Dubaz Jr.”, April 23, 2001.
C.F. GOLLOTT & SON SEAFOOD [founded 1932]
Carroll F. “C.F.” Gollott (1911-1987), a native of Biloxi, Mississippi and the son of Armond George Gollott (1887-1973) and Belle Gollott (1890-1930+) founded C.F. Gollott & Son Seafood at North Biloxi, now D’Iberville, Mississippi, in 1932. Armond G. Gollott was born on August 3, 1887 at Theodore, Mobile County, Alabama and circa 1904 married Belle ?, probably in Mobile County, Alabama. They had six children: Infant Gollott; Joseph E. Gollott (1906-1974) m. Dolah ?; Carroll F. Gollott (1911-1987) m. Alice Diaz (1911-1992); James I. Gollot 1915-1981); Ruby L. Gollott (1915-2000) m. Chester Kinsey; and Luther Daniel Gollott (1928-2004) m. Mary Lawrence and Helen Pickich.
Gollott Seafood buildings at D'Iberville
(images made October 1996 by Ray L. Bellande)
Circa 1909, Armond G. Gollott and spouse relocated from Mobile County, Alabama to Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1910, they were domiciled on Pine Street in the Point Cadet section of east Biloxi. Here Armond made his livelihood as a fisherman. He later toiled as a ship carpenter in Biloxi before becoming a baker circa 1919. By 1920, the Gollott family had moved to 3rdStreet also on Point Cadet.(1910 and 1920 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census T624_740, p. 19B, Ed 33 and T625_876, p. 32B, ED 39)
In 1927, Carroll F. Gollott began a long career in the Biloxi commercial seafood business by acquiring fresh oysters from Biloxi fishermen, processing them by hand, and selling the succulent mollusks in sealed jars to clients in Hattiesburg and Wiggins. Perkinston Jr. College was one of his first reliable accounts as he sold the school’s cafeteria three gallons of raw oysters for $1.25 per gallon. Mr. Gollott delivered his seafood in a Model T Ford and he subsequently endured the perils of traveling on gravel and red clay roads into the interior of South Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 2, 1982, p. 2)
In 1932, C.F. Gollott commenced C.F. Gollott Seafood at North Biloxi, now D’Iberville. His facility was known for its high quality and sanitary excellence. The Gollot factory primarily processed oysters and crabmeat. Gollott’s crabmeat was shipped to Baltimore, Maryland and he received $.18 per pound for the product. C.F. Gollott later opened up the Memphis market for Mexican Gulf oysters. Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Gollott also ran Gollott’s Grocery and Market where he served as butcher.(The Ocean Springs Record, December 2, 1982, p. 2)
Additional enterprises that Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Gollott operated were Gollott’s Grocery and Market where he served as butcher and a bakery. C.F. Gollott was also a fine carpenter and mason. He sponsored baseball and softball teams through the years.(The Sun Herald, January 21, 1987, p. A4)
On October 23, 1929, Carroll F. Gollott married Alice Diaz (1911-1992), the daughter of Delmas Diaz (1877-1953) and Maggie G. Quave (1883-1967). Two children: Armond Carroll. “Arny” Gollott (b. 1932) married Phyllis June Ladner and Alice Mae Gollott married Alvin Vogt. C.F. Gollott and Alice D. Gollott were blessed with eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.(The Sun Herald, January 21, 1987, p. A4)
In addition to his business acumen and trade skills, Carroll F. Gollott was a talented Dixieland musician. He played with George Brunies (1902-1974) of New Orleans; Ace Cannon (b. 1934) of Grenada, Mississippi; Dan Glasser; and Chuck Foster. C.F. Gollott expired on January 19, 1987 at Biloxi, Mississippi. At his request, a Dixieland Jazz Funeral was held on January 21, 1987.(The Sun Herald, January 21, 1987, p. A4)
The Biloxi D'Iberville Press, "Gollott's marks its 75th year", April 24, 2008, p. A1.
The Ocean Springs Record, C.F. Gollott celebrates 50 years”, December 2, 1982, p. 2.
The Sun Herald, “C.F. Gollott”, January 21, 1987, p. A4.
The Sun Herald, “Alice D. Gollott”, November , 1992.
The Sun Herald, "After and Now"-Gollott Seafood in D'Iberville", June 4, 2006, p. A10.
The Sun Herald, "Gollott's seafood celebrates 75th", May 25, 2008, p. G1.
WEEMS BROTHERS SEAFOOD COMPANY [founded 1941]
The Weems Brothers Seafood Company was founded on the Back Bay of Biloxi in 1941, by Joseph Eugene “Gene” Weems (1912-2005) and Charles Edward Weems (1915-2006). Prior to their commencing a seafood factory, the Weems brothers learned to harvest the Gulf waters with Eugene Weems, their father, on the Nettie, his fishing boat. The Weems brothers built the Thomas D. Kirnan, their first shrimp and oyster vessel in 1937. It was christened for Mr. Kirnan, the mortgagee. It was followed in 1939, by the Bobbie Charles. The Weems brothers would build twelve commercial fishing vessels during their tenure in the seafood industry at Biloxi.(The Sun Herald, April 12, 2006, p. A6)
J. Eugene “Gene” Weems and Charles E. Weems were the sons of Eugene Weems (b. 1891), a native of Bayou La Batre, Mobile County, Mississippi and Kathryn Weems (b. 1894), also an Alabaman. Eugene Weems came to Biloxi and was an oyster-shrimp fisherman. He and Kathryn also had three daughters: Hilda Rae Weems Jalanivich (1919-1999) married John M. Jalanivich II (1916-1998); Nettie Babuchna, and Erna Weems (b. 1925).
Gene Weems married Doris Terry. They were the parents of: Anita Weems Hill; Barbara Weems League; Ruth Weems Tank; and Douglas Weems.(The Sun Herald, May 3, 2005, p. A6)
The September Storm of 1947, destroyed the Weems Brothers factory on Biloxi’s Back Bay. They worked diligently and restored the business and prospered.(The Sun Herald, April 12, 2006, p. A6)
Gene Weems sold his interest in the Weems Borthers to Charles E. Weems in 1957. Twelve years later in August 1969, the powerful tropical cyclone, called Camille, struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast and did catastrophic damage. Charles E. Weems and sons rebuilt on Back Bay.( The Sun Herald, April 12, 2006, p. A6)
In 1984, Charles E. Weems retired from the seafood industry. He and wife, Glenna Sherrell (1915-1996), were the parents of four sons: Charles E. Weems Jr.; Jerry Weems; Laddie Weems; and Ronnie Weems. They continued the business after their father’s retirement. Charles and Glenna also had a daughter, Sonja Weems Hoffman.